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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."
Sony appeared to take the lead in the console wars when it announced that it had sold two million PlayStation 4 units, but Microsoft is firing back this morning with its own 2 million announcement. Microsoft says that in the 18 days since its launch, the Xbox One has sold over 111,111 units per day, bringing its total to over two million units sold as well.
In fact, Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi, says that the Xbox One is selling so well that demand is outpacing supply, and that the console is out of stock at most retailers. For those keeping score, it took Sony 16 days and more than 32 countries to sell two million units, while Microsoft managed to do the same in 18 days and only 13 markets. Overall both companies are winning, and it appears that the demand for next-gen consoles will continue at a steady pace for several more months.
Just how popular is the share button on the PS4's new controller? Very. Sony has said that there have been over 10.9 million presses on the button across the world, during its PS4 livestreaming services today.
Twitch and Ustream have hosted close to 800,000 gameplay streams combined, and have seen over 7.1 million spectator sessions on the PS4 since it launched. The Japanese electronics giant has also said that around 10% of all Twitch-broadcasted content has come from PS4 systems since it launched in the US on November 15.
This pushes a number of 20 million minutes of live broadcasting from the PS4 along, which is just insane.
During an interview with Wired, John Carmack talked with the struggles of requiring hardware upgrades to continue gaming. Carmack looked back on the days of making Doom a 386-only game, something that paid off, as he said the experience with a 286-based machine at the time would've been sub par.
Carmack also talked about the last generation of consoles, the Xbox 360 and PS3, with their hardware not yet fully utilized. But now, programmers and developers are having to move onto next-gen hardware. Carmack said: "Even to this day, I struggle a little bit with that; there's so much you can still do on the previous console generation."
He continued: "The 360 and PS3 are far from tapped out in terms of what a developer could do with them, but the whole world's gonna move over towards next-gen and high-end PCs and all these other things. Part of me still frets a little bit about that, where just as you fully understand a previous generation, you have to put it away to kind of surf forward on the tidal wave of technology that's always moving. That's something that we've struggled with in every generation. And now I at least know enough to recognize that some of my internal feelings or fondness for technology that I understand or have done various things with usually has to be put aside. Because data has shown over the decades that that's usually not as important as you think it is."
Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has revealed that an update is being pushed out to the Xbox One today, which should fix a fair amount of issues for the next-gen console. The full list is below:
- Addresses SmartGlass issues for some users when coming in and out of connected standby
- Addresses multiplayer issues for some users when re-joining games
- Addresses issues with inconsistent notifications for some users
- Addresses dashboard performance for some users
- Offers improvements for Xbox One's TV, system update, and content update services for scaling over time
- Updated wireless networking driver to improve connectivity issues for some users
We just reported that Deus Ex: Universe would not be getting released on the Nintendo Wii U, but that won't matter if the owner of Play.com is right with his prediction: that the Wii U will outsell the Xbox One and PS4 this Christmas.
Play.com owner, Rakuten, has said that the Wii U, backed up with the iPad, will sell more units than the next-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony, even after both of the next-gen consoles have sold over 1 million units each. Rakuten told MCV that it saw a 75% increase in Wii U sales in October, and expects that upwards trend to continue as we move closer to Christmas.
The retailer is citing a Twitter analysis, which reveals that the Wii U and iPad are "the most talked about presents for children this Christmas". Play.com added: "The marketplace's social media analysis surprisingly showed that the brand new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles are trailing in second and third place respectively behind the Wii U and iPad. This is despite the fact that both new consoles sold out on Rakuten's Play.com during Black Friday, which have since been restocked. It appears that those on the hunt for the latest consoles are gamers rather than consumers buying for their loved ones."