The big rumor on the street about the next Xbox is that Microsoft will block used games from working with the console. Reports from sources have hit various news outlets saying that the new Xbox, which should launch later this year, will require mandatory game installs to the hard drive of the console, and will require an activation code in order to get them to play. Once the code is used, that game is activated for that console specifically (or, maybe, that specific Gamertag,) and won't work on other consoles, effectively killing the used game market.
Read More | MCV India
The Xbox Community Ambassador campaign now has five more tier levels added to it, which include awards ranging from free Avatar swag to the Xbox Live gamer spotlight. The Xbox Community Ambassador program rewards Xbox Live members who assist other members through chat or the forum, acting as a reputation system that awards XP that can be redeemed.
The new tiers are listed below:
- Level 11, gold star avatar t-shirt.
- Level 12, gold star avatar hat and 10 tickets for periodic ambassador sweepstakes.
- Level 13, gamer spotlight, ilomilo on Xbox Live Arcade.
- Level 14, one month Xbox Live subscription and 10 ambassador sweepstakes tickets.
- Level 15, avatar spacesuit, 800 Microsoft Points.
If you're interested in becoming an ambassaor, you can apply here.
Read More | Xbox Community Ambassadors
If Major Nelson's calculations are correct, the Xbox 360, a seven year-old console, has outsold the Wii U and Wii combined during the week of November 18th. The Wii U sold 400,000 units during its launch week, and the old Wii managed to still sell 300,000. The Xbox 360 sold 750,000. This is a remarkably high number for a console so late in it's life cycle, and it begs the question, do we need new hardware anytime soon?
The number of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions also increased more than 50 percent compared to last year's Black Friday week, with over 14 million people logged into Xbox Live on Sunday alone.
Sony hasn't revealed its numbers yet, but it looks like the Xbox 360 will end up being the best selling console in the US for November. You can pick one up on Amazon.
Microsoft is developing a set-top box as an alterntative to a fully-fledged next generation gaming device. The set-top will run on core components of Windows 8, offering casual gaming titles (most likely through Xbox Live) instead of the big productions you'll find on the next-generation of Xbox consoles.
Furthering the casual theme of the set-top box, Microsoft is planning on incorporating a chipset enabling the device to boot up practically instantaenously for quick and simple access to TV, games and other entertainment services.
The set-top box is but one step in Microsoft's plan to bring the core architecture of the next-generation across several devices, such as a phone capable of handling a complete Xbox Live experience.
Today Microsoft has announced a permanent Kinect price cut, bringing the motion controller peripheral down to $109. The change in price is immediate, as you can buy it right now on Amazon for the newly-reduced price tag, which still includes Kinect Adventures, by the way. Kinect also sees price drops in Latin America and the Asia Pacific area, with the exception of Japan.
Read More | Major Nelson
Xbox Live has been down for the past 90 minutes or so, and Microsoft says it's doing its best to bring the service back online.
The outage appears to affect many (if not all) Xbox Live regions, as complains are coming in from outside of the United States as well. Users who were connected to the service were disconnected from Xbox Live at the time of the outage, so this isn't just an issue where new players aren't able to connect.
As soon as Xbox Live is back, we'll update to let you know.
The release date of Halo 4 is quickly approaching, as November 6 is less than six months away. Today Microsoft announced the Halo 4 Limited Edition, a $99.99 bundle that beings Halo fans a ton of extras:
- War Games Map Pack Access – The Limited Edition includes access to nine maps – three future competitive multiplayer map packs, each including three locations, available for download post-launch on Xbox LIVE.
- Specializations – Receive early access to six Specializations, available at launch on Xbox LIVE, to achieve higher ranks in your Spartan career. In addition to gaining access to new ranks, Specializations unlock new customization options. Purchasers of the “Halo 4” Limited Edition will get access on launch day, while others will have to wait as Specializations are released over time.
- The Limited Edition also contains the UNSC Infinity Briefing Packet, which includes an armor customization schematic, a blueprint of the massive ship itself, and insight into what it means to be one of humanity’s finest warriors: the Spartan-IVs.
- “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” Special Edition – An extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series that will bring the “Halo” universe to life as you’ve never seen it, and provide an enthralling backstory leading up to the events of “Halo 4.”
Bonus digital content through Xbox LIVE:
- Unique in-game Spartan-IV armor skin
- Unique in-game weapon skin for the Assault Rifle
- An exclusive in-game emblem
- Xbox LIVE Avatar prop
- Xbox LIVE Avatar Spartan-IV armor set
Definitely a lot of content in exchange for an extra $40 above the standard version of Halo 4. You can pre-order Halo 4 now.
Read More | Halo 4 pre-order
Remember that $99 Xbox 360 Kinect bundle we mentioned last week? Well, Microsoft has just launched it. You can now buy a 4 GB Xbox 360 with Kinect sensor for $99 with two-year Xbox Live Gold contract, paying $14.99 per month for the course of the agreement. If you cancel early, you'll pay an early termination fee, which starts at $250 and decreases each month after the third month. Just head on over to your local Microsoft Store to make it happen.
Read More | $99 Xbox Offer
Gears of War 3 Title Update 4 drops tomorrow morning at 2:00am PDT, and brings with it a bunch of improvements and bug fixes. To get it, just load up the game and you'll be automatically prompted to download it if you're connected to Xbox LIVE. We've got the full list of changes for you after the jump.
Xbox Live house party is looking to start this year off with a bang. Four Xbox Live Arcade titles are set to be released in the weeks between February 15 and March 13, and we've got the list here for you to take a gander at. Warp, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, Nexuiz, and I Am Alive, in that respective order, with Warp kicking things off on February 15. Warp and Nexuiz will be 800 MS Points ($10) right out of the gate, however Alan Wake and I am Alive will be 1200 MS Points ($15.)
All of the information about the order of which the games would be released as well as the pricing was only recently unveiled by the ever popular Xbox Live celebrity, Major Nelson. Larry also goes on to tell us that if you purchase all 4 games within the allotted 1 month time period, you'll receive 800 Microsoft Points back as a bonus. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
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