With the Xbox One launching in just a few short weeks, Microsoft is looking to generate as much hype around the next-gen console as possible. Today a new video surfaced online that takes us on a brief, but detailed walkthrough of the console's dashboard. Unfortunately Microsoft has chose to post it on the official Xbox One Website, fortunately, IGN seems to have a copy on their YouTube channel.
The video is only 1:23 long, but it does a very good job at showing us how fast one can navigate through the various screens, menus and features using a combination of voice commands and input from the controller. Microsoft will launch the Xbox One on November 22nd and is expected to hit record sales despite a very rough reception after its announcement earlier this year.
This morning, NVIDIA announced that it has launched a massive update for its Shield handheld gaming console. The update brings forth GeForce. NVIDIA says that the update allows Shield owners to take control of thousands of Android games that were only designed originally for touch-screen devices and remap their controls to be compatible with the Shields physical controls.
The other new and exciting feature is what NVIDIA is calling "Console Mode," which allows users to transform their portable shield into "full living room gaming and entertainment experience" for the big-screen TV. This new mode allows gamers to pair up a Bluetooth equipped gaming controller to the shield, and play the games on the big screen. NVIDIA says that its GameStream mode is compatible with Console Mode and will allow users to stream their PC Games directly to their TV.
Other Android 4.3 feature updates include restricted profiles, expandable notifications, and code and bug fixes that make everything operate much smoother and fluid than before. Additionally, Shield owners can now select game and app files which they want to move to the SD card. Before only .APK files could be moved, but now .OOB files can make their way over as well which will free up a lot of room on the Shield's internal storage.
Finally, PC Streaming moves out of Beta and gets a new name. NVIDIA GameStream allows users to stream their PC games directly to the Shield, and allows for portable gameplay which would otherwise have you stuck at a desk. NVIDIA says that GameStream has been optimized for "game-speed Wi-Fi" with ultra-low latency and can support up to 60 frames per second on some titles. GameStream is said to be supported on more than 50 of the best PC games and is featured on several of the upcoming holiday season blockbusters such as Assassins Creed: Black Flag and Batman: Arkham Origins.
You've just unwrapped your shiny new next-gen PlayStation 4, plugged it all in and want to get some online gaming a bash - well, you'll have to wait because there's a 300MB day-one patch you'll need to complete before you do anything.
This 300MB patch will enable a bunch of multiplayer/online functionality such as Remote Play, sharing, broadcasting and more. Sony of the PS4 features won't be available at launch, such as the suspend/resume mode that allows the PS4 to enter low-power mode, and then lets you pick up where you left off. The day-one patch will enable to following goodies:
Users will be able to access PS4 titles displayed on their living room TVs and play them on a PS Vita system over Wi-Fi networks by using PS4 Link. SCE anticipates that most PS4 titles will be playable on the PS Vita system through Remote Play.
Earlier this morning everyone's favorite pre-release source, @evleaks, posted a photo on his Twitter account that clued us into what Moga's upcoming gaming pad for iPhone will looks like. Moga was one of the companies mentioned during WWDC when it talked about iOS gaming.
Not much is known about the controller other than the fact that it appears to be two separate pieces but a connecting cord could be hiding behind the iPhone in the photo. We do know that the Moga MFi will sport an 1800mAh battery that will charge and power the iPhone during play. This is the first of two form factors Apple mentioned for the MFi controllers, the second will be a separate controller that connects via bluetooth and functions without the phone being docked to the controller.
The PlayStation 4 launches within the next month, with Sony now confirming that you can use an alias on your console, or your real name, it's all up to you.
It's a social decision by the looks of things, pushing the PSN toward a more social experience if you're using your real name. Using your real name on the PlayStation Network is a bold move, but something that I think Sony has the right idea about. No more hiding behind an alias, although my game handle is just my first name followed by some numbers.
According to Dell, Microsoft will allow the Xbox One to run Windows 8 apps shortly after launch. The announcement comes in the form of a listing on Dell's website that states that the next-gen console will be able to run apps created from the desktop OS without any issue.
The official text on Dell's website reads, "With all your favorite Windows 8 apps able to be run on and synced to your Xbox One, now your phone, desktop, tablet and TV can all give you a unified web and entertainment experience." Since the Xbox One runs a heavily skinned version of Windows 8, this revelation makes perfect sense. This allows Microsoft to cash in on existing, and upcoming apps from thousands of app makers like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Hulu, LinkedIN and more. Now developers will only have to create a single app for Windows and Xbox users will be able to use that app as well.
During the GPU14 event in Hawaii a few weeks back, AMD touted its new Mantle API as being the great unifier between consoles and PCs and would allow more pc games to see "console like performance and optimization." This really struck a nerve with many PC gamers as they feel that the consoles should catch up to the faster PC gaming market rather than the PC being dumbed down to console levels.
Many of us in the industry assumed that this meant that Sony and Microsoft would be using the Mantle API to power its consoles which run AMD APU processors. Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. In a recent blogpost, Microsoft said that its upcoming Xbox One console will not run AMD's Mantle API, but would feature the company's own Direct 3D 11.2 API. Additionally, AMD has also pointed out that Mantle will actually be exclusive to the PC.
Microsoft has just posted a video that gives us insight to how the friend system will work in the new Xbox One ecosystem. Microsoft says that users will be able to add over 1000 friends now and that all of your Xbox 360 friends will be automatically imported. The coolest new feature is however, the ability to simply "follow" other players.
Following a player is quite simple and requires a player to set up sharing in their settings. If players follow each other then they can mutually see each others status updates, games that are being played, and even see notifications of when that user begins watching TV. A Twitter-like feed is available to help you keep up with what all your friends are doing in real-time. There is a lot more to the new system and the video above will clue you in on it all.
Nintendo has just launched its budget-friendly handheld gaming console, the Nintendo 2DS. The 3D top screen featured on the 3DS is gone and the device does not fold up like its predecessor. Along with the deleted screen and hinges, the 2DS also managed to delete quite a chunk of cash off of its price as well.
The Nintendo 2DS is capable of playing all 3DS games and features a 400x240-pixel top screen while the bottom screen is a unimpressive 320x240-pixel display. The 2DS features an included stylus, 4GB SD card, 1300mAh battery and a "3D" Camera. Wi-Fi connectivity is present as is the ability to download and store games. Nintendo's 2DS will retail at a pricing point of $130 which is $40 less than the 3DS and a whopping $70 less than the 3DS XL.
Sales of Nintendo's Wii U saw a drastic boost after The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released. A new report from Nintendo Life says that the company saw an increase in hardware sales of more than 685% in the UK alone. This proves Nintendo's longtime stance that games sell hardware and not vice versa.
UK head of marketing for Nintendo, James Honeywell said: "We have long believed that software sells hardware and it's great to see that reaffirmed this week with an uplift of Wii U hardware sales to coincide with the launch of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD."
Valve have teased us quite a bit in the last couple of weeks with its unveiling of the Steam Box, Steam OS and Steam Machines, with the latter being announced with NVIDIA GPUs.
Most thought that the Steam Machines would run AMD GPUs too - like myself - but this wasn't full confirmed, leaving many to believe that maybe, just maybe, NVIDIA had secured a very tight contract with Valve. The Half-Life developer has come out and confirmed that the Steam Machines would indeed support the three primary graphics vendors today.
Valve spokesperson, Doug Lombardi, said: "Last week, we posted some technical specs of our first wave of Steam Machine prototypes. Although the graphics hardware that we've selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of NVIDIA cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are NVIDIA-only. In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel. Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future."
One of the biggest differences between the PS4 and the Xbox One is that the latter includes the Kinect camera, where the former includes no camera at all. But, Sony did consider selling the PS4 with a camera for $400, according to a report by the Australian Business Spectator.
Sony found an issue with losing too much money integrating a camera into the PS4 setup, with Sony Computer Entertainment President and Group CEO, Andy House, telling Business Spectator that "the vast majority of the audience that we speak to tells us that their primary wish is for the full controller interface and there's not necessarily a huge emphasis being placed on camera interaction."
So it seems that Sony thinks its consumers aren't going to be missing out on too much without the camera, and I tend to agree.
Mad Catz has announced M.O.J.O. which is its Android-based micro-console, coming in at a price of $249.99. It is powered by NVIDIA's more-than-capable Tegra 4, which is the same SoC found in NVIDIA's Shield handheld console.
M.O.J.O.'s specs aren't too bad at all, with the NVIDIA Tegra 4 being the heart and soul, but we also find 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board flash storage with a microSD card for expandable storage, all the way up to 128GB I might a dd. We will hear more information on M.O.J.O. closer to its December 10 release date.
During a recent interview with Famitsu, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada of Namco Bandai talked about the future of PlayStation and its network capabilities and of course, cloud services.
Harada said: "I think in the future, it will be a contest of services instead of hardware. When there's the PS5, it will probably be just a controller and a monitor. Then, the thing that will be left is the name of the service." Personally, I don't think we'll see a PS5 in the way that most think we'll see one, but maybe a smaller, less capable console with more of the computational and rendering side being done on the cloud - heavily compressed - and sent back to your 'console' or device at home.
What do you think? A PlayStation 5 that isn't a normal console.
Many PC gamers have used Microsoft's Xbox 360 Controller for years, and up until now those who wish to use a Sony DualShock 3 controller had to resort to using third party drivers to get things working correctly. In a recent tweet, Sony Computer Entertainment President, Shuhei Yoshida, confirmed that the DualShock 4 controller will work on PC out of the box.
Specifically, the controllers analog joysticks and buttons will work, but the more advanced features like the touchpad, lightbar, and speaker will not work on the PC without someone developing third party drivers. Yoshida said that we will have to wait to find out whether the DualShock 4 will be recognized as a generic gaming controller, or if Windows will be able to tell if it is a PS3 controller, which would be handy for games that are ported to the PS4.
If a newly released poll is any indication of current market trends, Sony's PlayStation 4 is more desired as a holiday gift than its rival, Microsoft's Xbox One. Reuters recently commissioned Ipsos to conduct a poll on which next-generation console consumers would purchase during the holiday season.
The poll consisted of almost 1300 people, of which 26 percent said that they would be purchasing a PS4 in preparation for the holidays this year. Only 15 percent said that they would be purchasing an Xbox One. When Reuters broke the poll down to age demographics, a whopping 41 percent of those under 40 years of age said they would buy a PS4, while only 27 percent indicated that they would be picking up an Xbox One. No info was given on how many people indicated that they would buy both consoles.
Grand Theft Auto V was a massive 18GB download on the PlayStation Store and while this might not mean much to us PC gamers using Steam, it bought the Japanese company's network to its knees with thousands upon thousands of people downloading it all at once.
Sony does not want a repeat of this, and has said it is fixing its digital download network before the PlayStation 4 launches. PlayStation UK boss, Fergal Gara, told Eurogamer: "There are big innovations in the PS4 to make it more attractive. We've done a lot of work on pre-delivering files. It's not perfect. It's not seamless."
Gara added that digital distribution is a "major area of focus" and investment for the company, which should calm most gamers' nerves.
This week has been quite packed with Valve-related news, with SteamOS, Steam Box, Steam Machines and the new Steam Controller. Now we have a company that was tied to Valve for the Steam Box, unveiling its new PISTON gaming console on Monday.
Xi3 has teased that "the wait is over" with the date 9/30/13 below it. We should expect the PISTON console to be a variation of the usual PISTON PCs, but in console form. We don't know exactly what to expect, but maybe this will be the first Steam Machine? Especially considering that Xi3 was who Valve reportedly chose to show off prototypes of the Steam Box in its early form.
Microsoft has announced that its Xbox team will take the Xbox One on a tour around the world, starting on October 1. If you're near one of these tour cities, you'll be able to see the Xbox One "through a series of experiential events."
You'll be able to get some hands-on time with Microsoft's next-gen console, as the Redmond-based giant will be bringing along seven (and possibly more) of its launch titles: Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, Crimson Dragon, Max: Curse of the Brotherhood, and LocoCycle.
The company has called this tour the "Area One" tour, with the following cities and dates below:
- Philadelphia: 10.3-10.6
- Paris: 10.10-10.13
- Toronto: 10.10-10.13
- Chicago: 10.17-10.20
- Vienna: 10.17-10.20
- Atlanta: 10.24-10.27
- Dallas: 10.31-11.3
- Berlin: 10.31-11.3
- Phoenix: 11.7-11.10
- San Francisco: 11.14-11.17
- Dublin: 11.14-11.17
- Los Angeles: 11.21
- London: 11.21-11.24
According to Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Phil Harrison, we won't be seeing any indie titles for the Xbox One this year. Indie games will launch for Microsoft's next-gen console sometime early next year.
Harrison told Games Industry International the news, saying that Microsoft has received "hundreds" of applications following its announcement of Independent Developers @ Xbox program. Those who are accepted into the program receive two free Xbox One developer kits, as well as becoming a registered Xbox One developer.
Even though there has been quite a lot of interest, Harrison doesn't think we'll see indie titles when the Xbox One launches in November. He goes on to say: "I don't think it's realistic to see a developer get the program and build a game and get it into the market on November 22. It's reasonable to expect in early 2014 we'll start seeing the first games come through."
During the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft's Albert Penello confirmed to Gamespot that the Xbox One's HDMI input port would work with any device, including its main competitor: the PlayStation 4.
A post over on NeoGAF sees Penello explain by saying it "won't be a great experience," where he said that HDMI latency will affect interactive content. We should expect more details in the coming weeks, but the HDMI input will provide more lag if you use the PS4. I don't see why you would do that, as most TVs and amplifiers have multiple HDMI ports.
Microsoft most likely provided an HDMI input port for the use of cable/satellite TV boxes, so you can plug it directly into the Xbox One.