Microsoft confirms Xbox Live Gold subscription prices will increase in six countries.Microsoft will soon be increasing Xbox Live Gold subscription prices in six countries next month.The reader's email reportedly said that the monthly price will triple from R50 £2.2, $3.19 to R159 £7, $10.15 .The hike aims to bring the prices in line with those of the US where it is $9.99 per month and $59.99 per year.Xbox Live Gold codes are not region-locked."These accounts never migrated to Xbox 360 and as a result they have been inactive for quite some time," Xbox Live programming director Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb wrote in a blog post.
Microsoft has announced Call of Duty: Black Ops as the latest big name Xbox 360 title to be made available on the Xbox One.Treyarch s game was among the most requested titles, alongside the sequel Black Ops 2, Red Dead Redemption and Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V.The rest of the voting is dominated by the games in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and World at War games with Mass Effect 3, Fallout: New Vegas and GTA IV rounding out the top ten.The game is available freely to those who own it for the Xbox 360 console.Folks can can download it by inserting their physical disk or redownload to the next-gen console from the Xbox app.Folks who ve never owned the game can grab it for $10/£11.24, so long as they re also an Xbox Live Gold member.See also: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 reviewThe release should please fans of the series dismayed by the HD remaster of Modern Warfare IV being limited to those who pre-order the forthcoming Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare title.
The service will be available for free from 12th-22nd June if you re an Xbox Live Gold member.EA Access is a monthly subscription service that allows Xbox One owners to download a selection of free games from the Access Vault, as well as gaining early access and exclusive discounts on upcoming titles.The free trial offer was revealed in an e-mail sent out by EA last night:EA will hold its E3 2016 press conference on June 12, making it the perfect time to promote the service.During the conference we can expect live gameplay demonstrations of Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, as well a sneak peak at Mass Effect Andromeda.It is unclear if the publisher plans to add new games and features to EA Access during E3, but it d certainly make sense.EA Access is currently available for £3.99 a month on Xbox One and PC.
If you want to make sure that all of your messages are encrypted, you can use WhatsApp.And now, if you want to virtually kick your friend in the crotch, then you can use Rawr.Like any other messaging app, you can find your friends and send text messages back-and-forth.But unlike the rest, you'll get to create your own avatar that looks suspiciously close to the Xbox Live avatars.These avatars will occasionally react to certain keywords in your conversation.The free app launched yesterday, and is currently an iOS exclusive.
Reuters – With the world growing more concerned about attacks by militant groups on civilians, Microsoft on Friday outlined new policies to crack down what it called terrorist content on some of its consumer services.In a blog post, the company said it would ban what it called terrorist content on some services such as gaming tool Xbox Live, the consumer version of its Outlook email service, and its consumer documents-sharing service.But for its search engine Bing, Microsoft cited free expression and said it would remove links only when that is required of search providers under local law.We will consider terrorist content to be material posted by or in support of organizations included on the Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List that depicts graphic violence, encourages violent action, endorses a terrorist organization or its acts, or encourages people to join such groups, the blog post said.The steps illustrate the tough predicament many companies face balancing public safety with individual rights.The issue came to the fore after Apple and the U.S. government clashed over whether federal authorities could force Apple to create software to unlock a phone used by a shooter in the San Bernardino attacks last year.Ultimately, the government paid a third party to unlock the phone.The events of the past few months are a strong reminder that the Internet can be used for the worst reasons imaginable, Microsoft said in its post.Microsoft said users can use an online form to recommend removal of content.Use this Web form to report content posted by or in support of a terrorist organization that depicts graphic violence, encourages violent action, endorses a terrorist organization or its acts, or encourages people to join such groups, the instructions read.Microsoft said it would provide information on how to counter negative content, a policy adopted by another technology giant: Facebook.The social-media service this year announced a tool it calls counter speech, encouraging activists to counter extremist views with posts promoting tolerance.Last year, Facebook updated its guidelines to prohibit advocacy of terrorist activity, organized criminal activity or promoting hate.Social media site Twitter suspended 125,000 accounts, most of which it believed were linked to the militant Islamic State group.
As terrorist organizations increasingly turn to the internet as an effective recruitment and propaganda tool, more companies are introducing policies to combat the problem.The latest big firm to fight back against online terrorist content is Microsoft, which has now officially banned the material from its consumer services, including Outlook, Xbox Live, and Docs.While there is no universally accepted definition of terrorist content, Microsoft considers it to be material posted by or in support of organizations included on the Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List that depicts graphic violence, encourages violent action, endorses a terrorist organization or its acts, or encourages people to join such groups.Microsoft isn t going at this alone; the company said it will be partnering with others who are working to tackle the same issues.If the company agrees that it is terrorist content, it will be taken down.Censoring any search engine results is always a contentious issue.
Overwatch character Mercy in a screenshot from the game.It is a shooter based on the various abilities of a wide range of characters suited to different playstyles and in-game situations.Micro-payments in Overwatch take the form of Loot Boxes, which include four cosmetic items.These come in Common, Rare, Epic and Legendary varieties and do not directly impact the finely balanced gameplay Blizzard hopes will make Overwatch the next big pro-gaming phenomenon.Two boxes – £1.59 / $1.99Five boxes – £3.99 / $4.9911 boxes – £7.99 / $9.9924 boxes – £15.99 / $19.9950 boxes – £31.99 / $39.99Loot Boxes can be purchased through the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and through Battle.net for the PC version of the game.Overwatch looks primed to be an enormous success after a very successful open beta which attracted more uses than those for Star Wars Battlefront, Destiny and Tom Clancy's The Division.
Xbox One Halo Bundle PriceWhen new video game systems come out it s so hard to wait to buy one, especially since there s so much time in between console generations.Well, if you ve been holding off on buying a new Xbox One your wait is about to pay off, because Amazon is selling the Xbox One 1TB Console – Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians Bundle for $399 with free shipping.Some key details from the product page:This product includes: a 1TB hard drive custom Halo designed console, a uniquely designed Spartan themed Steel Book containing a full game digital download of Halo 5: Guardians, matching Spartan Locke wireless controller, Chat Headset, Warzone REQ Pack which includes 14 Premium Requisition packs, FOTUS-class armor, a multiplayer emblem, 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold, HDMI Cord, and an AC Power Cable.Includes custom Halo sound effects for turning the console on, off, and disc eject.Includes a Guardian model by Metal Earth, Halo: The Fall of Reach – Animated Series, and Spartan Locke s Classified Orders.Quickly switch between your games, live TV, and apps like Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and HBO GO.
Addictive racing/football mashup Rocket League will enable cross-network play between the Xbox One and Steam PC versions from 11PM BST tonight.It s the first time Xbox One owners have been able to play against PC opposition directly, even though Games for Windows Live and Xbox Live have been around in some form or another for years.Developer Psyonix reckons nearly 2 million players have gotten behind the wheel in the Xbox One version of Rocket League, but from this week they ll have a lot more opposition to choose from.An update released this week will let you include or not include cross-network games when searching for a public or private match, so you don t have to play against gamers on the other platform if you don t want to.The update might be great news for Xbox gamers, but it's old news for PS4 owners.That's only one game, though: there's still no standard way for game devs to get their games working across multiple platforms.
Goat Simulator and XCOM: Enemy Unknown headline next month s Games with Gold on Xbox One and Xbox 360.Major Nelson has announced all the free games coming to the service this month, including old-school platformer Super Meat Boy and The Crew, an open world racer by Ubisoft.Xbox One owners with an active gold membership on Xbox Live will be able to download Goat Simulator on June 1, which will be available for the entire month.The Crew will drop on June 16, rolling through until July 15 when the following month's games will also be available.Xbox 360 players can download the deviously difficult Super Meat Boy from June 1, followed by the equally fantastic XCOM: Enemy Unknown on June 16.Both of these titles are playable on Xbox One via backwards compatibility, all you need to do is download them from the online marketplace.
DON T MISS: New free app and site makes watching online videos like regular TV channelsThe studio — which has teamed up with France-based Asobo Studio, an independent studio that s been developing content for the HoloLens for the last few years – will offer things like prototyping and application development services for businesses.A few days ago, a pair of VR industry veterans who formerly worked with DreamWorks Animation also launched a new VR and mixed reality company called SPACES that s already working on content for companies like Microsoft and NBCUniversal, and it s raised $3 million in initial funding led by Comcast Ventures.Motte — whose LinkedIn profile image is of him smiling and wearing a HoloLens headset — says holographic computing is going to change everything.Motte, as well as Howard, had a front row seat at Microsoft for a few tidal shifts in consumer computing behavior.During Motte s time with the company, according to his LinkedIn profile, he helped launch and manage the Age of Empires franchise and other first-party PC games; led content strategy and acquisitions of action/adventure and MMO games for the launch of the Xbox; led a global business development team responsible for first-party Xbox games; and negotiated partnerships with independent games studios and consumer brands for Microsoft Studios entertainment content exclusive to platforms like Xbox LIVE and HoloLens, among other platforms.That will result in a storyboard, visuals and technical outlines from which can be developed a proof of concept, prototype and fuller application.
As you know, every month, Microsoft gives away four games to everyone that has a current Xbox Live Gold account.If you only have the newer console, it's still a good practice to grab the 360 games, as they're now playable on your Xbox One.This game will be available from June 1st until June 30th.However, once you get past the lackluster attempt, it's a pretty fun game with a huge world to race in.It's a hardcore 2D platformer that takes you back to the days of playing on the original NES.And as a free title, I highly recommend getting it while it's free.
Inspired by bullet hell -styled shooters from Japanese arcades, Score Rush Extended boasts a four-player co-op mode, along with an array of new gameplay additions.Originally released for the Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Indie Games service, Score Rush earned a following thanks to its vibrant graphics and twitch gameplay that traded complexity for all-out action.Developer Xona Games notes that the upcoming PlayStation 4 edition will follow suit, promising that the finished product will deliver no gimmicks, no hidden points, and no puzzles.Rather than overhauling Score Rush s underlying gameplay, Xona Games chose to add new features for the upcoming PS4 port, including multiple difficulty settings and a Boss Rush mode.Despite critical and commercial success, the game never felt complete.The game s trademark multiplayer mode has also been upgraded, and on-screen power-ups will now drift toward the weakest player in the pack in order to bring them up to speed with their squad mates.
Announcing the plan on Thursday, the pair said the cable will help meet growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for their plethora of cloud and online services.Microsoft and Facebook noted that its cable will take a route south of existing transatlantic cable systems that mostly come into the New York and New Jersey region.Being physically separate from these other cables helps ensure more resilient and reliable connections for our customers in the United States, Europe, and beyond, the pair said.Microsoft aims for the cable to help maintain and expand services for its cloud products such as Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Azure.As the world continues to move towards a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft is committed to building out the unprecedented level of global infrastructure required to support ever faster and even more resilient connections to our cloud services, the Redmond-based computer company said.Microsoft s Frank Rey said the project marks an important new step in building the next generation infrastructure of the internet, while Facebook s Najam Ahmad commented that the plan lets the two companies choose the hardware and software that best serves the system, and would ultimately increase the pace of innovation.
The companies will begin work on the cable in August, and it should be done by October 2017.With a capacity of 160 Tbps, the new Marea cable will have greater capacity than any other undersea cables spanning the Atlantic, Frank Rey, director of global network acquisition for Microsoft s cloud infrastructure and operations, wrote in a blog post.We re seeing an ever-increasing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for Microsoft cloud services, including Bing, Office 365, Skype, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Azure, Rey wrote.As the world continues to move towards a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft is committed to building out the unprecedented level of global infrastructure required to support ever faster and even more resilient connections to our cloud services.This builds on Microsoft and Facebook s previous investments in infrastructure for delivering data underwater.Last year Microsoft said it was working with Hibernia and Aqua Comms on cables spanning the Atlantic, and in 2014 it was reported that Facebook had invested in a cable in the Pacific.Being physically separate from these other cables helps ensure more resilient and reliable connections for our customers in the United States, Europe, and beyond, Rey wrote.Earlier this month Data Center Knowledge reported that public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services AWS had made its first investment in an undersea cable project.
MicrosoftAs E3 Expo approaches, it s looking likely that we re going to see another console war break out.Earlier this week, Kotaku reported that Microsoft plans to release a more graphically powerful version of its Xbox One, which currently has the delightful code name Scorpio.It s just that Sony and Microsoft now seem willing to accept that risk and push forward with more frequent, incremental console upgrades, dealing with those issues as they come up.Of course, Sony and Microsoft would eventually start producing games that only functioned on the new systems, but the key difference is that they wouldn t have to do that until the new machines had already established a broad user base.As more and more gaming content goes digital, you have an even stronger incentive to stay with the same platform because of the sheer monetary value you ll have built up in digital purchases tied to your account.Both Sony and Microsoft now give players a monthly allotment of free game downloads, often very popular titles, if they subscribe to their premium online services PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold.
EnlargeAs Microsoft pats itself on the back for its crackdown on easily cracked passwords, keep this in mind: a quick check shows users still have plenty of leeway to make poor choices.As a Microsoft program manager announced earlier this week, the Microsoft Account Service used to log in to properties such as Xbox Live and OneDrive Azure has been dynamically banning commonly used passwords during the account-creation or password-change processes.But the measure is most likely intended to thwart only so-called online password cracking.Still, the acceptance of "Pa$$w0rd1" by Google and Microsoft just goes to show that blacklisting has its limits, and there's only so much service providers can do to save users from their own poor habits.A move like that would quickly come to resemble the vexing CAPTCHAs that all too often are impossible to solve on the first few tries.Of course, there's a more effective measure: any account that stores even moderately sensitive information should be protected by a password that's randomly generated, contains numbers, symbols, and upper- and lower-case letters, is at least nine characters in length, and is unique for each account.
Facebook and Microsoft have announced plans transverse the Atlantic with a giant high-speed fibre internet cable, capable of delivering data at 160Tbps.Work on the state-of-the-art subsea cable will begin in August and will allow both Microsoft and Facebook to shift giant data loads around the globe.In a press release Microsoft says it will meet higher demand for high speed, low latency, reliable communications through services like Skype, Xbox Live, and Office 365.Related: How do dodge the forced Windows 10 update As the world continues to move towards a future based on cloud computing, Microsoft is committed to building out the unprecedented level of global infrastructure required to support ever faster and even more resilient connections to our cloud services, the company wrote.Facebook will use the infrastructure to move data relating to Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram and indeed the social network itself.comments powered by Disqus
Tech giants Microsoft and Facebook are teaming up to build a massive underwater cable across the Atlantic to help speed up their global internet services.Why advertise with us"In order to better serve our customers and provide the type of reliable and low-latency connectivity they deserve, we are continuing to invest in new and innovative ways to continuously upgrade both the Microsoft Cloud and the global Internet infrastructure," Frank Rey, Microsoft's director of global network acquisition said in a statement.Fast connectivity is a key priority for both companies with Microsoft manages a wide range of cloud services including Azure, Bing, Office 365 and Xbox Live, and Facebook catering to 1.65 billion monthly active users.The latter is also increasingly pushing for users across the globe to broadcast live video and engage with each other in virtual reality – both of which require significant amounts of bandwith."Being physically separate from these other cables helps ensure more resilient and reliable connections for our customers in the United States, Europe, and beyond," Microsoft said.The new cable system will be operated and managed by Spanish telecom provider Telefónica's new infrastructure company, Telxius, once finished.
The company pointed out that, like usual, developer Supercell s Clash of Clans and Clash Royale were huge on mobile, bringing in over $100 million.On console and PC, it was Dark Souls III that made the biggest impact.While familiar games that have a lot of in-game purchases, like Call of Duty: Black Ops III, FIFA 16, and The Division still topped digital console revenues, Bandai Namco s notoriously difficult role-playing adventure Dark Souls III cracked the chart at No.Bandai Namco s newest title earned an estimated $45 million from digital channels in the first month of its release, outperforming console revenue by nearly $18 million, SuperData chief executive officer Joost van Dreunen said.Dark Souls I and II both had a number of problems on PC involving glitches and frame-rate issues, but Bandai Namco addressed those problems the third time around and is seeing the benefits.Beyond Dark Souls III on PC, SuperData points out that all sectors of digital gaming are growing but none quite as quickly as Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.Mobile, client-based PC games, and traditional PC games also show year-over-year growth in revenue and monthly active users as digital full game downloads and free-to-play games take market share from physical games