While you’ll be able to watch The Game Awards 2014 from the comfort of your home on December 5th (full details forthcoming), the best way to watch is in person. From the front row. The Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley certainly agrees, because he’s gifted us a cache of tickets for Xbox fans.
On Thursday December 4th at 7pm, I’ll be hosting a special fan meetup at the Microsoft Store Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas, where we’ll be gifting The Game Awards 2014 tickets to the first 100 attendees. We’ll also have Xbox One games to play, and conduct a special raffle for a pair of front row seats, Xbox One bundles, and other prizes.
When: Thursday, December 4th. Line for The Game Awards tickets will form at 5pm. Meetup activities start at 7pm.
What happens if I do not win The Game Awards 2014 ticket, may I still attend the event? Yes! We’ll be running games of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, and Forza Horizon 2, and raffling off other prizes
The Game Awards ticket raffle details (read carefully!): Begin lining up at 5 p.m. where we’ll be raffling off 100 tickets to the Game Awards 2014 show on December 5! 100 lucky winners will each win one ticket to the show. This Microsoft store event is free to the public. You must be 18 to attend The Game Awards. No exceptions – ID will be checked!
Remember earlier this year when I went out to the desert of New Mexico to join Director Zak Penn and get to the bottom of the legend of the ET Atari cartridges being buried? The full story can now be told in the form of “Atari: Game Over” now available for free on Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Video.
“I’m quite serious when I say this is one of the best video game documentaries ever made. That’s still a pretty niche field, but Atari: Game Over belongs up there with Indie Game: The Movie and King of Kong as a real standout.” – Hayden Dingman, PC World
“After getting an advance screening this weekend, GeekWire highly recommends the film, particularly for gamers who grew up in the era of the Atari 2600 — and even more for those who didn’t, as a way of appreciating the roots of the games they play today.” – Todd Bishop, GeekWire
“Atari: Game Over is a wonderful movie. It’s a love story about video games, the people who play them and the people who make them.” – Colin Campbell, Polygon
“The hour-long film chronicles the rise and fall of Atari by literally uncovering the truth of what happened to millions of unsold ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’ videogame cartridges in 1983.” – Marc Graser, Variety
* Offer valid November 2, 2014 through January 3, 2015 at participating retailers. Regional availability and timing outside the U.S. will vary.
Update: I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about the Sunset Overdrive Special Edition console, as folks are having a hard time finding them. This particularly bundle is a one-time run, so if you are looking to pick one up, then I wouldn’t wait too long!
If you are looking for the Assassin’s Creed bundle and Call of Duty Special Edition console, they are just now in stock
With all of the social media sites out there, I wanted to take a moment to let you know where you can officially find me out there on the interwebs.
A good place to start is this very blog….but if you are here, you probably already know that.
RSS: If you are one of those old school folks that uses RSS (Like me!) I offer a full feed you can subscribe to here.
Xbox Live: On Xbox Live I am, of course, Major Nelson. If you own on Xbox One…be sure to follow me over there that way you can jump into any multiplayer games with me or get a notification when I start streaming on my Twitch channel.
If you are looking to make your Twitter timeline a bit busier, I’ve updated this Twitter list with some of the game publishers, developers and more widely known individuals working on Xbox One games and related projects. Everyone on the list is here. If you think of any I should add please drop them in a comment below. If you want to embed the list in your own blog, I’ve shared out the embed code here. Here is what the embed looks like:
Today we’ve announced the list of projects slated for the Xbox Originals program. Including details on the documentary that was behind this weekend’s discovery of the Atari E.T. games in a desert landfill. Starting this June, you’ll have more reasons to love your Xbox: Xbox Originals – premium dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation, unscripted shows, and live events. Available only on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and other Microsoft devices, every Xbox Original will offer interactive capabilities, as well as unique interactive features customized on a per-show basis, making it a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience you won’t find anywhere else.
“Halo” television series The “Halo” television series is a groundbreaking original series based on the award-winning “Halo” franchise. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer Steven Spielberg will executive produce the live-action TV series, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Amblin Television.
“Every Street United” “Every Street United” is an unscripted series of eight, thirty-minute episodes and a one-hour finale, featuring legendary soccer players Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids, focused on the global search for soccer’s most gifted and undiscovered street stars scouted across eight countries (United States, England, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ghana and South Korea). The series culminates this July in a 4v4 street game finale in the shadow of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.
Each episode will feature unique and incisive narratives about the grassroots street stars and the communities that shaped them. Industry veteran and eight-time Emmy-Award winning producer, director, writer and editor Jonathan Hock (“Streetball,” “30 for 30: The Best That Never Was”) is directing the series. Emmy-Award winning producer Mike Tollin and Mandalay Sports Media are executive producing. Professional soccer luminaries, Henry and Davids, will serve as coaches for the 4v4 street game in Rio. “Every Street United” will premiere in June 2014. All episodes will be available through Xbox Video for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8 (PC and Surface) and Windows Phone 8.
Bonnaroo Xbox owners around the globe can experience the magic of the 13th annual Bonnaroo music and arts festival with a live concert destination on Xbox Live Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15, 2014, brought to viewers in partnership with Superfly Presents. With the Bonnaroo app, fans can enjoy live music like never before, with a virtual experience featuring the best performances, multiple stages, biggest artists and amazing SuperJams, and explore this year’s lineup to see the best of Bonnaroo’s past with exclusive performances. Fans can also join the conversation with fellow virtual-Bonnaroovians and get connected to their friends and the festival. Xbox is the exclusive broadcasting partner for Bonnaroo and the only location to get all of the interactive features.
“Signal to Noise”/“Atari: Game Over” Xbox is creating a new six film documentary series, “Signal to Noise,” (working title) with two-time Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn (“Searching for Sugar Man” and “Man on Wire”) and Emmy winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s “30 Days” and PBS’s “American High”), through their multi-platform media company, Lightbox. The series will expose little known stories of how modern technology has radically altered the way we interact with our world.
The first installment, “Atari: Game Over” (working title), explores the fabled Atari mystery, dubbed “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.” As the legend goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the E.T. video game, disposed of millions of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Fuel Entertainment took an interest in the legend, and in December 2013, with help from local garbage contractor Joe Lewandowski, acquired the exclusive rights to excavate the Alamogordo landfill. Fuel Entertainment then brought the opportunity to Xbox Entertainment Studios. The team will head to the landfill in question to determine if the story is true, interviewing a cast of characters related to the game and its mystery along the way. “Atari: Game Over” is directed by writer/director Zak Penn (“X-Men 2,” “Avengers,” and “Incident at Loch Ness”). It will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014.
“Humans” “Humans” is a bold new drama co-produced with UK broadcaster Channel 4. Award-winning UK production company Kudos (“The Hour,” “Utopia,” “Broadchurch”) will produce the hour-long, eight-episode series, which will share a premiere broadcast window on the Xbox platform and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015.
Executive produced by Jane Featherstone (“Life on Mars,” “Broadchurch”) and Derek Wax (“The Hour,” “Sex Traffic”), and written by British writing team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (“Spooks,” “Spooks: The Greater Good”), “Humans” is an English-language adaptation of Sveriges Television and Matador Film’s acclaimed Swedish series, “Real Humans.” “Humans” is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘Synth’ – a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart. In the hope of transforming the way they live, one strained suburban family purchases a refurbished synth only to discover that sharing life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences. Casting for “Humans” will begin in May 2014, and production will commence later this summer.
“Halo” digital feature 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions are creating a “Halo” digital feature to be released later this year. The project will be executive produced by Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV President, David Zucker. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Pillars of the Earth,” “Heroes”) will direct.
Projects in Development
“Deadlands” Xbox Entertainment Studios has committed to a script based on the successful pen-and-paper role playing game created by Shane Lacy Hensley. “Deadlands” is a genre-bending alternative history of the Weird West, filled with undead gunfighters, card-slinging sorcerers, mad scientists, secret societies, and fearsome abominations.
“Extraordinary Believers” Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing an innovative, hybrid stop-motion show dubbed “Extraordinary Believers” (working title) with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, creators of the Emmy-Award winning “Robot Chicken,” the longest running stop-motion show on television. The executive producers on the project are Seth Green, Matt Senreich, and creators/writers/executive producers are Eric Towner and John Harvatine IV.
“Fearless” “Fearless,” (working title) is an unscripted series currently in pilot production starring Paul de Gelder, an Australian Navy bomb clearance diver and shark attack survivor who takes on an adrenaline-fueled quest to aid individuals who risk their lives to make the world a better place. “Fearless” will be produced by Australia’s International Emmy-Award winning production company, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ).
“Gun Machine” Xbox Entertainment Studios acquired the rights to “Gun Machine,” a hardboiled detective thriller based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Warren Ellis. Ellis will executive produce with Brett Conrad (“The Killing,” “Sons of Anarchy,” Netflix’s upcoming “Marco Polo”) who has signed on to write the pilot script about a detective tracking a serial killer who is tied to a mysterious collection of guns used in infamous New York murders.
Untitled JASH Comedy/Variety Half Hour In this unique comedy format developed by Xbox Entertainment Studios with JASH (a comedy collective founded by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric and Reggie Watts), the biggest names in comedy will showcase the people that make them laugh. Each week, a different comedian will host/curate a show featuring new and unsung talent, in various video formats. Sarah Silverman will host the pilot episode and Daniel Kellison (“Late Night/Late Show with David Letterman,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Crank Yankers”) will executive produce. The series has a pilot commitment and will begin shooting in June.
“Winterworld” Xbox Entertainment Studios and IDW Entertainment are co-developing a limited event live-action series based on Chuck Dixon and artist Jorge Zaffino’s seminal graphic novel series “Winterworld,” in which our world has been encased in ice from pole-to-pole. The surviving humans have formed tribes that war, enslave and trade with one another in an effort to survive the infinite winter. Ted Adams and David Ozer from IDW Entertainment, and Rick Jacobs and Dave Alpert from Circle of Confusion (“Walking Dead”) will executive produce.
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region
The interactive game of LEGO The Hobbit allows gamers to play along with their favorite scenes from the films, and follows the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he is recruited by the Wizard Gandalf to aid Thorin Oakenshield and his Company of Dwarves.
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region Become a Champion! Cutting-edge Kinect technology scans your likeness to put YOU in the game. Wake Racing, Climbing, Target Shooting, Soccer, Bowling and Tennis are all in play with power-ups, equipment and outfits specific to each event. With the power of Xbox Live, your friends are always there to challenge whether they’re online or not. Find your play style, customize your experience and choose a team worthy of your skill. Kinect Sports Rivals: it’s YOU vs. the world!
The world’s best Call of Duty players will soon come together to shoot it out for their share of $1 million, in the first-ever eSports world championship on Xbox One.
Watch the 2014 Call of Duty Championship, presented by Xbox, on Xbox Live or Xbox.com on Sunday, March 30 at 6pm EST, 3pm PST. You can also catch opening-round action on MLG.tv Friday and Saturday March 28-29. Join the conversation and cheer your favorite team on Twitter using #XboxCOD. You can learn more about the 32-team field at CallofDuty.com/eSports
Our friends at Team Dakota have just announced that Project Spark is now in open beta on Xbox One. That means Xbox One owners can join the existing community of Project Spark players and creators without needing a beta code.
To get started, just search for “Project Spark” in the Xbox One store and install the game. Once the installation is complete, launch the game and start creating!
I’ll be joining Team Dakota’s live developer Twitch stream today at Noon PST. Join in on the fun by searching for “Project Spark” on the Xbox One Twitch App, or by clicking here. EDIT: Or just watch right here:
Starting February 1st, players can compete to represent their country in Kinect Sports Rivals Preseason, a free download for Xbox One. At the end of the month, the world’s best racers will receive special metallic wake racers, and the players from the winning nation will unlock a special wake racer inspired by that country’s flag. There are also daily challenges for everyone to earn points and unlock prizes that they can take into the full game of Kinect Sports Rivals when it launches. Find all the details and download links over on Xbox Wire.
With the stakes set, we asked KSR developer Rare for some tips to trim your top time:
If you grab the throttle just before GO you can get a boost start to the race
Experiment to find the best course through the race, it isn’t always obvious…
You can get an extra kick when steering hard into a corner by letting go of the throttle then quickly grabbing it again
You can trick over the big waves, just lean forwards or backwards to flip!
You lose speed when you turn a lot so try to find a good racing line with gentle corners
When you are doing a flip, try taking one or both hands off to get extra points and fill your power up more quickly!
Those tips should get you off the line quickly, so get racing. Humming your national anthem during the race is optional, but recommended.
The final chapter of the Lightning saga, LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII, is just 3 weeks away. However, you don’t have to wait until February 11th to get a handle on the garb-swapping battle system – you candownload the demo right now.
You’ll guide Lightning as she traverses the chaos-infested Yusnaan palace of her old ally, Snow. Here’s a nice touch: players who complete the demo and activate Outerworld services within the game to submit their battle score will unlock the ‘Siegfried’ outfit in the full retail game. Note: you want this!
Today we announce that Twisted Pixel is joining the Microsoft Studios Family. Read the full press release below while I go and check the policy on shipping BBQ through interoffice mail:
Microsoft Studios Acquires Indie Game Developer Twisted Pixel
Acclaimed studio behind Xbox LIVE Arcade’s “Splosion Man” and Kinect for Xbox 360’s “The Gunstringer” to incubate new game and entertainment experiences for Microsoft Studios.
As a step in continuing to deliver Microsoft Studios’ innovative game and entertainment offerings, Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Austin, Texas-based game developer Twisted Pixel, the creative minds behind Xbox LIVE Arcade titles such as “Splosion Man” and the recent Kinect for Xbox 360 title, “The Gunstringer.”
From its beginnings in 2006 as independent studio developing award-winning Xbox LIVE Arcade titles, Twisted Pixel will now bring its talented team of developers to Microsoft Studios to help incubate and develop the future of game and entertainment offerings on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 platform.
“Twisted Pixel has an incredible track record of innovative, critically acclaimed, and most importantly, fun, games,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president, Microsoft Studios. “Microsoft Studios is home to cutting-edge entertainment experiences, and the incredible creativity of the Twisted Pixel team will help drive further innovation around Kinect and Xbox LIVE.”
“It is really exciting for us to solidify our long-standing relationship with Microsoft Studios, who we consider to be the leader in digital distribution and creating new innovations in gaming like Xbox LIVE and Kinect,” said Michael Wilford, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twisted Pixel. “As part of the family of Microsoft Studios we look forward to bringing even bigger and richer experiences to Xbox and Twisted Pixel fans around the world.”
With today’s announcement, Twisted Pixel becomes the latest member of Microsoft Studios, joining such prestigious and globally-recognized game creators as Lionhead Studios and Rare Ltd., on a team whose charter is to create exclusive experiences that differentiate Microsoft’s platforms.