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Xbox Game Pass Takes On PlayStation Now To Become The Netflix of Gaming

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Microsoft has announced that Xbox Games Pass, its’ monthly subscription based games library service will launch today for Xbox Live Gold Members and will be available to the general Xbox Live population regardless of subscription status on June 1st.

Xbox Games Pass is the company’s attempt to compete with Sony’s PlayStation Now Service which offers PS4 owners a digital library of streaming titles to their PS4 and PC for a fixed monthly price. Games Pass offers subscribers over 100 Xbox 360 games that are backwards compatible on Xbox One from both Microsoft first party devs and third parties. Also included with the subscription are a limited number of Xbox One Games. The delivery method for Games Pass differs greatly from PlayStation Now – instead of streaming the video feed and uploading user inputs, Game Pass downloads games directly onto the users’ hard drive.

The two services also differ in terms of price – PlayStation Now is currently priced at $19.99 USD or $44.99 USD for three months and offers access to over 450 titles. Xbox Games Pass will be priced at 50% the monthly rate of Sony’s offerings at $9.99 USD per month but offers only approximately 1/4th of the number of games.

All of this brings to question: “What is the proper price range for a Netflix-like all you can play game subscription service?”. Both services offer a good variety of titles across a number of genres but in terms of quantity, it is clear that PlayStation Now has the upper hand. There is also the caveat that PS Now requires a very solid & stable internet connection for the product to be delivered. Whereas with Xbox Games Pass it doesn’t matter how fast your connection is as long as the download completes you’ve got access to your game until you unsubscribe.

Key to the success of either Games As A Service platform is the quality of the titles on offer and the continued delivery of new games to keep subscribers engaged. In a sense Xbox Games Pass and PlayStation Now are also competing with Games with Gold and PlayStation Plus – if GWG or PS+ are offering quality games that are duplicated on Now or Game Pass, why subscribe to both complimentary services?

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.


Join The Division For Free With New Trial

Posted on March 6, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

The Division

Ubisoft’s year old open world third person shooter set in a post-federal government Manhatten, Tom Clancy’s The Division now has a free trial available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC via Uplay. After downloading the client brand new agents are able to play for free until level 8 or after eight hours have elapsed. In terms of the character level cap this is the exact same level cap that was used during the games’ alpha & beta tests.

Players on Xbox One have had access to the trial since the end of last week while those on Sony’s console will have to wait a few more days from now, as The Division’s trial will not go live on the PlayStation Network until March 9th.

If you haven’t checked out last year’s mega-hit (and subsequent abandoned ghost town) The Division then now might be the perfect time. When Ubisoft released patch 1.6 in January they did a lot to address player criticism when it came to The Dark Zone, which has been a massive haven for hackers & cheaters.

If you are intended to play on PC, make sure your rig meets the recommended specs below. Regardless of what your platform of choice is you are in for a massive download.

Recommended PC System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, AMD FX-8350, or better.
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290, or better
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 40 GB available space



Xbox One Games With Gold For August Really Missed The Mark

Posted on July 26, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

I can’t help but get excited towards the end of the month because we get to find out what free treats both Microsoft and Sony have for subscribers. Next month’s line-up of free software for the Xbox One & Xbox 360 is not only underwhelming but also proves the thousands of players who cry out for “AAA titles” that they should be careful what they wish for. Just because a title is from a AAA developer or costs more than another indie title doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to cater to every Xbox Live subscriber.

Case in point – the inclusion of WWE 2k16 – here we have a game made by a AAA publisher (published by 2K Games and developed by Visual Concepts) that isn’t going to offer much for those of us who don’t follow the beat’em up soap operas of wrestling.  I’m sure it can be fun to play casually and maybe try some online matches but the majority of features I’ll probably never touch or truly appreciate.


Here is a summary of WWE 2K16 available from Steam:

The authority in WWE video games returns with WWE 2K16! The newest addition to the flagship WWE video game franchise will deliver fun, authentic and hard-hitting action, including returning fan-favorite features and game modes, new innovations and more! Play as the greatest WWE Superstars, Divas and Legends of all time. Includes all DLC content!” 

Authentic hard hitting action? Okay, yeah. I can get behind that. Returning fan favorite features and game modes? Nope, I’ve never played a WWE 2K title before so I wouldn’t know what was so great about the last entry. Play as the greatest WWE Superstars? I followed wrestling for maybe a few months in my teens 15 years ago, clearly if I downloaded this game next month it’d just waste space on my hard drive.


What’s that I hear you say hypothetical reader? The service offers more games? Of course, the Xbox One will also receive Orochi Warriors 3 from Tecomo Koei. It is an action game where characters from the Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors and guest characters from Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive attack hordes of enemies on a variety of battlefields in a similar fashion to the existing Dynasty Warriors games. In fact, Orochi Warriors could almost be considered a “best of” collection considering most of the levels actually come from Dynasty Warriors 7. This one sounds like it might have a little more appeal than WWE 2K16 considering it not only introduces players to the mechanics of the Dynasty Warriors series but is also seems to be a great way to check out characters from other series you might not have played.

With that out of the way this brings me to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 picks for next month which honestly out class the entire Xbox One line-up by a long shot. First up is Spelunky an older indie darling that tasks players with navigating procedural generated caves for loot. If you want an easily approachable title that can provide hours of fun, make sure to add this one to your library. Also included in August’s Games with Gold is Beyond Good and Evil HD, Ubisoft’s update to the 2003 original. Players take the role of Jade, a photojournalist turned heroine who uncovers a deep space conspiracy. It is honestly one of the most enjoyable puzzle platformers from the late 2000s era and shouldn’t be missed.

August’s Games With Gold line-up just goes to show you that just because a title is “AAA” or has a high price-tag it doesn’t mean that it will have the wide appeal outside of niche audiences. In this writer’s humble opinion the Xbox 360’s picks of classic & well received older titles is the way to go for the gratis games.


Xbox Spring Sale Launches Today, Include Ubisoft, 343i and EA Titles

Posted on March 22, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Xbox One Dashboard

Microsoft has launched a Spring Sale to mark the change in seasons and it includes 40 – 60% off over 150 different games from major publishers like Namco Bandai, EA Games, Konami, Ubisoft and Bethesda Softworks. Gold members also get an additional 10% off the sale price. Microsoft is also bringing back their $1 for one month of Xbox Live gold for those whose subscriptions may have lapsed.

Here are some of the best Xbox One Deals:

  • Battlefield 4 Premium 67% off – $19.99 CDN for Gold Members
  • Battlefield Hardline Standard Edition – $16.00 CDN for Gold Members
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III – $40.00 CDN for Gold Members
  • Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition – $30.00 CDN for Gold Members
  • Dragon Age Inquisition: GOTY – $30.00 CDN for Gold Members
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse – $20.00 CDN for Gold Members
  • Elite Dangerous Standard – $25.12 CDN for God Members
  • Fallout 4 – $38.99 CDN for Gold Members
  • Far Cry Primal – $49.99 CDN for Gold Members
  • Halo 5: Guardians – $38.99 CDN for Gold Members
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – $35.99 CDN for Gold Members
  • Need for Speed (2015) – $19.80 CDN for Gold Members
  • Rare Replay – $19.99 CDN for Gold Members
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider – $38.99 CDN for Gold Members
  • Rainbow Six: Siege Standard – $35.99 CDN for Gold Members
  • Unravel – $16.99 CDN for Gold Members

All of these deals also apply to USA based Xbox Gold Members, although prices would be adjusted due to currency differences. You can see the full list on Major Nelson’s website.


Xbox live goes down, stays down

Posted on February 23, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Last night reports started flooding in that Xbox live was down started flooding Twitter, Facebook, and other social media that Microsofts Xbox live service was down. Since the latest Xbox One requires a connection to live to use apps, stream media, and play and download most games, this effectively rendered the 500$ piece of hardware useless. After over 14 hours (first reports coming in at 5pmEST) the service is still spotty this morning. As of my posting this the live status site for Xbox live says everything is back up.

This latest outage will remind fans of Microsofts paid online gaming service of the last similar outage, almost a year ago, when a massive scale DDoS attack knocked Xbox live offline during the Christmas holidays.





3 New Tracks Join Rock Band 4’s Line Up Today

Posted on February 2, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Harmonix has announced that they will be making available three new tracks on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  “Get Lucky” from Daft Punk, “Heartbreak Song” from Kelly Clarkson and Outcast’s “Hey Ya!” all join the optional downloadable content available for Rock Band 4.

New Tracks Launching Today On PS4 and Xbox One Include:

  •         Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
  •         Kelly Clarkson – “Heartbeat Song”
  •         Outkast – “Hey Ya!”

In addition to today’s new tracks Harmonix has released a bit of a brief tease for fans – a list of upcoming artists who will be added to the game via DLC this month. They include:

  •          Bruno Mars
  •          Five Finger Death Punch
  •          Generation X
  •          J. Geils Band
  •          Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
  •          masaya matsuura
  •          Motörhead
  •          Orleans
  •          Royal Blood
  •          Zac Brown Band

Finally, lest you think that Harmonix has simply been adding paid content to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace, fear not.  This month’s free content update include various exploit fixes and minor features, new gear for your avatar & more. Here are some quick patch notes provided by Harmonix:

  •          Scores earned via Play a Show mode now post to the leaderboards;
  •          New Rock Shop items include Raz’s helmet from Double Fine’sPsychonauts as well as a Whispering Rock t-shirt;
  •          Puts the end to several scoring exploits, including the Band Overdrive issue;
  •          Several fixes that improve scoring issues with the Freestyle Guitar Solo system;
  •         Audio mix adjustments which result in a more “full” and “live” mix, as well as several minor bug updates.

We reviewed the base game last October on the PlayStation 4. In general we thought that it was a pretty solid set list worthy of your time.


Resident Evil HD Re-Release Confirmed For Jan 2015

Posted on December 6, 2014 by Rae Michelle Richards

Capcom released one of the ground breaking &  most influential survival horror tiles, Resident Evil more than 18 years ago and now the first game in the series is coming back from the dead to scare a new generations of players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PS3 and Xbox 360 this January. Re-visiting the 2002 remake originally released on the Nintendo Gamecube this enhanced port includes upgraded visuals with new 3D models, a brand new easy mode for new novice players and a new control scheme similar to newer titles in the franchise.

Get ready to try and uncover the secrets of the mansion alongside other S.T.A.R.S members when Capcom unleashes Resident Evil on January 20th for $19.99! Check out a whole bunch of new screenshots after the jump.Read More


Microsoft’s Games With Gold Becomes Permanent

Posted on October 18, 2013 by Kintarius

Microsoft’s apparent answer to Sony’s Playstation Plus service has been extended indefinitely, according to a blog post the company posted today. Microsoft also claimed users have spent over 120 million hours playing the games provided by the Games with Gold service, though made no indication as to whether or not these figures were captured in specific time frames or overall.Read More


Rainbow Six: Vegas & MTG 2013 Free on Xbox This September

Posted on August 30, 2013 by Rae Michelle Richards

Free games make the world go ‘round, okay maybe not but they make even the most bitter days just a little bit sweeter.  The next two free games in Microsoft’s ‘game with gold’ program have been announced as Ubisoft’s 2006 tactical shooter Rainbow Six: Vegas and the 2013 edition of Magic The Gathering. MTG will be available from September 1st through the 15th and Vegas will report for duty from Sept 15th through the 30th. Both titles require an Xbox Live Gold subscription in order to be redeemed.

Microsoft’s alternative to PlayStation Plus was announced this past June at E3 and has provided gamers with free digital copies of Assassin’s Creed II, Defense Grid: The Awakening, Dead Rising II + DLC, Halo 3 and soon the two games listed above. We can sit and argue which service provides the better library of free content, but one thing is certain – owners of the Xbox 360 now have a few more reasons to boot-up their consoles before the fall gaming seasons begins in just a few short weeks.

Which games would you like to see on Game With Gold? Let us know in the comments section, we will keep you posted on any future free DLC.

Source: Joystiq


Konami to Update 3DS Castlevania in HD

Posted on August 19, 2013 by Jason Nason

Konami announced today that they will be updating Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate in HD for release on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. The game was originally released for the Nintendo 3DS earlier this year.

In the game, it is the end of days and ungodly powers isolate the Earth. The worlds’ alliance with the heavens has been threatened by a dark and malevolent force – the mysterious Lords of Shadow. Across this shattered land, the souls of the dead wander unable to find peace, whilst creatures of evil wreak chaos and death upon the living.

Gabriel Belmont is a member of the Brotherhood of Light, an elite group of holy knights who protect and defend the innocent against the supernatural. His beloved wife was brutally murdered by the evil forces of darkness and her soul trapped for eternity. Neither living nor dead she realizes the horrific truth of what is at stake and guides Gabriel to his destiny – and hopefully salvation for the world.

Read More


Xbox Live Family Plan No More As of Aug 27th

Posted on August 11, 2013 by Rae Michelle Richards

We’ve known for a while now that the Xbox Live Family Plan was going to be no more sometime starting this summer and now subscribers have received notice that the axe will fall on their plan on August 27th.

Xbox Live Family Plan allowed up to four accounts (one parent, three child) to share an Xbox Live subscription for one year for $99. Each of the four accounts will now be separated from one another and each user will need to purchase individual subscriptions and will also no longer be able to share Microsoft points or access activity reports for child accounts.

If you’re planning to purchase an Xbox One that system allows you to assign a “master account” which will extend gold benefit to any account that signs into that system including Xbox Live silver accounts.  You can use your master account to sign into a second Xbox One or Xbox 360 while still extending gold benefits to users on the Xbox One.

Cancellation of this plan is likely to be a blow to Xbox owners who have multiple Xbox 360s in their homes. Commenters on other outlets have pointed out using an Xbox in the bedroom to watch Netflix while playing a game in the living room is no longer viable, a likely solution for those of us who don’t want to pay for two live accounts just for convenience.

Source: Joystiq


Microsoft Reveals ‘Xbox Live Ultimate Sale’

Posted on July 2, 2013 by Rae Michelle Richards

Not to be outdone by Sony’s own online sale, Microsoft has revealed their roster of discounted games for July ’13. Headlining all of this is a massive one day sale on some of 2012’s best games including Far Cry 3,  Max Payne 3, Borderlands 2 and Assassins Creed III. Considering the most expensive of these is $20, and several of them are priced at just $10 – be prepared to empty your wallet. The Bioware games are worth the price of entry alone, you’re guaranteed to get at least a few dozen hours out of them!

If you’re looking to save on some older games on the cheap Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect and Prey are all $5, along with some other vintage 360 titles.

For a full list click on over after the jump!Read More


Black Ops II ‘Vengeance’ DLC Pack To Be Released In Two Weeks

Posted on June 19, 2013 by Rae Michelle Richards

Prepare to load some extra ammunition it your favorite weapon’s clip because Activision has announced that the latest expansion for Call of Duty Black Ops II, Vengeance, will be available in just under two weeks –  on July 2nd. Debuting first on Xbox Live this optional expansion adds four new multiplayer maps and a new Zombies experience for $14.99.

The four new maps include “Cove”, an all out firefight set on a small island located in the Indian Ocean. “Rush” takes the action to the paintball course, with close quarters action,  “Detour” pits you against your rivals on a large suspension bridge and finally is “Uplink”, a re-working of the classic “Summit” map from the original Call of Duty: Black Ops..

Zombies has been a fan favorite in the Treyarch developed COD games for a long time now, and with the latest DLC pack they’re taking the undead experience to the Old West. Wander through an abandoned western town, fighting against hordes of the undead with new and recurring characters from previous Zombies installments at your side.

Get ready to slay the undead and tour brand new multiplayer maps with our embedded trailer after the jump.Read More


Darkstalkers Resurrection Now Available!

Posted on March 12, 2013 by Jason Nason

Capcom has confirmed that Darkstalkers Resurrection is now available to download in North America on PlayStation Network (PSN) for $14.99. The game will be released in Europe on PSN on March 13th (€14.99 / £11.99) and across all territories on Xbox LIVE Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points.

Featuring a unique and colorful cast of characters blended with fast-paced fighting action, Darkstalkers Resurrection contains two games (Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge and Darkstalkers 3), for the price of one. The combo breathes new life into each game with a slew of features including robust GGPO-enabled online game play, HD graphical filtering with multiple viewing options, replay sharing, Spectator Mode, in-game achievements, Tutorial Mode and an unlockable vault filled with concept artwork, videos and more.Read More


Xbox ‘Gold Family Pack’ Gets Discontinued

Posted on March 8, 2013 by Joshua Rust

Back in November 2010, Microsoft rolled out a great service to families with numerous gamers within the household called the Xbox Gold Family Pack. The deal was actually really sweet, you get four Xbox Live memberships for $100 (a savings of $100). This was great for families and friends who pitched in together to get a cheaper subscription to Xbox Live.

Today it was announced by Microsoft that the plan is no longer available. Read on for the official statement from a Xbox representative.Read More


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