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With E3 2020 in Tatters, Xbox E3 Event to Go Ahead Online

Microsoft's Xbox business head Phil Spencer announced that the company is planning to take the Xbox E3 Event online with a Digital Event. The 2020 edition of the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), the world's largest video gaming industry trade show, was cancelled for the first time since its 1995 debut, in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Microsoft Xbox is one of its latest participants with an E3 event almost every year. The 2020 edition of E3 was particularly important for Microsoft, as the company was expected to shed more light on its next-generation game console platform (or platforms, according to some rumors). Particularly since Sony had already announced absence from the show, it would be a Microsoft-focused event. "E3 has always been an important moment for Team Xbox. Given this decision, this year we'll celebrate the next generation of gaming with the @Xbox community and all who love to play via an Xbox digital event," tweeted Spencer. He added that details on the timing of the Digital Event will be put out in the coming weeks.

Activision's Call of Duty: Warzone is Launching Today

Activision yesterday announced that its next Call of Duty game, called Warzone, is launching today. At around 8 AM PST, owners of Modern Warfare will be able to experience the Warzone couple of hours before everyone, while the rest of the players will have to wait until noon PST to play. The game itself is a massive, free-to-play, battle royale style game that can fit 150 players in the single match and is cross-play enabled, meaning that folks with PCs can join forces with Xbox and PlayStation players. The download size of the game is going to be around 80-100 GB alone, so players will have to free up some space on their disks for that. Below you can watch the trailer and see how the game looks before it officially drops today.

People Can Fly, Square Enix Release Gameplay Trailer for Next-Gen Videogame Outriders

People Can Fly and Square Enix today released a gameplay trailer for their upcoming, next-gen game Outriders. The game, which will be available in current-gen systems as well as Xbox Series X, PS5 and PC, is a 1-3 player, drop-in drop-out co-op RPG shooter which promises to be set in a futuristic, dark sci-fi universe. The premise is as such: humanity as we know it abandoned Earth in search of a new home, which they thought they had found in the form of Enoch. A worldwide, storm-like event dubbed The Anomaly (which may have been produced by more than weather phenomena, I wager) forced humanity back into cryo-suspension whilst they waited for the proverbial storm to pass. The eventually reawakened ones find burning powers within themselves that will force them to confront their humanity, evolve - and eventually, to become something different.

People Can Fly describe the game as "Players will create their own Outrider and embark on a journey across a hostile planet. With rich storytelling spanning a diverse world, they will leave behind the slums and shanty towns of the First City and traverse forests, mountains and deserts in pursuit of a mysterious signal." You can expect an arsenal of weapons and supernatural powers, though the exact nature of the game's world and systems (open-world, quasi-open world, or some such) still haven't been clarified. Expect the game to drop come holiday 2020, right alongside the next-generation console launch. A reveal stream will be available via Twitch in about two days - there's a countdown timer in the official Outriders page.

Hands on with the Big O 2020 Edition Dual-System from Origin PC

Corsair had acquired the performance system builder Origin PC in 2019, and we are seeing the first apparent synergic effects of this at CES 2020 with the all-new Big O system. The one-off from last year was a hand-built concept that made serious waves online by incorporating a PC, XBOX One X, PS4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch in the same chassis. It was not really intended to be a retail product, however, but this new 2020 version will actually come to the market in two main flavors: with an Xbox One S or a PS4 Pro pre-installed in a Corsair Crystal Series 280X dual-chamber case.

Origin will still offer all the usual configurations on the gaming PC side, with the base configuration starting at $2,499 MSRP for the XBOX One S version paired with a 1 TB HDD, as well as an Intel Core i5-9600K, 16 GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 GPU, a 240 GB SSD, and a 450 W power supply. The interesting element is certainly the console within, as it will be liquid cooled alongside some additional elements to keep the rest of the key components cool as well. You may also opt for upgraded storage options for the console, and further customize it by having an Elgato capture card built-in, so that you could stream your console gaming straight through the PC for example. Also, thanks to the completely separated power setup, your console would not shut down if your PC happens to go into standby for example. In terms of warranty, Origin PC will offer direct warranty for the consoles as well just like its traditional PCs. The Big O is up for pre-order with a special price starting at $2327 on the Origin website now.

Minecraft Gets Cross-Play Update on PS4

Players of Minecraft on PlayStation 4 rejoice! Minecraft is now getting an update on the PS4 platform that enables all PlayStation users to gain access to cross-play features, so they are now able to play with millions of other players on Xbox, PC, Switch, iOS, Android, and even Samsung Gear VR platform. In the so-called "Bedrock Edition" update that arrives today, Microsoft will push new features to Minecraft and connect millions of players.

In the words of Microsoft's game studio boss Helen Chiang: "One of Minecraft's core missions is to connect players across devices and provide the best experience regardless of platform. We continue to fulfill that mission here today by welcoming PS4 players to Minecraft on Bedrock and growing our cross-platform multiplayer community".

Halo: Reach PC Version Launches Today

Halo: Reach for PC is going live today, as per confirmations from game developer 343 Industries. The game is supposed to go live tonight at 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST when it will be released on PC and Xbox One. The PC port is going to be available for purchase on three platforms: Game Pass, Steam, and the Windows Store. The PC port currently contains some bugs, however, 343 Industries is working to iron them out before the game launches. Features like uncapped FPS will be mostly unstable during the launch period and might cause the game to crash, so it's better to turn it off for now. Latency issues could also be present in the beginning but 343i is working hard to remove it before the game drops tonight. For all Steam users, you can pre-purchase the game here.

Sennheiser Launches GSP370 Wireless Gaming Headset, 100 Hours of Battery Life

Sennheiser today launched the GSP370 gaming headset, which will allow you to immerse yourself in virtual worlds for as many as 100 hours between charges. Sennheiser have managed to improve power efficiency of the GSP370 over their current flagship, the GSP670, by more than five times - that one headset only lasts between 16 and 20 hours for each full charge. And this battery efficiency didn't come at the cost of maximum output levels - the 117dB SPL makes sure of that.

There's a noise-canceling mic in the headset, and memory foam pads appeal to comfort and extended gaming sessions. The GPS370 is compatible with PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4 (and Xbox as well with the headphone adapters or newer controllers) and is available on Sennheiser's website starting today for $199.95. Data transmission is taken care of by Bluetooth 5.0 (in a dongle adapter) and there's a micro USB charging cable in the box, which is enough to power the headset for usage even if its battery runs completely dry. Sennheiser will also include its GSA 50 headset hanger, which normally sells for $38, for free.

Microsoft Partners With Spotify in XBOX Game Pass

Microsoft today announced a new partnership with Spotify for new users of their Xbox Game Pass service. The new partnership is only open for U.S. and U.K residents, though - anyone else will have to pony up for both services, if interested. In essence, should you upgrade your existing Xbox Live subscription to Xbox Game Pass (either on PC or console), which you can currently do for just $1, you will also get access to Spotify's Premium plan for a long 6 months. Fuel for thought and whatever you feel like doing - just diving into one of the more than 100 entries into Microsoft's Game Pass, or the millions of songs available with Spotify.

Pinbrawler "Creature In The Well" Out Today on Steam, Xbox One, and Switch

Flight School Studio have released today their unique pinball hack and slash Creature in the Well on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Steam for $14.99 USD. The title is also available for free to Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Windows 10 PC and Xbox One.

As the last remaining BOT-C unit, venture deep into a desert mountain to restore power to an ancient facility, haunted by a desperate Creature. Uncover and upgrade powerful gear in order to free the city of Mirage from a deadly sandstorm.

SteelSeries Launches First Four-In-One Wireless Headset for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC and Mobile

SteelSeries, the makers of the most award-winning headset line in history, today announces the newest member of the Arctis family, the Arctis 1 Wireless. The Arctis 1 Wireless features the new slimmed down body of the Arctis 1, but connects via a small USB-C dongle for a true lossless and low latency connection across Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC and mobile.

The Arctis 1 Wireless is the ultimate 4-in-1 wireless headset. Through a small USB-C dongle, it features SteelSeries' lossless 2.4 GHz wireless technology for ultra-low latency wireless on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Android. This allows users to easily take the same console or PC experience on-the-go on Nintendo Switch or Android devices.

Age of Wonders: Planetfall Retail Versions Now Available for Pre-Order

Paradox Interactive and Deep Silver today confirmed details about the physical release of Age of Wonders: Planetfall. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the upcoming Sci-Fi-Strategy game and series successor from Triumph Studios will be released and available at retail on Aug. 6, 2019.

Emerge from the cosmic dark age of a fallen galactic empire to forge a new future. Build an empire with one of six unique factions, ranging from the militant Vanguard to the dinosaur-riding Amazons and the cyborg-zombies of the Assembly. Progress through each faction's missions using wits, military strength, and diplomacy, exploring planetary ruins and encountering other survivors as the history of a shattered civilization unravels. Fight, build, negotiate, and technologically advance a path to utopia in a deep single player campaign, on random skirmish maps, and against friends in multiplayer.

Attack On Titan 2: Final Battle Available Now

Today, KOEI TECMO America officially launched Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle, the colossal action game based on the worldwide anime phenomenon 'Attack on Titan'. Players are invited to equip their Omni-Directional Mobility gear and join the fight against the devastating Titans on the PlayStation 4 Computer Entertainment System, Nintendo Switch, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, and digitally on Windows PC via Steam.

Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle offers gripping new gameplay modes to players, allowing them to experience the captivating narrative of the anime's Season 3 storyline and develop their own regiment to reclaim land from the Titans. In Character Episode mode, gamers follow the Season 3 storyline across three different timelines: the Scout Regiment, 104th Cadet Corps, and the Warriors - witnessing pivotal plot points through the eyes of key characters. In Territory Recovery mode; aspiring commanders can create their own dream team, using any of the over 40 playable characters on the roster to venture outside of the walls and fight to claim land back for humanity.

Microsoft May be Closer Than Ever to Importing Xbox Games Infrastructure to PC

In a report via Ars Technica, it seems that Microsoft is actually inching ever closer to having PCs powered by Xbox games (and Xbox servers). After the company pushed some free copies of State of Decay to a limited number of beta testers for its upcoming Windows 10 updates (and asking for feedback on the game's behavior), a number of users tried (and managed) to dig deeper.

It seems that Microsoft used the Xbox's distribution services instead of the usual Game Store ones for distributing State of Decay, which would mean a tight integration of its console distribution platform and its Windows PC one. Furthermore, the state of Decay files came in encoded on a proprietary, Xbox-bound .xvc file system. State of Decay, as it is being delivered, also tries to update the DirectX installation on the users' PC, which speaks of it being aware of some PC-specific requirements for it to be run, which wouldn't be present shouldn't that be the case. This is all part of Microsoft's GameCore initiative, which aims to build a common set of system services and APIs that allow for higher development integration between both the PC and Xbox platforms, lowering the coding barrier for games to run on both, and perhaps even enabling PCs to be recognized as equals to Xbox consoles when it comes to content distribution. Maybe we'll finally be able to get The Master Chief collection and... Red Dead Redemption in our PCs?

Is a New Jade Empire Game on the Horizon? EA Files for New Trademark

The original Jade Empire was Bioware's first foray into their own imagined IP and universe, and released to wide acclaim as an original Xbox exclusive (and I mean original Xbox, the one that gave us Halo and Azurik and other small and not so small gems). First outed in 2005, the game was later released for PC in 2007 with a Special Edition. Now, EA has filed for a trademark on the game in the "Goods and Services" category, allowing for "Entertainment services, namely, providing an on-line computer game; Provision of information relating to electronic computer games provided via the Internet." The fastest and dirtiest interpretation would be a multiplayer or always-online game, but we have to remember that all games now have a form of digital distribution and/or upkeep via downloadeable updates, so, it could really be as simple as that.

It could also just mean that EA is keeping up with soon-to-be-expiring trademarks so as not to lose their rights to the IP, but still, launch of any game would require the establishment/renewal of such trademarks. We'll have to play the most unavoidable game known to gamers: the waiting one.

Bethesda is Feeling Generous, or the Apology: 2018 Fallout 76 Players to Receive Fallout Classic Collection for PC

Fallout 76 has quickly been deemed one of the gaming failures of 2018, with the world of Fallout falling prey to a multitude of factors. You can count Bethesda's game engine and it's infinite amount of bugs, blatant misinformation in marketing campaigns, and monetization, monetization, monetization.

It would seem that in a bid to win back player's graces, Bethesda will be offering PC, PS4 and Xbox players of Fallout 76 that logged in to play the game during 2018 a copy of their Fallout Classic Collection, which includes Fallout, Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, and Fallout 2. It's a holiday gift given in a pleading position, so to speak. An announcement that Bethesda would be developing a new game engine would likely be better received by the community as an apology, though.

Razer Announces Turret Living Room Keyboard+Mouse for Xbox One

Razer , the leading lifestyle brand for gamers, today introduced a new way to play on console with the Razer Turret for Xbox One, a wireless keyboard and mouse combo designed for Xbox One. "We're extremely proud to team up with Microsoft to bring you this exclusive collaboration," says Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. "With the Razer Turret for Xbox One, it is now possible to bring the full experience of a keyboard and mouse, with lighting and game integration to Xbox One."

Built for reliable gaming on the couch, the Razer Turret for Xbox One offers a fast and stable 2.4 GHz wireless connection via a single dongle for the mouse and keyboard, and battery life of up to 40 hours on a single charge. With Xbox Dynamic Lighting and Razer Chroma technology, console gamers now have access to the largest ecosystem of lighting, with up to 16.8-million color options and lighting effects for their keyboard and mouse. Additionally, Razer has been working with developers to bring Xbox Dynamic Lighting and Razer Chroma support in-game, offering immersive experiences on supported titles such as "X-Morph-Defense", "Vermintide 2" and more.

Razer Makes a Push for Your Living Room With Wireless Xbox One Keyboard, Mouse Kit

Razer has started teasing an upcoming keyboard + mouse combo specifically designed for Xbox couch gamers. Now that Microsoft has added actual keyboard and mouse support to the Xbox console, allowing gamers to use the controllers they feel more comfortable with (or they feel will give them the competitive edge, of course), Razer is looking to cash in on that market. Razer says these have a couch-specific design - which means a keyboard and a mouse thrown together in a board for additional stability on your lap.

It's just a tease, for now, but if you're a Razer fan, you might want to wait for this particular rendition of already-released products (the Corsair Lapdog and Roccat Sova come to mind).

Could Microsoft and Steam be Looking Into Enabling Crossplay Between Services?

Crossplay has become an interesting point of contention for the industry, with some very popular games and companies advocating for a unified, non-fractured player audience enjoying their games across different media consumption screens, and even gaming platforms. Microsoft has been pushing this kind of capability for some time now, launching their Xbox Play Anywhere initiative which aims to bring PC, Xbox (or both) gamers to parity - acquiring a game on one platform equals having it on both, with all game data being synced.

A new update in the Steam beta update code explicitly refers to Xbox, with an "Xbox_pairwise_id" being present, which could point towards exploration of a future feature. Microsoft adding keyboard and mouse support to their Xbox consoles, news of a new streaming-based console for Microsoft's xCloud efforts, and Steam already offering controller support are some of the little details that could make this a winning bet for both companies.

Microsoft Works On Xbox Without Optical Disc Drive

Microsoft is working on the first major game console to lack physical game media, targeted at markets where downloaded content is prevalent. The console could be a variant of the existing Xbox One / Xbox One S, but will be slightly cheaper for lacking the roughly-$25 optical drive. For those stuck with physical copies of games, Microsoft could roll out a "disc-to-digital" programme that converts your physical disc ownership to a digital ownership.

The way "disc-to-digital" works is you take your physical games to a participating brick-and-mortar retailer, who will verify that the disc is authentic (you probably wouldn't need to provide proof of purchase). Once a disc is deemed authentic, the authorised retailer will keep the physical copy in exchange to adding the game to your Xbox account. To play the game, simply download it to your console's hard drive and play. You can also download to external USB storage devices if your hard drive runs out of space. For some regions, there could even be "mail-in" services. Microsoft could target very specific markets with the console, in which Internet access is both affordable and fast, and in which there already are many customers with large digital libraries. The company is unlikely to stop selling consoles with optical drives, but those will be slightly pricier.

CORSAIR Announces Support for Xbox One with Gaming Keyboards and Mice

CORSAIR , a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced compatibility with the Microsoft Xbox One for CORSAIR wired and wireless keyboards and mice, following Microsoft's recent announcement of expanded peripheral support for the console. Now, players can take advantage of CORSAIR's award-winning gaming peripherals to play keyboard and mouse-enabled games on a whole new platform-Xbox One.

With the console's new compatibility with keyboards and mice, developers can now choose to add support for those devices to their games. The first announced Xbox One game titles to receive peripheral support include Fortnite, Warframe, and Minecraft, with many more games planned for future compatibility. Microsoft is focused on working with developers to ensure that these games are fun, fair, and properly balanced no matter how players decide to control them.

Nadella Announces Xbox Game Pass, 'Microsoft's Netflix of Video Games', Is Coming to PC

Microsoft launched Xbox Game Pass in June 2017. This video game subscription service allows users to install and play Xbox games (not just Xbox One ones, there are titles from the Xbox 360 and even the original Xbox) , with over 230 games currently available, a number that is constantly growing. Often called 'The Netflix of video games', the service has been improving its offering, but now the project will go beyond it's initial focus. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, announced during an investor meeting that Xbox Game Pass will come to PCs soon.

Nadella gave no further details, so we still don't know what games will be included on that service or the subscription price (currently $9.99/month), but the announcement is promising and another sign that the company is moving forward to expand their reach and, of course, their earnings. On the latest earnings release (FY19 Q1) Microsoft pointed out how gaming revenue "increased 44% with Xbox software and services revenue growth of 36% mainly from third-party title strength". This move could make that growth go even higher, and it joins other recent announcements that could improve Microsoft's role in this market.

Razer Announces the Sila Gaming Grade Wi-Fi Router

Razer , the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Sila, a high-performance WiFi router designed for home users requiring WiFi service optimized for high-performance gaming, streaming and downloading multimedia content. With the upsurge in mobile gaming, and with many homes unable to run a wired network to every room, fast and reliable WiFi is more important than ever. The Razer Sila router is designed to deliver lag-free gaming and smooth, interruption-free streaming over a fast wireless network, meeting the needs of today's mobile, console and laptop users.

The Razer Sila features a suite of technologies designed to give gamers the fastest, most reliable WiFi connection within their home or office with Razer FasTrack, Multi-Channel ZeroWait DFS and Mesh capability with a dedicated backhaul. Setup and management through a mobile app makes Sila installation and use simple and quick. The Razer FasTrack software featured in the Razer Sila is a proprietary QoS engine for smart traffic management. By using deep packet inspection and adaptive learning technology, Razer FasTrack allows users to prioritize traffic based on application and device types, from mobile phones and smart TVs through to laptops, PCs or consoles. With built-in detection for PlayStation, Xbox and Switch consoles, users can easily fine tune their networks for the smoothest gaming or streaming experiences. Razer FasTrack also features a one-touch gaming mode, to automatically reserve bandwidth for online gaming.

SteelSeries Announces Arctis 3 Bluetooth Gaming Headset

SteelSeries, the global leader in gaming peripherals, announces the availability of the upgraded Arctis 3 Bluetooth, widely regarded as the best gaming headset for the Nintendo Switch. The award-winning headset now features updates based on user feedback, a new price and is the best headset to work with the newly launched Nintendo Switch Online service. The Arctis 3 Bluetooth allows gamers to easily chat by connecting simultaneously to the Nintendo Switch via the 3.5mm wired connection and the Nintendo Switch Online phone app via wireless Bluetooth audio.

"The Arctis 3 Bluetooth was the first headset on the market that could seamlessly have both wired gaming audio and wireless Bluetooth at the same time," said Brian Fallon, SteelSeries Audio Category Manager. "The unique solution makes this headset the best for Switch gamers so that they can easily chat with their friends over Nintendo Switch Online."

Netgear Announces Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700 WiFi Router

NETGEAR , Inc. today debuted during IFA 2018 tradeshow its latest member of the Nighthawk Pro Gaming product family, the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700 WiFi Router, the industry's fastest home router for gaming. In addition to its award-winning DumaOS for greater network control over who and how you play, the NPG XR700 router sports cutting-edge hardware with its AD7200 Quad Stream Wave2 WiFi. Whether you're an avid or a casual gamer, the NPG XR700 router will deliver the control you need to dominate opponents in online multi-player scenarios.

Similar to the rest of the award-winning Nighthawk Pro Gaming family, the groundbreaking NPG XR700 router is purpose-built and fine-tuned to address the unique networking challenges of gamers. It optimizes network connections by stabilizing ping, reducing lag spikes, and keeping you always-on with the fastest wired and wireless connectivity for advanced online game play. The XR700 leverages exclusive state-of-the-art gaming software powered by DumaOS for critical pro gaming capabilities such as an intuitive and interactive Gaming Dashboard, a Geo Filter to guarantee local game hosts, and Quality of Service (QoS) to control and eliminate lag. This rich set of software features enables customization and gaming performance unmatched in the router space.

Microsoft at Gamescom 2018: Where's the Heart of Gaming After All?

We stopped by Microsoft's booth at Gamescom 2018 in Koln, Germany, to see what the behemoth company was pushing for its Xbox family of products - and, of course, Windows 10. However, the company's presence lacked most of its heavy-hitters - Halo was absent, Gears of War was as well. In fact, Microsoft's presence at this years' Gamescom was limited to Forza Horizon 4 and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, when it comes to in-house exclusives. Though that McLaren does look great over there, doesn't it? Oh my.
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