It’s that time again, E3 is about to begin! Like last year, Microsoft will be kicking off the conferences, and they’ll have to make up for a lot. Last year saw them getting a lot of lip from Sony’s conference, and their old DRM policies were making fans shy away from their newest console, the Xbox One. But it’s a new year, and many things have changed. There is a Kinect-less Xbox One on the horizon, dropping the price of the console down 100 dollars to $399 US, same as the PS4. Now the question is, what will Microsoft show to convince fans to come back to Xbox?
In a recent post from Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, on the Xbox’s official website, posts that all the Xbox One’s DRM of always being online and the restriction of not being able to freely trade the games that are released for the system to any one the consumer wants, has been scrapped!!!!! He states, “After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.” and, “There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.” Continue reading
In an interview with GTTV’s Geoff Keighly, Microsoft’s Don Mattrick was asked about how exactly they’ll court people into getting an Xbox One should they have no stable internet connection (or any for that matter). He replied with, “Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of content. It’s called Xbox 360.” In other words, if you’re not ready to sign in every day at the parole offices of Xbox One, well then you’re not ready for Xbox One. Stay on the Xbox 360.
Mattrick probably won’t get any flak for this from his staff, but this is just a boneheaded thing to say. Right now, while Microsoft is still poised to sell Xbox 360 consoles, they’re primary focus is to sell as many Xbox One consoles as possible at launch. His comments also smack of his whole “Backwards” comment he made. I mean, it’s okay to tell your consumers to get an older console if they’re more comfortable getting that one, like Nintendo and Sony have done. But the delivery of his message is just arrogant.
They say that for each console manufacturer, the third consoles are the ones that see the company falter due to an overabundance of arrogance. It happened with the Gamecube (though it’s not the third). It happened with Sony and the early life of the PS3. And now it’s happening to Microsoft. I guess companies never learn.
Thanks to David for the heads-up.
Not sure whether to call this a good thing or a bad thing. While the hype took over our senses, we missed another logo at the end of the trailer that accompanied Rare Ltd. and Microsoft Studios, Double Helix. Who’s Double Helix? Well, they’re the the culmination of Foundation 9, The Collective, and Shiny Entertainment, the latter of which are known for their work on Earthworm Jim. While being involved with Shiny Entertainment might be a good thing, their track record lacks fighting games and is less than stellar.
If there was one massive embarrassment at the Xbox conference, it had to be the muted audio that occurred not once, but twice! While Battlefield 4 got a second wind, Crimson Dragon didn’t get the chance. So here we are, watch the trailer like it was intended. Gotta say, shame on Microsoft for botching a trailer with some beautiful music.
Today is the day that’ll shape the future of Microsoft’s newest console, the Xbox One. Reaction so far has been less than enthusiastic, with news of used games being limited somehow, required internet connections, privacy and Kinect, and a complete and total lack backwards compatibility, even with XBLA games. Microsoft said that this conference is all about software. What will they show that will sway the public opinion of the Xbox One in the right direction?
The press conference will begin at 12:30PM EST. The above embed is a live reaction of us watching the conference.
Please please please let this rumor come true. Ever since the beginning of the Xbox 360’s lifecycle, owners had to deal with Microsoft’s choice of using a points system instead of prepaid cards or a digital wallet with real dollar amounts. At first, it wasn’t too bad, but Microsoft’s method of conversion from U.S. dollars to Microsoft Points became a pain in the ass. With MS Points, full dollars come in multiples of 80 (or if you want to simplify, turn 80 into an 8). So 80 MSP = $1, 160 MSP = $2. By that account, 800 MSP = $10, 1600 MSP = $20. Sadly, not everything in the Marketplace have easily convertible asking prices. This conversion was worse in other places like the UK, Japan, and Canada (though this made some things in the U.K. cheaper).
Ahem, huh? Well this is… strange. Around September of this year, Microsoft submitted an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), setting off a flurry on speculation of whether a new Killer Instinct game was being made if a re-release of the previous two KI games on XBLA was possible. Unfortunately looks like those plans might be stifled a bit as, according to Eurogamer, the USPTO denied Microsoft’s application due to someone else having it. Fox currently owns the trademark, which they used for the shortlived slogfest of a crime drama called… Killer Instinct.
A rumor has been moving around the mill lately that the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony apparently won’t support any used games at all. Of course, this is just a rumor since a lot of details about the consoles themselves are little to non-existent, but this hasn’t kept the CEO of GameStop Paul Raines from being asked about this hot rumor in an interview he had with Gamespot about his company.
Before Retro Studios became Nintendo’s new Rare, Rareware was the talk of the town during the old days of Nintendo. They developed hits like the Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the SNES and a plethora of games on the N64, including Banjo Kazooie, Goldeneye 007, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Jet Force Gemini, and others. Microsoft bought Rare near the start of the new millennium, with Nintendo selling off the rest of their shares to Microsoft. Today Rare makes Kinect games and are the developers of the Xbox Live Avatars.
According to an anonymous tipster on ZeldaInformer, Nintendo is in talks with Microsoft to buy back the Banjo-Kazooie IP. The article does state that there could be the possibility that Nintendo might want all of Rare back with them to keep Banjo-Kazooie, but also obtain all of Rare’s other properties. There’s of course lots of hopeful words, some that sound way too good to be true. If Nintendo wanted Rare back, who’s to say Microsoft might keep some of Rare’s properties (like Nintendo did with their own)?. And who’s to say Nintendo could obtain many assets from Rare, but Microsoft keeps the Rare name? Lots of questions, barely any answers. But do take this news as it is: a rumor. One Big. Ass. Rumor.
Phil Fish, the creator of the hit indie game Fez has been bombarded by fans who have been suffering from in-game issues like save file corruption, frame rate issues, and such that affected 1% of his fans after the installation of the first patch. The reason for this, according to Fish, is that patching the game will take around thousands of dollars to fix, and a number of $40,000 was thrown out there as the exact number it would take.
Another reason is that his company, Polyton, already owes money towards Microsoft, stating that he had to pay to become an exclusive on Xbox Live Arcade. Phil finally then released a proper statement. “To the less-than-1% who are getting screwed, we sincerely apologize. We know this hurts you the most, because you’re the ones who put the most times into the game. And this breaks our hearts. We hope you dont think back on your time spent in FEZ as a total waste.”
Ahoy one and all to the new season of The Wired Fish Podcast! Last Summer we started up a podcast show for TWF. And now we’re back this Summer filming what what will hopefully be a fuller season than Season 2. To commemorate this new season, it’s extra long as we had a lot to talk about. First up, we covered the situation revolving around Tropes vs. Women in Videogames. Next we talked a bit about EA’s money troubles. And finally, we discussed Nintendo’s E3 conference (and Microsoft’s a little bit).
As you already know, the timeline breakdown is after the jump. Since this is two parts, Part 2 is down there as well.
I Stand On My Soapbox is a series of editorials that cover more specific topics in the games industry and community. These articles are a little more extreme than normal editorials published here, and could just degenerate to outright ranting. Have fun and enjoy the show!
Time to stand on this box again, I got another rant coming up. If you’ve been living under rock for the past life time, don’t worry you still have another life time ahead of you. But many-a-gamer remembers the rather public exchange of hands between Nintendo, Microsoft, and the company Rare. Rare started off as third party, became a second party company under Nintendo during the 90s, and then in 2002 became a first party company for Microsoft. Today they make Avatars for the Xbox 360 and Kinect Games. Back on Nintendo’s side, the company recently had Retro Studios revive Donkey Kong Country, a game originally made by Rare. However the game, Donkey Kong Country Returns, would be done without the Kremlings. Despite Retro stating that the omission of the Kremlings was simply a matter of choice, gamers went ahead and assumed otherwise.
Ahoy and welcome one and all to the Microsoft Press Conference Liveblog. Last year Microsoft showed off more things to do with the Kinect and surprised the world with the reveal of Halo 4. They’ve showed off the new features that would be coming to Xbox 360. As the days got closer, the rumors were running rampant with some saying that Microsoft would show off a new console (and block used games). Today is judgement day. All the rumors will be cleared and the future of Microsoft will be revealed.
Liveblog and Conference starts at 12:30PM EDT
*Note: Since we’re using the free version of CoverItLive, some readers might be blocked due to reader limit. Fret not as the conversation will be copy/pasted below when the conference it over.
No one knows for sure, but it’s one hell of a ball to drop if the rumors turn out to be true. According to Kotaku, a “trusted source” told Kotaku that along with the next Xbox supporting Blu-Ray and a new Kinect, the system would reject used games if the player happened to put one in. A rep emailed Kotaku later on with the usual PR bullcrap and dodging the speculation with, “Beyond that we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.” If the the no-used game feature is true, services like Gamestop and GameFly would suffer immensely, GameFly especially. Since this generation began, publishers has been fighting tooth and nail to halt the selling of used games with DRM, Online Passes, or simply skipping retail and selling online only. This would be the first time in consumer electronic history that used products would be banned.