Posts Tagged Xbox

Xbox SmartGlass app now optimized for iPhone 5

The Xbox SmartGlass app was updated for iOS yesterday. iPhone 5 users can finally interact with their Xbox 360.

Xbox SmartGlass first launched on Windows 8 devices back in October. That lengthy half-day exclusivity ended with an Android version on October 26, followed by the iOS app’s arrival in early November.

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An Xbox Surface Tablet for 2013?

Microsoft is barely escaping the headlines for a day as of late, which is of course to be expected with the likes of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the company’s first tablet PC hitting the shelves. However, it is of course the third of these three that hold the most appeal for the hardcore gamer with an affinity for all-things Microsoft, as the Surface Tablet is expected to take Microsoft gaming in a whole new direction to say the least.

Having so far only received a lukewarm reception at best, the Microsoft RT Tablet has proved itself as something of a middleweight competitor, which although delivers the goods in some way still falls short in others. Its bigger brother in the form of the full-fat Windows 8 Surface Pro Tablet is expected to land in the next month or so, which has the potential to bring full-on Windows PC gaming to the tablet PC gamer like never before.

However, rumour has it that Microsoft’s ambition for the Surface Tablet range does not in fact come to an end with the elusive Surface Pro. Far from it in fact as over the course of recent weeks, stirring and whispers have grown into shouts about the prospect of a dedicated Xbox Surface Tablet arriving in the very near future.

The concept in its own right is far from a ludicrous one to say the least. According to those behind the stirrings, the Xbox Surface Tablet will make an appearing in the first half of next year and essentially bridge the gap between tablet and console gaming. The tablet itself is likely to be something of a lower-end model than the Surface Pro and perhaps even below the spec of the Surface RT Tablet, given the way in which it will in any case become one of the most expensive console accessories ever offered.

On the other hand, it may come to pass that the Xbox Surface Tablet arrives as a slightly modified version of the current Surface RT tablet, sporting tweaked and honed software as opposed to a full and frank redesign.

If any of the above proves to be accurate, Microsoft may be looking to take a leaf from the book of Nintendo following the so-far successful launch of the Wii U. Since its first appearance several months ago, the Wii U has been attracting both praise and curiosity for its tablet pc-style controllers which can enhance gameplay considerably.

If Microsoft goes one step further to offer an Xbox Surface Tablet which functions as an advanced gaming controller AND a tablet PC AND a mobile gaming device in its own right, the reception could be huge.

There is of course a big question mark hanging over the head of the idea as a whole, though it is entirely possible that the Xbox Surface Tablet may be being lined up to launch alongside the fabled Xbox 720 – also rumoured to be landing sometime during 2013. Now is clearly the time to make the most of the mobile gaming revolution and all signs are pointing to Microsoft doing exactly that.

Now may also be the time for me to prepare to sell my Xbox 360 and get ready for the next big thing.

 

This post was brought to you by Lisa Morton, who loves blogging about all things electronic and occasionally writes the odd food review.

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Is an Xbox 360 or PS3 a better media hub?

People don’t just use video game consoles to escape to a virtual reality world and fight bad guys. Modern systems connect users with other media platforms, to stream and enjoy different content all through one device.

Though the Xbox 360 is over seven years old and the PS3 will be six soon, both systems have recently seen new versions and improvements. These devices do have significant differences in how they connect and with regard to what content is available from each. Options are never a bad thing, as they allow users to decide which console offers a better experience.

Sports streaming

Microsoft found one of the biggest partners possible to bring sports to the Xbox 360 when it paired with ESPN in 2010. The downloadable app gives viewers access to ESPN 3 and live broadcasts from the sports network.

The PS3 may not be able to stream content from ESPN, but still features plenty of apps to watch some of the most popular sports including apps from the NBA, NHL and NFL on Sony’s console. Users may not be able to access highlights and recaps, but some may enjoy having more live games available.

Movies & TV

PS3’s can stream content from Hulu Plus, Amazon, and Netflix. The device also features a Blu-ray player, so movie lovers that don’t subscribe to any services can still watch their favorite films in the highest possible definition.

While the Xbox 360 might only have a DVD player, it matches the PS3’s services for streaming movies. Also, HBO Go is an Xbox Live exclusive, allowing any HBO subscriber to access the channel’s programming and movie library.

Games

Even though both systems use different hardware, gaming experiences are very similar, according to CNET. Considering that some of the most popular games, like the Madden football series and Call of Duty, are available on both, there isn’t a lot of space for the consoles to differentiate themselves.

Going online

The PlayStation Network is completely free, so PS3 users can access all of the device’s content as long as they have subscriptions to those services. Xbox Live requires a subscription, but it is discounted based on the length of a consumer’s plan.

Microsoft and Sony have added so many partners and services to their gaming consoles, making the decision between the two more difficult for shoppers. When you’re looking at a new media hub, what features attract you? Are ESPN and HBO reasons enough to buy an Xbox 360, or is the free PlayStation Network too budget-friendly to pass up?

Summary: People don’t just use video game consoles to escape to a virtual reality world and fight bad guys.

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Grand Theft Auto 5 Release Confirmed

Grand Theft Auto 5 is confirmed to launch worldwide this coming spring for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Rockstar Games announced Tuesday.

Created by Rockstar North, the company’s Edinburgh, Scotland-based subsidiary, the latest GTA game takes place “in a re-imagined, present-day Southern California.”

According to its official website, GTA 5 is “the largest and most thriving game-world we have ever created set in the sprawling city of Los Santos and for miles beyond — from the tops of the mountains to the depths of the ocean.”

As of next week on Nov. 5, GTA 5 will be available for pre-order. Rockstar will also release more information about the game next month.

Rockstar said, “We’re currently focused on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game and don’t have any details to share about a PC version at this time.”

Are you going to buy it? Let us know in comments.

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Rock Band Weekly: Matchbox Twenty

Next week’s Rock Band DLC twists time through Matchbox Twenty’s career. The first track, “Bent,” comes from the band’s early years and off their second album. “How Far We Come” is from 2007, and “She’s So Mean” is from their latest album, North.

Xbox 360 / Wii / PS3
Available: September 11, 2012

Matchbox Twenty Pack 01 (440 MSP / 550 WP / $5.99) “Bent” (160 MSP / 200 WP / $1.99)
“How Far We’ve Come” (160 MSP / 200 WP / $1.99)*
“She’s So Mean” (160 MSP / 200 WP / $1.99)
All tracks feature keyboard support.

*Pro Guitar/Bass expansion available (80 MSP / 100 WP / $0.99)

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Assassin’s Creed 3 will have new challenges and content every month

While Ubisoft has been quick to introduce Connor and focus on the single-player campaign in Assassin’s Creed 3, not much has been said on the multiplayer side, a staple of the series since being introduced in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Multiplayer developer Ubisoft Annecy says there will be a greater focus on multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed 3 ? both in terms of support from Ubisoft and its impact on the overall Assassin’s Creed lore.

Abstergo has turned the Animus into a commercial product, and you’ll play as one consumer who’s looking forward to “reliving the past in HD.” Every month, Ubisoft will give players new content to unlock through new challenges. “As you progress in the game and level up your character, you access these files and videos. Every month you’ll have new challenges to unlock new content that will continue the storyline throughout the year,” Ubisoft Annecy game director Damien Kieken told CVG.

The multiplayer environments themselves will now have a greater impact on gameplay ? weather effects such as sudden rain storms or blizzards can impact visibility and players can employ special environmental kills using objects like bottles and axes. Back at Gamescom, Ubisoft demoed Wolfpack and Domination, two modes we were able to . While Ubisoft has been quick to introduce Connor and focus on the single-player campaign in Assassin’s Creed 3, not much has been said on the multiplayer side, a staple of the series since being introduced in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Multiplayer developer Ubisoft Annecy says there will be a greater focus on multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed 3 ? both in terms of support from Ubisoft and its impact on the overall Assassin’s Creed lore.

Abstergo has turned the Animus into a commercial product, and you’ll play as one consumer who’s looking forward to “reliving the past in HD.” Every month, Ubisoft will give players new content to unlock through new challenges. “As you progress in the game and level up your character, you access these files and videos. Every month you’ll have new challenges to unlock new content that will continue the storyline throughout the year,” Ubisoft Annecy game director Damien Kieken told CVG.

The multiplayer environments themselves will now have a greater impact on gameplay ? weather effects such as sudden rain storms or blizzards can impact visibility and players can employ special environmental kills using objects like bottles and axes. Back at Gamescom, Ubisoft demoed Wolfpack and Domination, two modes we were able to sample ? a new wave-based co-op mode where players hunt down targets in the environment and take them down, and the more traditional four-on-four team-based mode, respectively.

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‘Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’ headed to 360/PS3 in 2013

The “new direction” Square Enix is taking the story of Lightning is … actually kind of the same direction as before. As in, it’s another sequel to Final Fantasy XIII. “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII” was unveiled at tonight’s Final Fantasy 25th anniversary event at PAX.

According to the game’s Japanese website, Motomu Toriyama is heading up the third game in the Final Fantasy XIII series (yes, we seriously just wrote that) ? a game that’s said to end Lightning’s story. A video was shown during tonight’s event that we’re expecting to see pop up any time now, but we’ve got a concept art gallery below for you to check out in the meantime.

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Microsoft hosting mixer for former OnLive employees

Microsoft will be throwing an industry mixer for the 50-ish percent of OnLive workers affected by the streaming company’s recent restructuring madness this Monday, August 27, at its campus in Silicon Valley. Hiring managers will be on site, scouting for Xbox-oriented positions at Microsoft’s offices in Mountain View, CA and Redmond, WA.

“We are eager to speak to individuals and teams affected by the OnLive transition,” reads the event’s public invitation. “We are looking to add key players who want to make a real impact in creating groundbreaking new products and services.”

Whether this is indicative of an expanded streaming presence in Microsoft’s future is anyone’s guess; it could simply be an example of the tech industry taking care of its own. An Xbox Kinect bundle will also be raffled off during the event, though we assume those attending will be more interested in finding gainful employment than winning a door prize.

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Halo 4 soundtrack lands Oct. 22, Special Edition runs $75

Two versions of the Halo 4 soundtrack will become available on October 22, but only one of them will cost more than the game itself. Composed by Massive Attack alumni Neil Davidge, the standard edition Halo 4 soundtrack will encompass 15 tracks from the game’s score in both physical and digital formats for $13.98.

The Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set, on the other hand, will set you back quite a bit more. At $75, the package includes the standard soundtrack, a 14-track remix album (sorry, no Skrillex), a behind-the-scenes “Making of Halo 4 Music” DVD and accompanying hardcover book with “composition notes from Neil Davidge plus exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive artwork images.” The kit also comes with a 12-inch art print signed by Davidge, an honest-to-goodness vinyl record with Cortana and Master Chief on the disc itself, and a special shirt for your Xbox Live avatar.

Whether your Halo-music monetary threshold is $14 or $75, both versions will be available at Halo Waypoint. Show full PR text
“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack and Special Edition Remix Album Coming Oct.22
In addition to the original soundtrack from famed composer/producer Neil Davidge, renowned electronica musicians DJ Skee, Sander Van Doorn, Apocalyptica, Hundred Waters and more contribute to first ever “Halo” Remix Album as part of a Special Limited Editionof unique music, marks the first time a new composer has taken the reins for the iconic series’ musical score since the launch of the original “Halo” game more than a decade ago.

The “Halo 4” individually numbered and limited Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set will consist of the “Halo 4” Remix Album, produced by Davidge in tandem with fourteen of the world’s most renowned electronica producers and artists, including DJ Skee, Sander Van Doorn, Gui Boratto, Caspa, Apocalyptica, Hundred Waters, and more. A first for the “Halo” franchise, the landmark remix project is a premier example of a video game drawing from the breadth and caliber of talent in the electronica music world, breaking new ground for the blockbuster franchise that has sold over 43 million game copies worldwide and generated nearly $3 billion in revenue.

“It was an honor to compose and produce the ‘Halo 4’ score,” said Davidge. “I am so proud of the way the OST has turned out and to have had the opportunity to evolve the great legacy of ‘Halo’ music. To be able to then collaborate with these talented DJ’s and musicians on various remixes was a real bonus as it is always fun and interesting to see how others interpret and reimagine what you have created.”

Pushing the musical envelope, Davidge and his production company enlisted popular electronica producers DJ Skee, Caspa, Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan, Gui Boratto, KOAN Sound, Matt Lange, Andrew Bayer, Norin & Rad, Alvin Risk, Bobby Tank, Maor Levi and Hundred Waters, in addition to rock maestros Apocalyptica and ex-Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, to create a 14-track remix disk based on the Original Soundtrack (samples available on Halo Waypoint). When approached to work with Davidge, these artists not only took his work on the “Halo 4” score and shaped it into their own unique sound, but kept true to the roots and feel of the “Halo” franchise.

“I have been a fan of ‘Halo’ since day one, and when I heard Neil’s epic compositions for ‘Halo 4’ I was blown away,” said DJ Skee. “When we got the opportunity to remix and add our style, I wanted to create something just as epic that could stand alongside both the original composition and ‘Halo 4′ itself.”

A summary of the “Halo 4” soundtrack offerings is as follows:

“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack (available in physical CD and digital formats)

· Available for standalone purchase of $13.98 (U.S. ERP), the “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack features 15 themes from award-winning producer Neil Davidge, co-writer and producer of the pioneering trip hop group Massive Attack. This marks the first time a new composer has taken the reins for the iconic series’ musical score since the launch of the original “Halo” game more than a decade ago.

· Working in collaboration with 343 Industries, Davidge and his production team enlisted a 16-person hand-picked male tenor / bass choir plus 10 females from the London Bulgarian Choir, a full 50 piece orchestra and a whole host of other performers to bring the music of “Halo 4” to life through a massive production effort on par with a major Hollywood blockbuster.

· In addition, “Halo” fans who purchase a physical copy of the Original Soundtrack will receive a free download voucher for three exclusive remix tracks and three additional Davidge tracks not included on the soundtrack but featured in the “Halo 4” game. These game pieces will not be available on any other platform other than through the physical CD purchase.

“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack List and Titles (CD & Digital):
Awakening
Belly Of The
Soundtrack List and Titles (CD & Digital):
Awakening
Belly Of The Beast
Requiem
Legacy
Faithless
Nemesis
Haven
Ascendancy
Solace
To Galaxy
Immaterial
117
Arrival
Revival
Green And Blue
“Halo 4” Special Digital Original Soundtrack

· The Special Digital Original Soundtrack features the full content of the Original Soundtrack, a digital booklet, as well as six bonus remix tracks composed by renowned producer Neil Davidge and remixed as follows: “To Galaxy (Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan Remix),” “Awakening (Gui Boratto Remix),” “Revival (DJ Skee & THX Remix),” “Ascendancy (Caspa Remix),” “Requiem (Bobby Tank Remix) and “The Beauty of Cortana (Apocalyptica vs. Neil Davidge Remix).”

“Halo 4” Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set (available direct to consumer)

· Available for preorder today for $75 (U.S. ERP), the “Halo 4” Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set includes:

o “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack

o “Halo 4” 14-track remix album

o Exclusive “Making of ‘Halo 4’ Music” DVD containing over 70 minutes of unique behind the scenes footage, interviews and recording sessions from Abbey Road

o Exclusive hardcoverbook on the “Making of ‘Halo 4′ Music” featuring production and composition notes from Neil Davidge plus exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive artwork images

o Exclusive 12″ Neil Davidge signed art print

o Exclusive 180g heavy weight 12″ Vinyl Full color Picture Disk of Master Chief and Cortana in a uniquely designed Sleeve bag

o Exclusive Avatar T-Shirt download (Male & Female)

o The first 5000 orders will all be individually numbered in a limited series and personalized by Neil Davidge

o Preorder at: http://halowaypoint.com/halo4soundtrack

“Halo 4” Remix Album Track List and Titles:
>
1. Awakening ? Gui Boratto Remix

2. Green And Blue ? KOAN Sound Remix

3. Requiem ? Bobby Tank Remix

4. Ascendancy ? Caspa Remix

5. To Galaxy ? Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan Remix

6. Haven ? Hundred Waters Remix

7. Revival ? DJ Skee & THX Remix

8. Ascendancy ? Matt Lange Remix

9. Nemesis ? Alvin Risk Remix

10. Solace ? Maor Levi Remix

11. Arrival ? Norin & Rad Remix

12. Green And Blue ? Andrew Bayer Remix

13. Foreshadow ? James Iha Remix

14. The Beauty Of Cortana ? Apocalyptica vs. Neil Davidge Remix

All Soundtrack formats will be released by Microsoft’s new soundtrack partner, 7Hz Productions and affiliates: Friday October 19th, Australia & New Zealand (7Hz / Sony Music); Monday October 22nd UK & Eire, Europe & Japan (Essential), USA & Canada, South America (The End/RED).
Launching worldwide exclusively on Xbox 360 Nov.6, 2012, “Halo 4” is the next blockbuster installment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. Developed by 343 Industries, “Halo 4” continues the story of the series’ iconic hero the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. “Halo 4” takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it ? setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.

The standard edition of “Halo 4” will be available for $59.99 (U.S. ERP), and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional ERP), and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, will be available for $99.99 (U.S. ERP). Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for $399.99 (U.S. ERP) and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for $59.99 (U.S. EPR).

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NBC News app now on Xbox Live

Microsoft has announced that the National Broadcasting Company (colloquially known as NBC) has released a news app on Microsoft’s Xbox Live. The app features content from many of NBC’s various news programs, including Meet the Press, Hardball, Dateline, Nightly News and the Rachel Maddow Show. The NBC News app is available now on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

We know what you’re thinking: “News? On my television?” There’s no denying that it sounds bizarre, but it just might work.

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