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


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Vandalsquad

Developers will not have to limit FPS on Scorpio or aim for parity with xbox one or pro. (Y)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Vandalsquad said:

Developers will not have to limit FPS on Scorpio or aim for parity with xbox one or pro. (Y)

 

 

That also means they have no requirement to be at 60fps or even 1080p.  Sounds like Destiny 2 will be 30fps on all platforms regardless of power available.

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Vandalsquad
9 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

That also means they have no requirement to be at 60fps or even 1080p.  Sounds like Destiny 2 will be 30fps on all platforms regardless of power available.

Not sure why developers would downgrade from 60fps and 1080p when its already happening on weaker hardware but ok?

 

I have no doubt Scorpio could run Destiny at 1080p/60fps I don't even see why the Pro couldn't when we're talking about BF1 running at 1080p/60fps with a host of other FPS's doing the same thing not sure if this is to Bungie being incompetent or Sonys deal and them wanting parity between PS4 and Pro. If its Sonys deal that's limiting it, its a complete ###### thing to be putting into effect. Even the original One manages Halo at 60fps with resolution drops in the high action scenes but resolution is a GPU weakness not CPU. 

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1 hour ago, Vandalsquad said:

Not sure why developers would downgrade from 60fps and 1080p when its already happening on weaker hardware but ok?

 

I have no doubt Scorpio could run Destiny at 1080p/60fps I don't even see why the Pro couldn't when we're talking about BF1 running at 1080p/60fps with a host of other FPS's doing the same thing not sure if this is to Bungie being incompetent or Sonys deal and them wanting parity between PS4 and Pro. If its Sonys deal that's limiting it, its a complete ###### thing to be putting into effect. Even the original One manages Halo at 60fps with resolution drops in the high action scenes but resolution is a GPU weakness not CPU. 

I have no doubt Scorpio could run pretty much everything for the next several years at 4K/60 (or more if the hardware is capable of outputting more.)  And clearly, with the PC version targeting 60fps (I misspoke earlier) they can do it, and just want to keep all the multiplayer on an even keel.

 

I also don't doubt at some point in the future they'll change their tune, once there're enough consoles out there capable of higher.

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+Asmodai
On 5/21/2017 at 0:07 AM, Vandalsquad said:

...I don't even see why the Pro couldn't when we're talking about BF1 running at 1080p/60fps with a host of other FPS's doing the same thing not sure if this is to Bungie being incompetent or Sonys deal and them wanting parity between PS4 and Pro...

I'm not sure about individual titles but generally speaking Sony REQUIRES the PS4 Pro have a similar framerate to the non-Pro hardware on MULTIPLAYER games.

It's seen as a huge advantage in multiplayer if one player is running at 30fps and the other is 60fps and so they don't want to give Pro player a competitive edge vs. the non-Pro players. (apparently having a higher resoltion is NOT seen as an advantage)

As a result the extra power of the Pro is GENERALLY just used increase resolution and graphical effects and NOT frame rate.

So if a multiplayer PS4 game is running at 1080p30fps on launch hardware it's not allowed to be 60fps on the Pro.   If it's a single player game it CAN go to 60fps but many developers just get used to using the extra power to bump the resolution on the multiplayer games and just continue to do so on single player titles as well.

 

From a technical perspective the vast majority of PS4 Pro games could just use the extra power to get a rock solid 1080p60fps instead of trying to bump the resolution to something near 4k.  Again though while technically this is possible it's prohibited by Sony policy if it's a multiplayer game.  If they can't hit 60fps on the launch hardware, they can't do it on the Pro (except in single player)

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George P
1 hour ago, Asmodai said:

I'm not sure about individual titles but generally speaking Sony REQUIRES the PS4 Pro have a similar framerate to the non-Pro hardware on MULTIPLAYER games.

It's seen as a huge advantage in multiplayer if one player is running at 30fps and the other is 60fps and so they don't want to give Pro player a competitive edge vs. the non-Pro players. (apparently having a higher resoltion is NOT seen as an advantage)

As a result the extra power of the Pro is GENERALLY just used increase resolution and graphical effects and NOT frame rate.

So if a multiplayer PS4 game is running at 1080p30fps on launch hardware it's not allowed to be 60fps on the Pro.   If it's a single player game it CAN go to 60fps but many developers just get used to using the extra power to bump the resolution on the multiplayer games and just continue to do so on single player titles as well.

 

From a technical perspective the vast majority of PS4 Pro games could just use the extra power to get a rock solid 1080p60fps instead of trying to bump the resolution to something near 4k.  Again though while technically this is possible it's prohibited by Sony policy if it's a multiplayer game.  If they can't hit 60fps on the launch hardware, they can't do it on the Pro (except in single player)

While having the framerate be the same on both systems in MP is good, it should be a given that developers balance the game the same for MP without having to be told to do so.    So while MS doesn't seem to have made it a requirement that doesn't mean future games aren't going to use the same framerate while the res or the gfx quality gets tweaked on the weaker hardware.

 

We could just see a case of things like 900p@60fps on the original Xbox One, and then full 1080p@60fps on Scorip or higher res, as long as they're both 60fps it's fine.

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Vandalsquad
10 hours ago, Asmodai said:

I'm not sure about individual titles but generally speaking Sony REQUIRES the PS4 Pro have a similar framerate to the non-Pro hardware on MULTIPLAYER games.

It's seen as a huge advantage in multiplayer if one player is running at 30fps and the other is 60fps and so they don't want to give Pro player a competitive edge vs. the non-Pro players. (apparently having a higher resoltion is NOT seen as an advantage)

 

I really don't see the issue of allowing unlocked framerates personally, we've had the situation since CS1.6 with people gaming on PC's having FPS advantages all over the place and it's never been an issue. I think an elite controller high quality TV with fibre connection provides a way better advantage than FPS. Using my elite controller has given me far more of an advantage now that I think about it compared to using my original just with mapped keys with quick drops, swaps etc.

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+Asmodai
12 hours ago, Vandalsquad said:

I really don't see the issue of allowing unlocked framerates personally, we've had the situation since CS1.6 with people gaming on PC's having FPS advantages all over the place and it's never been an issue. I think an elite controller high quality TV with fibre connection provides a way better advantage than FPS. Using my elite controller has given me far more of an advantage now that I think about it compared to using my original just with mapped keys with quick drops, swaps etc.

"unlocked framerates" is something different.  Console games are pretty much always going to be 30fps or 60fps because their primary display is a TV and TVs are made according to TV standards that specify those framerates.  On PC it's not as important because there are no standards for Monitors.  You can make a monitor with a 75Hz refresh rate if you like so gamers can play their game at 75fps and it's no big deal for example.  Taking a game out of sync with the fps creates tearing and other artifacts... so if you make a console game and in your testing it hits a pretty solid 47fps you're almost certainly just going to lock the framerate to 30 since you couldn't hit 60.  If you hit a pretty solid 62 you'll lock it to 60 and it may drop below slightly on intense scenes.   If your testing is WAY over 60 then you'll probably add more effects, increase the resolution, etc. to increase the quality of the graphics until the framerate drops down (this usually isn't the problem, rarely do you have TOO MUCH power)

 

I have heard people complain about elite controllers many times in the past so it's not like everyone is just fine with it.  Sony hasn't clamped down on it though and if you're argument is that maybe they should if they're really worried about consistancy then you may have a point.  I personally don't care who has a special controller or not or how even the multiplayer playing field is because I rarely play multiplayer at all and on the rare occasions I do it's usually cooperative.  I was just explaining Sony's rules for those who didn't know not sharing my opinion.  Personally I'm also amused that they don't seem to think a resolution bump gives any sort of advantage at all... I would assume that playing at a higher resolution could be very helpful at spotting small objects in the distance such as when sniping or targeting small areas but perhaps I'm mistaken.   I think the Pro was a mistake because it creates two different performance levels but my issue with it is more of the haves and have nots and the complete lack of a need to create this distinction (the ALREADY had better hardware than their competitor, they didn't need to upgrade it) and not how even the playing field is in competitive games.

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+Randomevent
1 hour ago, Asmodai said:

"unlocked framerates" is something different.  Console games are pretty much always going to be 30fps or 60fps because their primary display is a TV and TVs are made according to TV standards that specify those framerates.

Now that we're getting to consoles capable of HDMI 2.1 and variable refresh rates it might not be limited to 60.  It made more sense with the current gen because they weren't really capable of pushing higher anyway, and some would say the Pro still isn't (certainly not in the higher resolution modes they're pushing, at any rate.)

 

I don't expect them to go over 60 but there's a lot about Scorpio I didn't expect already.

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4 minutes ago, dwLostCat said:

Now that we're getting to consoles capable of HDMI 2.1 and variable refresh rates it might not be limited to 60.  It made more sense with the current gen because they weren't really capable of pushing higher anyway, and some would say the Pro still isn't (certainly not in the higher resolution modes they're pushing, at any rate.)

 

I don't expect them to go over 60 but there's a lot about Scorpio I didn't expect already.

I has nothing to do with the consoles capabilites.  It's a limitation imposed on consoles by TVs.  Consoles are designed to connect to TVs and TVs are designed to run at 60Hz.  TV's are designed to run at 60Hz because that's what the Utility Frequency for AC power is (in the U.S. anyway).  That isn't going to change any time soon and so TVs are going to remain 60Hz no matter what HDMI version is available.  It's also unlikely that most TVs are going to me given variable refresh rates since that serves absolutely no purpose for watching the video they were designed for.  TV manufacturers don't design their capabilties for consoles, consoles design their capabilites for TVs.  Sure you might find some special "made for gaming" TVs here or there but that will be the exception not the rule and consoles won't be designed just to cater to this tiny niche.  You could hook up your console to a monitor as well but console developers don't put a bunch of features in that require a monitor to work.

 

30fps is just used in games when you can't hit 60 and the TV just shows each frame twice.  There is a fair amount of made for TV content at 30fps as well because it's close to the Motion Pictures standard of 24fps (which is not bound by TV rules) but works well with 60Hz TVs.  120Hz TVs are nice not because there is any content that's 120Hz (or likley will there be any time soon) but because it allows them to show each frame twice for 60Hz content, each frame 4 times for 30Hz content, and each frame 5 times for 24 frame movie transfers that normally cause issues when converting to the TV friendly 30 or 60Hz (which 24 doesn't divide evenly into).  120Hz was also nice for 3D when it was a thing because it allowed for two 60Hz streams (one for each eye) at the same time.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Asmodai said:

I has nothing to do with the consoles capabilites.  It's a limitation imposed on consoles by TVs.

I've been plugging my consoles into monitors for dang near a decade now.  There's no reason not to.  High refresh rate gaming displays are still relatively recent overall so we'll see (almost all 120hz TVs just take a 60hz signal and double it, not an actual 120hz signal.)

 

As I said I don't expect it but we shall see...there's already a lot of stuff I didn't expect happening with Scorpio.

 

Also Freesync/VRR makes 120hz unnecessary for 24 frame content, as it can just double 24 on a 60hz display instead.

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3 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

I've been plugging my consoles into monitors for dang near a decade now.  There's no reason not to.

Sure, but you're not representative of the majority and console makers don't design hardware expecting people to do that.

3 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

 almost all 120hz TVs just take a 60hz signal and double it, not an actual 120hz signal.

I explained that more completely in my post.  They double 60Hz signals, quad 30Hz signals, and x5 24Hz signals.  3D content did use 120Hz output though with two 60Hz streams being interlaced (alternating frames) that were then separated by the glasses so each eye only saw one set (one eye even frames, one odd)

3 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

As I said I don't expect it but we shall see...there's already a lot of stuff I didn't expect happening with Scorpio.

It isn't Scorpio that would have to do something, it's the TVs and they're not going to so it's not going to happen.

3 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

Also Freesync/VRR makes 120hz unnecessary for 24 frame content, as it can just double 24 on a 60hz display instead.

First very few TVs are going to support Freesync/VRR as they are primarily made to display fixed refresh rate video (television programs and movies)

Sure MONITORS are going to support it but that goes back to point one that very few people are like you and hook a console to a monitor so it's not something console makers are going to focus on.

Doubling 24 on a 60Hz display doesn't even make sense.  Doubling 24 would make 48 frames which still won't work on a 60Hz display and if they display is Freesync capable it's not a 60Hz display anyway it changes to match the source.  So a Freesync display would just change it's refresh rate to 24Hz if it was recieving a 24Hz feed.

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4 minutes ago, Asmodai said:

 So a Freesync display would just change it's refresh rate to 24Hz if it was recieving a 24Hz feed.

Most Freesync monitors don't accept a rate that low.  (Mine for example is 48-75hz, many are 30-?)  So the 48hz signal makes a perfect compromise where it's the exact same image quality but at a range the monitor can actually display.

 

7 minutes ago, Asmodai said:

Sure, but you're not representative of the majority and console makers don't design hardware expecting people to do that.

Then why include VRR at all?  No TVs support it.  That's like arguing 'why are we even bothering with 4K?  Nobody owns it yet.'

 

As a side note, the Xbox 360 supported many monitor resolutions so the current way of doing things is certainly not universal.

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Vandalsquad
19 hours ago, Asmodai said:

"unlocked framerates" is something different.  Console games are pretty much always going to be 30fps or 60fps because their primary display is a TV and TVs are made according to TV standards that specify those framerates.  On PC it's not as important because there are no standards for Monitors.  You can make a monitor with a 75Hz refresh rate if you like so gamers can play their game at 75fps and it's no big deal for example.  Taking a game out of sync with the fps creates tearing and other artifacts... so if you make a console game and in your testing it hits a pretty solid 47fps you're almost certainly just going to lock the framerate to 30 since you couldn't hit 60.  If you hit a pretty solid 62 you'll lock it to 60 and it may drop below slightly on intense scenes.   If your testing is WAY over 60 then you'll probably add more effects, increase the resolution, etc. to increase the quality of the graphics until the framerate drops down (this usually isn't the problem, rarely do you have TOO MUCH power)

 

I have heard people complain about elite controllers many times in the past so it's not like everyone is just fine with it.  Sony hasn't clamped down on it though and if you're argument is that maybe they should if they're really worried about consistancy then you may have a point.  I personally don't care who has a special controller or not or how even the multiplayer playing field is because I rarely play multiplayer at all and on the rare occasions I do it's usually cooperative.  I was just explaining Sony's rules for those who didn't know not sharing my opinion.  Personally I'm also amused that they don't seem to think a resolution bump gives any sort of advantage at all... I would assume that playing at a higher resolution could be very helpful at spotting small objects in the distance such as when sniping or targeting small areas but perhaps I'm mistaken.   I think the Pro was a mistake because it creates two different performance levels but my issue with it is more of the haves and have nots and the complete lack of a need to create this distinction (the ALREADY had better hardware than their competitor, they didn't need to upgrade it) and not how even the playing field is in competitive games.

I know of quite a few people using monitors to game while on jobsites.. but yes limited quantity I agree but I think it's a growing market as people growing up stay home longer at their parents and have one monitor hooked up to several devices in their bedroom. My argument wasn't unlocked framerates but, just if the PRO or Scorpio can push 60 while the base can only do 30 allow the 60 to be pushed, we already have enough advantages and ups and downs that a console FPS difference won't bring much into the picture anymore skill wise. People are buying these consoles for their advantages, allow them to have those advantages. 

 

Not that it effects many games, only Destiny which just seems lazy coding when every multiplayer game runs at 60fps now.

 

Agree with resolution bump is already quite an advantage on the right screen setup, and if your buying one of these consoles you usually do have the right setup. Most lively the gaming hangout has been in awhile here makes a nice change bring on e3 :laugh:

 

 

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+Randomevent
1 hour ago, Vandalsquad said:

I know of quite a few people using monitors to game while on jobsites.. but yes limited quantity I agree but I think it's a growing market as people growing up stay home longer at their parents and have one monitor hooked up to several devices in their bedroom. 

My best friend who's played every console since the NES (well, maybe not everything from Sega but still) is gaming on a monitor.  It just seems pointless to me to spend money on two different screens for the same purpose instead of one amazing one.  (Same with audio kit.)

 

Though right now I'm at 1440p which is pretty much useless outside of PC gaming, so meh.  I'm sure I'll up to 4K with Scorpio unless they break the trend.

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+Asmodai
17 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

 

Most Freesync monitors don't accept a rate that low.  (Mine for example is 48-75hz, many are 30-?)  So the 48hz signal makes a perfect compromise where it's the exact same image quality but at a range the monitor can actually display.

Excellent point, that's what I get for posting as I'm walking out the door at the end of the day.

17 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

Then why include VRR at all?  No TVs support it.  That's like arguing 'why are we even bothering with 4K?  Nobody owns it yet.'

VRR is supported on monitors but I seriously doubt any significant portion of TVs will EVER support it, maybe a few niche TVs specifically targeting gamers the vast majority will not.  I'm not sure why MS included it but I suspect they didn't spend a great deal of effort on it and they basically got it as a free ride along with the other upgrades they actually wanted.  I doubt they'll promote it heavily and games won't go out of their way to support it because most of their customers won't have a setup that supports it but if they can add support will little to no effort then perhaps they will.

17 hours ago, dwLostCat said:

As a side note, the Xbox 360 supported many monitor resolutions so the current way of doing things is certainly not universal.

Xbox One also shares a lot with Windows 10 on PC so it's already got PC resolution support that they'd have to strip out... so maybe the whole Play Everywhere thing will push things that way for Xbox.  It's clear MS is blurring the line between PC and console but I think it's a mistake to think the who console industry is shifting in that direction.  I really don't see Sony or Nintendo going down that path it's just a MS thing and MS isn't currently the dominant player on consoles to try to push the industry in any particular direction.  I doubt Xbox One overall sales this generation are ever going to catch the PS4 even with Project Scorpio (which I think is great and plan on buying) and even if they added mouse/keyboard support and allowed you to install Office, Visual Studio, etc. and act more like a PC.  I'm just don't think having a PC attached to your TV is a killer feature that's going to drive sales.  As a techie person myself I think mouse/keyboard support is going to be cool but I don't think the masses will.  Should be interesting to see how things unfold though.

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5 hours ago, Asmodai said:

VRR is supported on monitors but I seriously doubt any significant portion of TVs will EVER support it, maybe a few niche TVs specifically targeting gamers the vast majority will not.  I'm not sure why MS included it but I suspect they didn't spend a great deal of effort on it and they basically got it as a free ride along with the other upgrades they actually wanted.  I doubt they'll promote it heavily and games won't go out of their way to support it because most of their customers won't have a setup that supports it but if they can add support will little to no effort then perhaps they will.

There were no shortage of 'gaming' TVs in the Xbox 360 days IIRC.  I wouldn't be surprised to see that sort of thing come back with VRR since it's practically a free upgrade to the display maker, and for it to eventually take over the market.

 

At this point I'm not even sure that other commonly available set top boxes don't already support it and just haven't said anything yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...
dipsylalapo

So less than a week left until the big reveal. What are people hoping to see?

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+Asmodai
36 minutes ago, dipsylalapo said:

So less than a week left until the big reveal. What are people hoping to see?

What I'm hoping to see is mostly what's already been announced or people assume based on the Xbox One S.  Barring any huge missteps on Microsoft's part or the unlikely Sony announcement of the PS5 launching next year I'll likely be buying Project Scorpio as soon as I see it on shelves or it's in stock on Amazon. (I won't be standing in lines or preordering)

 

What I expect to see from it:

Case that can stand on side or lay flat. (Like Xbox One S)

Internal Power Supply. (Like Xbox One S)

4k Ultra HD Blu-Ray disc drive (Like Xbox One S)

Full Xbox One game support including access to the (Xbox 360) backwards compatibilty library.

Price no more than $499.99.

 

I'd also like more info on the Xbox VR solution though I doubt I'll buy that this year as I assume it will be another few hundred $$.  I'll likely pick that up after Christmas if I don't get it as present for Christmas and I'm hoping I'll be able to use the same headset on both my Project Scorpio in the living room and my Win10 gaming PC in my "office".

 

I'll be new to Xbox so I don't have any particular games I'm looking for.  I have all the Xbox One games up to this point to pick from as well as the 360 backwards compability games so I'm not concerned about games.  Also I'll be buying Project Scorpio versions of multiplatform games going foward and my PS4 will be just for the library of games I already have and PS exclusives.

 

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George P

Sony doing a PS5 next year would be a slap to the face of anyone who got a Pro this year IMO.   There's no way to spin it into a positive that I can think of, if they do a PS5 it'd probably be in 2019.

 

I'm sure Scorpio is going to be what most people talk about but of course I'd like to see some more games as always, and it'd be great to get a big push from developers who will release patches for it for games that are out already.  It doesn't sound like MS is going to talk about Xbox VR, but maybe a surprise announcement that the Scorpio works with the upcoming VR headsets from HP/Acer etc, and maybe a big splash if it supports the rift.

 

It'd be very cool, and this is a dream of mine, if it came with a future "expansion slot" so they can release, basically a 2nd GPU, for a type of SLi down the road, but it's just a fantasy of mine.  Still, if they don't do it with this device, it wouldn't surprise me if the next one is more expandable, it'd be in their favor to release one base system, and then allow you to expand it with a second, GPU unit 2-3 years later instead of trying to sell you a whole new system.

 

Look at all the hoopla over external GPU devices for laptops, even apple is getting into it now, so why not for a console?

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+Randomevent
6 hours ago, dipsylalapo said:

So less than a week left until the big reveal. What are people hoping to see?

New titles instead of just more sequels, broader Eastern developer support (I know that's about as likely as a catgirl showing up at my door tomorrow, but hey it could happen.)

 

1440p support...

 

Crackdown to finally be shown off beyond pre-alpha...

 

I really can't think of anything else at the moment.  They've pretty much nailed everything else I want from a new console.

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1 hour ago, George P said:

Sony doing a PS5 next year would be a slap to the face of anyone who got a Pro this year IMO.   There's no way to spin it into a positive that I can think of, if they do a PS5 it'd probably be in 2019.

I don't see it as significantly different from launching the PS4 about a year after they launched the PS3 "Super Slim".  Again though I'm not saying I think a PS5 announcement is likely, in fact I made a point to say it was unlikely.  It's probably not going to happen my point was just to say that it would take something of that magnitude to deter me from buying Project Scoripio.

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Vandalsquad

Sea of Thieves and State of Decay and of course Forza my most look forwarded to. Hopefully more unannounced RARE ips. Don't expect to see PS5 announcement until 2020 to be honest. 

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Vandalsquad

 

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George P

It's pretty cool, and also telling, that they're going to be streaming the event in 4k for those who can watch it.   Should point to lots of 4k video games being shown off, and to get a better idea of the difference you should watch the 4k stream, something Sony royally messed up with their PS4 Pro event, anyone watching the streams couldn't tell the difference, we just had to take their word for it. 

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      We won’t have long to wait until an official announcement though, with the dedicated set of events scheduled for June 24 at 11AM ET and June 24 at 3PM ET (the latter of which is aimed at developers). On that day we might also see the performance boots that the OS brings, especially for big.LITTLE x86 CPUs – as shown in a set of tests.

      Xbox mini fridges


      As is tradition, Microsoft held its annual E3 event on the Sunday just before the event’s kickoff, and on this occasion, it was joined by the Bethesda folks (the parent company of which it finalized the acquisition of this year).

      To further emphasize the above, the showcase even started with Starfield, Bethesda’s first new IP in years. Powered by the Creation Engine 2, the title showcased an in-game cinematic sequence and perhaps more surprisingly, a release date as well.

      The sci-fi game is coming November 11, 2022 (exactly 11 years after the release of Skyrim) and yes, it will be exclusive to Microsoft platforms.

      While we’re on the subject of Bethesda, there was also some new ESO and Fallout 76 content announced, along with the fact that Game Pass is getting a number of the missing titles from the publisher, alongside titles like the entire Yakuza series, and even Turtle Rock’s Back 4 Blood on day one. Also in the Bethesda camp was a new IP from Arkane Austin, dubbed Redfall. The co-op vampire hunting game is coming summer 2022, unsurprisingly also to Game Pass day one.

      We’ll touch on the fact that Injustice: Gods Among Us and Shadows Awakening are now free to claim, and that there’s in fact a rather good selection of Deals with Gold to peruse, while also mentioning that game stories is now a supported feature in the Xbox app and that the June update for the console has brought party chat accessibility options, among other things.

      Speaking of other things, Battlefield 2042 gameplay was shown off during the game showcase, as was an interspersed story / gameplay trailer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl (which lands April 28 next year, also in Game Pass), a cinematic announce trailer for co-op Xbox exclusive Contraband from Avalanche Studios, a cheeky meta cinematic announce trailer for The Outer Worlds 2, and more.

      Alternate-universe sci-fi RPG Atomic Heart got yet another trailer at the event – sans release date -, Diablo II: Resurrected made an appearance too – showcasing its launch day of September 23 -, and Age of Empires IV got its long overdue launch date of October 28, available across PC and Game Pass.

      In additional unexpected news, Sea of Thieves got a Pirates of the Caribbean crossover, bringing Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones and crew to the game thanks to a new original story dubbed A Pirate’s Life, which is coming for free to the tile on June 22.

      Another game that got a release date was Flight Simulator, which lands on Series X|S consoles on July 27 – and has just gotten its World Update V, with a free Top Gun expansion coming this fall -, as well as Forza Horizon 5. The latter is set in Mexico and rather unexpectedly, lands on November 9 this year.

      Of course, after the advent of Craig memes from last year, it was expected that 343 would show an updated look at Halo Infinite, complete with Joseph Staten on stage, a highlight of the game’s story and multiplayer, and an announcement that they will launch together this holiday. Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer is also adding personal AIs for players, among other things.

      Finally, the option to make your controllers more personal is now back, as Microsoft has relaunched the Xbox Design Lab with support for the new controller. That said, it’s not the only hardware announcement that the company made at this event.

      After rumors of a streaming stick started circulating, folks assumed that the ‘one more thing’ at the end would be this. However, the Redmond giant leaned heavily into the memes and has announced it’ll make an Xbox Mini Fridge (shaped like the Series X).

      Yes, it’s real, and yes, it’s coming holiday 2021 – even outside the United States.

      Hybrid work


      Slotting just between the Xbox E3 showcase and the Windows event next week was a virtual presentation focused on hybrid work.

      At this event, Microsoft has announced new Teams Rooms features like a “front row” layout for meetings, improved video layouts across multiple screens, new Together Mode scenes on the Surface Hub, and much, much more. Naturally, these features will be rolled out to Insiders first.

      On the subject of Teams, the firm has additionally integrated Headspace for mindfulness exercises and to boost personal wellbeing in remote work situations. Worthy of mention is also the fact that inline chat message translation is now available for Teams on Android.

      Last but not least, Whiteboard has received a redesign, which aims to help folks collaborate better in hybrid environments.

      Dev channel
      Edge Dev build 93.0.916.1 is now out, with a number of bug fixes. Better sharing and file picking were among the enhancements that arrived to OneDrive in May. Microsoft has elected Satya Nadella as chairman of its board of directors. Visual Studio 2022 Preview 1 is now available for Windows. Logging off
      We end with a bit of an interesting bug related to the newly added News and Interests taskbar widget.



      For folks running one of the various flavors of Windows 10 that have this feature, (1909 and up), there are instances in which the News and Interests text and icon appear blurry.

      The issue has now been acknowledged by the firm as occurring on “certain display configurations”. Of course, which ones these are is set to remain a mystery. What’s also going to remain a mystery is when Microsoft plans to fix it, as the only time frame indication given was that it’ll happen in an “upcoming release”.

      If you couldn’t care less about the widget, it can thankfully be turned off.

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



      If you’d like to get a daily digest of news from Neowin, we now have a Newsletter you can sign up to either via the ‘Get our newsletter’ widget in the sidebar, or this link.

    • By Jay Bonggolto
      Microsoft announces game stories in the Xbox app
      by Jay Bonggolto

      Microsoft announced today a new feature in the Xbox app for Android and iOS that's inspired by a popular feature from various social networking apps. The Xbox app is adding stories from various game brands such as Forza, Halo, and Sea of Thieves.

      The new stories feature has been showcased on Xbox's official Twitter account, and it has a similar interface that you can find on social networking platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Unlike stories from those services, however, the Xbox app's version displays the buttons for likes, shares, and comments at the bottom of the screen as well as their corresponding numbers.

      Stories can be found below the cards of game titles and are labeled "official posts from games" instead of "stories". This means the content you will see are coming only from game brands you follow instead of from your friends like you can with most social media apps. There's no word on whether Microsoft will give users the ability to post stories on the app.

      The new experience should be a welcome development for those who want to receive updates from their favorite game brands or studios. It also expands the app's capabilities after Microsoft added support for remote play last year along with a new UI that debuted on Xbox consoles with the October 2020 update.

    • By LoneWolfSL
      Halo Infinite multiplayer detailed, brings in personal AIs for players
      by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe

      It was only yesterday that 343 Industries unveiled the first gameplay of Halo Infinite multiplayer, and already, another information drop has landed. The studio today gave an overview of the free-to-play venture's updated sandbox, the new Academy training system, bots, Spartan customization, battle pass, and other elements.

      The Academy will be an onboarding experience for new players to Halo multiplayer, providing tutorials, weapon drills, and even a training mode with bots for those looking for a warmup before matchmaking.

      The grappling hook that has gotten a lot of focus is a piece of equipment you pick up in multiplayer, letting you swing around maps while pulling in weapons and other equipment as well as zipping towards players and vehicles. Powerups like overshield and camouflage are now user activated after picking up, and dying before getting to activate means they drop on the ground for someone else to use.

      Meanwhile, vehicles now have a damage system, letting wheels and various parts break off in combat affecting their maneuverability. Speaking of vehicles, 343 is introducing the Razorback as a more spacious and robust version of the Warthog, and alongside troops, it can also carry detached turrets, power weapons, fusion coils, and even objective items in a storage compartment on its back.

      The new Personal AI system lets Spartans choose a helpful companion in multiplayer, complete with appearance and personality customization. These will give you "moment to moment updates" such as instructions to go back to base after picking up an enemy flag. Don't worry, the Halo announcer is still there for jumping in with quips for the big moments.

      Moving on to customization, your super soldier's body type, voice, optional prosthetics, individual armor pieces, weapons, vehicles, and more can all be tinkered with heavily. Moreover, it's not just in-game this can be done, as both the HaloWaypoint website and app will allow the capability from the outside.

      The studio reiterated that there won't be any loot boxes in Halo Infinite, and all content that can be unlocked via progression, the battle passes, or purchased on the shop will be cosmetic in nature. Battle passes will also remain in the game after a season ends so players could go back and earn something they missed out on later.

      Halo Infinite's campaign and the free multiplayer portion is coming to PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam, as well as Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles this holiday. Head here to sign up for upcoming flights. The title will have cross-progression across all platforms, and while crossplay will also be a feature, it's unclear if this is only for certain modes or if it will be enabled across everything.

    • By Sszecret
      The meme is real: Xbox Mini Fridge, launching holiday 2021
      by Florin Bodnarescu

      Back when Microsoft unveiled the Series X at The Game Awards in 2019, some said it looked like a fridge. The monolithic design in fact spawned several memes, and the company gave in, creating a real-life Series X fridge, which it sent to influencers.

      Some folks expressed their wish for a smaller, mini fridge form factor of the meme, to which Aaron Greenberg, Xbox's GM of Marketing, responded:

      Unsurprisingly, Xbox won the voting poll on Twitter and, true to the promise, to cap off today's Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, Microsoft unveiled a small surprise: the Xbox Mini Fridge.

      Powered by the latest in cooling architecture - not to be confused with the Velocity Architecture -, the little appliance mimics the design of its console counterpart, down to the green design of the cooling holes at the top.

      The Xbox Mini Fridge is launching holiday 2021 for an as of yet undisclosed price. This will probably come day one to Game Pass as well.