How Xbox One S is falling behind – but also defining the future

What does the future hold for the Xbox One S? At Digital Foundry, we’ve noted something of a concerning trend for Microsoft’s base console – while system exclusives continue to hold up well from a quality perspective, top-end third-party titles are pushing the system to its limits – with sometimes disappointing results. The question is this: if the S is losing pace with the competition, how well can it hold up in the years to come? After all, its successor is not likely to arrive until 2020. Let’s put all of this into context. The Xbox One has always had…

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I think I like Below the most when I'm not actually playing it

Before I went home for Christmas last year, I had two firm ideas about Below based on, admittedly, only about ten hours of playing it. The first idea was that the game was a bit of a well-intentioned botch. The second was that, combat and exploration aside, what Below was really concerned with was fostering the slow realisation in its players that game design itself is probably one big roguelike.My argument for this second point went something like this. Roguelikes – and roguelites, if you’re willing to allow the term – are so good at creating stories because you have…

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Eurogamer readers' top 50 games of 2018

Well hi, hello and how do you do? There’s just one last festive tradition to tick off the list before we resume work for the new year, and it’s the finest tradition of them all – the Eurogamer reader’s top 50 games of the year! 2018 was a fascinating, diverse year for new games, and your list beautifully reflects that – as do your comments. Thank you so much for taking part, and see you all again soon! What we said: “Mania takes everything that was memorable about Sega’s pioneering 2D platformers – that joy in momentum always teetering on…

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Moments of 2018: Burnout Paradise's crash gates

Years ago I worked at a cinema with this fellow usher called Jess. Jess was amazing and wise and she worked the popcorn stand, and she worked it in a very particular way. She spent hours and hours there every day, ignoring customers and rooting through the depths of the popcorn, head bowed, a scowl of deepest concentration on her face. It was always the sweet popcorn that held her attention, and rightly so. What she was looking for was the rare, one-in-a-million piece of popcorn that had far more than its fair share of sugar on it. Most popcorn…

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New "very hard" levels are coming to Celeste in early 2019

New “very hard” levels are coming to platformer Celeste early next year. In a couple of tweets thanking fans and expressing disbelief at having reached so many people, creator Matt Thorson confirmed the “farewell” levels would be coming in early 2019, as well as hinting that their next project would be announced “in the new year” too (thanks, PC Gamer).”Celeste sold over 500,000 copies in 2018,” Thorson tweeted. “Thank you everyone who played it. We never expected it to reach so many people.”Read more…

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Rumour: Microsoft is developing 4K webcams compatible with Xbox One

Microsoft is reportedly developing 4K webcams for Windows 10, and “at least one” will support Xbox One.According to Thurrot.com (thanks, TechRadar), Microsoft is developing “several” models complete with integrated Windows Hello functionality – a first, if Microsoft is able to offer the feature in a separate peripheral – so you’ll be able to sign into your Xbox One using facial recognition, just like Kinect. Reports suggest some may offer 4K resolution, too.A webcam wouldn’t necessarily act as a viable replacement to the now-defunct Kinect as it’s unlikely to offer the depth perception needed, but it might enable players to use…

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Played Fallout 76 this year? Bethesda's gifting you Fallout Classic Collection on PC

Bethesda has announced it’s giving away Fallout Classic Collection on PC to all players who have logged into Fallout 76 in 2018.”#HappyHolidays! ANYONE who logged into the full release of #Fallout76 in 2018 will receive an entitlement for Fallout Classic Collection on PC,” the tweet says. Fallout Classic Collection contains Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics. The offer expires at the end of the month, and the free codes are expected to be distributed/go live in early January. While the offer does apply to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players, too, they’ll receive the free game on PC. Read more…

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Moments of 2018: The closure of Telltale Games

Involuntarily awake at 3AM, blearily scrolling through my Twitter feed, the news of Telltale’s majority studio closure was a real heart-stopper, despite the multiple times similar news had already broken this year. Just like that, one moment a developer is there, then they’re gone. This, coupled with more than one indie developer opening up about the obligation to turn their games into huge successes to keep their head above water, and several reports of unacceptable working conditions at large-scale studios, made it obvious that video game development is a volatile business, perhaps more than ever.Telltale is an especially pertinent case,…

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Spare a thought for the person who gets the wrong games machine at Christmas

In the winter of 1984 my dad saved me from a fate worse than death – and by that I mean he refused to buy an Oric Atmos home computer. Let me explain. The 8-bit era was rolling on and as a family, we had exhausted the possibilities of our ZX81 – in other words we had played 3D Monster Maze and Chess. Now, we were on the lookout for an exciting new computerised machine on which we could, as my father explained it to my mother, “do homework and, um, accounts, yes that’s it”. I was with my dad…

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