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Microsoft has announced an update for Skype for Xbox that gives the app full Snap support. That means that the gamer can receive a Skype voice or video call while they are using other apps or playing a game. That will bring a new wrinkle to in-game chats with friends.
Before this update, you could only snap other apps to Skype for Xbox One. The big difference here is that Skype doesn't have to be the main app on the screen now. Your game or movie can now be the main app on screen with your Skype call on the side.
The Worms saga is one of those game series that has managed to hold on for more than a decade and still remain relevant to new generations of gamers. Today Team 17 Digital Ltd announced via Sony's official PlayStation blog that the series' latest installment, Worms Battlegrounds, will be heading to the PlayStation 4 on June 3rd of this year.
Worms Battlegrounds features a massive single player campaign spanning 25 story missions and 10 "Worm-Ops" time-attack missions, which have been set across five stunning environments (Inca, Viking, Feudal Japan and Industrial Revolution) with new day-to-night lighting transitions as well. "We've even added in multiplayer clan support! Create your own clan and choose your own clan emblem or simply join another existing clan and take part in league matches! All of these earn you community points, which allow your clan to level up and grow larger," said the blog post. "A particularly cool thing is that if we were in a clan together we could - for the first time - play controlling the same team! I'd take control of two of the worms, and so would you. Just don't let me down; we're fighting for our clan's reputation as the best global Worms clan after all!"
Over the weekend, a new update for the Xbox One started rolling out to users. The update adds in a nice new feature that allows the user to control the sound level of snapped apps. That means that the user can decide which of the two snapped apps is louder than the other.
The update also brings the ability for the user to control volume levels when using Kinect for chat. Optional data tracking for Kinect Chat is also added .The goal of that feature is to improve voice recognition for different accents.
According to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the PS4 and Xbox One use a large amount of power even when in standby mode. Then we have some astounding numbers to look at.
The NRDC's new report has said if the PS4, Wii U and Xbox One replace the 110 million current-generation consoles sold in the US between 2005 and 2013, the total energy use of the three current-generation systems will be over 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year - enough juice to power the United States' fourth-largest city, Houston.
At what cost? Well, this would cost American households over $1 billion per year in energy costs, with 40% of it coming from the consoles' standby mode alone. The report reads: "The new consoles consume more energy each year playing video or in standby mode than playing games". The Xbox One in standby mode uses 15.7W of power, while the PS4 uses 8.5W and the Wii U with just 0.4W.
Sales numbers for the two major next gen game consoles are in for the month of April and things don't look that good for Microsoft. Microsoft has been outsold again by the Sony PS4. According to the NPD Group, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One for the fourth month in a row.
Sales of new game hardware for the month of April grew by 76% to $192 million compared to the same month last year. NPD says that the bulk of those sales were of game consoles. NPD notes that sales of video game accessories in the US also increased year over year compared to last April to $159 million. That makes a 21% gain for game accessories.
For many gamers when it comes to the Xbox game console, the Halo franchise is the main reason to own the game system. Halo has been around for years and Master Chief is an iconic gaming character. Microsoft is talking a bit about the next game in the franchise called Halo 5: Guardians that will be coming to the Xbox One.
The game will run at 60 fps and will use a new engine created by Halo developer 343 Studios. 343 Studios general manager Bonnie Ross says that more details on the game will be offered at E3 on June 9. Along with talk of the game, Microsoft is also talking a bit about the Halo TV series as well.
We've heard rumors that Nintendo would unveil its next-gen console at E3 next month, and while this might not happen, the company is already talking about its next-gen console. Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, teased that the company is "always developing new hardware" during a recent Q&A.
During the company's recent financial briefing, Iwata said that once Nintendo has launched a platform, it begins preparations for the next one. Iwata explained: "The most difficult question for us to answer in public in concrete terms is when we are going to launch our new hardware and what kind of hardware we are going to launch, and I am afraid that I cannot talk about this in more detail. However, I can certainly assure you that we are not at a dead end of any kind in which we are out of ideas for developing new hardware".
Nintendo aren't just a hardware company, but mainly a software company - it plans to stay that way, and keep consumers happy with their current devices, such as the Wii U. Iwata continued: "We will continue to work hard to ensure that consumers who already own our platforms are satisfied, and make sure that people will continue to see great value in our software. But I would like to say that we are preparing for our next hardware system, and in fact, we already have a clear idea to some extent about the direction our next hardware is going to take".
Microsoft is set to release the Xbox One without the Kindle bundled in, available on June 9 with a $399 price tag. The company also is shaking things up so Live Gold subscription will no longer be necessary for access to Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, Hulu Plus - and also won't be necessary for OneGuide, Internet Explorer, or other premium services.
Microsoft still believes the Xbox One game console bundled with Kinect offers gamers "the best experience," though understands that a cheaper solution must be made available to customers. However, the $399 price point puts it on the same level of the Sony PlayStation 4 game console, which continues to outsell the Xbox One worldwide.
Just a few days ago, research group IDC predicted Microsoft would unbundle the Xbox One and Kinect by 2015, as Microsoft continues to try and compete with Sony.
A rumor is making the rounds that claims a couple of the most popular video streaming services will be offered to Xbox users who don't have an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Those two services are Hulu and Netflix. Some other unnamed streaming media apps will also be offered with no Xbox Live Gold subscription according to the rumor.
One bad thing about this rumor is that the sources also claim that to make up for potential lost revenue from moving streaming media in front of the pay wall, Xbox might put some other services behind the pay wall for the first time.
This morning Blizzard announced the console launch date of its Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition title. The game will launch on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles later this year on August 19th, and is expected to retail in the $60 price range for next-gen consoles and $40 price range for the older consoles.
"The Ultimate Evil Edition brings Reaper of Souls to console gamers for the first time, and wraps all of the content, features, and updates we've released for Diablo III into one epic package," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Whether you're a veteran of the crusade against the forces of evil on PC or are just stepping foot into Sanctuary for the first time, there's never been a better time to experience Diablo III from the comfort of your couch."