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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Changes to aspect ratio with some Xbox Game Studios games when using Windows Snap

Windows Snap is an incredibly useful tool for productivity and multitasking at large. It allows those using a larger monitor or TV to emulate the functionality of having multiple displays to work with. Its greater purpose comes from the ability to reference while writing, troubleshooting, or using any other work related software, but it’s also fantastic for throwing video or messaging to the side while playing games. Lately, I’ve noticed that Windows Snap behaves differently when used with some Xbox Game Studios games.

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The pains of sharing an external hard drive between two Xbox PC app installs

external drive management in windows 11

Deleting WindowsApps, Program Files, and XboxApps on your external hard drive is a matter of:

  • Changing ownership of this files over to your new computer
  • Editing permissions so that you have full control over these files
  • Booting into safe mode and deleting each folder

The official Xbox app for PC has gotten much better over time (especially with the release of Starfield), but you’ll still find yourself running into infuriating bugs. Steam is still far ahead in user experience despite Microsoft’s investment into both speed and functionality.

A perfect example of Steam’s seamless user experience over the Xbox app is in the process of managing external hard drives across two different computers. Whether you’re moving to a new PC or like to switch between a laptop/desktop, you’ll find that the Xbox PC app will refuse to cooperate between two distinct installs.

I’ve found that there are two main issues that crop up when using an external hard drive between two PCs:

  • You won’t be able to play previously installed games on a different PC
  • You won’t be able to install games on an external hard drive if games were previously installed through a different PC

To solve this, I deleted the contents of WindowsApps, XboxApps, and Program Files without having to wipe the drive completely (these were the folders I found to have associations with previous PC Game Pass installs).

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How to view and manage the Recycle Bin of an external D:\ drive

storage circular chart

Quickly manage and delete files in the D:\ drive’s Recycle Bin:

  • Navigating to the Recycle Bin of your C:\ drive will show all files/folders originating from the D:\ drive
  • Delete all files taking up space on your D:\ drive’s Recycle Bin by using the Disk Cleanup utility
    • Right click your external drive in Window’s File Explorer and click Properties
    • Click Disk Cleanup under the storage visualization of the General tab
    • Select Recycle Bin and confirm to delete all contents originating from the D:\ drive
  • Windows 11 handles drive management differently
    • Click Details under the general tab of Properties (replaces the Disk Cleanup button)
    • Click Temporary files
    • Select the check mark for Recycle Bin
    • Click Remove Files to confirm the deletion

If you’ve ever toyed around with the Xbox PC app then you know just how finicky it can be with external drives. After moving to a new computer I realized that it would take a little more than hitting the delete key on a few leftover files and folders. In the end, it was more tedious than it had any right to be, but I did eventually figure out how to install Game Pass PC games on a different computer with the previously used external drive.

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Easy fix for SteelSeries mouse blinking red

I’ve had my SteelSeries Rival 110 mouse for about 4 years now. It’s a budget model but it’s served me well. The only problem is that I noticed the RGB functionality became wonky after moving from a gaming laptop to a desktop. It was no longer the showing off the green I was using for years and instead was slowly blinking red.

The fix?

I knew that it couldn’t be the battery failing because…well…it’s a wired mouse. And then I remembered that I originally had to download SteelSeries software to set up the color I wanted. This turned out to be the solution. These days the software is called SteelSeries GG and in addition to device customization (CPI, RGB, mapping, etc.), there’s also aim training and audio enhancements available.

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How to switch your Microsoft account for the Dolby Access app in Windows 11

If you’re like me you prefer to use multiple accounts on your Windows PC. The only problem with this is that managing accounts can be infuriating when it comes to licensing and app access (looking at you Xbox Game Pass for PC).

I’ve wanted to test out how Dolby Atmos for headphones sounds with Diablo IV, and that’s when I realized that the Dolby Access app only refers back to the currently signed in store account. This can be an issue for those who originally bought a Dolby Atmos license on the Xbox or another PC (Dolby Access allows licensing for up to 10 devices).

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Do Ryzen CPUs have integrated graphics?

ryzen integrated graphics

Although Intel is favored overall in the market, AMD has made incredible strides in recent years with their Ryzen CPU lineup. No longer is the latest i5 or i7 the de facto solution for dedicated gaming PCs.

And just as with popular Intel solutions, AMD offers its own line of all in one solutions. That is, some Ryzen desktop and laptop processors come equipped with integrated graphics. Buying into one of these desktop processors means that you won’t need to buy a GPU like the RTX 3070 or Radeon RX 6800.

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