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Microsoft seems to be having a big time at Gamescom, with some big titles being talked about for the Xbox One, including Quantum Break from Remedy Entertainment, the studio which made Alan Wake and Max Payne, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is an Xbox One exclusive.
The company has announced that they are adding many more options to the Xbox One in a future update, which will turn the Xbox One into a much more feature laden media player. Microsoft will be adding the ability to play media files from a USB drive from the Xbox One, as well as teasing that it will be providing support for the very popular MKV format, as well as DLNA network support. Major Nelson has promised that the Xbox One will receive support for new file types, including MPEG2 TS, animated GIF and of course, MKV. There should be a preview version of the app that will include USB support, but DLNA and MKV abilities will be baked into a later update.
Microsoft will also be making the Xbox One a better device for controlling your TV, with a new update to soon let you boot directly to your TV from standby mode, something that will make things easier for non-gamers who want to watch TV and not play games at that particular time. SmartGlass TV streaming is also coming, something that will allow you to be in another room and watch your shows over your home network with your SmartGlass-powered tablet or smartphone, on either Windows Phone, iOS or Android.
Since its launch in November 2013, the Sony PlayStation 4 game console has topped 10 million units sold globally, the company recently said. Just four months ago, the company said there were 7 million units sold, and Sony was struggling to keep up with strong demand.
"The responses we have received for the PS4 system's unique gameplay experiences powered by the network, along with its vast game portfolio has been phenomenal, and I am absolutely delighted that PS4 was able to reach this commemorative milestone in less than nine months, said Andrew House, SCE CEO, in a statement. "We're so grateful for the enormous support from PlayStation gamers worldwide, and we look forward to bringing even more exciting content and services in the months ahead."
During the same April timeframe, Microsoft sold five million game units - and this should set up a rather entertaining showdown during the 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season.
Microsoft reported its quarterly earnings this week looking at most aspects of its business. One of the things that didn't get talked about during the quarterly report was exactly how sales for the Xbox One are going. Early in the launch cycle for the new console, Microsoft was bragging frequently about how the console was selling.
All we heard on sales stats for the console during the earnings report was that Microsoft shipped 1.1 million Xbox One consoles in the last quarter. Microsoft has only moved 100,000 more consoles than it did last year in the same period when the Xbox One wasn't available.
The last official Xbox One sales figures came in May of this year when Microsoft said it had shipped over 5 million Xbox One consoles to retailers around the world. That number put it about 2 million units behind the PS4 in sales.
Some details on the next major update for the Microsoft Xbox One game console have surfaced. The most important thing added in the update due to land next month is support for 3D Blu-ray discs. That means owners who have a 3D TV will get to enjoy 3D movies from the console.
Other improvements coming in the update include changes to the console Activity Feed and Friends section. Users will also gain the ability to automatically download new games and apps. That feature allows you to purchase content from Xbox.com via the web or Smart Glass connected devices and have the Xbox download it automatically.
Another nice update is a warning that will display when your controller is getting low. Xbox controllers will also get a vibration to acknowledge when input with a notification has been made. There will be other updates and tweaks made as well.
Microsoft hasn't always reached the sales numbers in Japan with past iterations of the Xbox that it wanted despite the consoles being very popular in other countries. Xbox head Phil Spencer recently admitted to that fact when he posted something on Twitter in response to a fan who asked if Microsoft would try and "conquer Japan" since Sony has said the PS4 is only doing OK in the country.
Spencer answered writing, "We will be in Japan in September. Japan hasn't always been the easiest market for us, will be good to launch and be at Tokyo Game Show." One reason that the Xbox and PS4 haven't been as popular as Microsoft and Sony want in Japan is that there has been a lack of games developed in Japan for the consoles.
Spencer says that won't be the case this time out with the Xbox One because Microsoft has first party games in development in the region. Microsoft sees Japan as a critical market for the Xbox One.
It looks like Microsoft knew what it was doing when it slashed $100 from the price of its Xbox One console, because just last month alone the company has seen an increase of over 100% in Xbox One sales.
The news is coming out from an internal Xbox blog, with the sales increase being attributed to the new $399 price of the Xbox One console, without the Kinect sensor. Microsoft hasn't revealed the exact number of consoles sold, so we don't know any concrete numbers on the amount of Xbox One consoles Microsoft shifted last month.
Fans of arcade fighting games will probably have some fond memories of the Tekken franchise. This game franchise has been around for six iterations and has some of the most memorable characters and game play in the fighter genre. The next installment in the franchise was announced at EVO 2014.
Tekken 7 is in the works and along with the tease that the game is coming at the EVO 2014 tournament comes a trailer for the game, which you can see here. What we know about the game right now is that it will use Unreal Engine 4, and it is expected to be available on next-gen consoles. There is no word on when it will launch.
Game producer Katsuhiro Harada said: "With Unreal Engine 4, we can rapidly achieve visual quality expected on next-gen platforms and go beyond it. Not only is Unreal Engine 4 powerful and easy to use, but it also allows us to bring Tekken 7 to any platform we desire."
Gamers know that developers often put little Easter eggs into the games that are a challenge to find. These Easter eggs are often things like odd levels that you can play, like the infamous cow level in Diablo II. Halo 3 had its share of Easter eggs hidden away and one of them only works on a single day each year.
That single day of operation is the reason why it remained undiscovered for seven years. This particular Easter egg is only accessible on December 25 via the loading screen by hitting both thumb sticks. The result is that the screen zooms out giving a wider view of the Halo ring and a birthday greeting for Lauren.
The greeting reads, "Happy Birthday Lauren!" It's hard to believe that no one mentioned this Easter egg for all those years. I guess it's cool to have your own greeting in a game that no one knows about.
Microsoft hasn't even had its Xbox One on the market for over 12 months yet, but that shouldn't stop you from thinking the company isn't thinking ahead for its true, proper next-gen console. The company is looking for a new Industrial Designer for its Xbox team.
The company has posted an ad looking for a new Industrial Designer, with their responsibility being: "The Xbox Industrial Design studio is building a world class in house team. We love entertainment. We live for building transformative entertainment experiences that resonate with consumers. We are looking for passionate designers who want to help us create next generation entertainment hardware for Microsoft".
I think we're going to see a new console from Microsoft much quicker than previously thought, something I hope replaces the Xbox One as a proper next-gen console capable of at a bare minimum, 4K at 60FPS. This will pave the way for Microsoft to allow VR headsets like the Oculus Rift to work with it, as VR requires serious horsepower. The Xbox One has seen most of its games rendered at 720p, with most of the frame rates on 'next-gen' games locked at, or around 30FPS. This isn't really any better than the Xbox 360, and if the Xbox One is going to be here for another five years or so, it's simply not good enough.
Razer is known for pumping out some interesting products like the Edge and lots more. Razer is mostly known for making some really cool gaming peripherals like mice and keyboards. This fall, Razer will be getting into the game console market with a new product called the Razer micro-console.
The device is tipped to run Android TV to create a small game console, presumably for playing video games on your TV. So far, details on the console are scant with no indication of what type of processor or storage will be used offered, we also have no idea of the price.
Razer has promised that the console will be appropriate for hardcore gaming. That seems to indicate that it will do more than play game apps available for Android devices. Hopefully full details of the console surface soon.