Friday, May 24, 2013

Xbox Bingo Results

Your Xbox conference is done with.

Regardless of how you enjoyed it, here's the results of our bingo results for Microsoft's conference.

24 options, 7 misses, one questionable.

  1. To Infinity, and Beyond! - Nope. Xbox One is what they decided to go with.
  2. What Would They Do Without Him - Apparently, a lot. Halo didn't show up, but they couldn't resist plastering Halo 4 art into their Xbox One promos, considering the system isn't backwards compatible.
  3. Larger LIVE Presence on iOS/Android - Nothing yet, but E3 is right around the corner.
  4. Bungie: They'll Find a Way - Sadly, no. Again, E3 is creeping up on us.
  5. MS Points Get Axed - Nothing confirmed. Microsoft barely touched on the Marketplace on Tuesday, so we may get more news soon.
  6. Xbox Mini - Considering Microsoft is going hard with the "it's not backwards compatible," they may answer that question soon.
  7. IllumiRoom Finds a Way to Show Up - It hasn't shown up. Yet...
  8. Next-Gen Wireless - We still don't have a solid answer. While Wireless-N is on-board, the controllers are on a different frequency, which alienates all wireless 360 controllers.
Asides from our misses, used games will play in some capacity. Microsoft did talk about 3rd party games, despite showing only one. They couldn't shut up about the new Kinect, but did skip right over official Blu-ray support. Sharing is something they loved mentioning, and the SmartGlass overhaul made it's debut. While not immediately evident, Microsoft has been battling a PR nightmare over contradicting statements, causing nothing but awkward moments across the internet. Don Mattrick couldn't resist being there, and LIVE did get it's upgrade in the form of 300,000 servers. The new Xbox One controller was shown, and quite possible, was the best thing to look at during the whole thing, even better than the purported "next-gen" tech going into Call of Duty: Ghosts. They're not ready to talk pricing, but they're sure finding a way to get you to not give you their money by hammering on about the cable bridge support, quasi-always-on requirement, and live TV support. It wouldn't have been anything without a subtle stab at Sony by showing the system off first thing in the conference.

E3 is now just over 2 weeks away. Microsoft is battling an uphill battle, with a good portion of the gaming community even considering the Wii U as something they'd want to buy, considering it doesn't have an always-on requirement, it can play used games, and there's no privacy concerns regarding a camera with a built-in microphone that's always listening.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Xbox Speculation for May 21

Controller


Minor changes. The 360 controller reinvented the Xbox S controller into a magnificent, ergonomic machine. They may alter little bits here and there (adjust tension on triggers, change feel/look of thumbsticks, nuke existing D-Pad and start over), but considering how "share" happy the world is getting, I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft did something similar. It may be a button, you may be yelling at your Kinect. Depends on how crazy Microsoft is.


No more Points. Gone. Now you can pay in real money.

Rethinking how they double-charge "premium" services ("you gotta pay for Gold, so you can pay for Hulu to watch your TV shows"). To best satiate critics and gamers alike, I see them introducing some sort of tiered system. Pay little (or nothing) to access apps (especially the already-paid-for apps, like Netflix and Hulu), and bring the cost down of the yearly Gold subscription. If no price adjustments, then they'll go crazy with PlayStation Plus-like features, like discounts, free games in your library, etc., etc..

An extreme - and one I don't see them doing - is partnering with these paid subscriber memberships, to offer a "sign up for Gold, get this service for free*" thing. That asterisk is for "but only on the Xbox".

Achievements should see a new coat of paint, as well as Beacons, Friends List, and social gatherings (Parties, Voice Chats, etc.).

System/Hardware

What to expect? Built-in Wi-Fi, Blu-ray drive, USB 3.0, next-gen wireless tech for controllers (renders old ones obsolete), self-loading tray, built-in, user-serviceable hard drive...all of this is possible. What I'm getting at is more of Kinect and retail. Microsoft, to push Kinect, would throw it in the system package in every SKU. They don't want people to have an excuse to not have a Kinect, so what better way to solve that problem then to make you buy it with the system.

This is the reason why Nintendo didn't make the Wii remotes for the GameCube, as they initially planned; they couldn't bank on everyone who owned a GameCube to run out and buy them, which would limit developers. Knowing a system has this hardware by default, developers aren't limited. Just look at the hard drive/Arcade debacle early on in the 360's life.




The Name

Thanks, C-Ron!

We know my stance on the name - Xbox Infinite/Infinity - and the reason behind it makes perfect sense (in Microsoft's world). The reason the 360 is named that is because you approach it, and do a complete circle to walk away.

::har har::

No. Microsoft named the 360 this because it put you at the center of what entertainment the system offered. Naming it "Infinite" or "Infinity" makes sense. Take a 360 degree circle, add a second one right next to it (to indicate "360 Two", and you get the infinity loop. It's also the same if you take '8' from Windows 8, and slap it on it's side. Microsoft can run with this name under marketing campaigns of "Infinite Possibilities".

The Games


Don't expect much on Tuesday. We already know Call of Duty: Ghosts gets its official reveal on that day, but as far as bomb-shells, or major reveals, they're going to wait until E3. They're going to get the hardware out of the way early - much like Sony - and focus on games later.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Joystiq "Unveils" Call of Duty: Ghosts, RSS Feeds Light Up, Story is Taken Down

[UPDATE] And Engadget, a sister site to Joystiq, has their own story, but again, just like Joystiq, it's down. The RSS feed did the same glory: cached the story for those who subscribe to still read it.

[ORIGINAL STORY] I woke up this morning, and amongst my normal activities is checking my RSS feeds for what I consider "news".

Amongst the stories, Joystiq posted one, which was "officially confirming" Call of Duty: Ghosts's existence. Unfortunately, the link provided redirects to Joystiq's homepage, and no story exists. Surely, other outlets have this news, too, right?

Nope. Kotaku, RPS, Major Nelson, PlayStation.blog, Polygon...no one is talking about this, for whatever reason. So, what did I do? Why, I took a screenshot of my feed of the story, and posted it below for your enjoyment! The links in the screenshot simply link back to older stories about Ghosts, and to "hubs" for Call of Duty and E3. The URL that the feed brought me to was this:

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/05/01/call-of-duty-ghosts-trailer-release-date

Enjoy.