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Microsoft Trademarks Scalebound Months After Reveal; Are We Finally Going to See Something Soon?
Many have been wondering if Scalebound was announced too early. Showcased this year at E3, the game immediately entered news limbo. It surprisingly missed any kind of showing at Tokyo Game Show, where the developers remained tight lipped, with some interviews that are basically a collection of “I can’t tell you yet.”
Yesterday something finally moved, even if it isn’t a trailer, screenshots, or news on the gameplay, but at last Microsoft registered the trademark for the name. The fact that this has been done several months after the reveal is rather surprising, especially considering that we already have a trademark for Battletoadsand Microsoft still didn’t say a pip about it.
According to the documentation, the trademark was applied back in May in South Africa, but the application for the US was submitted yesterday.
Interestingly, the trademark includes not only class 9 (games), but also 41 (online games), indicating that Scalebound will presumably have an online component.
More importantly, now that Microsoft finally moved to get dibs on the name, are we finally going to see something about it any time soon? Only time will tell.
1 Million Xbox One Sold in UK
Xbox One has smashed the one million sales barrier in the UK, MCV can reveal.
It’s hit this number after out-selling PlayStation 4 for three weeks in a row, UK retailers have told us.
The resurgence in Xbox One sales has come on the back of a number of blockbuster game launches, including Sunset Overdrive, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Microsoft has also bolstered its hardware line with a special White Xbox One and a 1TB Call of Duty-branded machine, while retailers have been running a number of promotions.
“We’re seeing fantastic momentum with Xbox One having sold almost 10 million units to retailers worldwide,” said Xbox UK marketing director Harvey Eagle.
“This momentum is reflected in the UK, particularly over the last three weeks, which is extremely encouraging as we approach the Christmas shopping period. People buy consoles to play the best games, and Xbox One is home to the best games. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is one of the highest rated next-gen console games released, Sunset Overdrive is the highest rated new franchise on any next-gen console and Forza Horizon 2 is the highest rated driving game on any next gen console.
"We have an excellent line up of games to look forward to in 2015, including Quantum Break, Fable Legends and of course Halo 5: Guardians. With some great deals to be had on the high street, now really is the best time to be an Xbox One owner.”
Despite its recent sales success, Xbox One still has some way to go before it topples PS4, which shot past 1m UK sales back in September.
The real challenge for Xbox will be whether it can maintain this recent sales momentum during the weeks when it does not have a major exclusive game launch.
Tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, Nov. 20), our latest content update will become available. This particular content update addresses matchmaking performance, UI, gameplay, and title-specific issues. We are on track for a release of mid-late afternoon Pacific Time for this content update, and will immediately let you know when it is available. For now, here is a change list of what will be included. As a note, many of the below issues are sub issues that were caused by larger umbrella problems that we have addressed with this update.
Addressed a number of issues that resulted in extended matchmaking times and low matchmaking success rates.
Made a number of updates to how matchmaking progress is communicated to the player. With this update, you’ll see better, more frequent and more informative status updates throughout the matchmaking flow – so “Players Found” for example, will be displayed to let players know where they are in the matchmaking process instead of simply wondering if it’s going to connect.
The improved matchmaking flow is as follows:
Searching for more players
Finalizing matchmaking process
Made an update to ensure that parties stick together when returning from the post-game carnage report
Prevented the ability for players “kick” other players from matchmaking games
Made an update to ensure that the Roster correctly displays the “searching” UI rather than “My Game Session” while searching for players
Removed the possibility to boost ranking through a custom games exploit
Made an update to ensure that players cannot get stuck in the matchmaking screen during map voting
Made an update to ensure that the “Connecting to your game” message no longer incorrectly displays in the lower right of the screen during gameplay
Made an update to the “team creation” phase that allows players to be grouped by team
Made an update to prevent players from seeing the “connection failed” dialogue if disconnected during the map voting screen
Improved roster / matchmaking lobby stability
Made improvements to the accuracy and stability of the “Game Session Details” UI
Improved version compatibility
Improved emblem and nameplate behavior to ensure that they do not reset to default (especially after game sessions)
Corrected career stats that did not update uniformly across different profiles in multiple titles
Improved Forge map display names in Theater
Corrected various medal inconsistencies across titles
Made updates to the attainability of various achievements, including “Goat Roped,” “Monopolized,” “You’re Joking,” and “Devastating.”
Improved Halo: CE career stat tracking
Resolved scoring and time HUD reset and display issues
Made an update to ensure that rival emblems are displayed correctly
Improved consistency and reliability of shot registration
Improved headshot hitboxes
Fixed an issue where respawning players could momentarily appear at their death location
Made an update to ensure that the match ends when the entire opposing team quits
Improved fall damage consistency (specifically in regards to uneven surfaces)
Improved Halo: CE menu and loading screen stability
Improved consistency with multikill rewards
Made an update to improve post-game carnage report accuracy for Halo: CE FFA games
Updated default language settings
Made an update to ensure that the team color shown in pre-game lobby matches in-game
Improved a variety of networking issues to allow for improved consistency between host and clients in peer to peer matches
Improved a variety of networking issues to allow for improved gameplay consistency
Made an update to service tag functionality, allowing for service tags to appear for all players
Improved the post-game carnage report to correctly display team color
Made an update to ensure that the match ends when the entire opposing team quits
Improved “original” medal icon functionality in split-screen
Improved host migration functionality
Corrected “headshot” stat tracking
Addressed a crash that occurred with the Scarab skull
Addressed art errors that occurred on the opening cinematics for “Uprising” and “High Charity”
HALO 2: ANNIVERSARY
Made an update to prevent players from gaining achievements in Forge
Improved Forge item display names
Resolved text overlapping issues
Improved split screen stability
Made an update to resolve the notorious “-1th” scoreboard text
Improved lobby functionality to address players not being able to reconnect to the party leader after completing a match
Improved host migration functionality
Corrected vehicle and weapon thumbnails in the “Tools of destruction” table in the post-game carnage report
Addressed a dedicated server issue that caused gameplay physics issues on Stonetown
Improved split-screen party functionality to ensure that players are not directed to a broken lobby screen after completing a game session
Improved Forge mode stability
Made an update to King of the Hill scoring to prevent multiple hills from counting down at the same time
Improved Shrine objective spawn points
Improved King of the Hill and Ninjanaut mode stability
Addressed an issue where controller vibration could persist during the pause menu
Improved Race mode respawn zones
We have additional content updates on the way, and work is already underway in an effort to continue to improve your experience with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. We thank you for your continued patience and support.
Killer Instinct Season 2 3rd Character Kan-Ra Revealed
We’re taking a different approach this week to answer some things from the forums that have been popping up lately.
First, thanks for the passion you all have for KI. We too share that passion and see the potential for what KI can be. It was a risk taking a 20-year dormant fighting game and bringing it back. We had many hurdles to overcome throughout its development, but the game has endured, thanks largely to the die-hard fans like you and our great development partners. Now we’re here almost a year later, and KI is still growing.
The monthly content model is massively different to the way that most fighting games (and really most console games) are built. And yes, as some of you have suggested, those of you who have bought into S2 already are in many ways "beta testing" the game as it gets more and more content and features over the course of the season; characters may have some flaws; polish may not be perfect; new modes are NYI (not yet in); there could be bugs we didn’t catch pre-release. We know this.
However by rolling content out monthly, along with the bumps we get to do something no other game ever has time post-launch to do, and that’s adjust rapidly based on feedback. You can see this in the 2.1 UI that Kraig showed last week, which contained many adjustments driven directly by feedback from this forum’s posts after Season 2’s launch.
It’s not a perfect system (yet) but every release we’re learning more of what will and won’t work with this kind of approach to content release and we will continue to refine it, and that includes how we interact with the community (you) during development.
It’s been 31 days since S2 start. Where’s the next character? “Every month” could more accurately be represented as “every calendar month” instead of “every ~30 days”. Not every update will drop on the same day of every month, as some months have a lot more features packed into them than others and requires more test and development time.
Why isn’t KI on PC? Finding the right KI experience for PC is certainly something we’d like to tackle, but we have no plans for a PC version right now. We’re 100% focused on Season 2 and Xbox One.
You had a 360 build?! Where is it? We explored the idea of KI on 360, but the time to build and maintain it while working on the Xbox One version was a non-zero resource impact, so we decided not to continue development of it.
Why can’t I use 360 sticks on X1? Currently, there isn't a way to directly use 360 sticks on the X1. I fought very hard for this feature before we launched X1, but because of the new security protocols, it wasn't possible to maintain direct support. There may be options coming soon from partners that could help bridge the gap.
Where is story mode for S2 characters? We can’t launch a story mode without having all the characters in place. Story mode will arrive with the last major season 2 update, just like last season. We do have a cool update coming for the S1 story mode that you’ll see in-game by the end of the year though. More on that in a future stream.
Why aren’t you promoting KI with TV, tournaments, etc.? We’re looking into more ways to get the word about KI S2 out there in a bigger way, likely timed to some of the big features that are coming early next year. More details in the future, but you can help here too – tell us how or where you’d like to see KI represented, and we’ll see what we can do. IG hosts regular events in the Chicago area, but we can certainly try to hit more.
Why don’t we know all the character names, etc.? Why didn’t you show full concepts in the launch trailer? Are you that far behind? No, we’re not. Read on.
Lack of new / big information every week means you’re going to delay a character release, right? No, we’re just being quiet because it’s hard for people to sometimes see the difference between “work in progress” and “final”, and as we’ve seen in the industry showing some things early or talking about a radical high-level concept can have huge negative reactions without context around it; we’ve been more picky with when we share certain things because we only get one chance to make an impression with most people – early or not.
These days, it’s very hard to satisfy anyone that’s a hardcore fan with any single bit of information, as it immediately makes them ask for more – there’s many examples of it throughout this forum in previous textual streams – but you know what? Screw it. Here’s a lot of info:
Character #3 : KAN-RA (khan-RAH)
Blood Type: (when he had it) O
Personality Traits: Arrogant, inquisitive, confident, and expressive
Weapon: Dark magic, matter manipulation
Here’s a part of his backstory:
Babylon, 559 BC: Kan-Ra is named Vizier, head advisor to the throne.
Over his years of study in this position, he becomes fascinated with the King’s enigmatic royal guard – a living bronze statue – and the magic that keeps it alive. From all of Kan-Ra’s cautious attempts to observe and study the creature, he deduces that its power source could theoretically keep it alive forever. The thought of being able to study and learn until the end of time enthralls Kan-Ra and feeds his obsession for knowledge.
Scholarly research in the royal libraries into past wonders and lost arts of magic fuels his ambition; Kan-Ra feels that as the smartest person in Babylon only he is qualified to rule. He seduces the King’s wife using a charm spell and begins setting in motion a plan to take the throne by using the Queen as his assassin.
Lacking the power to control the spell effectively, it wears off prematurely. The Queen, thinking herself simply coming to her senses after being seduced by Kan-Ra, is overwhelmed by guilt, killing herself and leaving a note detailing her and Kan-Ra’s betrayal.
Enraged, the King has Kan-Ra hunted down and captured by his royal guard, who brings a bloodied a broken Kan-Ra before the throne. The King summons his most powerful sorcerers and curses Kan-Ra with a withering rot- a painful dark magic curse that disintegrates flesh and organs slowly… painfully. Writhing in agony, rotting a bit more every day, Kan-Ra is exiled, he and his ambition doomed to wither away into nothingness.
In exile Kan-Ra uses what little knowledge he has gained of magic to slow the rot. While the King assumes him dead, Kan-Ra’s intellect is focused on reversing the rot so that he can have his revenge. He tracks down sorcerers and occultists versed in dark magic, learning what he can. Unable to slow his rot further, he instead places upon himself other curses that work to offset the rot. He seeks out magical artifacts and talismans to ease the pains and ailments these layers of curses cause him, carrying them on him in ever-growing number; a magical balancing act of curses and boons at play throughout his being.
…to be continued!
TRAILER: Friday 11/21
ULTRA RELEASE: Monday 11/24
COMBO RELEASE: Sunday 11/30 (5PM PST)
We will also have a live stream on trailer day (next Friday!) to show the character being played and walk everyone through his moveset.
Finally, let’s talk about going forwards.
Starting in January, we’re going to try some things a bit differently with how we talk about upcoming characters, fuelled directly by your feedback here on the forums. Expect each character’s name, concept art, story, and gameplay preview streams to appear before their launch, not right around it. We may show a character in stream before the trailer launches, even. We’re going to play it by ear and see what has the most impact, so each month may be a bit different in how things are released. Bottom line: More insight into KI’s development, earlier.
Why not starting in December? Because the December character will be released well before Christmas, so that month will be accelerated somewhat anyway.
Additionally, Kraig and I will start tag-teaming the textual streams going forwards. We’ll alternate weeks talking about characters and gameplay vs. UI, modes, and all other things KI.
Microsoft Press Play's Kalimba Coming December 17th
Kalimba Official Trailer
Xbox One Sales Triple in US, Almost 10m Shipped
The past few weeks have been incredibly exciting, marked by a series of highly-anticipated game and bundle launches and the most affordable prices yet for Xbox One. We are humbled by the positive response to our new offerings and grateful for the support from our fans.
The response to this wave of blockbuster game releases and new bundles has been amazing, and sales have skyrocketed since the new price took effect on Nov. 2. Compared to the previous week, Xbox One sales in the US have more than tripled, which is exciting as more and more friends will be playing together this holiday. As we head into the busy holiday season Xbox One led generation 8 console sales in the US for the past two weeks. Shortly, we will have sold in to retailers more than 10 million Xbox One consoles.
Almost one year ago, I had the honor of shaking hands with hundreds of fans at our Xbox One launch in New York City. We have listened to your feedback and have worked hard to deliver hundreds of improvements to Xbox One, celebrated the launch of amazing new games, and sought ways to offer more value for you. As we reach this milestone, I remain awestruck by your passion for games and your support of Xbox One. Thank you for an incredible year.
Word Mark BATTLETOADS Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: game software IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: entertainment services, namely, providing online video games Standard Characters Claimed Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK Serial Number 86445867 Filing Date November 5, 2014 Current Basis 1B Original Filing Basis 1B Owner (APPLICANT) Microsoft Corporation CORPORATION WASHINGTON One Microsoft Way Redmond WASHINGTON 980526399 Attorney of Record Grace Han Stanton Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK Register PRINCIPAL
No penalty to hip fire in H5, no movement penalty when scoping/zooming, no flinch. Tune in for the beta gameplay reveal at #HaloFest Monday.
Halo TV Ad
Microsoft Japan FPS Championship
FPS games aren’t exactly the most popular genre in Japan, even if their appeal has been on a very gradual rise in the past few years. Yet, Microsoft came up with a new way to push the genre, alongside the FPS offering on Xbox One, with the Japanese FPS Championship 2014.
The championship will focus on two games on Xbox One: Halo: The Master Chief Collection andCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Registrations from the championship will open on November 13th. Halo: The Master Chief Collection‘s qualifying round will be done online on December 13th, while Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s will go down the day after on the 14th. Finalists for both games will battle for victory in a not yet specified venue in Tokyo on December 27th. The finals will also be broadcasted on Nico Nico Douga.
The prizes awarded to the winners will be a trophy, T-shirts and Xbox gift cards for a value of 50,000 yen (about $440).
It’ll be interesting to see the turnout for the tournament, considering that FPS
games aren’t what you’d consider smash hits in Japan, and the Xbox One is currently trudging with three-digit weekly sales in the country.
EA Access on Xbox One “Surpassing All Expectations;” “Nothing to Talk About” for PS4 Version
During its financial conference call for investors on the second fiscal quarter of 2015, Electronic Arts just announced that the EA access on Xbox One is being considered a success by the company.
We’re seeing both empyrical and anecdotal data that people that are now members of EA access, have access to games like FIFA and Madden, which says that ordinarily they wouldn’t have gone out and bought them, are now experiencing them and enjoying them and I believe that the next time around when the games will launch they will actually buy them.
It’s turning into an incredible sampling program for us, if you will. Obviously the value for many users is there.
As regards to the Sony question nothing to talk about right now on that, but I will say that EA Access is surpassing all of our internal expectations in regards to subscriber numbers.
Will the success of the program push Sony to reconsider it and maybe other publishers to implement similar services? Only time will tell, but for now it definitely seems that EA Access is working well for Electronic Arts itself.
Xbox One and PS4 selling upwards of 50k Units combined a week
From MCV's latest issue
In the article called "Xbox One vs PS4 price war erupts on the high street" 1) Xbox One's performance has steadily improved since the cut to £330, with most consoles including free games such as FIFA 15 and Forza Horizon 2 2) PS4 still stays ahead, stretching its lead over One 3) Xbox One and PS4 are selling upwards of 50,000 units combined a week in the UK at the moment
Xbox 360 is at almost 9 millions units sold, second only to PS2 sales-wise, in the home console space
Well known Industry Insider "Kampfheld" from NeoGaf has stated that a brand new Banjo-Kazooie game reveal at E3 2015. In a thread on NeoGaf about "Xbox One Download Games News, Announcements, Reviews, and Impressions", Kampfheld used "Morse Code" to leak the details, which was later on decoded by another Neogaf user N7Commander95.
You can check out snapshot of the NeoGaf post below. For those who are question mark on credibility of Kampfheld: He/She is the same guys who has been providing correct information on cloud use in future games.
Although E3 2015 is still too far away, but a small teaser that too of Banjo-Kazooie game for Xbox One is definitely worth getting hyped for. Tell us how many of you want to see a brand new Banjo-Kazooie game for Xbox One from RARE?
A brief history about Banjo-Kazooie: Banjo-Kazooie is a platform video game developed and published by Rare for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It was later re-released as an Xbox Live Arcade game for the Xbox 360. The game's story focused on Banjo and Kazooie's efforts to stop Gruntilda's plans to switch her beauty with Banjo's sister Tooty.
Kampfheld has shared another teaser message via Mose Code and here is what the translation of it reads:
Okay guys. I hope you had some fun with me in the last couple of months. I will be gone for a long time now. I just wanted to make sure to leave a small surprise for you. If possible, keep it quiet in here. In the past weeks I got an offer I could not decline. For me, a dream becomes reality. You will have a great time with your Xbox in the coming months and years. In future, I will make sure you guys will be able to hunt these orbs with a big bang. Bye for now.