Breaking News Archive


ID@Xbox Games Announced at GDC

GDC 2014

Today at GDC 2014, Microsoft announced 25 games to be released as part of the ID@Xbox program. Major Nelson provides some further details in a blog post.

Xbox Wire released a brief rundown of the games that has been re-posted below:

  • “1001 Spikes” by Nicalis – This hardcore side-scroller features precise controls and a degree of difficulty that means starting with 1001 lives is not at all a guarantee you can make it through the game! Every level is custom designed to be beaten… barely. The game also includes co-op and cutthroat multiplayer modes.
  • “Calibre 10 Racing Series” by Bongfish GmbH – “Calibre 10 Racing Series” is a spiritual successor to “Harms Way.” The game is entirely multiplayer in a new experience that combines action-packed racing with fast-paced first person shooting.
  • “CastleStorm” by Zen Studios – It’s Knights vs. Vikings in “CastleStorm,” a super genre mash-up of 2D physics destruction mashed with tower defense brawler! “CastleStorm” features a story-driven solo campaign, a custom castle editor, online multiplayer, co-op modes, and more.
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Chief Product Officer of Xbox Marc Whitten leaves Microsoft

Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox Live, speaks about the technology behind Microsoft's Xbox One during a press event in Redmond

Microsoft announced today the impending departure of Chief Product Officer and Corporate Vice President of Xbox Marc Whitten. Marc has been with Microsoft since 2000, and has been on the team through all three Xbox console generations. You may know him from his appearances on the stage at E3, the frequent newsbits he dropped, or more recently from his Xbox Wire post about the most recent system update, which introduced a slew of new social features to the Xbox One. Marc will be moving on to become the Chief Product Office at Sonos, a company best known for its wireless audio tech.

But hey, it’s not all sad news. According to the release, “You can continue to play with Marc on Xbox Live under the gamertag notwen.”

Congrats, Marc, and good luck.


Xbox Live player first to hit 1 million Gamerscore

Achievement Unlocked

Well, it finally happened: someone has broken the 1,000,000 Gamerscore mark. Major Nelson offered warm congratulations to the dedicated gamer, Stallion83, through a tweet. Breaking 1 million is an impressive achievement (no pun intended) to be sure, but not wholly unexpected; with approximately 48 million Xbox Live accounts and a service running for almost 12 years, someone was bound to cross the 1 million Gamerscore threshold. Seems fitting, though, that it would happen in Titanfall.

Source: Major Nelson’s Twitter


Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate leaps from handheld to XBLA in April


Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate, the handheld companion game to Batman: Arkham Origins will soon make the jump to the Xbox 360. Subtitled Deluxe Edition, the new Metroid-esque, 2.5D brawler will retain the gameplay of it’s less deluxe parent, but will improve on visuals and adds Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Console players can also unlock a Zero Year Batman suit by signing into (or registering for) their Warner Bros ID account. The Armature studio title feature motion comic-styled cutscenes and a fully voiced narrative. The game arrives April 1, 2014 and will retail for USD 19.99. No word yet on whether any cross-unlocks will occur between the original Origins and Blackgate. Hit the jump for a trailer, additional screenshots, and the press release.

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Xbox One changes always on policy with Kinect


The one sure thing about the Xbox One at this point is that any news about the system is fluid right up till launch day. Following several key policy reversals by Microsoft, they’ve switched things up with Kinect now. When the system was first announced in May, Kinect was supposed to be always on and plugged in at all times in order for the system to function. That officially changed when Microsoft announced that Kinect doesn’t even need to be plugged in at all. Mark Whitten, chief architect behind the Xbox One, confirmed it on IGN.

“You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings,” Whitten said. “When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information. Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode. You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.” Kinect will still be a mandatory and sold with every system, but there’s no reason to believe that couldn’t change at some point as well.

Source: IGN


Headset will now be inlcuded with Xbox One bundle

Microsoft announced today that a headset will now be included with the Xbox One. Due to the bundling of the Kinect sensor, Microsoft had previously stated that a headset was not going to be included with the console. However, in an unboxing video released this morning, Major Nelson casually revealed that a headset will be bundled with the Xbox One.  In addition, Nelson addressed that the headset will be included in the day one and the standard releases of the next generation Microsoft console. The headset touts inline audio controls and improved audio quality for in-game chat. It will also include a 4k HDMI cable and a controller with the package.

After receiving a large amount of feedback from fans and potential buyers, Microsoft including the $24.99 headset will ease some concerns.  However, whether this will make or break the consumer’s decision to buy is yet to be determined. Will the inclusion of a headset influence your decision to buy the Xbox One?

Source: Eurogamer


Return of Pinball Arcade still up in the air

The Pinball Arcade

The Pinball Arcade on XBLA has received the yo-yo treatment as of late after it was delisted from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace last week. While the game probably won’t be coming back any time soon, there is a little bit of news at least. Developer Farsight studios could not release new DLC tables after their publishers went bankrupt last year, but the studio told longtime XBLAfans tipster @lifeflower via twitter that they plan on returning to Xbox.

“Unfortunately the licenses are still tied up with the publisher. There was some good new about a month ago, Crave has filed a ‘reorganization plan’ to the courts so hopefully we will be back and running soon,” Farsight studios said in the email. A return isn’t for certain; that will depend on what happens with the publisher. No return date for Pinball Arcade has been announced yet.


Xbox One first to secure branded domain name

Xbox One

Microsoft has secured a branded domain names for it’s new system. According to Fusible, and net have both been granted to the company after filing a complaint with the National Arbitration Foundation shortly after announcing its new console. Both domains were registered to a resident in the UK before the NAF granted them to Microsoft.

This makes Xbox One the first system to secure a branded domain name related to its next generation system. Nintendo failed to secure the rights to domain after filing a complaint last February and Sony does not own either nor

Source: Fusible


State of Decay’s Title Update in a state of emergency


Undead Labs’ zombie apocalypse survival simulator has run into a bad patch today, literally. State of Decay debuted earlier this month to record-breaking sales and critical acclaim, which we echoed in our official review. However, like most games of this scope and size, known issues and newly discovered bugs have crept up in the release version of the title. Undead Labs was quick to identify, describe and set about addressing these concerns while maintaining transparency with their players about the process at large and the in-coming patch.

Unfortunately, through some sort of publishing error, the update engineered to remedy these issues is not applying the fixes correctly. Title Update 1 released to the majority of players this past Friday evening, and soon after reports began to trickle in stating some elements were not addressed. As Undead Labs’ founder Jeff Strain explained on the studio’s forums, “Reports started coming in that other bugs we had verified internally as fixed were apparently not fixed on the live version of the game.”

Strain continues in a message to State of Decay‘s growing fan base, offering up more of the process transparency the development team has worked to foster with their community.

“First, I want to apologize. This is not acceptable, and you deserve better than this.

Second, we are on the phone with our publisher right now getting everyone mobilized. There is nothing we can do at UL to fix this problem. Once the update has been handed off, the process of getting it to you and active is something only the Xbox people can handle. So, we’re calling in the troops to come in and get going on solving this problem immediately.

Third, although we can’t directly fix the problem, you are OUR players, and we’d like you to know we’re exploring ways to express our appreciation for your patience.

In the meantime, see “first.”

Though Undead Labs don’t, and can’t, have an ETA for a resolution at this time, they’re prepared to roll the TU1 fixes into TU2 as a worst case scenario.


Skullgirls adds more character stretch goals; makes progress on XBLA patch


In an effort to continue growing the popular game Skullgirls, the developers have set yet another stretch goal. Lab Zero Game’s CEO Peter Bartholow confirmed to XBLAFans via e-mail that they have added a fourth character to their donation stretch goals. Originally, the developer added a mystery character as incentive, which was revealed to be Robo-Fortune. The threshold for Robo-Fortune is $725,000, and at the time of this article being published. Robo-Fortune is a character inspired by Robo-Ky, and will recycle the frames of Ms. Fortune. “With that money, we should be able to redraw her head and give her some new moves and animations too,” Bartholow stated.

With donations currently at $718,483 with 12 hours left to go to donate, the DLC is expected to reach that goal. Lab Zero Games has also added a fourth mystery character as incentive. If they manage to reach $825,000, the mysterious character will be created, and at $850,000, they will create a story mode and stage surrounding the mysterious character.

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