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Microsoft Doubles Down on Games for E3

Xbox One has the software, but it still has a lot of issues that weren't addressed.

After a lackluster reveal of the Xbox One and plenty of reason for consumers to be concerned about the new console, Microsoft needed to do something big to counteract that first impression. At their E3 press conference, the company came out swinging hard with games, with a focus on exclusives. However, something was missing, namely any discussion to tell people what benefits—if any—could be expected from an always connected console that requires a camera to be hooked up in order to operate.

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Thinking Positively About E3

The power of hope.

E3 is on the horizon, and as usual, we are buzzing. This year in particular should be huge. With two brand new consoles on the way and the promise of rescue titles for the Wii U, there’s a lot to be excited about. That said, history proves that things could easily go awry. Despite this, part of what makes E3 so great is the hope that comes along with speculation leading up to the show. I for one am pretty optimistic for this E3. Here are some of my hopes for E3 2013:

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Microsoft's Xbox One (Nine Eight Four)

I'm starting to think the next gen might be "ungood."

Microsoft seems to have a real knack for bad timing. While gamers everywhere are trying their best to reserve judgment about the upcoming Xbox One until E3 is underway, seemingly unrelated revelations come tumbling out of Washington that the NSA is performing extensive data mining on US citizens and many of their activities. As it turns out, all of this snooping requires the full cooperation of companies we rely on to maintain a modern, connected lifestyle. The first company put on the well-behaved corporate list of the observation program known as PRISM is none other than Microsoft – the same company who wants to place a set top box in your home with a required microphone and camera.

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The Next Generation?

What is this I don’t even...

If you’re even tangentially involved in gaming, you likely heard at least something about Microsoft’s new system yesterday. Previously referred to as the Xbox 720, Nextbox, and Xbox Infinity by gamers, has now materialized as the Xbox One. Confused? I know I was, considering this is more like the Xbox 3 and we kind of already have an Xbox 1. However, that’s simply something we’ll have to get used to. What might be a little harder to swallow are the details about the system and the role it wants to play in your living room.

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Sony Declares War

Fire up the blogs, forums, and comments, people--the Console Wars are back!

On February 20th, Sony unleashed the opening volley in what could very well be the next generation of the fabled Console Wars with the introduction of the PlayStation 4. The message was clear: “We messed up with the PS3 and let our ego get the better of us. But we’re learning from our mistakes, and we’re taking the fight to our competitors.” From the opening song “Monster Hospital” by Metric to the strategic use of classic PlayStation cues for speakers at the conference, it seems like Sony is embracing the now storied history of the PlayStation brand and is ready for a hell of a battle with Microsoft and Nintendo.

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Halo 4 Hands On Preview

Don’t worry people, 343 got it right.

I’m sure that many were nervous when they learned that Halo 4 was being helmed by a brand new studio. After an impressive showing at this year’s E3, it’s been becoming more and more apparent that not only does 343 Industries know what they are doing, but they are pushing the series in a fresh, yet familiar direction. 

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$99 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect to be Made Available at More Retailers

New deal will be available later this year.

Earlier this year, Microsoft made their 4GB Xbox 360 consoles with Kinect available at the low price of $99 along with a two year subscription to Xbox Live Gold at $14.99 per month.  This deal was originally only available at participating Microsoft Stores, but today that deal expands to more retailers.

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Virgin Hosting Video Game Competitions on Xbox Live

Microsoft is teaming up with Virgin Gaming later this year.

Virgin and Microsoft are joining forces to bring online gaming tournaments to Xbox Live. There will be a variety of different tournaments, Virgin promises, including both free-to-play and paid-entry tournaments, some of which will offer cash prizes.

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Xbox 360: It’s Not Just for Gaming Any More

Adding Internet Explorer to the Xbox 360 is just the beginning.

Microsoft’s vision for their console is much larger than just games, as evidenced by the fact that at least half of their E3 press conference consisted of announcements that were not specifically video game related. Their new services cover all the entertainment bases; movies, music, TV shows, streaming video services, smart phone integration, social networking, and even fitness training leaving almost everything covered in their quest to dominate living rooms the world over.

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Microsoft Unveils Xbox Smart Glass

Microsoft aims to integrate your handheld devices into the Xbox Experience.

During Microsoft’s media briefing this morning, they unveiled plans for a new service that will integrate tablet and phone connectivity with your Xbox 360. Xbox Smart Glass allows you to interact with your Xbox 360 via these devices and opens up a new array of media functions for your phone as well.

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