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  1. Xbox Series X will be in short supply until at least June, Microsoft admits 2021 will be full of console and GPU shortages Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge Demand for Microsoft’s latest Xbox Series X console is high, but supply isn’t likely to keep up until at least through June now. In an interview with The New York Times, Microsoft’s head of investor relations, Mike Spencer, revealed supply of its new Xbox consoles will be constrained at least through June. Microsoft had warned that the Xbox Series X would be in short supply until at least April or beyond, and it’s now clear the wait for stock is going to continue for longer. The difficult supply situation does mean that Microsoft sold every Xbox unit it had last quarter, during a quarter it hit $5 billion in gaming revenue for the first time ever. It’s been incredibly difficult to buy an Xbox Series X, PS5, or even the latest AMD and Nvidia GPUs in recent months. These shortages look set to continue through most of 2021, with AMD CEO Lisa Su warning there might not be capacity until the second half of the year. “The industry does need to increase the overall capacity levels,” said Su on an earnings call last week. “And so we do see some tightness through the first half of the year, but there’s added capacity in the second half.” AMD saw supply constraints in the PC market, particularly the low end, and in gaming toward the end of 2020. Part of the problem for retailers and consumers is scalpers, too. The real cost of a new GPU or game console was incredibly high toward the end of 2020, thanks to eBay resellers. It’s an issue that has proved difficult for the entire industry to tackle, and it means the wait for a PS5, Xbox Series X, or new GPU will continue for most people for most of 2021. Source: Xbox Series X will be in short supply until at least June, Microsoft admits
  2. Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S pricing detailed, launches November 10th Microsoft has already revealed a fair bit about the Xbox Series X including its detailed specifications. The only aspects of the gaming console that still remain unknown are its price and exact retail availability date. A report from Windows Central has now revealed the pricing of not just the Xbox Series X but that of the Xbox Series S as well. The Xbox Series X will cost $499, with Microsoft also offering a $35/month Xbox All Access financing option. As for the Xbox Series S, it will cost $299 and there will also be a $25/month All Access financing option. The pricing definitely makes the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles a very tempting option, especially for the hardware they offer. Both consoles are scheduled to launch on November 10, 2020, and Microsoft will soon hold a press event detailing their price and availability. Microsoft has not talked much or even officially confirmed the Xbox Series S. Today though, we also get a glimpse at the machine's design which is notably smaller and more compact than the Series X. The cheaper console is known as Lockhart and will have the same horsepower as the Xbox One X. From the design, it also looks like the Series S will lack a physical disc drive. The report says that Microsoft will be heavily pushing the All Access financing program this time around and launch it in more markets globally. The consoles should also launch simultaneously in global markets where the Xbox One series is already available. Render: Thurrott, Source: Windows Central Update: Microsoft has now confirmed the Xbox Series S and $299 pricing. Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S pricing detailed, launches November 10th
  3. Microsoft confirms that the Xbox Series X will arrive in November Microsoft confirmed today that its next-generation Xbox, the Series X, will arrive in November. Originally unveiled as the Xbox Series X in December and known as Project Scarlett before that, the console was originally slated for the more vague 'holiday 2020' season. But today, Halo Infinite was delayed, and it's going to arrive in 2021 instead of 2020. Being the headlining launch title for the Series X, some might have assumed that the hardware was delayed as well, but that's not the case. Microsoft was quick to say that the Xbox Series X is still coming this year, and it's coming in November. The firm also reiterated that there is still plenty to do between the two launch dates. There will still be over 50 launch games, and of course, you can play your entire library of Xbox One games on the Series X, and that library includes anything that's playable on the Xbox One. That includes Xbox 360 and Xbox games that are playable via the Backward Compatibility program. There are still plenty of unknowns around the Xbox Series X. For one thing, we don't know how much it will cost, and we probably won't know until Microsoft launches another unknown, the Xbox Series S, which is set to be a lesser, more inexpensive version of the console that's been hyped for the past year. Microsoft confirms that the Xbox Series X will arrive in November
  4. Microsoft starts showing off the new experience on the Xbox Series X Microsoft is unveiling its next-generation Xbox dashboard today, which is the one that's coming to the Xbox Series X console that will arrive later this year. But as you can probably guess from the image above, it's coming to the whole family, including the apps on mobile and PC. Along with a refreshed UI, it's meant to be fast, something that the Xbox dashboard has historically struggled with. Microsoft says that when you boot up your Xbox, the home screen will load over 50% faster, and it's nearly 30% faster when you're returning to it from a game. Not only is it meant to be faster, but it's meant to be easier to use and, well, prettier. Tiles are finally getting rounded corners, and as you can see from the image above, there's new navigation. The text is meant to be more legible, and everything is just supposed to be more intuitive, meaning that you should be able to understand it and navigate it without having any experience with it. Then again, that's pretty much rule number one when it comes to UI design. All of this is set to roll out in November, when Microsoft starts shipping the Xbox Series X. It will come to Xbox One consoles as well, being that they actually run the same Windows 10-based OS, and it's coming to Game Pass apps, the Xbox app for PC, and so on. Gallery: Xbox Experience Microsoft starts showing off the new experience on the Xbox Series X
  5. Xbox Series X has a much firmer release date – here's why Yakuza: Like a Dragon spills the edamame beans (Image credit: Microsoft) Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox Series X is due to release in November, 2020. But the company didn’t specify an exact day, nor whether it would arrive at the start or end of the month. However, thanks to Yakuza: Like a Dragon press release and store listing, we now have a much better idea of when the console will release. And it’s thankfully sooner rather than later. According to the press release, Yakuza: Like a Dragon will release day one on Xbox Series X. The game will also be released on Xbox One, Windows 10 PCs, PS4 and Steam on the same day. If you head to the Microsoft Store, the game is listed as being available on November 13, 2020, and the same is true of the PlayStation Store. Therefore, we can confidently estimate that the Xbox Series X will land on shelves between November 1 and November 13. This would fall in line with a recent report from The Verge, whose sources claim the console might release in the first week of November. (Image credit: Microsoft) Yakuza: Like a Dragon will support Xbox Smart Delivery, which ensures that players who buy the game on Xbox One won’t have to buy it again on Xbox Series X, and vice versa. Cross-save functionality will also be supported, so if you’re planning on picking up Microsoft’s new console later down the line, you can carry over your progress. Way of the dragon Yakuza: Like a Dragon takes the series in a markedly different direction, and introduces more RPG elements than before, and turn-based combat for the first time. Players will also take the role of Ichiban Kasuga, a new protagonist, and the game will take place in an all-new setting of Yokohama. You’ll still be able to enjoy all of the usual Yakuza side activities, though, such as karaoke, Sega arcades and a variety of wacky, yet surprisingly addictive, minigames. Microsoft is likely to announce the Xbox Series S in the coming weeks, which will be a more affordable albeit less powerful console than the Xbox Series X. Pictures of the Xbox Series S controller's retail packaging have leaked, so it's simply a matter of when not if. Xbox Series X has a much firmer release date – here's why
  6. Improved performance and new features Epic on Monday revealed new information about what performance benefits Fortnite players should expect day one if playing the game on the new PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X / S consoles, all of which launch next week. We already knew some of these — specifically the 4K and 60 frames per second targets — but Epic is also detailing some behind-the-scenes upgrades the new hardware should allow for. For the new Xbox, you’ll get that bump in resolution if you’re playing on the more powerful Series X, while the Series S is capped at 1080p. Both versions will run at 60 fps, as has been standard on Fortnite on consoles since 2018. But Epic is now promising “dynamic visuals and physics” on the Series X, including an “interactive world with grass and trees responding to explosions, enhanced fluid simulations for smoke and liquid (cooler-looking smoke and liquid effects), and all-new Storm and cloud effects.” It’s also promising faster matchmaking and 60 fps split screen. Many of these same benefits are mirrored on the PS5, including the 4K resolution, dynamic visuals and physics, and the matchmaking and split-screen changes. But on the PS5, Epic is also promising DualSense controller support, which means the new gamepad’s haptic feedback capabilities will make it “feel like you’re holding the Suppressed SMG or Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle” as well as haptic trigger feedback for ranged weapons. Epic also says next-gen Fortnite will support the PS5’s Activities feature, an element of the new console’s solid-state drive architecture that will let games launch right into specific modes. That means you can load Fortnite right into the battle royale game mode with a specific playlist like solos or quads already enabled. That way, just a single extra button press lets you queue up for a match. There shouldn’t be any extra work a next-gen console owner will need to do to access these features or their Fortnite profile. Just downloading the game on the new device should let you log in with no issues and retain all of your progress and cosmetics. Fortnite will be available for both consoles when they launch next week, with the Xbox Series X / S arriving on November 10th and the PS5 on November 12th. Source
  7. One week later, it looks like Microsoft is already breaking a big promise with Xbox Series X They said you wouldn’t need an Xbox Series X for two years Did Microsoft convince you that you wouldn’t need to next-gen hardware to play Xbox Series X games? Think again: fully half of the next-gen games that Microsoft showcased at its Xbox Series X showcase today, including Forza, probably aren’t coming to Xbox One. Which suggests either some of those games aren’t actually coming out for a long time — or Microsoft has already broken a big promise it made just last week. For years now, Microsoft has been working toward a future where you don’t need to buy the latest console to play the newest games — many now run on a spectrum of hardware including Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and Windows PCs — and the upcoming Xbox Series X was touted as the culmination of that vision. It will play almost every Xbox One game, as well as Xbox 360 and some original Xbox titles, and Microsoft has repeatedly telegraphed that many next-gen Xbox Series X games will run on 2013’s Xbox One, too. In fact, the company explicitly promised that its own in-house, first-party games won’t require you to buy the new Series X console for two years. Here’s Xbox boss Phil Spencer just last week: You won’t be forced into the next generation. We want every Xbox player to play all the new games from Xbox Game Studios. That’s why Xbox Game Studios titles we release in the next couple of years—like Halo Infinite—will be available and play great on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox exclusives.” And here’s what Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty told MCV in January (bolding ours): “As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices,” Booty explains. “We want to make sure that if someone invests in Xbox between now and [Series X] that they feel that they made a good investment and that we’re committed to them with content.” Heck, here’s a third version of the promise from March, again with additional bolding: We’re making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console they choose to play on. But during today’s Xbox Games Showcase, first-party titles Forza Motorsport, Fable, Avowed, As Dusk Falls, Everwild and State of Decay 3 were all listed as coming to Xbox Series X and Windows PC specifically — with no Xbox One support and no Smart Delivery feature. Again, these are all games published by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios, and almost all created by developers that Microsoft owns. To my mind, that only leaves three possibilities: 1) Microsoft broke a huge promise in record time, 2) Six out of the nine next-gen exclusives Microsoft showcased today won’t arrive until two years after launch, or 3) someone screwed up when making the presentation title cards for each game. Neither of outcomes number one or number two are particularly promising — but everything we’ve heard from Microsoft today suggests it’s actually door number one. Initially, Microsoft sent us this dodgy reply: “Our future Xbox Game Studios titles are being developed natively for Xbox Series X. We will continue to invest in tools for devs to scale across consoles. Which consoles each Studio/game can support will be based on what’s best for their game and their community at launch,” reads Microsoft’s statement to The Verge. And when we asked Microsoft point-blank, yes or no, whether it’s still committed to the promise and whether the title cards were inaccurate, the company wouldn’t say. It pointed us to this tweet from Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg, which doesn’t make things any clearer: For a moment, it did seem like maybe the title cards were incorrect, because shortly after publication of this story, we saw that Avowed’s new website does include a mention of the Xbox One, as does a project page that mentions As Dusk Falls, and a site for Everwild. But then, Greenberg replied to a question by Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo to say that the websites would soon be updated — suggesting that it was the websites, not the presentation, that was wrong. Sure enough, as of 7PM ET, the Avowed and Everwild websites no longer list Xbox One. Clearly, Microsoft no longer wants to promise that its first wave of first-party games will actually make their way to earlier Xbox One consoles. Here’s the full list of games that Microsoft showcased today, sorted by the consoles that their title cards said they’d support: Xbox Series X / Windows PC State of Decay 3 - optimized for Series X, first party Forza Motorsport - optimized for Series X, first party Fable - optimized for Series X, first party Avowed - optimized for Series X, first party As Dusk Falls - optimized for Series X, first party Everwild - optimized for Series X, first party Stalker 2 - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive Warhammer 40,000 Darktide - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive The Medium - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive Xbox Series X / Xbox One / Windows PC Halo Infinite - optimized for Series X, will also have optimizations for PC Tell Me Why Grounded - optimized for Series X Psychonauts 2 - optimized for Series X Destiny 2 Beyond Light - optimized for Series X Tetris Effect Connected - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive The Gunk - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive New Genesis Phantasy Star Online 2 - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive Xbox Series X / Xbox One CrossfireX - optimized for Series X, console launch exclusive Update July 23rd, 6:17PM ET: With additional Microsoft comments and the removal of “Xbox One” from Avowed’s website. Update, July 23rd, 7:00PM ET: Added that Everwild has removed mention of Xbox One from its product page as well. Correction, 7:21PM ET: We originally wrote that all the first-party games were from developers that Microsoft owns, but while As Dusk Falls is published by Xbox Game Studios, its developer says it’s independent. One week later, it looks like Microsoft is already breaking a big promise with Xbox Series X
  8. Watch the 18 biggest trailers from the Xbox Series X Games Showcase Halo Infinite, Fable, Forza Motorsport, and more Image: Microsoft Microsoft showed off a lot of games coming to the Xbox Series X, including exclusives and brand-new titles, at its July showcase event. We now have a much better idea of what’s in store for Microsoft’s upcoming console. If you weren’t able to watch the event live, we’ve collected some of the biggest trailers from the show right here, and you can catch a replay of the whole event on YouTube. Halo Infinite Microsoft shared the first look at Halo Infinite’s campaign today, including an extended gameplay sequence where Master Chief took on waves of aliens. 343 Industries said the game will run at a “flawless” 60 frames per second. Halo Infinite will launch this holiday season. Avowed Avowed is the newest game from famed studio Obsidian Entertainment. Obsidian debuted the first trailer of the game today, revealing that it will be fantasy-themed first-person RPG. Fable Microsoft took the wraps off a new entry in the Fable series, which will be developed by Playground Games, known for the Forza Horizon games. Forza Motorsport Microsoft shared an early look at a new Forza Motorsport, the next game in the popular racing series developed by Turn 10 Studios. Microsoft says Forza Motorsport will have ray tracing and run in 4K at 60fps. Tetris Effect: Connected Tetris Effect: Connected builds on the original critical hit by adding all-new co-op and competitive multiplayer modes you can play both locally and online. The game is set to launch first on Xbox this holiday season. Destiny 2: Beyond Light Bungie showed a new trailer for Destiny 2: Beyond Light and announced that Destiny 2 and previous expansions will be coming to Xbox Game Pass. Destiny 2 will arrive on Xbox Game Pass in September, while the Beyond Light expansion will join the service on November 10th. Balan Wonderworld Balan Wonderworld is a new Square Enix game from Yuji Naka, former head of Sonic Team. Naka described it as “the action game of action games,” and it will have players switching between more than 80 different costumes to help navigate the world. It’ll be available in spring 2021 on both Xbox Series X and Xbox One. Everwild Everwild is the newest game from Rare, and today’s trailer showed humans exploring a world filled with fantastical, colorful animals. The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon is a new noir-themed expansion to Obsidian’s RPG that released last year. It will be available on September 9th. Tell Me Why Tell Me Why is a new game from Dontnod Entertainment, developer of the Life is Strange series. In the game, you’ll play as twins exploring memories of their childhood. The first chapter is set to release on August 27th. Psychonauts 2 Microsoft revealed a new trailer for the upcoming Psychonauts 2, developed by Double Fine. Protagonist Raz returns in this new game to once again travel through minds. It’s coming in 2021. CrossfireX CrossfireX is a collaboration between Control developer Remedy Entertainment and Smilegate, the Korean developer of the hugely popular FPS Crossfire. It will be released this year. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, the expanded version of the hit RPG that was first released for the Nintendo Switch last year, will be available on Xbox for the first time on December 4th. S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2 S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, the next game in the first-person shooter and survival horror series, is coming to the Xbox Series X. The Gunk The Gunk, a new adventure game from the makers of the SteamWorld franchise, is a third-person action-adventure game where you explore a mysterious, gunk-filled planet. Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis is the “latest entry to the Phantasy Star Online 2 universe” from Sega. It will launch in 2021. The Medium The Medium is a new psychological horror game from Bloober Team, the studio behind Blair Witch, that lets you explore a physical and a spirit world at the same time as protagonist Marianne. We got an early look at it during Microsoft’s May Xbox Series X games showcase, but Microsoft and Bloober team debuted a new trailer at Thursday’s event. Sable Sable is a new open-world adventure game from Raw Fury and indie developer Shedworks with a beautiful art style. It launches in 2021. Watch the 18 biggest trailers from the Xbox Series X Games Showcase
  9. Xbox Series X's first big RPG is Avowed, a Skyrim-like game from Obsidian Check out the first big Xbox exclusive RPG (Image credit: Obsidian) Obsidian has revealed its next big RPG, and it's Avowed, a fantasy RPG coming to Xbox Series X and PC that's set in the universe of Eora from the developer's Pillars of Eternity games. Not much else was revealed about the new game, but a brief clip confirms it'll be a first-person title, immediately recalling the look of Skyrim in its first trailer. The voiceover says the following during the Avowed trailer: "We have always known war. It forged our empire. Turned heroes into queens and kings, and decimated our foes. Now our oaths are lost. Forsaken. And you must face the monsters our sins have borne. Is an oath worth the weight of a crown?" Check out the Avowed trailer here: Obsidian is also working on Grounded for Xbox. Based on the fact that this Avowed trailer appears to be pre-rendered, we'd expect this to be a few years away yet. It's enormously exciting, though, since The Outer Worlds hinted at the potential of Obsidian going back to the kinds of games that won it so many fans with Fallout: New Vegas. Obsidian is owned by Microsoft, and has a long history of great RPGs stretching back to Knights of the Old Republic 2. Hopefully we'll see more of Avowed before the end of the year. Xbox Series X's first big RPG is Avowed, a Skyrim-like game from Obsidian
  10. The PS5 and Xbox Series X games price hike is unpleasant – but not surprising Opinion: it's a necessary evil (Image credit: 2K Games) 2K Games has been the first company to commit to next-gen game pricing, setting the price of NBA 2K21 on Xbox Series X and PS5 at an eye-watering $70 – $10 more than its price on PS4 and Xbox One. But it looks like 2K Games isn't the only publisher that will implement a price hike on Xbox Series X and PS5 games, as research company IDG told GamesIndustry.biz that other major publishers are considering doing the same. While this is a very high amount to pay for the standard edition of any game, it's also a necessary price increase. Compared to others industries, we've been fairly lucky when it comes to game prices – and here's why. Why the price hike? (Image credit: Ubisoft) While the price of the likes of GPUs, broadband and streaming services have increased over the years (often to correlate with inflation, rising costs and demand), the price of games has remained stagnant for years. "The last time that next-gen launch software pricing went up was in 2005 and 2006, when it went from $49.99 to $59.99 at the start of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation," IDG President and CEO Yoshio Osaki told GamesIndustry.biz. "During that time, the costs and prices in other affiliated verticals have gone up." When it came to the PS4 and Xbox One era, we essentially got a pass. Game prices didn't rise despite developers utilizing next-gen technology, meaning for 14 years we've not had to face the harsh reality of how much game development truly costs. While the price of games has remained at $59.99, the cost of making them has increased massively – with Osaki claiming next-gen game production costs have increased between 200% and 300% (depending on the studio, game etc). That's huge. While game publishers always need to be aware of prohibitive pricing, they also need to take into account sustainability. If the cost of producing something costs more not only in cash but in labour and resources, then we need to make peace with the fact that we too will have to bear the brunt of that cost. And, according to Osaki, it seems like just a $10 increase over 14 years is pretty good going – and it could have been worse. "Even with the increase to $69.99 for next-gen, that price increase from 2005 to 2020 next-gen is only up 17%, far lower than the other comparisons," Osaki told GamesIndustry.biz. "While the cost of development and publishing have gone up, and pricing in other entertainment verticals has also gone up substantially, next-gen software pricing has not reflected these increases. $59.99 to $69.99 does not even cover these other cost increases completely, but does move it more in the proper direction." Adding it all up (Image credit: Ninja Theory) Love them or hate them, microtransactions and paid-for DLC have allowed many publishers to keep prices stable for the past 14 years, as companies can cover their costs with the base price and then make more profit off the extra content. Or, in the case of free-to-play games like Fortnite, they can simply make all their profits from microtransactions. We've likely reached a point where the microtransactions and DLC aren't enough to cover the increase in production costs in games. In an ideal world, if the overall game prices are going to go up, I would want to see less (read: no) microtransactions in games which have an RRP of $70. But that's not going to happen. The cost of next-gen (Image credit: Future) We know that the PS5 and Xbox Series X are going to be powerhouses and that new technology doesn't come without a price (likely a high one). While we don't currently know how much either console will cost yet, we aren't expecting them to come cheap. Don't get me wrong: the idea of how much next-gen is going to cost makes me wince. Not everyone has that amount of disposable income lying around - I certainly don't. But, at the same time, I appreciate that a big leap in technology comes with a jump in price. But even if next-gen games price tags are justifiable in the sense of how much games cost to make, they aren't necessarily accessible. We could end up seeing more players shifting to subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass to gain access to new games, where you have access to new and old games for $10 a month, rather than forking out $70 for just one game - I know that's my preferred route. But nothing is set in stone, yet, and we're still waiting for the prices of more next-gen games to be revealed. What will be particularly interesting is the price Microsoft and Sony set for their PS5 and Xbox Series X exclusives - as that will set the bar for other next-gen games. Until then, I'm bracing myself for the worst. The PS5 and Xbox Series X games price hike is unpleasant – but not surprising
  11. Microsoft announces Xbox Series X games event for July 23rd Halo Infinite will be the big star of Microsoft’s show Microsoft will hold its Xbox Series X games event on July 23rd at 9AM PT / 12PM ET. The company is planning on showing games made by its Xbox Game Studios, including Halo Infinite. 343 industries briefly teased Halo Infinite in a trailer a couple of weeks ago, revealing that The Banished antagonists are returning for the next big installment in the Halo franchise. There will be more than just Halo, though. Microsoft has been steadily acquiring game studios, and the company now has 15 Xbox Game Studios in total. Xbox fans are now hoping to see what those studios are working on for the Xbox Series X. Microsoft recently created a Fable placeholder Twitter account, leading fans to wonder if the game might make a return during July’s Xbox event. Microsoft also recently extended its Fable trademark to cover USB chargers, portable speakers, headphones, and more. Given Microsoft released a Hellblade II teaser during its Xbox Series X unveiling last year, it’s reasonable to assume we’ll see more from Ninja Theory about this upcoming title. Psychonauts 2 is still due in 2020 from Microsoft’s Double Fine studio, and there’s bound to be some hints at how Forza and Gears of War will adapt to the more powerful hardware in the Xbox Series X. Rare also unveiled its new Everwild game in November, and we might get a closer look at that during Microsoft’s event. And like always, Xbox fans are still hoping for surprises like a new Perfect Dark or Banjo-Kazooie game. Microsoft has already promised that some of the company’s Xbox Game Studios teams will reveal new gameplay, games optimized for Xbox Series X, and even brand-new game announcements. Stay tuned to The Verge on July 23rd for all the latest Xbox Series X games information and more. Microsoft announces Xbox Series X games event for July 23rd
  12. A first look at Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X console The next-gen Xbox will arrive on November 10th priced at $499 Microsoft’s Xbox Series X console demands to stand upright, loud and proud. At least that’s my immediate impression after getting an early look at a nonfunctional Xbox Series X unit, supplied by Microsoft. It’s not as big as I expected from the Series X photos, but the dimensions could make positioning it in your living room a challenge. The console is 151mm (5.9 inches) wide or deep and 301mm (11.8 inches) tall, making it too big, even on its side, to fit in my TV stand that currently houses a satellite TV box and an Xbox One X. Xbox Series X vs. Xbox One X. Xbox Series X on its side with the stand jutting out to the left. It’s clear the Series X was designed primarily for the vertical orientation. That’s how Microsoft always shows it in marketing materials. And the console looks awkward, with the bottom stand poking out to the side when laid horizontally. Almost as if it... fell over. If you’re contemplating how an Xbox Series X fits into your setup, I would recommend looking to place it vertically like a PC tower, unless you don’t care what it looks like (or if it will be hidden away). The Xbox Series X is also double the width of the Xbox Series S. Microsoft’s smaller Xbox is 275mm tall, 151mm deep, and 63mm wide in a vertical position. The size differences are particularly noticeable when you sit the two next-gen consoles side by side. We have more Xbox Series S photos and impressions right here. There’s not much else to be said about the Xbox Series X design that hasn’t been said before. There are two USB ports at the rear alongside an Ethernet port, a storage expansion slot, and HDMI 2.1 out. At the front, there’s a single USB port and the 4K Blu-ray drive. The primary cooling for the Xbox Series X sits at the top of the console where a “whisper quiet fan” resides. Just how whisper-quiet that fan is we won’t know until full review units arrive. Microsoft is launching the Xbox Series X on November 10th, priced at $499. Preorders will begin on September 22nd. Photography by Tom Warren / The Verge A first look at Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X console
  13. Ever since Microsoft announced pricing and release dates for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, we’ve known that the company is planning to open up pre-orders for both consoles on September 22nd. If the PlayStation 5 has taught us anything, it’s that precise timing will likely be crucial for those who want to secure an Xbox Series X/S pre-order as soon as possible. Microsoft has now confirmed when pre-orders will open up on September 22nd, so get ready to set your alarms and mark your calendars. The time to write down is 11 AM EDT/8 AM PDT on the morning of the 22nd, Microsoft has confirmed to us. Retailers that will be offering Xbox Series X/S pre-orders include GameStop, Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Microsoft’s own online store. If you’re planning to try to pre-order a console for yourself, you might want to make sure you’re ready to place your order right at 11 AM on the 22nd, because they’re likely to sell out very quickly. Indeed, pre-orders opened for both models of the PlayStation 5 yesterday, shortly after Sony revealing pricing and release date information in its PS5 Showcase. It didn’t take long at all for a number of retailers to report that they were sold out of pre-orders, and we’re expecting Xbox Series X/S orders to go similarly fast. For Microsoft, the next generation will be comprised of two separate consoles. The company’s flagship console will be the Xbox Series X, which will cost $499.99 at release and will target 4K gaming at up to 120fps. The second console, Xbox Series S, could be something of a wild card, as it’s a fair amount less powerful than both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. With a price tag of $299.99 – significantly less than both flagship consoles – it could find an sizable audience among those who want a step up from current-gen hardware but don’t want to commit $500. Microsoft’s two new consoles will be launching on November 10th, followed very closely by the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition on November 12th. That second week in November is going to be a big one, and the console that comes out on top with early adopters could be down to which company can fulfill the most pre-orders. source
  14. Microsoft publishes known issues for Xbox Series X|S Microsoft's next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series X|S, are set to launch tomorrow, November 10. As we lead up to the launch, Microsoft has revealed a list of bugs and issues you might run into on your new consoles when you get them in your home. Perhaps the most notable issue is that you may experience corrupted images or no signal on your TV if you set the console to 4K resolution at 120 frames per second with variable refresh rate enabled. This can happen even if your TV supports this input, and the issue affects TVs from LG, Samsung, and Vizio. Updating the firmware on your TV might help, but you may have to settle for a lesser image mode if it doesn't. Here are the potential workarounds described by Microsoft: Update to the latest firmware on your TV If using an LG TV - https://www.lg.com/us/support/software-firmware-drivers If using a Samsung TV - https://www.samsung.com/us/support/downloads/ If using a Vizio TV - https://support.vizio.com/s/firmware-search If the issue still persists, also consider trying the following: Configure the console for 4K/60 with VRR by going to Setting> General> TV & display options> Video Modes> check the box for Allow variable refresh rate. Configure the console for 4k/120 with no VRR by going to Setting> General> TV & display options> Video Modes> uncheck the box for Allow variable refresh rate. The resolution and refresh rates are found under “Display” in TV & Display options. If you wish to experience 120hz and VRR, please configure for 1080p/120hz VRR or 1440p/120hz VRR by Setting> General> TV & display options> Video Modes> check the box for Allow variable refresh rate. The resolution and refresh rates are found under “Display” in TV & Display options. If you are experiencing a corrupted image, here are your workarounds to reverting back to a safe video mode: Restart your console and configure your video modes to one of the listed options above. If you're still experiencing a corrupted image after restart, disable VRR on the TV. Please consult your TV manufactures on how to do this. If the issue still persist after steps 1 and 2, perform the video mode reset sequence to get back to a safe state and configure for one of the two options above. To do this, follow the steps on this page here under “Your screen is blank after you turn on the console > Reset your display settings”. This might be a bit of a bummer if you're buying the console because of these new graphics capabilities, but for most people, it's unlikely you'll have a TV that supports this kind of video output right now. Microsoft also notes that HDR game captures may look too dark when recorded on the new consoles, but a fix is in the works. Another big new feature of Xbox Series X|S is Quick Resume, which lets multiple games be suspended in the background and resume instantly when you want to go back to them. This feature also has issues with "a select number" of games, so it may not work perfectly right now, but Microsoft is working on a fix on the platform level. There are other issues, too. First off, the EA Play app is not available for Xbox Series X|S yet, so you won't be able to use it. Your subscription will still work, however, and you can download free trials or games included in the subscription from the Microsoft Store. If you're more into media consumption, the BBC iPlayer app is also not available as of yet, though Microsoft announced last week that all media apps available on Xbox One would also work on the new consoles. Microsoft says it's working with its partners to add support for the new consoles to BBC iPlayer. Additionally, the PeacockTV app may display "occasional pixelated frames", but otherwise it should work as intended. A fix is also being worked on for this. Finally, you may see a black screen when trying to play a DVD or Blu-ray movie on the new consoles, but this should be fixed by removing the disc, restarting the console, and inserting the disc again. While some of these issues may be somewhat disappointing to see, they shouldn't detract from an otherwise solid evolution of the Xbox experience, which our own Rich Woods noted in his review of the Xbox Series X. Microsoft publishes known issues for Xbox Series X|S
  15. If you haven’t managed to pre-order a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X yet, don’t sweat it. Don’t fret. Don’t worry, be happy. Okay, maybe not happy. For early adopters of shiny new gadgets, not being able to track one down by launch can be disheartening and frustrating. That might be even more pronounced thanks to everything else going on in the world—a tense, divisive election here in the States; the COVID-19 pandemic and resurgent lockdowns; probably an alien invasion or something worse in the near future. I get it. I’m not here to brush off your sadness. I’m here to cheer you up. There are very good reasons to wait when it comes to the newest toy. They may not assuage all your troubles, but they could blunt the pain. Let’s begin, shall we? #1 — The launch lineup is pretty thin. This isn’t to say there aren’t many games available on PS5 or Xbox Series X at launch, just that quite a few of these games will also be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC as well. In other words, even though the best version might only be available on PS5 or Xbox Series X, often you’ll be able to find the current-gen version and play that instead. Indeed, some of these games are just ports of current-gen games anyways. Meanwhile, if you do get a current-gen version of a game and later purchase a next-gen system, there are often free (or very cheap) upgrades available. For instance, if you get Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on PS4 or Xbox One, you can upgrade to next-gen for $10, which is just the price of the next-gen version ($69.99) to begin with. #2 — Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed. Again. One of, if not the, most anticipated games of the year is CDPR’s Cyberpunk 2077. Heading into holiday season, the game was set to release during the same week as PS5 and Xbox Series X. But CD Projekt RED wanted to polish (heh) the game just a bit more before release, so they pushed it back 3 weeks. Bad news, perhaps, for anyone hoping to play next week and certainly for anyone lucky enough to snag a PS5 or Xbox Series X. Good news, on the other hand, since you now have 21 extra days to get hold of a next-gen system. These will be released in waves, after all. It’s entirely possible that a second wave will hit before Cyberpunk 2077 comes out. #3 — Pre-orders are being delayed also. The fact is, just because you snagged a pre-order for the PS5 or Xbox Series X doesn’t mean you’ll even get it at launch. Many orders are being delayed for an indeterminant amount of time by various retailers. So if you didn’t get one, you can comfort yourself in the knowledge that even getting one didn’t actually mean getting one. If that makes any sense. The point is, this is the kind of product you just have no control over. Even success can end up bittersweet. Waiting until the dust settles isn’t such a bad idea, especially if you can get into the right mindset where the whole process isn’t stressing you out. Don’t worry, be happy. #4 — These are likely just a rough draft. So this is more for those gamers out there who might be a little bit on the fence. Should you even get a next-gen system at all, let alone on day one? Well, if last-gen taught us anything it’s that waiting has its perks. Not only will consoles get cheaper over time, both Sony and Microsoft released “mid-cycle” updates to their original PS4 and Xbox One consoles. This mid-cycle update was pretty huge, too. Sony released a PS4 Slim which was smaller and more attractive to replace the original PS4, and released a PS4 Pro which was quite a bit more powerful. Microsoft released the Xbox One S to replace the OG Xbox One, and it was a far more attractive console inside and out, and they released the very powerful Xbox One X. Waiting for a mid-cycle update isn’t a terrible idea for anyone content with their current systems. Besides, by the time that happens the industry will have largely moved to the new platforms and most of the new games coming out will be next-gen only. #5 — Waiting could get you a better deal, at least for an Xbox. Okay, take “better deal” with a grain of salt. This won’t actually save you money on an Xbox Series X (or S) but it will save you money, and it spreads out the cost. I’m referring to the Xbox All Access program. You can essentially finance your purchase of either console—$35/month for Series X, $25/month for Series S—and pay it off over the course of two years with no finance charges. Better yet, this price includes Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which gets you both Game Pass and Xbox Live With Gold. That gets you access to a bunch of games, online play and xCloud game streaming (which let’s you play Xbox games on Android devices) all included in the monthly fee. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also includes PC—and is $15/month all by itself. Right now, I don’t think there are any more All Access pre-orders available. I’ve checked Microsoft’s site and retailers and they’re all sold out and “Coming Soon” though this could obviously change at any time after publication. The point is, if you wait a little bit you might be able to get a next-gen Xbox via All Access. It won’t save you much money but it will spread out the big investment across two years. #6 — Don’t forget about the Nintendo Switch. Sure, it’s not as powerful or as new as Sony and Microsoft’s upcoming gaming systems, but Nintendo’s latest console is still great. And it’s currently (sort of) in stock. I say sort of because that seems to be changing daily. There was a long drought when it was virtually impossible to find one, but that’s largely over. Now the Nintendo Switch can be found at most retailers, though it does occasionally sell out. And it has so many great games! The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons...the list goes on and on. It’s a good alternative if you need something new to play on. - They say patience is a virtue. Mostly, I agree. When it comes to getting the newest, shiniest tech toys, patience is definitely a virtue. Virtue isn’t always fun—I get it—but it can save you money and save you stress sometimes. That’s not so bad. There are plenty of good reasons to buy a next-gen console—Demon’s Souls remake on PS5 being about ten of them—but if you can’t find one, don’t worry. They’ll be available soon enough. And whatever you do, don’t pay scalpers one red cent more than MSRP. They’re a big part of the reason pre-orders were so hard to come by in the first place. Source
  16. This PS5 and Xbox Series X NBA 2K21 trailer shows the true power of next-gen With gameplay changes to go with the graphical upgrade (Image credit: 2K) The new NBA 2K21 trailer is a showboating sneak-peek at the next-gen computing power of the Xbox Series X and PS5. Annual sports releases don't change much from year-to-year, but next-gen upgrades will help them make a genuinely massive step forward. Beyond the impressive photorealism, the sheer number of lifelike fans, coaches, cheerleaders, mascots and refs generated in one shot without a frame rate drop show that next-gen sports games could actually feel more alive and real than ever. The NBA 2K21 release date will be November 10 for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, November 12 for PS5 owners in select countries like the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and November 19 for PS5 owners globally. 2K Games says they have added "150 unique AI-driven characters" to the court, which tracks with what we saw in the trailer: cheerleaders, floor moppers, coaches, cameramen, nearby fans all moving around the court during a timeout. While not essential to enjoying the game, it does add some cool ambience. The trailer doesn't show perfect gameplay. Close-ups on players sweaty faces look excellent— Curry's gross mouthguard chewing aside — but in the rare zoomed-out footage players move or stop unrealistically quickly, like the character models can't quite keep up. And the movements look similar to what we've seen in previous games. That said, 2K Games is selling major differences beyond graphics that it attributes to the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. It claims to have added "new on-court animation and collision engines", "next-gen lighting, textures, and physics", a new Rail Cam, and an "expanded soundtrack with 202 songs at launch", You can pre-order NBA 2K21 on PS5 and NBA 2K21 for Xbox Series X now for $69.99 in the US. (Image credit: 2K) (Image credit: 2K) (Image credit: 2K) (Image credit: 2K) (Image credit: 2K) More info to come The new trailer is just the opening salvo in 2K's push to make NBA 2K21 stand out from the version that came out for PS4 and Xbox One X. The company plans to release more information soon in "Courtside Reports" that explain the new game engine and AI. More importantly, NBA 2K21 will have a revamped MyPLAYER Builder for building your own NBA star that could actually look something like you. 2K also promises new changes to MyCAREER, the WNBA, MyGM, and MyLEAGUE, along with a major expansion to, and renaming of, the Neighborhood. This PS5 and Xbox Series X NBA 2K21 trailer shows the true power of next-gen
  17. There might be a systemic hardware fault with the Xbox Series X after all, as reports emerge of problems with the disk drive and possibly the fan. Although videos of the Xbox Series X with smoke coming out of the top have been labelled as fake it seems there are real hardware issue with the console, with stories of it refusing to accept disks and Blu-rays. The console launched on Tuesday, November 10 worldwide and now reports are beginning to pile up on Twitter and Reddit of the disk drive not working. There seems to be some variation in exactly what happens, with some consoles not accepting the disk at all and others getting stuck halfway, which in some cases is accompanied by an ominous clicking noise – although there’s some uncertainty as to whether this may actually be the fan. Microsoft has not yet commented on the issue, although considering how fast they were to react to the smoke issues, which had already been debunked by fans, they’ll probably be pretty quick on this one too (we’ve asked them for a comment and will update this story if they provide one). Xbox Series X disk drive update Microsoft has provided the following statement: ‘We are aware of reports that a small number of users may be experiencing issues with their optical disc drives and we are actively investigating with our engineering teams.’ They encourage anyone who’s experiencing problem to contact them via the Xbox support website. A lot of the reports suggest that the drive does still work, the disk just has to be pushed in hard to get it in, although that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen if it gets stuck or the disk breaks halfway in. Whatever is going on the strangest error seem to be when the disk does go all the way in but still doesn’t work, which suggests that whatever’s going on is a fairly serious mechanical problem and is going to need for the drive to be replaced. Source
  18. The Xbox Series X has been out for just over 48 hours, but already some users are reporting technical issues. A help thread on the Microsoft community help forum reports that the new console is shutting down spontaneously shortly after starting a game. According to the thread, the console is shutting down just a few seconds after starting a game. A full reinstall and a full reset of the console haven't helped, says the user. A few others have reported similar experiences in the comments, while others have offered potential troubleshooting tips. At least one GameSpot staff member has experienced the issue as well, with crashes coming anytime between the moment a game is started to roughly 20 minutes into gameplay. Once the Xbox Series X shuts down this way, it needs to be started again using the hardware's power button, as it no longer starts up automatically when a paired controller powers on. It's also a cold start, showing the Xbox startup screen and rebooting any games fresh from the start. It's hard to say how widespread the issue may be from a handful of reports. It's also unclear if the Xbox Series S, which released alongside Series X, is experiencing the same issue. GameSpot has contacted Microsoft for a response. The Xbox Series X and Series S both launched on November 10, and their competitor, the PS5, launches today, November 12. If you're looking to obtain an Xbox Series X or Series S, check out post-launch availability. For more on Xbox Series X, check out GameSpot's slate of Xbox Series X/S hardware and game reviews. Source
  19. If you’re one of the many people who tried to get an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 earlier this week, you probably have some strong words for Microsoft, Sony, and every major retailer in your region right now. There’s no two ways about it: these launches have been disasters from the perspective of the consumer, and at this point, it seems likely that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are going to have stock issues for some time to come. Obviously, we’d expect new consoles to be popular, fast-selling items regardless of when they launch, but the pandemic we’re currently in the middle of is not making things any easier. Launching new consoles in the middle of a pandemic is now very clearly a recipe for frustration, so maybe we should avoid doing this in the future, yes? I’m going to try to avoid throwing too many stones here because Microsoft, Sony, retailers, and customers are all victims of circumstance, but it has to be said that the launch of both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been something of a disorganized mess dating back to when both of these consoles went up for pre-order. If you didn’t snag a console through pre-ordering it back when they first opened up, then you were basically left to fight for a launch day console, which is something that the pandemic really complicates. Shortly before release, Sony made the announcement that there would be no in-store launch day PlayStation 5 sales because it didn’t want people lining up in front of or otherwise flooding stores and contributing to the spread of COVID-19 over a game console. A smart move because of the pandemic, that’s for sure, but with all launch day PlayStation 5 sales moving online (along with many Xbox Series X sales, for that matter), that made it a lot harder for real people to actually get their hands on a console. That’s especially true when you consider that few retailers advertised times they would open up console sales, leaving most people to simply refresh listings for consoles constantly in the hope they’d get lucky. Even when a retailer did publicize times – which was basically just Walmart in the case of the PlayStation 5 – that didn’t really make things better for regular consumers. Though Walmart offered several different batches of PlayStation 5 stock at regular intervals yesterday, you had to be supremely lucky to get one. At those advertised times, Walmart’s website was unsurprisingly overwhelmed, either slowing to a crawl or crashing entirely. Then you have the fact that most of these retailers don’t have any safeguards against bots or those who are buying up stock just to resell them on eBay at a profit. Some retailers, like GameStop and Costco, opted to only offer consoles as part of a more expensive bundle. Though some will cry price gouging at seeing the price of those bundles, that wasn’t actually the case – instead, these bundles were offered as a way to dissuade resellers from buying, because they’d have to figure out what to do with the extra games and accessories that came with the console (with many stores not allowing returns on individual items from the bundle in question). Bundles definitely sold out slower than standalone consoles, so they probably did their job of turning away eBay scalpers, but it’s not like that’s an ideal solution for regular customers either. Not everyone is going to want all of the components of any given bundle, nor will everyone have the $700 or $800 on hand to cover the cost of one of them. In short, if you were trying to buy an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5 online this week, whether or not you got one was really a matter of luck. Few humans will win in a race against bots, and unstable websites only make matters worse. Not being able to find a PlayStation in-store, while a good thing because of the pandemic as a whole, means that regular consumers were at a big disadvantage when it comes to actually obtaining a console. As far as I’m aware, all PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X sales have been first-come, first-served as well. Retailers like Walmart and Target are selling future stock, sure, but neither Microsoft nor Sony are allowing you to get on some kind of waiting list. Offering that would probably remove a lot of stress for consumers who just want to secure a console for delivery at some point in the future. After witnessing the last few days, it would be amazing to see Sony and Microsoft implement something similar to the way Apple sells iPhones. If you head over to Apple.com in search of an iPhone, you’re always able to buy one, with shipping estimates based on the stock Apple has available. At this point, I’m guessing that most people would be more than okay with paying Microsoft and Sony their money now as long as it meant they could get a console at some point, even if their shipping date would be a month or two away. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that Sony and Microsoft were able to make the logistics work and launch consoles during a pandemic is impressive, and Sony in particular should be commended for disallowing in-store sales of the PlayStation 5 to prevent the spread of COVID. As impressive as it may be, though, the only clear winners from this week are the scalpers who used bots to secure a bunch of stock they can resell on eBay. At the moment, eBay is showing 4,880 results for Xbox Series X and 9,040 results for PlayStation 5. Surely not all of those listings are for the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, but many of them are. In the case of the Xbox Series X, we’re seeing listings that range from $700 to over $1,000, while the PlayStation 5 is even more egregiously-priced, with listings topping $1,400 or even $1,500 in some cases. These aren’t just scalpers who are shooting for the moon either – if you look at the sold listings, you’ll see plenty of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles that have sold at prices well over the $500 Microsoft and Sony are asking. As people bang their heads against the wall attempting to get an Xbox Series X or a PS5 online, they’re becoming increasingly more desperate and are paying vastly inflated prices to get one. I’m not here to be some kind of apologist for people who can’t exercise patience and decide to spend more than double the MRSP to have a console now instead of waiting a few months, but the fact that those consoles are selling shows how dire the stock situation is. As I stated earlier, this is always a problem when a new console releases, but the pandemic seems to have exacerbated everything ugly about a console launch. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that this has been one dance I never want to do again. Source
  20. Xbox Series X could seriously disappoint PC owners thanks to this missing feature Next-gen Xbox consoles don’t support local game streaming to Windows 10 PCs (Image credit: Microsoft) Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S consoles have just been released, but it turns out that there’s some sad news for previous Xbox owners who used the streaming feature to play console games on their PC via their local network (using Wi-Fi or a wired connection). For those not in the know, this local streaming feature works via the Xbox Companion app on Windows 10 PCs, but it doesn’t support Microsoft’s freshly released consoles, as Microsoft MVP Rafael Rivera pointed out in a tweet. Clearly this will be disappointing for some PC owners who’ve enjoyed this feature with their Xbox One, although there are some hopeful denizens on Twitter who are keeping their fingers crossed that perhaps Microsoft will add this feature for the Xbox Series X and Series S in time. However, the above highlighted entry in Microsoft’s Xbox support document does sound rather final in terms of game streaming to PCs only being available for the Xbox One generation machines. But why? As to why Microsoft made this move, that’s not clear at this point, but there was certainly no warning given that game streaming to PCs was being removed at launch for the Xbox Series consoles. One theory is that the reason for the dismissal of this feature could be something to do with Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service, which allows you to stream Xbox games to your PC, and other devices besides, like your mobile (although not locally, of course; this is a cloud service). Via MS Poweruser Xbox Series X could seriously disappoint PC owners thanks to this missing feature
  21. iFixit found Microsoft's chunky next-gen console is designed to be cool and quiet. iFixit revealed all of the Xbox Series X parts. The Xbox Series X and Series S came out Tuesday, and iFixit wasted no time in opening up the more expensive Series X. The repair site's teardown revealed that Microsoft included plenty of parts to keep the next-gen console cool, including a sizable fan, a heat sink and thermal paste. It found that the console's modular design should make the fan, power supply unit and wireless board easy to replace. However, the site also highlighted that the optical drive's internal circuit board is paired to the console's motherboard, so it'll be difficult to replace. The SSD also requires quite a bit of disassembly to reach. "A relatively modular and repair-friendly design is partly overshadowed by some software barriers," the site wrote. "Our tests indicate that both optical drive and SSD repairs will be problematic at best -- which could be an issue if you want this thing to play games, or boot up." Source
  22. Here are the first 13 games optimized for the Xbox Series X Thirteen new games are coming to the Xbox Series X with optimizations Microsoft is detailing the first games that will be optimized for its next-gen Xbox Series X console today. All of the games included in Microsoft’s Xbox 20/20 show will sport a new Xbox Series X Optimized badge, which signals that a game has been improved and optimized for the new console. Optimizations include 4K support at up to 120fps, DirectStorage support, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and faster load times. Effectively, when you see the Optimized badge, you know that a developer has done some work to ensure existing or new games work better on an Xbox Series X. You can read more about the Xbox Series X Optimized details here. Microsoft showcased 13 new games coming to Xbox Series X, including titles from Ubisoft, Deep Silver, and Bloober Team. All 13 games will sport the new Xbox Series X Optimized badge, and it’s likely we’ll see many more during Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios announcements in July and over the coming months. Here are the first 13 Xbox Series X Optimized titles: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Bright Memory Infinite Call of the Sea Chorus DiRT 5 Madden NFL 21 Scarlet Nexus Scorn Second Extinction The Ascent The Medium Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 Yakuza: Like a Dragon Source: Here are the first 13 games optimized for the Xbox Series X (The Verge)
  23. Xbox Series X games to finally be revealed next week X gon’ give it to ya (Image credit: 343 Industries) After Xbox head Phil Spencer hinted that we might see Xbox Series X games in the near future, Microsoft has now finally given us a date. On May 7 at 8am PT/11am ET/4pm BST, gamers who bat for the green team can tune in to a special episode of Inside Xbox, where Microsoft and its global partners will showcase next-gen gameplay running on Xbox Series X. It’ll be the first glimpse of what Microsoft’s pint-sized tower of power can do, and after the console’s technical specifications were revealed last month, expectations are high. We still haven’t seen any actual gameplay footage from either Xbox Series X or PS5, so it’s hard not to get excited about seeing what Microsoft has in store. The show is likely to contain a few interesting surprises and, in typical Microsoft fashion, a number of ‘world premieres’. There’s a strong chance we’ll see titles such as Halo Infinite and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, too, but what about third-party games? Will the recently announced Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla be shown in all its axe-wielding glory? Will we get any solid release dates? Could we possibly hear about a price point for the Xbox Series X? Sadly, we’ll have to wait to find out all this and more when Inside Xbox airs on May 7. Source: Xbox Series X games to finally be revealed next week (TechRadar)
  24. Some Xbox Series X games won’t hit 60fps “performance target” Dropping to 30fps, as in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, is a “creative decision.” Enlarge / This Assassin's Creed Valhalla screenshot is running at one frame per all of time (or 1 fpat). 105 with 78 posters participating With the added power of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft has been touting 4K resolution gaming at 60 frames per second as a new console standard. In recent days, though, we've been learning that not all Series X titles will be achieving that standard. Back in March, Microsoft announced that 4K/60fps level as the "performance target" for Series X games. Microsoft wanted to "build a next generation console that could run games in 4K at 60fps with no compromises for developers," the company said. And Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg later tweeted that 60fps should be considered the "standard output" for Series X games. But that target isn't a guarantee that all Series X games will run at 60fps. Ubisoft made that much clear in a recent statement to IGN: Assassin's Creed Valhalla will run at a minimum of 30 fps. On Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, we are committed to offer the best experience to our players by immersing them in the most beautiful worlds and environments we could create, and leveraging not only the graphics enhancements offered by the next generation of consoles, but also faster loading times and the new architectures. Microsoft further clarified the situation in a series of tweets to the Verge's Tom Warren. "Ultimately, it is up to individual developers to determine how they leverage the power and speed of Xbox Series X," the company said. "Developers always have flexibility in how they use the power, so a standard or common 60 fps is not a mandate." How many frames do you need? Measuring how fast the human visual system can actually perceive changes is a pretty tricky business. There's a robust debate over precisely how fast a display's refresh rate can get before you hit a point of diminishing returns as far as letting an average player detect less apparent motion "flicker." That said, Professor Thomas Busey told PC Gamer in 2017 that going from 30fps to 60fps is "demonstrably better" as far as motion perception. For games where quick reactions are important, 60fps has long been considered a common target. When playing on PC, frame rates are usually "unlocked," meaning players with strong enough hardware can push the performance as fast as their display allows. But frame rates on consoles are usually locked to a set rate meant to optimize performance on known hardware. In recent years, that has meant a number of high-profile games running at only 30fps on consoles, even as the PC versions of those games usually allow for much smoother frame rates. The mid-generation hardware upgrades of the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro helped more games achieve hit that 60fps rate, but many console games still struggled to reach that level of performance consistently (while other games offered enhanced-console players a choice to prioritize frame rate or resolution in the settings menu). With the Xbox Series X's "performance target," Microsoft seems to be saying that any decision to not reach 60fps on the system is a distinct choice by the developer, not a reflection on the hardware itself. Xbox Series X development chief Jason Ronald made this explicit in an interview with Eurogamer earlier in the month. Ultimately, we view resolution and frame rate as a creative decision. Sometimes, from a pure gameplay aspect, 30 [fps] is the right creative decision they can make. But in previous generations, sometimes you had to sacrifice frame rate for resolution. With this next generation, now it's completely within the developers' control. And even if you're building a competitive game, or an esports game, or a twitch fighter or first-person shooter, 60 frames is not the ceiling anymore. As we've seen on PC and other ecosystems, ultra high frame rates and ultra low latency input, that is the precision they prefer to prioritize. So we've designed the system to put that creative control in developers' hands. This isn't a new issue for Assassin's Creed games. Back in 2014, Assassin's Creed Unity Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand said developer Ubisoft locked all versions of the game at 30fps "to avoid all the debates and stuff," setting off intense debate among the usual subjects on the Internet. "We could be running at 100 fps if it was just graphics, but because of AI, we're still limited to 30 frames per second," Pontbriand said at the time, highlighting the tradeoffs involved in graphical fidelity. We'll see just how many developers end up making a similar "creative decision" on next-generation consoles going forward. What's clear for now, though, is that the newly emerging 60fps standard for modern games falls short of a heavy-handed requirement for all games to hit that mark. Source: Some Xbox Series X games won’t hit 60fps “performance target” (Ars Technica)
  25. Microsoft reveals more Xbox Series X specs, confirms 12 teraflops GPU More specs and performance hints for the next-gen Xbox Microsoft is revealing more specifications about its next-generation Xbox Series X hardware today. The biggest new confirmation is that the Xbox Series X will include 12 teraflops of GPU performance, which is twice what’s available in the Xbox One X and eight times the original Xbox One. This type of performance puts the Xbox Series X beyond most mid-range graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia, and it’s an impressive jump for a game console. It certainly shows that the next-gen Xbox and PS5 are going to go far beyond the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. “Xbox Series X delivers a true generational leap in processing and graphics power with cutting edge techniques resulting in higher framerates, larger, more sophisticated game worlds, and an immersive experience unlike anything seen in console gaming,” claims Xbox chief Phil Spencer. Microsoft has previously revealed hardware-accelerated DirectX ray tracing and variable rate shading (VRS), and the company says it has patented its own form of VRS. “Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, [developers] can prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects,” explains Spencer. “This technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.” The Xbox Series X will include a custom-designed CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA 2 architecture. Microsoft is also using an NVMe SSD on the Xbox Series X, which promises to boost load times and “nearly every aspect of playing games is improved,” according to Spencer. Xbox Series X will also support 8K gaming and frame rates of up to 120fps in games. Microsoft says it has partnered with the HDMI forum and TV manufacturers to enable Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) on the Series X as part of its HDMI 2.1 support. This should reduce input lag and smooth out visuals in games on TVs. Alongside the hardware specs, the next-gen Xbox Series X is also set to feature a “quick resume” feature. Microsoft used a similar feature on the Xbox One to resume games, but it’s now promising to let Xbox Series X owners resume multiple games from a suspended state. That will be a big improvement for switching between games or when you resume from standby. Microsoft is also fully supporting backward compatibility on the Xbox Series X, including original Xbox and Xbox 360 games. The Xbox maker is also branding its future Xbox Game Studios as “Smart Delivery,” meaning you can play the games on the Xbox One or Xbox Series X consoles. Third-party publishers will also be able to brand their games in a similar way so consumers know how they’ll work for the next-gen of consoles. Microsoft is promising to share “share more details about the new Xbox with you in the coming months,” as the company approaches key dates like the Game Developers Conference next month and E3 in June. We’re still waiting to hear more information on pricing, exact availability, next-gen launch titles, and whether a second, cheaper next-gen Xbox is coming in 2020. Source: Microsoft reveals more Xbox Series X specs, confirms 12 teraflops GPU (The Verge)
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