Microsoft has hit modders using leaked files from its recently announced Halo Online game with a DMCA takedown notice, TorrentFreak reports. Last week Microsoft announced the free-to-play online PC game for Russia only, and didn't promise that the game would be released outside that territory. This made some Halo fans a bit upset.
GamesIndustry International has an interesting and mildly nostalgic interview with Oddworld Inhabitants' Lorne Lanning, who shares some wild secrets on the early days of the Xbox console and Microsoft's ideas on how to get ahead during that time period.
The most interesting tidbit of information shared by Lanning is that - prior to its launch - Microsoft was seriously considering give away its first console system free of charge. Lanning said it was one of the key reasons that he decided to make his game, Munch's Oddysee, a launch title.
Microsoft really wants Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 when it is released to the masses this summer. The company's desire for wide proliferation of Windows 10 runs so deep that it has said publicly that it does not care how anyone in China obtained the operating system.
Speaking to Reuters, Microsoft's operating system chief Terry Myerson said that the company will be "upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10."
An Xbox Live Gold subscription will not be needed to play multiplayer on Windows 10 when it is released, despite it supporting cross play on some games (Xbox One and Windows 10) and the integration of the Xbox Live system into the operating system.
This is according to what Microsoft's Larry Hryb said recently on Twitter. The integration into Windows 10 will "provide access to the vast majority of Xbox Live services currently available on Xbox One," including instant messaging and friends chat.
GII reports that Phil Harrison has quietly left Microsoft, though executives within the company attending the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week have refrained from providing confirmation or commenting on it. When asked by Eurogamer about rumors that Harrison had left Microsoft, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said that "he couldn't say anything about that."
Yesterday we reported that the version of the popular indie game Darkest Dungeon being sold on the Windows Game Store was a fake and was not put there by developer Red Hook or its founder Chris Bourassa. Bourassa tweeted a warning yesterday that the Windows Game Store version was not from his company and that he was reaching out to Microsoft to get the game removed.
According to The Verge, Microsoft will finally make good on its promise (long before the Xbox One was released) to make every Xbox One system capable of becoming a development kit. In the old days if you wanted to develop on the Xbox platform you either had to buy an expensive development kit unit or use the XNA framework on the PC.
Microsoft sold 6.6 million Xbox systems in the final three months of 2014, the company revealed this week as part of its FY15 Q2 earnings report, which covers the quarter ended December 31, 2014. We say "Xbox systems" because Microsoft combined sales of both Xbox 360 and Xbox One during that time period in its financials.
Microsoft also said its Xbox business enjoyed a "strong holiday season", while the Devices and Consumer division saw year-over-year revenue growth of 8 percent to $12.9 billion.
Microsoft revealed today that it will start testing its new Xbox One app as part of the January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Microsoft revealed the new app this week during a Windows 10 media briefing event. The app allows Windows 10 owners (who also own Xbox One) Xbox Live integration, cross platform multiplayer and game streaming from an Xbox One to PC.
Today at its Windows 10 event, Microsoft revealed a new visor that will serve as its entry point into the world of virtual reality.
In a demo of its newly acquired mega franchise Minecraft, Microsoft showed off how its "Project Hololens" wearable visor will display "holograms" in the user's field of vision. The technology is more akin to augmented realty than virtual reality, but we won't split hairs.
Speaking to GameSpot, Xbox boss Phil Spencer made the bold claim that Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10 operating system is "the best operating system we've ever created for gamers on PCs."
Microsoft has made a clarification to its rules for people who want to stream its Xbox games after some in the community expressed confusion. Last week Microsoft updated its Game Content Usage Rules acknowledging that fans could participate in partner programs to earn revenue for ads on Let's Play videos and game streaming as long as they followed a few rules and conditions.
Microsoft has officially said that, "hey people can stream its game content." Microsoft has given user the greenlight to stream gameplay and make Let's Play videos featuring its content on Twitch and YouTube. Microsoft also said that it has no problem with users monetizing this content either, but they'll have to agree to a few terms first. The 16 rules or conditions are covered under Microsoft's new "Game Content Usage Rules."
Microsoft has put out a gentle reminder (via Larry Hryb AKA Major Nelson) that its price cut on the Xbox One and its various bundle iterations will soon be coming to an end. If you didn't get an Xbox One for Christmas and want to take advantage of the $50 off the price promotion that has been running since November, you'll only have until Saturday, Jan. 3.
Microsoft announced today that it will discontinue the original Kinect for Windows. The company says that it will continue to sell the motion sensing camera device adapted for the Windows operating system until stock runs out.
"In October, we shipped the public release of the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and its software development kit (SDK 2.0)," the company said in a statement released today. "The availability of the v2 sensor and SDK 2.0 means that we will be phasing out the sale of the original Kinect for Windows sensor in 2015."
According to a report from ZDnet reporter Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is secretly working on its own game streaming service currently codenamed Arcadia (named after the United Earth Government Colony of the same name in the Halo universe).
Foley claims the Arcadia team within Microsoft's Operating Systems Group is building a streaming app and game service built on Microsoft's Azure cloud.
Microsoft keeps giving lip service to gaming on the PC, but it hasn't done much with the space in a very long time. It has all but abandoned its Games For Windows concept and - while it hasn't confirmed it - is quietly shutting down its Games For Windows Live multiplayer service (which was poorly received by fans anyway). Earlier in the year Microsoft renewed its talk about how important PC gaming is and promised some movement in the space. This followed its announcement about Windows 10.
Microsoft is now accepting bitcoin for digital purchases on its various platforms, the company revealed this morning. Those who use bitcoin currency can spend it on purchases on Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, and Xbox Video stores.
Square Enix tells Game Informer that the exclusive publishing deal it has with Microsoft to bring Rise of the Tomb Raider to Xbox One may not be so exclusive or forever as it has been reported. According to a statement from a Square Enix rep. responding to Game Informer's enquiries about the deal, the publishing agreement has a "duration," though the depth and breadth of that agreement was not revealed.
Microsoft confirmed today that it is publishing Square Enix's Rise of the Tomb Raider, making it an Xbox family exclusive. The game is the sequel to Crystal Dynamics' 2013 Tomb Raider reboot of the popular series that managed to sell over 6.5 million copies across multiple platforms. It is also being developed by the wholly-owned Square Enix development studio.
Microsoft has issued an apology to members of its Xbox Live Indie Games development community who have not been paid in the most recent round of payouts. The apology came after a member of the Destructoid community posted a rather scathing blog post about the situation, which was then shared across social media.
A new update to once again attempt to solve the problems with matchmaking in Microsoft's and 343 Industries' Halo: The Master Chief Collection is due for release later this week. A new post on Halo Waypoint lays out in vague terms what the update will do:
According to analyst firm Infoscout, the Xbox One beat the PlayStation 4 on Black Friday at retail. The firm claims that Microsoft's lower price point of around $50 gave the Xbox One an edge: it had 53 percent of total spend at retail, compared to the PS4's 31 percent. The Xbox One was also the top-selling console at both Walmart and Target, according to the firm.
In a public letter to the Halo community, 343 Industries apologized for the ongoing problems with matchmaking online for its recently released Halo: Master Chief Collection for Xbox One.
To celebrate the one year anniversary of the Xbox One, Microsoft will be giving away a handful of freebies and will be giving away major rewards to a few select and randomly chosen Xbox One owners. Anyone who bought an Xbox One between November 22, 2013 and November 11, 2014, and has logged at least 10 hours of usage is eligible. Everyone will get a Year One gamer picture, new Xbox One backgrounds and a Year One image for use as your desktop, Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb explained in a new blog post.
Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen says that while Sony has hit the ground running in the current generation of console wars with its PlayStation 4 console, he expects Microsoft is catching quickly.
"Clearly Sony has jumped out to a lead with a great console and I think a great pricing strategy," said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, but "Microsoft is catching up quickly."
This week Microsoft announced that it has sold nearly 10 million Xbox One consoles since the system launched almost a year ago. The last time Microsoft revealed numbers on sales - way back in April - it said that its newest system had sold five million units.
Part of this growth is likely due two factors: the unbundling of the Kinect and a holiday price cut that runs until January of 2015. That price cut puts the system - including several bundles that include games - down to $349 - about $50 less than a PS4.