Train2Game News: Microsoft launching more apps for 360

Xbox 360Train2Game has discovered that a number of new apps are coming to the Xbox 360 over the winter period.

More than 40 new applications are set to launch worldwide between now and spring 2013, Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb announced.

Some of the apps the UK are getting are a Sainsbury’s shopping app, a Napster app and a Karaoke app.

While free to download the Karaoke, you then pay per amount of singing time you “rent”. It’s 240 Microsoft Points for two hours, 400 Points for six hours or 800 Points for 24 hours. The service is expected to launch next week and I imagine would be quite a hit at social gatherings.

Microsoft have also launched a SkyDrive cloud-saving service on Xbox 360, allowing you to share your holiday snaps and videos and display them on your TV from your Google SkyDrive.

Some other applications that are being launched from now until the end of January are to the UK are gaming sites Machinima and GameTrailers, anime service CrunchyRoll, arty movie service IndieFlix and sports broadcaster Livesport.tv.

This announcement shows Microsoft’s further push into an all round entertainment platform allowing you to do most things from the comfort of your games console.

Train2Game News: Mid-week round up – 21.11.12

A trailer for the next Borderlands 2 DLC has been released. It is full of explosions, carnage and hilarity. From the looks of the trailer, Tiny Tina is back which is great news, she is a highly amusing character. When I heard about this DLC I was worried it was going to be another “Moxxis Underdome” but luckily it looks like it’s a proper campaign. You can enjoy the trailer here.

Peter Molyneux has announced that up to six new features could be coming soon for the experiment app Curiosity. The new features are currently on the prototype phase. Molyneux hasn’t released what they are yet but did give the clue ‘Badgers’. The new features have been designed by watching how people are using the cube. As of 3pm today 30 layers have been chiselled away.

The company behind The Walking Dead episodic series of games has had to move to a bigger premises. Telltale currently employ about 125 staff, but the new space will provide enough room for 160 employees, and the company is planning a hiring spree for 2013.

Microsoft’s further venture in to entertainment sees a new app coming soon which will turn your Xbox into a Karaoke machine. You’ll able to purchase singing time in blocks of two, six or 24 hours with your Microsoft Points. The app, simply named Karaoke, offers over 8000 tracks. You’ll be able to warble along to pop, rock and country tunes, plus some R&B and hip-hop tunes.

Windows Phone may not have the market share of Apple or Google, but it does appear to be winning in one key area for game developers: monetization. According to data from EEDAR’s 2012 Mobile Syndicated Reports, Windows smartphone users “consistently outspend their peers” with almost 10 percent of Windows gamers classified as “Whales” (those who spend more than $25 a month) compared to just four percent on both iOS and Android.

Sony has released the public version of the PlayStation Mobile SDK, allowing developers to create content for a wide range of devices and sell through the PlayStation Store. As well as PlayStation Certified Android hardware, developers can build apps and games for the PlayStation Vita, PSP and the PlayStation 3 with an annual license fee of just £60.

Artist, Andrew Ryan, has created some gorgeous character art by putting Mass Effect character in to the Dragon Age universe. The Normandy is a high dragon ridden by Joker, Garrus is an awesome crossbow-wielding knight, Jack’s a blood mage elf and EDI is a golem. Each character was designed separately before being combined in the final diorama. You can check out the pictures on his Deviant Art page, here.

Train2Game News: Microsoft SmartGlass releases with Windows 8

Microsoft is launching SmartGlass for a number of devices on October 26 alongside the release of Windows 8.

The new feature will mix Xbox movies, media, games and video between tablets, smartphones, PCs and consoles. The service will immediately launch with support for Windows 8, the Xbox 360, Windows Phones and the upcoming Surface tablet.

Pawan Bhardwaj, product manager Xbox Live, confirmed on Monday that “Microsoft wants to add a SmartGlass app to iOS and Android devices”

No release date has currently been set and whether Google or Apple will allow a rival music player on their devices is yet to be seen.

A variety of games and other apps will support SmartGlass functionality at launch. A list of the supported entertainment at launch is listed below:

Games:

  • Ascend
  • Dance Central 3
  • Forza Horizon
  • Halo Waypoint
  • Home Run Stars
  • Karaoke
  • Kinect Sesame Street TV
  • Prima Games

Sports:

  • ESPN
  • NBA Game Time
  • UFC

Entertainment Apps:

  • Elections 2012
  • HBO GO
  • MSN
  • NBC News
  • NOW TV
  • Slacker Radio
  • TODAY
  • Univision

Microsoft has also said that all Netflix films will soon support the service.

The release of SmartGlass and the Xbox music that has launched today with a dashboard update sees Microsoft move further in to creating an all entertainment service.