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Microsoft acquires Bethesda Softworks. I think ‘shookt’ is the right term for what the industry is feeling right now.

In a surprise announcement over social media and on the Xbox Wire news page, Bethesda now joins the Team Xbox starting today as ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, is acquired by Microsoft.

How much, you ask? A cool $7.5 Billion.

Pete HInes, SVP of PR and Marketing, says that the deal “allows us to make even better games going forward. Microsoft is an incredible partner and offers access to resources that will make us a better publisher and developer. We believe that means better games for you to play.”

Hines also points out that they are “still Bethesda. We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us.”

Bethesda is composed of around 2,300 talented individuals across various studios like Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. Collectively, they have produced top rated titles such as Dishonored, Wolfenstein, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and much more.

Does this mean that Bethesda titles will now be Xbox Exclusive games? It might be the case, and is just proof of the Xbox promise to provide “the most performant, immersive and compatible next-generation gaming experiences, and the freedom to play blockbuster games with your friends, anytime, anywhere.”

This may also mean that all Bethesda titles moving forward will be free on day one for Game Pass. Sweet!

With this acquisition, expect the Series S and X to just get better over time, further strengthening their already potent game library and powerhouse technology.

Pretty awkward for Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo, huh.

With the announcement of the Xbox Series X and Series S release date on November 10, multiple publishers have since shifted release dates for some of their titles.

Undoubtedly the biggest title not making an appearance for Microsoft will be Halo Infinite, which has been delayed to 2021. Even then, there’s still quite the selection that Xbox fans can look forward to, apart of course from the whole catalog of games from backwards compatibility and Game Pass, which recently added EA Play as part of the service at no extra cost.

Here’s the updated list of launch titles for the Xbox Series X and Series S:

Of course, some of the already released games like NBA 2K21 and Marvel’s Avengers will be boosting the launch lineup as well. Next gen upgrades for The Witcher 3 and Control may also come in by the release date, if not a bit later.

Some of the bigger titles that will release shortly after the Series X and Series S release date will be Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Cyberpunk 2077, so users may opt to immediately purchase the next-gen versions of these games right off the bat.

The Xbox Series X and Series S will release on November 10 for $499 and $299 (around PHP25,000 and PHP15,000) respectively.

Microsoft isn’t done with the big announcements for today. After finally taking the lid off of the Xbox Series X by announcing the price and pre-orders, Game Pass gains tremendous value by offering EA Play as a free addition to what could be considered as the best subscription deal in gaming.

According to the XBox Wire News Site, EA Play will be offered as a free addition for Game Pass Ultimate members at no additional cost, giving players access to games such as FIFA 20, Titanfall 2, Battlefield, and much much more.

Along with this, Game Pass Ultimate users will gain access to even more incentives such as:

  • Exclusive in-game challenges and rewards, special member-only content, discounts on EA digital purchases for DLC, games, and more.
  • Access to trials of games for up to 10 hours from best-loved franchises and top titles like Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21.
  • Not only will EA Play titles be available on console and PC, this holiday, some of the best EA Play games will also be available for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play on Android devices via the cloud at no additional charge.

Game Pass is undoubtedly one of, if not the best deal in gaming at the moment and with this addition, players will get much more value out of their hard earned money, especially with Project xCloud also being a part of the service, allowing you to play a whole catalog of games anytime, anywhere.

Aaaand it’s official. The Xbox Series X will be releasing on November 10 with an estimated retail price of $499, roughly around PHP25,000. “That’s the tweet”.

Following a barrage of leaks that turned into official announcements, Microsoft have unveiled their biggest and most important announcement yet. As they go on the “offensive”, no more playing cat & mouse, they’ve finally taken the lid off of the most powerful next generation console and have given it an official price tag that, to be honest, is very enticing.

According to the official Series X website, pre-orders will go live on September 22 with an Xbox All-Access financing option in participating countries.

Both the Xbox Series X and Series S will be launching on November 10 and with Game Pass along with Project xCloud right behind it, Microsoft is entering the next generation with guns blazing.

No word yet on local availability, but given that the Xbox One has been available locally, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this hit shores later this year.

Not long after its official announcement, Microsoft has now confirmed that the Xbox Series S is scheduled for a November 10 release date.

Coming from a series of leaks which we assume prompted Microsoft to show their cards, the Xbox Series S is now the first of the next generation offerings with a complete slate of details. Retailing for $299 or around PHP15,000, the Xbox Series S is an all-digital affair that will be less powerful than the Series X.

The full list of features of the Series S includes the following:

  • 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X
  • All-Digital
  • 1440p at up to 120fps
  • Directx Raytracing
  • Variable Rate Shading
  • Variable Refresh Rate
  • Ultra-low Latency
  • Custom 512GB SSD
  • 4K Streaming Media Playback
  • 4K Upscaling For Games

Reports from Windows Central regarding all information of the Series S proved to be true – from the price to the release date. Included in that report is the Xbox Series X at a $499 price point and the same November 10 release date, which has a very good chance to be accurate as well.

Following the official reveal of the Xbox Series S, a new leak has surfaced which shows the supposed reveal trailer of the Series S, showcasing all of the features that the cheaper variant will come out with.

Twitter user @_h0x0d_ has once again spilled the beans on the details of the Series S, this time bringing out the full reveal trailer, which you can view below:

The video highlights all of the features of the console, including Raytracing and 1440p 120fps:

  • 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X
  • All-Digital
  • 1440p at up to 120fps
  • Directx Raytracing
  • Variable Rate Shading
  • Variable Refresh Rate
  • Ultra-low Latency
  • Custom 512GB SSD
  • 4K Streaming Media Playback
  • 4K Upscaling For Games

Earlier today, a massive leak correctly revealed the Series S, and if everything else on the leak is true, both the Series X and S will be released on November 10, with the Series X retailing for $499.

Does the Xbox Series X look tempting enough at $299 with these specs? Why yes, yes it does.

The worst kept secret due to numerous leaks has now been made official by Microsoft themselves. The Xbox Series S has been announced in pretty anticlimactic fashion and will retail for $299.

That’s really, REALLY cheap.

No other information has been provided by Microsoft but they have said that there will be more information coming soon, most likely later this month, when it will probably reveal the launch date (and price) for the Series X as well.

Earlier today, a massive leak about the Series S, including a reported November 10 launch date, was making the news rounds. The info leak also rumored the Series X to be priced at $499, which is probably not too far off considering the price tag on the Series S.

Part of the Series S leak was a rumor that the Series S will be sporting “around 4TF RDNA2, making it roughly around as powerful as the Xbox One X, perhaps geared towards 1080p monitors with better frame rates.” The Series S is also set to be the all-digital version of their next-gen offering and won’t have a disc tray.

On the other hand, Sony has yet to share any new details regarding the PS5.

Ahead of the Series X launch in November, Microsoft has given everyone a sneak peek on the new and improved dashboard which looks mostly similar but will feature major improvements in ease of use and load speed.

As announced by Microsoft, the update will launch this Holiday and will feature a uniform design across Xbox mobile apps, Xbox Game Pass, and the Xbox family of consoles, which is designed to feel familiar and seamless whichever device you choose to play on.

Arguably one of the biggest improvements of the new dashboard will be how fast it works, boasting of 50% faster load time when you boot up your Xbox and 30% faster load time when returning from a game, all while using 40% less memory. All this talk of percentages and numbers all equate to the players spending more time actually playing the game instead of waiting for the next thing to load.

Microsoft has also confirmed that an Xbox Mobile App is in development, allowing mobile users to connect to their network of friends as well as the capability to share content from your console straight to social media.

This is but one of the many things already revealed by Microsoft to get users to try out the Series X when it launches later this year. While there are many things we already know about the next generation offering from Microsoft, we’re looking forward to a couple more which could actually be the most important ones – an official Series S announcement and retail price.

3 months to go, give it to us already, Microsoft!

The Philippines is home to world-class talent that have made great strides in the gaming industry. We have Ubisoft Philippines who has worked on the Assassin’s Creed franchise among many others, Secret 6 with their recent work on The Last of Us 2, and now we have Pixel Mafia. Pixel who?!

Pixel Mafia is an art service studio based in the Philippines, showcasing local talent all while boasting of some pretty high profile projects under their belt. How high profile? Previously, they have contributed their talents to work on Gears of War 5 and Cyberpunk 2077 and now, they’re happy to share that they’ve teamed up with 343 Industries for the highly anticipated Xbox exclusive, Halo Infinite.

Those are VERY high profile AAA games.

The studio shares this via a post from their Facebook page:

The studio is headed by Walter De Torres and Coby Chan, veterans in the industry who have shipped some of the biggest titles like Fifa, Sims, Skate, Need for Speed, and much more. Walter was once the Director of Production for Gears of War and Coby was also once the Outsource Manager for the same title. Talk about credentials, sheesh.

Pixel Mafia aims to provide world-class service and their works will speak for itself. How good will your resume look when you finally add a line that makes you part of the development team for one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world? It is certainly something that we can all be proud of!

For more information about Pixel Mafia, you can check out their Website, Facebook, and Instagram page… I hear they are hiring!

Over the past few days, the next gen Xbox leaks have been seeing the light of day in the form of leaked controllers, suggesting that a cheaper and ‘weaker’ Xbox Series S could be on the table for Microsoft. If this next leak proves to be accurate, we’ll be marking early November as the possible launch of the Xbox Series X, particularly November 6.

Tom Warren, Senior Editor from The Verge, has obtained evidence of sealed boxes allegedly containing Xbox Controllers with a “do not sell or display before” warning of November 6. Microsoft just announced the release window for their next generation offering, so this leak may have some semblance of accuracy.

Interestingly, as per The Verge, some people have somehow purchased the said controllers and have even registered them on the Microsoft Support site, revealing a warranty expiration of November 5, 2021, suggesting that these controllers are indeed legit and working on the one year warranty afforded to Xbox consoles.

While nothing official has been announced by Microsoft, the Halo delay has surely dampened the strong launch momentum that the Series X has been building up to and by possibly launching early, they can use the headstart to get a lead on the next-gen counterpart from Sony.

As always, we’ll be waiting on Microsoft to make their official announcements.

In an announcement that probably most Xbox fans were thinking of but not hoping for, Halo Infinite has now been officially delayed to 2021, citing COVID related reasons that have affected not just 343, but the entire gaming industry and the world as a whole.

Coming from an announcement by 343 Industries Studio Head Chris Lee, it was a tough decision but ultimately done to finish up some more critical work.

Judging from the announcement, it’s a good sign that 343 have listened to player feedback and are looking for ways to further improve the product that will result in an “experience that meets our vision”.

Halo Infinite was supposed to be the flagship title that would accompany the Series X launch in November but with that no longer available, Microsoft will have to rely on its solid backwards compatible lineup and outstanding service in game pass to tow them into the next generation.

In the mean time, you can check out Halo Infinite campaign gameplay that was revealed a few weeks back to satisfy your hunger for more Master Chief.

From Holiday 2020 to November 2020. Microsoft has laid down one of the final pieces of its puzzle for their next generation console and with it, a peek as to what players can expect when it launches.

An announcement from Microsoft narrows down the Xbox Series X launch window to November 2020 but along with it, the promise of “Thousands of Games Spanning Four Generations”, technically making it one of the biggest (if not the biggest) launch lineup in recent memory.

Specifics can be seen below:

  • More than 50 new games planned for this year across generations and optimized for Xbox Series X, including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Dirt 5, Gears Tactics, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Watch Dogs: Legion. With Smart Delivery you only have to buy these games once to play the best versions for your console, across generations.
  • New games developed exclusively for Xbox Series X and launching with Xbox Game Pass, including The Medium, Scorn, Tetris Effect Connected and more.
  • More than 40 popular games newly optimized to take full advantage of Xbox Series X such as Destiny 2, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Madden NFL 21 and more.

Of course, with it, Game Pass Ultimate will be getting a boost because of Project xCloud, which is set to release this September.

With Halo Infinite being out of the launch lineup for the Series X, it just lost one of its biggest come-on’s for the system, making it much more apparent that you don’t need to upgrade to a Series X just yet, as is the strategy for Microsoft with their cross-generation and pro-consumer approach. Instead, Microsoft will be banking on its other titles, backwards compatibility across previous generations, and Game Pass, which is a hell of a deal on its own.

Now all we need is a price.

With Sony already revealing 2 variants of their upcoming PlayStation 5, Microsoft still has not announced nor confirmed the existence of their cheaper Series X currently dubbed as “Lockhart”. It seems like a leaked controller packaging has indicated that there will indeed be a second console named as the Xbox Series S.

Photos coming from Twitter User Zak S has somehow obtained the controller complete with packaging that possibly states the name of the upcoming system from Microsoft, which will be known as the Xbox Series S. The Verge has obtained these photos and have confirmed that it is indeed genuine.

Crazily, Zak S got the controller for $35 on a resale site and the person who he got it from said that they got if from a homie. Well, damn, talk about a well connected homie.

Zak goes on to show more proof of authenticity…

Even placing it side by side with an Xbox One Controller, showing an improved look with the D-Pad and what seems to be a slightly larger footprint, but stating that the size and feel is amazing.

Peep some more of the shots below:

Microsoft is not keen on drastically changing the look and feel of their controller, unlike the DualSense for the PlayStation 5, which is bigger and heftier than the DualShock 4. The one thing everybody is looking at now is more information as to when Microsoft will be unveiling their second next-generation variant, which is supposed to be a cheaper, discless version.

Pieces are slowly starting to fall into place for both Microsoft and Sony, with the price possibly being the last piece of the puzzle that will give the users a final thing to think about before taking the next generation leap.

After the announcement that Project xCloud was going to be a part of Game Pass Ultimate when it launches, Microsoft has shared more details on what players can expect from the service next month.

In an official announcement by Microsoft, Android phones and tablets will get first dibs on Project xCloud, which will boast of more than 100 games playable at launch, like Yakuza Kiwami 2, Gears 5, Minecraft Dungeons, and much more.

Staying true to the promise of bringing your legacy across generations, all your friends, achievements, controller settings, and saved game progress will be carried over as you play, giving players a seamless transition from platform to platform.

Along with this, Microsoft is teaming up with the likes of Razer, 8BitDo, PowerA, and Nacon for accessories that will level up your mobile gaming experience. Oh, and PlayStation DualShock 4 controllers will be compatible as well, along with the standard Xbox One Bluetooth Wireless controller.

When xCloud launches next month, 22 markets will be able to enjoy the service including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Other markets may gain access further down the line.

We’ve tried xCloud and we were left impressed and hopeful with what the technology will mean for the future of gaming. The next generation is fast approaching and with it, fantastic offerings from both Sony and Microsoft that will only mean great games for the years ahead.

Leading up to the launch of the Series X, Microsoft has been making small moves here and there to up the experience for the consumers. First was lumping in xCloud to be a free add on for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, which we tried and are rather impressed with.

In a recent discussion with famous Xbox personalities, the new Microsoft store was previewed, which starts at around the 24:10 mark , but you can also watch the whole video HERE:

According to an official post by Microsoft, this is “A completely rebuilt experience designed to be faster, safer and easier to use than ever before.” The new store is pegged as more than twice as fast as before, also putting an emphasis on making searching for relevant content easier for the users. A few of the revisited and improved features are as follows:

  • With the redesigned search functionality, it’s easier to filter your results.
  • Guided by your feedback, we rebuilt the Wish List. You can now easily add new games to your Wish List and quickly check your list content (including keeping tabs on any sale pricing for your Wish List items).
  • The updated shopping cart makes it easier to add items to your cart as well as view the items in your cart before and during purchase.
  • We’ve also made it easier than ever to shop across four generations of great Xbox content by enabling customers to view pricing while browsing for new Xbox One games and backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles, as well as add these games to your Wish List or shopping cart.

The revamped store will be available in beta starting August 5 for select Xbox Insiders.