The Xbox one has this cool little feature that allows users to plug their cable boxes directly into the console which allows the Xbox to facilitate the changing of channels for you. While the Xbox 360 will not have the channel changing features it will be getting the ability to stream cable TV later this summer.
This morning Microsoft announced a deal with Time Warner Cable that will bring its live TV options to the Xbox 360. Unfortunately for this to happen users will not only need a pre-existing Time Warner Cable subscription, but will also need an Xbox live Gold membership before you can download and install the app.
Time Warner Cable follows in the footsteps of other content providers such as Verizon which brought its FiOS TV to the console 2011 along with ESPN and HBO to have dedicated apps. How do you feel about been able to stream Time Warner Cable TV through your Xbox? Is it worth paying for an Xbox Live Gold subscription to access the service you already have access to via your set-top box?
For those of you who have a PlayStation 3, don't fret, Sony will continue to support their current money-maker once the PS4 launches later in the year for $399.
The confidence in the PS3 comes directly from Sony Japan President, Hiroshi Kawano and Sony Worldwide President, Shuhei Yoshida, when they spoke during an interview with Japanese gaming magazine, Weekly Famitsu. They said that support for the PS3 will continue indefinitely, and that the company has "no intention of immediately shifting from the PS3 to the PS4."
Kawano also noted that after seven years since the PS3 launched, it continues to "sell at a constant pace" and that there are countless titles headed to the PS3 in the future. Kawano added: "With the 2014 launch of our cloud service in the US allowing users to play PS3 games on the PS4, some people may switch consoles from the PS3 to the PS4. But that'll be a gradual process, and to say 'we're releasing a new console, so trade in your old ones for it' would be a maker's ego talking, plain and simple."
Alienware are still here, making some seriously high-end gaming PC's and notebooks, and their General Manager, Frank Azon, has some harsh words for Microsoft and Sony's next-gen consoles.
He said that the Xbox One and PS4 are just becoming more and more like the PC, stating that the PC is the ultimate gaming platform, and that Microsoft and Sony are just borrowing concepts from the PC and putting them into a flashy-looking box that sits in your living room.
Azon isn't just talking fluff either, as we know that the next-gen consoles are powered by x86 architectures, which is what the PC is built upon. On top of that we have AMD building them, which are a PC company. We have digital downloads, streaming TV and movies, which have been staples of the PC industry for years now.
Console manufacturers have traditionally had issues having enough supply at launch. Inevitably, some users faced price gouging on Ebay if they were set on getting a console within the first few weeks. According to AMD, they won't be the result of any delays as they are completely capable of making plenty of silicon.
AMD corporate vice president and general manager of Semi-Custom Business Saeid Moshkelani:
From a manufacturing perspective, in a year we ship tens of millions of units. So we have a very strong manufacturing base for our APUs and discrete graphics. We leverage the same manufacturing infrastructure to develop for game consoles. So the volumes were not something that actually raised an eyebrow for us, because we're already in high-volume manufacturing.
This is good news for gamers, provided Sony and Microsoft don't experience supply shortages elsewhere in the manufacturing process. It should mean that more consoles are available at launch, helping to reduce any price gouging that may occur.
Today, Rovio announced that the Angry Birds Trilogy will be heading to Nintendo's Wii and Wii U consoles this August 13. This will bring it in line with the existing versions already available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's own DS.
The game will come in a disc-based collection and will include Angry Birds, Angry Birds: Seasons, and Angry Birds: Rio. There is no word yet on when or if Angry Birds: Space, Angry Birds: Star Wars, or Bad Piggies will make it to the consoles. The company says that the trilogy will offer 140 hours of gameplay as well as 30 episodes right on the disk, including some new and exclusive levels.
The trilogy is the perfect fit for the Nintendo Wii and Wii U as they are geared more towards entertaining families and are very popular with younger children. I may go out and buy a Wii just so I can use the slingshot via the Wii Remote.
Last week, Sony pushed out a firmware update that wound up doing much more harm than good. The 4.45 update wound up bricking thousands of PS3 consoles and left owers wondering if their machines would ever work again. This morning, Sony has released a firmware update which will fix those consoles broken by the 4.45 firmware update.
The new update, version 4.46, will fix your broken PS3 in three easy steps that require downloading the new 4.46 firmware, activating safe mode on your PS3, and then manually installing the update onto the machine. Thankfully for those less technically minded, Sony has created an easy to follow, step-by-step guide. Did your PS3 break due to the bad firmware? Try the fix out and let us know if it worked.
According to sources close to Sony, the entertainment giant decided to not bundle the PlayStation 4 camera with every console so they could beat Microsoft's $499 price point. But not only did Sony do this to beat Microsoft on price, they didn't let retail partners know that the price changed. The only information they provided to retail partners was that the PS4 camera would no longer be included with the console.
This might have been a great move. Not only was Sony able to beat Microsoft on price, but it turns out that people don't like an always-connected camera in their living room. Sony has been able to avoid accusations that the device might be spying on its users.
On the other hand, it will likely cause the PlayStation camera accessory to see less uptake in the market. By not requiring every user to have it, game developers will have to deal with a fragmented landscape where only some gamers have the camera. This means developers are unlikely to make as much use of the camera, which in turn provides less incentive for users to buy a camera. It's the classic chicken and egg scenario.
Sony has continued its support of independent game developers by launching a new indie game channel for its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console. This new channel is the direct result of Sony launching a similar channel on the PlayStation network last month.
With 53 titles already, Sony has begun highlighting new releases such as Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone, and Limbo. Sony says it has plans in the coming months to showcase highly anticipated Vita-only releases such as Spelunky, Luftrausers, and Hohokm.
In a blog post Sony said:
At PlayStation, we're proud to support indie development, and our unrestrictive policies make it easier than ever for developers to launch games on PS Vita. We recognize that the unique perspective that indie developers deliver contributes to the success and future of the gaming industry. And we've learned as much from working with talented indie developers over the last several years as (we hope) they have learned from us.
When Microsoft launches their next-generation Xbox One console later this year, it won't be including the 'must-have' wired headset in the box. Microsoft have gone as far as describing this headset as "a must have for fans of online gaming."
Considering the Xbox One is built around online gaming, going as far as previously having to 'check-in' every 24 hours to stay valid, not including a 'must have for fans of online gaming' accessory is weird. Also consider this, most versions of the current-generation Xbox 360 include a wired headset, yet the next-generation $499 console will not.
A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement: "Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory. Each Xbox One includes the new Kinect sensor, with a highly sensitive multi-array microphones designed to enable voice inputs and chat as a system-level capability, both in-game and with Skype and other experiences."
The $100 cheaper PlayStation 4 will include a headset in the box, if that helps your decision making process.
OUYA founder is 'pissed' that some original backers don't have their consoles - but what is she going to do about it?
I voiced my opinion a few days ago about backing the OUYA console on Kickstarter and not receiving my console yet, but now we're at the stage of it hitting retail shelves - and getting to the point of selling out at a few of them.
OUYA founder, Julia Uhrman, is "pissed" because some of the Kickstarter backers haven't received their consoles yet, as she promised they would all receive their consoles before OUYA went to retail. Uhrman writes in a Kickstarter update that only the backers received: "I am pissed. Some of you have not yet received your OUYA -- and, to you, I apologize. I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you. I've been reading your comments, and we are working to solve this."
Less than 24 hours after hitting retail shelves in the US, Canada, and the UK, the OUYA Android Gaming Console has sold out at two of its major retailers. This morning, Amazon.com and GameStop are both reporting that OUYA consoles are temporarily out of stock. Other retail partners, such as Best Buy and Target, are still showing consoles as being in stock.
With the little Android console retailing for $99, it is no surprise that they sold out in two of the biggest gaming retailers in the country. What is disheartening is that OUYA has still yet to complete shipping to all of their Kickstarter backers. These are the people who quite literally launched the company into the position they are in right now. Our own Anthony Garreffa is still awaiting the arrival of his Limited Edition OUYA, and here we are a complete day into that retail launch and Ouya has still not fulfilled obligations to their initial investors.
I still haven't heard from OUYA about my console, and I'm an original backer - but the retail OUYA consoles go on sale today for just $99. You can pick them up at Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target and GAME.
The Android-powered $99 console will be available at "hundreds of stores" across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. For $99, you'll receive the console itself and one controller, but it gets expensive from here. For an extra controller, you're looking at $49 each. OUYA aren't talking about how much stock will be available at retail, but first in, best dressed is my method.
Because Computex is so close to E3, it made it hard to attend both events so I chose the former and missed out on checking the Xbox One out in person. But, we'll be covering PAX Australia next month, where we hope to get some hands-on time with the Xbox One.
It was announced by the organizers of the event that Microsoft's next-generation console will make it's first Australian appearance. Right now, there's no confirmation on whether the Xbox One will be on the show floor - something I'm disappointed to hear. Microsoft will be holding three separate presentations going into detail regarding Microsoft's "vision for the Xbox One and the future of gaming".
These three sessions will be on a first come, first serve basis, and will be at the following times:
- Friday 19th July 2013. 6:00pm - 7:00pm
- Saturday 20th July 2013: 2:30pm - 3:30pm
- Sunday 21st July 2013: 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Sony appears to be readying two new PS3 models, though the degree to which they have been changed isn't clear. Sony has filed for certification for two new PS3 models in South Korea. New models have also been seen on a webpage for Japan's Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, indicating that they could be releasing region-specific models for Japan and South Korea.
The models, "CECH-4200" and "CECH-4205", are likely just small hardware changes rather than a major overhaul. Based upon the model number, it's suspected that they are of the Super Slim PS3 variety with updated CPUs using a smaller lithography or some other small update.
We've seen no new model numbers for the US, though it's possible they are coming. We'll keep our eyes out for any additional references to these, or new, model numbers.
I remember last year when Ouya first reached Kickstarer, it was all the rage and I backed it to buy a Limited Edition console to have my username etched into the controllers - and because it looked like a neat little Android-based gaming console.
But, it's June 24 here in Australia and my Ouya console is stuck in Hong Kong. I've recently moved house (again, second time in 5 months) and I e-mailed them to change my address, which hasn't been acknowledged or replied to. If my unit is still in HK, then I won't be getting it for at least a few more days at the minimum.
The units are being shipped through DHL, and the last update for my Ouya console is 6/15 where it was "received & dispatched". There are still four more steps on DHL's website until it gets to me, unfortunately.
I'm not the only one that seems to be waiting, from what I've read there are plenty of other early backers who are still waiting for their Ouya console. So, I ask you Ouya - where is my console? I'm ready to play it, review it for TweakTown and invite some friends over to have some fun!
Sony tripped over last week, releasing a firmware for their PlayStation 3 console which led to a number of them being bricked (inoperable). But, never fear, there will be a new update to arrive shortly, that will fix the issues that update 4.45 caused.
People updating their PS3's to update 4.45 caused some problems with being able to access their cross-media bars, with those who tried to fix the issue formatting their consoles, but this just bricked their console. Sony ripped the update from the Internet, and launched an investigation to find out what exactly caused the issue. PlayStation Plus users that have the auto-update feature enabled may have inadvertently downloaded it automatically. If this is what you've done - you might want to disable automatic updates until Sony fixes the issue.
Morgan Haro, Sony's community manager, pinned a post on the PlayStation forum stating that they've found the issue. There's a new PS3 software update arriving on June 27 which will hopefully solve the issue from version 4.45.
Earlier this week, many PlayStation 3 owners were shocked when an official software update bricked their console. The software update caused the system to hang on startup and locked the device from turning off. Owners had to physically unplug the device to simply power it down.
When word began to spread, Sony quickly pulled update version number 4.45 offline and began telling customers not to update their systems until further notice. This morning Sony has released an update on a fix for the broken systems.
On their Twitter account, the company said that they have identified the culprit and are working on a new system update to be released on June 27th that should resolve all issues including the bricked consoles.
If you think all of the negative news surrounding the Xbox One did anything to hurt pre-order sales, then you are horribly mistaken. This morning, Amazon.com told us that last week during the height of E3, the company saw more than 2500 Xbox One and Playstation 4 console pre-orders being sold per minute.
Last week accounted for Amazon's Game Store's biggest pre-order week ever. The E3 week pre-orders of the two wildly-anticipated gaming consoles brought a year-over-year increase of more than 4,000 percent compared to consoles ordered during E3 week last year. Day-one pre-orders for the two consoles was nearly two times that of all video games sales on Black Friday last year.
This falls right inline with what I have been saying all along; The next-gen consoles will sell in record numbers despite any bad news that is posted. Gamers are a dedicated bunch who tend to stay loyal to their favorite brand. Even those who were most vocal on Reddit and social media sites still purchased the consoles, they just didn't make it publicly known. Now time for a prediction; with Microsoft pulling the bait and switch on DRM, the Xbox one just may outsell the PS4 if it has not already. It will be months before those numbers are released though.
You spoke, they listened - Microsoft pulled most of the crap that made people hate the Xbox One, something we've written countless pieces on now. The PS4 from Sony was at the top of the Amazon best-seller chart, but it has now been replaced by the Xbox One.
Last week we reported Amazon's poll, which the PS4 demolished with 38,984 votes leaving the Xbox One with a piddly 2,162 votes. The 180-degree turn from Microsoft has obviously helped, and now gamers are pre-ordering the Xbox One like its hotcakes on sale for 10c each. I still haven't pre-ordered an Xbox One, but I'll be pre-ordering a PS4 shortly and I think that will do me for now.
While far from official, one European retailer has outed November 13 as the day the PlayStation 4 will be available in Europe. The only official launch date we've received from Sony is that it will launch for $399 sometime in 2013, likely towards the holiday season.
According to some user reports, Media Markt employees actually confirmed the November 13 date with customers. While it is possible the store knows when the console will launch, it probably is more of an educated guess simply because Sony wouldn't be too happy with them posting the date up.
The Wii U launched last year in November and November makes a great time for a launch as it is 4 to 8 weeks before Christmas. This would allow time for parents to shop for their children. As with all unofficial reports, take this date with a grain of salt.
NVIDIA's project SHIELD has been one of the most talked about handheld gaming consoles of the year as well as possibly being the most anticipated handheld of the decade. Unfortunately not all of the talk was as good as NVIDIA had hoped. Many reports were good, but issues with ergonomics arose frequently.
During the last few months, NVIDIA has put SHIELD in the hands of the professional press as well as thousands of gamers at events like PAX East and has taken their feedback and went back to the drawing board. The result is a handheld Android gaming console that is nothing short of amazing.
They've helped us build a better product. Feedback from gamers is why SHIELD's triggers have the perfect throw length. Why SHIELD's buttons have just the right amount of give. Why SHIELD's thumb sticks are so satisfying to flick. Why playing games on SHIELD's pure Android software feels so slick.
This morning NVIDIA announced that SHIELD's price has been dropped to $299. This pre-release price drop is the direct result of thousands of gamers telling NVIDIA that "if priced at $299, Shield will be a homerun!" The company says that if you pre-ordered SHIELD at a higher price, you will only be charged the new $299 price.