Microsoft News Center
Two “Forza Motorsport 5” race tracks were announced at gamescom in Cologne, Germany on Tuesday – the return of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and, brand new to the Forza series, Spa-Francorchamps!
“The addition of Spa-Francorchamps to ‘Forza Motorsport 5’ will surely be music to Forza fans’ ears,” writes Brian Ekberg, community manager for Turn 10 Studios, over on Xbox Wire. “Nestled in the Ardennes countryside of Belgium, the 4.3-mile Spa track is home to legendary corners like ‘La Source’ and ‘Eau Rouge’ and has been one of the most requested tracks from fans since the Forza series’ beginning. Laser-scanned and meticulously recreated at 1080p and 60fps, Spa makes its franchise debut in ‘Forza Motorsport 5’.”
Wargaming.net and Microsoft Studios announced on Tuesday the addition of new tanks to “World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition.” Modeled after mid-20th century German and U.S. tanks, these authentic, armored vehicles are among the most powerful in the game.
There are plenty of others to choose from, should other tanks take your fancy. You can choose from five different tank classes: light, medium, heavy, tank destroyers and SPG artillery. Each tank is customizable and offers various methods and preferences in battle, from remote destruction to long-distance damage.
If you drive Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, or GMC vehicle (2010 or newer models), have a Windows Phone 7.5 or 8 device, and an OnStar subscription, the free OnStar RemoteLink app is available for you.
The Windows Phone Blog posted that with this app, you can check the tire pressure, as well as the oil and fuel levels – and you’ll never get locked out, as RemoteLink can pop the lock for you or start the car. (How’s that for convenient?)
At gamescom, Team Dakota revealed several innovative features for future “Project Spark” creators: voice and motion capture, which uses the power of Kinect to bring players into the game like never before. Xbox Wire reports that players can capture facial animations, body motion and voice and sound to create custom character animations, dialog or even cinematic cut scenes.
Over on Xbox Wire, Phil Harrison, Xbox vice president, talks about working with Electronic Arts to bring to life on Xbox One and Xbox 360 the latest installment of the world’s bestselling sports franchise in “FIFA 14”; how Xbox fans will get all downloadable content for “Call of Duty: Ghosts” first on Xbox One and Xbox 360; and the new Independent Developers @ Xbox (ID@Xbox) program, which will enable game developers of all shapes and sizes to build, publish and distribute their games digitally on Xbox One.
Harrison talks about other games that were revealed at gamescom, with an idea of what to expect next from Xbox, including more from mega-franchises like “FIFA,” more exclusive titles like “Titanfall,” more epics like “Halo” and “Call of Duty,” and more games reimagined for Xbox One such as “Fable Legends.”
At gamescom in Cologne, Germany, Microsoft Studios and Capcom Vancouver unveiled a new, action-packed cinematic trailer for “Dead Rising 3,” produced in partnership with award-winning studio Blur. The trailer – shown above – offers a sneak peek of the game’s adrenaline-fueled action and all-new storyline, characters and gameplay innovations.
On Tuesday at gamescom in Cologne, Germany, Double Helix and Microsoft Studios announced the return of fan-favorite character Thunder in “Killer Instinct.”
The tomahawk-wielding mystical Native American, first teased at E3 2013, was officially introduced at gamescom and joins the previously announced Jago, Sabrewulf and Glacius in the lineup of “Killer Instinct” characters.
On Tuesday at gamescom in Cologne, Germany, the Xbox team announced more than 20 game titles targeted to be available at the Xbox One launch.
One of big announcements coming out of gamescom focuses on the next installment in the epic “Fable” saga – “Fable Legends” – exclusively for Xbox One.
Xbox Wire reports that in the game, you return to Albion, only this time with up to three other heroes as you embark on quests, slay monsters and discover new weapons, armor and treasure.
But here’s the twist that might very well get gamers’ hearts to beat a little faster: for the first time in “Fable” history, “Fable Legends” gives you the chance to truly embrace the dark side and be an evil mastermind. As a villain, you’ll combine strategy and tactics to control an army of minions in real-time against the heroes.
Microsoft Studios and Crytek debuted Gladiator mode, the cooperative multiplayer experience in “Ryse: Son of Rome,” and showed off an in-depth look at never-before-seen features and refinements to the game’s combat system at gamescom in Cologne, Germany, on Tuesday.
In “Ryse: Son of Rome,” you’ll win glory as a fearless gladiator at the Coliseum, the same way historical gladiators did. Cooperate with your friends and battle against an ever-changing horde of enemies. Key features of the multiplayer include: a large variety of armor, weapons, shields and consumables to customize your gladiator; dynamic “tile sets” of scenery to provide a continuous stream of unpredictable challenges; a challenge editor that enables you to mix and match maps and events into custom playlists; and even more, to always keep your multiplayer gaming experience fresh.
At gamescom in Cologne, Germany on Tuesday, the Xbox team revealed new details around an indie game developer program for Xbox One called Independent Developers @Xbox (ID@Xbox).
The new program enables game developers of all shapes and sizes to build, sell and publish their games digitally on Xbox One quickly and easily. The program, according to ID@Xbox Director Chris Charla, will offer developers access to development kits at no charge.
The Xbox team unveiled a slew of announcements Tuesday at gamescom – the world’s biggest gaming show – showcasing why Xbox One will be the premier next-generation console choice for gamers. Gamescom is held in Cologne, Germany.
The announcements encompassed everything from new content for highly anticipated game titles such as EA Sports “FIFA 14” to a new co-op mode for “Call of Duty: Ghosts” to details on a new program for indie game developers called ID@Xbox, which enables game developers large and small to build, publish and sell their games digitally on Xbox One.
At gamescom on Tuesday, legendary football (or soccer) players Freddie Ljungberg and Ruud Gullit joined EA SPORTS Senior Vice President Matt Bilbey and Xbox Vice Presidents Phil Spencer and Phil Harrison, to unveil the exclusive “FIFA 14” Ultimate Team offering for Xbox fans. “FIFA 14” will launch this fall on Xbox One and Xbox 360. Fans will be able to build their teams with a mix of legendary players on the pitch, alongside today’s stars.
“FIFA 14” will feature award-winning authenticity, a massive online world and deep innovation in gameplay and services. Ultimate Team is the most popular mode in “FIFA,” with more than 3 million games played daily.
The cash machine is surely one of the greatest advances of its time. It provides a reliable, secure and convenient way to withdraw, transfer and deposit funds from your checking or savings account from virtually anywhere: Longyearbyen, Norway, to McMurdo Station, and the Dead Sea to the sports bar around the corner.
But when the actual experience doesn’t live up to the expectation, the consequences can be disastrous — for the customer and the bank.
For China Minsheng Bank Corp. (CMBC), falling short of expectations isn’t an option. Currently, CMBC is China’s first privately-held commercial bank with nearly $89 million in cash on hand. And in 2011 the bank reported a 58 percent increase in net profit for its shareholders.
The Openness @ Microsoft blog reports that a growing number of historically open source customers are embracing Microsoft technologies. Caixa Economica Federal bank in Brazil recently joined the group.
Caixa wanted to revamp their IT systems to “support growth, accelerate decision making, and take advantage of the transformative benefits of cloud solutions and mobile integration,” according to the Openness @ Microsoft blog. They also needed their new solution to work with existing IT investments that included open source software. Microsoft technologies fit the criteria.
It’s time for some sweet Xbox show-and-tell: European edition.
The Xbox team is heading en mass to gamescom 2013 in Cologne, Germany, where European attendees can get hands-on with Xbox One and see the latest and greatest games, content, builds and stories (at the biggest Xbox booth ever, no less).
“The team has worked tirelessly to make sure every piece of available space is filled with the latest game content for you to play. And not only will there be hands-on, you will also have the chance to see how Kinect and SmartGlass really adds to the gaming on Xbox One,” wrote Major Nelson, who will also be at gamescom.
Check out Major Nelson’s blog for the latest gamescom news, giveaways and big reveals.
It’s been almost two weeks since Windows Phone App Studio beta launched and we’ve got some updates for you. As a quick reminder, Windows Phone App Studio is a free, Web-based app creation tool designed to help anyone quickly bring an idea to life by applying text, Web content, imagery and design concepts to any one of a rich set of customizable templates.
Xbox Wire interviews Jean Guesdon, creative director of “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag,” Ubisoft Montreal. In the sixth major installment of the “Assassin’s Creed” series, pirates rule the Caribbean and have established a lawless pirate republic. The primary character of the game is Edward Kenway, a British privateer-turned-pirate who eventually becomes a member of the Assassin Order and father of Haytham Kenway and grandfather of Ratonhnhaké:ton, the two playable characters in “Assassin’s Creed III.”
Guesdon talks about what he’s most excited about in terms of developing on new-gen hardware (“the additional power we can work with. Graphically the difference is impressive and is already worth it!”), how multiplayer will work in “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (the introduction of the Gamelab and what it enables “should be a turning point for the franchise”) and much more.
For a lot of people today, email is a constant companion. First thing in the morning or late at night, in the office, at the library or on the beach, email keeps us connected to friends, family and contacts.
But sometimes, you just want to talk face to face. Now, users of Outlook.com can do that too, with the announcement that the service’s integration with Skype is rolling out worldwide. Outlook.com users just need to install the Skype Web plug-in and they can begin using Skype to video call with their contacts today — right from their Outlook.com inbox. Once updated, the user’s Skype contacts are always just a click away.
“Email is an inherently personal thing,” says Dawn Martynuik, group product marketing manager for Outlook.com. “So we work hard to make sure that Outlook.com works with the things you already use, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and now Skype. If you love Skype, you’re going to love using Outlook.com for your email and having the ability to video chat with your friends any time.”
It’s probably not surprising that one of the most-asked questions we get from gamers is, “What games are coming to Xbox One?” We’re all about delivering the best games, so the list of global developers working on Xbox One titles is diverse, including renowned studios 343 Industries, Access Games, Bungie, Capy Games, Crytek, DICE, EA Sports, Infinity Ward, Insomniac Games, Kojima Productions, PopCap Games, Respawn Entertainment, Turn 10 Studios, Ubisoft Montreal and many more.
Want to know some interesting stats about Xbox One’s announced lineup of games?
The first mobile game in the long-running “Halo” franchise is now available for all Windows Phone 8 smartphones in the U.S. Previously available only to Verizon Wireless customers, “Halo: Spartan Assault” puts players right in the thick of 25 never-before-played missions set between “Halo 3” and “Halo 4.”
Check out the Windows Phone Blog to see the rave reviews already coming in about the game, which explores the first mission of the Spartan Ops program and delves into the story behind the Human-Covenant wars, as seen through the eyes of either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis.
In celebration of World Photography Day, Bing is partnering with Discovery to kick off the Hometown Homepage photography contest for amateur and professional photographers alike. Every day, we know folks all over the country are snapping memorable pics and this is a great way to recognize that.
Johnson Weru, ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, supports technology that offers rural students educational and economic opportunities they never imagined.
When Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative to African leaders tied to the European Union at an event in Brussels in June, it was only natural for Johnson Weru, the Kenyan ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, to attend. He wanted to show his support for 4Afrika, and for the technology projects that were equipping schools and villages in rural Kenya with touch-screen tablets and broadband Internet. But as the attendees watched a video, Weru was transported back to his childhood, to the rural village where he grew up — just a few miles from where the students on the screen were getting their first glimpse of computers and the Internet.
From hurricanes to earthquakes to tsunamis, recent years have delivered a steady reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness. Unfortunately, in the past, disaster recovery (DR) solutions were so complex and expensive that only the largest organizations could afford them, making disaster recovery the elephant in the room for everyone else.
Microsoft addressed this gap for many businesses when it included Hyper-V Replica (HVR) as a standard feature in Windows Server 2012. HVR has been lauded as a “top 10” feature of that release, however, Microsoft goes one better with the upcoming 2012 R2 wave of releases by providing a cloud-integrated solution for disaster recovery. Or as Microsoft Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson calls it, “a DR solution for the masses.”
Microsoft BizSpark members eager to share their stories about how they began and how they got to where they are now, as well as their challenges, turning points and aha moments, can upload a presentation to SlideShare and tag it #mystartupstory for a chance to win a free SlideShare PRO account and bragging rights, not to mention promotion and exposure on SlideShare, which receives 60 million unique visits a month. (The recommendation is for at least 10 slides.)
As explained in the Microsoft BizSpark Group Blog, number of likes on SlideShare by the end of September will determine the best startup story.