Microsoft surprised the gaming world this morning with the announcement it will sell the Xbox One without Kinect for $399 starting on June 9th in the U.S. This brings the price of the Xbox 360 in line with that of the PlayStation 4, which should bring the two consoles into even more heated competition.
An odd move (though some might say it was expected in order to compete,) since the company wouldn't stop talking about how essential Kinect is to the Xbox One functionality and gaming direction less than a year ago. I guess Microsoft has been feeling the heat if the PlayStation 4 sales, and had to adjust that strategy right quick.
With the smartphone being a huge success, companies like Samsung and Sony got the idea to make it smaller and wrist mounted, creating the Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch lines respectively. Now Microsoft has decided to muscle into the game, registering its patents with the U.S. Government this week.
The application filed with the patent office describes the wearable as a music player, phone, message device, and fitness measuring device. The watchface would be detachable from the wristband so that it can be connected to a charging port.
The features described are still speculation, and no date has been stated for release. Microsoft is up against competition from Samsung, who released their product last year, Motorola, which plans to release the Moto 360 in July, and Pebble, which has already sold over 400,000 units.
The WWE Network app is now available for download on the Xbox One console, completing its availability on all announced video game platforms. Prior to today, the WWE Network was available on the Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and Xbox 360, with the Xbox One launch scheduled to come later "this summer." Obviously, the app was completed here in early spring, and made its way to the Xbox Live Marketplace without so much as an announcement from WWE or Microsoft.
We played with the app for a few minutes, and found it to be much easier to navigate than the other game console offerings. In fact, we'd place the Xbox One version just behind that of the Apple TV when it comes to connected devices. Having already used the WWE Network on the Xbox 360, after downloading it to the Xbox One, I was able to navigate around and watch content without having to log in again, thanks to my credentials syncing over Microsoft's cloud.
Streaming quality looks great, with no initial lag or stutter. You can download the WWE Network app now.
New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced the availability of Office for iPad, making it his very first public announcement since taking the helm of the tech company. Microsoft Office for iPad was not only announced today, but it's available for download today from the Apple App Store as well.
Office for iPad is comprised of three free apps: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can use each app to view and present their respective Office documents, but if you also want to be able to create and edit documents, an Office 365 subscription is required. Through the power of OneDrive, changes made to documents in one place (like the iPad app) will sync over to your other environments (like your Windows laptop.) Here are the download links:
We'll have a full Office for iPad review shortly to let you know our thoughts!
Microsoft has announced that it'll finally release the Surface 2 with LTE built in with 64GB storage capacity. Interested buyers will be able to pick up the updated model starting tomorrow from Microsoft Stores, Best Buy, and AT&T Wireless locations.
With the exception of the added LTE support, don't expect other changes in the Surface 2 hardware. You'll find a new SIM card slot located by the volume rocker, but that's it. Users will be able to use the LTE function as a mobile hotspot for their other devices as well. A year of free Skype calls to landline numbers and 200GB of OneDrive cloud storage is also thrown in.
You can order the Surface 2 with LTE here.
Read More | Surface 2 with 4G LTE
The Xbox One Titanfall edition bundle is set to launch on March 11th, and if you were able to play that Titanfall beta action, you know just how amazing this game is gonna be. If you don't already own an Xbox One (or if you're looking to pick up another,) this is a great deal. You get the Xbox One console and everything else you'd get in the standard box, plus a free downloadable copy of Titanfall, and a free month of Xbox Live.
Microsoft has confirmed that stock of this bundle will be limited, so you may want to pre-order this edition rather than waiting to try and find it in a store. You can pre-order from the Microsoft Store now for $499 (you can also pre-order from Amazon.)
Read More | Xbox One Titanfall Edition
Microsoft has been trying to push the idea that the Xbox One is your all-in-one media device, so it's curious to see that it's taken them four months to release a remote control for the console. However, the Xbox One Media Remote is finally almost here, ready to launch in early March:
Releasing across Xbox One markets worldwide in early March, the Xbox One Media Remote lets you control video playback for Blu-ray movies and streaming video on Xbox One. Additionally, there are dedicated Back and OneGuide buttons. The OneGuide button provides one-touch, quick access to your favorite TV shows and movies through the Xbox program guide. This remote is designed to help you listen, watch and switch among experiences instantly – allowing you to rule your entertainment. The Media Remote can also control TV/Receiver power and volume through Kinect, which uses IR blasting to send signals to your TV and/or receiver.
You'll be able to control your television and receiver power and volume as well as the Xbox One, which is nice. The Media Remote also has an integrated motion sensor, so when you pick it up, the backlit buttons will illuminate, making it simple to use in the dark. The Xbox One Media Remote will sell for $24.99 when it launches in a few weeks.
2013 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, while the Monster Tuxedo DNA headphones proved popular as well. Other products that made the list include Sonos Playbar, Microsoft's white Xbox One, and a few others.
We're not leaving Windows Phone out in the cold this year, what with the addition of the Nokia Lumia 1520 to our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide. View more of everything you love on the big 6-inch HD 1080p display, featuring a super-sensitive touchscreen so you can type with your fingernails or while wearing gloves. Built-in Microsoft Office means you can view and edit your docs on the go. Plus download your favorite apps from the Windows store. Features a powerful 3,400 mAh battery that ensures your work and play time lasts longer.
You can pick up the Philips Hue Connected Bulb Starter Pack now from Amazon for $49.99.
Read More | Nokia Lumia 1520
Don't let the looks of the Microsoft Xbox One, the next entry in our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide fool you--it may like more like a modern DVR than traditional game console, but that's by design. It's packing an 8-core processor and upgraded Kinect sensor which makes it more than just a game console--it's also your living room's entertainment hub. They're hard to find, but if you look hard enough, you can get one. Look even harder, and you can get one of the elusive white Xbox One "I Made This" models!
You can pick up the Microsoft Xbox One now from Amazon for $499--but hurry, they'll likely sell out before the end of the day.
Read More | Xbox One