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Working for a major tech company usually has some pretty good perks, but with recent downfalls in the economy and companies squeezing budgets smaller in an effort to appease shareholders, many of the perks have went the way of the dodo bird. Fortunately, Microsoft appears to still be one of the good guys and a new report suggests that some employees will be receiving a free special edition White Xbox One package.
Eligible employees include those who work at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business at the time of the Xbox One's launch. The free bundle will include a special edition white Xbox One, a full year of Xbox Live Gold, and all first-party games launched within that first year. Special features include an inscription on the Xbox One faceplate that says "I Made This" as well as a special Xbox live achievement that only employees can receive.
Before the new year rings in, Sony's next-generation console, the PlayStation 4, will have seen 33 titles. These 33 games will be a mix of first- and third-party games, as well as these titles being a mix of physical and digital titles.
What about post-launch? Sony Worldwide Studios' president, Shuhei Yoshida, has said he's confident that the post-launch stall of last-generation consoles won't be repeated and that Sony is pushing for a developer-friendly approach this time around. Yoshida spoke with Polygon during Gamescom, pointing out that the indie community in particular is cranking along well, with a slew of original games and ports that will keep the PS4 library growing.
He said: "We started preparing for the Gamescom press conference after we finished E3, and at that point, we had no idea what we'd be able to announce from these smaller teams. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was informed by our third party teams that this was the lineup of games we had prepared. I was like, 'Oh! That's amazing."
It looks like Sony is having a great time with PlayStation 4 pre-order numbers, with the Japanese electronics giant already seeing more pre-orders for the PS4 than the launch numbers on the PlayStation 3.
Sony announced that the PS4 pre-order numbers have passed 1 million units, with Stern Agee analyst Avind Bhatia noting in a research note that the PS3 sales from the holiday quarter when it launched all the way back in 2006 didn't even breach 1 million units. This means that before the PS4 has even hit the hands of a single consumer, it has already done well in the eyes of Sony.
The war is only just beginning, though, but it's a great start for Sony.
TweakTown Web Poll Results - Next-gen gaming console
Our latest poll had over 10,000 people who answered, "Now you have the facts, which is your next-gen gaming console?"
This time, let's start the other way around, because that's more interesting. Microsoft scored the least amount of votes with its Xbox One
gaming entertainment console, with only eight percent of the votes.
Sony managed to score somewhat better taking 34% of the votes. TweakTown readers are still big PC gaming fans (or are just not interested or are buying something else).
Microsoft is committing to pushing Kinect down the throats, or living rooms, of every single Xbox One owner, where corporate VP Phil Harrison telling CVG during an interview that Microsoft's upcoming next-gen console will never be sold without Kinect.
Harrison went as far as stating that the Xbox One "is Kinect", adding that "they are not separate systems." Harrison said he currently owns the
NSA spy box gaming console, saying that it's a "very magical experience" to power up the console through a voice command and load his profile. He added: "They are not separate systems. An Xbox One has chips, it has memory, it has Blu-ray, it has Kinect, it has a controller. These are all part of the platform ecosystem."
He continued: "It makes you think about your relationship with technology in a slightly different way. It's personal. It makes you think, I wish more devices would do this."
Today, Sony announced a new trade-in program that will allow users to upgrade recent PlayStation 3 games to their PlayStation 4 versions at a significantly discounted price--around $10. This is similar to what GameStop and Amazon announced earlier this week for Xbox 360 games.
Games such as Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4, Watch Dogs, and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag are on the list, and Sony's President Andrew House said that Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Warner Bros. are all on board right now for the program and we can expect other games to be added to the list in the near future. No mention was made on how long the promotion would run for or even how the program will work. As always, when we know more, we will be sure to pass along the information.
Today, Mad Catz announced the launch of its new Force Feedback Racing Wheel designed to work exclusively on Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One gaming console. Mad Catz says that the wheel has been specifically designed to offer the most authentic driving experience one can possibly have on an Xbox One.
The steering wheel has been CNC machined out of aluminum and then wrapped in genuine suede leather to provide a solid yet comfortable experience. Furthermore, the wheel is packed full of technology, including dual next-generation force feedback motors and high precision buttons, to ensure the highest performance possible. If that wasn't enough, the entire steering wheel is removable in the event the user wishes to upgrade in the future.
Mad Catz says that Force Feedback Racing Wheel is ideal for games such as Forza Motorsports 5 or any of the next-generation racing games coming to the Xbox One this fall. The kit also includes a fully adjustable pedal set that allows users to adjust the spring resistance, height, and even spacing on the gas and brake pedals. No information was provided on pricing or availability, but we do know that the Force Feedback Racing Wheel from Mad Catz will launch this holiday season.
Fans of the game Borderlands 2 will be happy to hear that its developer Gearbox has teamed up with Iron Galaxy Studios to bring the game to the PlayStation Vita sometime in 2014. The announcement came during Sony's Gamescom keynote with the company saying that Gearbox's Randy Pitchford is really excited to see Borderlands 2 on the PS Vita.
This announcement comes as Sony slashed the price on its PS Vita, bringing it down to just $199. No official release date has been announced and things are silent on pricing information as well. Additionally, the company made no mention of DLC add-ons or whether your Boarderlands 2 account will be able to transfer over.
Today, Amazon announced that until December 31, gamers who trade in Xbox 360 games will be able to purchase an Xbox One game for just $10. The way it works is you trade in certain Xbox 360 games, including titles like Call of Duty Ghost, Need for Speed Rivals, Madden NFL 25 and NBA 2K14, and assuming that the game is in good condition, Amazon will allow you to order the Xbox One version of the same game for just $10.
This is accomplished by Amazon awarding you a $25 bonus credit on games that have a trading value of at least $25. Combine these two values and you get $50. With all the qualifying Xbox One titles costing around $60, this means that you can purchase an Xbox One game for just $10. This comes in handy for those who want to play the latest titles before the Xbox One releases, which will not play Xbox 360 games.
Earlier today at the Gamescom expo in Germany, Sony officially announced the launch dates for its upcoming PlayStation 4 console. The next-generation console will be available in North America on November 15 at all major retailers both online and in-store. November 29 is the magic date for UK gamers who are chomping at the bits to get their hands on the Playstation 4.
Unlike Microsoft, Sony did not release any info on game titles that will be available on launch day, but industry insiders are speculating that we will see games like Call of Duty Ghost, Kill Zone: Shadow Fall, Drive Club, Knack, Skylanders, Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, and Watch Dogs, available for purchase on day one. Sony has set the MSRP at $399, so if you have not already pre-ordered your copy, now is a good time to start saving!