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News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Microsoft Confirms More Switch Games Will Get Xbox Live Support

StudioMDHR’s beloved Cuphead is headed to Nintendo Switch, and sometime after launch, it will be receiving an update that makes it compatible with Xbox Live. We’ve heard rumors of a much bigger partnership between Microsoft and Nintendo, but thus far Microsoft has yet to confirm plans for services like Game Pass and Project xCloud. However, they did confirm plans to expand the Xbox Live presence on Switch.

Speaking to a crowd at Game Developers Conference 2019, Microsoft executives announced that they intend to bring Xbox Live support to more games on Switch over time, including bringing achievements to select titles. However, they claim that they currently do not have any plans for a full Xbox Live Software Development Kit, so it sounds like this will be more of a game-by-game basis.

While discussing the features that Xbox Live will bring to iOS and Android, Microsoft displayed an image (below) of an online leader board. At the top of the list is “Mr. Switch” followed by “Mr. Xbox One” and “Demo User.” This would seem to suggest that certain Switch games will be able to share their online scores across other platforms with the help of Xbox Live.

Source: Russell Holly

News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Cuphead is Getting Xbox Live Support on Nintendo Switch

Recently, we reported on a leak suggesting Microsoft plans to bring Xbox Live to Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. A month later, Microsoft officially announced Xbox Live for Android and iOS, but they were silent on the Switch front. That changed today. Following the Nindies Showcase reveal of Cuphead for Nintendo Switch, Microsoft confirmed it will (eventually) include Xbox Live support.

Shortly after the Nindies Showcase, Microsoft made a blog post detailing some of their plans for the future of the [email protected] program. Towards the end of the post, Microsoft confirmed that they are working with StudioMDHR to implement Xbox Live features into Cuphead on the Nintendo Switch. This won’t be available at launch, but a future update will patch Live compatibility in.

Microsoft stopped short of confirming that Xbox Live support will be available for other Switch games, but it seems unlikely that they’d stop after just one. There have also been rumors of Xbox Game Pass on Switch with Project xCloud compatibility, but Microsoft did not confirm any such plans today.

Source: Microsoft

Mobile Platforms News

Microsoft Announces Xbox Live for Android and iOS

As Microsoft prepares for the next generation, the Xbox brand is expanding. With the power of Project xCloud, Microsoft wants you to be able to play their first-party games on phones and tablets. While that future is still a while off, they took a big step today by announcing plans to bring Xbox Live services to iOS and Android.

Mobile developers will soon be able to integrate Xbox Live functionality in their games thanks to a new cross-platform mobile software development kit from Microsoft. According to The Verge, developers will have access to a variety of features, including ”
achievements, Gamerscore, hero stats, friend lists, clubs, and even some family settings.” Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s gaming cloud chief, issued the following statement.

“We believe so strongly in community, and Xbox Live really being at the heart of our gaming community. If you watch what we’ve done, especially with Minecraft, over the past few years we’ve taken Xbox Live to as many platforms as Minecraft is on as possible. Really uniting all those communities together with a consistent singular experience for those gamers.”
— Kareem Choudhry

If all of this sounds a little familiar, it may be because we reported on this possibility last month. A GDC listing (which was later removed) stated that details about Xbox Live on mobile would be shared at an upcoming panel. According to that listing, Xbox Live is also coming to Nintendo Switch. When asked about this, Choudhry stated that Microsoft doesn’t “have any specific announcements as it relates to Switch today.” We expect an announcement will be made in the future. Microsoft is also open to the idea of Xbox Live on PlayStation 4, but that seems less likely.

Source: The Verge

Mobile Platforms News Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Microsoft’s Bringing Xbox Live to Nintendo Switch and Mobile

It’s a strange and wonderful new video game industry we find ourselves in 2019. Major game publishers are still competing with each other, of course, but more and more they’re finding ways to cooperate and work together. Cross-play functionality has come to popular games like Fortnite and Minecraft, and now Microsoft is looking to take another big step towards a more unified gaming audience.

According to a listing on the GDC 2019 schedule (which has since been edited to remove the juicy details), Microsoft will soon be announcing plans to roll out Xbox Live to Nintendo Switch and iOS and Android devices. This would allow developers to include features like Xbox achievements and friends lists in their Switch and mobile games. Here’s how the listing read before it was removed:

Xbox Live is one of the largest, most engaged gaming communities on the planet with decades of experience providing managed game services to developers that save you time and unlock all of the social and engagement features that players love.

Now Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger. Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK.

Get a first look at the SDK to enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.

Takeaway

  • Xbox Live players are highly engaged and active on Xbox and PC, but now they can take their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to almost every screen.
  • This will break down barriers for developers that want their communities to mingle more freely across platforms. Combined with PlayFab gaming services, this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun.

Microsoft has been cozying up to Nintendo quite a bit recently, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer has often had positive things to say about the company. They likely see bringing Xbox Live to Switch as a good way to entice Nintendo’s fans to give Xbox a shot, especially since they have a brand new console generation in the works. Meanwhile, the mobile market is incredibly vast, and there could be much to gain going forward by being seen as the hub for communicating with friends and acquiring achievements on mobile devices.

Source: GDC (via Windows Central)

News Xbox 360 Xbox One

Microsoft Says Xbox Live’s Language Policy Isn’t Changing After All

Yesterday Microsoft announced changes to their Terms of Service, set to go into effect on May 1st. Most were minor, but a significant revision to the agreement’s Code of Conduct warned of suspensions, bans, and even the loss of funds in your account as a penalty for using “offensive language.” Naturally, this has not sat well with many Xbox users, so Microsoft has stepped forward to clarify the situation.

In response to inquiries on Twitter, Mike Ybarra (Corporate Vice President of Xbox Program Management at Microsoft) indicated that there will be no policy changes on Xbox Live. It’s still unclear exactly how Microsoft will go about enforcing this new policy on services like Skype, but it appears that the Xbox brand is safe from any major shake-ups for now.

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News Trailers Videos Xbox 360 Xbox One

December’s Xbox Live Games for Gold Includes Sleeping Dogs, Outlast, and More

For those of you who have Xbox Live and want to know which free games you’ll be able to play in December, Microsoft has got you covered. Sleeping Dogs and Outlast will be available on Xbox One, while Outland and Burnout Paradise will be on Xbox 360. Only Sleeping Dogs will be available for the entire month. Outlast will be available from December 15th to January 15th, while Outland will be available from December 1st through the 15th, and you’ll be able to grab Burnout Paradise from December 16th through the 31st.

What do you guys think? Are you excited to play these games? Let us know in the comments below!

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News Xbox One

November’s Xbox Games for Gold Includes Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Murdered: Soul Suspect, and More

With every new month, a new set of free games is released for the proud owners of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions. The month of November should definitely scratch a few itches as the list of free games is quite diverse. The two Xbox One games available will be Super Dungeon Bros., an isometric brawler, and Murdered: Soul Suspect, a ghostly adventure game. The free Xbox 360 games will be the point-and-click classic The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition and the epic shooter Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

Super Dungeon Bros. will be available throughout the month of November, while Murdered: Soul Suspect can be downloaded from November 16th to December 15th. The Secret of Monkey Island will only be available from November 1st to the 15th while Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon can be picked up from the 16th to the 30th.

As always, if you do not have Xbox Live Gold, you can still purchase and play The Secret of Monkey Island and Blood Dragon on Xbox One backwards compatibility now.

Are you excited to play any of these games? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Xbox Wire

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News Xbox One

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is Free for the Weekend

Sometimes you just want to play both an Action RPG and a First Person Shooter at the same time. In those cases, there is always Borderlands. The quirky shooter has made waves over the last few years with its humorous plot lines and almost literal “bazillion guns” tagline. Unbeknownst to pretty much everyone, The Handsome Collection, a collection of all three titles and their respective DLC, is actually free on Xbox Live right now, albeit for a very limited time.

I say unbeknownst because seemingly any advertisement for it was kept well hidden. Kotaku was able to discern that it was a free gift from Microsoft as part of their Multiplayer All-Access weekend event that is currently running. This coincidentally allows all players without Xbox Live Gold to play online multiplayer in The Handsome Collection for free as well. It is still unclear whether or not the game will remain in Xbox Libraries after the event ends on the 30th, but if you have ever wanted to check out Borderlands or its sequels, then now may be your best chance.

The Multiplayer All-Access event is for all games as well. You can get yelled at by children not only in Borderlands but in all Xbox One games.

Will you be downloading Borderlands: The Handsome Collection? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Kotaku

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Lizard Squad Faces Federal Charges for Hacking Xbox Live and PlayStation Network in 2014

Two teenagers, Zachary Buchta and Bradley Jan Willem Van Rooy, from Maryland and the Netherlands respectively, were charged with cyber crimes for the attacks that brought both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network down in the holiday season of 2014. The two were charged in federal court for “conspiring to cause damage to protected computers,” and the Department of Justice has also seized four domain names including lizardsquad.org. Buchta was arrested last month and ordered to appear in Chicago before a judge.

The U.S. initially began investigating Lizard Squad as a result of a for-pay harassment service, in which spoofed phone numbers were used to conduct automated messages. One victim apparently received a call every hour over the course of 30 days, each filled with violent threats. The 2014 attacks may have been the inspiration for several other attacks, including the attack last month on the digital security news site Krebson Security, which the hosting provider Akamai says may be the largest DDoS attack in history.

Are you glad these two are facing charges for their actions? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Polygon

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News

The Creator of Xbox Live Just Joined The Pokémon Company

The Pokémon Company has just added some serious talent to its ranks. Eric Neustadter spent many years working for Microsoft, where he served as the Architect and Operations Manager for Xbox Live, growing the service to over 39 million members during his tenure. Neustadter announced that he was leaving Microsoft last August after fourteen years with the company, and exactly one year later, he has found another high-profile employer.

Neustadter recently announced via Twitter that he has officially joined The Pokémon Company. No other details were given in his brief announcement post, but a quick look at his
Linkedin profile shows that he’s listed as Vice President of Technology. Here’s how he describes the skills that he brings to the table:

“I design, deliver, and operate complex services with a focus on uptime and meeting customer and developer requirements. I have 14 years of experience in the gaming industry, and over two decades of experience building mission-critical services across multiple industries.”
— Eric Neustadter

The former Xbox Live boss brings years of experience in handling online services, making him a great addition to the Pokémon team. It should be interesting to see what sort of online features The Pokémon Company implements with him at the helm.

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News PC Videos Xbox One

Xbox Live is Getting New Features Throughout 2016, Including Clubs, Tournament Platforms, and More

Microsoft has announced a plethora of new updates coming to Xbox Live throughout 2016. Background music, language region independence, and Cortana are all coming to Xbox One this summer. Later in the fall, an update will allow players to create communities based on their interests and hobbies with “Clubs,” in addition to letting people create advertisements to form multiplayer gaming sessions.

Also in fall, Xbox Live will be receiving the “Arena” update, which will serve as a tournament platform on the network. Players will be able to discover, register for, and compete in multiplayer matches, and also sign up for official tournaments set up by publishers. EA Sports headlines this tournament service and will be creating competitive sessions for their games such as FIFA and Madden.

Source: Microsoft E3 2016 Showcase

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News Xbox 360 Xbox One

Microsoft is Increasing the Price of Xbox Live Gold in 6 Countries

Microsoft recently announced that pricing for its Xbox Live Gold membership is Increasing in a total of six countries: Austria, Hungary, Israel, South Africa, Sweden, and Turkey. According to Microsoft, the change is being brought about in an effort to more closely reconcile the prices with that of the United States.

A Microsoft representative had this to say about the increases:

“We occasionally update pricing in a given market to provide a balance of service and value, and in some instances, meet currency fluctuations within the region, and will be adjusting the price of Xbox Live Gold subscription in a small number of markets on June 20, 2016. We do so always keeping in mind that our goal is to offer our members the premium gaming and entertainment service at a fair price.” — Microsoft

Currently, South African gamers are paying around R50 ($3.25) a month, though under the price increase, this will rise to R159 ($10.33). The price for the other territories are as of yet unknown, but presumably they will change to become more in line with prices here in the States. Microsoft also vaguely commented on Austrian pricing, saying that “the new price in Austria aligns with other European markets.”

Source: Game Informer

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News Xbox 360 Xbox One

Xbox One’s Next Update Lets You Buy Xbox 360 Games Digitally, Party Chat on Twitch, and More

Xbox One users can look forward to a gigantic update this month. Microsoft is bringing a ton of new features to the console in one nice package. Cool upgrades like 16-person chat and the ability to add party chat to a Twitch stream are part of the update, but the biggest story involves backwards compatibility. Players will soon be able to purchase Xbox 360 titles on the Xbox One marketplace. The system already downloaded Xbox 360 games instead of reading them off their discs, but soon those downloads will be available to buy without the need for a physical copy of the game.

Here are all the features of the update.

– Purchase Xbox 360 Backward Compatible games on Xbox One

– Include Party Chat in Twitch broadcasts

– Output your Party Chat to headset and speakers simultaneously

– Customizable Game DVR recording length

– Gamerscore Leaderboard

– An Updated ‘Featured’ section

– 16-person Party Chat

– Xbox 360 Achievements in Xbox One and Xbox app Activity Feeds

– Follow web links and YouTube videos from Game Hubs

– Compare your Avatars

– Reputation rating interface changes

For the full details on all these features, check out Xbox’s full announcement.

Source: Microsoft

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News Xbox 360 Xbox One

January’s Games With Gold Include Killer Instinct And Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Another month, another batch of Xbox Live Games With Gold freebies. On January 1st, Killer Instinct: Season 1 Ultra Edition (normally priced at $39.99) and Zheros will be available for free on the Xbox One, while people still on the Xbox 360 will receive Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dirt Showdown (each of which costs $14.99 otherwise). Keeping with its promise that Games With Gold titles will be backwards-compatible, Microsoft announced that the two latter titles will be playable on the Xbox One.

Source: Major Nelson

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News PlayStation 3 PlayStation 4 Xbox 360 Xbox One

A Group of Hackers Are Threatening to Take Down Xbox Live and PSN on Christmas Again

Last Christmas, a hacker group known as Lizard Squad attacked the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 servers, rendering them inaccessible during the holiday weekend. A new group known as Phantom Squad has threatened to take down those same servers this year and says that it has already started taking down various networks, including Grand Theft Auto V and Reddit. Besides Reddit and Grand Theft Auto V, the group has also claimed to have attacked the servers running Call of Duty: Black Ops III, as well as Xbox Live and PSN for a brief period of time.

When asked why the group was attacking these servers, they responded with “because cybersecurity does not exist.” International Business Times contacted both Sony and Microsoft to ask if the companies are aware of the threats made against their networks, but there was no response at the time of publication.

Source: International Business Times

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News PC PlayStation 4 Videos Xbox One

Tons of Games Nominated for TGA 2015 are Going on Sale Through Steam, PSN, and XBL During the Awards

The Game Awards are happening this Thursday, and to celebrate that, there will be nominee-related sales on Steam, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live. Nominees include Fallout 4, Bloodborne, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and Undertale, so if you want any of these games, Thursday might hand you an opportunity to get them cheaper than usual. These sales will be unlocked right as The Game Awards themselves are happening, so keep that in mind if you’re interested.

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News Xbox 360 Xbox One

Xbox Hardware Sales are Down, but Xbox Live Subscriptions are Up

Microsoft has released its quarterly report for the period of July 1st — August 30th, and they’ve changed up how they’re doing things a little. Normally Microsoft announces how many combined Xbox 360 and Xbox One units have been shipped, but the company announced that it “will not be using console shipments as its primary metric for success beginning with this quarter,” and instead they’ll be focusing on Xbox Live numbers. As such, Xbox shipments were not given a number.

The numbers Microsoft
did present show the reason why: hardware sales are down, but Xbox Live subscriptions are up. Microsoft’s report stated that declining Xbox 360 sales caused hardware revenue to drop this quarter compared to last quarter. Xbox Live subscriptions, however, are up 28% to 39 million users.

Source: Microsoft

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News Xbox One

Xbox Live is Getting Faster and More Social This November

Microsoft has revealed details about the massive change coming to the Xbox One dashboard this fall. The update will go out to select Xbox Live members through Xbox Live messages. Those who accept the invite will get builds over several weeks, as the development team works out any glitches and bugs, until the update goes out to everyone in November.

The new dashboard is planned to make access to ”
popular game features” faster. Additionally, Xbox Live will also become a more social experience with the introduction of new community features.

The new features will include the following:

  • Play your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One. At launch you’ll be able to play over 100 Xbox 360 games on Xbox One with hundreds more in the months to come. This includes the added benefit of Xbox One features including screenshots, streaming, and game DVR – for your favorite Xbox 360 games. You can even play multiplayer with friends still using their Xbox 360.
  • A new Guide lets you quickly access essentials with just one button press to save time spent weaving in and out of apps. You can access the Guide from Home by pressing left or double tap the Xbox button on your controller to instantly overlay the Guide. You can access Friends, quickly start a Party, get to Settings, see System Notifications, view your Messages, and more from Home or without leaving your game. These are the top tasks Xbox fans do most often, so we focused on making them faster and easier to get to without disrupting your game.
  • We’re redesigning Home to make it faster and easier to get to the things you love. We’re introducing a faster and easier interface to provide access to games and apps you’ve recently used. At launch you’ll be able to more easily share your achievements and game clips with the Xbox Live community, see whether your friends are playing the same games and get one-click access to Game Hubs to get news and updates directly from the developers and community themselves.
  • We’re introducing a new Community section to make Xbox One more social.Based on your feedback, this section is optimized to help you tap into what other gamers are doing on Xbox Live and directly contribute to the conversation happening within the Xbox Live community. Check out what your friends are up to or keep track of the games you follow in the redesigned Activity Feed. Explore the new Trending section to view the most popular posts from players on Xbox Live.
  • The revamped OneGuide will be your single destination for TV, movies and video apps. From OneGuide, you can see a list of current trending live TV shows with the most viewers at that moment on Xbox. TV listings will now come up instantly and in full-screen, and we’ve added a picture-in-picture mode for TV so you can browse for other things to watch without missing what’s happening in your show. We’ll highlight a selection of the most exciting new movies, TV shows and deals from across the apps on Xbox One and the new App Channels area will show you the latest movies, TV shows and videos highlighted by the apps you care about.
  • We’re optimizing Store to help you quickly find the content you want. To the right of OneGuide, you’ll find the new and improved Store with features including four easy to explore areas – Games, Movies & TV, Apps, and Music – and a new vertical gallery view to bring more listings at a glance. Browse through intuitive categories like Staff Picks, New Releases, Top played, Top rated, Coming Soon and Recommendations to discover new games, apps, and entertainment for your Xbox One.

What do you think about the new dashboard? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Microsoft

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News Xbox 360 Xbox One

September’s Xbox Live Games with Gold Includes Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Xbox Live Gold members will receive four new free games this September. Two of the games are available for Xbox One and two are available for Xbox 360.

On Xbox One,
The Deer God (usually $14.99) is free during the entire month of September, and from September 16th to October 15th Gold members can get Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (usually $29.99) for free. Tomb Raider might be a great grab if you are interested in Rise of the Tomb Raider at all.

On Xbox 360,
Battlestations Pacific (usually $24.99) will be free starting on September 1st until the 15th. Crysis 3 (usually $19.99) will be free from September 16th to the 30th. As a massive fan of real-time strategy games, I can say Battlestations Pacific is worth the download.

What do you think about September’s Games with Gold? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Major Nelson

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The Lizard Squad Hacker Who Brought Down PSN and Xbox Live Last Christmas Will Not Go to Jail

According to a story in the Finnish newspaper Kaleva, Lizard Squad hacker Julius “zeekill” Kivimaki will not face jail time after being convicted of 50,700 charges of computer-related crimes. Kivimaki has been sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence, which means that he will not have to go to jail; however, his online activity will be monitored as a part of the sentence. Kivimaki helped lead Lizard Squad’s distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network last year, which resulted in service outages during the Christmas holidays.

Lizard Squad has responded to the conviction on Twitter, stating that they “have free passes“; you can check out a few of their tweets about the conviction down below!

Source: Kaleva (via The Daily Dot)

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