Xbox One

Xbox recently announced that it will release Xbox One Backward Compatibility titles as they become available – rather than having a set monthly launch date, titles will go live once each has received the engineering and publisher stamp of approval. This includes CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, where players assume the identity of Geralt of Rivia – a professional monster slayer – or witcher, as he becomes entangled within the political turmoil that has engulfed Temeria while hunting down a treacherous assassin. 

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Plants vs. Zombies™ Garden Warfare 2 

Plants vs. Zombies™ Garden Warfare 2

PopCap Vancouver, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc., recently announced Plants vs. Zombies™ Garden Warfare 2 will host a public access multiplayer beta beginning 14 January and ending 18 January. The multiplayer beta will be available for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One®, and will be a chance for players to experience the shooter before the game hits stores on 25 February 25.

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Battlefield Hardline: Getaway

Battlefield Hardline: Getaway

Battlefield™ Hardline is gearing up for apparently its fastest, most explosive expansion yet. Whether you’re making a dusty, high-speed escape across the Mexican border, or closing in on a hot pursuit along the sun-drenched Pacific coast, EA aims for you to be chasing glory at top speed when you play Battlefield™ Hardline: Getaway*, coming January 2016.

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Eden

Set for DVD release on 14 December, Eden spins out over the last two decades and chronicles the rise and fall of one of the DJs who pioneered the French electro music scene in the ‘90s. The movie is based on the experiences of Hansen-Løve’s brother (and co-writer) Sven, who was one of the pioneering DJs of the French rave scene in the early-1990s. 

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Octopus

Octopus Recordings’ label boss Sian and events and management company FourOverFour from Toronto, Canada, have combined forces, to release a new limited edition merchandise line. With their roots apparently planted in the underground club culture, the first drop includes official T-shirts and tote bags, designed and manufactured in the USA. Reflecting the pairings like-minded aesthetics, this collaboration sees ‘functional, futurist, streetwear pieces, featuring minimalistic graphic art’.

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Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians

One week after launching worldwide, “Halo 5: Guardians” has made history as the biggest Halo launch and fastest-selling Xbox One exclusive game to-date, with more than $400 million in global sales of games and hardware, pushing the franchise to over $5 billion lifetime. In the UK, the day one gross revenue exceeded the first day box office revenue for Spectre – the new James Bond film – with £7.7 million compared to £6.3 million respectively.

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Ableton

Ableton recently announced the release of the new PUSH alongside LIVE 9.5 - a free update for all Live 9 users. It's also inviting owners of the original Push to take part in a trade-in that offers a big saving on the new version. Plus, Ableton is introducing LINK, a new technology that lets you play in time with multiple instances of Live and a growing number of iOS apps. 

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Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5

To celebrate the new addition to the ‘Halo’ franchise, Xbox UK will be transforming the Roundhouse in London into an exclusive “Halo 5: Guardians” launch event on 26 October. The event will see ‘Halo’ fans, media and YouTubers join together to celebrate possibly one of the most anticipated games of 2015 – coming exclusively to Xbox One on 27 October. 

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Xbox One

With the festive season approaching fast, Xbox One recently revealed some new bundles for those looking to buy a console. The Xbox One “Fallout 4” Limited Edition Bundle (£369.99 ERP) features a 1TB hard drive,  Fallout 4, and a full-game download of Fallout 3. Exclusive to GAME, the bundle will be available from 10 November. 

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Xbox One 

Xbox One Elite Bundle

Xbox One recently announced the Elite Bundle – a gaming experience that comes complete with features aiming to take your gaming to the next level. In addition to a matte finish, the Xbox One Elite Bundle includes a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive which stores frequently-accessed files on a solid state partition and optimises system performance so you can get to the action up to 20 per cent faster from energy-saving mode. 

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Halo 5: Guardians

The Halo 5: Guardians launch is right around the corner, and 343 Industries recently unveiled the opening cinematic to the game, featuring Fireteam Osiris. In the cinematic, the group receives UNSC orders to recover a high value target and deploy to take on Covenant and Promethean forces in a fierce action sequence – the start to possibly the most ambitious, robust and epic Halo campaign experience yet. 

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Gears Of War

Last week, during a panel event at San Diego Comic-Con, Xbox and The Coalition shared insights on the development of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, the remastered and modernised version of the shooter that possibly defined the first generation of HD gaming. In addition, speakers at the panel revealed the Xbox One Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle, available for pre-order now, and launching in the UK on 21 August (the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition digital code will allow gamers to pre-install the game ready for launch day on 28 August). 

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Need For Speed

Ghost Games™, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) studio, recently announced the return of Need for Speed™ in a full reboot of this storied franchise. The game ‘delivers on what the fans want, and what Need for Speed stands for - deep customisation, authentic urban car culture, a nocturnal open world, and an immersive narrative that pulls you through the game’.

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Halo 5: Guardians

As the release of ‘Halo 5: Guardians’ on 27 October 2015 draws nearer, the cover art for the game was recently revealed online to gaming fans around the world. Several cryptic images were released to various online channels across the globe with no instructions, no explanation and no references to the Halo universe. Apparently it didn’t take long for “Halo Nation” to scour the Internet to piece together the mystery to reveal the cover art.

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Stems

Stems, a new, multi-channel audio format was recently unveiled at WMC (Winter Music Conference) in Miami. A Stem file allows DJs and live performers to interact with different musical elements of a track independently by accessing four different ‘stem’ parts such as the bass, drums, melody or vocals. This type of mixing introduces new performance possibilities and enriches the listening experience for music lovers. As a premium file format, Stems can also create new revenue streams for music labels and online retailers to grow their business. Developed by software and hardware DSP specialists Native Instruments, Stems is an open file format designed to benefit the entire music industry.

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Battlefield Hardline

Visceral Games™, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) studio, recently announced that Battlefield Hardline™, the next installment in the Battlefield™ series, will host an open multiplayer beta from 3* February to 8 February. The beta will be available to all players around the world on Origin™ for PC, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system. 

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Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar Games recently released a new trailer for the four-player co-op mode for Grand Theft Auto Online that allows players to plan, prepare and execute multi-tiered Heists across Los Santos and Blaine County. 

These heists will require tight communication and coordination, with players taking on specified roles at each point to accomplish multiple objectives on the way to each Heist’s epic finale. Featuring new gameplay, new vehicles, new weapons, new clothing and much more, GTA Online Heists are coming early in 2015 to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.


Check it out below.

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X-mini CLEAR

X-mini CLEAR

Singapore-based company, XMI, recently launched its most advanced portable speaker to date. The new X-mini CLEAR features a custom 2.1 audio system with proprietary TRI-AMP design. It delivers studio-quality sound clarity, with sound separation that XMI believe exceeds current standards in the portable speaker market. The XMI Research and Development team developed the custom 2.1 audio system featuring an active front-firing 70mm long-throw subwoofer with their signature ceramic drivers for a distinct separated low bass, unusual in portable audio products today. 

X-mini CLEAR
X-mini CLEAR

With sound separation in mind, the new X-mini CLEAR features XMI’s proprietary TRI-AMP design – a separate amplifier designated to each individual driver. In this way the X-mini CLEAR delivers a deeply engaging, real audio experience.

Bringing clean sound clarity right through to the speaker design, the speaker openly displays the inner workings of its sound engineering with a neat see-through back design. Displaying the clean and simple component layout with near zero wire, the audio enjoyment is further enhanced visually with 3-mode Mood Lighting which pulsate according to different music. For added versatility, the speaker comes packaged in a sleek case with an in-built handle for easy mobile carrying and a base stand so that it can be taken and displayed anywhere.

X-mini CLEAR
X-mini CLEAR

The new X-mini CLEAR offers 20W of audio featuring:

-       Custom 2.1 Audio System with 70mm active subwoofer delivering crisp low frequency reproduction.

-       Signature Ceramic Drivers creates clearer and cleaner mid and high frequencies through 40mm Ceramic Drivers.

-       Proprietary TRI-AMP design with three amplifiers designated to each of the three drivers offering listeners a more immersive and real audio experience.


Other key features include:

-       Clear Back Design with 3-mode Mood Lighting aesthetics designed to accompany the quality audio experience.

-       Bluetooth & NFC enabled for One-touch seamless pairing and Wireless Connectivity of up to 10m.

-       Noise-cancelling Microphone to filter background disturbances for better wireless telephone calls and/or lifestyle conferencing (such as Skype, Viber and Facetime) with your mobile phones or tablets or laptops.

-       Smartphone Charging capabilities with high-capacity 6600mAh Li-ion battery; a dual-function for charging your devices and longer audio playback

-       Detachable magnetic grill to protect the speaker on the go.

X-mini CLEAR
X-mini CLEAR

Ryan Lee, XMI founder“The X-mini brand has become synonymous with the pocket-sized speaker. Yet it is important to remember that X-mini is at its core, an audio brand completely focused on making better sound at every given size. Size does matter for sound, but because we have spent so many years innovating to make excellent sound in small packages, we know we can produce even greater sound in other circumstances. Our confidence is reflected first in our introduction of the thumb-sized X-mini ME and WE Speakers earlier this year which made pocket sized speakers even smaller, and now with our first larger portable form factor in the X-mini CLEAR. We specially named this the X-mini CLEAR because it is to date the clearest speaker we have produced, and the clean simple design confidently reflects this.“


With a stylish, transparent back design that displays near zero wire sound engineering and built in mood lighting, the X-mini CLEAR is available now at £169 from www.store.x-mini.com.

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Halo

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, last night welcomed the worldwide arrival of Halo: The Master Chief Collection at a launch event in London. The Halo Nation came out in full force with apparently more than one million people around the world tuning in to live streams previewing the game’s content, with many lined up at more than 4,300 midnight madness retail events around the world to get their hands on the game.

“Halo has always been synonymous with Xbox,” said Head of Xbox Phil Spencer, who attended the UK launch party at Shoreditch Studios. “‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection’ allows us to thank our fans and celebrate with an amazing package that will introduce a new generation to the epic Halo universe.”

 

To celebrate the Master Chief’s long-awaited return, fans, media and YouTubers attended the UK launch in East London where they witnessed the UK premiere of the first two episodes of Halo: Nightfall, before four teams battled it out on Halo 2 in a Halo: The Master Chief Collection Anniversary Tournament – all streamed live on Twitch. The competition was closely fought, before Ali-A and his team narrowly secured victory in a finale on the Halo 2: Anniversary map, Lockdown.

 

 Halo: The Master Chief Collection is available worldwide now exclusively on Xbox One for £49.99. Halo: The Master Chief Collection also includes Halo: Nightfall, the live-action digital series from Ridley Scott, David Zucker and Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, as well as access to the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta, launching 29 December.

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Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

New, enhanced versions of Grand Theft Auto V arrive for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Tuesday 18 November. Check below for the all-new launch trailer which will serve as the game’s official TV spot.

For more information on enhancements to these new versions, as well as exclusive content details for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions, check out the Rockstar Newswire.


Also, make sure to check out the images and videos from the game from last week’s news here: http://www.justaweemusicblog.com/2014/11/07/grand-theft-auto-v/

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Tiësto

Tiësto, in collaboration with Audiofly, recently announced the launch of the Clublife In-Ear Headphones Series. Voted “the greatest DJ of all time” by Mixmag and “#1 DJ” by Rolling Stone, Tiësto is a Grammy nominated artist with lots of accolades, and, as a DJ, he’s passionate about sound and production. Based in Australia, Audiofly is an award-winning maker of premium headphones. 

Recognised for their fresh approach, Audiofly has quickly acquired industry recognition earning Innovation Honors from International CES, and a Best-In-Show award from the CEA Line Show. Based on this credibility and a swarm of reviews, Audiofly were approached by Tiësto and a collaboration ensued, resulting in the Clublife In-Ear Headphone Series:


Tiësto: “I’ve enjoyed working closely with Audiofly to develop these products - from tweaking the soundstage of each unique product, to creating a glow in the dark cable, I feel we’ve achieved something really unique and I’m excited to finally share these products with my fans.”


“Designing great products is what makes us buzz”, explains Audiofly CEO Dave Thompson. “We’re passionate about sound and thoroughly enjoyed the creative exchange with Tiësto. We have experience with some very unique features, like combining different speaker technologies for better sound, and reinforcing our cables with tough CORDURA® fabric, so it’s exciting to showcase these great innovations plus a whole stack of new things in the Clublife Headphones. We’re confident that consumers will be blown-away by the level of detail we’ve poured into these 3 products.”


Check out the range below.

Paradise, in-ear headphone with mic

Maximal, large driver in-ear headphones with mic

Adagio, dual driver in-ear headphones with mic

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Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto 5

Rockstar Games recently released a video of Grand Theft Auto V: First Person Experience, the first footage of the new first person mode available exclusively in the new versions of Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. 

This new mode shows players the host of changes made to the game to accommodate this new perspective, including the creation of an optional first person cover system, a new targeting system, a more traditional FPS control scheme, and integrating thousands of new animations into the existing game.


It's also available at the touch of a button so you can easily switch back and forth between perspectives. First person mode will be available in both GTAV and GTA Online.

Rockstar also released a video highlighting the extensive enhancements made to Grand Theft Auto V in its transition from the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 4, highlighting big technical changes such as increasing the overall resolution and more than doubling the draw distance, as well as replacing every texture in the game and much more.


The game features hundreds of additions and enhancements including 1080p resolution at 30FPS on PS4 and Xbox One (4K compatible on PC).

 

Grand Theft Auto V for will be available on Xbox One and PS4 on the 18th of this month and on PC 27 January 2015.

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Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline

In a crime drama filled single player story, Miami is embroiled in a drug war and Officer Nick Mendoza has just made Detective. Alongside his partner, veteran detective Khai Minh Dao, he follows the drug supply chain from the streets to the source. 

Battlefield Hardline
Battlefield Hardline

In a series of increasingly off-the-books cases the two detectives come to realise that power and corruption can affect both sides of the law.


In multiplayer, the world is simple. You're on one side of the law or the other - a baton or bat, stun gun or rifle, armoured police truck or powerful muscle cars. But either way, teamwork is going to be essential if you're going to want to pull off that perfect heist or big time bust in this new take on Battlefield multiplayer.


Coming 20 March 2015, Battlefield Hardline lets you live out your fantasy of being a cop and criminal. Check out the video below.

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Berlin Techno

Berlin Techno

This just released new pack from Cr2 contains a huge 979MB of material and is packed with dark and sinister bass hits and deep rolling bass loops, deep synth hits and loops and their collection of drum hits. 

There are 40 driving techno drum loops all exported into constituent parts for ultimate flexibility, with their FX sounds ideal for anybody looking to put the finishing touches to any techno production.


Each and every melodic file is also included as a MIDI file to make changing sounds or building new melodies and arrangements simpler. Also included is 70 NI Massive and 100 Sylenth presets made up of sounds used in the pack. You can use these presets alongside their MIDI files to build your own custom loops or easily tweak them to form your own exclusive patches.


It’s out now on Beatport, priced at £15.99.

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Halo

To celebrate the launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on 11 November, Xbox has asked the series’ biggest UK fans to share their favourite memories from the iconic sci-fi saga. The #HaloNation video features YouTube stars The SyndicateProject, VikkStar123, MoreConsole and a number of fans – talking about their most memorable in-game experiences and encouraging others to share their own. 

Gamers can visit xbox.com/HaloNation and use the #HaloNation hashtag to share their own memories via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Fans can also find out how to win tickets to the game’s launch event on 10 November, as well as other gaming prizes.

 

Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be released on 11 November – exclusive to Xbox One. Check the video below.

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Forza Horizon 2

Forza Horizon 2

Forza Horizon 2 is just weeks away and will ship with more than 200 cars all built from the ground up on Xbox One, and as is the case with all Forza games, it will be constantly updated with new content. Beginning on 3 October, to coincide with the game’s release, a brand new pack for the game will be released: the Forza Horizon 2 Launch Bonus Car Pack. 

This car pack will feature eight cars representing the variety that can be found in the game’s car roster – from rough-and-tumble trucks like the 1956 Ford F-100 to the raw power represented by the 2015 Ford Mustang GT. The Launch Bonus Car Pack will include three never-before-seen vehicles in the Forza franchise: the 2003 Ford Focus RS, the 1997 Land Rover Defender 90, and the 1993 Clio Williams. Best of all, all eight of the cars featured in the Launch Bonus Car Pack will be available to all Forza Horizon 2 players at launch for no additional cost.

 

Here’s the full list of cars in the Launch Bonus Car Pack:

·         2003 Ford Focus RS

·         1997 Land Rover Defender 90

·         1993 Clio Williams

·         2015 Ford Mustang GT

·         1987 Buick Regal GNX

·         2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV

·         1968 Abarth 595 esseesse

·         1956 Ford F-100

In addition to the Launch Bonus Car Pack, the details for Forza Horizon 2 VIP membership (discounted for current Forza Motorpsort 5 VIPs) and the Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass were recently revealed. As in Forza Motorsport 5, each purchased add-on car can be added to your in-game garage one time for free – without additional in-game credits.

Forza Horizon 2 VIP Membership (regular £15.99; 50% off or £7.99 for Forza Motorsport 5 VIP members) will receive exclusive benefits in Forza Horizon 2, including the VIP Car Pack, featuring five cars (four of which are brand new to the Forza franchise). VIP membership also awards with 2x player in-game reward acceleration, access to exclusive multiplayer events, in-game gifts from the Forza community team, and special in-game recognition.

The Forza Horizon 2 Car Pass (£19.99) gets you access to six monthly pack add-ons beginning in October, with each pack featuring five amazing cars. Plus, Car Pass owners will receive an exclusive bonus car for free: the 2010 Noble M600. That’s 31 additional cars to collect, race and customise.

You can now download the Forza Horizon 2 game demo on Xbox Live and get a taste for the game.
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Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar Games® recently announced that Grand Theft Auto V® will arrive on the PlayStation®4 and Xbox One on 18 November 2014, with the PC version to follow on January 27, 2015. The game will feature a range of major visual and technical upgrades to make Los Santos and Blaine County more immersive than ever. In addition to increased draw distances and higher resolution, players can expect a range of additions and improvements.

These include:

  • New activities
  • New weapons
  • New vehicles
  • Additional wildlife
  • Denser traffic
  • New foliage system
  • Enhanced damage and weather effects, and much more

Grand Theft Auto V will also feature enhanced radio selections, with over 100 additional new songs and new DJ mixes from returning DJs across the game’s 17 radio stations.

 

All players who pre-order the game will receive $1,000,000 in-game cash to spend across Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.

 

A host of new, exclusive content also awaits for players returning from the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360 versions including rare versions of classic vehicles to collect from across the Grand Theft Auto series such as the Dukes, the Dodo Seaplane and a faster, more maneouverable Blimp; activities, including wildlife photography; and new shooting range challenges, new weapons and more.

 

Enhancements online include an increased player count, with online play now for up to 30 playerson PlayStation®4 and Xbox One. All existing gameplay upgrades and Rockstar-created content released since the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online will also be available for the PlayStation®4, Xbox One and PC with much more to come.

 

Existing players on PlayStation®3 or Xbox 360 will be able to transfer their current Grand Theft Auto Online characters and progression to their choice of PlayStation®4, Xbox One or PC. For more information check www.rockstargames.com/V.

 

Check the new trailer below.

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FIFA 15

FIFA 15

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) recently announced that the playable demo of EA SPORTS™ FIFA 15* is available to download for PC, Xbox One® and Xbox 360® games and entertainment systems from Microsoft for Xbox Live® Gold members, and for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. 

FIFA 15
FIFA 15

The FIFA 15 demo on Xbox 360 will be available to Xbox Live Silver members beginning September 16. Fans can download the demo by visiting http://www.easports.com/uk/fifa/demo.

 

Fans will be able to play at Anfield as Liverpool FC, FC Barcelona, Chelsea FC, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, SSC Napoli, Manchester City, and Boca Juniors, or as one of five unique squads in FIFA Ultimate Team™. 

 

“The launch of the FIFA 15 Demo is like our pre-season and the first chance for millions of FIFA fans to get hands-on with the game,” said Nick Channon, Senior Producer, EA SPORTS FIFA. “The demo is an early representation and taste of this year’s game, and we welcome the chance to get fan feedback on our innovations and new features.”

 

Fans are encouraged to send their first impressions of the game by using #FIFA15Demo on Facebook and Twitter.

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Minecraft

Minecraft

Microsoft recently announced that Minecraft will enter the next generation tomorrow with the release of “Minecraft: Xbox One Edition”. Starting this Friday, players can purchase and download “Minecraft: Xbox One Edition” as either a full price game for £15.99 or as an upgrade from “Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition” for just £3.99.

Minecraft
Minecraft

With worlds up to 36 times larger than on Xbox 360, there’s an even bigger canvas to create on. You can even transfer your favourite Xbox 360 worlds and content to the Xbox One Edition so you won’t lose your creations.

 

Gamers can join a community of 13-million-plus Minecraft fans on Xbox Live that are continually laying down imaginative creations. And, with the widest range of downloadable content on console, you’ll never run out of new worlds to explore with four-player split-screen on one console or up to eight players over Xbox Live.

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FIFA 15

FIFA 15

EA SPORTS™ recently announced that last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Team of the Year, Eden Hazard, will make his debut on the cover of EA SPORTS FIFA 15 – due out 25 September in Europe and 26 September in the UK and Ireland. The 23 year old Belgian had an outstanding season for Chelsea in the 2013/14 campaign with 14 goals, seven assists and 92 chances created from his 35 appearances. 

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard

The midfielder had a pin-point 83% passing accuracy, including 1,055 passes in the opposition half - one of just ten players to top 1,000 in the Barclays Premier League last season. Hazard also completed more successful dribbles than any other player in the division with 132. In comparison, the second ranked player completed just 93, making Hazard the Barclays Premier League's most dangerous player with the ball at his feet.

 

Commenting on the partnership, Dan Holman, Head of UK Product Marketing EA SPORTS said: “We’re delighted to have Eden on the cover of FIFA 15 and to be working with him and Chelsea in showcasing the Barclays Premier League to the amazing level of detail that the game will deliver this year. Eden’s quick, direct and skilful approach is a joy to watch on the pitch, and a dream come true for FIFA Ultimate Team fans, and it shows why he is often one of the first names in their concept squads.”

 

On seeing the FIFA 15 pack, Eden said: “I have played FIFA all of my life and it’s a huge honour to be asked to be on the cover of FIFA 15. Now I have played the game I can say it’s the most realistic football game I have seen, so I cannot wait to challenge my friends and team-mates with FIFA 15 and show off the new moves.”

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Grand Theft Auto Online

Grand Theft Auto

The San Andreas Flight School Update for GTA Online is now available via automatic update 1.16 for both PS3 and Xbox 360. You think you've got what it takes to be awesome? Get yourself down to The San Andreas Flight School and grab the stick of the fast and nimble Western Besra training jet and push it to the edge of the envelope. Master absolute air superiority in 10 new solo missions that will make you comfortable in any pilot’s danger zone, including combat manoeuvering, low-flying challenges, formation flying and more.

GTA Online San Andreas Flight School Update
GTA Online San Andreas Flight School Update

Once it’s ‘mission accomplished’ and you’re out of your new flight suit, spend your shore leave buzzing the skies in the luxury Swift helo, or cram your entire squad into the new 16-seater Buckingham Mil-Jet for team transport in style. Hit the silk with a collection of new chutes and parachute bags, and if things get a little out of control, rely on the reserve parachute to give you a second chance at that soft landing – or use it to get creative with your precision dives. Later, hit the streets in the shapely Invetero Coquette Classic, available in either hard-top or topless roadster variants for whatever your sea-level speed fix.

GTA Online San Andreas Flight School Update
GTA Online San Andreas Flight School Update

And round up your wingmen for new races, captures, parachute jumps and more, including the three all-new VS Mission modes. Acquire Targets is a kill-the-carrier style mode where opponents fight in P996 Lazers to control one flag; maintain control for as long as you can to rack up points. In G-Rating, compete against other cadets as you fly to pick up 15 flags in both weapons hot and cold environments. Or try out Air Force Zero, where the defending team must protect an aircraft against an attacking team as it flies to the safe LZ.

 GTA Online San Andreas Flight School Update
GTA Online San Andreas Flight School Update

In addition to everything listed above, the recent update also includes a number of other adjustments and fixes for GTA Online. Most notably, all Contact Mission GTA$ and RP awards have been rebalanced so that more difficult missions will earn you greater rewards, GTA$ payouts on replays are no longer reduced and all rewards are now time scaled. Check the video out below.

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EA SPORTS™

FIFA 15

Electronic Arts Inc. recently announced that EA SPORTS™ and the Premier League have extended their existing agreement until the end of the 2018/19 season, which now incorporates the sponsorship of the League’s Goal Decision System. As a longstanding partner of the Premier League, EA SPORTS has been connecting to real world football through a number of partnership initiatives with the Premier League, including the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index - an in-depth statistics matrix measuring player’s all round contribution – and the Fantasy Premier League game.

FIFA 15

The new agreement will showcase the Barclays Premier League as the most authentic league in EA SPORTS FIFA 15, with an unprecedented level of detail in the players and all 20 stadiums, as well as the integration of broadcast quality graphics, audio and commentary that ensures FIFA 15 fans will feel the emotion and intensity of the most popular football league in the world. The deal has given EA SPORTS access to all 20 Barclays Premier League clubs to enable the FIFA 15 team to capture 3D head scans of over 200 players, build realistic stadiums for all 20 League clubs, and capture the emotion of the crowd by recording live match atmosphere during the 2013/14 season.

FIFA 15

“We’re extremely pleased to announce the extension of our partnership with the Premier League, the most played league in EA SPORTS FIFA,” said Peter Moore, Chief Operating Officer, EA. “It brings our award-winning game to new levels of authenticity and realism, and enables fans to immerse themselves in the drama and emotion of the league. And as a life-long Liverpool FC fan, I know exactly how that feels!”

 

“EA SPORTS is a long term licensee of the Premier League and we are extremely pleased to extend our existing agreements with them, and to add new elements to our partnership including their sponsorship of the Goal Decision System,” commented Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League. “They have worked with our clubs to enhance the Premier League element of FIFA 15 like never before and, combined with their sponsorship of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and our Fantasy Premier League game, they continue to engage with football fans in a variety of innovative and exciting ways.”

 

Check out the trailer showcasing the Barclays Premier League and FIFA 15 below.

 

FIFA 15, developed at EA Canada, will release 26 September in the UK.

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X-mini KAI 2 Capsule Speaker

X-mini KAI 2 Capsule Speaker

Singapore-based, sound innovation company, Xmi Pte Ltd, embraces ‘lifestyle conferencing’ with a new and improved addition to its multiple award-winning X-mini Capsule Speakers range. The X-mini KAI 2 Capsule Speaker boasts noise cancelling microphone, pocket sized portability, Bluetooth connection (plus wireless dongle function) and Ceramic drivers and will be available in a range of six colours; gunmetal grey, blue, green, orange, red and purple. 

 

 

The X-mini KAI 2 is designed to cater for mobile conferencing, but not just in a business context. With the rise of Skype, Facetime, Viber and of course mobile, we now connect with friends and family in an ever-evolving, interactive way; X-mini call it ‘lifestyle conferencing’. It’s where, for example, friends call each other for a chat while cooking dinner, where we ‘Skype’ to catch up with family around the world, where ‘hands free’ is essential for a safe journey, or where teenagers don’t have to stop talking to their friends, no matter where they are.

The X-mini KAI 2 embraces this modern lifestyle, with its noise-cancelling mic designed to filter background disturbance and improve the quality of your conversations, whether it’s with friends, family or of course, for business.

 

The X-mini KAI 2 also provides a professional tool for modern business, with a Bluetooth connection of up to 10 metres, and a 360° of full, high clarity sound, to fill any meeting room. However, add to this, pocket-sized portability, up to 10 hours of playback time, and a  range of cool colours.

 

Xmi Pte Ltd Founder, Ryan Lee adds, “The way we connect and communicate with each other is changing, and the forward-thinking KAI 2 design features reflect this. Build, performance and user experience remain of utmost importance, and the KAI 2 will retain the iconic, twist and turn design of our Capsule Speaker range, however this is a vastly different product, designed very much with a modern lifestyle in mind.”

 

The X-mini KAI 2 will retail at £39.95, check www.x-mini.com for more info.

© justaweemusicblog.com

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Grand Theft Auto V®

Grand Theft Auto V®

Rockstar Games® recently announced that the critically acclaimed and record-breaking Grand Theft Auto V® is coming this autumn/fall to the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC. Grand Theft Auto V will take full advantage of the power of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC with across-the-board graphical and technical improvements to deliver a stunning new level of detail. Increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic, and enhanced resolutions work together to bring new life to the cities, towns, deserts and oceans of Rockstar North’s epic reimagining of Southern California.

“Grand Theft Auto V looks and feels stunning enhanced by the power of these new platforms,” said Sam Houser, founder of Rockstar Games.  "We can’t wait for players to experience a new level of detail to this massive world."

 

The new generation upgrades also extend to Grand Theft Auto Online, an ever-evolving Grand Theft Auto universe. Rise through the criminal ranks by banding together to complete Jobs for cash, purchase properties, vehicles and character upgrades, compete in traditional competitive modes, or create your own content to play and share with the Grand Theft Auto community.

 

All new content and gameplay created since the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online, including an extensive array of new Jobs, an arsenal of new weapons, scores of new vehicles, new properties and player customizations will also be available for the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One and PC with much more to come.  In addition, the current community of players will have the ability to transfer their Grand Theft Auto Online characters and progression to their choice of PlayStation®4, Xbox One or PC.

 

Grand Theft Auto V for PC will also feature a video editor designed for advanced movie-making.

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Xbox One

Xbox | E3

Yesterday, on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. unveiled the future of gaming on Xbox One through a lineup of games from some of the world’s most visionary creators. This holiday season on Xbox One gamers will enjoy a collection of the most popular game in Xbox history with “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” as well as highly anticipated exclusives such as “Sunset Overdrive,” “Forza Horizon 2,” “Fable Legends” and “Dance Central Spotlight.”

Showcasing the power of the cloud and the best multiplayer experience on Xbox Live, Xbox exclusives shared the stage with games such as “Assassin’s Creed® Unity,” “Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare,” “Evolve” and “Rise of the Tomb Raider,” and independent games such as “INSIDE,” adding to a growing library of games on Xbox One. In addition, beginning now, gamers can choose to buy an all-new Xbox One option for £349.99.1 Xbox One with Kinect will continue to be available.

Xbox | E3

“We are committed to delivering amazing experiences that will help define this generation of games and delight the millions of passionate Xbox fans around the world,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “Xbox will be the only place you can enjoy the most-anticipated blockbusters and new franchises, including exclusives like ‘Sunset Overdrive,’ ‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection,’ ‘Forza Horizon 2,’ and ‘Dance Central Spotlight.’ In addition, on Xbox One gamers will be able to play upcoming hits like ‘Destiny,’ ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,’ ‘Assassin’s Creed Unity’ and a vibrant catalog of games from independent developers.”

 

Since the launch of Xbox One, the Xbox Live community has spent nearly 1.7 billion hours on games and entertainment, an average of five hours per day per console.

 

“Today [Monday] we’re thrilled to offer our fans more choices to play the games they love and to enjoy all of their entertainment with the new Xbox One option for £349.99,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president, Devices and Studios at Microsoft. “With an amazing lineup of exclusive games and more than 225 entertainment apps available around the world by this holiday, powered by our Xbox Live multiplayer service, we’re committed to making Xbox an incredible place to play.” 3

 

To see the full announcement and the list of forthcoming games, check: http://news.xbox.com

© justaweemusicblog.com

Xbox | E3
Xbox | E3
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Destination Brazil

Xbox One

Microsoft announced a new hub for all things football on Xbox, Destination Brazil. Starting 12th June, fans can access Destination Brazil on the Xbox One dashboard and launch an array of football content. Destination Brazil includes Brazil Now, a new app that snaps next to live TV to enhance your match viewing experience, enable you to play FIFA 14 Ultimate Team: FIFA World Cup and check out various series about your favourite football clubs from Copa90.

You can personalise the app to your team, receive alerts and score updates for all the games, and watch the live games with real-time stats, scores and live social experiences on Xbox Live. Brazil Now also gives you notifications of when matches are starting, goal alerts and score updates. You can use these notifications to jump directly into the app and get details about the match in progress, or watch the match live.

 

Also, starting on 15th June, fans can tune in to the all-new interactive reality show “Every Street United” through Destination Brazil and watch as legendary footballers Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids scout the world’s most gifted, undiscovered street stars.

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Xbox One

Xbox

Guess blog from Xbox: With the next system update coming in June, we’re thrilled to announce two of your most-requested features will be here soon: external storage support and real names for identifying your friends. Since our launch of Xbox One last year, we’ve been hard at work to continue making Xbox One the best destination for all your gaming and entertainment experiences. Because of the way we’ve designed the Xbox One platform, we’ve been able to continually improve the product for you with a more regular cadence of system and app updates. Your feedback for what you want most has been our guiding light for these updates, and will continue to be as we work to bring the fan-favourite features you want most.

Real names and external storage support are just the beginning for June. With this update, Xbox Live is being improved in a number of ways as we announced last week. You will also be able to take advantage of great new SmartGlass features, including OneGuide and Universal Remote Control, select an account for automatic sign-in, and for Xbox One owners in Canada and Europe, get access to OneGuide and more TV, SmartGlass and voice features.

 

Easily Increase Games Capacity with External Storage Support

It couldn’t be easier to increase your storage capacity of games and apps with the external storage support features we’re bringing in June. Your Xbox One system will soon support up to two external hard drives at once. Simply plug in your 256GB or larger USB 3.0 external hard drive and once formatted, copy and move games, apps and game add-ons to increase your storage capacity at home.

 

This is also a great way to take your content to a friend’s house and get straight into a game directly from an external drive. You’ll need to sign in to Xbox Live if you’ve purchased your content digitally or insert a disc to verify your game ownership when you take your content on the road. The great benefit here is there’s no need to wait to re-download your game and all the DLC. With external storage support in June, you can also choose to copy full games and all of the associated content in one easy step.

Real Names Makes it Easier to Identify Friends

With Xbox One you can have 1,000 friends and infinite followers, but as these lists grow it can become increasingly more difficult to remember the people you know by their gamertag alone. Now with real names feature you can recognize people on your friends list and more easily discover people you already know who are on Xbox Live.

 

Most importantly, we heard your feedback that to make this most useful you need full control. You’ll be able to share with all your friends, a subset of your choosing, friends of friends or none at all. The choice is yours. Also, your name doesn’t show up in games, and you can change your settings any time from your profile and when adding new friends.

 

SmartGlass Provides Access to full OneGuide and Universal Remote Control, Pin Reordering and More

We’ve made a ton of changes to your SmartGlass app for Xbox One. After getting great feedback from our SmartGlass beta, we’re thrilled to be bringing the entire OneGuide experience and Universal Remote Control to SmartGlass. Now in supported markets you can view all of your TV listings on your SmartGlass device and set and view your favourite channels and app channels on your smart phone, tablet or PC. With the Universal Remote Control, you can also easily switch channels, set new recordings and select and control recorded content from your DVR. Another great companion feature now in SmartGlass is pin reordering. With the touch of your finger you can easily organize your pins in categories or favourites based on your preferences and have those changes refresh to your console.

 

Other improvements to SmartGlass will help you stay current on what you and your friends are up to, even when you’re away from your console. We’re bringing hero stats and activity feed front and center, and adding more ways for you to compare achievements via SmartGlass whether you’re on a friend’s profile or viewing a game from the activity feed. Just like on the console, you can choose to get notifications on your smart phone, PC or tablet when a favourite friend signs into their console or starts broadcasting a game. For many devices, you can even choose to start watching the broadcast wherever you are.

 

Expanded TV and OneGuide Soon Available in More Markets

The TV and OneGuide features we began sharing with select Xbox Live members in April will be available in June to everyone in UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The update will bring OneGuide, alongside Favourites and App Channels, for people in these markets who have their TV connected to Xbox One via HDMI-in. Additional features in these markets include Kinect voice commands for controlling your set-top box and other AV equipment. We’ve also updated TV and OneGuide settings to provide better power management and control of your devices and improved compatibility with more devices.

 

New Gold Membership Benefits, Access to Apps for All and More

With this update, you’ll find a new hub in Xbox One for exploring all of the great benefits available to Xbox Live Gold members, including Games with Gold and Deals with Gold. Also, with the Xbox Live Gold changes announced last week, shortly after the Xbox One system update becomes available in June all Xbox Live members will be able to access popular gaming and entertainment apps without a Gold membership.

 

Finally, we’ve made it possible for you to choose an account for automatic sign-in on your Xbox One – another much-requested feature from fans.

 

Coming soon, these features will be available to members previewing Xbox One system updates as they help us work through final improvements. This system update will become available to the full Xbox One community in June. We look forward to hearing what you think and keep the feedback coming.

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The Halo Journey

Halo 5 Guardians

Any time you transition to a new platform, there is the opportunity to look at things with a new perspective. For us at 343 Industries, the launch of the Xbox One was an opportunity to think about what stories we wanted to tell, how to tell them, and how best to push the Halo franchise to showcase the platform. And maybe, most importantly, combining our passion for Halo with the vocal and informative input from our fans.  

Halo 5 Guardians
Halo 5 Guardians

Halo isn’t simply a perennial game franchise, it’s a part of the Xbox platform itself. In terms of innovation and ideation, it’s sometimes important to people who might not even play Halo. And of course it’s a passion and an essential experience for two generations of gamers.  So we asked ourselves, how do we begin and where do we go with Halo on Xbox One?

 

In the past, Halo games have pushed the Xbox forward, showcasing the console and its ecosystem in entertaining and innovative ways. Making a Halo game that runs at 60 frames per second, on dedicated servers, with the scope, features and scale we’ve been dreaming of for more than a decade, is non-trivial.  It’s a task that we, at 343 Industries, are taking very seriously to ensure we deliver the Halo game that fans deserve, and a game that is built from the ground up for Xbox One.

 

I’m happy to reveal that Halo 5: Guardians, the next installment in the legendary saga of the Master Chief, will launch on Xbox One in fall/autumn of 2015.  In the tradition of every Halo game since its debut in 2001, it is a massive and exciting project.

 

Halo 5: Guardians is a bigger effort than Halo 4.  That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine.  Certainly there are some core elements carried over from prior games, but we’ve invested a huge effort in retooling our tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen.

Halo 5 Guardians
Halo 5 Guardians

It’s a game that will hopefully demonstrate the talent, learnings and abilities of the 343 Industries team. A game that will incorporate the things we learned from Halo 4 about technology, aesthetics, performance and scale – and perhaps more importantly, understanding and embracing a community of gamers who love what lies at the heart of this game, and the limitless potential of the Halo universe.

 

And 2015 won’t simply be the year of Halo 5: Guardians, it will also be a year that offers us a unique opportunity. The opportunity to invite old friends and new audiences into that universe through the Halo television series, launched as a unique collaboration with Steven Spielberg and some of the finest creative minds in the business.  A series that will stand alone, as well as complement and enrich the game experience.  We’ll have more to share on the Halo television series as we near its projected fall/autumn 2015 release.

 

Your Journey Begins in 2014

Many fans noted that I was very deliberate with my phrasing on stage at E3 last year. I spoke about a “journey,” rather than a destination – and that journey definitely begins in 2014 with a giant leap, rather than one small step. We’ll give you much more information about our plans for this year at the Xbox E3 2014 Media Briefing on June 9, and we’re confident that Halo fans will be pretty excited the special plans we have in store.

 

So until E3, I’d like to express my gratitude to our massive and varied Halo community, whose energy, enthusiasm, criticism and kindness are the driving force behind what we do and what we hope to achieve in Halo 5: Guardians.

 

WORDS: Bonnie Ross – General Manager, 343 Industries

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SOS Rehydration

SOS Rehydration

Forget about packing your Berocca for Ibiza this summer, you need a few sachets of the new SOS Rehydrate. It's a sports recovery supplement that has been personally endorsed by Sir Ben Ainslie and as well as providing athletes with a rehydration solution post sport, it's also amazing for those that live in the fast lane and will be hitting Ibiza and other party islands hard this summer! Basically, athletes and active individuals who want to stay hydrated and performing at their peak now have a new rehydration solution comparable to a drinkable IV. 

SOS is formulated to provide the right balance of electrolytes and sugars for optimum hydration, and is the only product that utilizes the World Health Organization's oral rehydration solution standards. Unlike plain water, energy drinks or sports drinks, SOS enhances the body's water absorption process by mixing the correct amount of electrolytes and sugars. The product is based on a formula discovered more that 50 years ago and used by medical practitioners to treat mild to moderate dehydration.

SOS Rehydration
SOS Rehydration

A team of experts and athletes who recognize and understand the importance of hydration, including two former elite runners, a retired military officer and a physician, developed SOS. The company’s co-owners and advisory board includes four-time sailing Olympic gold medalist Sir Ben Ainslie, Indycar champion Scott Dixon, and triathlon Olympic gold medalist Hamish Carter, athletes who understand mild dehydration’s effect on endurance activities, running, cycling and competing at the highest levels.

 

“While there are plenty of sports drinks and energy drinks available, there’s nothing like SOS on the market today. We even can say that SOS is a drinkable IV based the manner and speed at which it replenishes water and electrolytes,” said James Mayo, SOS Co-Founder. “The development process took months and dozens of trials to find a formula that adheres to WHO standards but also tastes good. We’re very pleased with the outcome.”


Order SOS Rehydrate Blueberry and Citrus NOW for a price of £8 for a pack of five of the rehydration drink #recovery

 

How SOS Works

SOS is a complex, specially formulated blend of sugar, sodium, potassium, citrate and magnesium.

 

When fluid arrives at the first portion of the small bowel SOS activates the body's sodium/glucose co-transport system when one molecule of sodium is pulled from the small intestine into blood vessels by one molecule of glucose. Due to osmotic forces, water is absorbed because it follows sodium.

 

Many sports drinks attempt to hydrate and fuel, but higher sugar levels often leads to GI distress. Sugar increases osmolality (the measure of solute concentration), and instead of pushing water into the blood vessels, it pulls it into the gut, causing bloating or even diarrhea.  For this reason SOS has only 25 calories per serving and a low osmolality of 230 Osm/L to more effectively transport water into the body.

 

SOS is an ideal hydration solution for athletes and anyone engaged in an active lifestyle. Using it before, during and after exercise will both aid rehydration and recovery. It comes in single serving packets that are simply added to water, creating a drink with mild lemon flavor. www.sosrehydrate.com.

© justaweemusicblog.com

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FIFA 14

FIFA 14

EA SPORTS™ recently announced the FIFA Ultimate Team, Team of the Season for the Barclays Premier League. The starting XI was revealed as Petr Čech, Leighton Baines, Vincent Kompany, Per Mertesacker, John Terry, Eden Hazard, Yaya Touré, Steven Gerrard, Aaron Ramsey, Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge, with the substitutes and reserves as David Marshall, Séamus Coleman, Azpilicueta, Adam Lallana, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero.

FIFA 14
FIFA 14

As well as making the Team of the Season, Daniel Sturridge has been revealed to be the highest scoring Barclays Premier League player in FIFA 14 Ultimate Team with 34,800,362 goals. Sturridge’s strike partner Luis Suárez is the 10th highest scoring player with 13,065,556 goals.

 

Second place in the goal-scoring charts went to Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o with 30,578,146 goals. Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke (26,382,579 goals), Newcastle United’s Loïc Rémy (21,366,615 goals) and Chelsea’s Fernando Torres (20,093,762 goals) make up the remaining places in the Top 5 of the FIFA 14 Ultimate Team top goal-scorers chart.

 

Check out all the positions below:

 

FIFA 14 Ultimate Team Top Goal-Scorers – Barclays Premier League

 

Forwards

 

1.       Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool FC) – 34,800,362 goals

2.       Samuel Eto’o (Chelsea FC) - 30,578,146 goals

3.       Christian Benteke (Aston Villa FC) – 26,382,579 goals

4.       Loïc Rémy (Newcastle United FC) – 21,366,615 goals

5.       Fernando Torres (Chelsea FC) – 20,093,762 goals

 

Midfielders

 

1.       André Schürrle (Chelsea FC) – 11,772,194 goals

2.       Samir Nasri (Manchester City FC) – 9,612,593 goals

3.       Santi Cazorla (Arsenal FC) – 7,278,274 goals

4.       Oscar (Chelsea FC) – 7,045,177 goals

5.       Nani (Manchester United FC) – 6,745,229 goals

 

Defenders

 

1.       David Luiz (Chelsea FC) – 5,681,990 goals

2.       Vincent Kompany (Manchester City FC) – 3,522,154 goals

3.       Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United FC) – 2,682,706 goals

4.       Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur FC) – 2,489,126 goals

5.       Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal FC) – 2,469,715 goals

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X-mini

X-mini

Singapore-based, sound innovation company, Xmi Pte Ltd, has launched a range of thumb-sized speakers designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. The X-mini ME and X-mini WE redefine the idea of pocket-size portability and, with a decent sound performance, aim to deliver the X-mini promise of Sound Beyond Size. Both models are perfect partners for smartphones and tablets, letting you take high quality sound with you, wherever you go. 

X-mini
X-mini

The X-mini WE features Bluetooth connectivity to play tracks wirelessly, as well as the ability to Bluetooth-enable any other connected audio device! It also has the latest NFC connectivity, allowing users to simply tap to pair! The X-mini WE comes in a cool Gunmetal Grey, with more colours to follow, and retails at £29.99 while the wired version, the X-mini ME is available now in a fashionable selection of Gunmetal Grey, Yellow, Pink and Blue, and retails at £19.99.

 

Xmi Pte Ltd’s original X-mini Capsule Speaker range possibly set the benchmark for portable sound quality and is sold in over 80 territories worldwide. The X-mini ME and WE represent an evolution of the X-mini range, and will once again bring a fresh new perspective to the way people think of portable sound.

X-mini
X-mini

The X-mini ME measures just 44mm in height and weighs only 44gm, with the X-mini WE at 48mm and 48gm respectively. When you need to pump out the sounds, the magnetically shielded, 31 mm drivers, deliver a performance, well beyond the expectations for a speaker of its stature. With just a 1.5 hour charge via micro-usb, giving a playback time of up to 6 hours. Both models come with a carry strap, and a cable with USB, micro-usb and 3.5mm jack connectors.

 

The X-mini WE features the popular ‘Buddy-Jack’ which allows you to connect multiple speakers together for an even bigger sound. The Buddy-Jack is also what turns the X-mini WE into a Bluetooth dongle.  Just connect it via 3.5mm jack to any audio system whether it’s an old stereo or a pair of headphones and then transmit your music wirelessly.

 

Mr Ryan Lee, founder of Xmi Pte Ltd said:

“We wanted to further challenge ourselves and competitors by revisiting our philosophy of Sound Beyond Size. This time we looked at shaking things up by making the speakers even smaller, yet retaining the sound quality expected of an X-mini product. However, this is not just a sound accessory; this is a fashion accessory, a lifestyle accessory, and more than that, this is a movement to encourage people to bring good quality sound everywhere they go.”

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Kinect Sports Rivals

Kinect Sports Rivals

Kinect Sports Rivals, which is currently available in North America, Australia and New Zealand, will be available in Europe this Friday 11 April, exclusively on Xbox One. Whether fans are looking to tackle the new sports – climbing, wake racing and target shooting – or experience the re-imagined favourites – soccer, tennis and bowling – the Xbox One and the new Kinect aims to deliver next-gen motion sports gameplay like never before.

Kinect Sports Rivals has been built entirely from the ground up and is the first title to take full advantage of all the new Xbox One capabilities, including the new Kinect sensor and Xbox Live, and is beautifully rendered 1080p HD. For the first time in motion-based games, subtle movements and timing are tracked with precision. Additionally, players have an all new way to get in the game with Champions, a stylised on-screen version of themselves that participates in each of the challenges and continues to compete with friends, even if the player isn’t there.

Xbox also launched the Kinect Sports Rivals World Championship, the first ever global motion-sports competition which will challenge players from around the world who have honed their gameplay skills and award the grand prize winner with $10,000 in cash and a trip to one of four destinations: a water sports adventure in Bora Bora, walking the Great Wall of China, trekking to Machu Picchu, or skiing the Swiss Alps.

 

Additional prizes include:

·         2nd Place:  USD $5,000

·         3rd Place:  USD $2,500

·         4th Place:  USD $1,000

·         5th – 11th Place:  USD $500 each

 

It will culminate with a live, in-person final championship this July at the San Diego Comic-Con, where top finalists from each participating country will battle for their country’s glory and the grand prize.

© justaweemusicblog.com

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Titanfall

Titanfall

Gamers recently queued late into the night across the UK to get their copy of probably the most anticipated game of 2014, “Titanfall”. Exclusive to Xbox, the game is expected to break Xbox One sales records and be one of the best-selling titles this year. To celebrate the launch, free runners dressed as Pilot characters from the game performed stunts for London commuters along Millennium Bridge and the South Bank, emulating the abilities of players in the game. 

On Thursday evening The Boiler House at the Old Truman Brewery was transformed into a scene from the game. Fans and celebrity attendees including Jonathan Ross, The Voice UK judge Ricky Wilson and Professor Green, played the next generation multiplayer game as parkour free-runners staged a series of stunts including wall running across the venue.

 

Xbox UK Marketing Director, Harvey Eagle said: “Titanfall is the most anticipated game of the year. It’s already won more than 80 awards from critics around the world. Millions of gamers around the world played the Xbox One Titanfall beta and hundreds of thousands have been playing since Tuesday when it launched in the US. Xbox One is the best place to play Titanfall and there has never been a better time to join the new console generation.”

 

Titanfall is from Respawn Entertainment, a studio formed by Vince Zampella and Jason West, former co-founders of Infinity Ward and two of the co-creators of the multi-billion dollar franchise Call Of Duty™.

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Xbox One

Xbox One

Once a TV staple, music videos are now primarily housed on the internet, where easy access is key. With that philosophy in mind, Xbox has brought that discoverability to your music viewing experience on Xbox One by introducing more than 92,000 music videos to Xbox Music.

Xbox One

Now you can rock out to a new playlist, create a Radio stream based on your favourite artist or pick a random track from your collection with Xbox Music on Xbox One, and if the song has a music video, watch it play automatically in sharp HD on your TV.

 

The process is simple. Find your playlist, say “Xbox Play,” and watch the videos appear on screen. You don’t have to spend hours tracking down videos for each song – it’s all rolled into one easy step.

 

Check it out and see it for yourself.

© justaweemusicblog.com

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Xbox One Stereo Headset

Xbox One

 

Xbox One recently announced their forthcoming Stereo Headset, which will allow gamers to immerse themselves in their games and play at whatever volume they’d like. Releasing across Xbox One markets worldwide in early March, the Stereo Headset will offer a premium audio experience for both game and chat audio, with a full-range (20Hz – 20kHz) audio spectrum to ensure gamers can enjoy the bass and high frequencies.

Xbox One Stereo Headset
Xbox One Stereo Headset

 

The Stereo Headset will also feature a unidirectional microphone for clear voice capture and over-the-ear speakers to keep you comfortable during long gaming sessions. The headset will ship with a detachable Stereo Headset Adapter that puts all of the audio controls right at your fingertips.  You can balance the game and chat audio levels to hear just what you want, control the master volume, and mute the microphone each with the touch of a button. 

 

A Stereo Headset Adapter will also ship separately worldwide in early March, for those who prefer their own brand of headphones. Volume controls on the adapter let you adjust chat volume levels and mute your headset’s microphone without taking your hands off the controller.  Simply plug the adapter into your controller and connect your compatible stereo headset to enable chat audio – thanks to integration with Skype’s audio codec. The Xbox One Stereo Headset will retail for £59.99 MSRP and the Stereo Headset Adapter will be available for £19.99 MSRP.

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Juventa

The Chain Gang Of 1974 | Sleepwalking (Juventa Remix)

Hot on the heels of ‘Move Into Light’ and remix duty on US duo Tritonal’s ‘Now Or Never’, Enhanced Music’s Juventa recently revealed that the next track to receive his spin will be one synonymous with one of the most successful video games of all time – Grand Theft Auto V. His reimagining of ‘Sleepwalking’ by The Chain Gang Of 1974 is set for release on Monday 10th March exclusively through Beatport.

 

  

Juventa
Juventa

Having been the theme tune to the official GTA V trailer as well as featuring on the game’s soundtrack, the original has been gaining fans, support and millions of online plays ever since. Now the Dutch producer jacks up the tempo and breathes new life into the song by taking it to the dance floor and giving clubbers something they can really move to. Harnessing the vocals and guitar of the initial track, Juventa has transformed the hook into something ardent and infectious that sits perfectly on top of the beat.

 

With more than 100 million people who’ve played Grand Theft Auto V and countless more that have watched the TV ads, this could do well when it drops on March 10. Check it out below.

© justaweemusicblog.com

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Mobile

 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Mobile

 

Before GTAV took you to the sun-bleached sidewalks and humming concrete freeways of present-day Los Santos and beyond, there was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the biggest GTA of the PS2 era. Now, you can head back to the early-90s again with CJ and the Grove Street Families when Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas comes to mobile devices next month.

 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Mobile

Encompassing Los Santos, San Fierro, Las Venturas and everything in between, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been upgraded for its mobile release. Newly remastered graphics including dynamic and detailed shadows, greater draw distance, an enriched color palette, plus enhanced character and car models make this the best-looking version of San Andreas yet.

 

The game also features brand new touch controls including contextual control options to display buttons only when you need them and three different control schemes for driving and maneuvering, as well as a reworked checkpoint system for easier progression. It also comes equipped with full controller support, including Made for iOS controller capability on iOS7. It will be available for select iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle and Windows Mobile devices. More info soon.

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Xbox One

Xbox One

 

Leicester Square in London, UK officially became Xbox One Square yesterday for the launch of Xbox One. Possibly the biggest week in video game history kicked off with live outdoor performances from chart toppers Plan B and Katy B, and the midnight opening of a pop-up GAME store in a 10,000 ft2 Xbox One gaming zone in London’s Trocadero.

Xbox One launch
Xbox One launch

Leicester Square came to a standstill as stars from TV, film and music welcomed a new generation in gaming and entertainment, along with thousands of fans. A giant three-dimensional Xbox nexus dominated the centre of Leicester Square, which was transformed into a gaming and entertainment universe for the day. The very best of British game developers – who now represent one of the country’s most successful exports – were also on hand to showcase their new releases.

 

Zombies from Dead Rising 3 roamed the streets alongside a Roman legion from Ryse: Son of Rome. The Stig drove through the crowds in a McLaren supercar from Forza Motorsport 5 with headline performer Plan B, while Premiership footballer Andros Townsend competed against fans on FIFA 14 as part of the two-hour live extravaganza.

Xbox One launch
Xbox One launch

GAME then opened the doors to its pop-up store in the Xbox One Gaming Zone in The Trocadero. Phil Harrison, Corporate Vice President, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft EMEA, said: “We’re proud and excited that Xbox One is going to be the biggest launch in Xbox history. Xbox One is a complete, all-in-one system which has the best games, the best online service in Xbox Live, the best entertainment experiences and is built for the future. With the strongest line-up of games we’ve ever seen for a new console, pre-orders from fans across the UK are at unprecedented levels. 

 

“The games industry is evolving and growing fast, and we are proud to have so many British developers and creators helping to drive the new Xbox One era.”

 

Councillor Robert Davis, Westminster City Council’s deputy leader, said: “Leicester Square is the number one leisure destination in the UK, so Xbox holding their UK launch here is a perfect match – as the console will provide people with hours of fun, film, music and entertainment, just like the West End of London.

Xbox One launch
Xbox One launch

“Microsoft already has a strong bond with Westminster, with Microsoft Studios’ Soho Productions and developer Lift London just a few hundred metres away in Soho – which is becoming one of the UK’s fastest growing hubs for software designers and programmers.

 

“We are delighted to be hosting them for what is a major launch event which reflects the importance of central London as an economic powerhouse.”

 

Xbox One goes on sale in the UK today at £429.99 RRP, with launch titles – including Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, and Ryse: Son of Rome exclusive to Xbox One alongside FIFA 14, Call of Duty: Ghosts , Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.

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The Stig

The Stig | Top Gear

Racing fans will soon be donning their virtual crash helmets in anticipation of the imminent release of “Forza Motorsport 5” where they will have the first opportunity ever to try and beat Top Gear’s white-suited test driver The Stig – albeit his Digital Cousin.

 

In an exclusive new video recently released by BBC Worldwide, the renowned racing driver’s digital counterpart can be seen clocking up some perfect lap times around a test track, while the Xbox One Racing Team V8 Supercar crew are unawares. Unlike the real-life Stig however, it’s rumoured that for the very first time ever this will be a more fallible Stig - and one that can be beaten - but only if you’re fast. Players will be able to test themselves against him in “Forza Motorsport 5”, coming exclusively to Xbox One on 22nd November.  

Forza 5
Forza 5

The video launched ahead of the annual Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 car race that took place last Sunday at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. The car featured in the video being driven by The Stig’s Digital Cousin is the Holden Xbox One Racing Team car which will be driven by Britain’s Andy Prilaux, three-time WTCC winner and Bathurst veteran, and Sweden’s Mattias Ekstrom in this weekend’s race.

 

Duncan Gray, Top Gear’s Commercial Director at BBC Worldwide says: “Trying to beat The Stig on track has long been the petrol-fuelled dreams of Top Gear fans everywhere and whilst Jeremy and the team did not want to frustrate or embarrass gamers by putting forward the real Stig, they did help us track down a potentially more fallible relative of their tame racing driver.” 

In “Forza Motorsport 5”, players will be able to experience Top Gear in numerous ways throughout the game. Players will be able to race the Top Gear test track – every corner from Hammerhead to Gambon meticulously recreated with unprecedented accuracy. An all-new Career Mode will feature events and opponents that are true to each car’s automotive heritage. “Forza Motorsport 5” career events are organized by car genre – including vintage cars, sports compacts, grand touring, exotics and more. Jeremy, James, and Richard will be on hand, providing their unique perspective through voiceovers on the collection of cars featured in the career mode events.

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Machinima

Machinima

Xbox recently announced that Machinima will launch a new app exclusively on Xbox One, in conjunction with the console’s release on November 22. The app takes advantage of Xbox One’s exclusive “Snap” feature, giving gamers the ability to do two things at once, on the same screen.

Simply say “Xbox, Snap Machinima” while playing a game and Machinima will launch on the right side of your TV screen.One of the first things “Xbox, Snap Machinima” will do is offer curated videos from Machinima’s extensive library, based on the current game you’re playing. These videos will provide everything from game walk-throughs, game reviews, help videos and more.

 

Additionally on offer is an enhanced Snap experience for select Xbox One titles called “Wingman”, that will provide richer, custom-created and exclusive videos to complement gameplay and offer everything from in-game help and tutorials to strategy videos. In addition to the Snap experiences, Machinima is also launching an Xbox One SmartGlass experience on November 22, giving users a second-screen companion which allows you to keep a game full-screen on the TV while you receive a sidekick Machinima experience on your smartphone or tablet. Check it in action below.

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Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5

Given some of the recent technical issues during the first days of GTA online, and now that things are starting to look much smoother, Rockstar Games are currently giving away a special stimulus package for all who have played or will play Grand Theft Auto Online this month. They will be dropping a cool half a million GTA$ in the GTA Online bank accounts of all players this month, which already started this week.

Grand Theft Auto 5
Grand Theft Auto 5

In order to keep the current worldwide in-game economy balanced, Rockstar Games will be providing this GTA$ to players via two deposits of $250,000. The first installments should have happened this week with the second installment to happen by the end of the month. For players who experienced cloud server errors, connection issues, and lost game progress and characters in the first days of GTA Online, the GTA$ will help to facilitate a fresh start or make your continued life in Los Santos and Blaine County extra sweet.

 

Below are a few more details on how it will work:

 

  • You must play or have played Grand Theft Auto Online at any time during the month of October 2013 in order to qualify for the GTA$500,000 deposit in your in-game bank account 
  • Players will first have to install a forthcoming GTAV title update. That title update (1.04) is expected to fix the remaining instances of issues that have caused vehicle purchase loss and will also enable the functionality through which they’ll be providing this GTA$ stimulus cash to players.
  • They will announce at the Rockstar Newswire when each deposit is made.
  • Each of the two GTA$250,000 deposits will be made by Rockstar and should automatically appear in the in-game GTA Online bank accounts of eligible players.
  • Beyond downloading the forthcoming title update mentioned above, there should not be any additional special action required by eligible players to redeem.

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Xbox One

Xbox One

The Xbox team recently announced that it is taking Xbox One on the road, offering gamers the chance to experience the new generation of gaming before Xbox One launches on 22 November. Beginning on 1October through the end of the year, the Xbox team will visit over 75 different cities around the world through a series of experiential events.

The “Area One” tour will let people in Europe, US and Canada get hands on with the Xbox One line-up of  games, while the Xbox One “Test Drive” will see Xbox hitting the road to give people hands-on gameplay in unexpected places.

 

“Area One” will bring a large travelling tour to many cities around the world, including London, Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto. Xbox fans will be among the first to get their hands on the upcoming games coming to Xbox One, including Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, Kinect Sports Rivals, Crimson Dragon, Max: Curse of the Brotherhood, Zoo Tycoon and more.

Xbox One
Xbox One

“Area One” will provide an opportunity for large groups of people to try the latest games, learn about Xbox One, and enjoy some gameplay with their friends. While attendance is free of charge, space will be limited.

 

Xbox One will also be taking to the streets to give fans an opportunity to try out the Xbox One with “Test Drive.”  Across the UK, Germany, France, US and Canada, Xbox will cruise the country in custom “Test Drive” vehicles, appearing at festivals, university campuses, retail centers and more in search of gamers ready to take the new generation of entertainment for a spin.

 

Fans in France, Italy and Spain will also be able to get their hands on the Xbox One line-up at the Xbox booths at Milan Games Week (Oct 25 – 27), Paris Games Week (Oct 30 – Nov 3), and Madrid Games Week (Nov 7 – 10).

 

For more information and tour dates, check: xbox.com/onetour

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Technics Professional DJ Headphones

Technics Headphones

Once the benchmark of the industry’s top DJs, Panasonic position themselves to become the number one choice again with the release of the latest version of the legendary Technics professional headphones. Like many quality products, first impressions come with the packaging and by the time you open the matt black box to get your headphones out, you know what’s inside is well worth the wait.

As you would hope, the Technics name is written across the headband, complimenting their silver and black colouring. The headphones have swivel earpieces and fully detachable cabling, making them multi functional and ideal for carrying and storage. It also helps with any future repairs that all parts are separate. The headphones are ideal for all applications whether you are listening at home, working in a club, recording in a studio or using them with personal or portable audio.

The inner ear and clip-on designs ensure maximum comfort and sound insulation, providing you with a head full of sound when you are on the move. The headphones are loaded with features that enhance your listening experience and the stylish, minimalistic design and black on silver finishes, make these as much a fashion accessory, as a music necessity. No doubt there will be a full range of stockists, but you can currently get them at Argos on the link below. Check their full spec list below too.

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1115671.htm

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  • Professional DJ Headphones
  • Outstanding design
  • Volume control & In line mic
  • High Input (3500mW)
  • Powerful 50mm Drive unit for superior sound
  • Gold plated L-Plug & Twist- in type plug adaptor
  • Foldable design
  • Coiled and detachable cord
  • Carry pouch included
  • Frequency response 5Hz- 30kHz

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Forza Motorsport 5

Forza Motorsport 5

Turn 10 Studios recently unveiled a new video showcasing the first ever direct-feed gameplay footage of the Xbox One exclusive game, “Forza Motorsport 5”. The footage features the 2012 Pagani Huayra racing in the snowy elevations of the Bernese Alps circuit.The Bernese Alps circuit first made its debut in “Forza Motorsport 4” and has been completely rebuilt in “Forza Motorsport 5.”

Inspired by the Swiss Alps, the Bernese Alps circuit features elevation changes and a variety of sweeping and challenging corners and is a showcase for the new graphics engine that powers “Forza Motorsport 5” on Xbox One. From the physically-based materials system that re-creates every surface precisely as it looks in real life to the vastly improved lighting engine that brings the beauty of the track to life, the Bernese Alps look stunning running at 1080p resolution and at 60 frames per second.

Career Mode Details

Designed to spotlight the hundreds of drivable cars, the all-new career mode is organised into eight leagues, with each league covering a special “genre” of car (such as supercars, vintage, sports compacts, and more). Each set of career events will feature a video introduction with commentary provided by the hosts of the UK version of Top Gear.

 

Unlike traditional racing game career modes the career mode gives players the power to choose their own paths through the career. Players will have the choice to participate in whichever career mode events they like, provided they own a car that meets an event’s requirements, and can return to those events as many times as they like, all the while earning credits and experience as they go.

Silverstone Circuit Announced

The Silverstone Circuit makes its return, built from the ground up to feature the current track layout that has been in place since 2010. Known as the “home of British Motor Racing,” the Silverstone Circuit is 3.6 miles long and features 18 corners ranging from high-speed sweepers such as Woodcote to intricate series like the Maggotts and Becketts corners. The Silverstone Circuit was laser-scanned during development to provide the most accurate rendering of the circuit to be found in any racing game.

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Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

  Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood

Debuting for the first time on Xbox One, Microsoft Studios and Press Play revealed features for “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood,” a follow-up to the game “Max and the Magic Marker.”

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

Players will follow Max on his journey to find his brother, Felix, who’s been taken by a giant monster and travel with Max through a mystical, blighted fantasy-world, using powerful magical abilities to overcome puzzles and enemies in order to save Felix before it’s too late.Tokyo Game Show attendees had the chance to play the game for the first time last weekend. It’s another XBox One exclusive and will be available early next year.

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 Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
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Grand Theft Auto V

The Music Of Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar games recently announced that The Music of Grand Theft Auto V, a trio of albums from Grand Theft Auto V, are available on iTunes for £7.99 each or as a full compilation for £17.99.

Volume 1: Original Music

The first volume of the compilation is a collection of brand new music from a wide array of artists including Wavves, Twin Shadow and Tyler, The Creator - along with The Chain Gang of 1974's ‘Sleepwalking’, which was featured in the game's official trailer.

Volume 2: The Score

GTAV is the first entry in the series to feature an original score composed and engineered to be completely responsive to the player’s actions within both missions and open world gameplay. The score was composed in a one-time collaboration between a team of producers and composers including German electronic band Tangerine Dream, Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire) and hip-hop producers The Alchemist and Oh No. For The Music of Grand Theft Auto V: Volume 2, the stems of the game’s interactive score are layered, mixed and arranged into an album of songs by acclaimed producer and DJ, DJ Shadow.

 

Volume 3: The Soundtrack

The collection of music in GTAV is the biggest and most ambitious in the history of the series. Volume 3 features select songs from across the game's unique in-game radio stations. Snippets from all 17 in-game radio stations are also now available to check out on the Music page on the GTAV official site and features tracks by Bootsy Collins, Flying Lotus, Bob Seger, Jai Paul, Toro y Moi, Waylon Jennings and more. For full tracklisting info, check out: www.rockstargames.com/V/music.

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D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die

D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die

Microsoft Studios and Access Games recently unveiled new details of “D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” at the Tokyo Game Show.

The episodic noir adventure follows the story of David Young, a detective with the ability to travel back in time who must use his power to solve his wife’s murder and prevent it from ever occurring.“D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” uses the power of Kinect to enable advanced gesture and voice control which reflect the hero’s actions and emotions in each scene, bringing the player into the game. The game will be another XBox One exclusive.

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Dead Rising 3

Dead Rising 3

Capcom recently showcased the Co-op Multiplayer and Super-combo Weapons for the forthcoming “Dead Rising 3”. Microsoft and Capcom Vancouver enticed fans with a first look at co-op multiplayer and Super-Combo weapons, a brand-new addition to the franchise.

In “Dead Rising 3’s” online co-op mode, you can take on the zombie horde with a friend over Xbox Live, with the ability to hop in or out of each other’s game at any time. When playing in a friend’s game, you’ll not only help them advance, but also contribute to your story progression and earn experience points that carry back into your own game. Any mission you finish in a friend’s game will also register as “complete” in yours, so you’ll never have to go back and replay a co-op mission to advance your single-player story, unless you want to experience it again.

In addition to showcasing co-op, Capcom revealed Super-combo Weapons – a new tier of Combo Weapons that requires at least three components (and oftentimes multiple steps and blueprints) to craft, and features unique abilities that let you decimate crowds of zombies with devastating effect. It’s out 22 November exclusively on XBox One.

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Crimson Dragon

Crimson Dragon

Microsoft Studios, in partnership with Grounding and Land Ho! recently unleashed new footage of “Crimson Dragon” for the first time at Tokyo Game Show. Created and directed by acclaimed developer Yukio Futatsugi (creator of “Panzer Dragoon”), the flight-based shooter features action-packed gameplay and a new user interface.

Launching exclusively for Xbox One on 22 November, “Crimson Dragon” enables you to harness a powerful dragon and take to the skies in this shooter where humanity has been driven to the brink of extinction on a planet ruled by dragons. It’s up to you and your friends to control the winged beasts as you battle for supremacy. Purchase and play “Crimson Dragon” before 31 December and receive an exclusive dragon to help you rule the skies.

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WRC4

PQube in collaboration with the development studio Milestone, recently released new screenshots of WRC FIA World Rally Championship 4 (WRC 4).


WRC 4
WRC 4

These first pictures feature three of the major manufacturers of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship with the Volkswagen Polo R WRC driven by Sébastien Ogier, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi DS3 of Sébastien Loeb and the Ford RS WRC of Mads Ostberg.

WRC4
WRC4

WRC 4 is the official game for the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship and features the rallies, drivers and teams from the 2013 WRC calendar. Published by Bigben Interactive and developed by Milestone studio, WRC 4 will be available next month for Xbox 360®, Windows PC®, PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Vita.

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FIFA 14

FIFA 14

EA SPORTS™ recently announced a partnership with the five-time player of the year, Gareth Bale. One of the Barclays Premier League’s most accomplished talents, Bale will make his debut on the cover of FIFA 14 in the UK, Ireland and Middle East alongside, Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.

Speaking about the partnership EA SPORTS, Dan Holman, Head of UK Product Marketing EA SPORTS said: “We’re delighted to be working with Gareth Bale. He’s a natural goal scorer and is a perfect fit for FIFA 14’s new Pure Shot feature that allows for numerous new exhilarating and rewarding ways to score.  Renowned for his outstanding game-winning goals last season, we’ve worked closely with the EA SPORTS team in Vancouver to motion-capture and 3D head scan Gareth so he will be even more authentic than ever in FIFA 14.”

Commenting on his cover appearance the Welsh superstar said: “To be on the front cover is a massive honour. When you look at the calibre of players that have been on there in the past they are legends of the game, so for me to be here now is a dream come true.”

 

The partnership will see Bale become an EA SPORTS Football ambassador for the 2013/14 season. He will become the cornerstone of marketing and advertising campaigns in the UK and Ireland, featuring on packaging and utilised in other media activities. The Spurs winger will appear on the cover of FIFA 14 on the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system with Kinect™ from Microsoft, and the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system with PlayStation Move support. It’s out September 27.

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MotoGP™13

MotoGP™13

Publisher PQube, along with game developer Milestone, recently announced free DLC content for all Xbox 360 and PS3 pre-orders of their upcoming motorbike title, MotoGP™13, the official game of the MotoGP™ World Championship 2013, due for release in June 2013 for Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita and PC. Featuring top riders from the 2012 season, the DLC gives you a chance to ride in Casey Stoner’s shoes, to be Valentino Rossi during his Ducati season or to take part in the last year of Andrea Dovizioso’s career at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.

 

MotoGP™13
MotoGP™13

All these and much more will be included in the Pre-order DLC content which delivers all the adrenaline of the 2012 season thanks to 8 Top Champions and 4 Teams/Bikes. Everyone who pre-orders MotoGP™13 for Xbox 360 and PS3 will receive the free DLC with the following content:

 

Piloti

Moto

V. Rossi

Ducati Team

N. Hayden

A. Dovizioso

Monster Yamaha  Tech 3

C. Crutchlow

J. Lorenzo

Yamaha Factory Racing

B. Spies

C. Stoner

Repsol Honda

D. Pedrosa

 

These riders and bikes will be available to use in Quick Race/Race Weekend, Multiplayer, Split Screen and Championship Game Modes. 


“There were a lot of requests to include 2012 content into MotoGP™ 13”, affirms Michele Caletti, Game Director at Milestone. “For this reason we’ve decided to satisfy the fans desire by offering some of the historical riders and unique combinations from the past season for a spectacular MotoGP™ experience.”

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After Burner Climax

After Burner Climax

SEGA® of Europe ltd. recently announced that the classic arcade game After Burner™ has returned for a new generation of gamers. Developed by Fishing Cactus, After Burner Climax™ is a universal app compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and is available for £1.99 on the App Store.

After Burner Climax
After Burner Climax

After Burner Climax is a fast and frantic arcade-style action game that puts fans in the cockpit of the world’s fastest fighter jets. Fans will utilize both tilt and touch controls to dodge missiles and bullets while trying to target multiple on-screen enemy aircraft. Built for all skill levels, anyone will be able to take to the air and soar through a branching storyline of more than 20 stages. Players can select from the F-14D Super Tomcat by Northrop Grumman, the F-15E Strike Eagle or F/A-18E Super Hornet by Boeing and personalize their plane with four different paint jobs. By mastering levels, players can unlock power-ups and climb to the top of the leaderboards. Check the trailer below.

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Kingdom Conquest II

Kingdom Conquest II

SEGA® Europe, Ltd. and SEGA® of America, Inc. recently launched Kingdom Conquest II™ on the App Store™ and Google Play™. Developed by SEGA Networks, Kingdom Conquest II is a universal app compatible with iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod® touch and is available for free on the App Store and for all Android devices on Google Play.

It is a time of war and chaos in the land of Magna and massive armies battle for resources and domination. With its deep multiplayer experience, console-quality graphics, the game takes the best elements from card battling, real time strategy, and MMORPGs. Kingdom Conquest II allows players to engage in a massive campaign of conquest and submission. Players can choose from five classes and then dive into a world of high stakes diplomacy where alliances with other players can be forged in battle. The game allows up to four players in co-op mode to battle through dungeons in real time to capture monsters and gamers can purchase monster packs to assist in their war for domination. With in-game auto translation assistance, alliances can be made with players form around the globe.

“Kingdom Conquest II will be a benchmark for mobile gaming in 2013. The quality and depth of Kingdom Conquest II makes it a worthy sequel to a franchise that already has over three million downloads worldwide,” said Chris Olson, vice president of Digital Business at SEGA of America. For more, check: 

http://kingdom-conquest2.com/en/index.html

 

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Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3 | Painful Memories Pack

Inspired by the grisly shootouts from Max’s past, the Painful Memories Pack will bring four new maps and more to Max Payne 3 Multiplayer this December. Players can revisit the subway bloodbath from the original Max Payne in the Roscoe Street Subway map. Flashback to the dingy Hoboken watering hole at Marty’s Bar, open fire on the posh Branco family yacht in Shoot First and wage Gang Wars at Canal De Panamá.

The Painful Memories Pack also includes the IMG 5.56 and UAR-21 assault rifles, new avatars, items and the Hangover Burst, which causes enemies to respawn with blurred vision, reduced stamina and health. The pack will be available on December 4th for 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE and £7.29 on PlayStation Network and PC (Rockstar Pass owners will receive this content at no additional charge). 

The new shootout at the Roscoe Street Subway station artwork is available as desktops and avatars at rockstargames.com/downloads, along with a pair of original illustrations from the Hostage Negotiation Pack featuring the Filhos De Ogum wielding the IA2 Assault Rifle and other weaponry as they attempt to dominate the Estádio Do Galatians and O Palácio Strip Club multiplayer maps.

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Gears Of War

Gears Of War: Judgement Day

Amid a plethora of holiday launches, many gamers are already looking ahead to spring 2013 as Microsoft and Epic Games recently released the official “Gears of War: Judgment” box art and kicked off pre-orders at participating retailers. The next marque instalment to the Xbox 360 franchise that’s sold more than 19 million units, “Gears of War: Judgment” takes fans back to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day.

Gears of War: Judgement
Gears of War: Judgement

Fans who pre-order “Gears of War: Judgment” now at participating retailers will receive an exclusive in-game multiplayer weapon at launch, the Classic Hammerburst, along with potential retailer-specific content. The Classic Hammerburst was the standard-issue assault rifle of the Locust Army during their E-Day onslaught. Highly accurate with a six-round burst, it helped give the Locust a decisive advantage. For more info, click here: www.gearsofwar.xbox.com. In the meantime, check out a new video of the Classic Hammerburst in action below:

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Halo 4

Halo 4

The biggest entertainment event of 2012 isn’t a Hollywood movie – it’s a blockbuster video game. Hailed by Newsweek/The Daily Beast as potentially the “biggest entertainment launch of 2012 – in any medium,”1 “Halo 4” ushers in the return of the Master Chief and is poised to be the biggest entertainment premiere of the year to date, when it storms retail stores worldwide tomorrow, Tuesday, 6th November.

Halo 4
Halo 4

Around the globe, more than 10,000 retail locations in more than 40 countries will open their stores at 12:01 a.m. on 6th November to welcome throngs of fans who have been eagerly waiting more than five years for the next blockbuster installment of the iconic franchise that has sold over 46 million copies worldwide and generated more than $3 billion in sales. At launch, festivities in major cities around the world, from Seattle to London to Berlin, will inspire millions of fans to unite and celebrate the highly anticipated return of “Halo’s” iconic hero and the beginning of an epic new “Halo” saga.More than 30 marquee global launch events are planned in major cities worldwide, including London, Seattle, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai and Sydney.

Halo 4
Halo 4

London will host a spectacular stunt this evening, down the River Thames from the Greenwich Peninsula to Tower Bridge – under the watchful gaze of the Master Chief. Fans should arrive at Butlers Wharf, adjacent to the Design Museum (28 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD), no later than 7:30pm so as not to miss out on the action.

 

There will also be more than 350 midnight openings taking place the length and breadth of the UK, with the flagship London launch taking place at GAME in Westfield Stratford.  Fans will have the opportunity to count down to “Halo 4’s” much anticipated release with developers from 343 Industries, get early hands-on time with the game, win coveted “Halo” merchandise and prizes provided by Samsung, the official TV launch partner for “Halo 4” in the UK, see the Master Chief in person, take photos with a replica Warthog vehicle, meet The Gadget Show’s Jason Bradbury, and sample Mountain Dew’s “Halo 4” themed “Game Fuel” drink and the exclusive “Halo 4”-themed pizza from Pizza Hut.

 

A limited number of fans can also board a free bus from the Design Museum to GAME Stratford at 8:30pm, immediately following the Butlers Wharf stunt. Spaces will be limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Check http://www.xbox.com/Halo-4 for more info.

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Halo 4

Halo 4

With less than three weeks until the launch of “Halo 4” on November 6, Microsoft and 343 Industries recently premiered "Scanned,” a cinematic live-action trailer produced by renowned Hollywood director David Fincher (“The Social Network”), and directed by acclaimed visual effects lead Tim Miller (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”).

Fans will also be able to catch the trailer from the 23rd October through 18th November on Sky, Channel 4 and ITV, including on shows such as X-Factor (on 26thOctober), Shameless, and select UEFA Champions League football matches. “Scanned” offers an emotionally-charged look at the backstory of “Halo’s” iconic hero, the Master Chief, and provides a glimpse of the new threat he will encounter in “Halo 4.” Filmed in Prague, it continues the franchise’s tradition of expanding the universe through award-winning live-action stories, adding to the lore and anticipation for the next chapter in the landmark franchise that has sold more than 43 million game copies worldwide and generated more than $3 billion in franchise sales.

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XBox Music

XBox Music

Microsoft Corp. is introducing Xbox Music, the first all-in-one music service that gives you the freedom to stream custom-created playlists for free, subscribe to all the music you want or download-to-own your favourite songs. Through the power of the cloud, it integrates the music experience across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. With more than 30 million songs in the global catalogue, Xbox Music begins rolling out around the world tomorrow on Xbox 360 and later this month on Windows 8 and Windows RT PCs and tablets and on mobile phones, starting with Windows Phone 8 at launch and additional platforms later.

“The launch of Xbox Music is a milestone in simplifying digital music on every type of device and on a global scale,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “We’re breaking down the walls that fracture your music experiences today to ensure that music is better and integrated across the screens that you care about most — your tablet, PC, phone and TV.”

XBox Music
XBox Music

Xbox Music makes music simple by offering immediate and comprehensive discovery across the different types of devices you own, free streaming music on Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and PCs, the ability to purchase songs and albums, a music subscription, and artist-based radio.  

Xbox Music isn’t just a listening experience that shows your tracks in spreadsheets and lists. Taking full advantage of every screen on which you enjoy music, Xbox Music elevates your music experiences with striking visuals. As you listen on your tablet, PC, phone or TV, your screen comes to life with artist photos, bios, cover art and discography.

 

Whether it’s free streaming on Windows 8 and Windows RT, a subscription on Windows Phone 8 or tuning into a playlist on Xbox 360 — each experience is cloud-based for immediate access to your entire catalogue, making music management simple. With the cloud sync feature, your favourite playlists are no longer held captive by the individual device on which they live. For Xbox Music Pass subscribers, you can create the perfect playlist on your Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet and see it automatically appear on your Xbox 360 or Windows Phone 8. For full info and a list of features, check: xbox.com/music.

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Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon

Microsoft, Playground Games, and Turn 10 Studios recently announced that the demo for “Forza Horizon” is now available for download. Gamers can experience the thrill of action racing on the open roads of Colorado in this wide-ranging demo, designed to give players a taste of the action in store when it’s unleashed to retail on 26th October. 

 

 

Forza Horizon
Forza Horizon

In the demo, players will experience the fictional Colorado of “Forza Horizon”, driving a sampling of cars from Horizon’s line-up across a variety of different event types – from Horizon Festival events taking place on the dusty dirt roads to a climactic street race that find players winding up, around, and over the architectural marvel that is the Finley Dam.

 

Players who download and play the “Forza Horizon” demo and then purchase and play the full game online will receive a specially designed 2013 SRT Viper GTS, celebrating Forza Horizon’s “gone-gold” status. This rare liveried car will only be available to those who download the demo, then purchase and play the game online.

Forza Horizon
Forza Horizon

Music fans in Manchester, London, Newcastle and Birmingham can also win tickets to an exclusive gig at London’s Fabric nightclub, featuring DJ Fresh, Ms. Dynamite and Skepta on 25th October – the eve of the game’s launch. For those who miss out on winning tickets to the Forza Horizon Music Festival, all of the ear-thumping action will be hosted exclusively on Last.fm at http://originals.last.fm and via the Last.fm app on Xbox LIVE immediately following the gig. Finally, car fans can also get behind of wheel of Forza Horizon at Top Gear Live, taking place at Birmingham’s NEC from 25th- 28th October. To get involved in the action, win prizes and more, visit www.xbox.com/forzahorizon to learn more.

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Halo 4

Halo 4

Microsoft and 343 Industries recently announced the series premiere of the live-action series, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” on Machinima’s new premium channel, Machinima Prime, and Halo Waypoint. The digital series will lead up to the launch of the “Halo 4” video game, one of the biggest entertainment events of the year.

 

Halo 4
Halo 4

“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” tells a story of heroism and sacrifice on a scale never before seen in the “Halo” universe, taking fans back to the beginning of the human and Covenant war, and leading into the events of “Halo 4.” Set against the backdrop of a United Nations Space Command (UNSC) military academy, the film follows a group of cadets who are training to be the next generation of soldiers in the UNSC’s ongoing war with insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets. Among these cadets, Thomas Lasky struggles with his doubts about the war, and with the burden of expectations he may not be able to carry. As Lasky comes to terms with his potential as a military leader, the terrifying alien alliance known as the Covenant arrives and turns his world upside down. 

Inspired by the Master Chief, he must decide what it means to be a hero. “Halo” fans who experience Lasky’s thrilling origin story in “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” will be rewarded with special insights into the story of “Halo 4” and the “Halo Infinity Multiplayer” experience. The story will unfold weekly through a series of five episodes, setting the stage for the worldwide launch of “Halo 4” on 6th November. For more info, check: http://www.xbox.com/Halo-4.

 

Forward Unto Dawn Schedule:


 Episode 1: Available to watch now at

 Episode 2: Friday October 12 at 11am BST

 Episode 3: Friday October 19 at 11am BST

 Episode 4: Friday October 26 at 11am BST

 Season Finale: Friday November 2 at 10am BST

 

 

 

 

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Halo 4

Halo 4

The Halo Nation is possibly one of the most dedicated fan bases in all of gaming. Comprised of millions of fans around the world, Microsoft and 343 Industries, in conjunction with soundtrack partner 7Hz Productions, are recognising the passion of these fans with the “Halo 4” Soundtrack Remix Contest. Musicians and “Halo” gamers alike will have the ability to put their own spin on the “Halo 4” Soundtrack, working with exclusive original stems from famed composer/producer Neil Davidge, competing for a shot at global recognition. 

 

Sander van Doorn | Julian Jordan | Halo 4
Sander van Doorn | Julian Jordan | Halo 4

The competition started yesterday and will run through until 29th October, with prizes awarded to the most original and creative tracks. Fans will have access to samples of ‘Awakening’, ‘To Galaxy’, and ‘Nemesis from the “Halo 4” Soundtrack, allowing for a wide range of potential remix styles and musical genres. For full contest submission guidelines and rules, visit: Halo4Remix.com.

 

Entries will be judged by composer Neil Davidge of Massive Attack fame, “Halo 4” audio director Sotaro Tojima, and electronic musicians Sander van Doorn and CASPA – who appear on the “Halo 4” Remix Soundtrack – based on originality, creativity, and musicality. Winners will be announced on 16th November. 

The prize for the “Halo 4” Fan Remix Contest is:

 

UK 

Grand Prize 

 

·         Samsung Series 5 Laptop

·         Samsung 2.1 Wireless Audio Dock

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console, which includes a Standard                Edition copy of the game

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official “Halo” Soundtracks

 

Runner Up Prize 

 

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console, which includes a Standard Edition copy of the game

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official “Halo” Soundtracks

 

USA

 Grand Prize

·         Samsung Series 7 Laptop

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official Halo Soundtracks

 

First Prize

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official Halo Soundtracks

 

Second Prize

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         “Halo 4” Official Soundtrack

 

Canada

Grand Prize

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official “Halo” Soundtracks

·         12+1 Month “Halo 4” Xbox LIVE Gold Membership 

 

First Prize

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         12+1 Month “Halo 4” Xbox LIVE Gold Membership

 

Second Prize

·         Xbox 360 “Halo 4” Limited Edition Wireless Controller

·         “Halo 4” Game

 

Mexico

Grand Prize

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official “Halo” Soundtracks

 

First Prize

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official “Halo” Soundtracks

 

Second Prize

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

 

UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands

Grand Prize (1 per market, 6 in total)

·         Samsung Series 5 Laptop

·         Samsung 2.1 Wireless Audio Dock

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official “Halo” Soundtracks

 

Runner Up Prize (1 per market, 6 in total)

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official “Halo” Soundtracks

 

Australia

Grand Prize

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         “Halo 4” Trigger Stereo Headset

·         Complete Collection of Official “Halo” Soundtracks

·         12+1 Month “Halo 4” Xbox LIVE Gold Membership 

 

First Prize

·         “Halo 4” Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

·         12+1 Month “Halo 4” Xbox LIVE Gold Membership

 

Second Prize

·         Xbox 360 “Halo 4” Limited Edition Wireless Controller

·         “Halo 4” Game

 

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Fable: The Journey

Fable: The Journey

Fans can get a sneak peek of “Fable: The Journey” for Kinect for Xbox 360 before it hits shelves on October 12. The ‘Before and After the Magic’ ViDoc reveals reactions from fans prior to and after experiencing a hands-on demo of “Fable: The Journey” at Comic-Con 2012 in the US. 

Through Kinect, players learn to use their gestures to wield magic as a deadly weapon, defend themselves in combat and solve puzzles on the journey to becoming a hero. Check the video out below to experience the storyline, action, and amazing world of Albion that fans and Comic-Com attendees were apparently blown away by.

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Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon

“Forza Horizon: Behind the Scenes” is an all-new series of videos on the making of one of this year’s biggest racing games, Forza Horizon, which is coming to Xbox 360 starting on 26 October. On the video you can go behind the scenes and hear from the game’s creators on what makes Forza Horizon one of the fastest, most action-packed racing experiencea you’ll play this year.

“Forza Horizon” will be available in the UK on 26 October in a Limited Collector’s Edition (£59.99 ERP) and a Standard Edition (£49.99 ERP), both available for pre-order now. The game is rated PEGI 12.

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NHL®13

NHL 13

EA SPORTS™ recently announced the official NHL®13 soundtrack, featuring 16 licensed tracks by established and upcoming artists from around the world. The music selected for the soundtrack, in conjunction with the extensive presentation overhaul undertaken in NHL 13, ensures the game looks, plays and sounds like an authentic NHL® hockey experience. Promising the biggest change to the franchise on this console generation, NHL 13 will be available on September 11, 2012 in North America and September 14, 2012 in Europe.


 

NHL 13

“The true NHL hockey experience is about speed, power and creativity,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing for EA. “To create its sonic counterpart, our soundtrack features a mix of well-known bands like Gaslight Anthem, Anti-Flag and The Offspring, up-and-comers that include Battleme and Canada’s Classified and Monster Truck, and arena favorites like Zombie Nation’s ‘Kernkraft 400’ and Bassnectar’s ‘Pennywise Tribute’. We think fans will agree that this is the new sound of NHL hockey.”

 

The game is out tomorrow in North America and September 14 in Europe. For more info and tracklisting, check: http://www.easports.com/nhl

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FIFA 13

FIFA 13

Electronic Arts Inc. recently unveiled the complete music track listing for EA SPORTS™ FIFA 13, featuring a mix of genre-spanning music from 50 Gold/Platinum superstars and breakthrough artists representing 12 countries from around the globe. The soundtrack is aimed to reflect the passion and intensity of FIFA gameplay while defining the sound of the upcoming season for football fans worldwide.

FIFA 13

“Our FIFA soundtracks are yearly opportunities to showcase a global roster of breakthrough artists from multiple genres,” said Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing at EA. “For FIFA 13, we wanted to take that excitement to the next level by adding major star power, top indie acts, and more songs than ever before.”

 

The soundtrack delivers music from artists that include Flo Rida featuring Lil Wayne, Bloc Party, Kasabian, Two Door Cinema Club and Matisyahu, along with such internationally award-winning indie acts as Metric, Santigold, Passion Pit, The Chevin, Hadouken!, Wretch 32 and Band Of Horses. The soundtrack also features global breakthrough artists that include Brazil’s Zemaria; Youngblood Hawke, Imagine Dragons, Walk The Moon and Fitz & The Tantrums from the U.S.; Sweden’s Miike Snow and The Royal Concept, Britain’s Animal Kingdom, The Heavy and Bastille; Germany’s Kraftklub; UK/Spain’s Crystal Fighters; Canada’s Young Empires; Australia’s Atlas Genius and The Presets; France’s Madeon; New Zealand’s Kimbra; and Chile’s Astro.

The Enemy
The Enemy

"'We’re very excited up to be teaming up with EA SPORTS,” said Reverend And The Makers’ Jon McClure. “We could sell-out a full UK tour but my friends would still think having a tune on FIFA is bigger.”

 

“FIFA is by far the most addictive game we play on the tour bus and when we’re at home,” said The Enemy. “It’s a great game to play with your mates and drive them crazy when you beat them, and it’s even better when your song comes on after the match.”

 

The FIFA 13 demo for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, and PC, will launch around the world beginning September 11.

 

To listen to a selection of artists from the FIFA 13 soundtrack visit HERE.

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RME Babyface

As a company, apart from some personal minor issues, it’s hard to fault RME. Their Babyface unit is the most compact item amongst the RME family, small enough to fit into your hand, yet still allows a passing 22 channels of audio (two mic preamps, two headphone outputs, stereo line out & eight channel ADAT/O). So, enough of the geek chat... I wanted to leave some time before reviewing the Babyface, simply because I wanted to get into it properly. When buying the Babyface, I really thought I was getting ripped off, as it is a pricey item sitting at £449 (although I see it as a bargain now!). 

 

RME Babyface
RME Babyface

The quality you get is unbelievable for such a small item, plus if you’re a musician that is constantly working in other studios, you can simply pack the Babyface into the pouch that RME provides and move on. The select button is the feature that tells the user which signal of level you want (outputs, inputs, headphones etc). The rotary encoder controls the volume, so it's simple to use. Once purchased, you are also provided with a copy of Totalmix FX software, which controls all the complex routing, mixing and signal processing. I honestly can't recommend the RME Babyface more for any producer or band member sitting and thinking about which soundcard to go for – yes, you have the option of the Apogee Duet 2 but that only works on Macs. Plus, even just looking at the Babyface makes you smile… now that’s real character!

 

@illyus

 

 


BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer

The BBC and Microsoft today announced the launch of the BBC’s popular video-on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE free platform. The launch means the BBC is the only UK content provider to make its programmes available for free to all Xbox 360 users in the UK. Users will be able to catch up on all the BBC programmes they know and love in a familiar, easy to use BBC iPlayer experience.  

 

 

BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer

Xbox 360 users with Kinect will benefit from enhanced functionality. For the first time it is possible for BBC iPlayer users to discover and play programmes using hand gestures and voice recognition. The launch on Xbox LIVE today, together with the launch on Sky later this year, will bring the service to millions of new users via the TV and builds on a substantial history of industry partnerships.  

 

BBC iPlayer

Daniel Danker, BBC General Manager, Programmes & On-Demand, said: “Xbox is hugely successful in the UK.  Given the BBC’s goal to reach its entire audience, I’m particularly excited that the BBC will be bringing iPlayer to all Xbox users at no extra cost as part of Xbox LIVE’s free membership.

 

“As we continue our work to make BBC iPlayer as simple as possible, we’re also excited to experiment with natural user interfaces made possible with Kinect, including voice and gesture control.  We believe it’s early days for these experiences, but see a great future working with partners such as Microsoft on innovations like these.”

 

XBox Live

Stephen McGill, Director of Xbox and Entertainment for Microsoft, said: “We are delighted that BBC iPlayer is now available on Xbox LIVE. Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in the UK and globally last year, while Xbox LIVE is one of the UK’s leading comprehensive VOD entertainment services on TVs. The addition of BBC iPlayer takes the service to the next level. We offer a formidable line-up of the best TV and entertainment – both live and on-demand - from providers such as Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, Netflix, LOVEFiLM, Blinkbox, MSN, YouTube and many others.

 

“The way people interact with entertainment content is changing. Xbox LIVE is the only service in the world where you can search, discover and control TV, movies, video and music using voice and gesture via the power and magic of Kinect.”

 


Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3

Check out the cover art for Max Payne 3, one of the most anticipated games of the year from Rockstar Games. The cover is an updated rendition of the artwork that originally accompanied the game’s announcement last Autumn featuring a battle-scarred Max against the torrid backdrop of São Paulo's helicopter-strewn skyline - alongside the danger of the city's underground criminal element and one of its Brazilian bombshells.
 Out in May, we can’t wait for it! Check out the feature on HEALTH below, the band composing the soundtrack for the game.

 

Rockstar Games

Award-winning videogame developers, Rockstar Games has revealed that Los Angeles-based rock band HEALTH are currently in the process of composing the score and soundtrack to their upcoming blockbuster game, Max Payne 3. In addition to composing the in-game score, HEALTH will be creating exclusive songs for the game’s soundtrack. “We’re really excited to be working with HEALTH on this project,” says Ivan Pavlovich, Soundtrack Supervisor for Rockstar Games. “They’ve brought a distinct energy and atmosphere to the game that perfectly fits Max’s dark story.” 

 

HEALTH
HEALTH

"Video games are redefining entertainment and whether people like it or not, they are becoming as culturally relevant as films,” said the band. “We feel that Rockstar’s projects have an undeniably raw and tasteful aesthetic. It's vitally important to us that we be involved in things we respect artistically. Max Payne 3 has a complex story that unfolds mercilessly and we are excited to be a part of it."

 

The third game in the award-winning series, Max Payne 3 continues the story of tragic former NYPD cop Max Payne as he finds himself working executive security in São Paulo Brazil, protecting the family of wealthy industrialist Rodrigo Branco, and his beautiful trophy wife, Fabiana. When Fabiana is kidnapped while under his protection, Max suddenly finds himself on the streets of an unfamiliar city, searching for the truth, and fighting for a way out. Health’s work on the score can be heard in the latest trailer, below:

 


Grand Slam Tennis 2 (XBox 360)

I don’t think there’s ever been a better to time to release a tennis game, especially now with so much interest in the sport with its constant changing top five in the men’s tennis, particularly the excitement around the top three. This is the first time on the XBox for Grand Slam Tennis 2, its predecessor only being released on Nintendo’s Wii, and it’s pretty special. When you add the power of EA into any sports game, you know it’s going to be full of official players, official stadiums, or in this case arenas, and as near as can be graphics that just drop you into your idol’s tennis shoes for some intense action. The main Grand Slam arenas are there, so you get to play in the US, Australia, France and the UK, all with their relevant playing surfaces. 

 

The control system is very easy to pick up and pretty much anyone should be able to just join in. Computer AI is easy to begin with but gets a lot harder as your own game develops through the ranks. Like a lot of tennis games, the option to play as different stars from different eras is there too, so depending on your age, you should find your favourite. Like all EA games now, you can go online and play, but the game also lets you play against other players at home too, should online access be a problem. Visually, this game is stunning and as EA gets its teeth into it each year, you know it will soon be the benchmark, just look at FIFA and Tiger Woods for proof.

 


The Sims 3 Showtime

Pop superstar, Katy Perry, has been revealed as a computer game character for new PC game, The Sims 3 Showtime – the next release from one of the most popular gaming series of all time, released globally in March 2012. As well as players being able to play as Katy Perry in their games and obtain Katy Perry themed fashion, hairstyle and stage props, Katy will also front the global advertising campaign, complete with ‘Simmed’ Katy Perry trailer to try ‘The One That Got Away’. Katy will work closely with The Sims Studio to create accessories, clothing, hairstyles, furniture and props in The Sims games will also be featured throughout The Sims television advertising campaigns, online communications and retail marketing around the world.

 

Katy Perry became the first artist in history to spend 52 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ produced five #1 hits, an accomplishment equal only to Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ album and making her the only female artist in history to achieve this feat.

 

Katy Perry said:

"I love how you're able to play out different stories through your Sims characters - giving them different careers and watching them succeed. It’s cool to see the Sims’ stage performances in The Sims 3 Showtime decked out just like my California Dreams Tour – even my cotton candy video screens are in there! I always like to think of myself as a cartoon, and now I’m a Sim!”

 


Microsoft

Microsoft Hardware UK today announced a search to find the designer of the future in partnership with the internationally renowned institute of design, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. The competition will unearth new ideas and insights into the future of man-machine interaction and challenge students to look at the possible components in the future of interactive technology.   

 

Microsoft Mouse

Working within the MA Industrial Design course, Microsoft has tasked the students to delve into the future and conceptualise ideas which demonstrate new thinking in how users could interact with computers in the future. Students are challenged to find an alternative to the mouse and keyboard, or technologies similar to those that are emerging today in the field of gesture, voice and facial recognition.

 

Scott Smith, Principle Designer at the Microsoft User Experience and Industrial Design department which specialises in the field of interaction and input, commented: “At Microsoft, we invest a lot of time and resources on research which examines how users are changing their interactions with technology, whether its input devices, user interfaces, touch, voice or gestures. Central Saint Martins provides a great platform to bring in fresh insights and ideas from a group of 25 students who hail from a diverse mix of backgrounds and nationalities.”

 

The results of this sponsored project will be unveiled at a showcase event at Central Saint Martin’s College in April this year, with students likely to present a range of creative hardware and user experience design solutions to an invited audience of design luminaries and media. One student will also be awarded the first Microsoft UK Design Award which comes attached with a cash prize.

 

Nicholas Rhodes, Course Director of MA Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins, adds: “We are excited to be able to provide students with the experience of working with a prestigious global brand and thought leader such as Microsoft. It will equip them with skills and knowledge that will stand them in good stead for future job roles and careers.”

 


Star Wars

Kinect Star Wars

“Kinect Star Wars”, the game many fans have been waiting for brings the Star Wars Universe to life like never before, letting you use the force and battle with a lightsaber using just your body - no controller required. To promote this highly anticipated release they’ve teamed up with American comedy actor and “Parks and Recreation” star Chris Pratt to create a hilarious two-minute short film. 

 

Donning a bathrobe to battle against Darth Vader in a scene paying homage to the iconic lightsaber duel from “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” Pratt was able to live out the ultimate Star Wars fan fantasy. Harnessing the controller-free power of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the beauty of 3-D graphics, soon you will be able to do the same from the comfort of your living room. Using full body motions, players can use the Force, battle with a lightsaber and more. You can also share the Force with friends through co-op, competitive and duel modes. Easy jump in and out lets a second player join in on the Jedi action instantly.

 

You can watch the video short here: 

 


Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure

Ever watched a Disney·Pixar film and wished you could be a part of the action alongside your favourite character? Well, that wish will be granted on 23rd March with the release of Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure. Stop by the Microsoft booth (booth #7244) this week at CES 2012 and immerse yourself in the beloved Disney·Pixar films of Cars, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Toy Story and Up like never before with KinectScan. 

 

This new technology uses the Kinect sensor to scan each player’s features to create a unique avatar for each of the five Pixar worlds featured in the game. Explore the depths of the Paris sewers, become the newest toy in Bonnie’s crew, scream around curves with a rocket-powered boost, or use your super strength in a pitched battle with the hulking Omnidroid. Now, with KinectScan, you can become part of the game like never before.

 


Microsoft Flight

Microsoft Studios has just premiered “Microsoft Flight,” a new PC game that lets players jump into the challenge, fun, and freedom of flight. “Microsoft Flight” will be available as a free download this spring, giving players the freedom to fly the skies over the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii, complete a variety of exciting missions, test their skills in flying challenges, or find hidden aero-caches on the island. 

 

Microsoft Flight
Microsoft Flight
Microsoft Flight
Microsoft Flight

In “Microsoft Flight,” players view the world from above in a visually stunning and realistic representation of the earth, complete with region-specific weather patterns, foliage, terrain and landmarks. Players can choose to take the helm using highly rendered, accurate cockpits and authentic piloting procedures, or simply use their mouse and keyboard to control the plane in an exterior view. More experienced players can tailor the flight controls to match their skill level, making “Microsoft Flight” easy for beginners while still challenging for the most accomplished PC pilots.

 

“Many people dream of flying, but few have the chance to experience the fun of exploring the world from above. ‘Microsoft Flight’ provides players the opportunity to explore that curiosity and interest,” said Joshua Howard, executive producer of “Microsoft Flight.” “Aviation can be incredibly technical, but we’ve taken great care to build an experience that makes taking to the skies thrilling and accessible for everyone.”

 

Microsoft Flight
Microsoft Flight

Start Exploring For Free

After downloading “Microsoft Flight” for free, players can jump into hours of exciting gameplay on the Big Island of Hawaii. In addition, players who sign in to their Games for Windows – LIVE account automatically receive additional free content, including the legendary Boeing Stearman plane, supplementary missions, and access to Achievements and an Online Pilot Profile. Those looking to deepen their experience can purchase and download additional content that adds new aircraft, regions and customization options. The frequently released new content for “Microsoft Flight” includes daily aerocache challenges and updates that make every flight unique and fun.

 

Be the First to Fly the Definitive Light Sport Aircraft ICON A5

Microsoft Studios worked with the personal airplane manufacturing team at ICON Aircraft to give aviation fans the exclusive opportunity to fly the all-new ICON A5 before real-world production starts at the end of 2012. Designed by the world-class aeronautical engineers behind the Voyager spaceship, X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne, and Virgin Galatic’s SpaceShipTwo, the ICON A5 is the “jet ski for the skies,” a high-wing amphibious monoplane with a carbon fiber airframe and a comfortable, automobile-inspired cockpit with space for two. The ICON A5 will be the first aircraft available to players for free in “Microsoft Flight.”

 

“ICON Aircraft and ‘Microsoft Flight’ both share the goal of making the fun of flying accessible to everyone who’s ever dreamed about it. ICON does this by fusing world-class product design with the very best engineering, and Microsoft by combining the excitement of a great gaming experience with the authenticity of a top notch flight simulator,” said ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins.

 

Microsoft Flight
Microsoft Flight

Be the First to Experience “Microsoft Flight”

Today the team behind “Microsoft Flight” released an exclusive video that features all-new footage of “Microsoft Flight.” To view it, visit http://www.microsoft.com/games/flight/.

Additionally, the launch sequence has begun! Be among the first to try “Microsoft Flight” by signing up for the closed beta at: https://connect.microsoft.com/site1134/InvitationUse.aspx?ProgramID=6087&InvitationID=FLY-BRQX-BXTB.

 

The voyage continues at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from January 10 – 13. Those that attend will have the chance to play “Microsoft Flight” before it releases this spring at the Microsoft booth, located in the Central Hall.

 

For more information, news, and access to gameplay footage for “Microsoft Flight,” visit http://www.microsoft.com/games/flight/. 

 


RAAM’s Shadow

One of the most critically-acclaimed shooters of the year is poised to immerse fans in a brand new campaign adventure possibly unlike anything experienced before. Available today on Xbox LIVE for 1,200 Microsoft Points, the second major game add-on for “Gears of War 3,” “RAAM’s Shadow,” delivers more than three hours of new campaign gameplay, and for the first time, features missions on both sides of the Locust war. 

 

RAAM's Shadow - Gears Of War 3
RAAM's Shadow - Gears Of War 3
RAAM's Shadow - Gears Of War 3
RAAM's Shadow - Gears Of War 3

Set in the chaos of post-Emergence Day Sera, “RAAM’s Shadow” drops players into a new team of Gears known as Zeta Squad as they attempt to evacuate Ilima City and protect the citizens against a Locust Kryll storm. Taking on the infamous Locust leader from the original “Gears of War,” General RAAM, Zeta features the familiar faces of Michael Barrick (from “Gears of War” comics fame), Lt. Minh Young Kim (“Gears of War”) and Tai Kaliso (“Gears of War 2”), and introduces a new female comrade, Alicia Valera.

 

In addition to fighting as a new squad of Gears, players will step into the boots of RAAM himself, and for the first time, storm a human stronghold from the perspective of one of the series’ most legendary bosses.

 

On top of the new campaign experience, “RAAM’s Shadow” features the Chocolate Weapon Set, new Achievements worth an additional 250 Gamerscore and six new multiplayer characters, including General RAAM, the Theron Elite Commando, Alicia Valera, Lt. Minh Young Kim, Tai Kaliso and Michael Barrick.

 

RAAM's Shadow - Gears Of War 3
RAAM's Shadow - Gears Of War 3

Players can experience “RAAM’s Shadow,” obtain all the previously released multiplayer maps, characters, weapon skins, Horde fortification upgrades and Achievements in the “Horde Command Pack,” and gain access to two more upcoming game add-ons by purchasing the “Gears of War 3” Season Pass for 2400 Microsoft Points, which entitles them to the first four game add-ons for a overall discount of 33 per cent.

 

Additionally, fans can get a sneak peek of the epic new campaign gameplay in “RAAM’s Shadow” by checking out the world premiere trailer, available today on Xbox LIVE and GearsofWar.Xbox.com.

 

 

 


Darksiders II

Darksiders II

THQ exclusively premiered an all new trailer for its upcoming action/adventure title Darksiders® II, developed by Vigil Games during the 2011 VGAs on Saturday. DEATH is brought to life in this all new piece which ran exclusively at 8pm Eastern Standard Time / 5pm Pacific Standard Time on SPIKE TV during the VGA show.


Jim Huntley, Vice President of Global Brand Management at THQ commented: "We are really looking forward to allowing players to take on the role of the ultimate anti-hero and this trailer gives them a real taste of what it will be like playing DEATH."


Darksiders II follows the exploits of DEATH, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, in a weaving tale that runs parallel to the events in the original Darksiders game. This epic journey propels DEATH through various light and dark realms as he tries to redeem his brother WAR, the horseman who was blamed for prematurely starting the Apocalypse in Darksiders.


Darksiders II is scheduled to be available for the Xbox®360 videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Playstation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows® PC in Summer 2012. It is also anticipated to be a launch title for Wii UTM. For more information check www.facebook.com/Darksiders

 


FORZA MOTORSPORT 4

The newest “Forza Motorsport 4” Car Pack is available for download starting today on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, adding another touch of polish to fans’ garages with a diverse collection of classic and modern track stars.

 

Available for 560 Microsoft Points, the pack meshes an assortment of classic coupes from leading manufacturers like Maserati and Pontiac with modern day monster machines like the 2011 Suzuki #1 Monster Sport SX4, which packs nearly 900 horsepower and was built specifically to climb treacherous hills at record speeds.

The IGN Car Pack features 10 vehicles prepped and polished for the avid car aficionado:

 

2011 Suzuki #1 Monster Sport SX4: The Suzuki SX4 Monster Sport is a beast of a machine, delivering raw fury through a 3.1-litre twin-turbocharged V6 which boasts a blistering 897 horsepower.

 

2011 Mazda RX-8 R3: The last production model of the RX-8 features a 1.3 litre, 232 horsepower engine which flexes a 0-60 time around seven seconds.

 

2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: The visual options available for the SVT Raptor are as menacing as its name, and a treat for fans of the classic pickup and customisation.

 

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS-396:  While the three-speed automatic was standard, this special model features the four-speed, 375 horsepower V8, which was a dealer-installed conversion fitted into just a few hundred of the SS-396 models.

 

1977 Ford Escort RS1800: With a storied history in rallying and a body style that’s ripe for race replica paints, this Escort has the legendary Cosworth 1.8L BDA engine which makes it lauded by Ford collectors in real life.

1981 Volkswagen Scirocco S: Like other Volkswagen models of its era, the Scirocco derives its name from the wind; in this case, the Mediterranean Sirocco wind, which originates in the Sahara and can reach hurricane speeds in southern Europe.

 

1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio Verde: Quadrifoglio Verde translates literally to “Green Fourleaf Clover” and while it’s undetermined whether the car is lucky, driving one of these in real life is as rare as its name. With classic sporty lines and a zippy 115 horsepower 2.0L engine, the Spider Quadrifoglio Verde demands attention.

 

1988 Pontiac Fiero GT: This little wonder is largely considered to be the best in the Fiero line; it also is the last Fiero produced. The Fiero may be gone but it’s still fondly remembered; a quick spin in “Forza Motorsport 4” is all the proof you’ll need to know why.

 

2010 Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4: With its familiar Maserati oval grill and a bold logo emblazoned on the side, the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 makes its presence known straight away. This 433 horsepower machine is bent on circuit race domination and reaches serious speed in the straight lines.

 

1957 Maserati 300 S: As the main challenger to Ferraris in the classic era of the World Sportscar Championships, legendary drivers like Juan-Manuel Fangio, Carroll Shelby and Stirling Moss had access to its four-speed manual gear box and 3.0L 260 horsepower engine.

 


NATIVE INSTRUMENTS MASCHINE

I know this product has been reviewed on a number of occasions, but I feel a lot of reviews were aimed at established and experienced guys in the industry, whereas I wanted to show the main factor of Maschine – that anyone really can plug in and play! 

 

I have owned the product for a month now and have done nothing but recommend it to fellow producers and DJs. Why? Well, going back to the simplicity point, Maschine comes with a great software which allows you to edit samples, time stretch them, use full vocals and incorporate them all over 16 pads. Being hands on and not using the mouse on your computer is a massive plus too… and refreshing! I guess in my opinion music should be made with a bit of natural flair and not just by drawing things in or using your eyes rather than ears.

 

Click To Native Instruments
Native Instruments Maschine

The natural sound Maschine provides is great, it brings you back to the old skool hip hop days when not everything had to sit tight and be quantized, it was just great swing! I have seen a few online conversations saying things such as that should be able to use it without a computer, but then you are caught in the old debate again - Mpc needs this but has that, Maschine has this etc etc. I owned an Mpc and once I sold it I really missed the note repeat function, but on Maschine it is one of my favourite functions again, even though it is such a simple one. 

 

Using plug-ins is a massive plus though, that's the big part that was always missing in the past with similar products. I have various plug-ins that I use and manipulating them in Maschine is so much fun and brings great results, plus I love the fact after creating a 16 bar flow I am able to simply drag and drop individual tracks into my Logic and continue working there if I feel like it.

 

The quick workflow has to be the major selling point, you can put a great idea together in minutes - edit, playing melodies, sampling, chopping and slicing - you name it, Maschine has it all.

 

If for any reason I haven't convinced you yet then this may sway you… after buying Maschine, opening it and getting started, you will realise how generous Native Instruments are as the product comes with a massive sound library, more than enough to keep you busy and coming up with big tracks. Enjoy.

 

Illyus

 


XBOX LIVE

On 6th December, a brand new entertainment experience will debut on Xbox 360 through a significant Xbox LIVE service update, free to all console owners. The update will bring a newly designed user interface (dashboard), expanded voice control with Kinect, and the first group of new entertainment custom applications. 

 

 

Console owners around the world will feel like they have a new Xbox. The new dashboard is built from the ground up to take full advantage of voice control. Users will be able to effortlessly navigate through their favourite entertainment on Xbox 360 using voice or gestures with Kinect for Xbox 360*.

 

Speaking of entertainment, starting on 6th December and continuing on an ongoing basis through early 2012, a wealth of new content will be coming to Xbox 360. New, customised applications for television, movies, internet videos, sports and music will begin rolling out from world-leading providers in more than 20 countries.

 

Also, brand new personal and social features including Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile, Beacons and Facebook Sharing will launch with the 6thDecember update, along with enhanced Family Settings.

 

From game lovers to movie buffs, music junkies and sports fans, even more of your favourite entertainment content will come together on Xbox LIVE starting 6th December.  

 

Latest info, click: http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/live

 


CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 3 (XBOX 360)

Have to admit, I was totally pumped up waiting for this game! Having finished both previous versions, I couldn’t wait for my next instalment of full on modern warfare, as the game again drops you right into the ‘what if a conventional war did happen’ scenario. Carrying straight on where MW2 finished, Price and Soap are still trying to save the world, as terrorist Makarov tries to blow it all up! The Russians are still in the US and the game kicks off in NYC, as your team try and make their way to the Stock Exchange building to disable a radio tower that is disrupting US communications. What follows is a round the world trip, taking in stunning destinations in Paris, Sierra Leone and London, to name just a few. Writing this based in the UK, the London one is pretty special and the fight through the London Underground is just awesome! As you would expect, the set pieces are gripping and the pace, although changeable, is still white knuckle – from the catacombs of Paris to a beach assault in Germany, none of it lets you down. Add in the brilliant co-op mode and an online play that is easily one of the best, and you just about have the perfect first person shooter. Well done Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer, this is edge of your seat gaming the way it should be. 9.5/10

 


THE SIMS 3 PETS

The pets have landed! Welcome to The Sims 3 Pets featuring a huge variety of pets from the small, to the medium through to the large and majestic. Suppose it’s safe to say that the main theme of the fifth expansion pack for the Sims 3 franchise is well… Pets. EA Games have finally answered the call to thousands of Sims fanatics as Pets was ranking in top place for what players wanted to see the most in new game content. Just like the Sims: Unleashed and The Sims 2: Pets a few years ago. The Sims 3 Pets has been met with even more hype than the previous expansion packs, but is it all worth it?

 

First off the new town that comes with Pets is Appaloosa Plains, a really cute town which I instantly fell in love with. Featuring a town centre surrounded by a sort of suburban ring moving outwards to secluded and private lots on the far edges of town. Previous expansions rarely had this as it tended to be a packed town centre with only one or two outer buildings. Featuring new lots such as the Park for Dogs and the Jungle Park for Cats. In Pets you’re also able to find stray animals roaming throughout the whole map, be it horses, cats or dogs, if you’re lucky enough, once the sun goes down, you might even stumbled upon the mythical Unicorn.

 

The pets in this expansion pack are split in to two categories, you can now hunt down snakes, lizards and birds to add to your collection at home, these ‘low maintenance’ pets are perfect for starters to the Pet concept as they require little interaction and feeding. High maintenance pets usually include cats and dogs, but in this version of Pets, EA have thrown Horses into the mix which has caused a massive reaction from the Sims Community.

 

For the first time ever in The Sims, you are able to directly control your pets which has given the game a new twist. Telling them what to do yourself rather than having to tell your Sim to tell your pet gives the game a whole different angle and really allows you to explore what pets can do. As well as trick, your Sim can teach your cat or dog to hunt, dogs tend to find more metals, gems and rocks whereas cats seem to find the ‘low maintenance’ pets such as lizards and birds.

 

Want to adopt a pet? Check out the newspaper and adopt a horse, dog or cat from the adoption centre. If you’re up for more of a challenge, why not try to tame a stray? Whilst stray pets may already come with their own traits, you can also give them additional traits through training. Pets that are given praise for playing with the children for example, will eventually be given the playful trait.

 

If more interested in money, dogs, cats and horses can be bred and sold giving you money depending on their training, skills and known tricks. For example, a puppy won’t fetch as much as an adult that has received training and having learned all the skills. Being able to control your pets opens up the option to send your pets out into the neighbourhood to hunt. Being able to personally tell your pets what to do whilst your Sims are at work. Now that Horses have been introduced they’ve opened up a huge opportunity to rake in the money. Whilst your sim will learn the Riding skill, horses also learn the skill, once combined with the skill of the Sim, that will determine how well you do in races. With enough training and determination, your Sim and horse can bring in three grand a day. Great for a get rich quick scheme.

 

Another great feature in Pets has to be the advanced coat design options in Create-a-Pet. When creating your pet this is where the magic really happens, allowing players to recreate their own beloved cat or dog, even a horse to with amazing accuracy (depending on how good your skills are). Just like a Sims DNA, whatever your pets colours/marking, they all have a chance to be passed on to the offspring. This opens up a really interesting sort of game, allowing players to mix and match certain breeds and colours to create the perfect pup, kitten or foal.

 

Wow, so to sum it all up, the combination of different pets, complete customization, new interaction and a new town. The Sims 3 Pets has come out on top once again as a huge hit from EA. I was afraid that after Sims 3 Generations and Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles, that EA was going to start to run out of ideas for future releases of the Sims Franchise. Adding Horses to the equation aswell as several other features, just goes to show how EA still have many tricks and ideas up their sleeves. Well done EA!

 

For more reviews like this, check out: http://www.gadgetlist.co.uk/

 


BATTLEFIELD 3 (XBOX 360)

One of the most anticipated games of the year finally gets a release and with online play as good as this, the hype has been truly worth it! With nine online maps to choose from, they vary in size and location – from huge expanses to close quarter, they’re all here. A great thing about the Battlefield series is the choice of vehicles on offer, although not all of them are for each map. From jet fighters to helicopters, tanks to Humvees, the variety of online play is just awesome and it’s no wonder the series has won so many awards. Coming in two discs, there are six co-op missions to choose from and of course, the solo campaign, which takes place in a flashback style as your marine is interrogated in New York City by the CIA (one of whom I’m sure is the Secret Service guy from 24!). The solo campaign is good, although I feel the flashback style of it spoils the flow of the story, but it's the gameplay that counts and it's awesome. There really are some special moments in the game - the tank battle is just incredible and the shooting gallery part in the villa level is sheer design genius! I defy you not to shoot at one of the dummies by accident! The co-op is just great, and a top way to pass time away with one of your mates, and the online play – well it just gets better and better each time. Go get it! 9/10

 


FIFA 12 (XBOX 360)

The daddy of all football games returns for its yearly update, determined to improve on last year’s extremely polished version. Boasting a new player impact engine, improved game-play, slick presentation and a more even online matchmaking process, its position as No1 remains justified. As a casual FIFA gamer, the hardest part for me to deal with has been the new tactical defending system, as someone who was pretty awful at scoring goals, my strength in the game was my defending ability! Now, it’s changed. No longer do you just hit the ‘press’ buttons and your team would close the opposition down, now your players track the opposition, staying within reach of them, committing you to decide the best time to stick in a tackle. Get it right, and you win the ball! Get it wrong, as I keep doing, and you spend the whole game chasing the ball! Possession is not a strong point for me just now! But, this will change. I get why EA have implemented the new system, it’s much more realistic and I know that when I get the hang of it, my FIFA footballing experience is going to go to a whole new level. And I can’t wait! With all the new online features, I have to say that my favourite is how they’ve made the matchmaking fairer. I would often set up to play a random challenger, but would not even start the game if my opponent chose Barcelona or Real Madrid. I would just look for another opponent. Now, EA have tweaked it so you must pick your team first, then look for an opponent. Simple, but genius! And, they’re now tracking those who like to quit your match when you’re giving them a roasting. Another regular frustration eliminated! As always, FIFA is a genuine joy to play and the thrill of scoring a goal is just as good as ever. I may be useless at it, but I still love it! 9/10



GEARS OF WAR 3 (XBOX 360)

I’m a major fan of the Gears’ series and I have to say one of my gaming regrets was not being able to finish Gears 2, getting stuck on a level where I had to shoot down the big flying aliens – I knew how to do it, I just couldn’t seem to make it work in the time given! Gutted. Anyway, Gears 3 is out now and like number 2, it improves on its predecessor in many ways. Marcus Fenix is back, commanding his squad and fighting for survival, as much as human kind is as they survive in isolated forts and ships, trying to stay in existence. Enemies are still the Locust and the Lambent stalk, which I’m guessing must have appeared at the end of Gears 2 (I never got there, remember!). As you would expect in a Gears' game, the attention to detail is stunning. The environment is hugely realistic, the imagination of the developers is fantastic and the character detail is incredible. It really is great playing a game where you feel so connected to its character. With beautiful scenery, amazing set pieces and just awesome game-play, Gears 3 really is a top game to play. Add the improved online game-play, complete with excellent learning curve, new gaming options and the split screen mode and you have one of the best shooters of the year. 9/10


DRIVER: SAN FRANCISCO (XBOX 360)

It’s been out for a couple of months now, but it would be a shame not to mention it as it’s such a cool game. You’re back as cop John Tanner and San Francisco is your city now, but unfortunately, your nemesis and criminal mastermind Jericho is also in the city, having escaped from prison. What follows are a serious of missions, skill tests, objectives and mini-games, all within a hugely detailed San Francisco. Although the gaming environment is very realistic, the game itself shuns away from that with its ‘shift’ function, where you can take control of any car as you ‘shift’ into the bodies of the drivers of each car, all dependent on what car is nearest and most suitable to your relevant mission. Once you accept this as an asset to the game-play, then the game comes into its own as a fast-paced, fun driving game. Hugely enjoyable. 8/10