Gaming

Xbox One: Redesigned Disc-Free White Model coming

Over at NeoGAF, a user going by ntkrnl has revealed that Microsoft has plans to release a redesigned Xbox One, and a cornucopia of other details. The source states the Microsoft will be releasing a White XBO to coincide with the launch of the title Sunset Overdrive in October. Then in November, a 1TB version of the XBO. He also stated a cheaper, possibly discless system without a Blu-ray drive or Bluetooth adapter is coming as well. This wont be the first time Microsoft has attempted to improve the XBO or improve sales by removing features from the system.  He also states a limited edition Titanfall Edition of the system will be launching as well, even leaking mockups of the console as well.

Limited Edition  Titanfall  themed Xbox One. 

Limited Edition Titanfall themed Xbox One. 

 

An entire redesign to the console in the first year is definitely uncharacteristic for new hardware. In fact, unprecedented. Why would a veteran console manufacturer release redesigned,revamped and cheaper  systems less than a year after their major entry into the next generation? Marketshare. Microsoft is not just losing the war for users in this generation of consoles. They are losing it spectacularly. With the PS4 outselling the XBO 1.5:1 in the UK and almost 2:1 overall in worldwide sales, they have a great deal of catching up to do. In addition, the PS4 is preparing to launch in it's home territory, where it's strongest user base is, Japan, only making things worse for Microsoft.  

Speculation as to the authenticity of the leakers claims abound, however, numerous aspects of his claims have been verified around the internet. Internet site The Verge has been able to verify that while their is no proof that MS will be launching the disc-less XBO, Microsoft has indeed been testing out a disc-less version of the XBO hardware. VG247 has a source that has confirmed that a cheaper model of the XBO is on the way for 2014, though no word on whether this version will be without the Blu-ray drive. Lending even more credibility to the legitimacy of ntkrnl's leaks, a source at Kotaku has also confirmed the Microsoft's legal department is investigating an d attempting to obtain the identity of the user, in order to take legal action against him. 

The bumbling surrounding the launch of the XBO has been ongoing since before the launch itself. With Microsoft's elitist insults towards customers without internet, to MS's complete 180 on the internet requirement, the Kinect is no longer mandatory, and the changes to attempt to wring more power out of the processor. Seeing such efforts from Microsoft to revamp, improve and make the XBO more marketable to boost sales is definitely a sign the company is struggling to close the gap between XBO and PS4. Especially with measures as drastic as a complete redesign in the first year. This in it's own right lends legitimacy to my previous comments on the state of affairs for the current console war. I have received a few emails lately regarding my coverage and articles related to the current console race, in particular relating to the light I paint the Xbox One in. I love Microsoft. They do amazing work. The Xbox One is an amazing system. But they still make mistakes. And even with the Xbox One managing to save the company bottom line in the wake of Windows 8's poor sales, the system is still struggling to keep up. Even with less powerful hardware than the PS4 and the PS4's commanding sales lead and higher demand, The XBO may still wind up being a powerhouse of this console generation. Time will tell...

Sony says Thank You to PSN Customers in 2014..

While PlayStation Plus has been working overtime for a year to really bring value to the $49.99 annual cost for it's premium service. A selection of FREE games each month has been one of those perks for a while. But in Quarter 1 2014, Sony outdoes themselves, with some stellar offerings for the month of January.

Starting the Lineup of Freebies, PS3 owners can look forward to the STELLAR Bioshock Infinite, a critically acclaimed and award winning title in the Bioshock series. One of the few games to tackle complex and uncomfortable themes like racism, religion and idealism, and show the ugly side of all. Definitely an immersive and thought provoking experience, it is never afraid to push buttons and never pulls a single punch. This is not just a good or GREAT game, it is an essential game that everyone should experience, gamer or not. PS3 owners will also get Devil May Cry: DMC, with new skills and visuals, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a truly innovative title that has people playing the part of two brothers at the same time, using an analog stick for each. 

PS4 owners can look forward to the Visual Treat that is Don't Starve. The beautifully cell shaded art style, it is a truly innovative game that mixes adventure, action, and RPG elements. 

And if you have a PlayStation Vita, the socially networked brain trainer Smart As.. will challenge your mental capacity and problem solving skills while comparing your accomplishments and failures to your friends'. And Worms hits the Vita too, for more annihilation and mayhem. 

January is shaping up to be a fantastic start for PlayStation Plus members. 

Is Battlefield 4 Fixed?

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Today, DICE released yet ANOTHER patch for Battlefield 4 for the PlayStation 4, in an ongoing and MONTH-LONG period of problems with the AAA Blockbuster Title. According to the Battlelog on on the game, DICE states the update "should remove a large amount of the client crashes we are currently seeing on the PS4". One of the largest sore spots for users has been that, since launch day on November 15th, players have been unable to save single player campaigns, preventing users from from being able to save their progress in the Campaign mode. DICE noted the patch also, "Further reduced the probability of getting a corrupt save file by doing miscellaneous changes to the save file system. These include removing the save file saving again when quitting multiplayer."

Also addressed is the blur effect on soldiers that appeared when Commanders were using EMP attacks.

And the rest:

  • Fixed multiple crashes that could occur when bringing up the in-game Battlelog during round transition.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when using the BattleScreen.
  • Fixed a random crash related to destroying vehicles.
  • Fixed minor destruction issues in the terrain.

DICE recently halted development on all other projects to address Battlefield 4's troublesome launch. Earlier today reports came in that Microsoft had offered refunds on Xbox One Battlefield 4 Premium to some players.

The fightback continues. "We are already working on the next update based on your feedback," DICE said today.