The guys at Harmonix are fairly occupied working on continuous downloadable content for Dance Central, but apparently there is something else in the works for the music game moguls. Brian Chan, who was the senior designer for Rock Band 3, has mentioned on his own public resume that he has begun working on a new Harmonix project, but nothing matching his description has yet been announced by the video game company.
The Xbox 360 is well on its way to becoming an all-encompassing entertainment hub. From live TV to on-demand streaming, to social networking and music, Microsoft's strategy is clearly to make Xbox a central part of your life. And now it's looking to continue that mindset even when you're not at home. Yep, it's time for Microsoft's gaming platform to be fully immersed in the mobile world.
If you still can't figure how much that Zune download or Call of Duty map pack costs in actual US currency, there might be some hope for you. It's being reported that Microsoft wants to nix its Microsoft Points platform and will start showing prices in local currency for digital content. That's right; the days of consulting a calculator to figure out how much digital money you have might soon be coming to an end.
Microsoft's Xbox TV plans continue to trickle out, with talk of a Kinect-based set-top box for 2012 that would offer streaming multimedia content with a voice and motion controlled UI and sub-$200 price tag. Variously codenamed "Live Xbox", "Kinect Box" and "Kinect HD", the new STB will resemble a low-profile version of the existing Kinect, The Daily's sources suggest, with a larger base to accommodate power, HDMI and USB ports. Availability has been "pushed back" it's said, from an original early-2012 window, though it should arrive prior to the next-gen "Xbox 720."
Microsoft's plans to attack cable TV with its own online TV subscription service may be on hold, according to sources familiar with the situation. According to Reuters, Microsoft has been in intense discussions with media companies, seeking potential program partners for over a year and hoping to launch its subscription service within the next few months. However, those plans are now on hold due to high licensing costs.
Microsoft is looking to extend Xbox LIVE to iOS and potentially Android and other platforms, according to a new job listing at the company, extending the company's gaming reach beyond its current Windows Phone focus. The posting, spotted by LiveSide, calls for a software development engineer to "define, design and implement Xbox LIVE mobile experiences on Windows Phone, iOS and other platforms" with the potential for location-based gaming, social networking-enabled titles and more.
Microsoft has announced that it is adding eight new TV channels to Xbox LIVE. The Xbox Dashboard recently got an overhaul with a new more Metro-styled interface along with the addition of new content and video services. The addition today is part of Microsoft's plan to challenge cable TV and includes localized TV channels for both the US and Europe.
Microsoft's Windows Phone team has lost another top-tier exec, as the company's General Manager for Developer and Marketplace, Matt Bencke, has been quietly moved to the Xbox LIVE team. Bencke's role changed at the end of November, ZDNet's sources claim, preceding Windows Phone chief Andy Lees being apparently "benched" for over-promising and under-delivering; the shift could be a sign that Microsoft is looking to move Windows Phone - or its marketing, at least - into the Windows division.
Microsoft is believed to have replaced the design architect responsible for the Xbox 360 user-experience, Dan Coyner, an acolyte of Apple-style consistency in user experience and a mainstay of the gaming project since its inception. Coyner, general manager of Design and Planning within the Xbox team, has been replaced with Emma Williams, CNET's sources claim, who led this month's Xbox dashboard update.
Microsoft has just released its Xbox Live app for Apple's iPhones and iPads, shortly following its release of the Windows Phone 7 version and its announcement of rolling out the new Xbox Live Dashboard today. Although not as extensive as the Windows Phone 7 app in being able to fully control an Xbox 360 console using the app, this iOS version does allow you to access plenty of Xbox Live features.