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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Neverwinter Xbox One Launch Trailer

t_neverwinter_xboxonelaunch

Neverwinter brings a full-fledged roleplaying experience based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise to Xbox One!
Posted By: Xbox One Games

Xbox One April System Update: Voice Messages, Party Chat Updates and More Now in Preview

Thanks to suggestions from our fans, we continue to focus on finding great ways to bring the Xbox community closer together. Over the past few months, we’ve introduced several features to make it easier to connect to friends and meet new people. 

You may have noticed a few new features that rolled out to preview over the weekend, including game hub links and more detailed achievement notifications. Now this week, we’re bringing even more features to Xbox One in preview, making it easier to keep in touch with friends on Xbox One or Xbox 360.

Check out the list below for features in the April preview update that are starting to roll out tonight:

  • Voice messages New this month is the No. 1 feature requested in the Friends and Parties area on the Xbox Feedback site > “Add audio message …” Xbox One preview program members will be able to compose and playback voice messages in the messages app when snapped on Xbox One. Quickly and easily record audio to send to your friends or others through your snapped messages app accessed through a simple quick double tap of the Xbox button. Additionally, voice messages can be exchanged between Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles.
  • Dedicated servers for party chat – We are committed to continuing to make improvements to party chat, designed to improve quality, reliability, and ease of use. We’re enhancing party chat with dedicated chat relay servers. This new service will enable Xbox One owners that may have historically had NAT issues to party chat more reliably. Parties where players are unable to form direct peer-to-peer connections for party chat will automatically leverage dedicated server infrastructure to relay traffic.
    • Currently, this service is only enabled for parties where one or more members are enrolled in the Xbox One Preview program. Those preview consoles enable the service for their party chat sessions, even if some of the party participants are not part of the preview program.
  • What’s On – The Xbox engineering team is continuing to experiment with the What’s On area, which highlights popular games, movies, TV shows, game broadcasts and clips. What’s On has been available for preview members in the U.S. and this month, the preview of this feature is being expanded to Canada and the UK as well. Additionally, the “Staff Picks” are now more personalized based on your recent game activity, and we’re introducing new experiments with Twitter Trending TV, and Game Clips for subsets of the preview audience. 

Keep sending us your feedback and we’ll keep working on bringing you the latest and greatest features on Xbox One.

Posted By: Xbox One Games

ID@Xbox Spotlight: Rivals of Aether Brings Party Combat to Xbox One

Rivals of Aether is a game that looks and feels comfortably familiar – and that’s largely due to the fact that it’s a game inspired by so many classics that any aspect of it might remind you of one of your favorite games of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

A multiplayer fighting game, Rivals of Aether borrows some pages from other popular games, while still keeping itself fresh and unique. During a match, your objective is to try and knock your opponents off the screen. You do this by attacking them, which increases their damage meter. The higher their damage meter, the further they’ll fly when hit with a power move. It’s an entirely unique fighting game style for Xbox. It’s just a super game, where you and all of your bros try your hardest smash each other.

Rivals of Aether embodies all the video game mechanics we grew up adoring. The visual aesthetic is a love letter to 8-bit gaming, as is its character design. It’s very clear that developer Dan Fornace loves video games in the purest sense, and this is an homage to everything he likes.

So how does it play? What we’ve seen from Rivals of Aether so far is extremely promising: The controls are top-notch, and the special moves are varied, fun, and flashy. Each fighter represents an element type: fire, water, earth, or air. We tried our hand at a few of the characters, starting with Zetterburn – a lion guy with a mane made of fire. Zetterburn can use his flame attacks to burn other players, which causes them to take more damage from follow-up attacks. There’s also Wrastor, an air elemental bird; Orcane, a water orca; and Kraag the earth elemental beetle. And that’s just for starters.

There’s a story in all this, explaining why these characters are rivals… though we haven’t gotten to see much of that quite yet. Right now, we’re having fun just bashing each other off the screen with our awesome elemental attacks.

For those of you who have been wanting this kind of fighting game on Xbox One, you’re finally getting it when Rivals of Aether makes its debut later this year via ID@Xbox.
Posted By: Xbox One Games

Smite Brings the Wrath of the Gods to the Xbox One

Already wildly popular on Windows PCs, Smite ushers in a new generation of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) on the Xbox One. Played from an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective (unlike the top-down view of many MOBAs), Smite puts players in the guise of one of 60+ gods drawn from the pantheons of many of the world’s polytheistic traditions. Thor’s here, as is Kali, and Apollo, along with many more. Each has a unique play style and move set, and each plays as part of a team.

Smite
features several game modes, each of which favors a certain play style – but all of which build skills that are useful in all the modes. The core game mode is Conquest, which features a three-lane, traditional MOBA style of attack-and-capture gameplay. Teams of five face off against each other, with no one being allowed to have the same god as a teammate. You can play in ranked matches, or if you want to play with some buddies, you can practice in co-op mode as well. If you choose to play ranked, you’d better be on your “A” game, as ranked Conquest is the toughest and most competitive of Smite’s modes.

For those looking for a more casual challenge, Arena mode features similar five-on-five gameplay… but instead of a traditional, lane-based map, everything takes place in a big, open arena. This is far more chaotic, and rewards individual reflexes and skill as much as teamwork. On the flip side, there’s Joust mode, which is laid out similarly to Conquest – but only allows for one lane, rather than three, and slims down from five-on-five to three-on-three teams. Think of it as “Conquest Lite.”

Finally, there’s Siege mode, which is laid out like Conquest, but which features more powerful A.I. creatures that players can spawn by taking down enemy players and structures. The more destruction one team causes, the faster they get powerful A.I. allies. This game mode pushes players to fight each other sooner, rather than wandering the map, building up strength.

If this all sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry: Not only does
Smite come with a bevy of controller setups (some of which were designed by expert console gamers specifically for the Xbox One), it uses a modified TrueSkill ranking system to ensure that you won’t be pitted against players who are way above or below your skill level. Challenge is the name of the game in MOBAs – but a fair challenge is what Smite will deliver.

Best of all,
Smite is free to play. When it hits Xbox One later this year via ID@Xbox, you can download it, load it up, and start kicking divine booty!
Posted By: Xbox One Games

Sling TV Launches Today Exclusively on Xbox One; Xbox Members Get Exclusive One Month Free Trial

In January, we announced that Sling TV, the new live TV service, would be making its way to Xbox One. Today, we’re proud to announce that Xbox One is the first gaming console for which the over-the-top television service is available, and the best part is that only our members get an exclusive extended free trial for 30 days.

Sling TV on Xbox One offers the same great features our fans have come to expect, including the ability to Snap while enjoying other activities, Pin the app to your Home and use voice or gesture controls with Kinect for Xbox One. Check out the walk-through video above for a deeper look into how it all works on Xbox One.

If you’re not already a proud owner of an Xbox One, you can also head to your nearest Microsoft store or go to microsoftstore.com and receive a limited time offer of three free months of Sling TV service with the purchase of an Xbox One console (offer available in the U.S. only).
1 You can also check out a live demo of Sling TV on Xbox One at your local Microsoft store.

We got a chance to sit down with Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch to learn more about the new service and what it means to bring Sling TV exclusively to Xbox One as the first gaming console. See below for our Q&A.

Major Nelson: Tell us about Sling TV.

Roger Lynch: With Sling TV, you can watch live TV instantly without the cable company. That means you get access to the NFL, NBA and X Games on ESPN and ESPN2, plus your favorite shows like “The Walking Dead” from AMC, Adult Swim, TNT, TBS, and others. You can also explore Video-On-Demand (VOD) entertainment, as well as content from Maker Studios like Polaris+, which is coming soon.

MN: How much are people paying for Sling TV?

RL: For just $20 a month, members get the “Best of Live TV” core package with live sports, lifestyle, family and news channels, plus Video-On-Demand entertainment. Customers can tailor their experience by adding on “Sports Extra,” which gives you access to even more ESPN and big time sporting events, including the SEC Network, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, and part-time college sports networks ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded and ESPN Goal Line.

Additional add-on packs available include “Kids Extra,” “News & Info Extra,” and “Hollywood Extra,” which gives you access to hit movies. Each of these add-on packs is priced at only $5 per month. Plus, Sling TV members also have access to live channels and VOD entertainment from Maker Studios, including the soon-to-be-launched Polaris+. Xbox members can try Sling TV with an exclusive extended free trial for 30 days.

MN: Why partner with Xbox as the exclusive gaming console at launch?

RL: We built Sling TV with millennials in mind, and that includes gamers. Xbox has been at the forefront of gaming and technology for years, so it made sense to bring Sling TV to the passionate Xbox user. For many millennials, Xbox One is already the center of their living room experience, and we want to reach these fans to show there’s a better way to get live TV that doesn’t require a long-term commitment, high programming costs, additional wires or hidden fees.

MN: What do you think viewers are most excited about when they sign up for Sling TV?

RL: With Sling TV, our customers get access to live TV at a low price, plus the flexibility to customize their TV experience so they can choose content that matters most to them. And, customers aren’t locked into a long-term contract like you get with traditional pay-TV providers.

MN: Anything else you’d like to share with Xbox Live members?

RL: We’d love for Xbox Live members to Take Back TV and try Sling TV today through the exclusive extended free 30 day trial. Join our journey on Facebook, Twitter, and our blog for the latest news and don’t forget to invite your friends to #TakeBackTV with @Sling.

1Offer valid from March 17, 2015 until March 22, 2015. Offer is available while supplies last. Available in Microsoft retail and online store in US only. To activate Sling TV promotion, customers are required to provide email address to Microsoft; Customers authorize Microsoft to share the email address provided with Sling TV to activate promotional account.  After free trial your credit card will be charged monthly for applicable subscription until you cancel your service. Cancel anytime on Sling.com or by calling 1 (877) 811-4788. Programming fees are charged monthly in advance and no credits or refunds will be issued for partial months after cancellation. Viewing limited to one device at a time. Must be redeemed by 4/22/15.   Microsoft Store terms apply.  Sling TV terms apply.  Not available to small business or medium business customers. Not valid on prior orders or purchases; cannot be transferred or otherwise redeemed for cash or gift cards. May not be combinable with other offers. See store associate for details. Refunds will take into account the discount. Price discount does not include taxes, shipping or other fees. All prices, fees, charges, packages, programming, features, functionality and offers subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or discontinue offers at any time. Limit of 1 per customer.

Posted By: Xbox One Games

Xbox One March System Update: Party Chat Improvements, Screenshots and More Now Available

This month’s system update on Xbox One brings you some of the most-requested features by our fans including screenshots and improved tile transparency. We heard great things from members of the Xbox One preview program following their sneak preview and are excited to bring these great new features to everyone on Xbox One today.

Check out the list of features in the March system update that are starting to roll out tonight:

  • Screenshots New this month is a highly requested feature by our community from the Xbox feedback site. While playing a game, you can now take screenshots on your Xbox One console by simply double-tapping the Xbox button on your controller to capture a screenshot and pressing Y to save the screenshot. You can also say “Xbox, take a screenshot” to take and save a screenshot.

    The Upload app has been updated so that you can manage your screenshots in addition to your game clips. To set a screenshot as your background, go to Upload, open the screenshot full screen, press the Menu button, and select Set as background. You can also use Upload to share screenshots to your activity feed, attach them to messages, add screenshots to your showcase, share to Twitter, and post to OneDrive. Additionally, your game clips and screenshots will be shown in a new area on your profile. 

  • Suggested friends Everyone can use new friends! Suggested friends will include people you might know—so you can add more friends to game with—and top community broadcasters and clip creators—so you can get more great content in your activity feed. To find new friends, go to Friends and look for people under the Suggested friends heading or select the Suggested friends button. Or, if you don’t have a ton of friends yet, just check the Friends area of Home. 
  • Sharing your name – We’re rolling out two new ways to share your real name: with all of your friends, or to everyone in the Xbox Live community. You can also continue to share your real name with select friends or no one, if that’s what you prefer. Gamertags are still the primary method of identifying yourself on Xbox Live, but sharing your real name helps people recognize you who might not know you by your gamertag. The new name sharing options can be found under Friends > My profile > Name sharing settings
  • Party chat enhancements – We added two new icons to party chat to show each participant their own microphone status. The Kinect icon means the Kinect is being used as the mic and the headset icon means the headset mic is being used. 
  • Tile transparency – As a result of your feedback, we’re adding a setting to vary the level of transparency for your background images. To do this, go to Settings > My Xbox > Tile transparency
  • Voice search privacy – We added a new setting to share voice search data to allow anonymous collection and analysis of voice data when using Bing on Xbox to search. Go to Settings > Privacy and online safety > Custom > Share voice search data to change the setting. 
  • Report spam – The Messages app has an added option to notify Xbox when you receive spam. To report a message as spam, select it, press A on the controller, select Report, and then choose Spam.
  • Live TV & OneGuide in Australia – Support for OneGuide is now available to all users in Australia for free-to-air TV listings. Additionally, the OneGuide app will be pre-pinned for users in Australia a few days after the March system update goes live. 
  • Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in Australia – Xbox One owners in Australia can pre-purchase the Xbox Digital TV Tuner at the online Microsoft Store, Availability of the tuner is planned for March 25, 2015. 

     

More system updates with cool new features are coming your way soon, so stay tuned for more details. Keep sending us your feedback!

Posted By: Xbox One Games

Get Xbox One Plus Four Free Halo Games, All for $349

For those of you looking to pick up an Xbox One this spring, look no further – beginning in March, fans worldwide (U.S. and select markets) will be able to revisit the entire story of the Master Chief with the Xbox One Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle. The exclusive bundle includes a standard Xbox One console, as well as a digital download code for Halo: The Master Chief Collection – the essential Halo fan experience that features the Master Chief’s complete story through four free Halo games: Halo: Combat Evolved AnniversaryHalo 2: AnniversaryHalo 3 and Halo 4 – all for ERP $349 in the U.S.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection allows fans to play all 45 campaign missions, plus more than 100 multiplayer and Spartan Ops maps, in 1080p at 60fps. The bundle also comes with access to the new live-action digital series from executive producer Ridley Scott, Halo: Nightfall. This jam-packed offer gets you four great games in one bundle, and provides tremendous value for fans of Halo and the Master Chief.

The Xbox One Halo: The Master Chief Collection bundle is available in most regions where Xbox One is available so check with your local retailers for more details on availability.

With an unprecedented lineup of Xbox exclusives including Fable Legends, Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Forza Motorsport 6 plus a host of blockbuster third-party titles such as Battlefield Hardline and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt all coming this year, 2015 is shaping up to be another amazing year for Xbox fans.
Posted By: Xbox One Games

It’s Back: Rock Band 4 Is Coming to Xbox One

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been itching to get the band back together since 2010’s Rock Band 3 for Xbox 360. Well, the time has finally come: Get ready to rock out once again, because developer Harmonix is making beautiful music with publisher Mad Catz. That’s right, Rock Band 4 is coming to Xbox One later this year!

Yes, the beloved music franchise is coming to the new console generation – and it’s expanding in some awesome new ways, while still retaining everything you loved about Rock Band in the first place.

“With Rock Band 4, we’re doubling down on the energy and excitement of playing music live with your friends,” said Harmonix Chief Executive Officer Steve Janiak. “Focusing on the core experience that our fans have told us they love allows us to evolve established gameplay in meaningful ways that we can’t wait to share with everyone later this year.”

“We couldn’t be happier to be working with Harmonix and help bring the band back together for the launch of Rock Band 4,” added Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “Harmonix possesses unrivaled passion and vision for music gaming, and we can’t wait to introduce the next-generation music platform to passionate gamers.”

More details on Rock Band 4 will emerge in the coming months, but for now you can check out the brand-new behind-the-scenes feature with Harmonix above.

Head to the official Rock Band website and sign up to be notified as soon as pre-orders start. Oh, and if you’re attending next week’s PAX East convention in Boston, you can pre-order an exclusive Penny Arcade-themed Rock Band 4 guitar at Harmonix’s booth. Heck yeah!
Posted By: Xbox One Games

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