Scorpio offical reveal incoming, along with 4K Forza, RDR2 and Battlefront.


Recommended Posts

George P
31 minutes ago, Asmodai said:

I don't think any current TV supports Freesync nor do I think they likely will in the future.  It's neat to have in there and you can use it if you hook your Xbox to a monitor but major televisions aren't designed to support video games and freesync has no value in normal video content.

True, but monitors that do support this seem to be getting bigger, the type of gamers who love this stuff will probably use something like a 4k 30" monitor or bigger if they can get one.   As far as my post, I wasn't going to wait more to get a 4k HDR tv and my old one has been acting up for months so it was time to change anyways.

Link to post
Share on other sites
George P
Just now, Asmodai said:

That link is blocked at work... any chance you could quote some highlights?

There's a few other sites with info, let me post those links.

 

WindowsCentral

TheVerge

The dev kits come with 44 Compute Units compared to 40 for the retail units, also it has 24GB of RAM compared to 12GB for the retail units.   It also has a second NIC to send debug code for multiplayer testing, and a 2nd 1TB SSD along with the 1TB HDD that will come with the retail units, so two drives in total.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
8 minutes ago, George P said:

There's a few other sites with info, let me post those links.

 

WindowsCentral

TheVerge

The dev kits come with 44 Compute Units compared to 40 for the retail units, also it has 24GB of RAM compared to 12GB for the retail units.   It also has a second NIC to send debug code for multiplayer testing, and a 2nd 1TB SSD along with the 1TB HDD that will come with the retail units, so two drives in total.

ROFL, my work blocks the t.co url replacer you used too but fortunately both WindowsCentral and TheVerge are not blocked.  Thanks for the heads up!

Link to post
Share on other sites
George P

Looks like we'll be waiting till E3 to find out what the scorpio is finally called, priced and looks like.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Skiver

Obviously not official but...

 

Xbox Scorpio price REVEALED: Would you pay this for Project Scorpio?

 

Quote

Xbox Scorpio price details may have been leaked ahead of the holiday 2017 release date.

Microsoft is expected to announce the Xbox One Scorpio price at E3 2017. However, one retailer may have spilled the beans early.

Spanish retailer XtraLife (via DesiXBL) is advertising the upcoming Xbox Scorpio console with a €399 price tag. That's roughly £335 in the UK, although it's more likely to cost £399 if the advert is accurate.

1

Source

 

I personally don't believe this, I think the price will either be stupidly high for a console £800 region or it will release at around £400 which was the same rough price as the XB1 on release. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
8 hours ago, Skiver said:

Obviously not official but...

 

Xbox Scorpio price REVEALED: Would you pay this for Project Scorpio?

 

Source

 

I personally don't believe this, I think the price will either be stupidly high for a console £800 region or it will release at around £400 which was the same rough price as the XB1 on release. 

I don't know the currency conversions and such but I strongly suspect Project Scorpio will cost no more than the original Xbox One at launch (when it came with Kinect).

Link to post
Share on other sites
George P

I expect $499 which was the same price for the original Xbox One, but if it's anything less than that, then we're talking a deal, hell at $499 I think it's a good price already when you think about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
dipsylalapo

If that's the price, that's a good spot to hit. But MS really need to hit a home run with the games they provide. The Xbox One isn't a bad system but there aren't as many of the exclusives as the Playstation. Let's hope they can start catching up on that front too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
On 4/21/2017 at 7:24 AM, dipsylalapo said:

If that's the price, that's a good spot to hit. But MS really need to hit a home run with the games they provide. The Xbox One isn't a bad system but there aren't as many of the exclusives as the Playstation. Let's hope they can start catching up on that front too.

I'm not sure how that would happen.  Microsoft isn't going to suddenly burst out with a whole ton of new first party studios and I don't think they've been holding back games from the ones they have.  3rd parties aren't going to turn their back on Sony's larger install base which even if Project Scorpio does well, and I believe it will, it's not going to flip the overall numbers and outsell combined PS4 lifetime sales.  Japanese developers aren't going to pick Project Scorpio for exclusive JRPG launches.  What's more likely to happen is just that Sony will get less non-first party exclusives because the gap won't be quite so large if sales are good and developers want to play with the better tech.  Also Microsoft will get the best versions of the multi-platform games for Project Scorpio going forward.  I'm already holding off on buying Middle-Earth:  Shadow of War for example for my PS4 because I want to get the "better" version on Project Scorpio when it comes out.  I suspect I'll be buying very few non-PS4 exclusives going forward because I'll want the Project Scorpio versions instead.  My PS4 will end up being just for exclusives (like the upcoming God of War) and my existing library of games.

Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeChipshop

I'll be very surprised and happy if that's the price it comes in at. I had thoughts of this being a high end, premium model with a high end premium price, but at £399, it's a lot, but no where near where i was expecting. Fingers crossed eh?!

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
4 minutes ago, MikeChipshop said:

I'll be very surprised and happy if that's the price it comes in at. I had thoughts of this being a high end, premium model with a high end premium price, but at £399, it's a lot, but no where near where i was expecting. Fingers crossed eh?!

It is the "high end, premium model".  The "normal" model would be the Xbox One S which is currently seling for what... $250?  You figure they might even have a price cut on that before the end of the year when Project Scorpio will launch so it may be as low as $199 by then.  Even $399 would be DOUBLE the price then, that's a "premium model" to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
George P

Sure 3rd party developers aren't going to turn their back on Sony at this point BUT, like MS did with TR, they can just get timed exclusives, and while the Xbox One install base is smaller if they do Xbox + Windows 10 and make them play anywhere, like a few have already, RE7 for example, then I don't think developers will say no.    

 

Also, there's lots of games out there that need a publisher, why not spend the money?   MS not spending on games is why they're lacking at the moment.  Sony has and still does, pay to make games exclusive, even keeping them off of the PC, while some are just made console exclusive and make their way to Steam, like Nier.   

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
1 hour ago, George P said:

Sure 3rd party developers aren't going to turn their back on Sony at this point BUT, like MS did with TR, they can just get timed exclusives, and while the Xbox One install base is smaller if they do Xbox + Windows 10 and make them play anywhere, like a few have already, RE7 for example, then I don't think developers will say no.

My understanding is that TR was a 2nd party development not 3rd party as Microsoft funded it's development.  1st and 2nd party exculsives will of course continue but I wouldn't expect them to ramp up significantly above what they are already doing just because Project Scorpio launched.  I think MS is doing them when they can now and launching new hardware isn't going to make a bunch of new opportunities available.  Also I didn't get the feeling TR worked out so well, but maybe that's because I tend to be more on the PS side and forum posts tend to skew negative.  There's a fair amount of hate out there for Crystal Dynamics because of the TR deal though and I'm not sure it made much on PlayStation after the year delay.

 

I wasn't counting timed exclusives though either, MS can have as many of them as they decide to throw money at I'd expect but I really don't see them just dumping a ton of money more than they do now just because the new hardware launches, I think they'd at least hope developers would want to focus on the new, more powerful hardware, without them having to throw tons of money their way.  Maybe they'll have things like exclusive map packs or some such too but those are just little extras and I thought we were talking about whole games.

 

My understanding of the Windows 10 situation from the people in the industry is that game developers still almost universally HATE UWP that I believe the "Play Anywhere" thing is tied to.  Most "Play Anywhere" games are first or second party not typically third and while there have been a few 3rd party experiments they've largely been seen as failures thus far.  I expect that will change as UWP continues to develop but I'm not sure it well be changed significantly by the end of the year when Project Scorpio launches.  3rd party multi-platform games will likely remain Win32/64 for some time which there are even PS "console exclusives" that have Windows/Mac versions as well.  I certainly don't think 3rd parties are going to drop PS4 support to make Win10/Xbox One exclusive games... that's leaving way too much money on the table from the larger PS4 install base.

 

Quote

   Also, there's lots of games out there that need a publisher, why not spend the money?   MS not spending on games is why they're lacking at the moment.  Sony has and still does, pay to make games exclusive, even keeping them off of the PC, while some are just made console exclusive and make their way to Steam, like Nier.   

You make it sound like I'm saying they aren't going to spend money on publishing games anymore.  I'm not saying it's going to STOP, I'm saying it's not going to suddenely jump because they launched new hardware.  Yes there's lots of games out there that need a publisher, why do you think MS isn't spending the money on them now?  You seriously think they're holding back supporting their platform until Project Scorpio launches.   I'm saying they're going to continue doing what they're doing now once Project Scorpio launches... there isn't likey to be a huge sudden shift.

 

I don't think Sony pays a ton of money to get 2nd or 3rd party exclusives either.  I DO think their first party studios make more games than Microsofts first party studios and I don't see that as sunddenly changing when Project Scorpio launches either.  I think a fair amount of Sony 3rd party exclusives are a direct result of them having a significantly larger market share, NOT Sony paying them money.  I'm not saying Sony NEVER pays 3rd parties for exclusives but I don't believe that's the main reason exclusives exist.  Also American companies aren't as loyal to Xbox as Japanese companies are to Sony.  A fair amount of Sony's 3rd party exclusives are from Japanese developers who have no interest at all in developing for Xbox which sells horribly in their home country even without Sony paying them a cent.  Heck there are a bunch of PS4 games over there that never even get officially released in the U.S. at all.  MS doesn't really have an equivalent to that.

 

As for PC I don't think Sony cares if games release on PC as well.  I don't think they see PC as console competition at all.  Again there are PS4 "console exclusives" and Sony is fine with that.  They don't care to spend the development effort to make more than one version of their own internal projects or have to support the multiple hardware/software configurations on a PC but I don't think they pay anyone to keep their products off PC.  If 3rd parties don't support PCs it's probably because they don't want to have to mess with the headaches of dealing with all the various hardware/software configurations that you have to deal with when you make a PC game... not because Sony is encouraging them not to.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
LostCat
On ‎4‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 2:30 PM, Asmodai said:

If 3rd parties don't support PCs it's probably because they don't want to have to mess with the headaches of dealing with all the various hardware/software configurations that you have to deal with when you make a PC game... not because Sony is encouraging them not to.

Agree and disagree with that point.  MS makes it very easy to do cross platform with similar APIs and dev tools for xbox and Windows (especially win10 where you can use a lot of the same background systems,) where with PS4 the only renderer and tools available to my knowledge have no PC counterparts.  So yeah, Sony doesn't have to care but that doesn't mean they don't make it more difficult.

 

Anyvey on topic: I think Scorpio might be the first one I've ever bought at launch.  We'll see.  I've always been wary about launch hardware for manufacturing issues but it'll be damn hard to resist unless it's above 450.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
15 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

Agree and disagree with that point.  MS makes it very easy to do cross platform with similar APIs and dev tools for xbox and Windows (especially win10 where you can use a lot of the same background systems,) where with PS4 the only renderer and tools available to my knowledge have no PC counterparts.  So yeah, Sony doesn't have to care but that doesn't mean they don't make it more difficult.

There's is difference between making something more difficult not going out of your way to make it easier.

Sony doesn't use a different API to make it difficult for developers to port games.  They use a different API because they make a new API for every console generation that's super low level and hardware specific.  They actually DO try to make it a little easier for developers by making it look SIMILAR to existing APIs that developers would be familiar with but they aren't going to use OpenGL or DirectX that they have no control over for their custom hardware.

 

In the case of this generation Sony launched the PS4 in 2013 with an API called GNM.  GNM is ultra low level, lower level than DX12 or Mantel or Vulkan which came out later.  Being so low level makes it EXTREMELY powerful but also very difficult to program (the developers have to do darn near everything manually).  To make things easier and more familiar though they created a bunch of wrappers that did things that DX11 and such does for developers and the API using these wrapper is called GNMX and looks very similar to DX11.

 

Not using someone elses API doesn't mean they are trying to make things more difficult.  They try to make thinks less difficult by making their API look familiar to other APIs while still being able to control the API for their specialized hardware.  If the PS4 had to use OpenGL or DirectX at launch it would have taken a serious performance hit.  MS took a lot of flack from developers for launching Xbox One with pretty much vanilla DX11 on day one instead of a lower level API.  They quickly upgraded the Xbox API through XDK updates to improve the situation so Xbox One was running a more tailored version of DX11 but it was a mistake to launch with near vanilla DX11 and performance took a hit because of it.  DX12 largely resolves that and it much closer to GNM but it didn't come out until around 2 years after the console launched and while much closer to GNM it's still not quite as low and it's not specific to the Xbox ONe hardware so it has a bunch of stuff in it that the Xbox One hardware doesn't support... why would Sony want to copy that?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
LostCat
4 minutes ago, Asmodai said:

MS took a lot of flack from developers for launching Xbox One with pretty much vanilla DX11 on day one instead of a lower level API.  They quickly upgraded the Xbox API through XDK updates to improve the situation so Xbox One was running a more tailored version of DX11 but it was a mistake to launch with near vanilla DX11 and performance took a hit because of it.  DX12 largely resolves that and it much closer to GNM but it didn't come out until around 2 years after the console launched and while much closer to GNM it's still not quite as low and it's not specific to the Xbox ONe hardware so it has a bunch of stuff in it that the Xbox One hardware doesn't support... why would Sony want to copy that?

To my knowledge Xbox One has always had a custom renderer as well as DX11 and most devs that used the DX11 renderer (as with Ark) had incredibly crap performance.  DX12 is far better, but is still not the preferred renderer for the X1.

 

So PS4 also having a low level renderer is not much of a win.

 

6 minutes ago, Asmodai said:

There's is difference between making something more difficult not going out of your way to make it easier.

Yes.  Which makes it more difficult by proxy, whether it was through action or inaction.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
21 minutes ago, dwLostCat said:

To my knowledge Xbox One has always had a custom renderer as well as DX11 and most devs that used the DX11 renderer (as with Ark) had incredibly crap performance.  DX12 is far better, but is still not the preferred renderer for the X1.

 

So PS4 also having a low level renderer is not much of a win.

 

Yes.  Which makes it more difficult by proxy, whether it was through action or inaction.

I have no idea what you're trying to say.  In both of your replies you directly contradict yourself.

 

In your first response you first talk about how DX11 had incredibly crap performance and then say so PS4 also having a low level renderer is not much of a win.

PS4 having a low level renderer is a HUGE win.  You can go look up the old eurogamer article about the XDK leak (they're under NDA normally) that goes through how MS scrambled to get out XDK updates out to fix the not-very low level but technically custom renderer (which was very similar to vanilla DX11... which is why I said "pretty much" and "near" DX11 and NOT specifically DX11).

 

In your second response you say "Yes" and then contradict it.  Yes there is a difference but here's why there isn't.  I personally think your inaction claim is rubbish but you're certainly entitled to your opinion.  I contend that not helping someone is not the same as harming them, if you believe they are the same then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
LostCat
28 minutes ago, Asmodai said:

In your first response you first talk about how DX11 had incredibly crap performance and then say so PS4 also having a low level renderer is not much of a win.

PS4 having a low level renderer is a HUGE win.  You can go look up the old eurogamer article about the XDK leak (they're under NDA normally) that goes through how MS scrambled to get out XDK updates out to fix the not-very low level but technically custom renderer (which was very similar to vanilla DX11... which is why I said "pretty much" and "near" DX11 and NOT specifically DX11).

 

In your second response you say "Yes" and then contradict it.  Yes there is a difference but here's why there isn't.  I personally think your inaction claim is rubbish but you're certainly entitled to your opinion.  I contend that not helping someone is not the same as harming them, if you believe they are the same then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Having a low level renderer is certainly not much of a win over another low level renderer.  I don't know if they had the same capability as now originally, but from what I know there are currently three rendering paths and the vanilla DX11 and DX12 renderers aren't the best option.  If your best source is seriously outdated info, that's not much of a source.

 

As for point 2 it costs money to code everything to separate systems.  So sure they aren't being harmed by Sony directly, but they are being harmed financially (though many devs use middleware to do the work, so much of this can be mitigated easily enough.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
44 minutes ago, dwLostCat said:

Having a low level renderer is certainly not much of a win over another low level renderer.

As I stated MS did NOT have a low lever renderer that was comparable to GNM AT LAUNCH.

44 minutes ago, dwLostCat said:

  I don't know if they had the same capability as now originally,

I do know, they didn't.  That's what I said in the first place.  The preferred renderer changed radically in the early days for MS to close the gap between what they launched with and what Sony launched with.

 

44 minutes ago, dwLostCat said:

but from what I know there are currently three rendering paths and the vanilla DX11 and DX12 renderers aren't the best option. If your best source is seriously outdated info, that's not much of a source.

Are you for real?  I'm talking about what Xbox One LAUNCHED with.  You aren't going to get articles talking about the state of the API at launch four years later.  Again, as I stated before "They quickly [after launch] upgraded the Xbox API through XDK updates to improve the situation".  I'm NOT talking about the CURRENT state of the API, the situation has long since been resolved.  The eurogamer article is still an excellent chronicle of the early API changes in the first year or so after the Xbox One launch as Microsoft scrambled to catch up and more importantly provides evidence of my claims as opposed to your "from what I know" and "to my knowledge". Clearly you aren't well informed so perhaps if you read the article the sitution will improve.

44 minutes ago, dwLostCat said:

As for point 2 it costs money to code everything to separate systems.  So sure they aren't being harmed by Sony directly, but they are being harmed financially (though many devs use middleware to do the work, so much of this can be mitigated easily enough.)

Sony is not doing something in order to harm them.  It IS a seperate system and thus requires different coding.  Unless they just use all off the shelf parts so nothing needs any special coding then it's going to cost money to code to that seperate system.  That's just the nature of the beast not Sony trying to make things more difficult.  Sony doesn't control OpenGL or DirectX and neither were low enough level for a cosole at launch so they had to make their own API (GNM), just has they have in the past...  they DID go out of their way to make wrappers that worked like existing APIs to make things easier for developers to port (GNMX) but they couldn't just wholesale copy DirectX and even if they could it doesn't have all the features the new hardware supported that they needed to expose to developers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
LostCat
10 minutes ago, Asmodai said:

Are you for real?  I'm talking about what Xbox One LAUNCHED with.  You aren't going to get articles talking about the state of the API at launch four years later.  Again, as I stated before "They quickly [after launch] upgraded the Xbox API through XDK updates to improve the situation".  I'm NOT talking about the CURRENT state of the API, the situation has long since been resolved.  The eurogamer article is still an excellent chronicle of the early API changes in the first year or so after the Xbox One launch as Microsoft scrambled to catch up and more importantly provides evidence of my claims as opposed to your "from what I know" and "to my knowledge". Clearly you aren't well informed so perhaps if you read the article the sitution will improve.

I wasn't talking about launch, except that I don't know the state of the low level renderer at the time.

 

I don't think you gave me a link to read, and yes I prefer to work with actual facts in front of me and searching wasn't finding them.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
LostCat
37 minutes ago, Asmodai said:

Clearly you aren't well informed

On a side note, I read everything I possibly can (available on the web) on these topics.  I just have no idea where I read most of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
LostCat

It'll be damn good to move past X1 and PS4.  The next generation should be amazing.  After Scorpio and PS5/whatever I think they're going to have to invent reasons for anyone to upgrade so I wonder how things will go there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Asmodai
On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 6:00 PM, dwLostCat said:

I wasn't talking about launch, except that I don't know the state of the low level renderer at the time.

Seriously!?!  Your first post in this back and forth included my quote where I stated:

"MS took a lot of flack from developers for launching Xbox One with pretty much vanilla DX11 on day one instead of a lower level API."

To which you repied:

"To my knowledge Xbox One has always..."

As if to contradict my statement.  Last I checked "always" includes "at launch" or "on day one".

Since you're now admitting you don't know the state of the low level renderer at the time though this discussion is clearly over.  To your credit though you did prefix your statement with "To my knowledge..." which you now admit you didn't have any.

 

Quote

I don't think you gave me a link to read, and yes I prefer to work with actual facts in front of me and searching wasn't finding them.

I didn't give you a link, I thought I gave enough info to find it but if not:

Google: Xbox One SDK Leak eurogamer

Top Result is:

The evolution of Xbox One - as told by the SDK leak

It covers A LOT more than just the renderer but for the purposes of this discussion pay attention to the original renderer vs. the "monolithic" one.  The mono one is the low level one but it didn't LAUNCH with that as I stated.  It's an interesting read all in all if you like that sort of thing though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Sszecret
      Microsoft Weekly: ZeniMax Media joins XGS, Ignite 2020, and the October 2020 Update
      by Florin Bodnarescu



      This week, perhaps more so than others, has been a big one in terms of Microsoft news. A massive acquisition on the gaming side, a whole bunch of Ignite 2020 announcements, and even an alleged source code leak for Windows XP, all happened in the last seven days. You can find info about that, as well as much more below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of September 19 - 25.

      ZeniMax Media joins XGS


      In a move that came pretty much out of nowhere, Microsoft announced on Monday the second largest acquisition in gaming, behind only Tencent’s $8.6B Supercell (Clash of Clans) buyout.

      Penned by Xbox head Phil Spencer, the post published at the top of the week outlined the fact that Microsoft has entered into an agreement to buy ZeniMax Media, parent company of ZeniMax Online Studios, publisher Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Roundhouse Studios, and Alpha Dog for a cool $7.5 billion dollars.

      As a result of this, the Xbox Game Studios first-party organization has grown pretty much overnight from 15 to 23 studios, and Microsoft now has the rights to IPs like Dishonored, Wolfenstein, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom, Starfield, The Evil Within, Prey, Rune, and many more.

      Following up on the news, all of the ZeniMax games will be coming to Game Pass day one, which is sure to boost the subscription’s newly announced 15 million subscriber milestone. To put this into perspective, the service was launched in 2017 and grew to 10 million by April of this year. In a little under five months, another five million subscribers have joined. In case you were doubtful that the Game Pass launch would be the case, Doom Eternal is set to be made available on the subscription starting October 1.

      More gaming news was also present this week, with the Xbox beta mobile app launching on Android, the new Microsoft Store for Xbox being made available for everyone, a new Xbox Wireless Controller edition being shown, and Deals with Gold bringing in Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil, and more.

      Circling back to app launches, the Xbox app is also available in beta on iOS, with the Xbox Family Settings app hitting GA on both iOS and Android.

      For folks eager to get their hands on next-gen consoles, this was a big week too, as both the Xbox Series S and Series X went up for pre-order and soon were sold out. Microsoft did promise to have more units at launch on November 10. If you pre-ordered from Amazon, you might’ve gotten an email about your pre-orders being delayed due to demand. Lastly, if you’re curious just how much the 1TB SSD expansion card for the next-gen Microsoft consoles is going to cost, it has showed up for pre-order online priced at $220.

      While you wait for next-gen, here are the best Xbox One games launched this week. Of course, we’d be remiss not to mention Halo 3: ODST PC – check out our review for more details about the port -, the fact that the next Halo: MCC flight will test cross-play and input-based matchmaking, or that Flight Simulator has gotten an SDK update and new Marketplace products, along with the announcement of a Japan map update as its first content drop.

      To wrap up this section, be sure to check out our five reasons to buy the Xbox Series consoles, our top five reasons to buy the PlayStation 5, then go ahead and give your two cents in regards to what the future of gaming looks like.

      Ignite 2020


      This week was also host to the first of Microsoft’s two planned Ignite events – the second being held in March next year -, where the company unveiled a number of cloud and platform updates.

      First and foremost, the software giant plans to become water positive (meaning that it will replenish more water than it uses by way of stressed basins) by the year 2030. Also in the field of general betterment, Microsoft announced that its Cloud for Healthcare will hit GA next month, and that the InnerEye Deep Learning Toolkit is now available. The latter’s release is to aid in the improvement of patient care.

      While the company’s Azure business unit has indeed taken off in recent years, no part of it has done it quite like this before, as at Ignite it was announced that the cloud platform now includes Azure Orbital. This is a new managed service which provides access to physical satellite communication capabilities in order to process and analyze the data via Azure. This announcement also coincides with the reveal of the new Azure Communication Services, a new managed communication platform making its way to Microsoft’s cloud.

      Continuing this same theme, low-code updates in Power Platform for both GitHub and Azure have now hit the preview stage, while Power BI for Teams and a Premium Per User tier have been announced too. If you’re curious about what exactly the Power Platform is, or what it offers, be sure to check out this interview with Microsoft’s Arun Ulag, by way of our very own Hamza Jawad.

      In other service announcements, Dynamics 365 Customer Service now has a voice channel, while Dynamics 365 Project Operations has hit the general availability phase. In addition, the OS sandbox offering from the Redmond giant (Windows Virtual Desktop) has gotten a bunch of new capabilities, Microsoft 365 Defender and Azure Defender are now unified under Microsoft Defender, and HoloLens 2 availability has been expanded in light of demand due to COVID-19.

      For the collaboration part of the announcements, Cortana has gained some new features, like the daily briefing email feature now being GA for Microsoft 365 Enterprise users, and Teams is set to increase the maximum number of team members you can have to 25,000 later this year. Changes are coming to Outlook and Microsoft 365 too, like a new UI in Bookings and Search getting integrated into Teams, with the Bot Framework Composer also being made available as an open-source tool.

      Worthy of note is also the fact that LinkedIn’s site and mobile app are getting a massive redesign, Microsoft 365 is getting a next-gen Compliance Manager, Microsoft Forms is now available in the Office mobile app – with a Teams integration also being made accessible -, and that Microsoft is set to release a new perpetual license version of Office next year.

      Rounding off this set of announcements is the arrival of the much-awaited dark theme for OneDrive on the web later this month (among other features), the arrival of App Assure to Windows on ARM, shared MSIX containers, and other Windows platform features coming soon, the GA of version 1.3 for Windows Terminal, and the fact that Microsoft has obtained an exclusive license to OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model.

      The October 2020 Update


      We finally get to some Windows update news too, as Microsoft has released build 20221 to the Dev channel, featuring a new Meet Now video conferencing feature. You can check out our overview here.

      Beyond the new feature, there’s also a bunch of fixes and improvements to components like Windows Update itself, with the known issues list still being rather long. We’re talking about an Insider build here, after all.

      And speaking of Insiders, those in the Beta and Release Preview channels were greeted with build 19042.541 of the 20H2 branch. Due to this being part of the very soon to be released October 2020 Update, it contains just fixes, as is to be expected. For an overview of what’s coming in 20H2, also known as the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, make sure to check out our guide here.

      Dev channel
      Swift has made its way to Windows 10, with toolchain images now being available. Google has brought Flutter to Windows in Alpha, UWP support to be added soon. The Surface Laptop 3 has gotten some firmware updates to address screen and keyboard issues. Microsoft’s Surface Pro X has recently benefitted from firmware updates too. Pre-orders for the long-awaited 85-inch Surface Hub 2S are now open, with the device shipping in January. Microsoft is allegedly working on a mid-range 12.5-inch Surface laptop, priced at $699. The Microsoft Launcher now has updated app icons, and improved performance, thanks to the newest update. Logging off
      We end with some bad news for Microsoft, and some good news for the Linux community.



      Starting with the bad, Microsoft’s leaks seem to have reached critical mass, with the source code for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 allegedly leaking online.

      In addition to packages containing just XP and Server 2003, there are also ones containing a few of the previous leaks, plus MS-DOS 3.30, MS-DOS 6, Windows CE 3, 4, 5, and others. Though this may be an interesting set of files to dive into for our more inquisitive readers, it’s best you stay away from these, especially given the dubious source.

      In better news, and altogether something you’re definitely going to benefit from being curious about, Microsoft has shared some more details about Edge’s upcoming Sleeping Tabs feature, and released Edge Dev 87.0.644.4 featuring dark theme support in sidebar search.

      And last but not least, in a development that’s sure to please fans of the browser on Linux, Edge will be entering preview in October, with folks who are fans of that OS finally being able to get their hands on it.

      Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.

    • By Usama Jawad96
      Top 5 reasons you should buy an Xbox Series X, S console
      by Usama Jawad

      Microsoft's next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series X and the Series S, are just around the corner. While the consoles officially launch on November 10 across the globe, they were made available for pre-order a few days ago and sold out quite quickly at most storefronts. For those who could not get their hands on the consoles, Microsoft says that it will have more units available for purchase on launch day.

      However, if you're still on the fence about whether you should lighten your wallet on either or both of Microsoft's next-generation consoles, we have listed down top 5 reasons why you should consider the company's offering, which will hopefully make it easier for you to reach a decision. Note that this list is not in order of importance.

      Xbox Game Pass


      With the next-generation of console gaming, Microsoft is relying quite heavily on pulling gamers into its ecosystem using Xbox Game Pass. For those unaware, the service gives you instant access to over 100 games at $9.99/month. First-party titles such as the upcoming AAA Halo: Infinite become available on launch day, with high-quality titles from third-party publishers available in the catalog as well. Microsoft recently partnered with Electronic Arts to bring EA Play to Game Pass, offering access to all games on the EA service at no additional cost too.

      The company also provides a $14.99/month price tier for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate which offers all of the above on both consoles and PC, cloud gaming on smartphones (currently in beta), and Xbox Live Gold - which gives a handful of games to subscribers for free every month.

      Microsoft recently announced that Game Pass now has over 15 million subscribers, with the service growing at a rapid rate. Simply put, the value of Xbox Game Pass is too good to be ignored.

      Affordable Console for those on a Budget


      Microsoft turned quite a few heads when news about the Xbox Series S leaked. While its more powerful sibling priced at $499 is targeted at 4K gaming with up to 120fps, the $299 Series S is aimed at delivering the same experience at 1440p resolution. While there is obviously a difference in specifications based on the power they are supposed to deliver, both consoles offer powerful internals and the same capabilities such as Quick Resume, ray-tracing, and more.

      All in all, it's great to have an low-priced entry point into the next-generation for those on a budget or people who currently don't own 4K-capable hardware, and don't plan to in the near-future either. Similarly, it's also an attractive price point for people who don't purchase physical games, as the Series S is all-digital.

      Only time will tell if the difference between the output of the two consoles is solely resolution, but it's definitely an enticing option to have.

      Xbox All Access
      Xbox All Access is Microsoft's leasing program that allows you to purchase the company's consoles with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at a low single monthly fee. For $24.99/month, you can purchase an Xbox Series S coupled with the subscription. For $34.99/month, you get similar treatment but with the more powerful Xbox Series X.

      Once again, this is incredible value, especially for those who cannot afford to shell out several hundred bucks at once. This year, the leasing program will be available in 12 countries around the world, and here's to hoping that Microsoft offers it in more countries in the years to come.

      Backward Compatibility


      Backward Compatibility on its next-generation consoles is yet again another feature that Microsoft is touting heavily. Both the Xbox Series X and Series S are compatible with over 1000 Xbox games spanning across four generations.

      But it's not just the fact that these consoles will be able to run older games, it's also that some older games will run and look better on them. The Series X will offer HDR reconstruction for backward compatible games - automatically adding HDR to them -, with some titles getting boosted framerates up to 60 and 120fps as well. Meanwhile, the less powerful Series S will run backward compatible games in Xbox One S mode with improvements such as HDR reconstruction added on top.

      With Sony not offering backward compatibility to PlayStation 1, 2, and 3 games on PlayStation 5, Microsoft is banking on the possibility that the nostalgia factor will pull in some gamers into its ecosystem in this generation.

      Microsoft's Acquisition of ZeniMax Media
      Last but definitely not the least is news that Microsoft is acquiring ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion, with the deal expected to be completed in 2021. With this acquisition, the company brings a number of high-profile studios under its umbrella such as Bethesda, Arkane, id Software, and more.

      As can be seen in the graphic above, this ropes in numerous AAA franchises featuring highly-anticipated titles such as Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI into Microsoft's first-party offerings in the upcoming generation, also bringing these games to Game Pass on launch day. While the company has stated that it will be examining and determining multi-platform availability - that is, launch on PlayStation 5 - on a "case by case" basis, it's almost a given that these offerings will be exclusive to Microsoft platforms on consoles, which means that fans of these franchises need to consider Xbox Series X and S if they want to play these titles on consoles.

      What are your top reasons to purchase or consider purchasing Xbox Series X and S consoles? Let us know in the comments section below!

    • By Garg Ankit
      Amazon warns Xbox Series X preorders might get delayed
      by Garg Ankit

      After a long wait, pre-orders went live for the Xbox Series X a few days ago. As you can probably imagine, it was sold out pretty quickly. Microsoft then announced that it is not a cause of worry since retailers will have additional units available on launch day.

      Now, according to CNET, Microsoft has sent out emails to customers who pre-ordered the Xbox Series X, warning them that the console may not arrive by launch day.

      The email reads,

      The Verge reports that Amazon has also sent out an email to people who ordered the gaming console on their platform, cautioning them that their preorders might get delayed. Several people took to Twitter to confirm the same.

      Amazon had sent a similar email for Sony's upcoming console, the Playstation 5, as well. Xbox Series X and Series S are launching on November 10, while Playstation 5 is releasing two days later on November 12. Microsoft has prioritized India as it will get the consoles the same day as the rest of the world, while PS5 will arrive a week later.

      Source: CNET, The Verge

      Editor's note: This content of this article has been updated after publication to reflect that Amazon has sent out emails to customers to inform them that their Xbox Series X preorders might get delayed, not Microsoft. We apologize for the oversight.

    • By Jefferson Mangubat
      Microsoft's new Xbox app is now available in beta for iOS devices
      by Jefferson Mangubat

      Microsoft has launched the new Xbox app (beta) on iOS a few days after rolling it out to Android devices. The app features console remote play and allows you to install any games remotely, among other capabilities.

      Harrison Hoffman, Senior Program Manager for Xbox, announced the app's release today via a Twitter post. However, for those who would like to join the beta testing using Apple’s TestFlight app, the program has now been closed.

      That said, you can still sign up for the beta testing in the future once Apple removes inactive testers. Just like its Android counterpart, the Xbox beta app for iOS features a capability that allows players to share game clips and screenshots directly from their iPhone, brings a unified notification center, and much more. Of course, it also has a refreshed design language.

      The beta app supports iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 8 or later. However, you must have iOS 14 beta or later in order to use the app clips feature.

    • By indospot
      Discuss: What does the future of gaming look like?
      by João Carrasqueira

      For decades, the gaming community, or part of it, has gotten used to the famed “console wars”. The race between each console manufacturer has, for a long time, been a topic of discussion for fans, as have the consequences of losing the console wars. Especially after the Sega Dreamcast - the company's last traditional console after a series of failures in the market - the idea of a company becoming a software-only company was a scary one. I distinctly remember how people would discuss the possibility of Nintendo going the same route during the Wii U era, and how worrying that thought was to fans like me.

      But as we head into another generation of gaming consoles from Sony and Microsoft, the gaming landscape is changing, and I think it’s very fair to say that Microsoft is spearheading that change.

      When it first introduced Xbox Game Pass in 2017, Microsoft gave Xbox what is arguably one of the best deals in gaming, with over 100 games available from the get-go at a monthly cost that’s a fraction of the price of a single game. It instantly gave gamers access to a huge library of games from Microsoft and third-party developers, and that was a huge advantage for Xbox consoles. But since then, it’s become increasingly clear that it’s not about consoles.

      Last year, Microsoft introduced Game Pass for PC, and with that, you didn’t even have to buy Microsoft’s hardware to get access to a long list of games, once again, for a very low monthly fee. Sure, it requires a Windows 10 PC that can run games, but most gaming PCs already run Windows 10 (based on the latest Steam hardware survey), and the hardware requirements would be there even outside of Game Pass. And this month, the next step - game streaming from the cloud officially launched on Android as part of Game Pass Ultimate, and now you don’t even need a PC or a Windows license. Plus, you can play your games anywhere, and not have to worry nearly as much about the specifications of your device.

      Microsoft knows this transition to cloud gaming isn’t going to be instant, so of course the new consoles still have a reason to exist, but the sales numbers for that hardware are hardly going to matter. It’s no longer a “console war”, but a more generic gaming war, and eventually maybe just a service war. And after Microsoft announced its acquisition of Bethesda earlier this week, plus bundling EA Play into Game Pass, it’s clear that it’s willing to put down the money and effort to lead the next generation of gaming. Truth be told, Game Pass is completely unmatched in terms of scope and value.

      But I can’t help feeling like I’ve seen a lot of this before in another medium. At the dawn of the 2010s, Netflix was the video streaming service. You’d hardly ever hear about any other service of the kind, and almost any show or movie you could want to watch was on there. And all of that came at the low cost of $9 per month, so there was almost no reason not to use the service.

      But eventually, other media companies caught on, and today, the video streaming landscape is a mess. CBS All-Access, Disney+, Peacock, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more are fighting it out, and while most of these haven’t posed a major threat in terms of subscriber numbers, they’ve slowly chipped away at Netflix’s library, pushing the company to create more original content – resulting in more costs and potentially smaller returns.



      We’re at the dawn of a new era of gaming, and just like Netflix did 10 years ago, Microsoft is undeniably leading the transition to this new method of bringing games to users. But eventually, other companies will catch on, and Microsoft knows that. I feel like that brings about a ton of questions on how the gaming market will develop, and whether Microsoft will be able to leverage its head-start to stay ahead in the future.

      Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has said that it doesn’t necessarily see Sony and Nintendo as rivals, and instead points to companies like Google, which has its own Stadia service, and Amazon, which just announced its Luna cloud gaming service yesterday. But we're still early in the cloud gaming days, and both Stadia and Luna are from offering the value Microsoft offers with Game Pass Ultimate. Neither of those companies had the experience with building games, or the relationship with existing developers to kickstart a new gaming platform with major experiences on board. A lot of that done has to be done from scratch for these companies, and it will take a while for them to even have the chance to become as attractive as Game Pass Ultimate now is.

      But then, what about the companies that do already have these relationships – Sony and Nintendo? An argument that can be made for Google and Amazon entering the race against Microsoft is that those companies have the cloud capacity to back that kind of gaming service, but I don’t think that means they have to create one such service to be successful. Amazon has a major cloud infrastructure, and it does offer Prime Video, but Amazon Web Services are also the backbone of services like Netflix. Amazon is still making money from the streaming market by offering its infrastructure to other services.

      So what’s to stop these companies from doing that again with gaming, with Sony and Nintendo coming in to create their own distribution platforms, building on their existing properties and their relationships with existing developers and publishers? I think there’s room for the market to evolve in this way.

      When other companies come into the fight, regardless of who they are, Microsoft will have to face a more serious fight, and I wonder if the company can be a leader in that market. Companies will start fighting harder for exclusive titles, and just like Microsoft acquired Bethesda, other big acquisitions could happen to rival it. At some point, the game streaming market will likely go through the same problems we’re seeing today with video streaming, and I’m not sure it will necessarily be better for consumers. You don’t see many shows running on different video subscription services at the same time, and it’s possible that more games will become exclusive to specific services in the future, potentially forcing customers to buy into more services to get access to the games they like.

      One last question I have, especially being a Nintendo fan, is what will happen to dedicated gaming hardware. Nintendo is known for two things – making a profit on hardware sales and designing games around specific hardware features. Most games can be played with traditional controllers, but a lot of the experiences Nintendo promotes involve some kind of gimmick exclusive to its hardware. ARMS for the Nintendo Switch used motion controls as its primary control method, and the minigames in something like 1-2-Switch are based on many different Joy-Con features, including motion, the IR camera, and HD rumble. While it’s not impossible to imagine the company developing games with more traditional controls in mind, I feel like that would take away a lot of what makes Nintendo unique. Maybe controllers and accessories can deliver these experiences on different devices, rather than having to be tied to a console, or, who knows, maybe Nintendo will try to live on as a console manufacturer in this new landscape.

      Nintendo's ARMS has you throwing punches in real life So, let me pass these questions on to you: how will the gaming market evolve once companies start rivaling Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass? Which companies do you see becoming players in this new landscape, and which ones do you think will drop out? Which ones offer their own services, and which ones will only make games? Will dedicated gaming hardware become unnecessary, particularly in the case of companies like Nintendo, which usually designs many of its games around specific hardware features? Will console exclusives be replaced with service exclusives and make the game streaming market as troublesome as the video streaming market? What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know!