Bloomberg reported that Microsoft’s head of Xbox said he’s “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments,” in light of the recent revelations at the video game publishing company.
This is in reference to an article posted by the Wall Street Journal alleging that CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, knew for years about sexual-misconduct allegations at the company he leads. The same article stated that Bobby Kotick also did not inform the board of directors about everything he knew.
IGN reported that Microsoft has confirmed the statement from Phil Spencer. That statement said “I personally have strong values for a welcoming and inclusive environment for all of our employees at Xbox. This is not a destination but a journey that we will always be on. The leadership at Xbox and Microsoft stand by our teams and support them in building a safer environment for all.”
The Verge reported that PlayStation leadership has asked Activision Blizzard how it will address the allegations that were in the Wall Street Journal article. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan reportedly informed employees of the action in an email.
According to The Verge, this is the statement that PlayStation boss Jim Ryan gave to Bloomberg: “We outreached to Activision immediately after the article was published to express our deep concern and to ask how they plan to address the claims made in the article. We do not believe their statements of response properly address the situation.”
If both PlayStation and Xbox decide to remove Activision Blizzard’s games from their platforms, this could potentially be a big problem for the company. For example, Blizzard released Diablo II: Resurrected not only on its Battle:Net platform, but also on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, PS5 and PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
If Xbox and PlayStation decide to remove games from Activision Blizzard – it means that players who access the game through those platforms will no longer be able to play it on those platforms. If they don’t have a PC, then they won’t be able to play at all.
Those of you who thought up the perfect Gamertag, and who were frustrated to learn that someone else had already claimed it, could be in luck. Xbox is about to release nearly one million Gamertags that have gone dormant.
The release of the Gamertags “back into the wild” will begin on Wednesday, May 18th at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT. The Gamertags will be released over a 24-hour period in order to give Xbox fans in various countries an equal chance to get one.
It is worth knowing that the recycled Gamertags aren’t going to be released to all Xbox users. Xbox says that it will release the Gamertags “to our valued Xbox Live Gold members with active subscriptions and at least 1 year of cumulative Xbox Live Gold tenure”.
The Gamertags that Xbox is about to release are from accounts abandoned from the original Xbox era. These accounts never migrated over to Xbox 360 and, as a result, have been inactive for quite some time. Xbox won’t share the actual list of recycled Gamertags, but they have posted the categories that many of the Gamertags fall into:
* Proper Names
* Pop culture references (Entertainment, sports, gaming)
* Types of Food
* Geography and Travel
* Science and Technology
* Math and Numbers
* Some of the greatest inventions of all time
Xbox points out that changing your Gamertag won’t impact your Gamerscore, Achievements, or your Friends list. In other words, you won’t lose anything by attempting to obtain the Gamertag that you’ve always wanted.
Microsoft may be planning to unveil its next Xbox console in the near future, but that has not stopped the company from continuing to update its current 360 version of the device.
The Xbox 360 may sometimes be thought of as a gaming box, but it has long since exited that pigeon hole. Microsoft wants to use the console to take over your living room and it has been moving steadily in that direction for some time. The company has been adding more and more entertainment content and now it has announced the next wave.
Larry Hryb, better known as Major Nelson, announced the next set of updates, which are rolling out right now and include a load of new entertainment options for customers.
- Xbox SmartGlass for Game of Thrones Season 3
- MLB.TV Refresh
- Revision 3
- Toys “R” Us Movies
If you have an Xbox 360 then you should be receiving these updates at any moment. If you do not yet have one of the consoles then you may just want to wait and find out what gets announced at the upcoming E3 show.
Ever since the motion picture first burst onto the silver screen, people have wanted to enhance the cinematic experience. From 3D and IMAX to Smell-O-vision, just about every trick in the book has been used to make you feel part of the film, rather than an outside observer. To this fine canon of techniques, UK retailer Tesco and on-line movie service blinkbox are adding….food.
For their “Movie & Meal Deal“, Tesco and blinkbox commissioned top neuroscientist, Dr. Jack Lewis, to study the effects of active ingredients on people’s brains and then suggest food types that complement the movie-watching experience. His findings gave Tesco and blinkbox the perfect, if somewhat unusual, combinations for the ultimate movie night in.
Dr. Lewis reckons these foods match the movie genres.
- Action – Sun-dried tomatoes coated in cocoa powder will raise noradrenaline which is instrumental to sensations of excitement
- Comedy – Fresh fish stuffed with beetroot and coleslaw to supplement the nitric oxide system and improve dopamine availability in the pleasure pathways of your brain
- Drama – Chopped lemon, lime and mint sandwich drizzled with chilli sauce on wholewheat bread to trigger the RAS (reticular activating system) to remain alert and focused.
- Horror – Chicken marinated in freshly brewed coffee will take you out of your comfort zone and raise levels of anxiety
- Romance – Curl up with a spicy curry (not chocolate!) to top up your libido-stoking testosterone levels
“Everyone knows that certain drugs can change the way you feel, but the chemicals we take into our bodies through our diet can also have an effect on our mood,” says Dr. Jack Lewis “Choosing to eat certain foods, whilst leaving others out, regulates the availability of ‘raw materials’ that the brain’s chemical messengers are created from. This means that you can tailor your meals to create the perfect mood for a movie night in, no matter what the genre.”
The “Move & Meal Deal” is a partnership between Tesco and blinkbox: buy a variety of food and drinks from Tesco and then rent a blinkbox new release movie for just £2 instead of the usual price of £3.49.
Me, I think I’ll stick to popcorn.
If you have an Xbox Gold Member and are a Xfinity (aka Comcast) subscriber you may have noticed a couple of additions to the Xbox app store, MLB, HBO Go and Xfinity on Demand. However if you try to log into HBO Go you will find yourself blocked, because HBO Go is not available on the Xbox if you get your Internet through Comcast. Just in case you think this is a plot against Xbox users by either Comcast or HBO Go, it isn’t HBO Go is also not available on the Roku for Comcast subscribers, although it is available on the iPad. I am sure this makes sense to someone at either Comcast or HBO Go, but I can’t think of a good reason other than someone wants more money, never mind, I just answered my own question.
Which means if you are a Comcast subscriber you can now watch Xfinity on Demand and MLB through your Xbox. (MLB does require a subscription) The difference is any content you watch on the Xbox through the Xfinity on Demand app does not count against the data cap. Comcast says this because it is being streamed through a private network. This has net neutrality advocates crying foul, since all other services including MLB do count against the data cap. Comcast says since they are treating all services that are on the public network equally they are still observing net neutrality. I find this argument difficult to swallow, if we follow their argument on I can see a future where there are two Internets, one for companies who can afford to pay for private networks and offer fast service and another for those who are relegated to the slower public network. Unless Xfinity on Demand because it is a part of the Comcast service takes a different private path to my residence and that path can only be followed by services owned directly by Comcast. If this isn’t true, then a packet coming from Xfinity on Demand is no different from one coming from MLB and uses the same bandwidth ( assuming all other things being equal). It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
However for now the biggest problem for many Xbox users seems to be even connecting to Xfinity on Demand through the Xbox. Many people are receiving error messages, when they try to connect. Are you a Comcast subscriber and an Xbox owner, what do you think of Xfinity on Demand on the Xbox can you even get into it. Does it bother you that its is being treated differently when it comes to your data cap.
Feeling a 100% better and it is time to have a serious discussion about privacy and actions in the internet and public space. Looking for your feedback in a big way on these issues. Lots of great tech stories to share with you tonight as well.
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Turtlebeach, famous for their audio products, has a new line of headphones designed for use with tablets and smartphones, and geared specifically towards mobile gaming. They had the whole lineup on display recently at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and The Tech Podcast Network got a tour.
The M3, for instance, is super portable because it is so flexible and foldable. It will retail for $39.95. The M5 is slightly larger, but has the same sleek design and will cost the user $49.95. There is also a pair of full-size gaming headphones, the X32 and X42,both of which are compatible with the Xbox 360 and are now dual-band, unlike their predecessors. Both will operate in the 2.4 and 5 GHz range. There is also a new X300 and X400 line. You can check them all out in the video below and also visit Turtlebeach for more information.
Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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