Tag - microsoft

ESL Partners with Microsoft on Xbox Live Tournaments Platform


(Cologne, Germany) March 16, 2016 ESL’s technical development team has teamed up with Microsoft to integrate ESL tournament systems directly into the Xbox Live Tournaments Platform. This partnership represents a revolutionary step for the evolution of esports, by allowing developers and publishers to gain easy and automated access to live tournaments, as well as giving them the ability to organize the logistics and handling of such.

“The tournament experience on ESL platforms looks to see a significant increase thanks to our partnership with Microsoft,” said Arne Peters, Vice President Strategic Relations & ESL Technology. “ESL platform integration is a big step forward in establishing competitive gaming and esports. We are very happy to be working with Microsoft on projects such and these and are excited to see them embrace the significance of esports and its phenomenal growth.”

Tournaments run by ESL can now be optimized by game developers to feature in-game integrations and more, allowing competition to be played out on the console and PC. Numerous ESL tournament integrations exist already on PC platforms across various game genres to enable quick and seamless gaming solutions for competitors, with the Xbox Live Tournaments Platform bringing a cohesive experience across both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.

ESL’s tech team is preparing to assist and consult with game developers, helping them to get their games ready for tournament integration. The first games to use the ESL tournament system on Xbox are already in the making with more to follow.

Griffin Announces New Survivor Slim for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4


Las Vegas – January 4, 2016 – Griffin Technology, creator of award-winning and thoughtfully designed mobile accessories, introduces the latest addition to its popular Survivor case range, Survivor Slim for Surface Pro 4. Offering the perfect blend of slim, multi-layer design and military standard rugged protection, Survivor Slim is the ideal companion for the powerful Surface Pro 4.

“The new Surface is designed to fit into every aspect of your life, so we’ve created a case that complements it, whether you’re working on the go or enjoying an outdoor adventure,” said Aaron Jones, Survivor Category Manager at Griffin Technology. “The slim profile fits easily in any backpack or briefcase, and its tough build offers ultimate drop protection.”

Survivor Slim’s multi-layered design protects Surface pro 4 from 6′ drops and impacts. The exterior layer is constructed of co-molded TPE and rigid polycarbonate, which creates a comfortable grip and absorbs impact while the interior silicone layer cushions the device to protect from drops. For life’s messy accidents, the touch-through screen shield protects the touchscreen while in use. Survivor Slim also features a cover that easily snaps onto Surface Pro 4’s kickstand without interfering with the viewing angle for watching videos, surfing the web or typing.

Survivor Slim is also available for Surface Pro 3, offering the same reliable protection users have come to love and expect from Griffin. Designed and tested to meet military standards for drop protection, the co-molded TPE and rigid polycarbonate exterior provides comfortable grip and absorbs impacts while the interior silicone layer cushions the device to protect from drops.  Survivor Slim for Surface Pro 4 ($89.99) will be available January 2016 at https://griffintechnology.com/us/survivor-slim-for-microsoft-surface-pro-4. Survivor Slim for Surface Pro 3 (89.99) is now available at https://griffintechnology.com/us/survivor-slim-for-microsoft-surface-pro-3.

Hyperkin Signs Licensing Deal with Microsoft for Xbox One Products



December 1, 2015 (LOS ANGELES, Calif.) On Nov. 5, 2015, Hyperkin, an independent video game hardware developer from Los Angeles has announced that it has signed an agreement with Microsoft to develop licensed products for Microsoft’s Xbox One.

Built by individuals who grew up with controllers in their hands, Hyperkin has been a staple in the retro gaming industry for the past decade. They specialize in premium modern solutions for classic gaming consoles and accessories, as well as an array of modern peripherals.

This agreement with Microsoft opens a new chapter for Hyperkin, as it allows them to work with a major multinational technology company to develop directly for its console. Hyperkin CEO Steven Mar is ecstatic about what this means for Hyperkin’s future.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” Mar said. “This marks a brand new era for Hyperkin, as Microsoft is exactly the type of company we aspire to work with, and making officially licensed products for the Xbox One is another example of Hyperkin’s constant innovation.”

Hyperkin’s current development team has been responsible for projects such as the RetroN 5, ProCube Controller, and the SmartBoy, bringing universal nostalgia to modern gaming.

Xbox to Appear at PC Gaming Show



LOS ANGELES – June 3, 2015PC Gamer today announced that Microsoft has joined the upcoming “AMD Presents The PC Gaming Show Powered by PC Gamer” event as both a sponsor and participant. Taking place in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 16, 2015at the Belasco Theater, the show will feature appearances and announcements from some of the biggest names in the PC gaming industry. Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer and several game developers will share the latest details about gaming on Windows 10 as well as showcase several upcoming games.

“For us, the PC Gaming Show is the ideal place to speak directly to PC gamers, and it’s a great time to talk about Windows 10 – the best operating system we’ve ever created for gamers on PCs,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox at Microsoft. “With Windows 10, we’re bringing the best of Xbox with the best of Windows gaming, including Xbox Live and the new Xbox app, Game DVR for nearly every game, and DirectX 12 for better gaming graphics and performance.”

“Windows is a vital element of the PC gaming experience for so many of us, and I’m excited to see what Microsoft has in store,” said Tim Clark, Global Editor-in-Chief, PC Gamer. “The PC Gaming Show is a celebration of every aspect of the platform, so I’m delighted Xbox has decided to play such a key part in it.”

Presented by AMD, organized by PC Gamer, and streamed live in partnership with Twitch, the show will bring the PC gaming community together under one roof for announcements and presentations from both major companies and rising independent developers. Hosted by Sean ‘Day[9]’ Plott, participants of the show include Dean Hall (DayZ), Blizzard, Bohemia Interactive, Tripwire Interactive, Fullbright, Cliff Bleszinski (Boss Key Productions), Devolver Digital, Nexon, Creative Assembly, Square Enix, CCP Games, Paradox Interactive, and many more.

For more information and to register for press access, please visit: www.PCGamingShow.com and follow #pcgamingshow.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Brief Reveals Holographics, Xbox One Streaming, and More



REDMOND, Wash. — Jan. 21, 2015 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a new generation of Windows, with a wide range of experiences designed to usher in a new era of more personal computing, as well as two new devices designed to extend the Windows experience from large screens to no screens. Windows 10 will be delivered as a service to offer a safer, innovative and updated experience for the supported lifetime of the device. A free upgrade1 for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, who upgrade in the first year.

“Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era in the mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Our ambition is for the 1.5 billion people who are using Windows today to fall in love with Windows 10 and for billions more to decide to make Windows home.”

Windows 10: Making computing more personal

Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era, where technology disappears and people are at the center. In this era, the mobility of the experience matters, not the mobility of the device, and experiences should work in a seamless, familiar way across devices. People should be able to naturally interact with technology as they interact with other people — with voice, gestures and gaze. Protecting privacy plays a pivotal role in delivering trustworthy experiences that put people in control of their experience.

On Wednesday, Microsoft showcased a variety of new experiences coming to Windows 10, including the following:

Cortana comes to PC and tablet. The Cortana personal digital assistant, which debuted on Windows Phone last year, will now also be available on Windows 10 PCs and tablets to help people get things done.2 Cortana is a personal helper who learns an individual’s preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information and important reminders, bringing what matters most to their attention. Interaction is natural and easy via talking or typing, with advanced features to control Cortana for more trustworthiness and transparency.

New browser “Project Spartan” puts the Web to work, for you. Windows 10 will feature the new Microsoft browser, code-named “Project Spartan,” which was built with interoperability in mind. With key features built-in natively to the browser, it will enable greater reliability and better discoverability. Some of the most advanced features in the browser include the ability to annotate whether by keyboard or pen directly on the webpage and easily share with friends; a reading view that is distraction-free, displaying the article in a simplified layout for a great reading experience for Web articles online and offline; and the integration of Cortana for finding and doing things online faster. All of this is offered with a new look and feel built just for Windows 10.

Xbox Live and the new Xbox app bring new gaming experiences to Windows 10. Xbox on Windows 10 lets gamers and developers access the best of the expansive Xbox Live gaming network on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One. Players can capture, edit and share their greatest gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with friends across devices, connecting millions of gamers around the world. Games developed for the new DirectX 12 application programming interface in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability. Players will also be able to play games on their PC, streamed directly from their Xbox One consoles to their Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within their home.3


Office for Windows 10. Office universal apps on Windows 10 deliver a touch-first experience across devices. New versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook are designed from the ground up to run on Windows, built for touch, and offer the unmistakable Office experience customers know and love. With the familiar features for Office, people can create and edit Word documents with ease. New inking features in PowerPoint let people annotate slides in real time, and the new touch-first controls in Excel make it easy to create and update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. The next version of the Office desktop suite is also currently in development and Microsoft will have more to share in the coming months.

Additional Windows 10 features and innovations shared today include the following:

  • Continuum mode. On 2-in-1 devices, Windows 10 will move easily between keyboard and mouse and touch and tablet as it detects the transition and conveniently switches to the new mode.
  • New universal apps. Windows 10 will offer new experience applications, consistent across the device continuum, for Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People & Messaging and Mail & Calendar. These built-in apps have an updated design that looks and feels the same from app to app and device to device. Content is stored and synced through OneDrive, enabling people to start something on one device and continue it on another.

“Everything about Windows 10 — the experiences, delivering it as a service and the free upgrade — means that Windows 10 isn’t just another product, it’s an ongoing relationship — one that will give ongoing value to all our customers,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Operating Systems group at Microsoft. “The new generation of Windows is a commitment — a commitment to liberate people from complex technology and enable them to do great things.”

Windows 10: Powering innovation, inspiring new computing platforms

Windows 10 adapts to the devices customers are using — from Xbox to PCs and phones to tablets and tiny gadgets — and what they’re doing with a consistent, familiar and compatible experience. Windows 10 will run across an incredibly broad set of devices — from the tiniest of sensors as part of the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. Some devices have 4-inch screens, some have 80-inch screens and some don’t have screens at all. On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled two devices that will empower customers to experience Windows in incredible new ways.

Windows 10 unlocks holographic future with Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft shared a revolutionary example of how Windows 10 enables a shift from the traditional machine-centric view of computing to an interaction that is much more personal and humanistic. As the world’s first holographic computing platform, Windows 10 includes a set of APIs that enable developers to create holographic experiences in the real world. With Windows 10, holograms are Windows universal apps, and all Windows universal apps can also work as holograms — making it possible to place three-dimensional holograms in the physical world and enabling new ways to communicate, create and explore that are more personal and human.


To showcase the possibilities of holograms in Windows 10, Microsoft unveiled the most advanced holographic computer in the world. Microsoft HoloLens is the first untethered holographic computer — no wires, phones or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens features see-through holographic high-definition lenses and spatial sound so you can view and hear holograms in the world around you. Complete with advanced sensors, a next-generation system on a chip and the addition of a completely new Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that understands what you are doing and the world around you, Microsoft HoloLens is able to run without any wires while processing terabytes of data from the sensors in real time.

By placing three-dimensional holograms in the world around you, Microsoft HoloLens provides a new view into your reality that can tell what you are looking at and understand what you are saying with your hands and voice. By putting you at the center of the computing experience, Microsoft HoloLens allows you to create, access information, enjoy entertainment and communicate in new and exciting ways.

New Microsoft Surface Hub optimizes Windows 10 experience for groups

Windows 10 is powering a new large-screen device to help teams in the workplace share, ideate and create together. Hardware innovations in multi-touch and digital inking, along with built-in cameras, sensors and microphones, allow the Surface Hub to take advantage of Windows 10, Skype for Business and Office 365 to deliver a new experience designed to make every person — whether remote or onsite — feel as if they’re in the same collaborative space. Specifically, the Surface Hub features state-of-the-art digital white boarding; instant remote conferencing; the ability for multiple people to share and edit content on the screen from a laptop, tablet or phone; and a trusted platform for large-screen apps. Available in two sizes — 55-inch and 84-inch — the Surface Hub removes the current limitations of traditional conference room scenarios to empower teams to create their best work together.

The next Technical Preview for Windows 10 on the PC will be available for free to Windows Insiders in the next week and for the first time on phones later in February. More information on the Windows Insider Program and the Technical Previews can be found at http://preview.windows.com.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Hardware and software requirements apply. Feature availability may vary by device. Some editions excluded. More details at http://www.windows.microsoft.com.

2 Cortana available in select global markets at launch.

3 Xbox Live features, including game recording, only available with supported games in Xbox Live-supported countries. See http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/countries. DirectX 12 only available with supported games and graphics chips. Limited number of games available in 2015 that support cross-device play; additional games to follow. Multiplayer streaming from Xbox One requires home network connection and Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately); Gold also required for multiplayer play on Xbox One.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition Launch Date



CHATHAM, KENT – December 9, 2014 – Dovetail Games, the multi-award-winning developer and publisher of the Train Simulator series and Dovetail Games Fishing, today gave flight sim fans a lift for the holiday season with the announcement thatMicrosoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition will launch on December 18 at a spectacular introductory price.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition delivers an authentically accurate aerial experience for simulation enthusiasts and those with a passion for all things flight. Pilots can climb into the cockpits of over twenty aircraft, from commercial and fighter jets to single-engine private planes and helicopters. More than 80 missions will test players in a variety of ways, including search and rescue challenges, test pilot scenarios, races and more. The game features updated multiplayer functionality, Windows 8.1 support and over 24,000 airports, delivering a beautiful, connected world and vast horizon begging to be explored.

First released in 2006, Microsoft Flight Simulator X’s arrival on Steam marks the first exciting steps in the global licensing deal between Dovetail Games and Microsoft announced earlier this year. In addition to distributing Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition, Dovetail Games is also working on its own original titles based on Microsoft’s flight technology, carrying on nearly three decades of tradition established by this award-winning franchise. Dovetail Games and partners will also be launching a range of add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition on Steam in the new year.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition will be available on Windows PC via Steam on December 18. This title is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.

Wasteland 2 – A Review (PC)



Seems like a lot of the games that I’ve been given to review lately, have had their origins in crowd funding. Whether through Indiegogo or Kickstarter, developers of smaller games are heading to the people to gather funds for their ideas. Wasteland 2 by inXile Entertainment is another such product, but unlike many of the others that I have played, Wasteland 2 is a great game. With close to $3 million in funds from Kickstarter, inXile Entertainment turned out one hell of a fantastic product and just a year late from their original proposed release date. Wasteland 2 is the first official sequel to Wasteland, the post-apocalyptic role playing game that kicked off the entire genre back in 1988. Twenty six years later, and we finally have another game from the series that inspired Fallout, and it is an absolute gem.


Civilization as we know it ended in 1998 due to a nuclear holocaust. During this cataclysmic event, a squad of U.S. Army engineers took over a prison in the American Southwest, expelling all of the prisoners into the unknown aftermath of this holocaust. The engineers brought in groups of survivalists from the local area, and together were able to fortify the prison and survive. The survivalists and the engineers, together, form a group in the same vein as the Texas Rangers to help bring law and order back to this post apocalyptic world. They name their group the “Desert Rangers” and set off to help the people of the land.

Wasteland 2 begins fifteen years after this event, with the murder of a Desert Ranger named Ace. General Vargas, the leader of the Desert Rangers, is extremely worried about this particular murder, since he sent Ace out to investigate a mysterious radio signal. This radio signal described “man and machine becoming one to bring down the Desert Rangers”. Vargas, not having many options left, turns to his newest group of Desert Rangers to investigate both the murder of Ace and this mysterious radio signal. That’s where you come in.

Wasteland 2 is a role playing game in the most classic sense of the word. You begin by creating your group of four rangers. The way they look, the skill sets they have, even their backgrounds and life histories are all up to you to create. You can spend hours writing back-stories for each character you create, to bring each Desert Ranger to life. Of course, that life could just last for the next ten minutes, so be prepared to lose your work in a hail of bullets if your not too careful.


A screenshot from the original Wasteland. Graphics have come a long way…


The story of Wasteland 2 adapts to the choices that you make during the game. These choices are not your typical “good vs. evil” choices where you can easily decide what to do and how you want to shape your game play, but tough moral decisions that will affect the game world around you. During the first mission, you will receive two radio messages from two towns that are under fire, at exactly the same moment. You must chose which town to save and which town to ignore. This will change the world around you, not only will the town you ignore be seriously damaged and have less resources for you, but the people of that town will hold a grudge against the Desert Rangers since they ignored their plea for help. Characters will react to your decisions in game and this will change the world around you, so you will have to live with your decisions.

The story for Wasteland 2 is incredibly engaging, with moments of chaos and quiet throughout the game. The world you explore is rich, deep and well thought out. The story is brought to life mostly by text, but with just the right amount of voice work to make it interesting and believable. The choices you make during the story are all morally gray, with no obvious good or evil consequences. You behave the way you think your character would behave, and the world reacts around you. From the live-action introduction all the way to the end, I loved every moment of this story.

Game Play

The game play in Wasteland 2 features a semi-overhead, isometric view of the desolate environment around you. The game is best described as a role playing game with tactical, turn-based combat involving your party of up to seven characters (your four you create and up to three non player characters). When you create your characters, you choose what skills and attributes they will have so their role is determined by you. From a strong melee centered character with intimidate, to a lucky sniper with lock picking skills, each character you create will play the way you want them to. The non player characters will have their own skills, attributes, and agendas that you will need to deal with.

Combat is its own little world in Wasteland 2. Once you receive the message “Encounter Begins”, your options for character actions become vastly varied. Each character has their own set of action points that are based on their core attributes. These action points are used for everything the character needs to do. You can do multiple actions in a turn as long as you have enough action points to do so. If you want to take a shot with a weapon, move to cover, and then try to bandage yourself it is possible as long as you have the points and the skills to do so. These points can be saved and moved to your next action phase to give you a vast amount when you really need them.

Items can change the way you view combat as well. Each piece of armor not only can change your defense statistic, but can either slow you down or speed you up depending on the weight of the armor. Food, weapons, and equipment all have tactical decisions that will need to be addressed in combat. Every time you assign a piece of gear or eat something in Wasteland 2, you will have to have combat in mind. In the easier modes of play, this won’t have too much effect on combat, but in the harder modes it becomes a matter of life or death.


I really enjoyed the way Wasteland 2 played, especially the amount of choices you have during combat. With a variety of tactics available to you, and depending on the group you have gathered, the combat scenarios can be played out in a multitude of ways. The issue that I did have with the game play of Wasteland 2 is how the skills work. I have gotten used to how Fallout 3 has developed a skill system, to where the more you use a skill, the better it gets. Wasteland 2 goes with the more old school method of only giving out skills when you level up, and that can be a problem if you need a particular skill at a particular time. This is more of a personal choice issue more than a knock against the game, a little bit of how games have changed over the years and sometimes it is for the better.


The look, feel and sounds of Wasteland 2 is incredibly engrossing and truly brings the game to life for me. The world is full of little clues and hidden spots to explore, and looks great while you do it. The voice acting is just enough to make the world feel lived in, without being too much to be a drain on the funds that were available. Even the live action scene in the introduction was very well done and was a great way to introduce the world of Wasteland 2 to those that haven’t played or have forgotten the original Wasteland.

Final Thoughts

Wasteland 2 is proof that a Kickstarter funded game can be great. What inXile Entertainment did with the nearly $3 million in funds from Kickstarter is nothing but incredible and proof that a solid, fun gaming experience does not need a movie sized budget. The story of Wasteland 2 is well developed and paced very nicely, with sections of absolute chaos and quiet parceled out to make the ride enjoyable. Game play is solid and gives the player a multitude of options in and out of combat, which is absolutely necessary at the higher difficulty levels of the game. The look and feel of Wasteland 2 adds to my enjoyment of the game by giving me a world that looks both lived in, and full of characters, places, and secrets to discover. If you liked Fallout 1 and 2, but never had the chance to play the game that made Fallout possible, I would strongly recommend picking up Wasteland 2. Wasteland 2 is currently available on Steam for $39.99. You can also pick up the original Wasteland while you are there for $4.99 and loose yourself for a long, long time in a couple of great role playing games.

Wasteland 2 Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com