News reaches my furry little ears all of which involves everyone’s favourite new console, the Xbox One. We start with rumours of Microsoft staff actively monitoring Reddit and downvoting anything negative about the new console. The post has since been deleted along with many of the replies.
The orginal text explained how a chap from a marketing firm in Redmond had a guided tour of Microsoft:
“We had a semi-formal meeting in one of the larger meeting rooms, followed by lunch and some more touring. At one point we visited one of the Xbox offices, and our guide went off to find a particular manager for us to meet. He was gone for a while, se we were left hanging in the middle of a fairly hectic office for several minutes.
“Just nearby were two guys chatting at one of their PCs, and they caught my attention because they were on Reddit! I realized they were actually talking business.”
He then went on to say that the employees had discussed spending most of their time on /r/gaming, Reddit’s main gaming forum, and how they were to downvote negative Xbox stories and upvote positive ones.
Over the weekend the Telegraph broke the news of PRISM, a secret data harvesting project by the NSA, FBI and many tech companies including Apple and, yes, Microsoft. Kotaku asked the creators of Xbox One how they were involved.
“We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”
So that should put your mind at ease, that Kinect camera on your Xbox One is certainly not an easy way for the FBI to spy on everyone, Microsft said they absolutely won’t do anything like that unless someone from the FBI waves a bit of paper with strong legal terms on it.
And now some good news, LocoCycle will be an Xbox One launch game. It is being developed by Twisted Pixel who have previously been responsible for The Maw and Splosion Man.
Slightly less good news for owners of the Xbox 360:
“For those desperate souls who want to play LocoCycle but won’t immediately have an Xbox One, fear not! An Xbox 360 version of the game is also under development, to be released on a future date not yet determined,” explains a press release.
Microsoft will show twenty games at E3, so tweeteth Geoff Keighley, “Just spoke to Phil Spencer (@XboxP3), he promises tomorrow is all games at Xbox. 20 titles on stage. More in the Spike preshow.”
One of these is expected to be The Witcher 3 which has already been announced for PS4 and has been leaked by a Polish newspaper.
IGN seem to confirm that Titanfall, the new shooter from the Ex Infinity Ward chaps, Respawn, is Xbox exclusive.
We also have news from an unconfirmed source of what to expect from the Microsoft E3 Event:
- Microsoft is buying out publishers to not mention the PS4 versions of multi-platform titles, so you can assume if the presenter does not say “EXCLUSIVE TO XBOX ONE”, that it will also be on PS4.
- More in depth DRM info at Gamescom. There is no rental strategy, they’re trying to just sweep it under the rug and hope people don’t remember.
- Cloud power was designed as DRM. It was Microsoft’s idea, and they approached other publishers. EA and Ubisoft support, Activision slightly less so.
- DRM plans are worse than what they have said.
- Mirror’s Edge 2 at MS conference.
- Prince of Persia (reboot?) at MS conference.
- Secret Phil Spencer game = World of Tanks. It is said that you still need Gold to play F2P games?
- Paywall for Xbox One (Xbox Gold?)
- Dead Rising 3 as Xbox One exclusive. Exclusive DLC for another Capcom game
Of course these are all just unconfirmed rumours but gossip I have heard indicates at least three of the above are true and the source has proven to be reputable in the past.
Stay tuned to TSA for E3 coverage all this week from our crack team LA, assuming they’ve finished drinking and eating skittles.
I won’t be around to cover the Microsoft conference, partly because it is at stupid o’clock but mostly because I don’t want to be online when the world finds out what they have done to… well, I’ll just leave this here.