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Xbox One (also) Sells 1 Million Units

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Xbox One (also) Sells 1 Million Units

The newly launched Xbox One is already a record breaker Microsoft says, with sales reaching 1 million units in the 24 hours following the 22 November 2013 global launch.

The 3rd Xbox console hit the market to much fanfare in 13 territories, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Other markets should follow from Q1 2014.

"Xbox One is now sold out at most retailers," a Microsoft statement reads. "We are working to replenish stock as fast as possible to meet the unprecedented demand from our customers." The Guardian confirms such claims with at least one retailer, since apparently John Lewis sold all its entire Xbox One stock within 2 hours of the console being available online.

However it remains too early to declare Microsoft winner of the next gen console tournament-- Sony also sold 1 million PlayStation 4 units in the 24 hours following the 15 November N. American launch.

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Happauge Makes Game Recording Portable

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Happauge Makes Game Recording Portable

Happauge launches a portable game video recorder at Paris Games Week 2013-- the HD PVR Rocket, a standalone miniature version of the HD PVR 2 recorder launched back in 2012.

Small enough to fit one's hand and weighing only 130g, the HD PVR Rocket features a built-in audio mixer and a USB port for the plugging in of any USB storage device. According to Happauge a 16GB USB drive can record up to 4 hours of gameplay at 1920x1080 resolution. A microphone jack allows the recording of commentary as well as game audio, while a control panel handles volume adjustments.

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The Square Enix Take on Cloud Gaming

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The Square Enix Take on Cloud Gaming

Square Enix has the Final Fantasy formula down, but can it claim the same with cloud gaming? The company reckons so with Project FLARE, a development it describes as no less than a "technological breakthrough in cloud game architecture."

FLARE is similar to the likes of OnLive or Gaikai, but with a different take on the technology running the service-- according to Square Enix the architecture makes more efficient use of server hardware, with games natively built for the cloud. Or, as the announcement press release puts it, "a unique, patented architecture enabl[es] cost-efficient scalability of processing power, through which images are streamed as video."

According to the company FLARE will offer “Hollywood-quality animation running in real-time to deepen the player’s immersion" and "video streams allowing even existing games to be enjoyed in new ways."

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Fox Proposes "Digital Bridge" for UHD Content

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Fox Proposes

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment president Mike Dunn proposes what he believes is a simpler means for customers to access and manage media content-- a Blu-ray player with enough storage for content in HD and even 4k/UHD resolutions.

Described as a "Digital Bridge," such a device would not only store content downloaded from the cloud on terabytes of HDD space, but also make movies and TV shows available to any device in the home.

“Consumers would have the ability to copy their physical discs and store and manage their entire digital library in one centralized location... in the living room,” Dunn says in his keynote at the CEA Industry Forum 2013.

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Amazon Preps STB, Calls it FireTube?

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Amazon Preps STB, Calls it FireTube?

More news emerges from the Amazon STB front-- The Wall Street Journal reports the retailer plans to launch the device on the holiday season, while 9 to 5 Google points out Amazon recently trademarked the name "Firetube."

Of course, Firetube might be the name of the rumoured Amazon smartphone, but one has to admit it would make more sense attached to a piece of online video streaming equipment of some kind.

The WSJ does not mention the "Firetube" name, instead saying the STB is code-named "Cinnamon." Apparently it will not only push media content available on the Prime subscription service but also connect to competing services "for streaming video and music, as well as some games."

Wait, games? Game Informer and TechCrunch did report Amazon is working on a games console a few months ago...

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Sony Sticks With Google TV

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Sony Sticks With Google TV

Sony does not give up on Google TV (even as Google itself appears to do exactly that) and announces the NSZ-GU1 Bravia Smart Stick, an MHL/USB dongle for post-2013 Sony TVs similar to the Google Chromecast.

It carries 8GB storage, connects to TVs via MHL port (USB takes care of power) and "seamlessly integrates Google and Sony's own BRAVIA apps, allowing viewers to stay in a single menu to launch any of their apps."

In other words customers get access to both Sony and Google Play apps, as well as regular TV services, with a single menu handling access. It also allows picture-in-picture web surfing/TV watching, while an included universal remote features a touchpad on one side and a QWERTY keyboard on the other.

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Sony Takes on Micro Consoles, Apple TV

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Sony Takes on Micro Consoles, Apple TV

The big vendors too can play in the realm of palm-sized micro consoles-- Sony reveals the PlayStation Vita TV, a low-cost TV device packing the innards of the PS Vita handheld console in a small (6.4 x 10.5cm) device.

The console uses up to two regular Dual Shock 3 controllers (not included) to play around 1300 software titles from the Playstation Network digital games catalog, including PSOne, PSP and PS Vita titles.

In addition the Vita TV connects to the Vita handheld and, eventually, the Playstation Continue reading...

Amazon, Game Console Maker?

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Amazon, Game Console Maker?

Game Informer and TechCrunch report yet another company plans to join an already crowded Android-powered games console market-- both say Amazon will launch such a device "by the end of this year."

Apparently the machine features a dedicated controller and provides access to games via Amazon.com app store. The TechCrunch "reliable source" goes further and says the hardware features a Qualcomm MPQ processor, of the kind found in smart TVs and STBs.

Does this mean the the device is actually the STB in development at the Amazon Lab126 hardware division Bloomberg reported on back in April 2013? TechCrunch says no ("those plans are still on track") but it would make sense for the company to combine media and games in a single machine, seeing how the major games consoles alreadly tout entertainment capabilities.

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EA Joins G-Cluster Cloud Gaming

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EA Joins G-Cluster Cloud Gaming

Japanese white box cloud gaming company G-Cluster finds a major ally in the effort to bring cloud-based gaming to the masses-- EA strikes a deal with to bring high-end videogames to the G-cluster service.

EA does not confirm actual titles set to appear on the cloud, but its franchise stable includes the likes of Battlefield, Need for Speed and The Sims. It joins 35 other "major" game publishers together with Ubisoft, Disney, Warner Bros. and Konami.

G-cluster hopes the service will reach over 10 million households by 2013.

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