Microsoft's Phil Harrison seems to be on a different page than the rest of Microsoft - or at least his messaging was out of sync yesterday after Microsoft announced its new Xbox One console. First there was the whole dust-up over used games on Xbox One, and now there is some confusion on how long your Xbox One can be disconnected from the Internet...
Microsoft's messaging on how used games will be handled on the Xbox One seems to be muddled, contradictory and confused as different individuals within the company offer out-of-step messaging on the subject. At issue is a report in Wired indicating that when software purchased on discs at retail or through the Xbox Live Marketplace is installed on a system it is associated with the purchaser's user account.
People hoping to hear that Xbox 360 games would be backward compatible with the freshly announced Xbox One will be upset to hear that Microsoft has not suddenly changed its position on the matter. Speaking to Microsoft's Marc Whitten today, The Verge asked if it would do something similar to what Sony promised with PS3 games on PS4 - to eventually make them playable (somehow) through the cloud.
Update #2: The Verge caught up with an unnamed Microsoft rep. who claims that Microsoft will not stop the use of used games: "Microsoft says it's 'designing Xbox One to enable customers to trade in and resell games,' and promises to offer more details in future."
The Verge is reporting that Microsoft may kill off its point system used on its Xbox Live Marketplace. Citing sources "familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans," The Verge says that Microsoft will replace the MS Points system with a gift card system for retail and will support straight transactions of money using credit and debit cards. The gift cards will be similar to what Apple offers for iTunes - in other words they will have a real cash value.
One of the most pervasive criticisms that came out of the event where Sony unveiled the PS4 was the fact that none of the presenters were women.
To be honest, I didn't notice until someone pointed it out.
Oh, don't give me that look. I'll bet you didn't notice that not a single one of the presenters were red-heads. Now, I don't know if that's true or not but I bet you'd have to scan through footage of the entire presentation to confirm it one way or the other.
Sorry, I got off topic. Where was I?
Last week we asked you to guess what Microsoft might name its next console. From five choices, a clear majority of you took the "joke" option, saying that the Next Xbox console would be called "Xbox Steve." Some of you may have thought this option referred to Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, or perhaps you thought it was an homage to the Minecraft character of the same name. Whatever the reason, 40 percent of the votes (169 votes) decided that "Xbox Steve" was the best choice.
A source speaking to The Wall Street Journal today tells the publication that Microsoft's long-rumored "Xbox TV" set-top streaming device is struggling, with Microsoft not sure how or if it will move forward with the device.
The unnamed sources claims that the device has gone through several redesigns - including a recent design that integrated the Kinect - but Microsoft is not satisfied with it.
An investigation examining 400 apps conducted by Develop shows that there is a lack of consistency in the way in-game purchases are presented on digital stores. The investigation follows the UK government agency the Office of Fair Trading’s recent announcement that it would investigate in-app purchases in children’s games.
On Tuesday, May 21st, Microsoft is set to tell us all about the successor to the Xbox 360 and how utterly offended it is that anyone would think it's stupid enough to try and sell an always-on console. I wouldn't expect pricing or a solid release date but I'm sure we'll hear what it's going to be called.
An internal Microsoft memo offers some good news for those worried about the next Xbox system (which they call Durango in the memo) requiring a constant connection in order to use. According to that internal Microsoft e-mail (as reported by Ars Technica) the next Xbox has been designed in a way that recognizes the delicate nature of today's Internet connections.
The Federal District Court in Seattle, Washington has given Google's Motorola Mobility a slap in the face, ruling that its FRAND patent fees collected from Microsoft to be worth only about $1.8 million a year. The court said that the H.264 video standard and the 802.11 wireless standard patents weren't worth the $4 billion Motorola was seeking to collect.
During its Q3 earnings report, Microsoft announced that Xbox live subscriptions have reached 46 million worldwide - an 18 percent increase from last year - and that it has sold 1.3 million consoles over the past three months - down nine percent from the same period a year ago. Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division revenues rose 56 percent to $253 million despite the drop in console sales.
Last week we asked readers "What will happen if Microsoft's next console requires internet connection start disc-based games?. The majority of the 821 votes cast went to it would be an "unmitigated sales disaster" for the company and its next-gen console, with second place going to "Microsoft would land in third place" in the next console cycle.
It's that silly season (the time between major events like the Game Developers Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo) where rumors fly fast and furious about what the biggest companies in the industry have planned. So with that in mind, there's a new rumor that says that the "always online" requirement we have been hearing about for the new Xbox console is actually for the Xbox Mini device. Rumors about the device first surfaced in March of last year.
The Microsoft employee whose glib response (in a series of tweets to a developer friend) to the rumor that the company's next-generation console might require users to be connected to the Internet all the time has lost his job, according to Game Informer.
Despite almost everyone agreeing that an always-on console is a phenomenally bad idea, rumors continue to persist that Microsoft's next console will require an internet connection to start disc-based games.
Okay, fine. Let's say the big M goes in that direction. How do you think such a move will affect the sales of its new console?
According to this Bloomberg report citing an anonymous source close to the "situation," the next Xbox (which is codenamed "Durango" or is currently being called the Xbox 720) will not be backwards compatible with current generation Xbox 360 discs. Other rumors have indicated that the system will be pretty expensive - reaching the price point of close to $500 for the premium model of the system, though a cheaper model will also be available.
Microsoft announced that it plans to sell its ITPV business called Mediaroom to Ericsson. Microsoft said that the divesture of this company will put "100 percent of the company's focus on its TV consumer strategy for Xbox. The sale is still subject to regulatory approval, but it is likely to be finalized during the second half of 2013.
A mother in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) blames lax security at Microsoft after her 11-year-old son's Xbox Live account was hacked for $300 in fraudulent charges for in-game content. Jennifer Stubbs of Toronto said an unknown hacker charged the FIFA 13 Ultimate in-game buys to her credit card.
"I wasn't aware that these purchases were happening," she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "Someone had gone into our device remotely."
Microsoft's Major Nelson points out that a number of entertainment apps and options will be deployed on Xbox Live this week.
I don't own an Xbox 360.
It's not because I'm a raving Nintendo fanboy (I am), it's because I trust the hardware about as far as I can throw it.
Wait, I'm pretty strong. I bet I could chuck one of those suckers a fair distance.
I don't trust Microsoft's current gen console to turn on when I hit the power button.
On Friday the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) finally and formally dismissed a case brought forward by Google's Motorola Mobility unit that alleged that Microsoft's Xbox 360 violated a handful of its patents. ITC Judge David Shaw issued the ruling on Friday, dismissing the last of the five patent disputes. The verdict is still subject to a review by the ITC, and Google retains the right to appeal the decision if it so chooses.
Hackers have targeted an undisclosed number of "high-profile" Xbox LIVE accounts owned by current and former Microsoft employees, according to GII. The hacks are somehow tied to individuals gathering social security numbers.
Microsoft says that it had no involvement in the raid of an Australian man who sold a Durango development kit on EBay. The Australian man known only as "SuperDaE" was raided last week for acquiring and selling a Durango development kit. Durango is the code-name for the next Xbox system from Microsoft. Today we learn that Microsoft is denying any involvement in the raid. The company issued the following statement:
Microsoft promises "vigorous action" against those individuals who downloaded a pirated version of Gears of War: Judgment. The complete copy of Gears of War: Judgment appeared on internet torrent sites overnight and some decided to download it and play it (some played it online as well), much to the dismay of Microsoft.