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Defense Grid is July's amazing free Xbox Live game  photo
Defense Grid is July's amazing free Xbox Live game
by Jim Sterling

Microsoft made a big deal of its new generous streak at E3, revealing Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed II would be given free to Xbox Live subscribers. It was hardly a drop in the ocean compared to PlayStation Plus, but Microsoft's really settled the score for July -- Defense Grid is free for all!

Please excuse me while I bow toward Redmond as if t'were Mecca itself. 

The 2009 tower defense game follows Fable 3 in Microsoft's new Games With Gold scheme, planned to offer two freebies a month. PS Plus, at the time of writing, offers Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Uncharted 3, Saint's Row: The Third, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, LittleBigPlanet Karting, and more for free, plus several discounted games.

On the bright side, you also get loads of advertisements with your Xbox Live gold subscription, so don't say Microsoft never does anything for you. Sorry, did I say for you? I meant at you.

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9:00 AM on 06.27.2013

PS3 firmware 4.46 is out to fix what 4.45 screwed up

Sony loves releasing firmware more than anything else, but it may have been a bit too eager to thrust firmware 4.45 out of the gate, considering it bricked a load of PS3s. Luckily, your PS3 is not totally ruined, and Sony's g...

Jim Sterling



An industry that needs Xbox One DRM is a failed industry photo
An industry that needs Xbox One DRM is a failed industry
by Jim Sterling

It looks like we're going to do this dance again. So soon. In the wake of Microsoft reversing its Xbox One DRM policies, brave corporate warrior Cliff Bleszinski wasted little time in telling us how this would be a bad thing for the industry and gamers. Make no mistake -- he's not the only one. Disconcertingly, his views are echoed by angry press members and naive customers alike.

"More studios WILL close and you’ll see more PC and mobile games," warned Bleszinski, preparing us from the grim darkness of the 21st Century. "... Brace yourselves. More tacked on multiplayer and DLC are coming. You’re also about to see available microtransactions skyrocket. HATS FOR EVERYONE."

Bleszinski is joined by Gizmodo in his portents of despair and misery. Claiming that "we" all made the Xbox One worse as a result of our complaints, writer Kyle Wagner used no evidence to claim Microsoft's DRM would definitely have been great for everybody, and would lead to a world of cheaper games. Because the game industry has demonstrated many times that, when it has a monopoly, consumers benefit. Except, y'know, not. 

It takes a lot of naivety to trust so willingly in Microsoft, a company that's done absolutely nothing to earn our trust. It takes even more to believe that an industry so dependent on heavy-handed consumer control deserves to survive. Frankly, any industry that suffers due to the reversal of ONE console's DRM policies is an industry that deserves to suffer. 

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10:30 AM on 06.19.2013

Xbox One is terrible on Google, amazing on Bing

If you type "The Xbox One is" on Google, autocomplete will helpfully offer suggestions based on what the world is saying about it. Right now those suggestions are less than flattering. "The Xbox One is terrible," reads the fi...

Jim Sterling

3:30 PM on 06.17.2013

Microsoft: Xbox One 'overdelivers value'

Microsoft's Don Mattrick is at it again, defending Xbox One in such a way that ensure I'll never get a vacation if he keeps it up. This time, Lil' Donny claims the Xbox One is cheap at $499, with Microsoft being way too gener...

Jim Sterling



Xbox One has 'single handedly alienated the military' photo
Xbox One has 'single handedly alienated the military'
by Jim Sterling

Regular gamers have expressed quite a bit of upset at Xbox One's ridiculous DRM policies, but nowhere is the disdain more keenly felt -- nor more justified -- than that coming from America's armed services. Considering the troops have a lot of downtime, and games are a good way to soak up the hours, the Xbox One is absolutely useless to them.

An article in the Navy Times calls the Xbox One's DRM "a showstopper," and explains to its readers exactly how they'll be unable to use the Xbox One, should they be stationed aboard ships or overseas. 

"Microsoft has single handedly alienated the entire military. And not just the U.S. military -- the militaries of the entire world," stated naval aviator Jay Johnson. 

As well as the region locking and online check-ins, the Navy Times highlights the "serious security concerns" with the built-in Kinect and its constant listening. Always listening. Forever listening. 

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Xbox One kills game ownership, here's what Xbox fans say photo
Xbox One kills game ownership, here's what Xbox fans say
by Jim Sterling

Microsoft finally clarified much of its policy on used games and online restrictions with the Xbox One, and the news is grim for those who actually believe in consumer rights. With its new system, Microsoft will take the final step in stripping gamers of their property ownership, and control every moment of their experience. 

Making you check in every 24 hours like a groveling lapdog, restricting your ability to lend and rent games, and effectively pursuing the industry dream of keeping goods long after they've been sold, the Xbox One is a corporation's fantasy machine that flips off the common end user. 

The Xbox brand's most vocal fans, those posting on Major Nelson's blog, were among the first to react to the news, and even among such die-hards, the reactions weren't pleasant. Gamers from all sides seem furious at Microsoft's publisher-friendly, consumer-kicking policies, with only a scant few gathering the nerve to defend them. 

Here's what folks have been saying. 

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10:15 AM on 06.06.2013

The Daily Mail's review of The Last of Us is incredible

British tabloid The Daily Mail has a review for The Last of Us, a game enjoying perhaps the most unanimous critical acclaim in videogame history. The Mail, ever a bastion of wisdom and judicious thinking, feels it doesn'...

Jim Sterling

9:00 AM on 05.25.2013

Microsoft: Xbox One reports 'inaccurate and incomplete'

Microsoft, by way of mouthpiece Major Nelson, has criticized reports on its Xbox One used game policy as "inaccurate and incomplete," seeming to miss the fact they're based entirely on Microsoft's own statements -- which have...

Jim Sterling



Jimquisition: Xbox One out of Ten  photo
Jimquisition: Xbox One out of Ten
by Jim Sterling

The Xbox One was revealed this weak to thunderous applause. Oh wait, did we say applause? We meant, farts. Thunderous farts.

Speaking of farts, here's a man who loves the smell of his, tearing Microsoft's unified entertainment philosophy to shreds and arguing how the Xbox One is basically a system for nobody but the privileged and demented.

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8:00 AM on 05.17.2013

Wii U owners don't know how to play Super Metroid

If you're a jaded hardcore gamer, and if you've ever complained that the new generation of "dumbed down" console gamers are the bane of life, prepare to feel justified. The arrival of Super Metroid on Wii U demonstrates the d...

Jim Sterling

8:00 AM on 05.13.2013

Hypocrisy: The Sun calls 3DS the greatest console ever

British tabloid The Sun came out strong against the 3DS when it first launched several years ago, going above and beyond the call of sleazy duty to try and prove it was harmful, disorienting, and unpleasant to use. Today? Tod...

Jim Sterling

3:00 AM on 05.09.2013

Resident Evil 6 fails to meet sales projections ... again

Capcom originally projected that Resident Evil 6 would sell seven million copies. They revised that number in February to five million, but as of yesterday's financial results Resident Evil 6 fell barely short of the target w...

Hamza CTZ Aziz

9:00 AM on 05.08.2013

Dead Space 3 is the latest game to have officially failed

It had co-op and cover-based shooting, but Electronic Arts' flailing attempts to make Dead Space 3 "appeal to a wider audience" apparently failed. Visceral's latest game now joins Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution and Resident ...

Jim Sterling

9:39 AM on 05.04.2013

JUST STOP IT!

NO! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

Jim Sterling

9:30 AM on 04.26.2013

Dead Island Riptide Steam codes unlock Dark Souls

Dead Island Riptide customers in the UK and Nordic regions are discovering that retail PC copies of the game contain the wrong Steam codes. Redeeming these codes will give gamers a copy of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition i...

Jim Sterling