HALO – The Master Chief Collection

Halo 5 isn’t reaching the Xbox One until 2015, but Microsoft & 343 Industries have been busy putting together Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Available November 11th, The Master Chief Collection brings together all four Halo games into a single disc for the Xbox One. Each game will run at full 1080p with dedicated servers.. Halo 2 sits at the center of the pack, and you’ll even be able to play the original multiplayer on Xbox One which is the best part.

The Master Chief Collection will also provide Xbox One players with an early look at Halo 5. A multiplayer beta for Halo 5 will available through The Master Chief collection this December. Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4 will all be part of The Master Chief Collection that ships on November 11th.

Halo Medley – Firefight

Now this is an Epic Halo Fight, any Halo fan will love this. Devin Super Tramp giving his touches to the gaming world, its Red vs. Blue vs. Green in this case and these guys in the suits look very realistic. Halo 4 – Forward Unto Dawn was a hell of a movie and made Master Chief look like the Hero that he is, but it was no way enough as movie, we need more and this firefight by DevinSuperTramp should be the beginning.

Microsoft XBox One – No DRM Nothing!

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Looks like Microsoft made a decision after getting so much bad press and losing the E3 gaming conference to Sony.

You don’t have to connect your device every 24 hours.

Your game won’t be registered to you. It will be exactly the same as the XBox 360, so you can sell your games any way you see fit.

They haven’t switched off the feature, its there if developers want to lock their games, they can do that.

Fast switching gaming won’t happen the way they envisioned because we have to take the discs with us, but I’m fine with that. They want to take a different way for Gaming, fine let them do that, but they shouldn’t restrict what we do with our property.

The PS4 – Sony Did It Right

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Simply put Sony annialated Microsoft on their launch, seriously, so many good things and they made fun of the XBox One’s DRM Crap. 80% of all games are launched on both machines, will the exclusive games push you to one or the other?

The Main Points of the PS4:

  • $399
  • Buy or Sell
  • Don’t Need to be Online
  • No kinect thats on all the time
  • Region Free
  • Indie Developers Liking
  • Alot of Games at launch

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The only reason I would buy the XBox One is for Halo, because even XBox live on XBox One is region locked, bad move on Microsoft. Even if they have the greatest exclusive games people will flock to PS4 because they made it a gaming machine. I think they forgot the main aspect of their success which is gaming, now they are looking at locking people in but I don’t think that would work. I was always buying XBox Games before if I had to to choose between the two, now it seems like I will be moving over to Sony’s camp. The first round of the big console wars has been lost by Microsoft, now lets see what they do when the device launches.

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XBox One – The Nasty Update

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What You Can’t Do:

Play games unless you connect to the internet once every 24 hours

  • if you are unable to connect, your games will not function at all
  • Yes, that includes single player games

Can’t disconnect the Kinect Sensor
You can’t Lend games
You can’t Rent Games

You can’t Trade games freely

  • Only pre-approved retailers can accept trade-ins
  • No independent game shops
  • Less value for your trade-ins since there is less shops which leads to less competition

You can’t Sell your games freely

  • In order to sell a game to someomne you must have been friends with them for over 30 days
  • The game is then locked to that user forever
  • They will not be able to see it afterwards

Seems like Microsoft really wants to lock you in, and this is how they are doing it, now it seems that the games you buy aren’t your to do with as you please. Its like buying a car but you can’t do anything with it except sell it back to the dealer. I will keep my XBox 360 for a little while until they change their stupid policies.

Microsoft XBox One

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The new XBox One is here, Microsoft is referring to it as the new “Entertainment System”, people don’t realize that at the core of all this is gaming, we want to play games as well as have other features, gaming is the main feature, everything else is secondary. So Microsoft has to do a lot to live up to, but one thing I like is XBox Live and your Gold Account is going to carry over to the XBox One which is great, the functionality of XBox One is going to be the same with a mix of XBox 360 & Windows 8 so if your familiar with them you will be fine. They are trying to introduce more functionality with TV, Skype, and Internet Explorer, its ok but not key for me. I want to see if they will be releasing another Halo, now that would be Epic, even though I haven’t finished Halo 4 yet, I still have the rest of 2013 to do that. One surprise for me is that they have finally introduced a slot-loading BluRay player, I still buy BluRays but only of movies that I love, so I’m not sure how many people have BluRays when they have the option of streaming, still its a good option.

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As far as installation, when you first insert a disc into the Xbox One, it’ll install the game to the hard drive — you won’t have to use the disc again. As for internet connectivity they haven’t given a clear picture, so I’m not sure if it has to have internet connectivity to keep playing the games, that wouldn’t be a wise decision if you have to have constant internet connectivity. I like the idea that you load the disc once and then you don’t have to use it to play the game. The controller is an update that I really like, they put a lot of thought into it and everyone keeps saying how great it is, so that is something I want to try. They new Kenict is a bit like the CIA’s dream it can hear and see you while the console is off, you can use gestures and voice commands to switch the XBox One on and go through its menus.

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Annoyances:

  • TV Features – Useless to anyone outside the US, and its not a settop box, I want a gaming machine
  • Again not backwards compatible – I only have about 20 Games that I cherish, so what to do with them now?
  • No Used Games, So I don’t know how thats going to work for rental companies now! Sometimes I want to try a game but don’t want to buy it, so whats the solution?
  • New Kenict which is watching you all the time, not a feature I like, will probably point the Kinect to the TV, don’t like being watched!
  • Gamers will have to connect the console regularly, possibly at least once a day, and game discs will be restricted to your Xbox profile if you use them on a second console

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Both consoles promise to track your motions, power on instantly, and seamlessly update themselves in the background, among many other common features. Lets see how that works out, how many people have power up their XBox 360 or Playstation after a month of not touching to play a new game and end up having to perform a systems update for an hour or more so that you can play that new game. Honestly what I loved about the XBox was XBox Live, I could always play with friends across the globe, this time around I don’t know what they have planned.

Overall I’m honestly excited about the new console but they have to clarify a few points about the 2nd hand market and online connectivity. I’m the graphics will be phenomenal, and I want to see what games they have lined up, not sure what they are going to price it at, but I’m hoping it won’t pass the $400 mark.

Link: TheVerge

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My Experience With Windows Phone 8 – The Last Mobile Platform From Microsoft

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My experience with Microsoft dates back to the original CE phones back in 2003, I wanted something different and that phone was different and to configure it you needed a doctorates degree in physics. But I like the bubbles game on it, then i tried Windows 3.0 for work and that had decent integration with Microsoft exchange. But nobody did integration like Apple & Google did, so I switch to Android the moment it came out and before that I was on the SonyEricsson platform.

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With the introduction of the Windows Phone 8 they are finally trying to make a decent competitor to the Apple & Android platform and right now its a few steps behind but still impressive. With Windows Phone 8 has some decent integration with Windows 8 such as auto photo updates, and the Microsoft Office Suite integrates nicely with the Windows Phone 8, especially OneNote which is probably the best note taking tool I have ever used, even better then Evernote. As well as SkyDrive integration which can sync your photos as well as your documents, trying to be a better DropBox for Windows which isn’t too bad.

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The operating system itself gets a little getting used to, its like visiting somewhere for the first time, you know enough to get around but need some time to get really familiar with it. There is smooth feeling to the operating system that I like, and after 6 months of abuse the phone has not hung on me once which is great for a smart phone of this caliber.

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What I Like:

  • Easy to sync Google Contacts and emails with the WP8 interface, even after Google extended
  • The App store is pretty decent, has some junk in it but they all started off that way, they have about 80% of the Apps that iOS & Android have.
  • Music integration has been fantastic, you can load up all your iTunes playlist as well spotify which is exactly what I’m doing.
  • Has some fun XBox integration so the games you play are displayed.
  • It sort of between the strict Apple platform and the loose Android platform, its formed but flexible and I really like the tiles and options of the live tiles.

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What I Don’t Like:

  • The email display feels wrong, it just doesn’t do a good job of displaying emails no matter what email I use. I think they can do a better job with that.
  • They don’t have instagram, I won’t kid myself I’m addicted to it.
  • Slow to get the necessary Apps into the App Store, App Store needs some more Apps, not everyone is developing for it yet
  • Better integration with Windows 8, I want it seemless, just as Android is integrated with everything Android.

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Hardware:

I’m using the HTC 8X and I’m honestly loving it, its a light phone with an excellent camera. And the battery lasts over a 30 hours with a lot of abuse. Even when I was riding over 5 hours in San Diego while listening to Spotify the whole time it only lost 25% of the battery which is insane, if i did it with the Nexus 4 it would have lost 50% and with the iPhone 5 only 20% battery would be left.

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My Top Apps

  • TVShow – Best TV Show App I have seen, better then anything on iOS or Android
  • Weather Flow – Great Weather App
  • SkyDrive
  • Spotify
  • WhatsApp
  • NextGen Reader – Fantastic RSS Reader – Displays Images and information perfectly without having to visit the site
  • Flixster – For the movie fanatic
  • Battery Status – Updated information on your battery
  • MyTrips – For the TripIt Addicts, I use it all the time when I travel

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Conclusion

Overall I’m honestly loving the windows platform. This phone got a high rating for stability and the long lasting battery and a great selection of Apps. Microsoft have a good thing, they just need to clean up their App store and integarte it with Windows 8. They really are in need of Youtube and Google Maps, there are replacements but they don’t beat out the originals. They built an excellent product I just hope they keep on improving it, and I love that when other phones run out of battery this one is still going. The success of this platform depends on the Apps available and Microsoft knows this, Blackberry failed because of this, thats why they are throwing everything they can at it and hopefully it will keep growing. They have substitute Apps for most of the major ones, but hopefully the major App developers will develop for Windows.

Rating:

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The Microsoft Store – A Different Experience

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I think there is a lot of inherent dislike towards Microsoft, they have just done too many wrong things over the years and Apple has done an excellent job of painting them as idiots with their Mac vs. PC ads over the past decade. Also it doesn’t help that Microsoft made Microsoft ME which is probably the worst iteration of Microsoft out there, Vista was pretty bad too off the start, but got progressively better.

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Microsoft does try and in this case they launched the Microsoft stores, after all this time they know that Apple is successful with their stores and every Apple store employee is supposed to know everything about every product that Apple has and they inherently love Apple. So people love the Apple stores.

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Recently I had a chance to spend some time in an Apple store and this one had people in it. I have recently gotten into the Windows Phone 8 and so I decided to venture into the store and mess around with the machines. I played around with the Microsoft Surface Pro and it is a very interesting machine, very solid and smooth, I liked how it felt. they had a selection of hardware from Acer, Asus, HP, and Sony, not including the Windows Phone section and the XBox Section. People get a hands on feel for Windows 8 across different hardware and the Windows Phone 8 platform as well.

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Microsoft is really trying to make you feel that you are in one environment, that everything is connected and they are trying to connect things but they aren’t there yet. Apple doesn’t release a feature unless it knows it works 100%, except for Apple maps, that was a blunder that Apple has never seen, but Microsoft would rather release a broke feature then no feature, that is their problem from my aspect.

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The store was a fun experience and honestly they have a good range of products, and the staff who are there are good but they are lacking a bit in information, sometimes I know that I knew more about a product then they did which shouldn’t be the case.

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Halo 4 – Forward Unto Dawn

“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” is a live-action digital series that takes fans back to the terrifying beginning of the Human/Covenant war, when the Master Chief inspired a young cadet who would eventually become a leader aboard the UNSC’s greatest vessel: the UNSC Infinity.

Microsoft have finally gotten their act together and put a live action series into motion, Halo fans are going to go nuts and I’m one of them. A series leading up to the release of Halo 4 takes place at the UNSC military academy, as cadets train to take on a war in the outer colonial planets. Master Chief makes an appearance, I can’t wait to see it on October 5th 2012.