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If you want the perfect example of a "lucrative arrangement" look no further than the deal between Microsoft and AMD for the new Xbox One. The console will be sporting the newest architecture from AMD called Jaguar, and apparently the arrangement to provide this tech to Microsoft is worth over $3 Billion dollars.

Bob Feldstein, a former VP at AMD, and currently VP of technology licensing at Nvidia made some interesting statements recently elaborating on the deal between the two companies. Here's a quote from him,

What's really interesting is that Sony's Playstation 4 will also utilize a version of this same technology. If the deal with MS is worth $3 Billion, AMD stands to make a great deal of profit from their arrangement with both companies.

Source: ZDNet

According to a report on MCV UK today, pre-orders for the Xbox One in the UK have already overtaken those of the PS4. MCV UK says that it has heard from one of its sources in retail that in the 24 hours after the launch of the Xbox One last week there were already more pre-orders for Microsoft’s new console than there were total pre-orders for the PS4 since it was announced by Sony in February. However, it’s not all bad news for Sony, as MCV UK’s sources also revealed that there was a “significant” increase in PS4 pre-orders in the day after the Xbox One announcement last week. MCV UK says that it seems that many gamers wanted to get a good look at both consoles before deciding which one to pre-order. Overall, though, judging by these figures, Microsoft can head into E3 (starting June 10) safe in the knowledge that Internet ire form the hardcore gamers on launch day does not seem to have affected sales.

Source: UK Xbox One pre-orders ahead of PS4, although PS4 enjoys post Xbox spike | Games industry news | MCV

The Official Xbox Magazine reports that Microsoft has today been taking steps to allay fears about Xbox One’s always-on, always-listening, Kinect camera. As noted by OXM, since the launch of the Xbox One last week, concerns have been voiced about privacy issues, such as the facial-recognition abilities of the camera, or the fact that the new console’s integrated Kinect camera can’t be turned off. For example, in Germany, Berlin’s federal data protection commissioner, Peter Schaar, told Nine MSN that he was concerned about the way in which the Xbox One,
Well, fear not, as OXM goes on to say that Microsoft has been at pains to quash such fears, with Microsoft’s Jeff Henshaw telling CNET,
Henshaw then goes on to explain that while you will not be able to remove the camera from the Xbox One,
Source: Kinect News: Xbox One: Kinect won't be used to spy on you, camera can be switched off - Xbox 360 - The Official Magazine

Despite a slightly rocky launch, the closer we get to E3 next week, when the fun will really begin, the more excitement builds about the Xbox One. MCV has some very encouraging news for Microsoft today, for example, reporting that UK retailer Blockbuster has just announced that Xbox One pre-orders have gone through the roof, smashing all previous pre-order launches in the 24 years that Blockbuster has been in business.

Some cynics have suggested that Blockbuster’s announcement is simply an attempt to draw attention away from its money troubles, but still good to know that pre-orders are so robust at the retailer, and you know that we most certainly would have heard about it if the opposite had been the case!

Source: Xbox One breaks pre-order records at Blockbuster | Games industry news | MCV

As with all new advances in technology, sometimes there is the potential to do things that may not necessarily be unethical, but are still a bit disturbing. One of Microsoft's patents related to the Xbox One Kinect sensor is a prime example. Apparently, they patented a technology in which the Kinect sensor can track how long you sit through a commercial and more. Their patent even suggests ideas of how to incentivize people to sit through commercials longer, like unlocking achievement points and digital gifts and award points. The patent gets even creepier than that. It can handle methods in which the device “may be configured to track the viewing behaviors of one or more viewers,” and “may then compile one or more user-specific reports of the viewing behaviors.” This suggests the possibility for Microsoft to keep a user tracking database on all of its customers, which is very "big brother" in a big way.

Before we jump off the deep end and go crazy with paranoid speculation, it's important to note that Microsoft only filed for patents on this idea. There's no indication they intend to utilize these ideas, yet. At the very least, consumer advocacy groups would likely lobby to make sure that Microsoft would take an "opt-in" approach to this if they ever even decide to implement it. We love the new Xbox One here on the site, obviously, but that doesn't mean we won't be looking hard at this issue to make sure everyone stays informed so Microsoft doesn't abuse this technology.

Source: BGR

Here's a quick editorial opinion piece for you guys on this fine Memorial Day. After thinking a bit deeper about all the amazing features of the new Xbox One, it occurred to me that one of the most overlooked features could end up being one of the most used mainstream features. Most hardcore gamers have used Skype on their computers at one time or another, whether in type-chat, audio chat, or even in video chat form. Because it has been around for a while, it is easy to file it away in the back of your mind. However, if you think about it a bit deeper, this specific feature has the potential to appeal to mainstream consumers more than any other.

One obvious use for the feature was already shown in the Xbox One presentation, and that was using Skype in game (or in movie) to video chat with your friends, but the potential for it is so much more. It was obvious that Microsoft has really advanced the technology. Because of that, this feature will offer the family members of non-gamers a reason to use the device too, namely video communication with friends or family over long distances. Imagine soldiers in far away places being able to video chat with their wives and children, or grandparents might even get the device just to have video chats with their grand-kids.

What's really intriguing to think about if you extrapolate a bit further is that if this starts to happen often... if non-gamers start to buy the Xbox One just for the other features beyond gaming... then those folks could end up trying out the occasional game and become gamers too. In the long run, more gamers means more games, and that's a good thing overall for the gaming market and the Xbox One. There are so many facets to the new Xbox One that many of us might not have really noticed on the launch day. Sometimes, taking a step back and really looking at the overall picture helps us see...
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