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Microsoft is looking to take on Spotify and Pandora in terms of free music streaming with its Xbox Music service on the Xbox One. The company confirmed in a tweet, that Xbox One owners will not have to subscribe to Xbox Music to stream music to the console, but that they would experience the occasional advertisement as a result.
This aligns Xbox Music on the Xbox One with the services Windows and Web versions which also allow free streaming through the use of advertisements. Unfortunately, Microsoft made no mention on if the Xbox 360 would be getting this same feature, or if it were exclusive to the Xbox One. With music streaming becoming more popular than illegal downloading these days, Microsoft is making a good move here and should compete well with other free streaming services like Spotify and Pandora.
Nintendo announced this morning that it will be releases its Wii Mini Console to the US in November. The Wii Mini strips away online functionality as well as other features, and allows fans of the system to play the Wii's vast library of games without the need to purchase a Wii U console.
The US bundle will include a red Wii Remote, and Nunchuck and a copy of Mario Kart Wii. This does mean that users will have to race against the console or others in their home since online gameplay has been stripped from the console. In my opinion, it would be much more beneficial to pick up a used Wii console for $100 and be able to play the same games online, but there must be a market out there for such a device or Nintendo would not have released it. What do you think about the Wii Mini? Let us know in the comments.
Valve has shown off its first Steam Machine to The Verge, which featured a Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN GPU. Not too badly specced for a prototype if you ask me, especially considering the size of the thing... with a TITAN GPU rocking along inside of it.
You can read more on it here, but the biggest news here is that we will hear first hand at CES 2014 in just two months time the proper Steam Machines from Valve's hardware and software partners. We'll also know which games will shift over to the Linux-based Steam OS which will be another interesting and exciting part of the show.
The box you see above is just one of many Steam Machines we'll see, with the Valve team stating: "You can get far smaller, and that's what many OEMs are doing... I think it's safe to say less than a quarter of the size."
We reported yesterday that the PlayStation 4 will not be capable of reading audio CDs, nor will it playback MP3s. Its main competitor, the Xbox One, has now been confirmed of being capable of playing back audio CDs.
Not only that, but the Xbox One will also service as a media player, where the next-gen console will stream media from your home network. This is great for those of us out there who run NAS systems, so the Xbox One is now back on my radar pending codec support.
One of my favorite features on Steam is the ability to purchase a game as a gift for a friend. Oftentimes I do this for multiplayer games I do not want to wait on my friends to buy. I will purchase 2-3 copies and gift 2 of them to my friends and keep one for myself. A recent Reddit Thread popped up that poised the question if Microsoft would implement such a feature in the next generation of Xbox Live.
The thread on Reddit caught the eye of Microsofts Xbox Chief Major Nelson who joined in on the conversation and said that Xbox Life gift giving is an excellent idea and that Microsoft would love to add it into the program in the future, but it would not be implemented at launch. During Microsoft's big Xbox event the company did allude to "really exciting things" that are being lined up for Xbox Live's future, but said that they would roll out over time, so maybe Redmond already has a gifting system already built, and are just holding off until the time is right to release it?
Sony has just announced via it's PlayStation Blog that users can now add funds to their Playstation Store account with PayPal. Sony says that adding funds is quick and easy and all one needs to do is click the add funds link when checking out in the cart in the PlayStation Store. Simple chose the PayPal option and add between $5 and $150 to your account.
"In our ongoing effort to offer more choice and convenience, we first launched the ability to add funds to your Sony Entertainment Network wallet through PayPal via the web last January, and, most recently, the ability to add funds to your wallet via mobile devices with the Mobile Billing option," said Sony in a blog post. "Your Sony Entertainment Network wallet can be used to purchase games, add-ons, movies, TV episodes, and more from PlayStation Store."
The PlayStation 4 is nearly here, with the next-gen, can't-play-CDs-or-MP3s-console expected to sell over 5 million units by March 2014. The estimations are coming from the PS4's parents: Sony.
Sony expect to sell over 5 million units before its current fiscal year is a wrap, but it should be able to meet those estimations with the demand it is seeing for the PS4. Comparing this to the 2.9 million PS3's that Sony sold in the same period when it launched, this would be a mammoth 72% increase in sales.
The original Ouya console didn't really aspire to much, mine is sitting on my shelving since I finished my review, completely untouched since. But, the company is pushing forward, announcing that a new, redesigned controller will ship in 2014.
The refreshed controller will hopefully fix most of the problems found in the origin, offering textured thumbsticks, more responsive triggers, and face buttons that don't get stuck in the controllers' faceplate. The problem with the new 'Ouya 2.0' is that it will be hard to differentiate between the current model and the model with the new controllers because the packaging will not reflect this change.
Ouya founder Julie Uhrman spoke with Polygon where she said: "The feel of the controller today is actually probably a lot better than in June. Our goal is to build a great controller. We wanted to build something that was ergonomic, that had great weight, that had a great feel, that offered developers a different way to develop games by including a touch pad in the design."
Weeks before its launch, the PlayStation 4 FAQ is out and it is a real disappointment for Sony's next-gen console. The FAQ is absolutely gigantic weighing in at 30 pages, but one of the biggest tidbits from it is that the PS4 will not playback CDs or MP3s.
The only way of playing background music in-game is through Sony's Music Unlimited service. Very disappointing for an electronics giant the size of Sony, who have countless music labels under their wing. What do you think about the PS4 not playing CDs and MP3s? In this day and age I really expect a console that costs $400+ to playback my CDs at least... right?
This is something I didn't expect, but the PlayStation 4 will not support external storage devices. This means that the internal 500GB mechanical HDD is all you'll be able to use.
However, you can upgrade the internal drive, as long as it's over 160GB in size. But, backups of your PS4 will not be capable because the next-gen console does not support external HDDs. I'm hoping that Sony reverses on this decision, and quick, because I'm sure it's going to have people worried not just now, but when they attempt to install an external drive to the PS4.
Really, in 2013 going into 2014 with a "next-generation" console, external storage should just be a given. Please Sony, wake up to this nonsense. Games are getting bigger, with 40GB+ installations and you want to stop people from using external storage... really?