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.
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.
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.
A new report from the Natural Resource Defense Council concludes that the newest generation of game consoles consumer way too much power. The report notes that these new systems are on track to consume as much power nationwide as all the homes in Houston this year. That equates to about $1 billion to operate these systems annually.
Much of this energy is consumed in "the middle of the night, when the console is in standby mode but still listening for voice commands or using higher power than necessary to keep USB ports active."
The Xbox 360 version of Saints Row: The Third is now available for free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers until the end of May. Weighing in at 6.86 GB, the title is normally sells for right around $20 on Microsoft's digital marketplace, but you can get it for nothing if you are an Xbox Live Gold subscriber. Earlier this month the action RPG Dust was available for free.
Retail sales numbers for the month of April show that the PS4 edged out the Xbox One in sales, according to data from NPD Group. Sony's PlayStation 4 was the top-selling game console in the United States in April, making it the fourth month in a row the PS4 has outsold Microsoft's Xbox One, according to the NPD Group.
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?
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:
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."
Microsoft sent out an announcement to customers today to let them know that some changes would be coming to Xbox Live Gold membership. Starting in June Microsoft will bring its free games give-away program, Games with Gold to the Xbox One, in addition to Xbox 360.
They also announced that Deals with Gold for Xbox One, which gives members exclusive discounts on games and content in the Xbox Store, will also be coming to Xbox One.
According to multiple sources within the company, Microsoft plans to lift the Xbox Live Gold requirement for consumers who want to watch Netflix, Hulu and other streaming media apps on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Basically it means that consumers who buy a brand new Xbox One will be able to watch these services right out of the box without having to worry about having an Xbox Live Gold account. Of course you'll still have to set up a free Silver account in order to do anything.
Spicy Horse founder American McGee has written an interesting list on Facebook explaining why he thinks the Xbox One will not be successful in China when it is released in the region this September. Earlier this week Microsoft announced that its latest console would finally be available to the lucrative Chinese gaming market, but McGee has lots of doubts that the console can be successful in a market dominated by free-to-play mobile and PC games and a thriving gray market.
Microsoft and BesTV (its partner in China) announced that the Xbox One will officially launch in China in September of this year. China lifted a 14-year ban on the sale of foreign game consoles in January, opening up the market to the likes of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. But it seems that only Microsoft has taken the initiative to get its latest console in the hands of Chinese consumers.
The systems will be manufactured within the country - one of the many stipulations that Chinese government put in place for console makers who want to do business in the region.
According to a recent tweet from Microsoft's head of Xbox Phil Spencer, the new Xbox One version of Minecraft will allow you to do something that the Xbox One won't with Xbox 360 - have some measure of backwards compatibility. According to Spencer, Xbox 360 Minecraft owners will have the grand ability to transfer their save data over to the Xbox One version of the game.
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.
Monthly US retail sales of PlayStation 4 once again outpaced sales of Xbox One in March, according to NPD figures. March marks the third month in a row that Sony's PS4 beat Microsoft's Xbox One at retail in the United States, with hardware sales up overall by 78 percent compared to the same period last year.
A QQ Games report on a BesTV earnings call this week reveals that the firm expects to sell Xbox One units in China. During its earnings call BesTV, a Chinese media giant that Microsoft partnered with to jump into the country's emerging console market, said that it would sell 100,000 units in China, where it is scheduled to launch in July.
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.
Xbox Entertainment Studios boss Nancy Tellem tells Bloomberg in this video interview that the PlayStation Network's television offerings are not a competitive threat to what Microsoft is doing with its Xbox Live original programming.
Tellem claims that the Xbox Entertainment Studios division has been working for a year and a half on creating its content, which is set to make a grand debut in June.
Seeing what Sony has done with the acquisition of Gaikai, Microsoft is considering the possibility of emulating Xbox 360 on the Xbox One. According to a report on Kotaku, Xbox partner development lead Frank Savage said that Microsoft does have some plans on emulation, but they are still "thinking things through."
"There are [plans]," he said. "But we're not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately."
Microsoft has revealed a line-up of new and original shows that will debut on Xbox Live for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. According to this Bloomberg report, the original programming includes a comedy sketch show with comedian Sarah Silverman, another with actor Michael Cera's JASH comedy group, and a stop-motion show with comedian and actor Seth Green's Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. Microsoft also plans a live broadcast of the Bonnaroo music festival in July.
San Diego's KGTV has a cool profile of Kristoffer Von Hassel, a five-year-old who discovered a security hole in the Xbox One account login. Kristoffer accidently managed to log in to his father's Xbox One account without knowing the password, according to the news station. He did this simply by entering spaces into the password prompt after failing to punch the right password in the first time.
External game storage support for the Xbox One is "coming soon," according to Microsoft's resident Xbox spokesperson Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb. Hryb confirmed the news in an Xbox One subreddit.
Responding to a question from a Reddit user about the topic, Hryb said that external game storage support is "coming soon" but that he needed to check on the status of media storage support. Hryb also said that he would share details on if there will be external storage limits.
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.
GameStop reported sales of $3.68 billion for the forth-quarter of 2013, a 3.4 percent increase over the $3.56 billion the company reported in the same period a year ago. It comes as no surprise that the retailer attributed the increase in sales to the launches of Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One in November of last year.