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Xbox Design Lab returns with support for the new Xbox controller
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Xbox Design Lab, the controller customization service Microsoft began five years ago, is back in action. It temporarily went offline late last year to update the design and manufacturing processes for supporting the new Xbox Wireless Controller, but the popular service is now back, and with improvements.
As a refresher, the service provides almost complete freedom over customizing a standard Xbox controller, from the color of its base, back, bumpers, and triggers, to the styles of buttons and sticks. An engraving option is also available for adding a personal touch, though it involves an extra charge.
Aside from supporting the latest Xbox controller iteration, the Design Lab has also brought three new color options – Shock Blue, Pulse Red, and Electric Volt – increasing the total to 18. The ABXY button options are updated with a new black-on-color variant, while a new black-on-white color option is here for the View, Menu, and Share buttons.
Microsoft says it is using 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials in the plastics used for most of the color options, and it has plans to increase the company's PCR usage even further. More controller customization options are in the works too, but no details were shared today.
"We have a bold vision for customization through Xbox Design Lab, and this update is just the beginning," Xbox senior director of strategy and business James Hunter says. "Our team is hard at work developing new processes, testing new materials, and innovating so that we can continue to evolve the Xbox Design Lab experience."
Much like regular Xbox Wireless Controllers, these can be used on the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows 10 systems, as well as Android and iOS devices. Xbox Design Lab is available for use across the U.S., Canada, and most countries in Western Europe. A customized controller comes in at $69.99, with the optional engraving option adding another $9.99 to the price tag.
The beautiful Nordics now available in Flight Simulator with World Update V
by Sayan Sen
The fifth major content update to Microsoft Flight Simulator has arrived today in the form of World Update V, which adds the picturesque Nordic regions. This means the Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden, as well as the regions lying further north like Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, and more, have now been added.
Of course, with places like this that carry such scenic beauty, excellent aerial imagery is a must and that has been updated which is also one of the highlights of this patch. The patch also features updated elevation data.
In terms of specific content addition, the update features:
Of course, the local languages of Sweden, Norway, and Finland have been added.
Check out the new Nordics World Update Trailer that showcases several of these places:
The complete patch notes for Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update V (18.104.22.168) that detail all the additions and improvements can be seen here. The update is now available to download for free for owners of the game on the Microsoft Store and Steam, as well as Xbox Game Pass subscribers.
Overcooked! 2 and Hell is Other Demons are free to claim on the Epic Games Store this week
by Vishal Laul
On the Epic Games Store this week, Hell is Other Demons and Overcooked! 2 are available to claim and keep for free, taking the place of Control.
Hell is Other Demons is an action-platformer shooter with a hint of roguelite and a synthwave soundtrack. Here's how the Epic Games Store describes it:
Overcooked! 2 is the sequel to the popular party title Overcooked!, adding online coop with up to four players as well as new locations and themes. Here's how the Epic Games Store describes it:
Epic Games Store is offering Overcooked! 2 for Windows and Hell is Other Demons for Windows and macOS, but the former is also available for macOS and both are available for Linux via Steam. Overcooked! 2 is priced at $24.99 and Hell is Other Demons is priced at $9.99 at the time of writing. Here are the minimum requirements:
Hell is Other Demons Overcooked! 2 Windows OS: Windows 7 or higher CPU: Intel i3+ GPU: Nvidia 450 GTS / Radeon HD 5750 or better Memory: 4 GB RAM Storage: 500 MB Notes: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system. macOS OS: MacOS 10.9 or later Memory: 4GB Storage: 500 MB
GPU: OpenGL 3.2+ Notes: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system. Windows OS: Win7 - 64 bit Processor: Intel i3-2100 / AMD A8-5600k Memory: 4GB Direct X: 11 Graphics: GeForce GTX 630 / Radeon HD 6570 If you wish to claim Hell is Other Demons or Overcooked! 2, you can find them here. They will be free to claim until June 24, which is when Epic will put on offer Horizon Chase Turbo and Sonic Mania for its next giveaway.
Absolute Drift: Zen Edition is free to claim on GOG for the next two days
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
The GOG Summer Sale continues, and to kick off its second week of promotions, the store has unveiled another game giveaway. The DRM-free storefront is currently offering copies of Absolute Drift: Zen Edition for the low, low price of absolutely nothing.
As you may have already guessed by its name, this is a driving game solely centered on drifting. The top-down experience tasks you with mastering the art of taking the most inventive corners while being mostly sideways. It comes with three game modes (Driftkhana, Drifting, & Mountain Drifting) which are playable across 34 levels, five uniquely themed but minimalistic free roaming areas, online leaderboards, replays, and ghost cars for improving against other drifters.
To claim the Absolute Drift: Zen Edition giveaway, you can follow the link on the game's store page or click the claim button on the banner seen on the store's front page. All that's required is an account with GOG. The giveaway for this DRM-free copy will come to an end on June 19 at 1PM UTC.
There's still a couple of weeks left on GOG's Summer Sale, and it is teasing even more upcoming promotions before the store-wide festival, that boast over 3000 deals, closes its doors.
Cyberpunk 2077 gets version 1.23 update with a host of fixes and improvements
by Anmol Mehrotra
CD Projekt RED (CDPR) has released a new patch for Cyberpunk 2077 that brings a host of fixes and improvements to the game. The new patch fixes issues related to quests, gameplay, visuals and more. You can head down to check out the full changelog for the update:
Apart from addressing the various quest bugs, the new patch also fixes multiple gameplay issues including the one related to Adam Smasher. You can check out the list of fixes below:
Furthermore, CDPR has also addresses a couple of bugs related to the appearance of characters and NPCs. Here is the changelog for the same:
Moving on, the new update brings some stability and performance related improvements as well. You can check those out below:
Lastly, the update brings some platform specific fixes as well. You can head down to check out the changelog for the same:
Cyberpunk 2077 had a rocky start with Sony delisting the game from PlayStation Store and Microsoft offering no-questions-asked-refunds. Even with all the controversies, CDPR sold more than 13 million copies of the game in 2020. Just yesterday, Sony confirmed that it will allow CDPR to re-list Cyberpunk 2077 on the Playstation Store but it also recommended users to play the game on the PS4 Pro or PS5 for the best experience.