Still problems logging in on XB1 and X360 but getting service is getting better
PSN was attacked on Sunday, and Sony spend most of Monday getting it back online, but the same group taking credit for the PSN DDOS attack has been focusing now on the Xbox Live service since Monday!
We reported on the major DDOS attack on Sony's PSN Servers this weekend, that even went as far as 'bomb threats' directed towards the Sony Online CEO because of PSN being totally down across all regions from the 'wave of attacks' which left PSN off for almost 2 days, and just now has become fully restored in all regions around the world.
But as Sony was busy rebooting their network, the hackers moved onto a new target, Microsoft's famed Xbox Live service, the unsinkable ship of servers, and did end-up running into some rough water, and Microsoft was forced to put the system on 'limited' service which caused trouble logging in for some regions, but if you were already login and gaming, you never noticed a thing.
The "Lizard Squad" tweeted a message asking if people are having issues with "Xbox Live Login servers". This is the same group that have admitted they were behind the attacks of the PSN as well.
If you look at the Xbox Live status official website, some services are limited at the moment. The issues don't seem to be as widespread as the PSN, but some people are experiencing some troubles logging in.
Game Informer noted they had some issues logging in to the Xbox Live services for Xbox 360, but Xbox One seems to be fine at the moment. If you look for people's reaction on Twitter, there are quite a few people having problems with Xbox Live now too. Pretty sad that now both PSN and Xbox Live seems to be down for a lot of people today.
Microsoft is aware of the issues of Xbox Live and posted the following message:
"Are you having a tough time signing into Live? We want you to know our team is aware of the issue and working hard to get things back to normal as soon as we can. Thank you for being patient. We'll provide an update for you in 30 minutes"
That above was posted yesterday evening, but no updates for a few hours, except now the system is basically up and running totally, except for all those people that grabbed the new Diablo III this weekend, they are still stuck unable to play it on Xbox consoles.
Xbox members, are you having trouble connecting to Party Chat, or running into server unavailability issues within Diablo III? We are currently working with our partner to get these issues fixed as quickly as possible. Thanks for being patient during this process. We'll provide an update to you when we have more information.
Personally, I think this whole DDOS attack stuff going on is to due inpart because of Diablo 3.
Because it actually started on Blizzard's Battle.net servers first before it moved onto PSN and later Xbox.
And the new Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition was recently released for both next-gen 'consoles', and alot of loyal PC gamers hate that fact it is on consoles so they decided to launch these DDOS attacks during the time the 'console' version quickly became one of the top-selling games this week.
And since both networks were already overloaded with all the new users logging in from the hot Diablo 3 sales, it would make for alot easier target to bring down the network via a DDOS style attack alot faster due to the combination of all new users, and DDOS'ing.
What do you think was the reason behind all the recent DDOS attacks thru-out the major gaming networks?
Research ongoing at Microsoft into 'new-era' of Cloud Gaming that can predict your 'next move'
System virtually eliminates lag by streaming your next action before you even do it. If this works, it'd be a huge coup for cloud gaming and might remove the need to buy costly consoles in the future!
The end of 'consoles' as we think of them is quickly coming to an end, at least the two big gaming companies are pushing towards it.
First out of the door is Sony with them launching the PlayStation Now service soon along with PlayStation TV on October 14th, you will soon be able to play a library of top best-selling PS3 games that used to require a costly $300 console on tiny cheap $99 box, and in the near future even PS4 games, with Sony Execs saying in the future PlayStation will just be 'brand-name' there might never be a PS5 console launched, that $99 tiny PlayStation TV box could be all you need for decades to come.
There is only one problem with the 'above setup' that is already in Beta-Testing by Sony, that there is 'LAG' and it is not really the 'same in-house console gaming experience' we gotten so used to over the last few generations of nice dedicated gaming hardware.
Well no problem here comes Microsoft Research team to save the day and bring in a whole new-era of Cloud Gaming that will make the 'LAG' disappear all together, by using more powerful computers to 'watch' and 'learn' your 'gaming moves' and predict what you going to do before you even know it yourself, so the servers can stream up the required digital content over the network before you even need it, removing the 'lag' currently that you find between 'slamming' the buttons on the gaming controller before your 'character' moves.
Researchers at Microsoft think they've come up with the solution. They've designed new software called "DeLorean" that predicts what you'll do next. Multiple different scenarios are played out at the same time on the servers, and those few options are then sent to your home before you've even made your next move. When you finally decide who you're going to shoot or in which direction you're going to walk, the image frames are already queued and ready for action on your device at home.
The result is a nearly lag-free experience. According to the researchers, testing with real gamers in Doom 3 and Fable 3 revealed that DeLorean made gameplay acceptable at latencies - or delays - of up to 250 milliseconds. Without such a system in place, a latency of 100ms or even 60ms can significantly impede gameplay.
Of course, the system is dependent on the accuracy of its predictions. To get the best predictions possible, the researchers designed the system to use information on how most players proceed through the game, as well as data on your individual gameplay style. In more complex situations, like a shootout, the system will make multiple guesses and pre-cache those on your device at home. And when the system completely misses its guess, the system allows for your device to perform some simple three-dimensional perspective adjustments to one of the incorrect predictions.
In testing with small groups of players, the researchers report that users saw a vast improvement when compared with traditional delays in cloud gaming systems. Some still noticed a delay, but they found it to be acceptable. A more quantitative experiment tested how much damage players took as they progressed through an area in Doom 3. While players took far more damage when playing with as little at 64ms of lag on a typical setup, the difference between players using DeLorean and those on a lag-free system were negligible.
It's all extremely promising, but there is at least one major downside: sending multiple different predicted outcomes for each action to users' homes demands quite a bit of bandwidth. In testing, the researchers recorded 1.5 to 4.5 times greater bandwidth usage with DeLorean than a standard setup. Multiplayer gameplay could also be a concern, as there are more human players who can do something unpredictable. In a paper detailing the system, however, the researchers note that current multiplayer systems use a bit of prediction already and that errors and glitches using DeLorean "are no more or less frequent than in standard multiplayer."
No word yet when 'DeLorean' will drive us into the future at 88 miles per hour, but we could very well soon be hearing 'beta-testing' of Xbox 360 games on our Xbox One consoles, or... [Read More]
'We are deeply saddened by this decision and the impact it has on our community,' Signal Studios writes
Free-to-play Xbox 360 game Ascend: Hand of Kul (formerly known as Ascend: New Gods), has been removed from the Xbox Marketplace, and developer Signal Studios isn't happy about it.
Without any notice to gamers, Microsoft has decided to 'pull' the plug on F-T-P game that been available for a while on the Xbox 360 Marketplace.
In a post on the company's website, Signal Studios says, "Despite our best efforts and the game's success, Microsoft has discontinued support for Ascend: Hand of Kul."
According to the studio, it found out about the game's removal over the weekend. Signal Studios did not share any details regarding its discussions with Microsoft about why Ascend: Hand of Kul was removed. We have followed up with Microsoft asking for its side of the story.
"We are deeply saddened by this decision and the impact it has on our community," the developer writes.
Though you can't play Ascend: Hand of Kul on Xbox 360 anymore, the PC version on Steam is still available. And as a "thank you" to fans, all new PC players will be given a starting bonus of 25K souls, which you can use to buy gear, spells, and buffs. All existing Ascend: Hand of Kul players will receive a 10K bonus.
Ascend: Hand of Kul was announced during Microsoft's 2012 E3 briefing and launched on Xbox 360 in September 2013. Its developer, Signal Studios, is perhaps best known for the Toy Soldiers series.
Is this an early warning signal that Microsoft is gearing up to 'cut-down' the amount of stuff running on their older Xbox 360 platform?
Microsoft hits 10 million Xbox One's in 'one day' thanks to China!
China has approved the sale of 5 million Xbox One units, opening the way for Microsoft to make a big splash in the country’s emerging console sector.
Well thanks to China Govt. and the way their 'console partner' setup works, Microsoft has officially hit the 10 million 'shipped' mark for their Xbox One's, matching PS4 levels, because China has pre-approved the 'sale' of 5 million Xbox One's for the upcoming launch of xbox One, and the way Microsoft's PR Dept. loves to spin the 'shipped-to' resellers figures as their overall customer base, they just got 5 million units added with the simple stamp of 'approved invoice' by the chinese govt. overseeing body on now overturned console ban.
China has approved the sale of 5 million Xbox One units, opening the way for Microsoft to make a big splash in the country's emerging console sector.
Microsoft's Chinese partner BesTV revealed the figure in a Tuesday earnings statement. The Chinese version of the Xbox One goes on in China on Sept. 23, after the country ended a 13-year-old ban on the import of foreign game consoles.
Although China often censors gaming content to weed out excessive violence, the approval of 5 million Xbox One units signals that the country's government is still giving ample room for actual device sales.
BesTV, a provider of Internet television services, is confident the Xbox One will rake in big profits over time. The industry is projecting that China's console gaming market has the potential to sell over 50 million units over the next five years, the company said.
The Xbox One first launched in western markets last November, with total shipments reaching 5 million units in April.
Chinese gamers have been looking forward to launch of the local version. But last month Microsoft revealed that the Chinese version of the Xbox One will cost consumers 3,699 yuan (US$600), $200 more than the U.S. version.
Despite the price, some local gaming merchants and experts believe the Xbox One will still attract customers. Microsoft and BesTV are bringing aboard local vendors and developers to create games and sell the system across the country.
Too bad Sony, you could use the 'same trick' to beat them with sudden new next-gen battleground of China, if you would switch over to use the same clever marketing trick on using 'shipped vs. sold' figures in your monthly PR spins to the media and future buying public.
Former Microsoft employee explains how ads first came to be on Xbox's dashboard.
As you may remember, Microsoft has recently fired over 18,000 employees and alot of them took to the 'net to blog about their 'life' while working at Microsoft, and one of them called 'Allen Murray' posted on his personal blog he is sorry for 'causing ads' to appear on the Xbox 360 dashboard, and is very sorry how it all turned out from his original idea to have just one 'commercial banner' on the UI.
As Murray explains in a post to his personal blog, the idea originated with good intentions. In 2004, Murray's first job in the games industry was Program Manager on the Xbox team, where he worked on the web services layer of Xbox Live. At some point, it occurred to Murray that many users won't discover games that were hidden just several clicks down the user interface.
"I went to Larry ['Major Nelson' Hyrb'] and showed him the problem: there was no way to promote content inside the Xbox 360 itself," Murray said. "He supported me and saw the value in how he could use it as a tool to promote not only the games that were available, but also events and special community messages."
Murray said he then went to his boss (whom he doesn't name) and suggested they display "banner ads" on the dashboard that link directly to the download pages of games. His boss was very skeptical of the idea, saying that gamers will hate ads.
"It was very hard for me to convince people that this sort of advertising was good," Murray said. "In hindsight, I think it was my choice of language, using terms like ‘advertising' and ‘banner ads' that conveyed a tone of corporate soullessness. This was games! We were supposed to be cool and f**k the man and all that s**t."
Ultimately, with Hyrb's support, the Xbox Live Arcade team moved forward with designing the Banner Of The Day system they would use to schedule ads. Murray said it's built with a proprietary tool very similar to Flash, and had a very basic scheduling system that allowed them to set up ads weeks in advance.
"Nowadays the Xbox One UI is nearly all ‘ads', i.e., links promoting content and apps in the Xbox ecosystem," he said. "So it's nice to see that the idea caught on and if you hate the Mt. Dew ads, I am truly sorry."
So now you know whom to blame next time you forced to view an ad, or click on it by mistake while just trying to play a game.
Exclusive to GAME in UK --- Available for £429.99 on 4th of November wih Exclusive DLC
The limited edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 1TB Xbox One pack will be exclusive to GAME in the UK, the retailer has confirmed.
So far if you want a 1TB Xbox One, you going to have to shop at GAME in UK and pay 429 pounds for the Limited Edition CoD:AW bundle, which will get you the bigger hdd, custom decals, and exclusive DLC and day before everyone else playing the game online.
It is currently the only way you can get a 1TB-sized version of the console (and one coloured by custom COD decals, too).
You'll also get a headset and a digital version of COD: Advanced Warfare's Day Zero edition - meaning you can play 24 hours earlier than the game's official launch and earn double XP.
A limited edition exoskeleton for your character is also be included.
GAME is the also only chain to stock the COD: Advanced Warfare-coloured Xbox One controller separately, which also comes with "exclusive DLC" of some sort.
No announcement yet for other chains in Europe or a North American deal for the 1TB Xbox One, but details should be out soon.
Microsoft continues to outpace Sony with another huge Xbox One update
Microsoft announced a huge new update to the Xbox One on Tuesday and it included a full-scale video player capable of supporting just about any kind of file you can think of including, MKV containers!
At Gamescom, Sony only teased that new 'user interface' is coming this fall with their PS4 updates, but Microsoft turned up the heat by announcing their Xbox One is getting a ton of more 'features' in series of updates thru-out the rest of year.
With the big one that they going to allow you to basically throw at it any media file you can think of, in their dream of making Xbox One the 'all-in-one' thingie attached your big screen living room TV, to compete against the battle of small little streaming xmbc-type boxes that people have now wired up to their connected household to watch all those 'pirated' movies, tv shows you always deny you have until you figure out that your new friends that you invited over to house are cool like you are, and not going slap you down with lawsuit for watching 'Expendables 3'.
Gamescom only just began, but Microsoft has already made a splash with a couple of huge Xbox One bundles, some exclusive game announcements and a software update that Xbox One (and PS4) owners have been waiting for since the consoles launched last fall. Major Nelson took to the Xbox Wire shortly before the media briefing kicked off to announce that a full-scale media player would finally be coming to the Xbox One.
The media player will be capable of playing just about any file you can throw at it, including .avi, .jpg, .gif, .mov, .mp3, .mpeg, .wma and .wmv.
Other additions to the console include a new "Friends" section, Snap Center and threaded messages with the full conversation history. Microsoft is also planning to release a digital TV tuner for the Xbox One in Europe, and those with the TV tuner will be the first to gain the ability to stream live TV on their SmartGlass devices. Xbox One owners will also be able to boot straight to TV and those with OneGuide will see a new mini guide at the bottom of the screen.
Those that have been invited to the Xbox One early access Preview program will get a chance to toy with all the new features later this month. The rest of us will have to wait until September for what looks to be one of the biggest updates yet for the Xbox One.
Well, Microsoft had to do something as there is no good 'games' coming out until the next Holiday 2015 year, so you will need to do something with your new XB1 console this holiday season, even if it is just watching 'pirated' shit. -- Welcome to the Dark Side!
Microsoft spent $2.1 billion on the production and launching of the Xbox One console
Microsoft has announced that its latest games console, the Xbox One, has lost the company over $400 million since its release in November.
Microsoft has spend a ton of money in marketing and production costs for their Xbox One Launch, and as such the annual report for the last year shows that XB1 has produced them a loss of $400 million.
Posted in their annual earnings report for 2014, figures from Microsoft show that an increase in production and advertising costs brought about by the launch of the Xbox One had been responsible for the company's losses.
According to the report, company said that they had sold a total of 11.7 million consoles in the 2014 fiscal year, compared to just 9.8 million sold last year and this had led to the company's revenue increasing to $1.7 billion.
Nevertheless, this was set against the $2.1 billion they had to spend on the production and launching of the Xbox One.
The Report read: "Xbox Platform revenue increased $1.7 billion or 34%, due mainly to sales of Xbox One, which was released in November 2013, offset in part by a decrease in sales of Xbox 360."
"Xbox Platform cost of revenue increased $2.1 billion or 72%, due mainly to higher volumes of consoles sold and higher costs associated with Xbox One."
Looks like only Sony has posted a 'profit' so far in this next-gen console war, but it is still early as 2015 will be a big year for all 3.
Microsoft is pushing ahead with their 'All-In-One' idea for Xbox One consoles, at least in Europe
Microsoft no stranger trying to bring live TV to Xbox One just announced that it will release a new Digital TV Tuner USB adapter to its video game console.
Even tho Xbox One has not been doing very well in Europe compared to the PS4, Microsoft says the most requested feature is still 'TV' and are moving ahead with their original 'All-In-One' box idea and are releasing the Digital TV Tuner for XB1 owners in Europe & UK.
The digital TV tuner will connect to European Xbox One easily using a USB port turning the console into a TV set-top box. Once connected users will be able to tune free over-the-air DVB-T, DVB-T2, and DVB-C TV channels available in the area without the need of a cable subscription or proprietary box, or setting messy IR blasting through the Microsoft's Kinect sensor.
Using the new digital TV tuner Xbox One owner in Europe will be able to:
Watch HDTV without cable subscription
Watch Live TV and receive game invitations and notifications
TV viewing in Snap mode, while playing, Skype, or using other apps
Pause live TV
TV listing using OneGuide
Create favorite channel list in OneGuide
Use voice commands to tune channels
Full support of Xbox SmartGlass to access OneGuide with the ability to tune channels using your tablet or phone
Users will also get notifications of which TV shows are available to watch on demand using the video app
According to Microsoft this was a highly requested feature and now is a reality for European Xbox One owners. However one of the most important feature found in a TV set-top box isn't included, that is the DVR functionality to record live TV. Perhaps the 500GB storage isn't enough to keep many shows, but the console already supports external storage, so it's possible we could be seeing a future update with this functionality.
The Xbox One digital TV tuner will be available in Europe in October and it'll be priced at 29.99 EUR.
No word yet, if this $40 add-on will ever get released in North America/Canada markets or other regions.
Personally, if MS wanted to push XB1 as 'All-In-One' this cheap add-on should had been included from 'day one', maybe that is their plan in the near future instead of price-cut to include this adapter in a new SKU release this upcoming holiday season.
What are your thoughts on the renewed 'All-In-One' focus by Microsoft Europe for the current Xbox One consoles?
Mother of victim wants people to remember her daughter
Ten years ago today, six people were found beaten to death inside a Deltona home, in one of the worst mass murders in Central Florida history.
Can't believe its already been 10 years since we first reported on this horrible crime that become known as the 'Xbox Murders'.
On August 6, 2004, four men burst into a home on Telford Lane and beat the victims and a dog to death with baseball bats.
The crime became known as the XBox murders, because the accused mastermind, Troy Victorino, had gone to the house to get his XBox and other items after he was caught squatting in the home.
"It's unbelievable that it's already been 10 years because she's still gone," said Kay Shukwit, the mother of one of the victims, Michelle Nathan.
Shukwit couldn't stop smiling when she talked about her daughter. She still remembered her love for animals, her dream job of becoming a veterinarian and her vibrant personality.
"She was always happy, smiling, having fun," Shukwit said.
Shukwit said being close to her children and grandkids makes the healing process easier but knowing her killers are still alive, doesn't take away the pain completely.
"They're still breathing, they're still eating, they're still watching TV. If their family comes to visit, they can still see their child, their brother," she said. "I get to go visit mine in Orange City, sitting on a bench and my child is in the grave."
Victorino, along with Jerone Hunter, were found guilty and sentenced to death. The two others involved are serving life sentences. Victorino appealed his death sentence but lost.
Two years ago, the ringleader tried to asked for a new trial, and I wonder when we report of him asking for an Xbox to play in his cell?