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We know that Sony is ahead of Microsoft in this generation of consoles, but to hear it directly from the boss of Xbox feels weird. During the 2015 GeekWire Summit, Xbox boss Phil Spencer had some choice words on the future of gaming, Microsoft's competition with Sony and Nintendo, and more.
When asked about whether Microsoft could beat Sony with the current generation consoles, Spencer said: "You know, I don't know. You know, the length of the generation... They [Sony] have a huge lead and they have a good product. I love the content, the games line-up that we have. One thing that probably I didn't realize as much as I should have when I started in this role was the impact that the launch had on our team here in Redmond, the Xbox team".
So what's Microsoft's goal with the Xbox One? For once, the company isn't trying to beat Sony, as they just want to reach as many consumers as possible with their platform. Spencer continued: "Every time I sit down and I do a product review, mostly every time, the team comes in with surprise and delight around the momentum that they have, more than I'm able to add. And when I see that transformation of a team that's questioning the leadership of the organisation to a team that's motivated by the customers that we have and their ability to delight them, I see a team that's making amazing progress. [Backwards compatibility] was one".
In a move that surprised absolutely no one, Sony has officially dropped the PlayStation 4's price tag to $350 in an effort to continue its reign of console dominance.
The Japanese console-maker announced the news in an update on the PlayStation Blog, where it reveals that the new permanent $350 price will take effect on October 9 in the United States and Canada. Sony also revealed a number of new bundles for the holidays, but the $350 flavors will come with the standard 500GB HDD.
"If you haven't made the jump yet, and you're starting early on your holiday wish list, I have good news - we're dropping the price of the PlayStation 4 system in the U.S. and Canada," Sony said in the update. "Starting tomorrow, October 9, you'll be able to pick up PS4 starting at the new price of $349.99 USD / $429.99 CAD (MSRP)."
Rumors of a price drop for the PS4 have been around for a while now, with the unexpected price drop of Sony's console in Japan teasing gamers that we could expect a price drop on the PS4 elsewhere in the world.
Well, Target's website teased a "$50 price drop on the PS4" next to the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection PS4 hardware bundle, offering it for $349. But the site quickly changed this. Target is now offering a $50 gift card with the bundle, at $399. Target could just be trying to get more consumers buying the PS4 through their store, but we think that Sony is preparing a $50 price drop on the PS4 for the holidays.
The PS4 recently launched with a 1TB model, and will be sold next to the launch of the new Call of Duty, which should see a price drop on the older 500GB models.
Today marks the last bundle in Microsoft's second Xbox One anniversary celebration, and it looks like they've saved the best for last. Now gamers will have the traditionally meaty Fallout franchise to chew through with their new consoles.
The new Fallout Xbox bundle comes with the new 1TB Xbox One console that doubles the stock 500GB storage, a download key for Fallout 4, another download key for Fallout 3 which will be playable thanks to the Xbox One's incoming backward compatibility update, an Xbox One controller fitted with the new 3.5mm headset jack, and a 14-day voucher for Xbox LIVE Gold.the road if you're an active gamer.
This bundle is scheduled to launch alongside Fallout 4's release on November 10, 2015. Since it has the expanded 1TB HDD the bundle will retail for $399 rather than the more comfortable $349, but that extra space will help you further down the road if you're an active gamer.
Yes, you read that right. RETRO VGS is a retro console vying for your Kickstarter backing and it's asking for a hefty $1,950,000 from users in total, made up mostly of $299 - $499 donation packages which earn you different levels of console goodness.
The main selling point of this console seems to be the cartridges themselves. Pandering to a retro and collectible audience, the Kickstarter bio talks about how cartridges are great for buying and trading, centering also around the constantly-felt issue of release-day patches and other issues felt by many gamers who are playing on newer consoles or computers. Striving to do away with patches all together, RETRO VGS tells games that all compatible titles "are tested thoroughly before release, just like they used to be."
While also promising to never release a DLC, it just doesn't seem quite right that a never-before-seen retro console is going to be able to drum up almost $2 million in funding over a 45 day period. In saying this, almost $66,000 has already been raised in five days, so maybe this will gain some more traction in coming weeks. However, at a rate of $66,000 every five days, a successful outcome is looking bleak.
Sony is preparing the 1TB PlayStation 4 for the United States and Canada, where it will be bundled with Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The US will have it priced at $450 while it will be CAD$550 in Canada.
Rewinding back to July, the 1TB PS4 launched in Europe without the Black Ops III artwork. But during E3, Sony and Activision announced a partnership for the PS4, calling Sony's console the "new home of Call of Duty". Now we know what being home to Call of Duty means, a special Black Ops III themed 1TB PS4.
Will you be buying the new 1TB PS4?
The Fire TV Gaming Edition only supports 4K video streaming and doesn't do 4K gaming--which isn't a surprise since it runs mobile games. Under the hood it packs 2GB of RAM, a MediaTek quad-core processor at 2GHz speeds for "75% more processing power than previous models" and a Power VR GX6250 GPU for grpahics. 8GB of onboard memory storage is included along with an equipped 32GB Micro SD card in the expandable memory slot. The hybrid gamebox can hit 4K video streaming at 30fps and 60fps in 1080p, but we're not sure if the latter resolution is for gaming or not.
Amazon boasts that the Fire TV Gaming Edition "has more games than Apple TV, Roku, or NVIDIA Shield" and every unit comes with a free copy of the amazing 8-bit platformer Shovel Knight and Capcom's DuckTales remake. The Fire TV microconsole can be connected to the internet via ethernet or MIMO Wi-Fi over 802.11a/b/g/n/ac networks. The set-top box also supports Bluetooth 4.1 and has the standard fare of ports consisting of HDMI out, DC power, ethernet, Micro SD and USB port in a compact 4.5in x 4.5in x 0.7in form factor.
The Xbox Platform Team has fabricated a "highly customized" version of Windows 10 to bring some dramatic changes to the Xbox One's architecture, allowing for a 50% speed boost, backward compatibility and DirectX 12 integration.
The New Xbox One Experience "NXOE" isn't just a simple UI overhaul. It's a complete evolution of the console's speed and responsiveness, and it's made possible with a new customized Windows 10 kernel called OneCore. "This isn't a small change in the front-end of the console or the UI, this is a massive change to the architecture, to the under-pinnings of the system," Xbox spokesman Larry Hryb said in the latest Major Nelson Radio podcast.
"NXOE brings massive change to the Xbox One," Xbox Director of Program Management Mike Ybarra said in the podcast. "We're bringing in Windows 10 and the whole Xbox One architecture will change Windows 10 is allowing us to bring a new level of speed and responsiveness to the Xbox One. Windows 10 on Xbox One is a highly customized version of the OS. It's called OneCore, and you can think of it as a kernel. It's a higly customized build of Windows 10 specifically built to optimize the things players do on the console, including playing games and other features."
"The Xbox One is literally a Windows device," says Microsoft's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela, illustrating how Microsoft doesn't see a distinction between the Xbox One and other platforms like Windows-powered phones and PCs.
"A core power metric for us is Windows 10 devices. That's not PC statement.That will be phones, that will be tablets, that will be laptops, that will be desktops, that will be big surface hubs that will be Xboxes," Capossela said at this year's Citi Global Technology Conference. "Xboxes today run Windows and so every time we sell an Xbox we're actually creating a Windows active device that hopefully people love it; it's a gaming device in their living room. It is not a separate animal. It is literally a Windows device."
While the Redmond-based tech giant has a role for every Windows 10 device, the OS acts as a glue to connect and cement each platform to a unified scope. The seeds of Windows 10 kernal will be planted into the Xbox One in November as part of the console's major new update, opening up new functionality like extensive backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games, Cortana support, and up to "thousands" of Windows 10 apps in the future.
The Xbox One's new November update is pretty significant and isn't just about a faster UI. A huge library of backward compatible Xbox 360 games will be supported, and every single one of them will have the full range of functions afforded to Xbox One games.
Backward compatibility is one of the most-requested features in the current generation of consoles, and Microsoft has one-upped Sony by adding the feature to Xbox One consoles. Come November, all Xbox One owners will be able to play 100 different Xbox 360 games on their consoles, with "hundreds more" coming in the months ahead.
Rather than just adding the feature and calling it quits, Microsoft has gone lengths to make the transition from curent-gen to last-gen as smooth as possible. Users will be able to upload their saved Xbox 360 game data to the cloud and download it to the Xbox One to pick up where they left off. But the most impressive feature is that all 100 backward-compatible games will be treated just like Xbox One games with integrated DVR recording and customization via Upload Studio, screenshot snapping and sharing, and cross-platform streaming to Windows 10 PCs.