Microsoft

Playstation 4 details hint at next-gen specs

Tom Senior at

The first clues as to how powerful the next generation of consoles will be has popped up on Edge. "Sources close to the hardware" clued them in on a more PC-like, developer-friendly architecture that will run on a 1.6GHZ eight-core AMD CPU. Current dev kits are apparently running on 4GB of GDDR5 RAM. More below.


Tales of Middle-Earth mod brings the War of the Ring to Age of Empires II

Omri Petitte at

We never turn down the opportunity to send men to their deaths to recover a piece of jewelry. Lord of the Rings continues to be great modding fodder, proven most recently by Tales of Middle-Earth. The total conversion adapts RTS classic Age of Empires II, adding 18 LOTR factions ready to clash steel on maps based on iconic battles.


Freeworlds: Tides of War mod sticks Star Wars dogfights with Freelancer sights

Omri Petitte at

Our resident droid's cursory glimpse at the Freeworlds: Tides of War Star Wars conversion mod for open-space roamer Freelancer elicited an approving "beep-boop." Translated into English: "OH GOD, YES." A free demo has been around for the majority of the year, but as PCGamesN reports, a new gameplay video released today showcases the mod's progression via a carrier launch and brief sortie against Imperial fighters.


Microsoft's new Black Tusk Studios, headed by ex-EA devs, looking to make the next Halo

T.J. Hafer at

Deep in the clandestine cubicles of Vancouver, a team largely made up of former EA developers has been assembled. Yesterday, it finally went public. The Microsoft-owned Black Tusk Studios is working on a new franchise that it hopes will become "the next Halo."


Windows 8 sells 40 million licenses in first month

Omri Petitte at

Industry naysaying, a tightened grip on program (or app, if you really want to use that nickname) quality standards, and team lead takeoffs barely budged the churning treads of Microsoft's Windows 8 push, as NDTV reports the operating system sold 40 million licenses in just a single month since releasing on October 26.

Traffic 360 add-on for Flight Simulator X adds thousands of AI aircraft

Omri Petitte at

Yes, traffic's ubiquity in our lives often turns mornings into a march to Mordor and renders afternoons into a soliloquy with your radio tuner as you wait to move another half-inch, but it's also a necessary element of authenticity as far as vehicle simulations are concerned. The skies above take no exception. Enter Traffic 360, an update to Just Flight's Traffic X add-on (via PCGamesN) furnishing Flight Simulator X with fleets of AI planes taxiing on airport tarmacs and taking to the air using over half a million real-world flight schedules and plans.


Windows 8 head Steven Sinofsky leaves Microsoft

Omri Petitte at

Microsoft's leadership echelon experienced a shakeup in its Windows division yesterday with the sudden departure of President Steven Sinofsky for unexplained reasons. Sinofsky oversaw and was responsible for the development of both Windows 7 and Windows 8. Microsoft's official announcement states the mutually agreed decision takes effect immediately.


Microsoft restricts DirectX 11.1 to Windows 8

Omri Petitte at

Microsoft's latest operating system behemoth copped noticeable criticism across various issues leading up to its release, with notableindustryluminaries chiming in their opposition to the software's reclusive certification process and boxy exterior. Add another possible flashpoint: Neowin reports a Microsoft tech revealing DirectX 11.1's exclusivity to Windows 8 with "no plan" to retrofit Windows 7 with the latest version.


Halo 4 definitely not coming to PC, "woah, really?" says nobody anywhere

Tyler Wilde at

Our couch-and-TV siblings seem to really like Halo 4, and with Microsoft in charge, you'd think they'd be planning a big Windows 8 store release. I mean, you wouldn't actually think that, because you know better, but you'd think it in a sarcastic way. Well, it's not happening. Speaking to The PA Report, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that they "do not currently have any plans to port Halo 4 to PC."


State of Decay video shows stealthy use of loud, noisy fireworks

Omri Petitte at

You'll need supplies to feed, clothe, and house the needy mouths hunkering in your safehouse in Undead Labs' open-world survive-a-thon State of Decay. A lot of supplies. Lucky for you, they're happily strewn about in abandoned shops, homes, and eateries. Just as unlucky, scores of those annoying shamblers aimlessly mill in the way of your scrounging. Undead Labs' Halloween gameplay video shows a return to the basics of stealth and subterfuge to avoid detection—which ostensibly involves whipping a blockading horde into a fervor with carefully thrown firecrackers. Whatever works, I suppose—by the way, that mask totally succeeds in hiding your identity from mindless dead people.


GOG has "gotten really far" in talks with either Microsoft, Take-Two, or LucasArts

Tyler Wilde at

It's mystery time! During a chat yesterday with Trevor Longino, Head of PR & Marketing at GOG, I mentioned I'd really like Microsoft to let them sell Freelancer. All this Star Citizen business is making me pine for it, but I can't find my original CD. It's very sad. In response, Longino pointed out that he still has his original Freelancer CD, but also shared the news that GOG is currently working out a deal with either Microsoft, Take-Two, or LucasArts. So I may or may not get Freelancer, but there's no losing.


Microsoft reveals wrist-mounted controller that creates in-game 3D hand

Tom Sykes at

As spotted on Edge, Microsoft has revealed a wrist-mounted bracelet that can be used to control games, smartphones, TVs, and eventually an army of killer robots, via infra-red sensors that create an accurate 3D model of the user's hand. Dubbed Digits, the technology uses infra-red sensors to build a "fully articulated hand skeleton", which can then be represented in-game as your very own digital limb. When using it on smartphones, tablets or a TV, it's more of an invisible, phantom limb, but it will obey your commands nonetheless.


Notch: Microsoft should "stop ruining" PC as an open platform

Omri Petitte at

Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson welcomed Thursday morning with a pair of tweets assailing Microsoft's program certification process for its impending Windows 8 operating system, saying the software giant should "stop ruining" the PC's accessibility for developers.


Windows 8 release date confirmed

Adam Oxford at

Last week Microsoft confirmed that Windows 8 was on course for a late October release, but Windows chief Steve Sinofsky has finally revealed the date on which the new operating system will be unleashed onto the world. Clear your diaries for October 26th, because that's when it lands.

The announcement was made at a sales meeting last night. It's yet to be confirmed that the Surface tablets will be available for sale the same day, although it's widely expected that they and other touchy feely new PC hybrids will be.


Windows 8 release date set for "late October"

Adam Oxford at

Microsoft has finally confirmed that Windows 8 is on course for a launch this October. The date won't come as a surprise to anyone who's been following the development of the OS, as it's been widely expected that the but it has been made official at last. It will be almost exactly three years since its predecessor, Windows 7, hit the shelves, and two decades since the breakthrough Windows for Workgroups 3.1.


Did Age of Empires Online's revamp solve its biggest problems?

Josh Augustine at

Age Of Empires Online's launch was far from perfect--in fact, a lot of people skipped right over the game for very good reasons (see our launch review for a quick recap). But the beauty of online games and free-to-play models is that developers can listen to feedback from disgruntled players and change their games over time to make them better.

Gas Powered Games has done just that with Age of Empires Online with recent updates that have completely reworked large portions of the game. To see if they fixed what bothered gamers most, I put together a list of the most common complaints I read on Twitter, Facebook, and our very own comments sections here on this site, and investigated what Gas Powered Games has done—or not done—to address each of them.


Windows 8 Upgrade to be $40 (UK price TBA)

Richard Cobbett at

It's coming soon with a sleek new look, massively updated apps, Xbox integration, and a surprisingly lower price than expected. While the UK price hasn't been shared yet, though we have to hope it won't be a 1:1 conversion rate, that's not bad for a brand new OS. Lest we forget, a basic Home Premium upgrade is still listed at $100 over on Amazon.com, with Apple's much less ambitious Mountain Lion update due this month and clocking in at $20. If you want the new Windows, you won't need to save up for long.


Microsoft says tablets will outsell PCs next year

Adam Oxford at

Microsoft Surface has pressure sensitive keys, could be perfect for stealth games

Tom Hatfield at

When Microsoft unveiled the Surface, its new tablet PC, one curious detail managed to slip beneath the radar. The tablet's integrated keyboard boasts pressure sensitive keys which, as Ars Technica have pointed out, could finally offer PC gamers the chance to control the speed of their movement.

I love my mouse and keyboard like tiny, mechanical brothers, but there are some things they don't do well. I'm secretly envious of our console playing brethren's ability to walk at whatever speed they choose, all dictated by the nuanced tilt of a game pad's analogue thumb stick. Our mice may be precision pointers of death, and our keyboards may offer us more buttons than a joypad owner's wet dream, but when it comes to movement we either walk very slowly, or run full tilt.


Microsoft launches own brand surface tablet

Adam Oxford at

With just a few days notice, Microsoft called journalists to an impromptu press conference in Hollywood last night to reveal their latest plan for pushing Windows 8. Turns out that they're developing their own brand range of tablets, using their existing name for touch sensitive screens, Surface. That it came as more or less a surprise (barring a lot of speculation over the last two days) is a feat almost as impressive as the announcement itself.

There'll be two tablets initially. The Surface is an ARM-based Win RT model which will compete with existing Android tablets and the iPad. The second device, Surface Pro, is more interesting from our point of view since it will have an Intel Core processor on board and therefore be compatible with some PC games.

The significance, of course, is that Microsoft is going to be making their own brand of PCs for the first time ever. But what does that mean?