Xbox One gets off the ropes with a motivational quote from Rocky
Xbox One apparently sees itself as the console for the ultimate underdog — Rocky Balboa — in a 30-second YouTube spot it put out Monday.
Xbox One may have been loosing the last few rounds in the next-gen console war with Sony, but it seems their marketing dept. thinks they are like Rocky and will be WINNERS in the end, as next few rounds will be packed with the best games coming out this holiday.
While "Xbox One: Best Games" probably was conceived, created and approved well before last week, it airs at a time when the console is figuratively on the ropes. Despite a hot holiday start, Xbox One has been outsold by its PlayStation 4 rival in North America for the past six months, according to the market research firm NPD.
Further, Microsoft just announced the largest round of layoffs in company history, with the closure of the ambitious Xbox One Entertainment division - after little more than a year in operation - among the dismissals.
So, here's Rocky Balboa to rally the troops. The quote comes from this scene in 2006's Rocky Balboa, in which the boxer's son tries to talk him out of fighting a much younger Mason "The Line" Dixon.
Polygon reached out to Microsoft on the off-chance there was some subtext to this particular advertisement. We received the following statement from a spokesperson:
The ad campaign highlights the games coming to Xbox One this holiday - the largest and most critically-acclaimed lineup of games for Holiday 2014 honored at this year's E3. Xbox One is the only place to play the best exclusives and all of the biggest blockbusters of the year. The ad pays tribute to the competitive spirit of gamers and celebrates how gamers rise to the challenge in a game. We're excited about the amazing games coming to Xbox One this year and look forward to playing with Xbox fans around the world.
Of the games shown, Xbox One-exclusive Sunset Overdrive launches Oct. 28. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a high-definition anthology of the first four games in the series, arriving Nov. 11. Assassin's Creed Unity launches Oct. 28 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launches Nov. 4, and both will also be available on PlayStation.
So after viewing the ad below, what you think of Microsoft using Rocky's voice to promote their great line-up of games?
Plus Mobile purchases and More 'social' Friends features
Microsoft has announced what will be coming to the Xbox One this August, including 3D support for Blu Rays, remote purchasing of content on Xbox.com and Smartglass.
When the next round of dashboard updates roll in for your Xbox One console in August, you will be glad to know finally 'low battery' for the controller will work, along with playing your 3D Blu-Ray movie discs, and if you have friends on will see what they are doing in nice new social column.
Activity feed updates: We're adding new ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed. The interface will change to a single column scrolling list that is longer and includes more content. We'll add the ability to post text to your feed, and to "like" and comment on feed items. You can share game clips and anything else in the feed with friends either publically (to your activity feed) or privately (as an attachment to a message).You'll also be notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each user will get a personal feed on their profile, so you can see what specific friends have been up to. And, with SmartGlass, you can see what your friends have shared to their activity feed and "like" specific posts (additional activity feed support coming in future SmartGlass updates).
Expanded Friends area on Home: Right from Home, see what's going on with your friends. Stay up-to-date with their current activity, the top trending games your friends are playing, and a leaderboard to see who has been working the hardest on their Gamerscore. We're doing an extended preview on this, rolling it into the early access preview this month to a subset of our preview audience so we can refine it until it's ready for the entire Xbox One market.
Mobile purchase: One of the most requested features on Xbox Feedback. Using Xbox SmartGlass or on Xbox.com, you can remotely purchase games and Add-on content. No more waiting to begin downloading when you get home - if your console is set to automatically take updates, your console will begin downloading your purchase.
Low battery notification: You asked for it, now a notification will pop up when your controller battery is getting low.
Disable notifications during video: Adding the ability to turn off notifications based feedback we heard from you.
Enabling 3D Blu-ray: An update to the Blu-ray player app will enable 3D Blu-ray functionality on Xbox One.
OneGuide in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland: Live TV listings can be configured for four new countries as part of this month's Preview program. And now there is an OneGuide Issue Reporter available under the TV & OneGuide settings, Troubleshooting section.
Last seen time in Friends list: Direct from Xbox Feedback, the friends list will now show how long it's been since a friend has been online. For example, "Last seen 20m ago: Forza Motorsport 5."
At San Diego Comic Con 2014 Next Week - July 24th - 27th
Microsoft is going to be bringing 21 limited edition Xbox One consoles to San Diego Comic Con 2014 taking place next week, featuring current and upcoming games, and some of the Xbox partners.
Microsoft is trying to pull in some Xbox fans to the next Comic-Con by releasing limited edition consoles there, a whole lot of 21 different looks for their Xbox One console.
The consoles feature exclusive titles like Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, and Forza Horizon 2. Third-party games also get the spotlight, with representation from Dragon Age: Inquistion, Disney Infinity, Skylanders, Evolve, and a truly gruesome looking The Evil Within deco.
In order to win, you need head over to the Xbox Gaming Lounge in the Manchester Grand Hyatt Seaport Ballroom, take a photo of your favorite, follow Xbox on Twitter, and tweet a picture with two hashtags (#XboxOne and #XboxSweeps).
Here is picture of them all below, and don't worry if you can't make it to San Diego next week, see the links below for more info.
If you had chance to win or buy one, which one would be your selection of choice?
The Xbox European operation, is reported going to see reductions amounting to 75% of total staff
Following yesterday’s announcement signaling the start of 18,000 layoffs including the closure of Xbox Entertainment Studios, it has emerged that the European Xbox operation is headed for large cuts!
Microsoft new CEO is busy swinging his chopping axe, and we already reported on the fact Xbox Entertainment Studios is closing, which will cause an end to original Xbox TV-style programming, but now we get a report that Xbox Europe is being heavily reduced, with over 75% of staff losing their jobs, and remaining 25% having to fight among themselves to keep their the jobs that are still left.
A source told MCV last night that as many as 75 per cent of full time Xbox EMEA roles in Reading were being cut - with staff having to reapply for the remaining 25 per cent of roles. The UK Xbox team has also been reduced slightly by 10 per cent and all contractor roles have also been cut. However, Xbox did not confirm or deny these numbers when contacted by MCV.
Microsoft says the reductions will not impact the launch of Xbox One in 13 European Countries this September.
"We eliminated a number of EMEA roles in the UK to gain efficiencies," said a Microsoft spokesperson to MCV.
"We remain very committed to the market and will continue to support our local development teams. We believe that the UK has exceptional games industry talent and we'll continue to focus on game creation in the through Microsoft Studios like Rare, Lionhead Studios, Lift London and Soho Productions. Also, Europe continues to be an important market for Xbox, and we're excited to launch Xbox One to fans in 13 mainland European markets in September."
Microsoft claims this will not hurt Xbox in Europe, but clearly something is wrong with Microsoft and their new Xbox One console with more and more trouble signs appearing everyday.
Current TV projects for Xbox in progress will be finished, then the studio will be shutdown
Microsoft will shut down the Xbox Entertainment Studios, ending an ambitious foray into original video programming.
We mentioned last week that the new CEO in charge of Microsoft would be making some of largest job cuts in their history in over 5 years, and there will be some core sections getting the axe in the Xbox division.
Well now we got the news and memo of the first axe chop by the new CEO, and it going to 'Xbox Originals' dept. with no more producing original TV shows to air on the Xbox system, as it seems the new CEO wants to focus on core 'game' business for Xbox division now.
The Santa Monica studio will be shuttered as Microsoft focuses on strengthening its core videogame business. The majority of the Xbox Entertainment's 200 employees work in southern California and Vancouver, though the company refuses today how many will lose their jobs. The cuts are part of Microsoft's company-wide restructuring announced on Thursday morning, which will see the elimination of up to 18,000 jobs in the next 12 months.
Chief Executive Satya Nadella signaled the change in a lengthy memo to Microsoft staff that expressed support for the Xbox and its importance to the company - but omitted any reference to original television programming.
"The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming," Nadella wrote a week ago. "We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox."
Absent was any mention of Xbox Entertainment Studios, a division it created when it hired longtime CBS entertainment president Nancy Tellem in September 2012. Her mandate at the time was to make entertainment content that could only be found on the Xbox Live online platform.
Xbox Entertainment Studios fit with Microsoft's plan to dominate the living room through its game console. But the unit has struggled to deliver on its promise.
Sources paint a picture of a disorganized studio that struggled to close deals and lacked a fully fleshed-out business model. This inability to execute has turned off potential studio partners, they say, complicating the process of securing premium content.
The studio became a casualty of shifting corporate priorities that came with Microsoft's executive shuffle. Tellem had been hired by CEO Steve Ballmer, who less than a year later announced he would leave the company. Don Mattrick, who oversaw the Xbox division, similarly departed.
Microsoft has moved away from positioning the Xbox One as an all-in-one entertainment system - a message that appeared to alienate gamers who are the most likely first buyers of a new game system. At this year's E3 game industry trade show in Los Angeles, it was all about the games.
That raised questions about the fate of the Xbox Entertainment Studios, which merited nary a mention at the high-profile industry event. One of its first original shows, the soccer-themed reality show "Every Street United," debuted June 15 to little notice.
Xbox Entertainment Studios will gradually wind down, with the studio continuing work on projects that are currently in production, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
After the original news broke, Phil Spencer added his memo about the changes and the new focus on games for Xbox.
Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Studios, issued a statement, confirming that the studio will close in the coming months. He said executives Tellem, Jordan Levin and other members of the team will remain to work on original programs that are already in production, such as the upcoming documentary series "Signal to Noise" whose first installment takes on the rise and fall of gaming icon Atari, and "Halo: Nightfall." The "Halo" television series will continue as planned.
"Xbox will continue to support and deliver interactive sports content like ‘NFL on Xbox,' and we will continue to enhance our entertainment offering on console by
Today Microsoft announced that in June, sales of its Xbox One console 'more than doubled.' It did not release a concrete sales figure for the time period, disappointingly.
We are still waiting for official NPD breakdown of USA sales figures for month of June, which is key month to study it was when Microsoft pushed out the Kinect-Less Xbox One at only $399, in the meantime MS has released their own PR bragging it is 'Double then May'.
Over the past month, we've seen a strong spike in interest in our Xbox One console options, including the new $399 offering, and the amazing lineup of games announced during E3. Since the new Xbox One offering launched on June 9th, we've seen sales of Xbox One more than double* in the US, compared to sales in May, and solid growth in Xbox 360 sales.
We're excited to welcome so many fans to Xbox this summer and we can't wait for them to get their hands on the wide selection of new games available this year on Xbox One, including Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, and Ori and the Blind Forest. Xbox One is the only place you can play these games along with creative independent titles and blockbusters such as Assassin's Creed Unity, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny, Evolve, Grand Theft Auto V, and dozens more. We're honored that Xbox One was awarded with the best games line-up of 2014 by game critics at E3 and our fans have a lot of amazing new games to look forward to in the coming months.
Starting in August with the release of Madden NFL 15, new blockbuster hits will launch for Xbox One at an incredible pace throughout the fall, as we head into the holiday season. Gamers love the holidays and we are lining up incredible deals and special promotions to celebrate. The fun is just getting started and we can't wait to share more exciting news soon.
*- Internal data based on retail calendar and sold through numbers
Sadly for some reason Microsoft didn't quote actual figures which were last released, so we still have to wait for NPD info and Sony, to see if Xbox price-drop was enough to move it into #1 spot, or if it still selling badly even if MS is claiming 'more then double' for June.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer says it will be 'good to launch' XB1 in September and have a place at Tokyo Game Show
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer admitted that the Xbox brand has not been a top-performer in Japan, but said this isn't keeping him from looking forward to the Xbox One's launch in the region come September
Even tho Sony is having a tough time with their home turf of Japan in selling next-gen PS4 consoles, Microsoft thinks they just might be able this time around to get a few Japanese customers into purchasing their American All-In-One Xbox console when it finally lands over there in September this year.
A fan asked Spencer if Microsoft is looking at Sony's own recent admission that the PlayStation 4 is only doing "OK" in Japan as an opportunity to "conquer Japan." Spencer replied: "We will be in Japan in September. Japan hasn't always been the easiest market for us, will be good to launch and be at Tokyo Game Show."
The Xbox One launches in Japan on September 4, while this year's Tokyo Game Show (TGS) takes place September 18-21.
PlayStation boss Andrew House said in a previous interview that one of the reasons the PS4 hasn't gotten off to a great start in Japan is because there is currently a lack of content created by Japanese developers that would appeal directly to the home crowd.
For its part, Microsoft has suggested it won't have the same issue in Japan. Phil Spencer said in March that the Japanese market is "critical" and even teased that Microsoft has first-party games in development in the region.
"We remain committed to the Japanese market," Spencer said at the time. "And I know our launch is a little further out, but we're going to be at Tokyo Game Show again, we've got first-party games being developed in Japan, and just as a creative entity itself, the Japanese development community, it's critical for us in the industry that we continue to invest there and see great games come out."
So what you think does Microsoft have a chance this time in Japan with their Xbox One console to grab some sales?
'We make games here at Bungie. We love the people who play them equally.'
Bungie has once again taken to the internets to rebuff on-going complaints that it doesn't like Xbox fans any more, having signed a timed DLC and beta access exclusivity partnership with Sony.
With still a week to go before Xbox finally gets a taste of Destiny from Bungie in a form of a 'beta', fans of Bungie from the Halo days are still upset that everyone owning an Sony PlayStation has already played the 'beta' and bragged about it and posted videos, leaving Xbox owners butt-hurt and with second-hand 'leftovers' and nothing to brag about next week when the beta finally starts for them.
"We don't hate any of our fans," the post begins. "When we look at Bungie.net, we see gamers. We dare say that we see Bungie fans - although that might be assuming too much.
"Loving a good game and the hard-working developers who create it is not a console exclusive," it continues. "This is one place where Guardians will truly be equal. You'll each have a chance to become legend on this site. Our hope is that we can use this environment to talk about the amazing experiences we will all have in common.
"Bungie has embraced many different platforms in our storied history. We have a hard time sitting still. Our goal has been to create amazing worlds and fill them with as many passionate people as possible. What we would tell you is that, if you want to explore the world of Destiny, it was built with you in mind. We make games here at Bungie. We love the people who play them equally."
So how long will this Halo/Bungie vs. Sony/Destiny console war go on, its seems to packed filled with fanboys and trolls.
Finally, a feature from Xbox 360 years on your XB1
The latest update for Xbox One has added the means to download the demo of a game and then unlock its full version, a quiet upgrade that independent developers in particular may start using.
For long time now on your Xbox 360 you could try out indie games as trial before you purchase them, but on the Xbox One you could not download any demos, but with recent dashboard update this month, Microsoft has silently turned on the 'demo' feature on XB1.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Chris Charla, the head of Microsoft's ID@Xbox independent games program, said the trial feature arrived with the latest update to the console. It's been feasible on Xbox Live for Xbox 360 for years, particularly with regard to games offered on its indie channel.
"That's something that we recently turned on," Charla told Eurogamer. "I don't think we've seen any ID@Xbox games yet that have shipped with trials, but we may well in the future. It's something that's open to everybody."
Charla added that gamers may expect "lots more games coming" through the ID@Xbox channel. "There are a lot in development for 2015, and some for 2016, too."
Now hopefully, some developers will start using this new feature, so we can check out if games are worthwhile buying or not.
More calls for MS to dump Xbox, Nadella speaks out against it!
It’s sort of sad that Microsoft has to defend keeping around its most popular consumer product to Wall Street analysts, but apparently it does.
Analysts keep saying Microsoft needs to dump their Xbox Gaming division, but yet again the new CEO speaks out why they will not.
Late last year, Normura analyst Rick Sherlund and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen called on Microsoft to dump the Xbox because it was a persistent money loser for the firm. However, in his new manifesto sent out to Microsoft employees, CEO Satya Nadella spends a good chunk of time defending the Xbox's place in Microsoft's product line and explains why keeping it around is hugely important to the company's future in consumer electronics.
"The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming," Nadella writes. "We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox. Xbox is one of the most-revered consumer brands, with a growing online community and service, and a raving fan base."
This is all true: Even though the Xbox One has been getting outsold by the PlayStation 4 so far, it's hardly a flop and it still has a big and loyal following among gamers. But Nadella also makes the case that the Xbox is important to Microsoft for reasons that go beyond its appeal to gamers, largely because the technology that the company has developed through the Xbox is now being used in other Microsoft products.
"We also benefit from many technologies flowing from our gaming efforts into our productivity efforts - core graphics and NUI in Windows, speech recognition in Skype, camera technology in Kinect for Windows, Azure cloud enhancements for GPU simulation and many more," he explains. "Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft."
So what you think, you agree with Nadella's comments, or are the analysts partly right, so you read more in the links below.