It was only yesterday that we reported that Microsoft is working on a cheaper Xbox One, but the software giant has denied the rumors of a new Xbox One console, whether it arrive as a cheaper model, or price cuts to the current console.
Microsoft's Chief of Staff for Devices and Studios, Aaron Greenberg, said in a Twitter post when asked if the rumors were true: "No, you cannot believe everything you read on the internet". Well folks, it looks like we shouldn't expect a Blu-ray less Xbox One, or a cheaper model anytime soon.
During an AMA (Ask Me Anything) post on Reddit, President of Sony Online Entertainment, John Smedley, all but confirmed the existence of a Sony-made virtual reality headset. During the AMA, Smedley was asked about possible future support for the Oculus Rift pertaining to the upcoming Everquest Next game, and his reply more than hinted at the existence of a Sony-branded VR Headset competitor to the Rift.
"Hearing good things about 2 competitors... one of which actually comes from Sony. So I'm thinking this is real and we may have our Snowcrash (a book about a VR based internet by Neal Stephenson) after all." was Smedley's reply. While rumors of a Sony VR Headset have been circling for months now, this is the first word on the matter from someone high up in Sony's management. Since Smedley runs SOE, he would be the person to know if such a headset exist, and exactly how much he could divulge on the matter.
With Oculus making huge leaps forward with its Rift headset, Sony has some tough shoes to fill in making a VR headset that people will actually use. Lets hope they listen to the wealth of feedback available online about the Oculus Rift Developers Kit, and include at minimum; 1440P resolution, and wireless operation. If Sony is going to enter this market, then they need to step out of the dugout with their best foot forward and swing for the fences on the first pitch, otherwise, a VR Headset from Sony will not survive the game Oculus is already dominating.
This morning, Sony announced that the next system software update for the PlayStation 4 will be available late tonight. The update will bring the PS4's system software up to version 1.60 and will bring in support for the PULSE and PULSE-Elite Edition, Sonys official wireless headsets for the PS4.
Alongside the update announcement, Sony unveiled the latest member in its wireless headset lineup. The Gold Wireless Headset is a 7.1 virtual surround headset that features dynamic profiles that can be tuned by game developers to get the most out of their games audio. The Gold Wireless Headset will retail for $99 when it goes on sale early this month. Sony says the Gold Wireless Headset is compatible with its PS3 and PS4 consoles, and it will even work with your Mac or PC.
Multiple rumors and reports are suggesting that we should expect another Xbox One from Microsoft, but a more affordable version. We might see a slimmer, smaller Xbox One, or a console that arrives without the Kinect sensor to save on costs.
There's no exact word on what Microsoft will do to lower the price, as the APU inside of it is still powered by AMD, and prices haven't shifted on those yet as the console is still in its first few months on the market. Microsoft did state that the Kinect sensor is part of the Xbox One experience, so it's also hard to see the company yanking that out of the package, too.
OUYA have announced a new console, which expands on the already cheap Android-powered console with a few nips and tucks, and additions, too. The new OUYA console is priced at $129, $30 more than the previous model.
The new console has 16GB of on-board storage, the latest firmware, better Wi-Fi, and a "refined" controller. It should hopefully fix most of the issues that the first console presented. The original $99 OUYA console with 8GB of storage can still be found, if that's what you're after.
Microsoft stores are offering $100 of in-store credit if you trade in your old console, which includes the PS3, Xbox 360 S or Xbox 360 E. Only select Microsoft retail stores will be providing the trade-in credit, unfortunately.
The deal runs from January 23 to March 2, with all consoles traded in needing to power up, be fully functional, include all of the original accessories and chargers, and cannot be damaged. There is a catch of course, with the details stating in order to "receive maximum trade in value, you must purchase an Xbox One at the same time".
Sony is preparing for the "slimmest" launch in PlayStation history, inviting press to a breakfast briefing next week. The invitation simply teases what is coming, with it stating: "Following the biggest launch in PlayStation history, join us for an introduction to the slimmest".
We could see two things: the PS Vita Slim - which is what it will most likely arrive as, or a complete surprise: the PlayStation 4 Slim model. The former will be unveiled, but the latter would be an interesting device - especially this close into the PS4s lifecycle. The slimmer PS Vita Slim would be 20% thinner than the original, and 15% lighter.
Microsoft has something to cheer about after the company saw strong year-over-year sales for the Xbox 360 game console, with the next-generation Xbox One also posting strong sales figures. The company sold 7.4 million Xbox 360 and Xbox One game consoles during the holiday shopping season, as Microsoft competes with the Sony PlayStation 4 in the game console market.
In addition, the Microsoft Surface line of tablets saw revenue double, reaching $893 million from the previous quarter, as the company continues to try and invade the mobile market. Overall device revenue increased a massive 68 percent, reaching $4.73 billion, outpacing investor estimates.
However, Microsoft is still dealing with Windows revenue shrinking, as consumers and business users still waffle about embracing Windows 8/8.1, which will be a continued battle. The company once dominated software sales offering its products on CDs and DVDs, but expanding to the cloud - and increasing hardware sales - has continued to be a slippery slope for the tech giant.
CVG has spoken with an EA source who is giving out quite the damning report, that "Nintendo was dead to us very quickly" after it had released its Wii U console.
The same source said that EA felt that the Wii U was becoming a console for kids IP, and that the studio wasn't willing to bring future core titles to the platform. The EA source stated: "Nintendo was dead to us very quickly. It became a kids IP platform and we don't really make games for kids. That was pretty true across the other labels too. Even the Mass Effect title on Wii U, which was a solid effort, could never do big business, and EA like Activision is only focused on games that can be big franchises".
Microsoft has confirmed PC users will need a special version of the Kinect, as the Xbox One edition won't ship with a USB adapter so it can be connected to a PC. Instead, Microsoft made sure to include a proprietary connector unable to connect into a PC, and there are no immediate plans to release an adapter.
"The Kinect for Xbox One Sensor will not have an adapter that allows it to plug into a computer," a Microsoft spokesperson told tech journalists. "... the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will connect to computers using a standard USB3 port. The new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will be a fully tested, licensed, and supported Kinect experience on Windows."
The original Xbox 360 Kinect shipped with an adapter so the system could plug into a regular USB port or use power from a power outlet - and hackers were able to turn the adapter into a tool to test out the Kinect's power - as it was a cheaper 3D camera than other alternatives.
It's an interesting move from Microsoft, as the company wants Windows-based developers to use the Kinect for next-generation, third party programs.
You might pick up your Xbox One console and just use it, not thinking about the months and years Microsoft worked on its final design, but we're hearing that the company worked on 75 prototype designs before choosing the final design of its next-gen console.
Microsoft designer Carl Ledbetter revealed that the company went through 75 prototype designs before settling on the final design. There were over 100 prototypes of the Kinect, and around 200 for the controller itself. The development team reportedly spent considerable amounts of time striking a balance between the familiar Xbox design, and the desire for an always-on media hub, according to Ledbetter.
The launch of the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 game consoles helped drive U.S. video game hardware sales 28 percent in December 2013, according to research firm NPD Group.
"Increases in December hardware sales were caused by continued strong sales of the new Xbox One and PS4, driving console hardware sales up over 50% compared to December 2012,"said Liam Callahan, NPD Group analyst, in a statement.
Both the PC and console gaming markets are lucrative, and it's no surprise to hear Microsoft and Sony benefitted from console releases in late 2013. Although hardware sales saw a boost in December, video game software dropped 17 percent, but still collected $1.31 billion in sales during December.
The NPD Group has released its numbers for December, where we see Microsoft sold 908,000 of its Xbox One consoles for the month. This achievement should be noted, as it puts the Xbox One as the number one selling console in the US for December.
Xbox 360 units sold well in the month, too, with 643,000 units sold. This had the Xbox 360 take the #3 spot in the US for console sales, giving the PlayStation 4 the #2 spot. We know the PS4 is selling well, and that Nintendo had the highest selling console for 2013 with its portable 3DS.
There were more than 9.7 million Sony PlayStation 4 video games sold to support the impressive 4.2 million consoles sold before the end of December 2013. Sony officials "couldn't be more thrilled" with the early success of the PS4, and it will be a great battle to see the PS4 compete with Microsoft's Xbox One game console.
The global demand for the PS4 is outpacing the Xbox 360, as Microsoft finds success in the U.S. market, while overseas shoppers tend to jump onboard with Sony. Both Microsoft and Sony will battle to control the next-generation gaming market, though it looks like Sony has the initial international upper hand.
Video games were on full display during the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo showed off their latest product innovations. Sony's PlayStation Now streaming game service, which is scheduled for launch this summer, will be a cloud-based game streaming service for PS4 gamers.
We saw a tease of twelve Steam Machines at CES 2014, but according to Marc Whitten, the Xbox Chief Product Officer, he isn't worried about Steam Machines taking over gamers' living rooms.
During an interview with Engadget at CES, Whitten said he's "not sweating" over Valve's push into the living room, stating that "there's room for both." Whitten continued: "I personally don't know how to think about Steam Machines yet. I'm not knocking it or whatever. I continue to think that PC gaming - the sort of uber configuration and I can change everything and I can mod - that's an important thing and there's a lot of people that wanna do that."
Whitten did add that when a device is in the living room, gamers want to be instantly entertained. He said that gamers don't want to fiddle with settings or anything else, where he wrapped up with: "When you get into that living room environment, you don't want to spend any of your brain cells doing anything but being entertained. I don't want to work on it; I don't want to feel like I have to know how it works. I would like to be blowing things up now, or watching a thing now. That's the fundamental thing that you want to do."
The Sony PlayStation 4 game console has reportedly racked up more than 4.2 million units sold worldwide since launch time in mid-to-late November to most major markets. Early last month, Sony said it sold 2.1 million units worldwide, with the company clearly having a successful 2013 Christmas shopping season.
"The momentum of the PS4 system keeps getting stronger, and we couldn't be more thrilled gamers worldwide are enjoying the incredibly immersive gaming experiences along with deep social capabilities and entertainment provided by our network," said Andrew House, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO, in a statement. "After a remarkable launch, we look forward to bringing even more exciting content and continuing to explore the power of the PS4 system by adding new features and services, including PlayStation Now, in 2014."
Meanwhile, the Xbox One reportedly sold 3 million units to close out 2013, as Microsoft is reportedly proud of the console's early success. Xbox One should outsell the PS4 in the United States, while the Japanese company is able to cater better to international gamers. More gamers want to use a single device in the living room, so the ability to support streaming content, social media, and more robust software is common.
Microsoft Studios' boss, Phil Spencer, spoke with OXM, stating that the company spun the idea around the office of an all-digital "purely disc-less console" right up to the middle of last year - months before the Xbox One was released to the public.
He explained: "Obviously, after the announcement and E3, there was some feedback about what people wanted to change. There was a real discussion about whether we should have an optical disc drive in Xbox One or if we could get away with a purely disc-less console, but when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues. So we decided - which I think was the right decision - to go with the Blu-ray drive and give the people an easy way to install a lot of content. From some of those original thoughts, you saw a lot of us really focusing on the digital ecosystem you see on other devices - thinking of and building around that."
I think it would've been an interesting move, but for gamers with slow Internet connections (like myself) it would've caused even more pain.
The PS4 has been with us for around a month now, but it looks like Sony's next-gen console was the most-searched-for item this year in the US, under the Tech Gadgets category.
This data is coming from Google's Zeitgeist, which makes a tally of the year's most popular searches. How did the Xbox One fare? Well, surprisingly, it didn't even arrive in the top 10 for the US. As for worldwide searches, the PS4 came in position 3 for the Consumer Electronics category, while the Xbox One was in position 4.
As with every new piece of consumer technology that comes across its doorstep, iFixit has once again posted a spectacular teardown of one of the hottest products in tech at the moment. Today the company released the worlds first teardown of a Steam Machine from Valve.
Valves Steam Machine's are nothing more than full blown desktop PCs that have been packed in a very small package, so many of you have performed essentially the same thing when building your new PC. iFixit does make the process look very cool though. iFixit says that the Steam Machines are easily repairable and as such, granted the device a repairibility score of 9 out of 10, something almost unheard of in today's tech world.
iFixit gave Valve the best award for packaging ever, as the Steam Box arrives in a wooden crate themed like you would see in a video game. They also have the Steam Controller high marks for its wealth of buttons, and unique touchpads. They did make note of the unique SATA and power cable configuration, and noted the 1TB Seagate SSD that has been installed. The unit they tested featured a ZOTAC GeForce GTX 780, and housed 8GB of Crucial Ballistix RAM. A Silverstone 450W PSU rounded things out.
British company, Harrods, is selling a 24-carat-gold-plated Xbox One for a little under $10,000: at $9778.80, is it a bargain? At this price, it is 19x the cost of a single Xbox One, which is kinda ridiculous to those without millions in their accounts.
It does look gorgeous, but I don't think the extra $9000+ really justifies this. For the rich and famous, or those obsessed with gold, it could be the perfect Christmas present, right? Better get to editing that list for Santa, folks!
According to NPD's latest numbers, it looks like total video game sales in the United States for the month of November were up 7% year-over-year, totaling $2.7 billion, up from $2.5 billion last year.
Hardware sales spiked, due to the new consoles, by 58% to $1.3 billion. Sony took to its PlayStation blog: "PS4 was the top-selling console for November and PlayStation was No. 1 in sales overall for home consoles." Microsoft didn't let Sony have all the credit, so it chimed in with: "November NPD Group figures released today revealed 909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the US in the console's first nine days, making it the fastest-selling console on the market in the US. Xbox One sales averaged a volume of more than 101,000 consoles per day, significantly outpacing the nearest competitor."