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[GAMES] Madden 18 Release Date Aug 25th

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The NFL regular season is just a matter of weeks away, but for Madden players, competitive football games are just on the horizon.

On August 25, Madden 18 will hit stores and give football fans the most realistic, in-depth gaming experience they’ve ever had. As the game evolves, so does the Madden cover player.

Madden 18 will release on EA Access on August 17 for users with Xbox One consoles. For PS4 users, the game will be released on August 25.

Even though there is a stigma attached to being a cover athlete, more specifically “the Madden curse,” it appears that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is unfazed by being the face of the game.

With each game comes new faces and players to play with, mainly players coming from the collegiate ranks. But what stands out about this year’s edition of the game is the authenticity of it, including added animations and movements from players during a play that makes the user feel as if they are controlling every aspect of their team, as seen in the trailer below.

In addition to new player movements and mechanics, there is also enhanced gameplay for the user player, who will be able to take play-calling to a new level with more sophisticated in-game tactics and schemes to gain any little advantage they can over their opponent.

With new tackling and blocking controls, no longer will there be any confusion why elite pass-rushers get stuffed at the line of scrimmage for so often or why elite-level offensive linemen are beaten off the line of scrimmage with regularity.

The new blocking/tackling mechanics will make Madden feel as realistic as ever, even with the addition of new game modes.

The three new game modes (Arcade, Simulation, Competitive) will give the user new ways to enjoy the game. Arcade is a more intensified, fast-paced game where it’s all about style points and running up the scoreboard. Simulation sticks to the rules of football and is as real as it gets down to each player’s attributes and game-changing ability. Simulation will also serve as the default setting for connected franchise mode.

And last but not least, Competitive is, well, as competitive as it gets. A tournament-style gameplay experience will separate the true Madden superstars from the wannabe gamers. In this mode, there are no injuries or limited penalties, and there is no room for crying.

This year’s Madden is geared up to be the most realistic NFL video game yet. The only question is, are you ready to play?

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[GAMING] Sega Genesis

genesis

What’s up everyone? How have y’all been? Me? Oh, I’ve been in the lab very heavy lately, but that’s not important right now. It’s time to go down memory lane a bit! No, not that far into the 60s. Let’s just go back to the early 90s: the time of 16 bit gaming, or “not 3D yet” for the non-tech savvy. As everyone knows, we basically had 2 choices: the Super Nintendo, or the Sega Genesis. Let’s talk about the Genesis.

Small, black, cartridges as the medium, rf switch (if you don’t know what this is, you are too young for me), big black controller with 3 buttons (or the smaller, yet cooler, arcade controller with 6 buttons), game genie, getting your ass kicked by Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat….brings back memories, right? I knew it would. You have to give it to the Sega Genesis: the game library was huge. Not only huge, there’s LOTS of fun games to choose from…

….like this one. If you don’t recognize this game, then please hit the reset button on life. If you have seriously never played Sonic the Hedgehog before, start from the very 1st one, then work from there. You really want an adventure? Hook up Sonic 3 on top of Sonic And Knuckles. That’s how it’s MEANT to be played.

If you like side scroller beat-em-up games, then the Streets Of Rage was your choice. Everyone who has played this one knows that it starts of easy. Next thing you know, you’re ready to throw your entire console in rush hour traffic. Up next..

Mortal Kombat. Need I say more?

And last but not least: Vectorman. Don’t sleep on this game. It’s one of the most fun, yet interesting games. Like adventure? Like sci-fi? Like shooting? There you go. If you ever get a chance, play it. Trust me.

See y’all next time!

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[Games] Nintendo NES is here!

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If your an 80’s baby like me you were estastic to hear about Nintendo re-releasing their popular console, the 80’s are back! well video games at least.  The Nintendo NES went on sale today Nov. 11th, for the retail price of $60. With over 30 preloaded games including megaman, super mario bros and duck hunt you probably will forget all about instagram and facebook for a minute. Unfortunately,  as you probably already know its sold out, everywhere but! there is good news. Nintendo has said they will be releasing them throughout the holiday season and there should be plenty to go around. However, get your plan together now and look below and check out some of the ways you can get it.

Amazon  starting taking orders for the NES Classic Edition at 2 p.m. PT. The online retailer is restricting orders to one per customer and disabling the 1-Click Ordering option for the retro console. Amazon expects “very limited quantities” with more consoles coming in over the course the holiday rush. If you do plan on snagging one from Amazon, you might want to park yourself on the product listing page and make sure your credit card info is up to date.

Best Buy will also sell the NES. Best Buy reps told Polygon that if you do purchase the NES Classic Edition online, it will be shipped to you. The retailer has disabled in-store pickup for online orders of the mini NES.

The flagship Nintendo Store in New York is held a midnight launch, if you happen to find yourself in Manhattan today but launch quantities are severely limited. Nintendo also hosted a launch party that kicked off at 9 p.m. ET for fans who wanted to saturate themselves in ‘80s Nintendo memories.

Target will also sell the NES Classic Edition, but no pre-orders and no time frame on when the company will start taking online orders. Check the hours for your nearest Target store if you’d like to lineup for one.

Other retailers, like Toys R Us, Fry’s and Walmart, are also selling the NES Classic Edition.

Demand for the NES Classic Edition is expected to be high throughout the holiday season. Prices on eBay mainly for pre-orders are already much higher than retail. Similarly, on Amazon Japan, the NES Classic Edition’s Japanese equivalent, the Nintendo Classic Mini Family Computer, is already being listed by third-party sellers well above the standard 5,980 yen retail price.

So looks like it’s a long shot but I’m gonna try! Comment if you get one tell me how it is!

-Nia Boom

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PS4 leads US hardware sales in February, but by narrow margin

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February was a good month for games, with strong sales for almost everybody regardless of platform.

For overall console sales, the NPD reports, “PS4 led hardware sales in February 2014, but by a narrow margin with Xbox One selling over 90% of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales. However, with Xbox One’s higher price point it led hardware sales on a dollar basis.”

And Microsoft also clarified specific numbers in a separate press release stating that the Xbox One sold 258,000 consoles “surpassing Xbox 360 sales by over 61 percent at the same point in time.” Microsoft also wrote that, combining the 360 and Xbox One, “The Xbox platform sold more hardware than any other home console platform,” which would put it above the PS3/Vita/PS4 and Wii U/3DS combinations.

But regardless of the spin, it’s good news for both companies. The NPD wrote, “Within console hardware, we continue to see strong year-over-year increases due to the success of the Xbox One and PS4,” and “The majority of hardware platforms experienced double-to-triple digit increases compared to January 2014.”

Software sales were also very positive; the NPD reported that game sales for both the Xbox One and PS4 were up 80% “when compared to the combined first four-month sales for the Xbox 360 and the PS3.”

Despite strong sales of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which Nintendo reported earlier, the NPD clarified that the game “did not rank in the top ten when looking at title-level sales.”

February 2014 Top 10 Games (New physical retail only across all platforms, including PC)

Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Activision Blizzard)
The LEGO Movie Videogame (Warner Bros. Interactive)
NBA 2K14 (Take 2 Interactive)
Thief (Square Enix)
Grand Theft Auto V (Take 2 Interactive)
Battlefield 4 (EA)
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Ubisoft)
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Square Enix)
Minecraft (360–Microsoft)
Bravely Default (Nintendo)

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PS4 or Xbox One: Which Game Console is Best for Non-Gamers?

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Finally, the major game consoles are getting updates with the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One releases are right around the corner. There will be plenty of awesome game titles for both the PS4 and the Xbox One, but even if you’re not big into gaming, these systems might have something to appeal to you. After all, the PlayStation 3 was one of the first widely popular Blu-ray disc players, and the Xbox 360 was one of the first home entertainment devices to offer Netflix’s streaming video services. And the latest-gen consoles have even more entertainment .
What the PS4 and The Xbox One Can Do
Both the Xbox One and PS4 are fully functional Blu-ray players. Microsoft only supported DVD playback for the 360, but the Xbox One will finally make the jump to Blu-ray formats, and that means you’ll be able to watch high-definition movies on your system of choice.

Both systems will also have access to online media services, like every other major gaming platform (including handhelds). You’ll be able to access Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and other services to watch television and movies and listen to music on either system.

And they both will have access to large libraries of on-demand movies, television shows, and music, but this is where they start to differ. On the Xbox One, you’ll be able to rent or buy content from the Xbox Live Movies & TV and Music Stores. PS4 users will be able to rent or buy content from the Sony Entertainment Network and access Sony’s Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited on-demand services. The availability of movies, music, and television shows might differ slightly between the two services, but they’ll both carry most major releases from studios and labels.

What Xbox One Does More
The Xbox One goes much further in home entertainment value with its television integration. The system has an HDMI pass-through and infrared blaster that you can connect to your cable or satellite box to integrate TV watching into the Xbox One. The process and features are explained in more detail in How to Watch TV on Your Microsoft Xbox One, but it basically lets the Xbox One take control of your cable or satellite box so you can browse programming alongside online media services in the Xbox One OneGuide and change channels using your voice and the Kinect. The Xbox One also lets you use apps and services while watching television; apps can be snapped to the side of the screen so they don’t obscure the television signal.

We’ll have to play with the Xbox One and Kinect ourselves to see how well this feature works, but the idea of switching between your favorite channels and shows with your voice and watching TV alongside the different apps and features of the Xbox One dashboard sound very useful. This could turn the Xbox One into the real killer in non-gaming applications, and makes it stand above the PS4 as a pure home entertainment hub.

These features come at a price, though. The Xbox One already retails for $100 more than the PS4, and using online media services requires a subscription to Xbox Live Gold, which costs $60 per year. You can use all of the PS4’s media features without subscribing to PlayStation Plus, and the system itself retails for $399 to the Xbox One’s $499. If you watch a lot of television, and perhaps watch TV far more than you’d even care about playing games, the Xbox One is a better bet.

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NCAA Football 14

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EA Sports is putting together the next iteration in its line of college football games – NCAA Football 14. Make sure you get a good look at the super realistic graphics and awesome stadium presentation for this sweet looking football game. COMES OUT IN JULY

EA Sports’ Ultimate Team mode is finally coming to NCAA, and thankfully your deck won’t be filled with QB #6 and HB #23, but with real-life football players.

In the Ultimate Team mode, you get a starter pack of player cards with which you play real games with in order to earn coins to buy more packs. By buying packs and competing in auctions to win specific player cards, you build up your roster with better and better players to compete against others online.

The NCAA franchise as a whole is unable to feature real college players (hence the anonymous player numbers that are used), but NCAA 14’s Ultimate Team mode has found a way around this and features real-life football players. Using its existing NFLPA license, developer EA Tiburon is creating Ultimate Team cards for all active NFL players on their college teams – that’s over 1,400 players at the game’s launch. It’s like the worlds biggest college all-star alumni game featuring everybody from current NFL players like Russell Wilson to former college greats not currently in the pros such as Andre Ware. There is also a multitude of guys in between – those whom you may recognize because they were your school’s campus heroes even though they haven’t made it big in the NFL.

Following the mode’s card-collecting philosophy, there will be multiple versions of some players if they’ve transferred schools in their college career, played multiple positions, or different cards for a player’s junior and senior seasons. Like the Ultimate Team mode in other games, NCAA 14 will also encourage collecting as many cards as you can with bonuses for getting all the cards in a particular collection set, such as all the Heisman Trophy winners, for example. EA says that it hopes to ultimately have over 2,500 player cards in the mode.

You can play games by either taking on solo, offline challenges (perhaps based on events such as a top game in the current season, a bowl game last year, etc.) as well as online via Head-to-Head Seasons. This mode, started by the FIFA soccer franchise, creates 10-game seasons and eight tiered divisions of play. You start out at the bottom division and work you way up via promotion while trying to avoid getting knocked down a division through relegation. NCAA 14 adds a four-round playoff structure that requires you to win at least five games in order to qualify (eight victories gets you a first round bye).

Unlike some of the other Ultimate Team modes in EA Sports titles, NCAA 14’s version does not feature chemistry between players, coaches, mobile/browser support, or consumable cards related to stat increases. There will, however, be customary “contract” extensions that let you continue to use a card and unspecified player items (no mention of whether these are earned or will cost money) that can be used to help out your team. The coin cost for different levels of card packs and any info on EA Tickets (which can be bought with real money and put towards card packs) has not been revealed yet.

NCAA 14’s version of Ultimate Team doesn’t feature all the bells and whistles the mode has enjoyed in other EA Sports titles, but college football fans should find no problem getting excited about this addictive mode.

For more on NCAA 14, check out this preview on the game’s gameplay and this one on its presentation.

Note: The original version of this preview mentioned 2,500+ players in the mode. EA Sports has since clarified that the mode will have over 1,400 players at launch, and that 2,500+ is the goal going forward. The text has been modified to reflect this distinction.

Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Filed under: NCAA 14, ncaa Football 14, Football, EA Tiburon, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Preview, Sports, EA Sports, Ultimate Team
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by uncleho Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 08:59 AM

Useless mode is useless.
by indiepassion_dave Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 09:38 AM
Unlike some of the other Ultimate Team modes in EA Sports titles, NCAA 14’s version does not feature chemistry between players, coaches, mobile/browser support, or consumable cards related to stat increases. it doesnt sound a whole lot like ultimate team…
[+] View Conversation (2)
by cxgdarch Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 09:50 AM
I don’t really play sports games any more so I don’t know anything about this in FIFA. But to me it seems like this is an opportunity for them to add microtransactions to the game. Pay real money for the card packs and unlock all these players faster.
[+] View Conversation (4)
by shadowBack Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM
hey yo kato, tell me this aint gonna be the best year ever for football video games. It took EA damn near 30 years but by golly i think 2013 is the one sun.
[+] View Conversation (2)
by Coachscorner00 Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 02:23 PM

I love NCAA so I will support this but not sure if it will be as well recieved as it is with Madden and hockey.
by John Wrek Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 02:36 PM

Interesting add-on. But that’s all it is: an add-on.
by tmc002 Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Yeah going off what John Wrek said, Looks good, but you have to pay for it. It’s automatically not good, lol. Like the fact that their are actual names on the card, tho. Is the game roster straight out of the box also filled with real names or would that have been time consuming?
[+] View Conversation (1)
by TheMickakaBL Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 09:43 AM

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Microsoft has revealed its console to take on the PS4

Kinect 2-580-100

As the Xbox One finally touches down, Microsoft is ready to enter a new era of console gaming and take on a new generation of multimedia consumers.

The company described the Xbox One as “the ultimate all in one entertainment system – one system for a new generation.” It has the second generation of Kinect baked in nice and deep and has powerful specs similar to those of the Sony PS4.

The Xbox One wants to be the one-stop entertainment solution for your living room, integrating live TV, games, movies and web services like Skype, all controlled using Kinect’s improved voice recognition features.

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Xbox One release date, news and features

Xbox One release date, news and features
Updated Microsoft has revealed its console to take on the PS4
By James Rivington 17 hrs ago
86 comments

Xbox One release date, news and features We’re coming at you live from the launch event in Redmond
Related stories

Xbox One: UK marketing director didn’t know the name either
Xbox One Kinect isn’t an Orwellian spy tool
Xbox One: 10 reasons you’re going to love it

As the Xbox One finally touches down, Microsoft is ready to enter a new era of console gaming and take on a new generation of multimedia consumers.

The company described the Xbox One as “the ultimate all in one entertainment system – one system for a new generation.” It has the second generation of Kinect baked in nice and deep and has powerful specs similar to those of the Sony PS4.

The Xbox One wants to be the one-stop entertainment solution for your living room, integrating live TV, games, movies and web services like Skype, all controlled using Kinect’s improved voice recognition features.
Xbox One specs

No big surprises here, really. The Microsoft Xbox One comes packing an x64 8-core AMD CPU, USB 3.0 ports, 500GB hard drive and 8GB DDR3 RAM. Connectivity-wise you’ve got 802.11n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct functionality for exchanging data between devices – specifically the new Xbox controller.

There’s also the addition of a Blu-ray drive, which marks Microsoft’s first move to embrace the disc format created by Sony et al, which vanquished HD DVD back when TechRadar was but a glint in someone’s eye.

So as expected, then, the Xbox One is more like a mini-PC than any Microsoft console that’s come before. These specs put the console on a par with the PS4 and bode well for developers who want to make cross-platform games.

The console has not only an HDMI-out port but also HDMI-in too. This is for interfacing with set-top boxes in order to integrate the Xbox One with your TV-watching experience. As far as you’re concerned, you’ll only have one device instead of two.

Home
News by technology
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Xbox One release date, news and features

Xbox One release date, news and features
Updated Microsoft has revealed its console to take on the PS4
By James Rivington 17 hrs ago
86 comments

Xbox One release date, news and features We’re coming at you live from the launch event in Redmond
Related stories

Xbox One: UK marketing director didn’t know the name either
Xbox One Kinect isn’t an Orwellian spy tool
Xbox One: 10 reasons you’re going to love it

As the Xbox One finally touches down, Microsoft is ready to enter a new era of console gaming and take on a new generation of multimedia consumers.

The company described the Xbox One as “the ultimate all in one entertainment system – one system for a new generation.” It has the second generation of Kinect baked in nice and deep and has powerful specs similar to those of the Sony PS4.

The Xbox One wants to be the one-stop entertainment solution for your living room, integrating live TV, games, movies and web services like Skype, all controlled using Kinect’s improved voice recognition features.
Xbox One specs

No big surprises here, really. The Microsoft Xbox One comes packing an x64 8-core AMD CPU, USB 3.0 ports, 500GB hard drive and 8GB DDR3 RAM. Connectivity-wise you’ve got 802.11n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct functionality for exchanging data between devices – specifically the new Xbox controller.

There’s also the addition of a Blu-ray drive, which marks Microsoft’s first move to embrace the disc format created by Sony et al, which vanquished HD DVD back when TechRadar was but a glint in someone’s eye.

So as expected, then, the Xbox One is more like a mini-PC than any Microsoft console that’s come before. These specs put the console on a par with the PS4 and bode well for developers who want to make cross-platform games.

The console has not only an HDMI-out port but also HDMI-in too. This is for interfacing with set-top boxes in order to integrate the Xbox One with your TV-watching experience. As far as you’re concerned, you’ll only have one device instead of two.

kinect 2
Xbox One: Kinect

The Xbox One has Kinect functionality built into its very core. To turn the console on, you need only say the words “Xbox on” – the console is always listening.

A live demo at the launch event showed Kinect instantly responding to hand gestures and voice commands. That simply isn’t possible on the current hardware with the Xbox 360 and suggests that Kinect v2 is the gesture and voice controller we always wanted it to be.

The demo showed the ability to switch between games, videos, music and live TV instantaneously using simple voice commands such as “Xbox watch TV”. You can even ask to watch a specific channel – HBO was an example they used – and Xbox will take you there straight away.

Microsoft says that Kinect 2 is to fast and powerful that it detects motion in just 13 billionths of a second – the time it takes light to get from you and into the camera.

The Kinect sensor as a resolution of 1080p which means its footage will look great on your HD TV, and it captures video at 60fps which means footage that’s lovely and smooth.

The camera aslo has a field of view that’s 60% bigger than the original Kinect which means less faffing around trying to stand in the exact spot it tells you to. That combined with the more powerful means you’ll be able to get a lot more people gaming with Kinect all at one time.

What’s more, Microsoft says that the new Kinect uses infra-red, which means it works in complete darkness.

Home
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Gaming
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Xbox One release date, news and features

Xbox One release date, news and features
Updated Microsoft has revealed its console to take on the PS4
By James Rivington 17 hrs ago
86 comments

Xbox One release date, news and features We’re coming at you live from the launch event in Redmond
Related stories

Xbox One: UK marketing director didn’t know the name either
Xbox One Kinect isn’t an Orwellian spy tool
Xbox One: 10 reasons you’re going to love it

As the Xbox One finally touches down, Microsoft is ready to enter a new era of console gaming and take on a new generation of multimedia consumers.

The company described the Xbox One as “the ultimate all in one entertainment system – one system for a new generation.” It has the second generation of Kinect baked in nice and deep and has powerful specs similar to those of the Sony PS4.

The Xbox One wants to be the one-stop entertainment solution for your living room, integrating live TV, games, movies and web services like Skype, all controlled using Kinect’s improved voice recognition features.
Xbox One specs

No big surprises here, really. The Microsoft Xbox One comes packing an x64 8-core AMD CPU, USB 3.0 ports, 500GB hard drive and 8GB DDR3 RAM. Connectivity-wise you’ve got 802.11n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct functionality for exchanging data between devices – specifically the new Xbox controller.

There’s also the addition of a Blu-ray drive, which marks Microsoft’s first move to embrace the disc format created by Sony et al, which vanquished HD DVD back when TechRadar was but a glint in someone’s eye.

So as expected, then, the Xbox One is more like a mini-PC than any Microsoft console that’s come before. These specs put the console on a par with the PS4 and bode well for developers who want to make cross-platform games.

The console has not only an HDMI-out port but also HDMI-in too. This is for interfacing with set-top boxes in order to integrate the Xbox One with your TV-watching experience. As far as you’re concerned, you’ll only have one device instead of two.

kinect 2
Xbox One: Kinect

The Xbox One has Kinect functionality built into its very core. To turn the console on, you need only say the words “Xbox on” – the console is always listening.

A live demo at the launch event showed Kinect instantly responding to hand gestures and voice commands. That simply isn’t possible on the current hardware with the Xbox 360 and suggests that Kinect v2 is the gesture and voice controller we always wanted it to be.

The demo showed the ability to switch between games, videos, music and live TV instantaneously using simple voice commands such as “Xbox watch TV”. You can even ask to watch a specific channel – HBO was an example they used – and Xbox will take you there straight away.

Microsoft says that Kinect 2 is to fast and powerful that it detects motion in just 13 billionths of a second – the time it takes light to get from you and into the camera.

The Kinect sensor as a resolution of 1080p which means its footage will look great on your HD TV, and it captures video at 60fps which means footage that’s lovely and smooth.

The camera aslo has a field of view that’s 60% bigger than the original Kinect which means less faffing around trying to stand in the exact spot it tells you to. That combined with the more powerful means you’ll be able to get a lot more people gaming with Kinect all at one time.

What’s more, Microsoft says that the new Kinect uses infra-red, which means it works in complete darkness.

xbox one
Xbox One controller

The new Xbox controller is very much based on what’s come before, but under the hood there are 40 technical design ‘innovations’. The pad has an integrated battery which takes AA batteries. Microsoft confirmed to us that this will work much in the same way as the 360’s, but the integrated build will obviously be a lot more comfortable. The biggest change from a gameplay point of view are that the re-designed triggers will now give you vibrating feedback in-game. All of the other buttons and surfaces have been tweaked as well, but most of the changes are out of sight.
Xbox One: discs

The Xbox One games will come on Blu-ray discs but they’re only for one-time use. Once you’ve installed the games onto your hard drive, you no longer need them as the game is tied to your Xbox Live account. This is a similar idea to that employed by Steam and Uplay on the PC.
Xbox Live upgraded

Live is the most popular online gaming platform on the planet and it’s getting a huge behind-the-scenes overhaul for the new generation.

While current games servers number roughly 15,000, Microsoft is expanding that to a barely conceivable 300,000 in order to ensure you have instant access to your games and content no matter where you are.
Xbox One personalisation

You can turn on the Xbox One by simply walking over and talking to it. It turns on instantly, and Kinect will recognise you and take you straight to your own personalised home screen. Here you have access to your own personal movies and music, as well as leaping straight into your own save games.

Home
News by technology
Gaming
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Xbox One release date, news and features

Xbox One release date, news and features
Updated Microsoft has revealed its console to take on the PS4
By James Rivington 17 hrs ago
86 comments

Xbox One release date, news and features We’re coming at you live from the launch event in Redmond
Related stories

Xbox One: UK marketing director didn’t know the name either
Xbox One Kinect isn’t an Orwellian spy tool
Xbox One: 10 reasons you’re going to love it

As the Xbox One finally touches down, Microsoft is ready to enter a new era of console gaming and take on a new generation of multimedia consumers.

The company described the Xbox One as “the ultimate all in one entertainment system – one system for a new generation.” It has the second generation of Kinect baked in nice and deep and has powerful specs similar to those of the Sony PS4.

The Xbox One wants to be the one-stop entertainment solution for your living room, integrating live TV, games, movies and web services like Skype, all controlled using Kinect’s improved voice recognition features.
Xbox One specs

No big surprises here, really. The Microsoft Xbox One comes packing an x64 8-core AMD CPU, USB 3.0 ports, 500GB hard drive and 8GB DDR3 RAM. Connectivity-wise you’ve got 802.11n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct functionality for exchanging data between devices – specifically the new Xbox controller.

There’s also the addition of a Blu-ray drive, which marks Microsoft’s first move to embrace the disc format created by Sony et al, which vanquished HD DVD back when TechRadar was but a glint in someone’s eye.

So as expected, then, the Xbox One is more like a mini-PC than any Microsoft console that’s come before. These specs put the console on a par with the PS4 and bode well for developers who want to make cross-platform games.

The console has not only an HDMI-out port but also HDMI-in too. This is for interfacing with set-top boxes in order to integrate the Xbox One with your TV-watching experience. As far as you’re concerned, you’ll only have one device instead of two.

kinect 2
Xbox One: Kinect

The Xbox One has Kinect functionality built into its very core. To turn the console on, you need only say the words “Xbox on” – the console is always listening.

A live demo at the launch event showed Kinect instantly responding to hand gestures and voice commands. That simply isn’t possible on the current hardware with the Xbox 360 and suggests that Kinect v2 is the gesture and voice controller we always wanted it to be.

The demo showed the ability to switch between games, videos, music and live TV instantaneously using simple voice commands such as “Xbox watch TV”. You can even ask to watch a specific channel – HBO was an example they used – and Xbox will take you there straight away.

Microsoft says that Kinect 2 is to fast and powerful that it detects motion in just 13 billionths of a second – the time it takes light to get from you and into the camera.

The Kinect sensor as a resolution of 1080p which means its footage will look great on your HD TV, and it captures video at 60fps which means footage that’s lovely and smooth.

The camera aslo has a field of view that’s 60% bigger than the original Kinect which means less faffing around trying to stand in the exact spot it tells you to. That combined with the more powerful means you’ll be able to get a lot more people gaming with Kinect all at one time.

What’s more, Microsoft says that the new Kinect uses infra-red, which means it works in complete darkness.

xbox one
Xbox One controller

The new Xbox controller is very much based on what’s come before, but under the hood there are 40 technical design ‘innovations’. The pad has an integrated battery which takes AA batteries. Microsoft confirmed to us that this will work much in the same way as the 360’s, but the integrated build will obviously be a lot more comfortable. The biggest change from a gameplay point of view are that the re-designed triggers will now give you vibrating feedback in-game. All of the other buttons and surfaces have been tweaked as well, but most of the changes are out of sight.
Xbox One: discs

The Xbox One games will come on Blu-ray discs but they’re only for one-time use. Once you’ve installed the games onto your hard drive, you no longer need them as the game is tied to your Xbox Live account. This is a similar idea to that employed by Steam and Uplay on the PC.
Xbox Live upgraded

Live is the most popular online gaming platform on the planet and it’s getting a huge behind-the-scenes overhaul for the new generation.

While current games servers number roughly 15,000, Microsoft is expanding that to a barely conceivable 300,000 in order to ensure you have instant access to your games and content no matter where you are.
Xbox One personalisation

You can turn on the Xbox One by simply walking over and talking to it. It turns on instantly, and Kinect will recognise you and take you straight to your own personalised home screen. Here you have access to your own personal movies and music, as well as leaping straight into your own save games.

xbox one
Xbox One: always on? Nope!

One rumour that put the fear of God into many gamers was that the new Xbox would require an always-on internet connection. But this is in fact not true. “No, it does not have to be always connected,” says Microsoft, “but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet. We’re designing Xbox One to be your all-in-one entertainment system that is connected to the cloud and always ready. We are also designing it so you can play games and watch Blu-ray movies and live TV if you lose your connection.”
Xbox One games

Microsoft has announced that its own games studios will release 15 games in the first year of the Xbox One’s life cycle. Other than that, we also know that FIFA 14 will launch on the console with exclusive content, and the new COD game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, will also have exclusive content on the Xbox.

Xbox One: backwards compatibility

Because the Xbox One uses a completely different system architecture to that of previous Xbox consoles, it will not be compatible with any Xbox 360 games.

However, it is yet to be seen whether the cloud might come to the rescue and allow games to be streamed over the web. Perhaps E3 has the answer…
Xbox One release date

Microsoft sadly made no mention of an Xbox One release date during its Redmond launch event. However, more details are promised for E3 in July which is when we should find out when we can expect to get our hands on one. However, that hasn’t stopped retailers opening pre-orders already.

Many industry experts actually predicted that we’d finally get some hard Xbox info at GDC this year but Microsoft confirmed to TechRadar that turned out not to be the case.

All indications are that the next Xbox will arrive in time for Christmas 2013.
Microsoft briefly stated that the new Xbox is imminent in an interview with the Verge before swiftly backtracking and issuing a moderately embarrassing denial.

This is further backed up by a Microsoft job advert which confirms a new Xbox launch is imminent.

Further rumours of an Xbox release date of pre-Christmas 2013 was backed up at the end of November 2012 by a Bloomberg report which cites sources at Microsoft and says we are likely to see the new Xbox make its debut at E3 2013.

But then! In January, a report from Game Informer suggested that we’d actually see Microsoft bust out an all-singing all-dancing event to launch the new Xbox around Game Developers Conference in March.

Why no E3 reveal? Because Microsoft wanted to make a splash away from the noise of the mega-show. Unfortunately, the report indicated that Sony had the same idea for the PS4…
Xbox One price

No pricing info has yet been revealed by Microsoft – expect this when we get official confirmation of worldwide release dates.

That leaked document we mentioned earlier mentions a $299 (£190) price point which sounds gloriously ambitious to us. Expect the Xbox price to be a bit more than that but assuming the PS4 launches around the same time, expect some competitive pricing.
Xbox Mini

Strong rumours are building that Microsoft is planning a double assault on the console market. The new Xbox will allegedly be joined in the cabinet by an Xbox MIni – a small, Apple TV-like device based on Windows 8, with the ability to stream Xbox 360 games from the cloud.

Catch up on all the highlights from the Xbox One launch event in the video below:

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Madden NFL 25 COVER

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There was a time not too long ago when Barry Sanders seemed destined for a reclusive life after football. He faxed a surprise retirement announcement to his hometown newspaper in 1999, fled to England and later spent time in arbitration with the Detroit Lions over his signing bonus.
For years afterward, Sanders wouldn’t so much as acknowledge the factors that prompted his early retirement. From the outside, I assumed he had had enough of public life and was ready for a much different existence as an ex-player.

That has all changed during the past few years, however. Sanders has appeared in national television commercials, participated in high-profile panel discussions and is active on Twitter. An NFL Films documentary of his life, aired on the NFL Network last winter, reintroduced him to legions of fans.

Sanders’ public profile rose once again Wednesday night when he won a national vote to appear on the cover of the “Madden NFL 25” video game. You might not be a big gamer, and Sanders might not be either. I for one was amused to see Sanders, 44, standing on the “SportsNation” stage with the 28-year-old Adrian Peterson while 25-year-old hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar performed.

But Sanders took this process seriously from the start, promoting himself during a trip to ESPN headquarters and actively seeking support from celebrities via Twitter. Wednesday afternoon, golfer Tiger Woods encouraged his 3.2 million Twitter followers to vote for Sanders.

Sanders won the cover contest over Peterson with 58 percent of the final vote. Along the way, he demonstrated a sardonic but still-humble personality most of us never saw during his playing career and one I assumed we wouldn’t experience in retirement. It sounds silly, but it’s true in our virtual age: Barry Sanders introduced himself to a whole new generation of fans Wednesday night. Let’s see where it takes him.

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The DUALSHOCK®4 controller

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The DUALSHOCK®4 controller incorporates a new highly sensitive six-axis sensor, as well as a touch pad located on the top of the controller, which offers gamers completely new ways to play and interact with games.

The newly developed PlayStation® Camera for PlayStation®4 incorporates two high-sensitive cameras that have wide-angle lenses with 85-degree diagonal angle views which can recognize the depth of space precisely.

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