In this week's edition we're celebrating 20 years of Xbox, there's a new Rocket League update, and we're looking at some amazing concept art for Forza Horizon 5.
This week, the original Xbox (and by association, the Xbox brand and a little franchise called Halo) turned 20 years old.
With that in mind, Microsoft have spent a bit of time looking back, and also some time looking forward, in conversations with a number of outlets this week, and on a live stream they put out on Monday.
The biggest announcement during the stream was that Halo Infinite's multiplayer is... Out right now! Although keen eyed Pringles fans might have spoiled the surprise, it was still shocking for a game of this magnitude to arrive ahead of schedule.
I've played a few games, and in some ways it's undoubtedly the best Halo has ever been. But, I do keep dying before I can actually execute the cool moves using the new weapons. More practice required. Meanwhile, over on Twitter, I reflected on how my Halo journey began.
Feels like it's been a while since I've talked about Rocket League in the weekly roundup so they've decided to release a new update for me to talk about. Season 5, is here and comes with a comic theme that contains a new arena named Starbase Arc (Aftermath), and a new vehicle named Nexus. The update also contains season 4 rewards, new Rocket Pass content and improvements to the reporting of players. All in all a pretty standard update that is mainly around cosmetics. Some more exciting news for Rocket League fans is that the new free to play mobile game, Rocket League Side Swipe, is now live in Oceania with the rest of the world hopefully getting it soon.
Sticking with Xbox news, this week has seen the widespread roll out of Xbox Cloud Gaming to Series X|S and Xbox One consoles. This has previously been available on the Xbox PC app for those on the Insider programme, but now is being rolled out on console to 25 regions, with Brazil expected to follow shortly making it 26. This is still being tagged as a beta release, but it's very exciting for Xbox users to now be able to dive straight into a large selection of games without having to wait for downloads to complete.
You need to have a Game Pass Ultimate subscription to be able to benefit from this service. We have already spoken numerous times in the past about how good of a deal we think Game Pass is, and this update only makes it better. Not every game has Cloud Gaming capability, but there are over 100 titles that do, so there is plenty of choice.
Personally I am the kind of player who dips in and out of games quite quickly, rather than investing hundreds of hours. So download times have always been a problem for me, waiting for it to install to then only play briefly sometimes hasn't seemed worth it. I'm hoping this will make a big difference to the number of games I try out. What remains to be seen is how well my internet can handle streaming games!
This week, I’d like to highlight the concept and 3D art of Forza Horizon 5. It’s been a while since I’ve contributed an art appreciation post (I haven’t checked how long it’s been since the last art post, it just feels like it’s been too long and that in itself means it has definitely been too long), so here we are.
So here’s a shout out to all the artists who worked on FH5 and all the thousands of hours that go into the art for a game of this size and beauty. You can check out the work of some of those artists here.
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You can check out yesterday's live show where we were celebrating 20 years of Xbox, right here 👇