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All posts tagged "xbox"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Microsoft App Hub Updated

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 08:30 AM

For our developers our there, you may have noticed the Microsoft AppHub was down today for some maintenance which included the addition of "new features". The Hub came back up in the last hour and devs seem to be impressed with the changes:

  • Updated layout
  • New crash reports
  • Export of download/purchase details
  • Private beta Marketplace."

Developers will know that the App Hub website is exclusively for Windows Phone and Xbox LIVE Indie Games developers. It offers free tools, sample code, community support, and educational resources to help you develop your apps and games for Windows Phone and Xbox 360. The Hub was recently updated with some new features which I suspect developers will be happy to see.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Microsoft Kills Zune Hardware? Its All About the Software!

Posted by Steven McPherson in "Windows Phone Software" @ 04:30 PM

"According to Bloomberg, a "person familiar with the decision" has confirmed that Microsoft won't be producing any new Zune media players, and that the company will instead focus solely on the Zune software that already has a foothold on the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone devices (it's not clear if the name will stick around)."

No confirmation from Microsoft yet, but it appears that Microsoft has decided to pitch the standalone media player hardware in favor of focusing on the software platform that has already been integrated into the wildly successful XBOX and the Windows Phone 7 platforms. Microsoft is said to be working on project "Ventura" that will provide cloud based music and media services to PCs, TVs and mobile devices. Could "Ventura" be part of Microsoft future media strategy?

I love my Zune so this will be a tough one to swallow but since my Windows Phone 7 is able to consume all of the Zune media just as well, I think that most users will be fine. While its not even speculated that Microsoft would discontinued Zune support within the Marketplace, it would be great if Microsoft would partner with outside hardware developers to provide standalone media player integration with the popular Zune service. Keeping the hardware devices "fresh" should still be important to the future media platform strategy. Only time will tell. Hopefully Microsoft will provide more clarity and confirm their future media platform strategy in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Gaming To Get Even More Interesting

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 08:00 PM

"So initially we're turn by turn-based," the rep said, referring to the phone-to-phone multiplayer capabilities on day one. "We are working on real-time phone-to-console, likely initially through Wi-Fi -- again, operator networks are sensitive to that. That's not on day one; day one will be turn-by-turn as well as companion-type gaming where you play a level on the phone and it may unlock a level or a weapon or some special achievement on the console game. But, uh yeah -- absolutely working on phone-to-console real-time. That is something we're working on and expect to have in the near future."

The potential of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 gaming hub has had a lot of people intrigued. Its linkage to the Xbox world has already been demonstrated, but until recently we have not had a clear understanding of just how far the integration will go, nor exactly what capabilities will be provided. Some questions are starting to be answered, and new ones stimulated. From the quote above we learn that turn by turn-based game play will be supported initially, but sometime in the not too distant future phone-to-console game play should appear (initially through Wi-Fi). If this is true, then we have some mighty interesting scenarios that could play out, and we could lose a lot of time testing them (well, someone's going to have to do it, and it might as well be you!). Game players out there: is phone-to-console game play a big deal, or is this over-hyped?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CNET Goes Hands-On With Windows Phone 7 Games

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 10:00 PM

"After about a month of using a Windows Phone 7 device with no extra apps at all, it was fun to get my hands on some games. On Tuesday I had a chance to play with a handful of the titles that Microsoft just announced would be coming to Windows Phone 7 when it launches later this year. Though just a small sample, the quick look showed that Windows Phone 7 is quite a capable platform for games. That's important, because games in general--and the phone's Xbox Live tie-in specifically--will have to be a key selling point if Microsoft is to make a dent in the ultra-competitive smartphone business."

The videos speak for themselves - Microsoft has really put a lot of effort into this experience, and for anyone that enjoys playing games, this is a powerful experience.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Xbox Live Details for Windows Phone 7 Unfold

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 10:54 PM

"COLOGNE, Germany - Aug. 17, 2010 - Today at gamescom 2010, the world's largest consumer-oriented games showcase, Microsoft Corp. premiered the first wave of Xbox LIVE games launching on Windows Phone 7 this holiday. With even more games and applications to come, Windows Phone 7 is putting the power of Xbox LIVE into the palm of your hand - from Xbox LIVE Avatars to staying connected with friends, Xbox LIVE is now at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere.*"

Microsoft is serious about Windows Phone 7 being a success in the eyes of consumers, and a big way they're going to do that is to focus on gaming. Games are the #1 selling type of application on every smartphone platform out there today, and if a consumer-focused mobile platform lacks great games, consumers aren't going to be interested. Engadget has some great videos and a large collection of images - the remainder of the press release is below, along with a few images. Xbox Live is one of the few remaining unique advantages Microsoft has that they haven't licensed away to the competition (ActiveSync for instance); if they can leverage it into a great gaming experience, there are millions of Xbox Live subscribers (I'm one of them) that just might be interested in picking up a Windows Phone 7 for that very reason. Read more...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just Who is Windows Phone 7 Targeted At?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 12:00 PM

Is Microsoft's problem, perhaps, that they reveal too much at times? Or are their strategies actually as incoherent as they sometimes seem? Take the recent announcement of Windows Mobile Enterprise. What do we make of the curious timing of this announcement? Did Microsoft panic about Windows Phone 7 being adopted in the enterprise, or was this planned all along? If planned all along, why not announce this way back in November at the time of the WP7 announcement? Read more...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

WP7 Game Hub Is Now Live

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone News" @ 12:00 PM

"Whoa! That's me! By me of course I mean my Gamertag, Avatar, and latest Achievement in the Games Hub! I couldn't believe it, we've had the Games Hub working for a while, but up until now it's been on internal networks inside Microsoft. This week was the first time I really got to see my "true" gamer identity on the phone."

You won't see this unless you're one of the lucky ones with a prototype or until WP7 actually launches, but XBox integration has just gone live - we're counting down the days, folks.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Zumobi Delivers Xbox 360 and Ski Updates for Windows Mobile

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Software" @ 04:30 PM

"Feed your need for Xbox 360 info & stories all day long while on the go (or stuck in meetings). You're just a few clicks away from enjoying Xbox 360 news, video & audio clips, community updates, gamer tag status, and more on your iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Mobile phone or BlackBerry device."

Zumobi and Microsoft have teamed up to deliver what is apparently the only Microsoft-endorsed mobile application for Xbox. The NXE-themed Inside Xbox 360 offers the latest news, trailers, and updates from, the Xbox Live Marketplace, Gamerscore Blog, and Major Nelson, and also a way to tap into your and your friends' gamertags. It's riddled with ads, but if you can look past that, it's a decent application.

If Xbox isn't your thing, but skiing is, check out the new REI Ski and Snow Report.

Tags: xbox, 360, inside, zumobi, rei, ski, snow

Monday, September 8, 2008

Microsoft Job Posting Hints at Cross-Platform Zune Environment?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Zune News" @ 12:00 AM

"We've heard Microsoft make vague references for some time about a Zune-like experience involving non-Zune devices (Windows Mobile phones, Xboxen), and it looks like they may be making real moves in that direction. A recent job posting from Redmond for a 'Software Development Engineer in Test' calls on someone who 'dream[s] about having a mobile phone based entertainment experience powered by a unified entertainment service across devices such as Zune, Xbox and PC.' Someone, the ad reads, who will, 'create a 'Connected Entertainment' experience, realized through the Zune service, that spans multiple devices such as Zune, Xbox, PC and Mobile phones.'"

When I read this the first thing that pops into my head is "It is about time they started focusing on convergence!" I mean, seriously, how long have we been in the 21st century now? This is basic stuff we were promised whenever someone mentioned the future! This, and flying cars, and we all know those aren't being created anytime soon so why not just give us the one basic thing that is well within the grasp of technology? Well I'm glad the good folks at Microsoft are starting to realize this as well. Better late than never I always say. I am really excited and looking forward to Microsoft and mobility in 2009. With the new 3rd generation Zunes right around the corner and the awesome features they will bring, as well as the rumblings of Windows Mobile 7 devices out in consumer hands around Q1 of next year, it really is starting to look like 2009 will be the year Microsoft comes out swinging!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Purchase Microsoft Points With Your Phone... In Japan

Posted by Darius Wey in "Digital Home News" @ 10:30 AM

What if filling up on Microsoft Points was as easy as picking up your phone and having the cost added to your phone bill? That's how it is for NTT DoCoMo users in Japan, and hopefully, that's just a starting point.

If Microsoft is working with other carriers to make this available around the world, great. If not, they probably should. A vast majority of Xbox Live Marketplace and Zune Marketplace users probably have a mobile device of some sort - some have their reasons against directly linking their Windows Live ID and credit card together, while others don't always want to make the trek to their local store to pick up one of the many Microsoft Points cards on offer, so this third option makes a lot of sense.

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