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Xbox One X Is Taking Forza 7 To A Whole New Level

Xbox One X Is Taking Forza 7 To A Whole New Level

Are you ready for a new era of car racing video games?

Just when you thought racing video games couldn’t get any more realistic in its current format, out comes Forza Motorsport 7 for the Xbox X. The bar for “realistic gaming” has now been set even higher. Don’t get me wrong; this type of evolution is expected, especially in an industry that’s always at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. But with the upcoming release of Xbox X (scheduled for later in the year) ushering in a new era of console gaming, Turn 10 Studios is stepping up with a game that not only offers more than 700 different cars and over 30 different racing environments, but will also boast in-game footage shot at 60 frames per second in 4K resolution.

Now I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to video game tech, but I know that 4K is next-level stuff. I also know that when Forza Motorsport 7 is touted as having features like racing conditions that “change every time you race,” I’m aware that there’s something new and evolutionary that’s being offered to the table. All of that adds up to what promises to be a gaming experience that we’ve never gotten from this kind of platform. How that’s going to change our perception of car racing games will only be determined once the console and the game hit the shelves. Rest assured, though, that with Xbox X packing the kind of technology we haven’t seen used on this scale on a video game console, the possibilities of next-gen gaming will be right in our hands soon enough.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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There's a 24-Hour Forza 6 Marathon During the LeMans!!!

There’s a 24-Hour Forza 6 Marathon During the LeMans!!!

Qualifying has already started, so you better hurry up and signup if you want to compete

The 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans is on the horizon, and while race car drivers will be put to the ultimate test on the Circuit de la Sarthe, gamers will be participating in their own gasoline-fueled test of endurance in a 24-hour marathon of Forza 6. The marathon comes as part of a partnership between Porsche, Microsoft, and Automobile Club de l’Quest (ACO) and will actually run simultaneously to the real 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The official name of this online test of endurance is formally known as “Forza Racing Championship (Forza RC) Season 3: The Porsche Cup.

As you might have guessed by the official name, those who actually make it through qualifying and become finalists will get to race virtual versions of the Porsche 919 Hybrid. Prizes include real-world money, and there’s even a title in ACO’s newest category: “Official Endurance Esports.” The thing is, however, that if you really want to participate you need to head over to the signup page now as qualifying has already begun. The only requirements are a working Xbox One and a copy of Forza Motorsport 6. Well, that, two working hands, and a girlfriend that’s not going to nag you the whole time. Qualifying comes to an end on May 28th, so you still have some time. When the final race kicks off, it will be streamed via YouTube, Twitch, and Beam for the whole world to see.

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Mercedes and Microsoft Join Forces to Integrate your Office with your Car

Mercedes and Microsoft Join Forces to Integrate your Office with your Car

Let’s just hope this integration goes a lot smoother than the release Windows 8...

IFA is to technology companies what NAIAS is to the automotive manufacturers; meaning that it serves as a venue for the debut of the latest in technology advancements from the world’s leading technology companies. While we here at TopSpeed were focused on things more automotive, IFA Berlin kicked off quietly (at least to us, anyway) on September 2, 2016. While there isn’t a lot of stuff going on there that really snatches our interest, Mercedes was there, and it announced a new partnership with Microsoft.

Now, before all you Mercedes fans and diehard Apple guys start ripping out your hair and showering for hours at a time, it’s not as bad as you might think. Microsoft isn’t exactly taking over the Mercedes infotainment system, but this new feature that is called “In Car Office,” will bring Microsoft Exchange integration to the Mercedes dashboard. According to MSPowerUser, this will allow you to access your work calendar from your car. Furthermore, this new feature will allow the car to automatically place scheduled conference calls when necessary and will provide navigation services for meeting locations that are also scheduled on your work calendar. See, not so bad right?

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

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Microsoft Announces Forza Motorsport 6 with Ford GT

Microsoft Announces Forza Motorsport 6 with Ford GT

In the wild and crazy hecticness that was the Detroit Auto Show, one announcement seemed to slip by a lot of us unnoticed. Along with the introduction of the new 2017 Ford GT Supercar, Microsoft announced that Forza Motorsport 6 is coming to an Xbox One near you later this year. They announced it along with the Ford GT, because the new carbon-fiber machine is the cover car for the new game. It should represent the first chance players have to explore this two-door in a digital space.

Now there is very little known about the game aside from its name, this is just an announcement of its existence. Dan Greenawalt, the creative director at Turn 10 did say that there will be gameplay footage at this year’s E3 expo in June. One thing we know is that it will be a BIG game for Ford. Not only do we have the new GT joining the ranks of driveable cars, but the newly announced 2016 Mustang GT350 and new 2017 F-150 Raptor will also be in the game.

As an extra-special bonus to TopSpeed readers, I am going to get a chance to ask some of the dev team a bunch of questions about this game in a special interview. If you have a question to ask Turn 10, drop them in the comments and I will include the best ones for my interview. You only have until Monday to get those questions in though, so don’t delay.

If you want to see how great the new game could look, take a peek at the video after the break to see the new Forza 6 version of the Ford GT along with a quick snippet of footage from the live unveiling. Enjoy.

Click past the jump to read more.

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Ferraris Now shipping with Apple CarPlay

Ferraris Now shipping with Apple CarPlay

Ferrari has begun shipping its FF and California T with Apple CarPlay, the innovative iOS-based infotainment system that links users’ iPhones with their Ferrari’s dash-mounted touch screen. We’ve known that Apple had chosen Ferrari to be one of its first vehicle applications for a while, but it wasn’t until now that users could get their hands on the latest Apple technology.

Ferrari says the first CarPlay-equipped FF has shipped to an Italian client, with more scheduled for Germany, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Japan, and the United States.

Apple isn’t sticking to just Ferrari, however. The tech giant has partnered with a generous handful of automakers including Honda, Hyundai, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz. Other automakers such as General Motors, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, Jaguar Land Rover, and Audi are listed as partners currently developing future vehicles with CarPlay capabilities.

Apple now joins ranks with Microsoft in having a presence in the automotive scene. While Microsoft’s Sync has been included in Ford Motor Company products for more than five years, Apple’s CarPlay is the first to integrate the user’s cell phone to such a heavy extent.

Click past the jump to see Apple CarPlay in action

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Video: Grid 2 - First trailer revealed

Video: Grid 2 - First trailer revealed

Codemasters have just announced the new GRID 2, a racing game that will challenge players to be fast, be first, and be famous as they enter a stunning new world of competitive motorsport. With the new game, Codemasters are setting new standards for damage, AI and visuals, but will also raise the gameplay and technological bar for motorsport gaming. GRID 2 will be released in the summer of 2013 for Xbox 360, Microsoft, Playstation 3, and PC.

The new GRID 2 racing game

"GRID’s back and we’re going to make street, track and road racing exciting again," said Clive Moody, Executive Producer. "The core design philosophy for GRID 2 is that we treat the race as a character, not a consequence of simply putting cars on tracks. Everything that goes into the game impacts on that second-to-second, in the moment, blockbuster drama – the feel and personality of the race."

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Hand Gesture Recognition Coming to the Automotive World

Hand Gesture Recognition Coming to the Automotive World

Smart TVs, as well as the Xbox Kinect, PlayStation Move, and the Nintendo Wii have already mastered the art of taking hand and body gestures, and translating them into functions. Now it looks as if this same technology may make it to the automotive realm.

Rumors began swirling a few months ago when Microsoft placed a help wanted ad that alluded to the use of body movements for various automobile controls. Now there is actually a little confirmation that at least one company is actually working on this technology. Harmon, creator of automotive audio systems and other aftermarket electronics, released a concept car that actually uses various body motions to control different features.

You want to turn the radio on, simply wink, adjusting the volume is as easy as tilting your head slightly. You can even skip tracks on a CD or change stations on the radio by tapping your hand on the steering wheel. Oh, and if you want to make a Bluetooth hands-free phone call, just make the universal hand signal for a telephone – you know, thumb to the ear with your pinky extended.

This technology isn’t completely new, as Cadillac’s CUE system uses some of this technology, but you still have to contact the screen, much like a Smartphone or tablet. The full use of gestures and infrared sensors to control a car’s various features is supposed to help avoid driver distraction by eliminating the need to search for buttons to press or knobs to turn.

Where we see this failing is the fact that the learning curve on most gesture-based systems is typically very steep and requires a ton of memorization. We can see new owners reaching for their car’s manual to see how to turn up the volume and putting their car into a ditch.

To say the least, this will definitely require some very intense planning to accomplish. Harman claims that the system should be ready for production in about two to three years.

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2012 Ford Microstang by Microsoft and West Coast Customs

2012 Ford Microstang by Microsoft and West Coast Customs

There’s a reason Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest people in the world; he takes ideas and runs with them until they make him so much cash, he can start to work on something else. As co-founder of Microsoft, one would expect Gates’ expertise to stick strictly to computers, but the company as a whole has found another way to roll in the profit: a West Coast Customs collaboration on an all-American Ford Mustang. Their project is appropriately called the Microstang and it’s a Mustang equipped with Windows 8 and Kinect.

The Microstang has received Dynacom’s 1967 fastback replica body and plenty of Microsoft’s latest technologies. We’re not very sure about those shiny wheels, but the interior is what makes this car really cool. Microsoft has fitted it with cool gadgets like an Xbox 360 with Kinect, a Windows operating system, a Windows Phone, Windows Azure, Bing, Ford Sync, and a rear windshield projector screen. There is also a Viper SmartStart app that can help the driver remotely start the car via the Windows Phone.

The Ford Microstang by Microsoft and West Coast Customs will officially be presented on March 25, 2012 at 6 PM Pacific (9 PM Eastern) on the Discovery’s Velocity Network during the Inside West Coast Customs show.

Hit the jump for a short video on the MicroStang.

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Microsoft set to introduce the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel

Microsoft set to introduce the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel

We already know that the fourth installment of Forza Motorsport - Forza 4 - is already scheduled to hit the shelves sometime in October. Today, Microsoft is giving us even more reason to be excited for the month of Halloween to come.

In a move that is curiously close to the launch date of Forza 4, Microsoft will also be introducing its new Wireless Speed Wheel for the Xbox 360. The new device is compatible to all racing games and not just Forza 4, but it does seem like Microsoft is pegging their new device to be purchased as some sort of ’package deal’ together with the game.

Timely marketing and a stroke of genius, if you ask us.

According to Microsoft, the Wireless Speed Wheel can be controlled intuitively with precise steering, standard controller buttons and triggers, and feedback vibration when things go awry out on the track.

In a press release, Microsoft described the Wireless Speed Wheel as a new innovation that balances the realism of a wheel with the feel of a controller for greater user edge in game play.

“With trigger buttons for gas and brake, combined with a rumble feedback, the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel provides intuitive standard controller buttons that immerse the driver into the game, whether you like to white knuckle it down the race track with your hands at “10 and 2” or “9 and 3.”

The new device is expected to begin shipping to retailers all over the world on September 26 at a cost of $59.99. Something tells us that the sales of this new wireless steering wheel will go hand-in-hand with the volume of sales for Forza 4.

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Forza Motorsport 4 Trailer

Forza Motorsport 4 Trailer

There’s no question that the biggest threat to Gran Turismo’s throne in the pinnacle of automotive racing video games is the Forza franchise for the Xbox 360. So you can imagine just how left out Xbox owners must have felt when just about every Playstation 3 owner on the planet was scooping up Gran Turismo 5 a few weeks ago.

Well, we have some very good news for you Forza-playing gamers out there. The next installment of the highly-successful racing franchise – Forza 4 – is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2011. Unlike the gap between GT4 and GT5 – about five years – the gap between Forza 3 and Forza 4 is a mere two years!

The countdown to the release of Forza 4 has officially kicked off after the Forza website released a teaser video of the upcoming Xbox-exclusive video game. Other than this video, details are still scarce about what’s going to be included in the game, but at the very least, Xbox owners won’t have to suffer the same excruciating wait Playstation owners had to go through with GT5.

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Microsoft to release Hot Holidays Car Pack for Forza 3

Microsoft to release Hot Holidays Car Pack for Forza 3

While most of us who own a Playstation 3 are still waiting for the release of Gran Turismo 5, those people with an Xbox 360 are probably making fun of our misfortune.

Forza Motorsport 3 – GT5’s counterpart for the 360 – is already running on full throttle and already has an early Christmas present for its users. The next downloadable content (DLC) car pack from Turn 10 studios is coming to the Xbox 360 on December 8. The Hot Holidays Car Pack will feature some of the newest and fastest supercars in the game and will be downloadable for a meagre 400 Microsoft Points.

Among the cars included in the Car Pack are the Ferrari FXX, the Audi S4, the Porsche Panamera Turbo, the Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss, and the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Until Sony finally decides to release Gran Turismo 5, then we can just look at our friends with Xbox 360’s and watch them enjoy Forza Motorsport 3, including those ten new raging machines.

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Ferrari, Porsche, and Infiniti tie-up with Microsoft for desktop themes

Ferrari, Porsche, and Infiniti tie-up with Microsoft for desktop themes

When you wake up every day, it’s safe to say that one of the first things you’ll probably do is to turn on your computer.

How would you like it when the first thing that greets you is a sparkling and awe-inspiring Ferrari? The supercar of our dreams, together with Porsche and Infiniti, has partnered with Microsoft to introduce a new Windows 7 Desktop Theme Gallery. While it’s not really a ground-breaking technological feature – especially since there are thousands of wallpapers on the Internet that are centrally themed around these three brands - the program does come with a number of features that normal desktop wallpapers can’t boast of; these include special backgrounds, slide shows, screen savers, and color customizations.

The agreement is a landmark in the sense that this is the very first time Microsoft has made specific packages for their respective companies. The Ferrari, Infiniti, and Porsche packages are just three of what is expected to be a growing list of partners that will have their very own desktop theme galleries in the near future. As it stands, the computer software company also has an available theme for Ducatti, Coke, Pepsi, Zune, and Gears of War 1 & 2, to name a few.

Downloading these packages comes free of charge so to all those Ferrari, Porsche and Infiniti enthusiasts out there, now’s the time to spice up your desktop and download any one of these three mind-blowing theme galleries.

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The 2010 Microsoft Wind...SHIELD

The 2010 Microsoft Wind...SHIELD

I am already spending 10 hours per day in front of a windows logo but I have been enjoying my peaceful ride home each day without thinking that they also wanted a piece of that! A car heads up display patent under the name of Microsoft has been released today and they go in details about how they’re going to get into your car.

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