Halo 5 Ads Challenge You To ‘Hunt The Truth’

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 31, 2015 in Videogames

Halo 5: Guardians

Microsoft and 343 Industries are starting their marketing push for this fall’s Halo 5: Guardians. It’s due out on October 27, 2015, which means we’ll probably be seeing a lot more at this year’s E3. But for now, we’ve got what is frankly a really cool ad, with new character Spartan Locke hunting down Master Chief and confronting him about consequences. But then, there’s a second ad where Master Chief confronts Locke! I’d assume we’ll get to play as both characters a la Halo 2 (my personal favorite in the series). I wonder what twists we’ll see? Read more…

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Microsoft Finally Kills Internet Explorer

Posted by Bob Muir on Dec 31, 2014 in Tech

Internet Explorer

Who do you know that still uses Internet Explorer, other than your old relatives that force you to fix their computers? That’s right, pretty much no one, because anyone in the know uses Chrome, Firefox, hell, pretty much anything else. And so Microsoft is killing what was once the most-used browser in the world. When Windows 10 releases in 2015, it will come with a new browser codenamed Spartan. (The name is likely a reference to Halo, as they did the same thing with their Cortana software.) This new browser will behave much more like Chrome and Firefox, running in a more lightweight form and including options like extensions. I didn’t even know that IE lacked extensions! Welcome to the 2000s, Microsoft. Read more…

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343 To Remaster Halo 3: ODST As Apology For Master Chief Collection Bugs

Posted by Bob Muir on Dec 23, 2014 in Videogames

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been plagued by bugs since launch, mostly affecting players’ ability to play online matches. To be fair, the multiplayer, which mixes in modes from different Halo games, is ambitious; but at the end of the day, the game should be working. As an apology to fans, 343 Industries is giving out several freebies for anyone who has played online between launch and December 19. While one free month of Xbox Live Gold, an exclusive in-game nameplate, and an exclusive avatar are small gifts, the other gifts will take more time. Based on fan requests, 343 plans to remaster Halo 3: ODST‘s campaign (despite Master Chief not appearing in it) and give it to the players for free. Read more…

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Halo 2’s New Cinematics Are Spectacular

Posted by Bob Muir on Oct 30, 2014 in Videogames

Halo 2 Anniversary

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is an interesting prospect, a way to look back on the series’ past achievements while looking forward to the future. The centerpiece is easily Halo 2 Anniversary, a graphical update similar to what 343 Industries did for the first game. Part of that are completely redone cinematics by Blur Studio, a graphics department responsible for most of the stunning trailers you likely associate with many recent games. There might be a bit of uncanny valley here and there in this trailer featuring their work, but putting that aside, the work they’ve done is quite impressive. Come November 11 when the compilation releases, I predict the Halo series will get a nice little nostalgic surge that will build some strong hype for Halo 5: Guardians. Read more…

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Halo 2 Remake Documentary Airs In Halloween

Posted by Ben Huber on Oct 27, 2014 in Videogames

halo

I love behind-the-scenes looks into game development, so a documentary into how a game is made will always pique my interest. Microsoft is releasing a documentary about the development of Halo 2: Anniversary (the remaster of Halo 2) on Halloween. It’ll be available on Twitch as a live stream and on Xbox Live as a download. The Twitch streams will happen at 2pm ET on the 31st, then at 9pm ET on November 1st and 2nd. You can also check it out on the Halo Channel on November 11th (I didn’t even know there was a Halo Channel). Check out the trailer below! I’m curious if this’ll mostly be a promotional opportunity, or if they’ll delve into the details of game design? We’ll see! Read more…

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Microsoft Buys Minecraft And Mojang For $2.5 Billion

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 16, 2014 in Videogames

Minecraft

We all knew Minecraft was big, but I don’t think anyone saw this happening. Microsoft has announced that they have purchased Mojang, makers of Minecraft, for a whopping $2.5 billion. Creator Markus “Notch” Persson will be stepping away from his company and not join Microsoft, feeling that running such a big game/company isn’t as appealing to him as smaller projects that don’t create as much pressure. It remains to be seen what this means for versions of Minecraft on non-Microsoft platforms, such as Sony’s PS3, PS4, and Vita, the latter of which is launching soon. While it’s possible that sales or support could be halted, I’d wager Microsoft will continue allowing Minecraft on other platforms, since the work is already done or mostly done and it’s surely a worthwhile revenue stream. But until Microsoft comments, anything could happen with the property. Read more…

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Stand-Alone Kinect For Xbox One To Be Sold For $150

Posted by Bob Muir on Aug 28, 2014 in Videogames

Kinect

One of the reasons why the Xbox One faltered after launch was that many consumers just didn’t want to be forced to buy the new Kinect camera, bundled with every console for $500. Microsoft has since made a Kinect-less version for only $400, which has brought in more gamers (though still not as many as Microsoft wanted, since many have already purchased a PS4). But what about those who bought the system and soon wanted the Kinect after all, perhaps after realizing the confusing UI is best navigated with relatively-reliable voice commands? They will soon be able to purchase a stand-alone Kinect on October 7. Read more…

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Microsoft Starts E3 With Halo, Crackdown, And Many Other Exclusives

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 9, 2014 in Videogames

Microsoft E3 2014

It’s time for highlights from E3, the biggest game expo of the year! Microsoft got a lot of flack for not talking about games enough as they revealed the Xbox One last year. Thankfully, Microsoft kicked off E3 with a conference devoted entirely to games. (How refreshing!) Read more…

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Xbox One Now Available Without Kinect, Xbox Live Gold Changes

Posted by Bob Muir on May 14, 2014 in Videogames

Xbox One

I’ll give Microsoft credit for this: they’ll stubbornly hold onto their plans, but if they’re beat over the head long enough, they will change. The Xbox One revealed a year ago required an online connection at all times and the use of a bundled Kinect camera. While the online connection was walked back within a few weeks (notably after Sony didn’t require one), but the system launched with the Kinect bundled in, making the Xbox One $100 pricier than the PS4. It seems Microsoft has finally caved on that too, because Xbox boss Phil Spencer has announced a $400 Kinect-free version, now available for preorder with a release on June 9 in every country that Xbox One has released in. Read more…

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Xbox One Now Lets You Share Game Videos On YouTube

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 8, 2014 in Videogames

Xbox Upload

Both the PS4 and Xbox One promised many ways to stream and share footage of gamers playing games, but not all of that functionality was there at launch. While it was easy to record footage on both consoles — Xbox One’s version is called Game DVR — it wasn’t always as easy to share it with everyone you wanted to. As the largest video site on the internet, YouTube was where most people wanted to upload their videos. With the latest update to the Xbox One’s YouTube app, you can finally share your game videos on YouTube instead of just within the Xbox One’s video app. Other improvements include allowing YouTube videos to run in Snap mode, the ability to earn achievements, and the addition of YouTube channels to the OneGuide. But really, the most important thing is the ability to easily share game footage. That’s crucial in the modern gaming landscape. Read more…

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Microsoft Buys Gears Of War From Epic Games

Posted by Bob Muir on Jan 28, 2014 in Videogames

Gears of War 3

“Wait, I thought Microsoft already owned Gears of War, the solid dude-bro cover-based shooter that helped cement the Xbox 360’s reputation throughout it’s lifetime!” Well, other than helpfully recapping what Gears of War is, that would be wrong, Mr. Strawman-I-Made-Up! Epic Games, the developer, owned the IP and made an exclusive agreement with Microsoft for the game to be Xbox 360 exclusive. After an initial trilogy and a spin-off by a different developer, Epic seemed to have cooled on making any more games in the series. (And there’s nothing wrong with a series knowing when to end instead of running forever!) But now Microsoft has bought the IP, and there’s not much reason to do that unless you plan on making more games in the series. Read more…

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Fable: Anniversary Remake Dated For Next Year

Posted by Bob Muir on Dec 13, 2013 in Videogames

Fable: Anniversary

Microsoft never really did much themselves with HD remakes on the Xbox 360, despite the efforts shown by Sony and various third-party publishers. The only one they put out was Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, which gave the original Halo a new coat of paint and some other bonuses. While the core game was the same (meaning that level design was pretty mediocre — that’s right, I’m one of the few who didn’t enjoy it), the gorgeous graphical overhaul and reorchestrated music went a long way towards making the game feel modern (and even alleviating level design issues). Now Microsoft is releasing its second HD remake: Fable: Anniversary, and it’s dated for February 4, 2014. Read more…

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Microsoft Reverses Xbox One DRM And Online Policies

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 20, 2013 in Videogames

Xbox One

As much as Microsoft tried to impress with the Xbox One at last week’s E3, they and all the developers working on games for the system couldn’t shake one thing: the shadow of the console’s DRM and online policies. Microsoft hoped to steer the conversation away after Sony showed them up with their support of used games and no online requirements, but very little they said was positive in the eyes of gamers. It’s likely that shareholders also weren’t happy with Microsoft’s stock dropping while Sony’s rose. Microsoft’s narrative even suffered after Jimmy Fallon got a big applause from his audience for mentioning that the PS4 supported used games. Well, it’s finally happened. After all that, Microsoft has blinked. Read more…

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Microsoft Kicks Off E3 With Xbox One Blowout, Releases This Fall For $499

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 10, 2013 in Videogames

Xbox One

Microsoft just finished their Xbox One press conference, and we’ve covered all the important game reveals at the event. Much was revealed, but the conference was lacking in many details, so if you see something below that interests you, be sure to wait for more info that is sure to be revealed as E3 2013 begins fully tomorrow. Click below and let’s see if Microsoft can make up for their disappointing Xbox One reveal a few weeks back! Read more…

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A Humorous Summary Of Microsoft’s Xbox One Reveal

Posted by Bob Muir on May 23, 2013 in Videogames

Xbox One VCR

I covered the major details of Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal, but what does the internet think of it? Hardcore gamers are almost unanimous in their disapproval, but nothing provides commentary quite like the original presentation itself. No, I’m not going to link the full presentation, but two user-edited videos sums up the system Microsoft is trying to sell. Read more…

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Microsoft Reveals Xbox One, Their Next Videogame Console

Posted by Bob Muir on May 22, 2013 in Videogames

Xbox One group shot

Yesterday Microsoft finally spilled the beans — well, a little at least — on their next videogame console: the Xbox One. I hesitate to call it that though, because going by their presentation, it seems more geared as an entertainment system than a machine that focuses on games. The “one” in the name refers to how it’s an all-in-one media experience, which is not surprising. Going by how much Microsoft has been pushing and expanding the non-gaming applications of the Xbox 360, this seems like a natural extension. I’m just not sure it’s a good One. Read more…

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Pizza Hut App Comes To Xbox 360

Posted by Bob Muir on Apr 24, 2013 in Videogames

Pizza Hut on 360

Consider this a combination of a PSA and a weird interest story. Apparently due to popular demand (I know, I’m surprised too), Microsoft and Pizza Hut have made a Pizza Hut app for Xbox 360. Yes, that’s right, instead of going on any number of other devices, you can use your Xbox 360 to order pizza. Of course there is prominent Kinect support, and you can have it automatically tell your Facebook friends what you’re eating for dinner. This is a real thing that’s happening. Read more…

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Gears Of War Movie Being Offered To New Film Studios

Posted by Bob Muir on Oct 10, 2012 in Cinema, Videogames

Gears of War

Microsoft wants a Gears of War movie, and since the movie industry isn’t moving on it, they’re ready to try pushing it into production a different way. New Line Cinema has the movie rights to the franchise, but they’ve decided to focus on The Hobbit films, which are guaranteed to bring in tons of money. The studio has placed Gears of War in turnaround for another studio to pick up. The thing is, Creative Artists Agency, the reps for the film, don’t want to wait.

Since New Line doesn’t seem to care about the movie, CAA is more than happy to take the license and shop it around to other studios. The most recent version of the script was written by Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), a script which is likely to get referenced during negotiations.

I’m not sure why Microsoft isn’t pushing a Halo film harder though, considering that it would likely have a slightly broader appeal due to increased mainstream recognition and the potential to be targeted towards more than 18- to 35-year-old males with a penchant for extreme military violence. I like Gears of War, but I’m not entirely sure it needs to be realized on the big screen.

Source: Variety

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Halo 4 Short Film Series ‘Forward Unto Dawn’ Begins

Posted by Ben Huber on Oct 8, 2012 in Videogames

halo4

With Halo 4 coming out this November, it’s time to get the marketing machine running, right? Well, with the success of previous Halo-themed short films, it’s no surprise that another one has been released. However, this new film, Forward Unto Dawn, is actually a series. This first part is nearly 20 minutes long, and it looks like we’ll be getting 5 parts total, leading up to when Halo 4 releases. While you can watch each segment as it comes out each week, it’ll also come complete in the Halo 4 Limited Edition. It’s a surprisingly solid film so far, making me wonder: why the heck don’t they finally just make a Halo TV series or movie? Read more…

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Son Hacks Kinect To Help Stroke-Hampered Mother Send Email

Posted by Bob Muir on Sep 11, 2012 in Tech, Videogames

Kinecticons

As a videogame input device, Kinect leaves a lot to be desired. Part of that are the concessions made to produce an affordable device, and part of that is conceptual (though that’s a discussion for another time). But as a piece of tech to be hacked and used in non-videogame applications? Kinect is pretty awesome! Hell, with some creativity, it can even be used to help those with stroke complications to communicate. Read more…

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Microsoft Thinks The World Needs Another Zombie Game

Posted by Bob Muir on Aug 22, 2012 in Videogames

State of Decay

Weren’t zombie games played out a while ago? At the start of this console generation, the world was experiencing a zombie renaissance, with the previously cult creatures starting to appear all over the place. But a few years back, it seemed like the zombie market was over-saturated. Zombies were just getting tossed in anything, showing up even in unexpected games like Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption. There have been less zombie games lately, since anyone not experiencing zombie burnout is playing DayZ or The Walking Dead, but that won’t stop Microsoft from tossing another zombie game out there!
Read more…

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Give Microsoft Flight a Spin

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Mar 1, 2012 in Videogames

Microsoft Flight

Microsoft’s latest entry in their series of flight simulators, simply titled Microsoft Flight, is out and it’s free-to-play via its official website. There’s still the option of paying for premium content, with the option to purchase a plane of your own with just an exterior cam for just $7.99. A $14.99 deluxe package gives you the option of a cockpit view as well. As far as missions and such, the $19.99 Hawaiian Adventure Pack gives you free reign of the Hawaiian islands, with 20 new mission and additional challenges to keep you busy. It’s interesting to see how popular the free-to-play platform has become, and I have to wonder if piracy could be the cause. Is it really that more lucrative?

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Fus Roh Dah With Skyrim Kinected

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Feb 9, 2012 in Videogames

Back in December, YouTube user KinectFAAST showed off his Kinect-enabled Skyrim mod. Part of a larger series of mods in which he combines PC games with Microsoft Kinect functionality, the video made its rounds, eventually ending up on popular gaming blogs like Joystiq and Destructoid. Not too long after, KinectFAAST posted a follow-up showing off some of the enhancements he had made since his initial post. In addition to swapping through his favorites via simple voice commands, and simply interacting with the world, newer commands allow him to choose just how many potions he drinks, select weapon presets on the fly, determine the strength of his shouts by the word, and even use a bow and arrow with ease. Needless to say, it’s really impressive work. Be sure to check out more of his videos by visiting his YouTube channel, and let him know what you think by leaving a comment on each video.

Read more…

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360 Dashboard Update Scheduled for Black Friday

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Oct 12, 2011 in Videogames

Xbox 360 2011 Fall dashboard update

According to CVG, the upcoming Xbox 360 dashboard update is due to hit consoles on November 25th — a date which just happens to coincide with the busiest day in North American retail, Black Friday. The update, originally announced at E3 earlier this year, will incorporate a modified version of Microsoft’s flash-alternative, Silverlight as the new back-end for their Xbox apps. The update also introduces partner services like YouTube, Bing — shocker, there — Lovefilm and more. I’m excited to see what else the update has in store for us and, while I’m not too keen on Silverlight — I’d take Adobe Flash over it any day of the week — I’m sure Microsoft wouldn’t have decided on using it if they weren’t satisfied with the results. With all the new video and television content they have planned for us in coming months, we have a lot to look forward to. Now, if only they’d partner with BBC here in America — they’re doing it over in England, so why not?

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