While we've come to expect a host of new and exciting games from E3, this year saw focus shift a little. The big, glossy new games were still there, but certain companies, Microsoft in particular, offered a second focus – one of augmenting the gaming experience with meaningful peripherals.
With big press events from Sony, Microsoft and a raft of third party publishers, and with Nintendo's unique Direct broadcast approach, it's all too easy to get lost in the tidal wave of announcements that hit in the first few days of the E3. All three big console makers presented a vision of what consumers can expect from their systems in the coming year, but whose showing was the strongest, and whose left a bitter taste in the mouth? Read on as Gizmag assesses this year's E3 offerings, and provides musings on what the announcements might mean for the current and future landscape of console gaming.
Even after the unexpected reveals of Xbox One backwards compatibility and a new Xbox Elite controller, Microsoft had a lot left to show at its E3 press event. From Gears of War to Rise of the Tomb Raider, read on Gizmag highlights the biggest and best reveals from Redmond's conference.
While the standard controller for Microsoft's current-gen system is certainly no slouch, the company is keen to offer enthusiasts something a little special, announcing the Xbox Elite controller at its E3 press event.
Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One will receive backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games, starting later this year. Owners of both physical and digital copies of last-generation console games will be able to play them on the current hardware, and there's no work required on the part of developers, meaning we'll likely see a whole lot of titles become compatible.
Microsoft has released pricing and availability information for its enterprise focused Surface Hub, announced back in January of this year. The hardware is pitched as an all-in-one solution for collaboration in meetings, consisting of a large display, active stylus, and a host of sensors and connectivity options.
Microsoft has a number of hardware announcements ahead of E3 2015, which takes place in Los Angeles next week. The company outed a new version of its current generation console with a higher capacity hard drive, as well an improved controller and a new dongle that will allow PC gamers to make more convenient use of the console controller.
Microsoft has announced that the next version of its Windows operating system, Windows 10, will be made available at the end of next month. Existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users can reserve a free upgrade to the platform now.
The rise of cloud gaming services such as PlayStation Now may have ushered in a new era of convenience for blasting virtual aliens and monsters to smithereens, but on-demand play brings with it one huge unwanted drawback: the bandwidth required is astronomical. But researchers at Duke University and Microsoft Research think they have a solution that'll let gamers have their on-demand cake and eat it too. They have developed a tool called Kahawai (Hawaiian for stream), which splits the rendering calculations between your device and a remote server rather than offloading them all to the server.
A comprehensive Microsoft study is offering insights into how living in the digital age is affecting our ability to sustain attention and how our brains are adapting to the constant flow of new stimuli. Although the results confirmed the suspicions that the information overflow is affecting our ability to focus on one task for long periods of time, the news isn't all bad, as it seems we're also training our brains to multitask more effectively.