Tagged: E3 2013

All the cool stuff on Xbox One requires a Gold Membership

I’ve heard some talk since E3 like people may have missed this video from Microsoft. Entitled ‘Get the most from Xbox One with Xbox Live Gold’, the video that has a mere 16 views as of this posting highlights how a paid Gold membership is required for things like (in their words):

  • Unrivaled multiplayer gaming
  • Smarter matchmaking
  • Capture and share favorite moments
  • Get TV that’s tailored to you with OneGuide
  • Skype

In less than one minute the video painfully demonstrates that all those cool features Microsoft has shown will be locked behind the golden gates of their paid Live membership. The tail-end does point out that all profiles on the “single, designated Xbox One in Gold members home” can benefit from online gaming but that other Gold features cannot be shared.

It’s the bad news I was hoping we wouldn’t hear and there are more caveats and asterisks at xbox.com/live. It makes me curious to see how magical the Xbox One experience is with only a free Silver account.

I don’t think I need next-gen just yet

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I can’t tell what the future will hold; secret money from the family, a bonus at work, a lucky twitter contest win, or if I’ll just give in and splurge once Maxx buys a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One (or both). Looking over this list of games I’m interested in that I made over the last week, though, there’s still loads to play on current consoles and PC.

Yes, I wanna be there on Day One to check out the new consoles for myself but look at that massive list of games I could already be playing! Earth Defense Force 2025 alone will suck up hours of our time and the PlayStation 3 exclusives — Rain, Beyond, Puppeteer,  CounterSpy — are just as compelling as Dead Rising 3. Not to mention that we still don’t know what will be available on launch day for either console.

I didn’t get an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 until well after their debuts. When people were mugging each other for the latest hardware and mediocre launch games I was still reeling from Shadow of the Colossus, Far Cry Instincts and Urban Chaos: Riot Response. Like I said, I can’t tell what will happen this fall when both consoles are finally released but for now I think I’m fine hanging on to the hardware I’ve already got.

E3: Of Dinosaurs and Goofy AR games

Know what E3 had way too much of? Guys shooting things. Know what it had a pitiable lack of? Dinosaurs and augmented reality gimmicks. That’s why I’m so excited about this year’s Wonderbook offerings (there’s another Harry Potter/Pottermore tie-in) and namely Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs.

Now you can re-enact your least favorite parts of Jurassic Park like holding a branch to mess with some Brachiosaurs and geeking out of multimedia technology. There’s a bunch of goofy stuff in this Big Book of QR Codes and though I’ll likely never buy it, I’m glad this stuff exists on a mass market platform.

E3: Xbox One Achievements fully detailed

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While the world is busy screaming about Microsoft’s more outrageous moves with Xbox One some good news did slip out of E3 regarding Microsoft Points and Achievements.

Microsoft announced at their Media Briefing that the old Points currency would be going away with Xbox One. Joystiq got hold of a spokesperson during the show who confirmed that existing Xbox 360 Microsoft Points would be taken to a duty free shop and converted to real-world dollars on Xbox One. It’s good to hear because I assumed my Microsoft Points were forever locked to the 360. Now I can come over to the One with some cash to blow on stupid themes and junk.

Next up is word from Microsoft’s Cierra McDonald on the changes coming to Achievements on Xbox One and there’s a lot to cover. There are now two kinds of Achievements; the typical Gamerscore-boosting kind that will always be available to unlock and Challenges that are time-based and unlock various awards but not Gamerscore.

The idea behind the split is to make sure that every game always has a bunch of Achievements that can be unlocked whether you bought the game on launch day or five years later. Expect the multiplayer-focused or “viral” Achievements that were impossible to get after a game’s popularity died off to become Challenges.

Challenges are time-sensitive and can be updated by publishers as trends develop around their games. Say everyone loves shooting guards in the knee with arrows, the publisher can run a challenge to reward all players who make kneeshots over a peried of time. Challenges can also span titles so your progress in one game could be counted towards a challenge in its sequel. Instead of rewarding players with Gamerscore, challenges can unlock digital artwork, new maps, characters or buff items. It sounds kinda gross but the current alternative is buying all that stuff as paid DLC which is way, way grosser.

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Both Achievements and Challenges can trigger the Game DVR feature so if the game knows you’re about to land your 1,000th headshot it can prompt you to save or share the moment. The Achievements dashboard has also been greatly expanded with progress towards Achievements now visible outside of the game and a more detailed list of what your friends have been up to.

The long-rumored Achievements system for non-game apps is also finally happening. Examples given were video and music apps unlocking “sneak peek content, early access or subscription extensions” for performing certain tasks. Rest easy, though, as none of this stuff will reward Gamerscore. Achievements for games are just that although “appchievements” may appear alongside game Achievements on your profile.

Given how coy they’ve been about used game policy and the like, I’d say this Achievement information is downright thorough. About the only question I have left is if they’ll be changing the ‘ba~goink’ sound when an Achievement pops up.

E3: Pac-Man CE DX Plus updates that game you already own

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Do not be alarmed by the sight of Rally-X taking over Pac-Man. This isn’t a drug-fueled childhood nightmare from spending too much time in arcades. It’s just Namco Bandai’s latest Pac-Man initiative *take a deep breath* Pac-Man Championship Edition DX Plus. The best part is you probably already own it and the worst part is it’s just a vehicle for DLC.

It’s a title update coming late this Summer to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows 8 versions of Pac-Man CE DX you may already own. The Plus-appended update adds improved leaderboard functionality, new in-game medals and loads of skins, themes, sounds, music, and mazes for sale as DLC. It’s kinda gross — patching in a marketplace for a game from 2008 — but it’s part of Namco’s celebration of Pac-Man leading up to the release of another Pac-Product; Pac-Man Museum. Also there’s that new Pac-Man cartoon and it’s tie-in games.

Ya know what, let’s stop talking about Pac-Man.