As expected, Microsoft today announced the Independent Developers @ Xbox Program which allows independent developers to publish games for Xbox One. First, you have to apply for the developer program. After the application is approved, Microsoft will offer developers free development kits and access to its Xbox One toolset which includes Kinect, Cloud, etc. There is no developer application fees as well. After becoming “registered Xbox One developers,” , developers will be able to do self-publishing of games on Microsoft’s Xbox One. Developer can also take advantage of Xbox Live functionalies like Achievements, Online multiplayer, SmartGlass, Kinect, etc,. Microsoft is planning to give priority for initial applications “to independent game developers who have a proven track record of shipping games on console, PC, mobile or tablet.” FAQs What are the criteria for becoming a member of ID@Xbox? Of course, we’ll be evaluating each developer application individually on its own merits, but ...

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  Microsoft today highlighted the list of global developers working on Xbox One titles. They also provided some stats to show the games coming to Xbox One. 38% of titles are exclusive to Xbox One, 37% of titles are brand-new IP, 44% of titles will include either timed or exclusive content to Xbox One, Microsoft exclusive titles received 272 award nominations and 111 wins at E3 2013, Xbox One titles earned 10 Game Critics Awards, with Xbox platform exclusive “Titanfall” taking home a record-breaking 6 awards, including “Best of Show.” You can read the full list of titles below. Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag (Ubisoft, Ubisoft) Battlefield 4 (DICE, Electronic Arts) Below (Capy Games, Microsoft Studios) Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward, Activision) Crimson Dragon (Grounding/Land Ho!, Microsoft Studios) D4 (Access Games, Microsoft Studios) Dead Rising 3 (Capcom Vancouver, Microsoft Studios) Destiny (Bungie, Activision) Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved (Harmonix, Disney Interactive) Dragon ...

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Xbox Music app in Windows 8.1 preview today got a significant update with new features and many improvements. There is now a better welcome page, better performance and more. Find the full change log below. Pause, play, and scrub with a single tap from the new always-visible playback controls. Manage the folders in your Windows music library directly from the app. See a new welcome page on first launch of the app. View the full discography of an artist by popularity or year released. Simplified Now Playing works better in portrait and in 50:50 views. See which songs you already have in your collection when looking at an album in Explore. More smoothly open the Xbox Music app after selecting to ‘Play top songs’ or ‘Explore album’ from a Windows Search result. Improved performance loading and panning your collection. Download/Update Music app from Windows Store here. via: Windowsobserver ...

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Microsoft yesterday revealed that they are going to stop offering TV, Movie and Music content on Zune Marketplace. Zune Marketplace will no longer support rental and purchase. Xbox Music and Xbox Video are now Microsoft’s music and video stores. Q.What’s changing with Zune Marketplace? A.Starting as early as August 22nd Microsoft Points will be retired. As a result you will no longer be able to rent or buy TV, movie, or music content on Zune Marketplace. We encourage you to spend your points balance prior to this change. Q.Will I still be able to use Zune to enjoy the music, movies, and TV shows in my personal collection? A.Yes, you will still be able to stream unlimited music with your Xbox Music Pass and enjoy playback of the music, movies, and TV shows in your personal collection. Q.Where will I be able to rent or purchase movies and TV shows? ...

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According to latest NPD numbers, Microsoft Xbox 360 has maintained its position as #1 console in the U.S for the 31 consecutive months. Xbox 360 sold 107,000 units which is less than half of what Microsoft sold same time last year. The high anticipation around Xbox One among consumers which is releasing later this year is affecting the sales of Xbox 360. July 2013 NPD highlights: Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in July (hardware, software and accessories) reached $178 million, the most for any console in the U.S. (Source: NPD Group, July 2013) During the month of July, Xbox 360 held eight of the top 10 console game titles including: “NCAA Football 14,” “Minecraft,” “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2,” “Far Cry 3,” “Borderlands 2,” “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” and “Grand Theft Auto IV” (Source: NPD Group, July 2013) Source: Microsoft ...

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  Microsoft has recently revealed that they are closing down the Xbox.com PC Marketplace. Although you will not be able to purchase new games, you can continue to play previously purchased content by downloading it through the Games for Windows Live client software as usual. Also the the Games for Windows Live service will continue to operate as usual. As part of the recent Xbox 360 system update, Microsoft Points will be retired and the Xbox.com PC Marketplace will be closed as of August 22, 2013. We encourage you to spend your Microsoft Points balance prior to this change. This is not a surprise move from Microsoft as they continue to focus on Xbox for games and entertainment. Source: Microsoft ...

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Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios today announced the details about “Forza Motorsport 5″ Limited Edition and Day One Edition which are now available for pre-order from participating retailers. “Forza Motorsport 5″ Limited Edition: With multiple car packs, VIP membership privileges, and packed-in content, the “Forza Motorsport 5″ Limited Edition is the ultimate package for “Forza Motorsport 5″ fans. The “Forza Motorsport 5″ Limited Edition features the all-new 2014 Audi RS 7 Sportback on the cover and includes the following digital content: Limited Edition Car Pack – This five-car pack features new cars that are already destined for legendary status. Each car in the “Forza Motorsport 5” Limited Edition Car Pack will feature a Limited Edition livery and will be tuned to the top of its respective class. The cars in the “Forza Motorsport 5” Limited Edition Car Pack include 2011 Audi RS 3 Sportback and more. VIP Membership – “Forza ...

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Former Valve’s Steam business executive Jason Holtman who left the company after 8 years has now joined Microsoft. As expected, he is now part of Microsoft’s PC/Windows gaming division where he will focus on making Windows a great platform for gaming and entertainment. Here is the response from him about his new job. “Yes, I have joined Microsoft where I will be focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment,” he said. “I think there is a lot of opportunity for Microsoft to deliver the games and entertainment customers want and to work with developers to make that happen, so I’m excited to be here.” Source: Gameindustrybiz ...

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Microsoft today provided an update on their launch plans for Xbox One. It is not a great news for lot of fans in various countries as Microsoft announced that they are scaling back on Xbox One launch to 13 markets instead of 21 as announced at E3. At E3, we announced that Xbox One would be available in 21 markets around the world at launch. This was an aggressive goal and the team has been working very hard to deliver Xbox One to as many markets as possible. Our priority is ensuring our customers get the best Xbox One experience the first day it is available. To do that, and in order to meet demand, we have adjusted the number of markets that will receive Xbox One in November to 13 markets, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand, in November. ...

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Microsoft has revealed that the upcoming new Xbox One Controller will be made compatible with PC next year. Speaking to Penny Arcade Report, Microsoft spokesperson gave the following statement. “There is also some work that we need to do to make sure that existing PC games that support the Xbox 360 controller, will work with the Xbox One controller. While it seems trivial, it’s actually quite a bit of dedicated work for all that to be seamless for the user. We know people want to use the Xbox One controller on their PC, and we do too – we expect to have the functionality available in 2014.” Since the new Xbox One controller shares no underlying technology with the current Xbox 360 controller, Microsoft has some work to do make it fully compatible with PC games. Read more from the link below. Source: Penny Arcade Report       ...

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  Microsoft has managed the pull another 180 with a requirement change related to Kinect and Xbox One. Xbox One console will be able to function without Kinect sensor plugged in. Xbox One Chief Platform Architect Marc Whitten revealed this during a Q&A at IGN. Whitten said that “like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly used the sensor.” For privacy conscious consumers, Whitten revealed that you can turn the sensor off in the Xbox One’s system settings. “When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information,” Whitten said, adding that it’s still in use for IR blasting in this configuration. He added that “entering into a required Kinect experience” with the sensor off will prompt you to enable it before proceeding. Source: IGN ...

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The new Xbox One controller has over 40 improvements over the past generation controller. Xbox’s Major Nelson discusses this new Xbox One controller with general manager Zulfi Alam. Watch the video to take a look at it. Otherwise, you can read about all of the below. 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 ...

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Microsoft today detailed the Xbox Live Gold features in Xbox One. Microsoft also announced a new feature called Home Gold which provides a new way to share Gold benefits to others. Sharing Digital Games: Everyone in your home can share digital games with each other. Your Xbox One can become your virtual game library filled with digital games that different people in the home bought. Anyone can pick any digital game on your Xbox One, sign in with their own gamertag and play – even if the owner is not signed in. Sharing Xbox Live Gold Benefits At E3 this year, we briefly highlighted a new benefit we’re bringing to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One. We’re calling it Home Gold.  It will enable any Xbox Live Gold member on Xbox One to extend many Gold features to others at no additional cost.  One Xbox Live Gold account delivering ...

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GameStop yesterday announced a new program for its PowerUp Rewards members. With this program, consumers get a chance to upgrade their current Xbox 360 game for the new Xbox One standard version of that game for $9.99. Read about it in detail below. GRAPEVINE, Texas– GameStop, the world’s largest multichannel video game retailer, is taking the uncertainty out of which Xbox version of your favorite game you should buy this fall with an exclusive, guaranteed upgrade offer. GameStop is offering PowerUp Rewards members a special, limited time opportunity to receive a $50 guaranteed minimum credit for select standard edition Xbox 360 titles when a member upgrades to the new Xbox One standard version of that title. “This is an amazing opportunity for our PowerUp (PUR) members to enjoy their favorite Xbox 360 game until the Xbox One version becomes available,” said Bob Puzon, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. ...

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Microsoft today posted the unboxing video of retail Xbox One unit. Major Nelson from Xbox team presented the new retail version of Xbox One and detailed the items in it. Albert Penello, director of product planning for Xbox One revealed several facts about Xbox One and the components that ship in the box. Read it below. 1. In the video, we are unveiling the Xbox One Day One edition – which includes a special Day One package, specially branded DAY ONE 2013 controller with chrome D-pad, and a Day One digital achievement. This will be available in limited quantities. 2. The Xbox One console, Kinect sensor – even the HDMI cable and the power supply – have a “liquid black” finish, with a focus on a consistent 16:9 design ratio across all components. This attention to detail was intentional and a great example of how every component in the box ...

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This might turn into an another PR nightmare for Microsoft Xbox One. Xbox LIVE Gold features  are compared between Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles in a page on Xbox.com. As you can see, there are list of items that comes under Xbox LIVE Gold on Xbox One. Multiplayer Gaming Entertainment Apps IE on TV The NFL on Xbox OneGuide Game DVR Skype SmartMatch Exclusive deals and special offers. While Multiplayer gaming, exclusive deals and special offers, OneGuide, The NFL on Xbox, SmartMatch may involve costs behind it, I’ve no idea why Microsoft still wants to charge Entertainment Apps,  IE on TV, Skype (really?), GameDVR, etc,. What do you think? Source: Xbox.com via: Neowin ...

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