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 students share views on pre-owned games market

Train2Game students recently saw The Train2Game Blog post about Volition Game Designer Jameson Durall speaking out against pre-owned games, in which he welcomed the idea of a console that doesn’t play second hand titles.

Train2Game students had a variety of different opinions on the matter – as evident on the Train2Game Facebook page – but a common thread was banning the next Xbox console from playing pre-owned games would only work if games were sold at a lower price.

That’s perfectly fine if they make games cheaper to buy in the first place. £20-£30 would prob sell more units, would stop trading and would also cut down on file sharing!” Train2Game student Rob Farmer replied.

And Train2Game student Craig License agreed, adding that it’s already happening with PCs and people already familiar with it.

“This happened with PCs years ago with the likes of CD keys and DRM. People will be pissed to start but over time they’ll get used to it. To counter this they do either need to lower the initial game price so more people will buy them or just have constant sales and discounts on games, like Steam does.” he said.

Meanwhile, Train2Game student John Esslemont thinks game developers would benefit from extra sales of games.

“I think this is an amazing idea. Just think of the better experiences we can have if the developers receive that extra cash and we are not talking 1000’s we’re talking millions.” he posted on the Train2Game Facebook page debate.

However, it was Train2Game student Leigh Radmore who offered a more radicial solution to developers losing revenue through second hand sales, suggesting that retailers should be required to hand over royalties to compensate studios lost revenue

There is always going to be a massive divide between the industry and the consumers when it comes to the second hand market.” he said

“Whatever action is taken, whether it be to keep going along with how it is now which hurts development investment, or to increase the measure’s devised to force the consumer to buy new, the only ones that are getting anything out of it are the retailers in the middle.” Leigh continued.

“How about, instead of alienating the consumer, go after the retailers that are making all the profit on someone else’s work? How about licencing them or pushing for sales royalties?” the Train2Game student added.

Have an opinion to share about pre-owned games? Leave it here on The Train2Game Blog, the Train2Game forum, or the Train2Game Facebook page.

Train2Game news: Volition designer speaks out against pre-owned game sales

Train2Game students may already be aware of the methods game developers are using to encourage consumers to buy new copies of their games, rather than second hand versions that are available at retail.

Some include bonus content when the game is bought new, others require a code to play online which comes with a brand new version of the game. Some even believe digital distribution is the way forward.

However, recent rumours suggest that the next generation Xbox console won’t play second hand games at all, and that’s welcomed by Volition Game Designer Jamson Durall.

“Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them,” he wrote on AltDevBlogADay.

“The used games market is significantly impacting the revenue we receive. I think what most consumers don’t realize is that every time they buy a used game, there is ZERO money making it back to the Game Developers. All of those profits are going directly to the re-seller and making it more and more difficult for us to continue making higher quality products.”

 “People often don’t understand the cost that goes into creating these huge experiences that we put on the shelves for only $60. They also don’t seem to realize how much they are hurting us when they buy a used game and how pirating a copy is just plain stealing.” Durall continued, before adding that if something isn’t done to combat the sales of second hand games the games industry “is going to fall apart”.

Train2Game students can read Durall’s AltDevBlogADay post in full here.

His name may be familiar to Train2Game students, as he spoke to us in a massive interview about Red Faction: Armageddon last year. Durall also revealed some excellent advice about how to get into the games industry.

But what are your thoughts on his views on second hand games? Do you understand his concerns as future game developers? Or do you believe that the industry just needs to adapt to second hand sales?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: AltDevBlogADay]