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Halo 4 Insider testing is now live across PC and Xbox One, brings cross-play support
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
343 Industries planned to kick off the first Insider test of Halo 4 last weekend but was pushed back at the last minute. In a surprise opening and without waiting for the next weekend, the developer has now kicked off the highly-anticipated flight. If previous plans hold true, everyone who has signed up to be a Halo Insider will receive an invite this time, meaning both PC (across Steam and Microsoft Store) and Xbox One users are eligible.
According to 343 Industries community manager John Junyshek, the invites are still going out in waves, so keep an eye out for an email with instructions or head to HaloWaypoint and check for notifications there.
From Halo 4, this flight contains Requiem, Forerunner, Reclaimer, Shutdown, and Composer campaign missions, 11 multiplayer maps across Social and Competitive playlists, and Spartan Ops content, among other enhancements such as Forge improvements, advanced graphics options, and an FOV slider.
Aside from those, 343 Industries is finally preparing to bring cross-play across PC and Xbox One versions as well as input-based matchmaking and server region selection capabilities to the Master Chief Collection. The testing of these features is also happening in this build.
In other Halo news, it was announced earlier today that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be receiving Xbox Series X|S enhancements on November 17, bringing many enhancements that have been made to the new PC version over to the next-gen console version.
Fallout 76 goes free-to-play for a week across all platforms
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
In the Fallout universe, October 23 marks the day that the almost-world-ending thermonuclear war began, kicking off the events that spawned all the Fallout storylines fans know and love. Celebrating the occasion, Bethesda is hosting a Free Play event for Fallout 76 alongside sales and more.
From now until October 26, Fallout 76 is free-to-play across PC (Steam and Bethesda client), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with the full game - including the human NPC-adding Wastelanders update - available to try out. However, keep in mind that Xbox Live Gold is still a requirement for Xbox One players.
Moreover, the Fallout 76 subscription service, Fallout 1st, has also received a trial for players to try out for free until October 26. Interested wasteland dwellers can find a Fallout 1st Limited Preview item in the Atomic Shop, which will grant them access to the Scrapbox and Survival Tent. The former provides unlimited storage for crafting components, while the latter is a user-spawned, fully-equipped fast-travel point.
Picking up Fallout 76 will allow players to carry on where they left off following the free event's departure without losing their progress. The base game is discounted by 60% during the event across all platforms, with further sales happening for the Fallout 76 Deluxe Edition, various bundles, as well as Atoms. Discounts for Fallout 4 and Fallout Shelter in-game bundles have also kicked off celebrating the event.
By Asher Madan
Xbox Deals with Gold feature Fallout, Madden NFL, and more
by Asher Madan
Every week, Microsoft and select publishers discount a number of titles for weekly Deals with Gold, Spotlight, and Publisher (Cozy Games and Bombs Drop) sales. This week, games from Fallout, Madden NFL, and other franchises are available for substantially less.
Below, you'll find the Xbox One and Xbox 360 games with their respective discounts. Xbox Live Gold members receive additional discounts on a number of titles through the paid subscription.
Many of the Xbox 360 games appear to be backward compatible so you'll be able to play them on your Xbox One and the upcoming Xbox Series X|S. Currently, Microsoft isn't adding any more backward compatible titles to the program, but that should change in 2021.
Which titles are you interested in? Did you pick any up? Let us know in the comments below.
Microsoft's Xbox app gets updated with support for remote play on Android and iOS
by Anmol Mehrotra
Microsoft has released a new update for its Xbox app for Android and iOS users. The latest update brings support for remote play as well as the new UI that made a debut on Xbox consoles with the October 2020 update last week.
In case you don't know, remote play allows users to stream gameplay from their Xbox console to smartphones via WiFi. The feature is a bit different from Microsoft xCloud as it requires the user to physically own a console and stream the gameplay. In contrast, Microsoft xCloud allows users to play games without owning an Xbox game console.
Here is the full changelog for the update:
The changelog for the update is the same for both Android and iOS. On Android, the app has been updated to version 2009.1016.2010 and is available for download from the Google Play Store. Meanwhile, on iOS, the app has been updated to version 2009.1009.1918 and is available for download from the App Store.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft: We can recoup $7.5bn Bethesda purchase without putting games on PlayStation
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft made quite some waves in the gaming industry last month when it announced that it is acquiring ZeniMax Media for a staggering $7.5 billion. ZeniMax Media owns several high profile game development studios Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. The purchase meant that all these studios are coming under the Redmond tech giant's first-party umbrella, which led to questions about whether future games from them would also be launching on PlayStation platforms.
While Microsoft's Phil Spencer stated that existing commitments such as Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo's timed PlayStation 5 exclusivity will be honored, he stated that for other games, the company will decide "on a case by case basis". Now, the executive has shed some more light on this matter.
In an interview with Kotaku, Spencer clearly stated that Microsoft does not need to release Bethesda's upcoming The Elder Scrolls VI on PlayStation platforms to recoup its $7.5 billion purchase. The executive then went on to say that:
While Spencer's wording is vague enough to not be considered as a flat-out refusal of bringing upcoming ZeniMax games to PlayStation, it does indicate that Microsoft is under no such pressure. Clearly, with its success with Game Pass and xCloud, the company has a huge market of players to tap into.
All in all, it won't be surprising if Microsoft decides not to release future ZeniMax Media games on PlayStation platforms. It might even be able to attract more gamers to its cloud streaming solutions if buying an Xbox console is out of the question for hardcore Sony fans. You can check out Spencer's interview in its entirety by hitting the source link below.