Xbox One’s Achievements will follow you outside the game and watch you

Xbox One- Xbox LiveYesterday’s reveal of the Xbox One answered a lot of  long standing questions, but it created nearly as many. Rather than giving us all the details we hunger for, the presentation served as a general overview of the philosophy behind the new console: it is an entertainment hub, Microsoft’s long-sought-after Trojan horse into your living room.

There was one notable absence though: the Xbox 360. Microsoft had nothing to share with the millions of current-gen gamers that want to know what happens with their years-long investment in Xbox hardware. Not during the presentation, at any rate.

Although much of the gaming-centric news regarding the Xbox One is being held back for E3, we can confirm straight from Microsoft that Gamerscores and Achievements will carry over, and that the Xbox Live Gold subscription service will keep the same $60 annual fee.

“If you are an Xbox Live Gold member today, we’re not going to charge you any more. Everything goes with you,” Craig Davison, senior director for Xbox Global Marketing told us. “So your Xbox Live membership works on 360, [and] it will also work on Xbox One. Your Gamerscore, your Achievements, your reputation, your friends list – it all comes with you.”

Davison also noted that the friends list cap would increase from 100 to 1,000.

Multiplayer games will also be able to increase their player limits significantly in individual matches. So much so that most developers will likely be able to choose how many people can play in a single online game at a time, rather than have a limit forced unto them due to the technology.

This creates all sorts of new possibilities, especially with games originally developed, or at least envisioned for PC. A good example of this the Battlefield franchise: Battlefield 3 caps out at 24 players per game on the consoles, while the PC version maxes out at 64.    

“We haven’t even hit the ceiling, so we’re not even able right now to basically say ‘this is the limit,’ because right now it’s a lot,” Davison said. “Going from 512MB RAM to 8GB, it’s going to be amazing. It’s almost going to be like an MMO for every game. It’s that level of power, and that level of sophistication is what we’re talking about, so huge potential.” 

Achievements remain a core part of Microsoft’s social gaming strategy, but they will also be expanded upon. In-game cheevos will remain the province of a game’s publisher and developer, but Microsoft will now offer its own out of game achievements. What that entails is still an active discussion, but it might include things like watching a football game while simultaneously tracking your fantasy team using Snap Mode, or playing a game while connected via party chat to other gamers playing different games.

Davison was clear that Microsoft takes the value that gamers place on Achievements seriously. Hopefully, this means we won’t see Gamerscore bonuses being handed out purely for promotional value, say by watching a movie promoted by an ad on the Xbox Live dashboard. 

“We’re allowing game publishers, and even to some degree entertainment publishers, to take advantage of the Achievement system,” he said. “We’re pretty stringent though, because that currency, we don’t want to devalue it.”


Adventure Academy is an MMO for kids that combines learning with fun

Age of Learning’s follow-up to ABCmouse is an educational MMO called Adventure Academy. Targeted at kids ages 8-13, Adventure Academy has a comprehensive curriculum and all of the rewarding trappings of a modern MMO.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

How to unlock and catch the flying disc toy in this Fortnite weekly challenge

The season 9, week 3 challenges in Fortnite: Battle Royale have arrived and the biggest obstacle tasks players with throwing and catching a flying disc toy. Here's how to unlock the disc and complete this challenge.

These are the 20 best Android games you can play offline

Even in our increasingly connected world, you don't always have an internet connection on the go. To help you pass the time when you're disconnected, we compiled a list of the best Android games that can be played offline.
Movies & TV

Knights of the Old Republic: Can Star Wars make a watchable video game movie?

Disney is developing a trilogy based on the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game, but even the Jedi are going to have trouble overcoming the long, disappointing history of subpar game-to-movie adaptations.

A new bill could outlaw loot boxes in video games. Here’s what it says

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri is making noise with his newly proposed bill that aims to tackle pay-to-win micro-transactions and loot boxes in video games played by kids. But what would the bill do, exactly?

Video game lobbying group trashes proposed anti-loot box bill

After the reveal of a loot box and microtransaction ban bill, the ESA put out an official response. The organization's CEO says the bill doesn't reflect how the gaming industry works and will be harmful to gamers.

From Kefka to card games, here’s our beginner’s guide to Final Fantasy XIV

With Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers right around the corner, now's the time to give the game a shot. From hyper-difficult battle content to relaxing card games, our FFXIV beginner's guide will ease you into all of Eorzea's finest…

Walmart cuts prices on Nintendo Switch games with Memorial Day sale

With savings on high-caliber Nintendo Switch games, the Walmart Memorial Day sale is a great time to pick up something new to play. There are even a few deals on accessories to beef up your console.

GameStop Memorial Day sale: PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch deals

Some of the deals at the Gamestop Memorial Day sale include PS4 and Xbox bundles that come with essential games like God of War or Forza Horizon 3. If you're just looking to scoop up games, used titles are 50% off throughout the event.

Everything we know about the PlayStation 5, including PlayStation VR plans

PlayStation 5 rumors have circulated for over a year, but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

Walmart drops deals on Xbox One X games and accessories for Memorial Day

The most obvious deals are on console bundles, but there are also discounts on wireless controllers here and there. If you're just looking for new Xbox One games to play, Walmart is offering popular titles for cheap.