Xbox One Release Date Revealed

We have a release date! Today Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will be released on the 22nd of November. This day might not seem very significant to the average consumer, but Microsoft chose this date for a reason. Its significance began with the Xbox 360, which was also released on the 22nd of November back in 2005, meaning that the Xbox will be 8 years old when its successor is released.

Microsoft’s marketing Executive Yusuf Mehdi also stated that they are still planning on packing a code for FIFA 14 with all European Day One editions. No confirmations on whether or not we will get the same sort of deal, but fingers crossed.

For anyone looking to continue playing their 360 for a while before they purchase an Xbox One, good news! Microsoft has announced that they will be supporting the 360 for 3 more years. This means that at the end of the 360’s lifespan, it will have lasted 11 whole years! That is an incredible amount of shelf life for a gaming console.

Lastly, they have confirmed that the GPU as well as the CPU have been given a performance boost. The GPU improvement was announced back at Gamescom, but the 10% increase in performance to the CPU was announced alongside the release date. Instead of being 1.6GHz, it is now 1.75 GHz. Most consumers could care less, but this is great news for game developers.

Any thoughts as to whether or not this date was a good decision? Is it smart to release the X1 after the PS4 instead of before? Post your thoughts below.

Rising From The Ashes

For a while it really seemed like Microsoft’s new policies had hit rock bottom. 360 owners were coming out in full force stating that they were now going to buy PS4s. As the days have progressed, however, Microsoft has done everything to put their console back on the table. They’ve reversed their DRM policies. They no longer an internet connection. They no longer require Kinect to be constantly plugged in. They were very close to losing a lot of fans, but I think they’ve finally turned it around.

Now with all of the most recent news coming out of Microsoft themselves, as well as press conferences like that at Gamescom, we’re getting a much better look into what the console actually has to offer. There’s in-depth videos regarding the new hardware, the full launch lineup has been released, and even huger news is coming out of Europe.

Continue reading

Full Xbox One Launch Lineup

The full Xbox One launch lineup has finally been confirmed! Here’s the whole list of all the games that you will have access to the day the console is released:

1) Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag (Ubisoft, Ubisoft)
2) Battlefield 4 (DICE, Electronic Arts)
3) Call of Duty Ghosts (Infinity Ward, Activision)
4) Crimson Dragon 3 (Grounding/Land Ho!, Microsoft Studios)
5) Dead Rising 3 (Capcom Vancouver, Microsoft Studios)
6) FIFA 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
7) Fighter Within (AMA Ltd., Ubisoft)
8) Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft Studios)
9) Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft)
10) Killer Instinct (Double Helix, Microsoft Studios)
11) LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (TT Games, Warner Bros. Interactive)
12) Lococycle (Twisted Pixel, Microsoft Studios)
13) Madden NFL 25 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
14) NBA 2K14 (Visual Concepts, 2K Sports)
15) NBA Live 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
16) Need For Speed: Rivals (Ghost Games, Electronic Arts)
17) Peggle 2 (Popcap, Electronic Arts)
18) Powerstar Golf (Zoe Mode, Microsoft Studios)
19) Ryse: Son of Rome (Crytek, Microsoft Studios)
20) Skylanders: Swap Force (Vicarious Visions, Activision)
21) Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft)
22) Zoo Tycoon (Frontier Developments Ltd., Microsoft Studios)
23) Zumba Fitness: World Party (Zoe Mode, Majesco)

There’s even more games coming out directly following the launch, but expect these to be on the shelves if you pick up your console on day one.

I think this is a pretty awesome lineup. There’s a little bit for everyone. There’s action-adventure games, fighting games, FPS’s, racing games, sports games, kids games, Kinect games, as well as several others. There really is something for everyone, and I think that’ll definitely make a difference in the amount of consoles sold. It’s obvious that COD: Ghosts will sell consoles, but even games like Skylanders: Swapforce are going to be HUGE when they release. The Skylanders series has blown up more than I ever expected it to, and the new game is definitely going to be a console mover for the parents of younger gamers.

Games With Gold

This isn't my photo. Go here for the original:

If “Games with Gold” doesn’t sound familiar to you, it will now. This is the name of Microsoft’s newest Xbox Live program, and it benefits every single Xbox Live Gold user. Basically, throughout the rest of the year, they will be giving away 2 free games per month. The first game of each month will be given out on the 1st through the 16th, and then the 2nd will be given out during the 2nd half of the month.

The first game currently being given away is called Defense Grid, and it’s an Xbox Live Arcade game. It’s a tower defense game that can be surprisingly difficult at times. I played through the story mode for a couple days and I actually had some trouble beating some of the levels. So if you like tower defense games, I would definitely recommend it, and even if you don’t like tower defense games, download it anyways!!! It’s absolutely free. If anything you’ll get some free gamerscore out of it.

This is not my photo. Go here for the original:

Not the greatest game in the world, but it’s free, so you definitely won’t hear me complaining.

Not all of the games being released will be XBLA titles. For instance, they’ve stated that some of the games being released down the line include Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo 3. Sure, they’re older games, but you can’t really complain when they’re free.

So, if you haven’t turned on your Xbox in a while, go ahead and turn it on and start downloading! Clear some old games off of your hard drive and make room for some new ones. You should see an advertisement for it right on your main dashboard, but if you don’t, go to the games tab and look at the featured section. It should be there.

For more information, go here.

E3 Hangover

I’m finally back after a huge hiatus, and I’ve missed so much… Due to the fact that I was out of town during E3, I had to catch up on tons of crazy news. It seems like everyone and their mother is still hungover from the onslaught of information that came from E3 this year. Xbox users are probably feeling this the most with all of the crazy information coming from Microsoft’s corner.

There really is just too much information to try and talk about, but I do want to address a few topics. The biggest is Microsoft’s used games issue. If you hadn’t heard before, Microsoft was planning on implementing a used game fee when the Xbox One released. This meant that if you wanted to buy a used game, or borrow your friend’s disc, you’d have to pay a fee which would go mainly to the developer. Long story short, the gaming community’s backlash was so huge that Microsoft changed their policy and have now stated that used games for the X1 will essentially work in the same fashion as they do now.

Silly Microsoft and their DRM policies

Silly Microsoft and their DRM policies… (photo from Kotaku)

I don’t even know what else to cover… All of the games that were announced, other features of the Xbox one, what the competitors are doing, and the Xbox One’s price point are all topics floating around in my head. I’ll just touch on some of these briefly. Continue reading

Know What Grinds My Gears?

People that think they know everything. That’s what grinds my gears. I’m sitting here, in the middle of the night, reading all of the insane things people are posting about the Xbox One. Now I would just like to start off by saying that I’m not a fan of a lot of the things that Microsoft has chosen to do with the X1. I think they should be focusing on games primarily, and then add the whole “entertainment console” thing afterwards, instead of the other way around.

But the difference between me and what seems to be everyone else? I DON’T ACT LIKE THE CONSOLE IS COMING OUT TOMORROW. These people are acting like Microsoft has already announced every bit of information about the Xbox One when there’s still a HUGE amount of questions to be answered. Practically every next-gen console has been released in November, so if they follow the same pattern, we have a good 6 months to go before it’s released! That’s a huge amount of time. I just don’t understand the logic of deciding whether or not the X1 is the console to buy or not. How about we actually wait to hear Microsoft’s official response to all of these questions? Which of course would be at E3 if anywhere at all.

And another thing… Continue reading

Xbox One: My Initial Thoughts

Here it is. The new Xbox. I’m sure you all have had your news feed absolutely demolished with the new Xbox info, but let me add my 2 cents:

Can't get much slicker than that!

I’m not looking at giving you all of the information on the new console. It just wouldn’t make sense. Instead, I’m just going to go over the things that really stood out to me, starting with the hardware.

When I look at the console, I think “sleek.” The black chrome finish is wonderfully modern and I even think the vents at the top add to the aesthetics. Underneath the hood, I was pleased, but not surprised. It has 8Gb of RAM and an 8 core CPU. It comes with a 500Gb Hard Drive, although I bet they’ll have optional bigger ones. All-in-all, in terms of processing power, it’s about what I expected. Keep in mind that the Xbox 360 only has 512Mb of RAM. That’s NOTHING in the computer/gaming world. All-in-all, I’m not overly impressed with the hardware, but I’m not disappointed either. It’s about average specs for a gaming machine, but I’m afraid that it will be outdated quickly. Even more so than the 360 did. Im interested to see if Microsoft addresses this issue.

Remember the first Xbox controller? Blegh, what a monstrosity that was... I'm lovin' this one.

Remember the first Xbox controller? Blegh, what a monstrosity that was… I’m lovin’ this one.

The next piece of hardware is the controller. Again, “sleek” comes to mind when I look at it. Not a crazy amount of changes, but enough to make a difference. Upgraded joysticks, flush battery pack on the back (That’s a HUGE one for me. I hate the huge battery pack on the current ones), better triggers that let you jump from one to the other much more seamlessly, and what appears to be a more ergonomic design.

Last but not least, is Kinect. I’ve never been a huge fan of Kinect, but now that EVERY SINGLE XBOX ONE CONSOLE will ship with Kinect, that’ll definitely change. I think this is big for Microsoft because Kinect will be bigger than ever. Now with every single user having a Kinect, they’ll HAVE to make it as best as it can be. It seems to be a much more powerful piece of tech and I can’t wait to use it.

Oh, and how could I forget! We finally have a Blu Ray player!

The huge thing they’re pushing is the fact that the Xbox is running three operating systems. One for the main functions of the Xbox (starting up, etc), the next is for accessories and other capabilities (Kinect, movies, TV, etc.), and the main one is for gaming. Why do they do this? Because then, you can seamlessly switch from one aspect of the Xbox to the other. The downside? Performance might be slowed due to running all of this at once.

I like the new menu interface, and I like how it works with Kinect. The games shown were great looking, although they’re still far out from release so I wouldn’t expect them to look different by the time they ship.

Other Cool Features
This is not my photo. Go here for the original:
1) Watching TV straight  from your Xbox. I was hoping this would happen, and it did. Basically, you plug in your TV device (cable box, satellite stuff, etc.) into your Xbox, and then the Xbox will send it to the TV. That way, you can access your guide without ever changing TV inputs. I have to say, this is INGENIOUS of Microsoft. Now you really can access anything from your console. They’ve become the medium of all living room entertainment. Absolutely brilliant.

2) Up to 1000 friends on Xbox Live. I can’t even think about how many times I’ve complained about the friends list cap on the 360. They’ve finally learned and boosted the limit. It’s about time.

3) Apparently, there are rumors that there will be dedicated servers for all games? That could be pretty huge.

4) Achievements will be ported. Not surprising, but still nice to know.

5) There’s going to be a live-action Halo TV show!!! Directed by Steven Spielberg!!! Can’t get much cooler than that.

Complaints and/or unanswered questions
No backwards compatibility with 360 games and XBLA games. This is going to sour a lot of gamers. However, I’ve looked into why this is, and it’s something that’s unavoidable due to how the console’s architecture is now running.

2) Purchasing system for used games. Basically, on the Xbox One, you can download the whole game to your console and basically validate your purchase. Then, if you sell your game and someone uses your disc, they have to pay a fee to download it to their console, and then your dowload will be invalidated on your own console. It’s a way of curbing used game sales. I’m not sure how this’ll turn out, so we’ll have to wait and see.

3) They didn’t address anything about DVR capabilities with your cable box, but I’m assuming it’ll work the same as accessing the cable guide. I just want to hear it from them.

4) They need to address the core gamers in their crowd. Sony did a great job of showing exactly how well the PS4 will process things, whereas Microsoft didn’t. In that sense, I believe Sony did a better job.

5) Price?

6) Release date? (Probably November)

7) There’s some info related to the fact that the Xbox One might have to be connected to the internet whenever you want to play, and I think this is very interesting. I think it’s kinda ridiculous to make a console that can’t play offline, but I guess we’ll see.

And finally…. Here’s some links for much-needed information regarding the Xbox One (or as I’ve now heard it being called, the X1. I like that much better)

1) PS4 vs. Xbox One Comparison
2) Used game fee information
3) Fantastic inside look at the Xbox One
4) Xbox One FAQ
5) Funny bit on how “the cloud” works
6) More awesome information about the future of Xbox Live

Call of Duty: Ghosts

The internet is blowing up today with the news of the next Call of Duty game. Activision sent out a press release covering general information about the game, as well as an official Facebook page, website, and teaser trailer. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out:

Obviously it’s a teaser, so very little information has actually been released, but we can definitely make some guesses based on what was in the video. Personally, I would love to see a game with more stealth elements. After hearing the official name was “ghosts,” I couldn’t help but think of a stealth game. The quiet, stealthy missions in the past COD games were always my favorites.

A few important pieces of info in the press release include the fact that it contains a brand new story, new characters, and an all new engine. The engine, in my opinion, is the most important part. I would love to see a redesign of the current COD layout, and I think the fans would love it as well. The second important piece of information is that it will be available for next generation consoles. Although this isn’t really a surprise at all, it’s still nice to see it stated officially.

Apparently more information will be released at the Microsoft press conference on the 21st, where they are also expected to announce the new Xbox console. My guess? COD: Ghosts will be a launch title. It only makes sense.

If you have any specific hopes for the game, I’d love to hear them! Just post them in the comments section below.

Xbox: The Next Generation

We knew it was coming, but we didn’t know when. Now, with a brand new press release straight from Microsoft, it looks like we’ll be seeing what the next Xbox will look like very soon. How soon you say? May 21st at 10 P.M. PST to be exact.



According to Major Nelson, they will be discussing the future of Xbox, including “games, TV, and entertainment.” For anyone who can’t attend the event, which is practically all of us, we will be able to watch a live stream on as they “pull back the curtain.”

Also, for anyone who is going to E3 or planning to watch its coverage online, they’re going to be releasing even more information there during the Microsoft press conference. Sadly, I won’t be attending E3 this year. I had a blast last year and would love to go again, but I’m going to be out of the country. Hopefully I can go again next year.

That’s all the info I’ve heard so far, but if I find anything else I’ll post it up here.

Bioshock Infinite Review

Bioshock Infinite is a game like no other. Yes, it’s not a completely original work, as there are other Bioshocks that came before it, but it sets itself so far apart from the others that it may as well be. Before giving you my thought on the game, I should probably give you a brief summary of what it’s about.

This is not my photo, go here for the original:

Bioshock Infinite takes place in Columbia, a floating city high above the clouds. You play as Booker DeWitt, an investigator from the Earth’s surface sent to the city to rescue a girl and bring her back in order to wipe away a personal debt. When you first arrive in Columbia, it seems to be a utopian society filled with early 1900s American Patriotism. Barbershop quartets sing along the streets while American flags wave in front of every store. It all seems perfect at first glance, but then you begin to look closer… Continue reading