The Xbox 360 2015 Spring Value Bundle lineup features a new 4GB Kinect, 500GB Kinect and 500GB console bundle and each bundle includes two games and one month of Xbox Live Gold. Prices start at $249 USD (ERP), so whether you’re new to gaming or looking for a great gift, now’s the time to spring into action.
It was a busy week last week, with new tools releasing to Windows 10 developers at GDC to enable them to build great games for both Xbox and Windows. We’re eager to share that more features are coming to the Xbox app on Windows 10 as part of our monthly effort to deliver new functionality to the Xbox app. Today, we are adding the following features:
More ways to connect with your friends.
Game Clips – View game clips created on Xbox One and watch popular game clips from the Xbox Community. Download game clips from Xbox Live directly to your PC.
Activity Feed – Like comments and delete your own activity feed posts.
User Profile – Profile headers will now be collapsed by default to show more profile information on the screen.
Friends Search – Use the search box at the top of the friends list to find an existing friend by gamertag or by real name if they are sharing it with you.
More control of your experience.
Improved Window Sizing – The Xbox app adapts to changing window sizing to more intelligently display different views dependent on the size of the application window.
Connect to your Xbox One – Remotely control your Xbox One from the Xbox app using a virtual game controller.
OneGuide and Universal Remote Control – Access OneGuide and the Universal Remote Control to change channels, manage volume or access the DVR on your set-top box connected to your Xbox One.
Games – See recently played Xbox Live games across devices – that includes Windows 10 devices, Windows Phone, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
The Xbox app will automatically update to the March version when it becomes available in the Windows Store. Once you receive the update, your version number should be 3.3.3019.0 or higher. You can verify the version number of the Xbox app under Settings. To read more about these features, check out the full story at Xbox Wire.
The Xbox Feedback site has a new Xbox on Windows 10 sub-forum so you can easily submit your ideas and vote up ideas for improvements you would like to see for the Xbox app on Windows 10. We value your feedback and would love to hear from you.
For those of you looking to pick up an Xbox One this spring, look no further – beginning in March, fans worldwide (U.S. and select markets) will be able to revisit the entire story of the Master Chief with the Xbox One Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle. The exclusive bundle includes a standard Xbox One console, as well as a digital download code for Halo: The Master Chief Collection – the essential Halo fan experience that features the Master Chief’s complete story through four free Halo games: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4 – all for ERP $349 in the U.S.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection allows fans to play all 45 campaign missions, plus more than 100 multiplayer and Spartan Ops maps, in 1080p at 60fps. The bundle also comes with access to the new live-action digital series from executive producer Ridley Scott, Halo: Nightfall. This offer gets you four great games in one bundle, and provides tremendous value for fans of Halo and the Master Chief.
Game Description: Pneuma provides players with a sense of awe and a relentless determination to solve every puzzle and progress through a narrated story of self-discovery, exploring the fundamental nature of being. This is the first person puzzler of 2015 which is designed to force players think outside the box and explore beyond what they know as reality. This game isn’t about your skill with a controller, it’s about how you perceive and analyse situations. Push your brain to its limits in this exciting new first person puzzler as Pneuma contemplates the nature of reality and you explore the ontological mystery of the Breath of Life.
PAX East is one of the premiere gaming shows and is being held from March 6-8 in Boston, MA. Not only will Xbox have a huge presence at the show including another opportunity to play Halo 5 Guardians Arena multiplayer, I will be attending and participating in a number of events and panels.
Xbox Booth #5044
Friday, March 6 – 10:00 am to 6 pm
Saturday, March 7 – 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, March 8 – 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
What it Takes To Build a Next-Gen Open World Game Panel
Saturday, March 7, 10:30AM – 11:30AM, Albatross Theatre
Join CD Projekt RED, the developers behind the highly anticipated Xbox One title, The Witcher: Wild Hunt, as they discuss the challenges, opportunities, and everything else involved in building a next gen open world game. Don’t forget about the live narrated gameplay, too! Larry Hryb, aka Xbox Live’s Major Nelson, hosts.
Major Nelson Podcast Panel
Saturday, March 7, 5:00PM – 6:00PM, Condor Theatre
Join Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson, as we record an episode of the award winning podcast “Major Nelson Radio” LIVE in front of a studio audience. There’ll be prizes, guests and probably fun.
If I’m not involved with a panel, you might find me attending other panels, walking around the showroom floor or hanging out at the Xbox booth. Be sure to stop by and say hello.
In addition to the two PAX East panels, I will be hosting an in-store event with fans at Microsoft at The Shops at Prudential Center on March 5 from 7-9 p.m. ET. More details to come, but plan to get there early because the lines will open at 6 p.m.
For more information about the Xbox booth including a list of games being featured at the show, check out Xbox Wire or the Xbox Events site. For general information about PAX East, check out the official website.
Following up from the Windows 10 announcement earlier this week and the impacts it will have on the future of gaming, I posted an article over at Xbox Wire discussing the initial preview of the Xbox App available in the January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
We want our fans to help shape the Xbox on Windows experience and plan to ship regular Xbox app releases that deliver new functionality by making changes based on your feedback. There is a lot more work for the team to do, but here are some of the features that you can check out with the initial preview release in the January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview:
Your Profile – provides you quick access to your Xbox profile and recent activity and achievements. With the initial preview build, you can see your Gamerscore, recent Activity, Achievements, Following lists and Game Clips.
Home – the Xbox app home page will provide you quick access to your Recently Played games, your friends and their online status and an Activity Feed of recent events, game clips, etc.
Friends – you can see your friends across devices and search and find new friends. Additionally, you can go the profile page for your friends and followers and view their recent activity, achievements, friends, games they follow and game clips.
Activity Feed – you can view your activity feed and post text, like and comment on your friends’ recent achievements and Game clips. In this version of preview build, the sharing functionality is not yet enabled.
Settings – Within settings, you can see the current Version number of the Xbox on Windows app, and choose to Sign out from the app. Additionally, you can turn on/off the following items:
Messages – Users can view messages from other users and system messages / notifications.
We’ve heard some fans are confused about our Game Content Usage Rules and specifically using game titles in connection with user generated content. Of course, we recognize our community needs to use Game titles to identify and describe their creations. The portion of the Usage Rules in question is focused on using Game titles in ways that are confusing about the source of the content or misrepresent Microsoft’s role in the creation.
We took an exciting step forward last week by updating our Game Content Usage Rules to enable Xbox fans to participate in the partner programs on YouTube and Twitch and earn revenue for ads in connection with their videos. A major goal of this update was to bring the policy in line with current community usage. The policy has always been about enabling creators to use our game content, and we recognize it only works if their content can be found. The key here is for people to use game titles for discovery and not misrepresent Microsoft’s role in the content’s creation.
We’ve heard the feedback and will be updating the language in the policy to provide some more examples and clarification of this clause with the revised version below:
In addition, your Items may not use the name of the Microsoft Game in their title to give the impression that Microsoft is the source of the Item, or authorized or endorsed the Item. Items that make referential use of our titles are fine, for example, “Let’s Play Forza Motorsport 5” or “Tips and Strategies for Halo 5.” Using the Game title to tag your Item on social media is fine. We also don’t object to “Red vs. Blue” or “Operation Chastity”. But we may object to “Halo: Covenant Strike,” for example, if it could be confused as something Microsoft produced or licensed, or if it could be mistaken as an official part of the Game. We just want to make sure consumers don’t get confused.
Rest assured, we have not seen rampant abuse of this and we’re not actively seeking violations on YouTube and Twitch. We love that you’re passionate about our games and we want you to create great works. This is a small way for us to protect against abuse. Sorry if there was any confusion.
I want to thank all of the Xbox fans who contributed to our record-setting holiday and making 2014 such a successful year. The Xbox One deals were quite popular and have inspired a new promotion starting January 16 where fans in the U.S. can buy an Xbox One for $349 at their preferred retailer.
Some interesting statistics about 2014:
• Xbox 360 became the best-selling seventh generation console of all time in the U.S.
• In 2014, users logged nearly 8 billion hours globally in apps across Xbox 360 and Xbox One, a
50 percent increase from time spent in 2013.
• Xbox One became the best-selling console in the U.S. in November and December and weekly average sales during these months outpaced Xbox 360 by 50 percent at the same point in its lifecycle.*
• Xbox One also sold more games throughout November and December in the U.S. than any other current-generation platform.*
• From November 24 to January 3, fans spent more time playing on Xbox than they ever have before, at any point in the history of Xbox.
• In the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta alone, 18 million games have been played to date.
The Xbox Wire has a great year in review summary and what to expect in 2015, including a few upcoming console titles and the future of PC gaming on Windows 10. You can find that article here.
Later this month marks the one year anniversary of Xbox One. As we look back on the year, one of the best marks of progress for Xbox One has been our commitment to delivering continuous innovation. When Xbox One launched, we said we were deeply committed to our fans and our ongoing service updates have delivered hundreds of new features throughout the year. In fact, we launched a new website, Xbox Feedback, to enable us to hear from you directly and let you vote for your favorite ideas. We received thousands of new feature recommendations and more than three quarters of a million votes this past year, and your feedback played a huge role in shaping new experiences on Xbox One. Keep them coming!
Here are some of the most popular new features added this past year, but also check out a recap of the full list of previously announced new features below. You may find a few surprises to help you make the most of your Xbox One. And rest assured, our commitment to continuous innovation remains strong.
Custom backgrounds. The #1 fan-requested feature, each account on your Xbox One can have a customized background. You can choose a custom color or achievement art as your background on Xbox One, with more customization options coming down the road, like personalized images from the media browser app.
Take system updates when you want. Take system updates as soon as they’re available if you prefer. When the system update is made available, you’ll find the option under Settings, then select System update.
New Friends, Activities and Achievements
New Friends section. See at a glance what’s going on with your friends. You can stay up-to-date with your current activities, the most popular games your friends are playing, and a Gamerscore leaderboard to see who has improved their Gamerscore over the last 30 days.
Activity feed updates. We added new ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed. The interface changed to a single column scrolling list that is longer and includes more content. We added the ability to post text to your feed, and to “like” and comment on feed items. You can share game clips and anything else in the feed with friends either publically (to your activity feed) or privately (as an attachment to a message). You are also notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each person gets a personal feed on their profile, so you can see what specific friends have been up to. And, with SmartGlass, you can see what your friends have shared to their activity feed and “like” specific posts.
A New Achievements App. Updated to enable sharing of achievements you’ve unlocked with captions, see a list of friends who have unlocked specific achievements, and an updated achievements Snap landing page that shows Achievements on recently played games, when a gamer is not actively playing a game.
Snap updates. We updated the Snap Center to include quick access to many of the things you wanted faster access to when playing a game – Friends, Messages, Achievements, Game DVR, clock, and battery indicator – as well as making it easier to close and open new snap apps when playing a game. A double tap of the Xbox button on your controller brings up a menu that allows you to open a new app in snap mode, close the current snapped app, or switch focus between your game and your running snapped app.
Second Screen and Accessories
Mobile purchase. Using Xbox SmartGlass or on Xbox.com, you can remotely purchase games and Add-on content. No more waiting to begin downloading when you get home – if your console is set to automatically take updates, your console will begin downloading your purchase. And, you can also get Games with Gold and Deals with Gold on SmartGlass, so you can download free games wherever you are to your console.
Battery power indicator. We brought back the battery power indicator so that you can see right on the home screen how much juice is left in your controller’s battery. You will also get an on-screen notification when your controller battery is getting low.
System and Game Updates
Silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand. If your console is in Instant On mode, the update will happen automatically and return to standby upon completion. This means you won’t need to power on your console after an update moving forward. If you want to take future updates when available without waiting for your console to do it on its own, this option is under system settings. It will only show as available when there is an update to take.
Game and app saves and updates. A game save progress bar will show you the status of your game saves. You can easily tell what games and apps are being updated or have been updated recently.
More Ways to Experience Entertainment
Boot to TV. You can set your console to boot directly to television when coming out of connected standby.
Media Player, DLNA, and MKV support (and more!). A newly added Media Player app supports DLNA streaming so you can easily access and play music, watch photo slideshows or movies stored on home media servers and devices that support the DLNA server protocols. Additionally, you can playback tons of files – including MKV – stored on a USB device or a device on your home network that supports DLNA streaming.
Xbox One Digital TV Tuner and Steam TV to SmartGlass. This USB-attached TV Tuner, available in UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, enables you to watch TV on Xbox One, and pause Live TV for up to 30 minutes. If you have an Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, you can stream TV across your home network to your smartphone or tablet using the Xbox SmartGlass app. You can also pause, play, rewind and change channels, without interrupting gameplay.
TV Discovery Made More Social. New features were introduced for social discovery on TV, including Live TV Trending, Twitter TV Trending, Xbox TV Trending, and Tweets in MiniGuide.
Sound mixer for apps with Snap and volume controls when using Kinect with chat. With the Sound mixer, you can control the volume levels of two apps when you’re using Snap letting you decide which app is louder. In this same section, you can control the volume levels when you’re using Kinect for chat.
Here is a more comprehensive list of the more than 100 new updates we announced details on this year, in addition to the hundreds of additional updates made behind-the-scenes to make Xbox One even better this year:
One of the most requested community features we’ve seen as of late is the ability to view your Xbox One data on Xbox.com. We’re happy to announce that the first of these elements – your Xbox One profile, Achievements, friends, followers, and game clips – will be viewable on Xbox.com beginning next week. Here’s a preview of what to expect:
More enhancements, like your Activity feed, are on the way. But in the meantime put these new features through their paces next week, and keep your suggestions coming!
Xbox fans are great at letting us know what they like about Xbox, and what they’d like us to do better. Whether on MajorNelson.com, NeoGAF, Reddit, Twitter, forums, or in person at events, we are always listening to what our fans have to say. Your passionate feedback has been a key factor in many of our decisions over the course of the last year.
That’s why today we’re rolling out a new fan feedback portal: Xbox Feedback. It’s a place where Xbox fans from around the world can submit their ideas for Xbox – any idea – and have people vote on it. Because everything will happen on one site, we’ll be able to get a better idea of which ideas are truly the most important to Xbox fans. The best part: the ideas, comments, and votes will be tallied up and presented to the Xbox design, engineering, and operations teams on a very regular basis.
The team here at Xbox is always listening to feedback from our Xbox LIVE members, and we’re working hard to make sure Xbox LIVE is fun and fair for everyone in the community. That’s why we’re excited to announce our Avatar Marketplace partners are making progress with jersey collections for female avatars. All 30 NHL jerseys and all 32 NFL jerseys are now available to female avatars for Xbox LIVE members. No matter what your team, no matter what your gender, you’ll be able to show your support on Xbox LIVE.
We know there are still many options for avatar personalization that our Xbox LIVE members would like to see, feel free to leave any ideas in the comments below.
This week, both Xbox LIVE and Xbox.com will receive small updates that I wanted to make you aware of.
Xbox LIVE Dashboard update:
On Wednesday, January 19th we will issue a mandatory dashboard update that (re) enables the ‘Boot to Disc’ option in the Xbox 360 dashboard. After you accept the update, you’ll be able to set the option to boot to the Xbox 360 dashboard OR directly to the game you have in the tray when you power up your console. This option can be found in the System Settings.
Additionally, on Thursday January 20th the Xbox.com team will ship an update that contains a small update to the Gamercards. We’ve updated the Gamercard look and feel a bit and removed gamerzone from the card. Other than that, the same amount of information is on the card. Here is an example:
Most people may not notice these small changes but I know many of you appreciate knowing the details when we issue updates.
Tomorrow, Xbox.com will be getting a massive facelift and I want to give you a preview of what you can expect. In addition to support for the 9 new Xbox LIVE regions that will happen next month, Xbox.com will get a brand new look as well as some new features.
Here are some highlights:
Browser based Avatar editor: Edit your avatar and preview avatar items before purchase
Combined views for messages, friend and game requests
Improved notification of your account subscription
Leverage Family Reports to understand what your family is doing and how they are using LIVE
Play web games with your Xbox LIVE friends on the web or on Windows Phone 7
Marketplace: More powerful search and more intuitive ways to browse and filter
In order to prepare for these changes, starting at 0500 ET/0200 PT/0900 GMT on October 20th (tomorrow) Xbox.com and the Xbox forums will be offline and unavailable for a short period of time. When it returns, you’ll see the new site.
The Xbox LIVE service is not affected by this upgrade and will remain available during this time.
Update: The upgrade is in progress. Until it is complete, you may see some slowness, error pages (and maybe more) on Xbox.com. Thanks for your patience while the team finishes the upgrade.
Now that we’re a few days into 2010, many of you may be looking for a change in your professional scenery. Why not think about joining our team? Make the first step and take a look at our job postings. We have quite a few positions open in many areas of our business. You can work on the hardware side of Xbox 360, help make Xbox LIVE even better or work on our developer tools in XNA. Like PC Gaming? We’ve got that covered to with Games for Windows. You like games right? Maybe you have the skills to help Microsoft Games Studios make the next great games. Can’t wait to get your hands on Project Natal? We’ve got openings on that team as well. We’ve got variety of creative and technical positions open at locations around the world. Check ‘em out. You never know where it may lead.