Xbox One developers can now access additional processing power, it has been revealed.

The console contains eight processing cores, but traditionally reserved two to power the background operating system.

Eurogamer's Digital Foundry has uncovered evidence to suggest that Xbox One development teams can now access 50-80% of a seventh processing core.

The site was able to obtain the information by analysing the console's leaked software development kit.

"[It] may partly explain why a small amount of multi-platform titles released during Q4 2014 may have possessed performance advantages over their PS4 counterparts in certain scenarios," the article reads.

However, in order to access the seventh core, games are unable to use voice commands or take advantage of Kinect's infra-red sensor and depth functionality.

It was previously suggested that Kinect-free Xbox One consoles would see a 10% increase in GPU performance.

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Steam has broken its record for most concurrent users.

According to MCV, the service topped 8.5 million concurrent users over the weekend.

It was previously reported that 8,357,541 concurrent users were using Steam over the festive period, a record that was subsequently broken with 8,512,371 users.

Valve-published games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are the most popular games on the service.

Last year, it was revealed that more than 8 million concurrent users were logged into the platform during the final day of the Steam Summer Sale.

Steam, which recently ended its annual Holiday Sale, has more than 100 million registered users.


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The Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector's Edition is available to pre-order at $249.99 (£160).

Microsoft unveiled Standard, Limited and Limited Collector's editions of Halo 5 alongside the launch of the game's beta on December 29.

According to a Microsoft store listing, the $250 Limited Collector's edition is a premium offering that features a "commemorative, numbered statue designed by 343 Industries".

It also contains the same in-game items that are available in the $99 Limited edition.

The listing for the Limited edition reads: "This limited edition of Halo 5: Guardians delivers new digital content to enhance your Spartan combat, plus exclusive items all wrapped in a uniquely designed steel book."

Halo 5: Guardians is expected to launch during the 2015 holiday season.

In the meantime, the Halo 5 beta runs from December 29 until January 18. Unlocked content will be carried over to the full release.

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Sony has announced a compensation package for users affected by the recent PSN outages.

Both PSN and Xbox Live began experiencing connectivity and functionality issues on Christmas Eve, with hackers claiming responsibility for DDoS attacks on both systems.

To apologise for the downtime, Sony will offer an automatic five-day extension on all PS Plus subscriptions that were active on December 25.

The company will also send all PSN users a 10% discount code, which can be spent in the PlayStation online store.

"The discount can be used towards great content available on PS Store including blockbuster new releases, award winning indie games, game add-ons and season passes, and an enormous selection of TV and Movies," Sony explains.

Additional details will be announced over the coming days and weeks.

Hackers identifying with Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attacks via Twitter, having previously stated their intention to try to take both PSN and Xbox Live offline over the festive period.

Both services are now online, although certain online games decided to extend activities and offers to compensate for the downtime.

Rockstar, for example, offered an extension for GTA Online's Christmas gifts.


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Video game sales in the UK rose by 7.5% in 2014, with almost £2.5 billion taken in total.

Physical sales of games continued to decline, decreasing by 6.6% to £948.5 million, but sales of digital games online, on mobile and on tablet rose by 18.8% to £1.5 billion.

This means that when taken as a total, sales of video game software increased by 7.5% from 2013 to 2014 - with a total of £2.452 billion taken.

Video games were the biggest-selling area of the UK entertainment industry ahead of music and films, although this is partly due to the higher cost of video games in comparison.

Both music and film saw minor declines in sales in 2014, with music dropping by 1.6% and film by 1.4%. However, Disney's Frozen was the biggest-selling entertainment product of the year.

The data comes from Chart-Track and IHS, and was announced by the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

MCV quotes ERA's director general Kim Bayley as saying: "2014 was a remarkably successful year for retailers and digital services as they continued to invest in the future of the entertainment business.

"More than half of entertainment revenues now come from retail channels which did not even exist a decade ago. Too often the debate about the future of entertainment is portrayed as a battle between physical and digital.

"This second successive year of growth demonstrates entertainment is becoming a mixed, multi-channel economy in which streaming, digital and physical formats can both prosper, each satisfying different consumer needs."

FIFA 15 and Hearthstone have been named by Digital Spy readers as 2014's Games of the Year.

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Microsoft is planning to phase out the sale of the original Kinect for Windows.

Following last year's release of Kinect for Windows v2 , sales of the original sensor will end in 2015.

"The move to v2 marks the next stage in our journey toward more natural human computing," the Kinect for Windows Team said in a new blog post.

"We hope everyone will embrace the latest Kinect technology as soon as possible, but we understand that some business customers have commitments to the original sensor and SDK."

Microsoft's second-generation motion accessory began shipping for Windows-based PCs on July 15.

The sensor offers a number of improvements over its predecessor, including enhanced depth sensing, support for the 1080p resolution and a wider field of view.


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Planetside 2's PS4 beta will debut in January, Sony has confirmed.

The beta will go live either the week beginning January 13 or January 20, according to Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley.

Smedley told Twitter followers that official dates would be announced after January 5.

Creative director Matt Higby previously said that the beta was on course for a 2014 launch.

The executive said that the delay in porting the game from PC was to ensure the PS4 version feels like a "full-on console experience".

Planetside 2 is a massively multiplayer shooter for PC. It is a reimagining of the original Planetside, which will go free-to-play next April.

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A Florida teenager called the police over the recent PSN and Xbox Live outages.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office posted a transcript of the call over Twitter, before telling followers to only dial 911 for emergencies.

The online services, which were targeted with DDoS attacks, began experiencing connectivity and functionality issues on Christmas Eve.

Hackers identifying with Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attacks via Twitter, having previously stated their intention to try and take both PSN and Xbox Live offline over the festive period.

Both services are now online, although certain online games decided to extend activities and offers to compensate for the downtime.

Rockstar, for example, offered an extension for GTA Online's Christmas gifts.


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Tetris will soon be removed from the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS.

The Game Boy version of the classic puzzle title will no longer be available for purchase after tomorrow (December 31).

The game will, however, continue being available for re-download for those who've already purchased it.

Originally released in 1989, Tetris sold over 35 million copies on the Game Boy.

A colorised remake of the game launched on Game Boy Colour in 1998.

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Infamous: First Light, The Swapper and Prototype 2 are among the free games coming to PS Plus in January.

As previously reported, PS4 users will be able to download the Infamous standalone expansion and 2D puzzle game The Swapper.

PS3 users will receive Prototype 2 and Duck Tales Remastered, while Vita owners will have access to Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition and Whoa Dave!

PS Plus subscribers will be able to download the games from January 7.

The announcement was made on the PlayStation Europe Facebook page. It's unclear if North American users will receive the same free games.

Titles leaving the service include Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, Secret Ponchos, Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut and Hitman Trilogy HD.


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