In a world ravaged by an undead horde, our last line of defense is held by garden variety plants—with attitude. That’s the general premise of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, the plant-centric third-person shooter we’ve all been waiting for. At least, I’d imagine that’s the story. Developer PopCap Games never felt the need to establish much in the way of narrative for its seminal tower-defense series. And to be fair, Garden Warfare is no less ludicrous than the third-person shooters it expertly lampoons. We got a quick peek at the game at Electronic Arts’ E3 2013 press conference on Monday, and it’s shaping up rather nicely.
If you’ve played Plants vs. Zombies, the premise will be familiar: zombies attack in waves, and you’ve got to fight them off. Instead of laying out rows of plants, you’ll be scurrying about the battlefield. Yes, the plants have legs. Some suspension of disbelief is encouraged.
We saw four different floral warriors in action, all familiar faces to Plants vs. Zombies veterans. The Peashooter shoots, well, peas, and it can drop minuscule versions of itself as turrets to keep the zombie hordes at bay...
Xbox One and Kinect offer easy and approachable ways to control your games and entertainment with your voice and gestures. By recognizing you, Xbox One can tailor personal experiences and customize content just for you.
At Microsoft, we prioritize your privacy. We understand that your personal data and privacy are important. Xbox One and Kinect will provide tools to put you in control of your data. These include:
You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear: By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.
You are in control of when Kinect sensing is On, Off or Paused: If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say “Xbox Off.” When the system is off, it’s only listening for the single voice command -- “Xbox On,” and you can even turn that feature off too. Some apps and games may require Kinect functionality to operate, so you’ll need to turn it back on for these experiences.
You are in control of your personal data: You can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more, but this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission. Here are a few examples of potential future scenarios:
A fitness game could measure heart rate data to provide you with improved feedback on your workout, allow you to track your progress, or even measure calories burned.
A card game could allow you to bluff your virtual opponent using your facial expressions.
You can use other inputs to control your games, TV and entertainment experiences: While it’s faster to find what you’re looking for using your voice and gesture commands with Kinect, you can use a controller, your remote controls or your smart devices instead. And you can use all of these devices when Kinect is paused.
More information will become available as we get closer to launch. Stay tuned to 360-HQ for all the latest Xbox One news and updates, and don't forget to subscribe via Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Facebook!
Microsoft confirmed today that its upcoming Xbox One console will need to connect to the internet every 24 hours for games to work.
"Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection," says a statement from the software maker. Microsoft explains that Xbox One accounts can be used on other consoles to access digital libraries, but that an hourly internet check will be required in that particular case. Live TV, Blu-ray, and DVD movies will work without a connection check every 24 hours.
On the subject of used games, Microsoft says "game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers," and that the company "does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games." However, publishers can opt in or out of game resales and are free to set up transfer fees with retailers. Games can also be given to friends via their discs. There are no fees associated with the transfer, but you can only pass them to friends who have been on your Xbox list for at least 30 days and each game can only be transfered once. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but Microsoft says it's exploring this as a possibility for the future.
Once a game has been purchased via disc or Xbox Live, everyone who uses it on one particular console will get access to the game. Up to ten members of a family can also log in and play from the shared games library on an Xbox One on an entirely different console.
Finally, Microsoft is also addressing some privacy concerns with Kinect. The sensor will only listen to a single voice command when the Xbox One console is turned off, simply "Xbox on." Microsoft says you can also turn this feature off if need be. The software maker says that any conversations in a living room while the Xbox One is on will not be recorded or uploaded.
The Official Xbox Magazine (OXM), the UK’s biggest-selling games magazine, has unveiled the first digital magazine on Apple’s Newsstand with an in-depth look at the new console. Xbox One: The Complete Guide is available to download absolutely free.
Built using Future’s FutureFolio app-creation software, Xbox One: The Complete Guide is fully interactive and available for use on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Based on exclusive access to Microsoft and the expertise of the OXM team, it is the essential guide to Microsoft’s new console and features in-depth previews of the most exciting new games.
The Xbox One was revealed at an exclusive event at Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington last week, is the successor to the Xbox 360 and the third console in the Xbox family. More features are expected to be announced at the E3 conference in June.
Jon Hicks, Editor of Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine says: “Xbox One is huge news for our audience, and Microsoft gave us unprecedented access to the console and the team behind it. I’m delighted we can give our readers an early look ahead of our E3 coverage in issue 100.”
Richard Keith, Publisher of Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine, adds: “The Xbox One announcement has caused a huge amount of heated discussion. Xbox One: The Complete Guide pulls together all the various strands and lets you know clearly what the next generation Xbox will actually do. This is something only the OXM team with its amazing access and insight can do.”
With over 70 titles available to purchase on Apple’s Newsstand, Future is a world leader in tablet publishing and has more digital editions available for iPads and iPhones than any other publisher.
Mad Catz Interactive announced today that it has started working with Microsoft to develop next generation accessories for the Xbox One.
“We are eagerly looking forward to the upcoming launch of the Xbox One and excited about the opportunity to develop a range of innovative products to support the platform.” said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. “The launch of the Xbox One adds a new revenue stream and the enhanced performance of the Xbox One opens up additional scope for innovation. Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued support of Microsoft’s console and entertainment business and is part of our long-term strategy to bring innovative products to passionate gamers.”
The Xbox One home entertainment system from Microsoft is expected to launch this holiday. For more of 360-HQ's previous Xbox One coverage click here.
Umbra Software announced early last week that its Umbra 3 Visibility Solution, the same software being used in several upcoming games such as Bungie’s "Destiny", is now available for evaluations for all licensed Xbox One and Xbox 360 developers.
The Umbra 3 middleware powers up real-time graphics performance and productivity with automatic occluder generation and software based occlusion culling. The software has been fully optimized to utilize the power of Xbox One.
Umbra 3 improves development workflow by enabling both rapid content iteration and the creation of more sophisticated levels and more detailed graphics content. The software automatically generates occluders from “polygon soup” empowering artists to spend their time on what really matters – creating awesome looking game worlds. See a video of Umbra 3 in action below and learn more about the software just after the break.
Umbra 3 is an industry standard occlusion culling system being used by developers such as Bungie, Eidos Montreal, Remedy, ArenaNet, Square Enix and many others.
Umbra 3 makes sure you only render objects visible to the player. This powers up your rendering to enable better visuals running at an improved frame rate. Umbra 3 provides this as non-intrusively and with as little overhead as possible with any type of 3D content as input.