Plenty to discuss this week from Microsoft, Sony has a promising feature for their Netflix app and Steam’s trading card system is in full swing.
-Looks like Microsoft will invest about $700 million to expanding it’s data centers. Named “Project Mountain”, these data centers are one part of what will be powering Xbox One’s cloud services. Located in Des Moines, Iowa, this stretch of land is 40 acres long sharing space with other tech companies such as Google and Facebook which also have data centers located in Iowa. I am excited yet a bit skeptical on this cloud service Microsoft is rolling out. It seems as if it could be a giant step for the Redmont company and obviously they are putting their chips on that respective table, but we still don’t truly know how it will weave itself into our gaming experience. Will this improve graphic capabilities down the line? Or is it strictly something for online gameplay improvement? The possibilities are endless, but for now we’ll just have to wait and see what the extent of this cloud service is. http://goo.gl/xwk95
-With that being said an engineer from Respawn, makers of the highly anticipated Titanfall, posted an article on how their specific next gen game will benefit from the cloud services. Jon Shiring, stated having access to dedicated servers from Microsoft means they don’t have to rent and maintain servers from different ISP’s. Microsoft has servers globally available which means a more uniform experience for everyone that is connecting to Xbox Live and subsequently a better gaming experience for people playing Titanfall, which is only an online multiplayer game. http://goo.gl/0vci6
-Ready to watch live TV on your Xbox 360? Yes, the 360. If you have a subscription with Time Warner Cable, you will be able to watch live TV later this summer. With an Xbox Live Gold membership and the Time Warner app you will have access to approximately 300 channels of live television. We already know the Xbox One, basically doubles as a intermediary to the set top box, so this is definitely an interesting development. This prompts me to think maybe Time Warner will be one of the first providers able to pair up with special features to the Xbox One. This is a bit of an odd move considering Microsoft’s eggs are mostly in the One’s basket, but maybe this is also a good showing of faith to continue to service the 360 while in the midst of a next gen console release. http://goo.gl/RFkAS
-On June 28th the Netflix app available on PSN will have an added feature named “Max”, found in the categories section. From the makers of the You Don’t Know Jack series, Jackbox Games added this feature that will help users decide on what to watch by offering interactive suggestions to the viewer. You can immediately play a movie, put it in the queue or get a 30 second pitch delivered to you about the movie’s premise. Sort of a lite version of the game show they are most well known for, Max will be coming to other platforms in the future. This sounds like a great idea, but as of 6/30, this feature wasn’t working for me. Will update. http://goo.gl/SLzBF
-The beta version of the Steam trading card system that launched in May has officially come to all Steam users. Basically, a meta game for your games. Currently, only a few games are supported such as Don’t Starve, Dota 2 and others just to name a couple. These cards can be used to craft badges for status or to redeem in game content. You earn these cards by simply playing the games that are supported. http://goo.gl/RZZLG