If yesterday was Microsoft’s day for announcing big news (read: a $2.5 billion acquisition), today is the day it moves on to less pressing topics. The company’s hardware team just unveiled a few new accessories, including a wired Xbox One controller for PC gaming, and a portable Bluetooth keyboard that can pair with three different devices at once. Starting with the controller, this is basically the same one that already ships with the Xbox. In fact, because it comes with a battery pack in the box, you could use it wirelessly with the Xbone, in case you need a second controller. Heck, even the price is the same, at $60. The only difference? It includes a USB cable, allowing you to use it with a Windows PC. Unfortunately, for now, at least, the controller can’t be used wirelessly with a PC. Then again, the last-gen Xbox 360 controller started as wired-only, but later got a dongle, allowing you to use it wirelessly. So maybe Microsoft will follow a similar timetable with the Xbone controller.
Moving on, the Universal Mobile Keyboard ($70) uses Bluetooth to pair with up to three devices. It’ll work with any operating system — not just Windows — but you can only pair with one gadget per OS at a time. Of note: The keyboard portion is detachable, meaning you could leave the tablet propped up in the built-in stand and put the keyboard on your lap. In my hands-on, I found the small buttons surprisingly easy to type on, save for the tiny Delete key. All told, too, the stand is sturdy enough to support some fairly big devices, including the 12-inch Samsung Galaxy Note Pro. Basically, you can use it with any tablet so long as it’s not too thick. That means an iPad with no Smart Cover is OK, but an older-gen Surface Pro probably won’t fit. Finally, Microsoft is also re-releasing its foldable Arc Touch Mouse, except this time it’ll come in gray and won’t have any Surface branding on it. It will still cost $70.
All of the above go on sale this fall, in time for the holiday shopping season, with the keyboard and mouse arriving in October and the controller landing sometime in November. Because no: It is not too early to start thinking about stocking stuffers.
Great news next-gen (well, guess that would be “current-gen” now, wouldn’t it) console owners — you’ll be able to snag Grand Theft Auto V for either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One on November 18th. Along with the usual slew of graphical improvements, the enhanced version of GTA will feature new weapons, vehicles, activities and mani interesting furry animals. Not to mention new songs, denser traffic and a completely new foliage system! PC players will get all the same perks, but they’ll sadly have to wait until January 27th of 2015 to get their hands on it. On the plus side, if you already own GTA V for Xbox 360 or PS3 you can easily transfer your character.
Filed under: Gaming
Microsoft has been working hard to make Xbox One SmartGlass more useful and appealing for users, and it’s doing a great job so far. The most recent update to the app, however, may just be its best yet. Most notably, you can now record Xbox One game clips directly from the SmartGlass application, making the process easier for gamers who, for example, have a Kinect-less console. In addition to that, you can use the app to view your profile’s activity feed, post status updates on it and share stuff that pops up there. New TV and OneGuide features are here as well, although those had been available previously in beta on some devices. Speaking of which, perhaps the nicest part of this refresh is that Microsoft is doing it across the board — the revamped Xbox One SmartGlass is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
- Larry Hryb (@majornelson) August 28, 2014
The Xbox One SmartGlass Beta companion app has received an update that should prove to be some what exciting for some. It is important to note that Xbox One SmartGlass companion is a different app entirely than the beta version. The beta version requires you to be part of the Xbox One’s dashboard preview program before hand. The new additions to the second screen app will bring in some live TV streaming from your Xbox One to your mobile device. You will also be able to record game clips and be able to boot the console to television playback while it is in standby.
The full list of new additions is as follows:
Share and post activity feed items
Post status updates to your activity feed
See your activity feed on your profile
Display messages in a new conversations view
Record game clips
In-app display of release and feature notes
Expanding to new markets
TV and OneGuide available in new markets
As for the bad news, there is some, at least for most of the world. The live TV streaming feature is only available in select European markets where they are previewing its new digital TV tuner accessory.
The post Microsoft updates Xbox One SmartGlass Beta app with new Goodies to test Out appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Microsoft has just kicked off Gamescom 2014 by announcing a plethora of new features coming to the Xbox One — some you may have known about, and some not. First up is a much anticipated feature: a new app will soon turn the Xbox One into a media player, letting you stream movie and audio files from a USB key or DLNA network. Microsoft’s Major Nelson has promised that the console will support many more media formats than the Xbox 360 did, including new file types like MPEG2 TS, animated GIF and MKV. A preview version of the app will arrive first with USB support, while DLNA and certain file formats like MKV won’t come until later. (For a list of compatible file formats, check the source.)
Still on the media front, Microsoft also announced some interesting TV-related features. You’ll soon be able to boot directly to your TV from standby mode, a big convenience if you use that app a lot. Another new feature coming is SmartGlass TV streaming: if you’re in another room, you can watch shows over your home network on a SmartGlass-equipped tablet or smartphone on Windows, iOS or Android. That’ll let you change channels and pause, play or rewind shows, all while still playing games on your Xbox One. The latter feature will arrive first to European countries receiving the new Xbox TV tuner by the end of the year. On a related note, regions with OneGuide will also get a mini guide that displays program information at the bottom of the screen.
For gaming, there’s some new but important features, especially for chat users or social types. The new Friends section that rolled out to early access members will now come to the general preview program. To remind you, the new features let you keep up with your friends’ activities at a glance, showing the games they’re playing and a Gamerscore leaderboard. There will also be a brand new Snap Center where you can see messages, parties, friends and achievements in one place without leaving a game — a feature that Xbox 360 users were sorely missing. And if you message a lot, you’ll now see full conversation threads without interrupting gameplay — including full discussion histories with embedded links and game clips.
Finally, Microsoft re-iterated that it’s hard at work readying the Xbox One launch for 29 new countries, up from the 26 it announced before. It said it’s still on track to release the console “in the coming weeks” to countries including Japan, Russia and Switzerland.
Source: Major Nelson
EA’s all-you-can-eat games service has launched, and there’s a bonus if you’re a fan of American Football. The developer has announced that it’s only those who pay for EA Access that’ll be able to play Madden NFL 15 before its launch on August 26th. Normally, of course, the company would have released a cross-platform demo to stir up demand — but EA told Polygon that the demo was axed to keep developers focused on the main game. In addition to five days worth of early access to the title, EA Access users will be able to play FIFA 14, Battlefield 4 and Peggle 2 to their hearts content, as well as saving 10 percent on purchases of the company’s games. Is that enough for you to part with your cash, or do, like Sony, feel that the service isn’t worth it?
Via: Operation Sports
When Microsoft launched the Xbox One, prospective buyers outside of the US wondered how its TV features would work in countries, like most of Europe, that still predominantly used over-the-air transmissions. The long, slightly awkward silence that followed has now been broken, with the company producing the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner. The gear is reasonably simple, converting coaxial signals at one end to a USB port that connects to the console on the other. The gear will enable people who don’t have HDMI-enabled cable boxes to watch HDTV, pause broadcasts and even use voice commands — assuming, that is, that you have a Kinect. It’ll launch towards the end of October, priced at £25 in the UK and €30 in France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
Microsoft is all about football at the moment. Shortly after outing its Sideline Viewing System for pro players and coaches, as well as a new NFL app for Xbox One and Windows 8, the company has now revealed how it plans to tackle the arrival of Madden 15. Surprise, surprise: it’s an Xbox One bundle. Now don’t expect a unique console or anything like that; instead, the Surface maker wants to lure you in by including the game free as part of this “limited edition” deal. So, in exchange for $399, you get an Xbox One without Kinect and a digital download of EA Sports’ latest addition to the popular football franchise, plus three Pro Packs to use in Ultimate Team mode. The Madden 15 Xbox One bundle is set to hit shelves on August 26th, though you can pre-order right now from some online retailers, including the Microsoft Store.
The start of a new NFL season is just around the corner, and Microsoft’s been working hard to improve the experience for football fans on the Xbox One. What’s different now, among other things, is that the company’s NFL application is expected to be ready by Week 1; as opposed to last year, when it showed up in Week 12 because of the timing of the Xbox One’s launch. This time out, there are a lot more features too, with Fantasy Football and NFL Now, the league’s upcoming online video service, playing a huge role in the refreshed version. First and foremost, Microsoft wants its NFL app to feel like your own, which is why it lets you personalize it with content from team and players you’re interested in, as well as different media provided by NFL Network, NFL RedZone, NFL Sunday Ticket and, of course, NFL Now.
As far as Fantasy Football goes, the Xbox One now gives you quick access to a ton of stuff, including a feed of recent events (such as a touchdown catch by one of your receivers), exclusive in-game highlights and the ability to manage teams, all right from inside the app. At the moment, fantasy data is still only integrating with NFL.com leagues, but Microsoft did tell Engadget it’s constantly working to bring more services into the fold — think Yahoo Sports or ESPN’s fantasy offerings. Not surprisingly, the NFL League Feed (pictured above) takes advantage of core Xbox One features like Snap, allowing you to easily keep track of your Fantasy Football stats, even while you’re playing a game or, you know, watching an actual NFL matchup.
Furthermore, the very same application is also coming to Windows 8 devices for the first time. And although differences between platforms do exist, like no HDMI-in TV signal on tablets or PCs, a Microsoft representative told us that the NFL for Windows 8 and Xbox One apps are indeed the same, a universal one, if you will. Conversely, Xbox 360 owners can expect similar functionality to what’s available already — though there is going to be the addition of NFL Now, which brings more on-demand content from the National Football League to the aging console.
Microsoft has promised that its NFL-rich app will arrive in time for the regular season, both on Xbox One and Windows 8, but a “late August” delivery is what it is willing to commit to for now. Don’t you worry, it’ll be here soon enough.
Well that didn’t take long. Less than a week after it rolled out the app to the PlayStation 4, Sky’s now brought Now TV to the Xbox One. With today’s launch, Sky now has Microsoft and Sony’s new and old gaming consoles covered, as well as a number of smartphones and tablets, giving it a firm footing on which to challenge Netflix. Now that Microsoft doesn’t require a subscription to access Live apps, you only need to stump up the cash for one of Sky’s movie, sport or entertainment packages to get streaming on your next-gen Xbox.