News Video Games

Microsoft Corporation privately registers slew of “Halo: Infinity” domain names

Halo: Infinity

Microsoft has made some interesting domain name registrations this week, picking up several “Halo Infinity” domains like (Whois) and (Whois) through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor.

Microsoft didn’t stop there either.

Additional domain names that were registered include:,,,,,,, and

Infinity was a popular multiplayer level exclusive only to the PC for Halo: Combat Evolved, so it’s possible Microsoft will be offering it as a multiplayer map for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.

Other domains that were registered the same week through MarkMonitor include (Whois),, and (Whois).  These too, were privately registered.

Microsoft hasn’t officially been confirmed as the buyer of the Halo: Infinity domains since the registrant of each name is hidden behind Whois privacy, but the names were registered through MarkMonitor, and Microsoft is among their high-profile clients. Microsoft’s own is registered through MarkMonitor.

I won’t speculate on what Microsoft is planning, but to register this many names means something is on the way.

None of the domains resolve to a web site at the time of this story going online, and Microsoft has not announced anything official.

[Updated Apr 5, 2012 at 9:50am EST:. Microsoft registered additional domains including:,,,,,,,,,, and]

Discussion: GameSpot, Joystiq, N4G, IGN, VG247, Game Rant, Geek,, MCV, NOW Gamer, G4 TV (blog), Cinema Blend, This is Xbox, Xbox 360 The Official Xbox Magazine,, Xbox 360 Achievements, Shack News, Gameranx, Game Revolution, Complex.comGamingBolt (blog), Capsule Computers, Halo Waypoint, iNSIDE, Softpedia, NeoGAF, Videogameszone, Geeky Gadgets, juegosDB, PlayNationBuddha Gaming and GameZone

News Video Games

Microsoft Corporation registers, domain names

Xbox FL

Early this month, I wrote about Microsoft secretly acquiring the domain names and

Now, the company has made two more interesting domain purchases this week.  On March 28, 2012, Microsoft Corporation registered (Whois) and (Whois).

So, what on earth is “Xbox FL”?

Your guess is as good as mine.

At the time of this story, both domain names redirect visitors to Bing.

[Updated March 31, 2012 10:57am EST:. Microsoft added another domain to the list.  The company registered registered on March 30.  .cz isthe country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Czech Republic.]

Discussion: Gamespot, Joystiq,,, Game Rant, ITProPortal, GameRevolution, Gaming Examiner, This is Xbox, Gaming Bolt, The Tech Report, LLC and Geeky gadgets

News Video Games owner redirects domain to US PlayStation 3 website [UPDATED]

Xbox 720

Update 2 on Feb. 24 at 8:16pm Est: Jeremiah Germany has commented on the story by e-mail.  Jeremiah wrote, “Yes, I still do own the domain.  I switched to namecheap after the godaddy SOPA fiasco, which came with free Whois Privacy.  Yesterday I was testing the redirect with namecheap.  Apparently more than my friends saw the joke; it doesn’t get a lot of hits. I believe you asked me earlier, No, Microsoft hasn’t approached me.”

Update 1 on Feb. 23 at 2:52pm Est: has stopped forwarding to the US Playstation 3 site.  The web address now sends visitors to a different site operated by Jeremiah Germany (the apparent owner of, in an obvious ploy to get attention for his site.   Jeremiah has not responded to a request for comment.  I e-mailed Jeremiah earlier today when this story was first posted.

Original story on Feb. 23 at 3:27am Est: It appears the owner of the domain is none too happy with Microsoft or simply playing an online joke.

As of today, type the web address into your browser and you’ll be redirected to the US PlayStation 3 site (

It’s unknown what prompted the change.  Previously, the domain was monetized using the Google Adsense for Domains program, which Google announced only yesterday would be shut down by mid-April.

Last year we saw a similar case of a web address being redirected to a rival’s site with, when the disgruntled owner of the domain name sent visitors to the official website of Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3, Activision’s competitor.  The redirect of was short-lived as Activision moved swiftly to get the domain name by filing a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum.

As I wrote about in November, neither Sony, Nintendo, nor Microsoft own the domains for their next consoles. was registered to a Jeremiah Germany of New York as late as November 2011, but the contact information became protected after going into Whois Privacy in December.

Since first being registered, has been host to a number of different sites ranging from a Les Paul guitars site in 2006 to a Google Custom Search page in 2008.   In 2009 the site began earning money using Google Adsense for Domains.

I’ve reached out to the most recent owner on record for more information, and will update this story if I hear back.

I’d imagine the redirect will not last long.

Discussion: N4G, Joystiq, Gameranx, Myona News and Bölüm Sonu Canavarı

(Image of Xbox 720 concept by ~djeric on deviantART)

News Trademarks Video Games

Microsoft files trademark for “Avatar Famestar” for video game services

Avatar Famestar

It appears Microsoft is working on something new for the Xbox called “Avatar Famestar” according to a recent trademark filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

On February 13, 2012, filed to trademark “Avatar Famestar”.

The goods and services covered in the trademark filing (Serial Number: 85541451) cover “Downloadable software for video game services” and “Providing an online portal for video game services and social networking”.

As of today, Microsoft has made no announcement as to its plans for “Avatar Famestar”.

Last year, Microsoft released Avatar Kinect, which  lets your personalized avatar interact with or hang out with up to seven other friends in 24 virtual stages ranging from a late-night talk show set to outer space to a sports tailgate party.

[Update 1 on Feb. 18, 2012 5:41am:  A resident of China is cybersquatting on the domain name  The name was registered shortly after this story went online.]

Discussion: Joystiq

News Video Games

Microsoft to release the Xbox Kinect Accelerator; it registered the domains

Xbox Kinect

With the one year anniversary of the debut of the Kinect taking place earlier this month, a lot of news has been coming out on the motion sensing device for the Xbox 360.

One of the announcements is that the Kinect SDK for Windows, which enables developers to create new uses for the Kinect, will be available commercially in early 2012.

With all the activity and buzz, it also looks like other features for the Kinect will be available for developers called the “Xbox Kinect Accelerator”, according to two recent domain registrations by Microsoft.

On November 9th, the company registered and

Nothing has been announced by Microsoft yet. 

It’s possible the Xbox Kinect Accelerator could be something similar to the Microsoft Research Accelerator which is used by programmers to help accelerate code execution. 

It could also be an accessory for the device or a Startup Camp to get developers up to speed on programming, but until Microsoft reveals more information, nothing will be known for sure.

[Update 2 November 18, 2011: Microsoft has officially launched the site.  “If you are a developer or existing team/startup focused on building a business that takes advantage of the Kinect and Natural User Interface technologies, then the Kinect Accelerator is where you need to be. Through this program, Microsoft is supporting entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators like you to bring to life a wide range of business ideas that leverage the limitless possibilities Kinect enables. Following a competitive screening process, ten finalists will be chosen for this unique three month incubation program running from March to May, 2012 in Seattle, WA. The Kinect Accelerator is “powered by TechStars” using the same mentor-driven methodology pioneered and proven in New York, Boulder, Seattle and Boston. Mentors for the Kinect Accelerator include a broad base of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the industry as well as executives from Microsoft Studios, XBOX, Microsoft Research and other Microsoft organizations.”  More here.]

[Update 1 November 15, 2011 at 3:17am EST:  Microsoft has now registered the domains, and]

Discussion: Ubergizmo

(Photo of Kinect sensor as shown at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo via flickr)