Sega is Making a ‘Super Game’ with Microsoft Tech

SUPER GAME!!!! Not a very original name. It sounds like something a small child would come up with on a school project.

Anywho, Sega has announced that it will be using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to produce “large-scale, global games” as part of the aforementioned Super Game project. 

If you may recall, back in May 2019, Sony also partnered with Microsoft on a similar deal. All in all, Microsoft is hopping into bed with everyone.

Only time will tell what games come out from this partnership. As a Sega kid, I hope this works out well for them.

[Source: Sega]

Take a Tour of New Halo Infinite Multiplayer Map, Streets

Halo Infinite is just over a month away and 343 Industries appears to be dropping videos regularly leading up to launch. This time, we get to take a close look at new multiplayer map, which is set in the streets of New Mombasa. This map is called, erm, “Streets.”

IGN got the exclusive first look at the video below:

Halo Infinite is set for launch on December 8, 2021 on Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Xbox One.

[Source: IGN]

Microsoft Has a Vision for Xbox in 2042

In 2042, yours truly will be a ripe 63 years-old. I plan to still be going strong, health-wise and gaming, so I’m not worried. Microsoft also has long term plans for Xbox in 2042, and yet for some reason I find their vision somewhat unsettling. Albeit, this is just a creative tie-in for Battlefield 2042, but the tone is so foreboding.

Microsoft promises “… a gaming experience indistinguishable from reality, powered by quantum technology at 1 quintillion floating-point operations per second, with a living AI that learns.” Are we talking about video games or fucking Skynet?

I know, this is just a conceptual scenario, but old future me is frightened by this scenario. Why can’t the future look more cheerful?

[Source: Microsoft]

Microsoft Announces Additional Memory Expansion Options for Xbox Series X|S – Still Expensive as Hell

Microsoft has announced that there will be two additional options to expand the Series X|S internal memory.

Through the continued partnership with Seagate, 512GB and 2TB Storage Expansion Cards for Xbox Series X|S will be available soon in all Xbox markets. The 1TB card already exists.

The 512GB card for Xbox Series X|S will retail for $139.99 USD and will launch mid-November. The 2TB card will retail for $399.99 USD and will launch early December. That is expensive as fuck, but fear not, the 2TB card will have a Designed for Xbox Limited Series badge, so it will be totally worth it.

[Source: Microsoft]

Bethesda & Microsoft Make It Clear – Starfield Is Not Coming to the PS5

Folks are excited for Starfield, the long awaited new IP from Bethesda. PlayStation fans in particular are butt hurt that there is a real possibility that it’s not coming to the PS5. Bethesda now owned by Microsoft, so it makes sense that this title will be exclusive to Microsoft.

PlayStation fans are persistent so they continue to pester Bethesda with questions. At a Gamescon interview, Pete Hines and Xbox’s Aaron Greenberg were peppered with questions. Hines also states that, “I don’t know if I would go so far as to say you’re done ever playing stuff on PlayStation…. “Starfield, it was announced as a thing that’s an Xbox exclusive… I don’t know if I would go so far as to say you’re done ever playing stuff on PlayStation. But again, I don’t know the answer to that right now.”

PS5 Fans

Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg was a bit more direct via Twitter.

Will this ever come to end? Why is it so hard to fathom that this game is exclusive to Xbox, full stop.

[Source: Twitch / Twitter]

Hideo Kojima to Partner with Microsoft for a New Game on Xbox

What an interesting week. We have Sony announcing two (or three) additions to the Playstation Studios stable, and we have this interesting nugget from Microsoft.

Observers pointed out a Kojima Productions Ludens statue chilling on Phil Spnecer’s shelf during his last few announcements. Little easter eggs like this has led to real world announcements, leading many to believe that a Kojima Studios announcement is in the works

Now we know Kojima Productions and Microsoft have signed a letter of intent. This legal mumbo jumbo implies that both companies have agreed to a deal. In the meantime, lawyers on both sides cross “t’s”, dot “i’s” and bill their respective clients ridiculous fees. As we know, lawyers are blood sucking motherfuckers who nickel and dime you down to the second. But I digress.

Meanwhile, Sony fans are losing their shit. Someone created an actual petition on Change.org demanding that the yet announced game be cancelled.

People have to chill the fuck out. Are you going to tell me that Death Stranding was a good game? Kojima hasn’t put out a brilliant game since Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and that was in 2015.

Hopefully, Hideo Kojima can capture some of that Metal Gear magic again.

[Source: VentureBeat]

Halo Infinite Devs say “Nuh-Uh” to Claims of Distractions

Well this is awkward. Yesterday, multiple outlets reported via a Thurrott.com article that a Halo TV show in production at Showtime was a distraction for 343’s leadership and adversely impacted Halo Infinite’s development. These claims have now been refuted by 343.

A spokesperson at 343 has reached out to IGN to claim that there are indeed NO distractions.

“343 Industries has a devoted transmedia team that is working with Showtime on the creation and production of the Halo TV show. This group is separate from the Halo Infinite development team. These are two completely independent projects with dedicated teams and leadership that do not impact one another…”

IGN.com

This statement was a direct response to a Thurrot.com article on 19-August. However, the Thurrott.com article also claims that development has also been impacted due to a larger than normal amount of outsourcing, which the 343 spokesperson did not have a reply.

[Source: IGN]

Halo Infinite Delays Due to Challenges with Outsourcing and Distractions

In my actual job, I deal with outsourced resources all the time. Matter of fact, I work for a company that specializes in outsourcing. It’s pretty funny because large global companies will hire my company to handle a project, and in turn, we will outsource some components to someone else.

As you can imagine, this can be a complex game to keep various teams and resources aligned. Now imagine doing this on an AAA title like Halo Infinite.

Outsourcing is nothing new actually, and it is used all the time in large projects in all areas of business. Software development in particular can benefit greatly from outsourcing. However, and I speak from experience, too many teams, working on too many work streams, can lead to a tremendous amount of inefficiency.

Senior management often thinks that you can speed up development by throwing as much staff onto a project as possible, but you do reach a point when too much staff hinders development. It’s a matter of too many cooks in the kitchen, stepping on each others toes.

Brad Sams of Thurrott.com has put together an excellent and exhaustive report on the matter from an insider within the studio.

One of the challenges of building Halo Infinite is that a significant portion of the game is being outsourced to third-party contractors. This is not all that unusual but the coordination between the many different companies contributing to Infinite has been rough, at best. One person familiar with the company’s plans indicated that they believed the out-sourcing for Infinite was at a ratio higher than a typical studio undertakes during development which has caused significant headaches for cross-development collaboration.

Thurrott.com

There are other issues as well outside of resourcing. Another area are disconnects between marketing and engineering, which is also noting new in software development.

Turns out that development has been pushing for more time, while marketing is pushing to launch as quickly as possible. This is a moot point now, since Halo Infinite is no longer a launch title.

However, the insider added to Thurrott that game development has also been impacted by the production of the Halo TV series for Showtime. Apparently management has been more focused on the show rather than the game.

Hopefully with the announced delay, this gives development, marketing, and management the opportunity to focus, align, and get on track.

[Source: Thurrott]

Microsoft Employee Who Named the Original “Duke” Xbox Controller Has Passed

It is a sad day for OG Xbox fans. Brett Schepf, long time Microsoft employee who nicknamed “The Duke,” after his young son, has passed.

To say that “The Duke” was a controversial controller would be an understatement. Yes, the controller was too large for guys who had feminine, dainty hands. However, for men with manly meat hooks, the controller had not equal.

Your’s truly, who has been blessed by my own pair of grizzled bear paws adored “The Duke.” The controller holds a special place in my heart.

With that said, the news of Brett Schepf passing is indeed sad.

RIP

[Source: Seamus Blackley via Twitter]

Eagle Eyed Gumshoes Believe that Xbox Series X Will Launch November 6

Some slick detective work has been conducted, with the recently leaked Xbox Series S|X controller, which may point to a release date. Intrepid sleuths have put together the details. Let’s hear them out.

First off, according to IGN via ResetEra, the ‘Microsoft Limited Warranty’ for the Xbox Series S|X controller appears to end on November 5, 2021. If history is any indicator, Microsoft’s Limited Warranty usually covers a year from purchase, which would mean a November 5 or November 6, 2020 release date is in the cards.

Furthermore, Tom Warren of The Verge posted the following image below of the controller packaging on Twitter, which clearly states “Do not sell or display before November 6, 2020. This is pretty concrete.

Everything is now pointing to November 6, 2020, unless there is a major change at Microsoft, or this is some elaborate ruse.

Now we just need a price and pre-order date.

[Source: IGN, ResetEra, The Verge]