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PS4 vs. Xbox One: The ultimate showdown takes place tonight

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 11:01am

Winning the heart, minds and wallets of gamers around the world is the easy part. Winning over Dr. Sheldon Cooper, on the other hand, is the ultimate challenge for the new console generation. Microsoft and Sony both launched their next-generation video game consoles ahead of the holidays last year, and both boxes have gotten off to a phenomenal start. The PlayStation 4 has clearly pulled ahead in terms of sales, while the Xbox One’s game selection still has an early edge. What will undoubtedly be the toughest task these great consoles have faced to date, however, is making their way into Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment on Thursday night’s episode of The Big Bang Theory. As noted by PlayStation blog DualShockers, an upcoming new

Microsoft reveals its game-changing plan to make the Xbox rule your world

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 1:29pm

Microsoft on Wednesday showed off what could be the key to its future: Universal Windows apps that will be available on the Xbox console. This means that developers will one day be able to develop apps that run on Windows PCs, Windows Phones and the Xbox all at once. This has some major implications for gaming since it has the potential to completely tear down the wall between PC gaming and console gaming.  As part of this initiative, Microsoft will be bringing Kinect V2 to Windows that will bring major improvements to Kinect for Windows’ gesture recognition and body-tracking technology. During its presentation, Microsoft said that it saw Kinect as a whole new way to interact with computers and represented

PS4 sales double Xbox One as console war heats up

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 5:34pm

We’re now well past the initial launch phase of the next-generation video game console “war” that began last November when Sony and Microsoft each launched their new console offerings. Sales of both systems exploded out of the gate, but the PlayStation 4 soon pulled ahead and now the Xbox One trails by an increasing margin. At last count, Sony sold more than 6 million units through the beginning of March, while Microsoft’s last official sales figure was 3 million Xbox One units sold in 2013. Now, according to the latest sales estimates, Sony’s PS4 may in fact be widening its lead over the Xbox One. According to newly released sales estimates from VGChartz, PS4 sales during the week ending March

Xbox One Gamers Stream 10 Million Minutes of 'Titanfall'

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 12:48pm

Xbox One gamers love playing "Titanfall," and they love showing it off to their friends even more. Since the March launch of Twitch live-streaming on Xbox One, fans of the mech-infused first-person shooter have broadcast 10 million minutes worth of their own wall-running, pistol-blasting and robot face-punching. When "Titanfall" and Xbox One Twitch streaming made their simultaneous debut on Mar. 11, 30 percent of Twitch's broadcasters were coming from Microsoft's new console.

Microsoft turns SmartGlass into a universal remote as Xbox TV expands worldwide

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 11:00am

Microsoft is previewing a new SmartGlass app today. It’s a significant upgrade from the existing app, with Microsoft's TV guide functionality (OneGuide) integrated into the app and the ability to control a TV or set-top box with its DVR functionality from a smartphone or tablet. While SmartGlass already had some options to control TV volume, it's now effectively a universal remote. The new SmartGlass app also includes a new feature that shows recently-watched channels to make it easy to switch between them.

Xbox has a new boss, and he wants to ‘do what’s right for fans’

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 8:00pm

It’s been nearly a year since the anyone held the title Head of Xbox, but Microsoft is finally ready to announce the next chief. Phil Spencer, former VP of Microsoft Game Studios, has been appointed head of the division, filling a spot left open by Don Mattrick, who left last July to head Zynga. Spencer has been the de facto face of the Xbox One for some time now, answering dozens of questions from curious fans on Twitter week after week, and his first message to Xbox owners as head of the division is in line with outward facing strategy. “Our community is at the heart of what we do at Xbox,” writes Spencer. “Whether it is meeting thousands of

Xbox co-founder discusses PS4′s early lead and virtual reality gaming

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 12:08pm

Ed Fries, co-founder of the Xbox project and former Microsoft VP, left the company more than 10 years ago to pursue other interests, but last week he re-entered the world of console gaming to discuss the new generation. In an “Ask me Anything” on Yabbly, Fries answered a wide variety of questions concerning the game industry, from his thoughts on Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR to what he would have done differently if he could relaunch the original Xbox. “Probably the easiest answer is the controller,” said Fries, in response to a question about launch regrets. “A lot of people hated the big controller we shipped with the first version.” As with any new console generation, game releases are few and far

Kinect for Windows v2 Looks a Lot Like Xbox Counterpart

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 11:21am

The original Kinect for the Xbox 360 never shook up the gaming world as Microsoft hoped it would, but creative programmers adored its Windows equivalent. History may repeat itself, as Microsoft has released some information about the Kinect for Windows v2, and it looks an awful lot like the Kinect for Xbox One. In a blog post, Microsoft detailed the upcoming peripheral and compared and contrasted it to the Xbox One version.

Nintendo's No-Show Clouds Company's Strategy

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 4:33pm

Nintendo has elected to skip the conference this April, leaving many fans to ponder the company's current plans, and why it might be reluctant to share them. It's no secret that the Wii U is a flagging console. Nintendo initially believed the system could sell 9 million units in 2013;

Upcoming video games: 'Mercenary Kings,' 'Arkham Origins Blackgate,' 'Elder Scrolls Online'

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 11:26am

Team up with a friend and blast through the retro-inspired "Mercenary Kings," see the Caped Crusader clash with famous villains in "Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate," and prepare for the next big MMO challenge in "The Elder Scrolls Online."

Atari Is Turning to Social Casino Gaming to Save Its Old Franchises

Thu, 03/27/2014 - 9:41am

Fresh out of bankruptcy court last December, Atari and its classic games Asteroids and Centipede are back and coming to a smartphone near you. Atari is entering the world of social casino gaming, the video game company announced on Wednesday, in a new product appropriately called Atari Casino. That's the first partnership Atari has signed since going through bankruptcy court in 2013. Though it will be branded with Atari's most memorable games, Atari Casino will be a straightforward gambling game of poker, slots, and blackjack.

New Xbox One notification color-codes players by reputation

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 12:44pm

In an effort to keep gaming a social activity, Microsoft is introducing a new Reputation System that helps players know who to challenge and who to avoid. Coding players from green (good players) through to red (avoid me), Microsoft has been talking up the changes to how it polices the Xbox Live community since last July. As Micheal Dunn, Xbox Live Program Manager, explains in an accompanying blog post: "Gaming has always been a social activity, and for Xbox One we redesigned the Xbox Live community-powered reputation system from Xbox 360 to help better inform players about their behavior in the community." A such, if the new algorithm-powered system declares an Xbox One user a "Good Player" then you won't be penalized within the community and, in the future, if you retain your green status, Microsoft has plans to start offering rewards.

Xbox One reputation notifications will punish cheaters and jerks

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 12:17pm

Tired of foul language, idling players and trolls in your online Xbox One games? Starting this month, you can finally do something about it. Xbox Live’s Michael Dunn has taken to the Xbox Wire to announce reputation notifications for the new console, warning players as their reputation begins to drop. In the current system, a green reputation means “Good,” yellow means “needs work” and red means “avoid me.” Along with the notifications, Microsoft is also planning to take away privileges from players who can’t get their act together. If you drop into red territory, you could “have reduced matchmaking pairings and may be unable to use certain privileges such as Twitch broadcasting.” You won’t have to worry about false reports or griefing:

Violent video games may be tied to aggressive thoughts

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 4:41pm
By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Playing violent video games may be linked to violent thoughts and behavior among kids, according to a new study. The report, based on data from Singapore, found that kids who often play violent video games end up showing more aggression later on, and more often believe hitting is acceptable, than kids who don't play them. Experts still debate whether there is a connection between violent video games and later aggressive behavior, and if so, how the connection works. Each year, researchers asked the kids how often they played video games on weekdays and weekends, what three games were their favorites and how much violence was in those games.

Video games linked to aggressive behavior in kids

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 4:31pm

Youths who play video games are more likely to think and act in aggressive ways, suggested a study out Monday of more than 3,000 schoolchildren in Singapore. The research, published in JAMA Pediatrics, a journal of the American Medical Association, was based on more than 3,034 children who were studied over the course of three years. Frequent use of video games was linked to higher rates of aggressive behaviors and thoughts, according to self-reported answers to survey questions by the children. The researchers said their findings support previous research that has shown a link between video games and aggression.

Get ready, Xbox fans: Microsoft has so much planned, it can’t fit it all into E3

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 2:11pm

As exciting as last year’s E3 was for the video game industry, next-gen game reveals were a bit sparse. The consoles stole the spotlight while the software took a backseat, but now that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are out on the market, games are bound to take center stage once again. In fact, according to Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, Microsoft is having to cut stuff out of its 90 minute press conference already. “Yes, I think you’ll see very few execs,” said Spencer, in response to a question regarding the focus of this year’s conference. “We are already over our 90 minute time limit and having to move stuff out of show.” If Microsoft is already having to decide which

Search for old Atari games to go on in New Mexico

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 4:02pm

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Organizers say a planned dig into a New Mexico landfill for a rumored cache of what some consider the worst Atari video game of all time is expected to proceed despite state environmental regulators' concerns.

Microsoft promises more 1080p Xbox One games in the future

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 3:35pm

Like it or not, one of the biggest controversies of this console generation so far is the resolution of new releases. Several websites have chronicled the differences between Xbox One games and PlayStation 4 games, exhibiting a noticeable dip in visual quality on Microsoft’s console. This divide shouldn’t last forever though, as Xbox director of development Boyd Multerer tells Total Xbox. “The [graphics processing units] are really complicated beasts this time around,” says Multerer. “Once these engines – the engine developers like Frostbyte and those guys – they really wrap their heads around this particular GPU architecture, then all of the titles coming out of that studio will take advantage of it and get better.” Once developers get a grasp of

Incredible new deal makes Xbox One cheaper than a PS4

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 2:25pm

Microsoft may be a long way from slashing prices on its newest console, but Walmart seems ready to offer buyers a much better Xbox One price. In fact, the retailer is selling the Xbox One Titanfall bundle online for just $449.99, or $50 off its regular price. For that price, users get both the console and the incredibly popular game, which retails separately for $59.99, in effect slashing the Xbox One’s price even lower than Sony’s PlayStation 4, which retails for $399.99 without any games. Best Buy is also offering the same deal right now. On top of the Xbox One Titanfall bundle, Walmart is also selling the Xbox One Forza Motorsport 5 for the same $449.99 price. Both deals

Forbes rips into Xbox One interface, says it needs a complete overhaul

Fri, 03/21/2014 - 1:06pm

The early response to Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation video game consoles has been pretty terrific on both sides. Of course enthusiastic gamers continue to “flame” the PS4 if they opt to buy an Xbox One, and vice versa, but gamers discussing their own experiences have showered both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One with praise. Expert reviews have found some issues on both sides of the fence, however, and one recent piece on Forbes draws attention to what it calls a pretty huge flaw with the latest Xbox. Microsoft’s new tile-based user interface has been polarizing since it first debuted on Windows Phone. When it came to Windows 8 and Windows RT in 2012, the criticism really picked up