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Microsoft Gives The Xbox One A Release Date– Coming November 22nd

xbox one

We already knew the price and launch games but today Microsoft decided to announce the final missing detail about the Xbox One– it’s release date. The next Xbox will be here on November 22nd for the previously announced price of $499.99. Yes, if you ever wanted Black Friday to get any crazier then releasing a new Xbox the week before will give you your wish.

 

Sure it’s a week later than the PS4, but it’s coming. And that’s all that really matters, right?

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Amazon Is Bundling Free NFL Sunday Ticket With Pre-Orders Of Madden NFL 25 Anniversary Edition

madden nfl anniversary edition sunday ticket

With just under a month to go until football fully returns it’s time to start making sure you’re ready for the season. The latest version of Madden, Madden NFL 25, comes out on August 27th for the Xbox 360 and PS3 but this year it’s coming with a lot more than just the usual roster updates and improvements like better commentary and more realistic running. This year to mark the 25th anniversary of the legendary game EA, Amazon and DirecTV have done something different. If you pre-order the special edition Madden 25 Anniversary Edition for $100 on Amazon you’ll not only get the game and a subscription to the Ultimate Team add-on, but you’ll also get a code to get NFL Sunday Ticket for free for the 2013 season. Yes, even if you’re not a DirecTV subscriber you’ll still be able to access the full Sunday Ticket Package and the Red Zone channel from any computer, or phone or tablet (iOS and Android). The code won’t work with the Sunday Ticket app on the PS3, so to get the games on your big screen TV you’ll need to connect your device to your TV. Seeing as most laptops today come with an HDMI port that shouldn’t be too hard.

The regular edition of Madden NFL 25 costs $60 on its own, so for $40 more you’re getting something that usually costs another $300 (on top of subscribing to DirecTV and installing a satellite dish). If you’re going off to school and your apartment/dorm doesn’t have DirecTV or if you just want a cheap way to get Sunday Ticket, this is a pretty amazing deal. As Kotaku points out, you don’t even need to have an Xbox 360 or PS3 to use the code– its included in the box separately so you can use it for Sunday Ticket and then re-sell your copy of Madden to GameStop or some other place.

This deal is said to be limited so you better act quick if you want to take advantage. Pre-orders are available now on Amazon and Madden NFL 25 comes out August 27th.

More info: Kotaku, Amazon

Here We Go: Microsoft Set To Reveal Next Xbox on May 21

next xbox invite

The wait is almost over fellow Xbox fans. Get ready because in under a month Microsoft is expected to finally unveil the next Xbox, sending out invites today to an event at their Redmond, Washington headquarters on May 21st. The invite sent out today teased a “special unveiling” that will “mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV, and entertainment.” According to Xbox’s Major Nelson (also known as Larry Hryb, the director for Xbox Live programming), the next Xbox announcement is really a two-part show. The unveiling of the next Xbox and sharing of some of Microsoft’s plans for the console will come on the 21st, while the full lineup of launch games will be announced 19 days later at E3 on June 10th.

In February Sony unveiled their next generation system, the PS4, but they didn’t actually give important details like what the system would look like or how much it will cost. Based on some of the responses to that announcement from Major Nelson and others on the Xbox team, it’s a pretty safe bet we won’t see the same thing happen here (at least when it comes to what the new Xbox will look like).

As for what we can expect, not much is known today but according to some of the more recent rumors expect a much more powerful system that is similar to the PS4 in graphics and specs, as well as updated versions of Kinect and the ability to use your Xbox to control your cable box. As for the name of the next Xbox, it’s still just as up in the air (online it’s been called everything from Xbox 3, to Xbox 720 to its codename “Durango”).

Like with recent Xbox events Microsoft will be streaming it live for all to watch on Xbox.com and Xbox Live as well as broadcasting it on Spike TV, and we’ll of course have what you need to know covered back here.  So stay tuned– the next Xbox is almost here.

More info: USA Today, The Verge

Could The Next Xbox Be Announced Next Month?

xbox logo

Back in February Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4 and showed off its new controller, graphics and social features. And while Sony didn’t show what the PS4 actually looks like or say how much it would cost, it did promise that their new console would be available in time for the holidays of this year. The PS4 and the Nintendo Wii U make two of the three next-gen consoles, and over the last year the anticipation has been building over when Microsoft would announce their next Xbox (also known as the Xbox 3, Xbox 720, and Durango). While it was long believed that Microsoft would wait until E3 in June to announce the new Xbox, according to some of the latest rumors our long wait for the next Xbox may end even sooner.

According to a recent reports by The Verge and Paul Thurrott (someone who follows Microsoft and would know about some of their plans), Microsoft may be planning an event to officially announce the next Xbox as soon as May 21st. E3 starts only a few weeks later on June 11th, and The Verge expects Microsoft to announce the next Xbox in May and then use E3 in June to fully show it off.

As for what can expect in terms of the specs for the new Xbox, think of something that will rival the PS4. The next Xbox is rumored to pack an 8-core AMD processor, 8GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive and a Blu-ray drive for playing games (games can also be downloaded from Xbox Live). By comparison, the Xbox 360– which still is a pretty great system with some impressive graphics– has a three core processor and 512 MB of RAM. If these rumored specs are true then expect the graphics on the next Xbox to pretty much blow your mind.

As with the 360, gaming is just one part of what the Xbox can do and the next Xbox is also expected to come with an updated version of Kinect that will allow for better use in smaller rooms, improved tie-ins with Windows 8 and Windows Phone, and the ability to control your TV and cable box. The next Xbox is expected to be available later this year and pricing is rumored to be in the $300-$500 range (or what the 360 was when it came out eight years ago).

All in all, between this and the PS4 it looks like the next video game console wars are finally almost upon us. As always, stay tuned.

Sony Exec Teases A Big PlayStation Announcement Coming In The Next Few Months– Could It Be The PlayStation 4?

playstation 4 rumor mock up

One of the many mock ups of what people think the PlayStation 4 may look like

It has long been rumored that 2013 would be the year that Sony and Microsoft announce the next generation of the PlayStation and Xbox. As we all know, last year Nintendo released their latest game console, the Wii U, and it has been over seven years since the Xbox 360 launched and six years since the PS3 came out so this time was inevitable. And today we got our first real hint that this new generation was on its way.

CNET reports on an interview a Sony Vice President of Home Entertainment, Hiroshi Sakamoto, gave to a Chilean website Emol, about a big PlayStation announcement planned for E3 (the annual June video game conference where the Xbox 360, the Wii U and the PS3 were first announced), or even May at a special event. Here’s the answer he gave when asked about the next PlayStation:

“That’s still a big secret, but our friends are preparing Sony PlayStation. I can only say that we are focused on the E3 gaming event, scheduled for June. [An] announcement may be [made] in that minute or even earlier in May.”

Now for those who have followed the rumors, the PS4 and Xbox 720 (or Xbox 3, Xbox Surface or whatever the next Xbox will be called) have been rumored for years. But hearing a Sony VP of Home Entertainment– someone who you think would know about things like a new PlayStation– talk about it like that makes us think that we finally could see the PS4 very soon.

Now in terms of what to expect in the PS4, not much is known about it today. Kotaku and other sites say the PS4 will be able to play games at 4K resolution (four times today’s 1080p HDTVs) which would mean that its much more powerful and has much better graphics than today’s PS3 (the next Xbox is also rumored to have similar graphics specs). In terms of price and release, other rumors say the PS4 and next Xbox will be available by the holidays of this year for around $400 each.

E3 runs from June 11th-13th and if the next Xbox and PlayStation are coming this year we’re sure we’ll hear a lot more before then. As always, stay tuned.

More info: CNET, Engadget

Microsoft Brings Back Their Back-To-School Deal– But Is It Worth It?

windows xbox college deal

Well it’s that time of year again. Yup, the school year is almost over, summer vacation is just weeks away and you know what that means: time for back-to-school deals to begin. Last year at this time Microsoft was just taking the wraps off of their back-to-school Windows PC deal and it was so good that this year their bringing it back. Yes, Microsoft will be giving away free 4 GB Xbox 360s with all new PC purchases of $699 or higher as well as a $15 upgrade to the all new Windows 8 when it comes out later this yearAnd like last year this deal applies to both high school and college students and all you gotta do to get this offer is show your Student ID if your buying in a store or a enter your .edu email address if you’re buying online (this is the email address your college gives you once you enroll).

Unlike last year however, this deal is available in more stores than just the Microsoft Store and Best Buy. In fact Best Buy, Dell.com, Fry’s Electronics, HPDirect.com, Microsoft Stores, and NewEgg.com are all partaking in this years deal.

windows 8 samsung series 5 hybrid 1The Samsung Series 5 Windows 8 Hybrid– one of the many new tablet/laptops you can expect later this year (pic via The Verge)

Now here’s the real question– is this deal worth it? Usually we’d say its a pretty much no brainer of a deal– I mean, you’re getting a brand new computer AND a free Xbox– but with Windows 8 coming later this year things are a bit more complicated. Windows 8 is a major upgrade over Windows 7, with one of its biggest updates being it’s completely optimized for tablets. Now that’s not to say that it doesn’t work well on “traditional” mouse and keyboard computers that don’t have touchscreens, just that later this year we can expect all new computers that look to combine the best of a tablet and a laptop (like the upcoming Samsung in the pic above. Think of it as having all the best of a tablet– apps, awesome battery life and really thin designs– combined with all the power of a normal Windows PC). So for $700-$800 you can get a full Windows computer AND a very good tablet in one.

The downside to this of course is that Windows 8 PCs and tablets aren’t expected to come out until September or October (or around the time school actually starts), so if you’re looking for a new PC we really would recommend to try to wait until then (and if you’re planning on buying a Mac we’d also recommend waiting a week as Apple is rumored to be updating its entire Mac line next Monday at their annual WWDC conference). If you need a new computer right now and can’t wait, then by all means this is stll a solid deal, if not for the Xbox then for the fact that you’ll get Windows 8 for just $15.

Again though, if you can, try to hold out a couple more months– trust us, it’ll be worth it.

Reminder: Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Back To School Deal Ends This Saturday

xbox 360 back to school deal

Looking for a new Windows PC for school and want to take advantage of Microsoft’s buy a Windows PC and get a free Xbox 360 back to school deal? Then we recommend you hurry as the deal ends this Saturday, September 3rd.

For those who’ve never heard of this deal, it basically works like this. If you’re a student and you buy a new Windows PC at $699 or more Microsoft will throw in a free 4 GB Xbox 360 to go with it. The deal is open to both high school and college students and all you have to do to get it is show your Student ID if your buying in a store or a enter your .edu email address if you’re buying online at sites like the Microsoft Store, Dell.com or HP.com (this is the email address your college gives you once you enroll). If you’re a high school student and don’t have that .edu email address, try chatting with an online sales rep or calling the company’s sales line (their phone numbers are usually listed at the top of their sites). And remember, the deal also isn’t necessarily done by all stores (Staples and Best Buy, for example, don’t offer it), so you’re probably better off buying online or calling your preferred store before you go to make sure you get the deal.

So yeah, if you want that new PC and free Xbox you better hurry before the deal ends.

 

Best Buy Pulls Out Of Microsoft’s Free Xbox 360 Back To School Deal

xbox 360 back to school deal

Looking to take advantage of Microsoft’s awesome back-to-school deal of a free Xbox 360 when you buy a new PC for $699 or more? Well, if you are then we recommend not picking up that new computer from Best Buy as they have pulled out of this back-to-school deal earlier this month. And while we couldn’t find out the reason that Best Buy isn’t offering this free 360 deal anymore, they have confirmed to us that they have stopped offering the deal.

HP, Dell, Amazon and the Microsoft Store are all still offering this deal (which runs until September 3rd and works as long as you have a high school or college student ID)– so if you were looking for a new computer at $699 or more and wanted that free 360 we recommend you look at one of them.

Apple Announces Back To School Deal: Buy A New Mac And Get A Free $100 iTunes Gift Card

apple back to school 2011

Apple today finally took the wraps off its annual, highly anticipated back to school deal with a major new twist: the traditional free iPod Touch has been replaced with the new deal being the usual discounts on all Macs and a free $100 iTunes gift card that can be used in any of Apple’s iTunes stores (iTunes, App Store for iPhone/iPad, Mac App Store and iBookstore).

While we don’t know why Apple decided not to do free iPod Touches again this year (or even better, some discount on an iPad with the purchase of a new Mac) the deal, which runs from today, June 16th,  through September 20th, is still pretty good in our opinion. Think about it, most of us have iPods– or are using our phones as our iPods– now anyway so unless you really needed a new one, getting $100 to spend in iTunes and getting apps for your new Mac can be very valuable (as Apple puts it: “so you can get Pages, Numbers and Keynote for your studies. And still have plenty left for your study breaks.”). Oh, and the brand new, upcoming OS X Lion will be free to anyone who buys a new Mac now and before whenever the official launch date is, so you don’t have to worry about buying that for $30 next month either.

Now a lot of you want to know what’s different between this new 2011 Apple back-to-school deal and Microsoft’s offer of a free Xbox 360 with any new PC $699 or higher. There actually is a lot. Beyond the fact that Microsoft’s deal is cheaper (you can buy a PC for $699 and get the free 360 whereas the cheapest MacBook– the one from last year and not the new MacBook Pros— is $899 even after the $100 discount), Microsoft’s deal is also open for any current high school or college student unlike Apple’s which looks to be only college (the official language is “college students or students accepted to college” so incoming college freshmen you’re still good. Parents of college students and teachers of any grade are also eligible so if you’ve got a sibling in college or a nice teacher you can still get in on this deal). Microsoft is also giving away more in terms of the free add-on (an Xbox 360 4 GB is $200 whereas even if you include Lion in the Apple deal you’re still at $130).

I guess what it really comes down to which would you rather game on: Xbox 360 or Mac/iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch? Let us know your pick of which deal you think is better in the comments.

Info from Apple

Is This Nintendo’s Wii 2?

wii 2 project cafe hardware leak

Is this the Wii 2?

With the big video game conference E3 only a few weeks away the rumors on what’s next in the video game world are beginning to spread like fire. Obviously we expect to learn a lot more about Sony’s forthcoming NGP (aka the PSP 2– hopefully this will include a price and release date) and what Microsoft has planned for the future of the Xbox 360 and Kinect (which has been surprisingly quiet since its big launch last year. In the past 6 months since its been out we’ve hardly seen any new games that take advantage of its awesome controller free gameplay). In Nintendo’s case however things look to be going a whole ‘nother level with a preview of the next generation of the Wii currently code-named “Project Cafe.” Nintendo has even confirmed that this E3 they will talk about the Wii’s successor.

So what are the latest rumors saying we can expect in the Wii 2? Well, if they are anywhere near true, Nintendo is back in the hard-core gaming market— and in a big way.

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