XBLA Fans may not seem the proper venue for a bit of PC gaming news, but Microsoft has given us reason to talk about that other platform it's known for. And it's probably going to give us even more reasons to do so at this year's E3.
Most Xbox fans are already aware that Microsoft is set to make its annual E3 media briefing on Monday, June 15 at 9:30 AM PDT, during which time the console holder will show off its console gaming plans for the second half of 2015 and beyond. But that won't be the only media briefing Microsoft will take part in this E3. Microsoft will also make an appearance at the first ever PC Gaming Show, which starts on Tuesday, June 16 at 5 PM EST.
Microsoft has joined chip maker AMD in co-sponsoring the event being put on by the folks over at PC Gamer. Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer will be joined by some game developers to share Microsoft's plans for spelling Xbox as Windows 10.
Update: After our story went live, a Twitter user claiming to be a member of Lizard Squad informed XBLA Fans that the cyber attack on Xbox Live took place between 9:00 and 11:00 pm UTC on Sunday. In a follow-up tweet, he stated that the alleged perpetrators "did manage to fix the lower restrictive server that allowed local play to be revived in a couple of hours." Our original story is below.
Many gamers, including some XBLA Fans staffers, experienced difficulty playing multiplayer games over Xbox Live last night. If you were one of them, you now know who to blame for your woes.
Lizard Squad, the same collective of nefarious internet users behind attacks that brought Xbox Live to its knees this past holiday, has claimed responsibility for the network problems. In conjunction with the group Like No Other, Lizard Squad apparently hit Xbox Live with another shot from its weapon of choice: a DDoS attack.
Though XBL appears to have since fully recovered from the attack, this may have just been the opening salvo of Lizard Squad's latest offensive. "More to come, it's about time to re-ignite lizardsquad," the group tweeted last night. Gamers may recall that the biggest holiday DDoS attack was preceded by a smaller one.
Like millions of other Xbox gamers, you may have had trouble logging onto Xbox Live during Christmas. That's because both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network were victimized by DDoS attacks that took them offline, but authorities may be closing in on the parties responsible.
YLE reported last week that a supposed member of Lizard Squad, the group claiming responsibility for the attacks, had been apprehended by Finnish authorities. A 17-year old identified only as "Ryan" was brought in for questioning, but Chief Inspector Tero Muurman of Finland's National Bureau of Investigation has since stated that Ryan was not detained, only questioned about his possible involvement.
During his questioning, Ryan denied direct involvement in the attack, claiming to only be a spokesperson for Lizard Squad. He played the part during an interview with Sky News in which he said the actual team of attackers consisted of only one or two individuals.
Although Ryan said the group may contain members younger than the age of 20, one of them may be 22-year old Vinnie Omari, who The Daily Dot reports was arrested by UK authorities on December 29 in connection to the DDoS attacks. Omari was later released on bail, with no formal charges having yet been filed. Omari told the Dot that a forensics team was pouring over his "Xbox one, phones, laptops, computer USBs, etc."
Attendees of the San Diego Comic-Con were treated to a sneak peak of Halo: Nightfall. The production is “led by world class talent such as executive producer Ridley Scott, Scott Free TV President David Zucker, award-winning director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica, Pillars of the Earth, Heroes), and written by Paul Scheuring (A Man Apart, Prison Break).” Microsoft looks to give Halo fans something to get excited about in the time between major releases.
The latest system update for Xbox One rolled out last week, bringing with it a slew of new features. First and foremost are the Gold benefits, including Deals with …
Continuing with its stated goal of giving gamers what they've been asking for, Microsoft announced today that the Xbox One's June system update will add functionality for external storage support and real names for friend identification.
Once the update arrives, Xbox One consoles will support up to two external USB 3.0 hard drives, provided the drives are at least 256 GB in size. This move will allow users to increase their storage space from the standard 500 GB available on the console's internal drive. After plugging in a compatible drive, players will be asked if they wish to format it and given the option to make it the default device.
In addition to storing more Xbox One content simultaneously, external drive support will give gamers the ability to drop full games, downloadable content and apps onto external drives and take said drives on the go for usage on a friend's console. Content can either be saved directly to external drives or copied over to them from the internal one. Digital content stored on external HDDs can be accessed on other consoles once the user has signed into Xbox Live. For retail games, the disc will have to be inserted in order to verify ownership.
Speaking of friends, real name support is aimed at making it easier for users to immediately identify who is who on their friends lists as those lists continue to grow up to 1,000 names in length. Microsoft is cognizant of the privacy concerns this move could potentially raise. The console holder will give each gamer the ability to choose whether all friends, some friends or no friends see their real name. Settings can be changed at any time and real names will not appear in-game.
Microsoft originally planned to support real name usage on launch day but ended up delaying the feature. Competitor Sony has supported actual names since launch on its PlayStation 4 console.
The 13th title update for Happy Wars has been released. The upgrades and changes this time around include support items, which are consumables used to hasten the progress …
This November will mark 12 years since the launch of Xbox Live, Microsoft's online gaming service that currently boasts more than 48 million global users. Ensuring all of those Live members are constantly connected with each other and enjoying all of the service's many features is paramount to delivering the Xbox experience gamers have come to expect. To pull it off, Microsoft has staffers working around the clock at its Xbox Live Operations Center (XOC) in Redmond, Washington, reports Total Xbox.
As part of their job function, XOC staffers respond to clear-cut problems. The majority of their time, however, is dedicated to ferreting out issues that no one knows about. Team members search for irregularities and investigate them to discover whether or not they are problems that need solving. They can't guess at whether something is a threat to uninterrupted Xbox Live service or not; they have to know. They have to find out.
Microsoft Gaming Ninja (yes, that's his real job title) Eric Neustadter informed Total Xbox that his team has to be ready for anything at all times. "It's a bit like being in the fire department or police, where you have to think through what would I do in [a worst case] scenario. My boss was in the fire department for years, and he went from doing that to running services like this. In a lot of ways, it is a similar mindset."
Redundancy is Neustadter's go-to tool for preventing an Xbox Live doomsday scenario. "We have all the things you need to run 24/7/365, like multiple power grids connected into the campus," he explained. "When that fails, we have diesel generators with huge tanks out there so that we can run for roughly 72 hours without power, and then we can bring in tankers with more diesel and refill the tanks while they're running. We also have a disaster recovery site… somewhere else on a different power grid with almost all of this replicated so we can go over there and work instead."