Microsoft’s October update for the Xbox One is now available for download. This update focused on optimizing the system for those who bought the Kinect-free version, but it comes with plenty of other fixes and functions.
Snapping apps is a lot easier now. Just double-tap the Xbox button and a small menu pops up. You can pick an app to snap, change focus between the game and the snapped app, or unsnap it. You can also “press X to record that.” To take advantage of the easier snapping, Friends and Messages are snap-able (snappable?) so you don’t have to leave your game while assembling your party.
The Boston Festival of Indie Games held its second convention on Saturday, September 13 after a successful Kickstarter. The convention features up-and-coming indie developers making games for consoles, PCs, mobile devices, virtual reality and tabletop. XBLA Fans had the opportunity to attend and see what goodies might be in store for Xbox in the near future. These are the games that we got to see in that short day.
Keep in mind, while most of these are in the works to come to Xbox platforms, not all of them are confirmed Xbox releases yet.
This paranormal adventure game from Crystal Labs swaps between game console generations. By pushing the right trigger, you swap between eight bits and 16 bits with authentic graphics and mechanics from that generational “dimension.” For example, in the SNES-stye 16-bit dimension, you can move diagonally and use more combat moves, whereas the eight-bit dimension leaves you with a simple jab attack and only four directions to move in. While the world stays the same, you will have to occasionally swap to defeat certain enemies trapped in a particular dimension. However, most of the game can be completed in both bit variations, so you can enjoy the game in whichever generation feels more comfortable.
Retro fans will notice the resemblance to classics like The Legend of Zelda once they experience some of High Strangeness‘ puzzles and combat. You will need to throw switches, move blocks, catch patterns and uncover secrets to get through it. During the demo, I experienced that classic moment during which a friend figured out the puzzle over my shoulder and walked me through it. That’s what lead developer Ben Shostak was going for. “A lot of retro-like games out there are using a lot of the style and references, but we’re using the actual design and gameplay,” he explained.
Microsoft is negotiating to purchase Mojang, the developers of Minecraft, for over $2 billion, reports The Wall Street Journal. Nothing is confirmed yet, but Microsoft’s interest is not surprising. …
Yes, Saint’s Row can get even more insane. Deep Silver has announced Saint’s Row: Gat Out of Hell, a standalone expansion to Saint’s Row IV that will follow Johnny Gat into the fiery depths. The expansion will be available digitally for $19.99 on January 27, 2015 in North America, and it will release on January 30th in other territories. It will be available on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and coincides with the release of Saint’s Row IV: Re-elected on Xbox One. See the announcement trailer below:
Online retailer Amazon has acquired Twitch for a cool $970 million in cash. After being courted by Google for a couple of months, this deal came somewhat as a surprise.
In a public letter to the Twitch community, CEO Emmett Shear wrote, “We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster.”
The Behemoth has revealed the first trailer for their fourth game, temporarily titled Game 4. The studio’s previous works inclue Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater. You can see the trailer for Game 4 embedded below.
The Behemoth’s announcing blog post reads: “Shortly before the release of BattleBlock Theater we started working on something new. We schemed up a bunch of concepts and picked our strongest one. From there we fleshed out the lone survivor prototype!!! As it grew stronger and stronger, we polished it, furnished it with delights, and added (gluten free?) sprinkles. Yes, as the chicken dictates, this game is of a genre we haven’t covered before and seek to breathe a new flavor into. Maybe you can find a hint in the video below about which genre it is??”
Get ready for another update—starting today, your Xbox has a few new features to make things easier and more fun.
The social features are being adjusted into one continuous stream of more interesting content where you can share videos and comments with your friends, much like other social media. You can even post simple text updates, such as, “I’m playing Titanfall tonight if anyone wants to join me.” You can also check these activity feeds anytime from SmartGlass.