Apologies to Microsoft, but it's impossible for us to hear "Xbox One" and not think of that amazingly terrible movie starring Jet Li. With the way Microsoft continues to compete for that fictitious "lone spot" in the living room, comparisons between The One and the Xbox One seem fitting, though.
Last week, we tried naming the recently-announced system and were way off. This week, we need your help in figuring out what to call the console without referring to it as "Xbone," because that's just ridiculous. No, we don't want to call it "the One," either. While you help us figure out a sensible abbreviated name for the system, check out last week's webcomics and vote for your favorite after the break!
It's difficult to register a domain without it quickly becoming a matter of public record, which may be why Microsoft has waited until now to try and secure ownership of Xboxone.com and Xboxone.net, according to Fusible.
The megalithic company has filed a dispute (case #1501205) with the National Arbitration Forum - the company that resolves reports of domain squatting and trademark infringement in URLs, in order to gain control of the two address that have, until now, been controlled by an unnamed resident of the United Kingdom.
In order for Microsoft to win its dispute, it'll need to prove to the NAF that the domains are identical and/or confusingly similar to a trademark that Microsoft owns, that this random person in the UK has no rights to the Xbox One trademark and that the domains in question were registered in bad faith.
Remember that totally boss Metroid: Other M-style Samus action figure that Figma put into production last year, and how it was only sold in Japan? Well, no longer will you have to go to great personal expense to buy one in a used games store in Akihabara - not that any of us have done that or anything.
Varia Feature Samus, fabric-doesn't-work-that-way Zero Suit Samus and Skyward Sword-era Link are all receiving new production runs for sale in the US this fall, though no specific release date has been given. Varia Samus and Link can both be pre-ordered for about $50 a pop, while Zero Suit Sammy rings up at a whopping $100.
Those looking to play some new games on their Neo Geo X consoles can now preorder five volumes on Amazon for $25 each that, in total, include 15 of the system's classic games. Neo Geo X owners also have the option to pay $80 for a Mega Pack that contains all 15 games. The game packs will be available on June 6, according to Amazon's listings.
While Yahoo was in the news recently for its acquisition of Tumblr, it was also busy buying up another company this week: PlayerScale. PlayerScale's CEO Jesper Jensen announced the company's acquisition on its official site.
Founded in 2011, PlayerScale creates software that aids developers in scaling their games across social, mobile and casual platforms, including XBLA, Facebook, the iOS App Store and Google Play market. Its service has over 150 million users across 4,000 titles, according to the company's site. Hard numbers on how much Yahoo spent to pick up PlayerScale, as well as Yahoo's plans for social gaming going forward have yet to be revealed.
NIS America is bringing the updated 3DS version of Atlus' classic 1997 Sega Saturn RPG Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers to Europe this fall on Friday, September 13. The game's labyrinthine dungeons and too-cute-for-their-own-good demonfolk were already released stateside last month and in Japan last August.
We had our souls hacked once, it was this whole big mess - had to cancel all our karma cards, get new Spiritual Security Numbers from the Spiritual Security Administration; it was awful. Nowadays, we keep our souls locked in a safe at the bottom of a well filled with concrete and ghosts.
Despite all this Xbox One whoopla going on, Microsoft hasn't forgotten about its other horse in this console dog and pony show. In fact, the company hopes to continue to move substantial numbers of the Xbox 360 over the next five years, according to senior vice president of Interactive Entertainment Yusuf Mehdi.
"We believe over the next five years we can break a 100 million unit installed base," Medhi said during an interview with OXM. "That's something we're shooting for, it's not a financial plan as such, it's just rough numbers if you will. To sell another 25 million, half of those will probably come from replacements, but half will come from new buyers."
"The way we'll break into those segments," he continued, "is by hitting new price points, getting new classes of entertainment to come with the Xbox, and breaking into new customer segments." We're not quite sure what a new class of entertainment for the Xbox might mean, or what customer segments remain untapped after such a long console cycle, but "new price points" sure does pique our interest.
Nintendo recently posted a trailer for Mega Man X to its YouTube channel showing the game in action on the Wii U Game Pad. The SNES game will launch on the Wii U Virtual Console next week, on May 30, to be exact.
Meanwhile, Super Metroid is still 30 cents, the service will see more Game Gear titles and Earthbound is coming this year. We're just saying, the Wii U's Virtual Console offerings are looking pretty hot right about now.
Marvelous USA (formerly Xseed) announced that it has secured the North American publishing rights for Game Arts' PlayStation 3 and PS Vita action-RPG Ragnarok Odyssey Ace. A European release is also in the works, courtesy of Japanese publisher GungHo.
An expanded version of last year's PS Vita release Ragnarok Odyssey, Ace boasts numerous gameplay additions and includes all of the original game's DLC. Ace additionally supports cross-platform play, giving PS3 and PS Vita players the ability to party up and quest for loot together.
Ragnarok Odyssey Ace will launch this winter in North America and Europe. Marvelous USA plans to show off the PS Vita version at E3 in June.
Virtua Fighter's Jacky Bryant will join his sister Sarah in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate and, in a new trailer and set of screens, the pair team up in a tag match. We get a good glimpse at some of the spiky-haired brawler's move set, alongside Ultimate's other new cast member, Ein.
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is an upcoming retail and digital re-release on Xbox 360 and PS3 of last year's Team Ninja fighter, Dead or Alive 5. Ultimate includes modes and content from the PS Vita port Dead or Alive 5 Plus, like additional stages - some themed around Ninja Gaiden - and, of course, extra characters.
Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble! developer Mousechief announced that its Independent Games Festival Nuovo award finalist title 7 Grand Steps is set for release on June 7 for Windows and Mac.
7 Grand Steps is a board game-like strategy game in which players guide a family through multiple generations, tracing the roots of western civilization along the way. Depending on the choices players make, future generations may produce laborers, kings, or adventurers. Competing families battle for resources during each era, however, and players must plan carefully in order to advance their family's bloodline.
As promised, Dust: An Elysian Tail has found its way to Steam today. Until May 31, you can grab Dust for $13.50, ten percent off its usual $15 asking price.
The action-adventure RPG from Humble Heart made its debut on Xbox Live Arcade back in August as part of the Summer of Arcade promotion. Despite how vast Dust: An Elysian Tail is, it's actually missing a third of its intended story, which was cut due to the months of extra time it would've taken to finalize the larger vision. Even with the omitted content, Dust: An Elysian Tail turned out to be a fine game.
Xbox Live Silver members will receive free access to Gold services starting today in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Chile, Colombia and Argentina. Note, however, that you'll need to have an active Netflix account in order to watch the new season of Arrested Development, as membership isn't included as part of the free weekend.
Make sure you set aside a chunk of time if you plan on marathonning all 15 episodes, as you'll only have one day to watch them all, if you're a Silver member. If you miss out, you're required to walk away from your Xbox 360 looking like this.
The International Trade Commission has decided not to review the decision made last March by the administrative law judge presiding over Motorola's patent infringement case against Microsoft, thereby validating the judge's findings - which were in favor of Microsoft - and closing the case, Engadget reports.
The initial scuffle, first filed in 2010, claimed that Microsoft had infringed upon five of Motorola Mobility's patents. Four patents were dropped from the case during the course of the proceedings, the last remaining patent covering peer-to-peer communication between wireless devices.
Originally, ITC judge David Shaw ruled in favor of Motorola and subsequently recommended a ban on Xbox imports into the US. Then, in June of last year, the ITC remanded the decision back to the administrative law judge and asked him to take another look, effectively starting the process all over again. His second ruling, this time in favor of Microsoft, was delivered last March and will be the final word on the subject, now that the ITC has declined the opportunity to review his decision.
A listing for something called "Bootcamp" has surfaced over on the Korean ratings board GRB. Its description specifically calls out Halo 3 and classifies "Bootcamp" as a PC/Online game.
In a comment to GameFront, Microsoft dismissed any association with Xbox One, which would suggest the new TV series in the works is ruled out. Microsoft also denied any connection with the Reclaimer saga started with Halo 4 in the same statement.
Speculation is this could be a PC port of Halo 3, though Microsoft doesn't seem to be addressing that question either. We've reached out for comment.
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has confirmed that the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts will have some form of Kinect voice commands. Speaking to VentureBeat, Hirshberg said, "I made a passing comment that you're going to see voice integration, voice commands via Kinect, which is something that we haven't done in the past with Call of Duty." He added that the improvements made to Kinect for Xbox One "really excite" the publisher.
Hirshberg also reassured fans that Kinect support won't be careless. "We've always made sure that we don't just use new technology for novelty's sake, he said. "We always make sure that it makes the gameplay better. In this case, we think it will."
He didn't elaborate on what the voice commands might be, but we imagine they will be something along the lines of, "Come here! Who's a good boy? Are you a good boy? Yes, you are. Yes, you are!"
Citing "sources familiar with the system," Polygon reports that the Xbox One will not require a fee to play used games. Instead, the console will perform regular online checks to verify disc authenticity and ownership.
Polygon's sources note that used game sales will continue, as Xbox One game ownership is determined by an on-disc encryption code. Once a game has been sold, traded, or otherwise activated by another console, access to the previous owner's installed content is revoked and transferred to its new owner.
Microsoft's Major Nelson addressed recent speculation regarding the upcoming console's ability to play used games in a statement released earlier today. "Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games," Major Nelson said. "Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future."
Polygon additionally reports that Xbox One voice chat and party chat will be powered by Skype, according to an unnamed Microsoft representative. Recent rumors suggest that Skype will also enable remote play sessions.
"Skype technologies are used in Xbox One which improves voice quality during multiplayer game sessions," Microsoft's representative wrote in a statement to Polygon. "Skype can also be used to call any of your Skype contacts for voice or video chat exclusively or while playing a game. Additionally, we have improved the Kinect hardware, from microphone configuration to dedicated audio processing, which contributes to providing a high-quality voice experience whether you are chatting in a game or through Skype."
"Right now, a great portion of the core of the Fight Night team are actually the team that are building UFC," EA Sports executive vice president Andrew Wilson told IGN. "Do I see a future for Fight Night? You know, sure. But right now, UFC is where our fighting focus is."
2011's Fight Night Champion was the latest game in EA's boxing franchise, introducing a new "Full-Spectrum" punch control system and a Hollywood-inspired campaign following fictitious convict boxer's struggle to overcome adversity and many, many punches to the face. The series was born from the ashes of EA's previous boxing series, Knockout Kings, in 2004.
It's pretty rare for a game series to get as many chances as Call of Juarez has. After a middling debut, the series drummed up lots of critical goodwill with Bound in Blood, and then absolutely threw it all away with the awful The Cartel. Now, Techland has ventured back to the Wild West with Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, and the developer's got something to prove.
Perhaps seeking to distance itself from The Cartel, Gunslinger is a different beast in almost every way, and it works. The most immediately obvious difference is the art style. Instead of the mostly realistic style of past Juarez games, Gunslinger opts for a more stylized and bombastic look. It's as if the developers threw anime, Mad Max, and The Good the Bad and the Ugly and Borderlands into a blender. That might sound weird, but it's a refreshing and enjoyable change.
Gunslinger also has very little in common with its predecessors when it comes to story. The only real connection is a collectible with a short biography of Ray McCall, one of the protagonists from the first two games. This time around, Gunslinger puts players into the dusty spurs of bounty hunter Silas Greaves.
The idea hit Dan FitzGerald in the shower last December: What about a dog sledding game? The Chicago native had been toying around with various prototypes based around a lobbing mechanic, but nothing stuck quite like this. Ideas started pouring in, and he enlisted his girlfriend of three years, Lisa Bromiel, to work on the art and help shape the exciting nugget of an idea into a fully realized video game - a concept that evolved into Dog Sled Saga.
It was the first time either had embarked on anything quite like it. FitzGerald studied communications in college, and had spent time doing contract video production (including trailers for other video games) and web design in an effort to get deeper into the gaming scene. Bromiel, meanwhile, is a trained artist with a focus on material art, though she hadn't consistently worked in digital illustration. As confident as they were about seeing the concept through to completion, they didn't have much insight as to going from making an original game to actually presenting it as a purchasable product. Well, at least until Rami Ismail came to town.
Ismail, the business and development half of Dutch indie studio Vlambeer (Super Crate Box, Luftrausers), stopped in Chicago in February to give a talk as part of DePaul University's Visiting Artists Series. FitzGerald and Bromiel attended, expecting to hear anecdotes about creating their beloved games, or the painful cloning saga that marked the development of Ridiculous Fishing.
Instead they got a real lesson - Indie Game Business 101, if you will - defined by the lecture's catchy three-word title: "Monetize That Shit."
Speaking with Redmond Game Studios and Platforms GM Matt Booty, Ars Technica reports that cloud computing will boost performance in games designed for Microsoft's Xbox One.
While latency-sensitive actions will be handled by a user's Xbox One console, Microsoft claims its cloud architecture can pre-calculate elements like lighting and physics modeling, leading to increased in-game performance.
This additional processing is made possible by the 300,000 servers that will power Xbox Live after the Xbox One's launch, up from the 15,000 servers currently supporting the service. Booty notes that "[for] every Xbox One available in your living room we'll have three of those devices in the cloud available."
Xbox One games that support the feature will remain operational in the event of an Internet connection outage, though developers will need to address the possibility of reduced performance. "In the event of a drop out [...] the game is going to have to intelligently handle that," Booty tells Ars Technica.
Microsoft sent out the following statement a half hour before trading closed today: "The ability to trade in and resell games is important to gamers and to Xbox. Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games. Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future."
GameStop's stock dropped nearly 11 percent today, down $3.90/share to $32.11. At its worst, the company's stock was down to $31/share today. GameStop concluded its previous fiscal year with pre-owned video game products representing $2.4 billion in sales (27.4 percent for the year). If you want a public answer to Microsoft's used game plans, you got nothing on the company that's losing hundreds of millions in value off the situation.
Frugal survivalists can enlist in Lara Croft's prequel adventure, Tomb Raider, for $13.60 today. The deal is over on PC digital distribution outlet Green Man Gaming, which has the Crystal Dynamics reboot currently listed at $17 - simply add coupon code "GMG20-LLASD-D8WBQ" (without quotes, boldness is entirely up to you) in the checkout screen and you'll get the extra-reduced price.
In our review of Tomb Raider, we cited the joy of exploration and story's revelatory crescendo as catalysts for our love of Lara's coming-of-age tale. "The arc is drawn perfectly, with the edges of the old Tomb Raider starting to poke through as the story comes to a close, teasing what's yet to come." Several DLC packs have been issued, adding new maps and modes to the multiplayer side of the game. Crystal Dynamics has said it has no plans to offer single-player DLC.
For the most part, being near- or farsighted today isn't that big of a deal. The only cultural zeitgeist folks like me have missed out on recently has been in the resurgence of glasses-required 3D technology in consumer media. And let's be honest, it isn't a tremendous loss.
In fact, the Oculus Rift is the only thing on the horizon that is as potentially game-changing as it is unfriendly to glasses. That thing straps directly onto your whole face, there's no way a pair of fashionable specs could fit under there.
Well, as it turns out, the Oculus Rift really was accommodating to my Converse frames and their too-old lenses, so much so that for the first time ever I'm legitimately excited about the once-lofty possibility of a virtual reality future.
Bungie senior writer Eric Osborne didn't go so far as to outright confirm or deny the existence of a PC version of Destiny, though he did say that Bungie is "looking forward to talking more about that kind of stuff in the future" during an interview with IGN.
"We haven't said yes, and we haven't said no," Osborne said. "The more platforms we take on, the more work it ultimately becomes, and what we don't want is to compromise the core experience on any platforms. We have a lot of people who play on PCs. We have a lot of appetite to build that experience."
Right now, Destiny is set to launch for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One at an unspecified future date, presumably before the dystopian, near-extinct future in which the game takes place.
Boy Scouts should be required to play Don't Starve before going on any camping trips - they could even get a badge for it, in the form of a gaping, pointy-toothed wormhole. Or maybe a friendly campfire.
Don't Starve is packed with wonderful advice about survival and personal growth:
In the wilderness, you must build your own tools using only the immediate environment
Animals are a great source of nutrition, no matter how cute they are
The world is bigger than it first appears; explore it
You might be thinking that some countries use commas instead of decimal points, but the headline above does indeed say one hundred and twenty-five thousand British Pounds ($188,700). You might also think that's awfully expensive for the special edition of a racing game (any game, really), but allow us to put things in perspective. The GRID 2 BAC Mono Edition isn't so much a special edition of a game as it is a luxury sports car that happens to come with a game.
Specifically, the BAC Mono Edition comes with the Mono, essentially a street legal formula racing car. Also included is a racing suit and helmet, a copy of GRID 2 and a PlayStation 3 on which to play it. According to BAC's website, a Mono with no frills has a base price of £96,495 ($145,919), and that's before throwing in VAT. Only one copy of the BAC Mono Edition is being manufactured, making it something a collector's item. You can place your pre-order exclusively with GAME. Oh, and shipping is free.
Not to be left out, Best Buy is hosting a special edition of GRID 2 in North America. It includes the IndyCar DLC pack and retails for $59.99.
Rumor has it that Microsoft's Xbox One console will feature remote play through Skype, allowing someone to remotely take over gameplay on the local console directly from a Skype call. Either player may break the remote play session at any time.
Supposedly the feature is in testing phase right now, though Polygon's source notes that certain details are still up in the air - like how long that individual can remotely play or whether they need to own the same game or not. During the Xbox reveal event, Microsoft unveiled group Skype calls using the Xbox One's improved Kinect sensor.
This week's Super Joystiq Podcast wants to be the all-in-one destination for all of your entertainment needs.
The Xbox One-- yes, that's still the real name. The home crew tackled the announcement of Microsoft's latest console in our special episode on Tuesday, and now Ludwig and Alexander are back from the event to discuss the aftermath of information that has since been clarified, and not. There are still plenty of unknowns and red flags, and we dive deep on all of them here.
Be sure to catch the games segment recorded live on YouTube every Thursday. This week's edition can be seen on the Joystiq YouTube page and after the break.
If you've yet to experience John 117's latest adventure, you should know that Halo 4 is a mere $18 at Best Buy today. That deal is valid only for today, by the way, giving you a great excuse Forerunning to the nearest store.
Your patience has paid off. Today, Capcom has issued the full Capcom Arcade Cabinet collection - a cheaper bundle of all 17 games previously issued in piecemeal packs and as individual downloads. The all-in-one pack is available starting today for 2,000 MS Points ($30), a saving of $15 over purchasing all five game packs.
Capcom Arcade Cabinet highlights games from the publisher's catalog spanning the years between 1984 and 1988. The full list of 17 games within the Capcom Arcade Cabinet are Black Tiger, Avengers, 1943, The Battle of Midway, Ghosts n Goblins, Gun Smoke, Section Z, Side Arms, Legendary Wings, Trojan, Commando, The Speed Rumbler, Exed Exes (Savage Bees), 1942, SonSon and Pirate Ship Higemaru. There are also two secret games: 1943 Kai and Vulgus.
DmC and Enslaved developer Ninja Theory revealed its latest project this morning, an iOS and Android free-to-play brawler called Fightback. The game is being published by EA subsidiary Chillingo, which says it has a "a striking 80s action movie vibe."
Going by this screenshot, Fightback is a skils-orientated, side-scrolling beat-em-up. The meter at the bottom indicates a three-star score based on points accumulated by skill moves like 'Skull Splitter' - think Bulletstorm, perhaps, but with more punches and kicks, and maybe a Blood Dragon vibe. It looks like you can use guns too, though. Also, is that a Japanese love hotel?
"Mobile and tablet gaming is a phenomenon that we just couldn't ignore as a studio and we're very proud to be working with one of the industry's heavy-weights on bringing Fightback to market," said Ninja Theory Product Manager Dominic Matthews. "Ninja Theory has always strived for the highest production values and that absolutely remains the case in this exciting new space."
Chillingo is showing off Fightback at E3 next month, and expects to launch it this summer.
Metanet Software's N, which the developer describes as " that game you played in high school but forgot about through college," has seemingly reached its pinnacle. The wall-jumping, pixelated ninja platformer has been officially stamped version 2.0 and is now available entirely for free. N 2.0 adds a number of extra features, including 100 new levels, 100 "legacy" levels pulled from N and the various console iterations of N+, 100 user-made levels, level sharing, local 2 player co-op and new "FUN-lockable" content.
A new PS4 ad in Europe provides further indication the continent can expect the console to arrive there this year. While Sony announced the PS4 was due "Holiday 2013" back at February's reveal event, the company declined to commit to which regions that window applied to. However, a new PS4 ad, first spotted in today's Metro newspaper in the UK, then later tweeted by PlayStation Europe, says the PS4 is "Coming 2013."
Europeans have good reason to be cautious about a tentative window. The PS3 reached the continent in March 2007, having arrived in North America and Japan some four months prior - and that was via a last-minute delay, too.
When asked if this confirmed the PS4 is coming to Europe this year, a Sony Computer Entertainment Europe representative told us, "We announced at the PlayStation Meeting event on February 20 that [the] PS4 would be coming in 2013... the adverts are simply re-stating that message."
"More information about [the] PS4 and all PlayStation platforms will be announced at E3," he added.
The Xbox One will support the used games market, but how this will happen and who stands to benefit has been a topic of much discussion this week. As Microsoft continues to allow speculation to run rampant, MCV has gotten in touch with UK retail sources who explained a plausible scenario of how the system will work.
A customer walks into a reseller with a previously purchased game disc. This can only be done at retailers that, according to MCV, have "agreed to Microsoft's [terms and conditions] and more importantly integrated Microsoft's cloud-based Azure pre-owned system into its own." The game disc, having been registered in the system, now wipes the license use from the previous owner's account so that the installed game on their Xbox One can no longer be accessed.
Here's the delicate part: the publisher and Microsoft will now receive a cut from the sale. Previously, a company like GameStop pocketed 100 percent of the used game sale, now ConsoleDeals.co.uk is reporting it could be significantly less if Microsoft has oversight of the market. The pre-owned market would go on, but its glorious margins for retailers would be destroyed. Meanwhile, publishers would finally get what they've always dreamed of: a piece of that pie.
The biggest eyebrow-raiser with last week's Gran Turismo 6 reveal was that it's launching on the PS3, and not the PS4. Doesn't Sony want to drive PS4 launch sales with one of its biggest franchises?
In an interview on the PlayStation Blog, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Jim Ryan explained why the latest Gran Turismo isn't debuting on the soon-to-be latest PlayStation, arguing that GT6 can still deliver a significant difference from GT5, despite being on the same platform.
"You had GT1 and GT2 on PS one," Ryan said, "GT3 and GT4 on PS2, then there's GT5 on PS3 and a space next to it. The difference between Gran Turismo and GT2 is unbelievable, but they're both on the same platform. The difference between GT3 and GT4 is huge. We're absolutely confident when GT6 comes, you'll see a big step change up from GT5 too. There's still a lot of potential on PS3 that a developer like Polyphony can really exploit."
"And the other factor is that on PS3 we have an install base of 70 million units," Ryan added. "On PS4 on launch day we'll have an install base of zero units. There'll be plenty of games to help drive PS4 - not least Driveclub in the racing genre from Evolution Studios, a studio with a fantastic pedigree."
A PS4 version of GT6 looks more than likely at some point down the line, and it's something that hasn't been shied away from. Speaking to IGN, series creator Kazunori Yamauchi said, "We actually do have a PlayStation 4 version in mind, but for this holiday season, we thought it would be best for users to release on PS3 for now."
Microsoft repre-soldier Major Nelson confirmed the box designs for Xbox One games by showing off how copies of the newly announced Forza Motorsport 5 will look. Much like how the Wii U went bold with blue, the Xbox One design is gallant in green.
The Forza 5 design also reveals the logo of BBC motorcar show Top Gear. Forza 4 featured Top Gear content, and so will Forza 5, apparently. You can check out the full box art by speeding on past the break.