Microsoft has finally completed its acquisition of mobile phone maker Nokia. The completion of the acquisition follows approval from Nokia shareholders and various governmental regulatory agencies around the world. Microsoft announced on Sept. 3 of last year that it intended to acquire Nokia for a total of $7.5 billion in cash. The deal consisted of approximately $5 billion and an agreement to license Nokia's patents for $2.17 billion.
Microsoft revealed this week that it generated $20.40 billion in revenue and a net income of $5.66 billion in the third quarter of fiscal year 2014. The company attributes those numbers to sales of Xbox consoles. The company says that it sold 2 million Xbox console units over the quarter, including 1.2 million Xbox Ones. We assume the remainders of that number belong to Xbox 360 sales...
Microsoft announced this morning that the Xbox One will (finally) be launching in Japan on Sept. 4. The company did not say how much the system would retail for when it is released. It is pretty surprising that Microsoft is waiting until almost the end of the year to bring its current generation system into Japan.
Microsoft is inviting fans to join them as they unearth the urban legend surrounding the supposed “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” video game burial site. Excavation on the site will take place on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Alamogordo Landfill (4276 Highway 54 S) in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Phil Spencer has been named the new Head of Xbox at Microsoft. In his new role he'll be in charge of Xbox Live, Xbox Music, Xbox Video and Microsoft Studios. Spencer says that he will employ a "gaming first" philosophy at the Microsoft division, making sure that video games are the most important component of the Xbox One.
During the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, Microsoft offered more details on some of the games that are coming to Xbox One as part of its self-publishing program, ID@Xbox. Microsoft revealed 25 games that are being developed through the program for Xbox One including 1001 Spikes by Nicalis, It Draws a Red Box by Other Ocean, and Roundabout by No Goblin.
Marc Whitten, best known as the chief product officer of Xbox at Microsoft, has left the company. Whitten has worked at Microsoft for the last 14 years and was key in launching all three Xbox systems, from the original console back in 2001 to the Xbox One last year. Whitten will take up the same role as chief product officer at wireless audio company Sonos.
Microsoft has softened its position on enforcing the controversial parity clause in its agreement with independent developers who join the ID@Xbox program for Xbox One. Normally the clause in ID@Xbox program agreement requires independent developers interested in self-publishing on Xbox One to release their games on Microsoft's console or at the same time as it does on other platforms like the PS4.
Speaking at SXSW this weekend, Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer said that Xbox’s Games with Gold program (it's free monthly game giveaway for Xbox 360 - and eventually Xbox One) is "fundamentally different" than "other programs" (we assume he is referring the PlayStation Plus for PS3 and PS4) because it allows members to keep the games regardless of whether they continue to pay for a subscription or not.
Xbox executive Phil Spencer has publicly praised outgoing Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Jack Tretton, who has been one of Microsoft's chief rivals for the last decade or so. Tretton announced yesterday that he will leave his post as president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America on March 31.
Microsoft issued a brief statement today to Polygon offering assurances to players concerned about Killer Instinct being abandoned after news surfaced that Amazon had acquired the game's developer Double Helix.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon that Microsoft Studios will be working with a "new development partner" on Killer Instinct for Xbox One going forward.
Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a blog post today that President Obama's proposed changes to how the National Security Agency collects and stores both phone and internet data is not enough.
"Despite the President’s reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said. "This has been and remains a major concern across the tech sector."
A NeoGAF thread reveals a bold initiative from Microsoft whereby they'll knock $100 off the price of the Xbox One for any consumer willing to turn in their old PS3 system. The ad, which is reportedly from the official Microsoft Store, lists a number of terms and conditions related to the trade-in deal:
Microsoft has purchased the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, much like it did with Halo. The company now owns the franchise and all previous versions of the game. The Globe and Mail has all the details on the deal, including the fact that Microsoft's Vancouver-based studio, Black Tusk Studios, will be in charge of the franchise moving forward.
While Microsoft (through a marketing partnership with Machinima) and Electronic Arts (through its "Ronku" marketing program) paying content creators to promote its games to followers on YouTube without disclosing the relationship may be unethical, neither company is breaking the law and it is unlikely that anyone involved could be fined for not disclosing a relationship according to what a Federal Trade Commission spokesperson tells Polygon.
According to a report on Ars Technica, Microsoft and Machinima colluded to get Machinima YouTube content creators to say nice things about the Xbox One for money and required that they not disclose the financial relationship to viewers.
In a self-congratulatory post on Xbox Wire, Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business, Xbox announced that the next-generation console system has sold three million units to-date since its launch on November 22.
Rockstar Consortium (partly owned by Apple and Microsoft), a patent-holding company formed from the bankrupt Canadian telecom company Nortel, sued Google and manufacturers of Android phones over patents almost two months ago. Earlier this week Google punched back at the company, filing a counter-suit seeking to invalidate Rockstar's patents. That's a normal step for a defendant in a patent lawsuit, but Google didn't file its counter-claim in the East Texas court where Rockstar sued them. Instead it filed in Northern California.
Vlambeer developer Rami Ismail has shared his concerns over the parity clause in Microsoft's new ID@Xbox scheme for indie developers in an interview with VG247. Speaking to the publication, Ismail described the parity clause, which requires participants to launch any title releasing on other platforms to launch on Xbox One simultaneously, as "problematic for the indie scene at large."
Microsoft said today that it has sold more than two million Xbox One consoles worldwide in a little over two weeks since the system launched on Nov. 22.
Sony said earlier in the month that it had managed to move 2.1 million hardware units in roughly the same timeframe after it launched a week before the Xbox One. The Xbox One launched in 13 regions, while the PS4 only launched in the U.S. and Canada to begin with, and was subsequently released in multiple other regions two weeks later.
Eight software technology companies have called on the United States government to limit its spying activities to specific targets, to overhaul the country's secret spy courts, and let service providers publish more detailed information about surveillance requests from the government. Companies signing the letter include Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL, and LinkedIn. The open letter was sent to President Obama and members of Congress as well as being reprinted in a full-page ad in The New York Times and other newspapers.
Microsoft announced today that 32 indie developers have signed up with Microsoft's ID@Xbox development program to develop games for the Xbox One. Eurogamer has confirmed some of the titles that these developers will bring to Microsoft's system and speculated on a few others.
Day-one Xbox One buyers have had their fair share of problems with Microsoft's system that launched on Nov. 22. From failing hard drives that made some systems very expensive paperweights to technical problems with voice chat and missing features, fans have had to deal with a number of challenges. This is of course the price of early adoption of new technology, but today Microsoft has promised that they'll do better in the future and fix the various shortcomings of the new platform in an expedient manner.
According to this Reddit thread unearthed by Eurogamer, Microsoft has been banning Xbox One users who have been deemed to have used foul language in their chats via Skype and uploaded videos through Upload Studios. Dozens of users have also complained about the bans on the Xbox forums, according to Eurogamer.
Recognizing that some Xbox One owners might be a tad bit upset that they can't play their shiny new console while Microsoft makes right on failing disc drives in some systems, the company announced that it would provide digital downloads of at least one launch title per customer so they have something to play while they wait for a replacement console.
The games offered as part of this include like Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome and Zoo Tycoon.
Just as Microsoft did last week when Sony launched the PS4, Sony has congratulated Microsoft on its launch of the Xbox One today. Sony's official PlayStation Twitter account offered the following congratulatory message to Microsoft and its Xbox team:
"Congrats, @Xbox @Microsoft! #NextGeneration #GreatnessAwaits"
Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida also sent a congratulatory tweet to Microsoft's Phil Spencer, Phil Harrison, Major Nelson and Albert Penello:
When the Xbox 360 launched in 2005, the hardware was plagued with a bunch of console crippling issues, one of which being the famous Red Ring of Death, an LED indication that your game machine is now a giant brick. Some estimates put the failure rate of the 360 as high as 54%. Whatever the actual number was, it was so bad that Microsoft ex
According to this GamesBeat report, the new controller for Microsoft's soon-to-be-released Xbox One console cost the company $100 million to research and develop. While consumers may not see much of a difference between the gamepad that comes with the Xbox One and the one they are currently using with the Xbox 360, the company spent a lot of money looking at new features - many of which did not make it into the final gamepad design.