Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Rumour: MS Streaming Tech Puts Halo 4 On PC

By Craig Pearson on September 27th, 2013.

Stream this
Each game rumour I hear gives me the urge to return to a previous life. To look at me, you wouldn’t have known that I was capable of such deception, but I led a dual existence for so long that I’m still not sure where he ends and I begin. He was someone else before we were joined, and he’s been someone else for the past few years, but I was probably him for the long – oh no, he’s waking up. Quick! Hide your secrets! Lock the gadget chest! You mustn’t let him – [squelchy sounds, ruffle of clothes, the room darkens]. Hello, Readers. The Spy is happy to make your acquaintance. Would you like to know about how Microsoft has Halo 4 running on a PC?
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IT LIIIIIIIIIVES: GFWL Perma-Closing Next July

By Nathan Grayson on August 20th, 2013.

Not for long

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

Ahem. Sorry. Let me briefly activate my brain’s cyborganic professionalism implant. Bleep bloop. OK then. So the news that Microsoft’s much-reviled game service/malignancy Games For Windows Live is well and truly finished isn’t actually all that surprising. It’s much appreciated – don’t get me wrong – but the writing was already on the wall, given that Games For Windows Marketplace’s days are already very, very numbered. Unfortunately, GFWL’s impending date with the young but exceedingly prolific Server Reaper presents a few game-unfriendly complications.

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Contradictory Headlines, Pt 2: Msoft Hires Ex-Steam Boss

By Nathan Grayson on August 16th, 2013.

Hmmm. Well, OK then. So remember how Microsoft is closing down its increasingly irrelevant PC games marketplace once and for all? I would hope so. We just posted about it, like, an hour ago. (Apologies to the rather sizable goldfish portion of our audience; that comment was insensitive.) Well, you’d think that plus a very overt focus on Xbox One would imply total abandonment of our hotrod tech hive art house sector of the gaming industry. But in a legitimately shocking twist, you’d be wrong. Microsoft just hired former Steam director of business development Jason Holtman for one reason and one reason only: “to make Windows a great platform for gaming.”

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Contradictory Headlines, Pt 1: GFW Marketplace Closing

By Nathan Grayson on August 16th, 2013.

Good riddance, sweet prince

Games For Windows Live – Microsoft’s heinous piece of burdenware that dragged down even the best of games – hasn’t been much of A Thing for a while, but some vestiges remain. Like the human appendix and pretty much every part of a platypus, however, they don’t really serve a purpose anymore. So the Games For Windows marketplace, which you may remember from such hits as that time they halfheartedly turned it into a Steam clone and that other time it got vomited back into existence by an Xbox? Come next week, it’s history.

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Hanging With The Project Spark Developers

By Craig Pearson on August 12th, 2013.


A quick eye prod at the Steam Hardware Survey shows me that the stupid, hateful, and barely useable Windows 8 is the second most popular OS on there. 13.34% of those that responded to the survey use it. For you precious few (actually a healthy chunk), I have arranged a treat: a look at Project Spark. Microsoft’s really rather charming attempt to do a Little Big Planet-esque and Gameglobeish build your own game thing, is the only thing I’ve ever seen that made me want to have access to Windows 8. As Adam showed earlier on, the community has already cloned plenty of games and genres to show the platform’s capabilities, and now it’s the developer’s turn. Thirty Imperial Minutes of tools and tips are below.
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Community Service: Project Spark’s Alpha

By Adam Smith on June 13th, 2013.

Good morning. I’ve just returned from the humble pie and hat emporium with a couple of items I picked up for lunch. You may recall that in between all the XBone exclusives and cars, Microsoft announced a game called Project Spark, which is coming to Windows 8 as well as the Kinected console. It’s a flexible game creation suite, similar to Gameglobe, Little Big Planet and my personal favourite in the genre, Klik & Play. The game will rely heavily on community contributions, making it possible to download anything from entire worlds to individual AI routines, but I queried the apparent use of community downloads during the onstage presentation and in the video below. I was wrong!

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A Little Bigger Planet: Project Spark

By Adam Smith on June 11th, 2013.

E3 is full of whoops and hollers. Watching a livestream of Microsoft’s announcements last night, I swear I heard somebody chanting ‘XBOX XBOX‘ as if they were at a cup final cheering on their favourite team rather than witnesses to a madly expensive and deranged corporate sales pitch*. The presentation of Project Spark generated some laughter and enthusiasm as well. It’s a game that’s also a game construction set, although with a far greater similarity to Gameglobe than Little Big Planet. It’s coming to next generation user interfaces (Windows 8) as well as the XBone. There are three videos below, one of which shows ‘community creations’. What community? How many people are playing this thing already?

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State Of Decay Still Coming To PC, But Not ‘Soon’

By Nathan Grayson on June 8th, 2013.

The Undead Labs devs handling the PC port were last seen here. They are, of course, presumed incredibly alive.

State of Decay is finally out on console coffins, and what do you know? It’s apparently pretty good! Naturally, I too want to sink my noxious nub teeth into the permadeath zombie open-world-er, but my PC isn’t an Xbox – no matter how badly Microsoft wants it to be. We were, however, promised our very own decaying slice of slate quite some time ago. It’s always been a matter of when, not if. Unfortunately, that “when” has turned into something of a moving target, and Undead Labs’ patented crossbow of ultimate release-datingness is having a very hard time pinning it down.

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Halo: Micro-Transaction Wars

By Jim Rossignol on June 4th, 2013.


A Halo game is coming to PC! And it’s a handsome-looking top-down shooter called Halo: Spartan Assault. Excitingly it’s ah… ahaha. Oh, no, haha… Oh dear. Touch controls and micro-transactions, is it?

I’m not sure how to say this with a straight face, so I’ll just type it: It’s a Windows 8 exclusive. Microsoft made a game for Windows. But the other Windows. The one for phones and stuff. It’ll still work on your desktop, but… Oof, I suppose I shouldn’t laugh. There’s a trailer, ever so inevitably, below.
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Kinect 2.0 Will Start Watching Your Blood Next Year

By Nathan Grayson on May 25th, 2013.

It can also levitate at will.

So Microsoft suggested it in an exceedingly casual, nonspecific manner, so shall it be. Xbox One’s infinitely more sensitive (it cries during movies and everything) Kinect is headed to PC as well, and it’ll come with a new SDK in tow. One caveat, though: Microsoft really isn’t expecting you to use it for gaming. Case in point: “Just as the new Kinect sensor will bring opportunities for revolutionizing gaming and entertainment, the new Kinect for Windows sensor will revolutionize computing experiences.” This one, then, will be targeted toward businesses and touch-free apps. Honestly, though, that’s not a huge change from Kinect’s first go-’round in our icy cool land of cybertronic future monoliths. What I’m worried about is the “next-gen” edition’s ability to be keenly aware of, well, everything. If the console version’s a useless heap of Orwellian scrap when not plugged into an Xbox, what’s to stop the PC one from pitching a fit unless it’s hooked up to a Windows 8 machine?

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Surprise: Msoft Not Keen On Porting Xbox One Exclusives

By Nathan Grayson on May 23rd, 2013.

Hey everyone, did you hear? There’s a new Xbox! It’s a prequel set 359 years before the current one, starring hip new actors, gratuitous explosions, and a patchwork quilt of nostalgia held together by your frayed heartstrings. Also, a man with “beautiful arms”. Wait, no, that’s the new Star Trek. For some reason, though, Microsoft’s calling its new machine the Xbox One, and with shiny hardware comes fresh hope. Maybe this time, PC and console will finally bound through a field of competitors together, hand-in-hand. Mayb- nope. Sounds like Microsoft is hoping to keep the two even more separated than ever, based on some comments from Redmond Game Studios general manager Matt Booty.

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Watching, Waiting: New Kinect Eventually Coming To PC

By Nathan Grayson on May 23rd, 2013.

I'm glad they're clearly making it look less ominous and horrifically Orwellian this time.

Yesterday’s Xbox One reveal may have prompted long sighs and tweets of derision from everyone not also watching ESPN and drinking beer from a hat at that very moment, but one portion of it at least sounded pretty impressive. Apparently Kinect One (which is actually Kinect Two, which I guess makes the original Kinect A, Kinect Prime, Kinect Route Zero or some other confusing designation) is quite a technological step up from its predecessor, allegedly able to track facial features, joints, fingers, and even the number of calories you’re burning while moving around. It’s also always watching as long as it’s plugged in, which – privacy promises from Microsoft or not – is basically terrifying. Intrigued? Researching the logistics of living among the animals in some far-off wilderness? Well regardless, Microsoft’s even more all-seeing eye will eventually end up on PC.

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Starting Over: Windows 8 To DeScrewUpify Itself?

By Alec Meer on April 24th, 2013.

Gimme transparency, not an explosion of garish colour

Now that everyone who isn’t mad has roundly agreed that Windows 8 is a whole bucketful of stupid, even Microsoft are acknowledging that trying to bruteforce people into using their computers completely differently was a silly move. Yes, Windows 8 basically has cheerful old Windows 7 lurking underneath its disruptive, tablet-orientated Metro skin, but the wasted seconds spent getting it to it every time, or inefficiently trying to get to your program or option of choice, really stack up as the months wear on, and the frustration that the OS keeps insisting on doing its own thing doesn’t go away. Now multiple reports are coming in that the forthcoming 8.1 update will allow booting to the traditional desktop, and might even reinstate the Start button.
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