Train2Game News eSports app on Xbox One

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ESL, the world’s largest independent eSports brand, today announced the release of its ESL app on Xbox One, which enables competitive console players – initially from Europe and North America – to connect directly through Xbox Live.

Launching on Oct. 21, the application will allow gamers to compete across an expansive list of game titles in a variety of ESL cups and tournaments. With matchmaking acting as the core feature, the ESL app on Xbox One eliminates the need for extra devices and browser windows, thereby streamlining the gaming experience for users.

“ESL stands for the best eSports experience in the world and our goal is to deliver that experience on all platforms. By launching our own app, we want to bring that unique experience to the Xbox One and its lineup of multiplayer games. The app will allow players of all skill levels to easily participate in our tournaments. This is just the start for us – we are working hard to bring major eSports tournaments to consoles and integrate them flawlessly into our app so everyone can get involved.” said Marcel Menge, Managing Director at Turtle eSports Technology.

“At Xbox, we’re dedicated to providing gamers with the experiences they ask for and we know competitive gaming is a growing category,” said Larry Hyrb, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson. “With the addition of the ESL app on Xbox One, we can deliver a wide range of tournaments for some of the best games on the platform all with the functionality our community craves.” The main feature of the application is to enable users to find, sign up and submit results for ESL cups and matches on Xbox itself. An extension of this allows the gamer to stay on top of the competition and track his/her progress within both past and present ESL competitions. Additionally, opponents can be found, viewed and challenged (via gamertags) with the latest eSports news available from eslgaming.com.

For more information click here.

Train2Game News: Major Xbox Announcement

Xbox announcementThe rumours of the announcement for the Next Generation Xbox have been confirmed as true by Larry Hryb.

Larry Hryb, also known as Major Nelson, confirmed on his twitter account that Microsoft will be revealing the next Xbox on May 21. Mr Hryb directed his twitter followers attention to his blog which had a big green banner across the top with a countdown under the words “Xbox Reveal”. You can’t get much clearer than that.

“On Tuesday May 21st, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment,” the post says. “On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox.com, Xbox LIVE and broadcast on Spike TV if you are in the US or Canada.”

The worldwide stream will land at 1pm ET, 10am Pacific and 5pm GMT, although presumably that should be 6pm. This will allow all people around the world to watch the stream live with out having to stay up until the early hours of the morning.

The post goes on to announce further info at E3 a few weeks later, including an extensive software reveal. “We’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future,” it says. “Then, 19-days later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.”

The post is finished of by saying “We are thrilled to pull back the curtain and reveal what we’ve been working on.” A comment like this shows how much passion has been put into this project.

I am greatly looking forward to this announcement.

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.

Microsoft reveal Kinect launch line up (And reportedly have $500 million for marketing!)

Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360

Microsoft has announced that 17 launch titles will be available when Kinect for Xbox 360 is launched worldwide next month. The news has been revealed by Major Nelson, and you can see the entire list of Kinect launch games for Xbox 360 below.

Meanwhile, The New York Post reports that Microsoft has a massive marketing budget for Kinect of $500 million. Yes, that is half way to a billion dollars! The paper reports that this is more than the marketing budget Microsoft had to promote the launch of the original Xbox console back when it launched in July 2000.

The Kinect advertising will appear online, on television, magazines and on other products including food and drink packaging. If you pick up a burger, you may just see Kinect for Xbox 360 staring right back at you on the package.

“Kinect is the largest, most integrated marketing initiative in Xbox history, bigger than its launch,” said Robert Matthews, general manager of global marketing communications for Xbox. “We are going to be spending millions to launch this globally.”

The hype machine seems to be working, with 7,000 stores across the USA staying open past midnight when Kinect is launched on the other side of the Atlantic on November 4th.  So what are the titles will be available when Kinect, the hands free controller for Xbox 360 is released?  Well the Kinect launch title’s that’ll be available in the USA (UK games are yet to be confirmed) are as follows:

Kinect Adventures
Price: Packed in with the Kinect sensor.

Kinectimals
Price: $49.99 or $59.99 for the Limited Edition which comes with a plush toy and unlock code.

Game Party: In Motion
Price: $39.99

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 The Videogame
Price: $49.99

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
Price: $49.99

Dance Central
Price: $49.99

The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout
Price: $49.99

DanceMasters
Price: $49.99

EA Sports Active 2
Price: $99.95 and comes with a heart rate monitor

Zumba Fitness
Price: $49.99

Kinect Sports
Price: $49.99

MotionSports
Price: $49.99

DECA Sports Freedome
Price: No Price listed

Kinect Joy Ride
Price: $49.99

Adrenalin Misfits
Price: $49.99

Fighters Uncaged
Price: $49.99

Sonic Free Rider
Price: $49.95

Kinect for Xbox 360 is released here in the UK on November 10th and will be available as part of a 250GB Xbox 360 bundle for £299.99. You can alternatively buy a Kinect for Xbox 360 on its own for £130.

So Train2Game, has anyone pre-ordered Kinect for their Xbox 360? What do you think of the launch line up? How about that massive budget? And do you think Kinect for Xbox 360 has the potential to triumph over the PlayStation Move?

You can leave your thoughts on Kinect for Microsoft Xbox 360 here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Major Nelson reveals new Xbox 360 controller

New Xbox 360 controllerMicrosoft has revealed a new Xbox 360 controller in a video hosted by Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb on the Xbox Youtube channel.

While furiously waving the new Xbox 360 controller around, Major Nelson explains:

“The engineers have come up with an ingenious solution with a d-pad that can go from a plus to a disc with the twist of the wrist.”

“In addition to the new d-pad, the matte silver controller also features concave analogue sticks and grey A,B,X,Y buttons for added style.”

“The controller will only be available with the new Play & Charge Kit that will launch on November 9th for US $64.99.”

The d-pad can be raised by twisting it 90 degrees, and will be much appreciated by fans of fighting games such as Street Fighter IV, where precision is the key to success.  Have Microsoft developed the new Xbox 360 controller specifically for fans of a specific genre?

The new Xbox 360 pad has also seen the control buttons toned down to a grey colour rather than the red, green, blue and yellow that we’re all used to.

The new Xbox 360 controller will be available in the United States from November 9th at a cost of $64.99. Unfortunately Xbox 360 owners in Europe won’t be able to get their hands on the new Xbox 360 controller until February next year. Expect Microsoft to reveal the price of the new Xbox 360 controller on this side of the Atlantic nearer the time.

You can watch Major Nelson explain everything you need to know about the new Xbox 360 controller in the video below.

So Train2Game students, what’s your opinion on the new Xbox 360 controller? Is it the radical overhaul that Microsoft claims it is or is it too similar to the regular Xbox 360 controller to your liking? Will you be buying a new Xbox 360 control pad?

You can leave your thoughts about the new Xbox 360 control pad here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.