Train2Game News: Microsoft might bring back family sharing for Xbox One

Xbox OneMicrosoft has announced that if demand is high enough, they may bring back the family sharing feature on the Xbox One.

The family sharing feature was one that made sharing games a lot easier. You would be able to select ten people on your friends list and instantly be able to share your games with them. It takes away the need to lend out the hard copies of your games and risk them getting damaged.

Specific details on how the system would work weren’t revealed before Microsoft confirmed that it was putting the idea on the backburner following its decision to reverse various Xbox One DRM policies.

Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten said of the possibility of reintroducing Family Sharing:

“If it’s something that people are really excited about and want, we’re going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back

“A ‘road map’ sort of implies more like ‘on date X it’s back’ than I think exists, but we believe really strongly in how you build a great experience on Xbox One for me as an individual, but also for my family. Family Sharing is a great example of how you do that with content.”

Whitten continued: “We took some feedback and realized there was some stuff we needed to add to the program. To add it to the program, we had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that work done.

“So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘we’re going to take our toys and go home’ or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of ‘how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?’

“You know, if there’s anything I think that Xbox 360 has proven, it’s that we’re super committed to this constant cycle of improving the experience and the software, and it’s what we’ve been doing for 360 for the past seven years, and it’s certainly where we’re going to go with Xbox One.”

So it won’t be on launch but it could return in the future. I for one would be quite happy to see this return.

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 16.07.13

The Last Of UsThe dream team of Mario and Luigi’s new game, Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros still wasn’t good enough to knock The Last Of Us off of the top spot. If it makes it to six consecutive weeks at number one, then it will equal the unbroken runs of Black Ops II and FIFA 12. Aliens: Colonial Marines has re-entered the charts this week thanks to a budget price.

All formats

Week ending 6 July 2013

POS.  TITLE 

PUBLISHER

 LAST
WEEK 

1

THE LAST OF US

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

1

2

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF

NINTENDO

4

3

MARIO AND LUIGI: DREAM TEAM BROS.

NINTENDO

4

FIFA 13

EA SPORTS

3

5

MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION

MICROSOFT

2

6

FAR CRY 3

UBISOFT

10

7

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II

ACTIVISION

7

8

ASSASSIN’S CREED III

XBOX 360 CLASSICS

5

9

TOMB RAIDER

SQUARE ENIXACTIVISION

6

10

ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES

SEGA

11

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – LEGENDARY

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS

15

12

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

13

13

NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED

EA GAMES

12

14

LUIGI’S MANSION 2

NINTENDO

19

15

THE SIMS 3: ISLAND PARADISE

EA GAMES

8

16

DEADPOOL

ACTIVISION

9

17

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

ROCKSTAR

18

GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION

SONY COMPUTER ENT.

16

19

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

11

20

LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE

< previous week

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News: Valve looks into opening UK office

Valve LogoValve is looking at opening a UK office in the future. This could be good for current Train2Game students as Valve have a well known history for employing promising up and coming games developers.

The firm is currently sounding out the British development scene at the Develop in Brighton conference, and is looking at the potential viability of a local office in the country.

Valve currently has offices in Seattle and the newly set up Luxembourg studio.

The studio famous for its Steam retail platform and titles like Half-Life is exhibiting at the Develop Conference this week and has been sharing its plans with some attendees.

The new European office, which quietly opened last year, currently houses around five staff focusing on Steam and working with its development partners.

If the new Luxembourg studio, Valve’s first foray into the European industry, proves to be a success it could eventually be expanded into a fully-fledged development team.

Valve staff said Luxembourg was the ideal place for its expansion as it was based centrally in Europe, and provides easier accessibility to European developers than its US operations in Seattle, as well as being in a more ideal time zone.

Luxembourg is also home to the HQs of a number of other online companies, such as Amazon, and is controversially known as a tax shelter for larger businesses.

Train2Game News: Magic 2014: Duels Of The Planeswalker Review

Chandra I got the pleasure of reviewing Magic 2014: Duels Of The Planeswalker, from Wizards of The Coast.

One of the first thing that is noticeably different is that this game has some beautiful cut scenes involving the Planeswalker Chandra, which the main story of the game revolves around.

The progression of the story is slightly different to the last game in that you face four encounters which involve a set strategy that you must deal with before facing the “boss” of the level in a normal Magic The Gathering game.

In my personal opinion I would have liked more standard Magic battles rather than the encounters.

Once you finish a level you do get to face another Planeswalker to unlock their deck in a standard Magic battle.

As for the decks they have some interesting ideas. My personal favourite colour to play as is White and I did quite enjoy the white enchantment deck and the white soldier deck. You could get some nice powerful creatures with the enchantment deck or just a large quick army with the soldier deck.

This game also saw the introduction of Slivers. Slivers are a creature in the Magic universe which empower each other Sliver under your control on the battlefield.

I felt the Sliver deck was a little bit too slow to get going but when you did get it going it was very powerful. It just needed to be that bit quicker.

The other new addition to this game was the introduction of the Sealed Play campaign.

If you have ever been to a Magic The Gathering Pre Release event you will know what this is about but for those who don’t know, you get a small collection of booster packs that you create a deck with. This of course entirely depends how lucky you are with your booster packs to how good your deck becomes.

I wasn’t very lucky. I created a Blue and Black deck using the auto create feature which just scraped through the first battle.

When I created the deck, the strength meter at the top declared the deck as “Awesome” but after I won the first battle to get a new booster pack, I added a few good cards and adjusted the land accordingly and the strength of the deck plummeted to “Average”.

In conclusion, I like the decks in this game and the story is displayed much better but there should have been more standard games and the sealed campaign is a nice idea but I think it still needs a little bit more work on it.

Train2Game News: Home Gaming Competition

Gaming SetupAttention all gamers! Do you think you’ve got the ultimate video gaming set up? Do you treasure your home entertainment centre above all else? Is your lounge set up for gaming complete with your favourite comfy DFS sofas?

Well, here’s your chance to prove it! Send us a photo of your best home setup and if you’re chosen, you’ll win an Amazon voucher worth £50!

It really doesn’t matter whether you favour an Xbox over a Nintendo Wii, or even if you are a diehard Playstation fan. Show us what makes your lounge setup stand out above all others and we’ll see if we agree!

What We Want to See:

This is your chance to be creative and send us a photo of your best gaming set up. Whether you prefer to unwind in the lounge while playing your Wii, Xbox or Playstation or if you choose to chill in your office with your awesome gaming PC; it doesn’t matter where you are or what you play!

What we’re interested in is what your place looks like, the whole gaming room feng shui if you will, when you immerse yourself in the gaming zone. Send us a photo and you could be a winner! Best of luck!

To submit your entry contact: maria@train2game.com

Terms and Conditions:

  • This competition is open to all www.Train2Game.com readers in the UK
  • Prizes cannot be swapped for a cash alternative
  • Multiple entries will be disqualified – please include your contact details (shipping address, contact telephone number and full names) in the email
  • Emails must be received by 30 July to qualify
  • By entering this competition, competitors will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by the rules, and all entry instructions given are deemed to form part of the rules of the competition
  • Train2Game’s decision over the winning entry is final
  • Your email address will only be stored for the purpose of this competition and will not be passed on to any third parties
  • The winner will be informed by email

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect goes International and also changes the life of a gamer closer to home

Dr Mick in VeniceDr Mick Donegon, CEO of games charity SpecialEffect, has taken the charity global and started helping people on an international scale.

The video game charities founder has been visiting San Camillo Hospital, Venice, to train staff and collaborate on assessments with their patients who have a range of complex neurological conditions. He got the pleasure of working with Albert Einstein World Award of Science Winner Niels Bierbaumer who is a Professor of Medical Psychology and Behavioural Neurobiology.

This was a great chance for Dr Mick and Professor Bierbaummer to learn from each other and in addition Dr Mick got to spread the word of SpecialEffect to Italy.

SpecialEffect at home

Thanks to all the work that Dr Mick and his team do they are able to help people like Ray who has spinal muscular atrophy which makes it very difficult for him to move.

Ray was introduced to the SpecialEffect team when they were visiting a young man named Jacob who they helped to play FIFA again.

When the team returned to help Ray his face lit up and he said: “All my Christmases have come at once!”

Call of Duty and FIFA 13 are top of the playing wish list for many people at the moment, and Ray was desperate to play them as well. So after an intense session working with his abilities and trying a handful of different access strategies, the SpecialEffect team settled on a set-up that included two switches on his PlayStation joypad, two in his palms and two head-switches on his wheelchair headrest.

It was a hit. Ray’s occupational therapist asked: “On a scale of one to ten, how happy are you?” Ray replied with a hugely ecstatic “Eleven!!”

For Ray this means much more than simply having fun. His disability means that he’s incredibly limited in doing any sort of activity, let alone one that gives such a sense of achievement. The benefits aren’t just personal – while he was playing, an off-duty member of staff jumped at the opportunity to pit his gaming skills against Ray. I’m sure he’s just the first of many new friends, offline and online, that the gift of gaming will give to Ray.

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 Games – 08.07.13

The Last Of UsThe game charts are out and Naughty Dog’s PS3 exclusive The Last Of Us still sits at the top for a fourth week in a row. This is the first time in 2013 that a game has been at number one for over four weeks in a row. The only other new entry this week is down at number eighteen with Namco Bandai’s fighting RPG, Project X Zone, on Nintendo 3DS at number eighteen.

All formats

Week ending 6 July 2013

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 THE LAST OF US SONY COMPUTER ENT. 1
2 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 2
3 FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 4
4 ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF NINTENDO 3
5 ASSASSIN’S CREED III XBOX 360 CLASSICS 9
6 TOMB RAIDER SQUARE ENIX 7
7 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION 8
8 THE SIMS 3: ISLAND PARADISE EA GAMES 5
9 DEADPOOL ACTIVISION 6
10 FAR CRY 3 UBISOFT 12
11 INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 11
12 NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 14
13 LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 13
14 BIOSHOCK INFINITE 2K GAMES
15 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – LEGENDARY BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 16
16 GOD OF WAR: ASCENSION SONY COMPUTER ENT.
17 GRID 2 CODEMASTERS 17
18 PROJECT X ZONE NAMCO BANDAI GAMES
19 LUIGI’S MANSION 2 NINTENDO 15
20 LEGO THE LORD OF THE RINGS WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2013 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News: Unity supports Xbox One and Windows 8

unity-logoMicrosoft has entered a partnership with the makers of the Unity game engine that will add tools and support for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox One.

The deal, unveiled at Microsoft’s Build Conference in San Francisco, brings yet another set of tools to reach Microsoft’s new platforms and will see the two companies collaborating to make Windows 8 and Xbox One even more approachable for Unity developers.

Xbox 360 and Xbox One developers who have their games published by Microsoft Studios will be given free access to Unity tools.

“Our vision is to democratize game development and provide opportunity for all developers, from individuals to massive teams,” said Unity CEO David Helgason.

“Our collaboration will help further these goals by empowering our community to create games across Microsoft’s powerful platforms. Their vision to provide the best outlet for games to be enjoyed parallels our own vision to build the best platform for games to be developed and we’re excited to work with them to shape the future of the industry.”

Unity’s support for the Xbox One includes many next-generation features like Kinect gestures and recognition, multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass, and the console’s cloud features.

The Windows 8 support includes a Windows Store Add-on that will be available for free to Unity Pro 4 licensees once it’s launched this summer. The add-on will support both Windows Store apps and Windows Phone 8 apps.

“Unity has established itself not only as an incredible development toolset and engine, but as a significant force for creative freedom and innovation in the games development community,” said Microsoft’s Steven Guggenheimer.

“With Unity’s commitment to support Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox One and Xbox 360, Microsoft’s gaming ecosystem will benefit from the wealth of ideas and imagination flowing from the Unity games development community.”

This should be great news for Train2Game students who enjoy creating with the Unity engine. It opens bigger, wider markets to get your work out in to the world.

Train2Game News: Games Industry News- 05.07.13

Xbox360 DashboardIt’s Friday so it is time for the end of the week games industry news round up!

Microsoft has begun inviting Xbox Live members worldwide to participate in the public beta for its 2013 Xbox Live Update for Xbox 360. The update will include improvements to overall performance and the ability to conduct transactions with local currency, as Microsoft Points will be retired later this year. To join, interested 360 owners should look for the Xbox Beta Program tile on the home hub of the Xbox Dashboard and once the places are filled the beta will be closed to the public. You will be required to sign an NDA for security reasons.

In celebration of summer, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces that all its mobile games in the App Store are priced at £0.69 this week including Man of Steel, LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7, Batman Arkham City Lockdown, Scribblenauts Remix, LEGO Batman DC Superheroes, Midway Arcade and Bastion. Man of Steel, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and Scribblenauts Remix are also available on Google Play at the same low price.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition is available for PC from Steam and other digital download portals. Originally developed by NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat co-creator and creative director Ed Boon it has been adapted for PC by High Voltage Software. If you have always wanted to try your hand in Mortal Kombat, now is the time.

2K unveiled the WWE 2K14 cover art featuring WWE Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The official reveal, which took place during an episode of Monday Night Raw, showcased cover artwork designed in partnership with “The People’s Champion.” The cover art reflects The Rock’s physicality and signature in-ring pose. To further celebrate, 2K recently launched a consumer contest for the opportunity to create alternate cover artwork to be included with WWE 2K14 retail copies. “I am exceptionally grateful to be chosen for the cover of WWE 2K14 and serve as the first cover Superstar under 2K’s leadership,” said The Rock.

Square Enix has released a new Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII trailer dubbed “The Divine Task”. The latest video reveals more about the game’s story, including the appearance of supporting character Hope. Lightning Returns was revealed at the Final Fantasy 25th anniversary event in 2012 and is billed as the last entry in the “Lightning saga”. The Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s release date has been confirmed as February 11, 2014 in North America and February 14 Europe on Xbox 360 and PS3. You can enjoy the trailer, here.

Train2Game News: The average gamer revealed

gamerVideogames social network Pixwoo unveils results of nationwide poll to discover the “average gamer”.

The average gamer is married, aged 35 and earns £23k a year, the study revealed yesterday.

Researchers found that while the stereotypical gamer is a student with plenty of time on their hands, it is actually settled, working Brits who are most likely to unwind playing videogames and female gamers spend just as much time indulging in their videogame hobby as their male counterparts.

They will spend around two and a half hours a day – five days a week – in front of their console and stay up until 10.58pm playing computer games. It also emerged that gamers own two different consoles, 18 games and take around a month to complete one game.

A spokesman for gamers’ social media network Pixwoo.com, which commissioned the research, said “The image most people have of a gamer is usually a young boy, holed up for hours in end in their bedroom, only stopping the game for food, drink and toilet breaks. But these results show that the stereotype couldn’t be more wrong.

“Not only are women just as likely to be gamers as men, but we are talking about fully grown adults who work, have a family and are in a relationship.”

The study, of 2,000 Brits who consider themselves a ‘gamer’, found that they will spend a total of 12 hours and 32 minutes playing on some kind on console each week but researchers also found that the hobby isn’t always good news for relationships, with the average gamer rowing with their partner twice a week over their pastime. More than one in twenty of those in relationships say it is a constant source of their rows while 15 per cent have broken up with someone because of it.

More than three quarters even admitted they don’t think they will ever grow out of their love for computer games.

While the games are usually switched off by 11pm, gamers have stayed up as late as 1.12am engrossed in their contests. They will also spend around four hours queuing for a new game at a midnight store opening once a year.

The study also found that the average video game fan has five online friends in the gaming community, with 29 per cent saying they have met at least one of those face-to-face and while a third say they are most like to play games with ‘real-life’ friends in the same room, almost a quarter tend to play with friends remotely. Almost one in five usually play with ‘online friends’ they have got to know through the gaming community.

Just under half also discuss their games and search for hints and cheats on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

It also emerged that the Wii is the most popular console to own, followed by a PlayStation 3 and an Xbox 360 and 44 per cent will definitely be treating themselves to either a PlayStation 4, Xbox One or a new PC within the next 12 months.

A spokesman for Pixwoo.com added: “This snapshot into the lives of ordinary gamers disputes many myths about the pastime, showing how integrated gaming is into our daily routine. Pixwoo.com is launching am iPhone and Android app for gamers to share their passion among friends old and new, offering a place to talk about games without being bothered by aspects of other social networks, like pictures of what people are having for dinner.”