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: Games Industry News – 19.04.13

Connor AdamsIt is the end of the week so it is time for the Train2Game end of week round up!

The first bit of news this weeks come with the release of Injustice: Gods Among Us, the new DC Universe fighting game. Train2Game student Connor Adams did some of the concept art for the game at the company he works at Atomhawk in Newcastle. Congratulations Connor! You can view some of his art work, which I highly suggest, in the following link: http://crayonmechanic.deviantart.com/

The Pokémon Company International recently revealed a mysterious new Pokémon that looks strangely familiar to Legendary Pokémon Mewtwo. Nintendo have now confirmed that this new Pokémon is connect to Mewtwo! How this connection will play out when Pokémon X and Pokémon Y launch in October is still to be confirmed. You can enjoy a short clip, that makes the connection clear, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tSVBVQzNMg&feature=player_embedded

Bethesda have recently uploaded a couple of six second long clips to the video sharing site, Vine. These little teaser clips had the internet buzzing about what could be coming. It has now been announced that it is the new game from Resident Evil creator, Shinji Mikami. Mikami’s studio Tango Gameworks will reveal ‘project Zwei’ via a debut trailer set for release at 5:00 a.m. Pacific / 8:00 a.m Eastern. Mikami has previously described Zwei as “a true survival horror” in which the player “confronts and overcomes fear”. Mikami has also said this will be his last game as director.

Activision social media manager Dan Amrich has said he expects 2013’s entry in the Call of Duty series, which is most likely going to be Modern Warfare 4, to be revealed no later than E3 in early June. Amrich noted that the last two Call of Duty games were revealed in May 2011 and May 2012. It has been rumoured that Microsoft are revealing their next Xbox on May 21 so it is likely the new COD will be announced around the same time.

Finally, Microsoft reports that Xbox Live now has around 46 million members worldwide. This, is according to the firm’s Earnings Release for FY13 Q3. It represents an 18 per cent increase from the prior year period. Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division posted revenue of $2.53 billion, an increase of 56 per cent from the prior year period. Microsoft sold 1.3 million Xbox 360s during the quarter, which is down 9 percent from the same period but it is still impressive that so many consoles are still being sold, even at the end of this generations cycle.

Train2Game News: Next Xbox could eliminate pre-owned games

XBOX720One of the latest reports to come out in regards to the next Xbox suggests that you will need a constant internet connection to play games.

The report announces that Microsoft will move to make Xbox Live an integral rather than optional feature of the next Xbox, with retail games being made available for download. Physical boxed titles will remain on sale in shops via 50GB Blu-ray discs, but “activation codes” will require verification online, the report adds. Once verified, discs will have no function beyond the initial users – effectively eliminating the second-hand games market as it’s currently known.

The information is said to come from sources with first-hand experience of Microsoft’s next generation console.

“Given its experience with 70 million-plus 360 console stats, Microsoft has accumulated enough user data to make the decision to go online-only with its successive hardware one that adds up,” the report states.

“Microsoft’s hand has been guided by the PC gaming landscape, and viewed through a particular lens it makes sense, even if unbelievers will take some convincing.

“Ultimately, Microsoft has asked itself a simple question: who wants to play games on a next-generation Xbox and yet doesn’t have access to the internet? The answer: not enough to make a considerable difference.”

The next Xbox, codename Durango, is said to utilise an AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM but to date the consoles hard drive capacity is said to be undecided.

Both next-gen consoles are said to be set for release before this Christmas, although PS4 is unlikely to launch in Europe until “early 2014”.

Train2Game News: PS4 and Xbox720 likely to be announced before E3

PS and XboxTrain2Game has discovered that Microsoft and Sony may reveal their next generation of consoles prior to E3 which takes place in June.

Rumours published in the February edition of Game Informer suggests that both companies are working on a press conference that is to be held near the time of the Game Developers Conference in March.

Sources have confirmed that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 systems will be revealed before E3, though specific dates or events have not been finalised.

“We hear that both Sony and Microsoft are targeting special Apple-style press conferences to unveil their platforms near the Game Developers Conference in late March,” reads the Game Informer report.

“E3 in June may be the industry’s biggest event, but both companies want to give their systems their own limelight,” the piece adds.

Analyst Colin Sebastian of Baird Equity Research also suggested that the PS4 price and Xbox 720 price could be £225 to £275 if the prices are equal to the American predictions.

“Our checks suggest that next-generation console hardware will be largely built from ‘off the shelf’ high-end PC components, along with hybrid physical/digital distribution models, enhanced voice controls and motion sensing (Kinect integration with every Xbox), and broad multi-media capabilities,” Sebastian added.

“The cost of production and retail price points should be lower than prior console launches.”

Sebastian also estimated that the Xbox 720 release date is expected for November, while the PlayStation 4 release date may be later than November due to “early production issues”.

Train2Game News: Games industry speculation about ‘spectacular’ new consoles

GAMESTOP CEO Paul Raines expects a next-gen console next year with another to follow in 2014.

On top of that EA – one of the largest games companies in the World says we should look forward to the gaming future.

Paul Raines speculates that Microsoft’s Xbox 720 and Sony’s Playstation 4 will not both be coming out in 2013 like previously thought. One will be released in 2013 with the other following in 2014.

Which comes first remains to be seen.

Mr Raines said “This week, I’m getting a lot of rumours that are very interesting about 2013 but we have not been expecting two more consoles in 2013.

“We’re expecting Wii U this Christmas, another console next year, and another one in ’14. These rumours change every week, but we’re hearing more about next year.”

EA Labels president Frank Gibeau has said the number of gamers has raised exponentially. 10 years ago there was an estimated 200 million worldwide. Now the number is estimated at almost 2 billion.

He added that EA has several new IPS in the works ready for launch with the next-gen consoles.

Mr Gibeau said “The time to launch an IP is at the front-end of the hardware cycle, and if you look historically the majority of new IPS are introduced within the first 24 months of each cycle of hardware platforms. Right now, we’re working on three to five new IPs for the next gen.

When you launch a new IP it needs to do something really, really remarkable, and that’s easier to do when you have a new set of technology that gives you novel capabilities.

I’ve seen the machines that we’re building games for, and they’re spectacular.”

Train2Game news: Next-gen consoles won’t solve ‘creative problems’ of games says Warren Spector

Train2Game students might be eagerly anticipating news of next-gen consoles, but the arrival of PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720 won’t help solve the most common problems of game design in video games.

At least that’s according to Deus Ex creator Warren Spector, who is currently working on the recently announced Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

“If it comes, it comes; when it comes, it comes,” he told Edge on the on subject of next-gen consoles.

“I’m not a tech guy, particularly. I’m a design, story, character guy. I think most of the problems we have to solve are creative ones, not technical ones.” said Spector, not revealing what he believes the creative problems of game design are.

“Obviously we make software, so there’s always a technical element to what we do, but I will make games that do whatever I want them to do at the end of the day, and I will use whatever technology available.” the Deus Ex creator added.

Other developers, such as Epic Game’s Cliff Bleszinski, have previously stated they’d like next-gen consoles to come with extremely high-end technology.

For the latest news and reports about next-gen consoles, keep reading The Train2Game Blog.

So, what are your thoughts on Spector’s comments? Should developers be focusing on creative problems rather than technical ones?

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

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 student reaction to next-gen Xbox ‘tablet’ rumour

Kinect for Xbox 360 Train2Game blog imageTrain2Game students didn’t see rumours a about a tablet based next-generation Xbox reveal at CES come true in yesterday’s Microsoft presentation,

That’s possibly a good thing, because when the rumours were posted on the Train2Game Facebook page, Train2Game students were lukewarm about the prospect at best.

“We are at least one generation away from a tablet based console that would be designated an Xbox replacement or successor. Otherwise being a massive and unduly risk for Microsoft. Any dedicated gaming device by Microsoft would be an addition to their arsenal and not to take the role of the Xbox, which may be the case.” replied Train2Game student Simon Anderton

Meanwhile, Train2Game student James Pottinger thinks Microsoft should be focusing their attentions on improving Kinect integration when the next Xbox consoles appears.

“Why bother with any tablet based console add-ons. Microsoft should just combine Augmented Reality with improved Kinect software to create a brand new, fully interactive 3D experience. I’d sure buy it” he said.

However, Train2Game student Jasmine Jackson pointed to the fact that if such a thing did occur, it’d mark a new trend set by Nintendo.

All I’ve got to say on the matter is that Nintendo are trend setters, obviously. It’ll be interesting to see Microsoft’s take on the idea of a tablet controller.” she said.

There were many more responses on the Train2Game Facebook page, and you get involved with the discussion there, or leave your comments right here on The Train2Game Blog.

Train2Game news: Rumours suggest next Xbox will be tablet based

Kinect for Xbox 360 Train2Game blog imageTrain2Game blog readers could see the next-gen Xbox feature tablet based components. At least that’s according to rumours from GameSpot.

“Given Microsoft’s recent efforts at unification across its Windows, Mobile, and Xbox product lines, it seems clear that the 720 or whatever they end up calling it (surely not that) will be the ultimate personification of that strategy.” suggest GameSpot.

“There are strong signs suggesting that, like with Nintendo’s Wii U, a tablet component figures heavily into the new design. That saucy Windows 8 Metro interface (now also seen on the Xbox Dashboard) just begs to be touched.”

“Speculation as to the form it will take has been rife for the past few months, with some even suggesting that the core of the new platform will be akin to a tablet PC that wirelessly connects to a base station, which in turn plugs into your TV.”

“If this is the case, a premium Xbox Next setup could feasibly include a base station, a tablet, a conventional controller of some kind, and the recently discussed high-def evolution of the Kinect.”

GameSpot claim that Microsoft will make their first announcement regarding the Xbox 720…or whatever it’s going to be called…at this week’s Consumer Electronics show.

If Microsoft are going to be including a tablet with their next Xbox, they’re not the only console producers following that path. As reported by the Train2Game blog last year, Nintendo’s Wii U features a tablet based controller.

The Train2Game Blog has previously brought you suggestions that the next Xbox console will be launched next year.

Whenever the next generation of consoles eventually appears, Epic Games Cliff Blezsinski wants them to be capable of graphics at the same level as the movie Avatar.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the rumours about the next Xbox being tablet based? Could it happen? If so, what does it say about the direction of Microsoft?

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

[Source: GameSpot]

Train2Game news: Next-Gen Xbox console ‘Xbox Next’ rumoured for 2013 launch

Train2Game students will get their hands on the next-gen Xbox console during 2013. That’s according to sources of Develop Online.

Reportedly codenamed ‘Xbox Next,’ Develop reveals sources ranging from chip manufactures to middleware firms say they expect the next-gen Xbox console to be revealed at E3 2013 before going on sale in the months afterwards.

It’d point towards a release in the run up to Christmas 2013, and if true, Train2Game students may want to start saving now!

Develop also report that British developer Lionhead are working on an internal project called ‘Fable Next’ and Unreal Engine 4 could be available before the 2014 release date reported on by the Train2Game blog.

Develop report that Microsoft has declined to comment.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the reports? Do you believe we’ll see ‘Xbox Next’ before the end of 2013?

Leave your comments on the Train2Game blog, or here on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Develop Online]