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Microsoft announces Kinect-less Xbox One, coming June 9th for $399

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Microsoft has just announced that a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One is coming to retailer stores beginning June 9th. The new Xbox One without Kinect is now available for order and will ship for a new, low price of $399 starting June 9th.

Microsoft has also announced that entertainment apps on Xbox One and Xbox 360 will no longer require Xbox Live Gold starting in June.

Microsoft has also revealed the new Games with Gold for the month of June and confirmed that Xbox One Games with Gold will be starting June.

Here’s Microsoft’s press release:

First, beginning on June 9th, in all markets where Xbox One is sold, we will offer Xbox One starting at $399*. This is a new console option that does not include Kinect. For $399, our new Xbox One offering will continue to deliver access to the best blockbuster games like “Titanfall,” “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Dead Rising 3,” and the upcoming “Watch Dogs,” “Destiny” and “Sunset Overdrive.” You will also be able to access popular entertainment apps, such as Twitch, YouTube, and Netflix, as well as watch live TV and use OneGuide. Finally, you will continue to be able to use many of the unique features of Xbox One including the ability to get game invites while you watch TV, switch between games and entertainment apps, enjoy Twitch broadcasts, and upload your favorite gaming moments.

-Next, we’re bringing more value to Xbox Live Gold members and offering all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners access to entertainment apps whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership. In early June, here is what you can expect from the new generation of Xbox Live:

-Free games with Games with Gold**. Since Games with Gold launched on Xbox 360 a year ago, over 12 million people have enjoyed great free games, resulting in nearly 200 million hours of free fun playing Games with Gold titles. We’ve been learning from your feedback and have focused on making improvements each month to the selection of titles. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Games with Gold for Xbox 360 and as a thank you for helping shape this program, members will receive an additional free Xbox 360 game in June. The Games with Gold titles for Xbox 360 in June are “Dark Souls,” “Charlie Murder” and a bonus game of “Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.” We’re pleased to bring Games with Gold to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One in June. Members will have subscription-based access to free games ranging from top hits to breaking indie stars. The program will launch on Xbox One with “Max: The Curse of Brotherhood” and “Halo: Spartan Assault.” A single Gold membership will get you access to the free games for both Xbox One and Xbox 360.
Exclusive Discounts. Deals with Gold will also launch for Xbox One in June, delivering discounts for great games each month, with significant savings for Xbox Live Gold members. The first titles offered in June will include “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Ryse: Son of Rome,” and a few other surprises. In the coming months, we will offer significant savings of up to 50 – 75 percent off certain titles. This program will continue to be available for Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox 360. And new on Xbox One, we will launch a virtual VIP room exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members where we will feature free games, monthly deals, and other great benefits.

Popular entertainment apps will be available for all Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners. Xbox 360 has been a leader in delivering entertainment experiences for years, with over 170 global entertainment apps and experiences available today. We’re constantly adding new partners and experiences to the growing catalog on Xbox One. Coming in June, anyone with an Xbox will be able to access popular entertainment experiences – whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership. This includes great gaming apps like Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Red Bull TV and HBO GO, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more.*** Microsoft experiences including Internet Explorer, Skype, OneDrive and OneGuide will also be available to all Xbox customers.**** You can find a full list of apps and features that will be available below.

SOURCE: Xbox

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Blizzard releases huge Battle.net update for January 2021

Blizzard has recently released the first major update to the Call of Duty launcher, Battle.net client for 2021.

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Blizzard has released the new Battle.net client, which brings a slick new interface to Call of Duty, Overwatch, and all of their other games.

Today, January 15, Blizzard announced a huge front-end update to Battle.net. It offers players a cleaner and easier to navigate user interface on the client, with much-needed visual overhauls.

The client update should be releasing periodically across North America, with more regions in the coming weeks.

New Client Features

According to Blizzard, the new improvements are the following:

  • Improved navigation and layout – you can now favorite your games and arrange them for ease of access.
  • A much more expansive layout for news and game content in a full-page view.
  • A revamped social pane so you can better see your friends and what they’re up to on each game tab.
  • Major accessibility improvements—we’ve added the ability to navigate most of the app with your keyboard, increased our screen reader support, and improved the color contrast.
  • A new, consolidated notifications hub for messages and download status.

How to get the update now

If you’re outside of North America and want to get the update now, you can join the beta program for the Battle.net client. To join, navigate to your Battle.net settings (click on the logo on the top left) and then click on the beta tab.

From here you can join the beta client. You’ll have to do a small download first. When the full release comes to your region, you can opt-out of the beta client.

Image Credit: Blizzard

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Apex Legends dev explains why Airdrop Escalation won’t be permanent

Respawn Entertainment addressed player concerns that the Airdrop Escalation LTM would be permanent in Apex Legends.

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Airdrop Escalation LTM in Apex Legends

The new Airdrop Escalation LTM has brought some changes to the supply drops in Apex Legends. Some players are concerned about how this would affect care packages, so the devs responded.

The new Fight Night Collection Event finally went live on January 5 and brought many changes to Apex Legends Season 7. This includes an heirloom for Gibraltar and a brand new LTM called Airdrop Escalation. 

The LTM has replaced the normal game mode and will provide you with an increased number of supply drops containing different tiers of fully-knitted weapons. This can lead to players receiving extremely powerful gear in the midst of battle.

Some fans were worried that this system may stay in the game for good and cause it to become unbalanced. The developers took notice of this and addressed fan concerns.

Apex Legends supply drop
Respawn Entertainment

The Airdrop Escalation LTM isn’t permanent in Apex Legends

The quality of the gear that you can obtain from the LTM’s supply drops increases later in the match. While you might get something useful early one, the drops will contain Evo Shields and high tier guns that give the wielder a huge advantage during late-game.

This serves as a major change to the loot game of Apex Legends. The LTM will reward players who find supply drops later in the match by making them more powerful than others. While this works as a temporary feature, some players don’t want it to stick around for good.

Reddit user shiba219808 shared a YouTube comment complaining about how Airdrop Escalation “breaks late-game fights,” with the hopes that the developers will take notice. This caught the attention of Lead Game Designer Daniel Klein, who then chimed in.

“We really don’t wanna mess with the loot game of the base BR to this degree permanently,” said Klein. “There are issues that we’re seeing now already around high saturation of red guns deciding late-game fights.”

The devs made it clear that this is not a permanent feature. “The loot game is the beating heart of a BR,” says Daniel. “You better have a really good reason to make a change of this magnitude, and I don’t see one.” 

A few players mentioned that the game mode is still enjoyable, but could use some fine-tuning to improve upon its current issues.

“I actually enjoy the game mode,” said one user, “-but maybe to quell some of the issues you should make it that it only goes up to purple, and then reverts to regular care packages after that round? I feel like early and mid-game it is fine as is, but late game they shouldn’t be dropping.”

Luckily, Respawn Entertainment currently has no plans to shake up the loot game of Apex Legends anytime soon. With Fight Night well underway, we’re getting plenty of close looks at what to expect in the future, such as a new Legend.

Image Credits: Respawn Entertainment

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Call of Duty: Warzone

Dr Disrespect reveals what Warzone should take from Escape From Tarkov

YouTube streamer Dr Disrespect feels that Call of Duty: Warzone should taken notes from Escape From Tarkov.

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Dr Disrespect talks about Warzone

Call of Duty: Warzone has been facing glaring audio issues for a while and Dr Disrespect has weighed in on the matter by making comparisons to how much better it is in Battlestate’s Escape from Tarkov. 

Many different streamers have chimed in to share their thoughts on Escape From Tarkov. The multiplayer shooter has faced varying degrees of popularity over the past year with boosts from players like xQc and Shroud.

YouTube streamer Herschel “Guy” Beahm IV, more commonly known as Dr Disrespect, played Escape From Tarkov several times in front of his fans. While it’s not the game he spends the most time on, he still has strong opinions on it.

One feature in EFT impressed him so much that he stated that Call of Duty: Warzone should take a few notes from Battlestate’s shooter title.

Call of Duty: Warzone from Activision.

Dr Disrespect on Warzone audio issues

Dr Disrespect has been playing Warzone for such long a while that the game has become a major part of the Champions Club streams. Despite this, he doesn’t consider it to be perfect, and he voiced his discontent with the game’s audio problems in a recent stream.

Ever since its integration with Black Ops Cold War, we’ve seen a plethora of new content come to Warzone through a few updates. Despite this, the Battle Royale title is still plagued by glaring audio issues.

The streamer was playing Warzone in front of his fans on January 11, and then complained that the game’s audio is so bad that it made it hard for him to tell where his enemies were. They sounded like they were much further away than they actually were.

He said: “A game like Escape from Tarkov, a game that has perfect audio, blows this game’s audio out by 500% – trust me.

“Trust me, any real gamer would say the same thing. It blows this audio out by like a thousand, but the reason why is because it caters to (competitive players). You hear something at a distance, a shot, footstep, you hear it!”

Discussion starts at 1:12:48 in the video below. 

This is an issue that has also been causing trouble for players in other Battle Royale titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends. Dr Disrespect has also called out those games for the same reason and it’s understandable why he feels this way.

He hasn’t given as much dedication to Escape From Tarkov as he does Warzone but still enjoys the title quite a bit. The game definitely has certain qualities that he thinks Activision should take note of, such as the clear audio.

The streamer has also offered other advice to improve on Warzone in the past, such as changes in the Gulags. He’s enough of a pro that it’s worth listening to his advice, and hopefully the developers will release a fix for this issue soon.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard

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