Train2Game News Xbox One CPU Increase

Xbox OneAs I am sure you are all well aware some irritating people hacked Xbox Live and PSN however some good has come from it.

Whilst the Xbox One was being hacked a number of development tools to be used by game studios were revealed, including Microsoft’s generous gift to developers – the use of an extra CPU core.

There are eight in total within the Xbox One’s case, two of which have so far been reserved for running the background operating system. Now Microsoft has opened up the use of 50 to 80% of the seventh CPU, meaning that games will run faster and smoother.

The use of this seventh CPU will necessitate the ditching of Kinect – custom, game-specific voice commands, the infrared and depth sensors won’t work. Even worse, basic console commands – “Xbox Go Home”, “Xbox Go To…” will snatch back 50% of the CPU usage.

Microsoft have recognised the flaws and limitations of their seventh CPU in the documentation that goes alongside the development tools, and they are aiming to fix it at some point in the future.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 15.04.14

TitanfallAnother quiet week in the charts with a bit of a shuffle around at the top putting Titanfall back in the number one spot. The new Lego Hobbit game has come in to the charts behind Titanfall at number two and further down the charts Kinect Sports Rivals arrives at number fourteen.

All formats
Week ending 12 April 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 TITANFALL EA GAMES 3
2 LEGO THE HOBBIT WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE
3 FIFA 14 EA SPORTS 1
4 SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH UBISOFT 8
5 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 4
6 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 9
7 THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 7
8 PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE EA GAMES 11
9 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 12
10 METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES KONAMI 5
11 THIEF SQUARE ENIX 13
12 BATTLEFIELD 4 EA GAMES 10
13 INFAMOUS: SECOND SON SONY COMPUTER ENT. 6
14 KINECT SPORTS: RIVALS MICROSOFT
15 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 14
16 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 15
17 DARK SOULS II BANDAI NAMCO GAMES 16
18 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2014 SEGA
19 THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 2
20 WWE 2K14 2K SPORTS
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 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 Twitch dated for Xbox One

Xbox OneAs of 11th March, the Xbox One’s Twitch app will finally support livestreaming. What’s more, it’ll allow you to join a broadcaster’s Xbox Live party while watching their stream.

Livestreaming was originally planned for launch, but was delayed “to ensure that the Twitch broadcasting experience meets all of your expectations”. Microsoft and Twitch now claim that the Xbox One Twitch app is the most “complete” you’ll find on a console.

“It’s complete integration,” Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said yesterday. “It’s exciting because we’ve never had the ability to broadcast from a console like this with such a deep level of integration. The concept of being able to join a broadcasters’ party is really cool, and it’s another step in the direction of interacting more closely with broadcasters.”

The PS4’s Twitch app has supported livestreaming since launch but it doesn’t allow you to join the broadcaster’s party, however. “That’s a very certain type of experience,” Xbox vice president of marketing and strategy Yusuf Mehdi observed of Sony’s offering. “For us, we thought that was too limiting for what our fans would want. Our fans really want the full next-gen service, so that’s why we decided to take our time, do it right and have it come out in this fashion.”

“This will open up the social aspect of Xbox One in a new way,” he added. “The community of Twitch is huge, and this allows us to type into that, and frankly do something that’s never been done before on consoles. You’ll be able to broadcast to any device and consume anyone’s broadcast from any device. It’s a console experience unique to the Xbox One.”

There’s Kinect support, of course. You’ll be able to start a broadcast by saying “Xbox, broadcast”. To stop, say “Xbox, stop broadcast”.

Train2Game News: Xbox One Self Publishing

Xbox OneMicrosoft have finally clarified their self publishing plans for the Xbox One, allowing developers to create, sell and market games through the new home console.

All developers accepted for the scheme will receive two Xbox One development kits free of charge, as well as access to the full range of services on offer to games development teams – cloud services, Kinect and the Xbox One toolset, which includes Smartglass, multiplayer, Achievements and Gamerscores.

Applications for the self-publishing service, named ID@Xbox, are being accepted from today, with Microsoft stating that priority will be given to developers with a proven track record in shipping games on console, mobile, PC or tablets and there are no application fees for certification or for title updates.

In order to help with the discoverability issues that trouble all self-publishing stores, Microsoft is promising that all games will feature in the regular Xbox One store and be supported by voice search.

On top of that the store will also feature trending games reflecting what the community and friends are playing, recommendations based on a consumer’s playing habits, spotlighted games and the ability for developers to set community challenges, as well as support the Xbox One’s Game DVR and Upload services.

Phil Harrison, corporate vice president at Microsoft Europe’s interactive entertainment business, revealed that Microsoft will set the price of self-published games after developers have established their wholesale price and that developers are likely to receive an industry standard 70/30 split in their favour.

“The developer can set their own wholesale price and we act as the retailer. So Xbox Live acts as a reseller, and Xbox Live Store will be setting the ultimate retail price to the consumer. That’s the way in which our store has always been structured,” he said.

Independent developers who have already given their support to Microsoft’s new initiative include Chris Hecker, The Behemoth’s John Baez, Paul Wedgewood from Splash Damage, Other Ocean’s Mike Mika, Team 17’s Debbie Bestwick, The Odd Gentlemen’s Matt Korab, Ripstone’s Phil Gaskel and Dlala Studios.

Microsoft has said that eventually it hopes that every Xbox One will become a development kit for self-publishing purposes.

If you are interested in signing up for this you can do so by visiting http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/developers/id

Train2Game News: More Xbox One Changes

Xbox OneAs has been common lately, Microsoft has changed some more of the policies on the Xbox One.

The Xbox One now will not need Kinect to function. The system still comes with the Kinect but it means that if anything happens to your Kinect sensor then it will not cripple your console. However some of the features such as face recognition and voice commands won’t work without it. There is also the ability to turn the Kinect sensor off in the settings of the console if you so desire.

It has also come to light that you will require an Xbox Live gold membership for some of the features on the Xbox One such asthe DVR and the Skype calling. Only Gold members will get access to the new OneGuide system, which curates TV and other entertainment based on viewing patterns. Existing functionality, such as Netflix support, web browsing, and other features familiar from the Xbox 360 will still demand Xbox Gold membership as well.

Finally the more recent update to come to light is Xbox One launch has been delayed until 2014 in eight countries. These include: Russia, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. Xbox One will launch first in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Austria in November 2013. Microsoft has said they will give a free game to those who are affected by the delay who have already pre ordered the console.

With just over three months to go before the console is released in most places, what other aspects could Microsoft change?

Train2Game News: Microsoft allowing self publishing on Xbox One

Xbox OneMicrosoft have announced they will allow self publishing for indie titles on the Xbox One. This is excellent news for Train2Game students.

Microsoft have also announced that each console can be used as a development kit, much like the way that Apple devices can be used as such.

Here’s the official statement from Xbox corporate VP, Marc Whitten:

“Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August.”

Whitten also told Kotaku that dev kit functionality will not be available at launch, but will be added ‘at a later date’.

This dispells all concerns of the accessibility and exposure of indie game on Xbox One, Whitten promises they will live on the Xbox Live Marketplace with the major titles.

Whitten explains “Of course there will be different pivots inside of that. There will be everything from what are we curating, kind of like spotlight content, to the normal discoverability stuff like recommendations, what’s trending, what’s got a lot of engagement on the platform. But you shouldn’t think of it as there’s an indie area and a non-indie area.”

With this announcement it opens up an entirely new indie market for Train2Game students and Student Studios with all the features of the Xbox One, allowing you to get creative with features such as Kinect and the Cloud.

Train2Game News: Xbox One’s Kinect Privacy

Xbox OneMicrosoft have stated that they will take an aggressive stance to any one who tries to use the Kinect to collect data.

With the new Xbox One being bundled with Kinect, many people voiced their objections for fear of it breaking their privacy but Microsoft has said this definitely won’t happen. The company is currently trying to release information on the data requests it has received from intelligence services in the past, but is being blocked from doing so by the US government.

It’s not the first time that Microsoft has sought to calm fears over Xbox One privacy. The company previously promised that Kinect would not record ambient conversation data, and only listened for the “Xbox On” voice command when switched off. In addition the Kinect sensor will have an activity light so you will be able to tell when the device is in use.

A Microsoft spokesperson said, when asked about Kinect privacy, “Absent a new law, we don’t believe the government has the legal authority to compel us or any other company that makes products with cameras and microphones to start collecting voice and video data. “We’d aggressively challenge in court any attempts to try and force us to do so.”

They went on to say “When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded”

Microsoft has asked the US Attorney General to permit itself and other companies to share more information on what data it gives to government security agencies, such as the number of security requests it has received. At the moment it is blocked from releasing this information by the US government.

This is a very clear message from Microsoft that they will respect your personal privacy and fight for it if need be.

Train2Game News: Icey Monty score a direct hit with archery game for Strongbow

Icey MontyTrain2Game student studio, Icey Monty, designed a game to launch Strongbow Berry at Victoria train station last Friday.

John Esslemont, Nick Walker and Domm Young, joined forces with Frank PR in an initiative to launch Strong Bow’s latest flavour. The Icey Monty crew were part of a team that created a vending machine which had members of the public using Microsoft Kinect to shoot berries on the Icey Monty designed game. Players with enough skill to hit the berry were rewarded with ice cold cans of new Strongbow Berry to enjoy on what was another scorching day in the capital.

You can enjoy a video of Nick being interviewed below

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: Microsoft Reverse Xbox One Policies

Xbox OneMicrosoft have listened to their fans and have backtracked on some of the more controversial Xbox One policies.

Since Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would need to connect to the internet once every 24 hours, you can only sell used games to certain retailers and that sharing games would be different, the console has come under attack from many people.

Consumers felt like there choices were being taken away from them.

Microsoft have now heard these attacks and have changed their policies to one that should appeal more to the wider market.

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console – there will be no regional restrictions on the console.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios that previously announced for Xbox One, such as when swapping from one game to another will of course require a change of disc and features such as the “Driveatar” for Forza 5 will still require a constant connection.

The Kinect will still have to be always connected to the console as Microsoft believe that is a key part of gaming in the future and want Developers to be able to use it without worry.

The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

In the article from Don Mattrick detailing the changes, it finishes saying “We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.”