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Activision Almost Beat Microsoft to Buy Rare

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Before British developer Rare settled in the hands of Microsoft, it was almost purchased by Activision in a heated bidding war.

Rare Ware worked with Nintendo for years to create some of the most memorable and iconic franchises in gaming history, but it went looking for a buyer after Nintendo could no longer fund their partnership and refused to purchase them outright.

Apparently, when the studio began taking offers back in 2002, Activision was one of the biggest bidders:

In an interview with IGN, Xbox co-creator Ed Fries revealed that the Call of Duty publisher was in line to win to take Rare at one point, stating:

“So we put in a bid and then Activision outbid us, and it looked like we were going to lose the deal.”

If it wasn’t for former Xbox head Robbie Bach stepping in to adjust the bid to favor Microsoft, there’s no doubt the Rare we know today wouldn’t be the same:

“And then at the very last minute Robbie [Bach] increased our bid and we won the deal. And that was it. Who knows what could have happened with Rare.”

With Microsoft seemingly neglecting the studio and forcing them to make Kinect games, Rare has finally switched gears to once again work on core products. The new Killer Instinct, for instance, has been a sales success.

What would Rare be like today if its was Activision and not Microsoft that purchased it? Head to the comments section and share your thoughts.

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Microsoft

EA Says Old Console Cycles Were “Painful;” New One Better

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At the Nasdaq 35th Investor Program Conference, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen praised the mid-generation console refresh being carried out by Sony and Microsoft and condemned the old console cycles as “painful”.

The executive pointed out that in previous console cycles investors always tried to identify the peak earning period, seeing as moving from a generation to generation involved huge expenses to upgrade.

The fact that consoles were also highly customized didn’t help matters — each iteration of the Xbox and PlayStation were very different mainly as a result of being built on customized chipsets that were difficult to program for in the early years of their release.

And then there was the issue of compatibility between between cycles, which forced gamers to stop buying games for the older consoles…

According to Jorgensen, EA cut down the number of game engines from 25 to only two in a effort to control the high costs of developing for drastically different platforms, but games were still not compatible across generations.

The situation is of course different today, with both Microsoft and Sony releasing micro-upgrades more often, allowing for more compatibility of games with previous generations.

That’s to say the market now looks a lot more like a traditional PC market than the specialized console market of yore, which Jorgensen believes is “great for the industry, great for their [Sony and Microsoft’s] production, great for software costs, and great for the consumers.”

Consoles will still continue to get more powerful, making older software less appetizing, but “the whole notion that investors had of the cycle is gone away.”

What do you think about the new direction Microsoft and Sony are taking with this console generation? Was it long overdue? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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New N7 Day Mass Effect Andromeda Trailer is Intense, See it

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The new N7 Day Mass Effect Andromeda trailer that fans have been impatiently waiting for is finally here, and it’s intense.

We get to see more scripted and in-game footage of the game world, as well as ‘brother’ Ryder, his alien crew and what appears to be the main villain in action. It might have also confirmed the existence of Salarians in Andromeda.

The Andromeda Initiative recruitment page has been updated to coincide with the trailer’s release. It shows the user’s login details with the year 2184… the year just before the events of Mass Effect 2.

The Andromeda Initiative is scheduled to launch in 2185, the year Commander Shepherd returns from the dead (the beginning of Mass Effect 2). Three Ark ships, each containing three different species in cryo stasis, will leave the Milkyway for the new galaxy, with plans to wake up the occupants 600 years later.

Judging by the trailer, things don’t go according to plan.

Mass Effect Andromeda launches for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC in Spring 2017. Are you excited for the new adventure?

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Microsoft to Challenge PS VR With $299 Virtual Reality Headsets

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Microsoft has teamed up with several hardware makers to develop virtual reality headsets that are even more affordable than the PlayStation VR.

Laptop makers Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo, and Hewlett Packard (HP) are among the companies Microsoft is working with. Their VR headsets are expected to release in spring 2017 and will start at $299 in the United States.

Despite their low price, the units will be the “first and only” headsets with “inside out six degrees of freedom sensors,” which is to say they won’t require extra accessory such as a camera sensor.

Microsoft says they will the the “first VR headsets capable of mixed reality,” and each one will work the Windows 10 Creators Update. Terry Meyers, the tech giant’s EVP of the Windows and Devices Group, specifically stated:

“Unlike every other virtual reality headset in the market today, there will be zero need for a separate room and complicated setup.

While the less immersive VR accessories today cost more than $500, or require a new expensive device, these accessories will start at just $299 and work with affordable laptops and PCs.”

Additional details on the headsets will be released closer to their release in the spring. Make sure to stay tuned to GameTribute for future developments.

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