Tag Archives: Xbox One

Rumor: Second generation Xbox One has been in production since February

Earlier this month an FCC filing revealed that Microsoft had plans for a new model of the Xbox One. Details on the new version of the Xbox One have been scarce, though the filing did specify that the console would feature a new wi-fi chip.

According to an image post on Weibo from user Microsoft信仰中心 (via NeoGaf)  the new Xbox One has been in production since February 2016. In addition to the console having been in production, the user detailed that there would be a white version of the new console whose production name appears to translate to Xbox One second generation.

Looking at the image (above) it appears as though the second generation was planned since 2014, a year after the Xbox One released. The weight, 600 ~ 800g (roughly 1lb+/-) , seems a bit odd considering the that the Xbox One is currently 7lb. If the second generation is truly that light, it could be the rumored "lightweight" digital only Xbox One.

Apparently, once entering production the second generation Xbox One was planned to have plan of manufacturing 400,000 consoles per week.

Microsoft has not verified this rumor. The FCC filing suggests that the console will be revealed this Summer.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition Review

Almost nine years since the release of the original Gears of War in November of 2006, Microsoft has released the Gears of War Ultimate Edition exclusively for Xbox One. Being that this was the first time I've ever played Gears before in my life, I have to say after five minutes of playing I was pissed off. Not at the game of course, but at myself for some reason never playing any of the Gears series before. Before I fired up the Ultimate Edition, I went and grabbed a copy of the original for my 360 at the local Fun & Games for $3.99. After all, I needed something to compare it  to. As my luck would have it the disc was broken so I was S.O.L. As a result I jumped right in, chose Insane difficulty and hoped for the best.

The original story of Marcus Fenix being freed by his buddies from prison after a decade and a half to help eliminate the force of the Locust from the planet Sera is still in tact. Marcus, along with Dom, Baird and Cole (who may be the best character ever) make their way through five levels each with six chapters. In addition to the orginal levels in the game, five new levels have been added which are the ones from the PC release that were missing on the original Xbox 360 version. The intelligence of the A.I. is immediately evident. On the game's easiest level they are rather mundane as they stand out in the open and rarely shoot making themselves easy targets. When you ramp up the difficulty to insane, or even right below it on hardcore, that all changes. Every enemy makes use of cover, they use teamwork to flank you while forcing you to constantly change your location and strategy. Even popping out of cover to shoot only allows you one to two seconds before you're inundated with bullets and have to pop back in.

Added to the strategy needed in Gears of War Ultimate Edition is the damage that the enemies can take. While using my Lancer assault rifle, I found it took about two thirds of a loaded magazine to kill an enemy. Combine that with the fact that they just never stop moving and it became very difficult. I found the Insane level was aptly named within several short minutes. Always an intricate discussion in remasters is graphical enhancements and attention to detail. The chainsaw attachment to the Lancer rifle, although incredibly bad ass, was also ridiculously detailed. Even in the early parts of the game as I was trying to escape the darkened hallways of the prison, I could still see the chainsaw itself moving and operating rather than just simply hearing the telltale noise it makes. Even better with the weapons' detail was the locust pistol you are able to obtain from any of the dead scattered among the ground. It's a single shot, slow reloading pistol but much more powerful than your stock pistol you begin the game with. With each round you fire, you don't simply see the round exit the gun in a ball of fire. You can actually see the gun cycle and reload with each round fired.

Sunlight and shadows play a major role in the game as well. A couple times I found myself walking around a corner and only knew an enemy was there because there shadow was reflected on a column nearby. They are easy to miss as they are after all in darkened prison hallways, but you can still see them clearly and they definitely help in Insane level as you are trying to plan your next move. As the game goes on, you go through multiple levels like a mine cart, Marcus' home, prison etc both inside and outside. Out in the sun is where Gears of War really shines (no pun intended). During lulls of the action, I stopped several times to adjust the camera and see how the lighting panned out on the environment. The sun coming through the clouds lets you see its individual rays and the buildings hit by the sun reflect your shadows just as they would if you were walking down the city street on a beatiful, Sunday afternoon. Simply moving your character while looking at your shadow see it react as it would normally. These little details added a sense of immersion into the game that isn't oft seen in many shooters as they tend to focus more on framerate and enemy action than graphical quality. Visually, Gears of War Ultimate Edition is one of the best looking games on Xbox One.

From the moment­-centric in game music to as close to real life voice acting you can get without a rated R game, Gears of War Ultimate Edition's campaign takes a minor story and makes it into something more than it is with the help of emotion and immersion.

There weren't too many people on the multiplayer servers unsurprisingly, but we were able to check it out with a couple colleagues. We didn't experience any hiccups fortunately as the game is running on dedicated servers with extremely little traffic. At first glance, there are 19 maps that we can use with all the PC exclusive maps integrated in as well. Skins for Gears of War 3 characters are unlockable as you progress in various modes along with new control schemes specifically aimed at tournaments.

How did the game as a whole stand up to the original? Let's See

** Necessary Disclosure ** I've never played a single second of Gears of War, any of them, in my entire life prior to this Ultimate Edition.




Here's almost everything you need to know about Battleborn

With 25 characters, various multiplayer modes, and story missions there is a lot to learn about Battleborn and what it truly means to be a badass.

Battleborn has quite a bit of content to a lot to take in and even more to learn. The team behind Battleborn knows that and decided to make a 12 minute long video to tell people what they are doing and why they are doing it. They show everything players needs to know. It's really handy!

The open beta for Battleborn has just started on Playstation 4 while PC and Xbox One players will get to join the chaos on April 13.

Battleborn will launch May 3 on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC.

Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 soon

One of the biggest problems gamers have is that some games aren't available on their platform of choice. Swedish developer Fatshark is about to remove that problem from their most popular game, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide.

In an exclusive interview with GameZone Fatshark's CEO, Martin Wahlund, told us that they will have a few announcements about the console versions in the coming weeks. Though much is still being kept secret Wahlund had this to say about the console versions

"In the coming weeks we’ll have a few announcements about it. What I can share about the consoles are that we have been working on them at the same time as the PC version, it’s not that we started with it later on. We decided that we did not want to just make a port, we wanted to make a well polished console game, it will be with the Vermintide feeling but made for consoles. There’s a lot to consider, like how fast you move a character, how fast he turns, to aim, the melee, the pacing, it all works differently when playing with a controller on a console than it does when playing with mouse and keyboard…  And of course, making sure that the game works with a controller as well! We want people to be able to pick up the game and understand it quickly."

This is news that most console gamers will appreciate — that the PS4 and Xbox One versions won't be simple ports but games made for consoles. The fact that it has taken about six months since launch without a console version is due to the fact that Fatshark is a smaller studio and don't have the same amount of recourses as the bigger studios.

While on the topic of console versions we asked Wahlund if Fatshark had any thoughts on making cross-play between platforms available, and the answer was yes, but no. They can do it, but maintaining it would offer some difficulties. Wahlund was actually a bit afraid of making a cross platform game 

"The problem is maintenance. We want to maintain the game on all platforms. If we have it on too many platforms then we have to update and maintain them all at the same time, every update will be a huge project. If one platform goes out of sync with the others then it won't be able to play with the other two platforms. To maintain a cross-play game is my biggest fear, that’s what worries me most."

The will to make Vermintide cross-platform is still there, but Wahlund pointed that there are many factors to consider before implementing cross-play "We have played internally console vs PC, so it can be done. The problem is that the game will feel different. It could end up being easier for one of the other platforms, so there are many factors to consider." 

Xbox's Phil Spencer gives his take on 'Xbox One and a half' idea

There has been tons of speculation during the last few weeks that Sony is considering an upgraded version of their PS4 console, dubbed the PS4.5. In fact, a few of the system specs are starting rumors of their own. However it seems Xbox's Phil Spencer wouldn't support Microsoft if they followed suit. 

Spencer gave his take on the rumors during a recent roundtable discussion with Game Informer. He said: 

"I’m not a big fan of Xbox One and a half. If we’re going to move forward, I want to move forward in big numbers." 

Despite the troubles that Xbox gamers have encountered with Microsoft's online experience, specifically Xbox Live, it seems the Xbox boss is pretty happy with the console's performance. 

"I don’t know anything about any of the rumors that are out there, but I can understand other teams’ motivations to do that. For us, our box is doing well. It performs, it’s reliable, the servers are doing well. If we’re going to go forward with anything, like I said, I want it to be a really substantial change for people – an upgrade."

If these comments are anything to go off of – for now at least – it would seem that an Xbox One upgrade is not on the cards. 

[Game Informer]

Rumor: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare remaster to include single player campaign and 10 multiplayer maps

The people wanted it, so the people got it. Call of Duty 4 will be remastered, but Activision didn't say what the remastered version would include, some new rumors about what the game will include have begun surfacing.

The remastered version of Call of duty 4: Modern Warfare was "confirmed" yesterday by Activision, but they did not say anything on what the game would include. 

Today, the people on NeoGaf spotted a marketing image for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare had surfaced online which included some information about the Modern Warfare remaster. Apparently the remaster will include the full single player campaign as well as ten multiplayer maps

The leaked image (shown above) also showed that the next Call of Duty will be released in two editions; the Standard which will only include the new game and a Legacy edition which will include both the new and the old game.

Remember: this is still just a rumor and Activision has not expressively announced Infinite Warfare yet, nor have they released any official information on what the remaster will include,

Xbox One to receive minor fixes in system update next week

The Xbox One is getting an update soon, but don't get too excited – there won't be much coming with it. According to Xbox engineering lead Mike Ybarra, the Xbox One will see a minor update to the system aimed at making "small fixes."

HBO NOW app releases on Xbox One, 360

The Xbox One just got one app richer with the HBO NOW application. The app, which is currently available, will allow you to obsessively stream HBO shows and movies without requiring a TV cable package. 

The best part of the $15 a month app? Shows will be available on the application as they premiere on HBO. Of course, there will be a slight lag between the program airing (like with HBO GO), but you still get to watch Game of Thrones episodes the night they release.

In addition to that, you'll more than likely be able to cancel your subscription and re-sub every time your favorite show begins a season.

And yes, it will be available on the Xbox 360 – despite Microsoft officially retiring the console from production yesterday. HBO NOW is compatible with the Kinect.

Fable Legends might not be as dead as we thought

With Microsoft shutting down Lionhead Studios it looked like Fable Legends would die with it., but now it appears like it might not be as dead as previously thought.

A month ago Microsoft Europe announced that they were shutting down two studios, Press-Play and Lionhead Studios UK. Lionhead was developing Fable Legends at the time the studio was shutdown and the project was canceled.

According to reports from MCV, who has three sources at Lionhead, supposedly "discussions are on-going about saving the free-to-play RPG."

The report went on to detail that "staff are being surveyed as to whether they would like to continue working on Legends, or just accept the redundancy package that has been put before them and leave at the end of April." 

So Fable Legends might not be dead after all, as of now, it is in a sort of limbo.

Most of those who worked at Lionhead has quit already, but sources claim that Microsoft's consideration on whether or not to continue on Fable Legends is founded on a few Lionhead employees who are considering independently developing the game. MCV's other sources could not verify if that was why Microsoft was questioning the remaining Lionhead employees.

A spokesperson from Microsoft said "We aren’t sharing additional details beyond that we have ceased development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees at Lionhead about our proposed closure of the studio as well." 

So Fable Legends is not entirely dead, it is still a tad bit alive. But don't get your hopes up.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Review

Reboots can be a tricky thing. On one hand, when you're rebooting a game or franchise, you'll get a few noticeable upgrades such as a new graphics engine, new game mechanics, etc. On the flip side though, you have to keep your older fanbase in mind. Altering and changing things up too much could alienate fans that loved the previous games. Just look at Thief. For Crystal Dynamics, the reboot of Tomb Raider seemed to go rather well. The action and suspense was always high, the gunplay and bow mechanics were great, and the character herself got a great origin story that nearly made us feel her pain the whole way through.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a follow-up to said reboot, and of course with a sequel, you have to go bigger, you have to be better. Thankfully, Rise certainly is. Much like the Uncharted games, and their gradual implementation of grand set pieces and high-action sequences, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers on all fronts. It's equally exhilarating, as it is challenging. You'll wrack your brain on many of the tomb challenges, and then relieve some stress by dispatching a slew of soldiers with your handcrafted make-shift bombs.

It's impressive that Crystal Dynamics was able to up the ante so well. If you're an Xbox One gamer this Holiday season, consider yourself pretty lucky.

Let's check out what Rise of the Tomb Raider does well, where it falters, and our final verdict.

The Positives / The Negatives

The Verdict