New Xbox: Microsoft trademarks ‘Forzavista’

One of the launch games speculated for the new Xbox is Forza Motorsport 5, would be the latest game in the Xbox exclusive racing simulation series.

Forza TM

Now, with just over 24 hours to go, Microsoft has recived a trademark for a Forza-related item. A search of the US Patent and Trademark Office database brings up a May 15, 2013 trademark for “Forzavista’ that’s now owned by Microsoft. However, it does not appear that Forzavista is meant to be the name of an actual game. Rather, the description of the trademark appears to be for a feature inside of a game. It states:

A feature of interactive video game software which allows players to obtain statistical information of internal and external features of a vehicle and to virtually navigate and operate those vehicles.

We would not be surprised if “Forzavista” is talked about on Tuesday for the next Xbox reveal event in Redmond, Washington.

Source: USPTO

Check out the previous releases of Xbox

With the new Xbox less than 24 hours away, Graeme Boyd, the UK social marketing manager posted this image on Twitter account showing all of the companies previously released versions of the Xbox in one infographic.

Timeline of Xbox

The image starts with the original Xbox (2001) with two rare special editions- translucent green (2003) and the crystal edition (2004).

It wasn’t until the 2005 Xbox 360 that Microsoft went mad and produced a shed load of different versions. Some may forget that the original Xbox 360 had a faceplate that could be removed and replaced with a variety of different designs. Microsoft released two other special editions for the launch of Halo 3 and another for the Simpsons movie, both with custom artwork for the cases.

The black version of the original Xbox 360 (Xbox 360 Elite/2007) spawned three special game editions in 2010 with custom artwork; Resident Evil 5, Final Fantasy XIII and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

It was in 2010 that Microsoft launched a full redesign of the Xbox 360’s case, calling it the Xbox 360 S. The case also had several special versions released to tie in with game launches; Halo Reach( 2010), Gears of War 3, Star Wars: Kinect and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 in 2011 and Halo 4 (2012) Microsoft also released a basic white version of the Xbox 360 S in 2012.

So, will Microsoft reveal the look of the next Xbox tomorrow? The odds are that Microsoft will indeed show off what the next Xbox’s case design will be like and it certainly should be the topic of much debate, no matter what it turns out to be.

Source: Graeme Boyd on Twitter

New Xbox: Tent almost done; rain due soon

With less than 48 hours away, Microsoft is finishing the assembly for the massive tent on its Redmond campus that will house the selected few from the press amongst others.Microsoft’s Larry Hryb took to his Twitter account late Sunday to post a new image of the Xbox Reveal Tent, now almost completely assembled on the outside. Hryb has already said that we won’t get to see what’s going on inside the structure until tomorrow.

Typically, those waiting may get a little wet as the current forecast is calling for a 70 percent chance of rain, which is not that surprising for the Seattle area.

Source: Major Nelson on Twitter

WSJ: New Xbox may feature streaming

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that as well as live television integration, Microsoft has also been testing a streaming game service that may be shown off tomorrow.  As is typical with these reports, The Journal cites “people familiar with the matter,” that Microsoft has developed the technology itself.

By comparison, Sony purchased cloud gaming company Gaikai for $380 million a year ago, and the acquired technology will be part of its PlayStation 4 console. Microsoft may use this technology to stream legacy Xbox 360 games to the new Xbox although according to the report it’s unclear if next-generation games would also be available for streaming.

Last month job listings from Microsoft revealed the company was hiring for a cloud gaming initiative, though the listings didn’t specifically state the program was for the next Xbox. Applicants hired for the positions would “work across internal teams, and with external development partners to drive experiences in gaming that have not been possible before and have not been done before,” a listing said.

In addition to the steaming service, The Journal corroborates claims that Microsoft is working on a television connectivity feature that would allow users to connect the console to their set-top boxes from television service providers. Other possible announcements include “specialized glasses” that will go beyond current 3D glasses technologies and possibly “blend images of the real world with that of a game,” the report states.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Is Live Chat coming to Bing?

 one of those weeks again when one topic constantly floods the news. This week is was chat’s turn.  With the addition of Google contacts into Outlook.com and the backlash it caused coming from Google, new abilities to chat from within SkyDrive on Outlook.com, the announcements of Google Hangouts, and a few myriad Skype updates, there was plenty of news to go around. 

But the week hasn’t ended, and Liveside has got word of some chat news coming from an unlikely source: Bing.

Liveside has caught an early glimpse at what looks to be a new way of interacting via search: a live chat box right from within Bing: (Image from Liveside.net)

Credit LiveSide.net

Credit LiveSide.net

Here’s a closer look:

Credit LiveSide.net

Credit LiveSide.net

As we can see from one of the messages, there is an image link at the bottom of the Bing Home page that opened up this chat window.  Only going by what we see here, this doesn’t appear to be a connection into your Microsoft account or Skype messaging contacts, but rather a way for anyone searching for a particular search term to (anonymously?) connect with others searching for the same thing.

Would you use Bing Live chat?  The mind reels at all of the unseemly ways this might be put to use, but hey if it gets you closer to what you’re looking for, it’s all good, right?

Adobe Photoshop Express app for Windows 8 and Windows RT now available for download

For those of you wanting to edit your photos on your Surface RT, Adobe has today released Adobe Photoshop Express for both Windows 8 and Windows RT.

“On-the-go photo editing was never so fun, fast, and cool. Touch your way to better-looking pictures with automatic fixes and filters. Get your pictures to pop! And after sharing, you’ll be the talk of your friends,” the app description reads. This app is free and available in the Windows Store for download.

Adobe Photoshop Express features the ability to crop, straighten, rotate, and flip 
your photos. You can also easily remove “red eye” as well as one-touch adjustments for brightness, exposure and shadows. Other features include slider controls for exposure, contrast, clarity, vibrance and more. There are also 15 effects to choose from.

Users can also upload their photos to Adobe Revel to sync them across their devices, as well as download separate “packs” via in-app purchases that offer added enhancements to the app.

Download:

Adobe Photoshop Express

Microsoft to kill Microsoft Points for gift cards which work on Windows and Windows Phone

Windows gift cards

According to a new report posted on The Verge, Microsoft is killing off the Microsoft Points system for cash and gift cards. The Points system has been used mainly for the Zune originally but more recently for the Xbox console, but the new gift cards will work across various marketplaces including the Windows Store, Windows Phone Store and Xbox.

According to The Verge, the shift from a virtual currency to physical cash has been a “long time coming”. The move, which is similar to Apple’s iTunes vouchers, will allow users to use real currency to download content. Cash transactions via a credit or a debit card will also be supported.

Microsoft is planning to unveil the giftcards around the time of E3 next month with a launch later this year, possibly alongside the new Xbox console.

Source:

The Verge