February 06, 2014, 6:00 AM —
It seems a secret memo went out stating that it was time to upgrade the next gen (can we still call them that?) gaming consoles.
The Playstation 4 was updated earlier this week to version 1.60. The update added support for the Sony Pulse and Pulse Elite wireless headsets, and Sony took the opportunity to introduce the $100 Playstation Gold Wireless Headset. Firmware 1.60 also added the ability to mute the microphone on the Playstation Camera. All in all it seemed like kind of a boring update for most of us but I'm tremendously glad that people can mute their camera microphones. I've been forced to eavesdrop on far too many domestic squabbles because of that thing. In fact I wish Sony would have "Muted" be the default setting.
On to the XBox One, where Microsoft has a pair of updates incoming. The first arrives on February 11th (next Tuesday) and it adds a few nice user interface tweaks. You'll now have an on-screen battery indicator for your controller and you'll be able to see how much disk space you have left, and what's using up all that space on your drive. You'll also be able to re-order your download queue and use a USB keyboard with your Xbox One. Finally Kinect voice recognition will be improved.
The second update comes on March 4th and sounds like it's all about improving the Party System and the multiplayer experience in general. Microsoft isn't being shy about linking this update to the March 11th launch of EA's TitanFall, which Microsoft says is "expected to be the biggest game launch of the year."
For more on these updates, visit Xbox Wire.
Oh, and speaking of TitanFall, all you PC Master Race types will be interested to hear that on the PC TitanFall will require a 64-bit version of Windows. Most gamers are probably already on 64-bit but if not, it's time to drag yourself out of the stone age and upgrade. Interestingly Sony Online Entertainment announced that upcoming MMOs EveryQuest Next and EverQuest Next Landmark will also require 64-bit Windows. Could gaming finally put an end to 32-bit Windows?
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.