Review Category : Xbox

Read part one here Note: From reading comments from the first part of this series, I get the sense a good number of our readers see this update as work in progress and rightly so. What I have a problem with is that Microsoft had all the time since they announced the features earlier in the year so I expected a more polished product than what we got. What I’m also afraid of is that since they typically only release two major dashboard updates a year, a lot of the usability problems will take a long time before they are fixed. Lastly why did accessing the content users already own like movies, music and pictures not get a UI update to match the rest of the system? For a device geared for multimedia consumption, users will find out that their local content stored on media servers or other computers are ...

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Following the availability of YouTube Xbox app, Microsoft announced the availability of MSN Xbox app today. As every new Xbox app, MSN app also supports Kinect navigation support. This free app features, News Watch the latest national and international news from ITN and the Press Association; Sport reports and business. Entertainment Exclusive interviews with the latest reality stars, celeb gossip, the biggest trailers and music videos. Lifestyle Bite-sized video for Him and Her and exclusive reviews of the latest technology. Classic TV shows Our editors’ picks of the best TV you missed first time around. Enjoy a collection of classic drama, entertainment, comedy and documentaries. More details on this can be found here.  ...

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Today, Microsoft released the YouTube app for new Xbox Dashboard. The new YouTube app can be controlled by Kinect and it lets you to watch later, Subscriptions,  Playlists and Favorites. Even you can like / dislike a video in the new dashboard and can enable captions. Also description of the video can be read. More info soon. ...

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Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece, the thoughts of one person that may differ from yours. The much anticipated Xbox Live fall update is upon us and most of the early reviews conclude that the experience will be a game changer. I tried to read and watch as many videos reviews as possible and last night, I installed the update to experience first hand if the hype matched the reality. I really wanted to like it but in the end, I felt let down. I am puzzled by the rave reviews from even some of Microsoft’s most ardent critics. Its ironic how the one instance that I think they should have been bashed a little for, they got accolades instead. I’ll start with a little background. For all the technical abilities and knowledge I have acquired over the years, I never was blessed with fast thumbs or the abstract thinking ...

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Microsoft earlier revealed they sold 800,000 Xbox 360s on Black Friday, and have now revealed their total for the month, coming in at an amazing 1.7 million consoles, leading the console race for the 11th straight month in a row and the only current-generation console to sell more than one million units, and nearly double the second-place console. Xbox 360 unit sales grew 23 percent year over year in November, and spending on the Xbox ecosystem reached $1.4 billion, more than any other console. During the month of November, Xbox 360 held four of the top 10 console game titles including: “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” and “Battlefield 3”. The race now turns to December, the only month Microsoft did not hold the top spot in the last 17 months, losing narrowly to the Wii.  I suspect there will be no contest ...

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Xbox 360 and Disney-Pixar are joining together to make a new Kinect title called ‘Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure‘ . The game will launch on the 12th March, 2012 for $49.99 in the US. Kinect Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure brings five beloved Disney-Pixar films to life like never before. Team up with characters from “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up!,” “Cars” and “Toy Story” to race against time and solve time-based challenges without ever leaving your living room. Given the popularity of Disney-Pixar characters, I’m sure this game will gain traction among kids for sure when it gets released. Thanks Michael Gillett for the tweet. ...

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Microsoft today released its Xbox LIVE app for iOS platform. The app is similar in functionality to Xbox LIVE hub in Windows Phones. This free app will allow you to say connected to the Xbox LIVE community when you are away from you console. Some of the features include: Read and send messages to friends Manage your friends list, invite new friends Read and Edit your full LIVE profile (name, bio, motto) Change your avatar features/items with the avatar closet View and compare your achievement progress with friends You can download the app here from the Apple App Store.   I think Microsoft is giving away one of its exclusive apps on Windows Phone platform. May be Microsoft has a different strategy in mind  ! ! via: Major Nelson ...

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 Today Microsoft posted a blog post highlighting some stuff that will promote Xbox LIVE Indie games in new Xbox dashboard. Rating from the game library: There is a rating button for every game where a gamer can rate your game. Indie exposure in the game marketplace carousel: Navigating into the game marketplace in the games section, You can see Kotaku’s Favorites and Contest Finalists lists, as well as Indie Game specific New Releases and Most Popular lists. Bing search: Indie games are also included in Bing search results. Recommendations:Customers viewing a piece of content can now find recommendations for related games and content that might interest them. You can find more on this here. ...

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  After the initial delay for few hours, Microsoft has announced that Xbox 360 Dashboard update is now rolling out to all the eligible customers. Some customers may experience network error message, Microsoft is aware of this and is already working to resolve it. If update goes fine for you, you can enjoy the new Metro Styled dashboard with new Kinect enabled apps like Netflix, etc,. Update:  You can force your Xbox to get this new update by going to System Settings-> Network Settings-> Wired Network->Test Xbox LIVE Connection in your Xbox. You will be prompted to update your console.  If you have problem signing it, try to log in to Xbox.com on your PC and accept new terms and conditions (EULA) , then try on your console again. Hope it works ! ! Thanks David for the tip.. ...

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 Recently Microsoft announced that it sold more than 900,000 Xbox 360 units in single week last November. According to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, Microsoft outsold both Nintendo Wii and Sony’s Playstation b huge numbers. November U.S. Xbox 360 sales hit 1.44 million units, representing a 5 percent gain over the same period last year. Microsoft easily outsold both the Wii and PlayStation 3, which saw unit sales reach 1.05 million and 750,000 units, respectively. The Wii’s sales were down 17 percent year over year. More than hardware sales, amount spent by U.S. consumers  on Xbox 360 games rised to $675 million which is three times the amount spent on Nintendo and about $200 million more than Sony’s PlayStation. Source: CNET   ...

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Here is a roundup of first impressions on Xbox LIVE Dashboard update (Fall 2011) from various sites/blogs, The Verge: Overall, the new UI is a refreshing and much-needed update to 2008′s New Xbox Experience, itself the first major revision after its “Blades” interface from launch. Menu navigation is much quicker, the voice search overall picked up what we were saying, and as a bonus it now has more natural language input — you can now say “play Modern Warfare 3″ as opposed to “play disc,” for example. It wasn’t flawless, of course, but it makes a stronger case for Kinect’s microphone capabilities. The “hover hand” to wave open apps is still there, and yes, it’s still painful to the point of uselessness. Hey, at least it’s fun with The Gunstringer. The Engadget:  Pros Excellent, fun voice integration Sleek, intuitive “Metro” interface Comprehensive cross-catalog search Practical social features (Beacons) Cons Voice ...

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Microsoft is rolling out the new Xbox Dashboard update along with bunch of new entertainment services coming to Xbox LIVE service. These new services would bring customized, voice-controlled experiences to Xbox 360 systems. For example, you can voice search your catalogue on Hulu Plus, swipe your hand in the air to browse through your catalogue, etc,. Following are the services coming to Xbox LIVE tomorrow, late December and early 2012. Dec. 6: • EPIX. United States • ESPN on Xbox LIVE (ESPN). United States • Hulu. Japan • Hulu Plus. United States • LOVEFiLM. United Kingdom • Netflix. Canada, United States • Premium Play by (MediaSet). Italy • Sky Go (SkyDE). Austria, Germany • Telefónica España – Movistar Imagenio. Spain • TODAY (MSNBC). United States   Later in December: • 4 on Demand (C4). United Kingdom • ABC iView (Australian Broadcasting Corp.).  Australia • AlloCiné. France (AlloCiné), Germany (Filmstarts), Spain (Sensacine), ...

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Last month Microsoft Flight team detailed their ongoing work on developing Microsoft Flight game. Now they are accepting beta applications for trying out this game earlier before it gets released to public. They will sort out the beta applications and send invitations in January next year. You can sign up for beta here. Microsoft Flight is under development for a long time and it is expected to get released early next year. ...

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In an interview to The Vancouver Sun, Microsoft revealed that its going to open a new game studio in Victoria early next year. The work is already going on in setting up the studio. The technical director of the project Chris Robertson  said, Victoria was chosen for its strategic proximity to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and for its “livability,” which will help attract the best and brightest in creative, production and design in the global gaming industry. The studio will be called Microsoft Studios Victoria and in an email statement Don Mattrick has said that, Victoria offers proximity to world-class universities, a thriving, advanced technology industry with a highly educated and skilled workforce, located in one of Canada’s best communities to live in,” he said. Hope we see more first party games for Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows ! ! via: VS ...

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Microsoft has announced their biggest sales week ever, moving 960,000 Xbox 360s in just one week, and 800,000 within 24 hours in the Black Friday sales. The 960,000 Xbox 360s were accompanied by more than 750,00 Kinect sensors, either stand-alone or bundled. Entering its 7th year of sales, Microsoft anticipates that the Xbox 360 should deliver its eleventh straight month as the number one console in the US. Based on its robust holiday portfolio and the new Xbox LIVE dashboard going live on Dec. 6th, Microsoft expects holiday momentum to continue, driving Xbox 360 to finish the year as the number one console in the U.S., a crown it lost last year to the rapidly fading Wii. Microsoft now has 75 Kinect titles and will also be bringing hard-hitting exclusives such as “Gears of War 3,” “Forza Motorsport 4” and “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” to the party this Christmas season. ...

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It was announced earlier that Verizon FiOS customers can connect their service with Xbox 360 to enjoy their service with Kinect and other stuff. Its now time for customers to signup for this service and enjoy the new experience. The offer is now ready to order, says Verizon, which has just launched the sign-up form here for new FiOS customers. Existing customers can just call Verizon to add an Xbox to their current service. (Note that in addition to Xbox Live Gold, you’ll also need to subscribe to both FiOS TV and FiOS Internet in order for this service to work). To encourage new sign-ups, Verizon is offering an $89.99 “triple-play” package with TV, 35/35 Mbps Internet and Verizon voice service. They’ll even throw in a 12-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold and the “Xbox Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” game. The offer is good through January 21st. Read more on ...

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