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gamescom photo
gamescom

Xbox sounds like it's going big for gamescom


Now's the time
Jun 30
// Brett Makedonski
It's fitting that Microsoft has big plans for gamescom this year; after all, it is the biggest video game trade show in the world. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said last month that the platform-holder has just as much in store for ...
Scrolls sunset photo
Scrolls sunset

It's the beginning of the end for Scrolls


Mojang's card game has a year left
Jun 29
// Jordan Devore
No, not The Elder Scrolls, silly. The other one! Just "Scrolls." Microsoft-owned Minecraft studio Mojang has confirmed the inevitable -- that work is winding down on its card title now that the "last major content patch," Ech...
SDCC photo
SDCC

Tomb Raider? I hardly even know her, and it's even harder to pick her out on account of all the Croft cosplayers at this SDCC event


When Steven writes headlines for me
Jun 29
// Brett Makedonski
San Diego Comic-Con is a breeding ground for cosplay. You'll find everything from the most amateur of outfits to the best professional-grade costumes. People really like to dress up like the things they really like. Microsof...
Final Fantasy VII remake photo
Final Fantasy VII remake

So people are really into this Final Fantasy VII remake


A casual look at some numbers
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
I was rooting around YouTubes as one does when a number of (hah) zeros caught my eye: 10,018,000. That was the view count on the PlayStation upload of the Final Fantasy VII remake announcement trailer (there's an additional m...
Xbox One deals photo
Xbox One deals

Xbox One with free game promo spiced up with $50 bonus


At ye local Microsoft web store
Jun 25
// Dealzon
Update 6/28/15: Deal just better and is still active at Microsoft Store. All bundles now includes free copy of AC Unity. For those with less than crystal clear memory (tsk tsk for not taking the right pill when you were young...
Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

Games with Gold just got twice as good on Xbox One


Two games instead of one
Jun 25
// Brett Makedonski
We're winding down the month, which means it's again that time where Microsoft lets its Xbox Live Gold subscribers know the new titles they'll get for free as part of Games with Gold. But, this announcement comes with a nice ...
Gears remaster photo
Gears remaster

Peek at Gears of War: Ultimate Edition's touched-up cinematics


Comparison screenshots, too
Jun 24
// Jordan Devore
I've mostly avoided the remaster trend, but Gears of War: Ultimate Edition might be one of the few to pull me in. Not so much for the campaign, whose revamped cutscenes are briefly shown here, but as a way to get back into t...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

All of Halo 5's pre-order bonuses will be unlockable through gameplay


That's a nice change of pace
Jun 24
// Brett Makedonski
We've gotten used to a certain routine with regard to pre-order bonuses. Typically, they'll be made available weeks or months after release for a nominal fee. For those who are content to wait even longer, it's usually all in...
Forza photo
Forza

There's a blue Forza Xbox One coming


VRRROOOOOMMMMMMMM
Jun 24
// Laura Kate Dale
If you've been waiting to buy an Xbox One but were tuned off by the lack of VROOOOOOMMMM and SCHREEEEEEE engine noises made by the console, then I have some exciting news for you. A new Xbox One bundle has been announced and ...

I'm starting to care about Halo 5 thanks to Warzone

Jun 22 // Jordan Devore
The goal is to either score 1,000 points, collectively, or take down the opposing team's core after capturing enough points for map control. In the former case, you can be out there doing your own thing, earning points, and working toward big purchases. I saved up for the bipedal Mantis mech and stomped on some foes until hubris (and several Spartans) got the better of me. I tried once to engage a Promethean boss alone and that went south real fast. Similarly, tackling the exposed core at the enemy's HQ without sufficient backup is ill-advised. But whatever we did, it worked. The other team failed to get more than a couple hundred points. Had it pulled together and taken down our core while we were distracted, the match could've gone the other way. I'm not so into the series these days, and I didn't come into the session with an especially cheerful mindset. But I dug Warzone overall. The maps were big -- I felt like I had to chase after battles from time to time -- but I otherwise enjoyed the mode. Curious about the game's REQ System. [embed]294624:59201:0[/embed]
Halo 5 preview photo
24 players vs. each other and the AI
While E3 didn't officially start until last Tuesday, there was plenty of video game stuff happening in and around Los Angeles the day before (and even the day before that!). Covering press conferences from Microsoft, Electron...

Phantom Dust photo
Phantom Dust

Xbox One's Phantom Dust no longer in active development


Microsoft-canceled project done
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
Microsoft announced a Phantom Dust reboot at its E3 conference in 2014, but less than a year later the project was shelved, allegedly due to unfair demands by Microsoft. Developer Darkside was shutdown and over 50 people lost...
Jed @ E3 2015 photo
Jed @ E3 2015

My magical journey at E3 2015


Also, say hello to Gage
Jun 22
// Jed Whitaker
You may not have noticed from my complete and total lack of appearance in the pictures in this post, but I was at E3 2015. It was my first E3 and it was pretty alright. *shrugs harshly* I had a good time getting to meet:...

Extended Rise of the Tomb Raider video is way better than the E3 trailer

Jun 22 // Steven Hansen
This goes along with bigger tombs, either secret ones or ones on the narrative path. At one point Lara came up on an abandoned Cold War installation, which was apparently one of the game's "hubs" that contain quest givers, crypts, secrets, and story missions. There are also "systems that celebrate Lara's intelligence and archaeological background." Reading documents and murals throughout the ancient world gives Lara more experience and improves her proficiency, allowing her to uncover greater secrets. Like the secret of immortality hidden in a lost city beneath a lake, which Lara is fighting evil organization Trinity to get to. One other major gripe I keep having with the snow-ridden portions shown off is that Lara refuses to zip up her jacket and instead keeps showing off that cute infinity scarf. On top of that, no hat or gloves despite that fact that you lose heat fastest through those extremities. Bad guys, too, are not appropriately bundled for Siberian winter. [embed]294565:59186:0[/embed]
E3 preview photo
E3 preview
I was beefing a bit with Rise of the Tomb Raider for its heavily scripted sequences in which you hold forward on the analog stick as the game just sort of nonthreateningly happens around you (except for when a brutal cutscen...

Xbox One photo
Xbox One

The Xbox One is being outsold by the PS3 in Japan right now


100 units earlier this month
Jun 22
// Chris Carter
Like most reasonable people I figured I'd give the Xbox One some time in Japan. After all, the original Xbox and the 360 didn't do this bad -- but time has only made things worse for the console. According to 4Gamer, as ...
Xbox One deal photo
Xbox One deal

Arkham Knight or Witcher 3 free with an Xbox One


Or, haha, Battlefield Hardline
Jun 19
// Jordan Devore
I keep forgetting that Batman: Arkham Knight is out real soon, on Tuesday, what with E3 keeping us busy and Warner Bros. not passing along a review copy to certain outlets (was it something we said?). It seems like one of tho...
360 to One vote photo
360 to One vote

Red Dead Redemption is most-wanted for Xbox One backwards compatibility


What do you want to work?
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
Microsoft has a place what where you can vote on what Xbox 360 games you want to work on Xbox One with the backwards compatibility. Tops is Red Dead Redemption with 34,862 votes, followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Skyrim, Halo: Reach, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.  What are you rocking the vote on?

Xbox originally thought backwards compatibility was impossible

Jun 18 // Brett Makedonski
To be blunt, I was sort of astonished to watch the Xbox One transform into an Xbox 360. With a simultaneous press of the menu and view buttons, the Xbox 360's guide pops up -- yes, the exact one that still exists on the legacy console. From there, it's fully functional to look at friends, launch games, view Achievements -- all that stuff that everyone's already familiar with. Maybe the most interesting aspect of backwards compatibility is its cross-platform ability. The presenter stressed that, because this is essentially an Xbox 360 running off of an Xbox One, anyone can play and chat with friends who are on 360. That's a nice way to bridge the gap for those whose friends haven't taken the "next-gen" plunge yet. But, just because it's acting as an Xbox 360 doesn't mean that it forfeits the perks of still being an Xbox One. The system's sharing and broadcasting features remain live, so snapping screenshots, capturing video, and Twitch broadcasting are all available options. Have your cake, eat it too. While all this seems great, one has to wonder how on-board third-party publishers will be with the feature. After all, they aren't making money if you're playing a game you already own. In an age of remaster after remaster, you have to think that it's a more alluring prospect to opt out of backwards compatibility and re-release a game at a higher visual fidelity and -- more importantly to publishers -- a price tag. However, Xbox doesn't necessarily think this will be the case. Or, at least it hopes it won't be. One representative went so far as to suggest that companies will use backwards compatibility to grow their brands. "Our group doesn't talk to the publishers directly, but if you listen to what Bethesda had to say on-stage on Monday where you get Fallout 3 for free if you buy Fallout 4, I think they'll do things like that to encourage customers to buy the latest games and to get into the IP. They want more people in the IP to grow their audience, not just the same people coming back. I think it's a good channel for them to be able to do things like that," he said. Microsoft's intentions for backwards compatibility appear earnest and sincere, but all these advancements make it sort of seem like the Xbox 360 is an obsolete machine. When I asked if consumers can just throw away their 360s after backwards compatibility is fully up and running, the presenters laughed and said "We wouldn't advocate throwing them away! But, like Phil said at the conference, now's the time for 360 customers to upgrade to Xbox One. We want them to say 'everything's there for me. Let's go.'"
Backwards compatibility photo
'The team never gave up'
Microsoft's E3 announcement that the Xbox One would be backwards compatible was a big one for fans who have thousands of dollars invested in the last generation of gaming. Two years ago, many struggled with the idea that thei...

Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

Here's what you get in the Halo 5 Limited Collector's Edition


Would you pay $250 for it?
Jun 18
// Vikki Blake
Amazon has unveiled the Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector's Edition. The bundle comes with a Spartan-themed Steelbook, Spartan Locke's Classified Orders, the Halo: The Fall of Reach - Animated Series, Warzone REQ Bundle: 14...
Gears 4's Kait photo
Gears 4's Kait

The woman in Gears 4 is Kait and it's not called Gears 4


Holiday 2016
Jun 17
// Steven Hansen
I had an appointment with Microsoft about Gears today, but it ended up being mostly about Gears of War Ultimate, the remake of the original game. I did get one piece of news about Gears 4: the woman's name is Kait. We already...

Marcus Fenix's default Gears of War face is a permanent scowl

Jun 17 // Steven Hansen
Before Gears became the big bad brolf of Microsoft franchises, it was a bit more scrappy. Fergusson was excited to be able to go back and completely change Gears' cinematics. "Back then we were under such time constraints we called them Frankenscenes," he said. Motion capture was re-used and stitched together. The dialogue in cinematics remains intact, but there are all sorts of new camera angles, zooms. Fergusson and company went back to assess, "what were we trying to convey, what did we successfully or not successfully convey," in terms of tone. The five chapters left out of Gears' 2006 360 release (they later made it into the 2007 PC release) are also being included in Ultimate. The "casual" difficulty has become the new normal and a truer "casual" setting has been added. There's still local split-screen on and offline (take notes, Halo 5) with a pillar box look to give both players a view closer to 16:9. And, as folks might be seeing in the online beta, there are dedicated servers, a spectator mode, LAN support, 19 maps, Team Death Match, King of the Hill, community designed Gnashers 2v2, and 1080p, 60fps online play. Unless you're playing on PC and want to crank it up to 4K or whatever.
Gears Ultimate photo
And more on Gears of War Ultimate
Microsoft announced a 60fps, 1080p remake of the first Gears, Gears of War Ultimate, a couple days back. I sat down with Rod Fergusson for a meeting about the remake, which has completely replaced every single art asset, adde...

E3, ranked photo
Sony and Bethesda win by a mile
The final results are in! After every E3 conference we provided a full recap, and at the end, a poll that allowed you to voice your opinion with a "love, like, okay, and hate" rating. I've tabulated the "loves" and "likes" in...

Gears of War photo
Gears of War

Gears of War Ultimate Edition is coming to PC


And Xbox One of course
Jun 16
// Chris Carter
Another PC-centric announcement at the first ever PC Gaming Show at E3! The Coalition's Rod Fergusson took the stage to reveal that Gears of War Ultimate Edition, which was just unveiled yesterday for Xbox One, is coming...
Fable Legends photo
Fable Legends

Fable Legends has 'years of content' planned


Not a one-and-done
Jun 16
// Darren Nakamura
At the PC gaming show this evening, Xbox's Phil Spencer came out and introduced a few developers working on PC and Xbox One. One game in the presentation was Fable Legends, which I liked the last time I played it. In addition...
Phil Spencer at E3 photo
Phil Spencer at E3

Killer Instinct is coming to the PC, Phil Spencer has announced


Live at the PC Gaming Show
Jun 16
// Chris Carter
Today at the first ever PC Gaming Show at E3, Phil Spencer took the stage to talk a bit about Windows 10. Spencer stated, "for me, there are a lot of opportunities for cross-platform, but there's a lot of games that should be...
Video photo
Video

Grading the Microsoft, Ubisoft, EA, and Sony press conferences


Video
Jun 16
// Steven Hansen
We -- me, Jordan, Kyle MacGregor, Brett Makedonski, and Kenny Redublo -- shot some videos throughout the day yesterday discussing the major press conferences. We got kicked out of the Lakers' arena trying to talk about Micro...
Rare Replay photo
Rare Replay

Rare Replay has an infinite Battletoads speeder bike challenge


30 games for 30 bucks
Jun 16
// Jordan Devore
It doesn't have Donkey Kong Country or GoldenEye, but Rare Replay does offer a neat challenge for Battletoads fans: how long can you stay alive on the infamous speeder bike sequence? During a hands-on session with t...
Kinect photo
Kinect

Has Microsoft killed Kinect?


Kinda. Maybe. Possibly?
Jun 16
// Vikki Blake
Talking of backwards compatibility... did you notice what wasn't on that list of playable titles? Kinect games. There are no Kinect games. No Kinectimals, no Kinect Sport, no Dance Central. It seems that Xbox's all-singing, a...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Here's all Xbox One's 'backwards compatible' games


The list is, uh, interesting, right?
Jun 16
// Vikki Blake
I was very excited when, at yesterday's E3 Conference, Xbox's Phil Spencer announced that "BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY!" was coming to Xbox One.  I thought that I'd be able to pander to nostalgia at a whim, grab any one of t...
E3 photo
Let's poll the audience...wait, we did!
The results are in! I've been recording your opinions for the press conferences so far at E3 2015, and Sony is winning by a 78% ratio of "love" or "enjoy" ratings. In second place, neck and neck is Bethesda with a 77% approva...

MS games photo
MS games

All of Microsoft's games are up for pre-order now


And Dark Souls III
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
Well, this is going to be a recurring theme today. As soon as press conferences end, Amazon's going to go live with pre-orders for all the games. Convenient for those who like that sort of thing. The first instance (apart fro...

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