Halo 4: Goodbye “Teabagging”, Hello “Victory Crouch”

http://youtu.be/ukaHCDIuUPM

The GuyDudeBro’s of FPS gaming can rest easy after 343’s announcement that it will not be removing the “Teabagging” mechanic from Halo 4. However, it has been renamed the “Victory Crouch” in order fool absolutely no one. Players in online multiplayer can simply press X to respawn and spare their corpses the shame of the “Victory Crouch”, but in split-screen multiplayer a delay can be added so that “Victory Crouch” fans can victimize or be victimized to their heart’s content.

Source: Gameranx.com.

An Infographic of Steve Ballmer’s Reign

MBA Online has released a rather cutting infographic of Microsoft’s performance since Steve Ballmer took over as CEO. While it is funny to see such an SEC bad boy being brought low within a decade, it won’t be good for anybody if Microsoft drops out of the innovation game entirely. Apple and Google need competitors, otherwise they are going to get too comfortable with their business models and ultimately share Microsoft’s fate.

A Microsoft “MBA” Infographic – Canadian Technology Blog. Vancouver Gadgets. Consumer Electronics, Social Media, Business..

Microsoft MBA: Over 30 Years of Innovation
Created by: MBAOnline.com

Microsoft Debuts SmartGlass at E3

Okay, so there is something interesting coming out of E3. Microsoft’s SmartGlass system is an interface that will allow any tablet or mobile device to connect with Xbox and Window PCs. This will allow for more seamless video streaming and even the possibility of secondary controller system for the Xbox, putting a hole in the WiiU’s sails. For all the frustration that Microsoft has caused in the past, it’s good to see that they’re still willing to step up their game when times get tough.

Source: The Washington Post

Xbox 360 Could be Banned in the US!

Judge David Shaw of the US International Trade Commission has recommended that the Xbox 360 be banned in the US due to a patent dispute with Motorola over its H.264 video compression technology. When questioned about how that would be fair to consumers, Shaw just said that Nintento and Sony could pick up demand. Nintendo and Sony? Wow, I don’t think Mr. Shaw knows that your maxbox platters don’t go playmation slot. If his colleagues agree with him, the matter will go to President Barack Obama for a final say on the matter.

Source: TDW Geeks.

Microsoft to sell Xbox Bundle for $99 with Xbox Live Service Agreement

Microsoft wil soon be releasing a price drop for its Xbox 360 console, but not in a way you’d expect. Yes, you will be able to get the console and Kinect with 2 games for $99, but that’s only if you agree to sign a two year Xbox live gold membership at $15 a month. The total package will cost $459 over the course of ownership. This kind of financing will be critical as console sales took a dive over the 1st quarter of 2012. Are we headed toward the future depicted in Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, where hapless mall employees dressed in Master Chief armor give consoles away for free in vain hopes of software sales only to have them over-written with a brand of Linux by fresh faced teen freedom fighters? The comments await your response.

Source: Ars Technica

Neil Davidge Revealed as the Halo 4 Composer

http://youtu.be/ZmfGsuOacMA

UK composer Neil Davidge has recently been named as the new composer for the Halo game series. Davidge will be taking over from Bungie employees Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori. His previous works include composing for the Electronica group “Massive Attack” and films such as Push, Trouble the Water, Bullet Boy, and Clash of the Titans.

Source:Forbes

Xbox 360 now more Media Machine than Game Console

Statistics have confirmed what we’ve all suspected: Over 50% of the 84 hours a month people spend on Xbox live is spent using media apps like Netflix and Hulu. It seems that Microsoft has succeeded in its “Trojan Horse” strategy of turning the Xbox into a digital hub for every medium in the house. Xbox already has Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, ESPN, MLB.tv, and Disney XD on the console. The addition of HBO Go was another plus for the Xbox, since you could previously only get the service on Roku Box. Coupled with the fact that video stores are going out of business everywhere, consumers are now being forced to RTFM and jury-rig their video game boxes into the Media hub they were meant to be.

Source: Gamasutra

Phil Harrison steps up for Peter Molyneux


Former Sony Game design Chief Phil Harrison has been hired as Chief of Microsoft Game Studios in Europe. This move comes in the wake of Peter Molyneux’s departure from the division to form 22-Cans, an indie start-up. Harrison has served as a partner at the venture capitalist firm London Venture Partners and as a board member at Atari. Most of the press release is a bunch of doublespeak calming investor fears over this management change-up, but Peter Molyneux leaving the Triple-A arena is a good move for him, and the game industry at large. Molyneux’s been criticized for making promises his games couldn’t possibly keep, and that may have been due to all the resources at his disposal at Microsoft. With the economic constraints of a start-up, we may yet begin to see some things come out reminiscent of his old days at Bullfrog.

Source:VentureBeat

New Halo 4 Trailer with Dev Q & A

http://youtu.be/f6UL63Zo-uo

343 Studios has released a new trailer with gameplay footage and developer interviews revealing further details about the new Halo game. Most interesting to note is the injection of story into multiplayer. Apparently there will be a reason for the Red and Blue Spartans to fight, and not just the painfully comic existential emptiness that the pour souls in Red V. Blue have to contend with. The graphics and sound have all been redone, and it looks like 343 is going to make this into the Triple-A experience we’ve come to expect from the Halo Franchise.

SourceHalo Waypoint

Microsoft to End Xbox Live Arcade in the Future

It turns out that after all the kerfuffle over the placement of Indie games on XBLA, Microsoft may be getting ready to ditch XBLA entirely. Microsoft’s digital distribution strategy has been so focused that the line between XBLA games and traditional disc retail games is becoming blurred. Michael Wolf, the Global Marketing Manager for XBLA had this to say on whether XBLA would disappear,

“Personally, I’d say absolutely, yes,” Wolf says. “I think digital distribution has to be like that. I don’t think XBLA will be leaving soon. It is an incredible platform. We have XBLA fans, I don’t think it’s going to be announced anytime soon. One thing Microsoft has proven is that we continue to try and adapt and innovate in experiences.”

If we take into account this revelation with how XBLA indie games have been handled, Microsoft either wants to make it easier for indie developers to release retail quality games, or they want to abandon indie games entirely and make xbox a more AAA focused console. If it’s the latter, then it’s just going to leave more market room for Valve’s rumoured Steam console to take hold.

Source: WebProNews