• "Sony Paid Gamers More Respect" Say Unity CEO

    The console war as we call it is a simple comparison of which console is better, being fueled by fanboy-ism. The reason for comparison at its core is simple, to allow the consumers to decide which machine will give them the most features and/or the best price.

    Speaking at GamesBeat Summit, Unity CEO John Riccitello said the following in regards to the approaches taken by Sony and Microsoft this generation,

    "There was a clash of ideas that really separated Sony and Microsoft in this generation... The clash of ideas was simply this. They actually had very similar architectures that they were trying to bring to the table, but Microsoft focused on the entertainment marketplace.

    I think it was a little bit like a game of pool. Microsoft was focused on the shot after the one they needed to make... but they missed the first shot and they didn't get another shot at it. Sony worried about the shot they needed to make, which was [to] win the hearts and minds of the gamers. They did a better job of execution with that. Frankly, the broad scope of entertainment may be a bigger idea, but not with an unfocused execution... Sony nailed it. They paid respect, more respect, to our community than the other guys."

  • Xbox One April System Update Details

    The latest update for the Microsoft Console will add voice messaging, dedicated servers for party chat and more.

    With the addition to the new features is the ability to leave voice messages for friends. Players will be able to compose and playback a voice message and then send them by double tapping the Xbox button, players will also be able to send messages between the Xbox one and the 360.

    Dedicated servers will also be added for party chat which will improve quality and reliability. The Staff picks will also be tailored based on the latest game you’ve played.

    In the previous update which added the ability to take screenshots and introduced a new suggested friends feature, along with party chat enhancements that adds and icon displaying microphone status, tile transparency, voice search privacy, and the ability to report spam.

  • PS4 Will Have a Massive Over Xbox One By 2019

    Not including the few months of holiday’s season where the Xbox one price dropped once again, PlayStation 4 has sold better so far this generation.

    A recent report from citing a Strategy report that Sony will be the “unquestioned leader” over the first five years of this current generation of gaming.

    The firm’s connected Home devices report that the PS4 "is on path to reproduce the success of the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii." They predict that Sony will enjoy a worldwide installed user base of 80 million by 2019. Further notes states that the PS4’s first-year sale is very close to the uber-dominant PS2, PS4 selling 18.5 million and PS2 selling 20.1 million whereas the PS3 sold only 10.6 million during its first year.

    On the other hand Xbox One has sold 12.4 million on its first year out selling the Xbox 360 which sold 10.4 million, which faced similar challenges to the PS3. The lowest sale going to the Wii U which sold a low 5.9 million but is "staging a modest comeback" thanks to first-party software.

    Eric Smith the senior strategy Analytics stated:

    "Despite reports to the contrary, the game console market is not dead. Core gamers have moved faster to this current generation than in any previous generation. The main difference in this generation is that casual gamers who bought a Wii are remaining largely on the side lines as free-to-play casual games and midcore games on tablets and smartphones have captured this segment of consumers."

  • Microsoft Forming a new Xbox Team

    Recently a post on Microsoft’s career site discovered by Paco from NeoGAF, revealed that Microsoft has formed a new development team within its Xbox division.

    This post was in search for a Senior Software Development Engineer, Stating that it was the team’s goal “to push the envelope of today’s and tomorrow’s technology".

    Of course "Joining this team comes with risks," the post read. "Most of what we work on is top-secret; you may not know what your new project is until you’ve accepted an offer. Not all of our ideas will fly. We will fail, and fail fast, on some projects. We will celebrate those failures because they are vital to making sure the right ideas take off in a big way."

    No one knows for sure what this new team will be working on, but the post does say that the willing applicants should be "passionate about the potential for Kinect to continue to revolutionize entertainment".

    Head of Xbox Phil Spencer assured the Kinect remained "an important part of [Microsoft's] vision", Even though Microsoft began offering a Kinect-less Xbox One in June 2014.

  • Microsoft Publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider

    A few months back Square Enix announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider was going to be an Xbox exclusive. From what was gathered, it was going to be a timed exclusive of sorts. Fans of the franchise were a bit angry to say the least considering that the previous game was available on PlayStation as well.

    It was suggested that Microsoft had a big hand behind the creation of the game and now we have some official word to the extent to which Microsoft was involved. In a tweet Aaron Greenberg, boss of Microsoft first and third-party games marketing team, said that Microsoft will also be publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider.

    Square Enix responded to further questions regarding this with the following statement,

    "Yes, Microsoft will be publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox. Microsoft has always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and they will get behind this game with more support across development, marketing and retail than ever before, which we believe will be a step in continuing to build the Tomb Raider franchise as one of the biggest in gaming."

    A spokesperson from Microsoft also clarified Aaron Greenberg’s tweet with the following statement:

    “Yes, Microsoft will be publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox. Similar to how we worked with Capcom on Dead Rising 3 or Harmonix on Dance Central, we're very excited to partner with the amazing team at Crystal Dynamics to bring Rise of the Tomb Raider in holiday 2015, exclusively to Xbox. Both our team and the Xbox community are huge fans of the franchise and we can't wait to share more on the game in the future.”

    The Rise of the Tomb Raider is basically set to rival the Uncharted series for PlayStation. Although it has been confirmed to be a timed exclusive, there is still no news on when exactly we will see it arrive on the PlayStation or on PC.

  • Microsoft buys Mojang and Minecraft for $2.5bn


    Although rumors had been going around for a while, it has now been made official. Microsoft bought Mojang and Minecraft for a cool $2.5 billion. Crazier still is the estimation that they will make up the $2.5 invested by June 2015!

    Understandably everyone is worried about the other platforms Minecraft was available on. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer assured that Microsoft will be supporting the initial plans for supporting Minecraft across iOS, Android and PlayStation.

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had a few things to say about how the acquisition, “Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year.”

    "Minecraft is more than a great game franchise - it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”

    "The Minecraft community is passionate and diverse, ranging across all ages and demographics. We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we'll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward.

    "Our investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the Minecraft community."

    Although the current Minecraft lead developer Jens Bergensten will remains at Mojang, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson as his Mojang co-founders will be leaving. Notch new the massive following Minecraft had and had addressed his decision in a post on his website. His letter follows:

    I don't see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it's fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don't make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don't try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it's changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It's certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

    A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I've had so much fun with work. I wasn't exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

    I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn't understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn't have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I've become a symbol. I don't want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don't understand, that I don't want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I'm not an entrepreneur. I'm not a CEO. I'm a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

    As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately.

    Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don't expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won't feel a responsibility to read them.

    I'm aware this goes against a lot of what I've said in public. I have no good response to that. I'm also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I'm not. I'm a person, and I'm right there struggling with you.

    I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can't be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it's belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.

    It's not about the money. It's about my sanity.

  • Destiny Is Like A First-Party For PlayStation 4


    There is no denying that Sony made some big deals with Activision that give Sony major perks when it comes to Destiny. Exclusive content aside, Microsoft does not even have the right to advertise Destiny!

    Just recently Microsoft did an advert for a fragrance called Destiny in a cheeky bid to still advertise the game’s connection with Microsoft. He is what a spokesperson from Xbox UK had to say - "Okay, so here's the lowdown. Destiny is actually an epic new first-person shooter, available on Xbox. Thing is, we didn't have permission to run adverts for the game. So we didn't. Thanks for smelling that something was up. Now get the game and become a legend."

    This marketing strategy is to create a feeling that Destiny is sort of a PlayStation exclusive. We all know it’s not, but at the very least it makes gamers see that Destiny is best on the PS4 and PS3.

    Sony UK boss Fergal Gara said in an interview with Eurogamer that Sony is so involved with Destiny that it almost feels like a first-party game:

    "We're treating it, for all intents and purposes internally, as if it's a first-party release," he said. "We're wrapping our arms around it on all levels of the organisation. It's a special project and an important project and it has the power to launch Christmas. It's hugely important."

    "I think a lot of people are going to decide now is the time to go and buy a PlayStation 4 because this very ambitious project has come along that looks exciting. Yes, it's fantastic to have the exclusive content and the co-marketing, but it's more than that. It's a parallel track we've ridden together to get to this point. It's a lovely synergy that we're also going to have big milestones and set records."

    Since the launch of the PS4, Destiny has surely become the bestselling game on the console. And there is no doubt that it is a system seller. This game boosted the sales of both the Xbox One and PS4 upon release. The PS4 Destiny bundle did especially well. Now let’s hope that the mediocre reviews for Destiny don’t slow down this trend, otherwise Sony might have just lost a bet.

  • GTAV for PS4 & Xbox One Coming November 2014


    Good news for console gamers. Not so much for PC gamers. It was rumored recently that GTAV for the PS4 and Xbox One was going to be delayed till 2015. This time around fortunately the rumors were wrong... well, partly wrong.

    Although the PC release has been delayed till 27th January 2015, the Xbox One and PS4 versions will be releasing on time on the 18th of November 2014. I know it must be a bit frustrating for the PC gamers, but at least there is a definite PC release to look forward to.

    As expected there will be bonus features on this version of GTAV compared to the last gen version. Players can expect to see better details and longer draw distances, more wildlife, more traffic, updated foliage system, enhanced damage and weather effects, and new weapons, vehicles and activities. The radio will also be getting over 100 new songs and DJ mixes.

    There is a pre-order bonus as well as players who buy the game in advance will receive a cool $1 million of virtual cash to spend in GTA Online. There are also improvements coming to GTA online with upto 30 players playing together on the PS4 and Xbox One. Along with all the current upgrades and content available on the PS3 and Xbox One for GTA online coming to the PS4 and Xbox One, many more new things will be added shortly.

    The best part of course being that the save data from the last gen consoles can be easily transferred to the current gen one.

  • Tomb Raider's Xbox Exclusivity: Shuhei Yoshida Had No Clue


    The drama behind Tomb Raider’s exclusive deal with Xbox just keeps getting better. It seems that even Shuhei Yoshida had no clue prior to the big reveal that Rise of the Tomb Raider was going to be an Xbox exclusive.

    He spoke to Eurogamer saying that he assumed in time the game will come to PlayStation as well, but that is something he could not simply answer now.

    "Tomb Raider being exclusive. It's very interesting the way Phil Spencer said, what we are saying is, in holiday 2015 Tomb Raider is exclusive to Xbox. So it's open to interpretation. But still, we didn't anticipate something like this would happen. How could we know?... They might have to our third-party relations team, but I didn't know."

    "I hope the game will come out eventually on PS4. But how can I tell? Other than that cryptic message by Phil Spencer. If you're a marketing person at Square Enix and projecting your sales for the game, if it doesn't come out on PS4, it must be lots of units that have to be covered by some means."

    In an interview with IGN, Phil Spencer also shared a bit of his story. It seems that they might want this franchise to rival the Uncharted series PlayStation has. So they’re doing all they can to fill a gap they see and take advantage of an opportunity they had.

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: Xbox Exclusivity Explained


    A lot of people got mad more than happy when it was revealed that the sequel to Tomb Raider, launching holiday 2015, was going to be an Xbox exclusive. However there were questions regarding the nature of the exclusivity. Was it a timed exclusive or not? Well Eurogamer has been able to get clear answers from Phil Spencer regarding this situation. Here is part of that conversation.

    Spencer speaking to Eurogamer:

    "When people want me to say, can you tell us when or if it's coming to other platforms, it's not my job. My job is not to talk about games I don't own. I have a certain relationship on this version of Tomb Raider, which we announced, and I feel really good about our long term relationship with Crystal and Square.”

    "I get the reaction I see. If I'm a PlayStation person all of a sudden I feel like, the franchise has gone. I didn't buy the IP. I didn't buy the studio. It's not mine. Where this thing will go over time, just like Dead Rising or Ryse, we'll see what happens with the game. I don't own every iteration of Tomb Raider.

    "I don't own them building Tomb Raider on other platforms. I can't talk about the franchise that way. I can talk about the deal I have."

    So, what, exactly, is that deal?

    "I have Tomb Raider shipping next holiday exclusively on Xbox. It is Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I'm not trying to fake anybody out in terms of where this thing is. What they do with the franchise in the long run is not mine. I don't control it. So all I can talk about is the deal I have. I don't know where else Tomb Raider goes."

    Is there a time limit on the exclusivity period?

    "Yes, the deal has a duration. I didn't buy it. I don't own the franchise."

    Can you tell us how long the duration is?

    "No. It's not because I'm trying to be a headfake on anybody. It's a deal between us and the partner. People ask me how much did we pay. There are certain things I'm just not going to talk about because it's a business deal between us and them. Obviously the deal does have a duration. I didn't buy the IP in perpetuity."

    As expected many gamers were mad at Square Enix for their surprise reveal. Quite understandable considering that the players, who supported the first game on PC and PlayStation, are now being cut from the sequel till they decide to get an Xbox One. They believe that they not only sold out but also alienated PC and PlayStation users.

    To this out roar Darrell Gallagher wrote on Tomb Raider tumblr,

    "Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft."

    Not really sure if he tried to defend their choice; just explaining that it was in their best interest. Well, Microsoft hopes that this will be a system seller. Hope it doesn’t turn out the other way around and people stop buying Tomb Raider as well.

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