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Microsoft releases unboxing video of Xbox One in final trim

Today, Microsoft released an unboxing video of its upcoming next-gen gaming console, the Xbox One. While we have seen many images of the new console, most of them are from the unveiling ceremony or E3, and today is the first time we\'re getting a look at what the final design will be.


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The unboxing features what is being called the Xbox One Day One edition. It will feature a Kinect, Day One branded controller, and the Xbox One console itself. Additionally, the company will include what appears to be a wired mono driver headset that will also come with standard editions of the console.


So what\'s changed since we last saw the Xbox One? The final design features a separate power supply brick, an included HDMI cable, and what the company is calling a \"Liquid Black\" finish. The controller now features a built-in battery compartment that is able to accommodate alkaline or rechargeable AA batteries. Charging can be completed via a built-in microUSB port, which will shut down the wireless radio when plugged in and allow you to continue playing your game through the wired connection.


The console features built-in Wi-Fi and supports 802.11 b/g/n on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Microsoft says that the Xbox One will hit store shelves sometime in November and will retail for an MSRP of $499.

Continue reading 'Microsoft releases unboxing video of Xbox One in final trim' (full post)

PS Vita update offers better streaming support and cleaner visuals

Today, Sony released an update for its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console that brings forth better streaming support and improved visuals. The update will bring your PS Vita up to version 2.6, and users will instantly notice softer circular content bowls thanks to some antialiasing that Sony tossed into the mix.


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Version 2.6 also brings forth an improved UI that makes accessing saved game data on PlayStation Plus much easier. The way users toggle network options has also been refined with a new control screen similar to those used on Android and iOS devices to allow gamers an easy way to manage Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G settings.


Another cool option that has been brought forth in version 2.6 is the ability to stream content directly from other connected devices such as the PlayStation 3 or a PC. In the past, users had to save the content locally first before being able to view the content.

Xbox One Game DVR feature records footage at 720p, 30 FPS

While the Xbox One might be capable of supporting resolutions as high as 4K, nearly all titles will be pumped out at 1080p. Some titles, such as Battlefield 4, will run at 720p, but crank the frame rate up to 60 FPS.


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News is now hitting that the Xbox One's Game DVR feature, which records in-game footage for your viewing pleasure, is limited to just 720p at 30 FPS. This has been confirmed by Microsoft's Marc Whitten during an interview with IGN. He says: "Game DVR captures beautiful clips at 720p 30 [frames per second]."


Whitten adds: "Your clips are stored in the cloud. You'll be able to see these clips in the Xbox One Guide, in your own game DVR collection and when you are looking at gamercards on the system." So now I have a question, is the Game DVR feature limited to 720p at 30 FPS because the footage is stored in the cloud? Would uploading 1080p at 60 FPS footage be too much? Not even the GPU spec bump will help this.

OUYA apologizes to backers with $13.37 credit to use on Discover

I received an e-mail late last night from OUYA, I was hoping it was a shipping confirmation on my two custom controllers - which it wasn't - but it's not all bad news. Original backers are set to receive $13.37 credit for the OUYA Discover store.


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Why the handouts? It's because OUYA are sorry about some original backers, like myself, not receiving their consoles on time. Some users received their consoles after they hit retail shelves, controllers have been delayed, and more. OUYA says: "If you feel you've had any kind of less-than-OUYA experience with us (a polite way of saying at any time you felt pissed at us for whatever the reason: late shipment, missing controllers, a delayed response to a CS ticket you opened), we'd like to give you a store credit of $13.37 to use toward any purchase(s) on DISCOVER."


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Not too bad at all, but I think OUYA still have a way to go yet. Hopefully this fixes the issue of 73% of OUYA owners not purchasing a game yet, too. Our review will be online this week, so be sure to check back! Until then, you can check out our unboxing of the OUYA console.

Microsoft launches Enforcement United, community police for Xbox Live

Today, Microsoft announced plans on how Xbox Live will be policed in the future. Dubbed Enforcement United, the new policing system allows community members like you to volunteer to the enforcement team. Those volunteers will have the opportunity to earn rewards such as new avatar clothing, forum badges, and even Xbox Live Arcade games.


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In the beginning, the only powers the enforcement team members will have will be the ability to force a user to change their gamer tag if it uses inappropriate terms, names, or words. Eventually Microsoft plans on adding the ability of enforcement volunteers to report players for illegal activity, hate speech, profanity, and insensitive treatment for the vocalization of controversial of topics.


"The Enforcement United program puts part of the enforcement process in the hands of our valued Xbox Live Gold subscribers," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "It's our way of directly involving the Xbox Live community in our efforts to foster and maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for all our members. Eligible volunteers are given the ability to judge whether certain types of content violate our Code of Conduct. If there is sufficient agreement within the community that the content breaks the rules, we'll take enforcement action on behalf of the community!"

Microsoft beefs up Xbox One GPU specs

We're not far from the launch of the NSA's Microsoft's Xbox One console, with Major Nelson announcing today that the GPU in the Xbox One having its clock speed increased.


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Major Nelson announced the news during his talk with Xbox's Marc Whitten, saying that the changes will allow the next-gen console from Microsoft push out better graphics. Nelson noted that Microsoft have been listening to fans who have been saying that the Xbox One is less powerful than the PlayStation 4, so they've done something about it.


The first of these improvements is something Microsoft call a "mono driver", which is just a graphics driver that is optimized for the Xbox One. Most developers are already using this, according to Microsoft: "You start with the base DX driver and you take out all parts that don't look like Xbox One and you add in everything that really, really optimises that experience. Almost all of our content partners have picked it up now."

Continue reading 'Microsoft beefs up Xbox One GPU specs' (full post)

NVIDIA Shield teardown treatment, scores 6/10 for repairability

NVIDIA have launched its Shield console, and iFixit seem to be one of their first customers, and are here with a great teardown of the Android-powered gaming console.


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iFixit make it look easy to get inside of the Shield, as they do with most teardowns, but once inside of the Shield, they say "this device looks nothing like any tablet we've ever taken apart... or game console... or anything." iFixit found a three-cell, 3.7V, 7350mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery inside, which will definitely give gamers plenty of time to play games or watch movies on Shield.


iFixit gave NVIDIA's Shield a repairability score of 6/10, stating that the battery wasn't easily accessible, and "will require some tricky disassembly to replace."

Team behind Forza 5 say Xbox One cloud boosts AI by 600 percent

During its launch event, Microsoft spent a good amount of time talking up the benefits of the new cloud computing aspect the Xbox One will feature. While we expected the company to boast about high performance gains, we reserved judgement until we saw some numbers come from the developer side of things. Today, we got just what we were waiting for and honestly, the news was a lot better than we expected.


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In a recent interview with OXM, Dan Greenawalt, the creative director for Forza 5, said that the new cloud computing aspect of the Xbox one created a "tremendous opportunity" for the game's AI to become better than ever. The game uses the cloud-based processing power to handle the game's "Drivatar" AI, something that saves 10 to 20 percent of the processing load that the actual Xbox One hardware sees.


Greenawalt says that by letting the cloud handle the AI side, the performance of Drivatar can be boosted by as much as 600 percent, letting the Xbox One hardware use that freed 20 percent of processing power on something else. 600 percent sounds like an almost too good to be true gain, but when you really think about it, it is actually very feasible. If the Xbox One's hardware has to handle the Drivatar AI, it must juggle it within the 10 billion other lines of code that it must process every second. When offloaded to the cloud, the Drivatar AI can be focused on exclusively and performance numbers could in theory rise exponentially.

Continue reading 'Team behind Forza 5 say Xbox One cloud boosts AI by 600 percent' (full post)

Xbox 360 gets new stand-up comedy app from Comedy Central

Yesterday, Comedy Central launched its new CC: Stand-Up app on the Xbox 360. The new stand-up comedy app brings over 6,000 videos from more than 700 comedians straight to your living room for the first time ever. Comedy Central says that the app is different from the iOS and Android versions as the Xbox app focuses more on long term viewing rather than on discovery of new comedians and new material.


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"We're looking opportunistically at all these different platforms, moving down the chain from biggest to smallest," said Ben Hurst, Viacom Entertainment Group's vice president of mobile and emerging platforms. "We want to get digitally distributed content everywhere." When asked if the company is worried about the new digital content leaching off viewers from its cable channel, Hurst said "We've now introduced fans to a new comedian or have gotten them excited to watch the new special. We view this as additive, not cannibalistic."


Comedy Central also launched a companion site to the Stand-Up app earlier this month named CC: Stand-Up Direct in which users can access the full stand-up library over the net and pay $5 per stream or download. The new Xbox CC: Stand-up app is available free of charge to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, which costs just $5 per month with a one-year agreement.

Nintendo confirms Black 3DS XL American launch on August 11

Last week, speculation arose that Nintendo would launch the black edition of its 3DS XL handheld console over this past weekend. The weekend came and went with no black 3DS XL showing up online or in retail stores, and we are sure this was a big letdown for some. Those who were bummed out about the no show will be excited to learn that Nintendo has officially released a launch date for the device.


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Sunday, August 11, will be the magical day when we finally see the black 3DS XL arrive in stores and online for retail sales. Coincidentally, that is the same day that the new Mario & Luigi: Dream Team game arrives. No pricing info was released on the 3DS XL Black Edition, but with other colors retailing for around $200, we expect it to be priced in the same range.


In a statement, Nintendo said:


The system is launching on the same day as Nintendo 3DS game Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, so fans that pick up a new black system or already own a Nintendo 3DS can also play the exciting new entry in the much-loved Mario & Luigi role-playing series. Aug. 11 will be a classy day to become a new Nintendo 3DS owner. Just make sure there is room in your tuxedo pocket or fancy purse!

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