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.”

Train2Game News: Xbox One vs PS4

The helpful people at CVG have put together an infographic detailing all the information about the next gen consoles that was announced during E3.

You can enjoy the infographic below:

XB1 v PS4

Train2Game News: Xbox at E3

Xbox OneE3 has begun and the first subject I will report on from the event is the Xbox E3 Conference which was on at 5:30pm GMT, yesterday.

The event began with an incredibly stunning trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, featuring the voice of Kiefer Sutherland. The trailer displayed incredibly beautiful graphics using the Xbox One system and they are truly jaw dropping. The game play its self looks big, epic and is open world. This new adventure of snake uses interesting stealth mechanics and action to achieve your goals.

It was a beautiful start to the conference.

The rest of the conference was full of the new stunning games for the Xbox One for all audiences and fans.

There was another old favourite game returning to console market, Killer Instinct, the beat-em-up game published by Rare and Nintendo that was made popular in 1994, released as an Arcade machine, then later ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Killer instinct was displayed on stage by Double Helix Games, the creators of the reboot.

Games for the younger audience were also displayed. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition looked beautiful some how. I have no idea how the Xbox One has made simple blocks beautiful but they managed it!

One of the more interesting looking games and mechanics was that of Project Spark. You create the game world using the Kinect Voice Recognition, saying phrases such as “Woodland” and the land would be covered in Woodland. You can then go through and shape the world in a way you see fit and give inanimate objects intelligence to fill many roles. The possibilities are truly endless for the game.

Forza 5 was shown at the event and this was one of the most intelligent features I have ever seen in a game. With their feature known as “Drivatar” as you play the game, it will learn what you do and how you race, with what it learns, when you are not playing the game, your friends and people around the world can use your Drivatar to race against. In a way, there is no AI to race against, instead you race against people matched to your level so there is always a challenge through out the game. It is an incredible idea.

With it being an Xbox conference there was of course a few first person shooters.

Battlefield 4 was shown and looked absolutely beautiful, with incredible action and an exciting pace. They didn’t display any multiplayer game play however.

There was also a teaser trailer for the next Halo game that completely blew me away. As I sat there watching the trailer, trying to work out what I was seeing I was shocked and excited to see the Master Chief unveiled, that was one of the best moments of it for me.

There was several other games mentioned through the conference.

The Xbox it’s self was announced to be very heavily integrated with the Smartglass app. Using it from keeping an eye on other players stats to displaying the user interface.

The price was the biggest downfall of the console however. In the UK the console will be £429. A price many aren’t sure is worth it.

Train2Game News: More Xbox One Details

Xbox OneMicrosoft has released a website detailing how the Xbox One will handle its online connection, second-hand games, and the all-new Kinect.

Microsoft calls the Xbox One a “modern, connected device,” and means every word of it: the console needs an online connection every 24 hours.

“With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies,” reads the page explaining the console’s online features.

“While a persistent connection is not required, Xbox One is designed to verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend. Games that are designed to take advantage of the cloud may require a connection.”

Once games are installed from either a retail disc or Xbox Live purchase, that game will be available at any time in the cloud. Microsoft says that “discs will continue to be a great way to install your games quickly,” pointing to the retail disc as merely a delivery system for the game license and code. Xbox One lets up to ten family members log in and play a shared library of games on the console, so specific family members won’t need their own game license. The system will allow trade, trade-in, and resell Xbox One games, but only if game publishers allow it.

“We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games,” says the game license page.

“Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.”

Finally, Microsoft tackles the updated Kinect, which has led to privacy concerns in some consumers. Though some games may require Kinect functionality, the peripheral can be turned off, even in the Xbox One’s standby mode.

“If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say ‘Xbox Off.’ When the system is off, it’s only listening for the single voice command — ‘Xbox On,’ and you can even turn that feature off too,” says the Kinect portion of the site.

“You will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. 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 answered a ton of questions for consumers and the media, but those answers may not be the ones we were hoping to hear.

Train2Game News: Xbox One revealed

Xbox OneThe big news from yesterday evening was that the next generation Xbox was revealed, the Xbox One. Train2Game has written up a round up of the features on the new system.

The console is shaped in the 16:9 aspect ratio and employs a horizontal orientation optimized for its high-speed Blu-ray disc player. It is moulded in a deep and rich liquid black colour and includes a distinctive bevelled edge.

The completely redesigned, revolutionary 1080p Kinect is more precise, more responsive and more intuitive. Its unparalleled vision, motion and voice technology let you reach into games and entertainment like never before by dramatically expanding its field of view and fidelity. It works in nearly any lighting condition, recognizes precise motion control from a slight wrist rotation, and distinguishes your voice even in a noisy room using advanced noise isolation.

The Xbox controller is refreshed with more than 40 technical and design innovations. Updated directional pad, thumb stick and ergonomic fit immerse all gamers in ways that are uniquely Xbox, and precision and control have been dramatically increased with all new vibrating impulse triggers. The Xbox One Wireless Controller is designed to work in concert with the new Kinect, allowing the two to be paired automatically to create seamless player syncing.

With Xbox One, games push the boundaries of realism and your TV obeys your commands. Say “Xbox On” to launch your personalized Xbox One Home screen, discover what is popular on TV or see friends’ latest gaming achievements all using the most natural interface — your voice. The more you interact with Xbox One, the more it gets to know you and learns what you like. Some of the breakthrough Xbox One features that put you at the centre of your living room entertainment include the following:

TV on Xbox One Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Microsoft is committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available

Home Turn on your entertainment system with two powerful words, “Xbox On,” and a custom-tailored Home dashboard welcomes you with your favorite games, TV and entertainment.

Snap Do two things at once on the biggest screen in your home. Use Snap to jump into a multiplayer battle while watching your favourite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV, or track your fantasy team on TV as you watch the big game and more.

Skype for Xbox One Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.

Trending Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.

OneGuide Find your favorite entertainment easily, searching by network, name or time, all with the sound of your voice and presented in a tailored program guide.

To create the most advanced Xbox system ever designed for games, TV and entertainment, Microsoft created a state-of-the-art gaming operating system and fused it with an equally amazing entertainment platform, so you will not have to switch inputs to watch TV or play a game. An eight-core, x86 processor and more than 5 billion transistors helps make lag and load times a thing of the past, so you can instantly jump between a game and your entertainment at lightning speed or run a host of apps right alongside your game with no loss in performance.

Xbox One is built to amplify an all-new generation of Xbox Live that is more powerful, more personal and more intelligent. Unleashing the virtually unlimited power of the cloud makes everything more convenient and accessible, from allowing games to be installed in segments so that gameplay can start quickly to updates downloading in the background. Save and store your personalized profile, games and entertainment in the cloud to access them anytime, from any Xbox One console.4 In addition, existing Xbox Live Gold Membership for Xbox 360 will seamlessly carry over to Xbox One.

Xbox Live takes you deeper into the games you love with all-new features:

Smart Match A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities — reputation fundamentally matters and helps find best matches.

Game DVR A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses your magic moments, all saved to the cloud. Along with sharing tools, you will have the most amazing bragging rights with Xbox Live.

Living Games Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.

Expanded achievements A new and expanded achievements system captures video of your epic moments, continues to grow a game’s achievements over time and rewards you in new ways, and your Gamerscore carries over from Xbox 360.

Xbox SmartGlass Xbox SmartGlass is natively part of the Xbox One platform, built in from the beginning with the ability to quickly render content directly onto your device, and now more devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.

Microsoft have also confirmed that all Xbox One games will require mandatory installation on the system’s hard drive. To install the same disc on another Xbox Live user’s drive, a fee must be paid.

Microsoft exec Phil Harrison elaborated in an Xbox One interview with CVG that players who activate a pre-owned retail disc will need to pay the same price as the original buyer in order to access its content.

Microsoft later added that it is “designing the new console to enable customers to trade in and resell Xbox One games”, but the company’s not yet ready to share details on how this process will work.

Sadly, yet understandably with it’s new drive, Xbox One won’t be backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games.

To put to rest one of the rumours in the lead up to the console, there is no sweeping mandatory always-online requirement for Xbox One games. However, Harrison suggested that Xbox One will require an internet connection once every 24 hours.

Following the reveal event, a number of UK retailers kicked off Xbox One pre-orders. Zavvi has predicted an Xbox One price of £400 and release date November 30.

Train2Game News: Next Xbox name rumours

Xbox 360sMore rumours have hit the web today about the next generation Xbox Console. This time regarding the name of the system.

Fusible have noticed that Microsoft have registered several domain names using “Xbox Fusion” including XboxFusion.info, XboxFusion.biz, XboxFusion.de, XboxFusion.co.uk, amongst others. Xbox has other names registered such as XboxNext.com and XboxGold.com

Names being kicked around include the Xbox 720, Xbox Infinity, Xbox Infinite, Xbox Gold, Xbox 8, Xbox Durango, Xbox Next and more but Xbox Fusion seems more likely to be the name of the next console.

Microsoft may have balanced the risk of a leak versus the embarrassment they suffered during the Halo 4 and Kinect launches when it turned out that they hadn’t registered the domains ahead of time, ensuring that they were forced to buy them from those who were quick enough to grab them before Microsoft could.

I am personally quite glad, if the rumours are true, they are moving on from the 360 name. It is a new beginning and I never liked the idea of just doubling the number. It seemed a bit lazy to me.

The details of what this could mean along with other details should all be announced on the day all Microsoft fans are looking forward to, May 21. This is the day that Microsoft will be making a huge announcement on.

Train2Game News: Microsoft unveils new in your face technology

IllumiroomLast year Train2Game brought you the news that Microsoft were working on a new technology to use your room as a screen for gaming. Today it was revealed they have reached that goal.

The idea of the technology is to project the bits of the game you don’t see on your TV, the periphery, onto the walls and furniture of your living room.

A small Microsoft Research team of four are credited with creating what is known as Illumiroom, and it is still only a proof-of-concept design. IllumiRoom pairs Kinect for Windows with a projector to achieve its results. The proof was shown by video at CES in Las Vegas.

“Our system uses the appearance and the geometry of the room (captured by Kinect) to adapt the projected visuals in real-time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics,” the MS Research team explained.

The video captured IllumiRoom running live rather than added it via special effects in post-production to give viewers their first taste. The videos show the cityscapes of shooters sprawl beyond the television. It shows bullets, sparks and fires spill out into the room giving a beautiful feeling of total immersion. My favourite part was seeing snowflakes cascading down the walls.

More detailed details are scheduled at the CHI 2013 event held in Paris on April 27.

You can enjoy the video below:

Train2Game News: New ‘Durango’ console details

It was revealed last week that Xbox World and PlayStation Magazine 3 won’t be published any more. Following that, XBW has used its penultimate issue to reveal details about the next Xbox.

According to the article, the next-gen Xbox – which it speculates is likely to be called simply “Xbox” – will introduce Kinect 2.0, use Blu-ray discs and feature directional audio, a TV output and input, ‘innovative controller’ and – at a later stage of the console’s life – AR glasses.

Current codename ‘Durango’ dev kits boast a CPU with four hardware cores, each divided into four logical cores and an impressive 8GB of RAM, XBW reports.

Editor in chief Dan Dawkins said “Xbox World has been at the cutting edge of Durango coverage for over 12 months. Unless something really dramatic changes, everything we reveal in our penultimate issue will be revealed long before E3 in June.”

The magazine has good form when it comes to next-gen Xbox leaks, having revealed in January Microsoft’s plans for augmented reality, directional sound, and a four-player, finger-tracking Kinect, all of which were later confirmed in the now infamous leaked planning document in June.

To read the full 8-page feature, buy the latest issue of Xbox World online or on Apple Newsstand here.

PSM3 features an equally large feature on PlayStation 4 and you can buy that on iOS here.

Train2Game News: UK Top 20 – 19.11.12

Halo 4 was knocked off of the top spot by Call Of Duty Black Ops 2 this week. The PS Vita counter part, Call Of Duty Black Ops Declassified came in at 16. The other new entries this week are The Sims 3: Seasons which came in at number 9 and Kinect Disneyland Adventures which entered at 17. We now get to see how long Black Ops 2 will stay at the top of the charts.

Week ending 17 November 2012

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1   CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II ACTIVISION
2 HALO 4 MICROSOFT 1
3 –  FIFA 13 EA SPORTS 3
4 ASSASSIN’S CREED III UBISOFT 2
5 SKYLANDERS GIANTS SKYLANDERS 6
6 NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED EA GAMES 4
7 JUST DANCE 4 UBISOFT 9
8 –  BORDERLANDS 2 2K GAMES 8
9   THE SIMS 3: SEASONS EA GAMES
10 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2013 SEGA 5
11 WWE ’13 THQ 7
12 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 15
13 MOSHI MONSTERS: MOSHLINGS THEME PARK MIND CANDY 12
14 –  DISHONORED BETHESDA SOFTWORKS 14
15 FORZA MOTORSPORT 4 MICROSOFT 19
16   CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS DECLASSIFIED ACTIVISION
17   KINECT DISNEYLAND ADVENTURES MICROSOFT
18 –  NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 NINTENDO 18
19 MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER EA GAMES 10
20 RESIDENT EVIL 6 CAPCOM 13

Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2012 UKIE Ltd

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect Case – Chloe & Ella

This weeks SpecialEffect case is a very special one. One of the young girls in the video is the daughter of the founder of SpecialEffect. The two girls use Kinect to play together, you can see how much fun they are having.

SpecialEffect has almost reached their goal of 25,000 views so lets keep watching and sharing to help them out!