Microsoft Promises Backwards and Forwards Compatibility in the Next Generation – At Least for Awhile

Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty (hee hee) promises that Series X games will be playable on the Xbox One, at least for couple years.

In an interview with MCV, Booty (hee hee) promises that your Xbox One won’t be totally obsolete when the Series X is launched

“As our content comes out over the next year, two years, all of our games, sort of like PC, will play up and down that family of devices.

We want to make sure that if someone invests in Xbox between now and [Series X] that they feel that they made a good investment and that we’re committed to them with content.”

MCV

No doubt there is going to be a significant hit to visuals and framerate on these “forward compatible” games, but it’s cool that gamers will have the option.

[Source: MCV]

No More Xbox Exclusives on Competitor Consoles, Unless They’re Xbox Games Pass—Maybe

Earlier in the week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer put the kibosh on future Xbox exclusives appearing on competitor’s hardware. However, Ben Decker, head of gaming services at Xbox, mentioned that they will always be open to getting Game Pass on as many platforms possible.

“You know, we would like to see Game Pass on all platforms ultimately and I think that is a long term goal. We don’t have any specific plans today, but we would love to see Game Pass really go everywhere.”

Ben Decker via Gamereactor

Interesting turn of events. Since many Xbox exclusives appear on Game Pass, then in a way they could end up on other consoles.

[Source: Gamereactor]

Xbox Sales Are Down 48%—Mass Hysteria Ensues

Microsoft had a recent investor call and the news was not so rosy on the gaming front.

Gaming revenue declined 10% (down 8% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue down 3% (down 1% in constant currency)

Microsoft

Of course, this pales in comparison to the below:

Source: Microsoft (Hey Xbox Live users grew!)

Shit balls that is bad. Of course, the Sony fanboys are gloating and Xbox fanboys are making excuses.

As always, it’s something in the middle. The Xbox One has always struggled against the PS4 since Don Mattrick shit the bed at launch. However, Phil Spencer has turned things around, setting up the next generation.

Speaking of next-gen, Microsoft has whipped their dick out and pretty much revealed what is in the works, so a decline in current hardware sales is to be expected.

Microsoft is also shifting their approach, to be more services centric, than hardware first, even though they claim that the Xbox Scarlett will be a force to be reckoned with. Microsoft is concentrating on multiple fronts, hedging their bets on what the future of gaming will be.

With that said, holy shit, a 48% drop is HUUUUUUGE. Hope Spencer and company have plan in place, because they have their work cut out for them.

[Source: Microsoft]

Microsoft’s Nadella Believes Xbox Brand is in a Good Position for the Future of Gaming, But Current Hardware Sales Fall 48%

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, whose name reminds me of the delicious hazelnut spread, believes that his company is in a good position for the future of gaming.

During a quarterly investor’s call, Nadella elaborates that Microsoft is well positioned, for the what the gaming market is becoming.

“First, I’ll say we are in gaming because of what we believe are going to be the secular changes in the gaming addressable market for us. We’ve always had a gaming position with console as well as the PC, but going forward we think that any end point can in fact be a great end point for high-end games, which is where our structural position is, and we now have a business model with Game Pass as well as all the supporting mechanisms for game pass like game streaming, we have a social network in Xbox Live that is the best in the business.

So I feel we’re well-positioned to what is going to be a much larger market than what was traditionally gaming in spite of all the success we’ve had over the years in gaming.

The second point is that it builds on the rest of the cloud investment, so if you think about what we’re doing with xCloud it’s a workload on top of Azure. If you think about capital allocation, what’s happening in the cloud, what’s happening in the edge, how we build the network, how we optimize with streaming… The same infrastructure for example is what Sony has decided to use as well and be on Azure as well as user AI capabilities.

So you’ll see significant synergies in terms of the architecture of platform underneath gaming, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Linkedin all being the same.”

Albeit, it’s expected that Nadella is going to fluff the company during an investor’s call. However, the moves Microsoft have been making to indicate that they are playing a long game, and are covering all bases for a future gaming world.

[Source: Twinfinite]

Weird Windows 1.0 Tweet was a Stranger Things 3 Promo

Microsoft

Last week, Microsoft confused a lot of folks when they tweeted some some cryptic Windows 1.0 related shit. Sure some smart folks were able to put the clues together, with most settling on some sort of Stranger Things 3 tie-in. Turns out that those people were “dead on balls accurate.”

Today, Microsoft announced the release of the Windows 1.11 app, which users can fiddle around with to unlock Stranger Things 3 related easter eggs.

Details from the Microsoft app store:

Experience 1985 nostalgia with a special edition Windows 10 PC app inspired by Windows 1.0—but one that’s been taken over by the Upside Down from Stranger Things. Explore the mysteries and secrets plaguing Hawkins, unlock unique show content and easter eggs, and play retro games and puzzles—all building off Stranger Things 3. Join Eleven, Steve, Dustin and gang as they seek to save Hawkins and the world. Embrace the 80s and grab your hairspray, because it’s basically the raddest show companion experience ever. But fair warning: beware the Mind Flayer.

Microsoft

Microsoft is also giving away a Stranger Things arcade cabinet to a lucky fan.

As a child of the 80’s I thoroughly approve of these tie-ins. With the wife and kids away for a few days, I plan to enjoy a binge watching session of this great show.

[Source: Microsoft]

Gears Fans Will Be Able to Take Part in a Multiplayer Technical Test Starting July 17

Xbox Wire

Gears fans are going to get a chance to test out the Gears 5 multiplayer starting on July 17.

The Multiplayer Technical Test will take place over two weekends starting July 19 through July 21 and again on July 26 through July 29. Fans can pre-download on Windows 10 and Xbox One on July 17.

According to Xbox Wire:

Multiplayer fans of all types can enjoy these weekend test sessions, as you’ll get to play Escalation (our updated competitive gametype) along with Arcade (a new and approachable multiplayer gametype) and a longtime fan favorite: King of the Hill. For players new to Gears or those that want to practice their skills and learn new mechanics we’ve added our new training mode – Bootcamp. The Tech Test also features a short Tour of Duty, which is a series of challenges for players to earn content – completing all of these challenges unlocks an exclusive Tech Test Banner. Players can also unlock three Versus Weapon Skins by completing some additional challenges. For a closer look at Escalation, be sure to check out the ELEAGUE Invitational next weekend (July 13-14) and stay tuned for additional details about Arcade next week.

Fans of roided up chainsaw machine gun badasses rejoice.

[Source: Xbox Wire]

Some Lucky Xbox & Windows Insiders Already Testing Out xCloud in the Wild

According to a Twitter user by the moniker IdleSloth1984, Microsoft has rolled out xCloud testing for lucky Xbox and Windows Insiders on Android devices.

I’m an Xbox Insider, but apparently not hot shit enough to be invited. I’m also not unwashed Android user, but an iPhone carrying gentleman, thank you very much, so I don’t want to test out your precious streaming service anyway.

[Source: Twitter]

Gears of War 5 Kicks Paid Loot Boxes to the Curb

Gears5.com

While EA really wants you to believe that paid loot boxes are just like delicious Kinder Eggs, Gears of War 5 devs The Coalition will be doing away with them entirely.

It’s all laid out nice and neat on the game’s official blog:

In Gears 5, our goal is to create a player-first experience when it comes to in-game content, and it starts with this:
– No Season Pass
– No Gear Packs
– DLC Maps are free for matchmaking and Private Play
– Exclusive earnable content in the all-new Tour of Duty system
– All store purchases are direct, no RNG so you always know what you will get

Gears5.com

How refreshing, but I’m not surprised. Change is needed as various governments are coming down on the practice of paid loot boxes hard.

This is good for gamers though, and at least The Coalition and by extension Microsoft, are not blowing smoke up people’s asses claiming that loot boxes are “actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people.”

[Source: Gears of War Blog]

Bungie Clarifies: Destiny 2 Cross Save Does Not Mean Cross-Play—Dummy

Poor Cayde. Miss you.

When Bungie announced that Destiny 2 would be featuring cross save on every platform under the sun (even PS4), a lot of people most have lost their shit and assumed that meant cross-play too.

I mean, I didn’t, because I’m not stupid. Cross save and cross-play mean two totally different things, right? RIGHT!?!

I’m assuming that most people agree with this, as I’m a believer that people are generally smart. However, enough dimwits must have thought otherwise, so Bungie had to take to their boards and set things straight.

Q: Will Destiny 2 support cross-play matchmaking between different platforms?
A: No. Each platform will have its own matchmaking pool. 

Got it! But surely there will be cross-play on the Stadia.

Q: Will Stadia feature cross-play with Steam or other platforms?
A: Stadia is its own ecosystem, just like current existing platforms. Stadia players will only be able to play with other Stadia players. 

Everyone clear now?

[Source: Bungie.net]

E3 is Over, But We Will Always Have This Man’s Beard

E3 2019 is officially in the books. There were some legitimate surprises, new hardware, new games, etc…

But what I’m going to remember most is that beard from the Xbox briefing. I don’t know if I should be impressed or frightened by it. It’s unnerving yet mesmerizing. I CAN’T STOP STARING AT IT.

If one was juvenile and fanboyish enough to declare a winner of E3, then it is clearly Xbox, by virtue of this man’s beard.