Microsoft's new Xbox One console is set to debut in November and battle Sony's PlayStation 4 in a fresh round of console wars. The Xbox One includes Kinect in the box, and some entertainment features that take over live TV. Here's everything you need to know about the hardware, updates to Xbox Live, SmartGlass, latest games, and Microsoft's plans for the living room.
Oct 27, 2014Read Article >
The Kinect-less Xbox One is getting even cheaper from this Sunday as Microsoft starts up its Season of Xbox discounts for the holidays. A new $349 price ($50 less than the current $399) will kick in from the 2nd of November through to the end of the year for several console bundles, including the Special Edition Sunset Overdrive white console. This will be across most major US retailers and there'll be similar deals for the rest of the world, though Microsoft hasn't yet detailed them in full. The Xbox One saw a recent price cut in the UK to £329, following on from a similar move in February and underlining Microsoft's determination to match and better Sony's PS4 proposition. The Kinect motion camera isn't being neglected, either, as it's included in the more expensive bundles in the upcoming promotion, which will raise the savings for buyers up to $150.
May 13, 2014
Years ago, Microsoft had a bold vision for the future of computing. It would be a tapestry composed of tiny squares. Each square would represent an app, a game, an experience of some sort, and you’d be able to just reach out and touch it. Or, if you already knew what you wanted, you’d be able to simply speak a name, and have the object of your desire materialize out of thin air — regardless of whether you were using a smartphone or lazing in front of a TV set.Read Article >
That’s the vision Microsoft was building with Windows 8, with Windows Phone, and most intriguingly, with Xbox.
Apr 17, 2014
Titanfall was the best-selling game for the month of March, according to NPD, but it didn't help Microsoft take the lead in the latest console war. Today, Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One has shipped over five million units to retailers, but yesterday Sony reported selling seven million units of the PlayStation 4. That's a sizable lead for Sony, especially considering that Sony says those consoles were actually sold to consumers, not just those sitting on retail shelves. (The PlayStation 4 is frequently sold out.)Read Article >
Still, it's important to note that neither company is losing this battle: both Sony and Microsoft's gaming machines are doing fantastically well. The Xbox One may not be the top seller, but Microsoft says it sold 311,000 consoles last month, 60 percent more than the Xbox 360 managed at the same point in time. The company also says that Xbox One users spend an average of five hours a day using the device.
Mar 12, 2014
Now is the absolute worst time for Xbox Live to be down. Today marks the debut of Titanfall, the game that could make or break the Xbox One game console. It's a masterpiece of mechanical manslaughter, and Microsoft pulled out all the stops for its release, delivering new system updates, new peripherals and even a "fix" for the Xbox One game controller ahead of its launch today. But now, as prospective US players return home from work to play the Xbox One's killer app, many are finding themselves unable to sign into their consoles and actually play the game.Read Article >
Mar 5, 2014
Microsoft says that its next Xbox One update will start rolling out today, less than a week before the launch of Titanfall. The update, detailed in February, will fix problems with joining and chatting with parties of your friends, prepare the console for the release of the Xbox One stereo headset and media remote, and add support for Twitch live streaming ahead of the service's launch on the console.Read Article >
The update retools the console's UI, moving the user's friends list to the front and center of the Xbox One's friends homepage, and adds a list of recent players so users can send friend requests to amiable teammates. Players who set up parties with those friends will now have chat audio turned on by default, and will now be able to chat with people in the same party even when members of the group are playing different games. The update also introduces an "invite friends to game" option that will allow a user to join their friend's multiplayer game with less hassle.
Feb 24, 2014
Microsoft is dropping the Xbox One's price in the UK to £399.99, down £30 from what it launched at just a few months ago. The new retail pricing will go into effect this Friday, and so far has only been announced for the UK. Microsoft is also opening preorders today for an Xbox bundle that includes a digital download of Titanfall at the same price in the UK or for $499.99, the Xbox One's current selling price, in the US. It's appeared that the Xbox One has been selling far slower than the PS4, and Microsoft seems to be hoping that it can counter that with a bundle of one of the most anticipated upcoming exclusives.Read Article >
Though the Xbox One is becoming somewhat less expensive with this price cut, it still has a ways to go before matching the price of the PlayStation 4. The PS4 sells for £349.99 in the UK — £50 less expensive than the Xbox One. While the Xbox comes bundled with a Kinect and the PS4's motion-control camera is sold separately, the price discrepancy has still been seen as a major hurdle for Microsoft as both it and Sony race to get their new consoles into gamers' homes. This is only the first price drop we'll see of many for the Xbox One — the question is how much longer Microsoft will wait for the next.
Titanfall could be key to the Xbox One's continued success, and Microsoft is well aware. That's why the company is ironing out the Xbox One's kinks ahead of the game's March 11th release date. You might have heard that Microsoft will make some multiplayer tweaks and add a new headset adapter, but the changes go far deeper than that: Microsoft will also update the Xbox One controller specifically at the request of Titanfall's development team. According to Titanfall design lead Justin Hendry, an upcoming software patch will make the analog sticks more precise than before.Read Article >
Titanfall could be the most important game in years. It’s Microsoft’s first Xbox One exclusive stab at the first-person shooter, the best-selling game genre there is. On March 11th, it could become the next Halo, the next Gears of War, at a time when neither of those beloved Microsoft franchises have stepped up. The title has the potential to be the killer app, the system-seller; this one game could potentially give Microsoft the lead in the latest console war.Read Article >
That’s not just hype. After three hours of playing the Titanfall multiplayer beta, I believe the game might actually have a shot. That’s because, much like Halo when it first came out, Titanfall subtly reboots the first-person shooter genre.
Feb 11, 2014
As an Xbox One system update rolls out later than expected this week, Microsoft has revealed more details on the multiplayer-focused improvements coming to the console next month. The Xbox One has come in for criticism over certain UI decisions that make some online functions less accessible than players might like, and the March update is focused around addressing those concerns. Microsoft also promises it will include "many more" unannounced features in the update and share more details leading up to its release.Read Article >
You'll now be able to access your friends list more quickly through the Friends app, for example, and party chat audio will be switched on by default. In a much-requested feature, party chat will also work across different games, letting you talk to friends inside and outside of your multiplayer session. A new "recent players" list will display the Xbox Live users you've been playing with, and each game will get a simple "invite friends to game" option similar to that found on the Xbox 360.
Feb 5, 2014
With the Xbox One finally on the market, Microsoft has had a chance to hear feedback from actual buyers and customers. While the company has already addressed some minor TV and dashboard issues, it's beginning a new update process on February 11th by fixing a few of the console's most nagging issues. The new features are primarily focused on showing you what you've downloaded and installed: managing the storage space on your Xbox One is going to be easier than ever, and Microsoft is splitting My Games and My Apps into two separate lists to make managing a large library a lot easier.Read Article >
Jan 21, 2014
Microsoft has reportedly partnered with Machinima to quietly pay the YouTube channel's video partners to promote the Xbox One. According to Ars Technica, Machinima's affiliates could get a $3 per CPM (or $3 for every 1,000 views) bonus if they included at least 30 seconds of Xbox One footage and mentioned the console by name in their videos. However, the deal is particularly unique in that video makers could not disclose the details of the agreement and payment, potentially violating FTC rules in the process.Read Article >
Jan 12, 2014
Microsoft couldn't deliver one of the Xbox One's key features at launch: the ability to stream your gameplay, live, for anyone on the web to watch. Here's more bad news: the company behind that feature, Twitch.tv, has no idea when it will launch either. According to a tweet from the company, Microsoft hasn't yet provided any date, and it could be "a few more months" before it arrives.Read Article >
What's the hold up? We can't say, but one possibility is that Microsoft hasn't yet figured out how to deal with streams of an unsavory nature. Sony's PlayStation 4, which did ship with Twitch.tv, found itself facing a bit of a controversy when users realized they could film themselves doing all sorts of things — including having sex — in the augmented reality demo The Playroom. Sony decided to cut off access to Twitch.tv for that one game as a solution, perhaps something that's not as easy or even technically impossible with the current Xbox One software.
Dec 17, 2013
Microsoft first unveiled its indie development program for Xbox One in August, and the company now says the first games will arrive in the next few months. Speaking to Edge, ID@Xbox director Chris Charla says Microsoft has 32 studios working on titles for the company's Xbox One console, with games arriving early next year. "I think it will be early in the New Year, in the first three months," says Charla. "I would say closer to the third month."Read Article >
The games are currently being worked on, but many have been in development for months according to Charla. "Some developers started developing for Xbox One, others already had games in development and are working on Xbox One versions. I would say they’re at all stages of development, honestly." While some ID@Xbox developers are still waiting for access to the development tools, Microsoft is planning to expand the program up the platform with a focus on attracting game players that can create their own games using Project Spark.
Nov 27, 2013
Over a million Xbox One consoles already sit underneath TVs across the world, and hundreds of thousands more will make their way into living rooms over the holidays. While gamers enjoy the latest titles, the full potential of the boxes under their TVs remains largely untapped. Microsoft is ambitiously attempting to marry TV, entertainment, and gaming to rule the living room, and it’s well positioned to do so with a Windows-powered Xbox. However, a lack of apps on day one and questions over Microsoft's approach to them leaves a big question mark over the console’s future. Apps like YouTube and Netflix are available, but developers are eager to hear how and when Windows 8-style apps will run on an Xbox One. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t have many answers yet.Read Article >
"I think what we wanted to do was make it easier to develop across platforms," says Albert Penello, Microsoft’s director of Xbox One planning. But in the rush to launch, the company hasn't had time to address the many issues that face any traditional app store. "There’s privacy, there’s family safety, there’s Xbox Live, the security of the platform," says Panello. "We want to make sure no one's doing anything bad with it." After facing intense criticism over the lack of indie game support, Microsoft rushed to announce the ID@Xbox program for indie developers ahead of the Xbox One launch, but details on how third-party games can be created and sold are still secured under a non-disclosure agreement. The Verge has spoken to several developers whom have been accepted into the ID@Xbox program, and some are still waiting to hear additional details and receive the units they need to start creating games. With its gaming ecosystem still in flux, it’s not clear how Microsoft will address a larger app store for the platform.
Nov 26, 2013
Every Xbox One comes with a new Kinect sensor — a powerful peripheral that lets the game console read your heart rate and respond to your voice commands. In our review of the Xbox One, however, we discovered that the Kinect typically only recognizes extremely specific vocal cues like "Xbox turn off" and "Xbox Bing." How many of those prompts are there, and what can they do? Microsoft just released a cheat sheet with a host of examples.Read Article >
In addition to useful commands like "Xbox Snap" and "Xbox Play," for example, you can also say "Xbox Help" on any screen or in any app to bring up a simplified user manual. "Xbox Invite" is a shortcut to get your friends in on the action, allowing you to pull up the Party interface without leaving your game or issuing several commands, and you can say "Xbox Play Music" to quickly start playing the last track you were listening to in the Xbox Music app. Take a peek at a partial list of commands below, and view the rest at our source link in printable PDF form. You'll also find hand gestures that the Kinect can recognize to scroll through the dashboard, and zoom in and out in apps like Internet Explorer.
Nov 25, 2013
The Xbox One's Upload Studio is designed to help you share your most exciting gameplay clips with friends. But as some early console owners are already finding out, using profanity during those recordings can have consequences. Microsoft has confirmed to The Verge that it is handing out temporary Xbox Live bans for select gamers found to be using "excessive" foul language in content created with Upload Studio. Most users aren't being prevented from playing online games, but instead are barred from attaching Kinect camera recordings to their gameplay clips. In some cases, they're temporarily blocked from using Upload Studio at all.Read Article >
Nov 23, 2013
Sony isn't the only one that had a fantastic next-gen console launch. Microsoft has just announced that it, too, sold through one million Xbox One game systems in less than 24 hours. It's not a direct comparison, however: Microsoft launched in 13 countries, while the PlayStation 4 racked up one million in only US and Canada. Either way, Microsoft says it's the company's fastest selling console ever, surpassing Xbox 360 day-one sales, and that the console is now out of stock at most retailers. "We are working hard to create more Xbox One consoles and look forward to fulfilling holiday gift wishes this season," wrote Xbox marketing boss Yusef Mehdi, in a press release.Read Article >
However, Polygon has reported that some retailers allocated additional shipments of consoles to fulfill holiday demand, with Best Buy in particular stating that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 should stay in stock through December.
Nov 22, 2013
The next generation of console gaming is here. Sony launched its PlayStation 4 last week, and Microsoft launches the Xbox One today, ushering in a new battle between the hardware titans.Read Article >
Over the last several months, we've become very familiar with the exterior design of both consoles. But with both devices now available, iFixit has torn them open for a look at everything that's packed inside. Both companies expect these products to remain on the market for up to a decade, so the Xbox One and PS4 will be powering the games you play for years to come.
Nov 21, 2013Read Article >
The company is in the midst of its 50th anniversary, celebrated from 30 Rock to Philadelphia’s Comcast Center — and to many within the company, the new Xbox with its focus on live TV in particular doesn’t seem like such a big deal. As executives point out, Comcast customers already have most of the Xbox’s advanced TV functionality. They can already search by show, and while voice search isn’t ready yet, it’s coming as part of the new X1 platform. More importantly, customers can record and watch TV shows with the Comcast DVR. You can use the Xbox to navigate between TV channels, sure, but if you want to watch something from DVR or on demand, you’ll have to pick up the cable remote, resulting in an awkward tangle of interfaces and controls. As Sam Schwartz, the chief business development officer at Comcast Cable, puts it, "there is nothing that they can offer that will make it worth it to go through that experience."