The new Xbox One beta program will let some console owners to test future system updates.
It looks like Microsoft is inviting select Xbox One users to participate in a preview of the March system update.
Invites are rolling out now, so check your e-mail. Here's the official announcement:
| Invitation to Preview the Next Xbox One Update|
The team is working hard to deliver some exciting updates in March that will make Xbox One even better. But in order to ensure our customers have the best experience on Xbox One and Xbox Live, we need the help of our passionate community.
Beginning today, Xbox is inviting select Xbox Live members to preview new features coming to Xbox One in a March system update and future system updates as they become available, asking them to provide valuable feedback before the updates are implemented worldwide. Selected participants will receive an Xbox Live message with a token to register. The next system update will begin rolling out next week to those who will preview the new features. Once registered, participants will be able to test the early features included in the update and provide feedback on a private forum and can opt out of future waves.
Like Marc Whitten announced last week, the updates coming in March will significantly improve the multiplayer and party experiences on Xbox One. We’re counting on our fans to share their input as we’re putting the final touches on the new features that we plan to deliver in early March.
Thanks for helping make Xbox One even better. We look forward to hearing your feedback on the system updates whether you are participating in the preview or not. We love to hear from you.
News-Source: MS inviting Xbox One users to test out the March Update (via) MaxConsole
Leaked some days ago, the Xbox One Media Remote has been officially announced.
Microsoft has just announced officially the Xbox One Media Remote with a price of $24.99 in the US.
According to Eurogamer:
"The remote lets you control video playback for Blu-ray movies and streaming video on Xbox One. The motion-activated backlit buttons illuminate as soon as you pick it up "allowing it to be used in the darkest of rooms while playing games, watching TV shows, movies and more", Microsoft said. It's out in early March.
It also includes dedicated Back and OneGuide buttons. The OneGuide button lets you access TV shows and movies through the Xbox program guide.
You can also use the media remote to control your TV/receiver power and volume through Kinect."
News-Source: Xbox One Media Remote shown (via) XboxOneCrunch
ControllerMAX (formerly CronusMAX) warns about some China dealers trying to sell fake CronusMAX devices.
According to the guys over at ControllerMAX (formerly CronusMAX), some Chinese dealers are trying to sell old Cronus Device stock and passing them off as CronusMAX.
Apparently, these have been badly repaired by hand, so you are now WARNED. Don't get those!
Here's the info:
| BE WARNED! There are China dealers trying to sell old Cronus Device stock and passing them off as CronusMAX. We received various samples and most seemed to have been repaired by hand and the work was terrible with dry joints and bridge solder on the IC (see picture). Half of them wouldn't even work without some soldering repairs or replacement of components.|
All the serial numbers showed up as none CM and none of them will work with Gtuner or any of the GamePacks and none of them can be programmed to any new firmware or new features. Make sure you buy from a genuine retailer listed at controllermax.com/retailers
If you have already bought one of these expecting for everything to work correctly then you have two options. Return it to whomever you bought it from for a refund or you can pay the ControllerMAX Upgrade fee of $29.99 available at our store.
News-Source: China selling FAKE CronusMAX devices (via) 360Crunch
For those who cant decide whether to propose, a jewelry store offers a free Xbox One if you get a ring.
That's right, Perrywinkle's, a jewelry chain with stores in New York and Vermont, is offering a free Xbox One with purchase of some engagement rings.
The catch? You need to purchase a ring with 3/4 carat diamond center stone...
Here's the promo from the jewelry's website:
"A whole new meaning for Xbox ring of death", don't you think?
News-Source: Buy engagement ring, get a free... Xbox One (via) MaxConsole
According to Forbes contributor Adam Hartung, while calling Xbox One a failure may be premature, 'Microsoft investors have plenty to worry about'...
Just a few days after we posted the 'Motley Fool' article titled 'Xbox One looks like a total failure', here goes another 'doom' one, this time by American business giant Forbes.
In this one, site contributor Adam Hartung, says that Microsoft should just give up on Xbox and Kinect and "handle them" over to Nintendo.
"While calling XBox One a failure may be premature, Microsoft investors have plenty to worry about", the article says. Here is it:
| Microsoft has a new CEO. And a new Chairman. The new CEO says the company needs to focus on core markets. And analysts are making the same cry.|
Amidst this organizational change, XBox continues its long history of losing money – as much as $2 billion per year. And early 2014 results show that XBox One is selling at only half the rate of Sony’s Playstation 4, with cumulative XBox One sales at under 70% of PS4, leading Motley Fool to call XBox One a “total failure.”
While calling XBox One a failure may be premature, Microsoft investors have plenty to worry about.
Firstly, the console game business has not been a profitable market for anyone for quite a while.
The old leader, Nintendo, watched sales crash in 2013, first quarter 2014 estimates reduced by 67% and the CEO now projecting the company will be unprofitable for the year. Nintendo stock declined by 2/3 between 2010 and 2012, then after some recovery in 2013 lost 17% on the January day of its disappointing sales expectation. Not a great market indicator.
The new sales leader is Sony, but that should give no one reason to cheer. Sony lost money for 4 straight years (2008-2012), and was barely able to squeek out a 2013 profit only because it took a massive $4.6B 2012 loss which cleared the way to show something slightly better than break-even. Now S&P has downgraded Sony’s debt to near junk status. While PS4 sales are better than XBox One, in the fast shifting world of gaming this is no lock on future sales as game developers constantly jockey dollars between platforms.
Whether Sony will make money on PS4 in 2014 is far from proven. Especially since it sells for $100/unit (20%) less than XBox One – which compresses margins. What investors (and customers) can expect is an ongoing price war between Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to attract sales. A competition which historically has left all competitors with losses – even when they win the market share war.
Will game console sales decline like PC sales?
On top of profit worries is the threat that console market growth may stagnate as gamers migrate toward games on mobile devices. How this will affect sales is unknown. But given what happened to PC sales it’s not hard to imagine the market for consoles to become smaller each year, dominated by dedicated game players, while the majority of casual game players move to their convenient always-on device.
Due to its limited product range, Nintendo is in a “fight to the death” to win in gaming. Sony is now selling its PC business, and lacks strong offerings in most consumer products markets (like TVs) while facing extremely tough competition from Samsung and LG. Sony, likewise, cannot afford to abandon the Playstation business, and will be forced to engage in this profit killing battle to attract developers and end-use customers.
When businesses fall into profit-killing price wars the big winner is the one who figures out how to exit first.
Back in the 1970s when IBM created domination in mainframes the CEO of GE realized it was a profit bloodbath to fight for sales against IBM, Sperry Rand and RCA. Thinking fast he made a deal to sell the GE mainframe business to RCA so the latter could strengthen its campaign as an IBM alternative, and in one step he stopped investing in a money-loser while strengthening the balance sheet in alternative markets like locomotives and jet engines – which went on to high profits.
With calls to focus, Microsoft is now abandoning XP. It is working to force customers to upgrade to either Windows 7 or Windows 8. As PC sales continue declining, Microsoft faces an epic battle to shore up its position in cloud services and maintain its enterprise customers against competitors like Amazon.
After a decade in gaming, where it has never made money, now is the time for Microsoft to recognize it does not know how to profit from its technology – regardless how good. Microsoft could cleve off Kinect for use in its cloud services, and give its installed XBox base (and developer community) to Nintendo where the company could focus on lower cost machines and maintain its fight with Sony.
Analysts that love focus would cheer. They would cheer the benefit to Nintendo, and the additional “focus” to Microsoft. Microsoft would stop investing in the unprofitable game console market, and use resources in markets more likely to generate high returns. And, with some sharp investment bankers, Microsoft could also probably keep a piece of the business (in Nintendo stock) that it could sell at a future date if the “suicide” console business ever turns into something profitable.
Sometimes smart leadership is knowing when to “cut and run.”
Don't forget to share your thoughts about the matter, below!
News-Source: Forbes: 'Microsoft should give Xbox to Nintendo' (via) XboxOneCrunch
A new version of this Nintendo 64 emulator for the original Xbox has been released
Hey retro lovers! This is for you. A new version of Surreal64 for Xbox is out adding some improvements over the previous one. Check it out:
A Nintendo64 emulator for Xbox.
Surreal64 CE is a continuation of the Surreal64 project where Team XXX left off. Originally developed by oDD and Lantus, Surreal64 included ports of three Win32 based Nintendo64 emulators including 1964, Project64 and UltraHLE.
Our goal is to improve Nintendo64 emulation on the XBOX with the addition of: - New or updated N64 emulators.
This is package is an unofficial patch containing some experimental work that took place after B5.5's release.
Simply overwrite your .xbe's with those bundled in this package.
You can get it from the link below.
News-Source: Surreal64 CE B5.6 rev 235 for Xbox released (via) 360Crunch
According to financial site The Motley Fool, Microsoft 'may have a problem on its hands'.
According to this article by financial-service site The Motley Fool, Microsoft's Xbox One is a "total failure" for the company, mainly because Sony's PS4 is outselling it at a rate of 2-to-1 (at least in the US).
The site adds that, while it's still early in "the console war", investors in third party companies like EA "could ultimately be the ones most exposed".
Do you agree? Here's the article:
| NPD data shows Sony dominating Microsoft|
According to research firm NPD, Sony's PlayStation 4 was the top selling video game console in the US during the month of January, edging out Microsoft's Xbox One. VentureBeat puts the figures at around 280,000 for the PlayStation 4 and 145,000 for Microsoft's Xbox One. On a cumulative, global basis, Sony has sold about 5.1 million PlayStation 4s, while Microsoft has sold 3.4 million Xbox Ones, according to data compiled by VGChartz.
The discrepancy is even more notable in light of the fact that Sony still hasn't released the PlayStation 4 in its home market of Japan. At the same time, Sony seems to be struggling with supply constraints, as many retailers in the U.S. have completely sold out of their allotted shipments.
Moreover, the PlayStation 4 doesn't even really have any video games worth playing. As new consoles, neither the PlayStation 4 nor the Xbox One has a robust catalog of offerings, but with exclusives like Dead Rising and Killer Instinct, Microsoft's Xbox One seems to have the better lineup.
Why is the Xbox One struggling?
There are myriad of reasons to explain why Microsoft's console isn't selling as well as Sony's. But the most significant by far is the price difference -- at $500, Microsoft's console is a full $100 more expensive than Sony's machine.
That $100 difference is likely due to the inclusion of Microsoft's Kinect, an accessory most core gamers (the sorts of people likely to purchase a console early in its life) don't seem to want. At the same time, Microsoft's console is slightly less powerful than Sony's, resulting in marginally better graphics.
Electronic Arts could be the one most exposed
The Xbox isn't really part of Microsoft's core business, so in that respect, the lack of sales shouldn't really have too much of an effect on Microsoft's bottom line. But one company that could see an impact is Electronic Arts.
Titanfall, arguably Electronic Arts' most anticipated game of the year, will be exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox One platform (it will also be available for the PC and the Xbox 360, but the Xbox One version has received most of the focus) There's also Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, a game that, like Titanfall, will be exclusive to the Xbox One in terms of next-generation consoles.
With a lesser install base, it's possible that both of these games could be a retail disappointment, failing to generate the sales Electronic Arts had been anticipating.
Still early in the console war
That said, it's still early in the console war. Sony's last console, the PlayStation 3, was a retail disappointment early in its life, as consumers struggled with its high asking price. Ultimately, however, the PlayStation 3 was able to close the gap with Microsoft's Xbox 360, as Sony gradually cut the price and delivered a slate of quality exclusives. Maybe Microsoft will be able to pull off something similar.
Nevertheless, at least for now, Microsoft appears to be far behind.
News-Source: Motley Fool: 'Xbox One looks like a total failure' (via) MaxConsole
Some Xbox One users are reporting a black screen error following the February update. Microsoft is aware of the issue and there's a workaround available.
It looks like some Xbox One users are experiencing a issue that makes the screen "go black" after the system powers on and during gaming sessions, just after applying the latest February update for the console.
Gamers on Reddit and on the official Xbox forums have noted their frustration with the new issue.
Apparently, Microsoft is aware of it, and a workaround is already available...
| The official Xbox Support Twitter channel says you need only "power cycle" your Xbox One by holding the power button for 10 seconds to fix the issue. Simple enough.|
Unfortunately for some users, the Xbox One "black screen" issue interrupted their Titanfall beta gameplay sessions. Though it's a headache and an inconvenience, the issue does not appear to be very widespread or significantly damaging, so you can rest easy and continue playing Titanfall until the beta ends tomorrow, February 19.
The February Xbox One update rolled out on Friday, February 15. It added a battery power indication and USB keyboard support, while also improving storage space management.
Have you experienced anything like that? Let us know below!
The next major XB1 update will arrive in March, a week ahead of Titanfall's launch...
News-Source: Xbox One users experiencing 'black screen' issue... (via) XboxOneCrunch
Here's a clarification about the legal status of modchips in the EU.
A few weeks ago, we informed you that an European court ruled out that Nintendo cannot prevent the use of hacking equipment on its consoles.
Well, site Gamer Law has added further clarification on the legal status of modchips in general in Europe.
In summary, they are now basically legal over there, as long as they are primarily used for legitimate, non-infringing purposes, like homebrew:
| A TL;DR summary of the law on modchips in the EU following Nintendo v PC Box:|
• Console manufacturers can use “technological protection measures” (which are physically linked to either the console or the game itself) to restrict acts which they do not want users to be able to carry out.
• However, modchips intended to circumvent those TPMs are not illegal per se: you have to look at what the modchip is doing and whether its usage is proportionate to the actual harm done.
• If the primary use of the modchip technology is for infringing purposes (e.g. to pay pirated games), this suggests the modchip would NOT be being used legitimately and proportionately.
• However, if the mod chip is used primarily used for legitimate, non-infringing purposes (e.g. home brew games), this suggests the use of the modchip may be used legitimately and proportionately.
• The evidential burden is on the console manufacturer to show on the facts that an attempt to circumvent their TPMs is unlawful.
• So: modchips are not ALWAYS illegal – it all depends on whether a user is using them in the right and proportionate way.
In practice, will this really change much? On one view, maybe only a little: the pendulum has swung away from the device manufacturers in the EU (who were, as Angus put it excellently, at one stage trying to use the law to create an exclusive ‘console manufacturers’ right’) and towards modchip makers and users. However, all the CJEU has really done is put a balancing test in place between these opposing sides: there still needs to be litigation in order for the balancing test to be applied in any particular situation. IF litigation does kick off, the modchip maker or user will find stronger legal defences for their activity than they found previously. But in practice how many will have the necessary financial resources and resolve to face down a console manufacturer in order to bring those legal defences into play?
On the other hand, these things are seldom as straightforward as they seem, particularly given the ability of legal changes to shape business behaviour over time. What if, for example, a group of users decide to petition (or even sue) a console manufacturer to build modchip type abilities into a device right from the outset? What if a console manufacturer itself decides that this kind of case shows that there is both user and legal support for modchip type abilities and decides voluntarily as a business to introduce new functionality themselves? (Actually that’s happened before, when Sony introduced “OtherOS” functionality to the Playstation 3, before later removing it).
There you have it. More details on the link below!
News-Source: Modchips now legal in Europe (as long as theyre not 'naughty') via MaxConsole Underground
So, that 'Microsoft dumping the Xbox Division' rumor could be legit, as according to an insider, Amazon is in talks to buy it. Microsoft, of course, denies it.
Just a few days after the report by The Washington Post stating that Microsoft investors wanted the company's new CEO to "kill" the Xbox division, well known industry insider Pete Dodd now says that they are in talks with Amazon to transfer the property of Xbox to the giant online retail corporation (but, it could take years).
Of course that this s just a RUMOR, so take it with a huge grain of salt. Here are his tweets:
He further added the following over at NeoGaf:
| “What am I creating fud for? I own an xbox one and quite enjoy it. Am I|
trying to sabotage myself? I passed on a rumor that is being taken way
more seriously than I imagined. That’s it. No need for Tinfoil hats,”
"Am I being trolled? The original person to tell me might have been, I thought. I followed up with others. They said the same thing. Basically the scuttlebutt around D.I.C.E was that this made sense, one looking to dump, another looking to acquire. Then I talked to someone at ms that said there have been talks but it’s not even close to a done deal and if it does get done it will take years,"
"I thought a few people would find it entertaining that this is a current rumor and now there are sites saying that I’m saying that Microsoft is selling xbox to Amazon. Like I said before I don’t put enough stock in this to even make a thread myself. I really wish this one was closed. I take the blame, I have serious self-awareness problems as I have no idea that I can even cause a commotion like this."
Microsoft, of course, denies it. Chief of Staff for Devices and Studios Group Aaron Greenberg commented this:
| "Ridiculous, cannot believe people would even believe something like this."|
So, there you have it. Again, as Dodd said, do with this rumor what you may...
News-Source: RUMOR: Xbox may be purchased by Amazon, according to insider (via) MaxConsole
Xbox One February update is now starting to roll out. Full list of changes and improvements inside!
As promised by Microsoft, this month's Xbox One update is starting to roll out.
This is the first major update for the console, and packs many improvements, including better Kinect voice recognition, improved all-round stability, and some key fixes to the dashboard, like on-screen meters for the controller's battery and the ability to see and manage your HDD space.
According to Major Nelson:
| As I noted in my blog post about the December system update, we’ve changed the way these work on Xbox One to reduce the impact on our customers.|
For the vast majority of Xbox One owners who use “Instant On” (the low power state that allows you to instantly power up your console by saying “Xbox On”), the console automatically checks for updates when customers turn it off. This means now that we’ve made the February update available, the next time you turn your console off it will take the update during off-peak hours in your local time. All that to say, never fear you’ll see it sometime over the weekend.
As a reminder, here are some of the features you’ll see in this update:
- The ability to see and manage your storage space: With this update, you will find it easy to find how much space your content takes up and better manage your content. You can also control your install lineup and more easily manage your download queue. We’ve separated My Games and My Apps into separate lists, so you can easily create separate queues for both. Now you can pick the order in which you want your content to load and we’ve added a boot progress indicator so you can better track updates while they load.
- The battery power indicator is back! You can see it right on the home screen, so you can easily track how much battery life is left on your controller.
- And, you will be able to use your USB keyboard with your Xbox One.
And, finally, here's the full list of changes:
Remember, there's another update scheduled to arrive in March, so stay tuned for that one too. All the details are HERE.
News-Source: Xbox One February update goes live (via) XboxOneCrunch
Chris Lewis, the senior Microsoft executive who leads the firm's European console business, has revealed his plans to retire from the company.
Xbox Europe vice president Chris Lewis is retiring from Microsoft after having spent the last 25 years with the company, in order to pursue his own business interests.
Microsoft is now, of course, seeking a replacement.
As reported by MCV:
| Lewis is a 25-year veteran of Microsoft, joining the firm in 1989, and has led the Xbox business since it started and held various sales and marketing roles.|
He officially leaves in the coming weeks as the company seeks a replacement. He is moving on to focus on his own business interests.
Lewis was part of the team that made Xbox 360 the UK's biggest games console over the last generation, and oversaw the tricky launch of Xbox One. We last spoke to him in September.
During his career, he's picked up numerous awards, and in 1999 picked up the EMEA Chairman’s award for outstanding leadership and consistent business success from Bill Gates.
“Since joining Microsoft as one of the first UK employees in 1989, Chris has made significant contributions across the partner, enterprise and retail businesses," said CVP of Microsoft's devices and studios marketing group Yusuf Mehdi.
"He has been a distinguished leader for our Xbox team in Europe – overseeing the launch of the original Xbox, Xbox 360, Kinect and most recently Xbox One, and growing the business significantly across the region."
“Following that success, Chris has now chosen to retire from Microsoft and focus on his other business and personal interests. We wish Chris nothing but the best, and we thank him for everything he’s contributed to Xbox and Microsoft as a whole over the past 25 years.”
News-Source: Xbox Europe boss Chris Lewis resigns (via) XboxOneCrunch
Here goes another emulator for your original Xbox console. This one emulates machines that use a SPG2xx processor (Chinese ones).
MuchimeX by 'HCF', is a 'Multi Chinese Machine Emulator' for the first Xbox console. This one tries to emulate a lot of machines that use a SPG2xx processor (manufactured by Sunplus) with the u'nSP instruction set.
Here's a bit more info:
| This is a new emulator that I am working on. MuchimeX emulates the SPG2XX family processors manufactured by Sunplus. These processors are used by hundreds of devices: consoles, TV plug-and-play games, multimedia players... Once we have emulated the processor, if we add the emulation of the rest of their components, we should be able to emulate all these machines. So, MuchimeX hopes to emulate a huge amount of 16-bit machines that use this kind of processors :)|
At the moment, some consoles like JungleTac's Sport Vii or some Jakks Pacific TV Plug 'n Play videogames are already emulated (although the sound is not emulated yet). The emulation is almost perfect and full-speed, except in the sound.
As a final surprise for people with children, the Vtech V.smile console use the same kind of Sunplus processor, so in the future this emulator will probably be able to perform a partial emulation of this console. At the moment, some V.smile games like the Cinderella and Ariel ones do load, but they are still not playable because I have not emulated the controls yet.
WHAT DOES IT EMULATE?
It is really difficult to find roms/bios dumps for this kind of devices, but at the moment I have managed to test it with success, wiith all these systems/bios/roms:
* Sport Vii / Chintendo Vii: All the internal games work, mainly controlled with the HandyBar/Viimote (read the "Controls" and the "Viimote" sections for more information to play these games).
* Sport Vii / Chintendo VII cartridges: I have tested the VC_1 and VC_2 (named "7 in 1" and "10 in 1"), with success. The VC_3 cartridge probably works too, but I have not been able to find a dump of it. Please, let me know if you managed to test it.
* Jakks Pacific plug 'n play games: I have tested if with the games Batman and Wall-e, with success. Other games like the Winnie the Pooh one, must work too. And a lot of other Jakks Pacific games should work with a few adds/changes in the emulator. If you find more dumps and they don't work, let me know and I will try to patch the emulator to support them.
* As a final surprise, there are a few V.smile games that already load (like the Cinderella and the Ariel ones) but they are still not playable because the controls are still not emulated. But you can load them and see the title screen, as a proof that we are really close to achieve a partial emulation of the Vtech V.smile console. On the other hand, games that use other devices like the VMotion or the V.smile CD, will not work yet, because these devices are not emulated in this emulator yet.
* Besides, there are a lot of 16-bit chinese cheap consoles with hundreds of internal games that use this same Sunplus processor, so if we manage to find a dump of their bios/roms, they will probable work in this emulator too (maybe a little patch will be needed, some kind of "2 minutes fix").
More details, including compatibility, are on the links below!
Off-Site Download Link:
- MuchimeX v0.5.zip (MultiUpload)
News-Source: MuchimeX v0.5 has been released! (via) MaxConsole UnderGround
Microsoft will 'fix' the Xbox One controller so Titanfall players can accurately aim. Beta runs at native 792p.
According to a report by The Verge, Microsoft will issue a software update to "fix" the Xbox One controller at the request of Titanfall's developers, Respawn Entertainment.
Additionally, the dev is also collaborating with Microsoft on an update to the Xbox One's display scaler, which the console uses to upscale games natively rendered at resolutions below 1080p...
| 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.|
"It's just fixing the controller input, really," he tells The Verge, adding that the team worked with Microsoft on the solution. "It wasn't really where we felt it should be; it was a little overly twitchy with the current controls. Now it's fixed. We're happy with it."
Given that Microsoft spent a reported $100 million developing the new Xbox One controller, it's not surprising that the company would pay a little more to get the sticks just right, particularly if — as Hendry suggested to us — the benefits won't be limited to this particular game.
Respawn Entertainment also says it's working with Microsoft on a new version of the console's upscaler — presumably to convert games rendered at sub-1080p resolutions up to the full HDTV standard — but it was unclear whether that upscaler will only apply to Titanfall or work with all Xbox One games.
In a related note, the Titanfall Beta runs at native ’792p’ resolution on Xbox One, but may increase on the final build, Eurogamer reports. Also, the game runs at "around" 60fps:
| Well, even with access to direct captures, the issue isn't quite as cut and dried as you may think. The usual pixel-counting techniques involve capturing long horizontal and vertical edges, then comparing the number of actual rendered pixels with the output of the console. So, for example a 4:5 ratio on the vertical on a 720p output gives 576p. The ratios aren't quite so clear on the preview build of Titanfall we saw last week, but because of that, 720p can be ruled out.|
Based on some extended edge-counts from the game's stark tutorial section, our best guess right now is that 1408x792 is pretty close to Respawn's chosen rendering resolution. The overall effect is pretty similar to 720p overall though, and the implementation of an overly sharp filter across the entire image suggests that the Xbox One hardware scaler is used to blow up the image to 1080p. We're not exactly impressed by that and, we suspect, neither was DICE - hence the move on Battlefield 4 from Microsoft's scaler to a bespoke software solution between the preview and final code we played.
In the era of post-process anti-aliasing - which doesn't work particularly well on sub-native resolutions - the good news is that Respawn has opted for the tried-and-tested 2x multi-sampling anti-aliasing (MSAA) in order to make the image cleaner, eliminating sub-pixel pop and resolving long-distance detail more effectively.
Probably the biggest surprise is that, based on our testing, frame-rate doesn't quite remain locked to 60fps - not especially noticeable in most situations, but definitely more of an issue inside the titans. Bearing in mind Respawn's dedication to the locked 60fps experience, we hope that further optimisations are in development, but the videos on this page should give you some idea of the game's current performance level.
More info on the links below.
Titanfall will launch on Xbox One and PC on March 11 in NA and March 13 in Europe, and for Xbox 360 on March 25 and 28.
News-Source: Microsoft to 'fix' Xbox One controller at request of 'Titanfall' dev (via) XboxOneCrunch
According to The Washington Post, investors want Microsoft to abandon what they view as non-essential product lines for the company...
According to The Washington Post, two influential Microsoft shareholders want the company to "kill" Xbox, Bing and Surface, so they can focus on its core strength: selling enterprise software to businesses...
Here are some excerpts from the article:
| Nadella has spent the last seven months running Microsoft's $20 billion server and tools division, so he could be ideally suited to manage that transition.|
Ballmer envisioned Microsoft as a "device and services" company and reorganized the company last year to better execute that vision. But now Ballmer is out — though still on the board — and with a new CEO come fresh questions about the fate of consumer tech at Microsoft.
Microsoft's Windows division has been facing shrinking profits; last year, the unit pulled in a net $9.5 billion, down from $11.6 billion in 2012 and $12.3 billion in 2011. Company filings suggest that the drop is largely attributable to declining demand for Windows among consumers, even as sales of Windows to businesses remain strong. The same division also reported a $900 million loss on unsold Surface tablets. The online services division, which oversees search engine Bing, reported a loss of $1.3 billion in 2013 — less than the previous year but still in the red.
Some investors have suggested that Microsoft spin off its money-losing consumer products and focus solely on the enterprise. Even the Xbox deserves to go, Paul Ghaffari, the wealth manager for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, said last year.
But Robert Bontempo, a management professor at Columbia Business School, is skeptical that Nadella will be able to chart his own course on the matter. "You're asking for Nadella to walk into a board meeting and look Ballmer and Gates in the eye and say, 'The decisions you've made over the past two decades are a mistake,'" said Bontempo. "That's going to take some serious strength of character."
ValueAct [holds 0.8% shares of MS] has been a critic of Microsoft's strategy and — like Ghaffari — wants the company to consider shedding some of its investments in consumer technology. ValueAct also reportedly wants the company to unbundle its offerings, such as Microsoft Office, so that they can be used on other platforms besides Windows.
"Microsoft has historically had a supportive board," said Bontempo. But with the addition of Morfit [representative of ValueAct], Bontempo said, "this is going to be an extremely toxic environment ... There's going to be a lot of tension."
That tension could come in handy for Nadella, who will need political cover to pursue broader changes at the company.
But there are some early signs that Nadella is interested in continuity with his predecessors rather than a radically new strategy. The Indian-born engineer asked — and got — Gates to step away as chairman of the board so that Gates could advise him on products and devices. Whatever Gates's qualifications for this job, it's clear Nadella recognizes his own weaknesses when it comes to consumers. It's also suggestive of Nadella's faith in the "device" part of Microsoft's "device and services" mantra.
Though no longer chairman, Gates will remain on the board of directors. Analysts say the programmer-turned-philanthropist has exerted a strong influence at Microsoft behind the scenes, even as he's kept a low public profile at the company.
For tons of on-going hot debate on this article see our forums!
News-Source: Investors want Microsoft's new CEO to kill Xbox (via) MaxConsole
Microsoft has detailed the upcoming March update for the Xbox One. February update has been delayed a few days.
Microsoft has detailed the upcoming Xbox One March system update, and it looks like it will add multiplayer and party fixes (just in time for Titanfall's release).
After next month's update, you will 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.
Here are the full official details:
| Since we first launched Xbox One, we have been thrilled to see our fans spending millions of hours on Xbox Live. Your enthusiasm reinforces our commitment to making Xbox One and Xbox Live the best place for gamers and entertainment fans.|
This week marks a big week for Xbox One as we will start to roll out our first product update for Xbox One. As previously shared, this update offers many new improvements – including lots of behind-the-scenes updates for developers building apps and games for Xbox One, several new features we believe Xbox fans will love, stability and product updates to improve the customer experience, and continuous improvements to the quality of Kinect voice so commands become more fluid and responsive over time.
This is step one on our journey and commitment to deliver continuous innovation to Xbox One customers. Xbox One is a platform designed to offer the best games and entertainment experience and we are committed to delivering more and more features to our customers.
While we’re thrilled to launch the February update this week, we’re already looking ahead to March. We’ve prided ourselves on having the best multiplayer service for Xbox 360 and we’ve listened to your feedback about the features you want to see on Xbox One and Xbox Live. We’ve heard your feedback and the team has been working overtime to deliver updates that will significantly improve the multiplayer and party experience on Xbox One.
Here are more details on what’s coming for parties and multiplayer in March:
• Get to your friends list faster. The friends list will be front and center on the homepage of the Friends app. Click the Social tile on Home, or say “Xbox, go to Friends” to see who’s online and what they’re up to. From there you can quickly send messages and get into a party.
• Party chat will be turned on by default. When you party up, chat audio will be turned on by default.
• Chat with friends playing different games. Party chat will be separated from people playing your game, so you can chat with your friends who are online or you can chat with everyone playing the game.
• We’re adding an “Invite friends to game” option to your multiplayer titles moving forward. Similar to Xbox 360 titles, this will appear inside a games’ menu and offer a simple and quicker way to set up your multiplayer battles. Selecting “Invite friends” will let you invite friends to your game and party.
• We’re adding “Recent Players.” This is a simple list that shows you Xbox Live members you’ve recently played with, making it easier to stay in touch with people, or add new friends after your multiplayer battles.
Our March Xbox One system update will start rolling out in early March. We’re excited to get these multiplayer and party improvements out in time for the March 11 launch of “Titanfall,” the highly anticipated team-based online multiplayer game.
The March update includes many more great features. The improvements to multiplayer and parties are just a few of the features that will be included, and we’ll continue to share more details in the days and weeks ahead, including in-depth videos so you’re all ready to take advantage of the new features in March. We’re lucky to have a passionate community that shares feedback. Thanks for helping us make Xbox One even better.
Additionally, the company announced that February's update -which was supposedly to come out today- will be delayed, but that it will definitely "ship this week":
| FYI: The February #XboxOne System Update will ship this week, but not today. The team is working on finalizing. More details when I get them.|
So, just be patient!
News-Source: Multiplayer and Party Updates for Xbox One Coming in March (via) 360Crunch
Microsoft has announced that a new official Stereo Headset will be released in march alongside the so much awaited Adapter for existing headsets
Ladies and gentleman, we have good news today for the Xbox One users.
Microsoft is proud to announce the official Xbox One Stereo Headset. It will include a unidirectional microphone and a detachable Stereo Headset Adapter for you to control all the audio with your fingerprints: "You can balance the game and chat audio levels, control the master volume, and mute the microphone." The price has been set to $79.99.
If you already use another gaming headphones you should know that the Stereo Headset Adapter will also be sold separately, with a price of $24.99."Plug your compatible headset into the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter to chat with your fellow players, and enjoy the convenient volume controls right on the adapter. For more details on the Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter.
Both items will be released in early March, Check it out:
We’ve all been there:
You want to play Xbox One games while your family sleeps soundly just down the hall or your roommates study for their finals. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the Xbox One Stereo Headset, which will allow fans to immerse themselves in their games and play at whatever volume they’d like.
The Xbox One Stereo Headset will ship with a detachable Stereo Headset Adapter that puts all of the audio controls right at your fingertips. You can balance the game and chat audio levels to hear just what you want, control the master volume, and mute the microphone each with the touch of a button.
So, the only thing that we want to know is when Dolby Digital support via Optical Port will be activated...
Maybe in the already announced Xbox One update? We hope so.
News-Source: Xbox One Stereo Headset and Adapter to release in March (via) MaxConsole
NinjaBee's 'Nutjitsu' and Team17's 'Worms Battlegrounds' will be among the first ID@Xbox titles released.
If you didn't know, ID@Xbox is Microsoft's initiative to enable developers to self-publish games on the Xbox One.
Well, two developers have revealed their indie games that will be among the first ones to be released on the console: Nutjitsu by NinjaBee, and Worms Battlegrounds by Team17 (which also will be released on PS4).
| We haven't heard much about which games will be released as a part of the program, but in a tweet last night Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer responded to a follower question about the possibility of Kickstarter projects on Xbox One with detail on what we can expect.|
"I think you will with @ID_Xbox," he said. "Played 2 of the first shipping games, a Worms game n Nutjitsu, right before DICE."
Nutjitsu is a free-to-play Windows 8 puzzle game from Ninja Bee, the studio behind A World of Keflings.
| Team 17 has confirmed to Eurogamer its plan to self-publish Worms Battlegrounds on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.|
All we have at this stage is a logo. But Team 17 promised a makeover for next-gen consoles. Additionally, Worms Battlegrounds will be one of the first titles to be self-published on the Xbox One under the ID@Xbox program.
It's due out at some point in 2014.
So, it looks like indie games will start to arrive to the XB1. Other developers greenlit for self-publishing include Double Fine, Slightly Mad Studios and Vlambeer.
News-Source: First Xbox One ID@Xbox games revealed (via) XboxOneCrunch
A new version of MAMEoXtras for the original Xbox has been released, featuring an updated MameDOX and more playable games.
MAMEoXtras is a port of the popular MAME (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator) system for the first XBOX.
The new v1.4 features new updated driver work, brand new skins and more games supported!
Here's the info and changelog:
MAMEoXTRAS Contains Coding by: Erik Abair, opcode, luckyMIC, superfro, XPort, bendermike, Ebsy, HK$, IQ_132, gamezfan, destronger, cbagy, And BritneysPAIRS.
This Is An Update To MameDOX Based On Version 1.1
It contains New Updated Driver Work By IQ_132 BritneysPAIRS And gamezfan
The joystick versions of the above games control far better than the dial or rotary versions
Off-Site Download Link:
- MAMEoXtras v1.4 (Source Code included)
News-Source: MAMEoXtras v1.4 has been released (via) 360Crunch
Old Cronus device owners can now upgrade to a new, fully featured CronusMAX for only $29.99.
The CronusMAX team has announced a Cronus device to CronusMAX upgrade service.
So if you own an old Cronus device, you'll be able to upgrade it to a fully featured CronusMAX for only $29.99.
Here's the info:
| If you have an old Cronus Device (any model) and wish to update to the all new CronusMAX firmware with full access to all of the new apps, plugins & game packs then this will be music to your ears!|
We are now testing the new CronusMAX store where you can purchase an upgrade for only $29.99 (half the price of a CronusMAX!) - We are currently testing the new system so be one of the first to use it at shop.cronusmax.com
Save $$$ by updating your original device right now! No need to pay $59.95 if you have an old Cronus device (any model including H1, Xtreme etc)
To check if your device can be updated go to serial.cronusmax.com and enter your serial number.
When ordering enter your serial number in the Customer Notes box on the checkout page. As soon as your device has been upgraded we will let you know by setting your order to COMPLETE and you can then goto serial.cronusmax.com to check your serial number is set to CronusMAX. You will then be able to update your devices firmware with the Gtuner software.
NOTE: Do NOT attempt to update with Gtuner until we have confirmed that your serial number has been updated - it may damage your Cronus device.
For information on how to download Gtuner and update your Cronus go to this web page.
And the new CronusMAX features:
More info on the official CronusMAX forums by following the links below, but may I suggest if you have not gotten one yet, check out one of the official resellers 'ModChipCentral' they offer great shipping and pricing & are a proud sponsor of the 360Crunch forums.
News-Source: CronusMAX team begins to offer old Cronus device upgrade service (via) 360Crunch