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    Analyst: Xbox One policy reversal a "good first step"

    By GameSpot,

    Sterne Agee analyst says revised strategy "more consumer-friendly," but Microsoft still needs to focus on pricing messaging.




    Microsoft's revised Xbox One policy is a "good first step," but the company must now focus on communicating to consumers why they should pay $500 for the system instead of $400 for a PlayStation 4, according to Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.



    "Microsoft's revised Xbox One strategy is more consumer-friendly and bodes well for potential sales of the console over time," Bhatia said in a note to investors today regarding the impact the news has on retailer GameStop.


    "The elimination of all restrictions related to DRM and trade-ins, etc., strengthens GameStop's positioning in the space and eliminates risk to used games," he added. "Still, we believe Microsoft's messaging on Xbox One pricing ($499) needs to improve relative to Sony's PS4, which is priced at $399."


    GameStop yesterday applauded Microsoft's policy reversal, saying the move was "great news" for gamers and is a testament to Microsoft's understanding of the importance of the used-game market.


    Microsoft may be pacing ahead of the PS4 on Amazon's best-seller charts, but Bhatia believes the company must now focus on pricing messaging to win over consumers who may be attracted to the PS4's lower price point.


    Bhatia pointed out that the primary difference between the Xbox One and PS4 is that Microsoft's system comes bundled with a Kinect camera, while Sony faithful will need to pay $60 to buy a PlayStation Eye peripheral. Communicating to gamers why the Kinect will add value to the system will be the difference-maker, Bhatia said.


    "The primary difference is the Xbox One comes with a Kinect camera/controller bundled while PS4 does not," Bhatia said. "We believe Microsoft wants to bundle Kinect so developers can take advantage of its features without worrying if the end-user will have the Kinect controller or not. As such, the messaging likely needs to focus on the value and potentially differentiated game play provided by Xbox One."



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    Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


    "Analyst: Xbox One policy reversal a "good first step"" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 05:53:42 -0700


    Source: GameSpot

    Xbox One passes PS4 on Amazon chart

    By GameSpot,

    Microsoft's next-gen console grabs the lead back after policy reversal announcement.




    The Xbox One has overtaken the PlayStation 4 on Amazon's video game best-seller chart, one day after Microsoft announced a dramatic policy reversal.



    The Xbox One was tracking ahead of the PS4 earlier this month, MCV points out, though it fell behind after Sony's E3 announcements of pricing ($400) and policies (plays used game, won't require Internet connection).


    Notably, there is only one Xbox One SKU on the Amazon best-seller chart--the Day One Edition. Meanwhile, five separate PS4 bundles grace the preorder chart.


    Microsoft yesterday announced new policies that put the Xbox One more on par with the PS4.


    The new terms state players are free to trade in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc-based games in the same way that they can today on the Xbox 360. In addition, Microsoft has done away with 24-hour Internet "check-ins" and lifted the Xbox One region lock.


    Though Microsoft has backtracked on some of its policies, the company has no plans to revisit the platform's $500 price point.



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    Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


    "Xbox One passes PS4 on Amazon chart" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 05:27:43 -0700


    Source: GameSpot

    Mojang: Minecraft Xbox 360 breaking retail records

    By GameSpot,

    Creator Markus Persson says disc-based version of open-ended sandbox title the fastest-selling console game in the US.




    The Minecraft phenomenon continues.



    Creator Markus "Notch" Persson said on Twitter today that he has been informed that the disc-based Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition is currently the fastest-selling console game in the US.


    "Neato!" he said on Twitter.


    Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition launched earlier this month, though Persson said he "had no idea" the game had hit store shelves.


    "Haha, so apparently the physical disc version of Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition has been out in stores for several days. Had no idea," he added.


    Minecraft for the Xbox 360 originally launched through Xbox Live last May, scoring a warm critical reception and selling 6 million units, generating $120 million in revenue.


    Microsoft has described Minecraft as a "beast," and last week confirmed the game is coming to the Xbox One.


    The PC version of Minecraft is closing in on 11 million in sales, while the Pocket Edition crossed 10 million paid downloads last month.


    Time voters recently named Persson the second-most-influential person in the world, only behind Egypt's president Mohamed Morsi.


    For more on Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, check out GameSpot's review.



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    Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


    "Mojang: Minecraft Xbox 360 breaking retail records" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 05:02:11 -0700


    Source: GameSpot

    Bethesda downplays Fallout news

    By GameSpot,

    Publisher acknowledges fans are "clamoring" for new Fallout game, but expecting news soon is "unrealistic."




    Gamers gearing up for news about the next Fallout game may want to get comfortable.



    Speaking with Polygon, Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines said the studio understands fans are eager for a new entry in the series, but cautioned that expecting news soon is "unrealistic."


    "I mean [fans] have been clamoring for a Fallout game for a long time now. What people need to understand--whether it is Bethesda Game Studios, Arkane, or anybody--expecting information like that in any short period of time after they moved off one project to the other is really unrealistic," Hines said.


    Hines explained that Bethesda has no plans to make any of its franchises annual releases, but at the same time, won't make fans wait a decade for the next entry in a series.


    "We are not into annual franchises--just trying to spin out a version of our game year, after year, after year--like, we have never done that, I don't see that it is something that we are doing anytime soon," Hines said. "But that doesn't mean that we are going to take our time and wait six or seven years in between a game that a studio puts out. But these are big games that take a long time and folks need to understand that we have a very certain way of going about things."


    Bethesda Game Studios, the team behind 2008's Fallout 3 and 2011's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is currently at work on its next project. No official details regarding this game have been divulged, though a past report suggests a Boston-set Fallout 4 is in the works.


    In addition, Bethesda parent company Zenimax Media in April trademarked a new game called "Starfield," though the publisher has declined to comment on what this may be.


    Bethesda said earlier this year that it would make "considerably more noise" in 2013.



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    Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


    "Bethesda downplays Fallout news" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 04:39:51 -0700


    Source: GameSpot

    Microsoft sticking with $500 price point for Xbox One

    By GameSpot,

    Company not revisiting price point or Kinect requirement for next-gen console in wake of recent policy changes.




    Microsoft's recent dramatic Xbox One policy reversal does not include the company revisiting the system's $500 price point, chief product officer Marc Whitten told sister site CNET.



    He explained that Microsoft has "no plans" to lower the entry price, despite rival Sony launching the PlayStation 4 for $400.


    "We are really, really excited about the value we're going to deliver on day one," Whitten said.


    Whitten also explained that Microsoft has no plans to drop the Kinect requirement for the Xbox One or change its default setting from "on" to "off."


    "It's part of the Xbox One architecture," Whitten said.


    Responding to user concerns regarding privacy, Microsoft said earlier this month that players will be able to customize all Kinect settings and made clear that idle living room chatter is not recorded or uploaded.


    Every Xbox One includes a Kinect 2.0 camera, whereas PS4 gamers will need to pay $60 to purchase a PlayStation Eye.


    Under the terms of Microsoft's new Xbox One policies, players are free to trade in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc-based games in the same way that they can today on the Xbox 360. In addition, Microsoft has done away with 24-hour Internet "check-ins" and lifted the Xbox One region lock.



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    Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


    "Microsoft sticking with $500 price point for Xbox One" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 04:16:08 -0700


    Source: GameSpot

    Xbox Live service restored

    By GameSpot,

    [uPDATE] Microsoft confirms all systems have now been restored.




    [uPDATE] Microsoft issued a statement on the outage to GameSpot, explaining "networking changes" resulted in a connectivity error, which has since been fixed.


    "At 10:50 a.m. PDT today, the Xbox Live Services team was making some networking changes that resulted in a connectivity error for all users in accessing Xbox Live and Xbox.com. Our engineering teams quickly reversed the change and all systems are restored," Microsoft said.


    The original story is below.


    Xbox Live and Xbox.com are currently offline, though it is unclear why.



    "We have run into an issue with the Xbox Live service, and are currently investigating. Stay tuned for status updates," the official Xbox support Twitter account wrote minutes ago.


    At press time, a Microsoft representative could not be reached for comment.


    The official Xbox Live Status Page currently states that users may experience difficulties signing into Xbox Live and other general Xbox Live connectivity issues affecting both Xbox 360 and Xbox.com


    "Uh oh! You tried to sign in to Xbox Live and it didn't work? We have our top engineers working on this. Please check back for an update in 30 minutes," the company said.


    Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot


    "Xbox Live service restored" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 11:26:52 -0700


    Source: GameSpot

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