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Video game studios try to deliver a great gaming experience, especially for multiplayer gamers, though must walk a fine-line. There has been more always-online functionality included in even more games, but many gamers don't necessarily like it - not surprisingly, some gamers interested in Need for Speed weren't happy to hear the news.
"We've been pretty big with Autolog throughout the years and, as we know, it's a really powerful feature," said Marcus Nilsson, executive producer of Need for Speed, in a statement published in the Official Xbox Magazine. "This time around we're going to give it more of a human voice. It will treat your friend's play as if it is part of the narrative experience."
The game studio is quite excited about including a new automatic image sharing system, which also benefits from always-online:
Xbox Game Preview is Microsoft's own spin-off of Steam's early access, a program that lets preview members beta test unreleased Xbox One games for a fee. Although the Xbox early access initiative was originally for indie games, Microsoft has since revealed it will use the program's community-driven approach to help develop and test its own first-party exclusives.
"First party will be using Game Preview for our games," Microsoft's head of publishing Shannon Loftis told GameInformer. "It's not 100 percent. It's very much developer choice, but it is definitely an option."
"We are curating that program very much with an eye for making sure that the games are high-quality games. A lot of the issues we've seen with the folks that tried this sort of service earlier are things that we've been able to learn from," Loftis says, nodding toward Steam's cluttered Early Access platform. "There is a little bit of extrapolation that the gamer has to make in order to guess that the end product is good. So far, nothing has backfired as far as gamer reception, but we are being very cautious."
Xbox chief Phil Spencer is excited about Microsoft's decision to support Xbox One backward compatibility, saying it provides a "valuable" way to keep gamers engaged.
Since Microsoft must emulate each Xbox 360 game to make it playable for the Xbox One, receiving publisher support is critical. It's a great sales and marketing campaign, allowing players the opportunity to catch up on previously-released games if they haven't already played them - and allow those of you with an Xbox 360 game library, the chance to play select titles one more time.
"We're having great conversations with all the publishers about backward compatibility," Spencer recently told GameSpot. "It's really been a good time for something like backwards compatibility to come around, because so many of the publishers have built more service-based games where they're able to find a business opportunity in the longevity of games."
Gamescom 2015 - Microsoft has just announced a bloody beautiful limited edition Xbox One console that will launch in the "weeks leading up" to the launch of Halo 5: Guardians, which launches on October 27.
The new Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition bundle will include a 1TB Xbox One console in a beautiful Spartan Locke and UNSC design, with an included controller that will match the design. The $499.99 bundle will include a download code for Halo 5, the Warzone REQ Bundle with 14 requisition packs, FOTUS-class armor and a special emblem for multiplayer, an alloy Guardian model, animated series Halo: The Fall of Reach, and team dossiers.
Microsoft will have the new Xbox One bundle available to retailers on October 20, with Japan receiving it two days later on October 22. Microsoft has also teased a special Master Chief wireless controller that will arrive in October for $69.99.
Gamescom 2015 - Now that Windows 10 is here, the next machine to receive the upgrade, if "Something [doesn't] Happen" will be the Xbox One. Microsoft announced during Gamescom 2015 that the Xbox One will be receiving Windows 10 in September.
Let me know what you think or questions you have. Note: in development screen :) pic.twitter.com/Q1Y30Rdf3l— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) August 4, 2015
The news comes directly from Mike Ybarra, Partner Director of Program Management of Xbox and Windows Platform, who said: "My goal is Win10 is on Xbox One, with the new UI, for Preview members in September". Ybarra also teased the refreshed design of the Xbox One's new home screen through his Twitter account, which looks quite slick, which we have embedded above.
As for Windows 10 on the Xbox One, we should expect an updated dashboard design and new features, as well as support for DirectX 12. Insiders will receive Windows 10 on their Xbox One units starting next month, with the full roll out to the world in November if all things go to plan.
One of the big drawcards to living within Microsoft's ecosystem is the ability to stream games from your Xbox One to your PC, but it will be the PC to Xbox One streaming that could be more exciting.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has talked about it in more detail now that the Xbox app for Windows 10 has launched, allowing gamers to stream content from their Xbox One consoles directly to their Windows 10 PCs, and tablets over their Wi-Fi networks. Microsoft is now reportedly working on PC to Xbox One streaming, but it's not something that the company is talking about. Spencer said the company would love to give fans the ability to do so, including mouse and keyboard support on the Xbox One.
During a chat with The Verge, Spencer said: "We understand if you're going to go PC to Xbox, we need to get keyboard and mouse working completely so you could play those games. In terms of where we want to go with our platform, those are absolutely in scope of things that we want to do". But Spencer did note that streaming from Xbox One to the PC is much easier, as the company knows just what hardware you have, instead of the other way around where there are countless combinations of hardware.
At the China Joy 2015 expo, Xbox division boss Phil Spencer lays out his long-term strategy that calls for Microsoft to develop original first-party exclusives rather than having to rely on third-party games.
"My strategy is more around our own first party franchises, and investing in franchises that we own, and probably fewer exclusive deals for third party content. I want to have strong third party relations, but paying for many third party exclusives isn't our long term strategy."
In less than a week we'll see Spencer made good on his words when key Xbox One exclusives like Halo 5, Quantum Break, Crackdown, Gears of War 4 and Scalebound steal the show at this year's Gamescom conference. Microsoft has announced the Xbox Gamescom lineup and will stream the event across Xbox LIVE and the official Xbox website on August 5-6 at 9:00am PDT (12:00pm EST).
NVIDIA has issued a voluntary recall for its SHIELD 8" gaming tablets, sold between July 2014 and July 2015, due to a possible fire hazard. Owners of the device, which numbers close to 90,000, are urged to stop using the device - except to back up data and participate in the recall.
Four cases have been recorded so far, including two where the lithium-ion battery left physical damage to floors.
NVIDIA is replacing all units returned, due to the tablet battery overheating. Shield owners are asked to visit the following URL: http://tabletrecall.expertproductinquiry.com/ to learn how to ship back your unit, and receive a new one.
Microsoft and Sony have struggled in the short amount of time they promoted the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in China, but hope things begin to turn around. The country is beginning to change, and recently scrapped a ban on game consoles - so there is greater hope of future sales.
"The reason we are here today is not only to bring Xbox One to China but to open up the world to games made in China," said Phil Spencer, Xbox chief, speaking during Chinajoy. "We believe it is incredibly important to open up the opportunity to all developers in China."
Chinese gamers will get the chance to play the Halo: The Master Chief Collection in August - the first Halo game officially launched for the Xbox platform in China - and has great potential to win over gamers.
The Sony PlayStation business continues to be extremely successful for the Japanese electronics company, with the PlayStation 4 selling 3 million units during Q1.
Since launching in North America and Europe in November 2013, Sony has sold more than 25.3 million PS4 units worldwide. It's an impressive sales streak for Sony, outpacing the PlayStation 2, which took two years, eight months to top 20 million. The console eventually sold 155 million units, and currently serves as the top selling console of all time.
PS4 sales reveals steady - and strong - growth among gamers worldwide, and Sony estimates there will be 40 million console sales through the end of Q1 2016. We'll see what happens leading up to the 2015 Christmas holiday shopping season, which typically boosts game hardware and software sales for the industry.