Turtle Beach and Microsoft announced a new partnership this week that will see the headset maker become one of the first to create Microsoft-licensed headsets for the Xbox One.
Official products, pricing, and release information will be announced in the coming weeks, though Turtle Beach promised its technology will bring “advanced audio solutions” to gamers.
Turtle Beach currently offers a suite of headsets for the Xbox 360.
Microsoft has not announced any first-party Xbox One headsets, but said earlier this week that more details on accessories for the platform will be shared next month during the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Microsoft’s E3 2013 press briefing is slated for Monday, June 10.
The update adds the new Launch Park (available only for SimCity early adopters), as well as the Edgewater Bay region, and various tweaks and bug fixes.
With the update applied, SimCity players will be able to see their current server in the options menu and have “more detailed” rollover information on whether or not Sims received happiness from a park or from shopping. Previously, this information was generic, Maxis said.
SimCity launched in March and was beset by widespread server woes. Despite its initial struggles, the game has sold over 1.6 million copies to date.
The full SimCity 4.0 update details are below.
New: SimCity Launch Park, an exclusive new park just for our dedicated fans who were early adopters.
New: Region: Edgewater Bay. Seven city sites in one cluster around a beautiful bay with one great work site.
New: Your current server will now be shown in the options menu.
New: More detailed rollover information on buildings telling player’s if their Sims received happiness from a park or from shopping. Previous to this fix, this information was generic.
Re-Enabled Feature: Global Market prices now dynamically change during gameplay.
Re-Enabled Feature: Leaderboards will be active on EU West 3, Pacific 1 and Pacific 2 at the release. We will enable them on additional servers throughout the day.
Re-Enabled Feature: Region filters are now enabled on all SimCity servers. Players will be able to search for open games by Map Name, Sandbox Mode, and Abandoned Cities.
Rain Clouds: Fixed an issue where some cities would not have rain clouds to replenish their water table. If you had a city with this issue, you will start seeing clouds again within a game day.
Fire: Improved response time of fire trucks to fires. Improved the time it takes for a fire signal to reach a fire station.
Mission updates: Tuned Metals HQ and Community College missions. These were appearing too early, making them difficult to complete. They now appear later in a city’s development.
Solar Farm Great Work: Reduced fire risk at the Solar Farm Great work. Local fire engines were spending too much time at the Solar Farm.
Messaging: Improved pre-requisite messaging for Trade Port, Casinos, Smelting Factory and Oil Refinery. It should be clearer on how to unlock these buildings.
Graphics: Fix for flickering low wealth buildings on NVIDIA graphics cards.
Education: Fix for an issue some cities experienced where commuting students did not return from a neighbor’s city. This was causing a problem where students would disappear from a city in some cases.
Tuning: Sims will lose a small amount of happiness if they don’t have a place to shop. Cities without places to shop will see complaints and feel the effect of unhappy Sims. This will emphasize the importance of commercial zones.
Article source: http://www.gamespot.com/news/simcity-40-update-detailed-6408861
Xbox One pricing will be “key” to the next-generation platform’s success, Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said in a note to investors this week.
Microsoft shared numerous details for the Xbox One during its reveal event on Tuesday, but pricing for the system was not among them.
Sebastian said he believes Microsoft will subsidize the Xbox One, potentially through partnerships with media companies like Comcast, but did not provide a price point estimation.
Microsoft specifically name-dropped Comcast during its demonstration of how the Xbox One can stream live television this week. In addition, a Comcast Xfinity viewing app for the Xbox 360 is currently available. However, no new partnerships from the companies have been announced.
Not all agree that Microsoft will offer a subsidized Xbox One. Noted Windows blogger Paul Thurrott said earlier this week that Microsoft’s plans for a subsidized system have been scrapped, but did not elaborate any further. He expects the Xbox One to launch at $500.
Microsoft currently offers a subsidized Xbox 360 through its official stores. Gamers can grab a system for $99 if they commit to a two-year Xbox Live Gold subscription at a cost of $15 per month.
According to comments from GameStop management, the Xbox One will launch at a lower price point than the Xbox 360 did in 2005.
The Xbox 360 has not been a runaway success in Japan, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft is shying away from the region with its all-new Xbox One next-generation platform.
“We’re committed to Japan,” Microsoft president of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick told OXM during a roundtable discussion recently.
“We continue to build on our partnerships, we continue to build on our offerings for consumers inside of that space,” he added.
Mattrick explained that Japan is an “important” market for Microsoft’s gaming business and said the company’s investment in the region will not slow down.
“We think it’s an important market. And we’ll continue building on the working investment that we’ve done over all these years,” Mattrick said. “There’ll be more news in appropriate ways [for each geographical region], including the content partners, all classes of content, what’s been tweaked and what’s the same as what we’re rolling out in the US.”
The Xbox One launches later this year. For more on the platform, check out GameSpot’s interview with Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer on used games, always-on rumors, and Kinect. 2.0.
Microsoft has again reached out to users to warn them that all sign-up pages claiming to offer Xbox One testing are illegitimate and should be avoided.
“All sign-up pages for testing #XboxOne are fake, “Xbox Live operations architect Eric Neustadter said on Twitter. “Do not give them your information – it’s a scam.”
Microsoft also warned gamers in March–before the Xbox One was announced–that all pages related to next-generation Xbox testing were fake.
Gamers will be able to try out the Xbox One when it launches later this year.
A new report today claims the Xbox One has more features than Microsoft showed off during the system’s announcement earlier this week. Polygon has heard from a source that the next-generation platform will be able to speak and has an option to allow friends to take over gameplay.
The source claimed that the Xbox One’s integrated Kinect camera is capable of scanning a room and using its facial recognition software to detect foreign users. If Kinect detects someone it does not recognize, it then audibly asks this person to identify themselves. Once this is done, the Kinect saves the information to the console, according to the report.
This technology, should it be real, allows the Xbox One to work in much the same way as the Siri artificial intelligence found on Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch products. Voice technology may not be available for the Xbox One launch, the source said, noting it could be added via a post-launch patch “within the first few months.”
Today’s report tallies with a rumor from February that claimed Microsoft was beefing up its voice-recognition technology for the next Xbox. This report also specifically mentioned the new technology being similar to Siri.
Polygon also reports today that players will reportedly be able to Skype a friend and allow them to take over gameplay. This feature is reportedly being designed as a means to assist players who get stuck in a section of a game and want help.
In the scenario reported on by Polygon, once the second player assumed control of the game, the first player could watch the game unfold. This remote play can be ended at any time, the report claims. It is not clear if both players must own the game in question, how long remote play can last, or which player would receive achievements for tasks completed.
The PlayStation 4 boasts a similar feature. Powered by Gaikai, the technology allows players to ask a friend to take over their game. Sony has yet to give more specific details on how exactly this will work.
Article source: http://www.gamespot.com/news/xbox-one-can-talk-report-6408871
Microsoft believes next-generation consoles will sell over 1 billion units and aims to elevate the long-running Xbox 360 to 100 million sold in the next five years.
Speaking with OXM, Microsoft senior vice president of Interactive Entertainment Business Yusuf Mehdi claimed the consoles’ deep media opportunities will lead to record industry sales.
“Every generation, as you’ve probably heard, has grown approximately 30 percent,” Mehdi said. “So this generation is about 300 million units. Most industry experts think the next generation will get upwards of about 400 million units. That’s if it’s a game console, over the next decade.”
“We think you can go broader than a game console, that’s our aim, and you can go from 400 million to potentially upwards of a billion units,” he added. “That’s how we’re thinking of the Xbox opportunity as we go forward.”
Speaking specifically about the Xbox 360, Mehdi said he is hopeful that the aging platform can reach 100 million units sold in the next five years. Sales currently stand at 77 million. He explained that Microsoft has a number of ideas in mind to go about achieving the milestone, one of which is “new price points.”
“We believe over the next five years we can break a 100 million unit installed base,” Medhi said. “That’s something we’re shooting for; it’s not a financial plan as such, it’s just rough numbers if you will. To sell another 25 million, half of those will probably come from replacements, but half will come from new buyers.”
“And the way we’ll break into those segments is by hitting new price points, getting new classes of entertainment to come with the Xbox, and breaking into new customer segments,” he added. “So you’ll see the Xbox 360 continue to exist, even as we launch the next generation Xbox One.”
Microsoft Game Studios executive Phil Spencer said earlier this week that the Xbox 360 will be “very vibrant” for years to come and even teased a “huge” announcement for the platform to be made next month at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
“I think the [Xbox 360] is going to be very vibrant for many years. In fact, we have a huge, I think it’s huge, [Xbox 360] announcement for E3 that I keep wanting to talk about, but I can’t,” Spencer said. “I think it will surprise people. I loved what we did last year with Minecraft; bring Minecraft to the box; six million units later it’s kind of a beast. I think there’s a lot of life in the [Xbox 360] for years to come.”
Nintendo’s Wii U launched last year and has sold 3.45 million units to date. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are due to launch later this year. Neither company has provided sales forecasts for either device yet.
[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, GameStop shares continued to fall. At press time, the retailer’s stock value is down 13.36 percent to $31.19.
The original story follows below.
GameStop shares are sliding today after a new reports have claimed the Xbox One‘s preowned policy could negatively impact the retailer’s business.
At press time, GameStop shares are down 6.75 percent to $33.61.
The company’s stock value has dropped steadily since Tuesday, when Microsoft announced the Xbox One and gave first details about how it would support the used game market.
MCV reported today, citing retail sources, that retailers will be able to charge whatever they want for secondhand Xbox One games, while Microsoft and publishers will receive a cut of every transaction. GameStop will be left with the remainder, according to the supposed scheme.
Under its current business model, GameStop nets 100 percent of the used game sale.
Microsoft’s rumored plan would not likely kill the secondhand market, but only minimize its lucrative margins by giving a cut to publishers.
Sony has not been forthcoming regarding its plans for used games, either. The company–like Microsoft–has confirmed that preowned titles will be supported on the PlayStation 4, but said decisions about activation fees will be left up to individual publishers.
“It’s a publisher decision,” Sony said in February. “We are not talking about it. Sorry.”