Posted by: KILLSHOT707 - 09-15-2014 08:57 AM
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Microsoft is testing playing Xbox games in your browser.
Microsoft is a technology company and when they see a problem that they think they can solve, they put their best and brightest minds to a solution. So when the question arises as to why cloud-based gaming hasn’t taken off and the answer is lag (to put it simply), the company sees this as a time to get to work.
A few weeks back, a Microsoft research project showed that the company had built a cloud-based gaming service that reduced the lag by a significant margin. Of course, Microsoft has many research products that never seem to make it out of the labs for one reason or another, but this product is a bit different.
Microsoft is testing out playing games in your browser and not just any games. We're talking Xbox games - and not just last-generation titles either. In fact, even Xbox One titles are currently said to be in the works too.
And don’t think this is some watered-down experience; one source told us that he thought the experience was right around 60FPS, while another stated that this is going to be the company’s next killer gaming feature.
The Xbox 360 games offer up the full experience, including the dashboard running in the browser too. So don't think this is some hacked together project, this is the real deal. The product, as it stands right now, has Xbox branding and works outside the walls of Microsoft.
It makes sense too - think about how quickly you can connect to Microsoft’s Azure platform when using the Xbox One and then apply that to this service. Microsoft has already proven that cloud-based off-loads can work with Titanfall and this is the next extension of that concept.
The service is not perfect as there are many barriers to overcome to bring this product to market. One issue is licensing; Microsoft may have to work with publishers to allow for this type of gameplay as it could cut into their revenue from PC game sales.
The implications here are huge for Microsoft as it removes the console from the equation to tap into the gaming market. Also, by off-loading the processing power needed to run these games, it means that they can run on any type of device. Microsoft’s current solution is not browser-locked either; it runs in Chrome as well as it does in Internet Explorer.
It was about this time last year that Microsoft showed off Halo 4 running in the cloud on various devices at the company’s all-employee meeting, and this project is the on-going work from that demo to bring it to more users. Our understanding is that significant progress has been made from that demo and it is now being rolled out to more users.
Microsoft is not the first to do this, with the most popular service being OnLive, proving that the model works - but putting Microsoft’s Xbox muscle and game library behind the service will certainly give it credibility.
There are still many questions about how well it will scale as right now the user testing is limited and with millions of Xbox users out there, Microsoft has to go forward carefully as they only get one shot at launching the service.
We also don’t know when this feature will go live either. Based on the current level of testing, it is beyond the concept stage and it is looking increasingly likely that this feature will be released at some point in the not-too-distant future. But, as with anything not officially announced, it could be killed before it launches but seeing how Microsoft is moving everything to Azure, we expect this product to be released at some point down the road.
Posted by: KILLSHOT707 - 09-05-2014 07:23 AM
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Mortal Kombat X Arrives In April 2015 With Goro Pre-Order Bonus
You’ll be ripping limbs and brutalizing foes with fatalities next spring, as Warner Bros. and NetherRealm have announced a release date for Mortal Kombat X. The title will arrive on April 14, 2015.
Additionally, if you pre-order the game you’ll get access to Goro, who made his first four-armed appearance in the original Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat X is coming to Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC.
At the conclusion of its multiplayer reveal event today, Activision announced the Day Zero edition of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. By preordering, you'll get this special edition of the game that includes some in-game bonuses. More excitingly, you'll be able to get your hands on it one day early.
The Day Zero edition will be available starting on November 3 on all platforms (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC), while the regular version will be released on November 4 as previously announced. In addition to early access, players will receive two custom weapons--the AK-12G assault rifle and Crossbow-B2--in addition to the Advanced Arsenal bonuses (the Bullet Brass exoskeleton and EM1 directed-energy weapon).
Along with getting to play the game early, Day Zero owners will be entitled to a double XP event all day long on November 3.
As it's a separate version of the game with its own box, the Day Zero edition will be available in limited quantities. The game's official website notes that, if it's not available at the retailer you preorder through, you can receive a refund, or you can purchase the regular version of the game early and get a download code for Day Zero's special content.
Collector's edition preorderers will be able to get their copy a day early, and will receive the custom weapons included with the Day Zero edition. Anyone who preorders a digital version of Advanced Warfare will also get the Day Zero content and be able to play a day early.
The Battlefield Hardline beta is now closed, but another Battlefield Hardline beta that “will showcase more” will launch this fall on all announced platforms, Developer Visceral Games’ VP and GM Steve Papoutsis said in a post on Battlefield’s official blog.
“The Battlefield Hardline beta was just a small portion of what is in store,” Papoutsis said. “We have plenty of new modes in the game that really play off the cop and criminal theme, as well as the return of fan-favorites.”
Papoutsis also said that we should expect to hear more about the multiplayer mode in the months ahead, as well as the single player campaign. Visceral is best known for its work on the Dead Space series, and Papoutsis said that Battlefield Hardline’s single player campaign will similarly engross players in the game’s story and world. “We are doing some cool new things in how we present the campaign, similar to what you see when watching episodes of your favorite TV shows,” Papoutsis said. “It’s something different and we’re fired up about it.”
Responding to critics who say that this year's Battlefield Hardline looks too iterative, lead multiplayer designer Thad Sesser recently explained the improvements, tweaks, and additions the studio has made to the Battlefield 4 formula, which makes Battlefield Hardline more than just an expansion.
Battlefield Hardline launches on October 21 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360,Xbox One, and PC.
Today during Google's I/O conference in San Francisco, Razer announced a new micro-console that CEO Ming-Liang Tan describes as "a console of the future."
The console is powered by Android TV--a new entertainment platform Google announced today--and will stream movies, music, and other apps. But the core focus is gaming, Razer says. Users can navigate Razer's untitled micro-console through a special mobile application that runs on any Android tablet or smartphone. There's also support for voice control.
"This is a console of the future," Tan said in a statement. "Built on Google's incredible Android TV platform, the Razer micro-console incorporates not only hardcore and casual gaming, but music, movies, and other entertainment and social applications, all on an affordable system."
"Affordable" is the closest we're going to get in terms of pricing for now, as Razer has not disclosed an official price point for the system. The team at Razer working on the micro-console is the same group behind the Razer Blade laptop line, the Razer Edge gaming tablet, and the modular PC prototype Project Christine.
There's no word yet about what's under the hood, but the device launches this fall, so we don't have all that long to wait to find out. You can see a non-final render of the console above.
Razer's Android-based micro-console follows similar offerings from Amazon with the Amazon Fire TV, as well as the Ouya system. It is one of multiple new devices in the works for Android TV. Google is also working with TV companies like Sharp, Sony, and LG, as well as Asus, for special Android TV products.
Flappy Bird is coming back. Creator Dong Nguyen told CNBC's Kelly Evans (via Kotaku) that the uber-difficult mobile game, which was downloaded more than 50 million times before Nguyen removed the game in February, will return to app stores in August.
The new version of Flappy Bird will have a multiplayer mode, and Nguyen says the game overall will be "less addictive," though he didn't say more about what that means. It's unclear if the new version of Flappy Bird will be free (like the original) or a paid download.
The return of Flappy Bird could mean a big payday for Nguyen, as the original game netted him some $50,000 per day thanks to in-game ads.
In addition to the new version of Flappy Bird, Nguyen said he's working on "a lot of games" for the future, including one that features a character jumping from building to building.
Though Flappy Bird has been gone for months, if you downloaded the original, you can still play it on your phone. In addition, dozens and dozens of clones have appeared since it was originally removed, including versions of the game made by popular groups like Sesame Street and the band Fall Out Boy.
Flappy Bird's premise is simple: you tap the screen anywhere to make a pixelated bird move upwards. Hitting any of the green pipes on your path means game over. The game's only goal is to get the highest score possible.