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I'm a big teen now! photo
I'm a big teen now!

Halo 5 first game in series rated T for Teen


Teen friendly, mother approved!
Aug 07
// Jed Whitaker
[Header image from DeviantArt artist Lazeedog.] Great news, teens: you can buy Halo 5: Guardians without an adult as the ESRB has rated it T for Teen, making it the first core game in the series not rated M for Matu...
Microsoft on GFWL photo
Microsoft on GFWL

Microsoft: 'Our goal right now isn't to do anything else other than support Steam'


Haha Games for Windows Live
Aug 07
// Chris Carter
Speaking to PC Gamer, Microsoft had a bit to say about the ol' Games for Windows Live and Steam feud. After shuttering the former down in favor of not screwing over its consumers with a bad service, they quickly shifted gears...
Xbox Elite App photo
Xbox Elite App

The Xbox Elite controller's app lets you customize everything


But when will we get sexy colors?
Aug 06
// Jed Whitaker
At around 38:33 in the video above, we get our first in-depth look at the Xbox Elite's controller app, and it looks awesome. The app allows you to configure your controller in basically every way imaginable from stick sensit...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Seagate's 2TB external Xbox One drive works like a charm


It's also not outrageously priced
Aug 06
// Chris Carter
Yesterday, Microsoft announced its first official HDD for the Xbox One in the form of a Seagate 2TB external. Although most units around that storage capacity are priced at $80 or so, the $110 pricepoint isn't too bad, especi...
Microsoft photo
Microsoft

'When you fail, it means you're pushing the boundaries of what's expected,' says Xbox's Phil Spencer


First-party exclusives 'more difficult'
Aug 06
// Vikki Blake
In a frank exchange with GameSpot, Xbox boss Phil Spencer acknowledged that experimentation with new IPs inevitably resulted in a "higher fail-rate." "When you're starting new games, in terms of new ideas and mechanics, your&...
Backward compatibility  photo
Backward compatibility

The reality of Microsoft's backward compatibility ad is less impressive


Haha
Aug 05
// Chris Carter
Microsoft unveiled a giant ring of backward compatibility for the Xbox One, but something is amiss. Look closlier. Now, look more closer. Do you see it? There's a number of duplicates in there. Game Informer has done the...
Xbox One HDD photo
Xbox One HDD

Microsoft announces first official 2TB external HDD


From Seagate
Aug 05
// Chris Carter
The Xbox One's onboard 500GB limit is woeful. After Wolfenstein hit, games reached the critcal mass of 40GB for the average AAA title, which cleaned out my space in seconds. Publishers are now expanding upon their planne...
Battletoad KI photo
Battletoad KI

Here's the rundown on Battletoad Rash's appearance in Killer Instinct, with a catch


It's a timed test right now
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Today, Microsoft announced Season 3 of Killer Instinct, set to debut next year on PC and Xbox One. But wait, there was another tidbit too -- Rash from Battletoads will be playable today! Unfortunately, the reality is a l...

Everything that happened at Microsoft's 2015 gamescom conference

Aug 04 // Chris Carter
New Quantum Break trailer has a hobbit and military violence Microsoft debuts Crackdown 3 gameplay at gamescom Scalebound gameplay trailer reveals four player co-op, coming Holiday 2016 Quantum Break now has an April 5, 2016 release date Xbox One DVR functionality coming in 2016 Killer Instinct Season 3 coming March 2016 on Xbox One and PC Bloodstained will feature Microsoft crossplay, new character revealed Lovely Xbox One controller gets an ugly chatpad Xbox One backward compatibility comes to everyone in November Ark: Survival Evolved adds giant spiders to its dino-fest Ron Gilbert's Thimbleweed Park coming to Xbox One, Windows 10 We Happy Few is coming to Xbox One first, my fair lady Cobalt, that arena battle game, is still an Xbox exclusive Thimbleweed Park has an Anthony Burch doppelganger Homefront: The Revolution is doing an Xbox One exclusive beta 'Xbox players love their fut' and crappy FIFA deals Halo 5's new trailer has an excellent sliding kill Microsoft announces Halo World Championship, special 1TB Xbox One New Just Cause 3 trailer looks like silly, explosive fun Rainbow Six Siege scmhoozes gamescom with German counter terror unit Forza 6 team is way too hyped about rain Halo Wars 2 confirmed for Xbox One and PC, coming in 2016 Tremble in fear at our first look at Dark Souls 3 Cities: Skylines will arrive on Xbox One first on console
gamescom 2015 photo
Lots of non-exclusives
Hey, you know what? I actually enjoyed Microsoft's gamescom conference for the most part. Sure it had a lot of non-exclusives in there, but it wasn't a train wreck. I mean, when your heavy-hitter is Halo Wars 2 you know it's not all that exciting, but again, it could have been a lot worse. Plus, I know a lot of people who actually really dug Halo Wars, so I bet they're happy.

Halo Wars 2 photo
Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 confirmed for Xbox One and PC, coming in 2016


Creative Assembly is involved
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Although they haven't given out any real details, Halo Wars 2 was confirmed today at Microsoft's gamescom conference. It will be coming to the PC and Xbox One in fall 2016. The trailer above gives us a quick look at the...
Halo photo
Halo

Microsoft announces Halo World Championship, special 1TB Xbox One


I wonder how well it will do
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Microsoft has unveiled a new Halo tournament, dubbed the Halo World Championship. It'll feature one million dollars in prizes, and will focus around Halo 5: Guardians. Additionally, the publisher revealed a new 1TB limited e...
Xbox One chatpad photo
Xbox One chatpad

Lovely Xbox One controller gets an ugly chatpad


Function, not form
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
I mean, hey, it works. Anyone type enough on the Xbox One that they're picking this bad boy up when it launches in November?
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

Bloodstained will feature Microsoft crossplay, new character revealed


Dual sword wielding demon hunter shown
Aug 04
// Laura Kate Dale
If you buy Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Xbox One or Windows 10, you'll be able to interact with your friends on other Microsoft-owned platforms. Revealed at Microsoft's gamescom press briefing, we also got our first g...
Killer Instinct photo
Rash from Battletoads is confirmed
Microsoft announced today at gamescom that Killer Instinct will be getting a Season 3, which will debut in March 2016. That goes for the Xbox One and the upcoming PC version, and Xbox One fight sticks and controllers will work on PC. Also, Rash from Battletoads will debut in the game today, which is pretty awesome. I'm up for a Season 3, as the core game has been excellent so far.

Quantum Break photo
Quantum Break

Quantum Break now has an April 5, 2016 release date


Time moves slow
Aug 04
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft kicked off its gamescom press conference by bending time and slowly shoving bullets into bad guys. That's Quantum Break -- part third-person cover action game and part television show. We still don't have a goo...
Crackdown 3 photo
Crackdown 3

Microsoft debuts Crackdown 3 gameplay at gamescom


Destruction-centric multiplayer
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Microsoft gave us a bit of info on Crackdown 3, which is starting to take shape. It takes place in a new city which was once a "glistening metropolis now filled with crime." It's described as an ecosystem where you have more...
Xbox bares it all!!! photo
Xbox bares it all!!!

Watch the Xbox gamescom 2015 press conference


Microsoft Xbox One and PC presser
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
Microsoft is kicking off gamescom 2015 in Cologne with its Xbox briefing in 15 minutes. That's 7:00AM (PDT), 4:00PM in Germany.  You can watch it live streamed here, or through your Xbox One, Xbox 360, or Windows Phone. ...
HoloLens photo
HoloLens

Microsoft's HoloLens will feature Xbox Live and ID@Xbox support


Four platforms to rule them all
Aug 04
// Laura Kate Dale
With Microsoft's gamescom press conference mere hours away, little bits of news are starting to pop up here and there that it didn't deem worth making part of the main conference. From the looks of it, some additional HoloLen...
Backward compatibility photo
Backward compatibility

Shadow Complex playable on Xbox One for preview members


As is Gears of War
Aug 03
// Jordan Devore
I'm using my Xbox One more than ever now that Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise is playable by way of Rare Replay. Gotta catch 'em all. Backward compatibility is a huge deal for people like me who have an extensive Xbox...
Ultimate Edition photo
Ultimate Edition

Entire 'Gears of War Collection' unlocked on Xbox One by playing Ultimate Edition


Gears 1-4
Aug 03
// Chris Carter
Microsoft has announced that if you purchase Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, you'll be able to unlock the entire Gears Collection by way of backward compatibility, and now we have a few concrete details on the matter. If...

Review: Rare Replay

Aug 03 // Chris Carter
Rare Replay (Xbox One)Developer: RarePublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: August 4, 2015MSRP: $29.99 From the moment I booted it up, Rare Replay was not only charming, but welcoming as well. I love the carnival style menus with old timey posters, as it's a nice little touch that clues us in on how much work went into it. The menu is very clearly defined and every game is detailed in a straightforward way, from the number of players to the release year. In addition to 10,000 achievements, there's also a "stamp" system that works as an internal record keeper of sorts, which unlocks various video extras. Said videos are basically miniature documentaries, ranging from takedowns of Rare, to existing games, to cancelled projects, and are very well done. I was really surprised by how interesting these clips were; even the more drab ones are filled with lots of new information. The menus are responsive as well, and after clicking a game, it takes roughly five seconds to load. It's crazy how much Rare thought of, as Replay includes built-in instruction manuals, auto-save functionality, and three save slots per game. There's also emulator-esque tools at your disposal, like quick saving in older games, cheats like instant rewinding (conveniently mapped to the left trigger), a toggle for infinite lives, and even a CRT monitor filter. All in all, it's a wonderful package presentation-wise. As for the games themselves there are 30 in all, 15 of which can probably be considered "retro" even by older gamers' standards, dating before 1994. That includes staples like the incredible Battletoads and Snake Rattle 'n' Roll, as well as a handful of more obscure games like Gunfright and Underwurlde. My time with a lot of these titles has been rather mixed, as some of them are too dated for their own good, but most of them absolutely hold up as arcade-like experiences. [embed]296727:59711:0[/embed] Having said that, the "Snapshots" mode (basically a challenge gametype with bits and pieces of select titles) is an excellent way to become acclimated to some of these games. Tasks range from typical score attack sessions to beating specific areas with specific limitations, to survival challenges. The best part? You can score over the goal and test your might by way of leaderboards. There are 16 games in all with Snapshots, and six more challenging multi-game playlists. As you start to move into the mid-'90s, more of the "classic" Rare fare starts to shine, like Blast Corps., Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and Jet Force Gemini. All of the games that had multiplayer enabled still have it within the ports themselves, and it was incredibly easy to just turn on another Xbox One controller and go at it with another player. One game I didn't expect to love was Battletoads Arcade, which was never released on a home console before Rare Replay. On the other hand, if I had to pick the worst game in the package it would probably be Killer Instinct Gold, which is a bare-bones version of the second game. It kind of makes sense though, as Killer Instinct 1 and 2 already exist on the Xbox One in the form of Killer Instinct 2013 bonuses, so Gold's inclusion is still unique. The modern games are pretty much all great, including Viva Piñata, one of the best zen garden simulators to date, and Jetpac Refuelled, a standout game on the Xbox Live Arcade, even today. Kameo, which was not a great full retail price launch title all the way back in 2005, is a great little extra in Replay, and is worth playing. At the end of the day the selection of games is superb, and one of the only missing games I wanted was GoldenEye. In case you're wondering, yes, every game that supported online play still does so in Rare Replay, though I wasn't able to test out this extensively before launch -- we'll provide updates if there are any issues after launch. For clarity on a few technical things, all of the Xbox 360 games are provided as separate installs by way of the disc (Banjo Kazooie, Tooie, Nuts & Bolts, Perfect Dark, Zero, Viva Piñata, Trouble in Paradise, Jetpac Refuelled, Kameo), but have full Rare Replay's features, and holding the start button still conveniently brings you back to the core menu. There's a wonky little first-time setup on the Xbox 360 side of things, but once it finishes you're all good. Since a lot of these games are still at least $10 on the Xbox Live Arcade, $30 for the lot (and more) is a great deal. Rare Replay is a new milestone for compilations. A great deal of care was put into the project, and 30 games is enough meat to ensure that everyone will really enjoy at least half of them. I sincerely hope this is the start of a revival of the classic Rare we know and love. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
Rare Replay review photo
From the Stamper garage to Microsoft
The first Rare game I ever played was Snake Rattle 'n' Roll in 1990, but the company has been around for quite some time. Vs. Slalom was technically Rare's first title. Tim and Chris Stamper, the heart and soul...

Microsoft photo
Microsoft

'Paying for third-party exclusives isn't our long term strategy,' says Xbox's Phil Spencer


Not 'core' to Xbox strategy
Aug 03
// Vikki Blake
Paying for third-party exclusives isn’t part of Microsoft's long-term strategy, says Xbox boss Phil Spencer.  Talking to Chinese site Gamecores during China Joy 2015, Spencer said that in the future Micro...
100K Achievements photo
100K Achievements

Good lord, there are 100,000 Achievements


2.79 percent of them are unobtainable
Jul 31
// Jordan Devore
According to TrueAchievements, 100,000 Achievements exist across Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows, and other supported platforms. Think of all that sweet, sweet Gamerscore! Scale aside, I was most interested to hear what the top f...
Rare Replay photo
Rare Replay

Is 30 games in Rare Replay not enough for you?


What would you like to see added?
Jul 30
// Vikki Blake
Although Rare is packaging 30 of its biggest games together with the release of Rare Replay, turns out 30 retro Rare games might not be enough. During a special Twitch livestream, Rare's James Thomas said that whittling ...

Windows 10 is now available, these are the gaming features you might care about

Jul 29 // Jed Whitaker
The start menu is back and why are we celebrating this!? A big complaint about Windows 8 was the removal of the basic start menu for the Metro system with live tiles, tailor made for touch screen devices. As most of us probably still use Windows with a mouse and keyboard it wasn't a great solution. It had some apps running in basically their own full screen only windows, thus defeating the purpose of... you know... windows. Thankfully Windows 10 fixes this by combining the old school easy-to-use start menu with the flash and flair of live tiles from Windows 8 Metro start menu. The apps now launch in their own resizable windows instead of full screen only, and plenty of them can be downloaded from the Windows Store for free. Windows Store for those of you who haven't heard of Steam The Windows Store includes plenty of games you can play with your Xbox Live friends and even earn Achievements, but most of them are just ports of casual mobile or Facebook-style games. However, you can find Project Spark on the Windows Store, which runs far better on PC than Xbox One. In the future you can look forward to the sexy free-to-play Gigantic which I quite liked at PAX East this year. Halo's Cortana is the new voice assistant you'll most likely ignore Cortana is to Windows as Siri is to iOS devices, that is to say she is a personal assistant that can be used via text or voice. Cortana is voiced by Jen Taylor, just like in the Halo series, and can do all kinds of tasks such as scheduling appointments, setting reminders, opening apps, and even chatting about Halo and Master Chief. I honestly haven't used Cortana too much but I don't really dig voice assistants, as they don't always seem to understand what I'm saying; even Cortana had trouble understanding me while using my professional grade microphone. Even on my iPhone I've literally only used Siri to call Buffalo Wild Wings instead of adding them to my contact list because I'm too lazy. Voice assistants seem more geared towards business than common folk like me. The Xbox app with game streaming from Xbox One is actually decent The Xbox app is free on Windows 10 and gives you access to all your friends, messages, achievements, clips and even allows you to stream games from  your Xbox One. Streaming from the Xbox One requires an Xbox controller (360 or One) be connected to the system which at time of writing can only be done via USB, though a wireless dongle is coming. The Xbox app also allows you to record gameplay and take screenshots of any game on your PC, whether playing on Xbox or not via a handy keyboard shortcut (Win + G) and pop-up toolbar. Game streaming works about as well as you'd imagine. I just played a match of Halo 2's SWAT -- a game mode requiring precision aiming due to requiring headshots for kills -- in which I came in the middle of the pack with over ten kills. There was a smidgen of noticeable lag at one point, but not enough to really affect the gameplay enough to matter. Video quality-wise there was a bit of artifacting but only if I really looked for it, even with both my desktop and Xbox One running on wired connections. Also the "Xbox record that" voice command won't work during streaming, so you'll have to use Xbox apps keyboard shortcut to record directly onto your PC that way. Supposedly better performance out of your current graphics card with DirectX 12 To save you all the geeky technical talk just know that DirectX 12 allows many graphics cards to have majorly increased performance in comparison to previous versions, meaning you might be able to play at higher resolutions with better settings on your current setup. For more details check out this informative video from AMD.  I personally haven't seen much real world increase in graphical performance, but I'm running on an Nvidia GTX 980 that could already max out all the games I was playing on Windows 8 previously. Perhaps you'll see some gains? Minecraft: Windows 10 beta is a thing that exists If you are one of those people who must have every version of Minecraft possible then good news, you can get the Windows 10 beta for free if you already own a PC copy of the game. Details on how to get the beta are at the Mojang site. I just attempted to do it and it is only allowing me to download the trial version, so your results may vary. This version of Minecraft allows you to play with up to seven of your Xbox Live friends at once and eventually even play with mobile players. I guess that is probably exciting for someone.  -- Windows 10 has plenty of other new features, most of which just let you do what you'd normally do more efficiently such as new ways to snap windows, a new task view, automatic updates, and the Microsoft Edge web browser that is probably the fastest browser currently on the market. Edge doesn't currently support extensions, which is keeping me from switching from Google Chrome at the moment. I've been using Windows 10 on my main system for quite a while now with no issues and with all my games and applications working as intended. Windows 10 is easily the best operating system I've ever used as it allows me to play, work, and relax more efficiently and effectively. It has been worthwhile for me.
Best Windows yet? photo
Pizzazz, pizzazz, Windows 10 is here
Windows 10 is now officially available, and those who have Windows 7 or 8 can upgrade for free, which is a pretty good price for what I consider the best version of Windows yet. Windows 10 packs a bunch of new features, including some nice extras for Xbox One owners. Here is an overview of new features you might care about as someone who plays games.

The Coalition photo
The Coalition

Gears of War 4 dev canceling its original game for Gears a 'no-brainer'


Job security, I guess
Jul 29
// Steven Hansen
After Microsoft acquired the Gears of War rights, Black Tusk studio was doomed. It was rebranded as The Coalition, a less discrete and more boring name, and will be to Gears of War what 343 is to Halo. Black Tusk had been wo...
Rare Replay photo
Rare Replay

What's your favorite game from Rare Replay?


You have 30 choices
Jul 29
// Chris Carter
I got my hands on Rare Replay, and I've been playing it quite a bit for our review next week. It's crazy how addicting Blast Corps is, as I just completed it earlier this year on my N64, and was enticed to beat it y...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Microsoft plans to integrate PC to Xbox streaming


They already announced Xbox to PC
Jul 29
// Mike Cosimano
In an interview with The Verge, Xbox head Phil Spencer spoke to the possibility of streaming games from your PC to your Xbox One. The just-launched Windows 10 comes packaged with Xbox One to PC streaming functionali...
Free Xbox games photo
Free Xbox games

Ground Zeroes, Metro series free with Xbox Live Gold soon


Solid showing
Jul 28
// Jordan Devore
The Games with Gold lineup for August looks good. It's probably not enough to convince me to renew my lapsed Xbox Live Gold membership, but I seriously considered it for a minute there. On Xbox One, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

The upcoming Xbox One dashboard looks totally different


I hope this is a good thing
Jul 25
// Jed Whitaker
The Xbox One dashboard is getting a major revision this holiday season and it is shaping up to be...something.  A completely new guide (think popup dashboard from the Xbox 360) is being added that slides in over games ve...

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