Tag Archives: xbox

Next-Gen Xbox Rumored To Launch Late This Year

Rumor mills are working  overtime in the last month or so, with a variety of stories floating around on the web. Stories such as, when Microsoft and Sony might launch the next versions of their game consoles. Amongst such rumors one mentioned  as to when Microsoft and Sony would announce their next-generation game consoles. With the possible announcement coming  late this year at E3 2012 in June, with the idea of grabbing headlines  ahead of Nintendo’s Wii U, which was shown at E3 2011 and is scheduled to launch sometime before the end of 2012.

According to reports by IndustryGamers.com, they have made contact with a solid source who claims that at least one, if not both, of Microsoft and Sony’s successors to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 could actually be available for the users by the end of 2012, rather than by the end of 2013 as others expected.

The “source” said:

The ‘trick’ to these rumors is not the console manufacturers themselves, but rather the chip makers. All indications from them are that things change significantly (ie next generation) come November of this year. As such, it has been my presumption since the middle of this past year that we would see new boxes in the market for Christmas of 2012.

Although, it is very unlikely that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will all release their next generation game console hardware by the end of this year, which would mean we could be in for a  clash of the titans scenario. But, Microsoft did successfully launched the Xbox 360 in 2005, a mere four years after the launch of the original Xbox which was a huge stride in gaining a strong foothold in the console market. And so it is very much possible for Microsoft to release Xbox before Nintendo’s Wii U launch and spoil the party.

Microsoft offering massive discounts on Thanksgiving week

Today it’s thanksgiving day and Microsoft is offering huge discount on it’s various products including Windows 7,XBOX 360,Kinect and Zune HD.

microsoft discount

Some of the hot offers provided by Microsoft

Windows 7 Family Pack + Cisco Router: $149.99

Zune HD 32 GB: $229.99

A teaser has been added on the XBOX site stating that huge discounts would be provided on Black Friday-

During Thanksgiving week, Xbox LIVE Marketplace is the place to be, with a one-week sale featuring big discounts on some of the hit Marketplace items, with huge discounts on some of the most popular Marketplace offerings on “Black Friday,” November 26.

Major Nelson has posted a comprehensive posts giving details about the offers on games and other things related to XBOX 360 which would be offered on Black Friday.

Check all the offers from Microsoft store here.

Windows 8 may allow online backup via Windows Azure

Recently Microsoft has posted a job post on Microsoft careers site stating that they are working on a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup which clearly means that Windows 8 would be have an option to backup files online via Windows Azure.

Here is what the job post reads-

The Windows Server Solutions group is under the Server and Cloud Division. Our mission is to promote adoption of Microsoft server and cloud platforms/products by using features that appeal to specific market segments. The segments we currently focus on are homes, educational institutions and small businesses. (Windows Home Server, Windows MultiPoint Server and Windows Small Business Server are our key product lines.) We work on a wide range of technologies to appeal to these segments – from kernel-level to native UI to managed UI to web services. For instance we have developed a centralized PC backup, extensible storage, UPnP-based router configuration utilities, a remote web workplace with a GFS backend and a simplified IT management UI. We are currently working on a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup. Many of the features we develop have ended up in the Windows Client and Windows Server OSes.

Another job has been posted by Microsoft stating that they would be integrating Microsoft’s online service with Windows 8.

Want to work on products that your friends and family use every day? Windows Live designs and runs some of the largest web applications in the world. We are Cloud Directory Platform, and our services are used by Windows Live, Office, Windows Mobile, Xbox, Bing, and MSN-branded properties. We are the backend of Windows Live providing identity (LiveID), contacts (ABCH), and social graph (SUP) for individuals and Microsoft services and applications. For the most part, you would know these as Messenger and Hotmail, as well as the entire Windows Live suite. We are seeking a highly motivated individual to come join our team and pour passion and talent into building some of the most used services on the planet. We are a growing team with a strategic and highly visible charter helping to build and operate some of Microsoft’s most strategic Internet assets. Our service supports hundreds of millions of users, who exchange billions of instant messages, photos and email each day, and store billions of contact relationships in our service. We live the life of "software and a service" every day, at high scale and you will play a pivotal role as we integrate our online services with Windows 8.

Microsoft opens another store in Mall of America

Today Microsoft opened another store just opposite the Apple store in Mall of America.The 8,600-square-foot store will sell computers, software, Xbox game systems and other products and is the Microsoft’s sixth such store to open nationwide.Each Microsoft retail store also features a “Microsoft Answer Suite,” where consumers can get technical advice. The company also offers some services geared toward small businesses at its stores.

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[image credits twincities.com ]

Just checked the video which the company posted on Facebook recently here

Kinect for Xbox 360 Goes On Sale Nov 4

The much anticipated  kinect for xbox 360 is just hours away from the release time of 12.01 am in North America. Kinect for Xbox 360 brings NUI gaming to a whole new level. Gamers can use gestures and voice commands in order to play, with Kinect delivering what the microsoft Redmond company calls controller-free gaming and entertainment.

Retailers around the world are gearing up for Thursday’s Kinect launch, as are consumers. Some shoppers even plan to line up at one of thousands of stores opening at midnight to get first crack at buying Kinect.  The launch of Kinect will be accompanied by 17 games especially built for the platform, four of which were developed in-house at Microsoft.

Why Go Controller-Free?

Xbox 360 has evolved over time, from being very gaming focused in its early years to adding other forms of entertainment such as Netflix, Zune video and music, ESPN, Twitter, Facebook and Last FM. In three years, the Kinect team incorporated technology from all over Microsoft, and even looked outside the company, to be able to make a device that could recognize a user, track his or her body, and recognize speech.The team consulted all kinds of experts in creating Kinect, and not just technological experts. Tsunoda said they talked to actors, artists, consumers, and language, gesture, and movement experts.

Prices for Kinect will start at $150 for just the Xbox 360 add-on. However, retailers worldwide will offer special bundles with prices as high as $400, as is the case for the 250 GB Kinect Bundle.

Bundles contain not only the Kinect sensor, but also the Xbox 360 console as well as games tailored to the new NUI add-on.

Microsoft will update the Xbox 360 later today

Today Microsoft will release their new update for the Xbox 360 which will make Kinect work even better with Microsoft’s console. The update includes: improved audio quality for voice chat, a new in-dashboard-keyboard, a new Marketplace user interface and the ability to sign out other controllers from within the game’s sign-in interface.

This update will also change the windows from rounded to square unfortunately, however it will carry a big speed boost which will help greatly.

Other tweaks include the ability to see all active wireless networks within range of the console when you go to select exactly how you’re going to connect up to Xbox Live.

This update will be available in the US from later on today.

More information is available From Games on Net and PCMag

Microsoft’s New Record For First-Quarter Results

Microsoft announced a new record turnover of $16.2 billion for there first quarter ending Sept. 30, 2010, a 25% increase from the same period of the prior year.  Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.12 billion, $5.41 billion and $0.62 per share, with increases of 59%, 51% and 55%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.

REDMOND, Wash.  quotted

“This was an exceptional quarter, combining solid enterprise growth and continued strong consumer demand for Office 2010, Windows 7, and Xbox 360 consoles and games,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “Our ability to grow revenue while continuing to control costs allowed us to deliver another quarter of year-over-year margin expansion.”

During the quarter, Microsoft saw year-over-year growth across all business segments. Among the highlights are these:

Office 2010 is off to a fast start with revenue growing over 15% in its first full quarter in market.
Microsoft continues to see a healthy and sustaining business PC refresh cycle.
Xbox 360 consoles grew 38%, outselling every competing console in the U.S. for each of the past four months.
For yet another quarter, Bing continued to grow market share, while achieving major milestones in implementing Microsoft’s partnership with Yahoo.

“We are seeing improved business demand and adoption. Our enterprise agreement rates were strong, reflecting business commitment to Windows 7, Office 2010, and our server and database products,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “Customer demand and excitement for our cloud and commercial online services continue to grow as demonstrated by major new customer wins this quarter for Windows Azure and by the significant customer interest in our recently announced Office 365 service.”

Webcast Details

Peter Klein, chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, and Bill Koefoed, general manager of Investor Relations, will host a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) today to discuss details of the company’s performance for the quarter and certain forward-looking information. The session may be accessed at http://www.microsoft.com/investor. The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on Oct. 28, 2011.

Microsoft Brings Games on Demand to the Web With New PC Game Store

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 22, 2010 Microsoft Corp. today announced the Games for Windows Marketplace, a new online PC games store that combines the convenience of the Web with the power of Games on Demand online distribution. Launching Nov. 15, the Games for Windows Marketplace will offer PC gamers a robust lineup of games they love, easier navigation and purchase, and recurring specials such as Deal of the Week.

“With Games for Windows Marketplace, we set out to create a digital store built for PC gamers end-to-end,” said Kevin Unangst, senior global director, PC and Mobile Gaming, at Microsoft. “And by integrating with our existing Xbox LIVE and Windows Live services, we’ve made it easier than ever for millions of gamers to see for themselves how easy buying PC games can be.”

A Streamlined Experience

Built from the ground up for convenience and performance, the Games for Windows Marketplace (http://www.gamesforwindows.com) will remove the barriers between gamers and the games they love by offering the following:

Online access, anywhere. Optimized for speed, the store allows for ultra-fast downloads; this means fewer clicks to purchase and download, delivering faster turnaround for gameplay. And since the service lives on the Web, gamers can download games on a PC, anytime, and can easily redownload games they purchase if needed.
Deals and discounts galore. Gamers can check out screaming deals on select games every time they visit the Marketplace, as well as the Deal of The Week and other recurring and seasonal offers.
Game search functionality. Gamers can search by titles or genres to quickly find the games they want; they can even find new games from their favorite publishers with dedicated publisher pages.
Fresh design. The clean, intuitive look and feel makes browsing for games a simple, enjoyable experience. Gamers can easily navigate between pages as they search for the perfect game.

A Growing Portfolio

Games for Windows Marketplace will launch with a managed portfolio of 100 top-quality titles. The launch roster includes blockbuster games such as “Fable: The Lost Chapters” (Microsoft Game Studios) and “Grand Theft Auto III” (Rockstar Games Inc.) from some of the industry’s biggest developers, such as Capcom Entertainment Inc., 2K Games, Square Enix Co. Ltd. and more. In addition to top retail games, the portfolio will bring new indie titles to the forefront and continue to grow with many of the best games in the industry including titles such as “Lego Universe” (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) and “CarneyVale” (Microsoft Game Studios), which will hit the Games for Windows Marketplace and retail stores at the same time and date; recent hits such as “Dead Rising 2” and “Lost Planet 2” (both from Capcom); and perennial best-sellers such as “Max Payne” (Rockstar) and “Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition” (Square Enix).

“We plan to deliver some of our biggest and best PC franchises on Games for Windows Marketplace from day one,” said Christian Svensson, corporate officer and vice president of Strategic Planning and Business Development at Capcom. “Digital distribution continues to drive growth in PC gaming, and we’re excited to partner with Microsoft and bring amazing games to this growing marketplace.”

Games for Windows Marketplace will also be the place to find iconic franchises from Microsoft Game Studios, such as “Flight Simulator,” “Gears of War,” “Halo” and “Zoo Tycoon,” as well as upcoming blockbusters “Fable III,” “Age of Empires Online” and “Microsoft Flight.”

Easy Access to a Massive Gamer Community

Using the new marketplace is a breeze: anyone with a Windows Live ID (Windows Live, Xbox LIVE, Games for Windows – LIVE or Zune account) can login and immediately start shopping in the Games for Windows Marketplace. The new store also supports Microsoft Points (as well as credit card purchasing), allowing the more than 25 million users of Xbox LIVE, Zune Marketplace and Games for Windows — LIVE to use their Microsoft Points balance seamlessly across platforms.

The new Games for Windows Marketplace launches Nov. 15 at http://www.gamesforwindows.com.

A Great Move By Microsoft

This is a great move by Microsoft for the use of gamers. Not only will this make purchasing games so much easier but also the support and downloading far simpler. And with an outstanding company like Microsoft this should offer competitive prices and great downloading speed .

Xbox.com website gets major overhaul

Microsoft has updated the Xbox.com site and is now back online with some exciting features.In addition to update,the support for 9 new regions have been added.

Major Nelson has posted some of the changes coming to the new website-

  • Browser based Avatar editor: Edit your avatar and preview avatar items before purchase
  • Combined views for messages, friend and game requests
  • Improved notification of your account subscription
  • Leverage Family Reports to understand what your family is doing and how they are using LIVE
  • Play web games with your Xbox LIVE friends on the web or on Windows Phone 7
  • Marketplace: More powerful search and more intuitive ways to browse and filter

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XBOX Live available in 9 more countries from November 10

With 25 million members around the world ,the XBOX team is launching Xbox LIVE in 9 more countries i.e. Russia, Poland, South Africa, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile from November 10.

Xbox LIVE is the Ultimate Broadband Gaming Experience that lets you play multiplayer Xbox games live using broadband Internet access

The press release even states that if the users living in these countries and already have a XBOX live account,they can migrate their account to their respective countries.When you migrate your LIVE account you get to keep your profile, gamerscore, achievements, points balance and subscription time remaining. You also get to keep any downloaded content such as your avatar items, Arcade games, and game add-ons.