Xbox Live

  • XBOX LIVE CASH AND GOLD FROM CHANGE, THANKS TO COINSTAR

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    A pretty nifty deal was just made between Microsoft and Coinstar that would allow Xbox Live currency and Gold members available at Coinstar kiosks. This news was recently announced by the alternative payment system Rixty. What this basically means is that any change that you have on you can now be used on Xbox Live, as long as you have a Coinstar machine nearby of course. This is what Ted Sorom, Rixty CEO had to say about this,

    “Rixty is already an established alternative payment platform for online games, and we’re proud to be selected as one of the few approved Xbox Live Gift Card and Gold Membership wholesalers. By expanding our channels to nontraditional resellers such as loyalty and incentive programs, we’re giving these partners access to lucrative new products and consumers more convenient ways to obtain their favorite entertainment content.”

    For now we can obtain Xbox Live currency starting from $5 to $100. The other cool thing is that, in addition to the Xbox 360's marketplace, the Xbox Live cash can also be spent on the Windows Store on Windows Phones and Windows 8 tablets and PCs. So finally we have use for all the loose change lying around the house!

  • XBOX ONE – SOCIAL FEATURES

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    Seems Microsoft wants us to play with our friends on Xbox One and has thus provided us with the tools to do it. We can consider Xbox Live as the basic groundwork for socializing on Xbox 360, with the newer version built for the social media age from the bottom up.

    In a recent video Xbox spokesman Major Nelson details out how social interaction will work on the Xbox One. Like before you can play, chat and share videos and achievements with friends. To add to that, Xbox Live now learned a bit from Twitter and will allow the “following system”. This would allow players to be able to follow who ever they like but with a higher privacy that that would be implicated on mutual friends.

    Xbox Live Program Manager Rob Lehew gave this example on “A great driver in ‘Forza Motorsport 5, could have a huge group of thousands or even millions of followers all tracking their performance in-game. Those followers can have this driver on their personal leaderboard so that they can constantly keep track of how they stack-up, and they can potentially connect online with the driver to get into a race with him.”

    Check out the video to get an idea for yourself - http://youtu.be/ktpqoJfTR3g

  • Trollers, Watch Out for Microsoft’s Xbox One

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    Recently, Microsoft revealed a brand-new reputation system for the Xbox One. Now, in an Xbox Wire post written by Microsoft’s program manager of Xbox Live, Michael Dunn, new details have been announced. Dunn writes:

    “If you don’t want to play with cheats or jerks, you shouldn't have to. Our new reputation model helps expose people that aren't fun to be around and creates real consequences for trouble-makers that harass our good players."

    The system works by assigning players into three different color-coded groups, based on their online gaming behaviour. The groups are “Good Player” (green), “Needs Improvement” (yellow) and “Avoid Me” (red). Your position on any of these groups will be shown on your game card.

    “The more hours you play online without being a jerk, the better your reputation will be; similar to the more hours you drive without an accident, the better your driving record and insurance rates will be.”

    “Most players will have good reputation and be seen as a “Good Player.” The algorithm is looking to identify players that are repeatedly disruptive on Xbox Live.”

    “We’ll identify those players with a lower reputation score and in the worse cases they will earn the “Avoid Me” reputation. Before a player ends up with the “Avoid Me” reputation level we will have sent many different alerts to the “Need Improvement” players reminding them how their social gaming conduct is affecting lots of other gamers.”

    On the subject of how the algorithm defines an “Avoid Me” player, Dunn writes:

    “Even good players might receive a few player feedback reports each month and that is OK. The algorithm weights the data collected so if a dozen people suddenly reporting a single user, the system will look at a variety of factors before docking their reputation.”

    “We’ll verify if those people actually played in an online game with the person reported - if not, all those player’s feedback won’t matter as much as a single person who spent 1 minute playing with the reported person. The system also looks at the reputation of the person reporting and the alleged offender, frequency of reports from a single user and a number of other factors.”

    “This system will continue to evolve and get better as we track the feedback we get from players and titles, plus add more consequences for the jerks.”

    If the system works as advertised, then be prepared, trollers. Your trolling days are numbered.

    If you're interested in new Xbox One Controllers be sure to see the Custom Xbox One Controllers we have started to list as our new product teasers.

  • Next Free Games for Xbox Live Subscribers

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    This E3 Microsoft announced that they will be rolling in some new policies for Xbox Live subscribers. The policy being that from July onward subscribers will be receiving two free games every month.

    The first free game that was recently revealed is Defense Grid: The Awakening, an aging Xbox Live Arcade title. The game is available for free at the moment for Gold subscribers and will be so till the 15th of July. The game was priced around 800 Microsoft Points so offers a saving of about $10.

    From the 16th of July onwards the Gold members will gain access to their 2 free games per month plan mentioned at E3 2013. The two games that were supposed to be available first were Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3.

    This is exactly why gamers were surprised when Defense Grid was the first free game made available. But fear not as just recently Microsoft has confirmed that the next game available for free in its Xbox Games with Gold promotion would be Assassin’s Creed 2. The game will be available for download for two weeks from the 16th of July.

    Well it is no secret that this policy has been implemented to match Sony’s great offering with the PlayStation Plus service. Both these subscriptions cost approximately the same at about $5/month although based on what Microsoft is offering it is easy to see that Sony has been incredibly more generous.

    For the month of June alone US PS Plus subscribers received the following PS3 games - Uncharted 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Machinarium, Saints Row 3, LittleBigPlanet Kartin, Deus X Human Revolution. To add to that several Vita titles were also made available for free including God Eater and Virtue’s Last Rewards.

    I guess it might not match the offering for PS Plus but in Microsoft’s defense at least Xbox Live members are getting free games which they previously did not. I mean if you already a subscriber to Xbox Live the additional free games are just the icing on the cake.

  • Xbox One Reputation System

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    The Xbox One’s reputation system can be considered a cool new system designed by the folks at Microsoft to increase overall online multiplayer experience. How so? Well, the reputation system would seemingly group players based on their properties. Players who harass others, get constantly banned or are reported for griefing will find themselves playing with each other in a separate matchmaking layer from the nicer gamers.

    This is what Microsoft Senior Product Manager Mike Lavin had to say about the system, “There'll be very good things that happen to people that just play their games and are good participants, [And] you'll start to see some effects if you continue to play bad or harass other people en masse. You'll probably end up starting to play more with other people that are more similar to you."

    “It won't be so easy to sink a specific, innocent player's reputation score in the new system, since the calculations are taken over time. If we see consistently that people, for instance, don't like playing with you, that you're consistently blocked, that you're the subject of enforcement actions because you're sending naked pictures of yourself to people that don't want naked pictures of you .... Blatant things like that have the ability to quickly reduce your reputation score."

    "Ultimately if there's a few per cent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time, we should be able to identify those folks”

    This actually sounds like a great thing. Although this won’t really make a difference or impact on your friends list but seems to be designed to facilitate anonymous matchmaking based on reputation scores. Maybe finally the girl gamers can come out and play in peace!

    My only concern is that some parts of the description make it sound that the change in reputation occurs quite slowly over time, so I wonder if the system will actually be able to isolate the sly harassers. I guess only time will tell but at least someone is making an effort to change the online gaming experience for the better!

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