Welcome to another edition of Next Week on Xbox! The Fall season of gaming continues with more of the biggest games of the year coming to Xbox One, like Assassin’s Creed Origins sending us back to Ancient Egypt to uncover the brotherhood’s mysterious origins, and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus putting us back in the boots of BJ Blazkowicz as he fights back against the Nazi scourge. Or you could get down and boogie with Just Dance 2018, terrorize campers in Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut, or enjoy the retro-inspired side scroller The Mummy: Demastered. Read on for more details on these games and more below!
This past weekend in Toronto, over 12,000 sneakerheads packed the Enercare Centre for the “Greatest Sneaker Show On Earth,” Sneaker Con. A big draw of a show like this, aside from being able to cop rare Yeezys, Air Maxes, and Jordans, is Ace of Customs. These shoe artists transform rare pairs of kicks into a one-of-a-kind show pieces.
No stranger to unique, themed pairs, Team Xbox handed Ace of Customs some Xbox One S systems for them to go wild with. The best part is, they’re not staying in Toronto – you can win one! To enter to win the Middle-earth: Shadow of War themed console, head over to Sneakercon’s Instagram, and follow the instructions on the #xboxsneakercon post.
Good luck, and have a great #FreshKickFriday
We know you’re busy and might miss out on all the exciting things we’re talking about on Xbox Wire every week. If you’ve got a few minutes, we can help remedy that. We’ve pared down the past week’s news into one easy-to-digest article for all things Xbox! Or, if you’d rather watch than read, you can feast your eyes on our weekly video show above. Be sure to come back every Friday to find out what’s happening This Week on Xbox!
New Fall Update for Xbox One Available for Everyone Today
It’s been a busy and exciting summer for everyone at Team Xbox. Back in August we gave you a first look at the fall update for Xbox One, and we showed off the new Home, Guide and Community tabs. Since then, we’ve been working with Xbox Insiders to gather feedback, test and refine new features that we’re releasing worldwide starting today… Read more
Tune in Sunday, October 22 to See the New Xbox One X Commercial
This is truly an exciting time. Not only for Xbox, but for gamers everywhere. With the launch of Xbox One X just a few weeks away on November 7, the world’s most powerful console is positioned to welcome the True 4K gaming era in style and we’re celebrating in a big way with the start of our global “Feel True Power” campaign… Read more
Play Madden NFL 18 Free This Weekend on Xbox One
The spectacle of Madden season is in full swing, and the virtual gridiron awaits you this week. Starting Thursday, October 19 at 9:00 p.m. PDT and going through to Sunday, October 22 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, you’ll be able to get hands on with the best-looking Madden NFL ever. All Xbox players will have a chance to try the offline features… Read more
Xbox Sets Guinness World Record from a Custom Super Lucky’s Tale Hot Air Balloon
Welcome to adventure! In anticipation of the November 7 release of Super Lucky’s Tale, Xbox created a custom hot air balloon that took flight during The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and fans everywhere were able to see the stream from 1,200ft in the sky as they tuned in live on the Mixer Xbox Channel… Read more
Cuphead Tips and Tricks
Hey, Xbox gamers! The Tips & Tricks team is here with 5 tips for Cuphead, from Studio MDHR. This cartoon-style, Contra-like action game features the lovable characters, Cuphead and Mugman. These two mischief-makers were high on their luck at the local casino when they were made an offer they couldn’t refuse… Read more
343 Industries Details Massive Updates for Halo Esports and Halo Games
Today, the Halo livestream unleashed a torrent of news bits, updates, and insight on a pretty diverse range of topics near and dear to a Halo fan’s heart – including Halo 5: Guardians’ November content “Overtime” update, important Halo esports info and news on Halo: The Master Chief Collection. There’s a lot to unpack… Read more
Hand of the Gods Closed Beta Free for Xbox Live Gold Members
The Gods are at war and you must lead them to victory! From the creators of Smite, Hi-Rez Studios presents Hand of the Gods, a new strategy card game packed with mythological gods, powerful creatures, and dynamic spells. We’re huge fans of strategy and collectible card games, and our team is excited to bring the closed beta to Xbox One today for Xbox Live Gold members… Read more
Robloxians Beware: the Hallow’s Eve Event is Now on Xbox One
Ready for a fright this spooky night? Good, because you’re in for a real treat! Bloxtober, Roblox’s thrilling month-long Halloween celebration, is already in full swing and we’ve got even more fang-tastic surprises to share with the entire Xbox community! From now until October 31, you and your friends can play three ghoulishly delightful Roblox games… Read more
Foot Locker EU and Xbox Partner to Give Fans Chance to Play Forza Motorsport 7 to Win an Xbox One X
This Saturday, October 21, Foot Locker in Europe and Xbox will kick off their ‘Drop the Power’ campaign in select Foot Locker stores in Manchester (Trafford Centre), Paris (La Défense) and Rotterdam (Lijnbaan). Fans can battle it out every 20 minutes for the exclusive chance to win the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition… Read more
Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode Two Available Now on Xbox One
When we released Life is Strange: Before the Storm Episode One: Awake some weeks ago, it was with the weight of responsibility and not a little trepidation. We had crafted Before the Storm in a way that we felt it could proudly stand next to the first game from 2015, but ultimately it was up to you, the fans, to decide whether we had achieved that aim or not… Read more
Gigantic’s Season of Souls Update is Now Live on Xbox One and Windows 10
Greetings, Heroes! October brings with it one of Gigantic’s most exciting updates yet. Season of Souls packs some awesome new content, including a spooky new hero, profile icons, and our first-ever addition to the map rotation, Ember Grove. New to Gigantic? No problem! Download for free on the Windows Store or Xbox Store and party up with your friends… Read more
Rev Your Engines for the Renault Sport Formula One Custom Xbox One S Console
Pairing the impressive Xbox One S with the equally striking Renault Formula One Team R.S.17 car part, Xbox is excited to announce a one-of-a-kind custom Xbox One S that pairs these two legends together as part of the Microsoft partnership with Renault Sport Formula One Team. The Xbox One S Renault Sport Formula One sports the team’s sleek yellow and black design… Read more
Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection Q&A
Last week we announced that Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection was available for pre-order and coming to Xbox One and Windows Store on October 31. We recently had the opportunity to have an in-depth chat with Jorg Neumann, Head of Production, Global Publishing, Microsoft Studios to talk in greater detail about the re-imagining of this game… Read more
The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs to Join the Next Xbox Live Sessions
Get ready for an extra spooky night of Xbox gaming! Chandler Riggs, best known for his role as Carl Grimes on “The Walking Dead,” will play The Evil Within 2 on Xbox Live Sessions, an interactive livestream hosted on the Mixer Xbox Channel. The livestream will take place on Saturday, October 21 at 6 p.m. PDT… Read more
Gears of War 4 October Update Features New Maps and Halloween Event
It’s been a year since Gears of War 4 landed on store (and digital) shelves and the birthday celebrations are winding down. Like a double-punch of awesome, our birthday is followed by the October Update arriving this Monday, October 23rd! This Update is a milestone for us for many reasons. Not only does it deliver the last two maps for Gears of War 4… Read more
It’s been a year since Gears of War 4 landed on store (and digital) shelves and the birthday celebrations are winding down. Like a double-punch of awesome, our birthday is followed by the October Update arriving this Monday, October 23rd!
This Update is a milestone for us for many reasons. Not only does it deliver the last two maps for Gears of War 4, but it also includes support for our incoming Xbox One X Enhancements. We’ll be talking more about the specifics of our Xbox One X Enhancements VERY soon. Stay tuned.
Check out the video above for your first look at this month’s map drop – Fuel Depot and Lift Apex!
That rush for Longshot in the trucks and that first dual sniper showdown is still as nailbiting as it was over 10 years ago – prepare to experience it all in a fresh light with the return of Fuel Depot to Gears 4!
Fuel Depot’s larger size provides ample opportunities to flank and catch opponents out in the open, while the warehouse gives Gnasher players a chance to shine with plenty of cover. The small windows of visibility offered by the warehouse shutters are still great for harassing your opponents with a Lancer – provided the enemy Sniper doesn’t take your head off first!
Lift Apex builds upon the spirit of the original by re-imagining the design of the map without the mechanics of a moving lift and expanding territory. Set in an Imulsion Extraction Facility right in the middle of the Serano ocean, this ocean-bound elevator introduces a faster and more tactical experience than its original inspiration.
The battlefield has been redefined in small and large ways that will change the fights you think you know – from the faster flow from spawn to the numerous cover changes that offer different solutions to tackle each part of the map.
Without the movement of the lift in play, the action is fierce from the second you leave spawn thanks to two immediately available Power Weapons and Frags to fight over. The submarine bay offers a new enclosed defensible position (which is also great for Horde!) with a nearby EMBAR or Longshot that – if you’re brave enough to secure it – is the perfect tool to punish opponents from this elevated position.
New strategies will emerge thanks to timed shutters that can be closed by players in the Control Room, offering a window of protection for a limited amount of time. Use it to cover your back while crossing from mid, to force opponents into fighting up close and personal for a ring or simply to deny sightlines.
Season Pass holders can play both of these maps first with Double XP and 20% Bonus Credits from Monday 23rd October. These maps will be available for all to play for free in Public Matchmaking on October 30th.
The last Map Drop for Gears of War 4 also marks the end of our Developer Playlists with Double XP and 20% Bonus Credits. We’ve had a ton of fun playing with our Season Pass holders on the newly released maps the second they become available, and we hope you have too.
Since there will be no more Double XP and 20% Credit Bonus, we’re excited to introduce a new bonus in the coming months called the ‘Map Owned’ bonus. This bonus will offer a permanent percentage increase in XP and Credit gain for any maps you own whenever you play on them in Public Versus or Horde.
This means every player who owns Gears of War 4 will get this bonus across the 10 original maps – but only Season Pass holders will get this bonus across ALL 34 maps in the game whenever they play! Any individual purchases of Maps made separately also come with this bonus when played in Public Matchmaking.
The Road Ahead
There’s plenty more to come from Gears of War 4 in 2017! Halloween is just around the corner with new characters to collect, new weapon skins to earn and some spooky-themed events!
Following that, we’ll be leading into our month-long celebration of the 11th Anniversary of Gears of War! November is going to be jam-packed with things to do and new things to collect all in the midst of our launch on Xbox One X and we can’t wait to share more.
Before You Go
We have a few tips to share for those of you ready to jump in to our October Update.
Our October Update makes further optimizations to the storage it requires on your hard drive for both Xbox One and Windows 10. Expect a bigger download, but even with the new content delivered in this Update, your overall file size for Gears 4 will be smaller than it is today.
The October Update also requires the latest Xbox One Console Update. To download this Update in advance of the Gears of War 4 October Update, head to Settings -> Updates to manually update your console.
Planning on picking up an Xbox One X? You can pre-download our Xbox One X Enhanced content before you own your console by going to System -> Download 4K Game Content. Once this Update releases, you’ll be able to manually download the content for easy transfer (via external HDD or local network) once your console joins your Xbox family.
Don’t forget that only the Xbox One X has the power to take advantage of our Enhanced content, so please do not toggle this option if you’re not planning to upgrade. You’ll just be taking up storage space!
Have a great weekend Gears fans – we’ll see you on Monday to battle it out on Lift Apex and Fuel Depot!
Gears of War Pro Circuit Season 2 Announced with new expected prize pool of $2,000,000!
Gears of War 4 September Update Features New Maps, Achievements and Matchmaking Improvements
Watch the Gears Esports Offseason Finale on Mixer this Wednesday
Get ready for an extra spooky night of Xbox gaming! Chandler Riggs, best known for his role as Carl Grimes on “The Walking Dead,” will play The Evil Within 2 on Xbox Live Sessions, an interactive livestream hosted on the Mixer Xbox Channel. The livestream will take place on Saturday, October 21 at 6 p.m. PDT. The highly-anticipated “The Walking Dead” Season 8 premiere follows the next night on October 22.
Chandler, who is no stranger to evil, zombies, and horrors, will battle unimaginable monsters and multi-headed creatures in the newest version of The Evil Within 2, recently released on Friday, October 13 and takes the acclaimed franchise to a new level with its unique blend of psychological thrills and true survival horror.
“It’s super fitting to join Xbox Live Sessions to play this awesome, but scary and mysterious game, given my role on “The Walking Dead” and with Season 8 premiering Sunday night,” said Chandler Riggs. “I can’t wait to play The Evil Within 2 and interact with my fans, and hope everyone has a great time!”
Fans who tune-in to the livestream will have the chance to submit questions to Chandler for the opportunity to win special prizes. Chandler will also be joined by Microsoft Studios Community Manager, Rukari Austin as the host of this Xbox Live Session.
Xbox Live Sessions is continuing to pair top talent with Xbox’s newest games. This is going to be one scary stream in the lead up to Halloween and we can’t wait. See you on October 21 at 6pm on Mixer and stay tuned to Xbox Wire for future episodes of Xbox Live Sessions!
Last week we announced that Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection was available for pre-order and coming to Xbox One and Windows Store on October 31.
We recently had the opportunity to have an in-depth chat with Jorg Neumann, Head of Production, Global Publishing, Microsoft Studios to talk in greater detail about the re-imagining of this game.
Tell us about Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection and what is new and different with this version of Zoo Tycoon.
When we initially brought the popular Zoo Tycoon franchise to Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2013, our goal was to create the most beautiful animals in all of gaming and that is something we believe we absolutely achieved. We are quite proud of that accomplishment.
For this new version, we focused on empowering our fans to do more of what they wanted – specifically the ability to build much larger zoos, increase their control over path construction and enclosure customization. Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection is designed to appeal to traditional Tycoon fans and new players alike, offering the most detailed environments ever seen in the franchise and even more of the most beautiful animals we love, this time from South America and Australia.
Beyond that, we also added ten all-new campaigns in these new regions and we also added another all-new challenge zoo.
Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection is also by far the prettiest game of the series. On Xbox One X, it features awesome 4K Ultra HD visuals and HDR support. On Xbox One and Xbox One S, the game runs natively at 1080p and features HDR support on Xbox One S. It is also available on compatible Windows 10 PCs.
Lastly, the game features Xbox Play Anywhere, where you can pick up where you left off on another Xbox One device or Windows 10 PC, bringing all your saves, game add-ons and achievements with you.
Are there any new animals in this version?
Absolutely – we love the animals in Zoo Tycoon and added 91 new species (on top of the 100 we originally released in 2013) to give players almost 200 animals total. Thematically, we decided to take all the exotic animals from South America like jaguars, tapirs, and anteaters and from Australia such as kangaroos, koalas and platypuses. It’s awesome to have such a large variety to build zoos with!
Is Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection part of the franchise Microsoft had on the PC?
Yes! Zoo Tycoon was hugely popular on the PC in the early 2000s and first made its debut on Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2013. Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection is a key milestone for that franchise.
If we look under the hood of this game you’ll agree that this is a true simulation – it was developed initially by Frontier Developments plc, a studio in the UK who are experts in simulation games. We’ve combined the strong foundation of a true simulation game with the most detailed environments ever utilizing intuitive yet powerful controls that will appeal to both Tycoon fans and new players alike.
What’s the overall gameplay mechanics and objectives for the game?
In Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection players have to manage the happiness of both the animals and the guests in their zoos.
Players can attract guests by having exotic and diverse animals in their zoos. How happy these animals are matters greatly to the guests, and players can also affect the number of guests who come to the zoo by setting things like the entrance prices, the concession costs, and numerous other factors to ensure that their zoo visitors are happy.
The true stars of the zoos, however, are the animals. Players need to manage the zoos in such a way that keeps the animals happy. It’s important to keep them appropriately fed, to keep them clean and to ensure that they have appropriate companions in their exhibits. For some of these asks, players can hire appropriate staff like zoo keepers and janitors and even specialized breeders. Given that this is a true simulation, there is a robust in-game economy that drives all of this.
As far as objectives, Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection features 30 campaigns (20 from the original 2013 release, 5 new Australian campaigns and 5 new South American campaigns), 21 challenge zoos, as well as a “sandbox mode” where players can freely build zoos in the game’s 21 unique locations all over the planet without the full economy simulation being active.
Are there any multiplayer features to play together with friends and family?
In this re-imagining of the game, we wanted to make sure that Zoo Tycoon fans can easily connect with each other, which is why we include social features including four-person multiplayer over Xbox Live on the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PCs.
What excites me is about that is that players can join in on the fun to create and manage zoos together, trade animals and communicate with their friends via the ZooNews feature – for example if my zoo has the new birth of a female Maltese tiger, I can trade you one my other animals for your male Maltese tiger so they can breed and expand our tiger exhibit.
Did you consult with any animal experts in making this game?
We worked closely with experts at National Geographic to ensure that our animals were well researched and that the game was a scientifically accurate depiction of the real world. When players interact with the animals, they will see that they have likes and dislikes when it comes to food, habitat and social settings based on real animals. All of these behaviors were modelled after the research and information provided by countless animal experts across the world.
Our game also features the Zoopedia, which gives players a encyclopedia of the latest facts on the 190+ animals we have assembled for Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I can’t wait to get this re-imagined version of the Zoo Tycoon franchise into the hands of “Tycoon” fans as well as new fans. You can pre-order now for $29.99 USD and it launches on October 31 at any major retailer, on Xbox.com, or in the Xbox Store or Windows Store.
The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs to Join the Next Xbox Live Sessions
Rev Your Engines for the Renault Sport Formula One Custom Xbox One S Console
Tune in Sunday, October 22 to See the New Xbox One X Commercial