To people immersed in the world of video games, some things read as a given. You only play Halo titles on Xbox consoles. You only play Uncharted games on Sony hardware. PCs are yet another planet; there are worlds of exclusives that simply never meet. And yet today, it seems some streams will cross.
There’s a lot more to the music in video games than that song from Tetris: whether it’s the tunes blasting straight from the game or the playlist you use to gear up for a marathon gaming session, music can make all the difference. Spotify has caught on to this, and has launched a new portal designed to put all that music in one spot. [More]
Game streaming is big business. And like TV streaming before it, everyone with two wires to plug together wants a slice of that delicious viewer pie. (Ew.) Which explains why Microsoft is hopping in the pool with its own streaming service acquisition.
Are the days of fighting over the best video game controller over? Perhaps, says a new report: though consoles and computers used to be the most popular for gaming, smartphones and tablets now rule the roost among the younger set.
After spending more than year referring to its virtual reality headset with the over-the-top working title Project Morpheus, Sony finally revealed the true identity of its immersive accessory, and it’s a bit of a letdown: PlayStation VR. [More]
Some reward programs aren’t really rewarding. In fact, some are downright harmful to consumers. That was apparently the case with an Ohio-based smartphone app developer that recently agreed to settle charges that it hijacked consumers’ phones through a seemingly innocuous gaming app. [More]
Owners of Sony’s PlayStation 4 hoping the company would follow in Microsoft’s footsteps and add backwards compatibility to allow PS3 games to be played on the newer console shouldn’t hold their breath, as executives for the electronics company say they have no immediate plans to implement the technology. [More]
It’s inevitable: whenever a post about Kmart appears online, wise guys pipe up to ask, “Kmart is still a thing?” Not anymore in some metropolitan areas. Reader Ryan, browsing a store in Las Vegas, thinks that he knows why this is. [More]
The PlayStation 4 launched in November and so far has sold and performed well for Sony. One thing it doesn’t have, though, is backwards compatibility. The PS3 was out for seven years before that, and the PlayStation 2 before it sold over 150 million units worldwide. That’s a lot of old video games that don’t run on your shiny new system. [More]
Our readers are already intimately familiar with the anti-consumer behavior that won EA its second gleaming Golden Poo trophy in a row. One issue that we haven’t heard a lot about, though, is the continued suckiness of the current generation of “The Sims.” You know, that other Maxis title.
Ian was annoyed. He sent us this photo while on hold with Redbox to complain. “Some jerk replaced the disk in the case with a paper photocopy so the return code could still be read,” he wrote. Well, that’s an evil trick. And not foolproof: Redbox knows who had their discs out at any given time, and also happens to have their credit card numbers. Once Ian got through, he explained what happened, and also how Redbox tried to make this up to him.
With Misty’s order for the Halo 4 Xbox console and a limited edition of the new game, she got a bunch of codes for downloadable content to be used inside the game. In previous editions, some of that kind of content was available to all users of the console it was downloaded to. But no matter what the restrictions actually say, for Halo 4 the content is restricted to the gamertag that downloaded it. She didn’t want one account to hog all of the good stuff.
We often hear from people who vow that they’ll never shop at GameStop again after one last straw of a terrible shopping experience. They’re usually not ex-employees, though. Marisa used to work at GameStop. It was a while ago: before, she claims, staffers were encouraged to sell quite so aggressively. Advanced sales techniques and even exceptionally good interpersonal skills aren’t required for employment at GameStop, or so we hear. Marisa’s experience annoyed even someone who used to spend hours in the store, though. That says something. She’s all irrational and expected staffers to know something about games.
Jonathan’s sons sometimes want to buy downloadable content for their Playstation 3 games. He’s perfectly happy to buy this content for them, because he’s a nice dad like that. Unfortunately, his money is no good at Sony. He uses his credit card to add $10 to his virtual wallet. Then the same card won’t work immediately afterward. Neither will a different card.
Ashlee’s house was robbed last Thanksgiving, and the culprits were never caught. They replaced the stolen items, and life went on. Until her Xbox Live account signed on using another console. The same console that had been stolen, whereabouts now unknown. Maybe the identity or location of the person now using Ashlee’s Xbox could provide valuable insights into who robbed their house five months ago. Microsoft wasn’t interested in helping, and determined that the new owner’s use of her account and attempt to use it to buy points weren’t fraudulent. Well, that’s good to hear!
Microsoft is reportedly prepping its follow-up to the Xbox 360, with plans to start mass-producing the console’s components by the end of the year and release it in October or November of 2013.
This week, a massive customer service clusterfracas swept the gaming world, then the rest of the Internet. It involved a game console controller that was late in shipping, a a marketing firm in over its head, a popular webcomic, the unholy wrath of the Internet hate machine, and one humble customer who just wanted to know whether he was going to get his gadget by Christmas or not. What did we learn here? That there is such a thing as bad publicity, and that sometimes people on the Internet actually are who they claim to be.
In recent weeks, we’ve heard from quite a few Xbox Gold customers who report that points have been stolen from their accounts, but Microsoft doesn’t seem terribly concerned about it, or about stopping the account breaches. Today’s example: reader Jesse, who loaded several cards on his account before a move, for some reason assuming that the points would be safer in his account (in the cloud!) than packed for his move. Not so. Someone spent those points on content that Jesse never downloaded, and Microsoft isn’t giving him those points back.