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Hit the Road in These 16 New Forza Horizon 2 Cars - Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:00:00 Z
Last week, we shared the first 100 cars of the just over 200 cars that will be featured in Forza Horizon 2, all available at no additional purchase. Today we’re announcing the addition of 16 more cars to the game's roster of awesome makes and models, each of which have been built for this generation on Xbox One.

Many of this week’s cars were chosen with heritage in mind; from the 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2, a direct descendent of Alfa’s TZ1 race car, to the truly awesome Ferrari Enzo, a supercar so emblematic of Ferrari’s legendary history that they named it after the company’s founder. This week also includes one of the most recognizable cars from the 1980s in the Lamborghini Countach, as well as the SRT Viper GTS ACR, a car that managed to scare even veteran Viper owners with its laser-like focus on road-racing performance. As always, diversity is the key – whether you’re hanging out with your friends in your cherry ‘67 Stingray, or bombing across the fields of Tuscany in your Ford SVT Raptor, the list of cars in Horizon 2 is as varied as it is thrilling! 

Here are this week’s newly announced cars for 
Forza Horizon 2:



1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2
Based on the success of the TZ1 – a lightweight, space-frame race car – the TZ2 was lighter, lower, and more powerful. Both cars were built by the team at Autodelta, made up of owner Carlo Chiti and design engineers Oarzio Satta and Guisseppe Busso. When the design work for the TZ2 took place, Alfa Romeo had purchased Autodelta and given them responsibility for all of Alfa Romeo’s race development and team management. Since the TZ2 was to be a factory racer and would not have to meet homologation requirements, Autodelta was able to focus solely on performance and new concepts. Following Porsche’s lead as used in the 904 Carrera GTS, the body of the TZ2 is made of glass-reinforced plastic. This alone allowed the TZ2 to shed nearly 100 kg and, in addition to the lighter weight, the TZ2 also had an all-new, fully-adjustable suspension. The body, designed by Ercole Spada of Zagato, sat a mere 41 inches high, and many have called the TZ2 a “mini Ferrari GTO.” Under the hood is a delicious 1.6-liter inline four, prepared by Virgilio Conrero's Autotecnica Conrero shop in Torino. The TZ2 dominated GT-class racing for 18 months; Alfa toyed with the idea of putting one into production but never followed through. This was the last front-engine racing Alfa before the Tipo 33 took over.



2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is

Whatever BMW’s new naming nomenclature lacks in elegance, the Z4 makes up for it by providing an engaging and unique driving experience that includes such gee-whiz features as an “overboost” function for the twin-turbocharged 3-liter inline six. While it’s no Z4 M (it doesn’t share that model’s weight-saving features and uses Z4 suspension and braking components), it’s certainly a very quick enhanced version of the base Z4. The “sDrive” part of the name indicates that this Z4 is rear-wheel drive, and the “is” indicates that the suspension is slightly improved, as well as the car being equipped with the “M Sport” appearance package (which is different from the bodykit on the Z4 M). Confused? You shouldn’t be—the bottom line is that with 335 horsepower on tap and adaptive suspension to keep the car planted, this is a fast coupe that also looks great wearing the sleek second generation Z4 lines. It’s a standout, despite the complicated name.



2002 Ferrari Enzo Ferrari

It takes a special Ferrari to be named after the immortal founder of the company, Enzo Ferrari. Successor to the wild F50, the Enzo is infused top to bottom with F1 kit, including shiftlights integrated on the top of the race-style steering wheel, carbon fiber shifter paddles, and the first-ever use of carbon-ceramic brakes on a Ferrari road car. In addition, the Enzo allows for nearly every facet of the performance envelope to be adjusted directly from the steering wheel. Of course, even the driver’s aids and massive brakes haven’t helped the Enzo avoid a number of high-profile crashes involving celebrities, inspiring one website to start a tongue-in-cheek “Save the Enzos” campaign. Thankfully, at least one has survived long enough to allow Jeremy Clarkson, host of Top Gear, to declare that the roar of the 6-liter V12 was like “the delicate sound of thunder.” That thundering new 48-valve motor is good for 650 horsepower and 485 pound-feet of twist, which is more than enough to take the Enzo to super-legal speeds: 60 mph takes just 3.3 seconds. Designed with a single purpose—to be the ultimate road car—the Enzo dispenses with anything that would detract from the driving experience. Power windows don’t help you go faster, so they’re not included. What you do get is a paddle-actuated automated sequential manual transmission, active aerodynamic aids, and of course that massive V12’s 8,000 RPM redline. Enzo would be proud.



1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 427

Arguably the most desirable of any Corvette ever produced, the 1967 Stingray 427 had five years of refinements behind it. Under the hood the L88 (if ordered) was as close to a pure-race engine as Chevy had ever offered. Some would say the 427's design is as underrated as its horsepower, we say this is an all-time classic.

In addition, here’s 12 additional cars we are also revealing today:


  1. 1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale
  2. 1971 AMC Javelin AMX
  3. 2011 Audi RS 3 Sportback|
  4. 1999 SRT Viper GTS ACR
  5. 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
  6. 1988 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 QV
  7. 1986 Lancia Delta S4
  8. 1997 Mazda RX-7
  9. 2012 MINI John Cooper Works GP
  10. 1995 RUF CTR2
  11. 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
  12. 1995 Volkswagen Corrado VR6

You'll be able to get your hands on these cars and many more when 
Forza Horizon 2 hits Xbox One on Sept. 30.


Doing the Monster Mash with Evolve - Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:30:00 Z
Last week's San Diego Comic-Con was a pretty crazy, packed place. Luckily for us, the guys at Turtle Rock let us get a good amount of catharsis... in the form of being a monster and wrecking some fools in the upcoming Evolve.

Evolve
is one of the biggest games at SDCC 2014, as part of the Xbox One booth and Xbox Gaming Lounge. Developed by the team behind the Left 4 Dead series, Evolve is a multiplayer monster-hunting game that pits four hunters against one giant, fearsome monster. We talked about playing as the hunters when we demoed Evolve at last month’s E3 Expo... but this time around, we got an entirely new experience: playing the monster.

In each four-on-one match, one player controls the monster, and has to survive long enough to evolve into its ultimate form. For this demo, we took control of the Kraken – a flying, projectile-shooting, Cthulhu-looking beast.

The Kraken has to run through the level, killing animals and eating them to build up its armor and work towards his next evolution. Even at level one, the monsters are too tough for any one hunter. So when we saw a support bot that had wandered too far from its group, we reunited it with its buddies... by electrocuting it, then hitting it with a vortex that sent it flying back.

By level three, we'd earned enough upgrade points to make the Kraken's powers utterly devastating. We launched lightning strikes, cluster bombs, and area-of-effect attacks against the tiny, puny hunters. And, not to brag, but we totally unleashed the hell out of that Kraken – destroying all four hunters, a ton of little snack creatures, and a generator to boot, thus securing our victory.

While the human side of Evolve requires teamwork, communication, and planning, the monster side feels more organic. There’s still a lot of strategy to it, but it's more aggressive, flashier, and so much fun.

What makes Evolve so great is that both sides of the game feel and play differently, but they're equally awesome. And we've only seen four hunters, and two monster types so far. Turtle Rock promises more characters on both sides of the battle, with different abilities and styles.

Evolve hits Xbox One on October 21, 2014 – and we can’t wait!

P90X for Xbox Fitness Coming Exclusively to Xbox One - Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:00 Z
We’re thrilled to announce the addition of P90X® for Xbox Fitness, exclusively on Xbox One. Available today, P90X for Xbox Fitness is a 30-day extreme workout program featuring five all-new custom routines designed to get you completely ripped. Your trainer, Tony Horton, will push you to your limits with explosive moves that work your entire body from head to toe. With the help of Kinect for Xbox One, which monitors and corrects your form and function, this one-of-a-kind customized workout will get the results you want fast.

Available today for $59.99, Tony will help you get the results you deserve in 30 days with P90X for Xbox Fitness. What’s more, in mid-August, P90X for Xbox Fitness will make a downloadable calendar and nutrition plan available to give you everything you need to complete your transformation.

Stay tuned for more fitness content from some of the world’s best fitness experts, only on Xbox One, and explore the many options available now in the fitness section of the
Xbox store.




August Games with Gold - Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:00:00 Z
Looking for something to do? Sometimes the thing you need most is a few great games to play, and that's a piece of cake this month for Xbox Live Gold members. August sees Crimson Dragon and ID@Xbox space-sim Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut coming to Games with Gold on Xbox One, while the Xbox 360 gets both Motocross Madness and the hit first-person stealther Dishonored. As usual, all games are available only for a limited time*, as part of the ongoing Games with Gold program – so jump on them while you can!

Crimson Dragon by Grounding / Land Ho! (Xbox One, $19.99 ERP)



Available Aug. 1-31,
Crimson Dragon, originally an Xbox One launch title, and acts as a spiritual successor to the much-beloved Panzer Dragoon saga. It’s a fast-paced rail shooter set in a beautiful fantasy world, where you can join with up to three other players for online co-op battles. You have a half-dozen majestic draconian steeds to choose from, and they level up as you progress through the game’s epic story. Crimson Dragon also features a killer soundtrack, courtesy of Panzer Dragoon composer Saori Kobayashi.

Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut
by Born Ready Games (Xbox One, $19.99 ERP)



Also available Aug. 1-31,
Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut has its origins in crowdfunding platform Kickstarter and was the first title from the ID@Xbox program. You take on the role of a pilot of the titular suit, flying it against aggressors in epic space battles. One of the key hooks is that you are only a small part of these battles, with huge ships duking it out around you, and your objectives within them clearly defined – but it’s up to you to accomplish them as you see fit. With fantastic ship design, gigantic battles, and plenty of weapons and enemies to deal with, Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut gives space-sim fans on Xbox One plenty to chew on.

Crimson Dragon
and Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut will replace July’s Xbox One Games with Gold titles Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition so be sure to grab them while you can!

Motocross Madness
by Bongfish GmbH (Xbox 360, $9.99 ERP)



Available Aug. 1-15, back on earth Xbox 360 gamers get to tool around the dirt tracks and mud pits of their imaginations with
Motocross Madness, an off-road motorcycle racing game. Racing against the clock (or other racers) is just a small part of this one, as you’ll be able to perform tricks, run through obstacle courses, or just motor around big maps and explore as you please. Asynchronous multiplayer via social networks means you can involve your friends, even if they’re off doing something else while you’re playing. Unlimited potential!

Dishonored
by Arkane Studios (Xbox 360, $19.99 ERP)



Finally, available Aug. 16-31, Xbox 360 owners get to experience
Dishonored, an award-winning steampunk stealth/action title. You play Corvo, erstwhile bodyguard of the Empress, turned assassin. Your job is to protect the princess, take out the bad guys who are trying to take over the Empire, and do it all undetected. You have an arsenal of gadgets, weapons, and magical powers to help you, but the most important is your own brain. Challenges in Dishonored often have multiple solutions, so lateral thinking is more important than a quick trigger finger. You can blast your way through, too, to be sure – there’s something for everyone here – but cleverness is rewarded more than aggression.

Whatever your gameplay style, though, Games with Gold has you covered in August. Check out the full details on our Games with Gold program, and make sure you get in on the action while you can!

*Titles are available as free downloads for a limited time, for qualifying paid Xbox Live Gold members in all markets where Xbox Live is available. Some regions may offer different titles depending on market availability. 


SDCC 14: Project Totem Is Cute – But Deadly - Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:15:00 Z
This year’s San Diego Comic-Con features a ton of well-known, awesome Xbox One games. If you happen to be there, however, be sure that you don't miss out on some of the up-and-coming titles at the Xbox Lounge – like the colorful and deceptively challenging Project Totem.

Developed by Microsoft’s Press Play studio, Project Totem tasks you with guiding two characters through multi-tier, sidescrolling levels. Players have to coordinate the two little square dudes – purple and green – sometimes switching between them mid-jump, or maneuvering them to solve puzzles.

It feels like pure, unadulterated puzzle-platforming; the style is simple, clean, and vibrant. The controls are basic, and the objectives are obvious (or seem like they are, anyway). But the skill comes in actually executing: There was a moment where we were literally juggling the two characters, while sliding along ice, while trying to collect little gems, while trying to not fall into a bottomless pit.

Each level is short, but the progression gets pretty difficult. By the time you reach the boss of world one, you better have developed some twitch platforming skills – and that's just the first world. Project Totem has at least three worlds, composed of a dozen or so levels, each with a boss battle at the end. And hey, we might possibly get some secret worlds beyond those – it certainly seems like that kind of game!

On top of that, Project Totem features a multiplayer co-op mode, which puts four little guys on the screen. If you thought juggling two was tough, the challenge of stacking four on top of each other, to chain together jumps, to reach secret ledges... well, that’s a whole new test. And it's pretty great.


Watch the First Trailer for Atari: Game Over - Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:10:00 Z
In April, history was made in the world’s most famous garbage dump. After years of speculation spanning countless conspiracy theories, the legend was confirmed: unsold copies of the Atari game E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial were found buried deep outside the dusty town of Alamogordo, New Mexico. While the result of the dig itself was big news (after all, E.T. almost single-handedly destroyed the game industry in the early ‘80s), it’s only one part of a much larger story. That story is finally being told in the upcoming documentary “Atari: Game Over.” Featuring interviews with everyone from the creator of the game to the denizens of Alamogordo, this is one story you won’t want to miss. We’ve got our hands on the first trailer for the movie, so check it out above and be sure to watch “Atari: Game Over” when it comes to Xbox this fall.     

Titanfall Gets Three New Maps and a Black Market - Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:00:00 Z
Just when you thought you couldn’t get enough of dropping gigantic robots on people’s heads, Respawn Entertainment, developer of the wildly successful Titanfall, has announced new details on the game’s second downloadable content pack, coming July 31. Titanfall: Frontier’s Edge features three new maps, multiple tweaks and updates, new achievements, and an all-new Black Market. It is, quite simply, packed to the gills – and runs a mere $9.99.

The new maps feature three distinct new areas:



Export takes place in a mining colony that’s been abandoned ahead of the incoming titan battle. Ziplines link multiple warehouses and other buildings, allowing players to move quickly from rooftop to rooftop, while the buildings themselves create natural kill zones and firing lanes below. Electric fences – hazardous for both pilots and their giant titans – also present a barrier, further funneling players into (and away from) specific areas. Choke points dot the bottom of the map, so players need to be strategic in their positioning and pushes.



Haven
is set in a futuristic resort location, complete with towering glass-and-steel hotels and massive space casinos. These gigantic structures are large enough to fit titans in their lobbies, while pilots can hop out to take the fight to the upper floors, for some Space-Vegas-worthy carnage.



Dig Site
puts players in a wide-open space on a barren planet’s surface. Construction equipment, heavy machinery, and architectural facilities dot the landscape as players duke it out in-between. While the scenery may be bleak, players will have plenty of vantage points to attack their unsuspecting competitors.

In addition to the maps, the
Frontier’s Edge also includes the new Black Market, which allows players to purchase Burn Cards, emblems, and a variety of other items for in-game currency. Players can earn currency by unlocking achievements, completing daily challenges, or by selling unwanted Burn Cards. Finally, Respawn has confirmed that Frontier’s Edge will address a few bugs, and will include new achievements that players can add to their medal rack.

Frontier’s Edge
hits Xbox One and Xbox 360 on July 31.

SDCC 14: Fifty Shades of Moral Grayness in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:00:00 Z
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is a massive and beautiful open-world RPG in which you will be forced to make tough decisions, sacrifice others for the greater good, and travel into the darkest depths of both the world and your own psyche. So brace yourselves, folks – this game is intense in a great way.

Lucky gamers who attended the San Diego Comic-Con International 2014 panel for
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt got an exclusive peek at new gameplay, as well as a Q&A with developers from CD Projekt Red and voice actors on the game.

The panel, hosted by Geoff Keighley, featured Senior Game Designer Damien Monnier – as well as Doug Cockle, the voice of series hero Geralt, and Paul Tobin, the writer for the popular
Witcher comic series.

The demo started off where last June’s E3 demo left off, and followed Geralt as he ventured on a quest to the swamp to talk to a trio of crones known as The Ladies. In this new demo, we got to see some of the tough choices Geralt has to make on his journey. A dark power in the woods has been killing people – but when Geralt confronts it, the creature claims to be the only one who can help the orphans of the swamp. The choice is up to the player whether or not to kill the creature, and that choice (and others like it) will change the course of the game.

“The choices aren't always black and white,” explained Monnier. “They're often gray, and sometimes you’ll feel like you've made the wrong choice.”

For the record, we – the crowd – demanded blood, and we killed the demon. But was that right? Immediately, we noticed that the children running around in the local village were gone. What had we done!

That's the crux of
The Witcher. Based on a series of novels and very invested in the roots of Slavic folklore, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt pulls absolutely zero punches.

CD Projekt Red also showed off a number of awesome
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt goodies, like a lore book (releasing the same day as the game) that covers the massive world and its characters. They also touched on the game’s music, composed largely by Polish folk musicians and orchestras. Music plays a huge part in the game, adding to the emotional impact. Monnier stressed the importance of music in the storytelling of the game, and keeping the Slavic roots of The Witcher intact.

“In every scene, the music has to be perfect – absolutely perfect.”

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
comes out for Xbox One on February 24, 2015 – so we still have some time to wait. But stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more on The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and other great Xbox One games!

SDCC 14: 343 Industries Unveils New Halo: The Master Chief Collection Details - Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:30:00 Z
Today, at a developer panel at San Diego Comic-Con, 343 Industries Community Manager Andy ‘Bravo’ Dudynsky, Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor and Senior Producer Dennis Ries joined Certain Affinity President Max Hoberman and Blur Studios’ Franck Balson to reveal new details for one of this year’s most anticipated games – Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Highlighting the stunning Xbox One visuals of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the panel showcased the completely re-mastered campaign of Halo 2: Anniversary and revealed an all-new re-imagined competitive multiplayer map in the fan-favorite of “Zanzibar.” 

“Zanzibar” joins the multiplayer maps of “Ascension” and “Coagulation” as the third of six re-imagined
Halo 2 multiplayer maps found in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.  The next map will be revealed this August at gamescom.

Comic-Con attendees were also treated to a first-look at a trailer featuring the overhauled Halo 2: Anniversary cut-scenes, led by Blur.

For more details about “Zanzibar,” please visit Halo Waypoint

The Must-See Sights in the Destiny Open Beta - Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:15:00 Z
Bungie’s long-awaited Destiny is right around the corner, hitting Xbox One and Xbox 360 on September 9. And now, Xbox owners everywhere have the chance to jump into the public beta and get a sneak preview of what Destiny is all about. There’s definitely a lot to take in, so we’ve got a special video for you to check out that highlights some of the key features and activities that you won’t want to miss. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s covered:

The Tower:
This is where you’ll meet up with other players, cash in your sweet loot, buy class-specific items and ships, level up, store stuff in your personal vault, check the bounty board, and make preparations for your next ass-kicking expedition.

The Character Screen:
There are a lot of choices you get to make about what you kit yourself out with in terms of weapons and armor, so remember to head to your character screen, where you can compare two items’ stats and choose what’s best for you. You can also dismantle stuff that you don’t need – this gives you money and crafting components so that you can make some cool upgrades for yourself later on. You can also review your stats, and decide how you want to build your character.

The Ability Screen:
Each class and subclass has tons of abilities to unlock, which you can check out on the ability screen. The Destiny beta’s level cap is 8, but you can keep unlocking new abilities even after you hit the cap.

Chests:
You’ll find lots of loot chests in the world. Keep an eye out for the golden chests – find them all, and you may get a cool reward!

The Cosmodrome:
Don’t forget to visit here once you’re done with all the beta’s main missions; the Cosmodrome is a great source of side-quests, so you can keep earning experience, money, and gear.

If you’re not in the Destiny beta, what are you waiting for? Hop in, and get a taste of what you’re in store for come September 9, on Xbox One and Xbox 360!


Tune In: Every Street United 4v4 Team Selection This Sunday - Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:00:00 Z
There are only two episodes left! Last Sunday on “Every Street United,” the players met their competitors in Rio and learned that the winning team from the 4v4 game will get to try out for a professional contract with the Seattle Sounders FC. This Sunday, Thierry and Edgar choose the two teams for the 4v4 game. Once divided, the preparation for the biggest game of their lives begins with the mentors imparting their tactics and advice, and team captains working to foster a strong team spirit. 


Check out the videos above to get a closer look at Jordan and Miguel’s skills ahead of this week’s episode. Watch virtually anywhere on Xbox Video, or catch up on past episodes and check out interactive features in the “Every Street United” app on Xbox One and Xbox 360. An Xbox Live Gold membership is not required.

For more information, visit “
Every Street United.”

SDCC 14: Sunset Overdrive: It's Your Apocalypse, Be Who You Want To Be - Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:00:00 Z
This week Microsoft and Insomniac Games unveiled more enticing details on Sunset Overdrive in a new video that details how fans can dive into the vast assortment of customizations featured in the game.

With the ability to mix-and-match a myriad of body types, skin tones, apparel, hair and body art options, Sunset Overdrive lets you create your unique character and assume any gender, race, or look you desire. In the video, you can hear directly from the creators of Sunset Overdrive as they discuss the inspirations behind the game’s customization features and their favorite pieces players can use.

Live out your end-of-times fantasies and be who YOU want to be.  You're the hero after all, right?

And that’s not all.

Fans who are feeling truly creative can join in on the fun by creating their very own Sunset-inspired design, with a chance for it to be featured in the game post-launch.

In Sunset Overdrive, it’s never been easier to just be you – or create your own post-apocalyptic alter ego!

-----

*Please note the fan design contest is US only and all participants are required to be 18 years of age. For more information on the design contest, please visit Polygon

Surviving the Crucible: The Dos and Don'ts of Destiny's Competitive Multiplayer - Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:45:07 Z
Now that we've been able to get some serious time with the Destiny beta, we can't seem to stay away from the Crucible, the game's competitive multiplayer. Sure, you can have friends and strangers join you in the campaign, but there's nothing quite like looking down the barrel of a plasma rifle, knowing a human is at the other end. Even with the limited map selection and single mode – the capture-and-hold-based Control – Destiny's multiplayer is already looking like a worthy evolution of Bungie's Halo pedigree.

But the Crucible is its own animal. Go into it expecting just more Master Chief action, and you'll be lost. And dead. A lot. With that in mind, here are some friendly suggestions about how best to approach this deadly arena.

DO
be patient. You won't unlock access to the Crucible until you hit Level 5, so don't think you're missing something if you can't find it right off the bat. Also: You only bring into multiplayer what you've collected in the campaign, so the more time you spend capping Fallen, the more options you have for capping other players.

BUT DON'T
get too obsessive about maxing out your character before jumping in. Although higher-level players will get access to a wider variety of weapons and armor, the game removes level bonuses in order to ensure as equitable a playing field as possible.

DO
try for special kills. Destiny's Control mode provides generous rewards for killing enemies, rather than reserving the bulk of points only for capturing and holding Control points. Even better, the game dishes out bonus points for things like head shots, melee kills, and vehicle kills.

BUT DON'T
neglect the Control points altogether! Capturing and holding a location does earn you significant points, after all. But perhaps more significantly, the game confers bonus points to all of your team's kills when you hold a territory – the more Control points held, the bigger the bonus.

DO
make use of turrets. On First Light, there's a turret near each Control point. Though they look beefy, they have a fairly precise fire pattern, allowing you to pick off even mounted enemies from a surprising distance. And vehicles? Forget about it.

BUT DON'T
rely too heavily on them. They're loud. People will hear you. Then they'll sneak up behind you. Then they'll kill you.

DO
move carefully. As in most modern shooters, crouching and moving slowly will make you less visible to enemies, especially on enemies' radar.

BUT DON'T
camp. Unlike most modern shooters, Destiny will ping your location to nearby enemies even if you're crouched and immobile. It just doesn't happen as often as when you're running full-tilt or firing.

DO
take advantage of nearby vehicles. The nimble Pike and the powerful Interceptor will let you whisk your way across the battlefield. And you can also probably find a use for those heavy-duty mounted weapons.

BUT DON'T
forget that you can summon your own private Sparrow (on the big maps, at least). If your main goal is quick transport, you're probably better off bringing in your own ride than going out of your way to grab a parked vehicle.

DO
use your Special ability whenever reasonable. Not only does it make for some devastating carnage, it also counts as a special kill – and thus earns you some delicious bonus points. And don't ignore the fact that every kill, Control point capture, and the like nudges your depleted Special closer to readiness.

BUT DON'T
try to kick off your Special while face-to-face with an enemy. Remember that there's a small charge time involved in firing up your devastating attack. By the time you're ready to unleash it, chances are, you're already dead. Better to trigger it just before jumping into the fray!

Finally,
DO get excited. This is just a small slice of Destiny's competitive multiplayer offerings. When the game hits Xbox One and Xbox 360 on September 9, there will be a heck of a lot more in store.

BUT DON'T
hold your breath. That's more than a month away. You'd die.



SDCC 14: 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions Offer First-Look of Halo: Nightfall - Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:45:00 Z
Today, at San Diego Comic-Con, 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions gave show-goers and the Halo Nation a first look at Halo: Nightfall, the original live-action digital series executive produced by Ridley Scott set to release this November on Xbox. During the panel, 343 Industries premiered the series’ official first-look video, as Executive Producer Kiki Wolfkill, Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor, Scott Free TV President David Zucker, and Halo: Nightfall cast members offered new details on the series plot and a look behind-the-scenes of the production.



Taking place between the events of Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Halo: Nightfall follows the origin story of legendary manhunter Jameson Locke (Mike Colter) and his team as they are caught in a horrific terrorist attack while investigating terrorist activity on the distant colony world of Sedra. Led by Locke, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) agents are forced to coordinate with a Sedran commander with a remarkable history and deep-rooted mistrust of ONI. As the plot unravels, they’re drawn to an ancient, hellish artifact where they’re forced to fight for their survival, question everything, and ultimately choose between their loyalties and their lives. Agent Locke is a new character in the Halo universe poised to play a major role in Halo 5: Guardians releasing on Xbox One in 2015.

Led by world class talent such as executive producer Ridley Scott, Scott Free TV President David Zucker, award-winning director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica, Pillars of the Earth, Heroes), and written by Paul Scheuring (A Man Apart, Prison Break), Halo: Nightfall takes full advantage of Xbox One’s seamless blend of high-quality visuals and rich interactive storytelling features, connecting the games and the series in innovative new ways.



“In science fiction, we're always searching for new frontiers. We're drawn to the unknown,” said Scott. “With Halo: Nightfall, we're pioneering a new medium in terms of interactive storytelling on Xbox.  It’s going to be fun for long-time fans to see how the worlds come together with an ambition to attract new fans along the way with what we’ve created.

Halo: Nightfall is included as part of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection and will be accessible digitally on Xbox Live beginning on November 11, 2014.

The Awesome Weapons of Destiny - Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:35:00 Z
The world of Destiny is a dangerous one, full of numerous races and species that want you super-dead. Luckily, it’s also full of badass guns that allow you to shoot up every alien that picks a fight. Check out the weapon classes and the awesome guns that you can use in Destiny.

Primary Weapons

The primary weapons are going to be your bread and butter for Destiny. They contain the classics: Auto rifles, hand cannons, pulse rifles, and scout rifles. You’ll also probably be switching this weapon out the most, as you figure out which ones suit your style and earn more powerful versions.

Our Favorites
:
Duke Mk.44 – Hand Cannon: Duke is not a fast weapon; in fact, it’s one of the slowest ones we’ve seen in the primary weapon slot. But damn, does it pack a punch. Few things are more satisfying than pulling out this little guy and blasting the crap out of some Fallen mercenary that gets too close.

Viper P3 – Pulse Rifle
: The Viper P3 is really comfortable. It’s powerful and accurate, and just an all-around well-balanced weapon, making it nice gun to have in any situation. It feels good in our digital hands, lending to many a satisfying kill.

Red Death – Pulse Rifle
: We’d love the Red Death even if the only thing going for it was the bloody bayonet on the front, which makes us feel super-badass. But the weapon also has the ability to regenerate your health, making it extremely handy.



Special Weapons
Special weapons fill the secondary slot, and consist of the more powerful – and more specialized – firearms. These will be your sniper rifles and shotguns.

Our Favorites
:
Closing Time – Sniper Rifle: In addition to being a powerful (and rare) sniper rifle that can blow the head off an enemy from an insane distance, Closing Time is also just a really cool relic – a contemporary weapon in a futuristic world.



Judgment VI – Shotgun
: The Judgment VI can be a bit unwieldy, but its intense armor-piercing rounds and excellent upgrades kept us hooked on it. It’s one of those guns that you have to learn to use, and has cool effects – like giving you boosts while reloading, and packing an extra punch when you’re on your last round.



Heavy Weapons
The heavy weapons are the biggest, baddest weapons in Destiny. These rocket launchers and machine guns can tear through your enemies... but with limited ammo availability, they’re best suited to the bigger battles.

Our Favorites
:
Thunderlord – Machine Gun: The Thunderlord exotic machine gun is, as you might guess, one of the louder, more bombastic weapons in Destiny. We love the ability to upgrade its damage in rolling waves of destruction that culminate in exploding rounds.



Harbinger – Rocket Launcher
: A good all-around rocket launcher. While we leaned more heavily on machine guns for our heavy weapons, there were times when a rocket launcher provided the appropriate (and awesomely explosive) strategy for taking down our enemies.

Melee Weapons
Each class of Guardian has some awesome melee weapons.

Our Favorites:
Solar Flare: Warlocks can use their super-ability to hurl a little grenade – in the form of a small sun – that expands rapidly, then deals a ton of damage to anyone caught in the blast. You’ll be using this as often as possible.

Hunter Knife
: The hunter knife can be used like a standard slashing weapon, but the Hunter’s special ability allows him/her to throw the energy-charged knife, which explodes when it embeds itself into the skull of your enemy. Hell yes.

Arc Blade
: When Hunters level up to get the Edgewalker subclass, they earn this amazing super-ability. Using the Arc Blade has your character zipping around, slashing up fools with an energy-charged blade. Not something you’ll see from most shooters, but that’s Destiny for ya.

We’ve barely even scratched the surface of the weapons you’ll have at your disposal when
Destiny hits stores for Xbox One and Xbox 360 on September 9.



Destiny: Which Class is Best for You? - Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:00:00 Z
Now that the Destiny beta has finally arrived, lucky fans have a chance to get hands-on time with Bungie's next science-fiction shooter masterpiece. One thing that will become instantly clear: Though the game follows in Halo's footsteps in some ways, Destiny expands the shooter genre significantly, introducing serious customization, leveling, and other role-playing game elements to the formula.

Among those refinements is the introduction of a class system. Though each of
Destiny's three roles is balanced with the others overall, each offers a distinctly different moment-to-moment gameplay experience. Not sure which one to choose? Let's take a look at the benefits – and drawbacks – of all three.



HUNTER

Best for:
Sneaky players

Think "stealthy sniper." The Hunter works best either at distant range or up-close and personal. Long-range rifles are the Hunter's tools of the trade, but Hunters also pack a nasty knife for silent kills from kissing distance.

Mobility and agility are Hunters' greatest strengths, but they come at a price: Heavy armor would slow them down – so they don't wear much. That means they take more damage from attacks, and can take longer to recover. So try not to be where the bullet is going when it gets there.

Subclasses

Gunslinger:
This subclass boosts the Hunter's ranged abilities, most especially with the Golden Gun – a devastating pistol that can disintegrate whole groups of enemies.

Bladedancer:
Conversely, Bladedancers get upgraded melee skills, including the Blink Strike, which allows the Hunter to knife an enemy at greater range.



TITAN

Best for:
Shooter fans

If you're coming to
Destiny from a lifetime of other shooters, chances are the Titan is your guy (or girl). Packing heavy armor and weapons to match, Titans are the all-around grunts of the game. You don't want to run up against one in a dark alley.

Of course, if you do find yourself in such a situation, chances are you might be able to hoof it in time to save your skin. Although Titans pack serious firepower and serious defenses at close and medium range, their effectiveness drops with distance... and all that heavy armor sure slows them down.

Subclasses

Striker:
The Striker is positively brutal at close range, thanks largely to the Fist of Havoc: This ground-pound ability literally dissolves enemies caught in its shock waves.

Defender:
The Defender is a kinder, gentler Titan. The Ward of Dawn special ability serves as a powerful shield to protect the Titan and teammates alike from enemy attacks.



WARLOCK

Best for:
RPG addicts

Though every class in
Destiny enjoys a certain element of RPG-style progression, none will prove more familiar to fans of traditional role-playing games than the Warlock. Though Warlocks can use traditional weapons, their greatest strength lies in their ability to channel arcane energies to deal devastating damage. They also pack some seriously fancy grenades.

But although the Warlock can put on the hurt, it's a
very bad idea for a Warlock to step into the line of fire. In accordance with the age-old RPG template for magic-users, the Warlock packs very little in the way of armor. Teaming up with a Titan is probably a good idea.

Subclasses

Voidwalker:
The Warlock's offensive abilities benefit from the Voidwalker subclass. The Nova Bomb is a particular plus, since it can disintegrate wide swathes of enemies.

Sunsinger:
Sunsingers serve more of a support role. Their Radiance ability is the primary reason: Not only does it revive teammates, it also buffs their special abilities.

The complete version of
Destiny arrives on Xbox One and Xbox 360 on September 9.

New Fighters Come to EA Sports UFC with Content Update - Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:20:00 Z
EA Sports announced an all-new, completely free content update for EA Sports UFC today, including three new fighters, along with new animations, and improvements to the gameplay.

Bantamweight Division Champion T.J. Dillashaw, the current #11 pound-for-pound ranked fighter in the UFC rankings, headlines the new trio. Dillashaw is joined by his bantamweight cohort Takeya Mizugaki, out of Japan – currently ranked #6 among UFC’s bantamweights. Fans may remember that Dillashaw and Mizugaki were set to fight in UFC 173, but Dillashaw was moved up to the main event fight at the last minute – an event he won in spectacular fashion. Now, players can see what
really would have happened, had Dillashaw and Mizugaki faced off.

Rounding out the new group is Tyron Woodley, the current #3 ranked welterweight in UFC, known for his spectacular knockout of Josh Koscheck at UFC 167. All three new fighters are meticulously rendered to resemble their real-world selves, and can be played right away, with no need for unlocking.

Additionally,
EA Sports UFC’s new update gives players new moves, including the ability to “finish the fight” by pouncing on a downed opponent and delivering multiple strikes as the knockout occurs. Players can now also clinch-break when pressed against the cage, by pressing the left thumbstick on their Xbox One controller. Finally, fighters will now automatically sprawl when players successfully defend against a power takedown, giving them a better opportunity to counterattack.

Balance has been improved, too: Stamina no longer regenerates while a player is holding block – a change that prevents turtling tactics – and players take a larger stamina penalty while blocking. And, fighters who don’t normally have power takedowns and side-control sweeps in real-life won’t have them available in
EA Sports UFC anymore, either.

With three exciting new fighters and a host of improvements and additions – all for the low, low cost of absolutely free –
EA Sports UFC has really done right by the players with this first update. See you in the octagon!

Surprise! The Destiny Beta’s Starting Now: Here’s What You Can Expect - Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:16:29 Z
As reputations go, developer Bungie’s is among the best around. With its various Halo titles, the studio helped Xbox become the console brand that it is today. Bungie’s latest game, some four years in the making, brings the fantastic feel and combat of Halo to a much larger arena, in the form of Destiny. Know what else makes Bungie the best? The fact that they’ve decided to surprise us all by releasing the Destiny Xbox One beta a day earlier. That’s right, you can start playing Destiny right now!  

Before you dive in (or while you’re downloading the beta), let’s break down a bit about what you can expect to see once you’re in. While Destiny is, like Halo, essentially a sci-fi first-person shooter, the setting and context have changed dramatically. It is, in many ways, a merging of Halo with the likes of Gearbox Software’s Borderlands and more traditional massively multiplayer role-playing games. It’s quite a diverse blend of gaming influences and helps the game feels singularly unique.

The role-playing elements of Destiny will be evident to you immediately. Players are given a choice of Titan, Hunter, and Warlock classes, each of which has its own specific set of skills and progression trees. The Hunter is focused on stealth and speed, for instance, while the Warlock is character that feature powerful special abilities, along the lines of a standard mage character. You can choose between three races – human, awoken, and exo – and change your gender, face, hairstyle, and other accoutrements. This is a shooter in which your avatar becomes very much your own to develop and understand over time, and later-level upgrades ensure that it will be worth the effort to acquire them (and show them off).

One thing that may become apparent during your time with Destiny is the fact that this is a game best enjoyed cooperatively with two other people (ideally, of course, friends), a dynamic that is referred to in-game as a Fireteam. It’s easy to find teammates at the Guardian Tower – Destiny’s hub for meet-ups, shop upgrades and various other ephemera – and because each mission is shown on a world map with recommended team size and difficulty level, the game retains a certain structure that’s often absent in cooperative shooters.

It’s also impossible to ignore the fact that the game’s next generation graphics shine on Xbox One. Dynamic lighting and particle effects set the mood extremely well, while bump mapping and clean, high-resolution textures do much the same for the characters themselves. There’s a level of polish and shine to everything in Destiny that’s really impressive, even in the modern world of blockbuster game development.

One of the more interesting aspects of the game is the way in which the play states subtly change. Beyond hub and traditional cooperative multiplayer scenarios, there are also public areas in each map where Fireteams meet each other and fight massive enemies (or huge hordes of them). In these and other single-player situations, Destiny activates a “no respawn” mode: If all three members of your Fireteam die, you have to restart the section from scratch.

It’s just one of many ways Bungie is attempting to flip the multiplayer shooter on its head. Look for more coverage in the coming weeks and months – we’ll be following Destiny quite closely as it moves from public beta to final retail product. See you on the battlefield!

Forza Horizon 2 Car List Reveal Begins - Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:00:00 Z
Forza Horizon 2 fans, today is the day! We are officially kicking off the car reveals for Forza Horizon 2 with our first huge reveal of cars. Today we are announcing the first 100 of the just over 200 cars that will be featured in Forza Horizon 2. All of the cars in Forza Horizon 2 have been built from the ground up for this generation with the utmost care and detail, taking full advantage of the power of Xbox One and Forza Horizon 2’s dynamic weather and wide-open world, including new features such as functioning windshield wipers, working headlights and interior lights, and dynamic dirt-mapping.

Forza Horizon 2 will feature a huge and diverse lineup of awesome cars to collect, customize, and drive. That means everything from state-of-the-art supercars like our cover car, the 2015 Lamborghini Huracán, to Group B rally legends, monster off-roaders, classic American muscle cars, and much more. Leading into launch we’ll continue to reveal more to get you ready for the ultimate racing experience coming on September 30.

First up, let’s take a look at five of the never-before-seen cars in Forza Horizon 2:



1973 Renault Alpine A110 1600S 

Prior to 1973, Alpine was its own make, purveyed by Jean Redele, who had achieved notable success racing Renault 4CVs, including class wins at the Mille Miglia and the Coupe Des Alpes. In 1954, Redele formed the
Societe Anonyme des Automobiles Alpine and the Alpine was born. Alpine always worked closely with Renault and always utilized Renault mechanicals, so the assimilation of the two was a natural progression. The Alpine scored international recognition as it took several wins throughout Europe in the first international rally championship and would later win the first World Rally Championship. Set aside the Alpine's astounding championship winning performance and you still have a sleek, mid-engine Berlinetta with flowing body lines that demand attention. 



2009 Vauxhall Corsa VXR

Compact and quick, that’s how best to describe the 2009 Vauxhall Corsa VXR. This is a small car with a big point of view, notably in its compact form and assertive lines. Featuring a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and more than 180 bhp, the Corsa VXR is no stranger to pint-sized performance, with a respectable 0-60 time of just under 7 seconds and a top speed north of 130 mph. You can control that modest grunt too; with pliable and playful handling, the Corsa guarantees a fun time behind the wheel.



1945 Jeep Willys MB

As tensions heightened during the 1930s, the U.S. Army asked automakers to deliver a replacement for its aging light armor division. At the time, the division was mostly comprised of motorcycles—some with sidecars—and many Model T Fords. By 1940, the division had formalized its vehicle requirements to include the following specs: four-wheel-drive, a wheelbase of no more than 80 inches, a minimum payload of 660 lbs. and minimum torque of 85-ft-lbs. Lastly, the vehicle had to weigh no more than 2,160 pounds empty. The original design was contrived by American Bantam Car Company but, due to a lack of production capacity and fiscal stability, the U.S. government assumed legal rights to the design and contracted with Willys-Overland and later Ford to produce their variations the Willys MA—Military A, and later MB. The origin of the term “Jeep” has more than one influence. One clearly points to the Ford designation Gee- P. The second comes from the popular Popeye cartoons of the era. “Eugene the jeep” was Popeye’s jungle pet who could solve difficult problems with his ability to move between dimensions. Much as the implementation of the Jeep did for the military.



1963 Volkswagen Type 2 De Luxe

Who would have ever thought an old Volkswagen van would be worth upwards of $200,000? Today, these little buses are going for incredible sums at auction and even rusting hulks can garner more than the cost of your favorite sports car. The 23-window De Luxe is the most desirable model of “splitties” – for their split windshield – and will sell for huge sums in nearly any condition. An array of roofside windows lets the sun shine in and offers a beautiful accent to the breadbox form of the classic bus. Pushing the little guy around is a rear-mounted, 1200cc, air-cooled flat-four. The mighty 36 hp motor will deliver highway speeds, even when full of long-haired hippies, except when climbing hills. Many vans of the era had sayings such as “please just pass” painted on the back and inspired bumper stickers like “NEVER get behind a VW” or “0-60 in 15 Minutes.” The truth is, you don’t have to go fast in a VW Bus to be having a good time, riding or road-tripping in one will make memories that last a lifetime.



1954 Jaguar XK120 SE

The Jaguar XK120 SE is an iconic post-World War II auto; one of a group of cars that became synonymous with European sports cars of the time when it was released. Little wonder too – the car’s open top and swooping lines practically scream for a spin along the Cote d’Azur or a brisk ride through wine country in Tuscany. The original XK120 line was launched in 1948 as a test bed for the then-new Jaguar XK engine. Later, Jaguar introduced the optional SE package found here, which increased engine performance to 180 hp, added a dual exhaust, and stiffened the suspension, bringing some added pep to an already classic chassis. Take the SE for a spin in Forza Horizon 2’s southern European setting for a high-speed taste of what the good old days must have felt like.

Below is a list of the first 100 cars we are revealing today for Forza Horizon 2:

  1. 2002 Acura RSX Type-S
  2. 2007 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
  3. 2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde
  4. 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio Verde
  5. 1964 Aston Martin DB5
  6. 2010 Aston Martin One-77
  7. 2012 Aston Martin Vanquish
  8. 2013 Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus 5.2 FSI quattro
  9. 1995 Audi RS 2 Avant
  10. 2006 Audi RS 4
  11. 2011 Audi RS 5 Coupé
  12. 2013 Audi S4
  13. 1997 BMW M3
  14. 1991 BMW M3
  15. 2012 BMW M5
  16. 2011 BMW X5 M
  17. 1990 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z
  18. 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
  19. 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  20. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS-454
  21. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
  22. 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
  23. 1995 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
  24. 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS 409
  25. 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
  26. 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8
  27. 1957 Ferrari 250 California
  28. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
  29. 1994 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta
  30. 2012 Ferrari F12berlinetta
  31. 2007 Ferrari 430 Scuderia
  32. 2013 Ferrari LaFerrari
  33. 1980 Abarth Fiat 131
  34. 2010 Abarth 500 esseesse
  35. 2013 Abarth Punto Supersport
  36. 2009 Ford Focus RS
  37. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302
  38. 2000 Ford SVT Cobra R
  39. 1993 Ford SVT Cobra R
  40. 1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
  41. 2011 Ford Transit SuperSportVan
  42. 1997 Honda Civic Type R
  43. 2006 HUMMER H1 Alpha
  44. 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track
  45. 1956 Jaguar D-Type
  46. 1961 Jaguar E-type S1
  47. 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE
  48. 1945 Jeep Willys MB
  49. 2011 Koenigsegg Agera
  50. 1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV
  51. 2014 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4
  52. 1982 Lancia 037 Stradale
  53. 2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport
  54. 2010 Lexus LFA
  55. 1956 Lotus Eleven
  56. 2012 Lotus Exige S
  57. 2010 Maserati Gran Turismo S
  58. 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  59. 2011 Mazda RX-8 R3
  60. 2013 McLaren P1
  61. 2013 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG
  62. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupé Black Series
  63. 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series
  64. 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG
  65. 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
  66. 1965 MINI Cooper S
  67. 1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI GSR
  68. 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR
  69. 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR
  70. 2010 Nissan 370Z
  71. 1969 Nissan Fairlady Z 432
  72. 1994 Nissan Fairlady Z Version S Twin Turbo
  73. 2000 Nissan Silvia Spec-R
  74. 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R
  75. 1993 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec
  76. 2012 Pagani Huayra
  77. 2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster
  78. 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge
  79. 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD-455
  80. 1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA
  81. 1973 Renault Alpine A110 1600S
  82. 2003 Renault Sport Clio V6
  83. 2010 Renault Megane RS 250
  84. 2011 RUF Rt 12 S
  85. 1965 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C
  86. 1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STi
  87. 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
  88. 2011 Subaru WRX STI
  89. 1994 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205
  90. 2013 Toyota GT86
  91. 1995 Toyota MR2 GT
  92. 2005 TVR Sagaris
  93. 2012 Vauxhall Astra VXR
  94. 2009 Vauxhall Corsa VXR
  95. 2013 SRT Viper GTS
  96. 1992 Volkswagen Golf Gti 16v Mk2
  97. 2010 Volkswagen Golf R
  98. 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI
  99. 2011 Volkswagen Scirocco R
  100. 1963 Volkswagen Type 2 De Luxe


Big Action Launches on Xbox One Today with GoPro Channel - Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:00:00 Z
A few short months following the launch on Xbox 360, the GoPro Channel is now available* on Xbox One. GoPro on Xbox One gives Xbox Live members around the world access to epic action-adventure videos on the TV and is celebrating its launch with no less than four exclusive videos just for Xbox! The GoPro Channel also offers access to on-demand GoPro content, the ability to share videos and purchase cameras and equipment directly through the app channel.

To date, GoPro on Xbox 360 has been immensely popular and received nearly half a million downloads with users watching an average of 18 minutes of GoPro videos per viewing session worldwide and 30 minutes per viewing session in the U.S.

Not only are people watching videos, but GoPro owners are generating tons of content to share their stories and experiences with the world. User-generated content is huge on Xbox and is expected to continue to grow as GoPro joins other popular apps like YouTube and Twitch. The Xbox-GoPro relationship helps support GoPro’s initiative to grow content distribution and expand community reach worldwide, and we’re very excited to participate in these efforts with the launch on Xbox One.

We caught up with an athlete behind one of the Xbox exclusive videos to check out what he has to say about the launch on Xbox One below.

"Hi everyone, I'm Eli Gibson, a martial artist, a GoPro user, and an Xbox One fan from Portland, Oregon USA. As a child growing up in a Kung Fu family, I was an avid practitioner of spears, swords, staffs, and nunchuks, as well as a huge Hong Kong kung fu film fan. Though my focus in the martial arts and cinematic interests may have matured, when I got my first GoPro camera earlier this year I couldn't help but relive the passions of my youth; I simply attached my GoPro camera to a bamboo staff with a pole mount and, returning to my old weapons skills, shot my own version of a Kung Fu movie. 

I'm stoked to be a part of the Xbox One GoPro Channel launch. GoPro cameras make shooting exciting, awesome videos easy for a regular guy like me, and the addition of this new platform makes viewing these fun clips all that more accessible. I look forward to all the amazing GoPro videos the Xbox community will be sharing here in the future.”

Here’s a tease of Eli’s kung fu skills in action.



Sweet Emotion: Hands-on with FIFA 15 - Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:57:00 Z
With the memories of this summer's soccer spectacle in Brazil beginning to fade just a bit (except maybe in Germany), football fans around the world are looking forward to the next big event: the release of the latest game in EA's annual FIFA series. While most of the world will see FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi on the cover, copies of FIFA 15 in the US and Canada will feature US Men's National Team captain and Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey. The FIFA development team has been hard at work building on last year's strong effort, so we were understandably excited to check the game out last week during the FIFA 15 FanFest event (where fans had the chance to both play FIFA 15 and meet Mr. Dempsey himself) at Seattle's CenturyLink field, home of Dempsey's Sounders.

Will Tuttle, Editor in Chief of Xbox Wire: Before we get into the game itself (and to lessen the impact of my poor head-to-head showing), let's break down our footy resumes. I consider myself a casual fan who appreciates watching games and gets caught up in the excitement of both men's and women's World Cup and Olympic tournaments. You, on the other hand, are what most Americans would call a "soccer maniac" who has a favorite English Premier League team, a favorite MLS team, and the ability to explain different field formations to me before beating me in both games of FIFA 15 we played.    

Jeff Rubenstein, Senior Xbox Evangelist: Now that we’ve suitably lowered expectations for your performance, Will, let’s get to the game itself. As we played a surprisingly tight opening match, several details jumped out at me as being new to FIFA 15 – more naturally fitting kits (or jerseys, if you prefer), an excellently-animated hooking slide tackle, the way the goal frame rocked as I caromed both a close-range header and a follow-up shot off the woodwork. More than once, my frustration with missing clear chances was echoed by the players on-screen, part of what EA is referring to as “emotional intelligence.” They were right - it really should’ve been more of a blowout.

Will: The new emphasis on the ebb and flow of emotion in a match is pretty striking. It was one thing to hear about it from a producer; it was another to really see it in action once the game was under way. It wasn't as noticeable in our first match, which really was pretty even in stats like time of possession and shots, but it became clear from their body language early in our second game that my players knew they were outclassed. But hey, at least your constant barrage of point-blank shots gave us the chance to check out the impressive new goalkeeper AI. My virtual goalie was positively Howardian in stopping 15 of your 16 shots and visibly adjusted naturally when my porous defense broke down. His emotional intelligence definitely involved berating his inadequate teammates.

Jeff: When teams are evenly matched (such as your Bayern Munich selection to my Borussia Dortmund side), I do believe it’s customary to blame the manager. FIFA 15 is, rest assured, FIFA as we know it – deservedly the most popular soccer sim available, with new tweaks and enhancements that longtime players are sure to notice. Producer Santiago Jaramillo told me that one of the team’s goals is for the casual observer to mistake FIFA gameplay for an actual televised match. From what we’ve seen, that bar is well within reach.

Will: I can totally see that happening. At one point during the demo before our hands-on, Jaramillo showed off the interplay between crowd and players, as the home supporters in Liverpool's Anfield stadium serenaded its team with a rousing rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone." I looked up from my notes and, as my goosebumps rose, forgot that I wasn't watching a real game for a moment. Talk about emotion.

Jeff: Whether it’s the fully-voiced chants from crowd in England or the frantic hopping of South American audiences, those in the stands are a huge part of the flavor of professional football. So no surprise that EA saw fit to more accurately model crowd behavior. Let’s agree to a rematch in hopes that next time you’ll give your virtual fans more to cheer for.

Will: Ouch. Are there red cards given for taunting?

Now, while we weren’t treated to everything that surrounds on the pitch gameplay, we do know that Ultimate Team Legends will once again be exclusive to Xbox. We’ll share more details as they become available. FIFA 15 ships for Xbox One and Xbox 360 on September 23.

Dance Central Spotlight Aims For Early September Release - Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:00 Z
Dance Central Spotlight, the latest entry in the movin’ and groovin’ dance series from developer Harmonix, will be available as a digital download for Xbox One on September 2. The game can be scooped up from the Xbox Marketplace for a mere $9.99, and will boast a core soundtrack of 10 hot, hot tracks:

Avicii – "Wake Me Up"
Cher Lloyd – "I Wish"
David Guetta ft. Sia – "Titanium"
Jason Derulo ft. 2 Chainz – "Talk Dirty"
Kid Ink ft. Chris Brown – "Show Me"
Lorde – “Royals”
OneRepublic – "Counting Stars"
Pharrell Williams – "Happy"
Rihanna – “Diamonds”
will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber – "#thatPOWER"

But consider that just a foundation to a house that rockin’ moves can build, because from there, players can customize their soundtrack with more than 50 additional chart-topping hits, available in the game’s Music Store on launch day. These include:

The B-52’s – “Love Shack”
Capital Cities – “Safe and Sound”
Emeli Sandé – “Next To Me”
Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX – “I Love It”
Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)”

Add-on content from previously purchased versions of Dance Central 
for Xbox 360 are Spotlight-compatible, and easily loaded into the forthcoming game. And on top of that, Dance Central Spotlight features an expanded Fitness Mode, with special dance routines authored to focus on strength and cardio.

So, get your groove on!

Dance Central Spotlight arrives this September on Xbox One.

Five Reasons We’re Excited About Destiny - Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:00:00 Z
Destiny’s Xbox One beta is right around the corner – July 23, in fact – and we’re so freaking excited. There are a million things to see and do in Bungie’s ever-expansive multiplayer first-person shooter, but certain interesting elements have contributed in a big way to why we’re so hyped for this game.

The Secrets

Destiny is a Bungie game – and years of playing the Halo series has taught us something: Bungie likes to hide cool stuff all up in its games. We’ve been building our skills for years, grenade-jumping onto tiny ledges and driving vehicles off cliffs. Whether its skulls, extra story elements, or just Easter eggs, the world of Destiny is bound to be chock-full of them, and we can’t wait to explore it all and find them.

Thanks, Stranger

One of the coolest elements of Destiny is that your game crosses over into other players’ sessions seamlessly. So as you and your pack of Hunters, Titans, and Warlocks work through the harsh desert, you might come across another band in the middle of a firefight. Help them, move on, maybe even attack; it’s up to you. It’s a strange and awesome experience – it feels like a massively multiplayer online game in ways, but more fluid and simplified.

Whatever, I Do What I Want

There are so many different modes in Destiny, and they all play differently and feel like unique experiences. But they’re all tied together so well, that it’s all still part of the main experience. Destiny’s multiplayer is not a separate mode, alienated from the story. It’s all melded together, and no matter what mode you’re playing, you’re making progress. Which means your Destiny experience could very well be completely different from your friend’s.

Level Up

Bungie has implemented a pretty ingenious progression system in Destiny. It’s ingenious in the sense that you’re always improving, always unlocking stuff, always getting rewarded, and never just grinding for experience points. It’s enough to make you keep playing absentmindedly, well into the night. Just one more round, just one more mission, just... oh snap, is that the sunrise?

TANKS!

Have you seen the tanks in First Light, one of the Crucible maps? They’re huge, they’re badass, and they explode the living crap out of everything. There’s a reason every player books it towards a tank as soon as a match starts: They’re too awesome and powerful to resist. So, don’t: Get one, and then obliterate the other team while they wait for a heavy ammo drop!

Stay tuned to Xbox Wire for more ongoing Destiny coverage as we near its Xbox One beta launch on July 23!



Xbox is Bringing Exciting Entertainment Activities and More to Comic-Con - Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:00:00 Z
Last week, we unveiled the epic lineup of games and panels we’re bringing to Comic-Con this year. With Comic-Con being the biggest pop culture event of the year, Xbox is also committed to bring the best entertainment experiences and stars to the Xbox Lounge this year. We've also got some beautiful custom consoles to give away to some lucky fans!

Our entertainment activities at Comic-Con include partners that reach millions of gaming and entertainment fans on Xbox. Between the Xbox booth at the convention center (booth #100) and the Xbox Lounge in the Manchester Grand Hyatt (1 Market Place), here are a few ways we’re teaming up at Comic-Con to reach fans one-on-one.

Awesome super heroics by Hulu
. Prepare yourself for awesome superhero action as Hulu teams up with Xbox to bring Hulu Original The Awesomes back to Comic-Con. Zoom on over to the Xbox Lounge at the Manchester Grand Hyatt from 7/24-27 to record your very own superhero audition video. The Awesomes themselves will select the best audition to be animated into an upcoming episode. Plus, don’t miss Seth Meyers and other cast members during their guest appearance at the Xbox Lounge from 4-5:00 p.m. on Saturday, 7/26. Need more superhero inspiration? There will also be a cape-making station in the lounge where Comic-Con attendees can create a custom cape that encapsulates their super character. The first 100 fans to audition each day will receive a limited edition Prock action figure, and ALL fans who audition will receive a gift card for 1-month free of Hulu Plus.

Fan-favorite talent appearances from HBO.
 On Friday, 7/25 at 4:00pm, catch True Blood’s stone-cold vampire vixen Pam Swynford De Beaufort (Kristin Bauer van Straten) in the Xbox Lounge. Pam asks that you avoid bringing stakes and silver. Winter is coming to Comic-Con and Game of Thrones’ dearly departed Oberyn Martell is joining us in sunny San Diego. On Saturday, 7/26 at 2:30 p.m., Pedro Pascal is scheduled to appear at the Xbox Lounge. Stop by the HBO GO living room at the Xbox Lounge all weekend to win custom prizes and more!

A BIG crowd-pleaser from WWE.
WWE is bringing out the heavyweights as WWE Superstar Big E takes on Comic-Con. The hulking 290-pound former Intercontinental Champion, who deadlifts over 800 pounds and bench presses 575 pounds, is scheduled to come to the Xbox Lounge on Friday, 7/25 from 2-3:00 p.m. for photos and signings.

In addition to the entertainment news above, we’ve also got some other Comic-Con announcements to share with the fans we’ll be seeing at the show. We’ll be celebrating the games and apps currently on and coming to Xbox One with one-of-a-kind custom console giveaways. You could win a gorgeously designed Xbox One that’ll make you the envy of your friends, just by stopping by the Lounge and tweeting a photo of your favorite one. From
Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection to The Nerdist and MLG, there’s sure to be one that strikes your fancy.

Finally, launching today is our brand-new Xbox Events website for Comic-Con (and beyond!) that will help keep you up-to-date on all of the happenings at our US events. For SDCC, you can find the latest Xbox at Comic-Con news, panel information, more details on winning a custom console, the complete breakdown of the great gaming and entertainment at the Xbox Lounge and our booth, and much more. Head on over to
www.xboxeventsus.com to take a look for yourself.

Remember, we’ve got a few surprises in store for the show, so stay tuned for more news on SDCC next week here on Xbox Wire!


Social and Mobile features heat up this summer with next Xbox One update - Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:00:00 Z
You have made Xbox what it is today and we couldn’t be more grateful for your support and valuable feedback. Our focus continues to be on you and what you want in the product. Last month, we launched Xbox Feedback, a dedicated channel for all your thoughts and recommendations. Coming next week, we will begin implementing some of the features you requested by rolling out the next Xbox One system update for folks who get early access. We’re looking forward to hearing feedback on features before we roll them out to all Xbox One consoles next month and beyond. 

In the next update, we’ll improve a number of social features to make sharing your gaming experiences with friends better and easier. Here’s a shortlist of features rolling out in the next week to those with early access to the Xbox One system update:

  • Activity feed updates: We’re adding new ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed.  The interface will change to a single column scrolling list that is longer and includes more content. We’ll add 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'll also be notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each user will get 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 (additional activity feed support coming in future SmartGlass updates).
  • Expanded Friends area on Home: Right from Home, see what’s going on with your friends. Stay up-to-date with their current activity, the top trending games your friends are playing, and a leaderboard to see who has been working the hardest on their Gamerscore. We’re doing an extended preview on this, rolling it into the early access preview this month to a subset of our preview audience so we can refine it until it’s ready for the entire Xbox One market.
  • Mobile purchase: One of the most requested features on Xbox Feedback. 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.
  • Low battery notification: You asked for it, now a notification will pop up when your controller battery is getting low.
  • Disable notifications during video: Adding the ability to turn off notifications based feedback we heard from you.
  • Enabling 3D Blu-ray: An update to the Blu-ray player app will enable 3D Blu-ray functionality on Xbox One. 
  • OneGuide in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland: Live TV listings can be configured for four new countries as part of this month’s Preview program.   And now there is an OneGuide Issue Reporter available under the TV & OneGuide settings, Troubleshooting section.
  • Last seen time in Friends list: Direct from Xbox Feedback, the friends list will now show how long it’s been since a friend has been online. For example, "Last seen 20m ago: Forza Motorsport 5.”

In addition to these features, we are still always doing other work on the backend you may not notice including getting ready to ship in 29 new markets starting this September.

Thank you for your incredible support. You’ve helped us make Xbox One a great place to play games and we’re looking forward to the road ahead as we get ready to launch the largest and most critically acclaimed games this holiday.



Tune In: Every Street United Players Head to Rio - Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:00:00 Z
In last Sunday’s episode of “Every Street United,” the players got a closer look at the competition when they met each other on Skype. Players were also busy making final preparations for their trip to Rio. This Sunday, the contestants arrive in Brazil and meet their fellow competitors and their mentors, Thierry and Edgar, in person for the first time. After exploring Rio, the players will be put to the test in different training scenarios that will help the coaches assess their strengths. They will also learn about an additional surprise element to the competition that could change their future.


Check out the videos above to get a closer look at Sergio and Seung Min’s skills, and be sure to tune in this Sunday to see the players take on their training drills and learn about the surprise! Watch virtually anywhere on Xbox Video, or catch up on past episodes and check out interactive features in the “Every Street United” app on Xbox One and Xbox 360. An Xbox Live Gold membership is not required.

For more information, visit “Every Street United.”


Gatorade Sports Performance Now Available Exclusively On Xbox Fitness - Fri, 18 Jul 2014 08:00:00 Z
Athletes are constantly training to become the best they can be and they are already turning to digital tools to help improve their performance. We’re excited to announce Gatorade Sports Performance, a new training program from Gatorade that’s available exclusively through Xbox Fitness. It will offer athletes actual workouts from the pros, with the pros.

First up in the program is Football Training Camp. Workout alongside JJ Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans, as he takes you through his football workout routines to improve your performance on the field. Training with JJ will help boost your stamina, agility, strength and ability to recover with workouts designed to focus on each specific attribute. Best of all, you can train with JJ for free on Xbox Fitness starting tomorrow, July 18. The Gatorade Sports Performance training program offers a resource to supplement organized practices and games. The workouts can be completed in the convenience of your own home, at any time that fits in your schedule. 

Looking for more? Gatorade Sports Performance will expand to include Basketball Training Camp, which will feature NBA star Paul George, this fall.

So what are you waiting for? Be sure to check out Gatorade Sports Performance Football Training Camp with JJ Watt on Xbox Fitness. Stay tuned for more fitness content from some of the world’s best fitness experts, only on Xbox One, and explore the many options available now in the fitness section of the Xbox Store




Games with Gold: Battleblock Theater - Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:00:00 Z
Here's the deal: When you sign up for Xbox Live Gold, you get free access to Games with Gold on Xbox 360 which means free game every two weeks. Yep, that's right: If you're an Xbox Live Gold member, you don't have to do a thing, and you get a free game. So, what are you waiting for? Here's a closer look at the latest Games with Gold title!

You may have heard of “theater of the absurd,” but even that doesn’t come close to describing the zany setup for The Behemoth’s
Battleblock Theater, an action-packed platformer and feast for the senses. The game begins with narrator Hatty Hattington weaving a tale about a ship of friends that gets caught in a storm and then washes up on an island where the group is taken prisoner by gigantic, sadistic cats. Said cats then make one of the friends participate in a vast theater of death in order to gather green gems, with which he (AKA you) can use to purchase the freedom of his friends and reveal more of the cats’ sinister script.

Look, don’t try to make sense of it; just grab your controller and start running, jumping, and punching.
Battleblock Theater doesn’t give you too much time to think, but it does demand that you do so. The level design is absolutely top-notch, with a gentle learning curve that introduces the game’s concepts (such as teleportation blocks, and jet packs) a grain at a time, so you can easily drop them into the hectic soup of action that’s swirling around you at all times. While the controls are simple, mastering the game’s many details is challenging and deep – a hallmark of fantastic game design.

But don’t freak out! You can call in reinforcements, if you like:
Battleblock Theater’s main campaign can be played cooperatively with a friend. Your buddies can help you overcome obstacles – and if you start to feel frustrated, you can always hurl them into a pit of spikes to blow off some steam, which is helpful. If you get really frustrated, you can play one of Battleblock Theater’s many awesome competitive multiplayer modes, too – such as “Muckle,” which is effectively a deathmatch mode; “Ball Game,” which is effectively basketball; and “King of the Hill,” which is basically – wait for it – king of the hill.


The entire game is narrated quite brilliantly, too. Hatty Hattington not only lays out the story, but gives constant, not-so-helpful quips when you screw up or do something cool. These are sure to bring a smile to even the most serious gamer’s face. You also get cool music, colorful art, tons of unlockables, secret areas, plenty of replay value... and did we mention that it’s
free with your Xbox Live Gold membership? So what are you waiting for, a curtain call?



Five of the Hardest Achievements on Xbox 360 - Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:55:00 Z
Think you’re hardcore? Well, you might be, but not all Achievements are created equal. You may have skills, but if you want these tough-as-nails Achievements, you need skills. That’s skills with italics, just to be clear. If you’re the kind of gamer who’s up for the toughest of the tough, these are just some of the Xbox 360 Achievements that will push your gaming prowess to the limits.

Game:
Gears of War
Achievement:
“Seriously...”
Gamerscore:
50

Picked by Gamerscore maestro Stallion83 as the single hardest achievement he earned in his long quest to get 1,000,000 Gamerscore, this one involves killing no fewer than 10,000 people in ranked multiplayer sessions.
Ten freakin’ thousand people. And in ranked matches, no less... so you know you’re not up against total newbies. The serious moniker is apt, indeed.



Game:
Halo: Reach
Achievement:
“A Monument to All Your Sins”
Gamerscore:
150

When you’re getting a massive 150 Gamerscore for a single Achievement, you know it’s no joke. This one requires you to complete every mission in the game, on Legendary difficulty, by yourself. That is to say, sans assistance from co-op buddies, and versus extremely tough enemies who can essentially one-shot kill you if you make the slightest mistakes – through every mission in this massive game. Good luck with this one.



Game:
LIMBO
Achievement: “No Point in Dying”
Gamerscore: 10

Ten!? Ten measly points? Well, don’t complain too much;
LIMBO is an Xbox Live Arcade game, after all, and those tend to be a little less generous with the Gamerscore. Meanwhile, if you managed to get this Achievement on your first playthrough of the game, you are a gosh-darned lying son-of-a-goat, is what you are. Memorizing the game’s puzzles sufficiently to get this one on any playthrough at all, though, is pretty impressive – hats off to those who got it.



Game:
Duke Nukem Forever
Achievement: “Balls of Steel”
Gamerscore: 25

If you managed to play the pinball minigame within
Duke Nukem Forever long enough to achieve 1,000,000 points, you earned this Achievement – which was quite an accomplishment, since the pinball game was extremely difficult to control, and filled with chance occurrences. While 25 Gamerscore might not seem like much of a prize, this is one of those Achievements that’s cleverly named, so the smile it brings to your face is its own reward.



Game:
South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defense Play
Achievement: “MANBEARPIG!”
Gamerscore: 20

No, not
South Park: The Stick of Truth. This is the first “South Park” game, a super-fun, multiplayer tower defense title. This achievement required you to take on the toughest level in the game, on the hardest difficulty... using no towers. Yes, this sounds insane in a tower defense game, but you were allowed to use walls and to throw snowballs, damaging your enemy manually. Still extremely hard, but a raucous good time, and one of those rare Achievements that’s both extremely difficult and extremely fun to get.

Xbox One Sales More Than Double in June with New $399 Option and Unveiling of Holiday Games Lineup - Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:40:00 Z
Over the past month, we’ve seen a strong spike in interest in our Xbox One console options, including the new $399 offering, and the amazing lineup of games announced during E3. Since the new Xbox One offering launched on June 9th, we’ve seen sales of Xbox One more than double* in the US, compared to sales in May, and solid growth in Xbox 360 sales.

We’re excited to welcome so many fans to Xbox this summer and we can’t wait for them to get their hands on the wide selection of new games available this year on Xbox One, including
Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, and Ori and the Blind Forest. Xbox One is the only place you can play these games along with creative independent titles and blockbusters such as Assassin’s Creed Unity, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny, Evolve, Grand Theft Auto V, and dozens more. We’re honored that Xbox One was awarded with the best games line-up of 2014 by game critics at E3 and our fans have a lot of amazing new games to look forward to in the coming months.

Starting in August with the release of
Madden NFL 15, new blockbuster hits will launch for Xbox One at an incredible pace throughout the fall, as we head into the holiday season. Gamers love the holidays and we are lining up incredible deals and special promotions to celebrate. The fun is just getting started and we can’t wait to share more exciting news soon.  

*- Internal data based on retail calendar and sold through numbers



Magic 2015 comes to Xbox - Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:00:00 Z
Hunt bigger game on a bold new adventure with Magic 2015—Duels of the Planeswalkers, from Wizards of the Coast, available on Xbox 360 today and coming to Xbox One soon. Command powerful creatures and wield devastating spells to defeat your opponents in this epic game of strategy where Garruk Wildspeaker, the greatest hunter known, has fallen under the curse of the Chain Veil. He now mercilessly stalks his own kind. Find him and stop him ... before he finds you! 

In this latest game in the “Magic” trading card franchise, you can travel across five different fantastic planes, battle incredible creatures, and save the Multiverse from a terrible fate. Check out the open virtual booster packs of Magic cards to build decks and battle in single and multi-player modes. You can even craft your decks around the style of your favorite game designers, including George Fan (
Plants vs. Zombies), Markus Persson (Minecraft) and Rob Pardo (World of Warcraft). A detailed tutorial will help you get started if you are new to this kind of game.

Players who have downloaded and played
Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers can try their hand at face-to-face Magic using the cards they know and love with the most anticipated core set ever coming to game stores on July 18. And watch for the upcoming Magic 2015 Pro Tour where fans and players can see the best “Magic” players in the world build their own strategies and deck archetypes.

Download
Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers today for $9.99 and start building your best deck yet.

Xbox One Special Edition Armed Forces Wireless Controller and Stereo Headset - Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:00:00 Z
Get ready to own the battlefield with the new Xbox One Special Edition Armed Forces Wireless Controller and Stereo Headset. As the first set of custom accessories for Xbox One, the controller and headset feature a modern camouflage pattern and military look and are available for pre-order starting today in the U.S and Canada. The controller and headset will be on store shelves worldwide beginning in October and are priced at $64.99 (Xbox One Wireless Controller) and $89.99 (Xbox One Stereo Headset) USD ERP.

Assassin’s Creed Unity and Some Little-Known Facts of the French Revolution - Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:30:00 Z
Happy Bastille Day! For those of you who just stared blankly at your screen upon seeing those words – that’s France’s national holiday. It's a celebration marking the storming of the Bastille (a fortress/prison used by King Louis XVI to make his enemies disappear) by the people of Paris in 1789 and one of the most important events of the French Revolutiomn. That makes this the perfect time to take a closer look at Assassin's Creed Unity’s setting (as if we needed a reason). Turns out, a lot of the things we thought we knew about this tumultuous time in history aren't quite accurate. For example, did you know...

Marie Antoinette almost definitely did not say "Let them eat cake."

Though you'll find this phrase quoted in... well, pretty much
any coverage of Unity, it is at best something of a tall tale. First of all, the purported phrase is "Qu’ils mangent de la brioche," and for one thing, brioche isn't technically cake; it's more of a rich bread. But more importantly, a similar story had been floating around for years before Marie Antoinette was even a sparkle in her mere's eye; according to the History Channel, a similar phrase was attributed to Maria Theresa of Spain – who became queen of France well over 100 years before the Revolution.

Nope, a scientist didn't conduct a blinking experiment at the guillotine.

Popular belief holds that a condemned scientist – usually identified as chemist Antoine Lavoisier – instructed one of his students to watch his head after it had been, uh, removed from his body. Lavoisier, the story goes, promised to continue blinking as long as he could, thereby recording for posterity just how long a human head can stay conscious once separated from the body. Awesome as that sounds, it didn't happen, according to The Straight Dope.

But 40,000 people may have had a chance to do their own experiments.


That said, if someone had
wanted to try it, there were enough opportunities. Sources estimate the number of necks put under the blade during the French Revolution at somewhere between 15,000 and 40,000. And Madame Guillotine wasn't reserved for only the aristocracy; estimates indicate that over 80 percent of those sent to the blade were commoners merely suspected of "crimes against liberty." Just imagine how quickly your assassin might end up under the razor, should you be caught.

And the guillotine was a legal form of execution in France until 1981.

Yes,
nineteen eighty-one. As in, barely 30 years ago. To be fair, though, as of 1981 the French government hadn't used it in... wait, four years? The last head to roll was that of Hamida Djandoubi, on September 10, 1977. Djandoubi was convicted of the torture and murder of his 21-year-old ex-girlfriend (he was, by all accounts, not a very nice guy). The fact that the guillotine was in use so recently makes us hope that the modern-day segments in Unity might occur in the '60s or '70s. But that's probably just a paisley-patterned pipe dream.

But hey: The French Revolution was the driving force behind the first public zoo!

Given all the decapitations and whatnot, we figured it would be best to end on a slightly brighter note. So, check this out: Thanks to the French Revolution, public zoos are a thing. The National Assembly, in 1793, decreed that exotic animals – previously property of the fancy-pants aristocracy – were to be either donated to the erstwhile Royal Menagerie at Versailles or killed, stuffed, and donated to the
Jardin des Plantes – the main botanical garden of France. The scientists at the Jardin said "Mais non, merci," and the Menagerie became home to an undetermined number of animals. And once all the populist sentiment of the Revolution settled in, those were subsequently transferred to the Jardin anyway for public viewing. Only, you know, alive. So, if you were hoping to see the hunting mechanic of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag return, you might be out of luck; all the coolest animals in Paris were behind bars.

You'll be able to get your own taste of
L'Esprit de la Revolution when Assassin's Creed Unity hits Xbox One, on October 28.



Two New Dragon Age: Inquisition Videos Get Bloody Exciting - Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:00:00 Z
During E3 2014 last month, Xbox Wire gave you a hands-on preview of BioWare’s upcoming medieval action-role-playing game, Dragon Age: Inquisition. But we know that’s not nearly enough Dragon Age, so we’ve got something more for you: Full video walkthroughs of the excellent E3 demo, hosted by creative director Mike Laidlaw.
In the first video, Laidlaw leads you through Inquisition’s Lake Luthias, showing off a single region that is bigger than the entire map from the original Dragon Age: Origins. It culminates in a battle between a mage and the High Dragon that perfectly shows off the game's cutting-edge graphics and beautiful visual aesthetic.
Part two of the Inquisition demo shows off some of the party system and dialogue trees that BioWare is well-known for. As the party works through a rescue mission in guard-filled dungeons, they encounter a dangerous adversary.
We can’t wait for Dragon Age: Inquisition – and after you watch these videos you’re going to be just as pumped as us for its release on Xbox One on October 7, 2014.

Get Infected by The Strain – Only on Xbox - Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:00:00 Z
Horror fans excited for FX’s upcoming highly anticipated drama “The Strain” can whet their appetites exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360. FX is working with Xbox Video to provide custom teasers, art, photography, and behind-the-scenes videos for the upcoming thriller, and you can even watch an exclusive scene from the pilot to really get hooked!

Fans can also check out a Q&A with Guillermo del Toro, the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and executive producer of “The Strain”. Best known these days for his big-budget sci-fi and comic-based films, del Toro is taking his creative vision to the small screen. The filmmaker says that his interest in shows like “The Strain” comes from the opportunity to “mutate” characters over the course of a series.

“You can spend time with the characters without a hurry, and get to know them better,” del Toro said. “It excites me very, very much.”

“The Strain” is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. Think “disease thriller meets vampire movie” – with a hefty dose of mystery – and you’ve got a good idea of what del Toro and writer Chuck Hogan have in store for you.

The Strain 
premieres this Sunday, July 13, at 10:00 PM on FX. And hit Xbox Video on your Xbox One or Xbox 360 to check out exclusive content from the show and purchase the Season Pass!




Tune In: Every Street United Players Check Out the Competition - Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:00:00 Z
In last Sunday’s episode of “Every Street United,” the players got a glimpse of their competition when coaches Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids sent videos of the players in action to their teammates. This Sunday, the players will get an even closer look when they meet each other on Skype. The journey to Brazil is quickly approaching, so players will also be making final preparations for the experience that could change their lives.



Check out the videos above to get a closer look at Ben and Richard’s skills, and be sure to tune in this Sunday to see the players’ first meetings. Watch virtually anywhere on Xbox Video, or catch up on past episodes and check out interactive features in the “Every Street United” app on Xbox One and Xbox 360. An Xbox Live Gold membership is not required.

For more information, visit “
Every Street United.”

The Sound and the Fury of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare - Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:45:00 Z
As we mentioned during our E3 preview of Sledgehammer Games’ upcoming Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, the developer has given extra special attention to ensuring the game’s audio is without compare. Advanced Warfare’s audio intelligence system makes virtually every impact and explosion sound unique, something Sledgehammer Games Audio Director Don Veca elaborates on in the video above. Combat has never sounded as authentic as it does in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and we’re excited to learn more about how the new focus on best-in-class audio design has helped the development team reach new levels of realism.

Everything You Need to Know About Xbox at San Diego Comic-Con - Thu, 10 Jul 2014 12:00:00 Z
Updated on July 10 at 1:16 PM  - The MLG Xbox tournament schedule has been updated below

Comic-Con International: San Diego is the biggest, craziest, most awesome pop culture convention in the world – and from July 24-27, Xbox will be in sunny Southern California, bringing its A-game.

Make that a
ton of AAA games. Check out all the exciting events you can attend – and games you can play – at the show.

COME TO OUR PANELS

See some previews for upcoming games, and learn the latest scoops from some of Xbox’s most talented developers. If you’re a gamer, you won’t want to miss any of these.

Halo: Nightfall First-Look

Thursday, July 24, 11:45AM – 12:45PM, Room 6BCF

Prepare for your next step in the
Halo Journey with a deep-dive into Halo: Nightfall, the upcoming live-action digital series from 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions. Join 343’s Kiki Wolfkill (Executive Producer), Frank O’Connor (Franchise Development Director) along with key Halo: Nightfall cast and crew, and be among the first to get the details of the story and production.

The Fusion of Art and Style in Sunset Overdrive

Thursday, July 24, 5:00PM – 6:00PM, Room 5AB

Join Xbox Live's Major Nelson to get an inside look into the inspiration behind the vibrant and off-the-wall style of
Sunset Overdrive, a new open-world action game coming exclusively to the Xbox One this fall. Audience members will be the first to see new Sunset Overdrive content illustrating the creative freedom the game offers players. Hear directly from Insomniac Games's Drew Murray and Marcus Smith (Game and Creative Director, respectively) along with art director Jacinda Chew and lead character artist Gavin Goulden.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Developer Panel

Friday, July 25, 10:15AM – 11:15AM, Room 6BCF

Join 343 Industries’ Senior Producer,
Dennis Ries, and Franchise Director, Frank O’Connor, Certain Affinity’s President and original Halo 2 multiplayer and online design lead, Max Hoberman, and other guests for an in-depth conversation about Halo: The Master Chief Collection.  Fans can hear about what to expect from the highly anticipated compilation and discuss the efforts being made to bring the story of the Master Chief and Halo’s legendary multiplayer to a new generation. 

Digging E.T. -  Behind the Scenes of the Xbox Originals Documentary, “Atari: Game Over”

Friday, July 25, 3:30PM – 4:40PM, Room 5AB

Comic-Con fans will get the first glimpse at “Atari: Game Over,” the Xbox Originals documentary that chronicles the fall of the Atari Corporation through the lens of one of the biggest mysteries of all time, dubbed “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.” As the story goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the E.T. video game, disposed of hundreds of thousands of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.  Join Atari founder
Nolan Bushnell, original Atari video game designer Howard Scott Warshaw (E.T., Yars’s Revenge, Raiders of the Lost Ark), two-time Academy Award winning executive producer Simon Chinn (“Searching for Sugar Man” and “Man on Wire”), Emmy winning executive producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s “30 Days” and PBS’s “American High”), director Zak Penn (“X-Men 2,” “Avengers,” and “Incident at Loch Ness”), Fuel CEO Mike Burns and more as they take fans behind the scenes and share an inside look into the making of this weird and wonderful film. Moderated by Larry Hyrb, Xbox’s Major Nelson.

VISIT US AT THE XBOX LOUNGE AND OUR BOOTH

Whether you’re in the convention center hanging out at the Xbox booth (booth #100) or down the street at the Xbox Lounge in the Manchester Grand Hyatt (1 Market Place), we’ve got over two dozen different games to check out. Come by to play an unparalleled line-up of games that will all be heading to Xbox One consoles later in 2014 or check out our entertainment offerings.

Sunset Overdrive
Evolve
Forza Horizon 2
Fable Legends
Ori and The Blind Forest
Super Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix
Madden NFL 15
Skylanders Trap Team
The Evil Within
The Crew
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition)
Killer Instinct
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved
Project Spark
Minecraft
Powerstar Golf
Project Totem
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
#IDARB
Fenix Rage
Dance Central Spotlight
Titanfall
Forza 5
Kinect Sports Rivals

Xbox Tournaments Powered by MLG. As the exclusive sponsor of the Comic-Con Lounge, Xbox is teaming up with Major League Gaming (MLG) to bring eSports to Comic-Con. From July 24-27, the Xbox Gaming Lounge will host a variety of walk-up-and-play tournaments for Titanfall, Killer Instinct, and Forza Motorsport 5. The tourneys are designed for all Comic-Con attendees, gamers, and aspiring competitors. MLG commentator Chris Puckett will provide play-by-play commentary for walk-up gamers, who will also have the opportunity to play against MLG pros and YouTube stars. Tournaments will be broadcast on the MLG apps for Xbox One and Xbox 360, as well as MLG.tv and MLG mobile apps.

The Xbox Gaming Lounge is located at the Manchester Grand Hyatt (One Market Place, Seasport Ballroon, 2nd Floor).


Thursday, July 24 – 11:00AM – 6:00PM
11AM – 1:30PM – Forza Motorsport 5
2:00PM – 6:00PM – Titanfall

Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26 – 11:00AM – 8:00PM

11AM – 1:30PM – Forza Motorsport 5
2:00PM – 8:00PM – Titanfall

Sunday, July 27 – 11:00AM – 5:00PM
11AM – 5PM – Killer Instinct

Comic-Con is about so much more than gaming, and Xbox is teaming up with some of the most popular entertainment brands around to give you tons of cool content. In addition to the events listed above, we’ve also got a few surprises in store for the show. Stay tuned for more news on SDCC next week here on Xbox Wire!

As you can see, we’ve got a lot going on. Hopefully we’ll see you at Comic-Con, from July 24-27.


343 Shows Off Returning Favorites and New Additions for Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:54:00 Z
During RTX2014 – the recent Rooster Teeth Expo – Halo developer 343 Industries shared some info on the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection, focusing on new content for the Halo 2: Anniversary portion and unveiling a sweet trailer on the story told through the Terminals hidden throughout the game and narrated by voice actor Keith “The Arbiter” David.

The panel, hosted by members of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection team from 343 Industries and Certain Affinity, showed off a bunch of awesome new features in the upcoming multi-game remake.

First off, let’s talk about the end reveal of the panel: Certain Affinity’s David Mertz, lead designer on Halo 2 Anniversary, showed off the first of the six remade maps for Halo 2 Anniversary – Coagulation. Fans will remember it as a redone Blood Gulch (a playground perfect for snipers), well-known for its nearly symmetrical layout. Halo 2 Anniversary also brings fan-favorite modes from other Halo titles into its multiplayer, and Mertz gave fans a sneak peek at those, too. Some of the new modes include:

SWAT: The popular no-shields, no-motion-tracker mode had been expanded in Halo 3, and Halo 2 gets an upgrade.

Ricochet: One of the newest modes from Halo 4, where players have to get a ball into the enemy’s goal. Think Halo basketball.

Infection: The popular zombie mode from Halo 3 owes a Halo 2 custom game credit for its invention... and now, it’s coming to Halo 2 for real.

Race: Straight from the original Halo: Combat Evolved. Get in a vehicle and hit all the checkpoints.

And that’s barely scratching the surface of all the new content in Halo 2 Anniversary. You can expect tons of additional stuff, including a brand-new vehicle – the M274-M Ultra-Light All-Terrain Vehicle, AKA “the Gungoose.” Mow down your enemies by vehicle or front mounted gun, or both at the same time.

Beyond that, the team showed off the smaller details of The Master Chief Collection. Max Szlagor, senior designer for the game, gave fans a run-through on a live build, showing off campaign playlist features (which let gamers experience content from all four games in new and exciting ways) and the universal layouts and controls that bring the four games together into one excellent package.

In addition to all of the looks toward the future of Halo, there were also some looks back. Max Hoberman, President of Certain Affinity and the original Halo 2 lead multiplayer designer, shared some of the design philosophy behind that beloved offering, as well as a number of anecdotes about the development process itself.

For the first time ever, the Master Chief's entire story is on one console. Featuring a re-mastered Halo 2: Anniversary, along with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 4, “Halo: Nightfall” (a new digital series), and access to the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta. This is the definitive Halo experience, coming November 11, 2014.

 



Become a Game Creator This Summer - Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:00:00 Z
Summer vacation gives you ample free time to play your favorite Xbox games. But this summer, Microsoft is going beyond just playing games – we’re going to help you learn to make them.

The free YouthSpark Summer Camps provide kids the opportunity to learn what goes into making games, as well as learning the basics of building their own games, using “TouchDevelop” for mobile, and “Project Spark” for consoles.

Brittany Valdes, customer development specialist for the Dadeland store, reflects on what YouthSpark Summer Camps mean for Microsoft stores, “Our goal is to give back to the community that we serve and we’re very excited to offer free YouthSpark Summer Camps to the children in our community. By providing courses in game coding and design, film making and photography, we want to educate future young leaders in the science, technology and engineering industries with our store being a destination for this type of learning and education.”

The camps are held at Microsoft retail stores across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, and are broken down into
two-hour sessions over four days. Think of it as a crash course in learning how to make games.  The sessions feature programs aimed at kids ages 8-10, and ages 11-13 – with different curriculum for their skill levels.

For those interested in mobile game design, the camp starts by discussing the steps between coming up with an awesome idea and getting that idea out to the world. Participants who want a console gaming experience will get to go in depth with “Project Spark,” whose toolbox allows users to create entire worlds.

Campers will to learn the basics of coding, and will get the opportunity to make their own game demo and present it during the camp.

So, if you’re itching to learn how to make games, or just curious about how much work goes into your favorite Xbox games, attend the YouthSpark Summer Camps. Maybe you’ll make an awesome Xbox game in the future!

Check out the
official YouthSpark Summer Camps site to learn more about these totally free summer camps, and to sign up for a course!


Titanfall’s New DLC Wages War From Mountains to Sea - Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:22:40 Z
Hot on the heels of Expedition, the first downloadable map pack for Titanfall, developer Respawn Entertainment has announced Frontier’s Edge – the second of three planned content packs for the massive mech-based first-person shooter.

Frontier’s Edge takes players to the borders of the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation’s control. The content pack’s maps include Dig Site (an isolated mining outpost), Haven (an exclusive beach-side resort), and Export (a mining hub on the side of a mountain).

Based on the name of the pack and the description of the maps, we’re definitely hyped about the concept of fighting in arenas that are physically walled in by treacherous mountains, oceans, and caverns.

Titanfall: Frontier’s Edge is coming to your Xbox One and Xbox 360 soon, at a price of $9.99. Remember: You can also get the Titanfall season pass for a cool $24.99, and save money on all three DLC packs!


Gearbox Software Announces Battleborn - Tue, 08 Jul 2014 15:59:00 Z
The folks at Gearbox Software, developer of the hilariously awesome Borderlands series, are busting into the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) space. And – true to form – they’re twisting the genre around.

Battleborn
is a brand-new property, announced today by 2K Games and Gearbox. Described as a “hero-shooter,” it is a mixture of first-person arena gameplay, and the fast-paced minion-destroying mechanics that the MOBA genre is known for.

“As a genre-fused, hobby-grade, cooperative and competitive FPS exploding with eye-popping style and an imaginative universe, Battleborn is the most ambitious video game that Gearbox has ever created,” said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software.

Much like how “Borderlands” combined the FPS genre with role-playing game mechanics, Battleborn is injecting multiple gameplay styles into one larger package. One of the noteworthy challenges to the form is the single-player campaign, unique in a genre mostly known for its multiplayer model.

The game’s plot centers around a battle for the last remaining star in the galaxy; as such, warriors from multiple worlds meet up on the battlefield to duke it out. The eclectic cast of characters feels like it’s borrowed from every genre of video games, mixing science fiction with fantasy elements. There’s a space marine, an elven archer, a robotic steampunk gentlemen, a sword-wielding samurai... you get the idea.

It all combines together to make Battleborn a wholly unique experience. And, of course you can expect Gearbox’s signature humor to be prevalent when Battleborn hits Xbox One and Windows PC.

Project Spark Makes Its Way to Stores This Fall - Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:00:00 Z
“Project Spark Starter Pack,” the Xbox One retail version of the game that has put the powers of creation and play in the hands of gamers, will arrive in stores on October 7 in the Americas, October 9 in Asia-Pacific countries and October 10 in Europe.

The retail package will deliver an incredible collection of premium content for $39.99, including the first sci-fi pack “Galaxies: First Contact,” the warrior champion Sir Haakon “Hawk” the Knight, “Champions Quest: Void Storm,” the first episode of an epic campaign adventure, and more. The “Project Spark Starter Pack” will provide immediate access to some of the best paid content, features and add-ons in a single package. All of the content included in the disc version will also be available digitally for Xbox One and Windows 8.1 on launch day.

“Project Spark” has made a name for itself as one of the most unique, innovative games available, and can be downloaded for free on Xbox One and Windows 8.1. Players can then expand their experience by purchasing additional in-game content. The beta has been going strong since December of last year, and with the launch of the “Project Spark Starter Pack” the game will officially move out of beta to full release.

Don’t fret, creators – if you’ve been playing, creating, unlocking and enjoying the existing beta on Windows 8.1 or Xbox One, the game will simply receive an update, so your credits, creations and favorite levels will remain intact. And if you haven’t been playing, what are you waiting for? Go download it today from the Xbox One marketplace or Windows 8 Store!

We have less than three months to go, so get those creative juices flowing!

Join millions of other creators and players in “Project Spark” at www.projectspark.com, or follow the conversation on Twitter with #projectspark or on the "Project Spark" Facebook page


Zoo Tycoon Friends Adds More Ways to Care for Animals - Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:00:00 Z
Today, Microsoft announced “Zoo Tycoon Friends,” a new casual simulation and building game, based on the award-winning “Zoo Tycoon” series, available later this summer on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8. Developed by Behaviour Interactive, “Zoo Tycoon Friends” syncs game progression across both the device and the platform so players can attend to hungry and restless animal families, or visit a friend’s zoo, with the press of a button anywhere.

In “Zoo Tycoon Friends,” players will join Arthur and his daughter Simone on a journey around the globe to tackle 15 missions and more than 100 quests to save exotic animals.

“Zoo Tycoon Friends” is free to download, and will include advertising and the option of buying in-game virtual items. Players will have the ability to disable advertising and in-app purchases. Additionally, players who have purchased and played either the Xbox One or Xbox 360 the version of “Zoo Tycoon” will receive a free “Zoo Tycoon Friends” gift when they log in with their Xbox Live account.


Coming Soon: New Snap Mode for Achievements, Double-Tap to Snap and More with the July Update - Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:30:00 Z
July is upon us and that means we’ll begin rolling out the next system update for Xbox One around the world in the coming days. Last month, we announced the new features coming in this update and since then, the team has been working hard to bring you a new and enhanced Snap mode for achievements, double-tap to Snap, and more voice control choices in select regions.

We’re continuing to gather your suggestions and recommendations on our dedicated channel called
Xbox Feedback, so keep it coming. Thank you for taking the time to help us make Xbox the best place to play.

Destiny Beta Dates Announced - Mon, 07 Jul 2014 13:23:00 Z
Wondering when you can get your hands on the beta for Bungie and Activision’s epic upcoming first-person shooter “Destiny?” With today’s arrival of Bungie Day, you can wonder no more: The “Destiny” beta hits Xbox One and Xbox 360 on July 23, 2014. It runs until July 27, and is available to all Xbox Live Gold subscribers who pre-order “Destiny.”

In addition to the beta news, Activision also announced details for the three different “Destiny” collector’s editions. The “Destiny” Limited Edition ($99.99) comes with exclusive emblems and ship variants, as well as a season pass for the two post-launch content expansions. On top of that, it includes physical goods like a field guide, a star chart, and postcards – all in a limited-edition SteelBook case.

The “Destiny” Digital Guardian Edition ($89.99) comes with the expansion pass, as well as the digital content from the Limited Edition (the ship variants, emblems, and Ghost casing).

And for the high rollers out there, the “Destiny” Ghost Edition ($149.99) comes with all that, plus additional photos, a patch, stickers, and – coolest of all – a Ghost replica, featuring motion-activated lights and the voice of “Destiny” star Peter Dinklage.

That’s a lot of ways to experience “Destiny.” Remember: If you want to get in on the fast-approaching beta, make sure you pre-order “Destiny” and subscribe to Xbox Live Gold so you can get in on all of the action beginning July 23!

Tune In: Every Street United Players Check Out the Competition - Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:00:00 Z
In last Sunday’s episode of “Every Street United,” we got a closer look at the players’ preparations and training for Rio, as well as how their journeys are influenced by their families and mentors. This Sunday, the players will get a glimpse at their competition when coaches Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids send videos of the players in action to their teammates. Will they be impressed? Nervous? Unfazed? You’ll have to watch this Sunday to find out!


Check out the videos above to get a sneak peek at Nabil and Jose’s skills, and be sure to tune in this Sunday to see the rest of the players in action. Watch virtually anywhere on Xbox Video, or catch up on past episodes and check out interactive features in the “Every Street United” app on Xbox One and Xbox 360. An Xbox Live Gold membership is not required.

For more information, visit “
Every Street United.”

343 Industries Has Some Halo Surprises In Store at Rooster Teeth Expo - Thu, 03 Jul 2014 09:00:00 Z
From July 4-6, 343 Industries will be at Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX) in Austin, Texas to deliver all sorts of “Halo” goodness to fans, including an exclusive panel dedicated to “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.”

On Saturday, July 5 (12 – 1 p.m. CT), whether you’re attending RTX this year or watching the expo live on Twitch, join the development team at 343 Industries and Certain Affinity as they discuss their design philosophy and vision for “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” share war stories about the development of the original “Halo 2,” and more.

Who knows? They might have a couple surprises to reveal as well.

“Halo: The Master Chief Collection” RTX Panel
Saturday, July 5, 12 – 1 p.m. CT
Main Hall, Austin Convention Center
Watch Live: http://rtxevent.com/rtxlive/

In addition to the panel, 343 Industries will have loads of “Halo” activities available for fans at their booth. Drop by to meet the team, pick up limited-edition swag, shop at the “Halo” store, line up for an exclusive demo of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s” campaign and much more. 343 Industries will also have a classic gaming set up – CRT televisions, original Xbox’s and “Duke” Xbox controllers – for you to test your skills in the original “Halo 2” against friends or one of 343 Industries’ pro-gamers.

For more details about all the “Halo” festivities at RTX this weekend, visit “Halo” Waypoint.

World of Tanks’ Soviet Steel Expansion - Wed, 02 Jul 2014 09:00:00 Z
At the beginning of June, Wargaming.net released a huge update to “World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition” – the Russian-themed “Soviet Steel” expansion. And in August, the tanks keep rolling with the massive Combat Ready Starter Pack, which includes all kinds of in-game goodies at a bargain price.

“Soviet Steel” provides a whole new arsenal to play with, with 29 killer USSR vehicles and two all-new maps. For “World of Tanks” fans, this is an exciting opportunity to experience some of the most iconic tanks of World War II, but also to dive into some of the lesser-known ones. Here’s a helpful guide, to walk you through what’s hot and what’s not in 1940s communist armor fashion.



Light Tanks

  • The T-18, styled as the “MS-1” in “World of Tanks,” was the first-ever Soviet-produced tank. Based on a French design from the 1920s, this tank didn’t see much service, and was not particularly successful when it did.
  • The T-26 light tank was one of the Soviet Union’s most successful and heavily produced tanks, with over 11,000 having been built. It was shipped in large numbers to Spain to take part in the Spanish Civil War, fought off the Japanese during an attempted invasion from Manchukuo, supported the Russians against the Finns in the Winter War, and was the primary tank – despite being totally outclassed – against the Germans during their invasion of the Soviet Union in World War II.
  • The BT series of tanks (the BT-2 and BT-7 are available in “Soviet Steel”) were tanks designed for speed, rather than toughness. Lightly armored and highly maneuverable, they were among the most successful tanks of their time. The BT-2 was derived from a U.S. design, while the later BT-7 used a Soviet-modified version of a BMW engine, and featured a more resistant hull design and much more powerful guns.
  • The T-46 was a tank that never really came to fruition. It had been originally designed as an improvement on the T-26, but was scrapped after it was found to be too expensive, thinly armored, and poorly armed. Prototypes did see a little service in the Winter War against Finland, but these did not fare well.
  • The A-20 was a transitional design between the BT series and T-34 medium tank (see below). It retained the trackless drive feature of the BT, but lost out to a slightly heavier, full-tracked variant (A-20G, later A-32) which the start point for T-34.
  • The T-50 helped to invalidate the doctrine of light infantry tanks in the warfare of the time. Because armored cars and half-tracks could assume the reconnaissance and infantry-support roles that they had once done, light tanks – with their thin armor and weak weapons – were phased out. However, the T-50 was an excellent design for its time, and would have been produced in large numbers if not for the lack of V-4 engines necessary to its mass production.

Medium Tanks

  • The T-28 was one of the world’s first medium tanks ever produced, and was extremely important in the history of tank design. While not particularly successful in combat in its own right, it paved the way for many important developments in tank design and tank doctrine. It was one of the first to feature multiple turrets (with different classes of guns mounted independently on each), it had relatively heavy armor, and it was designed to punch through enemy defenses, as well as support friendly infantry. An important milestone, if not a killer beast.
  • The T-34 medium tank was one of the most successful medium tanks of World War II and beyond. It has contributed significantly to every area of tank theory – engineering, design, tactics, combined-arms strategy, and even aesthetics. Even today, some modern tanks use the T-34’s design as the basis for their own, and some countries’ armed forced still operate this tank. Without question, this is the touchstone by which all others will be judged, and “World of Tanks” fans should be extremely excited to have this one in the mix. “Soviet Steel” also includes the T-34-85, a variant which has an 85mm gun in place of the original design’s 76.2mm gun, along with some other improvements.
  • The T-43 tank was an attempt to improve on the T-34 tank by giving it heavier armor to allow it to go toe-to-toe with the German heavy tanks of World War II, but it was soon discovered that what was needed wasn’t heavier armor, but bigger guns. This tank was scrapped soon after that discovery, in favor of putting a bigger gun on the existing T-34.
  • The T-44 was designed at the end of World War II to be a real successor to the T-34, with an integrated 85mm gun, a lower profile, more ammunition capacity, a three-man turret, better suspension, and more fuel capacity. While just a few thousand were built, this design became the basis for:
  • The T-54, which would go on to become the most produced medium tank in world history. Appearing just at the end of World War II, these tanks (along with their close cousin, the T-55 series) were produced in numbers estimated to have been as many as 100,000, and some are still in use worldwide, often with sophisticated retrofits. 
  • The T-62 tank is a bit of a departure for “Soviet Steel,” as it was built long after World War II, in the 1960s. It was one of the world’s first “main battle tanks,” a class of tanks designed to be more-or-less self-sufficient in combat, although the Soviets did not specifically designate it as such. This tank was used by the Soviets in Afghanistan, and also by Soviet-allied countries around the world in a variety of conflicts, including Syria during the Yom Kippur War and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. The variant in “World of Tanks” is actually the T-62A, a version with a rifled cannon, rather than the standard variant’s 115 mm smooth-bore gun.

Heavy Tanks

  • The Kliment Voroshilov series of tanks (“Soviet Steel” features the KV-1 and KV-1S) were a group of World War II-era heavy tanks, known primarily for having extremely heavy armor. They were slow, and didn’t have particularly powerful guns, but the Germans had a difficult time knocking them out of service. The KV-1S variant was a more lightly armored, faster moving version – but nearly all KV-series tanks were phased out when it was found that the medium T-34 tanks were performing pretty much just as well in a practical sense.
  • The Joseph Stalin series of heavy tanks, called “IS” in “Soviet Steel,” since “Joseph” is usually rendered as “Iosif” from Cyrillic, was developed late in World War II mainly as a tip-of-the-spear solution to be used for breaking through fortifications. These tanks were extremely heavily armored and had very powerful guns, and later vehicles could stand up to even the famous 88 mm long gun of King Tiger and Pak-43. “Soviet Steel” includes several of these behemoths, including the IS-7 – which weighed 68 metric tons, and was the largest and heaviest tank ever produced by the Soviet Union. It was never mass-produced, but was extremely innovative for its time.

Assault Guns and Tank Destroyers

  • The AT-1 was a variant of the T-26 light tank, fitted with a 76.2mm cannon to give it enough punch to be able to take out heavier tanks, while still having the mobility to move quickly across the battlefield. Or at least, that was the plan. Only a couple of these were actually built before the program was canceled in 1936.
  • The SU-76 was the second most produced armored vehicle of the World War II era, being amazingly simple to operate and drive, and therefore beloved by its crews. Famous for being able to operate in swamps without any modifications, the SU-76 outflanked the Germans during Operation Bagration in Belarus on multiple occasions, often sneaking around their lines and blasting them to bits. A true icon of World War II, the SU-76 was a match for all but the heaviest German tanks, and is a very welcome addition to “World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition.”
  • The SU-85 was the first of the Soviet World War II-era tank destroyers based on the T-34 tank chassis, and saw some action on the Eastern Front through most of the war. While produced in fairly large numbers, its 85mm anti-tank gun was found too weak to penetrate the armor of many of the heavier German fighting vehicles and tanks, and it was eventually replaced by:
  • The SU-100, which was essentially the identical chassis, but with a much more powerful gun installed into a casement. The SU-100 was capable of taking out the most powerful German tanks in the war. Indeed, this tank saw action long after World War II in the Red Army and in other armies around the world; it’s still in use today in the armies of Vietnam and North Korea, as a matter of fact.
  • Take a gigantic, 152mm howitzer and strap it onto the chassis of the heavy KV-1S heavy tank, and you end up with the SU-152. Put the same gun on top of the later-model Josef Stalin-class heavy tank, and you get the ISU-152. These assault guns were critical in Operation Uranus, the counteroffensive to retake Stalingrad, where they earned the nickname Zveroboy (“beast-killer”) for their consistent ability to take out the heaviest German Panther, Tiger, and Elephant tanks and tank destroyers.
  •  “Soviet Steel” also includes an unproduced variant of the ISU-152, called Object-704, which theoretically would have had thicker armor and steeper sloping angles – making for a tougher-to-destroy target. It never went into production, though, since the steep slopes and thicker armor left little room to maneuver in the crew compartment, making life difficult for those who tried to operate the machine.
  • The Object-268 was a prototype heavy tank destroyer that was designed post-war. It was never put into production, but is known for being the last of the dedicated tank destroyers the Soviet Union ever designed, and produced specifically for that purpose.

Maps

  • Komarin is a map featuring summer camouflage, and features three primary routes across a central body of water – including one large central peninsula. Players don’t start near any flags, so taking advantage of the map’s ample opportunities for cover and concealment en route to objectives is critical.
  • Ensk is a map divided by railroad tracks running north to south, with cityscape to the west and an open field in the east. Ample cover means players need to watch their angles carefully, so as not to get surprised and surrounded. Establishing choke points is of vital importance here, and long-range artillery becomes a viable option for funneling enemies into kill zones.

Tanks for reading! If you haven’t yet joined in on the fun, you can download “World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition” for free* (now decked out with the new “Soviet Steel” content) on the Xbox Live Marketplace. And don’t forget about the Combat Ready Starter Pack, coming to participating retailers beginning August 12. For just $19.99, you’ll get the premium Panzer 38H Tier II German light tank, 200,000 in-game silver, 1.500 in-game gold, three days of premium account time (which grants a 50% boost to experience and silver), and a 30-day voucher code for Xbox Live status.

*Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately) required. Additional in-game content available and sold separately.



Sunset Overdrive Video Showcases New Footage of Chaos Squad - Wed, 02 Jul 2014 06:00:00 Z
Microsoft and Insomniac Games unveiled the first look at “Sunset Overdrive’s” co-op multiplayer at E3 and today have released an action-packed video which provides more details on the experience.

Now, let’s dive a little deeper and see what the chaos is about:

Choose Your Chaos WiselyThe amount of Chaos is what determines the difficulty of your team’s final Night Defense. The higher your Chaos– the tougher your Night Defense is going to be, but you’ll get more chances to receive cool rewards at the end. The amount of Chaos you have will depend on which missions you voted for leading up to Night Defense. Take a mission with a lot of chaos to increase difficulty and potential rewards? Or take a mission with a team boost to make the group more likely you succeed?

Go straight from campaign to chaos-squad, in game –
So, you’re leaping around Sunset City in single-player and your friend/acquaintance invites you to join her Chaos Squad. You drop off a grind rail, strut up to the nearest future photo booth, and enter.  You’ll go straight into multiplayer with the same clothing, same amps, same everything as your character from the single-player campaign

Vote on missions in the open-world –
At the start, you and your rag-tag band are going to get two mission options to vote on. You conquer it, two new ones crop up. And they’ll have different objectives and be in separate locations from the first round. So, the result is that each Chaos Squad experience feels unique as you’re going through the open-world.After a few rounds of voting and slaying and Chaos or boost getting – it’s time for your team to face the main event: Night Defense.

Night Defense –
This is where you will fend off enemies and protect your vats of Overcharge at one of many forts across the city by not only using your weapons, traversal, and amps – but by placing traps, as well. Before each wave – you’ll have a bit of time to place your traps, but if you made a horrible calculation, you can move and place them during the waves, as well.

And then – the enemies attack. And what comes next is an assault of 8 players simultaneously jumping, shooting, grinding, and exploding nearly every damn thing in sight. Each wave brings an increasingly difficult and new variety of enemies to your door.  And, remember, the more Chaos you gathered in the open-world missions – the harder it’s going to be.

Rewards for your character you can take back to campaign! –
But! Your reward output is based on your Chaos. So, if you manage to survive with a large amount of Chaos – you’re going to get way more chances at better rewards than the wuss teams who took team boosts instead of Chaos.

For more features and a look inside the world of Chaos Squad from E3, click
here





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