Three new demos have recently become available in the Xbox Marketplace that many gamers might be interested. The demos are for Diablo III, FIFA 14, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and all are very popular titles in the industry. The Diablo III demo includes a variety of features including all five Hero Classes, local and online gameplay, and allows players to reach the Skeleton King with demo saves capable of carrying over to the full version of the game. The full version of Diablo III was launched a little bit earlier this month. The FIFA 14 demo introduces the players to the new shooting style called Pure Shot which uses upgraded ball physics allowing the game to feel much more realistic. FIFA 14 is expected to launch for the current generation of consoles on September 24 and the next generation consoles in November. The final demo for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 includes an entirely rebuilt physics system, and updates to team and player AI capabilities. This demo also features advanced graphics and an improved “atmosphere.” The Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 full game is scheduled to launch for the current consoles on September 24.
It has become known via Twitter announcement earlier today that the lead project director from Halo 4 Scott Warner is leaving 343 Industries to continue his career with EA Visceral. This is good news for EA Visceral because Warner has quite a resume working with previous game development companies such as Pandemic Studios and Black Isle Studios. The most well known recent product released from EA Visceral was Dead Space 3 which was released earlier in the year with good reviews despite failing to meet projected sales by EA. The big upcoming project from Visceral is a new Star Wars game that is in no way connected to the DICE studios revival of the Star Wars Battlefront series that is under development for the new generation of consoles running on the Frostbite 3 engine. Hopefully Mr. Warner finds his move to EA Visceral to be easy and that he continues his illustrious career in producing excellent games that we can enjoy in the coming months and years.
According to a report released by Polygon there is a relatively new video which was leaked onto Youtube which contains images of the new Xbox One Beta Dashboard. The original clip has since been deleted but the video has been republished by a variety of users and can still be seen online. The video shows a dashboard similar in function to the Windows 8 tiled interface and allows users to pin their favorite fuctions such as games, apps and content to their dashboards. Microsoft has mentioned the ability to switch between games, television, and the dashboard and the video reaffirms this ability to minimize functions while exploring the dash and the use of the Xbox One controller menu guide to resume minimized functions. The original poster of the video commented that this beta is still fairly buggy and that it requires additional work before its release in November. There has been no official statement by Microsoft at this time concerning the video and it is uncertain whether the video is authentic. Despite the lack of certainty about the video’s authenticity I think it is worth checking out and hopefully the bugs/glitches mentioned by the original poster will be solved by the release of the console. Have fun gaming and hopefully we will get a statement from Microsoft to authenticate the video in the near future.
For all the gamers out there like myself itching to get their hands on the upcoming games from Respawn Entertainment Titanfall beware the online scams claiming to give players the opportunity to play in a game beta. Respawn has come out and said that all such offers are scams and should be avoided at all costs in order to protect your personal information. This message was released by the company on Twitter and hopefully it reaches most gamers before they fall victim. The game will be released in the upcoming year for PC, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One and I am definitely excited!
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For all the Xbox 360 gamers out there that were dreading the release of the new generation of consoles because their pocketbooks were a bit on the light side and were not going to be able to make the transition shortly after the launches this holiday season there is good news. Microsoft has come out to confirm that they will continue to provide support for the 360 console for three more years in addition to handling the new Xbox One. This news was released by Yusuf Mehdi during Citi Global Technology Conference which took place on September 3rd. In addition to receiving continued support Mehdi also mentioned that there are 100 additional games planned to be released for the aging console while the company slowly moves to phase the console out by 2016 unlike the abrupt abandonment which the original console saw with the release of the 360. I know that I personally don’t have the cash to shell out to pick up one of the new generation consoles at release so I was quite pleased to learn that my 360 would still continue to be usable for quite a bit of time to come. Hope that this news is as exciting for some of you as it was for me and keeping up the gaming and have some fun!
Across the globe the number of Game Stop store locations has been decreasing with 52 stores being closed over the last year. The company has also opened 13 stores but according to statements by the company they expect the downsizing to continue with a 2% decrease expected over the next year. The numbers for the U.S. were 46 store locations closed and 7 new locations opening shop. The company noted decreased earnings over the last quarter which ended August 3rd and it is hoping numbers will improve towards the end of the year with upcoming releases of the new consoles like the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and their games and the company expects this holiday season to be the largest console launch period of gaming history.
In addition to learning the actual release date for the console and that more units are now available for purchase than we had originally believed Major Nelson revealed to the gaming community that the first shipment of Xbox One consoles has been sent out of the factory. In the Major Nelson reveal he showed a pallet of consoles in the process of delivery with special instructions included not to sell or display the consoles until their release date on the 22nd of November. The initial price for a unit is marked at $500 which the company believes to be a fair price compared to the PS4 which they have said is worth $100 less than their asked price for the Xbox One. I hope this is as exciting for you as it was for me, we are growing closer and closer to getting our hands on the new generation of consoles!
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Hey everyone if you were disappointed to learn that you were unable to sign up to receive the new Xbox One on launch day because you didn’t sign up early enough I have some good news! Along with letting us know that the release date for the console is scheduled for November 22nd 2013 Microsoft also announced that they have produced more day one consoles to be released for sale through certain retailers across the globe. The company has been very pleased with the excitement and pre-orders and due to the fact that their initial inventory had already sold out the company has found a way to increase the available units for more consumers to get their chance to get the unit. So far Best Buy, the Microsoft Store and the UK game retailer GAME are the only confirmed places to take advantage and sign up to receive one of the additional units and they are limited so if you plan on signing up I would get on it ASAP. Hope that if you want the console on day one you get the news quick, otherwise keep gaming and having fun everyone!
In case you didn’t know Xbox Live has recently rescinded their Xbox Live Points currency system and released an update removing the point system which had been in place since the launch of Xbox Live. This change came about as a result of customer polling which revealed the fact that users wanted to be able to spend real money on their purchases rather than “points.” This is a major change in the way that Xbox Live handles its purchases which had previously had used Microsoft points which were purchased through the system in variables of 400. 400 Microsoft points was the equivalent of $5 and the system of exchange had often come under fire by consumers who were left with extra points after making purchases of their desired content. The currency added to accounts during the time period of the conversion will expire on June 1st 2015 however currency purchased after the transition will not expire.
Earlier this year we were introduced to Microsoft‘s living room table top projector named the IllumiRoom at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. This neat gadget was designed to project images around your television and across any room which would allow gamers to be literally surrounded by their games while they played. This piece of hardware was shown to us before any news about the upcoming Xbox One Console and there was much speculation about whether this would be incorporated into Microsoft’s next generation console as a peripheral however the word is out and this innovative device is being taken back to the drawing board. The device would use a Kinect or similar camera to map a players gaming room and then project images which would extend the game visuals beyond the edges of the television incorporating the entire room, furniture and all. After many curious gamers were left wondering what had happened to the IllumiRoom when it received no mention during E3 and the Xbox One event news has finally been released. Unfortunately for all those curious about the expected release of the IllumiRoom Microsoft has come out saying that the device is not ready for production due to the incredibly high cost of a unit to consumers. During an interview given to AusGamers Albert Penello revealed that although the device was great inside the lab with Microsoft funding that the unit would cost the average consumers nearly $1000. Since virtually no one has that kind of cash laying around to experience the advanced projections this device offered it has become apparent that the current technology has not reached the point where this type of innovation will become available to average consumer. As disappointed as we all are that the IllumiRoom is not ready for the mass market hopefully this technology will find its way into future releases by Microsoft and not go to waste in their vaults.