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The HALO developers must think you can't have too many toys and accessories related to their franchise. Not only is 343 Industries continuing their partnership with The Coop, and Skullcandy & ASTRO Gaming, and their current partner J!NX will be adding plush to its line-up of Halo products, and Dark Horse Comics will add Halo comics to their Comixology Unlimited, but 343 Industries will also be adding eleven new licensing partners across the world that will create new toys, gadgets and more related to the HALO brand.

Here's a list:
  • AC Worldwide: 30cm tall Bluetooth speakers in the shape of Halo characters (U.S., Canada, Europe).
  • Bensons Trading Company: show bag novelty items including key rings, sippers, balls, inflatables, backpacks, stickers, temporary tattoos, mugs and cups, drink bottles and more (Australia, New Zealand)
  • Danilo Promotions: calendars, greeting cards, gift wraps and more (Europe).
  • H2W Sunstaches: Halo-themed novelty and traditional sunglasses (U.S., Canada).
  • Industrias Darks: T-shirts, hoodies, varsity jackets, leggings (Mexico).
  • Jada Toys: Two, four and six-inch “METALS” Halo die-cast statues (Worldwide).
  • Licensing Essentials: Apparel for men, ladies, underwear, sleepwear, headwear, homewares and giftware (Australia, New Zealand).
  • PDP: customized Halo-themed controllers and faceplates (U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia, New Zealand).
  • Rubber Road: Holiday-themed sweaters, knitted hats, coat hooks, water bottles and coffee travel-mugs (U.S., Canada, Europe).
  • ThinkGeek: Desktop weapon replicas, drinkware, USB chargers for car, desktop and portable needs, giant slippers, foam melee weapons and role-play ballistic weapons (U.S., Canada and Worldwide Online).
  • Wicked Replicas: Lighting (Headlamp Heroes, Logo Lamps, Neon Lamps) plus tin signs, flexible...

Microsoft just invested in a startup company called "Kind." What makes this newsworthy is that this company's purpose is to track marijuana plants from "seed to sale," and help legal dealers comply with laws. Yep... it's a legal pot company. Microsoft can do this because the sale of marijuana is legal in Washington state.

The fact that Microsoft has taken this step is a potentially big risk, but could open a doorway to legitimacy. Most banks and conglomerates in corporate America still see the legal weed industry as sketchy at best. Now that one of the largest tech titans in the world has taken that first plunge, we might see the reluctance begin to fade as more corporations see the potential for profit in that industry.

It isn't likely we will see Xbox branded pot available anytime soon, but it's still a bold move for the company, and could lead to a larger acceptance across the country. Here's a statement from Microsoft's Kimberly Nelson, "We do think there will be significant growth. As the industry is regulated, there will be more transactions, and we believe there will be more sophisticated requirements and tools down the road."

Source: The New York Times

Here's an interesting looking game coming to the Xbox One. It's called Sea of Thieves and even though it has a cartoonish graphical aesthetic, that actually adds to the appeal of this intriguing pirate simulator. Here's a description from Microsoft:

"Sometimes games are so charming and full of life that they transcend their gameplay, becoming immersive, social experiences that are more about the people around you than which button you’re pressing. Sea of Thieves is exactly that kind of game. It’s a game that was just as fun when we succeeded as when we epically failed.

Simply put, Sea of Thieves is a game about being a pirate, and everything that comes with that — and it’s a shared-world game where you’ll encounter other crews of players. In our E3 demo, three crews of pirates explored a shared patch of island-dotted sea, and were given the freedom to do whatever they wanted.

So we did just that.

We hopped onto a ship, raised anchor, lowered the sails, and set off on adventure. Finding an island that looked like it might contain treasure, the crew disembarked to explore. We watched the sunset from the top of a mountain and drank grog. Then we busted out our musical instruments and played a sea shanty version of Rise of the Valkyries.

And that’s when another ship showed up and attacked.

Still wobbly from the grog, we clambered back onto our ship, our captain barking orders to raise anchor and man the cannons. A full-on battle had broken out, cannonballs pummeling down on us. When the hull got damaged, someone needed to head below to board up the holes in hopes of preventing the ship from taking on water. We constantly had to communicate with the whole team because there was so much that needed to be done simultaneously. It’s hard to imagine being able to even play Sea of Thieves with fewer than four players on your ship, though Rare says the game will support smaller, one-to-two-person ships....

Forza Horizon fans who are clamoring for the next game in the series might have their interest piqued by Microsoft's latest news regarding the game. Here's the teaser from the folks in Redmond,

"Ever wanted to take a spin on the sun-drenched highways, beaches, jungles, and country roads of Australia, but can’t stomach long flights? Microsoft Studios and Playground Games have you covered – Forza Horizon 3, the touring-car companion to the critically acclaimed racing simulation Forza, is set in the Land Down Under, bringing you beautiful locations and even more beautiful automobiles to drive. This time, in addition to the bevy of supercars and trucks, Forza Horizon 3 will offer players a shot at true off-roading with buggies and jeeps, as well as plenty of off-the-wall racing challenges.

At the Xbox Showcase at E3 2016, we got hands-on time with the game and, right out of the gate, the controls felt as solid as ever. Driving the cover car – the Lamborghini Centenario – not only feels fast and powerful, but it’s easy to pick up and play. You don’t need years of expertise in driving simulators to have a blast here, even if you’re driving the supercars; the game has the optional driving line superimposed directly onto the road, so it’s easy to learn proper braking, turning, and acceleration, and you can spend your time enjoying the absolutely gorgeous scenery.

When you’re done tooling around, though, Forza Horizon 3 will present you with a series of challenges. At the Showcase, we had the chance to take a dune buggy and race against a classic military jeep – the twist being that the jeep was being carried by a cable attached to a gigantic Chinook helicopter. This type of racing challenge is typical of the Forza Horizon series, and gives players a chance to take the world’s greatest (and some of the not-so-greatest) cars and put them...

Four new Xbox 360 games have been made backwards compatible as of June 9th. That is the second time this week that new backwards compatible games have been added to the Xbox One. These games include XCOM: Enemy Within, Foul Play, Monopoly Plus, Sega Bass Fishing today and Aqua, Anomaly Warzone Earth, Lazy Raiders earlier this past week.

Microsoft has changed their release schedule for new BC games from the beginning of every month to whenever they’re ready. You can view a list of all the current BC games for Xbox One here. There are now more than 190 Xbox 360 games available to play on the Xbox One. All the more reason to own an Xbox One!

Source: Available games
These Four Xbox One Backwards-Compatible Games Coming Today - GameSpot


Here's a synopsis directly from the horse's mouth. Microsoft summed up all of the amazing things they shared at their E3 event yesterday. Read more at The Xbox E3 2016 Briefing: Everything You Need to Know - Xbox Wire

"Today, at the Xbox E3 2016 Briefing, Team Xbox unveiled a new family of Xbox One devices, a host of new Xbox Live features and the biggest lineup of games in Xbox history. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer underscored the Xbox team’s commitment to building a future of gaming beyond console generations and inviting gamers to play without boundaries.

Xbox is working to bring Xbox Live to all devices and networks — PC, console, virtual reality and mobile — to create a unified experience where all gamers are welcomed, respected and supported. The new Xbox Play Anywhere program lets gamers buy a game once and play it on both their Windows 10 PC and Xbox One console with shared progress, game saves and achievements. Every new Microsoft Studios title shown at the Xbox E3 2016 Briefing will support Xbox Play Anywhere, with more titles on the way.

“Gamers have never had more choice in how and where they play,” said Spencer. “We are bringing our biggest games lineup ever to Xbox One and Windows 10, uniting gamers across networks on Xbox Live and expanding the Xbox One family of devices with the addition of Xbox One S and Project Scorpio to give gamers more choice in how and where they play. There’s never been a better time to be an Xbox gamer.”

Introducing the Xbox One family of devices

The new lineup of Xbox One hardware and accessories delivers unprecedented choice and level of personalization for gamers. All Xbox One devices will play current and future Xbox One games as well as titles in the Xbox One Backward Compatibility program, and all accessories will...
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