E3 is right around the corner, with the Microsoft conference on June 10. Maybe that's where all of the Xbox One games are hiding, along with the console's indie plan. We asked a handful of indie developers what Microsoft's presentation today said to them specifically, and what they want to see at E3. Below we have responses from Rami Ismail of Ridiculous Fishing fame, Octodad's Philip Tibitoski, DLC Quest's Ben Kane, Charlie Murder's James Silva, Retro City Rampage's Brian Provinciano and Fez's Phil Fish.
Microsoft hasn't provided further details, but it sounds like reputation is the biggest difference between Smart Match and TrueSkill, Xbox Live's current skill rating system. TrueSkill only takes player skill into account when creating matches.
Microsoft has also provided a little more info on the new persistent side of Xbox Live. Called "Living Games," the tech leverages cloud computing to create persistent worlds. The company adds that "your games stay in sync with the real world, which means the latest stats can be automatically fed into your sports games." Furthermore, "Advanced AI even allows your friends to play against your shadow when you're not available."
We're assuming Microsoft got the idea after a late night viewing of Michael Keaton's 1996 comedy smash, Multiplicity.
The meme began with The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, in which droves of melancholic guards told the same story about an old injury.
To extrapolate from Greenawalt's comment, it seems Microsoft is keen to further distance itself from the idea of the game as a static disc. Xbox 360 games had their Achievement lists extended with significant title updates and downloadable expansions, but the Xbox One is expected to update the rewards list more fluidly. Game creators may use Achievements to encourage comical or topical behavior, or use them to educate players if they're missing certain features or secrets.
Additionally, EA's announced Battlefield 4's first expansion pack, called China Rising. The pack will contain four extra maps, along with extra vehicles and weapons. It will be available at launch, and come free with any pre-order of the game.
And speaking of confirmed Xbox One titles, Bungie has also made it clear that Destiny is due out on Xbox One as well. Stay tuned for more confirmations on next-gen titles for Microsoft's new console.
In terms of instantly switching between games and the system's other functions like live TV and movies, as detailed during Microsoft's presser, the page confirms the Xbox One lets you suspend games "right where you left off, so you can resume instantly." Think how the Vita, Wii U, or 3DS work when you exit and suspend a game to use the systems' other functions. Except not with those systems, but with a shiny new Xbox.
Update: Microsoft told our friends at Engadget that Xbox One 50GB Blu-ray discs automatically rip to the system's 500GB hard drive, although it's not clear if installation is mandatory or not. Also, Microsoft Support indicated via Twitter the report mentioned above about installing games to a second account was inaccurate.
The answer said the Xbox One "does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet."
Developers are able to use Microsoft's Azure cloud computing service with Xbox One – this could potentially shift certain computations to the cloud and require players to be online, even for single-player runs, Wired reports.
For pre-owned games, the Xbox One is designed "to enable customers to trade in and resell games," Microsoft said in the same Q&A post, promising more details later.
All games can be installed to the Xbox One's 500GB hard drive, removing the need for a disc entirely after the initial load-up, Microsoft tells Wired. If a second account wants to play that game the player will be asked to pay a fee and install the game on his own console. Whether this is a mandatory installation for every game, Microsoft says, "On the new Xbox, all game discs are installed to the HDD to play."
EA Sports' next-generation Ignite Engine was on display at the Xbox One reveal event at Microsoft's Redmond campus today. We have four trailers that demonstrate the engine's capabilities, three of which can be found after the break.
EA Sports Executive Vice President Andrew Wilson told attendees of the Xbox One event that the Ignite Engine will perform "four times more calculations per second" than the publisher's current offerings. Wilson said the engine will allow for 3D crowds and dynamic sidelines.
EA will launch four sports games for the console within 12 months, namely FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, EA Sports UFC and NBA Live 14. Each game will be powered by the Ignite Engine.
The next Xbox is about to be unveiled in Microsoft's Redmond campus, and Joystiq will be there to scrutinize and document the whole presentation. It starts at 1PM EDT (10AM PDT, 6PM GMT), so get your glib reactionary .gifs ready before then.
Once the event starts, we'll switch this post over to liveblog mode and unleash the flood of quotes, observations and ill-advised jokes about computer chips. (Note: The presence of chips in the new Xbox is a rumor until Microsoft says otherwise.)
After the break, we've assembled a chart comparing the two consoles and their various components. The two machines are surprisingly similar, with both using an eight core CPU, the same amount of RAM, and both containing a combo Blu-Ray and DVD drive. But there are some major differences, too: Microsoft has created its own chip for the Xbox One, and the PlayStation 4 controller contains that share button and the clickable touchpad. Prices for both units haven't been announced yet, but both will be available later on this year.
The incompatibility is due to the fact that the Xbox One runs on x86 processor architecture, whereas the Xbox 360 ran on PowerPC. This fundamental difference in hardware architecture prevents the Xbox One from natively running Xbox 360 games, regardless of how powerful the thing may be.
"We care very much about the investment people have made in Xbox 360 and will continue to support it with a pipeline of new games and new apps well into the future," a Microsoft representative told Engadget. Part of that investment will transfer, however: Your Xbox Live Gamerscore.
Earlier this year, Sony also announced that its PlayStation 4 will make the jump to a processor built on the x86 platform.
"The next generation of consoles will reinvigorate our industry and make it possible for us to deliver incredible new entertainment to gamers," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. "Our teams are using the innovations in connectivity, immersion and social gaming included in Xbox One to create original and memorable next-gen gaming experiences."
Original Post: The Xbox One may shut the door on the used gaming market, according to a report on Wired.
Microsoft's new system will allow – and possibly require – games to be installed to the console's 500GB hard drive, which locks a piece of software to an account, the report states. Once installed, players do not require a disc to boot the software. If a game is used with a second account, that owner will be given the option to pay a fee and install the experience on their own console, Microsoft told Wired. Whether "account" means an entirely new console or another Xbox Live account on the same console, is unclear.
Though Microsoft wouldn't get into specifics as to how this decision affects the used game market, the decision calls into doubt the viability of rental services such as GameFly and RedBox, and used game markets from major retailers such as GameStop, Amazon and BestBuy, with the Xbox One.
Wired's feature says that Xbox One's always-on internet connection rumors were not unfounded, but not as draconian as gamers feared. Developers will have the option to create games that use Microsoft's Azure cloud computing service, which Wired postulates could be done to offload certain computing tasks in the cloud rather than processing them on the console. In this instance, the Xbox One would require a connection to the internet – even during single-player experiences.
Microsoft says this is not a requirement for developers that wish to create offline experiences; however, Microsoft's Marc Whitten told Wired they "hope" developers utilize the tools. The Xbox One's sometimes needs to be on connection could evolve, throughout the generation, as an always-on machine.
Update [2:50pm]: In a post answering "top questions" about the Xbox One, the official Microsoft page notes the system "does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet." Additionally Microsoft notes that in the case of pre-owned software, the Xbox one is designed "to enable customers to trade in and resell games. We'll have more details to share later." The Q&A makes no mention of the fees confirmed by Microsoft to Wired. The Q&A post from Microsoft's official page appears to have been removed.
Our pals Alexander and Ludwig are in Redmond right now for the Xbox reveal event. They've totally stood next to the Xbox One and, having taken the less selfish path of lording it over the rest of the staff, decided to snap a few pictures for all you lovely folks. Check out Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox One, in our gallery below!
"If you look at Call of Duty in general, you're on the high-tech, super-powered forces. You're America, you're strong, you're Britain, Germany," Rubin told Joystiq at a recent press event in Los Angeles. "It just felt like, what if we could reverse those roles a bit, what if we had America as the underdog and not the superpower? What if we had some other countries as the big superpower and we're fighting against this more technologically superior force. And so that is really where we got: now we've got this technologically superior super force, they devastate the western world, the US, with a weapon of mass destruction of some kind - I'm not going to go into that, it will come later, and what we did is we had that event start the game, but the story picks up ten to fifteen years later and you as a soldier grew up in this new changed world."
That soldier will be a focal point for the game, Rubin said, and won't contribute to the fractured, multi-perspective narratives for which the series has drawn ire in the past. "It's not like before where you have these multiple sides and trot around. You're pretty much the same person throughout."
You'll also be accompanied by a Navy SEAL dog (not to be confused with a Moreau-style seal-dog), which can sniff out dangers and aid the team in several ways as a companion AI of sorts. As you might expect from a production of Ghosts' caliber, Infinity Ward did full motion capture on a retired SEAL dog.
Activision announced that it will continue to release timed-exclusive Call of Duty content for Xbox platforms with this year's launch of Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Microsoft hosted the worldwide premiere of Call of Duty: Ghosts at today's Xbox One reveal event. Currently, downloadable Call of Duty content is exclusive to the Xbox 360 for one month before it launches for other platforms. Microsoft and Activision's exclusivity agreement will continue with this year's launch of the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts.
The latest Call of Duty, dubbed Ghosts, has drafted Syriana and Traffic writer Stephen Gaghan to provide its fiction.
Games don't get more Hollywood than Call of Duty, and Activision has shown little hesitance in acquiring composers and writers from the silver screen to aid in its ever bigger and brasher efforts. Gaghan's work on Traffic, a dour crime drama, and political thriller Syriana made him a standout candidate for Ghosts. The game follows the remainder of the US military in a world scarred by a weapon of mass destruction.
According to developer Infinity Ward, Gaghan didn't swoop in and drop off a script – he requested an office, and worked from one amidst the game's single-player team all throughout the game's production. That's a sterling gesture, but I asked Call of Duty: Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin to explain why Gaghan was deemed suitable to write for players, not viewers.
"Basically, we looked at his work – he's a great writer, no doubt about it and that's fine, there are probably lots of great writers out there," Rubin said. "So what we did is we actually got the chance to talk to him a long time before we decided to go forward with it. And we realized he was getting it. We've had writers before, and they know how to write, but they don't understand the game aspect of it.
"And I feel like with Gaghan, he really understood what we were trying to do. He asked more questions than try to sell himself, and that was, I think, a really big selling point. He was asking how things work and how we do things, and was really interested in how we craft the story, not from a writing standpoint but from the visuals and gameplay. He was really asking more questions. Although he was a gamer – he knew it from that side – he didn't know it from the dev side. He really was asking a lot of questions about the dev side, he really wanted to know more. I think that interest in what we were doing is really what drove us to him."
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
What's In A Name
'You know what? We're Blacklist, let's try to build on it.'— Splinter Cell: Blacklist Producer Sébastien Ebacher on evolving Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer.
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