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    Xbox One Controller

    There's a new system update rolling out for your Xbox One. You'll find that the "October" Xbox One system update that we detailed last month for preview members is now rolling out to everyone. Today's update is notable for introducing a new Snap mode, MKV support and more!

    Here's the full and detailed changelog for today's update:

    New Snap and Friends functions

    Stay in the game and in touch with your friends at the same time with improved Snap, SmartGlass and Achievements functions.

    • Snap Updates– We've updated the Snap Center to include quick access to many of the things our fans wanted faster access to when playing a game – Friends, Messages, Game DVR, clock, and battery indicator – as well as making it easier to close and open new snap apps when playing a game. A double tap of the Xbox button on your controller will bring up a menu that allows you to open a new app in snap mode, close the current snapped app, or switch focus between your game and your running snapped app. Additionally, two apps have been optimized for Snap mode:
    • Friends Snap App– Access your friends list without leaving the game. Quickly check your friends list to see who's online right now and take actions like send message, invite or join.
    • Messages Snap App– You'll be able to open, read and respond to messages in Snap mode, and messages will now be displayed in a threaded conversation view.
    • Achievements App– Updated to enable sharing of achievements you've unlocked with captions, see a list of friends who have unlocked specific achievements, and an updated achievements Snap landing page that that shows Achievements on recently played games, when a gamer is not actively playing a game.
    • Friends section– The new Friends section enables you to see at a glance what's going on with your friends. You can stay up-to-date with their current activities, the most popular games your friends are playing, and a Gamerscore leaderboard to see who has improved their Gamerscore over the last 30 days.
    • New SmartGlass features– You can now see a list of your top games in your profile. You can also see a list of your friend's most popular games in the Friend's section of SmartGlass.

    Improvements for TV and video

    We're excited to roll out updates that will make your viewing experience better than ever on Xbox One, whether you want to watch TV or use SmartGlass as a universal remote.

    • Media Player DLNA and MKV support– The latest version of the Media Player app will now have support for DLNA streaming. With this update, you will be able to easily access and play music, watch photo slideshows or movies stored on home media servers and devices that support the DLNA server protocols. Additionally, you will now be able to playback MKV files stored on a USB device or a device on your home network that supports DLNA streaming.
    • Live TV MiniGuide– For markets where OneGuide is available, a new MiniGuide on the bottom of the screen will display details about the TV content that is currently playing. You can quickly change channels, see what's on other channels, and tune to the previous channel or other recent channels. While watching TV, you can also launch Miniguide using voice, by saying "Xbox Select – MiniGuide"
    • OneGuide in 11 new countries– Live TV listings and schedules will be made available to customers on Xbox One and SmartGlass for Belgium, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Russia in the next few days.
    • Internet TV Apps– Apps with live TV channels can now include their TV listings within OneGuide. In addition, other Xbox TV features such as channel changing using speech and Miniguide will work with these apps. These features are enabled automatically the first time you sign into a supported app. The first app to support this feature will be Zattoo with an upcoming content update for their app. The Zattoo app is available in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark.
    • Universal Remote Control in SmartGlass– If you are in one of those 11 countries that are getting OneGuide TV listings, you will also be able use your mobile device to control your Xbox, TV, and/or Cable/Satellite box.
    • Live TV initial setup experience– This update will enable you to select "On start, go to TV" for your Xbox One console. Additionally, you will be shown a one-time message highlighting this new capability, if you had previously setup Live TV or have not yet set "On start, go to TV" under Settings – Power & startup.
    • Live TV Cable & Satellite Box auto-detection– In select markets the Live TV Setup experience is being improved by attempting to automatically detect the set-top box connected to the HDMI-In port on your Xbox One.

    New accessory and "hide" features

    We are also excited to roll out a few other cool features this month

    • Updated Devices & Accessories page– To access the new page, go inside Settings, where you can Find, Assign, and Update Xbox One accessories. You can now more easily "assign" accessories to specific users, such as assigning a headset to a specific gamer.
    • Firmware updates– You can update the firmware for an individual device.
    • Find my Controller– You can also more easily find (or identify) a controller by making it vibrate.
    • Hide Games and Apps on your console– You can now hide items in the "Ready to install" list under My Games and Apps. This is a per-console setting and items will reappear in the list if they are installed again from the Xbox Store. To access the shortcut to temporarily show "hidden" items, press X while holding down both triggers and it will show all hidden items until you exit My Games and Apps.

    A massive update for October. Which feature are you looking forward to trying out the most?

    Source: Xbox Wire


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    Microsoft has four full games in the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection for the Xbox One and now developer 343 Industries has released a video that shows how the game will organize all of the achievements that will be included in the game, along with the new leaderboard.

    There are 4,000 achievement points and 400 individual achievements in Halo: The Master Chief Collection and 343 Industries has created individual achievement lists for Halo 1, 2, 3 and 4 that should make it easier for players to keep track of which ones they have unlocked.

    There's also a new part of the game's UI that shows the top scores of each level in the game as well as the fastest speed runs, offering gamers a quick way to compare their efforts to others. There's also a way to set up a friend as a friendly "rival" in an effort to beat his or her scores in the campaign levels.

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection comes out on November 11 and it looks to be a huge release for Halo fans, even if they have played all four of these games previously on the original Xbox and Xbox 360. Have you put in your pre-order yet for the game?

    Source: Halo on YouTube


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    NBA 2K15 Xbox One review

    The NBA 2K series from 2K Sports and Visual Concepts has been the reigning champ in the basketball simulation for the past couple of years. It helps that EA's NBA Live series have dropped the ball (no pun intended). But even then, NBA 2K has simply been playing a mean game, consistently delivered the most realistic presentation and gameplay possible.

    Everything you loved about 2K14 is here in NBA 2K15 for Xbox One and 360 and most of it has been improved upon. This year's version of 2K on Xbox One is easily the best so far, but that doesn't mean it isn't hiccup free.

    Lights, camera, action

    One thing the guys over at 2K take pride in is the presentation of their games. The first thing you'll notice when launching the game is the completely revamped menu system and the new 2KTV notification system. The new set up displays menu choices along the bottom of the screen while serving up with a weekly dose of 2KTV up above. 2KTV will take you behind the scenes of the making of the game as well as feed you new tournaments and challenges within the game.

    Upon starting the game you will see two familiar faces, Ernie Johnsons and Shaquille O'Neal, the stars of the new Pre-Game Show. In the show, they often talk about the game's key match-ups as well as give advice as in how one team should go about dominating the other. It's a rather cool addition and helps distract from 2K15's atrocious loading times.

    As welcome as the pre-game stuff is, the in-game presentation is still the cream of the crop. First off, they've added new pre-game animations such as the starting line-up announcement and the singing of The National Anthem. They've also updated player's pre-game rituals such as Tim Duncan hugging the ball and Kobe Bryant wiping his feet on the sticky tape. My favorite new presentation feature is the slick animation for the Jordan Player of the Game. This reveals stats for the game as well as highlights for that player. All in all, I think I could easily say that NBA 2K15 is my favorite sports game presentation-wise.

    NBA 2K15 Xbox One review

    Tip-off

    If you played NBA 2K14 you will be right at home with 2K15. The game feels familiar and similar, although 2K Sports has rebuilt the movement and shot release systems. The new movement is quite noticeable, in fact. At first, players feel a bit stiffer and slower to react to plays. It takes a while to get used to, but it gives the game more of a simulation feel.

    The new shot release system feels the same, yet the way it gives feedback is smarter and more streamlined. Instead of displaying feedback at the top of the screen, it now shows a status bar underneath the shooting player. If the shot is too late or too early, the status bar appears red. When you release a slightly late or slightly early shot, the bar appears yellow. For a perfect shot, the status bar glows a bright green and allows you to make it easier to start a hot streak.

    NBA 2K15 Xbox One review

    So many ways to play

    2K15 has a game mode for every type of gamer. These have all been revamped and improved this year.

    First we have MyLeague, which is pretty much The Association from past games on steroids. This time around instead of using stock rosters and controlling one team, you can control as many teams as you want as well as import any roster.

    Second, there is MyGM. This mode allows you to take full control of any one team by making you the General Manager. You get to scout players, hold press conferences, and create chemistry with the teammates via the new conversation system. If there is any one mode that was made for simulation fans, this is it. MyGM will have you playing non-stop.

    Next we have MyTeam, which is basically 2K's version of FIFA Ultimate Team. If you've played FUT then you will be familiar with the premise. Basically, you earn or buy decks of cards that give perks to both you and your players. You then assign players to your active roster by giving them contracts which allow them to play in a certain number of games. It sounds easy, but putting together a winning roster is hard. And keeping a winning roster is even harder.

    NBA 2K15 Xbox One review

    MVP or bust

    Last year, NBA 2K14 took everyone by surprise with the brand new MyCareer mode. It had you fight your way through the Summer League to allow teams to scout you out and then one team would end up drafting you. This year, instead of being handed your NBA career, you have to fight for it.

    MyCareer mode starts by allowing you to create your own player so that you have a personal connection with him. Taking it up a notch, Kinect owners can scan their faces into the game. This helps your player look like a virtual you.

    2K Sports states that this feature should take a minimum of three minutes using natural light. In my own experience, it took about 40 minutes and loads of ingenuity to get it right. I had to move my lamp behind my television as well as have flashlight shining in my face just to get an "above average" rating.

    Next the game says that you were skipped in the draft and must now try out for teams just to get signed for 10 day contracts. If you perform well enough under a 10 day contract, the team will sign you to a contract for the rest of the year. Once the offseason begins, you get to experience a free-agent summer with teams from every direction trying to get you to play for their team. And the beauty of it is that you ultimately get to choose who you want to play for.

    One of my favorite things about the MyCareer is that it plays more like a standalone interactive game and less like a basketball simulation game. The cut-scenes this year are not cheesy like last year's version, and the voice acting is actually bearable this time around. Like many narrative driven games nowadays, MyCareer mode has conversations in which you choose the response. Instead of having an effect on the story, the choices you make will impact things such as your team chemistry and fan base.

    NBA 2K15 MyPark

    MyPark, or should I say "NoPark"

    MyPark is the online game mode in which you take your created player to the streets to play against other people's created players. You get to choose one of three factions, and whichever team you choose will give you a special boost certain abilities. Over time, there will be weekly tournaments against the three factions that can net you huge credits for player customization.

    MyPark sounds great, but the sad truth is it doesn't work yet. As many times as I've tried, I've only been able to choose my faction because the servers are completely unreliable. It's a shame because this is one of the features I was really looking forward to.Hopefully 2K Sports gets things smoothed out soon.

    NBA 2K15 Xbox One review

    Overall impression

    NBA 2K15 plays and feels just like NBA 2K14 gameplay-wise, and that's both good and bad. You always expect some new gameplay mechanic from the game each year, but this year they instead focused on revamping the movement and shot release systems. That said, the new presentation is completely jaw dropping. Any NBA television show could use the presentation from 2K15 for their own program, because it is top-notch.

    There is so much variety in NBA 2K15 that it can easily keep you playing right up until to the release of 2K16. The new GM mode will satisfy any sports simulation fan. The depth in the mode alone is just astounding. It's probably the "sleeper" mode of this year.

    As great as MyGM and other modes are, MyCareer is the cherry on top. The face scanning feature is awesome (but a hassle to set up). Once you finally create your player though, you won't be able to play anything else. The story behind MyCareer is engaging and believable thanks to this year's improved voice acting and writing. You will spend hours upgrading your player's abilities as well as fine-tuning your play style to help your team win.

    The MyPark aspect of MyCareer has been crippled so far due to server issues. But it shows lots of promise and should become a standout feature once they get everything up and running smoothly. All in all, if you are a NBA fan or a lover of sports games, NBA 2K15 is a worthy buy. This is the best 2K since NBA 2K11 thanks to its varied and deep game modes. NBA Live 15 has a lot of work to do if it wants to compete with 2K Sports' offering.


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    HBO GO

    HBO Go might finally be ready for the Xbox One. Anyone with an HBO subscription is familiar with HBO Go. HBO Go gives you access to the entire catalog of original HBO programming, plus movies, comedy specials, documentaries, sports and late night adult programming. We're finally about to get HBO Go on our Xbox One.

    HBO GO

    About a month ago we saw the Plex Xbox One app show up on the Reddit community r/xboxone. At the time, the Plex app was still in beta testing and nothing official was known about it. Then a few weeks later the Plex app launched for Xbox One.

    A similar thing has happened today. A OneDrive album link was posted to r/xboxone with screenshots of the alleged HBO Go app for Xbox One. The poster said the app was currently in beta, just like Plex. We wouldn't be surprised to see HBO GO show up on the Xbox One in the very near future.

    HBO GO

    Check out the screenshots of HBO Go in action for the Xbox One and let us know what you think. We can't wait to finally finish the last season of The Wire with HBO GO.

    Source: r/xboxone


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    Xbox One Preview

    To show just how much Microsoft appreciates feedback provided in the Xbox One Preview program, the company is making it so participants are able to track their contributions in the new "My Stats" section of the Preview Dashboard app, collecting points in the process. Microsoft is enrolling consumers on the Xbox One Preview program, which sees updates and new features loaded onto consoles owned by those who have opted in to check out what's new and provide feedback on content just about ready to go live across the board, as well as squash any bugs present.

    Whether it's completing quests, filling in surveys, answering polls or even rating updates as a whole, Microsoft will be showing just how much you've been involved since the program kicked off earlier this year. Earning points for the above will enable you to unlock new preview pics and may provide some bragging rights against friends in the available leaderboard. More bonus point opportunities are reportedly planned.

    So, how are you getting on in the preview program? Check out the Preview points Q&A for more details.

    Source: Major Nelsen


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    Nyko Media Remote review – a better, cheaper remote for Xbox One

    With gaming consoles, first-party accessories are often much nicer than their third-party equivalents. We've all had a poor experience with a third-party controllers at some point, but recent evidence suggests that third-parties are getting better at the accessory game. For example, Power A's recent Xbox One Mini Series controller is a pretty sweet (though not entirely superior) low-priced alternative to official controllers.

    It certainly helps a third party's case when the first-party item wasn't really exceptional. The Xbox One Media Remote is a fine accessory, but was designed more for style than substance. Accessory manufacturer Nyko has taken the opposite approach with its own media remote. The Nyko Media Remote for Xbox One is a better remote control than the official model, and it costs ten dollars less to boot.

    Flat or round?

    The Nyko Media Remote has a rectangular shape with recessed corners. It measures approximately 4.5 x 2.15 x .6 inches (120 x 55 x 15 mm). That makes it a tad shorter than the Microsoft remote's 125 mm length, but wider than its 50 mm.

    The height of both remotes is where their shapes really differ. Microsoft's remote has a round back that measures about 22 mm at its thickest. Nyko's remote is shorter on that plane, and more importantly, flatter. That round back provides the Microsoft remote with better ergonomics when gripped in the hand, but also a pronounced wobble when placed on a flat surface. If you don't want it to wobble around, you have to place it face down on the button side. No such issue with Nyko's model.

    Nyko Media Remote review – a better, cheaper remote for Xbox One

    Batteries not included

    The Microsoft remote, like nearly all remotes since the days of Lincoln's assassination, is powered by two AA batteries. Nyko's remote has to forego the AA route due to the aforementioned thinness. Instead, it draws power from two AAA batteries, the underachievers of the A battery family (nobody knows what happened to Papa Single A).

    In all seriousness, AAAs are no big deal except you're less likely to have a spare set sitting around. Some battery rechargers can't do AAA either, which would be inconvenient for people who buy crappy chargers.

    Speaking of batteries, the battery compartment takes up a hair over half of the Nyko remote's underbelly. It's easier to remove than the Microsoft remote's battery door, and bears an engraved Nyko logo. The other portion of the underside has a series of ridges cut into the plastic. These ridges might be to improve grip, though they're more likely just for looks. They don't really add any visual appeal, but I don't mind them.

    Nyko Media Remote review – a better, cheaper remote for Xbox One

    Aesthetics

    Looks are probably the Nyko remote's weakest area. I speak mainly of the top/front of the remote. The area with the buttons has a nice matte finish. Below that, a silver stripe houses a green LED. The LED lights up when a button is pressed or held, and it actually looks pretty cool.

    The area below the silver stripe houses a silver Nyko logo. Inexplicably, that area is made of glossy black plastic instead of the matte style that comprises the rest of the remote's surface. Glossy plastic shows fingerprints and smudges much more than matte plastic, making it a lesser choice for handheld electronics. It also looks weird, just having that one shiny area.

    Nyko Media Remote review – a better, cheaper remote for Xbox One

    The buttons

    My final visual complaint about the Nyko Media Remote is the Home (Guide) button has a little house symbol printed on it instead of an Xbox logo. That's a little odd and maybe indicates that the remote is not licensed by Microsoft (which would also help explain its affordability).

    Otherwise, buttons are really the Nyko Media Remote's strongest feature. The button labels have a bright white color that is easy to see, even in dim settings. In contrast, the Microsoft remote's buttons have a much more dull color. They light up when you move the remote, but I still find Nyko's buttons have better visibility overall.

    Nyko's buttons also extend farther from the remote, making them easier to find by touch. And they are positioned more closely together. I can touch any button on the Nyko remote with my thumb without moving my hand, but I can't do that with the Microsoft remote.

    The Nyko Media Remote has the same twenty buttons as the Microsoft remote, plus two more: Power and Eject. The Power button is great. You just tap it to turn the console on or off – no need to hold the button down or confirm that you want to power down.

    As for the eject button, it will make the Xbox One spit a disc out like so much black licorice. Both of these functions were missed on the official remote.

    As for the buttons we haven't mentioned yet, you get View and Menu, Back, and that damn OneGuide button, all surrounding the top of the arrow buttons. Below it, the Mute button extrudes from the remote like the other buttons, so it can be found by touch. The Microsoft remote has a non-extrusive Mute button for no reason that I can think of.

    The Channel and Volume buttons are swapped on the Nyko remote. Channel up and down site on the left, with Volume up and down on the right. I barely use the channel buttons and don't use volume at all, so the swap doesn't affect me much.

    Finally, the six standard Playback buttons occupy the bottom of the button area, just above the LED bar.

    Nyko Media Remote review – a better, cheaper remote for Xbox One - YouTube

    Using a Media Remote with Xbox One

    Since we reviewed Microsoft's Xbox One Media Remotein March, the Xbox One has seen a few improvements to its UI and video playback apps. Navigating the dashboard with a remote control remains the same. The Channel buttons still act like page up and down buttons on some menus but not others, reducing their utility. And much to my chagrin, the View button continues to do nothing on the actual dashboard. No sane person can explain why View doesn't control the snap feature.

    Still, two important video apps work much better with remotes now: the Blu-ray player and YouTube. When the Xbox One Media Remote launched, the remote's Menu button did nothing. That made no sense because Blu-ray and DVD menus are pretty important. Nowadays, the Menu button actually activates a disc's menus, thank goodness. The View button now has a function as well. It opens the general video playback menu.

    Initially, the YouTube app was incompatible with media remotes. It has since graduated to partial compatibility. You can use the remote to browse a selection of your subscription's recent videos, search for videos, and access the app settings. What you can't do is view your entire subscription list or access other menu functions. Those features are activated by the X button on a controller, and (shamefully) have not been mapped to a media remote button. But hey, at least the app kind of supports remotes now!

    Nyko Media Remote review – a better, cheaper remote for Xbox One

    Overall Impression

    The Nyko Media Remote is not much of a looker. That should surprise nobody, considering the remote costs ten dollars less than the Microsoft version. What's surprising is how the Nyko remote exceeds Microsoft's remote in the areas that really count. The buttons are easier to see and easier to press, and you even get two buttons that Microsoft left out of its own remote.

    If I had to choose between Microsoft's prettier remote for $25 and Nyko's more useful remote for $15, I'd go with the Nyko every time. (If you're looking for a cheaper alternative in the UK, the Protek Media Remote fits the bill but isn't as nice as Nyko's version.)

    • Nyko Media Remote for Xbox One – $14.99 – Amazon Link

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    Halo: The Master Chief Collection now available for pre-purchase

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection is now available for pre-purchase on the Xbox One. Pre-purchasing the game will net you the "Boom Skull", which unlocks 2x explosion physics in the Halo 2: Anniversary campaign.

    The Master Chief Collection collects all four of the Halo games starring Master Chief. This includes Halo 2: Anniversary, a rebuild of the classic shooter with all of the Xbox One's power behind it. This includes six of the maps from Halo 2 redone for the Xbox One, along with every other map, optimized to run on the console. The collection will also include access to the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta, which begins December 27 and will run for three weeks.

    The Halo: Master Chief Collection will be available on November 11, 2014. Will you be pre-purchasing? Tell us below in the comments.

    Source: Xbox Store


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    Halo: Master Chief Collection requires a huge day-one update

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection will require a hefty day-one update for anyone purchasing the game on disc. The collection will take up most of the space on its Blu-ray disc, which amounts to around 45GB. However, this includes only the campagin modes of each game, with the multiplayer and some other features requiring a 20GB install, according to a Microsoft statement to Kotaku:

    The Master Chief Collection will take up almost all of the usable space of a single Blu-ray (45 GB), and we will also issue a content update at launch that is estimated to be 20 GB.

    For those pre-purchasing the game digitally through the Xbox One or Xbox Store, the content update will be downloaded automatically before launch.

    What do you think of the day-one update for the Master Chief Collection, and does it impact your buying decision? Sound off in the comments.

    Source: Kotaku


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    Stick it to the Man Twitch streaming event

    Every weekend, WPCentral streams an Xbox One game on Twitch for one hour and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. Last week, we streamed 3D puzzle platformer Contrast and dished out codes to eight lucky viewers.

    This evening, we'll be playing the hilarious 2D platformer Stick it to the Man from Zoink! and Ripstone. We want you guys there, chatting along. So we're giving out five Xbox One codes for Stick it to the Man, plus several Playstation 4 and Steam codes! Even our unfortunate non-Xbox One owning brethren are welcome. Just follow me on Twitch.tv/Eastxtwitch, watch along, and participate in chat for your chance to win. (You can also watch the event live or after the fact, right here.)

    Watch live video from EastXTwitch on www.twitch.tv

    Stick it to the Man

    One day "average Joe" Ray Doewood is walking home from his job as a hard hat tester when a mysterious canister falls from the sky and knocks him into a coma. The canister unleashes a parasite that quickly makes its home in Ray, giving him strange and fantastic powers. Meanwhile, the shadowy governmental organization that lost the parasite (run by THE MAN) will stop at nothing to get it back.

    Now that Ray has a funky glowing arm stretching out of his head (which nobody else can see), he'll have to learn to use it. At its most basic, the arm can grapple onto objects and pull our hero up onto new platforms. Soon Ray learns to use the arm to pull on tears in the background, revealing new areas behind them. And naturally the arm can pick up objects and use them on other objects.

    Stick it to the Man Xbox One

    The arm's most unique power, though, has to be reading people's minds. Ray can attach his new appendage to the brains of anyone he meets (even dead people!), hearing their innermost thoughts and desires. Many of the game's puzzles revolve around helping people based on the contents of their noggins.

    If you like a good platformer with a sense of humor, grab this game and start sticking it to the man.

    • Stick it to the Man – Xbox One – 1.8 GB – $9.99 – Xbox.com Link

    The Contest

    We'll be streaming Stick it to the Man for one hour tonight, starting at 8pm Central (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific). During that time, we'll be giving out a total of 10 game codes:

    • 5 Stick it to the Man for Xbox One
    • 3 Stick it to the Man for Playstation 4 (US only)
    • 2 Stick it to the Man for Steam

    To enter, just follow me at Twitch.tv/Eastxtwitch 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!

    What's the best way to experience Twitch? If you don't have a PC, you can get the Xbox One or Xbox 360 Twitch app and watch from the comfort of your couch. Or grab the unofficial app Livegaming for Windows Phone. It has plenty of great features, including the ability to chat along with your fellow viewers.

    I'll be available for a few minutes before and after the stream if you have any questions or just want to say hi. If you enjoy the stream, I'd love for you to tune in to future streams. For now, we'll do one every weekend, with a few non-contest streams throughout the week.

    Contest schedule

    Want to know what's next for WPCentral's weekly Twitch streaming contests? Here's the schedule for the next few weeks:

    • October 18: Stick it to the Man from Zoink! And Ripstone
    • October 25: Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition from Exor Studios
    • November 1: Another World from The Digital Lounge

    Mark your calendar and tune in those days for your chance to win each game on Xbox One (and sometimes other platforms)!

    This won't have a contest attached, but we'll also be streaming Sunset Overdrive on Monday the 20th on our general WPCentral Twitch channel. Check back on our site that day for the official announcement.

    Winners

    Come back here after the show to see the list of winners.


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    Sunset Overdrive, the exclusive open world action game for the Xbox One, is due for release October 28 but as you might imagine some media outlets got copies of the game ahead of time so they could review it before it shows up on store shelves. As it turns out, developer Insomniac Games has put a special message in the game just for those pre-release reviewers.

    This new effort to break the fourth wall comes in the form of Sunset TV, a weekly in-game show that's designed to give players updates on the game such as its weekly individual and community challenges. However, since the game isn't out yet, Sunset TV's host Brandon Winfrey decides to speak directly to the few reviewers who are playing Sunset Overdrive right now:

    "If you're watching this, that means you're currently reviewing or streaming the game. Look I'm not trying to sway your review score either way, I mean your opinion is your opinion. But I advise you not to use the phrase 'Sunset Overhype' because that's just lazy writing!"

    Hopefully that kind of meta-humor will be a big part of the game. We should learn more when Sunset Overdrive comes out in about a week and a half. If you own an Xbox One have you pre-ordered Sunset Overdrive?

    Source: Forbes


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    We are still two and a half weeks away before Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is released for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles (among other platforms), but that isn't stopping publisher Activision from offering their launch gameplay trailer of the latest installment of the first person shooter series.

    The new trailer is a mix of old and new footage, mostly from its single player campaign where you play a soldier in the employ of the Atlas Corporation, battling enemies in the near future with lasers, smart grenades, jet packs and mech suits, among other things. And yes, the head of Atlas, with voice and likeness provided by Kevin Spacey, shows up again in this trailer.

    Xbox One owners can already pre-purchase and pre-load the digital version of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare in a $59.99 regular edition and the $99.99 Digital Pro Edition, which has an extra multiplayer map and a season pass to the game's post-release DLC packs. Both editions will allow folks to start playing the game on November 3, one day before the game's official release on November 4. Have you put in your pre-order for the game?

    Source: Call of Duty on YouTube


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    Killer Instinct 2 Classic review – the vintage fighter returns with online play on Xbox One

    In 1994, the original Killer Instinct took arcades by storm. The next year a downgraded but respectable Super Nintendo port followed, along with a GameBoy version. The home games helped maintain enthusiasm until Killer Instinct 2 arrived in arcades in 1996. The Nintendo 64 would see a mildly stripped-down port called Killer Instinct Gold that year.

    The true arcade version of Killer Instinct 2 has never been available on home consoles… Until now. Like Killer Instinct Classic before it, Killer Instinct 2 Classic comes bundled with the purchase of Killer Instinct 2 Ultra Edition on Xbox One. The $39.99 bundle gets you eight characters in the new Killer Instinct, plus Killer Instinct 2 as a standalone game. Killer Instinct 2 Classic even gets online play, making it a more viable alternative to Killer Instinct Season 2. Read on for gameplay details, hands-on video, and exclusive screenshots!

    Even more killer

    Both Killer Instinct arcade games were amazing for their times, featuring huge CG-rendered sprites and backgrounds (with a few genuine 3D elements mixed in), typically memorable Rare soundtracks, and a great cast of characters.

    Killer Instinct 2 represents a big step forward from the first game though, introducing many elements that carry over into Killer Instinct Season 2. One of those is the Super Meter at the bottom of the screen. Once the meter fills, players can perform Super versions of normal special moves – these became Shadow Moves in Killer Instinct Season 2. Throws, a staple fighting game move, also debuted in Killer Instinct 2.

    The roster of 10 characters and one boss (playable via code) includes seven returning characters from the first game. The less popular fighters Chief Thunder, Cinder, and Riptor sat Killer Instinct 2 out, but all three come back in Killer Instinct Season 1 and 2. New combatants Maya the Amazon, Kim Wu the Asian martial artist, and Tusk the Barbarian replace the sidelined characters in Killer Instinct 2.

    Killer Instinct 2 Classic review Xbox One

    Fast-forwarding to Killer Instinct Season 2 again, Maya takes center stage as one of the first two Season 2 characters. Based on teaser silhouettes, it looks like Kim Wu and Tusk are unlikely to join the new game until Season 3.

    Killer Instinct 2's single-player mode consists of an ascending ladder of opponents, much like the Mortal Kombat arcade games. The final battle pits players against Gargos, a fireball-tossing gargoyle. The Gargos battle is particularly challenging because you can't just defeat him by depleting his life.

    After knocking Gargos down to zero health, players must also catch him with either an Ultra Combo or a combo that includes an uppercut. This will knock him off the bridge and win you the game. The game cruelly doesn't tell you how to beat Gargos, so your first meeting with him will likely end in frustration. I had to dig through some FAQs to discover the combo requirement. At least the endings tell some interesting stories.

    Killer Instinct 2 Classic review Xbox One

    Xbox One enhancements

    Developer Code Mystics has added a number of options and unlockables to the Xbox One version of Killer Instinct 2, many of which were also present in the first Killer Instinct Classic. When you launch the game, you'll navigate a main menu that includes such features as options, leaderboards, and extras.

    The options are truly extensive. You can remap any of the game's six attack buttons, although there is no option to map a press of all three punches or kicks to a single button, unlike Killer Instinct Season 2. The Game Settings menu allows the difficulty to be adjusted. The "Extra Easy" difficulty is actually beatable by an inexperienced player, assuming you know how to handle the final boss. You can even disable finishing moves or access the arcade operator's Test Mode.

    Graphically, players can choose between the original 4:3 aspect ratio or (inadvisably) a stretched mode. By default, the game has a Raster graphical filter (listed as a "Scaling Effect") enabled. This simulates the scan lines of a monitor, but it looks awful. I suggest turning off Scaling Effects entirely and enjoying the game's beautiful CGI-rendered sprites in their original glory.

    Killer Instinct 2 Classic review Xbox One

    When playing in full-screen mode, you'll be able to choose from several widescreen borders to fill out the screen. Only a border featuring the final boss Gargos is unlocked by default. To get the other fighters' borders, you'll have to play through the game with those characters. I was saddened by the absence of the actual cabinet art as a border, until my research revealed that the real arcade machine only had black space on the sides of the monitor.

    Beating the game with a character also unlocks that character's full-motion video win sequence, ending(s), and sprites. The sprite viewer lets you play any of a character's animations – a fun and unusual feature in an arcade port. You can also listen to Killer Instinct 2's excellent soundtrack (which has vocals!) right from the start.

    Finally, the game has a built-in screenshot function. At any time you can pause and take a picture for posterity. You can build a library of stills right now to share with friends once the Xbox One's promised screenshot feature finally rolls out.

    Killer Instinct 2 Classic review Xbox One

    Multiplayer

    Of course, the real standout enhancement is online multiplayer, which didn't make the cut in the first Killer Instinct Classic. The Xbox One's beloved matchmaking system does a great job here. After initiating matchmaking, you can choose to play single-player until the system finds a game. You don't get to choose your single-player character in this scenario, oddly, but it still beats just sitting around staring at a matchmaking screen.

    The game supports local multiplayer as well, natch.

    Killer Instinct 2 Classic review Xbox One

    Achievements

    Killer Instinct 2 Classic has its own Achievement list worth 1,000 GamerScore. You'll need to beat the game with every character including Gargos, perform all of their Ultras, and beat 40 AI opponents per fighter. The toughest Achievement involves beating the game without continuing, which I hear is fairly doable with Spinal.

    Besides those 40 wins Achievements, one other Achievement turns up the grind by requiring players to spend 400 credits (continues). That will take several hours of grinding. Not the kind of Achievement a retro bonus game like Killer Instinct 2 needs, but I suppose it could have been worse.

    Killer Instinct 2 Classic review Xbox One

    Overall Impression

    I'm so glad that Microsoft has finally seen fit to release an arcade perfect version of Killer Instinct 2 at home. They also made the wise choice of hiring Code Mystics to do the job, resulting in flawless 60 frames per second emulation and great bonus features. The game itself holds up quite well – especially thanks to the addition of online play.

    The downside to Killer Instinct 2 Classic is the same one that affects the first KI Classic: you can't buy it by itself. Treating these Classic games as downloadable content for the new Killer Instinct Seasons wouldn't be so bad if players could buy the $20 Combo Breaker Pack and then upgrade to the Ultra Edition at any time for another $20. That would be logical, right?

    Killer Instinct 2 Classic review Xbox One

    For some reason, the option to upgrade from Combo Breaker to Ultra Edition with the first season was only available for a week earlier this year. It seems likely that a Season 2 Ultra Edition upgrade will only happen during limited time sales as well. So if you really want Killer Instinct 2 Classic, you're much better off buying the Season 2 Ultra Edition right from the start.

    We'll be back soon with a closer look at the Killer Instinct Season 2 Ultra Edition!

    • Killer Instinct Season 2 Ultra Edition – Xbox One – ? MB – $39.99 – Xbox.com Link

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    Microsoft will not only release Halo 2: Anniversary as part of its Xbox One game Halo: The Master Chief Collection, but the company is also going to release a documentary of the making of the Halo 2 revamp.

    Microsoft has released a teaser trailer for the documentary, called Remaking a Legend. The company says, "Get unprecedented access to the development process as 343 and their team of partners from around the world bring Halo 2 to the Xbox One, while maintaining and honoring its fabled past." There's no word on when the documentary will be released, but we would bet it would be out at or near the launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which is due on November 11.

    Do you remember playing Halo 2 for the original Xbox and are you looking forward to playing the revamped version in a few weeks on the Xbox One?

    Source: Xbox on YouTube


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    Xbox One

    Happy Monday everyone! Hope you gathered some extra strength over the weekend because you will need it for some of the Kinect-oriented games that coming out this week. This week we have the launch of the Xbox One exclusive title Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved from Harmonix. Our second and final Kinect powered game is none other than Just Dance 2015.

    If you are a huge fan on beat 'em ups and anime perhaps The Legend of Korra might interest you. Finally, we have a re-release of a 1990s remake (hope that wasn't too confusing) Shadow Warrior which has some awesome first person swordplay. Continue reading for more info.

    Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved

    experience the magic of Disney

    Disney Fantasia: Music evolved is a motion controlled game that puts you in control of the music. Instead of simply dancing to the music like you would in games like Dance Central, this game has you conducting the music. You do this by "reaching out" to points on the screen and following the gesture with your arms in what easily mimics the motions of orchestra conductors.

    To take things up a notch, Disney Fantasia allow you to manipulate and remix songs by switching things like the way the drums or voices sound in a song all the way to the style of the song. Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved launches tomorrow on Xbox One and 360.

    • Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved - Xbox One - 5.88 GB - $59.99 - Amazon - Xbox Store

    Just Dance 2015

    dance the night away

    Just Dance 2015 is the newest iteration of the franchise that keeps the same award winning game play intact. This year they've added a new Community Remix mode which has other players on screen instead of the Just Dance Dancers. Along with the new game mode they've also added some of the freshest tracks that have come out over the past year. So grab your dance partner and get ready for Just Dance 2015 when it launches tomorrow.

    The Legend of Korra

    bend it like Korra

    The Legend of Korra is a beat 'em up game that's based off of the Nickelodeon animation of the same name. The game takes place in between season 2 and 3 of the TV series. In it you play as Korra who at the beginning of the game is stripped of her bending arts. Over the course of the game you slowly regain your bending abilities in order to help you take down the evil Hundun.

    The game is said to last about 4-6 hours and has a ton of mini games within it. Start your airbending adventure when The Legend of Korra is made available tomorrow.

    • The Legend of Korra - Xbox One - 2.9 GB - $14.99 - Xbox Store

    Shadow Warrior

    guns and katanas? Who'd've thunk it

    Shadow Warrior is a remake of the 1997 cult classic game of the same name. Shadow Warrior has you playing as Lo Wang, a master assassin, who tries to take an ancient katana by force, but is ceased and captured. You then become allies with a demon who reveals to you that the ancient sword that you are looking for is actually three swords.

    The game is a first person shooter that also features first person melee combat. The game released last year on last gen consoles, and was praised for its impressive story but was crippled by its underwhelming graphics. Shadow Warrior slices its way to current gen consoles starting tomorrow.

    • Shadow Warrior - Xbox One - $39.99 - Amazon

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    halo 2 xbox one

    Xbox One owners who purchase the disc version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection will have to download a big 20GB 'Day One' patch when the game is released on November 11. Now Frank O'Connor, the Franchise Development Director for the Halo franchise at developer 343 Industries, has issued a public apology for having to issue such a big patch for the game.

    In a post on the NeoGAF forums, O'Connor stated, "Do I understand the inconvenience and annoyance for some users? Of course. I'm not going to blow smoke or ignore it. For some folks it will be straight up annoying and I both apologize unreservedly for the irritance, and hope that the package and the way it works more than makes up for it."

    The disc version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be maxed out at 45GB with the campaigns of Halo 1-4. The 20GB patch will include the multiplayer content of all those games plus more features. In addition, Microsoft plans to release a free update in December that will contain all of the Spartan Ops episodic content in Halo 4.

    So why couldn't Microsoft release the game on two discs and thus save some download time? O'Conner stated, "Anything is feasible, it simply wasn't practical for this product, this year in this timeline. The Xbox One platform continues to improve and mature, arguably faster and more meaningfully than others and maybe next year two discs or some other method would have been the right approach, but this year it's the option we have available that on balance, makes the most sense for this giant, ambitious project."

    Even with the large Day One download, O'Connor says, "Most players will have a smooth and happy experience. The game will launch (including digital version) before installation is complete, so there is plenty of content to play around in while the red installs. And we are continuing to look at ways to reduce that inconvenience."

    Do you think Microsoft should have released the game on two discs?

    Source: NeoGAF via VG247.com