A New Generation Revealed
Microsoft is set to begin its Xbox event in Redmond, Washington. "A New Generation Revealed" is the theme for the gathering, suggesting the company will finally show its next-generation gaming console. Check out our live page at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern, for images and updates from the event.
Prototypes said to have Kinect-style motion controls
Microsoft is looking to create a set-top box for media playback, according to one report. Continuing previous rumors, the software giant is working on a device that will allow users to sign onto Xbox Live and use its apps to view streaming video, effectively cloning the non-gaming aspects of the Xbox 360 game console into a relatively-cheap product.
Next Microsoft game console expected to be revealed
Invitations sent to media for a product reveal at Microsoft's Xbox campus suggest that the company is close to unveiling its new game console. The invitation, headed with the Xbox logo, alluding to "A new generation revealed" and using the hashtag #XboxReveal, strongly hints that the event will show off the much-rumored successor to the Xbox 360.
Service might still be tied to Internet service
HBO may be relenting on its position towards allowing HBO outside of cable TV subscription packages, Reuters reports. CEO Richard Plepler says that the company is considering allowing access to HBO GO, its digital streaming option, via bundles with broadband Internet subscriptions. That would likely add about $10 to $15 to a person's Internet bill. "We would have to make the math work," says Plepler.
Streaming service still expected in first quarter of 2013
According to a blog post by Larry Hyrb, the Xbox Live director of programming, Verizon's Redbox Instant movie streaming service is coming to the Xbox 360 as a console launch exclusive. Xbox Live subscribers currently involved in the Redbox Instant beta program will be receiving emails with unique codes to access the app on the Xbox 360 in "the coming days." Both an Xbox Live Gold account, and a Redbox Instant account are required for the service.
Canada receives French-language video channel on console
Microsoft has added more apps to the Xbox 360 game console's already sizeable catalog, with an update that covers North America and parts of Europe. The key app additions this time lie in the US, where gamers will be able to watch original content from Blip.TV, as well as access the wide catalog available to Rhapsody users.
Custom consoles to longest subscribers, free game to all
Microsoft is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Xbox Live by giving some of its longest subscribers a free console. While a gift of hardware will not be made to all users of the service, Microsoft is also offering a free Xbox Live Arcade game to download, as well as allowing US-based members entry into a sweepstake for various prizes.
Walmart and T-Mobile team offer Halo promotion to PAYG customers
In conjunction with Microsoft's Halo 4 launch on the Xbox 360, Walmart and T-Mobile are offering fans of the game an exclusive promotional offer. Between November 6 and December 31, customers who purchase a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go unlimited talk and text plan valued at $30 per month or more will receive an exclusive in-game Halo 4 Spartan emblem. The T-Mobile Walmart portal has more information on the promotion.
Tritton Pro gaming headset brings virtual surround sound to PS3, Xbox 360
Mad Catz has began offering its Tritton Pro True 5.1 Surround Sound Headset in five countries on Friday, including the Canada, France, Germany, the UK, and the US. The headset is compatible with Sony's PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 in North America but can also be used with PCs and Macs in Europe, though what the difference is and why they can't also be used on computers in North America isn't clear. It does offer virtual 5.1-channel surround sound no matter where they're purchased, however, making them especially valuable to hard-core first-person shooters where they may be able to hear enemies coming before they see them.
iOS SmartGlass app still unavailable
Microsoft has released an Android version of its SmartGlass app for interacting with the Xbox 360 console. The new app is available as a free download in the Google Play Store. It allows users to control their Xbox 360 consoles with an Android device, as well as to access additional content on games, music, and video content. An iOS version of the app has not yet been released, though Microsoft has assured iOS device owners that a version would be on its way.
Only remaining patents held against the Xbox 360 are H.264
For reasons known only to itself, Motorola Mobility has dropped two Wi-Fi-related patents from its ITC complaint against Microsoft's XBox 360 gaming console. Only two H.264 patents remain in the complaint. As listed in the court filing, no agreement between the two parties are in place, so the reason for the withdrawal is unknown. The ITC should complete the investigation and initial remand hearing by the summer of 2013.
Microsoft offers 250GB Xbox for $99, with Kinect for $150 with Xbox LIVE subscription
Microsoft is expanding its subsidy for the Xbox 360 console that started with the 4GB model back in May. Now, there are three choices, with potential buyers capable of picking the 4GB console with Kinect or a 250GB console without for the same $99. The third option adds Kinect to the 250GB console but bumps the price of entry to $149.
Tablet-based control for Windows 8, RT from 26th, iOS to come
Microsoft has confirmed that its Xbox SmartGlass app will launch at the same time as Windows 8. Built within the Games part of Windows 8 and Windows RT, the app will allow users to navigate through the console, as well as act like a second support screen for certain games and applications.
Fall update will force gamers to use built-in browser
Microsoft has seemingly retired the Facebook and Twitter apps for the Xbox 360. The apps will be removed from the console when users are forced to run the mandatory Dashboard update, which is currently in the process of being deployed around the world. Users will no longer be able to read or update their status through the console directly, once they have been removed.
Cross-platform music service starts on Xbox 360
Microsoft is launching its Xbox Music service far earlier than anticipated. The cross-platform music service will roll out onto Xbox 360 consoles from tomorrow, with Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 receiving it on the 26th. Despite the multi-platform nature of the service, it will not appear on Windows 7 or handsets running earlier versions of Windows Phone.
Suing company specializes in biometric identification
Virginia-based Intelligent Verfication Systems. LLC is suing Microsoft over its Kinect Xbox 360 peripheral. The company believes Microsoft and software developer Majesco Entertainment stand in violation of a 2006 patent involving "Animated Toy Utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Facial Image Recognition." The Virginia company claims to have contacted Microsoft in June 2011 to inform them of the infringement, but no response to the complaint was received.
Court claims authority as complaint 'between two US corporations'
A three-judge panel from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that Google's Motorola Mobility cannot enforce a German patent injunction ruling against Microsoft. The original ruling granted Microsoft's request for a temporary restraining order against a sales injunction, which was ordered against Microsoft's Xbox 360 console in Germany, and the lower court order has now been upheld.
Zune store replacement to have subscription, free options
Images of the oncoming Xbox Music Pass, originally revealed in June and considered to be the spiritual successor to the Zune marketplace, have leaked online. The service, according to images received by Engadget, will allow music to be downloaded and synchronized across the Xbox, Windows, and Windows Phone platforms, and appears to offer various subscription options.
Live programming, daily polls, voter registration on channel
Microsoft is adding a new hub to Xbox Live for the upcoming presidential race. Election Hub 2012 will offer US-based Xbox 360 owners the chance to view live feeds from the Republican and Democratic national conventions, watch the three presidential debates, and receive news updates about the candidates and their respective political parties.
Kinect gets a $40 price drop in the US, similar cuts coming to most other markets
The Kinect motion-sensing accessory for the Xbox 360 has received a $40 price drop in the US, with prices now set at $110. Other markets are due to get a similar though unspecified price drop as well, including North America, Latin America, Asia, and Pacific regions. Australians and New Zealanders won't get a price drop until October 4, however.
Thrustmaster reveals latest Ferrari-themed controllers for Xbox 360
Thrustmaster has used Gamescom as the stage for its latest official Ferrari-themed Xbox 360 controllers. The headliner is the Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition, which features an 11.2-inch replica of the Ferrari 458 Italia's steering wheel. It has also added the GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition gamepad, which incorporates two rows of LEDs to indicate speed and braking force for gamers into hardcore racing games.
Spotify-style streaming service to roll out later this year
Microsoft is currently negotiating with the major music labels in order to bring their tunes to its own Xbox music service. Sources familiar with the negotiations tell Bloomberg that the Redmond company is in talks with Vivend, UMG, Warner Music Group, Sony, and EMI in order to secure the rights to their music for a streaming service with download and online-storage functions. Microsoft reportedly hopes to roll out the service later this year.
Toyota, Unilever, Samsung among first to participate in NUads
Microsoft later this year will roll out a new ad platform for video streaming services on its Xbox 360 console, presenting users with interactive experiences instead of the static ads seen on television. According to the Los Angeles Times, the new platform—dubbed NUads—will initially feature partnerships with Toyota, Unilever, and Samsung Mobile. The ad move is viewed as part of a larger Microsoft strategy to steal viewers from television networks and establish the 360 as the center of the living room experience.
First half-hearted support arrives, most against embargo
Members of Congress have written to the International Trade Commission (ITC) to publicly rebuke a potential ITC-enforced Xbox 360 ban. Microsoft faces an import ban on its gaming console over Motorola's standards-essential H.264 playback patent, which Microsoft has been accused of violating. Motorola, in turn, has been accused of not negotiating for a license on the patent in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis. Motorola's sole support for the ban from both industry and governmental channels lies in the single letter from representatives from the state of Illinois, the home of the United States branch of Motorola.
Over 35 more apps will appear on console, including ESPN
Microsoft is adding more content to the Xbox 360 in future updates, the company has announced. Over the next 12 months, the console will have more than 35 new content partners, offering more films and shows to watch and listen to. Xbox Music was also revealed as a marketplace on Windows 8-based devices as well as the Xbox 360, along with an expansion to the current sport-related offerings.
Internet Explorer added to Xbox 360 with SmartGlass controls
Microsoft today confirmed the existence of SmartGlass at its E3 keynote. Previously rumored as hardware shown behind closed doors, in practice SmartGlass is an app for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices that lets them connect to the Xbox 360. Developers and content providers will have options to display more information or add more control for their apps, games, and TV shows.
Microsoft grabs domains related to rumored Xbox 360 peripheral
Fusible is reporting that Microsoft has been buying up domains related to the name "Smart Glass" ahead of the expected unveiling of its cross-platform technology at this year's Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3). The domain buys seem to confirm that Microsoft will be revealing some major addition to the Xbox 360, though the exact nature of the Smart Glass project is as yet unknown.
Reports unclear if product is hardware or software
Behind closed doors, sources tell The Examiner, Microsoft may be showing off an advanced tablet peripheral for its Xbox 360 game console. The device, currently known as the Xbox Smart Glass, is said to bring a number of new interactivity possibilities to the aging console. Other reports have the software giant foregoing a hardware peripheral in favor of a software solution that would operate across all of the major mobile platforms.
Xbox 360 ITC ban caused by H.264 patent infringement
The Microsoft Xbox 360 S is to be banned from sale in the US following an International Trade Commission ruling. In a court document released on Monday, ITC Judge David Shaw recommended the sale of both 4GB and 250GB versions of the console be blocked. His recommendation related to a ruling made last month that Microsoft was infringing on four patents owned by Motorola relating to the H.264 video format.
Annual promotion starts May 20 in US, today in Canada
In an effort to push new PC sales, Microsoft is launching it's annual back-to-school Xbox promotion. Starting May 20 in the United States, purchasers of Windows 7 PCs worth more than $699 can receive a 4GB Xbox 360 console for free. Canadian purchasers can buy today, and spend $599 or more to get the same Xbox. End dates vary according to participating retailers' guidelines.
Venstar Wi-Fi key for thermostat allows for cloud-based control
Venstar has outed its Skyport Wi-Fi key for the ColorTouch thermostat. The key connects the thermostat to Skyport Cloud Services, run by the company, allowing users to monitor and adjust the thermostat from a phone or tablet. The key is a $100 upgrade to the $300 thermostat, with iOS, Android, and Blackberry apps free to download.
U-verse for Xbox 360 removed from sale temporarily
AT&T has stopped sales of the U-verse bundle for Xbox 360, citing work to “improve and enhance” the functionality, according to a message on its website. The bundle will not be up for sale again until the new functionality is added, a representative has told Multichannel.
Joule accessory will measure, record heart-rate
Microsoft is preparing an addition to its Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360 that will track a user's exercises across multiple Kinect games, The Verge learned from its sources. Called Play Fit, it will upload numbers to online storage and thereby be accessible from anywhere. A new hardware accessory will be made available as well, dubbed so far as the Joule.
Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle subsidized by 2 year contract
The previously speculated Xbox 360 bundle deal from Microsoft has been confirmed to exist. A voucher for the bundle has appeared on the Microsoft Store website, showing a 4GB Xbox 360 complete with Kinect for $99 and a two-year, $15-per-month Xbox Live Gold subscription.
By Justin King
Microsoft is reportedly preparing to offer a $99 Xbox 360 bundle that will include the Kinect sensor, subsidizing the upfront cost and tying buyers to a two-year subscription. Unnamed sources have told The Verge the company will require an agreement that works like a cellphone contract, requiring buyers to pay a termination fee to cease monthly payments before the end of the term.
Lenovo investment Eedoo makes costly motion gaming
A recent Lenovo investment, Eedoo, is drawing criticism for the upcoming launch of China's first mainstream motion gaming system, the CT510. Pitched as a family entertainment system, the system is conspicuously like Microsoft's Kinect add-on for the Xbox 360 but is intended more as a general device with HD movie playback, karaoke, and motion-driven exercise apps. At $600, however, it costs more than the $399 US price of Microsoft's most advanced Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle.
Roku set-tops to get TWC live TV streaming
A leak late Friday has revealed that Time Warner Cable is planning to offer live TV on media hubs. The Engadget tip had Roku being the first of multiple devices that would stream IP-based TV. The Roku implementation wasn't clarified, but would presumably go through a custom Roku channel.
Foxconn central China plant sees protest
Foxconn saw a return to protests Friday after about 200 workers in the central China city of Wuhan threatened to jump off a roof in protest over working conditions. The details relayed to Reuters from the Information Centre for Human Rights framed the dispute as one over "workplace adjustments" for newcomers. One concern had been sub-par wages.
Special edition hardware first online, then off
Both the look and the release date for the Xbox 360 Celebration Pack were briefly visible online today, as Amazon.co.uk accidentally posted the information online. VideoGamer.com discovered the online leak, now removed, which revealed a Union Jack-skinned console, Kinect sensor, and controller.
Woodstock music to have Facebook link, more
Microsoft's restarted music plans will see them escape the platform and feature limits of the Zune Music Marketplace, according to new leaks. Tipsters for The Verge had the service, codenamed Woodstock, being available not just to Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox users, but Android and iOS as well. It would also be playable on the web, although without needing a plugin.
Motorola gets early blow against Microsoft
Motorola landed a major early victory in its dueling lawsuits with Microsoft on Monday after the International Trade Commission ruled (PDF) that Microsoft had violated four of its patents. The initial findings would effectively ban the Xbox 360 for its use of the H.264 video format, a claim it has leveled against other Microsoft products as well. As a first ruling, it's not automatically in effect and faces a review by a panel, due in August, before it's enforced.
Netflix Q1 beats estimates but takes on Comcast
Netflix was aggressive both in performance and in political stance with its quarterly results on Monday. Despite anticipating significant losses, it lost just $5 million as part of its push to the UK and other countries where the consensus had been closer to a $16.9 million hit. Its revenue at $870 million, while down from the fall, was up 21 percent over a year earlier, reflecting the much larger number of subscribers.
NVIDIA to bring out Xbox 360-beating mobile GPU
NVIDIA will release a mobile graphics chip that has more processing power than the current Xbox 360 sometime later in 2013 or 2014, the company said in ap presentation handed out to the media. The slide's projection for console performance does drop off at 2012. The solid lines represent estimated performance, with the dotted ones standing for trends.
Skype seeks development engineer with Xbox focus
The Skype team is looking to bolster its ranks by posting a job listing which references the Xbox gaming console. Based in its London office, the position tells little about exactly how the video, voice, and text chat service will integrate into the platform hasn't been revealed. The Software Development Engineer will contribute to the development of experiences on Xbox, the listing reads.
Microsoft bounces back in fiscal Q3 2012
Microsoft saw its Windows unit partly return to form on Thursday as it once again reported gains. Following Windows division losses in the fall, the group has seen its revenue go up four percent to just over $4.6 billion. The segment succeeded mostly on the back of business desktops and infrastructure, Microsoft said, suggesting that home users and pro notebooks were still struggling.
Apple continues ongoing 3D camera tech
Apple job listings have shown that Apple is still actively researching 3D visual display and capturing technology that would extend to its iOS devices. An iOS Software Engineer position is looking for a doctorate holder who can handle "cameras and surfaces in a 3D environment" as well as "multi-view stereo and 3D reconstruction." Although it's unclear how long the same technical requirements have existed for the job, employees have been mentioning work in 3D imaging for at least two years.
Netflix may spur FCC action on Comcast neutrality
A commentary by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings may have brought official FCC scrutiny on Comcast for its cap exemption of Xfinity TV on the Xbox 360. He argued that Comcast was violating net neutrality principles by giving its own service a 'free' pass while applying the cap to competing services, including not just his own Netflix but HBO Go and Hulu Plus as well. After being asked by the Wall Street Journal, the FCC said it "takes seriously" allegations of violations like these and was following what was going on.
NPD data shows Xbox 360 out front again
New NPD data published late Thursday gave the Xbox 360 not just a sustained lead in March but a rare milestone in hardware overall. At 371,000 units, Microsoft's console stayed in the lead for overall sales for the 15th consecutive month. The $430 million spent on the hardware and its games, however, was also larger than the combination of money spent supporting the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3.
Microsoft gets reprieve from Motorola ban in US
Microsoft scored an important win in a Seattle courtroom by successfully getting a temporary block on any Motorola bans of its products. The temporary restraining order prevents Motorola from securing a ban on Windows or the Xbox 360 until the court believes it has made a sincere effort to license its H.264 video patents under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms. Microsoft's maneuver both stops anything in the immediate trial and in other lawsuits or trade disputes.
Xbox 360 can now get HBO shows on Comcast
As promised, Comcast on Monday switched on its HBO Go support for the Xbox 360 on Monday. Viewers who have a Comcast cable subscription and the console can sign in and watch nearly all of HBO's catalog on-demand. Unlike the Xfinity TV app, though, viewing counts towards the 250GB data transfer cap.