Save on Last Gen Games with the Xbox Backward Compatibility Sale

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The Xbox Backward Compatibility Sale returns this year with even more discounts on original Xbox and Xbox 360 games. Over 200 games from previous Microsoft consoles have been steeply discounted up to 75% on the Microsoft and Xbox digital stores.

Every game on the sale can be played on the Xbox One via the Backwards Compatibility Program. If you’re using the same account, you’ll even keep your old game saves, achievements, and Gamerscore.

The sale includes many high profile games and series, including the first Red Dead Redemption, the Gears of War series, Halo series, the Fable series, the BioShock series, and several LEGO and Call of Duty games.

If you have an Xbox One but haven’t looked into the Xbox 360’s impressively deep library, this sale is a great place to start. We’ve highlighted some notable games below:

  • Dragon Age: Origins ($3.74)
  • Fable 3 ($9.99)
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning ($4.99)
  • Mass Effect 2 ($5.99)
  • Mass Effect 3 ($5.99)
  • Red Dead Redemption ($9.89)
  • Shadow Complex ($7.49)
  • Spec Ops: The Line ($5.99)
  • XCOM: Enemy Within ($7.99)

Note that many games in the sale have since been remastered and released for modern consoles, such as the BioShock series with BioShock: The Collection, the Halo sereis with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and the Borderlands series with Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition.

Several last gen games have been enhanced when playing on Xbox One X, such as Red Dead Redemption and Splinter Cell Blacklist. The enhancement expands color, pixel count, and resolution.

The Xbox Compatibility Sale ends May 27.

Microsoft

Head of Xbox on Fighting Online Toxicity: “Gaming Is for Everyone”

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Executive VP of Gaming at Microsoft and Head of Xbox Phil Spencer published a blog on promoting inclusivity and online safety in gaming. These are areas which gaming has notoriously struggled as its emerged into the realm of a billion dollar mainstream media empire. The blog, titled “Video games: A unifying force for the world,” details commitments made by the Microsoft team to combating toxic behavior and supporting safety features.

“This widespread embrace of gaming and its global communities have turned video games into the world’s leading cultural industry, bigger than movies or music,” writes Spencer. “But it also comes at a time when digital life includes a growing toxic stew of hate speech, bigotry and misogyny.”

To that end, Spencer outlines three areas Microsoft is focusing on:

  1. Proactive and vigilant in regards to online harassment. “We will identify potentials for abuse and misuse on our platform and will fix problems quickly. We are also intent on expanding the composition of our safety team so wide-ranging perspectives can help us identify future safety problems and solutions.”
  2. Content moderation and safeguards. “We will make it easier for parents and guardians new to console and PC gaming to discover and create Child or Teen accounts. This year, Microsoft Stores rolled out a series of family workshops to help parents understand the tools available to them on console and PC, and this summer we are launching Gaming Summer Camps offering young gamers new ways to explore life skills and practice healthy habits that can be used in gaming and everyday life.”
  3. Work with other companies to improve online safety. “Multiple teams working in areas like moderation, user research, data science, and others are already aligning with industry partners to share insights, and best practices in areas of safety, security and privacy.”

Spencer encourages other companies to join in establishing a proactive stance in making gaming a more accessible and inclusive community.

darwin project

Survive With a Buddy in New Duo Mode for Darwin Project

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Indie Canadian developer Scavengers Studio has officially added two player co-op to their Battle Royale survival game, Darwin Project. Darwin Project is still in Early Access on Steam and Xbox Games Preview. Duo Mode has been added to PC, but still forthcoming on Xbox.

Darwin Project has seen a number of updates since its Early Access launch last month. Most recently is skill-based matchmaking, which should hopefully make for higher quality matches and not pit newbies against veterans.

“Players just starting out in the arena should still have a fighting chance, especially on Steam where some inmates have been practicing since the Closed Alpha days and have reached brutal levels of skill,” writes Simon Darveau, creative director, in a blog post. “It’s important for us that Darwin Project be as welcoming as possible, and to motivate new players to continue improving and refining their techniques, we want to avoid placing them in the same match as highly experienced players when possible.”

The update is live on both PC and Xbox, and Scavengers Studio explains it’s an algorithm system that will improve over time.

The special egg hunt Easter event is also going on this week, ending Friday, April 6. Players can find decorated eggs scattered around the arena. Collect enough and they can unlock frighteningly garish egg and rabbit-themed hats.

Darwin Project launched in March via Steam Early Access and Xbox Game Preview. It features a 10-person arena, with a Show Director helping or hindering players, and unique live-streaming integration. It’s due to officially launch later this year.

the game awards

Vote Now for the Newly Revealed Nominees of The Game Awards 2017

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Over 100 nominees for this year’s The Game Awards have been announced. Dozens of categories range from Game of the Year to Best Multiplayer, Best Family Game, and Best Indie Game. Note the cutoff date of November 17 for games to be considered.

The Game Awards tracks votes from an international panel of game journalists (90%) as well as fan votes (10%). The following categories are determined solely by public voting: Best Esports Game, Best Esports Player, Best Esports Team, Most Anticipated Game, and Trending Gamer.

Fan voting closes on Wednesday December 6 at midnight.

Here are some of the biggest categories and nominees:

Game of the Year

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Persona 5
  • Horizon Zero Dawn

Best Action Game

  • Prey
  • Nioh
  • Destiny 2
  • Cuphead
  • Wolfenstein II

Best Action-Adventure Game

  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Horizon Zero Dawn

Best Role-Playing Game

  • South Park :The Fractured But Whole
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • NieR: Automata
  • Persona 5

Best Family Game

  • Splatoon 2
  • Sonic Mania
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Super Mario Odyssey

Best Independent Game

  • Pyre
  • Night in the Woods
  • Cuphead
  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

This year The Game Awards welcomes a new category: The Student Game Award. Five nominees from the high school and college level were selected based on ambition and excellence, regardless of team size. The selection panel includes some of the biggest names in gaming, such as Todd Howard (Bethesda Game Studios), Hideo Kojima (Kojima Producitons), Vince Zampella (Respawn Entertainment) and Kim Swift (EA Motive).

The Game Awards was established in 2014 by gaming media veteran Geoff Keighley. It has since grown into a prestigious and popular annual industry celebration.

The third annual Game Awards ceremony will be held on December 7 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. It will be filmed in 4k UHD and streamed live globally beginning at 5:30 pm Pacific/8:30 pm Eastern. You can watch via Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and directly on PlayStation and Xbox consoles.