games / Columns

Living LIVE News Report 05.14.12

May 14, 2012 | Posted by Trace Aber

REPLY POSTED

Yeah, that “horrible deal” winds up costing you $10 less than if you bought it for $300, paid $60 a year for two years of Live, and bought the extended warranty for the 360 $30 and the Kinect sensor $25.

Yeah if you really look you can get Live for cheaper than the MSRP, but this isn’t for the informed gamers. This is for the ‘don’t buy until $100′ guys, to get them into the system now – not after it’s already dead.
Posted By: lol (Guest) on May 07, 2012 at 04:21 PM

By my estimation, you end up paying about $40 extra. You pay $99 up front, spend $15 a month for two years, and then it comes with LIVE, 4GB, and a Kinect. That totals out to $459. I could, however, pick up a 4GB Xbox and Kinect bundle for $299, and spend $120 for two years of Xbox LIVE and end up spending only $420. Of course, if you really wanted to use that Xbox LIVE subscription, you’ll probably have to buy an extra harddrive anyways, making this whole thing suck.

Now, I suppose it’s not necessarily a “horrible deal” as I put it, but as with most rent-to-own plans you’re paying more in the long run to save a little up front. This deal is obviously targeted to the “I want it now” customer, but this late into the game I don’t think there’s too many of those people left.

By the way, this bundle has officially started rolling out in Microsoft stores…or which there are less than 25 in the United States. I don’t know why they would want to make the target market any smaller, but, hey, that’s Microsoft’s problem.

Welcome everyone to another issue of the Living LIVE News Report, and as always, I’m your host for the evening, Trace Aber. I hope everybody had a great mother’s day and at least got a decent meal out of the day. It’s always nice getting to see family, or so I’m told. Alright, on with the news.

Microsoft Using Kinect to get Gamers in Shape
Microsoft is reportedly planning on upgrading the dashboard to support cross-app exercise tracking, according to a report from The Verge. Tentatively titled Kinect Play Fit, it would track exercise data across most Kinect games, meaning Fruit Ninja is about to become part of your exercise regimen.

This functionality will be aided by the Joule add-on, a piece of hardware that will track player’s heart rate wirelessly. You can also set target goals such as weight loss, strength, or cross-fitness. This add-on is supposedly optional, but would maximize the potential of the function for those interested.

We’re expecting Microsoft to announce this at E3 next month, along with a slew of new games that exploit the new features.

Bioshock Infinite Delayed to 2013; Multiplayer Possibly Being Added
The highly anticipated BioShock Infinite, originally scheduled for an October 2012 release, has been pushed back to February 26, 2013. Ken Levin, creative director, claimed that they found a way to make the game “more extraordinary,” and needed to push the game’s date back. His lengthy statement can be found below;

When we announced the release date of BioShock Infinite in March, we felt pretty good about the timing.

Since then, we’ve come to realize that some specific tweaks and improvements will make Infinite into something even more extraordinary. Therefore, to give our talented team the time they need, we’ve decided to move the game’s release to February 26, 2013. We wanted to let our loyal (and very patient!) fans know this as soon as possible.

I won’t kid you: BioShock Infinite is a very big game, and we’re doing things that no one has ever done in a first-person shooter. We had a similar experience with the original BioShock, which was delayed several months as our original ship date drew near. Why? Because the Big Daddies weren’t the Big Daddies you’ve since come to know and love. Because Andrew Ryan’s golf club didn’t have exactly the right swing. Because Rapture needed one more coat of grimy Art Deco.

The same principle now applies to BioShock Infinite.

What does this mean for you? It means a bit more waiting, but more importantly, it means an even better BioShock Infinite. The great can be made greater, and we owe it to both ourselves and to you, our fans, to take this opportunity. Irrational Games is one of those rare developers lucky enough to ask the people who sign the checks: “Hey, can we have a few more of those checks?”

We are also going to hold off on showing BioShock Infinite at the big events of the summer, like E3 and Gamescom. That way, the next time you see our game, it will be essentially the product we intend to put in the box. Preparing for these events takes time away from development, time we’re going to use instead to get the best version of Infinite into your hands in February.

Take Two seem dedicated to releasing the best product available, especially by not going to E3. E3 is a great way to garner publicity and hype for the triple A titles, so they must be planning something big to skip that and Gamescom.

Well, it looks like that “more extraordinary” element they were talking about could be multiplayer. A recent job listing on LinkedIn suggests that the company is looking for talented individual for “networking aspects of BioShock Infinite.” The job description lists some of the responsibilities, listed below;

Work with the team who created BioShock network code
-Advising engineers on how to properly architect their systems for optimal networking

-Extending and enhancing Unreal Engine 3 with proprietary networking tech to address gameplay, performance, platform, production, tools, and QA needs

-Interfacing with Microsoft, Sony, and other providers about platform-specific services

-Working with the Technical Director, Lead Programmers, and IT Director to plan and execute major changes to client-side technology and back-end services

-Responsible for delivering a robust, scalable, and responsive client-side networking support on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 platforms

The last game in the series, BioShock 2, featured multiplayer that was not all that popular. The team making Infinite did not developer BioShock 2, however, as they have been working on Infinite in secrecy.

Who knows when we’ll hear anything new about BioShock Infinite, since it sure won’t be at E3 or Gamescom.

Internext Explorer Coming to Xbox 360?
Here’s a possible app to use with that new Kinect Play Fit – Internet Explorer 9. This feature is reportedly coming to the Xbox 360 – searching with Bing voice search will open up a full browser, allowing users to visit any website on their console.

You will apparently not need to have a Kinect to use the browser, but it is being fined tuned for it. Just like Kinect Fit Play there is no official word from Microsoft, but we would expect to hear about it at E3. I’d much rather use Chrome, but being able to use the 360 as an internet browser is a big step into Microsoft’s vision of the “all-in-one” box.

Random News and Notes
-Square Enix recently announced that Hitman Absolution will release on November 20, 2012. Those who preorder at GameStop will receive a preorder exclusive Hitman: Sniper Challenge. Sqaure Enix describes it below;

Developed by IO Interactive A/S, a Square Enix studio, Hitman: Sniper Challenge is not part of the main game, but a stand-alone experience to reward fans who pre-order Hitman: Absolution. Players can don the suit of Agent 47 as he takes on an exclusive assassination assignment. From a balcony overlooking a rooftop gathering, players will be tasked with taking out Richard Strong, Jr., CEO of Stallion Armaments, along with his entire staff of bodyguards. Skilled players will capitalize on score multipliers, hidden secrets, unlock equipment upgrades and marvel at the many creative ways one can discretely dispose of a body while they work to fulfill their contract in the most efficient way possible.

-Bethesda’s next big release, Dishonored, is scheduled for release on October 9, 2012.

-While numbers aren’t official, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition apparently sold over 400,000 copies in 24 hours, according to leaderboards. Pretty damn impressive.

-Ghost Recon: Future Soldier hasn’t even been released and yet it already has DLC announced. The Artic Strike Map Pack, scheduled for a July 23, 2012 release, will set you back $10 and feature new maps, multiplayer mode, weapons, and a co-op map for Guerilla Mode.

The Digital Downloads
Arcade Games
Minecraft (1600MP)

Games on Demand
Nickelodeon Dance ($29.99)
Cars ($19.99)
Driver: San Francisco ($59.99)
Dance Central 2 ($49.99)

Demos
Spec Ops: The Line

The Theater

Dragon’s Dogma – The Ur-Dragon

Batman: Arkham City Harley Quinn Trailer

Prototype 2 Accolades Trailer

Assassin’s Creed III Outside Trailer

Max Payne 3 Launch Trailer

Borderlands 2 Maya Walkthrough

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Signing Out
That does it for me this week. Be sure to check back next week as we discuss all of the latest Xbox 360 news, including releases, rumors and reviews! Also, don’t forget to bookmark 411Mania! And a note to all of the Indie Game developers out there – if you have an upcoming title that’s going to be released soon drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know. I’ll write a full review of your game to be posted on 411Mania.com, which is a great way to get your game promoted!

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Trace Aber

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