Xbox switching to Arm: Thinking out loud or serious forecasting?

xbox cloud loading

One of the more interesting things to come out of the Xbox leaks related to the Activision merger (and there was a ton of cool stuff) was Microsoft’s consideration of moving to Arm. It’s something that’s had my head spinning, especially with news cracking that Nvidia and AMD are serious about delivering ARM based processors. As someone who subscribes to Xbox Game Pass, the closure of the Activision Blizzard deal is nothing but good news for a consumer like me in the short to medium term. In fact, I’d call it good for most consumers on those terms. But I can’t help but feel like Microsoft played this case perfectly. They are disadvantaged globally, but the leaks from this case along with Xbox’s general investments make it clear that they, at the very least, have an idea as to how things could flip in the long term.

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The uneven charm of Starfield

Almost immediately, Starfield felt fragmented to me. Navigating the UI was a chore, and every move I made inevitably required awkward loading screens. Most of all, the entire experience felt obscured. Starfield is overstuffed with things to do, but most of the time it feels like you’re going against the grain. For me, the biggest appeal of Skyrim was the effortless flow of its open world. Anything I did felt in line with everything else in the game.

And that’s what was most jarring about Starfield – it lacked direction or even a sense that what I was doing was right (it can still feel this way). There are an endless amount of great quests, things to build, places to make sense of, and general paths of exploration. Bethesda clearly swung wide with this game, and at many points during my time with the game so far I was overwhelmed by possibility. But it also feels very uneven and, above all, feels like a whole that’s very systems driven. Right down to its exploration, each of these major aspects can feel very siloed off.

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A controller clip is a huge value add to Game Pass Ultimate

I didn’t win a Steam Deck when tuning into The Game Awards, but it sure was something to watch right up until the end. Valve’s push into the handheld market has been a relatively successful one. And while I don’t need it in the slightest (I’m willing to bet most buyers don’t), damn does it look cool. It’s chunky, capable, and offers a true native handheld experience in the way the Nintendo Switch doesn’t.

It’s no match for the Steam Deck, but over the past few months I’ve found a lot of love in the 8Bitdo Xbox Controller clip. I’ve backed off a bit in using it most recently, but it really does mix things up for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. For a service that’s already an amazing value, it’s a huge boon to what you’re getting for your money.

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Halo Infinite’s campaign looks modern in the best way possible

halo infinite you're safe now

Halo has always had a certain flavor to the hype behind it. Most notable for me was the run up to Halo 3. Bungie enveloped my teenage mind with visions of expansive sci-fi settings and the ways in which I’d get lost in its multiplayer. Halo 3’s marketing was simply something to be felt. In many ways, it was also the peak of the Halo hype machine.

Each release of Halo has left its mark on my gaming career, but it’s also become murkier ever since the release of Halo Reach. I had my fill of over 100 hours with Bungie’s last hoorah, but 343’s entries never truly got their hooks in me. I didn’t feel the connection with my gut that earlier titles provided. Punctuated by the latest release of Halo Infinite’s campaign overview, this lapse in loyalty seems to finally be coming to an end. For the first time in years, it feels fantastic to be invested in the Halo franchise.

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Half the fun of Halo Infinite has been community driven

halo infinite broken halo

A lot of people have been comparing Halo Infinite to Halo 3, and in a lot of ways I agree. Its array of equipment and sandbox at large make it something of a virtual playground. I can’t help but feel it’s just right in its dance between modern and old.

Halo Infinite is simply fun, and a lot of it seems to be coming from the community. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been wrapped up in the excitement for a Halo game. And the cheers for Infinite are palpable. Old fans, new fans – it seems like most were blindsided by the most recent beta in the best way possible.

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Halo Infinite is neither too old or too modern

halo infinite bazaar

A problem that I ran into with 343’s Halo releases was the issue of identity crisis. Too much modernization and borrowing from other titles while stripping away the feel of past Halo’s.

Halo Infinite marks an important turning point for 343, and for the most part, they’ve nailed Halo’s return to form if the latest round of beta’s are any indication. I’ve found Infinite to feel fresh while retaining a lot of the identity that made Bungie-era Halo games so great.

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Always cozy, never dull (Skyrim Special Edition screenshots)

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition ethereal god rays

Even after all these years, Skyrim never fails to disappoint in its pension for landscape views, atmosphere, and need to be played. The screenshots below were taken just outside of Whiterun and Dragonsreach. Although you’ll find a cozy atmosphere in many places of Skyrim, these zones are particularly inviting.

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Forza basics: does FH4 have Tesla cars?

mountain look off in winter forza horizon 4

Play as you please and do what you want – one of the best aspects of Forza Horizon 4 is the ability to jump in and get going almost immediately. I’m one that would have enjoyed a more handcrafted approach to some of the game’s aspects, but it’s undeniably excellent evoking freedom.

Variety also cues an experience that is never too bogged down by feeling samey. Unfortunately, there are some exclusions in the car roster that may leave some fans wanting more.

If you’re wondering whether the game has Tesla vehicles, this isn’t the game to enjoy one of Elon Musk’s pillars of output.

Forza Horizon 4 does not feature any Tesla cars and most likely never will with the looming release of Forza Horizon 5. Content production for the game has come to a standstill.

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Forza Horizon 4 review – still incredible in 2021 and beyond

sunset drive forza horizon 4

In many ways, Forza Horizon 4 has been the culmination of my favorite aspects of the racing genre. I’ve never dove off into the sea of hardcore sims, but at this point in my life I’ve poured over a 1000 hours into a mixture of simcade and arcade racers.

What started with the early era of Gran Turismo on the PS1 soon gave way to various Need for Speed entries, Project Gotham Racing, early Forza games, and a smattering of games in between.

To say the genre clicks with me would be an understatement, and above all, the ability to jump right in and play has always spoken to me. I’d call the Forza Horizon series a sort of open world spiritual successor to the PGR series, but what Playground Games ultimately does better than anyone else is provide the means for immediate driving fun.

Forza Horizon 4 is accessibility done right – an experience that appeals equally to fans of the genre and those completely new.

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