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  • Microsoft Offers Refunds on Unused Xbox Live Gold Time

    xbox live gold refunds

    Microsoft has just announced a whole list of changes to their Xbox Live service that will completely overhaul the overall experience for their average user. One of the biggest changes in this new move by Microsoft will allow gamers who make use of quarterly or yearly Xbox Live Gold subscriptions to receive refunds for any time they did not make use of on their Xbox.

    If an Xbox Live Gold user cancels their yearly or monthly subscription, they will receive a refund for the remaining time available on that subscription, which should then go into their Xbox Live account balance.

    On top of the changes to subscriptions, Microsoft is working hard to remove any paywalls on their current entertainment offering. Whilst Xbox Live Gold will still be needed for online multiplayer, services like Hulu Plus and Netflix will now be accessible without an active Gold subscription.

    These brand new Xbox Live changes will go live in June, and it's another portion of their efforts to make sure their customers are getting the best service possible. The Xbox One certainly went off to a rocky start, but a lot of work has gone into rectifying their previous mistakes, and making sure things are easier and more convenient on their customers in the future.

    This change was just announced after Microsoft revealed their brand new Kinect-less Xbox One SKU which can now be pre-ordered from online retailers for $90 cheaper than the Xbox One with Kinect.

  • Kinect-less Xbox One SKU Pre-orders Go Live

    xbox one without kinect

    One of the biggest reasons many gamers have gone for the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One is the price point; no matter how many discounts Microsoft have managed to put on their console, the PS4 has still remained the cheaper console, and this may have helped Sony to push a larger number of units.

    However, the extra cost of the Xbox One isn't for nothing - the console comes packed with the Kinect, the motion sensing, speech detecting equipment that tin foil hat wearers claim spies on you whilst you eat your TV dinners.

    Whether or not you're a fan of the Kinect really comes down to personal opinion. As far as I'm concerned, it's always felt like a bit of a gimmick and being forced to purchase the Kinect alongside the Xbox One is a move that certainly makes me route for the PlayStation 4.

    It looks like Microsoft realized the potential behind an Xbox One bundle without a Kinect though, as Microsoft have recently announced that they will put a kinect-less SKU up for sale. In fact, the new kinect-less Xbox One is already up for pre-orders from various retailers, including Best Buy and Amazon.

    Without the Kinect, you'll be saving around $90 which makes for a pretty decent price cut. Currently the Xbox One with Kinect can be picked up for $489.99, whilst the Kinect-less Xbox One SKU can be pre-ordered for $399.99.

    Now that there is a Kinect-less Xbox One bundle available, will you be interested in purchasing the Xbox One, or would you still go for the PlayStation 4, which can also be picked up for $399?

  • Microsoft Says You Won't Need Your Kinect Plugged in Anymore

    Well, well well, it looks as if Microsoft has completely made a turning point on their new Xbox One. Now, not only can you use the Xbox without a constant internet connection, but we can now play the next gen Xbox console without the kinect entirely.

    This change has come about after privacy concerns were made public due to the worry that Microsoft or a malicious third party could sneak in and watch your living room at any time.

    Coupled with the always on internet, an always 'kinected' camera could only spell trouble in the eyes of those that take care of their own privacy, but luckily all of the DRM features have been removed, and now the Kinect always-connected rule has been removed.

    Currently there still isn't an Xbox One with a Kinect not included and Microsoft still believe strongly in the success of the party peripheral, but perhaps we'll see a cheaper SKU without the Kinect 2.0 bundled in the future.

    For those already interested in getting a PS4, if you could purchase an Xbox One without a Kinect and save yourself some pennies, would you think about changing you decision and route for an Xbox One instead?

    Now that the similarities between the Xbox One and PS4 are slowly becoming larger, the only real thing keeping both of the consoles apart are the exclusives. What exclusives are you most looking forward to playing?

  • Microsoft Doesn't Plan on Releasing an Xbox One Without Kinect

    Although the Launch Edition of the Xbox One comes bundled with the Kinect 2.0, there wasn't an official confirmation whether the Xbox One would be released without the Kinect 2.0 or not within the future.

    Microsoft has recently replied to concerns about the topic to state that "We have no plans to introduce an Xbox One without Kinect. We believe in Kinect and the value it brings to both games and entertainment, and believe $499 is a great value for what consumers receive with their Xbox One."

    Rumors started to spread that Microsoft were going to release a console without the  Kinect 2.0 as a Microsoft representative stated that the Xbox One does not need the Kinect 2.0 to run. Since then it seems that Microsoft has called this out as a typo and Microsoft has since backtracked to the previous announcement that the Kinect 2.0 is needed to allow the Xbox One to work.

    Because of the added costs of the Kinect 2.0, the Xbox One costs more than the PlayStation 4 does which does not come bundled with the PlayStation Eye.

    Personally I think it is a little unfair to force customers to buy the Kinect, especially when it is a piece of equipment that some people may feel they do not need at all. I still think the Kinect is a bit of a gimmick and have yet to see a real handy use for the gesture based gadget.

  • New Dead Rising 3 Could be a Huge Open World

    If you've watched the E3 trailer for Dead Rising 3, you'll know that there is a lot to be excited about. For me, it would be one of the only games i'd want an Xbox One at launch for. The first two Dead Rising games were fun but the areas you roamed became a little dull after spending 10 odd hours within them.

    It's good to know that Dead Rising 3 will have an open world that is capable of accommodating both the spaces within Dead Rising 1 and Dead Rising 2 combined. This also didn't account for the extra 'room to spare' on top of the space capable of accommodating the first two games Josh Bridge has talked about at this year's San Diego Comic Con.

    Executive Produced of the series, Bridge also went on to discuss a few other things about Dead Rising 3 such as "an unmatched level of weapon and character customization, and immersive Xbox SmartGlass and Kinect integration, Dead Rising 3 delivers a heart-pounding experience unlike any other as players fight for survival in a massive, open world teeming with thousands of undead."

    Follow Evil Controllers on facebook, youtube, pinterest and twitter to stay up to date on available custom Xbox One controllers.

  • Xbox Kinect Will Work as Headset

    If you don't want to spend extra money on a headset after buying the Xbox One, you'll be happy to know that the Kinect will also back up as an alternative to the microphone/headset.

    There's no official word on the quality of the Kinect microphone, and you'll have to listen to players through your TV unless you have a pair of compatible headphones when using the Kinect for voice chat.

    The Kinect does include a 'wide array' of microphones though, so it'd be surprising if the call quality received from the Kinect was poor.

    The official Xbox One is always up for grabs for those that don't like the openness of the Kinect microphone and TV speaker combo, and there are also many alternatives for better audio quality including headset models from Turtle Beach specifically designed for the Xbox One.

  • Will you be getting an Xbox One? Here's Some Accessories you May Need

    Unlike the Xbox 360, the Xbox One won't come with a headset, and you'll also have to separately buy other accessories if you want to get the most out of your Xbox One experience.

    At launch, they'll be a few accessories available to you. Firstly, and probably the most needed accessory for those who want to be able to taunt the other team from the comfort of their sofa, is of course a headset.

    The official Xbox One headset looks a lot like the current Xbox 360 headset- It has one thin headband that goes around the circumference of your head and then a simple microphone branching out from one side. The volume and mute buttons have been moved down to the port where the microphone will plug into the controller.

    Alternatively, you could bag yourself a Turtle Beach headset- at launch Turtle Beach will have The EarForce XO Seven and the EarForce XO Four. Both headsets are of a much better quality than the Xbox One headset and they both include a decent quality headset and microphone.

    If you're the kind of person that doesn't like taking a trip to the shops every time you need new batteries you’ll certainly want to buy the recharge kit. The Xbox One recharge pack looks very similar to the Xbox 360 model and according to Microsoft will be capable of recharging two batteries within four hours.

    The final accessory that is worth a mention is something that'll appeal to any beat'em up fans out there. Mad Catz has designed the Arcade Fight Stick Tournament Edition 2 fighting stick and it will be available at launch. It includes 8 buttons and a joystick, and will be perfect for Killer Instinct, a game that will be available for free at launch.

  • Next-Gen Kinect

    Next-Gen Kinect Rumors

    Hey there guys! There are new job listings popping up that indicate that Microsoft might be really amping the development for their next-gen Kinect. For example this is a section from a job listing for a software development engineer, "the team that shipped Kinect for Xbox 360" is seeking a candidate to work on "the future of Natural User Input."

    The same job listing later states, "The Xbox Platform Team is gearing up towards the next generation of Natural User Interface (NUI) technologies." The job description also mentioned "rapid prototyping" and as a requirement "successful candidate must be able to come up to speed with new technologies".

    Also in a different job listing for a senior electronic engineer this was mentioned, "[looking for candidate responsible] for designing, building and delivering the devices and the innovative solution for Xbox and various future NUI applications." It also included Microsoft's mission statement which stated, "[to] re-invent entertainment, led from the living room, powered by the cloud, across multiple screens and best experienced on our devices."

    These listings that started appearing between end of June and beginning of July match with previous rumors regarding the improved Kinect sensor being developed by Microsoft.  Only recently a Microsoft patent was discovered which described the new Kinect would be able to capture depth via infrared light "to determine a physical distance from the capture device to a particular location on the targets or objects in the scene." Other rumors suggest that the new Kinect might be precise enough to even read lips!

    I wonder how far the development of the next-gen Xbox and Kinect has gone considering the fact that the recently leaked photos of the next-gen Xbox development kit showed the option to go to NuiVIew, which according to Digital Foundry is "a simple tool for rendering camera views and data from an attached Kinect Peripheral."

    Blog Written by Shahriar Azad

  • Gaming Controllers

    Gaming Controllers, Which Console Design is #1?

    No doubt over the years we have seen companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo as the frontrunners in gaming, change their controllers or make new ones to help feed this era of technology driven individuals. After stumbling upon an article about which controller is the best, it came down to the Xbox 360 controller and the PS3 controller.

    Over many years of trying to remodel their controllers, I do sincerely agree that the Xbox 360 and the PS3 controllers are the best that the market has to offer as of late. Which one is better, is only going to be a matter of preference. However, we have a new wave of controllers being launched onto the market. Let's take the Playstation Move and the Kinect for example, while they are revolutionary controllers to say the least, I have yet to see the real draw to them. I have played many games using the Kinect, not that there are a ton out there. None of them seem to really put the Kinect to the test. That being said, I think the article I was reading brought up an interesting point, "Are hardware manufacturers thinking ahead of software developers?" I definitely think this is the case, especially with the Wii U upon the horizon. Are there going to be games that really challenge it? Or are we just going to be turning back to the regular old handhelds because it's easier?

    Regardless, Evil will always be there updating and improving the stock designs to modify and improve the controllers with Evil Imaging, pro-series options, mods and more!

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    Evil's Blog will be sharing customer emails with their names abbreviated for their privacy. These are real emails, real testimonials.

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