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Microsoft is expected to be active during the E3 gaming conference next month, and that could include unveiling a new Xbox One gaming controller.
The Microsoft Xbox Support website included an interesting prototype that seemingly features a 3.5mm headphone port located in the base of the controller. The new unit will be "available on controllers released after June 2015," which will follow Microsoft's E3 press conference in Los Angeles.
No one is really sure what to expect until the press conference, as it's possible additional features could be unveiled.
A teenager in Austria will serve prison time after pleading guilty to terrorism charges, admitting he downloaded plans on bomb construction to his Sony PlayStation game console. The unnamed 14-year-old hoped to detonate a bomb and then head to Syria to pick up arms for the Islamic State.
Although he faced a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, the Austrian court gave him eight months in prison - with an additional 16 months suspended. A forensics search of his smartphone, PC and game console found numerous "violent images" and propaganda related to the Islamic State terrorist group.
Unfortunately, it looks like this 14-year-old, who came to Austria from Turkey in 2007, is the latest casualty of a successful social media campaign by IS. The group has been especially successful in its attempts to lure younger people from around the world, essentially brainwashing them into fighting.
Slightly Mad Studios is slightly mad when it comes to the Wii U version of Project Cars, as the Wii U is struggling to hit 30FPS at only 720p. This has caused the studio to wait for the announcement of Nintendo's next-gen console, but Nintendo won't be revealing the NX console until 2016.
Ian Bell, boss of Slightly Mad Studios has said that he wants to see the Nintendo NX console announced at E3, but with the studio only able to achieve 23FPS on the Wii U, the next-gen Nintendo console is really needed if Nintendo gamers want to see Project Cars. Bell said: "I can't say too much but we're awaiting E3 with baited breath. Don't read wrongly into that... OK I'll come clean. At the moment we're running at about 23FPS on the WiiU. We're awaiting/hoping for more of a hardware announcement at E3...".
Bell continued: "Honestly, unless we really cut the looks back I think we're looking to Nintendo's next console. 720p yes. I suppose if they don't announce something at E3 or soon after we will have a go at it. We could reach a fairly solid 30FPS but it might take a hell of a lot of work. On the other hand, about halfway through us finishing, Nintendo might announce a new console (I have zero knowledge on this BTW but I've heard 'rumours'). Our work might just be the best thing that ever hit that new console in the driving sim genre. So we're playing a waiting game at the moment and yes, economics do come in to it".
We've heard previous rumors of the PlayStation 5 in that it would be a cloud-based console, with the producer of Tekken teasing that it wouldn't be a physical console at all. Now we're seeing job postings from Sony, teasing the PS5 once again.
On the official Sony PlayStation page, the Japanese giant is looking for a "Senior Game Programmer", with the job description reads: "We have an exciting opportunity at Sony Computer Entertainment of America (PlayStation). We seek a senior game programmer to assist us in developing a game used for R&D purposes related to our next generation gaming system. For someone passionate about gaming this is a very rare opportunity. After reviewing the below job profile, if this is you, please apply!"
The PS4 has enjoyed 19 months on the market so far, but most games are not being rendered at 1080p let alone 1080p 60FPS. I think Sony would cannabalize PS4 sales with a new console, but if it introduced the PS5 with a discrete GPU and told consumers and gamers that it was capable of 4K 60FPS and 1080p 120FPS, for $499, it would sell very well. Project Morpheus, Sony's virtual reality headset, is going to need much more grunt than the PS4 is capable of to deliver a great VR experience, so bring on the PS5.
For every hero, there has to be a nemesis. Superman VS Lex Luthor. Luke Skywalker VS Darth Vader. Batman VS The Joker. Super Mario VS Bowser. But they also say 'if you can't beat em, join em' - and that's exactly what Nintendo of America have done when they hired for the vacant position of Sales VP.
Nintendo announced yesterday they've hired Doug Bowser in an appropriately tongue-in-cheek press release. "Nintendo of America has hired a new Vice President to lead the United States sales organization with a name that's well-known in the Mushroom Kingdom. Effective today, Doug Bowser (no relation to the King Koopa and Mario's longtime nemesis) will oversee a variety of sales-related functions".
Bowser has made the move from an eight year stint with Electronic Arts, where he held the position of VP of Global Business Planning.
It was known that PCs would receive first crack at Windows 10 this summer, while Xbox One gamers and other users would have to wait. However, at least console owners have a time range of when they can anticipate upgrading their OS. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, responded to a question regarding Windows 10 for the Xbox One by saying the following:
@dave125norco It will be post-summer.- Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 19, 2015
Microsoft hopes to streamline Windows 10 to as many users - across multiple platforms - especially to those trying to upgrade from Windows 8/8.1. Windows 10 on the Xbox One will allow gamers to stream to Windows 10 PCs, along with the introduction of cross-platform playing.
Microsoft has publicly disclosed Xbox gamers will be able to purchase the $349 Xbox One Special Edition Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle, which features a free download code for the Halo title, cirrus white console and wireless controller.
The bundle will be available later this month "in limited quantities for a limited time at participating US retailers while supplies last," so anyone interested is to check with local retailers. Previously, the same bundle was available in Brazil, with some US gamers disappointed they couldn't purchase one.
In addition, Microsoft is preparing a limited edition Halo 5: Guardians Xbox One console in 2015, so Halo gamers also have that to consider.
With the current generation consoles getting close to their two year anniversaries, we're still not seeing 1080p 60FPS gameplay in most AAA titles, let alone "CG quality visuals". But, according to ex-Naughty Dog developer and Filmic Worlds' founder John Hable, we're around two generations away from CG quality visuals in games.
Hable talked with GamingBolt, where he said: "Honestly, it is hard to say. I think it will be a very long time. The current crop of consoles is much better than the previous generation, but the trailers are getting better too. If you really want to hit that level of quality then you need staggering triangle counts with really long shaders. Photoreal global illumination is very easy offline but very difficult in realtime".
He continued, saying that it will be another two console cycles before we see 4K hitting CG quality, where he said: "I don't have a good answer for you, but my guess would be longer than you think. One more console generation seems too quick. Maybe in two more generations? That would be PS6 and the 5th gen Xbox? And if we need to render in 4k then add another generation which puts us at PS7 and 6th gen Xbox. It'll be a while. Of course, they will never fully line up because of the content costs. Trailers and feature-length movies simply have a much higher budget per second than what the full game can afford. This difference is more than an order of magnitude in some cases".
While the leak on NVIDIA's website last month that hinted at the possibilities of a 500GB version of the Shield Android TV, it looks like it was real. A new listing has appeared on Amazon, but was quickly pulled.
The listing had an image of the box, which said "500GB Android TV" and the image doesn't look like something that was thrown together for a laugh. The description says that the new NVIDIA Shield has "4K entertainment and apps, powered by Android TV" as well as "a new class of Android games-only on SHIELD". But it's the "500GB storage for all your media and games" that has us excited, and you will get a Shield controller and HDMI in the box, too.
It looks like there will be a normal Shield, and then the Shield Pro that we have here with a 500GB internal 2.5-inch HDD. As we mentioned above, Amazon has since pulled the listing, but we're sure we'll see a 500GB Shield from NVIDIA in the very, very near future.
The current generation consoles have been around for over 18 months now, with the PlayStation 4 being the more successful of the two. Until last month, that is.
Research firm NPD has released a new report, stating that the Xbox One topped the PS4 last month to become the best-selling console of April. With around 20 million PS4 consoles sold so far, Microsoft needs as much help as it can get to catch up, with around 12 million Xbox One consoles sold to date.
Xbox marketing boss Mike Nichols talked with GamesBeat, where he said: "As the best-selling console in the U.S. in April, fans set record April sales and engagement for Xbox One last month. Xbox One console sales in the U.S. increased 63 percent in April 2015 compared to April 2014 and Xbox Live comparisons showed the number of active global users [Xbox One and Xbox 360] grew 24 percent. We are grateful to our fans for their passion and support and are looking forward to sharing more on the best game lineup in Xbox history at E3".