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By Asher Madan
Select Insiders can now go back to using Xbox 360 gamerpics on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S
by Asher Madan
Even though we're two console generations past the Xbox 360, many gamers remember those days fondly, despite the "Red Ring of Death" that plagued earlier devices. Lately, a slew of Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S owners have been asking Microsoft for a way to go back to their Xbox 360 gamerpics.
Well, Xbox Engineering Lead Eden Marie took notice and delivered. Today, she said that Xbox Insiders in the Alpha - Skip Ahead ring would see a new option in the "Change gamerpic" section of their profiles.
Your Xbox 360 gamerpic should appear there, and you'll be able to select it. Luckily, Eden also fixed how they display on modern consoles a few weeks ago so it should look great on your TV.
If you wanted to use that old Master Chief gamerpic from Halo 3, now's your chance.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Xbox is making a return to Tokyo Game Show this year
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Tokyo Game Show, a renowned video game convention, is held annually in September in Japan. This event primarily showcases Japanese games, but some international developers use it to announce their upcoming releases. Tokyo Game Show 2021 will begin on September 30 and last four days. In usual circumstances, the physical event is reserved for industry attendees for the first two days and the general public can attend during the final two days.
This year's event will also be happening online like last year due to the coronavirus, and Xbox Wire revealed today that it will be present at the event with a virtual stream curated for Japanese and other Asian players. Following Xbox's return to the event last year, the virtual stream will begin on Thursday, September 30 at 6 pm JST.
Microsoft stated that its stream will be a celebration with its Asian community and feature locally relevant updates. The firm won't be announcing any new global debuts during the stream, the blog post read. Specifically, it will focus on the latest regionally relevant updates on previously announced gates that are due to arrive later this year.
Xbox social channels in Japan, Korea, and China will also feature the Tokyo Game Show 2021 Xbox Stream.
Xbox Cloud Gaming and Remote Play comes to the Xbox app on Windows
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Last month, Microsoft began testing an updated version of the Xbox app on Windows that let users jump into console games via Xbox Cloud Gaming, or Remote Play, straight through the app. While that was only for Insiders, Today, Microsoft has begun rolling the feature out for all users.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users on PC (Windows 10 and up) will now see a Cloud Gaming tab on the app for easy access to the hundreds of console experiences available. They will need to be in one of the 22 supported regions and have a compatible controller connected though. When playing, the games are integrated with the Xbox Game Bar for quickly using Xbox social elements like joining groups or inviting friends into sessions.
Keep in mind this arrives in addition to the already available browser-based experience on Xbox.com/play and does not replace it.
Meanwhile, the Xbox app is also now capable of streaming directly from an Xbox Series X|S home console, or any system from the Xbox One family. With this, the complete console experience from an owned device will be mirrored straight into a PC running the app, either via the local network or even the internet.
This feature is building on previous Xbox Remote Play versions, so in addition to improved stability, 1080p 60FPS support, and streaming support for compatible Xbox 360 and Xbox Original games are all present too. Keep in mind this does not require a Game Pass subscription like the aforementioned cloud play offerings of Microsoft. Download the Xbox app for Windows 10 from here.
By Abhay V
Movies Anywhere app launches today for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles
by Abhay V
Disney’s official Movies Anywhere app is now becoming available for Xbox One and Series X|S users from the Microsoft Store. The addition of the app brings a native solution for those that use the service to purchase and watch content across platforms. Earlier, users could watch purchased content via the Redmond firm’s Movies & TV app on both Windows and Xbox.
Movies Anywhere has been available on most major platforms on both mobile and streaming hardware, including the likes of Apple TV, Fire TV Stick, Android TV, and select smart TVs from LG, Samsung, and more. While the Xbox app adds another native solution, it also brings with it support for 4K resolution, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos, making it a viable option for users that have their Series X|S consoles hooked up to hardware that supports these standards.
The Movies Anywhere app also brings with it the Watch Together feature that allows for users to view content together – like a viewing party – by sharing a ‘Screen Pass’, bringing feature parity with the app on other devices. The service’s recently added ‘My Lists’ feature that provides personalized suggestions and more will also be a welcome addition for Xbox users. Those that have connected their Microsoft account with Movies Anywhere will be able to purchase content directly from the Microsoft Store, just like before.
Overall, the launch of the official app in native form makes it a useful addition for Xbox users. You can head to the Microsoft Store here to get the Movies Anywhere app. It must be noted that the ability to connect users’ Microsoft accounts to the service is applicable only to users in the U.S.
By Abhay V
Microsoft Weekly: Windows 11 builds, new zero-day vulnerability, and gaming news
by Abhay V
Another week has passed, and a lot has happened in the world of Microsoft. There were new Windows 11 builds for both the Dev and Beta channels, information about another refreshed app for the OS came from Windows chief Panos Panay, a few vulnerabilities were reported on - including a zero-day that affects all Windows versions, some security fixes, and a bunch of gaming news. Check all this out and much more in our weekly Microsoft digest for September 5 – September 11.
Windows 11 builds, new apps, and a rebranded service
As was expected, Microsoft released new Windows 11 builds for both Dev and Beta channel users. While Dev channel users got build 22454, Beta channel users were served build 22000.184. The Dev channel build brought a few minor UI improvements, such as a modern right-click menu for the Recycle Bin and more. It also included a ton of bug fixes, something that the Beta channel did not see, as those users received a couple of fixes to address translation inconsistencies. The firm did, however, note that fixes that were made as part of the Dev channel build will be released to the stable version in the way of servicing updates after the OS releases on October 5, which does seem odd. Additionally, Dev channel users that wanted to perform a clean install could download new ISO images of build 22454.
The week also brought news of a Photos app refresh, a welcome addition for those who have hoped for the in-box app to be more aesthetically pleasing and feature-rich. Of course, another expectation is that the app brings some much-needed reliability and performance improvements. It is to be seen if that is the case, as the app is yet to begin rolling out.
Speaking of refreshes, Microsoft announced a rebrand of its news service to Microsoft Start. The new service doesn’t bring much in the way of additions or features and the branding change is being applied across platforms, including on the web, in Windows, and the mobile apps. In the area of updates, there is also a new Edge 95 build for the Dev channel. It does not come with many new features, which is because it is still an early build for major version 95.
For those still on the fence about installing Windows 11 builds on their machines, we have been looking at the various components of the OS and documenting them in our Closer Look series. This week, we went over the improvements and changes coming to the Virtual Desktop experience in Windows 11 and compared it to that in Windows 10. And to gin up enthusiasm about the upcoming OS, Microsoft has posted a new ad on YouTube and is also speaking about how the OS makes the best of new hardware.
Windows zero-day vulnerability, Outlook bug, and Azure patch
There were a couple of security issues reported this week, the most significant of which was the zero-day in Windows that can enable specially tailored Office files to let attackers perform remote code execution. Microsoft acknowledged the vulnerability, adding that it is currently being exploited in the wild. The firm has said that it is working on a fix and expects to release a fix soon. The zero-day affects all Windows versions going back to Windows 7 and the corresponding Windows Server release.
Another security vulnerability affected Outlook users, where a bug had the potential to falsely flag phishing emails as genuine, thanks to the service not filtering IDs from Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). While the firm denied having plans to fix the issue to the researcher that discovered it, it appeared that the firm changed its mind and fixed the issue, which is always a good thing.
On the positive side of things, the Redmond firm changed how Microsoft 365 apps deal with Trusted Documents to make them more secure. Now, Trusted Documents no longer override the Protected View restrictions and adheres to pre-set policies. Another fix – this time affecting commercial customers – came in the way of a patch for a vulnerability in the Azure Container Instances (ACI) service. The issue risked data leaks across the same clusters, but the firm was quick to note that it found no indication of active exploits.
Halo Infinite’s next multiplayer preview, Alan Wake Remastered screenshots, and more
Starting off the week’s gaming roundup is news about Halo Infinite’s next multiplayer preview, which starts September 24. However, the sign-up cut-off is soon approaching, with the date set for September 13. Those eligible will receive invites on both the PC and Xbox platforms. As for the changes, 343 Industries detailed the tweaks it is planning to make based on the first technical preview's feedback.
For those excited about Alan Wake Remastered, screenshots of the game appeared on Amazon UK before the official announcement arrived with details on the changed elements and PC system requirements.
An extended look at Marvel's Midnight Suns also came this week in the form of visceral gameplay footage. Considering that the footage is of the game in its alpha stages, the animations and visuals were still unpolished but gave a better look at the villains. Fallout 76 Worlds Update also began rolling out, bringing Public and Custom Worlds. However, only Fallout 1st subscribers will be able to host Custom Worlds. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, luckily, will receive Fallout 1st subscription for one month. Bethesda also acknowledged an issue with Season 5’s rank-ups, which is why it extended the season by two weeks.
Square Enix revealed the Fall and Winter 2021 Roadmap for Marvel’s Avengers, noting that it is working to address player’s concerns and bringing improvements to Gear, Resources, and Cosmetics.
Coming to Microsoft’s gaming subscriptions, this week’s Deals with Gold included hefty discounts on games from BioShock, Borderlands, and Dragon Ball franchises. Additionally, this week’s Xbox Free Play Days games included Madden NFL 22, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, and Blasphemous.
For Forza Horizon 5 fans, we have listed the current list of cars confirmed by Playground Games , which is over 400 in number. Cars from the likes of BMW and Tesla are obvious omissions and there is no word on whether they are expected later. This week, we also posted a list of every 120FPS supported game on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 (PS5).
Rounding off gaming news is Flight Simulator’s next World Update. This time, central European nations are receiving love, including Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. As usual, there are a bunch of new airports, New Bush Trips, landing challenges, and Discovery flights, and overall improvements to the visuals in those countries.
Microsoft will soon let chat supervisors delete messages in Teams chats Microsoft acquires a video-editing software startup named Clipchamp Xbox Insiders will receive an update for their controllers that improves latency Microsoft offers GPU-accelerated ML training on Windows 10 and WSL via TensorFlow-DirectML Benchmarks show Ubuntu 21.10 outperform Windows 11 in certain use-cases You can still use proper Internet Explorer (IE) in Windows 11 using a Chrome extension Logging off:
When Windows 11 began being offered to testers, it was discovered that Windows 11 Home users could not complete the setup process without an internet connection. We found out a workaround, which was soon patched. Now, there is yet another way to bypass this block, which we have detailed in our guide here. Big thanks to Neowin member warwagon for sharing with us the method.
Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all out at this link.
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