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Report: Microsoft Has Sold 12 Million Xbox Series X Consoles, Discontinues Xbox One

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If you are looking to pick up a cheap new Xbox One console, your time is running out. Microsoft has confirmed it is no longer manufacturing the console, putting it firmly in the legacy category. At the same time, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles are flying from stores with sales upwards of 12 million to date.

Starting with the decision to discontinue the Xbox One. Well, this is actually not a new decision and Microsoft stopped manufacturing the console in 2020. That started with the Xbox One X and digital Xbox One S variant before the Xbox Series X launch. Since December 2020, the company has not been building any Xbox One S consoles.

Essentially, that means new Xbox One consoles you see at retailers are now remaining stock that will not be replaced.

“To focus on production of Xbox Series X / S, we stopped production for all Xbox One consoles by the end of 2020,” Cindy Walker, senior director of Xbox console product marketing, told The Verge.

While that means we are on the final lap of new Xbox One consoles, the second-market it about to get interesting. I expect eventually the console will reach bargain prices once demand dies down. I also think for the casual gamer the Xbox One X is not really that much of a leap. In other words, a Xbox One remains an excellent choice for gaming.

As for Sony, the company continues to sell loads of PS4 consoles. In fact, the console kept pace with the new PlayStation 5 during 2021. Sony had planned to halt production on the older console at the end of last year but says it will not manufacture one million PS4 units in 2022.

Xbox Series Sales

While we wave goodbye to the Xbox One, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S era is in full swing. Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad recently suggested Xbox Series X|S sales are besting both the sales of Xbox One and Xbox 360 following the first year of release. Considering the Xbox 360 was the better seller of those two with 12 million units, we can assume the Xbox Series consoles have sold more than that.

That’s good news for Microsoft as the generation seems to be performing against Sony better than the Xbox One. Even so, PS5 sales were put at 13.4 million units back in October, so following the holiday season it is likely the console remains a few million units ahead of the Xbox Series X and S.

As for why both the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles remain hard to get (in the case of the PS5 selling for far above the MSRP), Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer tells the New York Times this is because of demand and not supply:

“When you think about trying to go get an Xbox or a new PlayStation right now in the market, they’re really hard to find. And it’s not because supply is smaller than it’s ever been. Supply is actually as big as it’s ever been. It’s that demand is exceeding the supply for all of us,” Spencer said.

Tip of the day: By default computer names in Windows tend to be quite plain. By default, they tend to be ‘WIN’ or ‘Desktop’, followed by a string of random letters and numbers. We show you how to change your PC name with Settings, Command Prompt or PowerShell to make it more easily identifiable.

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Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Becomes PC Game Pass

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In one of the most bizarre rebranding decisions in recent memory, Microsoft says its increasingly popular Xbox Game Pass product will now be known as “PC Game Pass”. In one move, the company is diluting the Xbox brand and dissociating the product from the Microsoft brand.

Why do I think the PC Game Pass name is a problem? Let’s take a look:

Firstly, the future of gaming is in streaming and online. Microsoft seems to not want the Xbox brand to be at the forefront of the push. Is the company moving Xbox to the side to be the console division and nothing else? Maybe, but on the flip side the Xbox Network (formerly Xbox Live) and Xbox Game Streaming (xCloud) still carry the branding.

It is also worth noting Microsoft says the service is “still Xbox”.

Secondly, and more problematic is how generic the new “PC Game Pass” name is. Nothing about this new branding tells users that this is an Xbox and/or Microsoft product. It is unclear how Microsoft would want to create ambiguity around the service.

Patch notes list about what has changed with the new PC Game Pass logo and name.

Moving On

Yes, the company wants what it envisions as the Netflix of gaming. A one-stop-shop solution for gaming on the cloud, streaming, and access. In that regard, a rebrand to a new product makes sense as the company shifts towards expanding the capabilities of Xbox Game Pass. Still, PC Game Pass is so, “meh”.

Xbox Games Pass/PC Game Pass will continue to deliver the same functionality. So, that means access to Xbox games on PC on a subscription basis without needing to pay for individual titles. Also, higher payment plans will continue to have access to Xbox Cloud Gaming built-in.

Tip of the day: Tired of Windows´s default notification and other system sounds? In our tutorial we show you how to change windows sounds or turn off system sounds entirely.

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Microsoft Offered Apple Xbox Cloud Gaming Exclusives to Bring Platform to iOS

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A new report suggests Microsoft was willing to work with Apple to overcome iOS requirements and allow Xbox Cloud Gaming games to run on iPad and iPhone. However, Apple ultimately stuck to its process and Microsoft went back to the drawing board. The report comes from The Verge, which uncovered internal emails between Microsoft and Apple.

Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming – known as Project xCloud in preview – allows users to stream Xbox games to devices without needing hardware requirements. For example, the ability to play Xbox games on a smartphone. While the service is available on Android through Xbox Game Pass, it remains unavailable on Apple’s iOS.

Strap in because this is a long – but interesting – story. It starts with the Project xCloud preview, which Microsoft was testing on iOS. The company suddenly removed the preview from the platform weeks before the service was to launch fully as Xbox Cloud Gaming.

The reason behind the removal was, according to Microsoft, Apple’s strict and unfair requirements for app developers on iOS. Those terms state all developers must give Apple 30% of all revenue they make. More importantly, developers are not allowed to offer ways for users to access the freemium service in another way.

For example, via their Xbox Game Pass account on a browser. This problem became clearer during a legal battle between Apple and Epic Games after Apple banned the popular game Fortnite from the App Store. Epic allows players to also access Fortnite via their site, which was a breach of Apple’s T&Cs.

While Microsoft took the side of Epic Games, it was thought the company could not comply with Apple’s requirements so simply pulled Project xCloud. The company was then looking for other ways to deliver the service to customers on iOS, including the browser option.

Compromise

However, private emails found by The Verge involving Microsoft corporate VP of business development Lori Wright and Apple executives reveals the companies were trying to find a solution.

The possibility came from Apple’s tweaks to its requirements through the launch of iOS 14 last year. Specifically, the company allowing game streaming platforms to develop individual apps for separate games for download on the app store. This would bypass problems with requirements around one launcher.

Catalog apps are also permitted on the provider they links to games in the service but those games open within their own app. Those individual apps then include the in-app purchase for Apple to get its 30%. It is a slightly sloppy system that Microsoft has criticized, but the company was willing to work with Apple to find a solution.

Wright says the company offered Apple to make individual Xbox Game Streaming apps. The company would have a main streaming app weight 150MB that would host the streaming technology, and then 30MB snippet apps for the games. Microsoft was also willing to offer Xbox exclusive games that are not available on Xbox Game Pass.

However, Apple stuck to its position and said the method would still violate its terms. Specifically, to use an in-app purchase to unlock benefits away from iOS.

Tip of the day: The Windows Sandbox gives Windows 10/11 Pro and Enterprise users a safe space to run suspicious apps without risk. In out tutorial we show you how to enable the Windows Sandbox feature.

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Microsoft Promises Better Xbox Video Capture Feature

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Microsoft wants to improve the video capture capabilities on the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One. As the feature becomes increasingly important, the Xbox brand has found itself playing catch up.

Modern gamers value the ability to record their sessions. Whether it is to upload to Twitch or YouTube or simple to share with friends, video recording is an increasingly important gaming tool.

Microsoft has not been a leader in the area. While video capture is on Xbox console, users complain of bugs such as lagging, trouble syncing, and problems with the overall quality. To remedy this situation, the company has improvements planned.

Upcoming Improvements

Jason Ronald, Xbox Director of Project Management, spoke with the Iron Lords podcast and promised a better video capture experience. In fact, he says it is “a priority” within the Xbox division.

“I will definitely say that Game DVR is the one area – the capture and share experience – that I wish we were able to make more progress [on] this year than we were able to,” Ronald explained. “It is definitely a priority for us.

“We definitely hear the feedback. We have made some changes and we have made some improvements to the reliability and the quality of the captures but we know we still have work to do here. So that is definitely a priority for us and something that we’re going to continue to iterate on.”

Ronald also said the best way to see what new features Microsoft has coming to Xbox is to sign up to the Xbox Insider Program.

Tip of the day: Though many VPN providers have their own apps, you can in many cases connect to a VPN in Windows 10 without any third-party software. This is ideal if you have a self-hosted VPN or if you’re using a PC with restricted permissions. In our tutorial, we’re showing you how to connect to a VPN in Windows 10.

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Xbox Update Brings Xbox Series X Controller Features to Xbox One

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Microsoft is rolling out the November update for the Xbox platform, bringing changes to the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One. While there are several changes here, but the biggest one is the ability to switch controllers more easily between PC and console.

Instead of digging through menus, users can now switch devices by double tapping the pair button. A device must previously have been set up for this to work. Microsoft introduced this feature with the Xbox Series X|S already, but it is now making its way to the Xbox One.

However, only for Xbox One controllers with Bluetooth support.

Elsewhere in the new update, Microsoft is adding Dynamic Latency Input DLI to Xbox One controllers. This means latency input is reduced when an Xbox One controller connects to the Xbox Series X or S. For users, the update brings more responsive gameplay.

Microsoft has also made improvements to audio output, with a mute speaker when headset is attached options. This ability is rolling out to all Xbox consoles.

As for the Xbox dashboard, Xbox Cloud Gaming (project xCloud) is now fully integrated.

Backward Compatibility

All-in-all, a solid but unspectacular monthly update for Xbox users. However, November 2021 will be better remembered amongst Xbox players as the month Microsoft decided to end backward compatibility.

Earlier this week, the company announced a final batch of backward compatible games, revealing they would be the last. The company says the headaches around licensing games mean the program will be discontinued six years after its 15 year launch.

“While we continue to stay focused on preserving and enhancing the art form of games, we have reached the limit of our ability to bring new games to the catalog from the past due to licensing, legal and technical constraints,” says Peggy Lo, Xbox compatibility program lead. “Thank you for being part of this journey with us.”

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Microsoft’s Xbox Chief Is Targeting Casual Gaming Market

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Microsoft has spent a lot of time and money positing its Xbox brand as a serious gaming platform. Whether its through the online gaming movement or by developing consoles like the Xbox Series X. Of course, Microsoft has also spent billions snapping up game studios such as Bethesda. However, the next frontier could be pushing towards casual games.

In an interview with Bloomberg at the Paley International Council Summit, Microsoft’s gaming head, Phil Spencer, talked about reaching casual gamers.

Those are players who will not game much, will not seek out the latest games, and will not always want the latest hardware. They are essentially the gamers who will download Candy Crush and similar games.

Spencer says Microsoft may push towards this audience, although he admits Microsoft does not operate with a “quota” in mind. Of course, that is not really true, and the company will be doing market research to understand where to take its gaming output.

Casual Gaming Market

And casual gaming arguably makes sense. The company has its Xbox Cloud Gaming cloud streaming service. This allows users to play Xbox games on any device, including mobile and eventually on smartTV. While that’s good news for hardcore gamers, it also opens the Xbox brand to casual gamers who do a lot of playing on mobile.

“When I think about the kinds of genres that are usually associated with Xbox, yes, we have Roblox, we have Minecraft, we have FIFA and Fortnite, but we want to continue to invest in more social, casual content that’s out there,” Spencer said.

Through acquisitions and its own first-party studios, Microsoft now manages a network of 23 different game developers. Potential future acquisitions could put more emphasis on those casual games.

“I’m really proud of the creators who have chosen to become part of Xbox,” Spencer says. “If you look at some of the people we’ve acquired and partnered with, it’s people we’ve had longterm relationships with and they’ve come inside of Xbox now and they see our roadmap on platform and service. I want them to be able to do their most amazing creative work as part of this team.”

Tip of the day: Did you know that Windows now has a package manager similar to Linux called “Winget”? In our tutorial, we show you how to install and use this new tool that allows the quick installation of apps via PowerShell or a GUI.

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Microsoft Changing Xbox Game Policy for File Storage

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Microsoft is increasingly positioning its Xbox brand as a series platform for games, even those on PC. In its latest move, the company is combining its gaming division with its ongoing adoption of open source concepts and products.

Specifically, the company is opening up game folders to be stored wherever the player wants. On Windows, users have been restricted in how much access they get to game files. When a game is purchased from the Microsoft Store, the file is place in a protected folder with no user access.

This was a problem in the PC game community because players were unable to modify games. Modding is a big part of the gaming industry where gamers and third-parties change games from the core experience.

On the Xbox Game Pass service, Microsoft is now implementing a change to its policy. Users ill be able to install games anywhere they want on the system, including on folders that will support mods.

“With great PC games like Back 4 Blood, Age of Empires IV, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite on day one with Game Pass, we wanted to provide players with more options to customize their experience in the Xbox app,” says a Jason Beaumont, partner director of experiences at Xbox. “We’ll continue to share updates as we launch additional features.”

Not only will this allow modding, it will also means massive game files can be installed on external or secondary drives. Microsoft is currently running the new ability in preview.

Casual Gaming Push

Earlier this week, Microsoft Xbox chief Phil Spencer said the company is interested in exploring more avenues into casual gaming.

“When I think about the kinds of genres that are usually associated with Xbox, yes, we have Roblox, we have Minecraft, we have FIFA and Fortnite, but we want to continue to invest in more social, casual content that’s out there,” Spencer said.

Tip of the day: Windows Power Throttling can net up to 11% more battery savings per charge with little negative impact. In some scenarios you might consider turning Power Throttling off for single apps that you want run with maximum performance. Our tutorial shows you various methods to manage Power Throttling.

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Twitch Returns to Microsoft’s Xbox Dashboard

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Since the launch of the Xbox One back in 2012, Microsoft has often envisioned its games console as something more. The company even tried to position the platform as a desktop box. Of course, that largely failed during the launch of the Xbox One and the new Xbox Series X is very much a gaming machine first.

However, we still see that Microsoft wants Xbox to serve has an entertainment hub for users. So, the more apps and services available through the Xbox Dashboard, the better for Microsoft’s vision. That means it is good news all-round that Twitch streaming is now coming back to the Xbox dashboard.

You may remember Twitch was first made available on the dashboard for the Xbox One in 2014. It then disappeared from the dashboard, although the Twitch app remained. Now, the service is once again becoming available for streaming directly on the dashboard

Currently limited to the Alpha and Skip-Ahead rings for Xbox Insiders, the integration allows users to control Twitch streams and view them on the dashboard. This includes volume, party audio, viewer lists, streaming times, and more over the top of games you are playing. Think of it as screen-on-screen for Twitch. Users can stream up to 1080p.

GeForce Now Integration

Earlier this week, Microsoft Edge on Xbox Series X brought Nvidia’s GeForce Now to the platform.

Currently the feature is in beta thanks to an update to GeForce Now. As well as bringing PC games to Xbox, there are the benefits of cloud gaming. For example, having access to a catalog of games without needing to purchase them individually. Of course, all resources are handled in the cloud.

One area where the PC game on console movement is gathering pace is one Xbox. Not least because Microsoft has allowed mouse and keyboard support for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. That means players can get the true PC gaming experience on their console.

Tip of the day: Headsets are a vital tool for communication and can cause stressful moments when they don´t work as planned. In our tutorial we are showing you how to properly set up a headset on your Windows 10 PC so this will be a thing of the past.

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Microsoft Edge on Xbox Gets Nvidia GeForce Now Support

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Microsoft Edge is gaining a major new addition in the form of Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud game streaming platform. According to Nvidia, Xbox players can now stream Steam PC games on their console.

GeForce Now got off to a shaky start, including Microsoft Game Studios joined other giants in removing their games from the platform. Still, there are over 1,000 PC games on the service, which Xbox users can now access through Microsoft Edge.

Currently the feature is in beta thanks to an update to GeForce Now. As well as bringing PC games to Xbox, there are the benefits of cloud gaming. For example, having access to a catalog of games without needing to purchase them individually. Of course, all resources are handled in the cloud.One area where the PC game on console movement is gathering pace is one Xbox. Not least because Microsoft has allowed mouse and keyboard support for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. That means players can get the true PC gaming experience on their console.

Cloud Gaming

Microsoft started paving the way towards this by launching Edge on Xbox last month. This meant cloud gaming became available on the consoles for the first time. However, GeForce Now was not included at the time.

Priority access to GeForce servers, 6-hour sessions, and RTX capabilities costs just $5 a month.

Of course, Microsoft also has its own Xbox Cloud Gaming. Xbox Cloud Gaming is now available in 26 countries following a recent expansion to Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico. Users can access the platform through a subscription with Xbox Game Pass.

Tip of the day: Tired of Windows 10’s default notification and other system sounds? In our tutorial we show you how to change windows sounds or turn off system sounds entirely.

Source Winbuzzer

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Xbox Series X to Remain in Short Supply Because of Chip Shortage into 2022 Says Xbox Chief

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Trying to buy an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 has proved a challenge since the rival consoles launches. So much so that used units sell for hundreds of dollars over their retail price. Part of the restriction has been demand, but chip supply issues also slowed availability. Microsoft’s Xbox chief now says console supply problems will continue through to 2022.

Speaking to The Wrap, Phil Spencer says it is likely Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles will continue to face supply issues into next year, including through the holiday season. He says while chip shortages are a factor, other supply constraints are also in play:

“I think it’s probably too isolated to talk about it as just a chip problem,” says Spencer. “When I think about, what does it mean to get the parts necessary to build a console today, and then get it to the markets where the demand is, there are multiple kind of pinch points in that process. And I think regretfully it’s going to be with us for months and months, definitely through the end of this calendar year and into the next calendar year.”

There have been chip supply issues throughout 2020 and 2021, mostly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not a problem unique to consoles and has also been a factor behind slowing PC sales. Car manufactuers have also reduced production.

Ongoing Shortage

It is widely believed the shortage will continue, with Nvidia suggesting the shortage could last for most of 2022.

Last week, AMD said demand for the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles is behind its own GPU shortage. AMD is the sole GPUs supplier to both Microsoft and Sony, so it is bound by a contract to keep building for those devices. In fact, the company predicts demand for the consoles will stay high until 2022.

Tip of the day: Do you often experience PC freezes or crash with Blue Screens of Death (BSOD)? Then you should use Windows Memory Diagnostic to test your computers RAM for any problems that might be caused from damaged memory modules. This is a tool built into Windows 10 which can be launched at startup to run various memory checks.

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