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By George P
Xbox & Bethesda E3 2021 Games Showcase on June 13 at 10:00am PT , 6:00pm BST.
Xbox Twitch Link.
Windows Central Gaming is going to have a co-stream going on here.
With this quickly approaching I figured it was time to make an official thread for the show. Feel free to post what you expect to see, hope to see, rumors, and thoughts on what they actually show come Sunday.
Mojang to launch Minecraft Caves & Cliffs: Part I on June 8
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
The next major content drop coming to Minecraft received a partial delay last month with Mojang Studios splitting the highly-anticipated Caves & Cliffs update into a two-parter. While the second part is still quite some time away, the first chunk of content was slated to arrive in the summer, and as promised it is now almost here.
Dubbed Caves & Cliffs: Part I, the update now has a June 8 launch date attached to it. New mobs – goats, glow squids, and axolotls – along with a large number of new items and blocks such as copper, tinted glass, amethyst, lightning rods, candles, and even spyglasses are included in the update.
Minecraft fans will have to wait until the end of this year to receive the new biomes as well as the major world generation and build height overhauls, as those meaty changes are planned to be included in Caves & Cliffs: Part II. Still, Part I does carry some blocks that will be part of the upcoming biomes, but only as rare decorative additions for now.
The 1.17 Caves & Cliffs: Part I update for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is coming to Windows 10 PCs, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Android, iOS, and Linux. It is also heading to the Minecraft: Java Edition on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Those on the latter group can try out the update in its pre-release state right now.
Microsoft explains how it's making gaming more accessible
by João Carrasqueira
Global Accessibility Awareness Day is today, and to celebrate the occasion, Microsoft's Xbox team has shared a blog post going over the many ways it's working to make gaming experiences more accessible to all kinds of players. There are a handful of announcements coming from this post, for the community as a whole as well as specific features in games like Gears 5 and Minecraft.
First off, the company is launching the Xbox Accessibility Insiders League, a new way for users with special accessibility needs to provide feedback on how experiences can be better tailored for specific needs. Developers can also share accessibility-related announcements with the community. You can learn more about how to join the program here. Microsoft has announced a new and refreshed support page for accessibility too, which you can visit here.
Microsoft has also once again updated the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines (XAGs) to provide additional examples for certain things, such as subtitles, captions, screen narration, input, and more. To go along with, there's a new Gaming and Disability Player Experience Guide, which goes over the many kinds of barriers players can experience when playing games, helping developers understand how to tailor experiences for them.
Moving on to more direct updates for consumers, Microsoft re-iterated that it's working on accessibility features for Xbox Party Chat, specifically text-to-speech (TTS) and speech-to-text (STT) capabilities to make communication easier. As announced last week, this is now in testing with Xbox Insiders and will be available to everyone "soon".
Gears 5 is getting a couple of notable upgrades. First, there's Navigation Ping in Escape Mode, which will help visually impaired players navigate the complex environments in this game mode using sound cues to guide them along the correct path. There are also specific audio cues to let players know when they need to interact with an object or get to cover. Secondly, there are new assistive features available in higher difficulty settings: Disable Camera Shake and Target Lock. These features are usually available in lower difficulty settings, but can now be enabled in difficulties up to Advanced in both Horde and Escape modes.
As for Minecraft, the updates include a new Achievement screen that's designed around accessibility and takes into account things like contrast and font sizes. The team has also added more granular audio controls so players can turn down specific sounds in the game to focus on others. Finally, the patterns for the different types of ores are being updated to have different designs for the first time. Until now, each ore was only distinguished by the color of the "specks" on the block, but now, each type of ore will have a different pattern for the specs, so colorblind players can more easily identify them.
Mojang splits the Minecraft Caves & Cliffs update into a two-part release
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Mojang Studios announced last year that the next major content injection it's bringing to Minecraft will be the Caves & Cliffs update. As its name suggests, the update would overhaul the block-based sensation's cave and cliff generation rules, while also adding new mobs, items, and blocks.
Today, the Swedish developer revealed that the original summer 2021 launch window will not be met exactly as planned, as the studio has decided to split the update into a two-parter. The first half is landing in the summer as previously announced, but it will only contain the mobs (Goat, Axolotl, etc), items, (Spyglass, Lightning Rod, etc), and blocks (Copper, Tinted Glass, various Cave Blocks, etc).
The second half of the update, carrying most of the significant world generation overhauls and even changes to Minecraft worlds' build height, is now slated for launch during the holiday season.
Mojang said that the magnitude of the update, its dramatic changes, the thorough polishing process, as well as the issues surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic were the reasons behind this new approach to the Caves & Cliffs update.
"We’ve come to realize that to ship all the features in the summer we would’ve had to work very long hours; and even then, there would’ve been no guarantee that everything would be finished on time," it added regarding the last point. "Working from home as we cope with the pandemic is still challenging – not just in terms of morale but also by hindering teamwork. Because our workflow is so complex and collaborative, not having the option to walk up to someone and ask for help makes everything take longer."
The company has set up a constantly updated FAQ page regarding the current situation with the update, which can be found here. Both Bedrock and Java Edition owners of Minecraft can continue to test the upcoming Caves & Cliffs Update features via the Experimental worlds also.
By Usama Jawad96
The PlayStation Network is down for certain games
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft's Xbox Live service had an outage yesterday, resulting in gamers facing problems in connecting to it. This caused failed purchases, inability to sign in for some users, issues in launching certain games, and unavailability of xCloud gaming. While Microsoft was able to resolve the problem in six hours, it did admit that the fix took longer than anticipated to apply.
Today, it's the PlayStation Network's turn which appears to be down for several games.
According to Sony's dedicated network service status page, the PlayStation Network is facing issues in the "gaming and social" category. This affects the PlayStation Vita, 3, 4, and 5. The company cautions that:
It's unclear exactly how widespread the problem is, but the status appears to be the same across most regions including the US, UK, and Canada. Engadget reports that while some games like Fortnite and Fall Guys work just fine, players are having issues connecting to others such as Call of Duty: Warzone, Minecraft, Destruction AllStars, and Don't Starve Together.
The issue was officially confirmed by Sony on 6:33PM ET, but earlier reports point to it appearing on 1PM ET, which essentially means that it's been almost 12 hours since the partial outage began. It's currently unclear when a fix will be rolled out, but you can keep an eye on the network service status page for updates in the meantime.