Microsoft Remains 'Committed' To Xbox One

Jan 26, 2015 - 10:57 AM - by garyopa
Following Windows 10 Announcements Phil Spencer says, 'We will continue to focus on console'.

Microsoft's recently announced major plans for gaming on PC via Windows 10 won't come at the expense of the company's long-running Xbox console business, according to executive Phil Spencer.

Last week Microsoft had a big Windows 10 event, that was PC only focused, and in it they push out alot of new things that will be mainly for PC Gamers, leaving the Xbox One owners feeling like they are being dropped for the new push by Microsoft for the 'Master Race'.

A fan asked on Twitter why he should buy an Xbox One, given that more Xbox games are coming to PC and with cross-platform play, too. Spencer replied: "I understand why you ask and I'm committed to Xbox owners, we will continue to focus on console."

He added: "There will always be unique games, experiences, and capabilities on Xbox One."

During a Windows 10 event last week, Spencer revealed the Xbox app for Windows 10 (which testers can try now), and also announced Xbox One-to-PC streaming and talked about the impact HoloLens could have on gaming.
But will it work out in the end, will Xbox One slowly turn into a Windows 10 Device, or will it get soon replaced by Microsoft with another whole new device, people are worried that the next-gen console is going to come even faster then previous generations, and will just be a 'streaming hub' that grabs everything from the Cloud or your powerful Windows 10 'Master Race' PC rig setup in your house to run everything from screens to consoles to other smart devices.

So what are your thoughts on whole 'Xbox Gaming' vs. 'Windows 10 PC' debate now that Microsoft is back to focusing on PC Gaming?

NEWS SOURCE: Microsoft Remains 'Committed' To Xbox One (via) GameSpot
3 Replies | 287 Views

Digital copies of Far Cry 4 rendered unplayable on Xbox One

Jan 05, 2015 - 6:33 PM - by garyopa
After the game is delisted from Xbox Store. Ubisoft investigating issue 'as a matter of urgency'.

Ubisoft is investigating reports claiming that digital copies of Far Cry 4 have been rendered unplayable on Xbox One after the game was delisted from the Xbox Store.

Concerns over how Xbox One does its digital licensing has come to light, because when Microsoft removed Far Cay 4 from their Xbox Store, it caused everyone digital copies of the game to suddenly stop working, leaving them with a ton of unplaying bits and bytes.

Issues with the game failing to load were first reported by Reddit users earlier today, with the problem later acknowledged by Ubisoft on the publisher's official forums.

"The team are actively investigating the issue this side," wrote Ubisoft community manager Mr_Shade, "however it's also worth contacting Xbox support - since it appears that the game has been removed from the Store - this has happened for some - please check if it's still available to you - if not, it 'could' be related to that, which MS are investigating too - however as I say, Ubisoft are looking into the issue as a matter of urgency."

It isn't yet clear which regions have been affected, why the game has been removed from the Xbox Store, or how widespread the issue may be.

At the time of writing, the game did not appear to be available to purchase digitally in the UK.

The issue, however, has raised questions over Microsoft's approach to licensing on Xbox One. Should a game be removed from the Xbox One Store in the future, for example, will it automatically be rendered unplayable to players who have previously purchased it?

This hasn't been the case in the past, of course, with games removed from the Xbox 360 Marketplace still playable to those who purchased them prior to their delisting.
Looks like they will fix the problem, but in the meantime it shows that at moments notice, Microsoft has the power to stop your games from ever playing game if they so wish, leaving us with no choice but to press delete on the game and kiss our dollars spend goodbye.

NEWS SOURCE: Digital copies of Far Cry 4 rendered unplayable on Xbox One (via) VideoGamer
14 Replies | 1,477 Views

Microsoft is finally updating Avatars for Xbox One

Jan 05, 2015 - 10:36 AM - by garyopa
New features teased for Xbox One Avatars

Microsoft is finally getting round to updating Avatars for Xbox One, according to a job ad posted on the company's careers page.

Avatars on the Xbox have been nothing but a little fad, not doing much, but Microsoft looks like they want to change that, and make Avatars a more important feature of their 'connected gaming platforms', taking your virtual self from Windows to Phone to Xbox One.

Spotted by Dualshockers, the listing states that it is looking for a graphics engineer "that will work with us to grow the avatar platform across all of our platforms, leveraging the power of Xbox One, the far reach of Windows, and the intimacy of touch on mobile devices."

The listing adds that it is looking to take "Xbox avatars on their biggest adventure yet with higher fidelity and a bigger stage in new Xbox experiences."

Avatars were first introduced with the Xbox 360's NXE dashboard update in 2008 and allow users to create and customise cartoon representations of themselves. The Avatars were used in multiple Xbox 360 games but have largely been abandoned on Xbox One.

It isn't yet clear how Microsoft intends to update Avatars for the new console, although the listing hints at "new features" and "gorgeous" visuals.
What would you like to have your Avatar do? -- Do you think it will get to point you could design a total virtual character and use that 'Avatar' as the actual game character you playing in all your Xbox video games? -- Or do you think it will still be a total waste of time?

NEWS SOURCE #1: Microsoft is finally updating Avatars for Xbox One (via) VideoGamer
NEWS SOURCE #2: Senior Software Engineer (via) MicrosoftCareers
3 Replies | 469 Views

Microsoft gives more CPU power to Xbox One developers

Jan 02, 2015 - 12:08 PM - by garyopa
SDK leak reveals game-makers now have access to a seventh processing core

Over the Christmas break, hacking group H4LT leaked the November 2014 Xbox One development tools, firmware and documentation, giving us a fascinating insight into the evolution of the Xbox One console

During the Happy Holidays, it was not so 'happy for Microsoft execs', first their Xbox Live Network was attacked by one group, and then soon afterwards another scene group leaked the latest SDK for Xbox One that should only be available to licensed games developers.

But in studying the leaked Nov. SDK packages, the info inside shows that Microsoft is busy freeing up more cores for game designers, instead of just being limited to the 6 cores of the 8 Jaguar x86 cores, they can now call upon the 7th core for that extra push of power.

Up until recently, both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have reserved two entire CPU cores (out of eight available) in order to run the background operating system in parallel with games. Since October, Microsoft has allowed developers access to 50 to 80 per cent of a seventh processing core - which may partly explain why a small amount of multi-platform titles released during Q4 2014 may have possessed performance advantages over their PS4 counterparts in certain scenarios.

However, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and the additional CPU power comes with conditions and trades attached - however, there is the potential for many games to benefit. Firstly, developers need to give up custom, game-specific voice commands in order to access the seventh core at all, while Kinect's infra-red and depth functionality is also disabled. Secondly, the amount of CPU time available to developers varies at any given moment - system-related voice commands ("Xbox record that", "Xbox go to friends") automatically see CPU usage for the seventh core rise to 50 per cent. At the moment, the operating system does not inform the developer how much CPU time is available, so scheduling tasks will be troublesome. This is quite important - voice commands during gameplay will be few and far between, meaning that 80 per cent of the core should be available most of the time. However, right now, developers won't know if and when that allocation will drop. It's a limitation recognised in the documentation, with Microsoft set to address that in a future SDK update.

Across most gaming applications, GPU power takes precedence over CPU, but it must be remembered that both PS4 and Xbox One are based on x86 processors designed primarily with mobile and low-power applications in mind, and don't compare favourably with desktop PC chips in terms of raw performance. With processing resources at a premium, clearly the more CPU power given to console developers, the better. The ability to tap into more processing power could perhaps explain why Assassin's Creed Unity runs smoother on Xbox One than it does on PS4, and also why traffic-heavy junctions in GTA 5 see a smaller hit to performance on the Microsoft console. It may also explain this curious presentation slide from the developers of ACU, showing a 15 per cent CPU advantage to Xbox One compared to PS4.

The slide is interesting on two counts. It demonstrates performance of Ubisoft's cloth simulation code running on CPU from one generation to the next, showing that good utilisation of the PS3 Cell processor produces better performance than the same code running on the PS4 CPU. Also interesting is that the Xbox One CPU hands in a 15 per cent performance boost over its PS4 equivalent - something that cannot be explained by Microsoft's 9.4 per cent CPU clock speed advantage (1.75GHz vs 1.6GHz) alone. Could Ubisoft already be using the additional CPU time?

It's an interesting theory, but the timing of the presentation (August 2014 - two months before the new feature was added to the SDK) suggests not. Speaking to a prominent developer, one potential explanation is that differences in code compiler efficiency might
... [Read More]
12 Replies | 1,212 Views

Microsoft’s Tomb Raider Publishing Deal Similar To Dead Rising 3

Dec 09, 2014 - 6:14 PM - by garyopa
Sorry, Sony fanboys you might never see a Tombraider!

It seems Microsoft's deal with having Tombraider as exclusive is more 'exclusive' then first thought, as looks like Microsoft themselves will be publishing the game directly, not Square-Enix,

Tons of angry Sony fanboys have flooded the various forums, after finding out more in-depth details on the big deal between Microsoft and Square-Enix on how the next Tombraider game will be launching first on the Xbox One platform.


Square Enix has also responded to our request for more information on its relationship with Microsoft.

"Yes, Microsoft will be publishing ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider' on Xbox," a Square Enix representative told us via email. "Microsoft has always seen huge potential in ‘Tomb Raider' and they will get behind this game with more support across development, marketing and retail than ever before, which we believe will be a step in continuing to build the ‘Tomb Raider' franchise as one of the biggest in gaming."

Original Story:

Ever since Microsoft announced at Gamescom that Rise of the Tomb Raider is an Xbox exclusive for Holiday 2015, questions have swirled about what that means. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer later qualified the arrangement a bit, though the complexities of the deal are still unknown.

"Obviously the deal does have a duration," he told Eurogamer. "I didn't buy the IP in perpetuity."

Yesterday afternoon, Xbox marketing chief Aaron Greenberg told a fan that Microsoft is publishing the game.
So it seems the publishing deal is similar to Dead Rising 3, which means we might never see a PS4 release, just on PC in the future.

NEWS SOURCE: Microsoft’s Tomb Raider Publishing Deal Similar To Dead Rising 3 (via) GamingBolt
5 Replies | 1,384 Views

Team-Xecuter's Forum Database Stolen

Dec 07, 2014 - 7:37 PM - by garyopa
If you use same password on other forum sites change it asap

It seems a group is after the long-time Team-Xecuter site that been Rockin' the Xbox Scene since early 2000, and were able to finally 'steal' their database and are trying to un-hash their passwords!!

Team-Xecuter has been famous for over a decade in hacking into the original Xbox and Xbox 360, and hopefully in the near future the Xbox One, but it seems someone decided to turn the tables on them and hack TX's big official support forum.

Here is official statement from TX regarding what happen:

We recently moved to a new server and stupidly left our backend open for an easy attack which has now been fixed.

Luckily the guys who gained access left their muddy prints all over the place so it was easy to clean up. What we did find out was more interesting. Who did it, why they did it.

If you want a quality hack, use someone who isn't going to leave their signature all over the place and take 5 minutes to find out who they are and have half their team rat out the other half. In short - don't hire these guys for the job:

For the last 12 years our community of 282,000+ members have always had the security of knowing that we have never used their information for any purpose other than to be part of the Xecuter community. You will now be pleased to hear these group of hackers tried to steal the accounts to various high level staff and admin of the se7ensins community, who are also part of the Xecuter community, so they came in to grab our entire database. Hackers have been trying to do this for years and this weekend succeeded due to a stupid failure on our part to button up a few holes in our backed after we moved to a new server, making it easier for lesser skilled individuals.

If you have an account with us you can now assume that your email and password is now in their possession. We highly recommend you change your password here on the Xecuter forums and if you use the password anywhere else that you change it too - there is a maximum probability that it is now, or will be in the very near future compromised. No passwords are stored in clear text of course, they are all hashed but we are very skilled in this area and know there are ways around this so we can only assume they know the same tricks that we do so it is only a matter of time. These guys attempted to install a crappy keylogger too, it didn't work of course, it was a mess so no worries there.

We're not sure who to reach out to at se7ensins but i'm sure this will no doubt reach their ears in good time.
We are reporting this news since alot of Xbox and Xbox 360'ers use our forum site, and just might have similar passwords out there, and as warning to other website admins that run similar 'scene' sites keep an eye out for this horrible group of messy bad hackers.

OFFICIAL SITE: Xecuter Forum Database Stolen

Our thanks to 'Team-Xecuter' for this news item!
2 Replies | 1,525 Views

Xbox Boss Praises PlayStation Experience

Dec 07, 2014 - 3:10 PM - by garyopa
'Xbox Fans Will Have a Fun 2015' - Phil Spencer does believe that IP that Xbox owns is critical.

With the PlayStation Experience over, Xbox division head Phil Spencer took to Twitter to provide his own feedback and information on the event.

Sony recently had their big two-day experience for fans, which showcased a few exclusive games like FF7 and SF4, and some brand-new IP's, and afterwards Microsoft has decided to praise Sony for holding their fan-only-expo, but at the same time took a little dig at them.

For instance, with the announcement of Street Fighter 5 for the PS4 and PC, and whether it would arrive for Xbox One, Spencer said,

"Business deals happen. We won't do all of them. When we have a 1st party franchise in a genre I'd rather invest in ours." Spencer also added that, "I agree, there is a mix of deals to do but making sure we own IP XBOX gamers love is critical imo."

As for what Microsoft had planned in light of so many announcements from Sony, Spencer said that, "PSX was a nice event, good way for Sony to celebrate 20 years. I watched, it was well done. I feel good about 2015 for XBOX."

He also made an excellent point when he said that many of the announcements didn't have ship dates. "I didn't see ship dates on everything in PSX but I know what our plan is and I think XBOX fans will have a fun 2015."
So what are your thoughts next-gen console war between the two companies, is the PS4 a truly boring experience, and will the XB1 end up being the 'more FUN' platform to own in upcoming year 2015?

NEWS SOURCE: Xbox Boss Praises PlayStation Experience (via) GamingBolt
0 Replies | 705 Views

Xbox Live Hackers Are Planning A Huge Attack Christmas

Dec 04, 2014 - 1:26 PM - by garyopa
Xbox One might have sold alot during Black Friday, but come Christmas, A Big Live Attack is planned!

After CyberMonday Xbox Live was taken down by hackers. The group responsible for the outage, Lizard Squad, says that this is just a test run for a larger attack.

Microsoft had a very busy Thanksgiving weekend, with huge big sales on Black Friday and again on Cybermonday, but those unwrapping their Xbox One's early before Christmas were in for a shock, Xbox Live was DOWN due to 'hackers' again, ddos'ing the servers.

The Xbox Live problems affected anyone playing online on either Xbox One or Xbox 360. Whenever players tried to log in, they were shown error code 80151909. This service outage only lasted a little while but Lizard Squad says that Xbox gamers won't be so lucky next time.

The name "Lizard Squad" might ring a bell for you. They're the folks who took down popular PC games like League of Legends and World of Warcraft in late August. Sony was their main target, though. Lizard Squad caused outages for PSN along with Sony Online Entertainment games like PlanetSide 2.

Lizard Squad even went so far as to call in a bomb threat on SOE president John Smedley's flight to San Francisco. The threat resulted in the flight being diverted to Arizona. This drew the FBI's attention. The group then allegedly disbanded after having their identities exposed.

"We proved that even though we are little in this very big world, that a small group of friends who work together can cause a lot of havoc without legal repercussions," the group said in their farewell letter on their now-defunct website. "Today we will be disbanding, behind the green reptiles and other bullshit, we have lives believe it or not, things to do, people to meet."

No matter what happened behind the scenes, Lizard Squad was soon back to their old tricks. In late September, they knocked Destiny and Call of Duty: Ghosts' servers offline. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, they claimed responsibility for outages in Destiny, GTA Online and EA's games.
But come Christmas morning, the Lizard Squad is bragging that the whole Xbox Live network will come down like a deck of cards.

NEWS SOURCE: Xbox Live Hackers Are Planning A Huge Attack Christmas (via) BusinessInsider
17 Replies | 1,995 Views

Xbox One beats PS4 on Black Friday

Nov 30, 2014 - 11:00 AM - by garyopa
Bundles & Xbox Dominate the Console War

The XBOne dominated Black Friday sales, according to market-research firm InfoScout. Microsoft’s latest system made up 53 percent of all console sales on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

It most likely will be a few weeks before we get official sales tracking info on what console did the most sales over the American Thanksgiving long weekend, famously called Black Friday / Cyber Monday, but one market research firm is claiming the Microsoft Xbox One came out as the King of Hill for holiday sales so far.

The Xbox One was on sale for $330 at a number of big stores like Target and Walmart, and Microsoft bundled it with big games like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Unity. That helped gamers choose the Xbox One over the PlayStation 4, which was $400 bundled with Bungie's sci-fi shooter Destiny or with the rereleases of Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us.
They claim XB1 got 53% of the Black Friday sales, compare to 31% for Sony's PS4, and leaving 16% to other consoles.

As shown in the picture above from InfoScout, the poor Nintendo Wii U come in losing Fourth place below Microsoft's older Xbox 360.

NEWS SOURCE #1: Xbox One beats PS4 on Black Friday (via) VentureBeat
NEWS SOURCE #2: Bundles & Xbox Dominate the Console War (via) InfoScout
4 Replies | 5,113 Views

ModChipCentral Presents Black Friday / Cyber Monday Deals

Nov 28, 2014 - 1:46 AM - by garyopa
Nothing better then getting your game on with MCC

If you been holding off grabbing some cool gaming modding gadgets for the holidays, then wait no longer as ModChipCentral has lots of great deals for you over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend!

ModChipCentral has been supporting gamers for over a decade to supply the best modding gadgets for your video gaming consoles, along with super-duper customer service and support for the products they sell, and as thank-you for all of our loyal readers, they offering up a number of amazing Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals to get your gaming family and friends happy over the holidays.

For more great deals, and to order your products today, check out MCC's website right now and get your gaming on this weekend!

0 Replies | 430 Views

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