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Xbox 360 titles Borderlands 2, Assassin’s Creed Rogue, The King of Fighters 2002 now playable on Xbox One

23 Feb

More games have been added to the list of Xbox 360 backwards compatible games for Xbox One.

Borderlands-2_2011_08-17-11_002

As noted in the headline, three of these are Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Borderlands 2 and The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match.

If you don’t already own Borderlands 2 for Xbox 360 and you have an Xbox Live Gold account, you can play the game for free on your 360 or Xbox One console from March 1-15 via Games With Gold.

Those who already have the disc, can start playing it today for Xbox One.

Other titles added this week were Gyromancer, Moon Diver and Space Invaders Infinity Gene.

Xbox 360 titles Borderlands 2, Assassin’s Creed Rogue, The King of Fighters 2002 now playable on Xbox One

23 Feb

More games have been added to the list of Xbox 360 backwards compatible games for Xbox One.

Borderlands-2_2011_08-17-11_002

As noted in the headline, three of these are Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Borderlands 2 and The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match.

If you don’t already own Borderlands 2 for Xbox 360 and you have an Xbox Live Gold account, you can play the game for free on your 360 or Xbox One console from March 1-15 via Games With Gold.

Those who already have the disc, can start playing it today for Xbox One.

Other titles added this week were Gyromancer, Moon Diver and Space Invaders Infinity Gene.

Borderlands 2, Evolve are two of your Xbox Games with Gold for March

22 Feb

Microsoft has announced the four freebies Xbox Live Gold members can download during March.

On Xbox One, Gold members can download Layers of Fear for free during the entire month of March. Evolve Ultimate Edition, will be available as a free download March 16-April 15.

Xbox 360 users can download Borderlands 2 starting March 1. It will be free until Heavy Weapon takes its place on March 16.

More information is available on Xbox Wire.

As usual, all four games are available for Xbox One users thanks due to backwards compatibility.

Terraria has sold 20.5 million copies since its release in 2011

18 Feb

Since its release in May 2011, Terraria has sold 20.5 million copies, according to developer Re-Logic.

20mil-AnnounceForumSize

The milestone was reached by the end of 2016, meaning over 4.1 million copies of Terraria have been sold each year for the past five years. 8.3 million units were sold within the last 18 months on PC since update 1.3 launched in June 2015.

Along with unit sales figure, (thanks, PCgamesN) the studio also shared more stats on the 2D sandbox adventure since launch day:

Launch (May 2011)

  • PC only
  • Over 250 Items
  • Six NPCs (seven counting the old man)
  • 20 Enemies
  • Three Bosses
  • Ten Biomes
  • Game “ended” with the Dungeon, explorable upon defeating the final boss of the game at the time.

Present

  • Available on: PC/Mac/Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, Vita, PS4, 3DS, Wii U, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Amazon mobile.
  • Over 3,800 Items
  • 25 NPCs (26 if, again, you count the old man)
  • Over 350 Enemies
  • 16 Bosses (plus nine mini-bosses)
  • 27 Biomes (Plus a number of “mini-biomes” such as Pyramids or Living Trees)
  • Optional “Events” (The Moons, Invasions, etc)
  • Game “ends” with Moonlord, though optional content remains
  • Expert Mode
  • Numerous Quality of Life Improvements
  • More planned

The developers also promised there are more “tidbits” they aren’t quite ready to share yet, including and update on the status of Otherworld.

Also, update 1.3 for consoles is “just around the corner,” according to the studio with the mobile version releasing afterward.

Re-Logic also described Terraria as a franchise with “so much life left in it,” in the post, and said it “cannot wait to share those plans in the months and years to come.”

Resident Evil 7 was the best-selling game of January 2017, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, other heavy-hitters play musical chairs

17 Feb

The NPD group has released hardware and software figures for January 2017 and it should come as no surprise that PlayStation 4 and Resident Evil 7 topped the respective sectors.

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videogames

January 2017 NPD at a glance

Resident Evil 7 tops software charts

PS4 was best-selling console

PC software spend declined 12% year-over-year

All categories – accessories, hardware, software – down 4% year-over-year

Compare month-on-month: December 2016

Compare year-over-year: January 2016

While hardware sales declined, software was up 14% to $313 million. NPD attributed the increase to Resident Evil 7’s release, especially when comparing the year-over-year (yoy) release slates.

It’s also worth noting Resident Evil 7 was only on the market for five days when the NPD reporting period ended.

“With only five days in the market, Resident Evil 7 was the best-selling game in January,” said NPD analyst Sam Naji. “The last time Capcom had the best-selling game of the month (in dollar sales) was in March 2009 with Resident Evil 5.”

First-person shooters Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Battlefield 1 were still two of the best-selling games for the month, and neither title has fallen off the chart since release in fall 2016.

Overwatch also returned after dropping off the NPD software list in October.

The rise in sales could possibly be attributed to various discount offers or the Overwatch Year of the Rooster event; however, that’s just conjecture on our part as NPD didn’t elaborate on why Overwatch was once again charting. It was, however, one of the best-selling games of 2016 per NPD’s yearly report in January.

Action titles Grand Theft Auto 5 and Watch Dogs 2 also remained on the chart, while sports titles Madden NFL 17 and FIFA 17 remained popular with US consumers as well.

PC software came in at $16 million, a 12% decline yoy from $18 million.

PS4_console_big

NPD Software Top Ten January 2017

You’ll notice not much changed on the chart since December 2016, as the heavy hitters played musical chairs and that’s about it.

The biggest changes were the entry of new releases Resident Evil 7 and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – the second best-selling PS4 title for the month.

Pokemon Sun and Moon and Final Fantasy 15 fell off the chart, and again, Overwatch reentered it.

The full NPD software chart is below, but keep in mind not all digital stores report sales data. Some publishers who sell through the PlayStation and Xbox Stores report data, but others do not. For example: Microsoft, Sony and Blizzard (Battle.net) do not report first-party sales.

  1. Resident Evil 7 (PS4, Xbox One)
  2. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  3. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  4. Battlefield 1 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  5. NBA 2K17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  6. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (PS4)
  7. Madden NFL 17 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
  8. Watch Dogs 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  9. Overwatch (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  10. FIFA 17 (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

This month, NPD also started reporting catalog sales of titles from the first six months of availability – starting with month seven (thanks, MCV). The winning publisher in the category for January 2017 was Take-Two and it was also the top publisher for 2016. NPD attributed this to continued sales of GTA 5.

NPD Hardware January 2017

Last week, the initial NPD report had PS4 topping hardware followed by Xbox One – which according to Microsoft enjoyed year-over-year (yoy) growth compared to January 2016.

PS4 sold the most units, with Xbox One coming in second place, and Nintendo’s Nintendo Classic Mini: NES in third.

“The PlayStation 4 was the best-selling hardware (in units sold) during January 2017,” said NPD analyst Sam Naji. “And for the fourth consecutive month, PlayStation 4 Slim System 500GB Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Bundle was the top-selling PS4 sku in terms of units sold.”

For the month of January 2017, hardware totaled $127 million, a decline of 19% yoy compared to $157 million in 2016.

Accessories declined 17% yoy to $155, with toys-to-life skus (ex: Skylanders, amiibo, Lego Dimensions) showing the biggest decline.

Total spent in the US on accessories, hardware and software for the month January hit $611 million. While that’s indeed as large figure, it’s 4% less compared to $637 million spent in 2016.

NPD said the lower figure was due to a decline in hardware sales and general lack of growth.

Play Rocket League, NBA 2K17 free and get online without an XBL Gold sub all weekend

16 Feb

Microsoft is hosting another free multiplayer weekend, and if that’s not enough for you, Rocket League and NBA 2K17 are also free to download a play for the duration.

The free weekend starts today and runs through Sunday, February 19. Starting today you can also download both NBA 2K17 and play as much as you like until the aforementioned date.

Plus, Rocket League is also on sale this week for 25% off at £12/$15, which is a good incentive to pick it up if you liked it during the free trial. NBA 2K17 is also on sale for $20 off, so it will run you $39.99/£35.74 instead of $59.99/£54.99.

If you are unfamiliar with the free multiplayer weekends, it’s exactly as it sounds. You can play online without an Xbox Live Gold subscription whether you own an Xbox 360 or Xbox One.

So, if you own a game with a multiplayer component, hop online with your friends and shoot things, solve puzzles, kill orcs or what have you all weekend long.

The ability to transfer GTA Online characters from old-gen to PS4 and Xbox One ends next month

15 Feb

If you still haven’t made the jump from Xbox 360 and PS3 with your GTA Online character, you’ll want to decide soon.

gta_online_heists_new_26

Since the launch of the remastered GTA 5 on PS4 and Xbox One, Rockstar has been offering players the ability to bring their GTA Online characters forward from PS3 and Xbox 360.

Well, soon this will be coming to an end. Rockstar confirmed in a blog post that after March 6, you won’t be able to transfer your GTA Online character from PS3 or Xbox 360 to PS4 and Xbox One.

Bringing your character forward only affects GTA Online progress, not the single-player save. Not everything is transferred over, too. If you want a step-by-step guide on how to make the move, and what is and isn’t coming along, our simple and detailed guide will get you sorted.

It’s surprising Rockstar didn’t end support for the feature sooner, considering the developer stopped releasing GTA Online updates on PS3 and Xbox 360 ages ago.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, GTA Online is offering double RP, discounts, and other bonuses. Of course, these type of events are only available on new consoles.

Hitman: Absolution now available on Xbox One as a backwards compatible title

14 Feb

It’s taken a while, but Hitman: Absolution is now available as a backwards compatible title on Xbox One.

hitman_absolution

Released in 2012 on Xbox 360, IO Interactive said back in February 2016 Hitman: Absolution it would bring the title to Xbox One at some point.

Release timing wasn’t provided at the time, as “specifics were up to Microsoft,” but almost a year to the day of being announced as in the works, you can now get your hands on it.

When the game was released, it was riddled with issues on all three platforms, the main issue being corrupted file saves on consoles along with crashes, freezing and the like. It took a month or so for the studio to identify the caused and release a patch.

At any rate, if you missed it the first time around or still have your disc handy, you can give it a go from today.

Thanks, CJ.

Microsoft investigating frame-pacing issues for GTA 4 on Xbox One

14 Feb

There may not be much that can be done about certain technical issues with backwards compatible games on Xbox One, but Microsoft will continue to look into solutions.

GTA 4

GTA 4 is the latest Xbox 360 game to join the growing list of backwards compatible titles on Xbox One.

Unfortunately, although the game benefits from increased performance on Xbox One, recent analysis revealed very concerning frame-pacing issues, resulting in a worse experience overall. The report suggested a possible solution to this in locking the frame-rate to 30fps.

But it’s not that simple, according to Microsoft engineer Bill Stillwell, who responded on Twitter earlier to confirm that the team is working within the limitations of the game’s engine. That said, Stillwell promised to look into it.

It’s not uncommon for backwards compatible games to get fixes after becoming available, such as in the case of Mass Effect and Halo: Reach, so let’s wait and see if anything will be done about the GTA 4 issues.

GTA 4 may have a better frame-rate on Xbox One, but you’re probably better off playing on Xbox 360

13 Feb

GTA 4 on Xbox One backwards compatibility is quite a peculiar thing.

Last week, the Xbox 360 version of GTA 4 became playable on Xbox One thanks to the console’s backwards compatibility.

As is usually the case with backwards compatible games, the transition doesn’t always result in a performance improvements. Thanks to outlets like Digital Foundry, though, we get to actually find out if Xbox One is the best way to play the game.

The case of GTA 4 is complicated, as the site’s recent analysis revealed. According to Digital Foundry, though raw frame-rate has improved, this may not be such a good thing.

You can expect up to a 5fps increase in some spots, but it’s the frame-pacing issue that sours the experience. Xbox One delivers new frames at a rate very different from the Xbox 360 version’s, and much later than the standard 16ms and 33ms intervals.

“It feels choppier and more uneven, while controller latency – hardly one of the game’s strongest points on original hardware – sometimes feels significantly laggier on Xbox One. In certain areas, frame-pacing seems to normalise but by and large, in-game performance seems less stable,” the site noted in the analysis.

Although these observations only apply to the main GTA 4 campaign for now, not including the Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and Damned, something doesn’t feel quite right.

“As things stand, GTA4 is one of a small number of back-compat titles that we’d prefer to play on Xbox 360 instead, and we hope that the back-compat team goes back to take a closer look at the frame-pacing issues here,” the site concludes.

The DLC add-ons will be tested later, but for now, things don’t look promising.

Watch Dogs 2 sales have improved since “soft” release period thanks to word of mouth, says Ubisoft

10 Feb

Watch Dogs 2 is doing better than early reports indicated, which must be a relief to Ubisoft.

watch_dogs_2

Watch Dogs 2‘s release window sales were described as “soft” during Ubisoft’s post-financials release briefing today.

Despite this admission, Ubisoft remained bullish on the franchise, saying that strong sales followed release due to positive word-of-mouth buzz. The publisher is “happy” with Watch Dogs 2’s performance, CEO Yves Guillemot said, and commented that these healthy sales are important for the long term future of the Watch Dogs franchise.

Watch Dogs 2 UK release sales were well down on the first game’s performance, and it came in eighth on the NPD’s November charts – although it was a crowded month, mind.

At release, Ubisoft said it was “incredibly happy” with critical and player response to Watch Dogs 2 and expected the positive reception to lead to a good sales tail. Looks like it was right on the money, there.

Though Ubisoft did not give hard numbers on Watch Dogs 2’s sales to date, it did say it has already out-performed Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, which came out a year earlier.

Syndicate was the last Assassin’s Creed game before Ubisoft suddenly put the franchise on hold after years of annual sequels. It’s a shame, really; although it suffered the same weaknesses as other series entries and multi-studio open world games in general, Syndicate had a lot of points in its favour and was an improvement on the notoriously broken Assassin’s Creed: Unity – the game likely responsible for Syndicate’s subdued sales and Assassin’s Creed going away until, perhaps, 2018.

Speaking of which, Ubisoft said it has just four triple-A releases coming between April 2017 and March 2018 – one of which is the delayed South Park: The Fractured But Whole – and had in fact elected not to release a fifth planned triple-A game, but instead focus on supporting an existing title currently enjoying powerful engagement.

Ubisoft will be actively supporting six live games this year (I think it means For Honor, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Rainbow Six Siege, The Division, Steep and The Crew), which is a new record for the publisher – so it probably doesn’t need any extra triple-A releases to contend with on top of all that.

No idea what the three unaccounted for triple-A releases are. Assassin’s Creed might come back earlier than expected, and Far Cry probably has another release in it. It seems a little early for a sequel to The Division, but The Crew might be good for another go round.

Destiny rapper returns with a tongue-twisting rundown of every single Exotic armour piece

10 Feb

Destiny is all about dress-ups – don’t kid yourself – so let’s celebrate the best costumes in Bungie’s closet.

Destiny rapper Duba has put together a loving tribute to the shared-worlds shooter’s enormous array of Exotic armour – helmets, gauntlets, boots and all.

From Titan gauntlets ACD/0 Feedback Fence to the Warlock helmet Astrocyte Verse, the rap runs through the entire collection, showing off each piece in turn. A huge stack of Destiny players make appearances in this video; our good pal Arekkz is in there somewhere, almost certainly as one of the Hunters.

This is a sequel to the Destiny Exotic weapons rap from June 2016 – before Rise of Iron arrived to add a few new boomsticks to the arsenal.

Everyone’s feeling the Destiny love today, what with glorious rumours floating around and Activision reiterating its 2017 Destiny 2 release plans.

There’s a lot to criticise in Destiny (although it has improved a great deal as time went on, and I always loved it anyway) but the breadth and variety of its weird and wonderful weapon and armour names is something I sure hope Bungie retains for the sequel. I don’t think I’ll care if Bungie throws the whole lot out the window for Destiny 2; it just means there’ll be a new stack of Exotics to collect.

GTA 4 and all of its DLC are now backwards compatible on Xbox One

9 Feb

GTA 4 and Episodes from Liberty City join the growing list of Xbox One backwards compatible titles.

gta_4_niko_big_1

For those of you who can’t get enough of Xbox One’s backward’s compatibility, there’s more good news coming your way. GTA 4 has just been added to the list of backwards compatible titles along with the its two expansions.

Rockstar announced the news today, confirming that all versions of the game – physical, digial, and the Complete Edition – are good to go on Xbox One.

If you have a disc, just pop it into the console and download the game. If you bought it digitally, you’ll have instant access and can download it directly from the “Ready to Install” section on your Xbox One.

Your saves will be transferred over if you saved your game using the Cloud Saved Games feature on Xbox 360.

If you didn’t play GTA 4 the first time around and want to see what all of the fuss is about, you can find it in the Xbox Store.

Will you be diving back into GTA 4 or giving it a whirl if you didn’t play it when it originally came out?

Minecraft: New snapshot gives us a glimpse of incoming changes in update 1.12

9 Feb

Minecraft snapshot 17W06A updates the colour palette, adds new blocks and Creative Mode features.

minecraft 1.12 snapshot

Minecraft‘s update 1.12 now has its first snapshot.

If you want to try out snapshots, it’s always wise to backup your worlds, or better yet, make a new one to try out the new features in.

Once you’ve done that, create a new profile called snapshots, tick the “enable experimental development snapshots” box, and save. To switch back to the regular version, choose it from the dropdown at the bottom left corner of the launcher.

Snapshot 17W06A introduces new blocks and some new Creative Mode features. It’ll also update the base colour palette of Minecraft.

There are more snapshots to come over the next few months, but for now, here are the changes in 17W06A:

  • Save toolbars in Creative Mode with Ctrl+Slotkey and load them with Shift+Slotkey
  • Added colored Concrete blocks
  • Added colored Concrete Powder blocks
  • Added colored Glazed Terracotta blocks
  • Updated the base color palette of Minecraft (affects things such as Banners and Sheep)
  • Updated textures for Wool blocks

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 wins EVO 2017 popular vote as fans funnel $150K to Make-A-Wish

9 Feb

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is back for another year at EVO.

ultimate_marvel_vs_capcom_3

The charity donation drive to help select one additional game to join the EVO 2017 line-up is complete.

The wallet-powered poll closed with Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 in first place, pulling $71,690 from 1,487 donors at an average of just over $48 each.

Although it’s a perennial favourite, UMvC3 has seen an uptick in popular interest recently due to the announcement of new-gen and PC ports, including physical copies, and upcoming sequel Marvel vs Capcom Infinite.

The mash-up fighter managed a comparatively narrow win over closest rival Pokken Tournament, which managed $66,906 from 744 donors at an average of more than $89 each.

It’s a disappointing loss for the Pokken Tournament fanbase, but on the upside, all the money goes to Make-A-Wish Foundation – so it’s hard to feel too sore about it. Adding up the drive totals on Generosity, it looks like the EVO 2017 campaign raised a total of $152,095 for the charity.

Skullgirls, a very strong contender for last year’s popular vote, didn’t break $1,000 this year, but budgets are probably still reeling from the effort to overcome the Smash Bros. crowd last time. Amusingly, Nintendo’s new fighter, Arms, pulled exactly $1,337 – surely someone tipped it to that deliberately? If there were more money in this endeavour we’d probably have seen something raise $53,180.08 – and if you need that explained please type it into an actual calculator.

EVO 2017 runs July 14 through 16 in Las Vegas. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 joins Street Fighter 5, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Injustice 2, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, Tekken 7 and The King of Fighters 14 as headline acts on finals day.

Rainbow Six Siege, Black Ops 3 and The Crew get up to 50% off in this week’s Deals With Gold

7 Feb

Xbox Deals With Gold and the Spotlight sale are offering some pretty sweet discounts.

rainbow_six_siege

Major Nelson has announced the titles for this week’s Deals With Gold and the Spotlight sale.

There are no Xbox 360 titles in the Spotlight sale but there are some big discounts to be had with Deals With Gold. Obviously you’ll need Xbox Live Gold membership to qualify for the deals.

Over on the Xbox One, Deals With Gold offers up to 50% off selected titles, and the Spotlight sale savings aren’t too shabby either. You can check out the list for both consoles below. Titles marked with an asterisk are valid for all Xbox Live members.

You can take advantage of the discounts between now and February 13.

Xbox One

  • Adventures of Pip* – 50% Spotlight sale
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Digital Deluxe Edition – 50% DWG
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Gold Edition – 40% DWG
  • Clouds & Sheep 2 – 33% DWG
  • Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition Demon Hunter Bundle* – 50% Spotlight sale
  • Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition* – 50% Spotlight sale
  • DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition* – 67% Spotlight sale
  • Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires* – 50% Spotlight sale
  • Ethan: Meteor Hunter – 33% DWG
  • Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae – 50% DWG
  • Steep – 35% DWG
  • Steep Gold Edition* – 35% Spotlight sale
  • The Crew Calling All Units* – 33% Spotlight sale
  • The Crew Season Pass* – 40% Spotlight sale
  • The Crew Ultimate Edition* – 40% Spotlight sale
  • The Crew Bronze Crew Credit Pack* – 10% Spotlight sale
  • The Crew Gold Crew Credit Pack* – 33% Spotlight sale
  • The Crew Platinum Crew Credit Pack* – 40% Spotlight sale
  • The Crew Silver Crew Credit Pack* – 20% Spotlight sale
  • The Crew* – 40% Spotlight sale
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege – 50% DWG
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Complete Edition – 33% DWG
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Year 2 Gold Edition – 30% DWG

Xbox 360

  • Asura’s Wrath – 75% DWG
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – 50% DWG
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Bundle – 60% DWG
  • Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 – 80% DWG
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – 60% DWG
  • Devil May Cry 4 – 67% DWG
  • DmC Devil May Cry – 80% DWG
  • DMC HD Collection – 80% DWG

Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will be $10 more expensive for Canadian gamers from the end of February

30 Jan

Xbox Live adds to the Canadian gamer’s bills.

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The price of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions is going up in Canada as of February 28.

According to emails received by multiple members of /r/xboxone, the RRP of 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will increase from CAD$59.99 to CAD$69.99.

If you live in Canada and plan to stay with Xbox Live, it’s probably a good idea to renew now and save yourself a few bucks, although it’s worth remembering that retailers often offer steep discounts on Xbox Live Gold subscription cards, which can be much cheaper than buying direct from Microsoft.

Canadian gamers are understandably a bit miffed about the price increase, which after currency conversion sees them paying more for Xbox Live Gold subscriptions than their pals across the border in the US. Game prices are also higher, too, and although increases happen whenever the Canadian dollar gets a bit soft, it’s hard to remember an instance of them going back down again when things square up.

You’ll hear similar grumblings from those of us in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and indeed all over the world – it feels like games, hardware and software are more expensive everywhere outside the US. On the other hand, you don’t have to put up with [insert whatever you don’t like about the US here] and your nation enjoys [insert a point of local pride here], so there’s that.

The least weird Goichi Suda game is now backwards compatible on Xbox One

27 Jan

The Xbox One backwards compatible list grows, again.

shadows_of_the_damned

Shadows of the Damned is now backwards compatible on Xbox One.

The third-person shooter hails from Grasshopper Manufacture, and was developed in collaboration with Shinji Mikami, perhaps accounting for its demonic themes. The leather and irreverence are all Goichi Suda, though.

Shadows of the Damned doesn’t get as much love as it maybe deserves; it’s a pretty straightforward rescue-the-princess action affair despite all the underworld stuff, and that probably disappointed Suda fans expecting his trademark quirkiness. You can blame EA for that, as Suda’s original idea sounded far more intriguing.

Despite being rejigged into something elevator pitch-friendly, Shadows of the Damned didn’t capture mainstream attention, either. There are some pretty cool ideas in there if you want to go digging, though, and it is a bit weird – your gun is also your motorcycle and can shoot light, for example. (Also, iIt can talk and its name is Johnson.) It really doesn’t take itself seriously, which is refreshing, and some of the horror stuff is enough to make your eyes widen.

Interestingly, Shadows of the Damned follows very closely on Alice: Madness Returns joining the Xbox backwards compatible list. Both games were published by EA and released in the same month, and American McGee took issue with EA’s handling of his project, too.

Oh, Rocket Knight went backwards compatible today, too. That’s the 2010 continuation of the Sparkster series, which was far less memorable than the 16-bit originals. That’s 325 backwards compatible games now, I think.

Xbox One sales decline year-on-year over key holiday quarter, but Xbox Live hit a new record and software’s booming

27 Jan

Xbox One is doing really well at the moment – despite totally normal hardware declines.

xbox one s

Xbox One sales over the quarter ending December 31, 2016 were lower than the same period in 2015, according to Microsoft’s latest financials.

The company notes a “decline in volume of consoles sold” despite the introduction of the Xbox One S and some key discounts over the holiday quarter. Combined with “lower prices of consoles sold”, Microsoft saw a 22% year-on-year decrease in console hardware revenue.

Not to worry, though; a few years into a generation it’s natural for sales to slow and prices to drop. What’s important is that Xbox is a thriving platform, and indeed, Microsoft said Xbox Live active users reached 55 million during the quarter. That’s a new record, and well up on the previous high of 49 million in mid 2016.

You may remember that Microsoft saying Xbox had its biggest month yet in December 2016, and indeed the financial report notes an 18% increase in revenue on Xbox software and services, “driven by a higher volume of Xbox Live transactions and revenue per transaction”.

Unfortunately this wasn’t enough to compensate for declining hardware revenues – a trend we’ve seen in the NPD results each month – so overall, Microsoft’s gaming revenue fell 3% year-on-year. Again, this doesn’t mean Xbox is doing particular badly; the further you get from the initial splash of the Xbox One launch period, the tougher these comparisons will get – and they don’t matter too much.

That Xbox One software and services are trending upwards so sharply is the important bit, and obviously a very healthy sign for Microsoft and the platform faithful.

Xbox One sales decline year-on-year over key holiday quarter, but Xbox Live hit a new record and software’s booming

27 Jan

Xbox One is doing really well at the moment – despite totally normal hardware declines.

xbox one s

Xbox One sales over the quarter ending December 31, 2016 were lower than the same period in 2015, according to Microsoft’s latest financials.

The company notes a “decline in volume of consoles sold” despite the introduction of the Xbox One S and some key discounts over the holiday quarter. Combined with “lower prices of consoles sold”, Microsoft saw a 22% year-on-year decrease in console hardware revenue.

Not to worry, though; a few years into a generation it’s natural for sales to slow and prices to drop. What’s important is that Xbox is a thriving platform, and indeed, Microsoft said Xbox Live active users reached 55 million during the quarter. That’s a new record, and well up on the previous high of 49 million in mid 2016.

You may remember that Microsoft saying Xbox had its biggest month yet in December 2016, and indeed the financial report notes an 18% increase in revenue on Xbox software and services, “driven by a higher volume of Xbox Live transactions and revenue per transaction”.

Unfortunately this wasn’t enough to compensate for declining hardware revenues – a trend we’ve seen in the NPD results each month – so overall, Microsoft’s gaming revenue fell 3% year-on-year. Again, this doesn’t mean Xbox is doing particular badly; the further you get from the initial splash of the Xbox One launch period, the tougher these comparisons will get – and they don’t matter too much.

That Xbox One software and services are trending upwards so sharply is the important bit, and obviously a very healthy sign for Microsoft and the platform faithful.