Sony may have kicked off its launch of the PlayStation 4 in Europe but the Xbox One is still making news and not all of it is good. Microsoft has responded to users with faulty Xbox One disc drives
by offering them a free download of a first-party game. The game is in addition to having the entire unit replaced. The real agony comes from having to send the Xbox back and waiting for the replacement to arrive. At least each unit sold this time around isn’t losing money for Microsoft. In fact, the company is breaking even on each unit sold with a manufacturing cost $471
. It’s nice to go into a generation where the console manufacturers don’t bleed money for the first few years of a new product’s life.
On the features front Microsoft is committed to maintaining a family-friendly service with Upload Studio. Using profanity in uploaded clips to the service may result in a temporary suspension or ban. Never mind if the game itself has graphic content or excessive profanity. Lesson learned, always read the code of conduct and the terms of service. Microsoft’s other console, the 360 is experiencing a rollback of service from one content provider. AT&T has announced the upcoming discontinuation of the U-Verse TV streaming service on Xbox Live. As of December 31 the service will be no more. All is not grim, users can obtain a $99 credit from AT&T in order to cover the cost of U-Verse and a year of Xbox Live Gold.
There is one service that always seems to be gaining steam and positive press. The service is, well, Valve’s Steam. The game distribution platform will soon have a reviews section. Steam reviews are actually an evolution of the “recommend” section with users having the ability to rate reviews as “helpful” or not.
I can also think of another beloved game company. If you guessed Atlus/Index you are correct. In a Famitsu magazine interview Sega Sammy COO Naoya Tsurumi revealed it would be business as usual at Atlus. The developer will retain a large degree of independence. Even better, Atlus is free to utilize Sega’s dormant IP as it sees fit. Sega X Atlus could be a dream come true for niche game fans.
Anime fans are also dreamers. One major dream among fans in North America was to see a revival of the medium on TV. So far 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for anime on Toonami. Aniplex of America revealed Blue Exorcist would make its debut on the cable network in March. If you’ve not had a chance to see the dubbed version either through Viz’s Neon Alley or through Aniplex’s re-release of the series on Blu-ray/DVD, Toonami is a fairly safe bet. The shonen series has come a long away from its original 2011 DVD, subtitled-only release. (As a fan of the series I always felt Blue Exorcist would be a perfect fit for Toonami. Validation is a sweet feeling.)
Aniplex is also on roll with yet another theatrical movie release. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is coming to North American theaters in January. As of this writing, listings have not been announced but the movie’s official website will be updated soon.
This week I’ll close the News Rounup with a music video. Richie Branson, a self-professed Otaku rapper has set his sights on Attack on Titan. Rejoice AoT fans, this song is pretty awesome: