Don Mattrick, current President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business (think Xbox) will be leaving the company, possibly to become the CEO at Zynga according to a report by Kara Swisher at AllThingsD.  An official announcement may be made later today, Zynga’s shares are up 10% on the rumor.  Mattrick was also on the short list of people considered to take over the CEO role at Electronic Arts (EA). According to Swisher, this move is unrelated to Ballmer’s restructuring plan and Mattrick has been planning this move for months.  It is unknown at this time as to who will replace Mattrick.    Mattrick, a Canadian native, has long wanted to move back to the Bay area, where has a home, said sources, another important factor in this move. Update: Confirmed by Zynga. Here is the press release. Zynga Names Don Mattrick Chief Executive Officer Founder Mark Pincus to Continue as Chairman of the Board ...

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Microsoft today launched their web-based Xbox Music service. Xbox Music Pass subscription allows you to stream millions of songs on your Windows 8 and Windows RT tablet and PC, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, and the Web. You can even download your favorite songs so you can listen offline. It also features Smart DJ/Radio, just type in an artist and Smart DJ/Radio creates a playlist from similar artists. You can see everything in your playlist, and with unlimited skipping, skip to any song you want as many times as you want. Your Xbox Music Pass collection automatically syncs across all your Xbox Music devices so you can easily access songs, albums, and playlists no matter where you are. All these were available only in Windows 8, Xbox and Windows Phone 8 apps, now they are accessible via music.xbox,com Source: Xbox Music ...

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During a developer session over Xbox Smartglass platform at BUILD last week, Microsoft revealed that their Xbox SmartGlass platform had over 17 million downloads across Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android. Xbox SmartGlass is a cross-platform (Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android) application that allows for easy connection to an Xbox consoles, discovery of content, and control of the Xbox. Developers can make use of SmartGlass SDK to develop a corresponding second-screen experience for their Xbox apps and games. With the upcoming release of Xbox One, Microsoft will enable more SmartGlass experiences through new SDKs for developers. Source: Channel9 ...

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Landmark deal between Time Warner Cable and Microsoft has brought 300 Live TV channels to Xbox 360 console users with Xbox LIVE gold subscription. TWC TV app which will launch as early as next month, gives the TWC subscribers access to live TV through Xbox 360 console. TWC is also planning to bring video-on-demand to Xbox 360 through the app later this year. Press Release: In a landmark deal announcement for Xbox 360 and Time Warner Cable customers, we’re excited to share a new partnership that will deliver up to 300 of the most popular live TV channels to Xbox 360 for Xbox Live Gold members. This deal, which will bring more live channels than any other experience on Xbox 360, will offer Time Warner Cable subscribers with an Xbox Live Gold membership  the ability to watch their favorite shows from right from their Xbox 360 — including favorites like ...

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Today at Microsoft’s annual Build conference, a strategic partnership was announced between Unity and Microsoft. As a result, Unity will be committed to support Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox One and Xbox 360 which allow developers to unleash their creativity. From Unity and Microsoft, Windows Store Pro publishing add-on will be free when released (soon). So all current and future Unity Pro 4 customers stand to get $3000 worth of tech at half price! You’ll be able to port your games, ads, training and educational apps―any kind of Unity-authored content―to both the Windows Store Apps and Windows Phone 8 platforms with a Unity Pro 4 license. Developers who build games published by Microsoft Studios now have access to Unity tools for Xbox 360 and Xbox One free of charge and can create interactive 3D and 2D experiences. Unity will develop tools for Xbox One, including support for features like multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass, ...

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Xbox 360 gaming platform is completely different from the popular mobile platforms like Windows Phone or Apple App Store. Developers has to pay a hefty sum of $40,000 to Microsoft to submit a patch for their game. According to a report from Eurogamer, Microsoft no longer charges developers for Xbox 360 title updates. Microsoft has always charged a fee when developers first submit their games to Microsoft’s certification process so they can be approved for release, and the company normally grants developers one title update free of charge. This remains the case, but sources have told Eurogamer that subsequent re-certification as a result of a title update is now free. This applies to Xbox Live Arcade games and full retail games. There are caveats, we understand. If a developer is deemed to be making an excessive number of re-submissions due to an update failing certification, for example, Microsoft reserves the ...

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The Xbox One reverses its course on DRM, great news, right? Wrong.  While part of the developer story still remains to be seen at the BUILD conference, what we have now is a console that is not too much different than the Xbox 360 (Xbox 361?) or the PS4 for that matter.  Earlier today a Microsoft spokesman confirmed that Your entire games collection will no longer be available from the cloud. Playing disc based games will requite will require the disc for playback. Also, we will no longer offer family game sharing from the cloud. The sharing of games will work as it does on Xbox 360, you’ll simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold The Xbox One originally saw itself as an authentically digital device, and now we take a step backwards where people are stuck with their discs.  When is the last time you ...

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Microsoft is planning to update its core apps for Windows 8/RT devices along with the release of Windows 8.1. One of those apps which will get major redesign seems to be Xbox Music app. The upcoming redesign of Xbox Music app for Windows 8.1 got leaked today and you can seen them above. Putting Radio up the front is a great move from Xbox Music team as Apple has just recently announced their iTunes Radio service which offers similar features. Source: Bavo ...

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A Microsoft Engineer working at Studio A, 40th ave in Redmond, Wa has posted his arguments and views on Microsoft Xbox One’s 24 hours internet requirements, DRM policy and more. This is not a marketing guy’s reply to criticism on Microsoft’s decisions, this seems to be a honest argument/view on all these topics. Read the whole thing he posted below, >The thing is we suck at telling the story. The whole point of the DRM switch from disc based to cloud based is to kill disc swapping, scratched discs, bringing discs to friends house, trade-ins for shit value with nothign going back to developers, and high game costs. If you want games cheaper then 59.99, you have to limit used games somehow. Steam’s model requires a limited used game model.     >The thing is, the DRM is really really similar to steam… You can login anywhere and play your ...

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We yesterday reported about Sony PlayStation leading pre-order sales in several Amazon websites. We thought it was mainly due to poor PR info circulating around the internet about Xbox One’s DRM and used games policy. Microsoft reacted to this negative buzz today and the response shows that Microsoft still stands by its decisions. Xbox chief Don Mattrick responded in an conversation about the 24 hours online requirement that people who don’t have access to internet can buy Microsoft’s new re-desgined Xbox 360 console. He also said that Microsoft will continue to invest in Xbox 360 going forward making it the low cost Xbox console for the masses. MATTRICK: “Some of the advantages that you get, of having, a box that is designed to use an online state, so, that, uh, to me is the future-proof choice, and I think people, could have arguably gone the other way if we didn’t ...

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Microsoft and Sony has finally revealed most of the details on their next generation gaming consoles. While both Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PS4 has almost identical specs, they differ in many other ways. Sony PlayStation 4 is now leading the pre-order sales over Xbox One in many Amazon websites around the world. There are many reason behind it. For example, the recently revealed details on Xbox One’s DRM, pricing and other details has take a hit at their pre-order sales. There is a positive news for Microsoft, they can fix all the issues/misconceptions around the console right now. 1) 24 hours login requirement – Microsoft can easily change their decision to allow gamers to login once a week with other tweaks in policies. 2) Used games: Microsoft’s message that developers can opt-in/opt-out for used games restriction didn’t reach out to the consumers fully yet. Also Xbox One allows you ...

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Microsoft has posted details regarding the more precise and immersive next generation Xbox Controller. Impulse Triggers – Xbox One’s Wireless Controller sports four vibration motors – a small one behind each trigger that adds precise haptic feedback to the fingertips, and a larger in each grip for large scale rumbles.  This gives users a sense of in-game directionality and depth, creating rich, immersive experiences where gunshots, car crashes and explosions can come to life. For example, in “Forza Motorsport 5,” Turn 10 Studios is using impulse triggers to provide players with precise feedback that enhances the racing experience. If your tires break traction from over-acceleration or if you drift on the gas pedal, the triggers emit very distinct vibrations.  This is combined with the chassis rumble that conveys impacts, engine roar and driving over surface irregularities like cobblestone. Higher Quality Headset Audio – The data transfer rate between the controller and ...

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Microsoft is already selling Xbox hardware console at discounted prices by bundling up with yearly Xbox LIVE gold subscriptions in US. According to the recent reports from MCV UK, Microsoft is planning to sell Xbox One at discounted prices by bundling them with Sky TV subscriptions in UK. Sources familiar with the situation tell us that Microsoft is in talks with the broadcaster to sell Xbox One with Sky subscriptions. The device could work as a set-top-box or companion device – but most importantly the console could be sold at a hugely reduced cost. The move may already have been signed off. We could even get official confirmation as soon as Monday night, when Xbox opens E3 with its yearly press conference. Microsoft and Sky are a great partners in Xbox space as they have constantly delivered apps/services in the last few years. So, I would not be surprised by ...

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Microsoft is more focused on bringing more content to its upcoming gaming console Xbox One. They have already announced partnership with companies like ESPN, NFL, etc,. Along with live TV partnerships, Microsoft is also working on some exclusive content for Xbox through studios in Los Angeles, London, Seattle and Vancouver. Microsoft Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem told that they are producing content that merges “the story-telling magic of TV with the interactive power of the Xbox One.” Deadline reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently visited Hollywood along with Nancy to strike exclusive content deals for Xbox. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was escorted by his entertainment studios president Nancy Tellem on the Hollywood visit late last week to lobby her former boss CBS chief Les Moonves, WME co-CEOS Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell and other bigwigs in the TV business about the new Xbox One. It’s all part of their effort to ...

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  Microsoft today went a little bit into Xbox One design process on how it developed the ultimate gaming and entertainment system. The took care about  how users interact with its software, designing it to be simple and inviting powered by console’s internal components to ensure great smooth performance. “Xbox has always had something to say. It’s always been bold with a strong personality,” said Carl Ledbetter, Creative Director, Industrial Design. “Xbox One needs to serve our most loyal gaming fans and deliver unique entertainment experiences, so its design has to make an appropriate statement that reflects its capability as an all-in-one entertainment system.” They spoke about the new software UI based on the Modern UI principles of Microsoft that is wide spreading across the developer community. Designing a software for 10 – 27 inch screens is completely  different from 32- 100 inch displays. The design language, which uses a series of tiles and fluid ...

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