Xbox One Set for Sept. 23 Release in China

July 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft will be the first console maker to launch a console in China since the government lifted its 14-year ban on home console systems in January of this year. Today Microsoft revealed that it plans to launch the console system on Sept. 23 for approximately $600, or ¥3,699 RMB.

Microsoft has partnered with China-based BesTV to manufacture and sell the system in the region. One of the conditions the government put on console makers is that the systems had to be manufactured in the country.

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Report: Chinese Government Raids Four Microsoft Offices

July 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Reuters and the South China Morning Post (by way of GIGA OM) are reporting that at least four of Microsoft's offices in China have been raided by the Chinese government.

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Microsoft Ships 1.1 Million Units of Xbox Hardware in Q4

July 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft revealed its fourth quarter 2014 and full-year 2014 results for the period ending June 30th, 2014. The company said that it saw revenues of $86.8 billion for 2014, up from $77.8 billion law year.

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Microsoft Laying Off 18K Employees, Closing Xbox Entertainment Studios

July 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that - as part of a major staff reduction - it will shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios. Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed the news to Xbox Entertainment Studios staff on Thursday in an email:

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Report: Microsoft Layoffs Will Hit Xbox Division

July 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Bloomberg report, Microsoft is planning to cut a number of jobs in its Xbox division as part of an overall restructuring plan. Two anonymous sources familiar with the situation have told Bloomberg that overall cuts could end up being the biggest number of layoffs since 2009 when the company laid off 5,800 employees.

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Microsoft Denies Report it is Killing Off Xbox One's Ability to Double as a 'Dev Kit'

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft has denied a report coming from Digital Spy claiming that the company planned on canning the Xbox One's ability to double as a development kit for developers who want to create games for Xbox One. The report is based on comments made by the Xbox Advanced Technology Group's Martin Fuller, who said the company has no plans to implement the previously announced feature.

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Sony Changed E3 Script Due to Microsoft's PR Missteps

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said during a presentation at the Develop conference today that the company changed its 2013 E3 script at the last minute because of fan reaction to various missteps by Microsoft on a number of issues - particularly its stance on used games. House emphasized that it never changed its policies in response to Microsoft but it did tweak its E3 press conference presentation to highlight the PS4's strengths.

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The Return of Microsoft Flight Simulator

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK-based Dovetail Games announced that it has signed a global licensing deal with Microsoft to develop and publish all-new games based on Microsoft’s popular flight simulation technology. The company said in a press release today that it is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015.

Dovetail Games also announced that it acquired the rights to distribute Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition via Steam. The new release on Steam will be sold under the name, Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 104

July 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's health and being reelected by the company's board, a bunch of topics related to Electronic Arts, and whether Microsoft should bother selling the Kinect separately from the Xbox One. All this and more awaits in the latest episode of the Super PAC. Download Episode 104 now: SuperPAC Episode 104 (1 hour, 13 minutes) 84.1 MB.

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Stephen Toulouse Joins Black Tusk Studios to Support Future 'Gears of War' Titles

June 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Stephen Toulouse, the former policy and enforcement director at Xbox Live, is once again representing the Microsoft brand with his new job as director of Community Engagement on the upcoming Gears of War game for Xbox One. Toulouse actually joined Black Tusk Studios awhile ago, according to what he wrote on his personal blog.

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Poll: Should Microsoft Bother Selling Xbox One's Kinect Separately?

June 27, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Earlier this month, Microsoft gave consumers the option to buy the Xbox One without the Kinect for $399, a C-note of savings.  Since then, GameStop reported a significant uptick in Xbox One sales.

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Microsoft: Consumers Will Buy Stand-Alone Kinect

June 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox at Microsoft says that separating the Kinect from Xbox One at retail will not drive game developers away from utilizing the device. Speaking to GII, Spencer said that Microsoft expects that the stand-alone Kinect will sell well and the success of the device and the software that uses it is heavily reliant on having a strong Xbox One install base.

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Microsoft Reiterates Its Support For Games For Windows Live

June 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft continues to refute that it is shutting Games For Windows Live down in July. In August of last year a support update on Xbox.com stated, "Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014". That message was later removed and Microsoft has denied that it is shutting down the multiplayer service for PC games ever since.

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Microsoft: Xbox 360 Owners Deserve More Games

June 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Xbox head Phil Spencer says Microsoft will continue to create and release more games for the last-generation Xbox 360 because it is "obligated to support Xbox 360" for the remainder of its life cycle.

In an E3 interview with UK publication Metro, Spencer attempted to explain why the company isn't dropping all of its efforts to focus exclusively on boosting Xbox One's first-party lineup of games.

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Microsoft Commits to Recycling Electronics

June 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft is officially a founding member of R2 Leaders, a group dedicated to responsibly recycling used electronics. The company joins other technology companies including Sony America, Xerox and Goodwill Industries in this endeavor.

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Phil Spencer: E3 Isn't the Right Place for Microsoft to Promote PC Gaming

June 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft hasn't been the best of friends with the PC gaming community over the last few years. While the company says that it has a lot of faith in the PC gaming space, you can always tell how strongly they feel about something by how much they highlight it at E3. And at this year's E3 Microsoft didn't even talk about PC games or show any that we know of.

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Baird Equity Research Highlights E3 Highs For Industry's Biggest Players

June 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Investment research firm Baird Equity Research has released a report related to E3, providing predications and opinions on the biggest players. One of the more interesting predictions is that Sony will preload digital copies of Bungie's Destiny and Blizzard's Diablo III beginning this fall. The firm says that this will be an optional thing for consumers. This "should drive higher sell-through for Activision, but at the cost of retail sales," the firm notes.

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Poll: Who Had the Best E3 Press Conference/Digital Event?

June 11, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

It's E3 week and Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo are doing their damnedest to convince us to buy their stuff.

Earlier this week, Nintendo had a digital event announcing it's upcoming games while the other four hosted full press conferences.  Who had the best show?

If you need a refresher, you can read our recaps here: 

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PSA: E3 Press Conferences Begin Today

June 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Reminder: You can watch the biggest E3 press conferences on Twitch, starting at 9:30 am PST (that's 12:30 pm EST) with Microsoft's big E3 event.

Later today Electronic Arts will host its press conference, followed by Ubisoft, and then way later in the evening Sony will host its event for the show.

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Poll: Who Will Have the Biggest Gaffe During Its E3 Presentation?

June 6, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

The Electronics Entertainment Expo is next week and kicking it off is a round of press conferences where the biggest publishers will try and dazzle you with game announcements and spectacle in an attempt to win your dollars.

Of course, these presentations rarely go off without a hitch.  Everything from technical failures such as Nintendo's Skyward Sword demo from 2011 or EA's Battlefield 4 false start last year to horrible hosts such as "Mr. Caffeine" from Ubisoft's 2011 presser and Jamie Kennedy who MC'd Activision's show in 2007.

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Report: Former Microsoft CEO to Buy LA Clippers for $2 Billion

May 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is at the top of the heap, winning a Clippers bidding war for $2 billion. Steve Ballmer left Microsoft in February and is worth an estimated $20 billion.

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Microsoft Has No Plans to Sell Xbox, Bing

May 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says he has no intention of selling the Xbox business.

"I have no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today," Nadella told reporters at the Code Conference in California this week, according to The Verge.

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Microsoft Reveals Xbox One Pricing for Japan

May 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft has announced the pricing and SKUs that it will offer when it launches the Xbox One in Japan on September 4. Two bundles will be available to Japanese gamers on September 4: one with the Kinect bundled in for 49,980 yen ($490) and one without the motion sensor device for 39,980 yen ($392).

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Microsoft: Kinect Was Once Built Into Xbox One

May 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to the industrial designer who helped build the prototype for the Xbox One, the Kinect motion sensing camera was built into the device at one point. In an interview with Develop, Xbox industrial designer Carl Ledbetter said that the Kinect was once built into the Xbox One unit, but Microsoft ultimately rejected the idea because the system was too large.

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Poll Results: Will the Removal of the Kinect Help Xbox One Sales?

May 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week we asked our readers, "Will the Removal of the Kinect Help Xbox One Sales?" Half of voters said that the new Kinect-free version of Xbox One will in fact help the company close the sales gap between the Xbox One and the PS4, but that Microsoft will not be able to surpass Sony by the year's end.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 99

May 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss whether the unbundling of the Kinect will help Xbox One sales, the NPD Group's latest report on core gamer trends, and ISPs threatening to take their ball and go home if net neutrality passes. Download Episode 99 now: SuperPAC Episode 99 (1 hour, 5 minutes) 75 MB.

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Senior Staff at Rare Laid Off

May 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Rare has suffered a number of high profile layoffs, which Microsoft is describing as part of a decision to change the "development process" at the UK studio. A little under 20 employees have been given pink slips, including veteran programmer Chris Sutherland and designer Gavin Price.

Sutherland, a twenty year veteran at Rare, has worked on such games as Battletoads, three Donkey Kong Country games, and the Banjo-Kazooie series. He also is the voice of Banjo-Kazooie.

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Poll: Will the Removal of the Kinect Help Xbox One Sales?

May 15, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Starting June 9th, gamers will be able to purchase the Xbox One without the Kinect for $399.99, the same price the PS4 currently retails for.

That should level the playing field a bit, no?

As of early April, Sony announced that it had sold more than 7 million units.  Microsoft says Xbox One has sold more than 5 million.  Will unbundling the Kinect help the Xbox One sell more consoles?  Enough to catch the PS4 by the year's end?

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Microsoft to Offer Refunds for Xbox Live Gold When Apps Go Free

May 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft will offer refunds to Xbox Live Gold subscribers who want to cancel their membership when new service policies go into effect in June. The company said yesterday that Xbox Live users will no longer require a Gold subscription to access Netflix and other entertainment apps beginning next month. Gold will still be needed for online gaming and to benefit from promotions like Games with Gold on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Following a June system update for Xbox One and Xbox 360, users will be able to request a refund on their Gold subscription, according to Microsoft:

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Microsoft: No Compensation or Freebies for Xbox One Early Adopters

May 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft doesn't plan on providing any compensation to those who have already bought an Xbox One, according to Eurogamer, though one has to ask the question - why would they? After yesterday's announcement that it would start offering the Xbox One without a Kinect for $399, GameSpot decided to ask Microsoft if it planned to offer any freebies to early adopters of the system.

Naturally the answer is an emphatic "no."

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Andrew EisenYes, the Wii U upscales but rendering in a higher resolution looks a hell of a lot better.08/01/2014 - 10:35pm
Andrew EisenIt's pretty. Lots of videos of it floating around. Just search "Xenoblade dolphin" and you'll find them.08/01/2014 - 10:32pm
ZippyDSMleeThe WII upscales tho. Matthew: It might be becue cartoonish desings do not age as fast as presudo realisim.08/01/2014 - 10:29pm
Matthew WilsonPeople who have run the Mario Galaxy games on a emulator have said they look better then most xb1/ps4 games when upscaled, so it would be interesting to see a upscaled version of Xenoblade08/01/2014 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenHeck, it would probably sell better to newbies anyway. Even with its awesome art direction, the game looked dated when it came out years ago. I imagine an SD version would be a tougher sell.08/01/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenBecause it would be cool, would serve the game's fantastic art direction well and encourage people who've already played it to buy it again.08/01/2014 - 7:42pm
ZippyDSMleeWhy bother with an HD relese just repack the damn thing and promote it since it will play on the WIIU anyway....08/01/2014 - 7:04pm
Andrew EisenPlus, with Nintendo carrying the Wii U almost all by itself, it could help plug one of the unfortunately inevitable release schedule gaps.08/01/2014 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenAn HD re-release would be cool though. It's a great game (and quite the looker, especially when up-rezzed) and more people should play it (the game had a limited release at a time when the Wii was all but dead an buried).08/01/2014 - 3:21pm
E. Zachary KnightSo no, people are not going to need to play the Wii game to undstand or enjoy the Wii U game.08/01/2014 - 1:27pm
E. Zachary KnightFrom what I understand, the two games have as much to do with eachother as Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 2.08/01/2014 - 1:26pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's my secret hope that Nintendo announces Xenoblade HD to be released in the leadup to Xenoblade Chronicles X, or at least a mass market version of the first game so that people aren't going into this one blind.08/01/2014 - 12:40pm
PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
 

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