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Xbox

Microsoft’s Xbox has been around since 2001, and over that time the gaming brand has given us huge hits like Halo, Gears of War, Forza, and more. Today, the Xbox brand covers consoles like the Xbox One, PC gaming, and has even expanded to other platforms. You can play Minecraft on everything from a computer to an iPhone to a Nintendo Switch. Along the way, Microsoft has pioneered modern services like Xbox Live and Game Pass, introducing new ways to play games. And with Project Scarlett on the horizon, the Xbox looks to have a bright future.

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The Verge
Krossplay is coming to Mortal Kombat 1.

That’s right, cross-platform kombat is coming to the NetherRealm Studios reboot of the classic fighting game.

Players can expect the feature in next week’s patch, and it will include support for PS5, Xbox, and PC, as announced by the game’s official account on X.


Microsoft confirms the four Xbox-exclusive games coming to PS5 and Switch.

Microsoft is bringing Sea of Thieves to the PS5 on April 30th. It’s the second previous Xbox-exclusive that’s coming to PS5, with Hi-Fi Rush available on the PS5 on March 19th. These are part of four Xbox games coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch:

Pentiment - PS4, PS5, and Switch on February 22nd
Hi-Fi Rush - PS5 on March 19th
Grounded - PS4, PS5, and Switch on April 16th
Sea of Thieves - PS5 on April 30th


Xbox exclusive games are coming to PS5 and Switch.
Xbox exclusive games are coming to PS5 and Switch.
Image: Microsoft
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External Link
Xbox isn’t ready to give up physical discs yet.

Last year, Microsoft mistakenly leaked plans for a disc-less Xbox Series X, but it appears physical media is still on the table. In an interview with Stephen Totilo’s Game File, Xbox boss Phil Spencer says the company’s “strategy does not hinge on people moving all-digital.” He adds that “getting rid of physical” is “not a strategic thing,” either:

We ship games physically and digitally, and we’re really just following what the customers are doing. And I think our job in running Xbox is to deliver on the things that a majority of the customers want. And right now, a majority of our customers are buying games digitally.


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The Verge
Apple’s cloud gaming changes don’t “go far enough” for Xbox.

At one point, Xbox wanted to get its cloud gaming service on the App Store — but now that Apple will actually allow it, the gaming giant isn’t biting. Here’s Xbox boss Phil Spencer:

There’s not room for us to monetize Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS. I think the proposal that Apple put forward... doesn’t go far enough to open up. In fact, you might even say they go the opposite direction in some way, but they definitely don’t go far enough to open up competition on the world’s largest gaming platform.


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Youtube
Watch Phil Spencer and co. talk about what’s next for Xbox.

You can read all of the news right here, but if you want to check out the podcast where Xbox leadership discussed everything from platform exclusives to the state of Game Pass to some vague talk of new hardware, the whole thing is embedded below.


Microsoft’s gaming chief on Xbox games coming to PS5, next-gen hardware, and more

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer is looking to rivals to boost the future of Xbox.

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The Verge
Xbox marks the spot.

Later today Microsoft will be sharing “updates on the Xbox business” in an episode of the Xbox podcast that will feature Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer, head of Xbox game studios Matt Booty, and Xbox president Sarah Bond. If rumors are to be believed, we’ll be hearing about multiplatform games and possibly even new hardware. It’ll be available at 3PM ET and you can check it out on the Xbox YouTube channel — and, of course, stay tuned to The Verge for all the news.


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The Verge
Xbox touch controls are now available for remote play.

The Xbox updates for February 2024 include Xbox touch controls for remote play with the iOS and Android Xbox apps. Improved filtering and sorting for the Xbox dashboard and a new thumbstick calibration tool are also available on Xbox consoles. Microsoft also has a new access restriction option to make it easier for player’s profiles to be deleted when they sign out, a good option for shared consoles in hospitals.


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Youtube
Everyone deserves to feel at home in games designed to star an extension of themselves.

And there are still too many games missing the basics. Following the efforts of modders who’ve filled in gaps for EA in various ways, The Sims 4’s new vitiligo feature is another good example of what’s possible.

The elation I feel seeing myself in games only intensifies my desire to play, and now I’m reinspired to spend time living my best parallel life (or Winnie Harlow’s) in Simlish worlds.


Overwatch 2 and Apex Legends hit the reset button.

Over the next couple of hours, the two games I play the most are releasing massive updates, with changes to ranked tier systems, character abilities, and either 120Hz refresh rates or new bullet sizes.

With games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Spider-Man 2 atop the sales charts, these live service games need something new to keep going — and hopefully, with these changes they find it.

Apex Legends Breakout season starts at 1PM ET, and Overwatch 2 starts season 9 at 2PM ET


Season promo images for Overwach and Apex Legends
Image: EA / Blizzard

Halo star Pablo Schreiber is excited for a darker season 2

Master Chief shares what’s better in season 2 and his shipping preferences.

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External Link
To play Final Fantasy XIV on Xbox, you’re gonna have to fork over extra gil.

In a post on Final Fantasy XIV’s website, Square Enix wrote that, in order to play the MMORPG on Xbox, you will be required to have a Game Pass subscription on top of paying the monthly subscription for the game itself. However, if you have a Free Trial version of the game, a subscription is not required. But the Free Trial, (y’know from the famous copypasta,) only allows players to progress to level 70 while unlocking only two of the game’s four expansions.

PlayStation users currently do not need an extra subscription to PS Plus in order to play.


Starfield is adding support for AMD’s FSR 3 frame generation soon.

Despite an AMD deal to support FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) upscaling, Starfield launched with an FSR 2 implementation that lagged behind the newer approach that adds frame generation for smooth gameplay.

Bethesda already rolled out support for Nvidia’s DLSS frame generation, and says the FSR 3 update will ship later this month. It’s beta testing the tech next week, along with a FormID change that should “improve stability for saves that have visited many locations.”


It looks like Hi-Fi Rush is coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch.

After rumors of Xbox console exclusive Hi-Fi Rush coming to PS5 and Nintendo Switch, data miners might have just found a smoking gun. T-shirt files included in the game’s latest update include a “I’m here baby!” in PlayStation blue, a “Rock out! Anywhere” in Nintendo Switch red, and “Shadow dropped” in Xbox green. The rock out anywhere slogan must reference the Switch’s portability, the “I’m here baby!” the sheer surprise of an Xbox game on PS5, and the shadow drop for the original surprise Xbox launch. There’s no smoke without fire.


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To tie-dye for.

It’s PlayStation State of Play day, which can only mean... new Xbox controllers. Microsoft just revealed a new collection of “Vapor” wireless controllers, and they look either like a gamer version of tie-dye or very delicious hard candy, depending on your perspective. You can also grab a hoodie so you can match your controller, if that’s your thing.


A photo of six very colorful Xbox controller.
Image: Microsoft
Microsoft will name a new Blizzard president next week.

Blizzard president Mike Ybarra is leaving the company. Ybarra’s departure comes on the same day Microsoft announced 1,900 job cuts that impact Xbox, Zenimax, and Activision Blizzard workers. The surprise departure comes just two months after Ybarra told Bloomberg “someone will drag me out of Blizzard. That’s how long I will be here.” You can read the full memo from Microsoft’s game content and studios president, Matt Booty, right here.


“In addition to the events today, Mike Ybarra and I have been discussing his future and some of his personal passions for some time. As many of you know, Mike previously spent more than 20 years at Microsoft. Now that he has seen the acquisition through as Blizzard’s president, he has decided to leave the company.” Matt Booty - President, Microsoft Gaming content and studios
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Xbox knows what an indie game is.

ID@Xbox is starting a new program to highlight indie games on Xbox. Indie Selects is a new section of the Xbox Store curating the best indie games on the platform. There will be a featured section then, throughout the year, there will be rotating selections based on a theme. Xbox gave an example of the kinds of themes to expect like ‘Games to play with your cat’ but hopefully they’ll also be extremely specific like ‘Games that are exactly like 2008’s Lost Odyssey’. Here’s hoping.