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Most of Xbox’s 45 new entertainment apps not available in Canada

- June 4th, 2014

In an attempt to boost the entertainment side of its Xbox experience, Microsoft has announced 45 new TV, movie and social media apps for the Xbox One and 360 that will launch before the end of the year.

This will bring its total number to 225 Xbox apps available worldwide, the company said in a blog post.

Unfortunately, only 10 of these new apps will be available in Canada.

It’s understandable that many of the TV channel apps, such as Comedy Central, ShowTime Anytime and HBO GO would not be available here, as these channels either don’t exist in Canada, or have secured broadcast deals for their programming with Canadian networks.

But the crux of the announcement seemed to adding Twitter-TV integration to the Xbox One.

As Xbox Live’s director of programming Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) explains in the above video, Twitter will be built into the One’s TV guide apps so you can see what TV shows are trending and lets you favourite and retweet tweets  about the show you are watching from your own Twitter account.

But for some reason, Twitter is also one the apps not available here.

Similarly the video app Vine, which is owned by Twitter, will also not be coming to Canada. At least, not anytime soon.

In fact, the only app featured in the blog post, that will be coming in this country is the Xbox One version of the Major League Gaming app,  which had previously launched for the 360.

In addition to the MLG app, Canada will get apps for the Anime and Asian drama channel Crunchyroll, Filmbox Live, the Korean drama channel KDrama, a GoPro video channel, NBA, NHL, Sky News, TuneIn radio and the music video channel Vevo.

Most of these apps are not exclusive as they are already available for other platforms, such as the PlayStation, Android, many smart TVs or online.

So I’m not sure this will drive many Canadians to buy an Xbox One if they don’t already have one.

Five hours with Watch Dogs, five things to love

- April 23rd, 2014

When Watch Dogs made its debut at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference in 2012, minds were blown, jaws were dropped and calendars were frantically circled.

The revelation of this open-world action game set in a hyper-connected version of present-day Chicago was stunning, in part because the game had been in development for three years at that point, and yet Ubisoft had managed to keep it completely under wraps. (Apparently nobody decided to show secret assets to some random kid on an airplane.)

But also because it seemed like one of the most ambitious – not to mention eerily relevant – open-world action games ever attempted.

I was stoked. Very stoked.

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Prices for Xbox One accessories announced

- July 29th, 2013
Xbox One

Xbox One is shown on display during a press event unveiling Microsoft’s new Xbox in Redmond, Washington May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Nick Adams

UPDATE: As Dan, the commenter below points out: Canadian pricing has been released for the Xbox One accessories and they are identical to the U.S. prices.  You can find the products here.

Microsoft has announced the pricing for extra Xbox One controllers and other accessories on its U.S. store website.

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Xbox One first impressions

- May 23rd, 2013

One Xbox. Many questions.

Earlier this week, Microsoft finally took the wraps off Xbox One, the company’s next-generation successor to the eight-year-old Xbox 360 game console. Now that the initial fanfare is over – at least until the E3 Expo gets under way in a little over two weeks – I’ve had a day or two to mull over what I heard, saw and touched this week. Here are my early impressions of Xbox One.

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