Kinect's value to artists overshadowed its gaming roots

about X hours ago from
Kinect's value to artists overshadowed its gaming roots

The Kinect is officially dead. But the reality is that Microsoft signed the do-all sensor's fate years ago. Faced with slumping hardware sales in 2014, then-new Xbox chief Phil Spencer had a decision to make. Either Microsoft would drop the price of the Xbox One, or continue letting Sony and the $400 PlayStation 4 eat its lunch. So it stopped bundling the Kinect with the console and cut $100 off the asking price.

Amazon's 'Breakaway' game is on hold while developers make changes

about X hours ago from
Amazon's 'Breakaway' game is on hold while developers make changes

Breakaway, a competitive battle game under development Double Helix and published by Amazon Game Studios, is going on a bit of a break. Following a report from Kotaku claiming that the game was being put on "indefinite hiatus," the team working on the game said it was "taking some time to iterate and evolve Breakaway's core gameplay." That work is being done based on feedback the team received from players during an Alpha period that ran from June though September. In the meantime, however, there won't be any more Alpha matches hosted, and there's no timeframe given for how long the Breakaway team will spend retooling things here.

‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ fans will have to read a book for closure

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‘Mass Effect: Andromeda’ fans will have to read a book for closure

Fans of Mass Effect who have been waiting for the conclusion of the Quarian ark storyline in Andromeda, we have a good news/bad news situation for you. The good news is that we'll finally find out what happened aboard the ark, called the Keelah Si'yah, and get some closure for that storyline. The bad news is that it's happening in novel form, rather than as a playable DLC. The plot point will be resolved in the book Mass Effect: Annihilation, which will be written by sci-fi author Catherynne M. Valente. It releases in the US, UK and Canada on June 26, 2018, and in Australia on August 28, 2018.

Steam's curator update tackles shady review key requests

about X hours ago from
Steam's curator update tackles shady review key requests

Steam's curator program will be getting a makeover this fall as Valve takes steps to make the system more effective for both gamers and developers. Under the banner "Curator Connect", players will now see their favorite curators' recommendations show up in other parts of the Steam Store, as well as their home page. Curators will also be able to embed videos in their reviews, create lists from reviews they've already written, have more control over their home page and get their hands on more data showing the impact their reviews have on their followers' buying habits.

Former Xbox Live policy VP Stephen 'StepTo' Toulouse passed away

about X hours ago from
Former Xbox Live policy VP Stephen 'StepTo' Toulouse passed away

Stephen "StepTo" Toulouse, a tech vet, humorist and author well known for his role in managing Xbox Live over the years and appearances on Major Nelson Radio, has passed away. His brother Jeff Toulouse tweeted that "It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of our brother, Stephen Toulouse, @Stepto, this morning." A Microsoft employee for nearly 18 years, Stephen served as director of Xbox Live policy and enforcement until early 2012 and helped shape the company's response to issues online communities are still dealing with.