Monthly Archives: November 2011
Entering the seventh year of its lifecycle, Xbox 360 just closed the biggest sales week in the history of Xbox, selling more than 960,000 consoles in the U.S. during the week of Black Friday.
Microsoft’s retail partners are equally excited about our sales performance this holiday.
“We have seen tremendous excitement from customers for our hot holiday gaming offers,” said Chris Homeister, senior vice president and general manager of Home Entertainment at Best Buy. “Xbox 360 was among the best-sellers at Best Buy this Black Friday, and is a testament to the continued popularity of the gaming category this holiday.”
Sales highlights in the U.S. during the week of Black Friday include:
Xbox 360 sold more than 960,000 consoles in the U.S. alone, of which more than 800,000 were sold within a period of 24 hours – the biggest week of sales in Xbox history. (Source: Internal data)
More than 750,000 Kinect for Xbox 360 sensors were sold in the U.S. – standalone and bundled. (Source: Internal data)
Verizon and Microsoft this morning announcing plans to offer cable access to Xbox Live Gold members who also pay for Verizon’s FiOS TV and internet service plans. If you pay for a subscription to Xbox Live, and pay for a cable TV subscription, and pay for a cable internet connection, then you can watch 26 of your Verizon FiOS channels on an Xbox 360.
Additionally, Kinect “voice and gesture commands” functionality will come with the service.
And New FiOS customers can take advantage of an initial promo lasting until January 21 that discounts Verizon’s “Triple Play” internet/TV/phone to $89.99 a month (at least for the first two years), and includes both a free 12-month XBL Gold membership and a copy of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
Comcast and HBO are also signed on for as yet unspecified streaming deals with Microsoft. A Bloomberg report from earlier this year indicated that even more content providers had signed on, though Microsoft has only confirmed a handful of said providers thus far.
Microsoft announced this week the acquisition of “video discovery technology company” VideoSurf.
VideoSurf is a video discovery technology and how will it “enhance” Xbox Live?
“This holiday we will launch voice search across our entertainment partners on Xbox LIVE,”
Microsoft’s Alex Garden said in a press release. “Over time, as we integrate VideoSurf’s technology into our system, we are excited about the potential to have content tagged in real time to increase the speed and relevance of the search results.” VideoSurf’s back-end technology “‘sees’ frames inside videos,” an ability that Microsoft appears to want to couple with the integrated Bing voice search coming to Xbox 360.
Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows program doesn’t just involve new firmware for PCs. There will be a new version of the Kinect hardware designed for Windows, with “improvements” like a shorter USB cable (“to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers”) and a smaller USB dongle to better share space.
The firmware includes support for a new “Near Mode,” designed to see objects as close as 50 centimeters away from the camera (“with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters,” Windows Kinect GM Craig Eisler notes). It makes sense for a device you would use while sitting at the computer.
In advance of the Kinect for Windows launch (early 2012), Microsoft has launched the “Kinect Accelerator” program, which will give $20,000 each to ten startups using Kinect, along with Microsoft development tools, “marketing visibility” and mentoring.
The Test Drive series will continue next year with a Ferrari Racing game. publisher Bigben Interactive announced the acquisition of distribution rights for Test Drive: Ferrari, which it will release in Europe on March 20, for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
The Rage demo is now available on Xbox Live, and is expected out on PSN on December 6.
While many of you have been involved in the Xbox LIVE Preview Program and have been busy getting an early look at the next Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE features, I wanted to let you know that the official release for the update for all Xbox LIVE members will be Tuesday, December 6th. In this update, free to all console owners, you will see:
- New personal and social features including Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile
- Beacons and Facebook Sharing
- Enhanced Family Settings
- Integrated voice and gesture controls across the dashboard and in apps
- Bing voice search (Available this year in the US, UK and CA)
In addition to all these great dashboard features, starting on December 6th and continuing on an ongoing basis through the holiday months, a wealth of new content will be coming to Xbox 360. New, customized applications for television, movies, internet videos, sports and music will begin rolling out from world-leading providers in more than 20 countries.
Today marks the 10-year Anniversary of Xbox. On this day on 2001, the Xbox was launched with a dozen titles, including Halo: Combat Evolved. It’s been a fantastic 10 years
This live action trailer featuring Sam Worthington, Jonah Hill and Dwight Howard. Has to be one of the coolest live action trailers to date.
“Whether you’re a veteran of Call of Duty or a n00b just starting out, there is a soldier in all of us”.