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Articles on this Page
- 09/30/15--17:38: _Rainbow Six: Siege ...
- 10/01/15--06:35: _White Xbox One Gear...
- 10/01/15--11:50: _Fallout 4 Season Pa...
- 10/01/15--14:03: _Trouble signing int...
- 10/02/15--01:25: _Latest Minecraft: S...
- 10/02/15--06:16: _Xbox One 1TB Fallou...
- 10/02/15--06:53: _Need For Speed clos...
- 10/02/15--09:24: _Microsoft acquires ...
- 10/02/15--12:42: _Rise of the Tomb Ra...
- 10/02/15--14:14: _Get hyped for Halo ...
- 10/02/15--17:34: _Xbox (beta) for Win...
- 10/02/15--17:58: _New Halo 5: Guardia...
- 10/02/15--22:06: _Cortana is coming t...
- 10/03/15--11:23: _Review: Play your X...
- 10/03/15--16:55: _Watch us collect al...
- 09/30/15--17:38: Rainbow Six: Siege closed beta test gets extended until October 4
- Starting today, we will begin sending emails to all American and European players who have played at least one match in the Closed Beta before 2:00PM EST, September 29th 2015. These emails will contain immediate access codes that can be used by the players to get their friends in the beta. Those keys will be for the same platform as the player who qualified for friend referral. For example, if a player plays on Xbox One, he will receive additional Xbox One keys for his or her friends.
- There will be a Double Renown event starting Friday, 8:00PM EST with a 2x renown bonus. This is a great chance to unlock some more operators, attachments and skins.
- 10/01/15--06:35: White Xbox One Gears of War bundle and Kinect bundle announced
- 10/01/15--11:50: Fallout 4 Season Pass now available for pre-order
- 10/02/15--01:25: Latest Minecraft: Story Mode trailer takes you up close to a ghast
- 10/02/15--06:16: Xbox One 1TB Fallout 4 bundle will include Fallout 3 and 4 for $399
- 10/02/15--09:24: Microsoft acquires in-game physics developer Havok from Intel
- 10/02/15--14:14: Get hyped for Halo 5: Guardians with these Master Chief wallpapers
- Party text chat – Earlier this week, we introduced party text chat as another way to connect with your friends in the latest build of the New Xbox One Experience Preview. Starting today, party text chat is available for Xbox Beta app members, joining voice chat as another way for gamers to communicate with friends.
- Read and reply to messages directly from notifications – No need to click through to read and reply to messages anymore. Now, you can quickly reply directly to the message inline. (See above)
- Activity alert notifications – You'll get real-time notifications when someone else in the Xbox Live community adds you as a friend or likes, shares, or comments on your content. We designed these notifications to help you engage more deeply and easily with the community and made them easy to manage in Settings.
- Activity feed sharing – In the top right corner of your activity feed, you'll now see a "share" icon. Click on the icon to display your recent shareable activity, such as achievements earned, game clips recorded and screenshots taken. From here, you can easily select the content you want to share.
- 10/02/15--17:58: New Halo 5: Guardians trailer leaks ahead of planned Oct. 4 reveal
- Vanguard case
- HDMI cable (8 inches)
- Power supply for monitor
- Remote control for monitor
- Foam base for console
- Two accessory pouches
- Xbox One
- PlayStation 4
- Xbox 360 models with HDMI
- PlayStation 3 slim
- 10/03/15--16:55: Watch us collect all the coins in Mega Coin Squad for Xbox One
- Mega Coin Squad – Xbox One – 878 MB – $14.99 – Xbox Link
- Mega Coin Squad – Windows PC, Mac, and Linux – $14.99 – Steam Link
- 3 Mega Coin Squad for Xbox One
- 5 Xbox Gift Cards for $10 each. Buy whatever you want!
- Mystery game! We can't tell you which game it is yet, but I can definitely tell you that life is strange. Stay tuned!
If you are in the current closed beta test for Ubisoft's upcoming tactical shooter Rainbow Six: Siege, you will have some extra time to play online. Ubisoft has extended the closed beta period until the end of Sunday, October 4 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC testers.
If you have yet to sign up to join the closed beta, you don't have much time left. The beta registration page will close on October 1. Also, the guaranteed access codes will only last until October 2. Ubisoft says:
The full version of Rainbow Six: Siege will be released on December 1. By the way, Ubisoft recently revealed that the game will not have a traditional story-based single player campaign, but gamers can still play against AI opponents in the multiplayer levels.
Microsoft has revealed not one but two more Xbox One bundles that are coming for the holiday season. One is a white version of the console bundled with Gears of War Ultimate Edition, while a second bundle is the regular black version console with the Kinect sensor and three free games.
The Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle will include the white 500GB version of the console and controller, along with a free download of the recent Gears of War Ultimate Edition. It will also have a special Superstar Cole multiplayer skin and a code to access the beta test for the upcoming Gears 4 game when it is available in 2016.
Keep in mind that owners of the Gears of War Ultimate Edition will also be able to download all of the Gears of War games for the Xbox 360 for free, which can be played on the Xbox One later via its upcoming backwards compatibility feature. The Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle is exclusive to Walmart and will launch in November for $349.
Fans of Microsoft's Kinect sensor will be happy that the company is launching a new Xbox One with Kinect bundle this holiday season. It will include the regular black 500GB version of the console, the Kinect hardware, and three free games (Central Spotlight, Kinect Sports Rivals and Zoo Tycoon). It will be available later this month from many retailers for $499.
Source: Xbox Wire
Fallout 4 is just over a month away from its November 10 release, and you can now pre-order the season pass for the game. The Fallout 4 Season Pass is now up for digital pre-order on the Xbox One giving you access to all of the game's upcoming DLC for a cool $29.99.
In addition to free updates that bring new features and bug fixes, Bethesda has stated that it plans to start releasing DLC packs for Fallout 4 in early 2016. There's no telling how many DLC packs will be released, but the season pass should give you access to all of them.
If you're interested, you can pre-order Fallout 4 and the Fallout 4 Season Pass from the link below. Keep in mind that if you've already pre-ordered the Deluxe Edition of the game, there's no need to shell out extra for the season pass.
If you're having trouble signing into your Xbox Live account today, you're not alone. According to the Xbox Live Service Status page, Microsoft is currently experiencing issues with the Xbox Live Core Services, knocking out the ability to sign in. From Microsoft:
Hey Xbox members, are you having issues signing in to Xbox Live? We are aware of this and are working hard to get it resolved ASAP! Thank you for being patient in the meantime. We'll post another update when more information becomes available.
The outage looks to be affecting signing into Xbox Live across the Xbox One, as well as apps and services on other platforms. Microsoft is aware of the issue, and we should see it resolved relatively soon. For now, you can follow along with the Xbox Live Status page for updates.
Update: It looks like everything is back to normal, folks. Happy gaming!
Thanks for the tips!
Source: Xbox Live Service Status
Telltale Games has released a new trailer for the company's upcoming title, Minecraft: Story Mode. The game is set to be released on October 13, but both Mojang and Telltale plan to hold a massive Let's Play event in Hollywood, CA on October 12 ahead of the official release and you're invited.
Simply send an email to Telltale games (using the address specified on the blog post - linked below) to receive more information on the event, though the company does note tickets will be at no cost to attendees. All you'll need to do is be able to head to ArcLight Cinerama Dome on the day.
As for the new trailer, it provides a small insight into the members of the Order of the Stone, four heroes you'll be getting to know throughout this new adventure. Should you require a friendly reminder as to what this is all about, Minecraft: Story mode will see you control a male or female hero called Jesse, and you'll be on a journey across the overworld, as well as the Nether and End.
But fear not as you'll not be travelling alone. A warrior, redstone engineer, griefer, and architect will join you on your path. It's a neat video and we're looking forward to the talent Telltale has on-board for voicing said characters. As noted already, Minecraft: Story Mode will launch on October 13.
Microsoft has been announcing new holiday Xbox One bundles this week, and the company is closing with the Xbox One Fallout 4 bundle. It will offer buyers the 1TB version of the console, along with free copies of both Fallout 4 and the Xbox 360 version of Fallout 3 for $399.
The Xbox 360 version of Fallout 3 will be able to be played on the Xbox One when the console adds backwards compatibility features in November. Also, mods for Fallout 4 that will be made by third-party creators for the PC version of the game will be able to be played on the Xbox One version sometime in early 2016.
The Xbox One Fallout 4 bundle is now available for pre-order on the Microsoft Store and other retailers for shipment on November 10
Source: Xbox Wire
In September, Electronic Arts quietly launched a registration page on its UK site for people to sign up for a closed beta test for their upcoming Need For Speed reboot. Now emails are being sent out to people who have been selected for the closed beta, which starts today and runs until October 5.
Details about what will be included in the closed beta test are sparse, but the invites are for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the arcade racing game. The full version of Need For Speed will be released on November 3 for both consoles, but the PC version has been delayed until spring 2016
Thanks to "Wpenvy" for the tip!
Microsoft has announced a new deal that will allow the company to acquire Havok, the well-known game tool creator, from Intel. Havok has created a set of tools and applications that allow game developers to add realistic in-game physics models inside their games.
Microsoft stated it will continue to license Havok's tools to third-party partners. It added:
"We believe that Havok is a fantastic addition to Microsoft's existing tools and platform components for developers, including DirectX 12, Visual Studio and Microsoft Azure. Havok is an amazing technology supplier in the games industry and the leading real-time physics creator. We saw an opportunity to acquire Havok to deliver great experiences for our fans.
Havok launched its first SDK in 2000 and its tools have been used in over 600 PC, console and mobile games. Intel acquired Havok in 2007. Microsoft did not mention any specific financial terms of this new deal but it did state:
We will continue to innovate for the benefit of development partners. Part of this innovation will include building the most complete cloud service, which we've just started to show through games like "Crackdown 3."
Rise of the Tomb Raider is due for launch on the Xbox One on November 10, but so far neither Microsoft nor Square Enix have said anything about a Season Pass for the action-adventure game. However, a listing on Amazon has been found that shows such a Season Pass is in the world for the price of $29.99.
The listing itself says that the item will become available on the game's release date, but it only provides a very general look at what players of Rise of the Tomb Raider can expect:
"The Season Pass for Rise of the Tomb Raider includes a range of content that will extend your single-player campaign, and also allow you to compete with friends."
Rise of the Tomb Raider won't have any traditional multiplayer modes, but the Season Pass listing may indicate it will add some kind of leaderboards for players to compare themselves with friends.
Halo 5: Guardians is just around the bend, with its October 27 release rapidly approaching. If you're starting to feel the hype and want to kick it up a notch, why not check out some cool wallpapers for your Windows Phone and Windows devices? The folks over at Indonesian blog IDWinPhone.com have put together some pretty stunning wallpapers to help you do just that.
One design features a wireframe of Master Chief's helmet against a black background, while the other features the classic full-color Master Chief helmet we've all come to recognize. The desktop wallpapers come sized at a 3840 x 2160 resolution, while the matching phone versions are in 1080 x 1920.
If you like what you see, click on over to IDWinPhone.com below to download the wallpapers for yourself. And be sure to let us know in the comments below what you're doing to prepare for the Halo 5: Guardians launch!
The recently-released beta version of the Xbox App for Windows 10 has just received an update, bringing along with it interactive notifications and more. Here's the full list of what's new, as reported by Xbox's own Larry Hryb:
With this update, the app bumps up to version number 10.10.2000.00000 from its previous version number of 9.9.21000. As always, if you'd like to check out the latest Xbox (Beta) update, you can download it from the Windows Store at the link below.
Source: Major Nelson Blog
The Halo team took to the game's official Twitter account today to tease a new Halo 5: Guardians trailer due to premier during Sunday's airing of Fear The Walking Dead. However, it looks like that trailer has leaked out a little early, and calls into question where we left off with Master Chief in the last trailer.
You'll remember that the last, live-action trailer led us to believe that the Master Chief was dead, having succumbed to his fate on October 27 (hey, that date sounds familiar…) of 2560. The leaked trailer seen above, however, seems to indicate that Master Chief's death was a farce, and we'll be hunting him down in some capacity, at least at the start of Halo 5: Guardians.
We're unsure how long the above trailer will stick around before Microsoft pulls it, so it'd be best to watch now if you can. Meanwhile, you can go ahead and pre-order Halo 5: Guardians from the links below if you haven't yet already.
While Microsoft plans to launch a new Windows 10-based interface for all users of its Xbox One this November, the company has revealed that adding the Cortana digital assistant to the console will take a little longer.
In a blog post, Microsoft's Xbox Live programming head Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb stated:
"For those who have asked about Cortana, our plan is to add Cortana to the Xbox One experience preview later this year. From there, we'll ensure that the experience is tuned for gamers before we officially launch Cortana in 2016."
As we previously reported, using Cortana on the Xbox One with its voice recognition features will require the use of its Kinect hardware add-on. Hryb has also revealed that Microsoft is inviting more preview members to try out a build of the "new Xbox One experience" this weekend.
Source: Major Nelson
Most Xbox One owners probably use Microsoft's console at home, seldom moving it to different locations. If you do travel with your Xbox much, you'll probably want the convenience and security of a specialized bag like the CTA Digital Xbox One Case. But even that would only hold a console and a few accessories. You'd still need a monitor to actually play the console when you reach your destination.
Redmond, WA-based manufacturer GAEMS has the perfect accessory for people who want to transport a console *and* monitor. The GAMES Vanguard Black Edition is a hard-plastic case that holds not only an Xbox One or other console, it also packs a 19-inch monitor with stereo speakers – all in one unit.
The true test of the Vanguard's worth is twofold. How well does it carry and protect the console, and will the monitor's picture and sound provide a satisfactory gaming experience? Read our detailed review with video to find out!
GAMES Vanguard Black Edition contents and compatibility
The GAEMS Vanguard needs to be fairly large to house both an Xbox One/PlayStation 4 and a 19-inch screen, and so it is. The case measures 19.75"W x 7" D x 16.75"H and weighs 11.5 pounds with nothing inside. Put the Xbox One without accessories inside and the weight rises to ~18.5 pounds.
Much of the reason for that weight comes from the material of the case itself: hard plastic. That plastic will protect the console and monitor inside from all reasonable bumps and jolts – far more than soft cases like the (much cheaper) CTA Digital Case. Given the $350 retail price of the Vanguard, you'd want exactly the level of protection it provides.
Aesthetically, the large front side of the case is featureless other than a big circular emblem in the center with the "G" from the GAEMS logo on it. This emblem is actually a removable piece of plastic, so you could conceivably replace it with a different design. GAEMS sells a few skins on its website which presumably include both an actual skin sticker and replacement emblem, although the product descriptions don't specify that. The designs offered are mostly garish to my eyes – it's a shame they don't offer game-specific skins or emblems.
The top of the unit houses a massive, sturdy handle made from a separate piece of plastic. Two bolts hold it in place. Beneath the handle lies a reflective metallic panel with the GAEMS logo. I'm a fan of discretion as far as console carrying cases goes, so I'd prefer there not be any advertisement that the case might hold games inside. But with a company name like GAEMS (don't get me started on the name), I suppose that's unavoidable.
The left and right sides of the case house large plastic latches that keep the case closed when secured. Both latches even have a hole for padlocks. The Vanguard's shoulder strap (called the 'PGE Sling') attaches next to the latches. The Sling is nicely padded and fairly high quality.
The back side of the case (which sits against the desk or other surface when the case is opened) has three rubber strips intended to prevent scratching the surface you put the case on. The bottom of the case (where the case rests when closed and standing upright) has two large rubber pieces to prevent scratches and perhaps absorb some shock. You'll also find a kickstand there for adjusting the monitor's viewing angle.
Pop open the Vanguard and you'll find the built-in monitor on one side and console storage area on the other. The console rests on a large GAEMS-branded foam base. Vanguards produced after October 2014 have a base specifically designed to fit the Xbox One. Before that, I believe the foam pad was slightly too thick to allow the Xbox One to fit beside the monitor in a closed case.
Two large black straps wrap around the foam base and will hold the console securely in place. Note that these straps each consist of a single piece. Users must slide the console under the straps in order to place it in the Vanguard. The Xbox One fits a bit snugly beneath the straps during insertion, but it will go in. After placing the console inside, you'll tighten the straps and close them using their built-in Velcro.
I made the mistake of removing the right ends of each strap from the plastic slot that holds them in place – don't do this! I had to use needle-nose pliers to fit the ends back inside. Frankly, the instructions should warn against removing the straps if they're not meant to be removed.
The spaces at left and right of the console are intended for accessory storage in combination with two soft storage pouches included with the Vanguard. You'd put the cables and a single controller inside of these pouches, place them beside the console, and close the case during travel. The softness of the pouches should theoretically prevent them from scratching the monitor.
Of course, that design relies on users not filling the pouches in such a way that a sharp edge could inadvertently protrude. It doesn't seem like a common issue, but I found at least one Amazon review in which accessories stored inside the pouches did, in fact, scratch the monitor. A removable protective liner placed between the monitor and case contents seems like a better solution to me.
Carrying Xbox One accessories
Xbox One users won't have to worry about accessory-related scratches because GAEMS recommends against storing the pouches beside that particular console at all. Instead, they suggest you store the accessories and/or pouches in a separate bag or backpack.
The reason Xbox One accessories don't fit inside the case well is, of course, the size of the console itself. The 'Bone takes up more space than other supported consoles, leaving less room for extras. Its bulky power supply simply won't fit inside without hitting the monitor, and that applies to controllers too. You could fit the actual Vanguard monitor's smaller power supply in there, but pretty much nothing else.
All this means you'll have to store the essentials for Xbox One use (at least one controller, the power supply, and likely the Vanguard's power supply and remote) in a different messenger bag or backpack when traveling with the Vanguard. If you wanted to tote more controllers, an external hard drive, or a headset around, those would need to go in the extra bag as well.
The Vanguard has been around since 2013, receiving a minor update with the Black Edition the following year. It makes sense that the case wouldn't be specifically designed around Microsoft's extra-large console (which launched in late 2013). But the need to carry all of the console's accessories in an extra bag is a minor hassle that Xbox One users will want to keep in mind.
The best reason to buy a GAEMS Vanguard is its built-in 19-inch monitor. When open, the monitor's viewing angle defaults to 102 degrees. A kickstand on the bottom of the case adjusts the angle to 90 degrees – better for someone looking at the monitor from a lower position. The Xbox One and other consoles will not block the bottom of the screen, thankfully.
The monitor's stats won't prove overly exciting in this full HD era. It boasts a 1366 x 768 resolution – essentially 720p. The refresh rate is 10 ms, which is acceptable for gaming but nothing special. The main strength of this screen is its size. Most notebook users tote around 15- or 17-inch screens, which the Vanguard's monitor certainly outclasses in terms of pure visibility. You can sit a few feet away from this thing without missing out on important visual details.
I have to admit I'm a bit spoiled by 1080p screens and the sharpness they bring. Xbox One games look very good on the Vanguard, but they certainly don't look as sharp as what a 1080p monitor could provide. Still, the viewing angle is good enough that a couple of players can share the screen without issue. And playing my console of choice wherever I like more than makes up for a slightly weaker monitor.
Controls, ports, and speakers
The Vanguard's triangular control buttons rest directly below the monitor. These include Power, Volume Down and Up (pressing both simultaneously will mute), Brightness Down and Up, and Menu.
A tiny remote control included with the Vanguard has those same buttons plus Mute and direction buttons. Oddly, the power button on my remote simply does nothing. I have to hit the power button on the Vanguard itself. The remote uses a CR2025 battery, by the way.
Beneath the monitor's control panel, you'll find a single HDMI input, two 3.5mm headphone jacks, and the monitor's power jack.
Two speakers occupy the space outside of the controls and ports. The speakers are larger than the shoddy ones typically included with computer monitors. No, of course they don't sound as nice as a good headset or surround sound speakers. But they do sound as good as anyone could reasonably expect from a portable entertainment system like this. And if you'd rather use a nicer headset, you can always take advantage of the Vanguard's jacks or the Xbox One controller's.
Portable gaming environment
GAEMS bills the Vanguard Black Edition as a 'portable gaming environment,' which certainly fits the bill. Nobody carries monitors around with them (although GAEMS also sells 15- and 24-inch standalone portable monitors). But with the Vanguard, you actually can do that without standing out too much or fearing damage to the monitor.
Where would you use this thing? Well, it's TSA complaint, so you can bring it on flights as carry-on. Breaking out the Vanguard at a coffee shop or bar will make waiting for a flight far less painful. You could also take the Vanguard to hotels, LAN parties, friends' houses, and more. The Vanguard has made toting my Xbox One to the office much more convenient, and I hear Windows Central's own Daniel Rubino has used it at events as well.
There are a couple of changes I'd love to see in the next portable gaming environment from GAEMS – namely a 1080p monitor and a larger case designed to accommodate Xbox One accessories in addition to the console itself. Still, this product is truly one of a kind (other than the smaller GAEMS Sentry). Not everybody needs such a thing. But if you do, a GAEMS case is a must-have item.
If ~$340 is too rich for your blood, but you still crave portability, the GAEMS Sentry G155 is essentially the same product as the Vanguard but with a 15-inch monitor. It's also Xbox One and PlayStation 4 compatible and costs much less, so perhaps a Sentry would better fit your budget.
Every weekend, Windows Central streams an Xbox One game or two on Twitch for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast, only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers!
Tonight we played Mega Coin Squad from Big Pixel Studios. Mega Coin Squad is a cheerful platformer with stylish pixel art and multiplayer battles. We also gave out some sweet prizes to readers who tuned in. Read on for game details, contest winners, and a replay of the stream in YouTube format!
Tip: If the video has not finished processing yet, please check back in a few minutes.
Mega Coin Squad
Brought to you by Big Pixel Studios and Adult Swim Games, Mega Coin Squad features fast-paced and explosive on-the-couch combat! Take on your friends in 1-4 player matches spanning multiple worlds and game modes. The ultimate party game for platformer lovers to show off their skills!
If you like your action fast, frantic and tactical grab Mega Coin Squad now. Harness your skills through the single player campaign then invite your friends over to show them who's boss!
Does that sound good to you? Watch us play tonight to find out if the game lives up to its hype - and maybe win a copy of your own.
We'll be streaming Mega Coin Squad for 60-90 minutes tonight, starting at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT). During that time, we'll be giving out a total of eight codes:
To enter, just follow us at Twitch.tv/WindowsCentral and Twitch.tv/EastXTwitch (making sure to enable email notifications!) and tune in during the stream. You can watch the stream right here in this post, but you need to actually participate in the stream chat to have a chance at winning. We'll deliver codes to the winners via Twitch message (PM) during the stream. No code begging!
Feel free to stick around in chat before and after the stream if you have any questions or just want to say hi. If you enjoy the stream, be sure to check our schedule and come back for more!
How to watch Twitch livestreams
What's the best way to experience Twitch? The Twitch website on your PC or Mac web browser. If you don't have or prefer not to use a computer, you can get the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Xbox 360 Twitch apps and watch from the comfort of your couch. Android and iOS both have official and unofficial Twitch apps to choose from as well.
On Windows Phone, you'll have to grab an unofficial app. There are several to choose from, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Only one app lets you search directly for our channel, though. If you use the others you'll have to find and follow us from a web browser first. Read the roundup to learn more!
Next week's stream
Want to know what's next for Windows Central's Twitch programming? Here's next weekend's contest stream. The stream always starts at the same time: 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT).
We hope you'll tune in as often as you can! Set a recurring alarm on your phone so you'll always know when it's time for the stream to start.
Come back here after the show to see the list of winners.
Mega Coin Squad
Xbox Gift Cards
Tonight's prizes provided by Big Pixel Studios and Mobile Nations. Thanks also to our Twitch stream moderators for keeping the peace and giving away the prizes!