Target running free Xbox One game promo too

November 10, 2013 by Staff - Leave a comment


Amazon is running a “buy two get one free” games deal for the Playstation 4 and Target is also coming to the party for Xbox One gamers with its own deal for X1 games. Unfortunately it looks like Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Fighter Within are the only eligible titles at this stage, although we’ve heard rumors that all Xbox One games are in fact included.

We’re also hearing that the promotion will run all through this coming week and that it will be available both online and in-store. It’s also meant to be included as part of their flyer for this week so hopefully we can bring you more details (and the fine print) very soon.

Either way, it might pay to pop down to your local store early on Monday or Tuesday and see what’s going on.

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Microsoft reverses DRM and internet policies for Xbox One

June 19, 2013 by Staff - 19 Comments


Microsoft has reversed it’s DRM policies for the PS4’s direct competitor, the Xbox One. Today it announced disc-based games will now be tradable without restriction (just like today with the Xbox 360) and that an internet connection will not be required to play offline games (with no corresponding requirement to “check-in” every 24 hours).

Wow. Good to see consumers still have some power!

If you were sitting on the fence about which next-gen console to buy (excluding the Wii U) has this move helped you make up your mind? We see a couple of immediate issues with Microsoft’s backflip, and indeed the internet has been running hot with people lamenting the change and again, getting angry with Microsoft! They can’t seem to win…

  • Gamers think Microsoft tried to screw them, failed, and are now just backpedalling. These people have long memories and don’t forgive that easily. That bridge has been burnt.
  • Features that people were excited for (family sharing) are now in the minds of gamers and have been removed with the DRM reversal. Full details on the extent of the removal are not yet available though (ie there might still be some good news in respect of family sharing).
  • Microsoft hasn’t opted for some sort of middle ground (eg keeping family sharing for digital games or disabling sharing for offline accounts) – but again, the full extent of any sharing removal is not known.
  • It’s still $100 more expensive than the PS4.

On the other hand, you could argue it’s just the fanboys who have been making all the noise – both when the policies were first introduced, and now when they’ve been removed. Either way, it’s been an unprecedented few weeks in video games history.

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Side by side: PS4 and Xbox One

June 12, 2013 by Staff - 1 Comment

The immediate comment when a lot of people see the PS4 for the first time is “it’s so small”, while the first comment when the same people see the Xbox One is “it’s so big”. Here’s some size comparison images so you can get a proper sense of the design differences between the PS4 and Xbox One.

You’ll see that while the X1 is clearly wider and taller, the PS4 extends backwards a bit more (it’s longer/deeper). Given the height and wide differences though, the Xbox One is clearly the bulkier looking console (we guess you’ve heard the watercooler jokes)…

Anyway, which console design do you prefer and why? (more…)

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Prediction: X1 to cost $399, PS4 to cost $349

June 3, 2013 by Staff - 1 Comment

Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan is the most well-known financial analyst of the video games industry and he has made some predictions concerning the price of the Xbox One and the Playstation 4.

Today Patcher told investors that he thinks the X1 will cost $399 and that the PS4 will cost $349. This is based on his cost pricing for the two consoles, which he put at $275 for the PS4 and $325 for the X1 (that is, it will cost Microsoft $50 to make the Xbox One than it costs Sony to make the PS4).


For those of you who instantly think that the X1 price is too high, Patcher did say that the console could be subsidized (ie through a cable operator or ISP long-term contract) and that Microsoft will also offer a subscription model to lower the upfront cost (ie sign up for Xbox Live for 24 months and save ‘x’ dollars).

Pachter’s track record in terms of predictions is however very mixed (I like to think of him as the weatherman of the video games industry) so who knows if the actual prices will look anything like this. If they do, would you be happy?

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Potential changes with the Xbox One Achievements system

by Staff - 2 Comments

Microsoft is talking up a whole new ball game in terms of Achievements for the Xbox One, so far telling us that:

  • The new Achievements system has richer detail and spans across your games and experiences (Achievements are no longer confined to single games).
  • You will be able to earn Achievements in more ways, as new Achievements can be added dynamically any time.
  • A new official Achievements portal will track how you earned your Achievements (obviously in addition to what you have earned).


We’re guessing that there will be a whole lot more to the new system as well, some of which might include the following:

Day One Achievements: if you play the game on the day it is released, then you get the Achievement. At the end of that day though, it can no longer be earned.

Veteran Achievements: these could span across game series (like Call of Duty) or across a specific publisher’s titles. So if you beat both Assassin’s Creed 4 and Watch Dogs, you get a non-game-specific Achievement from Ubisoft, or if you beat Black Ops 2 and then beat Call of Duty: Ghosts, you get a general Call of Duty Achievement.

Event Achievements: these can be used to celebrate or publicize different events or days of the year. For example, playing a game at midnight on New Year Eve might get you an Achievement (don’t think you actually want that one though lol), as might playing something on your birthday.

Sponsored Achievements: these might run for a set period of time, say one week, during which if you complete certain acts in a game (that might be aligned to the adverisers brand/marketing strategy) you’ll unlock Achievements that are named after or related to their products or services. Think Red Bull sponsoring a “four hour game session” achievement or similar.

TV Achievements: How about 100 points for every 100 hours of TV watched on X1 (suggested firmly tongue in cheek)?

In any event it’s clear that the world of Achievements on the X1 is set to get a shakeup and there will be more ways than ever to increase your Gamerscore. What ideas do you have?

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Xbox One to have dynamic Achievements

June 1, 2013 by Staff - Leave a comment

You probably know that Achievements on the Xbox 360 are essentially static. Aside from new Achievements that might be added for a game by way of DLC, and maybe title updates, the Achievements programmed into the game from the time it is released are the only Achievements you’ll be able to earn. That is about to change with the Xbox One however.


With the X1’s tight integration with the cloud (specific details yet to be revealed), Microsoft has said that as more and more people play a game and earn the Achievements within it, the Achievements available might alter in response to how people are playing, or other events. To give an example, Dan Greenawalt of Turn Ten Studios (developers of Forza) has talked about the “I took an arrow to the knee” meme that originated with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Given the popularity of that particular meme a new Achievement could be added to Skyrim whereby if you do actually take an arrow to the knee, it will be unlocked.

Whether this idea of essentially “moving the Achievement goalposts” will appeal to all gamers is another question though. Many so-called “Achievement Hunters” pride themselves on being able to get 100% Achievement completion for a title. If they do that and then a whole bunch of new Achievements get added, some are likely to be pretty unhappy – particularly if they’ve moved on from the game to something else, or sold or traded it.

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