Apparently yesterday there were scares that LulzSec may have hacked Xbox Live.

LulzSec claimed to have stolen and leaked the login and password information for approximately 62,000 "internet accounts," reports the CBC. The stolen info is said to comprise logins/passwords from Facebook, Twitter, "dating sites," PayPal and, notoriously, Xbox Live. It is also claimed that the majority of accounts are from the United states, though several other countries are named in the report.

Microsoft has released a statement, which states that Xbox Live was not compromised to the best of Microsoft's knowledge, and the logins/passwords were released at random, with people encouraged to try said information on services like Xbox Live (among others). 

"This group appears to have posted a list of thousands of potential email addresses and passwords, and encouraged users to try them across various online sites like Xbox Live in the event one of the users happens to use the same password and email address combination. At this time we do not have any evidence Xbox Live has been compromised. However we take the security of our service seriously and work on an ongoing basis to improve it against evolving threats."

ThePauseMenu will follow these occurences as they come. Lets hope LulzSec will stop or be caught soon.

On the 14th I reported that Crytek had in their possession the tech for Microsoft's next console and that with it they were concentrating on making TimeSplitters 4.

According to Crytek themselves they have no idea what we're talking about. Below is the statement from Crytek to IGN.

"Relating to the recent rumours, Crytek do not have any next generation hardware from Microsoft, nor do we know when Microsoft may announce future hardware or what that hardware will entail.

Crytek are working at pushing the boundaries of what current technology can bring, including our focus on DX11 which will be released shortly as an update for Crysis 2, and we believe this work, added to our estimations of what the new hardware will provide, set up CryENGINE as a next generation engine for all consoles."

According to this statement; they didn't say they weren't making a TimeSplitters 4 ;)

Yes you read the title correctly. Sony's new handheld the PS VITA will indeed have the functionality of Skype.

Just like the PSP, the VITA will have Skype, despite the fact that Microsoft purchased Skype last month for a mind-boggling rumor of 8.5million.

Microsoft said service contracts with Skype prior to the purchase will be upheld, and that the company will continue to offer the service on non-Microsoft products. As well as channeling Skype to Xbox Live through Kinect later on.

Skype has over 170 million users, and 600,000 new customers register for the product each day.

So what can this mean to gamers? Will the VITA allow calls to a 360 owner when Microsoft issues the ability to their console? Can this really be the dawn of communication between platforms and consoles?

The beta download, which you can get here, includes drivers, APIs, device interfaces, installation documents, resource materials, and more to build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

This SDK includes the following features:
  • Raw sensor streams: Access to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.
  • Skeletal tracking: The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.
  • Advanced audio capabilities: Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.
  • Sample code and documentation: The SDK includes more than 100 pages of technical documentation. In addition to built-in help files, the documentation includes detailed walkthroughs for most samples provided with the SDK.
  • Easy installation: The SDK installs quickly, requires no complex configuration, and the complete installer size is less than 100 MB. Developers can get up and running in just a few minutes with a standard standalone Kinect sensor unit (widely available at retail outlets).
This SDK is designed for non-commercial purposes only; a commercial version is expected to be available at a later date.

A source has reported that the successor to the Xbox 360 will in fact be shown at E3 2012 with Timesplitters 4 set to be a launch title.

Crytek is using Microsoft's DirectX 11 as the current basis for next-generation development. Tessellation, multithreaded rendering, and compute shaders are the three headlining features for DirectX 11.

Timesplitters is being developed with the CryEngine 3 and with the rumored reveal of the Next Xbox Microsoft is hoping to unveil the new console before Sony.

Both Microsoft and Crytek declined to comment.

With this news what does it say about Halo4? Will the new Halo trilogy run on Microsoft's new console?

Windows 8 will be synced with Xbox Live
Microsoft Interactive Entertainment VP of global marketing Mike Delman is stating that Windows will finally integrate with Xbox Live when Windows 8 is released next year. 

Delman states,“If we have that and the PCs to leverage, that will be a big Live base. It’s our job to make ‘buy a movie in one place and play it everywhere, buy a game in one place and play it everywhere.’ Making things portable will be a big focus of ours.”

Delman states that it will allow gamers to buy content no matter where they are, much like Apple's customers can with their devices. 

“There will be a lot of similarities in design and service philosophy. Whether it’s us or Apple or anybody else, people want to be able to navigate through multiple devices in a certain ecosystem very seamlessly so we’re committed to that.”

505 Games has revealed a new modern shooter that will play with either Kinect or a traditional controller.

The newly announced Blackwater will follow the private security company through a fictional story about a team of Blackwater operators protecting a North African town.

The unusual and interesting takeway with Blackwater is how players will be able to use Kinect to play the entire experience, from moving around the field to aiming and firing your weapon. Players can also use a standard controller.

No visuals have released for the game yet, but it will be interesting to see if the team developing the game at Zombie Studios can make a robust shooter without the need for buttons or sticks. We have to admit to being a little skeptical, but anything is possible, and we're always interested in new gaming experiences.

Hopefully we'll get some more word on how the game is shaping up from the E3 show floor.

{Source: GameInformer}

With the promise of more fluid combat, vicious melee attacks, tougher enemies and a nimbler Commander Shepard, Mass Effect 3 is shaping up to be the game Bioware says will be definitive Mass Effect experience. "Mass Effect was always designed as a trilogy," Bioware game director Casey Hudson told a gathering of press, "and Mass Effect 3 is the main event."

That means an overhaul of the combat, cover and mobility in the game, reworked enemies and weapons and new customizable powers.

It also means a different sort of narrative backdrop.

Where Mass Effect 2 was loosely structured around a Dirty Dozen storyline, its sequel will take a step back and have you gathering not individual members for a team, but commodities for the war effort.

"The large scale story and even the little missions, the little friendships you accumulate during the game contribute to the overall war effort," Hudson said. The greater you do the better your chance of success."

Mass Effect 3 will be about the galactic war that the game has been moving toward for two titles now.

{Source: Kotaku}

The New Xbox Experience is coming this Fall and it will include a lot.
Xbox Live TV is one of the biggest announcements at E3 and it is all revolving around Kinect.

First off YouTube is coming to Xbox Live. That in itself is a huge reveal and something that many people were assuming at last year's E3. 
Secondly BING is also anchoring the new Xbox Live with Voice Search. No more cycling through all the games, movies, add-ons, etc. Now you can talk to Kinect and categorize everything quickly and easily. 

Microsoft's New Mantra; "You Say It, Xbox Finds It."

Xbox Live TV is being based on Canell, Foxtell, and Sky TV and will broadcast straight to your 360.

UFC is also coming to the 360 with an innovative way of watching MMA. Watch UFC events live with your friends and gain achievements like "Watched 50th knockout," and you can wager on events to see who called the matches.

June 6
Microsoft..........9:00AM PST
EA.......................12:30PM PST
Ubisoft...............2:30PM PST
Sony...................6:30PM PST

June 7
Nintendo...........9:30AM PST

stay tuned for more.