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  1. A 22-year-old man linked to the notorious hacking group, Lizard Squad, that claimed responsibility for knocking Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live offline on Christmas Day was arrested by the United Kingdom police on Monday. Lizard Squad launched simultaneous Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks against the largest online gaming networks, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, on Dec. 25. Then offered to sell its own Lizard-branded DDoS-for-hire tool called Lizard Stresser. Vinnie Omari, an alleged member of Lizard Squad, arrested by the police investigating PayPal thefts and cyber-fraud offences occurred in 2013-14 while raiding his London home. Law enforcement officials reportedly seized phones, laptops and an Xbox from his home. "The arrest is in connection with an ongoing investigation into cyber-fraud offences which took place between 2013 and August 2014 during which victims reported funds being stolen from their PayPal accounts," Thames Valley police said in a press release. Omari, who is a student of network security and ethical hacking, provided a copy of the search warrant to the Daily Dot, but the details have not been confirmed with local police yet. The press release from the Thames Valley Police Department confirms that Omari was arrested "on suspicion of fraud by false representation and Computer Misuse Act offences [sic]." "They took everything... Xbox One, phones, laptops, computer USBs, etc.," Omari said in an email to the Daily Dot, who broke the story. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also reportedly investigating another Lizard Squad member named Julius “Ryan†Kivimaki a 17-year-old teenager, for his connection to the alleged DDoS attacks against Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. He was arrested by Finnish authorities later this week. In the past few months, Lizard Squad hackers group has come up as an infamous hacking organisation by claiming responsibility for some high-profile DDoS attacks against the popular gaming networks, including EA games, Destiny and Xbox Live. DDoS attacks overwhelm a network with too much of bogus web traffic, making targeted networks inaccessible for legitimate users. On Christmas Day, Lizard Squad did exactly same to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live which caused extended outages for millions of gamers all around the world. The group only stopped its attacks after MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom gave the group 3,000 vouchers for his uploading service. Omari denies to have any part in the attack on Sony and Microsoft, and said he is simply a spokesman for Lizard Squad. Omari was released from the jail on bail on Tuesday, and thus far, he said, no charges have been filed against him, "just alleged charges." He added that he'll "know more when the forensics team gets info." He refused to provide further details about the alleged 2013 crimes. "Ryan" recently appeared on Sky News, openly claiming that he was a member of Lizard Squad. Unlike Omari, Ryan will remain in jail.
  2. Earlier today, we gave you seven exclusive reasons why you're going to want to own a PlayStation 4 in 2015. But as Microsoft proved in 2014, they can hold their own when it comes to exclusive games offered on their console. It's all relative, but I personally feel that Xbox One had the better exclusive lineup this year. But what about in 2015? We've already made quite the case for PS4, but can Microsoft match Sony's gaming muscle? Below are 5 exclusive Xbox One games we're excited to play in 2015. Crackdown (3) The first Crackdown was launched by Microsoft Studios for Xbox 360 back in 2007. Featuring an open-world filled with over-the-top action and extreme weapons, it was well-received and widely regarded as a nice alternative to the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Details are still scarce regarding the new Crackdown, which was announced during Microsoft's E3 2014 Press Conference, but a trailer that accompanied the reveal seemed to showcase the same elements that made the original so popular. Rise of the Tomb Raider Tomb Raider Crystal Dynamics Tomb Raider reboot was a huge hit and one of the biggest games of 2013, despite what its publisher Square Enix had to say. If you plan on continuing Lara's journeys in Rise of the Tomb Raider, though, you're going to need an Xbox One, as Rise of the Tomb Raider is a timed exclusive. Sure, it may -- and probably will -- eventually make its way to PlayStation 4, but we don't know when that'll be. If anything, this is Microsoft's temporary answer to PlayStation's Uncharted franchise. Fable Legends Mouse over video for audio CLOSE Fable Legends Fans of the popular Fable series are going to want to own an Xbox One in 2015, as the latest installment, Fable Legends, makes its debut. Designed primarily with an emphasis on cooperative multiplayer gameplay, this role-playing game pits four heroes against a villain trying to prevent the group from completing objectives. Quantum Break quantum break Described by developer Remedy Entertainment's Sam Lake as a "fusion of a cinematic action game and a top-of-the-line live-action show," Quantum Break looks to blur the line between television and gaming. Officially labeled as a third-person, cover-based action game, Quantum Break sees you wielding unique powers in which you can bend and warp time to outmaneuver and outwit the enemy. What's really cool, though, is how your actual gameplay will impact the show. And in turn, the show will give you tips and inform you on how to play the game. Halo 5: Guardians Halo 5 Guardians Halo 5: Guardians, the newest installment of Microsoft's flagship franchise, makes its debut exclusively on Xbox One in 2015. Do I really need to say more about this? If a new Halo isn't reason enough to go out and buy an Xbox One this year, then I don't know what else Microsoft can do to convince you. If you already own an Xbox One and a copy of The Master Chief Collection, then you can get a sneak peek at Halo 5's multiplayer right now.
  3. It's only temporary." It's what all PlayStation fans have been saying ever since Microsoft announced they'd be dropping the price of the Xbox One by $50 for the holiday rush. And it's true; the price cut is indeed only temporary, as Microsoft plans to bring their new system back to the original $399 price point on January 4, 2015. The big question is this: Will the move result in a fresh upswing in sales for Sony's console? The PlayStation 4 dominated all the way up until that Xbox One price drop, so perhaps it stands to reason that this domination will return to force. On the other hand, recent PSN issues and the lack of AAA PS4 exclusives this holiday season have had an impact. On the flip side, at least Xbox One had games like Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which definitely sweetened the deal for gamers. Having a bunch of cool holiday bundles helped as well. Going into 2015, one could easily argue that Microsoft has the momentum and despite the return to $399, that momentum will continue. But will it...? Perhaps Microsoft should consider leaving Xbox One at the $349 price point, although we know it'd cost them an arm and a leg to do so. At the very least, it makes the console war that much more exciting. I also wonder what Sony thinks. Are they hoping Xbox One goes back to $399 so PS4 can reclaim its momentum? Price is a hugely important factor, a lesson we learn and relearn every time we see a price cut on new gaming hardware.
  4. Summary Popular culture success for the Xbox has not translated into real bottom line growth for Microsoft. The Microsoft Xbox One has lost important ground to Sony's PlayStation 4. An Xbox spin-off would grant the standalone video game company more freedom and could ignite growth. Meanwhile, Microsoft could focus its efforts upon defending its core software businesses. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) launched its first Xbox video game console in 2001. From there, the Xbox may have emerged as the lone popular culture hit in a Microsoft lineup that grew to include the relatively ill-fated Windows 8 and Windows Phone releases. The gaming console industry has evolved into a winner-take-all duopoly pitting the Xbox against Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation platform. Nominal sales and popular culture success, of course, do not necessarily translate into profitability. Microsoft, at its core, sells software to enterprise customers. Most likely, Microsoft would deliver higher margins and returns, if it were to spin off its Xbox division to current shareholders or sell the unit altogether to third-party investors. Going forward, this move would help MSFT significantly outperform the S&P 500 benchmark index over the long term. For his part, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has claimed he would "absolutely" support a decision by Satya Nadella to spin off the Xbox. The Microsoft Business Model (click to enlarge)Going forward, Microsoft may dramatically outpace the S&P 500, if it were to spin off the Xbox. On June 30, 2014, Microsoft closed out the books on its 2014 fiscal year. During this period, Microsoft racked up $59.9 billion in gross margins off $86.8 billion in revenue. A closer look at the financials, again, may confirm the ongoing thesis that Microsoft has remained in the core business of supplying software and productivity tools to the enterprise market. For 2014, the Microsoft Commercial Licensing operating segment generated $38.6 billion in gross margins off $42 billion in segment revenue. Microsoft includes its server products, Office for business and the volume licensing of its Windows operating system in the dominant Commercial Licensing grouping. Microsoft breaks its Devices and Consumer operating segment into Licensing, Computing and Gaming Hardware, and Phone Hardware. Devices and Consumer Licensing accounts for original equipment manufacturer, academic and non-volume licensing of Windows and Office software. In all, Devices and Consumer Licensing generated $17.2 billion in gross margins on $18.8 billion in revenue through 2014. For the sake of comparison, Computing and Gaming Hardware generated a mere $893 million in gross margins off $9.6 billion in sales. Interestingly, Microsoft has combined both Xbox and Surface sales together beneath its Computing and Gaming Hardware subunit. Despite its iconic popular culture success, the Xbox gaming console has racked up losses for several quarters. For 2014, Microsoft specified that its Xbox platform revenue increased by $1.7 billion, or 34%, in comparison to 2013. Microsoft also reported that year-over-year Xbox cost of sales increased by $2.1 billion, or 72%, largely due to marketing expenses related to the November 2013 Xbox One launch. Gaming consoles, of course, are more likely to turn profits as they mature and component costs decline. In any event, Microsoft Xbox margins have been shockingly thin relative to software profits. The drumbeat and catcalls to spin off the Xbox appeared to reach a fever pitch between 2013 and 2014, with Steve Ballmer resigning as both CEO and as a board member. Last May, current CEO Satya Nadella, however, dismissed speculation that the Microsoft Xbox division was on the shopping block, in remarks made at the Code Conference in Southern California. Microsoft Xbox One Versus Sony PlayStation 4 Microsoft Xbox versus Sony PlayStation has emerged as one of the most polarizing wars within the consumer electronics space. To date, PlayStation 4 sales have far outpaced Xbox One receipts. Going forward, the pressure will likely mount for Microsoft to spin-off Xbox, if its current-generation gaming consoles continue to struggle against the Sony PlayStation 4 competition. Heading into November, Sony confirmed it sold a total of 13.5 million PlayStation 4 units directly to customers. Microsoft has yet to break out specific Xbox sales performance figures. Last November, Microsoft did issue a somewhat vague statement indicating that it had shipped 10 million Xbox One units to retailers. Microsoft did offer an aggressive $50 Xbox One price cut heading into the holiday season. The Xbox One now begins at $349.00 from an original price of $499.00. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) now offers the base 500GB PlayStation 4 console for $329.00. For $429.00, consumers may purchase an Xbox One console with one extra controller and their game of choice. Xbox peripherals include Kinect, a motion sensory tool and Xbox Live for building out online gaming communities and digital media streaming. For years, Microsoft has refereed a tug-of-war between overly ambitious executives pitching the Xbox as a multipurpose living room entertainment fixture and a subset of diehard fans only interested in gaming and crisp graphics. Last summer, online magazine Hardcore Gamer thoroughly slammed the Xbox for having "lost its identity." Apparently, the PlayStation 4 has earned a reputation for delivering raw horsepower and specifications to hardcore gaming enthusiasts, while Microsoft busied itself packaging its Xbox One with expensive, yet unwanted accessories. An Xbox spinoff, of course, would grant the video game company freedom to focus its energies strictly on gaming, rather than being dismissed as an unwitting apparatchik for Microsoft productivity and cloud software. Over time, it is inevitable for video game consoles to become increasingly commoditized to the point where pricing may emerge as the most important factor driving consumer behavior. Popular third-party video game franchises, such as NBA 2K, Madden, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty, are all available for play on both the Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation gaming platforms. Halo, with its more than 60 million in units sold, has emerged as the most important title exclusive to Xbox. One title, however, will not swing the balance of power away from Sony and towards Microsoft in these console wars. The Bottom Line On March 31, 2014, Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) closed its 2014 books having racked up $225 million in net losses on $5.6 billion in revenue. At that time, traders valued Nintendo at roughly $15 billion in market capitalization, or for slightly less than three times revenue. The Xbox, with its branding, implicit early-stage Microsoft backing and growth potential should be able to command a price tag of 10 times revenue out on the open market, as a spinoff. For fiscal 2015, the Xbox platform may generate $2 billion in total net sales, which would calculate out to a $20 billion spin-off, at 10 times revenue. Microsoft, which trades for just under $49, as of this writing, now operates with approximately $400 billion in market capitalization. At these levels, Microsoft could spin off one share of the new standalone Xbox Corporation, for every 20 shares of common stock outstanding. Microsoft may also consider maintaining a 35% stake within the new Xbox Corporation, through a combination of cash and debt financing, as a poison pill, to ward off a hostile move from Sony. Certainly, Sony may look to aggressively purchase shares in the Xbox spinoff, simply to shut down the competition and ultimately monopolize the gaming console market. At the same time, long-term investors within the new Xbox spinoff would certainly prefer that Microsoft transitioned into a passive video game investor. This hands-off approach would enable the new entity to still leverage a slice of Microsoft's immense financial resources, while also granting Xbox executives the authority to navigate the gaming industry as they see fit. The proposed Xbox spinoff would be literally taking a page out of the Big Oil playbook. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) each recently divested themselves out of low-margin downstream operations and gasoline retailing. In 2012, ConocoPhillips completely spun off its Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) refining, marketing, transportation and gas station operations to shareholders. Certainly, Microsoft would be very much well positioned to mint even greater amounts of cash, as the literal go-to business for productivity software. As a leaner company, Microsoft would far outpace the S&P 500, after plowing its fat profit margins back into defending core software operations, paying out higher dividends and aggressively buying back stock. In doing so, Microsoft may finally reenter the conversation alongside rival Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a story stock. Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.
  5. The Xbox One got off to a rocky start. I’m sure Microsoft still isn’t satisfied with where the Xbox One is, but things are getting better. The combination of some really great exclusives and timely price cuts and bundles have improved the landscape dramatically. And so as 2014 winds down to a close, here are the best Xbox One console exclusives of 2014. And yea, we know some are on PC too. But the only console they are on is Xbox One… so… yea. Sunset Overdrive Sunset Overdrive is over-the-top, humorous, vibrant, self-aware, full of action -- and it all totally works. It has all of the elements of a blockbuster title. It’s a kickass time, even when you play it alone, and it’s a great reminder that we don’t always have to take video games so seriously. A great Xbox One exclusive, we scored Sunset Overdrive a 9. Halo: The Master Chief Collection With more than 10 years worth of Halo content offered on one disc, The Master Chief Collection is one of the most robust curations we’ve ever seen. It offers you everything you could possibly want from Halo, and it does it on your terms. The visuals are a huge improvement, and the control and freedom you have to experience Master Chief’s adventures is one of the most appealing things about it. Volgarr the Viking Volgarr the Viking is a return to retro. Not just in visuals, but in its extremely difficult side-scrolling action platformer gameplay. It’s really, really hard. But it gives you a sense of purpose that helps you realize how good the game really is. Combat is simple but tough, so Volgarr the Viking is great if you’re looking for a challenge you used to get back in the day. Project Spark Project Spark is more of a video game editor than a game. There’s a robust set of creation tools that the game shows you how to use to bring your creations to life. Project Spark is great if you’re willing to put in time and patience and have a creative mind. It’s also going to be as good as its community. Forza Horizon 2 Earning a 9 in our review, Forza Horizon 2 stood out this holiday season among the slew of racing games that released. It’s gorgeous, huge, exciting, and most of all, it’s just downright fun. Rain and weather effects put an exclamation point on the already breathtaking visuals. Titanfall Titanfall received an 8 in our review. What it lacks in depth and variety, it makes up for in map design, maneuverability, action and balance. The overwhelming amount of hype probably hurt the game in the long run, but there’s no denying that it’s a great first entry into a franchise with a bright future, and it remains one of the premier multiplayer shooters you can buy.
  6. Mega founder Kim Dotcom has saved Christmas for many Playstation and Xbox gamers. In what he describes as a Christmas Miracle, Kim Dotcom appears to have stopped Lizard Squad's DDoS attacks by handing out 3,000 vouchers for premium Mega accounts, worth $99 a piece. When Xbox and Playstation players wanted to test their Christmas gifts a few hours ago, they were welcomed by an unpleasant surprise. Lizard Squad, who repeatedly DDoSed the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live’s servers in recent months, were back with a Christmas gift nobody asked for. Another DDoS attack resulting in yet more downtime. One of the affected players was Kim Dotcom, who’s an avid Xbox player himself. But instead of cursing Lizard Squad to high heaven he decided to make them an offer. Although the general belief may be that it’s best not to negotiate with “terrorists,†Dotcom decided to give it a try. “Hi @LizardMafia, I want to play #Destiny on XBOX Live. I’ll give your entire crew Mega lifetime premium vouchers if you let us play. Cool?†he tweeted. Lizard Squad is apparently easy to please as they were willing to stop the attacks in return for 3,000 free cloud hosting vouchers. After getting approval from Mega’s management, Dotcom and Lizard Squad eventually came to terms through Twitter’s back-channel. Once the vouchers were in Lizard Squad’s possession, the attacks did indeed slow down and Christmas was saved. While some still experienced some outages due to the earlier attacks, many players were able to join their favorite games again. “Thanks @KimDotcom for the vouchers–you’re the reason we stopped the attacks. @MegaPrivacy is an awesome service,†Lizard Squad tweeted, confirming the successful intervention. Dotcom, meanwhile, is happy that he can play Destiny but wishes that his other troubles could be resolved this easily too. Whether the U.S. Department of Justice will accept Mega vouchers is doubtful though. “Obviously, diplomacy works. I recommend that the U.S. Government gives it a try. #MakeLoveNotWar #UseMegaVouchers,†Kim noted. Of course there’s no guarantee that Lizard Squad will keep their promise during the days to come, but Dotcom said he will render the vouchers useless if attacks resume. Merry Christmas everyone… http://torrentfreak.com/kim-dotcom-stops-xbox-and-playstation-attacks-141226/
  7. When Microsoft announced earlier this month that Xbox boss Phil Spencer would be a featured speaker atJanuary's Windows 10 consumer event, some wondered why that might be. Now we know, as Spencer says the presentation will include news/reveals that should appeal to Xbox fans. Asked on Twitter if January's Windows 10 event would feature any noteworthy announcements about theXbox One, Spencer replied: "I think what we will show will be interesting to both Windows and Xbox gamers." Spencer will speak at the January 21 event at Microsoft's headquarters alongside Windows executives Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore. All three are expected to talk about "the Windows 10 consumer experience" during the presentation, which Microsoft is calling "The Next Chapter." Just last week, Spencer strongly suggested that this Windows 10 event would have gaming news, when he said: "It's time for us to talk about gaming on Windows." In his role as Head of Xbox, Spencer not only oversees all Xbox gaming projects, but also everything to do with gaming inside of Microsoft. This includes PC gaming which, despite Microsoft's demonstrable priority focus on Xbox, Spencer has maintained is "incredibly important." When Microsoft announced Windows 10 in September, it described the OS as "one platform" for all of the company's products. However, we still don't know how Windows 10 might impact Xbox One. It's possible Spencer will talk about this during the Windows 10 event next month. Another possibility is that Spencer and company will talk about the rumored new Xbox App for Windows 10 and Cortana voice-recognition integration, both of which were leaked earlier this month. One gaming-related item we're not likely to see at next month's Windows 10 event is Microsoft's secret game-streaming technology, Arcadia. GameSpot sister site Zdnet reported last week that the technology istoo early on in development for an official reveal in January.
  8. If your New Year's resolution is to play D4, you're in luck.Microsoft on Monday announced January 2015's free Xbox 360 and Xbox One games for Xbox Live subscribers, and they are a pretty great bunch. D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, and MX vs. ATV Alive will all be given away to subscribers to ring in the new year. Xbox One owners with an Xbox Live subscription will be able to download D4, which normally sells for $15, for free starting January 1. Meanwhile, Xbox 360 users can pick up MX vs. ATV Alive (normally $20) for free January 1-15, and then The Witcher 2 (normally $30) January 16-31. Now is also a good time to download EA Sports' extreme snowboarding game SSX, which is free on Xbox 360 through December 31. Xbox One owners, meanwhile, can download Worms Battlegrounds and Volgarr the Viking through the end of the month. Looking for more deals coverage? Check back later today with GameSpot for our regular Gaming Deals post.
  9. Microsoft has launched a "Countdown to 2015" sales promotion for Xbox, offering a series of daily deals onXbox 360 and Xbox One titles. As the promotion's name suggests, Microsoft will unleash a new deal every day until January 1, 2015.Starting things off today are some discounts on various Lord of the Rings games. Microsoft's Countdown to 2015 sale also applies to various Xbox TV and movie programming. You can see all of the video content on sale through the Xbox Video website. Below are today's Xbox One and Xbox 360 deals. Notably, you don't need an Xbox Live Gold membership to enjoy the savings. Xbox One Deals Available Today (December 22) Only: Trials Fusion: Deluxe Edition (full game and DLC pass) -- $20 Xbox 360 Deals Available Today (December 22) Only: Slender: The Arrival -- $5 Trials Fusion -- $10 Trials Fusion DLC Pass -- $10 Previous deals have included: December 16 Lego: The Hobbit (Xbox One) -- $20 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Xbox One) -- $40.20 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor DLC Pass (Xbox One) -- $16.74 Lego: The Hobbit (Xbox 360) -- $9.89 Lego: The Lord of the Rings (Xbox 360) -- $5 December 17 Costume Quest 2 (Xbox One) -- $10.04 Costume Quest 2 (Xbox 360) -- $10.04 Tropico 5 (Xbox 360) -- $26.79 December 18 Outlast (Xbox One) -- $8 Moto GP 14 (Xbox 360) -- $26.79 MX vs. ATV Supercross (Xbox 360) -- $20.09 December 19 Murdered: Soul Suspect (Xbox One) -- $16.50 Murdered: Soul Suspect (Xbox 360) -- $12 December 20 Metro Redux Bundle (Xbox One) -- $33.16 Metro Last Light (Xbox 360) -- $10.19 Saints Row IV (Xbox 360) -- $11.89 December 21 Contrast (Xbox One) -- $7.50 Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition (Xbox One, Xbox 360) -- $7.50 Nutjitsu (Xbox One) -- $3.25 RBI Baseball 14 (Xbox One, ,Xbox 360) -- $5 Stick it to the Man (Xbox One) -- $5
  10. Microsoft's rumored Fortazela concept[uPDATE 2] A Microsoft spokesperson told GameSpot, "We have nothing to share concerning these reports." [uPDATE] VRFocus and Techradar report that several game studios have received Xbox One VR development kits. None of the studios were named, unfortunately. The original story is below. Microsoft will reveal its long-rumored Xbox virtual reality headset device during the company's E3 2015 briefing next summer, according to a new Digitimes report that cites "upstream supply chain" sources. The summer tradeshow is scheduled for June 16-18, 2015. The site's sources went on to say that development on the Xbox VR headset, which will presumably work with the Xbox One, will be handled by the same team that runs Microsoft's Surface tablet line. A name for the device was not mentioned. Microsoft's Xbox VR headset is separate from its Google Glass-like "Fortazela" project, which first leaked in June 2012. Digitimes adds that development on this project (pictured, top) is ongoing, though no further details about features or functionality are available. Microsoft has been open in saying that virtual reality is something the company has been experimenting with for a long time now. Competitor Sony announced its own virtual reality device, Project Morpheus, during GDC in March 2014, though the company hasn't said when it plans to launch the PlayStation 4 device or what it will cost. Meanwhile, the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headset is also deep into development for PC. Microsoft's mysterious VR project has been in development for years, and the company even gave a demonstration of the tech to Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive. We have reached out to Microsoft for comment on this report, and will update this post with anything we hear back.
  11. Who is the best? ...Or worse?
  12. 32 percent of all Ubisoft games sold in the past six months were on PS4, compared to 15 percent for Xbox One. As part of Ubisoft's latest earnings report today, the French Assassin's Creed publisher released a chart that shows a breakdown of sales for Ubisoft games by platform. You might have guessed it, but this chart proves it: the PlayStation 4 is the king of current-generation consoles, for Ubisoft at least. The chart speaks for itself. One of the most standout statistics is that PS4 rival Xbox One actually rankedfourth for the quarter ended September 30. With 9 percent of sales, the Xbox One was outsold byPlayStation 3 (19 percent), PC (17 percent), and Xbox 360 (16 percent) during that three-month period. PS4 share for Ubisoft games widened when looking at sales for the six-month period ended September 30. 32 percent of all Ubisoft games sold during that term were PS4 titles, compared to 15 percent for Xbox One. This is a significant shift from the last generation of consoles. As you can see in the chart above, for the first six months of Ubisoft's first-half of last fiscal year, Xbox 360 was the leader at 29 percent, compared to 24 percent for PS3. The PS4 has sold more than 10 million units as of August 2014. Microsoft has not provided a new sales update for the Xbox One in many months, though the system is believed to have sold in excess of 5 million units. Just this week, Microsoft announced a temporary $50 price cut for the Xbox One, which goes into effect on Sunday, ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season. What stands out most to you in the chart? Let us know in the comments below. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  13. Even Nicolas Cage is scared. Do you think you're tougher than Nicolas Cage?# Even before we learned that it was a teaser for the next Silent Hill, P.T. was turning heads back in August. But in order to experience it yourself, you (or someone you know) needed to own a PlayStation 4. That's no longer the case, thanks to a Project Spark player on Xbox One. As demonstrated in the trailer above, Twitter user SpawnN8NE has recreated P.T. using Project Spark, Xbox One's free game creator tool. Known as R.T., the game--described by the trailer as "the world's second interactive teaser," playing on the terminology originally used for P.T.--has you navigating a creepy, seemingly abandoned house. I won't spoil things for you if you haven't followed the game closely, but suffice it to say it's best played in the dark and in an expandable pair of pants. The trailer itself is somewhat of a recreation of a P.T. trailer; at the very least, it has the night vision shots of a scared player making his or her way through the game. Only this time, it's not actually a player, but Nicolas Cage crying in Vampire's Kiss, which might actually be the scariest part about all of this. Silent Hills, the game P.T. was actually a playable teaser for, is currently in the works at Kojima Productions for PS4. Both Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro are involved with its development.
  14. Check out an in-depth look at the "time-amplified" gameplay for Remedy's 2015 Xbox One game. Microsoft and Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment today released a 16-minute gameplay trailer forQuantum Break, the upcoming Xbox One exclusive that will launch in 2015. The video, which is the full version of what we saw at Gamescom in August, is narrated by creative director Sam Lake. It offers a look at Quantum Break's "time-amplified" gameplay, and we're reminded that everything in the video is actual gameplay footage that was captured on Xbox One. The sequence on display in the video above is from the middle of the game, when main character Jack is trying to meet up with the game's other hero, Beth Wilder, but the nefarious Monarch Corporation is getting in the way. As for the time-amplified gameplay, what this means for Quantum Break is that, during shooting and combat sequences, Jack can zip through time to get a leg-up on his enemies. Unfortunately for Jack, certain Monarch soldiers can also manipulate time, making for some formidably fierce foes. Quantum Break is not just a video game, as it's also going to be paired with a live-action show. The game tells the story of the heroes while the show clues us in on the villains. The Quantum Break show wasunaffected by Xbox Entertainment Studios' recent closure. For more on Quantum Break, check out GameSpot's previous coverage. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  15. Revenue up year-on-year, but detailed Xbox One sales undisclosed. Microsoft sold about 2.4 million Xbox systems, both last gen and new, to retailers between July and September. The software giant revealed the details to investors during its quarterly earnings report on Thursday, but did not specify further on how many of those shipped consoles had sold through to customers. Nor did it specify what proportion of consoles were Xbox One as opposed to Xbox 360. Nevertheless the additional console on the market had helped drive combined Xbox sales up by 102 percent. Microsoft launched the Xbox One on November 22 in 2013, and by December had sold about three million units to customers. Since then the corporation has not provided detailed sales figures. Revenue for the Xbox platform climbed by 58 percent during the quarter, Microsoft said. Surface tablet sales were strong too, driving revenue to $908 million. Overall sales for the corporation were mixed, with revenue at $23 billion (up 25 percent) while profits fell 8 percent to $5.8 billion. “We are innovating faster, engaging more deeply across the industry, and putting our customers at the centre of everything we do, all of which positions Microsoft for future growth,†said Satya Nadella, Microsoft's chief executive. “Our teams are delivering on our core focus of reinventing productivity and creating platforms that empower every individual and organisation.†Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  16. Leaked achievement list suggests Rockstar may be re-releasing the 2004 game for Xbox 360. Rockstar confirmed this rumor today through a posting on their support site. "GTA: San Andreas on the Xbox Marketplace will be available again for purchase beginning October 26th, 2014, through Games on Demand. This version features 720p resolution, enhanced draw distance, and Achievement support." If you purchased the game previously, Rockstar notes: "The Games on Demand version of San Andreas is not compatible with the Xbox Originals version. Save files will not transfer from Xbox Originals. Owners of the Xbox Originals version will still have access to the old version on their consoles and through their download history, with the option to purchase the new version to experience the added features on a new save file." The original story appears below. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas may soon be re-released for Xbox 360, a new set of Achievements suggests. Developer Rockstar Games has not announced a new version of the game for Xbox 360, butXbox Achievements has posted a new list of achievements that seem to indicate a re-release is in the works. In addition, the Xbox Originals version of San Andreas is oddly no longer available to download for Xbox 360--though it remains available to buy for PlayStation 3. On top of that, October 2014 marks the game's tenth anniversary, which would be a fitting time for such a re-release, if it were to happen. San Andreas was released in October 2004 for PlayStation 2, though the game has since come to platforms such as Xbox, PC, Mac, and various mobile devices. We have contacted Rockstar for comment, and will update this story with anything we hear back. Grand Theft Auto V comes to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on November 18. The PC version is scheduled to launch in January 2015. The open-world game has already shipped more than 34 million copies. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  17. Get an Xbox One without Kinect for $50 off starting November 9, according to leaked adscan. If you're in the market for an Xbox One and can hold out for a few weeks, you may want to consider this new deal from Kmart. According to an adscan for a sale beginning the week of November 9, Kmart will offer Kinect-free Xbox One bundles for $350, a markdown of $50 from the normal $400 price point. The adscan above comes from Twitter user thebiglouie. If true, it would represent one of the best deals to date for an Xbox One, not to mention making the Xbox One $50 less expensive than the rival PlayStation 4. There is no mention of a markdown for the $500 Xbox One bundle that comes with Kinect. It is unclear if this deal is limited to Kmart or if it is a wider price drop that will be available at retailers nationwide. We'll report back with more details as they become available. The deal, if genuine, is timed with the release of marquee Xbox One title, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which goes on sale on November 11. This isn't the only rumored Xbox One deal. Adscans from Target and Wal-Mart show that the $500 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 1 TB console will be offered for $450 beginning in November. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  18. Phil Spencer says improving install times is high on his personal priority list. Improving Xbox One install times ranks highly on Xbox boss Phil Spencer's platform priority list, though it remains to be seen when gamers might start to see zippier install periods. "It's high on my priority list," Spencer told IGN. Part of the reason that Xbox One install times are slower than PlayStation 4 times in some cases, Spencer said, is a result of Microsoft dropping the always-online requirement for Xbox One. He said Xbox One launch titles like Forza Motorsport 5 and Ryse: Son of Rome were developed with the assumption that all Xbox Ones would always be connected to the Internet, but this changed. "The change to having to deal with an offline-only state meant that all the install code-flows weren't as perfect as they could be," Spencer admitted. "It's really our developer pipeline and our ingestion system where we have to do the most work" -- Spencer said about improving Xbox One install times In response to this, Spencer asked him team to install third-party games on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to measure the differences in install times. He said in some cases, Xbox One install times are in fact faster, but in others, Microsoft's console does "significantly worse." "Are there systemtic reasons for that? Our drive's obviously the same speed, moving stuff into memory takes the same amount of time; hard drive speed's basically the same, so what's going on?" he said. "I'm capturing the data. I want to be state-of-the-art in install times so people can start playing games as soon as possible. It's high on my priority list." So what, then, is the issue? Spencer wouldn't say outright, acknowledging only that, "There isn't one thing to say why are we two seconds slower on this game or frankly why are we two seconds faster on a different game. The issues are a little bit in the weeds. It's really our developer pipeline and our ingestion system where we have to do the most work." "I'm not defending it at all, because I do think install times should be faster," he added. Asked to specify where on the roadmap improving Xbox One install times is, Spencer reiterated that it's high on his priority list, though he didn't have a specific timeline to share. "It's kind of a constant," he said. "It's one of the things that's on top of my list in terms of the parity experience between us and Sony, and making sure that the install times aren't deficient on Xbox in any way." In January, Spencer first admitted that Xbox One install times need to improve. What are your thoughts on Xbox One install times? Let us know in the comments below. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  19. Subscription fees now mandatory for music streaming service. The free version of Xbox Music, Microsoft's Spotify-like streaming service, will be axed within weeks. Following the removal of the ad-supported free version, on December 1, the only way to access Xbox Music will be to sign up to a paid subscription. Users will have unlimited access to Microsoft's library of millions of tracks, providing they pay $10 (or £9) per month. "We are focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers," the corporation said on its FAQ page. There was no further explanation as to why the company is abandoning its ad-supported service. The move comes despite one of the leading music streaming services, Spotify, continuing to offer limited music access for free. For the monthly fee, Xbox Music offers unlimited access to its music servers, as well as offline listening on PC, tablet, and smartphones. For Xbox One and Xbox 360 users specifically, the service allows users to stream from a library of about 90,000 music videos. A free 30-day trial is still available. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  20. Microsoft remains committed to introducing functionality to Xbox One that lets you take screenshots, but the company now says getting this up and running is proving tricky. As a result, Microsoft isn't going to roll this feature out until sometime in 2015, Xbox boss Phil Spencer says. "As we come back into the new year, we'll see new stuff, and screenshots is on the list," Spencer told IGN. Shadow of Mordor has a photo mode, but it's limited on Xbox OneBack in May, Spencer revealed that the ability to take screenshots on Xbox One was one of the features Microsoft engineers were working to deliver through a future update. One of the reasons why we haven't seen this feature yet is because it's "a little more technically challenging" than Spencer first imagined. "Two weeks ago, [Microsoft engineers] think they've found a good solution for screenshots. They're working on it. They know people want it," he said. "The team has a path to getting it done, and now it's just prioritizing." By comparison, the PlayStation 4 has allowed users to take and share screenshots since launch in November 2013. The Xbox One's lack of screenshot functionality has put a damper on some game functionality, as Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's Photo Mode is significantly limited on Xbox One. Also in the interview, Spencer said Xbox One owners should expect December's system update to be smaller than previous ones. "In December, it's probably a time for us to pause for a little bit and settle just as all the new consoles are coming online," he said. Finally, Spencer stressed that Microsoft is still looking to improve install times for Xbox One games, noting that this is a personal priority of his. October's Xbox One update launched last week, bringing with it new features such as a Gamerscore leaderboard for friends and smoother Snap Mode navigation. Meanwhile, November's update will introduce custom background support and will let you post video clips directly to Twitter. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  21. Third content update for professional hockey game introduces online team play, bug fixes, and lots more. EA Sports has released the third content update for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of NHL 15, introducing a raft of new features and functionality, as well as bug fixes and more. The NHL 15 update, which is available today for Xbox One and PS4, includes the following (descriptionscourtesy of EA Sports): Online Team Play -- Play online with up to ten players, locked to a single position using real-world rosters. These matches will be 5v5 ranked with AI controlled goalies. Be A GM Rookie Draft -- For the first time in the NHL franchise, you will be put on the clock and feel the pressure like a real NHL GM. As they do at the NHL Entry Draft, you have three minutes to make a draft pick. If the pressure is too much, you can also call timeouts to extend the amount of time you have to make a draft pick or potentially negotiate a trade. You can make trades at any time during the draft. The CPU will also propose trades to each other and the user throughout the course of the draft. Presentation -- New New uniforms have been added for the following teams: Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) 3rd jersey Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) 3rd jersey Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) 3rd jersey Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) 3rd jersey Red Deer Rebels (WHL) 3rd jersey Sarnia Sting (OHL) 3rd jersey Boisbriand-Blainville Armada (QMJHL) 3rd jersey Gameplay Improved penalty logic for goalie interference calls. Improved goalie decision making when playing the puck outside of the crease. Pass Assist sliders have been tuned so that they now have the desired effect depending on the user setting. Fixed issue where strategy overlay would show when User Strategy Adjustment slider is turned up. Fixed rare issue where players would enter an unusual animation state after being body checked during a poke check. Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) Fixed rare crash issues that can occur when sending won auction item to your Collection. Fixed hang during matchmaking search in Versus. Users will now be able to change auction prices faster. Users that lose connection from their opponent are returned to HUT. Be A Pro: Addressed shootout coach feedback overlay issue. We reported in August that the current-gen versions of NHL 15--the franchise's debut on Microsoft and Sony's newest consoles--would not include certain content seen in the last-gen versions (not to mention previous entries in the series). When fans got their hands on the game early through EA Access, we learned even more was absent than EA Sports had indicated. This led to the company outlining its plans for post-release updates that would add in some of this content. An NHL 15 patch released last month introduced features such as a Playoff mode, coach feedback in Be A Pro mode, and more. For more on NHL 15, check out GameSpot's review. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  22. Plus, Game Clips can now be published on Twitter; Trending stats added to TV guide. Microsoft has outlined numerous improvements, additions and changes coming to Xbox One via its monthly system update. The main attraction for November is the new personalisation features, which allow users to create a customised background. The corporation adds that this was the "number one requested feature" from fans. This comes weeks after the Xbox head, Phil Spencer, pledged to add custom theme support to Xbox One systems. Though the new update is a stepping-stone on that path, Microsoft said that "more customisation options" would arrive later. See directly below for a trio of preview images: Gamers who have enlisted with the Xbox One preview program should be able to access the update now. Other additions to the November update include the option to attach a "flaunt reel" to your profile. Users can display six video snippets of their gaming feats, which others can watch when browsing profiles. Further to this, and in what could be a coup for Microsoft as it competes with Sony for relevance on social media, the Xbox One can now publish game clips directly to Twitter. In addition, Microsoft has applied a trending algorithm to its TV guide. The system update will launch at some stage in November. A full breakdown of updates, written by Microsoft, is published below, while a video walkthrough is available in the video above. Show Who You Are – Some of the most requested features being released this month include the ability to customize your Xbox One background and showcase and share some of your favorite achievements and game clips. Custom Backgrounds – The #1 fan-requested feature is making its initial debut for preview members. For the first time, each account on your Xbox One can have a customized background. You can choose a custom color or achievement art as your background on Xbox One, with more customization options coming down the road.Gamer Profile – You can now share your location and bio as part of your profile. You can set these options on your Xbox One console and use Xbox One SmartGlass to browse to other people’s profiles and check out their showcase items. Additionally, you can now select a set of showcase items that are displayed when other gamers look at your profile on an Xbox One console. You can use Xbox One SmartGlass or Xbox One console to add or remove up to six game clips or achievements that will be displayed in a carousel format.Tweet about your Favorite Game Clips – You can now share your favorite Xbox One game clips with your followers on Twitter. Use the Share button on any game clip you have created and select Twitter to compose the Tweet.A New Way to Watch TV – With new Live TV and Twitter integration, you can discover new shows to love and see what people are saying on Twitter about shows in real-time.Live TV Trending – Starting today for preview members in the U.S., Canada and the UK, a new tab will be available in OneGuide that displays the top 20 most watched TV shows, with the list filtered down to the shows that are currently available to you based on your OneGuide settings. The Live TV Trending list is updated by the minute, so you can easily discover shows that are popular with other viewers. The Trending tab in OneGuide is updated to display Twitter - Live TV trending first and Xbox – Live TV Trending second. You can tune to a specific show by pressing the A button.Twitter TV Trending – New this month in preview, you can see what Live TV is trending based on shows with the most conversations taking place on Twitter. Twitter TV Trending will initially be available to preview members in the U.S.Xbox TV Trending – The Trending tab in OneGuide is updated to display Twitter trending first and Xbox – Live TV Trending second. Xbox – Live TV Trending is based on the number of Xbox One owners currently watching that show in each country, pulled from anonymous data collected at a national level.Tweets in MiniGuide – See the actual tweets for the Live TV shows in real time and quickly find the Twitter #hashtag to join the conversation.Recents and Favorites in MiniGuide – MiniGuide has been updated to include your favorite TV channels in a combined Recents and Favorites area and MiniGuide can now be activated via voice by saying “Xbox Select – MiniGuide†while watching TV.Store improvements and SmartGlass updates – We are also excited to roll out these cool features:Store improvements – The Store pages on Xbox One have been improved to enable you to more quickly browse and find content. The navigation buttons were moved to the far left so you can find them easier. You can also more quickly find game add-ons, perform store specific searches and recommendations are more prominently displayed. Finally, store categories have been standardized so you can easily see the top items in each query at a glance.Friends’ Game Activity on SmartGlass – You can now see a list of your friends that have played a given game within the Xbox One SmartGlass experience.Games with Gold & Deals with Gold on SmartGlass – For gamers with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can browse “Free Games with Gold†and discounted content with Gold and initiate download of the content to your Xbox One console from your mobile device.SmartGlass Store Improvements – We added a new section for Apps to make it easier to find and download apps for your Xbox One, as well as adding a Coming Soon filter for Games and Add Ons to make it easier to see upcoming Xbox One releases sorted by anticipated release date.Internet Explorer updates – There are a few improvements Internet Explorer available this month:Snap IE – From the Address Bar in Internet Explorer, you can now easily snap from a full screen experience and move Internet Explorer into snap mode.Featured sites – Now, Internet Explorer will show a number when something is newly-added to featured sites. Newly-added sites will also display a badge until you launch them or seven days have passed since the site was added to the Featured list. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  23. Video showcases how the small device can pause and rewind live TV, as well as stream video to phones and tablets. Microsoft has launched its digital TV Tuner for Xbox One across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The miniature peripheral receives TV signals from a coaxial cable (the old-fashioned wires used to air free terrestrial TV) and feeds that into the Xbox One via USB connection, though the console will need to be powered on in order to watch it. The Xbox One Digital TV Tuner costs £25 in the UK The tuner adds several key features to the traditional Freeview experience. First, Live Pause, which allows users to freeze live TV for up to thirty minutes, as well as rewind and fast-forward footage. Owners can play their games while Live Pause is activated too. Second, the OneGuide offers a basic panel of TV listings to peruse with either the controller or Kinect (although, how effective voice commands are remains to be seen). The OneGuide is available either as a full-screen menu or an in-picture window, the latter of which allows users to browse other channels while watching one station. Third, the peripheral uses SmartGlass to stream video from the Xbox One to connected devices on a user's home network. This can also be done while playing games on the Xbox One, with television being processed in the background. (At the time of going to press, connected devices included Windows phones and tablets, as well as iOS devices, with Android support "coming soon"). As well as this, users can watch TV via Snap Mode, which fixes a small picture in a column on the right-hand-side of the screen while something else is displayed in the main picture. The TV Tuner arrives nearly a full year after the Xbox One's UK launch. The peripheral costs £25. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  24. Developer Playdead declines to comment. The acclaimed puzzle platformer Limbo could be coming to Xbox One, if a listing by a games ratings board is to be believed. Initially released in 2010 on Xbox 360, Limbo was lauded by critics and sold more than 300,000 unitswithin its first month. The title was eventually ported across to numerous platforms, including PlayStation 3,PC, PS Vita, and iOS. Now, according to a Korea-based ratings board, the distinctive monochrome platform game will soon ship on Xbox One too. A representative for the game's Denmark-based developer, Playdead, declined to comment when approached by GameSpot. If true, Limbo's appearance on Xbox One would mark the continuation of a flourishing business deal between Playdead and Microsoft. The software giant has acquired the rights to publish Playdead's next game, Inside, on Xbox One as a timed console exclusive. Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, has previously cited Limbo as one of his favorite games of all time. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  25. Image credit: WP Central.HBO Go, the app that gives users on demand access to the premium cable channel's movies and shows like Game of Thrones, might be coming to Xbox One soon. According to WP Central, a user on the r/xboxone sub-Reddit linked to a Microsoft OneDrive account that contained pictures of the app running on Xbox One, which the user said is currently in testing. The images of the app have since been removed. In June, Microsoft announced that more than 45 new entertainment apps are coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 around the world by the end of the year, including HBO Go (which is already out on the Xbox 360). Some of these include Vine, ShowTime Anytime, Comedy Central, Major League Gaming, and new embedded Twitter functionality. Once these apps arrive, Microsoft's app catalog will increase by 25 percent to more than 225 apps in total. There are around 180 apps available now, Microsoft said on the Xbox Wire. At the moment, you need to pay for a pricey subscription to a cable or satellite TV service in order to use HBO Go, but earlier this week, HBO CEO Richard Plepler also made the surprising announcement that HBO will launch as a stand-alone service in the United States next year. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post