Posts Tagged “microsoft”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Retiring Within 12 Months


Microsoft Corp. has announced today that their CEO, Steve Ballmer, will be retiring within the next year.  He will continue overseeing the day to day operations of the company until a suitable successor has been selected.


posted August 23, 2013 - 2:42 pm in Feature, News by

Gamers Speak Out – Don’t Cancel Inside Xbox

Online communities have found a voice in using online petitions as a means to plead with companies to make a change, or cancel it, as was the case with SOPA/PIPA.  Now, a small band of gamers have gotten together to start an online petition to beg Microsoft not to cancel Inside Xbox, a feature channel that ran throughout the week to keep gamers informed of everything Xbox related. Read On »


posted May 3, 2012 - 7:54 pm in Gaming, News by

Xbox 360 Sales Banned In Germany

Motorola won a victory over Microsoft in the German courts, scoring an injunction preventing sales of the Xbox 360 gaming console and Windows 7. Read On »


posted May 2, 2012 - 12:03 pm in Gaming, News by

Microsoft To Pull The Plug On Zune?

There’s no doubt that the Zune brand, Microsoft’s poorly advertised and ill-fated music service (with hardware once!), has been on life-support for the last three years.  For Zune owners (there are three of us on this site), it’s merely been a waiting game of when the axe will finally fall.  Well, it looks like they might start sharpening their blades at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo if a story reported by The Verge is true. Read On »


posted April 26, 2012 - 8:15 am in News, Technology by

Microsoft Announces Release Of Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Microsoft just recently announced in Barcelona, Spain the public release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.  Available now for download, consumers will be able to take a look at the new “Metro” interface first-hand and see what the fundamental changes will be from the current operating system, Windows 7.

Read On »


posted February 29, 2012 - 11:22 am in News, Technology by

Microsoft’s CES 2012 Keynote – All Good Things

CES has officially begun for 2012!  Yesterday’s media day gave us a sneak peek into the future of technology and how it will change life as we know it.  Press conferences, behind the door meetings, and keynotes from industry notables have journalists moving furiously across the city of Las Vegas, taking notes, knocking back energy drinks and posting the latest news of the day.

Read On »


posted January 10, 2012 - 7:00 am in Events, Gaming, Gaming Life, International CES 2012, Opinion by

CES – Life After Microsoft

After 20 years, Microsoft is walking away from the International Consumer Electronics Show…well, sort of.

The story, broken by major outlets yesterday reported that Microsoft would no longer be carrying the presence at the International CES like it has over the last two decades.  With Bill Gates having delivered the annual keynote speech for 11 years; and his successor, Steve Ballmer, delivering the speech for the last four, thinking of a Consumer Electronics Show without Microsoft in the forefront is almost unimaginable.  However, in a blog post yesterday, Microsoft had made some very valid points regarding their departure as the steward of the biggest consumer technology event of the year. Read On »


posted December 22, 2011 - 3:00 pm in Gaming, International CES 2012, Opinion by

Microsoft Shows How a Word is Worth 1000 Pictures

Microsoft recently demonstrated Kinect’s ability to interpret it’s owners words and work with the Bing service to find music, movies and more in the upcoming system update.  Our friends at Rubio Films were onsite with Xbox Product Manager Glen Purkis to see how it performed. Aside from the issues that coincide with being in an echoic room, I think we can agree that the next update looks impressive to say the least.

XBL Updates: Advanced Voice Command from Rubio Films on Vimeo.
Special thanks to Paulo Rubio and company for sending over the video.  Please take a minute to look over his other awesome works at


posted December 6, 2011 - 7:00 am in Events, Gaming Life, Interviews by

Indie Developer – Red Crest Studios

Xbox Live Indie Games gives smaller developers and even lone programmers the opportunity to build their own creations and share them with the world.  This has led to some extremely creative games being released on Xbox Live at a very low cost to its consumers.  One of the genres that is becoming increasingly popular is Role Playing Games.

Indie developer Red Crest Studios is set to release Bonded Realities, an RPG coming to Xbox Live Indie Games this week.  Being a huge fan of the old school RPG, I decided to contact Michael Ventnor at Red Crest for a brief Q&A via email regarding Bonded Realities, and what’s coming next from this new indie developer.  Here’s what he had to say:

So tell me a little bit about Red Crest Studios.  How long have you been in operation?  How large is your team?

I officially started the Red Crest brand on 9th December last year. So Bonded Realities predates the studio that made it! My original plan was to release the game under my name and, if successful, then set up the studio name and continue making games. However, the interest in Bonded Realities grew quite sharply and people were asking for an official studio name, so I fast tracked its creation. I had the name and logo in mind since the beginning. Red Crest is made of just me.

Do you have plans for the mobile market as well?  Or are you concentrating on Xbox Live Indie Games for now?

Xbox for the moment. I do have game designs on hand that I can develop when I decide to try the mobile market, but that will happen later when I’m (hopefully) more successful.

Your latest creation, Bonded Realities, is a Role Playing Game for Xbox Live Indie Games.  What made you decide to do an RPG?

There were many reasons why:

a) There aren’t enough RPGs in the old-fashioned style I like. While there are a couple on the Indie service, there should be more.

b) I grew up on whimsical RPGs, and always enjoyed the number-based turn-based strategy mechanics, and the funny settings and stories.

c) I thought making an RPG would be easy. “It’s just logic and state machines”, I said. “Programming languages do this kind of thing best”, I said. That old, arrogant, incorrect self is now dead, buried and cremated after numerous development delays. But I still persevered to finish, because I didn’t want to waste the work I did so far.

Can you tell us what is Bonded Realities about?

A lot of people who’ve played the game already were surprised at how the game opens. You are a toddler, being dropped off at child care by your mum. Like your typical day at child care, you go outside to play with your three best friends, Liam, Josh and Maria. But then a bright flash of light happens, and the next thing you know, you’re in a totally different place, separated from everyone else, and transformed into a new body. Your goal, therefore, is to find your friends and get home. Bonded Realities’ story is designed such that it unfolds as you play. It may sound scant with how I described it above, but that’s because you know nothing about what happens or how to fix it at the start. I deliberately made the story like that because I enjoyed stories that didn’t reveal your end goal or how to achieve it at the start, rather it is revealed in several plot twists later on. There is a big boss fight at the end, so don’t worry :-)

How long do you expect it will take the average gamer to complete Bonded Realities?

I’d say around 4 or 5 hours. More if you want to do 100% completion, since that involves finding all the treasure chests and some of them are very well hidden (but contain very powerful items and equipment!).

Are there any particular RPGs that have influenced the gameplay that we’ll find in Bonded Realities?

As I said before, the RPGs I enjoyed the most had good mechanics and a funny setting. Earthbound being the obvious candidate, most indie RPGs are compared to that because of its quirky nature. Others I’ve played include Pokemon, Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi and others. I tried to recreate what I liked, and fix what I hated, whilst adding in a lot of my own ideas and style. As a result, I worked hard on interesting combat, jokes everywhere, and a clean and unique interface.

What were the biggest hurdles you encountered while creating an RPG for XBLIG?

Mostly just the shock with how much work is needed to make a decent RPG from scratch. I used no middleware (except XNA, of course) because I really enjoy engine programming, thus the Bonded Realities engine was written entirely by me, and all the art was done by me (I’m not a particularly good drawer, it’s taken years of practice just to get where I am now). The music was licensed since I have no musical knack whatsoever. But again, I enjoy things that others would hate, like writing code, and thinking up ways to make certain parts of the game more fun without too much implementation effort.

Can you give us a preview of what we might see on the horizon from Red Crest now that Bonded Realities is getting ready to release?

I’ll be entering this year’s Dream Build Play with a completely different kind of game. It won’t be an RPG, or even resemble anything like that. It involves an experimental game mechanic I thought up, so the biggest trouble for me right now is trying to make it fun.

A Game That Shows Promise

Looking at Bonded Realities’ trailers and screenshots, this game shows a lot of potential.  Having enjoyed Role Playing Games since the original Final Fantasy for the Nintendo Entertainment System, I’m looking forward to grabbing this one and spending a few hours satisfying my hunger for some good old-fashion RPG’ing.



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posted January 28, 2011 - 6:00 am in Gaming Life, Interviews by

Square Enix – Halo: Reach Action Figures Now In The UK

To all of my good friends in the UK, you can now get your Squenix Halo:Reach action figures without having to buy them in the States and have them shipped over.

For those of you who don’t know, these action figures are larger, and far more detailed than the McFarlane Toys figures.  They are fully articulated and come with interchangeable hands.  Series I was released with Jun, Noble Six, and Emile, with Series II containing Kat, Jorge, and Carter to be released some time in 2011. has acquired a small quantity of these collectibles ahead of the currently unannounced UK release date.  Who knows how many or how few they have available, so you may want to get ordering right away!


posted December 21, 2010 - 8:20 am in Gaming Life, News by