Movies Anywhere Available on Xbox Consoles

The cloud-based movie library service Movies Anywhere is now accessible on Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Xbox users can download the Movies Anywhere app through the Microsoft store to access their movie collection on their console.

Users can playback their movies via their Xbox and purchase more movies from the Microsoft store once their retailer account is connected to their Movies Anywhere account.

Video playback on Xbox via Movies Anywhere supports 4K, HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

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Movies Anywhere participating studios include Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm) and Warner Bros. Entertainment. Other participating digital retailers include Apple TV, Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play/YouTube, Xfinity, FandangoNow, Verizon Fios TV and DirecTV.

JustWatch Bows App on Microsoft Xbox

JustWatch, an international streaming guide with more than 20 million users across 52 countries, has launched a branded app on Microsoft’s Xbox platform. The app allows Xbox and Series X and Series S console users to search for movies, TV shows, and where to watch from their gaming systems.

JustWatch posts weekly Top 10 lists of most streamed movies and television shows, in addition data analytics on specific platforms’ performance compared to their competitors.

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The recommendation software has apps for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, FuboTV, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, Discovery+, AMC+, The Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Starz, Epix, Showtime, YouTube, Tubi, Pluto TV, BritBox and Sundance Now, among others.

Microsoft Bows Xbox Series X and Series S Consoles

Microsoft Nov. 10 announced availability of the next-generation Xbox Series X video game console, priced at $499, and Xbox Series S unit available for $299.

Microsoft will formally launch the new gaming systems in a global livestream at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Gaming.

Microsoft says the Xbox Series X features 12 teraflops of GPU power enabling new technologies and features such as framerates up to 120 fps, hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, variable rate shading, and Quick Resume, which enables players to resume exactly where they left off. The Xbox Series S offers similar performance at a more affordable price. The Xbox Series X|S are available in 40 markets around the world today.

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Microsoft claims the Xbox Series X|S are the only next-generation consoles enabling gamers to play thousands of games across four generations.

“We believe that gamers should be able to play all of their games from the past without needing to purchase them again, and they should play better than ever before,” wrote Will Tuttle, editor in chief of Xbox Wire.

This means that all titles should run at enhanced speed and more clarity than they were originally designed for on their original launch platform. Backward compatible games run natively with the full performance of the Xbox Series X|S for each and every backward compatible game.

“These games will look better than ever thanks to improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and Auto HDR support,” Tuttle wrote.

Microsoft Bows 40-Foot Replica of Xbox Series X to Celebrate Nov. 10 Launch

Microsoft Corp. unveiled a 40-foot-tall replica of the Xbox Series X in the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state the weekend before the Nov. 10 launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

The structure featured a rotation of dream-inspired art from local artists — a nod to the Xbox Power Your Dreams campaign for the new consoles.

Nov. 9 the installation footage started streaming online, revealing clues for #SolveForX, an online global scavenger hunt. Consumers can follow @Xbox Twitter to review rules and participate for their chance to win the Ultimate Xbox Experience bundle or one of seven Xbox Series X consoles. Select pieces of art will also be made available digitally after launch.

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The installation is one of many activations worldwide approaching launch day, all of which will be featured in the official Xbox launch livestream on Nov. 10 starting 11 a.m. PT.

Analyst: New Game Consoles to Boost Unit Shipments 6% in 2020

What a difference a year makes. With Microsoft and Sony poised to launch next-generation video game platforms, new data from ABI Research suggests 40 million combined units of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S will ship by the end of the year. That tally is 6% higher than combined unit shipments in 2019, when gamers held off buying hardware and software — sending the gaming industry into a months-long funk.

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In addition to the new consoles and relevant content, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen a surge in video game use in the home, driving sales of software, hardware and accessories throughout much of the year. With millions of consumers forced to stay at home in the first few months, game downloads and the number of active gaming users significantly increased. The demand for game consoles also increased in the first quarter of 2020, but supply chain disruption resulted in lower unit shipments. As operations resumed nearly back to normal in the second quarter, game console makers reported higher unit shipments in the second quarter.

“In addition to increasing demand in gaming, long-awaited next-generation consoles are targeting launch in November 2020, which will further drive the game console market,” analyst Khin Sandi Lynn said in a statement. “Although governments are reopening economies, still-imposed travel restrictions can impact logistics. Game console makers need to prepare for efficient production, content creation, and distribution plans to avoid supply chain shortages, especially during the holiday season when sales will peak.”

The Xbox Series X launches Nov. 10, and the PS5 bows two days later on Nov. 12.

Apple TV (Plus) on Pending Xbox Series X and Series S Consoles

Microsoft Nov. 2 confirmed that its next-generation video game systems, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, will launch Nov. 10 with the Apple TV app included. The app, which affords access to $4.99 monthly SVOD service Apple TV+, joins Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Showtime, CBS All Access, AMC+, Spotify, YouTube, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Peacock, Vudu, FandangoNow, Sky Go, Now TV, Sky Ticket and Twitch, among other over-the-top video platforms.

The Apple TV app offers access to thousands of transactional TV shows and movies, in addition to Apple TV+, Apple TV Channels and personalized entertainment recommendations.

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“It’s not just your games that play better than ever before on our new consoles, your favorite movies and shows are about to sound and look more immersive on Xbox Series X and Series S,” Will Tuttle, editor-in-chief at Xbox Wire, wrote in a press release.

 

Sony Cuts PlayStation 5 Console Production, Citing Chip Issues

Ahead of a Sept. 16 pricing unveil for the next-generation PlayStation 5 video game console, Sony Interactive Entertainment has reportedly cut production for the year by four million units to 11 million, citing software chip issues.

As first reported by Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with the situation, production for the new console was being hampered by a 50% reduction in available custom-designed system-on-chips (SOC) that help drive the unit. Coupled with manufacturing delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, production of 11 million PS5 units would still surpass previous first-year PS production runs.

“If Sony can really ship 11 million for this fiscal year, we do not think the shortfall will be critical,” Kazunori Ito, analyst with Morningstar Investment Management Asia, told CNBC.

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The news, which saw Sony Corp. shares dip slightly, comes as PS battles Microsoft’s Xbox with new gaming systems in time for the 2020 winter holidays. Microsoft earlier this month announced that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles would launch Nov. 10, priced at $499 and $299, respectively. In a first, the software giant will market financing options for the consoles, beginning at $24.99 monthly.

After a near two-year slump as gamers awaited the arrival of new consoles and/or migrated to online gaming, the video game market has exploded during the pandemic. Driven by house-bound gamers and consumers, monthly industry sales ballooned more than 70% in April, according to The NPD Group — with accessory sales hitting an all-time high in August.

Nintendo, whose Switch gaming device has dominated the market in the absence of new Xbox and PS units, saw operating profit skyrocket 400% for the fiscal quarter from April to June 2020.

New Microsoft Xbox Pricing Revealed; Nov. 10 Launch Date Set

With all eyes in the video game industry awaiting next-generation console launches from Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation this fall, Microsoft has disclosed pricing for the Xbox Series S console at $299 — the smallest-sized Xbox unit ever.

“Looking forward to sharing more! Soon. Promise.” Microsoft wrote on the Xbox Twitter page.

Industry tip sheet Windows Central claims the larger-sized Xbox Series X will launch Nov. 10 and carry a $499 price tag with monthly (“Xbox All Access”) financing options of $25 and $35, respectively, for the Series S and X models. In a first, Microsoft is launching two next-gen consoles targeting separate ends of the market. The Series X console will accommodate discs through an internal 4K Blu-ray Disc drive.

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The Series S and X models will also play existing Xbox One S and X model games, with the latter’s headset adaptable as well on the Series S and X units.

Separately, Sony Interactive Entertainment on the PlayStation blog disclosed pending updates for the PS ecosystem, including a VR-based PS Store promotion — but no pricing or release dates. Online scuttlebutt had suggested Sony would announce PS5 details on Sept. 9 — the 25th anniversary of the PlayStation launch in the United States. A company representative said otherwise.

“To manage expectations, there’ll be no PS5-related news,” Gillen McAllister, senior specialist, content communications with Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in a statement.