September 2021 Xbox Free Games with Gold Highlights the Strength of the Service


GameRant 29 August, 2021 - 08:23pm 38 views

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A few days ago, Microsoft revealed September 2021's Free Games with Gold, including Warhammer: Chaosbane and Mulaka for the Xbox One, as well as Zone of the Enders HD Collection and Samurai Shodown 2 for the Xbox 360. Although next month's roster of free Games with Gold still doesn't include a next-gen title, fans are still happy with the selection, which highlights the strength of Xbox Games with Gold.

Although it would have been nice for Microsoft to include Xbox Series X/S titles in Games with Gold, it is obvious with the reception of August and September's rosters that subscribers don't necessarily see next-gen games as a priority. Instead, many are happy to receive older yet popular games, showing that the quality over quantity approach works best for Games with Gold. After the announcement of September's free Games with Gold, many players expressed their excitement for Zone of the Enders HD Collection and Samurai Shodown 2.

However, it is worth remembering that both these games were released many years ago for the Xbox 360. Despite this, players are still happy to receive them for next month's Xbox Free Games with Gold, given both games highly-rated during their respective releases and open the possibility for Microsoft to release similar games in the future.

Although it is yet to be seen what Microsoft could include in Games with Gold next, many players hope that the inclusion of Zone of the Enders HD Collection, which is a Konami franchise created by Hideo Kojima, could mean that Metal Gear Solid HD Collection may be featured in the future. As it stands now, Microsoft seems to be finally listening to its subscribers instead of just releasing lesser-known games. The pattern that August and September have established so far is a good indication of the bright future of Xbox Games with Gold as a service that allows players free access to older, yet nostalgic games.

In the end, the lack of next-gen support for Xbox Games with Gold makes perfect sense, especially if Microsoft wants to differentiate it from Game Pass. Based on Microsoft's release pattern, Xbox Games with Gold's strength is offering players the chance to relive classic games from the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and even the original Xbox, while the Xbox Game Pass is the service to get for players wanting access to the latest games from both Microsoft and third-party developers.

Ramon is a writer for GameRant and an avid gamer since the era of the original PlayStation. Ramon has been captivated with video games and the way it serves as an escape from real life. His love for gaming transcends genres as he enjoys playing Stardew Valley as much as Resident Evil. When not attached to a controller, you can find him hammering away at a keyboard in hopes of sharing his voice with the gaming community. Ramon also likes to live his best life by watching funny videos on YouTube. You can follow him on Twitter @ramonhara.

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Bethesda's Pete Hines Has A Message For PlayStation Fans Feeling Left Out After Microsoft Buyout

GameSpot 30 August, 2021 - 10:07am

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"I have no idea how to state this in a way when ... I don't know. I don't know the answer. It doesn't exist. It's not like I know it and I just don't want to tell you. I don't know," Hines said.

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Hines went on to point out that Bethesda fans on PlayStation consoles might not be shut out entirely from playing future titles from the studio, though it seems clear Xbox is getting preferential treatment as would be expected in this type of situation.

"There are Xbox brands that exist on other platforms, first and foremost. I think that's important to note. Minecraft didn't just stop existing on anything once Mojang got bought by Xbox," Hines said. "It's a massively played game on all of these other platforms. It's not a, 'Sorry, you're never going to get to play anything by Bethesda again.' Certainly, there are going to be things that you're not going to be able to play [on PlayStation]."

Hines mentioned how Starfield was announced as an Xbox exclusive, but he also suggested that the door might not be shut entirely on Bethesda games coming to PlayStation in some capacity.

"Starfield, it was announced as a thing that's an Xbox exclusive," he said. "I don't know if I would go so far as to say you're done ever playing stuff on PlayStation. But again, I don't know the answer to that right now."

Bethesda's next big game, Deathloop, remains exclusive to PS5 on console (it's also coming to PC), but that's because the publishing deal for the game was in place before Microsoft acquired Bethesda.

As for Greenberg, he said he's wary to even talk about the issue because of how mixed-up things can get with his quotes. "I want to be careful. I know it's a question people care a lot about. It's also a tricky one for us to answer because, frankly, it can get sensationalized on the internet," he said.

That being said, Greenberg mentioned that Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda was driven by a desire to beef up the company's first-party portfolio with an eye toward giving Xbox players the best experience. That said, Greenberg acknowledged that he is mindful and thoughtful about the way in which Microsoft's deal with Bethesda affects players on all platforms.

To that end, Greenberg reminded people that Microsoft's first-party games will also release on PC and through the cloud, so PlayStation users could play that way. "We're not saying you have to buy an Xbox to play those games," Greenberg said.

Hines went on to say in the interview that people should pay attention to what Xbox is doing in the cloud and streaming departments. Once streaming becomes more common, it won't matter which box you own, whether that's a TV, phone, or "maybe some other device," he said.

"If you can start to conceptualize down the road where cloud can go, it starts to not care about what platform. It just says, 'I'm an Xbox Game Pass cloud thing and you can stream me on a thing if you've got a controller,'" he said.

Indeed, Microsoft has already announced plans to create its own streaming stick for xCloud and to work with TV manufacturers to build streaming support directly into TVs. The days of needing to buy a dedicated game console might be coming to an end, though Microsoft has repeatedly stressed that streaming will only be an option for those who want it. The company will continue to produce dedicated gaming hardware.

That said, Hines said he is a big believer in Xbox boss Phil Spencer's forward-looking vision that goes beyond the console alone.

"The whole idea of it's either an Xbox thing or it's a PlayStation thing, I'm not saying that's gone away, but that's a little bit too 1990s, 2000. It's a new era of gaming [today] being everywhere," he said.

In the future, the model that Fortnite takes might become more common, Hines said. He mentioned that Epic's battle royale game doesn't think of itself as a game made for one specific device but rather as a platform that's accessible anywhere.

"That's why I'm so excited about Xbox, is because it's moved away from this, 'We're trying to sell a box and that's all we care about.' We do care about that, but I think the vision there and the goals there are much bigger and more exciting, quite honestly," Hines said.

In the same interview, Greenberg implored fans to please not name their baby "Game Pass."

Here are the free games from Xbox Games with Gold in September 2021

XDA Developers 30 August, 2021 - 04:00am

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Xbox has announced the games that’ll be coming to its Xbox Games with Gold service in September. As usual, we’ll be getting four free games to redeem, two in the first half of the month, two in the second half. One of the games will remain available until the middle of October.

The first games that will be available are Warhammer: Chaosbane and Zone of the Enders HD Collection, both of which will be available to redeem starting on September 1. Chaosbane is a hack-and-slash game that is set in the Warhammer universe, and it’ll be available from September 1 through 30. Zone of the Enders HD Collection contains the first two games in the mecha combat series Zone of the Enders and is available from September 1 through 15.

The next games will be available on September 16, and they are Mulaka and Samurai Shodown II. Mulaka is an action-adventure title set in the Sierra Madre mountains that is, according to Microsoft, “based on the rich indigenous culture of the Tarahumara,” which will be available from September 16 through October 15. Samurai Shodown II is an entry in the classic fighting game series, and it’ll be available from September 16 through 30.

One of the August Games with Gold, Yooka-Laylee, will be available to claim until September 15. It’s a kid-friendly 3D platformer that’s a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.

As always with Xbox Games with Gold, the games will be free for anyone to access if they have an Xbox Live Gold membership. As long as you have your subscription, you’ll be able to download and play the game any time after you redeem it, though you will lose access if your subscription lapses. Also, Xbox Games with Gold is included with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, meaning you can play your Games with Gold alongside the truly dizzying amount of free games that are included with Xbox Game Pass.

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No, Calling Your Baby "Game Pass" Will Not Get You A Free Subscription

TheGamer 29 August, 2021 - 12:54pm

Xbox executive Aaron Greenberg felt the need to announce this because the company's new buddy, Bethesda, has a very different approach to this subject. Pete Hines brought up the fact that the 12-time Skyrim developer did in fact gift one couple a lifetime supply of free Bethesda games when they named their child Dovahkiin - an act which Microsoft will not be repeating.

As reported by Kotaku, after Hines shared this anecdote, Greenberg chimed in to say: "I also ask that no one name their baby Game Pass." Bummer.

Fans of The Elder Scrolls shouldn't get their hopes up either. When one of the presenters wondered how many parents will call their child Dovahkiin just to get the free games, the other quickly specified that "it only works once", which Hines agrees with. So I guess that means we'll all have to go for a different franchise now, right? Who's going to take one for the team and call their kid Doomguy? Vault Boy?

Source: Kotaku

How to Play Region-Locked Games on Your Xbox 28 August, 2021 - 11:00pm

But while Nintendo and Sony require regional accounts to buy and download digital games from another country’s storefront, or even play certain games online, Microsoft is much more lenient.

You can easily access another country’s Microsoft Store to buy new games, access geo-locked content, or even download regional versions of the games and apps in your library from any device that accesses the Microsoft Store. And you can do so without making a new Xbox account or migrating your account to a new region like you had to do on older Xbox consoles. All you need to do is temporarily change the Microsoft Store’s language and location settings.

There are several ways to change the Microsoft Store’s region: From your Xbox console’s settings; on desktop through your Windows PC’s settings; or on the Microsoft Store website in your preferred browser.

Note that if you select a country with a different language, it may change the language on your device and in the Microsoft Store. Google Translate can help you navigate these menus, but for the most part, the layouts and options are identical for all regions.

Once you’ve loaded into the Microsoft Store, you can browse, purchase, and download games. However, you will need a valid payment option to complete transactions. Some banks and credit cards work internationally, but most don’t. And if they do, you will likely get charged a conversion fee. Instead, you can buy Microsoft Store gift card codes for the currency you need and check out that way. These are readily available from Play Asia and other online retailers.

After downloading your new games, you can play with your primary account just like normal, and you can access online modes as long as you have an active Xbox Live or Game Pass subscription, even if you’re paying for them with U.S. dollars.

At least, that’s usually the case. In some rare instances, some games and apps may lock you out even if your console’s settings are set to the correct region. If that happens, a VPN for your home router may help you appear as if you’re really connecting from within the required country.

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