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What do indie developers think about the ID@Xbox program? photo
What do indie developers think about the ID@Xbox program?
by Brett Makedonski

There's no two ways about it -- Microsoft had a terrible reputation with independent developers during the last console generation. Not that indie's games didn't sell well on the platform, because many of them certainly did. However, the culture and attitude at Xbox was one that didn't mesh with a lot of small teams and many of them documented their experiences in a negative light.

That's not a good position for Microsoft to be in. With the audience for independent games growing at a tremendous rate, the "triple A" development process makes less and less sense from a business standpoint. After all, an indie game needs to move far fewer units to be considered a "success." Nothing needs to sell at an astronomically high rate to be worthwhile.

Microsoft's attempt at repairing this somewhat burned bridge within the indie community was to launch the ID@Xbox -- a program designed to be more accommodating to independent developers and make it as painless and attractive as possible to publish on the Xbox platform. Microsoft held an event at GDC to showcase 25 studios' games that are part of ID@Xbox and we got a chance to talk to some developers about their feelings about the program thus far.

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7:00 AM on 03.20.2014

Xbox director of development assures fans they will see more 1080p on Xbox One

We've seen a lot of stories lately on how the PlayStation 4 version of a popular game will be running at 1080p, but the Xbox One will be pushing 900p, or worse -- 720p. But according to Xbox director of development Boyd Multe...

Chris Carter



Hyper Light Drifter is gorgeous and punishing photo
Hyper Light Drifter is gorgeous and punishing
by Alessandro Fillari

In recent times it seems as though games in 'retro-style' are on the rise. Perhaps this is nostalgia at work for a bygone era of gaming, or maybe there's an endearing spirit and honesty from gaming's past that people still resonates with people. One such title that believes in the later is Hyper Light Drifter. After an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign, the developers have been keeping things pretty close to the vest since it was funded.

During GDC, IGN hosted their Media Indie Exchange event to show off new and upcoming titles from independent developers and on-hand were the developers of Hyper Light Drifter with a new build. After getting some much appreciated hands-on time, we spoke with Heart Machine's Alex Preston, got to learn how the development of Hyper Light Drifter has been going, and how you can incorporate retro games into modern game design.

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Here are a bunch of upcoming Xbox One indie games photo
Here are a bunch of upcoming Xbox One indie games
by Jordan Devore

This week at the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft has shared more details about its self-publishing program for Xbox One, ID@Xbox. A couple different lists of who all is signed on to make games for the platform have come out since the program's announcement last August, but this latest list, viewable in full below, summarizes 25 specific titles.

With tons of indie game confirmations for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita these past few months especially, it's great to see Xbox One play catch up here; everyone wins. These relatively new platforms need as much software as they can get and it's always nice to have smaller developers pick up the slack between big-name, AAA releases.

Also, Super Time Force, Hyper Light Drifter, and 1001 Spikes on Xbox One: freakin' yes.

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2:45 PM on 03.18.2014

Microsoft reportedly working on its own virtual reality technology

VR -- virtual reality -- is hot at GDC this year. It's not just the Oculus Rift. Strange men and women come up to you here and ask to put things on your face. Then they shove their weird goggles onto your face before you can ...

Steven Hansen

11:00 AM on 03.18.2014

Xbox One is set to launch in 26 more countries in September

Microsoft is poised to significantly expand Xbox One's global reach. This September, the console will launch in 26 more countries, bringing the grand total to 39 markets. Of the 26 countries slated to be introduced to the Xbo...

Brett Makedonski







14-year Xbox veteran Marc Whitten leaves Microsoft photo
14-year Xbox veteran Marc Whitten leaves Microsoft
by Steven Hansen

Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer of Xbox, joined Microsoft in 2000, helping to build the original Xbox and Xbox Live, and release two subsequent consoles. Microsoft has announced his departure from the company to take the same role at Sonos, which makes speakers and things. 

"I have had the extreme pleasure over the last 14 years to work on the greatest product with the greatest team and for the greatest community,” Whitten said. "Xbox is so special because of the amazing team I've had the opportunity to work with and because our fans are the most incredible fans on the planet. It has been the highlight of my career to work on a product so loved. It's incredibly tough to leave but I am confident the best days are ahead for Xbox fans, in the capable hands of a very talented team."

Tretton, now Whitten. Crazy times.

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7:00 PM on 03.13.2014

That $99 Xbox 360 with a two-year contract promo has ended

In 2012, Microsoft rolled out a promotion in which people could pay $99 for an Xbox 360 (the basic 4GB model) with a Kinect -- if they signed up for a two-year Xbox Live Gold commitment of $14.99 per month. It's the sort of s...

Jordan Devore

5:45 PM on 03.11.2014

Xbox Live suffering sign-in issues at the moment

[Update: Microsoft has issued a statement regarding the service troubles.  Microsoft is investigating an issue that may interrupt customer access to some Microsoft online services. This is unrelated to the launch of &ldq...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

2:30 PM on 03.11.2014

Xbox One game preloads are on the roadmap

Responding to a reddit thread about download release times for Titanfall, Xbox Live's Major Nelson said that "A better digital experience is on the roadmap. Preloads, unlock by timezone etc. are all things we want to roll out...

Jordan Devore



Microsoft's Phil Spencer talks improving Games with Gold photo
Microsoft's Phil Spencer talks improving Games with Gold
by Jordan Devore

Comparisons between Microsoft's Games with Gold and Sony's PlayStation Plus cannot be helped. The two services may be set up differently, but on the surface, they both offer free games (some much newer than others) with a subscription. Microsoft Game Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer spoke about the program during a Q&A session at SXSW, reports Polygon.

"One of our issues with Games with Gold -- not 'issues,' but differences between the other system we get compared to, is the fact that with Games with Gold, you get to keep that game, regardless of whether you continue to subscribe," he said. "And the business around Games with Gold, for us, is just fundamentally different from some of the other programs that are out there, which does put a different financial picture on a -- you're gonna go buy a game that's brand new, the cost of putting that in, just to be kind of blunt about it."

For its part, Microsoft appears to be listening to feedback even if it might not seem that way at all based on the service's offerings as of late. Continuing, Spencer said "I have been sitting down, monthly now, with that team -- some of the earlier months were already programmed -- and playing a more active role in picking franchises that show up in Games with Gold, and I think you'll see at least something that feels, at least, more true to what I think Games with Gold should look like with the constraints that are there."

Those darned constraints. At this rate, I'm more interested in seeing how Microsoft approaches Games with Gold on Xbox One where there isn't a library of years-old titles to fall back on.

Phil Spencer: Games with Gold will feel 'more true' to what consumers want in the future [Polygon]

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8:00 AM on 03.10.2014

Microsoft breaks down every aspect of Twitch on Xbox One

Twitch integration is coming to Xbox One tomorrow, and you can watch pretty much every bit of it above in Microsoft's newest video. Basically all you need to do is sign up for an account on www.twitch.tv, then go to your set...

Chris Carter

2:15 PM on 03.06.2014

Forza 5 free with Xbox One purchases in the US

Next week, Microsoft will roll out a deal in the United States which includes a free digital copy of Forza Motorsport 5 with Xbox One purchases at "select retailers." This pack-in will be available for a limited time, accordi...

Jordan Devore

6:30 PM on 03.05.2014

The Titanfall season pass isn't exactly revolutionary stuff

Alright, everyone -- let's play a game. I'm going to tell you what's included in the recently confirmed Titanfall Season Pass, and you act elated about what a totally sweet deal it is. Ready? Let's do this. Titanfall's Pass o...

Brett Makedonski

4:30 PM on 03.04.2014

Project Spark beta extended to Xbox One

The Project Spark beta is far from new at this point, but it's no longer restricted to Windows 8.1 users. Some 250,000 people have signed up and I imagine many more will express their interest now that the beta can be experi...

Jordan Devore

3:15 PM on 03.04.2014

Microsoft wants Xbox Live to live on Android/iOS

Microsoft is building a platform that would bring Xbox Live to iOS and Android, The Verge reports. This was hinted at with a job posting for engineers to help build it, which read, "We will create a modern framework that is o...

Steven Hansen