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The monthly sales report for December from the NPD Group is now out and it shows that the PlayStation 4 enjoyed a nice healthy lead for the last month of the year, which was likely expected by many. That isn't to say that the Xbox One did poorly, just that the PS4 remained on top last month and throughout the entire year.
The PS4 was built upon the success enjoy over the first part of the year and was able the sell around 5.7 million units during the holiday season and over 35 million games. The holiday season covers the period between November 22nd all the way through January 2nd, though that's no easy feat.
While the PS4 didn't quite have the amount of exclusives or timed exclusives as the Xbox One, that apparently didn't stop it from being the leading console of the year. For the Xbox One, no numbers are quoted, though the VP of Xbox Marketing did note that they enjoyed a hefty 61% increase in sales over the same period last in 2014. So both consoles enjoyed great growth year over year and record profits.
One of the most requested features, and long awaited ones, is that of being able to play your own music in the background of a game on the Xbox One. But it looks like that feature won't be making it to the console until at least this coming Summer, says Phil Spencer.
That doesn't mean that it's impossible to interject your own music into the game, just that it's a bit more inconvenient. You're still able to use the Xbox music app, Groove, to play your favorite personalized tunes, though you'll have to do it with the Snap feature, having a slim line on the side with the app. It also doesn't replace the game music, either.
There's certainly a very large demand for being able to have personal soundtracks in their games with over 22,000 people having requested it on the Xbox Feedback site. So it's a natural progression, and having it play seamlessly would be just one more advantage over the competition.
Outages for the PSN seem to be as sure the wind in the mountains. That said, for this last round of outages that occurred, Sony is looking to compensate PS Plus users with for that downtime, with extended subscriptions, on the house.
Those of you that had active PS Plus subscriptions and were affected during the great outage that occurred over the holiday season should start finding an email from Sony that offer an extension that'll cover their services, from PS Plus, PS Now and even video rentals.
It's unclear exactly when and how they'll begin this process, but some users are reporting they've already received their extension. And from that, it would appear to be a painless and seamless process, where you don't have to do anything except enjoy another free month of service. Though you might not be getting a full free month, my email has yet to be received.
Sony just pushed out a new firmware update for the PS4 that brings it to version 3.15. The new update doesn't actually add anything new, however.
In the patch notes there's only one line that very simply states that it "improve the quality of the system performance," meaning they generically streamlined something to make it more stable, but what and why is unknown. As we download it ourselves we'll take a look at if anything actually improves.
I don't quite remember it having too many issues before with the last update, though just to be on the safe side, why not update to the latest. It should be done automatically for most, though you can always manually update within the PS4 itself, or head over to the website and update via a USB drive as well.
Razer has a new controller coming out, the Wildcat, and it's a pretty ferocious new controller, with it's anti-slip grips and homage to the Xbox One design. They're bringing everything they learned from the Sabertooth with this one, so the quality and precision should be on point.
We were able to demo the controller in action while playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which isn't easy when you're used to playing FPS's with a keyboard and mouse. But it was easy to get into a groove due to the similarity with the stock Xbox One controller. I have to admit that a controller isn't exactly my first choice when playing CS:GO, and I'm not good by any means even with a mouse and keyboard. But that aside, the joysticks had a good feel to them, with just the right amount of resistance.
It's comfortable in the hand due to it being designed around the already comfortable and easy to handle stock Xbox One controller, so that shouldn't be an issue for anyone. The cool thing is that they're following the design language of the Xbox One Elite controller with extra inputs on the bottom, but instead of paddles, you'll find a trigger which felt like the top and bottom were separate buttons. It was much less confusing to use buttons as opposed to the paddle system on the more expensive Elite controller.
Sony is ringing in the New Year with the announcement that it has sold over 35.9 million PS4 consoles, with 5.7 million units being sold over the holiday season.
This means that one-sixth of all PS4 owners joined in on the fun over the last few months, as well as PlayStation Plus subscriptions increasing by 60% compared to this time last year. Microsoft isn't providing many new numbers on the Xbox One, so we are pretty sure Sony is ahead of the console race right now.
Rumors about Nintendo's NX have been floating around though nothing truly concrete has made its way from Nintendo themselves. Until now.
Speaking to Sankei West, Kimishima Tatsumi talked a little, though not too specifically, about the future of the NX console. Apparently they're well into development and they're already planning how to best break into the market again by bringing over their best franchises.
It was also mentioned that the aim of the NX is to provide a different, and new, experience when compared to the Wii U and the 3DS. Tatsumi said (with a very rough translation from Google Translate) "With the aim of what can be a new experience different from the current WiiU and 3DS, it is recommended a steadily developing." What this'll mean is anyones guess. But it wouldn't be too far off to think that Nintendo wants to innovate in similar ways that they have with 3D, touch and with motion controls. It wouldn't necessarily be a stretch if they planned on making a first party VR experience even unlike the upcoming PSVR.
It was only a couple of days ago that we heard that AMD's next-gen GPU architecture would be called Polaris, but now we're hearing about a refreshed Xbox One that would feature this new GPU.
The news is coming from a rumor posted on the Overclock.net forums, where you can see the device model listed as "Xbox One Polaris", but the software version is also something worth noting: "Polaris-222". Now, this could just be a huge coincidence, that Microsoft's updated Xbox One software is called Polaris - but with a rumored Polaris architecture in the works from AMD? Well now. Keep in mind that AMD's APUs power the Xbox One, it makes sense.
We definitely have the rumor stamp out for this one, but if it turns out to be true, you can bet we'll hear more about this in the coming months.
With just hours of 2015 left, there are new reports surfacing that Microsoft will release a new "lightweight" Xbox One model in 2016.
In a recent blog post, Microsoft blogger Brad Sams says that he's heard from internal sources that Microsoft is considering a "lightweight Xbox One", with Sams adding: "I have heard from internal sources that the company is considering plans for a lightweight Xbox One that may only be for Windows store games and would compete with the Apple TV. But it's not clear if these plans have been scrapped".
This rumor is weird, as it would make more sense for Microsoft to release a slimmer Xbox One, or heck - a new, faster model and a new thinner model. The faster model could be 1080p 60FPS capable, while the thinner model being the same speed as the current Xbox One, but thinner, quieter, and more power efficient.
It's Christmas morning, and you see a box under the tree wrapped immaculately. You grab it, and feel the weight - you guesstimate that this could be what you've asked Santa for: a PS4. You open the box, and yes! It's a PS4! You tear the box that the PS4 comes in apart, and to your utter disappointment, inside there is just a block of wood - but with an upside, there's a dick drawn on the box.
Yeah, that was 9-year-old Scott Lundy's XMAS morning in a nutshell. Boston's Fox 25 reports that Lundy shouted "YES THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER DAD CAN WE SET THIS UP NOW?" But after opening the box for the PS4, the 9-year-old discovered that there was just a block of wood shaped like a PS4 inside, and his parents Kristin and Brian saw that there was a dick drawn on the box, with the message "From cock and balls with love".
Scott's step-mother, Kristin, said: "He's crying and he's upset and he's in the playroom by himself and he just wants to be alone so at that point. I was crushed". The Lundy's returned the package back to Saugus Target, where they had purchased it from, with the company giving them a $100 gift card and a free copy of The Uncharted Collection. Kristin posted on Facebook not long after, saying "This has ruined his belief in Santa".