Microsoft today announced that their first Xbox One system update will be rolled out later this week that will include lots of behind-the-scenes updates for developers building apps and games for Xbox One, several new features, stability and product updates to improve the customer experience, and continuous improvements to the quality of Kinect voice, so commands become more fluid and responsive over time. Microsoft also detailed the March Xbox One system update will start rolling out in early March. This update will include multiplayer and party improvements out in time for the March 11 launch of “Titanfall”. Get to your friends list faster. The friends list will be front and center on the homepage of the Friends app. Click the Social tile on Home, or say “Xbox, go to Friends” to see who’s online and what they’re up to. From there you can quickly send messages and get into a ...

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Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games has been acquired by Amazon. Amazon commented that they acquired Double Helix as part of their ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers. There are also reports that Amazon is planning to release its own console to compete with Microsoft, Sony and others. Even though Double Helix is now part of Amazon, Microsoft confirmed that Killer Instinct franchise will remain with Microsoft Studios. Microsoft spokesperson said the following regarding this acquisition, “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Double Helix and wish them success in their next endeavor,” “We want all of our loyal fans to know that the Killer Instinct team at Microsoft is not changing and that the franchise will remain with Microsoft Studios. We remain dedicated to delivering a great experience and plan to announce our new development partner soon. We’re excited about the future of this popular franchise.” If you are ...

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Microsoft today announced the upcoming February system updates for Xbox One which includes number of new features and improvements. You will have the ability to control your storage space, control install lineup and battery power indicator is now available again. Microsoft also revealed that they will be announcing more new features in the coming days. They also posted a teaser that they have a surprise in store. February 11 system updates On February 11, the first update will be delivered to customers who sign into their Xbox One.  It features many new improvements – including lots of behind-the-scenes updates for developers building apps and games for Xbox One, several new features we believe Xbox fans will love, stability and product updates to improve the customer experience, and continuous improvements to the quality of Kinect voice so commands become more fluid and responsive over time.  While we won’t be going into all ...

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Last week, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the “Gears of War” franchise from Epic Games. This deal includes rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise. Also, the new Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver will take over development of the “Gears of War” franchise on behalf of Microsoft with Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the “Gears of War” franchise, will join Microsoft and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward. Hitler reacts to this Microsoft’s acquisition. Watch and have some fun! ...

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Last June Microsoft announced that it would be hosting a limited, exclusive developer preview program for Kinect for Windows v2 prior to its general availability in the summer (northern hemisphere) of 2014. And two months ago, Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview kits were shipped to thousands of developers in the program from London to Tokyo. Since the demand was high, Microsoft created 500 additional developer preview kits for the Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK. The program was open to professional developers, students, researchers, artists, and other creative individuals. You only have 2 more days to apply for 1 of the 500 spots in the program. Selected participants will get a Beta device before we officially launch the new sensor next summer. The program fee will be US$399 (or local equivalent) and offers the following benefits: Direct access to the Kinect for Windows engineering team via a private forum and ...

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Microsoft announced that Microsoft Studios has acquired the rights to the “Gears of War” franchise from Epic Games. This deal includes rights to all existing and future games, entertainment experiences and merchandise. Also, the new Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver will take over development of the “Gears of War” franchise on behalf of Microsoft. There is more good news for Microsoft, Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the “Gears of War” franchise, will join Microsoft and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk on the development of the franchise going forward. Why did Microsoft purchase the “Gears of War” franchise? Phil Spencer: It all comes back to our commitment to Xbox fans. The “Gears of War” franchise has a very strong, passionate and valued fan base on Xbox. Over twenty-two million units have been sold across all “Gears of War” titles worldwide, grossing over $1B dollars ...

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Gamers  are always passionate about their consoles. Whether its an Xbox or PS, they just love them. A man in Kansas city in the US found that his house was on fire on Friday morning an he was engulfed in flames. He rushed out of the house and then later again ran into his home. Guess, why he went inside? He went back in to grab his Xbox! Yes, he was ready to risk his life to save his gaming console. Fortunately, he is safe now as he suffered only from smoke inhalation as he rescued the gaming system from his home. The fire caused $80,000 dollars in damages and hopefully his Xbox is working now. If not, I won’t be surprised if Microsoft gifts him a new Xbox One. Source: ABC15 ...

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  NPD today released their latest game console sales numbers in the US for December. Microsoft’s Xbox One emerged as the No.1 selling console in the US market. Microsoft sold 908,000 units in December. Also, Xbox 360 continued to see sales with 643,000 units sold in December, putting it in the No.3 spot overall. Together, Xbox One and Xbox 360 held 46 percent of the hardware market share in the U.S. and showed a 10 percent year over year growth from December 2012. December 2013 NPD highlights include: Total combined retail spend on the Xbox platform (Xbox One and Xbox 360) in December reached $1.39 billion, 50 percent of the combined software, hardware and accessories spend in the U.S. (Source: NPD Group, December 2013). During the month of December, Xbox One held six of the top 10 spots on the new generation console game title list: “Battlefield 4,” “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Dead Rising 3,” ...

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Blair Westlake, Microsoft’s longtime VP of media and entertainment, is leaving the company after a decade. He joined in 2004 to head the media licensing and other entertainment stuff at Microsoft. He himself stated that the recent re-organization within Microsoft is the reason he is leaving the company. “As the reorganization has unfolded, it has become clear to me that the organization is moving in a direction that does not fit either my expertise or skill sets,” Westlake said in a statement. “Therefore, I have made the decision to leave Microsoft.” “I have had the privilege of working with numerous talented and professional people,” Westlake said of his tenure at Microsoft. “While I will miss their company and our interaction, I truly believe that this move is in the best interest of all parties concerned.” Westlake was in charge of the group within Microsoft that licensed movies and television shows for Microsoft products and the ...

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Microsoft today released two new promotional videos for Xbox One. The first one focuses on the immersive gaming experience with next generation titles like Ryse. Get lost in a new generation of games. If it were any more real, it would be real. The all-in-one, Xbox One. The second video is about media/critics praising Xbox One. For example, Forbes described Xbox One as the console of the future. Some media praised it as the most ambitious gaming console yet and one fan said that Xbox One is the best thing ever that could happen to mankind! Xbox One is the ultimate all-in-one entertainment system. But just don’t take our word for it – see what the press and fans have to say. … Music by The Hives Watch the video below. ...

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State of Decay is an upcoming zombie-survival open world game that is currently under development at Undead Labs for release on Xbox 360 / Xbox LIVE Arcade and PC. Undead labs has recently announced that they have signed a multi-year, multi-title agreement with Microsoft. Expect more games exclusively for Microsoft platforms from them in the future! Their announcement, Hola fellow survivors, I wanted to let you know we’ve signed a multi-year, multi-title agreement to extend our development relationship with Microsoft Studios. We’ll be able to share details later this year, but as with State of Decay, we think it’s best if we just keep our heads down and build some prototypes before we talk too much. For now, suffice it to say there are big things going on with State of Decay. If this were a press release, we’d have a carefully vetted quote from Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Studios, ...

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In an interview to Engadget, Xbox Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten said that he not worried about the upcoming wave of steam machines or the new technologies like Oculus Rift. In fact, he revealed that he is more really excited about these on what they mean for the game industry as a whole which he loves. “This is literally the most golden of golden ages that I’ve ever seen around gaming,” Whitten told us in an interview this week at CES 2014. “I think this is what makes gaming great. And you love seeing the passion of seeing someone like Palmer [Luckey] and those guys at Oculus. And seeing someone like John Carmack get on and really be focused on it is great. I don’t know how it could be anything but good.” When asked about whether Steam machines will take over Xbox One sales, he reminded us that the market is ...

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As Microsoft’s 343 Industries studio is busy preparing their next game for Xbox One console with transition of platform and technology, they have made some notable additions and changes to their team. Tim Longo from LucasArts has joined us Halo team as the creative director. Tim carries with him almost two decades of game development experience during which he has worked on titles such as Tomb Raider, Star Wars: Republic Commando and most recently the unreleased FPS, Star Wars: First Assault. Joseph Staten who worked on several earlier Halo titles when it was developed by Bungie is now returning to Microsoft. He was the lead writer and cinematics director for Halo, Halo 2 and Halo 3: ODST. Microsoft provided the following statement on him, We’re thrilled to welcome Joseph back to the Microsoft Studios family. Over the past 15 years at Bungie, Joseph has been a key creative force behind some of ...

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In blog post on Skype blog, Microsoft discussed about how they worked to build a cross-platform software that enables Skype video in HD on a broad set of hardware, all with a consistent audio and visual experience. In the process of building it, they even invented many tech components to enable such experiences. In addition to delivering HD videos calls across the devices, Skype is also focusing on features like face tracking, improving low light conditions, new group experiences and more. From Skype blog, In the last two years, Microsoft has created cross-platform software that enables Skype video in HD on a broad set of hardware, all with a consistent audio and visual experience. We had to invent many of the essential tech components and, in the process, came to understand video in a way that makes our engineering team one of the most experienced realtime communication groups in the ...

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Microsoft today revealed that over 3 million Xbox One consoles were sold in 13 countries before the end of 2013. Microsoft thanked consumers for their overwhelming response and promised to bring lots of new titles like “Titanfall,” “Watch_Dogs,” “Project Spark,” “Sunset Overdrive,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division,” “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” “Destiny,” “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare,” and “The Elder Scrolls Online,” to Xbox One platform. Together, we ushered in a new era of games and entertainment with Xbox One. Over 3 million Xbox One consoles were sold to consumers in 13 countries before the end of 2013. It’s been incredible to see Xbox One selling at a record-setting pace for Xbox, and we were honored to see Xbox One become the fastest-selling console in the U.S. during our launch month in November. Since our launch, demand for Xbox One has been strong, selling out throughout the holidays at most ...

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China has ended its 13 year old ban on game consoles today. This should be a great news for Microsoft and Sony as their popular consoles can be sold in the world’s largest country. The new announcement from the government now allows foreign companies engaged in the production and sale of gaming entertainment devices to do their gaming related business in China. But as you can expect, there will be some authority that will review the games in accordance with Chinese culture. I guess Microsoft expected this announcement as it started a new entertainment venture in China few months back. Shanghai media company BesTV New Media Co., Ltd, revealed that it has plans for an entertainment development venture with Microsoft. BesTV will  hold a 51 percent share and Microsoft will hold 49 percent in the joint venture, initially planned to be known as E-Home Entertainment Development. The joint venture will develop ...

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