Microsoft has experimented with the possibility of playing Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One via cloud streaming, but it will not roll out this solution because it is too "problematic."

Hold on to your current-gen console if you still want to play any Xbox 360 games. As a solution to the Xbox One's lack of backwards compatibility, Microsoft suggested it could stream Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One via cloud streaming. In a meeting this week, Microsoft's product planning director Albert Penello has decided not to move forward with this option because it is "problematic" for consumers. Cloud streaming was too likely to fail for Microsoft to consider using it.

"It's really cool and really problematic, all at the same time, insofar as it's really super cool if you happen to have the world's most awesome internet connection," Penello told Polygon. "It works way better than you'd expect it to. So, managing quality of service, the tolerance people will have for it being crappy. Can you imagine, in this day and age, with the bad information around, and we can't control the quality of that experience and make sure it's good, or have to tell people they can't do it?"

Network troubles are too common for Microsoft to go through with using the cloud for Xbox One users to play Xbox 360 games. Microsoft's experiment running Halo 4 on a Windows PC and a Windows Phone via cloud streaming demonstrated cloud streaming technology was one solution for offering backwards compatibility. In an uncontrolled environment, Microsoft cannot guarantee that level of success for consumers.

"This is one of the things where the network just has to get better before we can do it. When that happens, you're going to have a really interesting conversation around that, can I actually run Xbox One games that way as well."

Sony plans to use its Gaikai service to stream older PlayStation games to the PS4. Penello is interested to see how Sony deals with similar network problems making cloud streaming problematic. +

OP: Interesting that slower internet connections are a totally valid argument now. When people made the same case against the required-connection, their attitude was "be less poor, losers."
With the privacy concerns games raised recently, Microsoft found themselves needing to fully detail what the Xbox One Kinect sensor sees and sends. A new privacy statement page gets into what Kinect data is collected and how it will be used.

For example, Kinect sees a players face, using facial recognition to sign players in. But Microsoft explains that the tech is really seeing the distance between key points on faces, and that they store a set of numbers, and not necessarily pictures.

During play, the Kinect records similar numeric values for your skeleton. Microsoft says that these numbers are temporary, and are "destroyed" after use. Beyond this, this skeleton data cannot be used to identify a player.

Voice commands can be sent to Microsoft, if you choose to participate. These will be used to improve the service.

The Kinect microphone section warns that players "should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features such as voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions offered through the services." They also say that they may monitor communication to some extent, but will not monitor the entire service.

Also, keep in mind that third-party apps will have their own privacy conditions to watch for.

Take a look for yourself and see if you have any concerns. Note that each section of this privacy statement page shows a summary first. Some of the heavy stuff lies beyond the "Learn More" link. Sneaky!

OP: I clicked around in the privacy policy and it didn't do anything to address my concerns. Nothing in there says they won't use audio it records to target advertisements. If I turn to my hubs and ask what we should do for dinner, I don't wanna see the Xbox suggest Doritos Tacos.
Recently, this giant PlayStation 4 FAQ went up, shedding some light on some of the console's capabilities. Of course, what people were looking out for were any disappointments, which included a lack of MP3 and audio CD playback and DLNA for streaming content from PCs to the PS4.

Penny Arcade Report reached out to Microsoft to see if the Xbox One could do what Son-don't.

Rejoice, the Xbox One plays audio CDs. It is also in the process of DLNA certification, meaning it can act as a media hub. As for MP3 playback, you can stream MP3 content using using any Play To supported devices such as a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 enabled PC or a Windows Phone.

Sony is still considering enabling DLNA support via s system update so users can stream media from their computer using the PS4, though, Sony's Shuhei Yoshida has indicated.

Yes, the Xbox One can play CDs and will support DLNA streaming [PAR]

OP: Is this really a thing people want? Do we not have enough devices that can play music?

(no subject)

12:00 pm - 10/18/2013

Microsoft's Xbox 360 monthly free game promo, "Games with Gold," is being extended indefinitely. The program is essentially Microsoft's response on Xbox 360 to Sony's PlayStation Plus initiative on PlayStation 3 and Vita: members who pay the monthly or annual fee to the programs receive a variety of free games each month. Sony announced an extension of its program to its next game console, the PlayStation 4, back at E3 2013 -- anyone who already pays for PS Plus on PS3 or Vita is automatically a member on PS4.

Microsoft, however, won't say if "Games with Gold" will extend to its upcoming game console, the Xbox One."We're excited to announce we are extending Games with Gold for Xbox 360. We will share more details on the program soon. Stay tuned for our plans on Xbox One," a Microsoft spokesperson told Engadget. There are, of course, many other benefits to paying for an Xbox Live Gold account on the Xbox One, the least of which is the ability to play online multiplayer games.

Games with Gold kicked off in July 2013 with the aged Xbox Live Arcade title Defense Grid, and has since offered a smattering of other titles, from Crackdown to Dead Rising 2. This month's free games are Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes and Halo 3.

OP: I have XBL gold and I forgot this program even existed. I've got no interest in Halo 3 so I'll probably forget about this offer again before they launch the next freebie.
Xbox One and PC cross-play is a potential result of Games For Windows Live closing. One site has asked Microsoft’s Phil Spencer if cross-play between both formats is a possibility, and he replied by saying he’s not allowed to leak things. Curious.

Speaking with AusGamers, Spencer was quizzed if the Xbox One’s PC-like architecture, coupled with its Windows 8 features and cloud support could see the release of cross-play titles down the line.

He replied, “I’m not allowed to leak things [smiles]. But I think what you’re talking about makes a lot of sense. Now you have differences in Windows gaming and console gaming around control and input… in fact if you go back to Shadow Run on Xbox 360 — something I worked on — we had PC players playing against Xbox 360 customers. We didn’t have tremendous success with that, but we learnt a lot from it.

“And then earlier this year we released Skulls of the Shogun, which was a game we launched on all three platforms on the same day, and you could start on one platform and then save the game to the Cloud and play across any of the screens and progress. And then Halo: Spartan Assault has some links between Halo 4 and Spartan Assault, even though they’re very different games.

“This connected ecosystem across all the different devices is definitely where I think the future of gaming is going; you don’t have to do it as a developer, but you have the capability and I think a system like Xbox Live across all those screens where you know who someone is and who their friends are, what their Achievements are and their progression is really critical to that.”

If follows Major Nelson’s suggestion that Xbox One could get mouse and keyboard support down the line.

OP: idk that they'd pursue this for all games. FPS fans talk a lot about the differences between aiming on PC v console. Someone always feels the other would have an advantage. But I'd think it'd be easier to do in other games, like Diablo perhaps?

The eighth generation of console gaming is closing in (sorry, Wii U), and both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will land next month. Sony’s new console will drop on November 15 of this year, and Microsoft’s Xbox One will release one week later on November 22. With every new console generation, the launch consoles are either must-haves or must-waits. Will the launch PS4 follow the route of the PS3 and end up a must-have in hindsight? Will the Xbox One follow the Xbox 360 and launch with various console-killing bugs? We’re here to help you figure it all out.

TL;DR there might be slimmer versions in the future... maybe...Collapse )
Over a thousand titles -- chiefly independent games -- have vanished from the Xbox Live marketplace this morning. A Microsoft spokesperson has responded to queries confirming the problem as a technical error and a fix is now underway.

The missing titles were first spotted by a number of indie developers including Milkstone Studios, which noticed several of its Xbox Live Indie Games titles had vanished from the storefront. "We're missing 16 of our 25 games," the developer tweeted.

More games continued to vanish "by the minute," with the number of games on the XBLIG storefront dropping from 2,100 to just 949. Larger titles from the Xbox Live Arcade section of the storefront, such as Castle Crashers and Battleblock Theater, have also been reported as missing.

"We're aware there is an issue affecting the Xbox Games Store that has temporarily removed some content including Xbox Live Arcade and Xbox Live Indie Games titles," said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement. "This is a technical glitch and we're working to fix the issue as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience."

Gamasutra has been able to confirm the bug as affecting both console and online storefront. Some DLC packs and Smartglass apps for missing games have remained available in the store, although availability seems inconsistent -- for instance, Castle Crashers's Necromancer and King add-ons remain present, but the Pink Knight and other packages seem to have been removed along with the core game.


I'm starting to wonder if Xbox can do anything right.

In other news, I ordered SR4 while it was $10 off on Amazon and got to use my $27 in gift cards. Feeling pretty smug about my superior financial decisions.

Even MORE Xbox Roundup

1:07 pm - 09/09/2013
Leaked video shows Xbox One dashboard

Reportedly leaked video shows beta interface for Xbox One console; users are able to minimize games and explore the console's dashboard at will.

(OP note: if video gets taken down, I've grabbed some screenies and will replace it.)

a description of the video if you can"t watchCollapse )

Microsoft expands Xbox Music service to Web and devices

Microsoft is ready to take on Spotify in the music streaming arena.

Its Xbox Music site ( today begins free streaming of its 30 million-song library. Last October, Microsoft launched its Xbox Music service first on Windows 8 computers and tablets, then on the Xbox 360 and Windows phones.

good luck with thatCollapse )

Microsoft Is So Sorry About How It's Treated Xbox One Fans So Far

When it comes to hyping next-generation hardware, the video game industry doesn't typically opt for simplicity. However, during a presentation at the GameStop Expo in Las Vegas to promote the upcoming Xbox One console last week, a no-frills, old-school approach is exactly what Microsoft employed when confronted with a convention room full of passionate gamers.

There were no flashy videos, sensational demonstrations or celebrity appearances. Instead, Xbox Live programming director Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb candidly took questions on stage from the crowd for 30 uninterrupted minutes, a refreshing reprieve considering the backlash Microsoft has continued to endure since unveiling the Xbox One in May.

"Look, at Xbox, we really care about the community," Hryb replied [lied tbqh] when asked point-blank how Microsoft would win back consumers. "We're very focused on what is right for gamers. Everybody at Xbox is a gamer. It's not like we just show up, do our work and go home. We want to make this the best game system that you are going to own for the next 10 years."

no actual apologies withinCollapse )

OP NOTE: I know this is a lot of Xbox-related posting. I'm striving to keep the news I post varied, so I'm looking for PS, Nintendo or PC articles rn.
Microsoft Xbox Adding ‘Mood-Based’ Video Search

Adding another plank in its bid to make Xbox a be-all entertainment platform, Microsoft will embed a feature into the console that lets users find titles with topic- and theme-based searches such as “nudity violence thriller” and “antihero based on novel.”

The new content-discovery feature is based on technology licensed from Israeli startup Jinni. Microsoft in 2011 inked a licensing deal with the Jinni for an initial pilot phase, and the new deal covers an extended multiyear contract.

The Jinni Entertainment Genome system uses thousands of attributes gathered from TV shows and movies, matched up with titles in the Xbox Video catalog, to provide recommendations beyond standard genres.

“Creating the most amazing entertainment experience means always putting the customer experience first,” Xbox GM Dave Alles said in a statement. “Our goal is to make it effortless to get you to entertainment you’ll truly love. Pairing Jinni’s Entertainment Genome with other key advances such as Conversational Understanding makes finding something to watch on Xbox as fun as watching it.”

Other customers of Tel Aviv, Israel-based Jinni include Comcast and Walmart’s Vudu video service.

Jinni’s system indexes titles automatically via analysis of user reviews and synopses, using a proprietary natural-language processing technique. The database incorporates “experience” attributes with the mood and tone of the content and “story” information including plot elements (“one-man army,” “battle of the sexes”), structures (“nonlinear,” “story-within-a-story”) and flags (“violence,” “nudity”). It also includes other attributes like awards.

Microsoft is so tone-deaf. This episode of Jimquisition summed up my thoughts on that subject nicely. Worth a watch.

I actually have a Jinni account, but it wasn't any better than the Netflix recommendations. Both of them recommend movies I've already seen and rated to me. So I'll like what I've already said I liked? Thanks!

Xbox News Roundup

2:15 pm - 09/04/2013
Microsoft's Xbox One To Be Released on Nov. 22

Xbox One, Microsoft's newest video game console, will be available in stores on Nov. 22. The Xbox One will cost $499.99 and is available for pre-order at the Microsoft store and other retailers.

CPU speed upgrade, "Everything Machine" walked backCollapse )

Xbox 360 Support to Last to 2016, Includes 100 New Games

Microsoft has announced that it will support the Xbox 360 for three more years before phasing it out in 2016.

Eurogamer reports that Xbox chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi explained at the Citi Global Technology Conference yesterday that the eight year-old console could expect to see over 100 new games before that time comes, however.

We"re going to continue to invest in Xbox 360Collapse )

Microsoft Talks Digital-Only Future, Kinect, and Why Xbox One is Worth $100 More Than PlayStation 4

Senior director Albert Penello declares a digital-only future for gaming is inevitable; says pack-in Kinect will allow for greater innovation and premium price won't be dealbreaker this holiday despite less expensive PS4 and Wii U.

Discussed: digital used games sales, Kinect spying, price point...Collapse )

Not impressed by his answer about Kinect spying. We've seen the patent, proof they wanted to basically spy on us for the MPAA. He accuses us of being too dim to understand how the hardware would work? Don't piss on me and tell me I'm just too dumb to "understand" it's merely raining.
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