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This is a discussion on Game Tech News within the Electronics forums, part of the Non-Related Discussion category; Microsoft is looking to make it even easier to get into its gaming ecosystem with Xbox All Access. This new ...

          
   
  1. #671
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    Microsoft Announces ‘Xbox All Access’ Plans



    Microsoft is looking to make it even easier to get into its gaming ecosystem with Xbox All Access. This new limited time program lets you finance a new Xbox console with online gaming services for a single monthly price. You’ve got your choice of the Xbox One S or Xbox One X, but you can only get this deal in a Microsoft Store.

    The Xbox All Access bundle has everything you need to start playing games out of the box. In addition to the console, you get Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. This is a financing offer with 0% APR, so you’re actually paying off the console and online services monthly over the course of two years. It’s similar to the way most mobile carriers sell phones now.

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    The market isn’t terribly impressed with Nvidia’s recent RTX family



    The market, it seems, isn’t terribly impressed with Nvidia’s recent RTX family, either. Shares of the company’s stock have slipped in recent days, particularly Friday, after Morgan Stanley said the performance of the latest RTX video cards hadn’t met its expectations.

    “As review embargos broke for the new gaming products, performance improvements in older games is not the leap we had initially hoped for,” Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore said in a note to clients on Thursday according to CNBC. “Performance boost on older games that do not incorporate advanced features is somewhat below our initial expectations, and review recommendations are mixed given higher price points.
    “We are surprised that the RTX 2080 is only slightly better than the 1080 Ti, which has been available for over a year and is slightly less expensive,” he said. “With higher clock speeds, higher core count, and 40 percent higher memory bandwidth, we had expected a bigger boost.”

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    Microsoft Xbox One - Keyboard and Mouse Support



    For many gamers, the Xbox controller is just how they’ve always played games. Still, there are some of us who might like the added precision and versatility of a classic keyboard and mouse setup. Microsoft has been promising to add support for this hardware to the Xbox One since the middle of 2016. Now, it’s finally happening. Well, sort of.
    If you talk to PC gamers who almost always use a keyboard and mouse for shooters, they’ll tell you the mouse provides finer control of aiming, and the keyboard is easier to remap for access to a lot of functions. At the same time, the true analog input of a controller can make movement more fluid than when using a keyboard (unless it’s analog, too). Basically, everyone has reasons to prefer their control scheme. The point is, most gamers want the choice on consoles.
    According to Microsoft, select Xbox insiders will get an update in the coming weeks that enabled keyboard and mouse support. However, that’s just enabling it at the system level — it will be technically possible to game with a keyboard and mouse. It’s up to game developers to allow you to do so. If a developer doesn’t support keyboard and mouse input, you’ll be stuck with a controller.

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    Google Announces Project Stream

    Streaming services have transformed the way people receive music and movies, but game streaming has, thus far, had a comparatively small impact on the market. The bandwidth and latency requirements for game streaming are tougher to meet than they are for audio or film content, and the impact of a bandwidth drop is larger. Despite this, we’ve seen a slow-but-steady movement towards streaming services from a number of major content providers and gaming companies, with Microsoft planning to develop a next-generation Xbox dedicated to the concept. Now, even Google wants in on the action with a new Chrome browser initiative dubbed Project Stream.

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    Google has partnered with Ubisoft to create a technology demo in which Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be available to stream to the Chrome browser on your local laptop or desktop. Google is actually the second company to announce that Odyssey will be available via streaming service — Nintendo made a similar announcement concerning the Switch in September, though in that case, the stream will only be available to the company’s Japanese subscribers. Google has released a video about its own initiative, available below:



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    New World of Warcraft Optimizations



    For a 14-year-old game, World of Warcraft has continued to evolve and grow at a surprising rate. Earlier this year, the game added DirectX 12 support as part of the run-up to the launch of its current expansion, Battle for Azeroth. We benchmarked the addition at the time but found the change to be of minimal value on both AMD and Nvidia hardware. Nvidia GPUs performed sharply better in DirectX 11 mode (which isn’t surprising) but even AMD cards were hitting higher minimum frame rates in that API as well.

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    Warcraft III: Reforged Will Drop in 2019



    There’s a small group of Blizzard fans still hopefully waiting for a sequel announcement that may never come. I’m speaking, of course, about The Death and Return of Superman, the company’s first title published under the “Blizzard Entertainment” brand.

    Just kidding. I’m actually talking about Warcraft III. Fans of Blizzard’s fantasy RTS have waited over 15 years for a sequel and… well, they still aren’t getting one. But they are getting a remastered Warcraft III and presumably Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

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    Diablo Immortal

    Headed into Blizzcon this year, there was a great deal of chatter about an expected Diablo announcement. While we already knew that the Switch was getting Diablo III, it’s been more than six years since Diablo III dropped. The hope was that we’d see a new game — hopefully one with a better story arc this time around (Diablo III’s gameplay loop is quite good these days, but I’d argue that the actual story was a step back from Diablo II, even by the paper-thin story arcs of this kind of game). At Blizzcon this past weekend, Blizzard did indeed announce a new title — but Diablo Immortal is a mobile game, not a further continuation of the primary story.

    Kotaku took the game for a spin and noted how limited it is in practice. Each character class has four abilities that can’t be swapped and no mana, energy, rage, or other resource to manage. There’s loot, but it doesn’t change your character’s appearance and currently only provides basic attack or defense stats. Blizzard has told players that there will be a larger roster of 12 skills to choose from that you’ll unlock over time and that they’re going to have a functional loot system as well.

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    DOS game console for your TV for 80s, 90s Games



    The success of Nintendo’s NES Classic has led to no shortage of hangers-on and also-rans trying to capture the same magic for alternative platforms, typically with poor results. Unlike the NES and SNES Classic, both of which were fairly well-received as far as their own hardware and game loadouts (availability was a different matter), the alternate platforms have generally been skips or misses. Even Sony’s PlayStation Classic has been reviewed as a completely bare-bones experience with a game loadout that generally failed to excite. Now a new company has announced that it will bring the ‘PC Classic’ to market via a crowdfunding campaign set to kick off in the next days or months.

    According to Unit-e, the company behind the product, they want to deliver “an adorable DOS game console for your TV” with many of the titles “that defined the PC gaming experience of the ’80s and ’90s.” The video below shows off the hardware, such as it is — two USB ports in the front, a third USB port in the back, and both composite video and HDMI output. Games, we are told, will be preconfigured for joystick support (by which the company appears to mean ‘gamepad’ support). Keyboard and mouse support will be included out of the box.

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    Nintendo: N64 Classic Edition


    Nintendo feigned surprise in 2016 when people flooded the internet with complaints about the limited supply of NES Classic consoles. The company ended production after giving everyone a taste of retro goodness, and it didn’t sit well. Nintendo came back with more NES units and the SNES Classic Edition. The stage seemed set for the Nintendo 64 classic, but don’t hold your breath.

    The NES Classic was the must-have holiday gift in 2016 with unopened units going for hundreds of dollars above the $60 retail price. The device came with a set of 30 built-in games, and it was tiny compared with the original hardware. Gamers and modders quickly embraced the device, playing the included games and hacking the firmware to install more of them. The SNES Classic came along in 2017 with 21 games, including the never-before-released Star Fox 2. It was a little more expensive at $80, but it still flew off shelves.

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    Intel Adds Support for Universal Windows Drivers With Latest Graphics Release



    Intel has released a new version of its Windows 10 Graphics Driver, but there are some things to be aware of before you download and install the software. This new driver — 25.20.100.6444 — is the first Intel driver written to support Microsoft’s Windows Modern Drivers, also known as Universal Windows drivers. According to Microsoft, the benefit of using this style of driver is that they “enable developers to create a single driver package that runs across multiple different device types, from embedded systems to tablets and desktop PCs.” Unlike previous editions of Windows, Windows 10 1809 (the much-maligned October Update) requires UWDs.

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