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By Asher Madan
Xbox Deals with Gold feature Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy's, and more
by Asher Madan
Every week, Microsoft and select publishers discount a number of titles for a weekly Deals with Gold sale. This week, games from the Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy's, and other franchises are available for substantially less. Below, you'll find the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 games with their respective discounts. The deals and games marked with an asterisk are only valid for Xbox Live Gold members, so you'll need an active paid subscription for the additional discount.
Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One
Many of the games are also backward compatible so you can play them on your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One.
Which titles are you interested in? Did you buy any up? Let us know in the comments below.
Grand Theft Auto V Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 version launches in November
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Last year, with the latest console launches imminent, Rockstar revealed it will be bringing another generational upgrade to Grand Theft Auto V in 2021. Although the studio went silent about this enhanced version following that, today, it gave an update announcing the launch date as November 11, 2021.
The "expanded and enhanced" release is hitting Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 consoles, though this time Grand Theft Auto Online will also be available as a standalone experience if anyone just wants to jump into the multiplayer side of things. The summer update heading to GTA Online will include "special benefits" just for those who will be enjoying the game through the new and upcoming version.
While the latest consoles from Sony and Microsoft can play GTA V right now, they are only presenting the old-gen version via backward compatibility. In the original announcement, Rockstar said it will be utilizing the power of the next-gen consoles to deliver "a range of technical improvements, visual upgrades and performance enhancements" alongside exclusive content.
Meanwhile, PlayStation 5 players won't have to pay up for the GTA Online standalone edition when it arrives, at least at first. Rockstar is giving three months of free access to the multiplayer component for all PlayStation 5 players at launch. Pricing details for GTA V and GTA Online enhanced edition have not been revealed just yet.
Lastly, with the 20th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III coming up, Rockstar also hinted at something special being planned for the event. Aside from saying it will also include content for GTA Online players, the studio didn't go into much detail.
SnowRunner, Knockout City, Slime Rancher, and more head to Xbox Game Pass
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass drops continue for the second time this month. The latest wave has another hefty delivery of games for PC, Xbox consoles, and cloud platforms, along with Xbox Touch Controls support for more cloud games, a returning Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deal, and more.
The latest games reaching the subscription programs include the EA Original title Knockout City – which lands day one on Xbox Game Pass and EA Play – the popular multiplayer survival game Conan Exiles, and even the relaxing farming game involving gelatinous blobs Slime Rancher.
Here's everything incoming from now through the end of May:
SnowRunner (Cloud, Console, and PC) – Available Now Peggle 2 (Cloud) EA Play – May 20 Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (Cloud) EA Play – May 20 Secret Neighbor (PC) – May 20 The Wild at Heart (Console and PC) – May 20 The Catch: Carp & Coarse Fishing (Cloud, Console, and PC) – May 21 Knockout City (Console and PC) EA Play – May 21 Maneater (Cloud, Console, and PC) – May 25 Conan Exiles (Cloud and Console) – May 27 – Optimized for Series X|S on May 27 Fuzion Frenzy (Cloud) – May 27 Joy Ride Turbo (Cloud) – May 27 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (Console) – May 27 Slime Rancher (PC) – May 27 Solasta: Crown of the Magister (PC) – May 27 SpellForce 3: Soul Harvest (PC) – May 27 It certainly looks like Microsoft is ramping up the number of cloud games available in its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The move is happening while PC and iOS devices are being tested for Xbox cloud play support. When the new platforms join Android, they will have quite the library waiting for them.
Going further, Banjo-Tooie, Call of the Sea, Genesis Noir, Narita Boy, Nier: Automata Become As Gods Edition, Rain on Your Parade, and Two Point Hospital now have full Xbox Touch Controls support for those using cloud play without a controller.
As always, several games will be leaving the Game Pass services at the end of the month. Here are the latest titles prepping their departures:
Lastly, Microsoft has brought back the $1 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate deal. The popular offer includes three months of the subscription for that price – which normally costs $14.99 per month. The subscription bundles access to Xbox Game Pass Console and PC variants, Xbox Live Gold, EA Play, and a number of perks including Spotify Premium for new members.
Nvidia 466.47 WHQL driver has support for Days Gone and Knockout City
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Bend Studios' Days Gone launched on PC earlier today, bringing the PlayStation exclusive open-world title to another platform for the first time. Nvidia has now released a graphics driver that provides official support for the game, mirroring the very recent AMD driver.
The WHQL-certified 466.47 Game Ready release also ships with support for Knockout City, the upcoming team-based competitive game based on Dodgeball. Developed by Velan Studios and using the EA Originals label, the game has a May 21 launch date attached to it. Nvidia hasn't said anything about what kind of improvements do these two games receive when the new driver is powering them.
This is also the driver Nvidia wants users to install if they are picking up a GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070, or RTX 3060 Ti with the new Lite Hash Rate identifier. Every newly manufactured Nvidia graphics card going forward will have a reduced Ethereum hash rate, and the company says the 466.47 driver is "required" for using those cards.
Two issues have also been fixed in this driver:
The known issues being worked on by the company are these:
The 466.47 Game Ready driver is available for download on the GeForce Experience app. Those wanting a standalone installation experience can use the links below. Here are the release notes.
Download: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 | Windows 10 – Standard / DCH
Download: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 | Windows 10 - Standard / DCH
Nvidia is halving the hash rate on more of its GeForce GPUs
by João Carrasqueira
Earlier this year, Nvidia announced that upon launch, the GeForce RTX 3060 desktop GPU would feature a lower mining hash rate in an attempt to make GPUs less appealing to cryptocurrency miners and thus more widely available to gamers. Now, it's bringing the same hash rate limiter to the rest of the RTX 30 series graphics cards - the RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti.
In a blog post, the company explains that future models of these GPUs will be coming with the limited hash rate, but existing cards won't be affected. To make the choice clearer for consumers, the cards will also be sold with Lite Hash Rate (or LHR) branding, so customers know what they're buying.
While Nvidia claims to have good intentions with this move, the company has been blasted by some for its futile attempts at making graphics cards more available to gamers. After the release of the GeForce RTX 3060, users quickly found ways to circumvent the hash rate limitation, and Nvidia itself accidentally disabled the limiter with a beta driver update, showing that software workarounds are possible.
At the same time, Nvidia is manufacturing dedicated cryptocurrency mining GPUs, which it calls CMPs, without any kind of display output. This means that, should cryptocurrency values crash, those cards will be essentially rendered useless for any purpose, turning into e-waste earlier than regular GPUs might.
It's possible that Nvidia has come up with a new system to lock the hash rate on these cards going forward so that the restrictions can't be worked around as easily, and the company says these cards will only work with the newly-released driver version 466.47. Of course, that remains to be seen until they actually make their way to consumers.