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Next year, there are two companies that have me the most excited: Valve and Oculus VR. The latter, for its awesome virtual reality device, Rift, and the former, for its multiple product releases, and software releases.
One of these, is the Steam Machine. The latest Steam Machine prototype has been teased by Engadget, which has had the first look at iBuyPower's prototype for a Steam Machine. It looks awesome, and looks nothing like a PC - which is exactly what Valve, and PC makers, need right now. There's a gorgeous light bar through the center of it, which looks like it changes color, an awesome touch.
There's a gigantic Steam logo on top, which is nice to see on a console. Better yet, it'll be just $499 and include a decent GPU in the AMD Radeon R9 270 - which is an $180 GPU on its own. One top of this, there'll be a multi-core AMD processor inside, and a Steam Controller. We're talking about specs that beat the next-gen consoles, with a price that matches them. This is what I know: I want one, and I want one now.
Unfortunately for Xbox 360 users who use their console as a U-verse TV receiver, you will no longer be able to use that service. AT&T is informing their customers that they will no longer have the IPTV support for the Xbox 360. AT&T says this will come in affect after December 31st.
Users will have to order a traditional U-verse receiver but 360 U-verse users will at least get a $99 credit in return of their troubles, according to AT&T it was originally going to be a $60 credit but they decided to make it $99. It doesn't look like they will be transferring the service to Xbox One either.
We reported about the issues with some Xbox One consoles and their Blu-ray issues, but Microsoft is quickly jumping into damage control mode, offering anyone with a broken Xbox One free games.
If you're one of these people, you can ring up Microsoft customer support, and get a free game through the Xbox One exchange program. You'll receive a digital code for one of 4 games: Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse, or Zoo Tycoon. Not too bad at all, isn't it? If you're experiencing issues with the Blu-ray drive on your Xbox One, get onto that free game deal, now!
The Xbox One's Upload Studio is an app that allows you to upload video clips of your game footage and according to some reports some users are losing Xbox Live privileges due to the profanity used in their videos. Some have reportedly lost privileges to Skype and other apps, and according to Microsoft the excessive profanity in videos can result you in getting some or all of your privileges taken. These bans are temporary and non-permanent; users aren't getting banned from gaming. Just Kinect related apps and in most cases just the Upload Studio.
Microsoft's statement: "To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls. Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members."
There is no official announcement or release date for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita "Ultimate Edition Bundle" but Sony's senior product manager; Ben Law mentioned a few days ago to MCV that the Ultimate Edition Bundle will be at retailers this holiday season before Christmas, more than likely early December.
The Ultimate Edition Bundle will come with the PlayStation 4, a Dualshock 4 controller, mono in ear mic, the PlayStation Vita, and in the leaked promo picture it looks like it will also be coming with a memory card for the Vita.
Microsoft has over 1 million Xbox Ones in the wild, but it looks like some of these next-gen consoles are having issues with the internal Blu-ray drive. Problem is, Microsoft has no solution just yet.
The problematic Xbox Ones are seeing a bad grinding sound when the Xbox Ones Blu-ray drive attempts to read discs. The other issue is, we don't know how many Xbox One units have been affected. Kotaku reported the issue earlier on this evening, seeing over 100 people e-mail them, with the problem on their Xbox One unit, or knowing someone with the issue.
Microsoft's launch of the Xbox One has seen 1 million consoles fly out the door, with the company calling it the "biggest launch in Xbox history". The Xbox One launched in 13 markets across the world, including the United States, Australia, parts of Europe and South America.
Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at Xbox, said in a statement: "We are humbled and grateful for the excitement of Xbox fans around the world. Seeing thousands of excited fans lined up to get their Xbox One and their love for gaming was truly a special moment for everyone on the Xbox team. We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles and look forward to fulfilling holiday gift wishes this season."
We know that Sony sold 1 million PlayStation 4s in the first 24 hours of it being launched, but it is a more impressive number considering it was only in the US and Canada. This is a more impressive number, at least to me, because it's just two markets, and not the many more that Microsoft launched the Xbox One in.
Yesterday we saw iFixit tear down Microsoft's next-gen gaming console, the Xbox One, and today the company is continuing the series by tearing down the new Kinect sensor. As a electronic hobbyist this is the teardown that I have been waiting for, and with the sensors new high-resolution capabilities, I can not wait to see it hacked!
Unlike the Xbox One, the Kinect is held together by screws which are hiding under labels, and a screwdriver makes quick work of opening up the case. When the Kinect is first opened up, you can see several optical sensors, and what appears to be an array of three high-intensity IR Blasters.
Also pictured is the large camera with what appears to me a mechanical focusing system. Interestingly enough, the Kinect now packed enough power that a Fan is required to keep things nice and cool, and I bet this has something to do with its sensors always being activated awaiting commands from the user. It also appears that the entire internal frame is being used as one giant heat sink to help aid in cooling. Unfortunately, the Kinect earned a repairibility score of just 6 out of 10 due to so many permanently affixed and propriety parts.
The optical output for the Xbox One will only play stereo through headsets at launch. Albert Panello Microsoft Director of product planning comments in a NeoGAF thread that full Dolby Digital support will be available post launch. Although Panello does not specify any sort of release date for the update. Unfortunately users that are accustomed to using Turtle Beach, Tritton, or any other expensive headset will have to deal with having stereo for the time being.
Microsoft Director of Product Planning Albert Panello in a NeoGAF thread: "Dolby Digital is coming post launch. This was a SW scheduling issue pure and simple, and I know people are disappointed, but we will have it. Anyone with an HDMI receiver should be fine, as we pass the uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 through HDMI as well as DTS. Even if you have a Dolby only HDMI receiver, you will still get 5.1 or 7.1 sound since those receivers should accept uncompressed surround. For the Dolby only headsets, my understanding is that these will work but you will only get stereo audio since we only pass Stereo and DTS through the optical port. I have not tested this myself, but I'm told it works. Regardless, I understand this is an inconvenience, but again we're going to have Dolby coming."
With the Xbox One officially launching in New Zealand today, it was only a matter of time before the guys and gals over at iFixit got their hands on the next-gen console. The team from iFixit were on hand at the official Xbox launch party in New Zealand and managed to obtain an official Day One special edition console to tear down.
Unfortunately Microsoft chose not to hide any screws under the rubber feet and the team had to look elsewhere on how to begin the disassembly process. The Xbox One is disassembled by first removing the plastic grill much in the way one has to disassemble the Xbox 360. Once the Grill is removed, only a few plastic clips remain to hold things together.
Inside the Xbox One, the PCB and other internals are shielded inside a metal cover which is easily removed by extracting a few screws. Once the cover is removed the Blu-ray drive, cooling fan, and cooler are all prominently visible. The hard drive is also unveiled at this point and it appears to be a Samsung Spinpoint M8 ST500LM012 500 GB 5400 RPM with 8MB Cache SATA II 3.0Gb/s hard drive. With a form factor of 2.5-inches, this could easily be replaced with a large capacity SSD. You would void your warranty, so keep that in mind if you decide to tear down your Xbox One.