Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

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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Age Of Empires II HD Advancing To The Steam Age

By Nathan Grayson on March 8th, 2013.

These aren't your father's textures. And who does he think he is, trying to lay claim to them anyway?

The Age of Empires series has seen better days. Days like the year 1999, for instance. That’s when Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings charged onto the itsy-bitsy adowwwwable killing fields, and oh what a grand thing it was. It even looked quite nice for the time, eschewing 3D razzle-dazzle in favor of goode ye-olde-fashioned sprites. Times, however, have changed, and monitors have grown wide and voracious in their appetites for tender, succulent resolutions. Thus, Microsoft’s deemed it high-time for a re-release, on that newfangled, installation-frisbee-free Steam contraption that’ll probably never catch on, no less. Graphics, however, aren’t the only thing getting a modern makeover here.

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What’s All This About Brutal Legend? And Halo 3? Fez?

By Jim Rossignol on February 4th, 2013.


Hmm! The Klaxons of hype were blaring over the weekend, with Steam-database watchers claiming the appearance of Halo 3, Fez and Brutal Legend on the service’s list of forthcoming IDs. As far as I can see these have now been changed to “test” names, which suggests revealing their addition was a mistake, but nevertheless the information seems to point to Double Fine’s bizarre Jack Black-voiced rock RTS coming to PC, along with Master Chief’s third outing and Polytron’s dimension-rotating platformer. So that’s interesting. Oh and Quantum Conundrum 2.

Yeah. Anyway. What you been up to this weekend?

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Microsoft Surface Pro Uses Two-Thirds Storage For Itself

By John Walker on January 30th, 2013.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet once seemed an interesting prospect. A tablet that was no weakling, a PC in a flat, touchable screen, with a keyboard in its flexible cover. It made us at RPS realise we need to reassess what counts as a PC, asked us questions about how far our remit now stretches. At this point, we’re now wondering if anyone on the planet is going to buy one. A thought underlined by today’s news from Verge that the 64GB version of the device will only have 23GB of usable storage.

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Halo 2 Multiplayer Peaking At 20 Players, Shutting Down

By Nathan Grayson on January 19th, 2013.

NEVER AGAIN.

The PC version of the original Halo was actually pretty strong, all things considered. Fun fact: it was the first Halo game anywhere to have official online multiplayer. Halo 2, however, didn’t manage such a sterling performance. Mainly, it was meant to be Windows Vista’s killer app, and Vista – at least, at launch – just let people with a desire to kill. As a result of that exclusivity, Master Chief’s Covenant-bomb-giving-back-est adventure went largely ignored and was left to the ravages of time – which brings us to today. According to Microsoft, it’s now got 20 players. Yes, 20 – concurrently, at least. Unsurprisingly, they’ve declared it time to pull the plug.

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End Of An Era: Age Of Empires Online Ceasing Updates

By Nathan Grayson on January 8th, 2013.

But really, what are we even fighting for if not cool new stuff?

Update: Microsoft actually pulled the plug on AOEO’s updates – not Gas Powered Games.

Original: This rather unfortunate bomb dropped last week while each member of the RPS team was still out colonizing a different region of space, but I think it certainly bears mentioning. Age of Empires Online, sadly, is history. Or at least, the part where it continues to actively grow and evolve is now another footnote in the series’ lengthy legacy. The free-to-play revamp of the storied RTS series isn’t headed for the more contemplative region of Valhalla just yet, but – from now on – what you see is what you get. No more new content.

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Old Dog, Old Tricks – MS Locks DirectX 11.1 To Win 8

By Alec Meer on November 12th, 2012.

I had to sign 14 forms in triplicate before Microsoft would release this press shot

It’s been a while since Microsoft pulled the ol’ ‘oh no, this new version of DirectX couldn’t possibly work on earlier versions of Windows’ scamgasm, but as the relatively friendly age of Windows 7 is overshadowed by the dawning of the firm’s desperate desire to make Windows 8 a cross-platform goliath/software shop, an old habit has returned. The next version of DirectX might be a purely iterative one, but if you ever look a game that requires DirectX 11.1 you’ll be looking at a game that won’t run on Windows 7 or earlier.
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