Review Category : Xbox

 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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Next Generation Kinect from Microsoft will be able to read lips of the consumers and even detect emotions of the gamers, according to report from Eurogamers. Kinect 2 can track the pitch and volume of player voices and facial characteristics to measure different emotional states. Kinect 2, however, can feed the next Xbox more information, and thus a higher resolution CCD [charge-coupled device]. “It can be cabled straight through on any number of technologies that just take phenomenally high res data straight to the main processor and straight to the main RAM and ask, what do you want to do with it?” our source said. According to a Digital Foundry report on GamesIndustry.biz, the first is a “pared down machine” to be released as cheaply as possible. It is likened to a set-top box, and will act as a Kinect-themed gaming portal. The second is a “more fully-featured machine” with optical drive, ...

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A woman used pepper spray against other shoppers to get Xbox 360 under Black Friday deal. This incident happened yesterday at Walmart in Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley. Matthew Lopez, 18, told the Los Angeles Times he heard screaming and yelling. “Moments later, my throat stung. I was coughing really bad and watering up,” he said. He was not the only one, 19 others got injured too. Walmart is working with local police to take necessary action  to find the women. You can read more on this incident at the source link. Source: Washington Post ...

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Everybody knows that Microsoft is working on next generation Xbox console. Designer Joseph Dumary (no way related to Microsoft) has created a new Xbox concept design which looks pretty good. More than its physical appearance, his functionality details is more futuristic ! ! The 100% digital Xbox Prestige uses the foundations of the previous 360 Kinect to form this completely controller-less gaming console that’s even smaller than the Xbox Slim. A combination of motion sensor technology, including not one but two cameras built into the console, and integrated voice recognition make it a super responsive and hands-free gaming powerhouse. The KinectIN feature allows the user to purchase a game and simply scan the chip to the console. Once scanned to the user’s profile, play can begin in Microsoft Xbox Cloud or from the internal 2TB hard drive. The console has an 8-core processor for super-speed performance up to 20 times ...

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Yesterday, Industrygamers did an exclusive post on how PlayStation Move is catching up on Kinect. I completely disagree with their analysis. Kinect quickly reached 8 million sold in 60 days and then hit the 10 million mark, but that was back in March. Meanwhile, Sony’s Move has been selling at a slightly steadier clip and has recently reached the 9 million mark. As IndustryGamers’ Steve Peterson points out in his special on Kinect, “The Kinect’s weakness has been the sales pattern, where 8 million devices sold in 2 months, and then in the next 10 months only 2 million more devices were sold. This has led to some concerns.” First comparing 8 month old Kinect stat with PlayStation Move’s latest stat is stupid. Also its important to know that Kinect is a single accessory when compared it to Sony’s Move which needs a sensor, and two controllers. So Sony have sold ...

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Microsoft today announced that its preparing a new Kinect hardware specially designed to connect with PC’ and its coming in early 2012. This is a great news for the PC world which expands the possibilities. Here is the announcement from Kinect for Windows Blog, Since announcing a few weeks ago that the Kinect for Windows commercial program will launch in early 2012, we’ve been asked whether there will also be new Kinect hardware especially for Windows. The answer is yes; building on the existing Kinect for Xbox 360 device, we have optimized certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which better enable PC-centric scenarios. Coupled with the numerous upgrades and improvements our team is making to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime, the new hardware delivers features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for. Simple changes include shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability ...

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  As reported earlier, Microsoft just confirmed the acquisition of Videosurf and it will integrate with Xbox LIVE Entertainment system for easy content discovery. Press Release: REDMOND, Wash., and SAN MATEO, Calif. — Nov. 22, 2011 — Microsoft Corp. has announced the acquisition of California-based video discovery technology company VideoSurf Inc. Founded in 2006, VideoSurf offers a back-end computer vision technology that “sees” frames inside videos to make discovering content fast, easy and accurate. Over time, Microsoft will integrate this technology across its entertainment platform to augment the Xbox 360 ecosystem and evolve search and discovery of entertainment content on Xbox LIVE. “VideoSurf’s content analytics technology will enhance the search and discovery of entertainment content across our platform,” said Alex Garden, director of Xbox LIVE for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This holiday we will launch voice search across our entertainment partners on Xbox LIVE. Over time, as we ...

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Microsoft today announced that it will deliver the Xbox LIVE Dashboard update to consumers on Dec-6th. Last month Microsoft begun the beta testing of the new dashboard update that’s designed with Metro Design Language in mind. The revamped Dashboard also enabled improved navigation, online game storage, new kinect based experiences, etc. So, get ready folks. Its December-6th. ...

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Microsoft has partnered with Novotel, a hotel group which has close to 400 hotels and resorts in 60 countries to create a “Hotel Room of the Future”. Experience something completely new at Novotel Paris Vaugirard. Technological innovations and new experiences are all packed into this unique room that won’t last, where you can relax and rest, and be surprised too. This new hotel  “Room 3120″ concept at the Novotel Vaugirard Montparnasse in Paris contains technology from Microsoft including Kinect, Xbox, Surface, etc,. They are targetting at both business travellers and families to book this room of future with €199 a night, room for up to 2 adults and 2 children under 16. You can book the room here.   Hit the source and via links for more details and galleries, Via: istartedsomething.com Source: Australian Business Traveller  ...

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Microsoft recently announced a new startup program for new ideas based on Microsoft Kinect. Microsoft is partnering with TechStars to operate the program. The program will offer an investment of $20,000, an Xbox development kit, the Windows Kinect SDK, office space, all the resources of BizSpark, technical training and support, and mentorship from entrepreneurs, investors and Microsoft executives intensely focused on making their business a success. If you are a developer or existing team/startup focused on building a business that takes advantage of the Kinect and Natural User Interface technologies, then the Kinect Accelerator is where you need to be. Through this program, Microsoft is supporting entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators like you to bring to life a wide range of business ideas that leverage the limitless possibilities Kinect enables. Following a competitive screening process, ten finalists will be chosen for this unique three month incubation program running from March to ...

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