Walmart’s website recently listed (now removed) a new Xbox One console, only titled ‘Xbox One Elite Console’, priced at $499.00USD.
No other details are known, although it is more than likely that this is a placeholder for a new Xbox One console bundle, most likely including the Xbox One Elite controller, with the possibility of having a 1TB HDD.
The Oculus E3 Press Conference was live streamed from San Francisco on 11 June 2015. Virtual reality has come a long way since Oculus started in 2012. The progress was a contribution from the community of developers, creators, and believers who have been on this journey since the start. With the steps they are taking towards true consumer virtual reality and next-generation VR gaming, they were excited to announce a new partnership with Microsoft. Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer joined Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe on stage to share some details on what fans can expect to see when the Oculus Rift launches in Q1 2016. These include:
- The Xbox One controller will be included with every Oculus Rift. The Xbox One controller is designed for gamers, by gamers, for interchangeable gaming between Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs and tablets, with fine-tuned impulse triggers for greater precision and control and a D-pad engineered to deliver greater responsiveness. If you’re going to be playing your Rift games with a controller, this is the one you want in your hands. And, with the new Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows that we unveiled last week included, you can play games on the Rift using the Xbox One controller wirelessly right out of the box.
- Xbox One games will be playable on Oculus Rift. We shared earlier this year that you’ll be able to stream your Xbox One games to your Windows 10 PC or tablet. Now, we’re happy to announce that we’re bringing the same Xbox One streaming capability to the Rift, a feature that’s only possible through Windows 10. You can play your favorite Xbox One games, like Halo, Forza, Sunset Overdrive and more, on your own virtual reality cinema screen. It’s just like playing in a private theater, and you can even play with your friends through Xbox Live.
- Windows 10 is the best platform for playing games on the Oculus Rift. The Rift will work natively with Windows 10 to make it easy to set up, jump in, and have an incredible VR gaming experience. Combined with Direct12 technology that unlocks the full capabilities of new Windows 10 graphics hardware, made-for-VR games on Windows 10 will have the fastest frame rates and top performance.
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, stated:
We’re thrilled to be working closely with the team at Oculus. Their groundbreaking work in virtual reality is inspiring, and the Oculus Rift delivers a truly next-generation VR experience. We at Xbox are passionate about giving gamers the opportunity to play when and where they want. I can’t wait to see the incredible games created for the Rift, and we are proud to be part of the experience.
With the Oculus Rift, the company wanted to have an input device that lets people to reach out and interact with objects in VR naturally. They have introduced the Oculus Touch which is a pair of tracked controllers that deliver hand presence. Touch will let people take their virtual reality experiences further than ever before by unlocking new interactions. You can see the feature prototype for Oculus Touch also know as ‘Half Moon’ below:
The Oculus Touch consists of two controllers, one for each hand. They’re mirror images of each other like your own hands. Each Half Moon controller has a traditional analog thumbstick, two buttons, and an analog trigger. There’s also an input mechanism that we call the ‘hand trigger’. Imagine using this trigger to pick up a virtual gun then using your index finger to fire it.
They’re wireless so that you can move and interact with the virtual world freely and they use the same IR LED constellation tracking system we use in the Rift for precise, low-latency, 6-DOF tracking. The Half Moon prototype includes haptics that developers can use to deliver feedback when interacting with objects in the virtual world. Finally, Half Moon can detect a set of finger poses using a matrix of sensors mounted throughout the device which allows the controller to recognize a set of communicative hand poses like pointing, waving, and giving a thumbs-up. Oculus Touch will ship to gamers, developers, and enthusiasts in the first half of 2016, and will be available for pre-order around the same time as the Rift.
They have also showcased a few of the upcoming made-for-VR games for the Rift including EVE: Valkyrie from CCP Games, Chronos from Gunfire Games and Edge of Nowhere from Insomniac Games.
If you have missed the livestream you can watch it again where they talk about the future of virtual reality, gaming, the Rift, and more.
Microsoft was proud to announce that Sydney has been chosen as the home for the first Microsoft flagship store outside of North America. The store will be located at Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall. It will provide an opportunity to experience Microsoft products like Windows PCs, Surface devices, Windows Phones, Xbox One, Office and more in an innovative and vibrant setting. In addition, the store will feature the Answer Desk which is a one-stop shop for questions, troubleshooting, repairs and support for all Microsoft software and hardware.
Pip Marlow, Managing Director of Microsoft Australia, stated:
The store will be located at Westfield Sydney on Pitt Street Mall and will give customers the same outstanding choice, value and service as our stores overseas and online. But this will be much more than a store. It will embody the world class innovation that you have come to expect from Microsoft and be a space where consumers – from teens who love gaming to parents who want to ensure their families are safe online, to small business owners looking for guidance – can visit and learn how to make the most of their technology, so they can make the most of every moment.
Microsoft is investing more in Australia with last October opening their Microsoft Australia Azure Geos and just a few weeks ago buying Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online to their local data centres. They also recently opened another Microsoft Innovation Centre in South Australia and continue to support Australia’s not for profit community by giving AU$50 million in software donations last year alone.
Microsoft currently has more than 110 physical stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, 17 store-in-store locations in China, online stores in 189 countries, and they are thrilled to add a flagship store in Australia to that list. As it gets close to the opening date they will be sharing additional details. Looks like Larry Hryb will be hosting an Xbox Community event tied in with the opening of the flagship store in Sydney.
I am looking forward to hosting an Xbox Community event in Sydney twitter.com/MicrosoftStore…—
Larry Hryb (@majornelson) April 21, 2015
Zen Studios, maker of hit digital titles like Zen Pinball 2 and CastleStorm, is pleased to reveal that its beloved digital pinball platform, Pinball FX2, will be available as a launch title for Windows 10. Collaborating with Microsoft via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program, Zen worked to ensure the title will support cross-buy on Windows 10 and Xbox One devices. With crossbuy, players will be able purchase a Pinball FX2 table once on either Windows 10 enabled devices or on Xbox One consoles, and play it on the other platform at no additional charge.
Mel Kirk, VP of Publishing at Zen Studios, stated:
Zen Studios has a history of collaboration with Microsoft, so being able to work with them on this launch title for Windows 10 is a fantastic opportunity. We’ve loved what we’ve seen so far out of the operating system and being able to allow our Xbox One fans to import their tables to Windows 10 is something that gets us excited! We love providing extra value to players, and supporting their purchases across both Xbox One and Windows 10 is as good a value as you can get.
Pinball FX2 for Windows 10 will be playable at the Xbox Booth in this year’s Game Developers Conference from 2-5 March at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
Microsoft, Turn 10 Studios and Ford unveiled a new collaboration at the 2015 North American International Auto Show by announcing the all-new Ford GT ultra-high-performance supercar as the featured cover car in the next iteration of the acclaimed racing simulation franchise for Xbox, Forza Motorsport 6, launching exclusively for Xbox One.
Ford GT serves as a technology showcase for the company with its ultra-efficient EcoBoost engine performance, advanced aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fiber construction. It will arrive at dealerships in select markets globally late next year.
In addition, the companies revealed that Ford’s performance vehicle lineup will appear in Forza Motorsport 6. This includes Ford GT, Shelby GT350 Mustang and the F-150 Raptor, which debuted at the North American International Auto Show. As First in Forza vehicles, global fans will have the opportunity to virtually experience the cars when they debut in Forza Motorsport 6.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said:
It is an honor to share this historic moment with Ford and celebrate the legacy of the GT by making it the featured cover car of ‘Forza Motorsport 6. We’re thrilled to have the unique opportunity to announce ‘Forza Motorsport 6’ the day the car debuts – on one of the biggest stages in the automotive industry – and we can’t wait to share more details on the game later this year.
Forza Motorsport, developed exclusively for Xbox, is the highest-rated racing series of the past decade, according to Metacritic. Developed by Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios, the series combines the industry’s leading next-generation graphics and simulation engines, and has become the most-played next-generation racing simulation on Xbox One.
Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, stated:
The Ford GT is the ultimate execution of an enthusiast supercar – delivering ultra-efficient EcoBoost performance, driver-centric technology and lightweight carbon fiber construction. Working with Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios allows us to share our all-new GT supercar with an unprecedented global audience – giving fans an opportunity to virtually experience the beauty, thrill and innovation of Ford’s performance lineup.
A pioneer in the global automotive industry, Ford is a leader in innovation. Ford GT showcases material and technology innovations to help better serve drivers, such as active aerodynamics, light-weighting, with a carbon fiber passenger cell and carbon-ceramic brake discs, and a next-generation EcoBoost engine that produces more than 600 horsepower.
Dan Greenawalt, creative director at Turn 10 Studios, added:
Just as Ford has pushed the boundaries of car technology in GT, ‘Forza Motorsport 6’ will embrace that spirit of innovation as our most technically advanced racing simulation to date – offering a fun and realistic automotive experience for both car lovers and gamers. We’re excited to unveil gameplay at E3 in June.
The announcement of Forza Motorsport 6 kicks off 2015 and the ten-year anniversary of the Forza Motorsport series. While it may be a while till we get to see the gameplay which will be shown at E3 this year, in the meantime we can all enjoy the Forza Motorsport 6 announcement video.
At the dawn of any transitionary period in gaming there will always be tremendous successes and tragic failures which companies did right and which did oh so very wrong? The OXCGN Staff are here with their picks for the Biggest Hits and Misses of 2014…
Nintendo’s Hits and Misses of 2014
Amiibos: Nintendo could have taken Amiibos to so many different places, they could have cashed in like Skylanders but instead they have made them somewhat useless if anything they are just mere collectables.
It’s good to see that Nintendo are finally making use of the NFC in the Wii U gamepad, but Amiibo’s don’t really offer anything worthwhile other than a few small unlockables in certain games.
Amazing 2014 line up: Holy shit, did you see the games Nintendo released or published this year? Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS, Bayonetta 2, Hyrule Warriors and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. It was a huge year for Nintendo’s first party line up with more to come in 2015.
Microsoft’s Hit and Misses of 2014
Great Holiday Line-Up: With Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2 and Halo Master Chief Collection Microsoft really brought their A game to the holiday season for 2014.
Giving up (kind of) on the Kinect: After losing a lot of sales to Sony’s PS4 console at the start, Microsoft needed to take action and one of their first moves was to sell a Kinect-less console.
Microsoft still bundles the Kinect with certain consoles and even sell it separately for those who missed out. However, Microsoft has given developers access to the CPU usage that the Kinect once used to amp up whatever game is running on the console.
That’s not to say they’ve given up on the Kinect. The built in gestures and voice controls make the Kinect a powerful and useful piece of hardware we just haven’t yet seen what it is truly capable of.
Nintendo’s Hits and Misses of 2014
Nintendo has had an interesting year in 2014. It released some great games across both platforms, but the Wii U’s adoption rate is still unfathomably slow when compared its more powerful competitors. Though their hardware has been lacking the games have for the most part been exceptional. In a sea of games that require day one patches to fix less than half of the issues reported at launch, it is refreshing to put in a game and be greeted by a full experience that doesn’t require logging in to Uplay in order to open a treasure chest.
The launch of the new 3DS (in Japan and Australia) has been interesting as per Nintendo’s usual marketing only the hardcore actually know what the difference is and most people simply see that the ‘old’ 3DS is slightly cheaper and buy it instead. I think Nintendo needs to work on it’s naming conventions – the Wii U and ‘New’ 3DS are horrible names for casual consumers since they can’t tell if it is a different product to what came before or simply a minor step up that they don’t need to purchase.
A Wii 2 and Super 3DS would likely have done much better.
Sony’s Only Miss This Year:
Where is the PS4 + PSVita bundle we were all holding out for last year! Now is the time to capitalize on the momentum of the PS4 but adding the Vita in and promoting remote play remorselessly.
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One will be available for a special limited-time offer of US$349. The promotional pricing of $50 off the console of your choice applies to any Xbox One console, including special edition bundles for Assassin’s Creed Unity, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Sunset Overdrive. With Xbox One available at its best price yet, and savings up to $150 off select bundles, there’s never been a better time to own an Xbox One.
Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, has said:
“Fans don’t have to wait for Black Friday this year to enjoy great savings on Xbox One. We’re offering our best price yet, with unprecedented choices and value, so more people can play on Xbox One this holiday. We’re gearing up for one of our biggest holidays ever and we are thrilled to offer fans up to $150 in savings on Xbox One and some of the biggest blockbuster games of the season.”
The holidays are starting early this year as the Season of Xbox will bring the fans more options, from 2 November, to choose from with several exclusive bundles available at $50 off including:
- The Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Bundle for US$349 ERP and Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Bundle with Kinect for US$449 ERP features what is shaping up to be the biggest, most intense Assassin’s Creed game to date: Assassin’s Creed Unity as well as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on Xbox One. The Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Bundle with Kinect also includes Dance Central Spotlight.
- The Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle, available in limited quantities now, features a sleek white console and wireless controller, a digital copy of the game, and special Day One edition in-game items. This bundles is available for US$349 ERP.
- The Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle for US$449 ERP available starting 3 November, features a 1TB hard drive, custom console, custom controller and Limited Edition exoskeleton, plus a digital copy of the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition.
These special promotions will be available nationwide at most major national retailers in the U.S., including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Stores, Target, Toys ‘R Us and Walmart. The $50 off any Xbox One console or bundle will be valid from 2 November 2014 through to 3 January 2015 at participating retailers. The regional availability and timing outside the U.S. will vary.
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, has added:
“We want this to be an unforgettable holiday season for Xbox fans around the world. Only on Xbox One can you play some of the most anticipated exclusives, newest blockbuster franchises and innovative independent games of the year. We’re pleased to start the season off early with an incredible portfolio that includes millions of hours of fun for gamers and their friends.”