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Xbox One February update rolling out to consoles

Microsoft is now rolling out the February update for its Xbox One videogame system. According to a blog post published by Major Nelson (Microsoft's Larry Hryb), consumers will be able to enjoy new functionality in this latest release from this weekend. We previously reported on how Microsoft was delaying the update for a few days to enable engineers to add finishing touches. 

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Microsoft has not been shorthanded when it comes to giving out prizes based around their latest gaming console, the Xbox One. Previously, the company offered up a chance to design a new Xbox One Gamerpic and have 100 winners spotlighted in the community (along with a free Xbox One controller). If that contest isn’t your style, you can check out Microsoft’s latest contest to design a custom controller.

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It’s been a busy weekend for unintended leaks of upcoming Microsoft products. First we had Windows Phone GDR3 and Bittersweet Shimmer, that was followed by an alleged photo of Windows Phone 8.1 and now we have the Xbox One.

The Xbox One was revealed in all of its glory months ago and since then, we’ve had a steady stream of official news from Microsoft on the product. Because of that, we’re not too sure this video reveals anything new. But it is curious because unless this is some viral Microsoft marketing campaign (don’t put it past them), the Xbox One hardware has evidently ended up in non-official hands, making it ripe for teardowns and tours of the unfinished hardware and software.

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We’re all pumped for the Xbox One’s impending launch. We still don’t know exactly when the console will appear in stores other than the month of November. It must be getting close at any rate because Microsoft has just released an official unboxing video as well as three accessory-specific videos.

Normally I don’t care for unboxing videos, but this one is an exception. For one: it gives us a nice look at how the Xbox one’s components relate to each other in size, not to mention the ports on the back and side of the console. All good things.

The real news however is what comes inside the box. It’s got all the stuff we expected plus one item we didn’t… a Chat Headset! And the video reveals that the Chat Headset won’t just come with the “Day One Edition” of the console. It will be included with every system. That’s a victory for communication and teamwork in Xbox One games!

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Do you ever play Xbox 360 and wish you had a controller to match the spinning gold rims on your decked out automobile? Well, if you do – you are in luck! Microsoft announced today via Major Nelson’s Blog that an Xbox 360 special edition chrome series gold wireless controller (wow, that is a mouthful) will be released in August for $54.99.

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Let’s not beat around the bush. When the touch-centric iPhone came out in 2007 it changed mobile gaming – for the better. It helped to push mobile gaming to the masses and cement touch as a viable input option for games. Since then Android and Windows Phone have had their share of awesome games – beautiful and fun games stuff like Tentacles and Contre Jour are examples of games that couldn’t exist without touch. One thing that’s lacked in the tablet and smartphone space is a unified input system. A recent patent filing shows that Microsoft is positioning to change that.

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We have received a note from the developer of Phonos that the recently updated Sonos controller app, Phonos is now on a half price sale in the Windows Phone Store.

If you are a Windows Phone user then you’ll likely already know that Sonos have abstained from making a controller app to work with their multi-room entertainment system for the platform. Phonos has been around for a while and we have reviewed it previously, it is now on a promotion offer until the end of the year.

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Sonos the popular multi room entertainment system is a great bit of kit but the company has yet to release a official app for Windows Phone. Phonos seeks to fill that gap and allows you to control all the players and music services throughout your home. We previously covered the app and did an interview with the developer a while back if want to read our views on the unofficial solution.

An update to the app to take it version 4 has hit the Windows Phone Store today and brings with it a number of improvements.

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As a companion piece to my review of the Phonos app, I thought it would be interesting to check in with Andy and get some background on his experiences whilst developing for Windows Phone. Originally, on the team that built the ill-fated Kin devices he has since been working on Windows Phone 8.0 Apollo. Andy shares his experiences with bringing his app to market. He tells us about hurdles hes overcome with the platform, thoughts on WinRT development and much much more... For these insights you’ll need to keep on reading past the break..

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We previously covered Julien Schapmen, of Touch Xperience, who produced a homebrew solution for Windows Phone owners who desire to use their mobile phone to achieve home automation. From changing the channel on your television, to altering the colour of your LED room lights, the hack was pretty cool, but hadn't reached the Marketplace for the average user to download. 

We can now turn our heads to an unofficial Switch King client for Windows Phone - Home Control. To be able to use the app, you'll need a Switch King server and Telldus Live service set up. There's a free trial available that allows full functionality for up to five (5) devices. To attach more home devices, you'll need to fork out $2.49 (£1.99).

Check out the video after the break for an app demonstration (as well as some funky music), and download Home Control from the Marketplace.

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Media Remote updated to v1.1

Media Remote is a Spotify controller for your Windows Phone and it has recently been updated to bring a few new features to the app. Media Remote is compatible with all types of Spotify Accounts. Application controls cover play, pause, volume level, and play next/previous tracks.

The new features that are included in the version 1.1 update include:

  • Search for artists, albums and tracks to play
  • Information pages about albums (Wiki-information from Last.fm)
  • As well as several performance bug fixes

Media Remote is a free application and you can find it here (opens Zune) at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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