This Weeks Xbox Deals with Gold & Spotlight Sale

Here are this week’s games and add-on deals on the Xbox Games Store. Discounts are valid now through 01 June 2015.

XBOX ONE

Content Title Content Type Discount %
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Digital Pro  Xbox One Game 33%
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Gold* Xbox One Game 17%
Scream Ride Xbox One Game 33%
Alien Isolation Xbox One Game 60%

Please note: prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by region. Deals with Gold are valid for Xbox Live Gold members.

*Valid for Xbox Live Gold and Silver members.

XBOX 360

Content Title Content Type Discount %
Modern Warfare 2  Games On Demand 50%
Modern Warfare Games On Demand 50%
Call of Duty: World at War Games On Demand 50%
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Games On Demand 17%
Alien Isolation Games On Demand 60%

Please note: prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by region. Deals with Gold are valid for Xbox Live Gold members.

Battlefield 4 Patch with new Guns and Mode coming Tuesday

Battlefield 4’s spring update, which adds new guns and a new mode to the multiplayer first-person shooter, will release this Tuesday May 26, developer DICE has announced.

The update will hit all platforms according the following schedule:

  • PC: Multiplayer will be offline for 1h starting 08.00 UTC / 1.00 AM PDT.
  • Xbox One: Multiplayer will be offline for 1h starting 09.00 UTC / 2.00 AM PDT.
  • Xbox 360: Multiplayer will be offline for 1h starting 10.00 UTC / 3.00 AM PDT.
  • PS4: Multiplayer will be offline for 1h starting 11.00 UTC / 4.00 AM PDT.
  • PS3: Multiplayer will be offline for 1h starting 12.00 UTC / 5.00 AM PDT.

In addition to the old Gun Master mode from Battlefield 3. The patch will add five new weapons, and while DICE didn’t share their exact names and look, it gave us a general idea for what to expect:

  • New fan favorite Assault Rifle – Picked based on its unique burst gameplay and massive fan desirability
  • New Carbine – A unique bullpup carbine with built-in vertical grip
  • New PDW – A unique PDW with built-in silencer
  • New Sidearm – Unique long range “sniper” sidearm using magnum rounds
  • New LMG – Magazine fed LMG, which with the new weapons balance, plays in between a belt-fed LMG and an AR – your “run and gun” LMG

Gun Master, which gained its popularity in the Battlefield 3: Close Quarters DLC, is like Team Deathmatch, but you only get new weapons every time you get two consecutive kills, and the first player to get a kill with the final weapon wins.

The patch will also “significantly improve client stability on all platforms,” fix a number of issues that cause crashes, and rebalance all weapons.

DICE said that it will release full patch notes once the update is released.

Netflix Movie List for June

Departures for June 1st

Bram Stoker’s Dracula
City of Ghosts
Dance with Me
Deep Blue Sea
DeRay Davis: Power Play
Dream Lover
Drugs, Inc.: Season 2­3
Ever After: A Cinderella Story
Frankie and Johnny
G.I. Jane
Garfield and Friends: Vol. 1­2
Hatchet II
I Escaped A Cult
Ink Master: Season 1
Inside Combat Rescue: Season 1
Last Action Hero
Picture Perfect
Platoon Leader
Rain Man
Reign Over Me
Silence of the Lambs
Snatch
Soul Survivors
Swept Away
Syriana
Tank Girl
The Great Queen Seondeok
The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story
The Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition
The Rocketeer
The Triplets of Belleville
Waking Life

Departures for June 6th

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away
Crash

Departures for June 15th

The River Why
Tin Man

Departures for June 17th

Dummy

Departures for June 20th

Amadeus
Collateral Damage
Lonesome Dove
Practical Magic
The Guilt Trip

Departures for June 22nd

Madonna: The MDNA Tour
Stand Up Guys

Departures for June 28th

Biutiful

Departures for June 29th

Iron Man: Armored Adventures: Season 1­2
Texas Chainsaw

Departures for June 30th

Donnie Brasco
Godzilla
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Jack Reacher
National Security
Steel Magnolias
Taxi Driver
The Baby­Sitters Club: Season 1

______________________________

 

Arriving June 1st

Employee of the Month
Hidden Kingdoms
La Dictadura Perfecta
R.L. Stine’s Mostly Ghostly
R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: Don’t Think About It
Sex Ed
Shaquille O’Neal Presents: All Star Comedy Jam: Live From Atlanta
Shaquille O’Neal Presents: All Star Comedy Jam: Live from Las Vegas
Shaquille O’Neal Presents: All Star Comedy Jam: Live from Orlando
The Aviator
The High and the Mighty
The Magdalene Sisters
The Perfect Dictatorship

Arriving June 3rd

Best of Me
Hector and the Search for Happiness

Arriving June 5th

Sense8

Arriving June 6th

On the Road

Arriving June 7th

Words and Pictures

Arriving June 8th

Grace of Monaco

Arriving June 9th

Free the Nipple
It’s Tough Being Loved by Jerks

Arriving June 10th

Nightcrawler
Pretty Little Liars: Season 5
Rosewater

Arriving June 11th

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 2
The Legend
The Legend 2

Arriving June 12th

Champs
Life of Crime
Orange Is the New Black: Season 3
The Cobbler

Arriving June 13th

Antarctica: A Year on Ice
Scandal: Season 4
Transformers: Age of Extinction

Arriving June 15th

Bindi’s Bootcamp: Season 1
Danger Mouse: Seasons 1­10
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
Really Me: Season 1­2
Rodney Carrington: Laughters Good
Team Toon: Season 1
Wizards vs. Aliens: Season 1­3

Arriving June 16th

Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of
Curious George
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Two Days, One Night

Arriving June 17th

Heartland: Season 6
Point and Shoot

Arriving June 19th

A Most Wanted Man
Some Assembly Required

Arriving June 20th

Cake

Arriving June 23rd

Advantageous

Arriving June 24th

Beyond the Lights

Arriving June 25th

Ballet 422

Arriving June 26th

Dragons: Race to the Edge: Season 1
Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Young & Hungry: Season 2

Arriving June 27th

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Destiny’s Trial of Osiris Full Reveal Today

“Come. Test yourself in the trials. Find the way through the darkness.”

This cryptic message begins the teaser for an upcoming Destiny competitive multiplayer event called the Trials of Osiris, to be released alongside House of Wolves on May 19th. What Trials of Osiris entails is mostly a mystery at this point. The short teaser reveals new gear and weapons that can presumably be obtained in the event, all falling under the Egyptian-esque aesthetic theme.

A full reveal for the Trials of Osiris will take place today at 11AM PST (2PM EST), on the official Bungie Twitch channel. The live stream will explain everything there is to know about the new event, and it will be hosted by Derek Carroll and Lars Bakken, two designers from Bungie that worked on the Crucible (Destiny‘s competitive multiplayer content). Carroll and Bakken will be joined by a special guest community member, who goes by the handle Triplewreck.
Trials of Osiris will be added to Destiny alongside the House of Wolves expansion, but it is not made clear by the video if House of Wolves will be required to play the content. After all, Bungie teased a substantial update for the game to coincide with the release of House of Wolves expansion, and it could be that Trials of Osiris was partly what they were referring to.

In the meantime, House of Wolves is bringing a bevy of additional content besides the Trials of Osiris competitive multiplayer event. For example, a brand new social space known as The Reef is being introduced to the game in the new expansion, marking the first new social area in the game since the Tower.

In addition, a brand new co-op mode is being added in the form of the Prison of Elders. This cooperative battle arena is actually the main cooperative experience for the DLC, as Bungie has confirmed that House of Wolves will not feature a new Raid.

All of this content from the House of Wolves expansion, including the Trials of Osiris Crucible event, will be available in just a couple of weeks, so fans of Destiny don’t have to wait long to sink their teeth into it.

Despite a vocal minority against the game, Destiny has proven to be wildly successful for both Bungie and publisher Activision, becoming the third best-selling game of 2014 in the process. House of Wolves is bringing to the table a dizzying amount of new content, and it looks to entertain the Destiny faithful (some more faithful than others), while also bringing back those that have strayed from the game in the months since its release.

Android 5.1 Lollipop – All you need to know

Google released Android 5.0 Lollipop in 2014, only to be hit with a large number of complaints regarding bugs and other performance issues. Versions 5.0.1 and 5.0.2 soon followed, addressing a large number of the initial issues, but obviously not enough of them. That’s where Android 5.1 comes into play. Released in March of 2015, the latest update fixes a lot of the flaws found in the 5.0 versions, as well as adding some really cool and new tricks.

The latest update improves on battery life, performance and general stability of Android devices. Although most of the changes are not visible to users, there are several new features that are visual, useful, interesting, and noteworthy.

Device Protection

This ensures that devices that are reported stolen or lost remain locked, even after a factory reset. The device can only be unlocked after the owner signs in with his or her Google account. This would drastically reduce the resale value of stolen handsets, and is definitely a win for consumers.

According to Dave Burke, the VP of Android Engineering, “This feature will be available on most Android phones and tablets shipped with Android 5.1 in addition to the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9”. As a consumer who has lost several Android devices, I welcome this.”

device-protection

Volume slider and Interruptions

Interruptions is a way to specify what manner of notifications your phone/tablet can alert you to. You can specify which contacts can call you (if any), messages and/or events and reminders. Alarms are always priority. From the volume slider, you can now tweak the interruption settings. There are now three possible states, None, Priority and All.

In addition, you can set a downtime, for example between 10:00pm to 5:00am everyday from Sunday to Thursday, and you can now specify the types of interruptions allowed (Priority or None).

Also, if you have an alarm set, you can now specify Priority or None until the next alarm (as long as it’s within 12 hours). With this, it takes just a few taps to mute your device for a given period. Interestingly, you can now also access the Volume/Interruptions slider while playing audio or videos. Simply tap the bell icon.

Also available in Settings → Sound & Notification → Interruptions.

anime_volume-2

 

Heads up notifications

In Android 5.0, heads up notifications had to be acted upon, dismissed with a swipe, or they remained there for a really long time. Now, with 5.1, swiping upwards will hide the notification into the notification tray, while swiping sideways dismisses it completely.

Quick settings

The quick settings panel has received some tweaks from the development (and design) teams. The icons now animate the change of state between on and off. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth now have little dropdowns, allowing you switch between Wifi access points (and Bluetooth devices) right from the menu.

frame-settings

In addition, the quick settings menu can now be accessed from the locked screen, by simply swiping down. The settings available here include Wifi, Bluetooth, brightness and airplane mode.

Improved screen pinning

Ever given a friend your phone for a few minutes to look at or read something, only to find him browsing pictures and other stuff? Screen pinning is a feature that forces the user to a single application.

Android 5.1 has added a few improvements to help users understand the screen pinning feature. The settings to enable screen pinning is in Settings → Security. It is much easier to understand, and, on first use, there is a clear instruction on how to exit/unpin.

screen-pin-animation

Dual SIM and HD calls

Android 5.1 now provides support for dual SIM card usage, this feature was built primarily with Android One in mind. This can prove very useful for international travelers and users in countries where dual sim phones are popular. From the dialer, a user can select what SIM card should be used for a call. There is a very helpful color-coded interface also, which provides easy visual feedback.

Android 5.1 also bakes into the OS support for HD voice calls. However, you will need a supporting network.

Some other visual updates include:

  • Better WiFi connections. 5.1 monitors and remembers which access points provide poor/no access, and favors those with better connectivity.
  • For developers there are new APIs for managing Multiple SIM. Also the org.apache.http classes have been deprecated – you should migrate code to URLConnection.
  • Changed icon indicating no SIM inserted
  • New animations in the clock app. Also, changing the volume (with the device volume rocker while in the clock app) now changes alarm volume.

Details of Nintendo’s Next System the ‘NX’

Nintendo’s next generation games system is codenamed NX, the company’s chief executive Satoru Iwata has revealed. Iwata said that the hardware project represents a “brand-new concept”, but didn’t elaborate further.

Speaking at a press conference, Iwata explained: “As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename ‘NX’. It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.”

It is not clear whether the new hardware represents new strides in the handheld or home console business.

However, the new platform appears to be developed in unison with a new membership (or perhaps subscription) service that will unite Nintendo’s home consoles, its handhelds, as well as mobiles and PC.

Iwata clarified that this new membership service will “encompasses the existing Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems, the new hardware system with a brand-new concept, NX, and smart devices and PCs.”

He added: “Nintendo will be the primary party to operate this new membership service. Unlike the Club Nintendo membership service that Nintendo has been operating, the new membership service will include multiple devices and create a connection between Nintendo and each individual consumer regardless of the device the consumer uses.”

Earlier this year, Nintendo announced that it would be closing its Club Nintendo membership program by September. The loyalty program launched in 2007 and supplied free gifts to owners of the Nintendo DS, Wii, 3DS and Wii U. At the time the company claimed it was “working hard to create a new program.” It appears this new membership service will be its replacement.

New music, achievements and skins for Minecraft

When most players begin their Minecraft adventure there aren’t many looks to choose from… you only get to play as  Steve – the most famous minecrafter in the world, and has excellent stubble.

But Steve doesn’t really represent the diversity of the Minecraft playerbase. So they’re giving all players the opportunity to play with an Alex skin instead. She brings thinner arms, redder hair, and a ponytail. She actually looks a bit like Jens from certain angles.

Players on all consoles will get the Alex skins pack for free this Wednesday.

Simpsons

Playstation players are getting another skin pack this week. The Simpsons, and a bunch of their their closest friends, enemies, and acquaintances are on the way. Download it starting Wednesday!!

Xbox 360 users get extra achievements and bonus tunes!

Until now, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition has included more achievements than 360 Edition. This update will add 30 new achievements to the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft, boosting the potential gains to a smooth 1000G.

Also, a bundle of new music tracks are coming to Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition. After this update there’ll be more of C418’s plinky plonky goodness in-game. Nice. What is your favorite in-game Minecraft track? I really like “Are we there now” which is much thanks to my son because he is always playing it and making Steve dance to it! 🙂

Amiibo is doing better than expected

Nintendo has been caught off-guard by the success of its Amiibo line. While it hoped there would be demand for its expansion into the toys-to-life space, the company’s “expectations have been smashed.”

That’s according to Nintendo UK consumer marketing boss James Honeywell, who told MCV, “Right from the outset we hoped that Amiibo would be strong, but even our expectations have been smashed. With a unique lineup of iconic characters that are loved by so many people, it really has been unprecedented.”

There was some question of whether the market would be too crowded for Nintendo to make an impact when it launched Amiibo alongside Super Smash Bros. last year; instead, with 5.7 million sold as of February, its primary problem has been keeping less-common figures in stock.

“We hope to do a better job of satisfying these needs in the future with more stock, and, while there are always going to be some times when we can’t on certain characters, I suspect that is also part of the appeal,” Honeywell continued.

Unfortunately, for many collectors, the tracking down and collecting rare figures has proven to be an exercise in frustration.

Honeywell cites collectors’ desire to get their hands on every Amiibo available as part of the reason for the supply issues. Nintendo has previously said it won’t be able to consistently keep every figure in stock, though it will deliver additional runs of certain figures in select circumstances–something we saw with Marth, for instance.

In addition to sitting on your shelf, Amiibo serve a purpose in various games, including Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, and Code Name: Steam. Check out GameSpot’s huge list of Amiibo’s!

Principal suggests kids playing adult themed games could risk them getting in trouble

The schools in Cheshire, England are fed up with children playing games such as “Grand Theft Auto” and “Call of Duty”. The Nantwich Education Partnership is fed up to the point that it has written to parents of kids in 16 schools. The letter said that if they don’t start policing their childrens’ games, they may be getting a visit from the men and women in blue.

The Britain’s Sunday Times reports that the letter explains playing such games could lead to “oversexualized behavior” on the part of children. It states: “If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game, or associated product, that is designated 18+ we are advised to contact the police and children’s social care as this is deemed neglectful.”

I agree that some content in video games just simply are not for children to see let alone play, but I personally think this is taking it a bit far. The debate between video games and violence has been going on for a very long time, but the concrete evidence just isn’t there.

What are your thoughts on this story? How do you feel about kids playing adult themed games? Do you or would you let your children play?

Google’s Project Ara is a Mobile Computing Breakthrough

The prototype for Google’s Ara modular smartphone is one hell of an instrument, because it lets you pop in the components you actually want. To hold one of these gadgets in your hand is to get a hint about the future of mobile computing. The hardware is personalized, just like the apps on your phone!

Google’s Project Ara is the stuff of dreams… check out the video below to see for yourself!