News Archive

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Microsoft went through 200 Xbox One controller prototypes

Xbox One Controller

On the surface, the Xbox One controller isn’t too different from its Xbox 360 predecessor: four face buttons, two triggers, a pair of bumpers, a couple of analog sticks, a d-pad, the Xbox Guide button and start and back button facsimiles. So designing it was probably a fairly simple task for Microsoft, right? Not exactly.

Carl Ledbetter is the man who led the team of 35 responsible for designing the Xbox One and its controller over a three-year period. In an interview with MCV, Ledbetter revealed that the console’s gamepad went through 200 prototypes that were tested by 1,100 people over a period of 500 hours.

“Nobody says anything about the little things on the hardware,” Ledbetter said. “If somebody is using the controller and after 30 minutes is saying ‘my hands are starting to hurt,’ then that’s a fail. But if after 30 minutes all they’re thinking about is the game, then we’re doing okay.”

Though most gamers and reporters have named rival Sony’s DualShock 4 as the new gold standard for gamepads, Microsoft’s Xbox One controller has been warmly received as well. Small but important changes from the 360 pad have resulted in an already comfortable design feeling even more satisfying in gamers’ hands. Complaints about aches and pains after 30 minutes of playing time have been virtually non-existent, making the design a success by Ledbetter’s standards.

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Tales from the Borderlands release dates announced

Tales_from_the_Borderlands_Teaser

Telltale’s newest series Tales from the Borderlands is coming out soon, and we mean really soon. Last night Telltale tweeted the release dates for the premiere episode, Zer0 Sum, and anxious players don’t have to wait very long. Xbox One users will be able to pick up the game tomorrow, November 26, while Xbox 360 users have to wait an extra week for December 3. The episode will cost $4.99 on either console, and the remaining four episodes can be pre-purchased with the $14.99 season pass.

Tales from the Borderlands takes place after the events of Borderlands 2, and shows what life is like on Pandora for those who aren’t face-shooting vault hunters. The series features two playable characters, Hyperion employee Rhys and con artist Fiona, as they tell the story of their unwilling partnership. Together they must face the dangers of Pandora, from bandits to vault hunters, in order to score the ultimate prize: a vault key. Check out the launch trailer after the jump, we promise it contains no Claptrap.

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Xbox One early adopters recieving free copy of Limbo

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Last month, rumors started circling that the black-and-white indie gem Limbo may get an Xbox One release. The rumor has been unofficially confirmed, as users have been receiving free copies of the game. Early adopters of the console started receiving the above message, which promises a code for the game once it releases. According to Game Informer users didn’t even have to wait that long, as the free copies rolled out yesterday. The date of Limbo‘s true Xbox One launch is still unknown, but if some lucky users are already playing it can’t be too far away.

Source: Game Informer

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Ori and the Blind Forest delayed into 2015

Ori and the Blind Forest for Xbox One

Ori and the Blind the Forest has been delayed into early 2015 on Xbox One and late 2015 on Xbox Live Arcade, developer Moon Studios has announced. Moon was originally hoping to release the Xbox One version this year and the XBLA one in early 2015.

“While we’re extremely excited for all of you to get your hands on Ori and the Blind Forest as soon as possible, we made the decision together with our partners at Microsoft Studios that we’ll need just a little more time in order to add a final layer of polish to – what we hope – will be an unforgettable gaming experience,” the studio wrote on its website Friday.

The action-platformer was first announced during Microsoft’s E3 2014 press conference after having already spent four years in quiet development.

Source: Moon Studios

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Telltale reveals first Game of Thrones trailer and returning actors from the HBO show

Telltale's Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage

Four of the stars of HBO’s Game of Thrones will reprise their roles in the upcoming first episode of Telltale Games’ video game adaptation, Telltale has announced alongside the release of a new trailer.

Peter Dinklage, Lena Heady, Natalie Dormer and Ramsay Snow will voice Tyrion Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Margaery Tyrell and Iwan Rheon, respectively. Additional cast members will join them in subsequent episodes.

The first Game of Thrones episode, Iron From Ice, is still without a firm release date but is scheduled to arrive before the end of the year. Five more episodes following House Forrester behind the scenes of seasons three, four and five of the HBO program will follow.

Fans recently got their first look at the game thanks to some leaked screenshots, but now you can view it in action after the break.

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Microsoft announces five ID@Xbox games to release this week *updated*

thomaswasalone

Earlier today Microsoft posted a press release informing us that five ID@xbox games would be released this week. Two of which, Never Alone and The Jackbox Party Pack, launched Tuesday evening. Thomas Was Alone, Piers Solar and The Pinball Arcade will release tomorrow rounding out the week.

Never Alone was developed in part with the Alaskan Native community and features beautiful arctic landscapes and with Limbo-esque puzzle segments. Our Never Alone review went up earlier this week and Nick Santangelo wasn’t a huge fan, saying “Never Alone exposed me to [the Iñupiat] culture, and I’m thankful for that. Unfortunately, it didn’t do so as part of a satisfying game experience, which makes it impossible to recommend anyone else learn the Iñupiat ways through the same means I did.”

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Killer Instinct Season 2 continues with new character Kan-Ra

Kan-Ra_concept

Kan-Ra is the third character to join the Killer Instinct Season 2 roster alongside TJ Combo and Maya, developer Iron Galaxy announced on its official forum.

As you can tell from his appearance, Kan-Ra has had quite a few rough years. As a royal vizier in ancient Babylon, his relentless drive for knowledge and power got him in trouble with his king. The king cursed him with endless torment, so his body rots away without ever dying.

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Microsoft renews Battletoads trademark *updated*

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Update: A prior posting of this story incorrectly stated that the trademark was acquired. The trademark was already owned by Microsoft and was just being renewed which is standard practice. — Ed.

Microsoft recently renewed the trademark for the Battletoads franchise. The rights include both “game software” and “entertainment services” particularly pertaining to online video games. Microsoft is currently declining to comment on any project and responded by stating that they regularly acquire trademarks as part of their business model. Until we hear more about a Battletoads project, it’s safe to assume the game is not in production at this point.

Source: US Patent and Trademark Office via Polygon

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XBLAFans Twitch Schedule: Week of 11-17

twitch stream_xbla_fans

This week’s schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, November 19th @ 8:30 pm (CST) – Pure Pool with Marshall “Intelektgaming” Britt.

Thursday, November 20th @ 5:00 pm (CST) – Terraria with Scott “K4rn4ge” Smith.

Thursday, November 20th @ 8:30 pm (CST) – Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare with Jen.

Impromptu steams all week!

If there is a game you would like to see streamed or previewed, let us know and we will do our best to get to it quickly. Enjoy this week’s stream!

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Jackbox Party Pack releases for Xbox One

Jackbox Party Splash

The Xbox One just received a huge helping of party games in the form of the Jackbox Party Pack. The pack contains a collection of five games, all of which can be played from the comfort of your phone or tablet. All players need to do is sign on to game’s website from any internet-capable device and enter the game’s room code, then they can play along with the action on the console. Most games support up to 8 players, expect Lie Swatter, which has a massive 100 player limit.

So what games are in the pack? First and foremost is You Don’t Know Jack 2015, the newest installment of the hit comedy-trivia series. Fibbage XL is a lying-based trivia game that builds on its predecessor, featuring everything from the original release plus over 50% more content. Drawful is a twist on classic drawing games, making good use of the game’s device capabilities by having players draw on their phone. Word Spud has players race to finish unfinished words, complete with adjustable levels of rudeness. Last but not least, Lie Swatter is a true or false trivia game filled with strange and unusual questions.

Jackbox Party Pack is available now for $24.99. Check out some screenshots and the launch trailer after the jump.

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