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Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Xbox Series X, Series S, Have An Auto HDR Option That Can Be Enabled On All Titles

Xbox Series X_S

It's been quite the day for news on Microsoft's Xbox Series X. From the quick boot up to the incredible new quick resume features and all the games it can handle, we have gotten quite the look at the system. But that's not all, as another feature got detailed for those with HDR TVs and monitors.

As detailed by Digital Foundry as part of Eurogamer, one feature is described that is "Auto HDR." Essentially, it's an AI algorithm that converts SDR material to HDR. If enabled, it will do this for any non-HDR supported title that the system runs. As DF detailed, though, it's not perfect and can makes some pictures seem washed out or have some strange and unintended effects. Thankfully, it's a feature that can be disabled, and it seems even with it enabled, Microsoft will turn it off automatically on some titles that have been tested with less than pleasing results.

"More specifically, it's using Auto HDR – an AI algorithm that maps existing SDR content into HDR space. It works on most non-HDR games and I'm intrigued to see how it plays out on more games. From what I could see, the desired effect was achieved on Grand Theft Auto 4, but there were some odd effects – a character in bright white jacket saw that blown out to ultra-white effect while the white road markings seemed to have a bit of an unnatural glow to them. Microsoft is actually disabling Auto HDR on titles where it feels the effect doesn't quite work."

While they were only able to demo the Series X, the feature has been confirmed to also be on the Series S. It will be interesting to see how the mode will do, especially on older titles that were never designed with the feature in mind. We'll find out when the consoles launch November 10th.


Xbox Series X – Boot Up Speed From Suspend And Full Shutdown Demoed

xbox series x

Ever since the upcoming systems were revealed, one of the things that both Sony and Microsoft have pushed is the new speed. The PS5, Series X and Series S all use SSDs, which are much faster shortage than the HDDs we've grown accustomed to having. The Series X has been making the rounds lately, and people have been impressed with the incredible quick resume ability the system has that's been said to suspend up to 6 games, even up to 12 depending on your set up. And now we see just how fast the system as a whole can boot.

VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb uploaded videos to his personal YouTube of him booting the system up. First up is from suspend mode, and that is lightning quick at just three seconds. The other is from a full shutdown and a cold boot. That takes about roughly 20 seconds. While not quite as fast as you may expect, for reference, the average time for a Xbox One X is just over a minute.

Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will release on November 10th. We also know from the latest information that the Series X will have an internal storage of 802 GB, but as of now we don't know about the Series S.


Pokemon Sword And Shield Expansion Pass Update Will Live Stream September 29

Pokemon Sword and Shield - The Isle of Armor_02

As many probably expected, when the mainline Pokemon series hit the Switch with Pokemon Sword and Shield, it was a pretty big success. The latest entries in the series climbed up the charts fast and will wiggle themselves into one of the top selling of the franchise. It also mixed up things with releasing expansions instead of an updated version(s) of the base title. The first was Isle of Armor, and now we could be getting details on the next.

It was announced that a live stream would come tomorrow that would include an update about the expansion pass. You can see the link to the stream for when it goes live below. Nothing else is really said, but the odds are probably pretty good we'll get a release date for the next expansion pass, The Crown Tundra.

Pokemon Sword and Shield are both available now for Nintendo Switch. Isle of Armor is available now, and you can see the latest teaser for The Crown Tundra through here.


Xbox Series X Quick Resume Can Potentially Suspend Up To 12 Backwards Compatible Titles

xbox series x

We're just over a month away now from the release of Microsoft's next generation consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. It's a double whammy approach of a high-end and low-end machine aimed at two different audiences while playing all the same titles and having largely the same functions. Today there's been a big spotlight on the high-end machine, the Series X, and its quick resume abilities.

One of the best features for this generation of consoles was quick resume. Getting in and out of a game in a snap was an incredible feature, and the Series X and S are looking to take that to a new level. Earlier today, we got the news that the quick resume feature could retain 4-6 titles instead of just one. But it seems, depending on the circumstances, it can go beyond.

In a report from Ars Technica, they tested out the limits of quick resume with a mixture of backwards compatible titles ranging from the Xbox One to the 360 to the original Xbox, and they found the system could retain up to 12 titles. There are a few caveats, though. This is a mixture of various platforms and it was also done at 1080p, so at a lower fidelity. Depending on your set up and what games you use, this may not be possible, but it can be done. You can see a video demonstrating it from the site below (here they show 10 games, but as he mentions, it's because two of those titles were OG Xbox titles that, for some reason, would not function well with his capture card).

Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will launch on November 10th.


Destiny 2 Xur Exotics – Telesto, Orpheus Rig, Lunafaction Boots

Destiny 2 Xur

Another week, another selection of Exotics from Xur in Bungie's Destiny 2. You'll find him in the Winding Cove in the European Dead Zone, where he'll remain until tomorrow's weekly reset. The selection is fairly old but new players looking to bolster their collection before Beyond Light drops should take note.

The Exotic armor this week includes Orpheus Rig (Hunter boots), Citan's Ramparts (Titan gloves) and Lunafaction Boots (Warlock boots), each for 23 Legendary Shards. Orpheus Rig has seen numerous nerfs but is still a solid PvE option for Nightstalkers. Lunafaction Boots has also seen nerfs but is still recommended for faster reload speeds when in a Rift.

Telesto is the Exotic weapon this week, costing 29 Legendary Shards. It's a fusion rifle whose pellets "stick" to an enemy or surface before exploding. Netting multi-kills with the weapon will reload Kinetic and Energy weapons from their reserves. It's a strong Energy weapon, especially when using mods to keep generating ammo for it.


Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – Zombies Reveal Confirmed for September 30th

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War_01

Activision has revealed multiplayer and campaign gameplay for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with Zombies being all that remains. Fortunately, after fans scoured the PawnTakesPawn site, a new teaser was found for the mode. Treyarch further confirmed the reveal on Twitter for September 30th at 10 AM PT, promising a "new Zombies story."

There haven't been too many details on Zombies till now – it was found in the datamined files for The Red Door, the internal alpha for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War that leaked ahead of its announcement. It could be set during the Cold War period (much like the rest of the game), returning to a more grounded setting after the escapades in previous games. Of course, given the insane lore behind Zombies, it wouldn't be strange to see it part of the continuity.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is out on November 13th. It will release for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC. Unlike previous titles in the series, it retails for $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. The multiplayer beta is slated to go live in October so stay tuned for more details.


Xbox Series X Quick Resume Can Suspend up to 6 Games at a Time, Switching Takes 5-8 Seconds

xbox series x

Microsoft have been talking up the Quick Resume feature for a while now, having briefly shown off how it works on both, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Granting players the ability to suspend multiple games and/or apps at the same time and jump between then without too much delay, it promises to be an excellent quality-of-life improvement.

Now, thanks to multiple hands-on previews posted by several media outlets, we have a clearer picture of how the feature works. GameSpot mentions that they were able to use Quick Resume to suspend six games at the same time, and when they tried to suspend a seventh, the game they had suspended before all the others was pushed out of the queue and had to be rebooted. It also seems like switching between all the suspended apps is rather quick, with GameSpot's piece stating that it takes roughly 5-8 seconds to jump from whatever you're playing to a suspended game and jump into the action, which picks up exactly where it had been suspended.

There isn't complete clarity on just how many games can be suspended at the same time, however. For instance, GamesBeat's preview says that you can suspend up to four different games at a time. Microsoft have previously said that you can suspend three at minimum, so we can at least be assured of that much. I would assume how many more you can suspend beyond three depends on how taxing those games and apps end up being on the system- which makes me wonder if the Xbox Series S will be impacted in this regard.

Meanwhile, IGN also mentions that the console shows a Quick Resume icon on the top right corner of the screen to "let you know that you won't have to wait for the entire game to load from scratch."

Meanwhile, we've also learned that a sizable chunk of the Xbox Series X's internal storage will be occupied by the console's OS and system files, which means the actual usable storage space will fall short of 1 TB. Read more on that through here.


Xbox Series X Internal SSD Has 802 GB of Usable Space

xbox series x

Lack of storage space has been an issue for those who play games on consoles for some years now, and it's going to continue being an issue as next-gen approaches as well, especially as games continue to grown in size. Things aren't going to be any different with the Xbox Series X either, especially with its 1 TB SSD expansion costing a whopping $220.

The Xbox Series X comes with an internal 1 TB SSD as well though, which means there's plenty of space in the console itself- but a good chunk of it is going to be unusable. As revealed by IGN in their recent hands-on preview of the console, the Xbox Series X's OS and system files take up a sizable portion of the internal storage at around 200 GB, which means you're actually left with 802 GB of usable storage space. Meanwhile, the aforementioned 1 TB Seagate SSD expansion has 920 GB of usable space.

200 GB for OS and system files is rather sizable. Microsoft have been talking up the Xbox Series X's Velocity Architecture for a while- maybe this is the cost it comes at. I'm no technical expert though, so I could be completely wrong about that. That said, one can't help but wonder how much of the Xbox Series S' much smaller 512 GB internal SSD will actually be usable.

The Xbox Series X and Series S launch worldwide on November 10.


Yakuza: Like a Dragon Releases on March 2nd, 2021 for PS5

yakuza like a dragon

Sega has finally confirmed when the PS5 version of Yakuza: Like a Dragon will release. It's out on March 2nd 2021 and PS4 players will receive a free upgrade to the PS5 version when it comes available. Even more interesting is the release date for other platforms which is now November 10th.

This means that PS4, Xbox One and PC players will now experience the game on November 10th alongside Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S owners. The role-playing game was touted as an Xbox Series launch title with support for Smart Delivery. But the PS5 version releasing so many months later seems to indicate some kind of deal between Sega and Microsoft.

Regardless, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is coming West and players can experience the journey of Ichiban Kasuga and his companions as he attempts to unravel the Tojo Clan's situation. Unlike previous titles, combat is completely turn-based and relies on mechanics like Summons, team-up attacks, Jobs and more. Stay tuned for more details en route to its release.


Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Gets Trailer For Final Free Title Update

Monster Hunter World Iceborne - Fatalis weapons

When it comes to the Monster Hunter franchise, most are abuzz about the upcoming Monster Hunter Rise that will release for the Switch this upcoming March. But we can't forget about World, the game that blew the door off the hinges for the franchise to make it Capcom's biggest series almost overnight. Ever since its initial release, the game has gotten a steady stream of updates, which are now coming to an end.

The final title update will come at the end of this month and will include Arch-Tempered Velkhana, Clutch Claw Boost, the new Monster Fatalis, and more. You can read more details about it through here. The publisher released a trailer for the Title Update 5, which will be the final major title update for the game, which you can see below.

Monster Hunter World and its expansion, Iceborne, are available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Title Update 5 will release on all platforms at the end of the month on the 30th.


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