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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.
Microsoft launches a Bing app for Xbox
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft has announced a new Bing app for Xbox consoles, which is meant to make the company's search engine more readily accessible on its family of gaming hardware. In terms of basic features, it's pretty much what you'd expect from a Bing app, with web and image searches, so you can get help with a game without using your phone or PC, for example.
It does have some more interesting features, though. Microsoft says the Bing app can help users discover recommended and tending games, along with videos and news about games. The app also uses data about the games you and your friends play to deliver its recommendations and search results. Plus, if you search for images, you can easily set search results as your Xbox wallpaper, which makes customization a bit easier.
The Bing app for Xbox also integrates with the Microsoft Rewards program, so you get points for performing searches. But Microsoft also added some new ways to reward users with more points, like quizzes and polls. Finally, the app also supports voice search, which is probably easier than navigating an on-screen keyboard with a controller.
The app is available to download now, and you can install remotely on your console using this link. It's currently only available in the United States, but it should make its way to more markets soon.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft reveals the first Xbox Series X|S Optimized games
by Rich Woods
When Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles launch on November 10, they'll have the largest library of games that any console has ever had at launch. The reason for that is pretty simple. The new consoles can play every game that you could play on the Xbox One family, including games playable via the Backward Compatibility program, which were originally made for the Xbox 360 and even the original Xbox.
These games are going to get improvements just by running on the new consoles, but of course, there are games that are getting enhancements for the new generation. Today, Microsoft revealed the list of games that are set to be optimized for the Xbox Series X|S on day one. Here's the list:
If you've got Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you already have access to these games. And for many of them, the update is free if you own it. Microsoft also noted that there are other games coming soon like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, The Medium, and Cyberpunk 2077.
Microsoft's two new consoles are set to arrive on November 10, and if you haven't pre-ordered yet, good luck finding one. You might have better luck in stores on launch day.
Microsoft extends warranty for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft is extending the warranty of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, the premium controller it debuted last year, according to a support document spotted by Windows Central. Before, the controller's warranty period was only 90 days, but it's now being extended to a year, which covers the entire period since the controller launched in November of last year. The change is also retroactive, meaning if you paid for a repair before, you'll be refunded by October 31.
Microsoft says this is because a "small percentage" of customers have experienced mechanical issues with the controller, which is understandably frustrating in a controller that cost $179.99. Earlier this week, it was reported that the Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 became the subject of a class-action lawsuit due to issue with "drifting" joysticks, where the analog sticks register input even when users don't touch them. The lawsuit had been going on for longer, targeting various other Xbox controllers.
Notably, Microsoft isn't the only company under fire for similar issues. Nintendo is facing a similar class-action lawsuit against its Joy-Con controllers for the same reason. In response, the company began repairing Joy-Con for free, even outside the warranty period, if any issues came about with the analog sticks, which the company still seems to be doing based on our experiences.
The lawsuit against Microsoft states that the problems derive from an issue with the potentiometer in the joystick mechanism. With the changes to the warranty policy, Microsoft may be able to clear itself of charges related to the lawsuit, though it remains to be seen if newer versions of the controller have had the root cause fixed.