Archive for category: You Asked For It

Xbox One System Update Brings Friends Notifications And More

13860588215_589a6510f8_oThe April update for the Xbox One should be rolling out to consoles right about now. This new update brings a few much requested features to the Microsoft console including notifications that show when your friends sign in to Xbox Live–so no more constantly checking the Friends app to see if people have come online. According to Major Nelson’s blog the full list of features included in the update is as follows:

  • Game and app saves and updates. A game save progress bar will show you the status of your game saves. You will also be able to easily tell what games and apps are being updated or have been updated recently.
  • Friends improvements. Notifications will be added to see when favorites and friends sign in to Xbox Live. This was one of the most frequently requested features, so we made it a priority to include it in this update. Also, friends who are in multiplayer will be identified in the friends list.
  • Kinect voice and motion improvements will continue to be fine-tuned for quality and reliability of Xbox One commands. For example, we’ve updated some of the gesture functionality to reduce false positives on non-hand objects triggering gesture commands.
  • Improved GameDVR video quality through compression algorithm improvements.
  • Blu-ray player supports 50 Hz video output for content recorded at 50 Hz. We’ll also be updating the Blu-ray Player app in the coming days to round out these improvements.
  • Controller and headset adaptor firmware updates will reduce audio static and improve wireless connectivity.
  • Silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand now available. If your console is in Instant On mode, the update will happen automatically and return to standby upon completion. This means you won’t need to power on your console after an update moving forward. If you want to take future updates when available without waiting for your console to do it on its own, we’ve added this option under system settings and you’ll be able to use it next update. It will only show as available when there is an update to take.

The update should be available now or within the next few days as it rolls out to all regions.

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Moto 360 Coming this Summer

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 9.53.02 AMOn Tuesday we told you about Google’s new Android Wear smartwatch platform, and yesterday Motorola announced its first device to use this platform–the Moto 360. Going for a more conventional (and far more stylish) look, the Moto 360 features a round designed, as opposed to the square shape we’re used to seeing on smartwatches; Motorola also promises a new charging solution (there’s no USB port on the watch), as well as long battery life–which has been an issue with previous models from other manufacturers. Motorola also chose to leave the picture-taking duties to your smartphone, as the Moto 360 has no camera–a smart decision, as cameras not only add bulk, but also seem unnecessary when most phones already do a  pretty decent job taking pictures. We’ll have more information on Moto 360 as it becomes available; until then, you can click here to head over to Motorola’s dedicated site.

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Is March 27th the Day We Meet Microsoft Office for the iPad?

18kxnbis1oglljpgReports are streaming in that Microsoft is getting ready to release Office for the iPad as soon as March 27th. It’s no secret that Apple fans have been clamoring for a mobile version of  Microsoft’s productivity suite since the iPad was first introduced, with competitors (such as Apple’s own Pages and Google Docs) filling the gap quite nicely; but now it looks like Microsoft is giving it’s users what they’ve been asking for, with a media event (allegedly) scheduled to take place in San Francisco on March 17th to announce the new software. We’ll have more news as it becomes available, so stay tuned.

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The Future’s Here…and It’s Full Of Giant Robots! Our Titanfall Review

Titanfall_screenshotIt’s been nearly a full five months since the launch of the Xbox One and we’ve not exactly been flooded with “must buy” exclusives for the console. Forza 5, apart from its (often infuriating) Drivatar system, didn’t really bring anything new to the table and Dead Rising 3 was effectively more of the same (but now with vehicles!). Now comes Titanfall from Respawn Entertainment, comprised primarily of Infinity Ward employees who had a fairly public split from Activision, aiming to be the much-needed draw for the Xbox One. But does its brand of free-running, robot-punching mayhem have what it takes to reinvigorate Mircrosoft’s somewhat beleaguered console?

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Prepare for Titanfall with the Limited Edition Xbox One Bundle

XboxOne_TitanfallBundle_US_ANL_RGBMitchell and I may have detailed our delight with the Titanfall beta on last weekend’s YourTechReport SiriusXM show; and so far, numerous critics have described the free-running mech-riding shooter as “a brave new vision of the future of multiplayer games,” “the first real next-gen shooter” and “the most addictive game ever.” Well, so far we need to say that the hype is completely true. Over the few days that the beta ran, I had more fun in a multiplayer game than I ever have before; and now Microsoft wants to make sure more people get to enjoy Titanfall with the release of the  Xbox One Titanfall Bundle. The bundle contains an Xbox One, headset, Kinect, wireless controller (standard edition), one month of Xbox Live gold, and of course, a digital download code for Titanfall itself.

The Xbox One Titanfall Bundle will be available March 11 for $499.99.

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Xbox One Software Updates Coming February 11 And March 4

xbox one dashFor those of us who grabbed an Xbox One in the initial launch window, it’s fair to say there’ve been some… let’s call them teething issues. Lack of storage management, a confusing and often unreliable party system, and no USB storage support were just some of the problems faced by Microsoft’s newest console. But there is hope ahead; on February 11, the first major update for the Xbox One will address storage management, introduce the ability to control your install lineup, add USB keyboard support and a battery life indicator, among other as-of-yet unrevealed features. Then on March 4, another update will deliver a brand new party and multiplayer system just in time for the release of Titanfall. This can only be good news for those of us who have been struggling with the system’s issues.

You can find the Xbox Wire post about the updates here, and we’ll keep you updated as more details are released.

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The First Glimpse of iOS in the Car

ioscariOS in the car is a feature of Apple’s mobile operating system that has yet to see any real action; however, in the latest build of iOS (7.0.3), one developer managed to capture an early version of the interface which if final, looks to be pretty neat. The version includes a full screen map with simple touch controls and voice control as well; it also appears that a software “home” button will allow for simple switching between apps and what we expect will be a home screen. Auto manufacturers have been pretty quiet about when iOS in the Car might actually make its way to a screen near you–but the interest continues to build as we see little snippets like this.

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Sennheiser Momentum Headphones: Hands-On

SennheiserMomentumBowieSennheiser is best know in the consumer world for its high quality audio products. On the professional side, they are the sound behind some of the biggest acts on stage and in studio; so when a new consumer-grade product is released that features the pro-edge and quality craftsmanship, we have no choice but to go hands on (not like our arms had to be twisted very hard).

The result of years of German audio engineering and superior design are the comfortable and sleek Momentum headphones. An over-the-ear design cushions your head without too much pressure, while the soft-leather-wrapped memory foam ear pieces block out unwanted ambient noise the old fashioned way. A light aluminum frame is what keeps everything together and is wrapped at the top with a soft leather headrest that keeps the comfort going for long travels or extended listening sessions.

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Sony Reveals PlayStation Now Game Streaming Service

11821943365_d88eb7ca04_zFor those concerned about the the PlayStation 4′s lack of backward compatibility, fear not–as Sony has just announced PlayStation Now, a new streaming service that makes Sony’s PlayStation library available on your PS3, PS4 or PS Vita console. But Sony knows that in this new digital age, there are many more places to enjoy your content; and while the beta that starts at the end of this month (with the service set to roll out later this year) is limited to consoles, Sony promises that the service will also work on other devices, such as Bravia televisions and even mobile phones. When Sony purchased Gaikai, the well-known streaming service, many thought the move to be mostly related to the PlayStation 4 and its ability to live-stream gaming sessions; we now see that Sony had something far more reaching with the acquisition. For more details, click past the jump for Sony’s official PR.

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Video Games: It’s Been A Long Year – 2013 In Review

Tomb-Raider

2013 is fast heading toward its end, and for gaming it was somewhat of a busy year. We had newcomers looking to break into the home console market, there were new machines from two old stalwarts, and the biggest name in PC gaming decided it wanted your living room. So before we break out the whiskey and toast the New Year, let’s look back at 2013.

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