Delays

Yesterday we covered the news of Wolfenstein: The New Order’s impending console release later this month. Today we’re back with more Bethesda news, albeit of a sadder nature. The Elder Scrolls Online, which was originally scheduled to launch on Xbox One this June, has had its release date pushed back to later in the year.

Luckily, Bethesda does have some plans to appease disappointed console gamers. Buy and play the PC version of The Elder Scrolls Online (which launched in April) before the end of June and you’ll be able to transfer your character to the console version when it debuts in late 2014. More details on the delay and transfer program after the break!

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Last week, Titanfall arrived on Xbox One and PC to much acclaim. Titanfall is the first game produced by Respawn Entertainment, the new studio formed by the creators of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It also happens to be exclusive to Xbox One, 360, and PC thanks to an agreement between Microsoft and the game’s publisher: Electronic Arts.

The Xbox 360 version of Titanfall did not launch alongside its current-gen brothers, having instead been scheduled for a March 25 release. Xbox 360 shooter fanatics will have to wait a little longer to play the game though, as EA just pushed its release back into early April. Does this bode poorly for previous-gen Titanfall?

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We reported a few days ago that Microsoft was experiencing a unique problem: the Windows Phone Marketplace has grown so much, so fast that their servers and backend getting hammered, resulting in app-publishing slowdowns. Everything from submissions, to certifications to the App Hub itself was getting slower.

Today, Microsoft's Todd Brix addressed the problem in a blog post noting that they have an immediate method for addressing these problems and a more long term one. The addition of all those new markets over the last few months has taken its toll on the App Hub experience, more than they had anticipated. As a result they will be re-working their backend, which will take some time:

"We’re already in the process of developing a more robust and scalable Marketplace service that will address current problems and pave the way for the even more rapid growth we’re expecting in the years ahead. But engineering work this significant doesn’t happen overnight. Our plan is to have it complete by late summer."

For the short term, they already have started to work on these two areas:

  • Adding more server capacity to better handle the increased load.
  • Streamlining our processes to accelerate the rate at which apps can be ingested, certified, and published.

As a result, developers are now seeing shorter turnarounds from their submission to publication dates, which is a good thing. However, the more substantial changes won't be felt until later this summer.

So once again, good news and bad news as Microsoft is adjusts to the sudden influx of new developers and markets for Windows Phone.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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We've noticed in our Twitter stream and from interacting with developers that there have been quite a few delays with Windows Phone Marketplace submissions. Before, it would take around 72 hours from submission to approval to publishing of the app. Now, it's taking significantly longer and there have been a few hiccups along the way too (see Rowi's recent update woes).

In the latest Windows Phone Developer Newsletter (April 2012), Microsoft confirms that indeed "due to high submission and update volumes, the app certification process is continuing to take longer than it has previously." Just how long? Microsoft states it can now take up to seven days which is quite an increase from the previous 72 hours. In turn, Microsoft is recommending to developers to plan accordingly by submitting as early as possible if they want a certain publishing date.

Of course this is a good news/bad news situation. It's a bit frustrating to developers who now have to wait significantly longer than it did a few months ago to get their app or app update to market. On the other hand, these delays are caused by a nice problem: a huge increase in app submissions to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

For point of reference, nearly 340 new apps are being published daily in addition to over 400 app updates which has resulted in just over 70,000 apps being available in the Marketplace (the 80,000 number is a bit misleading since it aggregates worldwide and doesn't count removed or inactive apps).

We imagine that if the Nokia Lumia 900 is successful, new app submissions could also increase over the next few months -- an issue we'll return to soon enough. Finally, Microsoft probably won't let this delay get any longer as they are trying to scale appropriately to meet the demand.

Marketplace statistics provided by WP7AppList

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Windows Phone App Review: FlightPredictor

FlightPredictor is a Windows Phone app that delivers a hefty amount of flight information to your Windows Phone. FlightPredictor covers flight times, status, and also has a series of major airport maps to help navigate the friendly skies.  Flight information is provided by FlightCaster.com and if you need to keep track of flight times, delays, along with a little help finding your way around airports, FlightPredictor is worth a try.

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Well... it appears that March 18th will come and go with no new Windows Phone being released. While the rumors were strong and the stars seemed to be in alignment, neither the Nokia Lumia 900 nor the HTC Titan II made it to AT&T store shelves today.  We had already heard rumblings that the Lumia 900 may be delayed but were hoping that the delay wouldn't hit the Titan II.  

In talking to the local AT&T Store on Friday (and again today), they were under the impression at least the Titan II would be available today (as were we).  We were also told by a local AT&T Sales Rep, that HTC told them late Friday the release date for the Titan II was still up in the air.  

So what could the delay be? Is AT&T waiting for more markets to get 4G LTE? Is it there a production issue?  Plus you have to wonder if the delay on the AT&T 900 will delay the 900's release internationally.  AT&T is rumored to have exclusive rights to the Lumia 900.  Will this delay push back the 900's release on other carriers such as Roger's Canada?

Unfortunately, there are more questions than answers on the Titan II and Lumia 900. Speculation now has the Lumia 900 being available on April 8th/9th.  Could the Titan II be slated for the 8th/9th as well?

Hopefully both of these new Windows Phone will hit the market sooner than later.

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Dell is trying to ease the pain customers are feeling with regards to the Venue Pro. We've reported that production has hit a few snags, delaying shipments of the new Windows Phone 7 device.

An updated post on Direct2Dell updates when Dell might see the Venue Pro shipped.

The January 6 date that’s being reported could be correct for some but not all, as ship times vary by customer and the date/ time that they placed an order.

While everyone waits for the new phones to ship Dell's offering a few freebies in hopes of making things right. If you ordered your Dell Venue Pro on or before December 14th you will get:

  • Free Overnight Shipping upgrade
  • A free Plantronics Explorer 240 Bluetooth headset, which will ship separately in 4-6 weeks.

The shipping bump and $30 Bluetooth headset is a nice gesture but is it enough to make customers happy? 

Source: Direct2Dell; via: MobilityDigest

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We mentioned earlier that the Dell Venue Pro was once again delayed. Likely shipping out the first of January 2011.

Dell has addressed the delays in a very informal, unofficial manner (a post on their support forums) in hopes of explaining the latest delay and retaining a few customers.  It appears that the delay is due to a hardware issue with the Phone which Dell is working closely with Microsoft coordinate a plan of action.

Apparently these issues are not only effecting new orders but also delaying any replacement orders that need to be shipped. While we've heard rumors that everything should be fine and dandy by January 6, 2011, the "unofficial" update states,

"Once we have good stock in place, then we have the ability to provide replacements. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a good estimate of when that will be."

The information update continues to state,

"If you are waiting on a new order and it misses the original estimated ship date, you do have the option to cancel by contacting the sales team."

If you're waiting on the Dell Venue Pro, this isn't the most encouraging news.  We're not too confident in the January 6th target date.  Follow the break for the full, "unofficial" update from Dell.

Source: Dell; via: TMoNews

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