The Xbox One has had a bumpy start to say the least. From its live TV and movie filled unveiling, to its DRM filled E3, things have not been looking good for Microsofts gaming box. As bad as things have looked for the Xbone, thanks to the internet, Kinect and some jabs by Sony at their E3 showing, there is still plenty of good news for Xbox fans and potential Xbox One customers.
As I said in my Xbox One E3 write up, Microsoft would relax some of their DRM policies, and 5 days from my writing it, they announced that an online connection/check-in was no longer required. Microsoft also said game discs were now sharable and could be bought and sold on the used market, something they previously said they wouldnt allow, hence all the hatred of the Xbox One the past couple of months.
The very thing that most people were angry at though, was the one key component to making the Xbox One truly next gen. That one thing was the always online connection. Making the Xbox One NEED an internet connection was its one guarantee that every developer would be able to develop its games with access to the cloud. This cloud though is not the same cloud currently available for the 360 and PS3. Those allowed for cloud saves, the Xbox One allows for cloud computing. Cloud computing is the future and was the Xbone's greatest asset going forward as the cloud can process things that your console would otherwise have to process (graphics, physics, AI, etc) opening up the consoles hardware power for more important tasks.
To give you an example of what happened to cloud computing after Microsoft took away the internet connection requirement, we only need to look at the Xbox 360 launch. When the 360 launched, there were 2 SKU's, one with a hard drive (HDD) and one without. This made things difficult for many developers going forward as they had to develop games without the HDD in mind. And when the PS3 was launched, this made things even harder for devs as every PS3 had an HDD that many devs took advantage of, from caching to texture packs to quicker loading, etc. Developing with the HDD in mind lead to many games performing better overall on the PS3. Games like GTA 4 and Burnout Paradise took advantage of the PS3 HDD, while the 360 versions were developed without the HDD usage in mind and were overall the inferior versions.
Looking at the HDD issue today, the next GTA 5 will ONLY work on the 360 with an HDD, just as Battlefield 3 required a 360 HDD for its texture pack disc install. Just the way HDD's are becoming a requirement for todays games, is the same way internet access for cloud computing will become a requirement for games in the next gen, whether you like it or not! And if you wanna play 2014's first GOTY candidate called Titanfall, you will NEED that internet connection, and cloud processing will show itself in a big way.
Up until recently the rumor has been that the PS4 is the most powerful next gen console. One reason this rumor has been so widespread is because of the PS4's use of GDDR5 ram, which is, on paper better than Xbone's DDR3 ram. But there is one thing ram related that raises the bar for the Xbone, the way it did for the 360. With Xbone's built in, super fast 32mb of eSRAM, this will help developers get the most and more out of the Xbone over the PS4, just the way the 360's eDRAM helped it surpass PS3's performance for many developers. While it is only 32mb of additional ram, it is super fast and will come in handy for many developers, just as it did in this generation. And with Xbone's dedicated sound processing power, its the first hardware of its kind that separates itself from the rest of Xbone's processing. Not needing to use system resources for anything sound related will be a big deal for developers.
Of course, there is more to these next gen systems than just sound and ram. Most of the PS4's CPU and GPU specs have been outed and were found to be high end AMD, PC silicone just like those in the Xbox One. Although in the Xbox One's case the CPU and GPU were more customized than those in the PS4. There is still a lot left unknown about those customizations, but these tweaks to Xbone's CPU and GPU by Microsoft could be the difference when it comes to hardware horsepower. For sure though, Microsofts investment in cloud computing should take Xbone's processing power above and beyond PS4's, at least for any developers who decide to use it. And while both consoles are using 8 core AMD processors along with other PC-like components, only One console has PC-like software and that is the Xbox One with Windows. So while both consoles may resemble that of high end Windows PC's, for developers it will be much easier porting over their PC titles to the Xbox One as opposed to the PS4, not just because of hardware, but because of software too! Gaming PC's use Windows, Xbox One uses Windows, PS4 (Orbis/Linux) doesn't.
Last but certainly not least are the games. As a gamer I will be buying BOTH the PS4 and Xbox One, theres no denying this. But for sure I will only be buying one of these 2 systems this year. Obviously at the end of the day its launch titles that I'm most interested in. Both consoles have a great launch lineup on the way, from Battlefield 4 and COD Ghosts to a new Assassins Creed to the latest sports titles. But for me it comes down to the exclusives. And on launch day, its the Xbox One I find myself wanting the most. While the PS4 has Killzone... Its Ryse, Dead Rising 3, Forza 5, Killer Instinct and the new Plants vs Zombies for Xbox One I find myself most interested in.
The Xbox One may not be the most popular system going into launch, but surely its gonna be a system that no gamer will want to pass up. From the most secure and evolved online multiplayer platform Xbox Live, to the perfect controller thats now been perfected, on down to its HDMI-in port that allows you to hook up your Xbox 360 to your Xbone, the future looks bright for any gamer who takes the Xbox plunge. All the built in TV and entertainment features for the Xbone is a nice little bonus that you may or may not use, but its Microsofts multi-billion dollar investment in exclusive games and cloud processing that will set it apart from the competition in the years to come!
I liked the PS4's E3 showing much better than the Xbox One's. But now that I'm able to see past all the smoke and mirrors, its the Xbox One that has my attention. From hardware to Xbox Live to games, its the console that will be in my home come November! Xbox is back.
Epic Games and People Can Fly officially unveiled Gears of War: Judgment during E3 2012, and with the announcement came the first opportunity to not only see the game in action but also take the game’s 5-on-5 competitive multiplayer mode Overrun for a hands-on test drive.
Overrun is essentially Gears of War 3’s Beast Mode and horde mode smashed together with a sprinkling of class-based characters. For one round, we played as humans defending a power generator, and for the second, we played as various Locust variants trying to destroy the generator. Pretty straightforward stuff.
The classes add a nice strategic touch to the frenetic and oft gruesome gameplay, especially with the addition of class-specific secondary abilities. For instance, Baird is an engineer capable of dropping sentry turrets (pro tip: if you enter cover and then drop the turret, you can actually put it on top of whatever piece of cover you’re pinned to, giving the turret some added height and widening its viewing angle) and repairing damaged fortifications like barbwire fences. Cole is a soldier, and can drop ammo boxes. Sofia is the medic who drops a health-dealing gas cloud. Paduk, the scout, drops a beacon that reveals enemy positions on the map.
On the Locust side, you have a variety of gnarly beasts at your disposal, assuming you have earned enough cash to unlock them throughout the match that is. A lot of the characters appeared in GOW3, like the wretch, ticker, and kantus (no berserker though), and each one offers an entirely unique play style and ability. Seeing the chaos that ensues when the two teams collide is just ridiculous, especially when the fortifications fall and everyone just swarms into the central battle zone. Pure, bloody madness.
The gameplay is classic Gears, and the texture and sound work are about as pleasing as you could hope.
This article comes straight from G4 who is at E3 now.
First, I want to make it clear that I encourage everyone to visit the following website where I wrote the article below. A lot of people are visiting this excellent new forum to talk about gaming: http://www.theaskeweffect.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17
For quite a while I had some inside information about the new Gears of War trilogy. But then my source started to remain silent and I wasn't quite sure what was going on. Also, from that point on when I talked to my source online, it became clear that he was not answering my questions and sharing information clearly the way he previously did. I noticed that my source started communicating with me by answering my questions with riddling questions of his own -- but were still potentially valid answers and volunteered thoughts.
Here is what I personally believe Microsoft and Epic have planned for the next trilogy of Gears of War:
* Gears of War is definitely going to remain the primary Title of the game. Believe it or not, this was originally not the plan that everyone agreed on. In the same way that Activision wanted to start a new series titled "Modern Warfare," the strong sales of Call of Duty forced Activision to market the game as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. This is what we will see with the next Gears of War trilogy.
* The Pendulum Wars was (and possibly still is) definitely the name Epic staff members used when talking about the three games in this trilogy.
* At this point in time, the first game in the new Gears of War trilogy is apparently going to be titled Gears of War with a subtitle making a reference to the word "Pendulum." I would not be surprised if the game was actually called "Gears of War: The Pendulum Wars"
* The star of the next Gears of War trilogy is going to be Adam Fenix -- the father of Marcus Fenix
* There definitely will be a Campaign Mode in the next Gears of War game. It will be all about how Adam Fenix discovers what is going on, first contact is made, and his science is used to develop strategies to fight The Horde
* Microsoft and Epic did consider releasing the first game in the new Gears of War trilogy for the Xbox Infinty (which still has a chance of being called Xbox 365). Microsoft and Epic both realize that Gears of War is the game that is associated with raising the standard in graphics this console generation.
* Microsoft and Epic now realize and 100% agree that Gears of War is a game series that has just as much of a loyal following as the incredibly successful Halo game series. This is the reason why Microsoft and Epic are going to follow the success they enjoyed with the Halo series when Microsoft and Bungie released the first two Halo games for the original Xbox, and then released the final sequel for the Xbox 360. Halo 2 had one of the all-time best "Cliffhanger" endings in the history of the videogame industry, which is actually one of the reasons why Halo 3 became the most successful game ever released when is launched in 2007.
* Microsoft and Epic plan on releasing the first game in the new Halo series and the first game in the new Gears of War series for Xbox 360, and then releasing the sequels for the next Xbox console. The reason this strategy will be used is because the Xbox 360 will have over 70 million owners by the time those games are released. This will give the new Gears of War series and the new Halo series plenty of time to be played by an incredibly large audience of gamers. This will also help the games sell incredibly well, make a very large net profit, and take advantage of the opportunity to actually help the next console by ensuring that all of those gamers remain loyal to the new series.
The next-generation console rumors are heating up, and this week brought a lot of new detailed gossip on that front.
Microsoft’s next-generation machine is rumored to be code-named Durango. That name was partially verified on Feb. 28, when a senior technical artist at Crytek tweeted that he was “enjoying the Durango developers summit in London. So far, great swag and interesting talks.” He then deleted the tweet and his account. In meetings, Microsoft reportedly showed details of the new console hardware.
Now Xbox World magazine is reporting that development kits for the new console were shipped to developers in March. Those kits include an IBM PowerPC central processing unit (CPU) with 16 cores, compared to just three cores on the Xbox 360′s CPU. The graphics chip is equivalent to an Advanced Micro Devices Radeon HD 7000-series graphics card, and the machine has a Blu-ray optical drive. The report mentioned that Kinect 2 (the sequel to Microsoft’s motion-sensing system) will chew up as many as four cores tracking multiple players.
If Microsoft is shipping the dev kits now, then it is likely on schedule for a launch in 2013. The developers need a year or more to make launch titles for the increasingly complex console hardware.
Nintendo got dinged by unnamed developers who said that the Wii U’s performance isn’t as good as either the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3. It’s a little hard to believe that a brand new Nintendo console debuting in the fall of 2012 won’t be faster than the consoles that debuted in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Nintendo will make the leap to high-definition TVs with the graphics on its new machine, and it has never put a priority on processing power in the first place.
“We do not focus on technology specs,” said a spokesperson for Nintendo of America. “We understand that people like to dissect graphics and processing power, but the experience of playing will always be more important than raw numbers.”
Nintendo isn’t confirming that the report is untrue, but it isn’t denying it either. Do such rumors matter? Based on the news, Macquarie Equities Research analyst Ben Schacter downgraded his stock rating on Nintendo.
Sony’s PlayStation 4, code-named Orbis, got outed by Kotaku last week. The Orbis reportedly has an AMD 64-bit CPU and an AMD Southern Islands GPU (graphics processing unit). The GPU will be capable of displaying games at a resolution of 4096 x 2160. And it will play games in stereoscopic 3D at 1080p high-definition resolution. It will not be compatible with PS 3 games and will not play used games.
VG247 said that the next PlayStation will be released prior to the Durango machine from Microsoft.
We’re checking with the companies to see if they want to comment further, but don’t hold your breath.
I'd also like to thank Mr. Morris Ramsey for quickly telling me about this information seen at Venturebeat.
Note: I will soon be writing an article explaining what I have repeatedly heard about project "Durango" and how it relates to project "Loop."
New rumors now exist for Xbox Infinity! The newest reports continue to say the Xbox Infinity is in fact on schedule for a Christmas 2013 release. These rumors now say a Blu-Ray drive will be included as an optical disc format. This disagrees with previous reports saying Microsoft’s new Xbox would not use optical disc formats.
The new rumors also claim that multiple sources have confirmed that the new console will feature not one GPU has other rumors have said. Instead the new console will uses two GPU’s. From this point of view, it's easy to see why some people have said “It’s like two PCs taped together."
Final specs have still not been determined. Several sources have said they believe the graphics cards will be similar to AMD’s 7000 series of graphics processing units, but not the CrossFire or SLI. Apparently it is puzzling why developers felt the need to specifically point out this difference.
One theory is based on the fact that a normal PC configuration in which the two processors alternate drawing lines of the same object -- one may control odd lines and the other even lines. But the Xbox Infinity′s two graphics cards would be capable of workding independently! This benefit would allow the processor to simultaneously draw separate items. This design will always offer better graphics because of sharper detail and a smoother look combined in a way that offers an overall better-looking graphic quality.
The Xbox Infinity will feature between four and six cores. One core will be reserved for the Kinect (apparently Kinect 2) which will be built into the console. The other core will be dedicated to the operating system which will constantly be functioning.
Xbox Infinity will use a form of Internet connection dedicated to prevent piracy. This is something game developers love to hear. This may be something certain gamers don't enjoy hearing, but it may be for the best because new games would probably see prices rise to $70 or $75 if something was not done to stop the sale of used games. The development costs continue to rise each generation while the used game industry continues to grow.
Apparently, Microsoft won’t announce the Xbox Infinity at this years E3 show. Microsoft will apparently announce Xbox Infinity in early 2013. The name of "Durango" is also being used as the current codename for the console. However, my sources continue to say the final name of the console will be either Xbox Infinity or Xbox 365.
There are too many sources to thank this time, folks. However, I would like to thank our sister sites: Ramsey Digital and our facebook representative: Xbox Tech
My buddy, Morris Ramsey, over at Digital Ramsey has written an excellent review of the PS Vita. You can read this review here: http://www.theaskeweffect.com/KRUZ8ER/2012/02/25/ps-vita-review/
And just so everyone knows, at Résumé Design Service there is an excellent sale right now where you can receive excellent templates for only $5!
Most gamers have noticed that magazines and websites have been writing articles trying to rip on Call of Duty and Modern Warfare. But what most gamers don't realize is "Why" this is happening and "Who" is ultimately responsible. Quite a few people have written to me, asking my thoughts on this subject. I am pleased to report that I now have the ability to share a fact-based theory with you.
Sony is the organization responisble for ripping on Call of Duty, Modern Warfare, and Activision. It has been this way ever since Microsoft signed an exclusive-rights deal with Activision. This deal allows all Call of Duty downloadable content such as maps and other expansions to be launched first, exclusively for the Xbox 360. This was a very important deal for Microsoft to sign, and Sony didn't like it.
In fact, Sony immediately responded by signing a similar deal with EA. The Battlefield series is published by EA and is a competitor of Call of Duty and Modern Warfare. As soon as this deal with EA was signed, the Playstation magazines and websites, sponsored by Sony's advertisements, started showing bias towards Battlefield.
The "fanboys" of the Playstation also noticed what was happening with Battlfield and Call of Duty. When the fanboys of the Playstation would write a comment, they would often do their best to do two things. First, the Playstation fanboys would praise the Battlefield series from EA. Second the Playstation fanboys would rip on the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare games from Activision.
What most people don't realize is that many of the people writing the articles and starting the forums are receiving income from Sony. Sometimes this is direct income -- as in, if the Playstation Magazine goes out of business, that person will no longer be employed. Sometimes this is indirect income -- Sony is paying editors of multiplatform websites to show bias against Call of Duty. I even talked with someone online who said that Sony "encourages" employees to write online forums saying nice things about Battlefield and saying bad things about Call of Duty.
When you see online multiplatform websites writing about "What People Don't Like About Call of Duty," you need to realize that this is just an attempt to take a shot at Activision and the Xbox platform. Call of Duty and Modern Warfare are by far the best-selling multiplatform first-person shooters available this generation. In other words, "People Like Call of Duty and Modern Warfare."
And when you look at the sales figures you clearly see that people enjoy playing Call of Duty and Modern Warfare much more on the Xbox 360 platform than the Playstation 3 platform. It was like this long before the exclusive-content deal with Activision was signed. The simple fact that the Xbox 360 has a much larger number of people who play online -- particularly with the ability to chat online while playing -- proves Xbox 360 is the true home of Call of Duty and the true home of Modern Warfare.
Obviously, Sony doesn't like it that the most popular multiplatform first-person shooter enjoys so much more success on the Xbox 360 than it does on the PS3. However, it must be incredibly frustrating for Sony to see that even Battlefield -- the series which Sony signed an exclusive deal with EA -- sees better sales on Xbox 360 than it does on the PS3. In fact, the Xbox 360 version of Battlefield 3 has outsold the combination of both the PS3 and PC versions of Battlefield 3!
This simple statistic means the Xbox 360 enjoys the best environment to play Battlefield 3. There is always a much larger number of gamers to play with at any time. And there is always a much larger percentage of gamers who have the ability to chat online while playing, since Xbox 360 comes packed with a headset and the PS3 does not. Ironically, the Xbox 360 ended up being the true home of Battlefield, as well.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that people love playing Call of Duty and Modern Warfare on all platforms. There is no doubt Call of Duty and Modern Warfare are going to remain the most popular multiplatform first-person shooters throughout this generation and into the next generation. The frustrating thing is that Sony would go to such greath lengths teaming up with EA in order to attack the most important products made by a longtime publisher such as Activision, and even try to steal employees away from developers at Infinity Ward.
I would like to give a brief update of what I have been hearing lately regarding the Xbox Infinity:
* Xbox Infinity will definitely be announced to the public at the 2012 E3 show.
* Xbox Infinity will probably be released "worldwide" simultaneously in North America, Europe, and Japan, just like the Xbox 360. This launch is going to happen in late 2013.
* There are still a few key people at Microsoft who are pulling for a late 2012 launch of Xbox Infinity. If this were to happen, the launch would be exclusively in North America with the European launch taking place in the spring of 2013. I still have no clue what would happen in Japan if this scenario were to take place.
* Microsoft wants to beat the competition to the market. If the Xbox Infinity launches in the fall of 2013, it would have a perfect launch – similar to the Sega Dreamcast. But, Microsoft knows that even if they launched in late 2012 there would still be quite a few good third-party games and the console would sell out (even at an incredibly high price).
* I know that several key people at Microsoft are still pulling for the name of Xbox 365 rather than Xbox Infinity, even though Xbox Infinity is supported by a much larger group of people.
* I can tell you the specifications recently released by several websites are not correct. Although the hardware may in fact be "Six times as powerful as Xbox 360," the GPU is going to be custom for the Xbox Infinity -- regardless of which PC graphics technology it is based off of.
Here is an excellent question that one of my loyal readers, Mr. Jose Ramos, recently sent to me in an email at my email address of firstname.lastname@example.org:
First off, great articles. I do like Xbox Infinity as a name. Sounds pretty cool and I definitely can not wait for them to announce it officially.
Now, couple of friends of mine and myself have had the argument regarding Halo 4. I say that it is just stupid for MS to release Halo 4 for Xbox 360 and at the same time release their new console. But rumors point out to the fact that MS will in fact release a new console in the fall of 2012. So my guess is that Halo 4 is actually being developed for the next Xbox, instead of Xbox 360. Of course, the developers already stated that it is being developed for Xbox 360, but that is just because Xbox Infinity hasn't been officially announced, Others say that precisely because of this, they know that Xbox Infinity won't be out till 2013.
So I ask you, what is your take on all of this? Halo 4 for Xbox Infinity….or what?
Cheers, to you, too, Jose! You ask an excellent question that I, too, have wondered about quite a bit. Here are my thoughts on the release of Halo 4.
First, we know it is a fact that Microsoft has officially announced Halo 4 for the Xbox 360. This means there is no doubt Halo 4 will be released for Xbox 360 in late 2012, right? The answer is actually, “Not necessarily.”
Remember when Microsoft originally purchased the software company called Rare from Nintendo for $400 million. Microsoft publicly announced Perfect Dark Zero would be released for the original Xbox. However, history has proven that Microsoft later decided to release Perfect Dark Zero for the launch of Xbox 360. Obviously, this means the potential exists for Microsoft to change their minds about the release of Halo 4.
From this point on, everything I say is based on theories, hypotheses, and overall speculation. Let’s outline the information we have, though:
* Halo 4 is probably going to experience the most explosively-successful launch of any exclusive title released so far for Xbox 360.
* There are far more Xbox 360 owners now than ever before. Halo 4 would help Microsoft generate huge amounts of financial revenue and net profit.
* Halo 4 represents a new trilogy. The huge Xbox 360 market can be used as an open doorway to pull consumers into the new trilogy. This form of bait can be used to get consumers hooked on the new trilogy. Gamers would obviously experience some form of “Cliffhanger” ending that would leave everyone who played the game begging to play the sequel. By releasing the sequel to Halo 4 on the Xbox Infinity, the hardware sales of Xbox Infinity would skyrocket at a point in time when Microsoft would be able to supply enough units to meet the demand!
* Halo 5 would represent a killer-app capable of selling hardware units during the second or third season the Xbox Infinity console was on the market. Prices would have dropped on the hardware unit because of economies of scale, and developers would have become familiar with the hardware. The level of marketing behind Halo 5 would be unbelievable. This description of Halo 5 is exactly what Microsoft did with Halo 3 in 2007.
Other side of the story:
* Halo 1 and Halo 2 were incredibly successful games on the original Xbox. But the size of the original Xbox market was small compared to the Xbox 360. Microsoft was very intelligent to leave Halo 2 with a cliffhanger ending, and then use Halo 3 on the Xbox 360 to be the most successful killer-app console-selling exclusive game released this generation on any platform.
* Halo is now the best-selling exclusive franchise available on any HD console. There is no doubt Halo 4 is going to represent an “open door” capable of selling hardware units – regardless of when it is released or what platform it is released on.
* Microsoft won’t need to use a “cliffhanger ending” from Halo 4 to use Halo 5 as the killer-app capable of selling Xbox Infinity consoles at a later point in time. The Xbox market is now exponentially larger than it was during the era of the original Xbox. The Xbox market has more momentum now than ever before.
* Despite the fact that Halo 4 represents a new trilogy in the Halo series, Halo has millions of loyal fans who will buy Halo 4 no matter what. The day Halo 4 is released we will see millions of Halo fans make sure they own the console it is released for.
* I do agree with you that it may seem a bit dumb to release Halo 4 on Xbox 360 while simultaneously releasing a new console. However, from what my friend has told me, Microsoft believes it is very important to release the Xbox Infinity early in order to get a head start on the competition.
* Microsoft apparently knows they will only have a very limited number of Xbox Infinity units to launch with. This is why the console will only be released in the home market of North America. The price will be expensive because it will be overloaded with the most advanced technology in order to deal with the fact that it will be competing with a console being launched at a later point in time.
* When the Xbox Infinity launches, it will completely sell out – no matter which console receives Halo 4.
* Releasing Halo 5 for Xbox Infinity during the 2014 or 2015 shopping season would really be the perfect way to pull in a lot of consumers to the Xbox Infinity market. This would cause Xbox Infinity to receive all the market attention in a way the competition cannot compete with. We saw this happen during the holiday shopping season of 2007 when Halo 3 launched for Xbox 360.
The pieces of information I presented represent my personal points of view on Halo 4. Obviously there are a lot of possibilities that could happen. At any moment, Microsoft could change their mind and release Halo 4 for Xbox Infinity.
One thing I can tell you for sure is that if Halo 4 really does launch worldwide at the end of 2012, it will definitely not be for the Xbox Infinity. Here’s how I know this. I was told that if the Xbox Infinity is able to launch in 2012, there would only be enough units to launch in North America. I was told that Europe would see the release of Xbox Infinity at some point in 2013 (and I wasn’t told anything about Japan).
Obviously it would be incredibly foolish for Microsoft to launch Halo 4 at a point in time when the console is only available in one part of the world. So, I can tell you with 100% confidence that if Halo 4 does in fact release at the end of 2012, it will not be for Xbox Infinity.
If you want my honest opinion, based on the combination of history and current announcements, I believe Halo 4 will be released worldwide for Xbox 360 at the end of 2012.
If Xbox Infinity is released at the end of 2012 in the home market of North America, it will be similar to the way Sony and Nintendo release hardware in their home territory of Japan first. This will be done to gain a head start on the competition. The killer-apps will probably come from third-party titles such as Call of Duty. There will be huge graphic advantages seen in the Xbox Infinity versions of these third-party games.
This is what happened with the launch of Xbox 360 in 2005. The top-selling game that proved to be a killer-app was Call of Duty 2. Other games that sold well were Perfect Dark Zero, Ridge Racer, Fight Night Round 3, Project Gotham Racing 3, and other third-party titles.
If 2013 is the year when Xbox Infinity is released on a global scale, similar to the global launch of Xbox 360, I don’t think Halo 4 will be a launch title. If Microsoft did this, Halo 4 probably wouldn’t have as large an impact as it could if the game was released just one year after the launch. When a console launches, it is at the highest price it will ever see and have the smallest market it will ever see. This isn’t the type of environment Microsoft favors for the launch of a game like Halo.
If Xbox Infinity is released in North America in late 2012, expect the third-party games to be the console sellers. Once Microsoft sells out that initial batch of launch units and sells throughout 2013, it guarantees the third-party software companies will continue to support the Xbox brand with big games. 2013 will be a much bigger year filled with first-party exclusives to some of Microsoft’s best games.
2013 will probably be the year we see a new trilogy in the Gears of War series. The game will be released for Xbox Infinity, using brand new standards in graphic excellence based on the Unreal Graphics Engine. This Gears of War game has the goal of selling Xbox Infinity units to consumers and marketing the new Unreal Graphics Engine to developers. From what I’m told, there is an excellent chance the first game in this new Gears of War trilogy will be called “Gears of War: The Pendulum Wars.”
In all probability, Halo 5 will be the first Halo game we see for Xbox Infinity. I suspect that Halo 5 will be released during the second or third season on the market. Microsoft knows their winning strategy of releasing Gears of War one year and Halo the next year is something they should stick with.
I hope all this information helps you out, Jose. I believe I presented all the most probable points of view to you and your friends. The chances seem to favor Halo 4 being released for Xbox 360 in late 2012. Plus, it wouldn’t surprise me if at some point in the life of the Xbox Infinity there was a remix of Halo 4 sold online – just like what Microsoft did with Halo: Combat Evolved on Xbox 360. Take care, and have a nice 2012!
According to reliable sources, the Xbox Infinity (which has a slight chance of being called Xbox 365 when it launches) has in fact been revealed to major developers at the 2012 CES! The reason these developers have not mentioned anything to the public or the media is because the developers have signed a contract preventing the console from being discussed publicly.
These developers have in fact been aware of the next Xbox platform for quite a while, since they have been in possession of "Xbox Loop" development kits. However, the 2012 CES represents the first time these developers have been shown several final selections for hardware design, controllers, and features other than gaming.
The newest Unreal Graphics Engine has been used to show demonstrations of both software and other graphic abilities of the Xbox Infinity. According to sources, there were at least two "Shooters" shown behind closed doors, one "Racer," one "Combat" game, and one "Puzzle" game. There has also been some form of Kinect feature displayed, which plays a very key role in the way Xbox Infinity functions.
I want to make it clear that I am 100% aware of the fact that Microsoft has not yet "publicly" announced anything about the Xbox Infinity. This is what I said would happen when I originally unleashed this information to the public on Thanksgiving of 2011. I thought it was exciting when Yahoo claimed rumors were circulating that Microsoft would reveal the Xbox Infinity to the public at the 2012 CES show, but I knew this was highly unlikely. This is the reason why I specifically addressed this issue when I thanked Yahoo for providing information about those rumors.
I want to reinforce that the same sources who told me about Xbox Infinity have made it 100% clear the key third-party developers such as Activision, Ubisoft, and EA have already been shown the Xbox Infinity behind those closed doors at the 2012 CES. I was once again told that the Xbox Infinity will be revealed to the public for the first time at the 2012 E3 show. And from what I'm told, the Xbox Infinity is still on schedule to be released in time for Christmas of 2012 in North America. I'm looking forward to seeing the Xbox Infinity in action at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo!
While no official announcement has been made, rumors have been circulating for a while now that Microsoft plans on updating its Xbox console in 2012. Nintendo should be in Vegas showing off the Wii U to CES attendees, and Sony has its Vita handheld system to talk about — but with neither expected to announce big new projects, this leaves the door open for Microsoft to steal the gaming spotlight with the so-called Xbox 720 (which will probably be renamed later this year). 2012 is also Microsoft's last year at CES, so they'll want to make a big impact as they head for the door.
The Xbox 720 (which I, Michael Zoran, believe will be called either Xbox Infinity or Xbox 365) is rumored to have an AMD processor, Blu-ray disc drive, Windows 8 compatibility, and deeper Kinect integration than the Xbox 360.
You can read the initial story when I broke the news about Xbox Infinity to the gaming world, here. The newest information about the 2012 CES confirms everything I said would happen, although I predicted the information about the Xbox Infinity would be revealed behind closed doors. Time will tell what happens, but either way it will be exciting!
Note: I'd like to thank Yahoo for providing this information about CES rumors.
It's old news now that PlayStation Vita isn't selling very well in its native Japan. As we already reported, Vita is off to a rocky start, only selling 72,479 in its first full week on the market (from December 19th through December 25th) after pushing about 325,000 in its first 48 hours (on December 17th and 18th).
This precipitous decline hasn't gone unnoticed in circles outside of the gaming realm. In fact, Forbes tech contributor Tero Kuittinen has written a scathing article titled "Sony in Big Trouble with PS Vita," outlining the problems the company is currently facing with Vita.
Kuittinen notes that Vita's "second week brought devastation," especially when compared to Nintendo 3DS' second week on the market. Nintendo 3DS was widely believed to have had a terrible start, only more recently pushing bigger numbers now that games players want have finally starting arriving. Yet, 3DS sold 370,000 units in Japan in its first week, and 210,000 units in its second. In other words, it beat PlayStation Vita by 45,000 units in its first week, and a massive 137,500 units in its second week.
"That drop off led to steep further sales erosion," the Forbes article notes, "which forced Nintendo to implement an unusually early and steep price cut." This, of course, begs the question if Sony will do the same. Tero Kuittinen thinks that it will. "Sony will likely be forced to cut the price of the PS Vita from 24,000 Yen (~$311) to well below 20,000 Yen (~$259) very soon."
But the problems don't stop there. Kuittinen continues, "The upcoming US launch could be a true debacle for several reasons. Sony has decided to price Vita at $250, higher than the Amazon Kindle Fire. The hottest games like the latest Uncharted are priced at $50, while many other major titles are $40. The pricing seems delusional in light of the Japanese response to the PS Vita."
However, Kuittinen saves perhaps his harshest words for later in his article. "The 3DS should have been a surefire blockbuster in its domestic market -- the summer softness in Japan may have been an early warning sign of the coming global portable market malaise. The disastrous second week of the PS Vita is the second sign." The reason? The Forbes author argues that the rise of the smart phone and tablet markets are much to blame.
But he also argues that Sony should be concerned, as it seems to be on recent word that Sony had no comment when asked about Vita's sluggish sales. "…the portable console market may now have entered an age of permanent, slowly accelerating decline," Kuittinen concludes. "The true test of the industry is the United States, where consumers are embracing games designed for smartphones and tablets. The possible shrinking of the portable game consumer base would hit the runner-up Sony before Nintendo really gets mauled. The rot sets in first at the periphery."
Note: This article was written by Colin Moriarty of IGN.
DOUBLE EXPERIENCE POINTS this weekend for Gears of War 3! That's right, when you play Gears of War 3 online this weekend, you will receive TWICE the amount of experience points that you normally would!! This is a great time to build up your levels!
Xbox Infinity is the name of Microsoft’s next Xbox console. This has been confirmed to me, Michael Zoran (the one who is officially breaking this story), by several of my inside sources in the videogame industry. Last week I promised I would reveal the name of Microsoft’s next console on Thanksgiving – November, 24, 2011. I am pleased to report I have lived up to that promise and I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on the subject.
Last week I left my loyal readers with fact-based clues that would help reveal the name of the next Xbox. I will describe the clues I left and how they relate to the Xbox Infinity one at a time.
* Xbox Loop is the name of the “target” development kits that Microsoft has sent to third-party companies such as EA, Ubisoft, and Activision. These development kits are only alpha-stage development kits. In other words, they are not based on actual hardware; however, they are based on the target specifications Microsoft expects the next Xbox to be based on.
* The reason the word “Loop” is an important clue is because the “Loop” represents the sign of “Infinity.” Just take a look at the two “o” characters between the “L” and the “p.” You end up with “oo” – the sign of Infinity.
* Microsoft has entered into contracts to make it so Comcast technology will play a larger role on Xbox Live. Take a look at what Comcast is in the process of marketing right now and what their long-term marketing plan talks about more than anything else. Comcast is focused on “Xfinity.” This focus on the letter “X” isn’t a coincidence! Microsoft, Kinect, Xbox Live, and the Xbox Infinity will all be working together in special ways with Comcast technology.
Like I said in the article I wrote last week, I have met several reliable people in the videogame industry over the last six years. Using screen names of mike_mgoblue, Kim_Naroz (Mike Zoran spelled backwards), Salarian_Scientist, Salarian_Chemist, John_Gamer, Thomas_Brooks, femaletuffy, PatTuffy, Krogan Battle Master Urdnot Wrex, Unbiased Technology Professor, and several others, I have actually acquired a very loyal fan base!
I literally have heard people on Xbox Live say things like “Hey, are you Kim Naroz” and “Are you PatTuffy.” And then we talk about how awesome it was that the stupid editors of a certain website didn’t realize it was me, Mike Zoran, the whole time (posting right under their noses), even though I posted using the name of Kim Naroz!
The reason why I’m telling you this is because I recently spoke to an Xbox 360 developer online. He asked me what I thought of the name Xbox Infinity. I told him it was awesome. I said the only thing I could think of that might work out with the same type of effectiveness would be the name “Xbox 365.” The name Xbox 365 would still “1up” the PS4, since it keeps the Xbox 360 brand going and ends with the number five. Also, the name Xbox 365 would be in agreement with the Office 365 software programs Microsoft is using online.
Let me know what you think by writing a comment below. Xbox Infinity is scheduled to be released in late 2012 in North America. The European launch is not scheduled until the spring of 2013.
I’d like to know what you think. Do you like the name Xbox Infinity? It’s a nice holiday weekend to share your thoughts. Don’t forget to make sure and watch the online preview of the new Mission Impossible movie on Xbox Live. If you watch that preview, it gives you the ability to unlock special features in Gears of War 3 if you beat the Campaign mode on Insane difficulty by Christmas. Today is an excellent day to celebrate valuable names and the quality of the code – some of which may be right under your nose without you knowing it!