You’d have thought that this month’s Ask enConnected would be full of questions about new software upgrades for the Xbox One and new games for the Xbox 360. Nothing could be further from the truth, mostly because Microsoft didn’t talk much about either topic during its E3 2014 Xbox Media Briefing earlier this month. Instead we’ve got a mix of questions and topics all sent to us or inspired by your comments.
Remember to keep submitting those questions on Twitter, Facebook or email. This column thrives on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Music, Xbox on Windows Phone, Windows, Windows Phone and our readers’ lust for knowledge.
When Will Microsoft Sell the Kinect 2 Sensor
Q. When will Microsoft start selling the Kinect 2 sensor separately? I purchased a $399 Xbox One and didn’t realize I wanted some of its features?
A. Congratulations on your purchase. Here’s to hoping that the $399 Xbox One will convince more users to purchase an Xbox One. Unfortunately, Microsoft has only confirmed that users will be able to purchase a Kinect 2 sensor for their $399 Xbox One later in the year. Presumably, it’ll cost around $100 when it does, but Microsoft hasn’t even confirmed that.
I’d imagine that if GameStop was smart it’d be preparing to sell used Kinect 2 sensors as soon as possible. That way people in your position can have some options at some point. As they haven’t made anything available yet perhaps I have way too much faith in GameStop to find a quick money-making opportunity. I’d check Craigslist if I were you, I found a few in my area going there for $110. Ebay wouldn’t hurt either.
Update: GameStop started offering users $40 in trade-in value for their Kinect 2 just as I predicted on Friday. They haven’t started selling them yet though. As such, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to get your hands on a used one at least.
What games should I be excited for this holiday?
Q. I finally took the plunge on the Xbox One. What good games are coming this holiday?
A. There are plenty of AAA games coming out for you. We’ve got Sunset Overdrive, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Far Cry 4, Battlefield Hardline, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Just Dance 2015, Forza Horizon 2 and Skylanders Trap Team. Don’t forget about Destiny either. It’s coming in September.
How do you get Xbox Music on the Samsung Galaxy S4?
Q. I got a free trial to Xbox Music on my computer. Can I use Xbox Music on the Galaxy S4?
A. Absolutely. Microsoft makes Xbox Music for iPhone and Android as well as the Xbox One, Xbox 360, the web and devices running Windows 8. Download the Android app from Google Play Store. Once your trial is up you’ll need an Xbox Music Pass.
Covering Windows Phone
Q. You bill yourself as a Microsoft entertainment website. You never talk about Windows Phone, why?
A. The real answer is that we don’t like putting out nonsense. It’s very important to us that the content on enConnected is imaginative and has variety. That’s something we’ve struggled with even with Xbox. We’re trying to get better at it, but in the short-term I’ve decided that it isn’t worth it to simply post about new apps making it to the Windows Store. When Microsoft talks about entertainment features – like it did with Windows Phone 8.1 – we cover it because that’s important. I can’t say that we’ll ever post on upcoming device rumors and codename leaks. That’s not something we’ve ever done and we have no wish to venture into that.
Future Xbox One & Xbox 360 Dashboard Updates
Q. During E3 I couldn’t find anything from Microsoft about future Xbox One software updates. Did you guys see anything?
A. We didn’t see a single thing. Microsoft didn’t talk about anything but video games at E3. If you’ll remember the company was hammered for talking about anything besides games during last year’s event. I will say this, Microsoft talked about a TV app that will integrate with Twitter. That has to be included in a future update, I suppose.
The good news is that Microsoft has pushed out feature updates monthly. For example, this month Xbox One users can expect a coming update to add an Achievements app that can be snapped to the side of users screen. Personally, I say keep those monthly updates coming.
What is Microsoft doing in PC gaming?
Q. I was a big fan of Games for Windows Live. You know when Microsoft is bringing it back?
A. Respectfully, kind reader, I hope it never does. Besides its rather clunky name almost every PC gaming project Microsoft has tried to push ends up being dead on arrival. Part of it is that the PC gaming market is so firmly in Steam’s camp.The other part is that Microsoft has so far failed deliver a compelling reason for anyone to take gaming on anything except the Xbox One and Xbox 360 seriously. Today, Xbox Live is surfaced through Xbox on Windows apps that offer achievements. That’s about it right now.