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Microsoft’s Xbox One plans in China: cheap games, less censorship? 
Microsoft’s Xbox One plans in China: cheap games, less censorship?

C. Custer | April 16, 2014

Now that consoles are legal in China, everybody’s trying to figure out how to get into the market, and it sounds like Microsoft is on the fast track to a China launch. According to a recent BesTV (百视通) earnings call, Microsoft has already set up a joint-venture company in China with BesTV, and will announce the details of the Xbox One’s China launch this month.

The device is expected to launch in China this July, and BesTV is expecting to sell at least 100,000 units.

New CEO

According to BesTV, Microsoft will be appointing the new company’s CEO, so long as it can find someone who meets BesTV’s three conditions: that he or she be able to speak Chinese, understand the Chinese market, and understands Microsoft. The CEO Microsoft picks will also be announced this month.

New games

The joint venture company will also be working on domestically produced game content; both console games and online games. These games will be everything from shooters to exercise games, and will feature different monetization systems like paid downloads or for-purchase in-game equipment.

Lower prices

Perhaps most interestingly, BesTV says that domestic Xbox One games will be cheaper than their overseas counterparts. In fact, company executives said in the conference call that they would cost less than 300 RMB, which means they’ll be under $50 (new games cost around $60 in most countries outside China).

Less censorship?

It also sounds like the game censorship and approval process may be shortened or circumvented somewhat. Since the company will operate in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, the games approval process will fall to a local Shanghai administrative department rather than the national Ministry of Culture. This may mean that Chinese gamers will have access to less-censored foreign games than was previously possible, or at least access to games that are released in China closer to their global release dates, but it also may not make any practical difference whatsoever.





The Behemoth Working on Xbox One Game
BehemothThe Behemoth is working on an undisclosed Xbox One game photo

The Behemoth is apparently working on an undisclosed project for the Xbox One, Destructoid has learned while attending PAX East. No details were given, but it will be playable this year, and there will be more info doled out at major cons like SDCC and Pax Prime.

Expect more information as we get it, but since this is Behemoth we're talking about -- it may be a long time before we get to play the final build.


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Press Play Reveals Totem

http://nextgamer.es/noticias/xbox-one/item/397-totem-lo-nuevo-de-press-play-para-xbox-one


"Brotherly love abounds in Press Play's puzzle-platformer"

  • Two playable protagonists
  • Toyed with the idea when putting finishing touches to Max: TCOB
  • Prototyped by two brothers and worked its way to the directors of the studio who liked it
  • Side scrolling colourful single player or co-op game - I like the art style

"Set on a Tropical island your goal is to cover pieces of a Totem pole that one stood in your village, shattered by a Dark Shaman who killed the monument's White Shaman guardian in the process, the pieces are now shattered"

  • Retrieve the pieces by negotiating obstacle courses that make up the levels ensuring you both survive
  • Two paths - one for each character, early on its a split (one at the top one at the bottom) but they mix that up later in the game
  • Make use of the environment to work your way through puzzles that can affect the player on the other screen (e.g. blocking ones path so the other can get past)
  • When on the same plane you can stand on each others shoulders allowing you to double jump etc
  • The colour of the zones form the backdrop to the puzzle (purple and green single player or red and blue in co-op) and only the character matching the colour of the backdrop can pass through them
  • Swap the characters position with a button press


"The game delights in setting up patterns and then second-guessing your instinct, resulting in a death that will initially have you casting for someone to blame before concluding that its your fault - think of Limbo pressure plate operated crushers"

  • A couple of falling sequences require extremely quick thinking as we plummet through alternating patterns
  • Tests your reactions
  • Achieves a pleasing balance between puzzle solving and switch platforming
  • Campaign split into three worlds each with its own special power
  • Only one revealed: Gravity - combines the basic swapping mechanic with inverted forces of attraction. Use to switch surfaces and it gets more difficult as time goes on requiring more precise button presses to to stay in the air and float through sections safely
  • Pickups help decide your final score and how many you collect will help decide what Totem piece you get (e.g. uninspiring piece of wood or colourful face sporting accoutrements such as sunglasses or a pipe)


"Still in the early stages but the well weighted platforming feels satisfying and substantial"

Co-op details "Twotem" (says local co-op no mention of online specifically)

  • Provides two characters for each player
  • One has two blue villagers the other two red
  • Can be stacked in any order
  • Single player combined quadruple jump becomes an octuple manoeuvre
  • Requires communication and each hurdle feels like a massive achievement but things can quickly disintegrate into disarray
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Microsoft working on exclusives with “a couple” of unannounced first-party studios

Phil Spencer says we don’t know all of Microsoft’s first-party studios.

Microsoft has a couple of unannounced first-party studios working on exclusives, recently promoted Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said.

Spencer said on Twitter that he still believes that exclusive content is a key to console success, and that Microsoft expands its lineup of first-party studios when it has a great idea to build. “We’ve been doing this with a few things lately,” he said.

New Microsoft first-party studios that are developing games for the Xbox One include Team Dakota, currently at work on Project Spark, and Black Tusk Studios, which has taken over the Gears of War franchise Microsoft acquired in January.

Spencer also mentioned Lift London, another first party developer that we last heard was working on four, free-to-play titles for "connected platforms.” Spencer added that there are also “a couple” of unannounced studios.

He previously said that Microsoft’s 90-minute E3 presentation will focus on games, so we might find out who these studios are and what they’re working on then. E3 2014 runs June 10-12 in Los Angeles.

 




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Killer Instinct gets a new developer, Fulgore title update arrives April 9

Following Amazon's acquisition of Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games last month, publisher Microsoft Studios brought a new developer onto the title, one well-versed in fighting games: Iron Galaxy Studios. We spoke with Dave Lang, CEO of Iron Galaxy, about a project he characterized as "probably the biggest thing we've ever done."

"This is an amazing opportunity to work on a game and a genre we are super passionate about," said Lang during a phone interview with Polygon last week. Iron Galaxy's fighting pedigree includes 2011's Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike Online Editionand 2013's Divekick.

"Before we were ever talking about this, I was a fan of the game. And to get to now take it over and start with this great base, and expand it and put new stuff on top of it, everyone in the company is super pumped up, and we can't wait to show people what we're going to be doing down the road," Lang continued.

Double Helix is currently finishing up Killer Instinct's first season of content. That includes the season's eighth and final add-on character, the cyborg knight Fulgore, whom you can see in the new trailer below. Fulgore will be released on April 9 in a long-awaited title update that will also add Arcade Mode and online lobbies featuring eight-player rooms and spectating functionality.

 

While doing all of that, the company has been helping to bring Iron Galaxy up to speed on Killer Instinct, which runs on proprietary technology that Double Helix developed, the Hex engine. According to Lang, approximately 10 individuals from his studio flew out to Irvine, Calif.-based Double Helix earlier this month and spent a week there to familiarize themselves with the company's existing development tools and pipelines.

"This is a brand-new engine, this is a brand-new process, and we're just coming to terms with what's possible," Lang explained.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

Iron Galaxy Studios was founded in Chicago in August 2008, and the company opened a second office in Orlando, Fla., in August 2012. Lang told Polygon that when Microsoft Studios was shopping around the Killer Instinct intellectual property a while back, Iron Galaxy pitched itself as a company that could take on the long-running fighting game franchise. But at the time, the studio was already working on its first original game, the Xbox Live Arcade title Wreckateer, and didn't have the team size to handle both projects simultaneously.

"I was always kind of bummed out about it," said Lang. "It's, like, the one that got away."

Then, about four months ago, he got a call from Microsoft. At that point, Lang wasn't aware of Amazon's plans to buy Double Helix, so Microsoft filled him in, explained that it was looking to transition Killer Instinct to a new developer and asked if he was still interested.

"I immediately jumped at it. There's nothing we were going to not do to work on it next," said Lang.

DOUBLE HELIX AND MICROSOFT HAVE HAD AN "AMICABLE PARTING OF WAYS"

At the same time, Lang felt some trepidation about "[stepping] on another developer's toes." He wondered if the people at Double Helix would harbor some resentment toward the studio replacing them on a game they built from the ground up into a successful reboot of a long-dormant series. But Double Helix and Microsoft have had an "amicable parting of ways," said Lang, adding that the studio has been "really good at handing off stuff to us and giving us a push."

"It's been a privilege to work with our partners at Microsoft to help bring back Killer Instinct. Throughout production, we've been inspired by players and fans to make KI the best it can be. Now, we're excited to join that community, eager to see what the talented team at Iron Galaxy turns loose for season 2," said a Double Helix representative in a statement to Polygon.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Lang declined to speak with any specificity about the future plans that Microsoft and Iron Galaxy have for Killer Instinct. But he did confirm that his studio won't be turning the game — which was received well, perhaps surprisingly, upon its release as an Xbox One-exclusive launch title — into something completely different. He noted that Iron Galaxy likely wouldn't have signed on if the people at the studio weren't already big fans of what Double Helix accomplished. The way he sees it, the studio "destroyed" its two main goals: to make a "tournament-credible" fighting game and make it accessible at the same time.

"If we were going to work on this game and go, 'Oh, we want to change everything,' if we were in that position, it'd be a mess. I’m not sure if we would have taken the gig," said Lang. "What they have is not [broken]. What they have is amazing, and it's good, and we just want to layer new stuff on top of that that keeps the pace intact."

Since its inception in 2008, Iron Galaxy has made a name for itself largely by pitching in on other studios' projects, often by providing consulting for specific implementations of technology such as Unreal Engine 3 on PlayStation 3. The developers there also have a lot of experience working on fighting games, including the Online Edition of Street Fighter 3 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future, 2012's Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, 2013's Darkstalkers Resurrection and Divekick, which was the studio's second original project.

"I THINK THIS IS OUR CHANCE TO SHINE"

Lang told Polygon that Microsoft Studios has built "a big internal team" to supportKiller Instinct and that he's been really happy with the publisher's approach, because the people there understand Iron Galaxy's strengths and are letting the studio do things its own way.

"The thing I like about working with Microsoft is, once they get what you're about, they don't try to make you do stuff you're not comfortable with," said Lang. "They could have [come] in and they could have been like, 'Listen, here's — we're going to do X, Y and Z because we know that works, blah, blah, blah.' They didn't do that at all, and, because of that, that makes the pressure of working on something this big, it makes it bearable."

Lang believes that Iron Galaxy's particular history — its experience as a tech-first studio and a team of fighting game fanatics — makes the company poised to succeed now with Killer Instinct, and Microsoft's hands-off attitude helps a lot.

"This is now a title with some prestige. This is, like, probably — I think it's probably the biggest thing we've ever done, like, the most important game we've ever worked on," said Lang. "I feel like, as a company, we've been doing a lot of really cool work to get to this point, and I think this is our chance to shine.



Microsoft Game Studios Honcho has been teasing one or more Japanese Xbox One exclusives for a while, and during the Game Developers Conference he gave some more information about it after Kris Graft’s fireside chat, as reported by Famitsu.

It’s interesting that the term used to define the studio is “subarashī,” which is basically the highest praise you can express in Japanese. That definitely seems to indicate a major developer.

Spencer then continued by talking about what we can expect from Microsoft at Tokyo Game Show.

Microsoft definitely seems to be stepping on the gas of exclusives. Spencer himself mentionedon Twitter today that he considers them very important for the success of the platform, promising that more will come.

The Xbox One will be released in Japan this September, which means that whatever will be shown at Tokyo Game show probably won’t be a local launch title (Tokyo Game Show begins on September 18th).

The only indication we have at the moment about the possible nature of the mysterious title developed by “an awesome Japanese studio” are rumors naming Platinum Games, but nothing has been confirmed either by Platinum or by Microsoft itself.



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Games Microsoft have invested in for Xbox One So Far








 



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Gamerscore

Points for gamerscore will be awarded monthly based on your rank.

The following ranks receive:
 1st=25pts, 2nd=20pts, 3rd=15pts, 4th=12pts, 5th=9pts, 6th = 6pts, 7th = 3pts.

 

Points

Points will be awarded for Platinums, Gamerscore, TA and Races, the breakdown and specifics are listed in the below posts. The league will update on or around the 1st of every month.





Bonus: Every member gets 1p for every 200 GS they earn a month (rounded down).



Platinums

Platinums are awarded to those that have the highest gamerscore in select XB1 games. The only requirements are that you have over 300 gamerscore in that game and 4+ players.

For every Platinum you are in posession of at the end of the month, you're rewarded 5 points per Platinum.






 



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I'll have a think about the name...

Dont Think...


televandalist Animated Gif on Giphy

 

A New Day....

The correct person took the President's job ^



I'll sign up for everything except CoD, L4D, Minecraft, and Borderlands

GT is Ceph Angelus, but due to change to Arch Angelus soon

Make me prime minister of the Republic please.


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we'll join community as I buy the games..... but I should be in halo, gow, boarderlands, EA sport, titanfal, KI, and forza 5

Shenmue III XBox One