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    What should you expect from Microsoft Studios moving forward? The cancellation of Scalebound marks another dent in Microsoft's game publishing efforts. And while a shame, it's not entirely unsurprising. 2016 marked a turning point for the industry, and it has taken many gamers by surprise. With the rise of games like Overwatch, Minecraft, and even Halo 5, it's the Games as a Service (GaaS) concept that is now dominating the industry. Where in-game purchases drive a steady stream of updates, keeping players hooked for inordinate amounts of time. While Scalebound did have a co-operative component, it didn't look like a game that fit well into this service-driven industry shift, and Platinum Games aren't really known for their efforts in this area. It should come as no surprise that every high-profile game in Microsoft Studios' upcoming portfolio is either multiplayer-focused or has multiplayer-heavy components. After so many risks on second-party studios failing to pay off, I think ...

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  • 01/11/17--16:00: Microsoft Insider Previews
  • Between Windows and Xbox and Office and the fast and slow and every other ring, there's a lot to keep up with when it comes to Microsoft's Insider Preview programs. So right here you'll be able to keep tabs on the very latest previews! Windows 10 Fast Ring Slow Ring Release Ring Windows 10 Mobile Fast Ring Slow Ring Release Ring Xbox One Office Office Desktop Office Mobile Windows 10 Insider Preview Microsoft is currently developing the next major release of Windows 10, known as the Creators Update. Codenamed "Redstone 2" Microsoft is currently flighting Redstone 2 builds in its Fast and Slow rings, with the Release Preview ring receiving cumulative updates for the Current Branch — the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Everything you need to know about the Windows 10 Creators Update Build Video Walkthroughs If you'd rather check out the most noteworthy build changes in video form, make sure you check out our in-depth video walkthroughs of new builds. Latest Fast Rin...

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    Take your Xbox One to another level with these platformers! From retro 8-bit classics to the latest indie releases - platformers are one of the biggest genres in video game history. With an established presence on the Xbox One, a wide range of innovative and memorable platforming experiences are now available on the console. These are our top titles available today! Update 12 January 2017: Following a period of truly memorable platforming experiences, we've updated this list with the past year's biggest titles, including INSIDE, Hue, Unravel and more. INSIDE Named our favorite puzzle game of 2016, INSIDE is a mind-blowing, unmissable platforming experience for the Xbox One. Taking control of an unnamed boy, players will uncover the secrets of the game's monochromatic dystopia through a range of atmospheric puzzles. Although the game's captivating narrative is noteworthy, its unrivaled level is polish is a key factor towards its success. With finely tuned gameplay, an effective...

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    For those of you lucky enough to have Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition pre-ordered, Halo Wars Definitive Edition keys should be rolling out in waves. Halo Wars Definitive Edition is an Xbox Play Anywhere HD-remaster of the Xbox 360's Halo Wars, which was a real-time strategy game (RTS) simplified for console play. Like Halo Combat Evolved before it, Halo Wars hoped to bring RTS to an entirely new audience by placing it on a console, which was something very few games had done successfully before. Halo Wars became somewhat of a cult hit in the series, earning a legion of dedicated fans that contributed to reviving the spin-off for a sequel. Halo Wars Definitive Edition grants the game new visuals, higher resolutions, and new effects. Best of all, it brings the Halo franchise back to PC, hot on the heels of Halo 5's Forge mode. Halo Wars DE will launch as a standalone game sometime after February 24th, but you can jump in right now by pre-ordering Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition. We'v...

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    Though it may have come in second place behind the PlayStation 4 in terms of U.S. sales for December, the Xbox One had an overall stellar second half of 2016 as the top-selling console. That's according to Microsoft, who cites the latest numbers from NPD Group, noting that Xbox One was the only console to see year-over-year growth. Speaking on Xbox's success in 2016, Mike Nichols, corporate vice president of Xbox Marketing, stated: December was the biggest month ever for Xbox One sales in the U.S. and Xbox One was the only eighth generation console with year-over-year growth, according to NPD. In addition, Xbox One was the top-selling console over the second half of 2016, following the announcement of Xbox One S at E3. In November and December we saw Xbox Live engagement reach an all-time high of 3.9 billion hours, up 23 percent compared to 2015 driven by fan excitement for the greatest games lineup. Looking ahead, we expect 2017 to be a special year for gamers thanks to the up...

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    One of the greatest things about the Xbox One is the fact it can run dozens of Xbox 360 classics, and the list is getting bigger all the time. Here are the best! The Xbox One runs Xbox 360 games via emulation, and as a result of the Xbox One's superior hardware, the games often run far better as well. When backwards compatible games launch, they usually do with all of their DLC, with online services intact. The full list of available games can always be found here. Here's a comprehensive list of our picks for the best games that you must play available on Xbox One's backwards compatibility, in no particular order! Update January 13th, 2017: We added Dragon Age Origins from BioWare to our favorite backwards compatible games! Alan Wake Alan Wake is a psychological thriller that edges into horror territory. The game launched as an Xbox 360 exclusive, eventually making its way to PC. It was developed by Remedy, famed for Max Payne and the more recent time-bending shooter Quantu...

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    Stardew Valley is available now on Xbox One, and while it looks simple on the surface, there is a lot to learn! With changing seasons, tool upgrades and ores and minerals to collect, animals to look after and crops to harvest... where on earth do you start? These tips should help you on your way to creating a successful and bountiful farm! What is Stardew Valley? Stardew Valley is an indie farming simulation game, with RPG elements. It is available for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, and it's bloody wonderful. Your grandfather has passed his old farm onto you and you need to get it up and running. Just how you do that is entirely up to you. Stardew is a particularly 'open' game; you have a lot of freedom to farm just how you want and if you don't keep a goal in sight, it's easy to get off track and lose your momentum. See on the Xbox Store Before you even begin... You'll need to create your character and pick where your farm is located. Here is a breakdown of each location you could choos...

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    Xbox just posted an update on their blog detailing Game Mode for Windows 10, and other features headed to the ecosystem in the Creator's Update. Game Mode for Windows 10 will optimize PCs for running games, and while the details on how exactly it will do this haven't arrived yet, Xbox Platform Lead Mike Ybarra confirmed that it will bring benefits to both UWP games typical of the Windows 10 Store, and Win32 games typical of Steam. Additionally, Microsoft announced improvements to the Xbox dashboard that we've previously revealed, and also reminded us that Beam integration is on the way to Xbox One and Windows 10. Detailed in a blog post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft offered commentary on features we can expect to hit Windows 10 and Xbox One in the near future. Beam integration is coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 Beam integration on Windows 10. Beam will connect to your Xbox Live account, making it easy to stream your favorite games to Beam and your Xbox Live community. No extra ...

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    Join Jez and Matt for this week's episode of the OneCast, discussing Scalebound's cancellation, the future of Xbox exclusives and more! The latest episode of our Xbox and Microsoft podcast, the OneCast, is now available and accessible through major podcast distribution services. On this week's show, the OneCast crew share their thoughts on Scalebound's cancellation, what this means from Xbox going forward, and our predictions for 2017! This week's episode is available from the following sources: OneCast on Soundcloud OneCast on iTunes OneCast RSS Feed If you're using a podcast app, copy and paste the RSS feed URL into the search bar, or search for 'OneCast Xbox'. OneCast is our Xbox and Microsoft podcast, hosted by the staff of Windows Central. A new episode of the OneCast is recorded most weeks, with topics surrounding Microsoft news and the gaming industry. OneCast on Soundcloud This week's hosts Jez Corden / jez@windowscentral.com Matt Brown / matt@windowscentral.co...

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    In the wake of Scalebound's cancellation, you'd be forgiven for concerns over other upcoming Xbox exclusives. Thankfully, though, it looks as though Crackdown 3 and the Phantom Dust HD re-master are progressing well. In a series of tweets, Xbox head Phil Spencer praised Crackdown 3, calling it the best in the series yet. Additionally, Spencer said Phantom Dust HD is progressing well, stating that the OG Xbox game still holds up. And I got a short look at Phantom Dust with @shannonloftis and @RealKLobb , game really holds up, team is doing nice work.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) 13 January 2017 Crackdown 3 will launch in 2017, featuring unprecedented environmental destruction physics that extend the processing power of the Xbox One multiple times over by exporting calculations to the cloud. Phil Spencer said in a follow-up tweet that the cloud tech is working great. Crackdown 3 is a sandbox with a comic book aesthetic, where you control a super-powered agent in his quest to dest...

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    Every weekend, Windows Central livestreams an Xbox One or Steam game 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! We call this show Saturday Game School , because learning about new games is fun. Tonight at 9pm Eastern (8pm Central, 6pm Pacific, 2am GMT) on Beam, we'll be playing Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, a delightful co-op game in which players work together to pilot a spaceship. We're also giving out 15 codes for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam! Read on for quick impressions and contest details. Just follow us at Beam.pro/WindowsCentral, enable email notifications, watch along, and participate in chat for your chance to win. After the stream ends, be sure to check back for the YouTube replay video and contest winners. Your browser does not support iframes. Tip: If watching the stream in another window, close thi...

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    Looking to get spooky? These are the Xbox One games for you! Games are capable of making us feel a wide range of emotions and the games on this list will make you feel panic, fear, dread, and eternal thanks that it's not really real. We've compiled a list of the most terrifying games available to play on Xbox One, from action-packed scares to the spookiest of haunted houses. Turn off your lights, crank the sound up high and bring a towel for your sweaty brow; you're in for a bumpy night. Update 13 January 2017: Kicking off the new year, we've updated this list with our new favorites, including Microsoft's recently released Dead Rising 4! Layers of Fear Layers of Fear makes the case for combatless horror experiences once again, focusing heavily atmospheric tension and the world it creates. Telling the psychedelic tale of an artist descending into insanity, Layers of Fear perfectly captures the chilling aspects of its narrative. The artist's house is a maze of corridors and do...

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    Are you bready? Because notorious toast simulator 'I Am Bread' is heading to Xbox One. Is your Xbox library getting stale? If so, get a loaf of this news. I found an I Am Bread trailer rising in my YouTube subscriptions earlier today, teasing the upcoming arrival of the toasty physics sandbox on Xbox One. I Am Bread tasks players to guide an innocuous slice of bread around various contemporary settings. The aim is to fully toast yourself, using various household objects including irons, hair dryers, and so on. However, if you touch certain objects, such as the floor or water, your edibility meter will decrease. If it hits zero, you're toast (in a bad way). Believe it or not, I Am Bread even has a story mode. Mr. Murton is in therapy, owing to losing both his business and his wife. His attempts to get his life back on track are thwarted, however, by the presence of sentient toast who leave his home in disarray. Is the bread real or a figment of Murton's imagination? I donut k...

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    Xbox branded Seagate hard drives — are they worth it? There are dozens and dozens of external USB hard drives on the market, and if you own hundreds of digital games on your Xbox One, having an external drive is practically essential. Seagate has a line of Xbox-branded hard drives on the market, which often clocks in a little pricier than non-branded counterparts, including Seagate's own equivalent drives. We recently reviewed Seagate's 512 MB Xbox-branded SSD and found that while there were performance gains, the premium price point probably won't be worth the trade-off for most given the existence of cheaper alternatives. That's pretty much the case with Seagate's Xbox-branded HDD as well. Design and set-up Xbox One remains incredibly simple when it comes to setting up external storage. Like other external storage drives out there, setting up the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox One is a simple case of plug-and-play. The Xbox One will prompt you to format the drive if necessar...

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    Here are the upcoming releases for the week of January 16, 2017. A new week of releases is here, marking the debut of a number of exciting new Xbox One titles over the coming days. Starting off this week, Rooster Teeth's RWBY is making its way to the Xbox One, in the form of a digital game known as RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. I Am Bread is also debuting on the console, after releasing on other platforms two years ago. Here's a closer look at all the titles arriving over the coming days! Our top picks this week: RWBY: Grimm Eclipse RWBY: Grimm Eclipse kicks off this week's lineup, delivering action-packed cooperative gameplay on the Xbox One. Based on Rooster Teeth's hit animated web series, RWBY: Grimm Eclipse brings forward the show's cast, featuring each playable versions of each member from Team RWBY. Using this to understandably introduce four-player cooperative play, the game has similarities drawn to both Left 4 Dead and Dynasty Warriors. Featuring a newly debuting narrative...