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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.