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New details on Xbox Series X announced

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Microsoft has published a news post on the Xbox Wire providing some additional details on the next-generation of Xbox called Xbox Series X.

The company revealed first details on the console back during The Game Awards, including giving fans a look at the actual console.

In the Xbox Wire post, the company has revealed that Xbox Series X will support ray-tracing, cross buy of games with current generation of consoles, and more.

A superior balance of power and speed

Compared to the previous generation, Xbox Series X represents a superior balance of power and speed in console design, advancing on all technological fronts to delivering amazing, dynamic, living worlds and minimize any aspects that can take you out of the experience. Our job at Team Xbox is to give teams the tools they need to achieve their ambitions and tap into the console’s power with efficiency, a few of which we’re detailing today. Raw power is just part of the story:

  • Next Generation Custom Processor: Xbox Series X is our most powerful console ever powered by our custom designed processor leveraging AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures. Delivering four times the processing power of an Xbox One and enabling developers to leverage 12 TFLOPS of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) performance – twice that of an Xbox One X and more than eight times the original Xbox One. 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.
  • Variable Rate Shading (VRS): Our patented form of VRS empowers developers to more efficiently utilize the full power of the Xbox Series X. Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, they can prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects. This technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.
  • Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing: You can expect more dynamic and realistic environments powered by hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing – a first for console gaming. This means true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time as you explore the game world.

Immersion in an instant

The next console generation will be defined by more playing and less waiting. And when play begins, we know many gamers demand ultra-low latency to be as immersed and precise as possible. To this end, the team analyzed every step between player and game, from controller to console to display, and asked how we could make it faster.  

  • SSD Storage: With our next-generation SSD, nearly every aspect of playing games is improved. Game worlds are larger, more dynamic and load in a flash and fast travel is just that – fast.
  • Quick Resume: The new Quick Resume feature lets you continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, returning you to where you were and what you were doing, without waiting through long loading screens.
  • Dynamic Latency Input (DLI): We’re optimizing latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with our Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages our high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console. With Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a new feature which synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed, controls are even more precise and responsive.
  • HDMI 2.1 Innovation: We’ve partnered with the HDMI forum and TV manufacturers to enable the best gaming experience through features such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). ALLM allows Xbox One and Xbox Series X to automatically set the connected display to its lowest latency mode. VRR synchronizes the display’s refresh rate to the game’s frame rate, maintaining smooth visuals without tearing. Ensuring minimal lag and the most responsive gaming experience.
  • 120 fps Support: With support for up to 120 fps, Xbox Series X allows developers to exceed standard 60 fps output in favor of heightened realism or fast-paced action.

The next generation of game compatibility

The benefits of the next console generation extend in every direction, bringing greater visual fidelity and improved loading speeds to your existing gaming legacy, in addition to new games. We’re continuing our commitment to compatibility with Xbox Series X and investing in technology that makes game ownership easier across generations.

  • Four generations of gaming: Our commitment to compatibility means existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, look and play better than ever before. Your favorite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity – all with no developer work required. Your Xbox One gaming accessories also come forward with you.
  • Smart Delivery: This technology empowers you to buy a game once and know that – whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X – you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re  playing on. 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. This technology is available for all developers and publishers, and they can choose to use it for titles that will be release on Xbox One first and come to the Xbox Series X later.
  • Xbox Game Pass: In addition to games from across four generations of consoles, our leading game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will continue to have our first party games, like Halo Infinite, included at their launch.  We look forward to millions of you experiencing the Xbox Game Pass portfolio and immersing yourselves in a deep library of high-quality games, playing those you love now and also discovering your next great adventure.

A generation with players at the center

Xbox Series X is our fastest, most powerful console ever, designed for a console generation that has you at its center. This means a high-fidelity gaming experience enclosed in a quiet and bold design, with the ability to discover thousands of games across four generations, all with more playing and less waiting. 

Whether it’s empowering amazing creators at our 15 Xbox Game Studios, fueling game discovery with Xbox Game Pass, or expanding what and where you can play with Project xCloud, Team Xbox stands for frictionless pathways between players and the best experiences our remarkable art form has to offer. Xbox Series X represents that same commitment for players who want immediate immersion in games that also look and feel better than ever.

SOURCE: Xbox

Call of Duty: Warzone

How to fix Warzone’s never-ending update loop on PlayStation & Xbox

Warzone’s developers have offered a potential fix for console players having to continuously reinstall the most recent update.

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Warzone Xbox and PlayStation players

Warzone players on console have been stuck in a never-ending update loop where they need to install the update multiple times over, but Raven Software has offered players a solution to fix this frustrating issue.

Since Warzone’s update on April 6, which nerfed the dominant FFAR and AUG weapons, some console players have had to install the latest updates over and over. This never-ending update loop has been preventing players from accessing Warzone as the download never completes.

Some players reported this issue after the mid-Season 2 update dropped, but the issue appears to have cropped up again after the most recent Warzone update.

To end the update loop and access the game, some players have reported that they have had to completely uninstall the game and reinstall it. However, Raven Software have now acknowledged the issue in Warzone and have provided a possible solution.

Warzone Season 2 gameplay

Taking to their official Trello board, Raven Software added a card to their Warzone list that states “Some players on console are having to reinstall the update multiple times over.”

They have confirmed that the issue is under investigation and asked players to refer to the description for a potential solution.

Here’s what Raven Suggests to fix the never-ending update loop:

  1. Let both install
  2. Launch the game
  3. Go to DLC Management screen (R3) from Main menu or via Settings menu
  4. Install both Campaign Packs, & Special Ops Packs

Raven emphasized that this should fix the update loop, but asked players to let them know the results. You can get in touch either through their Twitter or the r/CODWarzone subreddit.

Warzone players in Verdansk

While this bug has most often been reported on PlayStation and Xbox, it’s worth trying on PC too if you’ve been having the same issue. Also, if you have the same issue on Black Ops Cold War, it’s worth trying this method here too.

Hopefully, Raven Software’s solution works so you can enjoy using Gunsmith Customs and the new ZRG 20mm Sniper Rifle.

Image Credit: Activision

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Battlefield

Rumor: Battlefield 6 could launch on Xbox Game Pass

It’s possible that Battlefield 6 will launch on Xbox Game Pass following rumors of a Triple-A FPS game launching on Game Pass in Fall.

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Battlefield 6 Xbox Game Pass

Rumors that a Triple-A first-person shooter game is highly likely to launch on Xbox Game Pass in Fall have led to speculation that this is Battlefield 6.

The Battlefield 6 rumor mill has been continuously turning, with details of the game supposedly being leaked. The content and settings of the game are still unconfirmed, but we know for definite that Battlefield’s 2021 title will launch in the Holiday season.

Talking on The XboxEra Podcast, Shpeshal Ed revealed a rumor that, “There is a third party, Triple-A, first-person shooter that is very highly likely to be launching in Game Pass this fall.”

Battlefield 2021

Also talking on the podcast, Jon Clarke, the co-founder and Editor in Chief of XboxEra, explains that when you say “triple-A, third party, first-person shooter,” there are two franchises releasing games in 2021 that come to mind: Call of Duty and Battlefield.

It’s highly unlikely that Call of Duty 2021 will launch as part of Xbox Games Pass, as Activision already have an exclusivity deal with PlayStation. Therefore, Battlefield 6 is the most likely candidate.

“My other bet would be Battlefield 6 because the EA Play relationship already exists,” Clarke explained. “And I’m sure Microsoft are sharing lots and lots of lovely numbers on what it does for a player base when you’ve got 20 million people immediately available to play your game.”

Topic begins at 1:18:55

EA Play, EA’s subscription service, has now joined Game Pass, offering almost the entire backlog of Battlefield games to Game Pass owners, as well as free trials for the latest titles. This deal makes it very possible that Battlefield 6 will be available on the Game Pass.

Shpeshal Ed rebutted saying that Back4Blood is also releasing in Fall, but those on the podcast weren’t sure it would qualify as a Triple-A game. That leaves only Battlefield 6.

With Xbox acquiring Bethesda and having some of their games launch exclusively on the Xbox and PC, it’s clear that Microsoft is making moves to acquire the biggest franchises for Game Pass.

We reiterate that this is only a rumor for now, and all signs point towards Battlefield 6 being on Game Pass, but whether it’s a launch title remains to be seen.

Image Credit: EA

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Consoles

How to get 10 free PlayStation games in 2021

Sony is offering PlayStation 4 and 5 owners free copies of AAA, VR and Indie games as part of the Play At Home initiative in 2021.

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PlayStation Play At Home

Sony is offering PlayStation games for free to PS4 and PS5 owners during the months of March, April and May 2021.

As part of Sony’s “Play at home” initiative of 2021, PlayStation gamers are being treated to a library of indie, VR, and AAA games to play, free of charge. These titles will all be available for a limited time during the months of March, April, and May of 2021 in the PlayStation Store for download.

These games will be available to all PlayStation gamers, without the need for an active PS Plus subscription. Any Play At Home titles are completely free for all players, as was the case when Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection was offered in the past.

Free PS Games for March 2021

The following games will be available for download from March 25, 2021 at 8 P.M. PT until April 22, 2021 at 8 P.M. PT.

PlayStation Indie Game Titles

  • Abzû
  • Enter the Gungeon
  • Rez Infinite
  • Subnautica
  • The Witness

PS VR Titles

  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • Moss
  • Thumper
  • Paper Beast

Premium Titles

  • Ratchet & Clank (Available from March 1, 2021 until March 31, 2021 at 8 P.M. PT)

Free PS Title For April 2021

For April, there is currently only one game announced for free. That will be Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition, which becomes free for all players between April 19, 2021, at 8 P.M. PT until May 15, 2021, at 8 P.M. PT.

Be sure to not miss the deadline for any of these games, and get them in your library before they’re gone. If you’re a PS VR owner, this may be a great time for you to stock up on quality titles for your hardware.

Sony has stated that they’ll have more to share soon, so perhaps that will be even more free titles for gamers to enjoy in the future. We’ll be sure to update when Sony makes an announcement.

Image Credits: Sony

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