Respawn Entertainment astonished everyone at E3 last year with the unveiling of Titanfall, a first-person shooter with an emphasis on traversal and giant mechs. The game had members of the press falling over each other to express their excitement, which made Microsoft’s exclusivity deal all the more impressive. At some point during the development of the multiplatform title from the team behind the most popular Call of Duty games of all time, Microsoft swooped in and stole the game away from the PlayStation consoles. So how did they do it? More →
It’s no secret that Microsoft is hurting as the world moves to mobile. Sales of Windows Phones are miniscule compared to the competition, and the Surface is small potatoes compared to the iPad. With Satya Nadella as Microsoft’s new CEO, the company would be smart to start selling a “Nokia X“ phone running on Android. More →
Microsoft is finally bringing a notification center to Windows Phone in the next major update. Action Center, as it has been dubbed, works almost identically to the notification centers that appear on Android and iOS devices. Simply swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal a log of messages, emails and updates you haven’t checked yet. A bar at the top of the Action Center will feature a set of four customizable buttons for quick access. If you find yourself in the airport on a weekly basis, put Airplane Mode in the shortcut bar; if you’re constantly fiddling with the brightness settings, you can slide that to the top as well. Check out the video below and breathe a sigh of relief that Windows Phone 8.1 is finally catching up with the competition. More →
In celebration of the launch of OneDrive, the Dropbox rival formerly known as SkyDrive, Microsoft is offering 100GB of free cloud storage to the first 100,000 people who sign into their OneDrive accounts once the promotion kicks off on Wednesday, CNET reports. Those users that will get the extra storage should know that the offer is only valid for one year, after which time users will have to pay for the same amount of storage. More →
Microsoft has been receiving a great deal of grief recently for the seemingly impaired visual quality of some upcoming multiplatform releases on the Xbox One, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes chief among them. Although the contrast is exceedingly mild, Xbox One owners understandably want the visuals in their games to match those of the PlayStation 4, but according to Total Xbox, Daniel Windfeld Schmidt, lead level designer on the upcoming multiplatform title Thief, thinks the issue is only temporary. More →
The latest Brandirectory survey on global brands is out and it’s got some grim news for Microsoft: The value of the handset brand it bought has continued plunging. Back in 2008, Nokia was one of the top 10 brands in the world. In 2014, Nokia no longer even makes the top 500 list of leading brands. In 2013, Nokia was No. 388 with estimated brand value of $3.2 billion. Over the past year, Apple’s brand value has soared by $17 billion, hitting $104 billion in 2014. Interestingly, Samsung’s brand value increased even more, climbing by $20 billion to hit $78 billion. More →
This year’s Mobile World Congress looks like it’s going to be jam-packed with intriguing new devices headlined by Samsung’s Galaxy S5, Sony’s Xperia Z2, BlackBerry’s first Foxconn-made phones and Nokia’s first-ever Android handset. There is one major absence from this year’s MWC that is rather surprising, however: Windows Phone. More →
With all the action shifting over to the Xbox One, Microsoft is offering some very special deals for any Xbox 360 gamers who want to pick up some classic older games they may have missed the first time around. Microsoft Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb announced on Tuesday that Microsoft is offering very deep discounts on some best-selling Xbox 360 titles of years past, although you’ll have to hurry to take advantage of them. The first part of the sale, which only lasts between now and Wednesday, includes discounts of at least 67% off for games such as Dishnored, Halo Reach and Bastion. The second part of the sale will last until February 25th and will include a larger selection of games such as Mass Effect, Portal 2 and Batman: Arkham City that will sell for anywhere from 50% off to 93% off. You can get the full list of games over at Hryb’s blog.
Microsoft knows that Windows 8 has been very polarizing to much of its user base but it feels that it had no choice but to try to implement some kind of touch-centric OS in a world where smartphones and tablets are eating into PC sales. Neowin has spotted some comments made by Microsoft UX designer Jacob Miller, who recently took to Reddit to explain why Microsoft made a lot of the design choices it did with Windows 8, including the original decision to make the Metro UI the default boot-up screen. What emerges is a portrait of a company trying its best to please two different audiences by trying to make two completely different operating systems and stapling them together. More →
The Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are on a relatively level playing field as the new generation revs up, but Microsoft and Sony will find ways to help consumers differentiate between the two in the coming months and years. Sony has already played its trump card by offering free games through PlayStation Plus, but Microsoft might be closing in on its own digital initiative to give Xbox One owners better deals. More →
Microsoft on Friday released the first big Xbox One software update, which may have already rolled out to certain users. “For the vast majority of Xbox One owners who use ‘Instant On’ (the low power state that allows you to instantly power up your console by saying ‘Xbox On’), the console automatically checks for updates when customers turn it off,” Xbox’s Major Nelson wrote. “This means now that we’ve made the February update available, the next time you turn your console off it will take the update during off-peak hours in your local time.” More →
Having spent more hours than I’d like to admit with the Titanfall beta this weekend, I can honestly say that I’m no longer concerned about whether or not a single-player campaign is featured in my first-person shooters. The developers at Respawn Entertainment decided early on that Titanfall would be a multiplayer-only experience, and in doing so have effectively embarrassed all the other game makers that have their fingers in too many pies. More →
Did your Valentine’s date cancel on you right as your Xbox Live Gold subscription expired? If so, you might want to reconsider the date when you resubscribe for another year of Xbox Live, but don’t fret, Microsoft has got your back. This weekend only, in order to celebrate the launch of the free-to-play title World of Tanks, Microsoft has made Xbox Live Gold free for all Xbox 360 owners. Xbox One owners looking to join the Titanfall beta without signing up for Xbox Live Gold are out of luck, but gamers that have yet to transition to the next generation can hop online free of charge from Friday, February 14th to Sunday, February 16th.