Microsoft has today published details around how app developers can migrate their existing UWP Windows applications to the new Windows App SDK (Project Reunion,) which itself is based on the classic Win32 app platform. This documentation has immediately re-heated the on-going debate regarding whether UWP is dead or alive, so let's dive in and see what's really happening here.
The info and FAQ that Microsoft has published today details how an app developer can migrate their existing UWP app over to the Windows App SDK. It goes on to detail why an app developer would want to do this, citing that the Windows App SDK has access to features and APIs that UWP doesn't (and likely never will.)
If you're a developer with a UWP app, but want to utilize the latest advancements in WinUI 3.0 or .NET 5 and up, then you'll need to migrate your app to the Windows App SDK first. This is because UWP is not being updated to support these new platform features and APIs. UWP can continue to use WinUI 2.x and .NET 4 as it always has done.
It's important to note here that Microsoft is not saying that developers need to migrate from UWP because it's being killed off. In fact, the documentation says quite the opposite: "if you are happy with your current functionality in UWP, there is no need to migrate your project type." The documentation goes on to mention that Windows itself continues to use UWP where it makes sense.
With that said, Microsoft does want app developers to adopt the new Windows App SDK, and making it easier for UWP developers to do so is a no-brainer for everyone. The Windows App SDK is the future of app development on Windows desktop as it attempts to combine the best of UWP and Win32 so that developers have the freedom to build the apps they want.
UWP-only platforms still exist
UWP still is the only way to build apps on HoloLens and Xbox platforms, and until that changes, it'll always be an option for developers if they're looking to build Windows apps. It may not be the best option, and it certainly won't be the platform with the most APIs and features for developers to take advantage of, but when was UWP ever?
Ultimately, this will come down to a choice for developers. What kind of app are you building? Does it require the additional features available in the Windows App SDK that UWP does not offer? Does your app need to be cross-compatible with UWP-only versions of Windows such as Xbox or HoloLens?
All of these questions need to be answered before an app developer decides what platform they need to use. If you need access to the new APIs and features present in the Windows Apps SDK, then Microsoft has made it easy to migrate your UWP app. If you don't, then you're welcome to stay using UWP, which Microsoft says will continue to be updated with security, bug, and reliability fixes.
For us end-users, not much changes. Apps built with the Windows App SDK can utilize the best of UWP, including the modern and fluid UI framework that end-users have wanted every developer and app to adopt since 2015. If your favorite app does decide to migrate from UWP to Windows Apps SDK, if it's done well you shouldn't notice it even happened.
Windows App SDK is the future, bringing UWP and Win32 under one umbrella for developers to take advantage of the best of both worlds. Does that mean UWP itself is dead? It depends on what you consider to be "dead" in this regard. Is UWP still being available as an option for developers who want or need it considered dead? Even if UWP isn't being updated with new features?
I'll leave that up to you, but for me personally, UWP can only be considered "dead" when it's no longer supported in Windows or a choice for developers when creating a new project. For us to get to that point, Microsoft would need to allow third-party non-UWP apps to run on Xbox and HoloLens first.
Tees, hoodies, and a custom Xbox controller from the UK label.
What you need to know
PLACES+FACE has teased an upcoming Xbox-themed capsule collection, including limited-edition tees, hoodies, and an Xbox controller design.
The upcoming collection drops on Oct. 22, via the PLACES+FACES web store.
London-based streetwear label, PLACES+FACES, has teased an upcoming collaboration with Microsoft. The imminent Xbox-branded capsule collection brings a new range of apparel, coupled with its take on the latest Xbox controller. The collection rolls out on Oct. 22, available via the PLACES+FACES web store.
The partnership brings hoodies and tees embellished with the signature PLACES+FACES logo, remixed with considerations for the classic Xbox insignia. Other products include a new cloud gaming pouch, a nod to Microsoft's mobile Xbox Cloud Gaming platform, plus a custom Xbox controller design. The limited-edition gamepad takes inspiration from film burn with a black-to-orange transition, a homage to the origins of PLACES+FACES, with playful use of its plus-shaped directional pad and the Xbox button.
Photography blog turned streetwear heavyweight, PLACES+FACES, marks the latest unexpected collaboration with Redmond's console empire. The lifestyle brand nears one decade since its inception, best known for its in-house apparel, club nights, and authority in the UK hip-hop scene. The brand previously collaborated with Kojima Productions in late 2019, marking the release of its debut project, Death Stranding, with a limited apparel range.
Each item in the collection also couples with a free month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft's premier gaming subscription, spanning Xbox consoles and PCs. The membership also grants access to Xbox Cloud Gaming, streaming full-fledged Xbox games to iOS and Android devices.
With a new generation of consoles comes new hardware capabilities. One of the exciting new features of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S is the ability to run games at 120 FPS, providing a smoother experience than previous generations that capped out at 60 FPS. We've tracked down all the games so far that support 120 FPS, even if it's only in certain game modes or resolutions. Here's the complete list of Xbox Series X and S games with 120 FPS support — that we know of so far.
With the power of Xbox FPS Boost, even older Xbox games can experience higher framerates, even up to 120 FPS! This means the list of Xbox Series X|S that can push all the way to 120 FPS will grow even faster with favorite games from the last generation of consoles.
Why is 120 FPS support important in games on Xbox Series X|S?
Gaming on a console can be an excellent way to experience the broad world of video games, but consoles have historically lagged far behind powerful gaming PCs for sheer power. Next-gen consoles like Xbox Series X|S and the PS5 begin to unravel these precedents by officially ushering in hardware support for up to 120 FPS in select games. But what does this mean?
Simply put, running games at a higher framerate allows for more animation detail, reduces input lag, and generally allows for a better gaming experience. For games that require or benefit from faster reaction times, a higher framerate can be the difference between victory and defeat.
You can see these benefits in action thanks to the video above, which shows the incredible Xbox platformer Ori and the Will of the Wisps running on the Xbox Series X in 120 FPS, and even shows a side-by-side comparison of the game slowed down at both 120 FPS and 60FPS.
120 FPS support is still limited on Xbox Series X|S, and it does come with some caveats like downgraded resolution, lesser visual fidelity, 120 FPS being restricted to certain modes, differences between Xbox Series X and S, and specific hardware requirements like a high-end TV with HDMI 2.0 or 2.1. Still, 120 FPS support in console gaming is, well, a game-changer for a lot of players who seek the fastest performance they can.
List of games that support 120 FPS on Xbox Series X|S
Will more games add 120 FPS support on Xbox Series X|S?
The list of games that support up to 120 FPS on Xbox Series X and S is pretty paltry in the grand scheme of things. The list of games that support 120 FPS on PS5 is considerably smaller. However, it's the beginning of a new generation of console gaming, and it'll take a while for 120 FPS support to feel like a standard feature rather than an occasional extra.
Still, the list of 120 FPS games on Xbox Series X|S has already grown considerably since the consoles' launch. Older games are becoming Xbox Series X|S Optimized with 120 FPS support, new games are beginning to launch on next-gen consoles, and Microsoft is even taking it into their own hands to bestow 120 FPS support on older Xbox games with the power of FPS Boost.
FPS Boost, especially, is an innovative feature applied to a select few backward-compatible games to double or even quadruple their framerates. This is an evolution of the Heutchy method first used on Xbox One X and promises to make our favorite older games run the best on Xbox Series X and S. A small handful of titles support FPS Boost right now, and that number will continue to grow as time goes on.
Will more games add 120 FPS support to Xbox Series X|S? It's almost certainly a yes.
How do I take advantage of 120 FPS support in games on Xbox Series X|S?
It's clear that 120 FPS support in games can be a huge benefit, especially for competitive or challenging games that beg for fast response times and fluidity. However, it's not immediately clear how to obtain 120 FPS even in supported games. It turns out it's slightly more complicated than it would immediately appear. In this section, I'll go over the three things you need to keep in mind to take advantage of 120 FPS support in games. Choose your console, choose your TV, and choose your game. Let's get started.
Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S
When you're faced with two equally amazing choices, it can seem difficult to pit the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S against each other. However, there are some key differences between the two consoles that can make all the difference depending on what you're looking for, especially for playing games at 120 FPS.
The biggest difference between the consoles is simply price. The flagship Xbox Series X retails for $500, while the smaller Xbox Series S retails for a much more palatable $300. Both consoles are impressively performant as next-gen consoles, but that $200 price discrepancy brings with it some crucial compromises in the Xbox Series S.
The Xbox Series X is the ultimate next-gen gaming console, right alongside the sleek PS5, and boasts the full suite of advanced next-gen gaming features like powerful hardware, a lightning-fast SSD, real-time ray-tracing support, and so much more. It also has an integrated 4K Blu-ray player to play your physical games. Its superior GPU means it plays games at higher resolutions than the Xbox Series S and is more capable of pushing games to 120 FPS.
On the other hand, the Xbox Series S still includes all the next-gen features that make these consoles so exciting, like the SSD and real-time ray-tracing support. However, the Xbox Series S sacrifices its physical disc drive (it's digital only) and a decent amount of GPU power. This means it targets a lower resolution than the Xbox Series X (1440p versus 4K) and struggles more to play games at 120 FPS.
What does this mean? If you want the best gaming experience possible and the largest number of games playable at 120 FPS, no console is better than the Xbox Series X. Meanwhile, the Xbox Series S is still an absolute beast that can play next-gen games at a lower price than the competition — you'll just have to give up resolution and support for 120 FPS games in some instances. Check the chart above to see which games are 120 FPS on Xbox Series S versus Xbox Series X if you need help deciding which console is best for you.
Both consoles are hard to find right now, so be sure to keep an eye on Windows Central, especially on Twitter, for updates on where to find the Xbox Series X and S whenever they do pop up.
The Xbox Series X is the pinnacle of Microsoft's next-gen console gaming vision and incorporates powerful hardware that can push games to their max. If you want the ultimate gaming experience or want to play a larger number of games at 120 FPS, the Xbox Series X is for you.
The Xbox Series S is a fantastic true next-gen console for those who don't want to shell out the cash for the more larger and more powerful Xbox Series X. If you're okay with missing out on 120 FPS support in some games or losing out on resolution in exchange for saving a lot of money, the Xbox Series S is for you.
Picking the right TV
Arguably even more important for 120 FPS gaming than choosing which next-gen Xbox to get is your TV. A console can only go as far as its TV will let it, and 120 FPS gaming requires brand-new TV technologies currently only found in a select few TVs.
Here's a quick rundown of what you should look for in a TV to experience 120 FPS gaming on Xbox Series X|S.
TV features like picture quality, resolution, display type, HDR support, and more can all make huge differences when it comes to gaming on your Xbox Series X|S. However, playing games at 120 FPS requires a specific set of features in particular: a 120Hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1 support.
A TV's (or monitor's) refresh rate refers to how quickly that screen is able to refresh the content on the display. Put simply, the faster the refresh rate, the smoother the picture. TVs that have 120Hz refresh rates can be paired with the Xbox Series X|S for ultra-smooth 120 FPS gaming. However, most TVs typically cap out at 60Hz.
Just as important as a TV's refresh rate, though, is its HDMI ports, which connect your Xbox Series X|S to your TV. To experience 120 FPS gaming, you'll need at least HDMI 2.0 support. However, this slightly older standard (still pretty new in TVs) can only do 120 FPS at a 1080p resolution. Perfect for the Xbox Series S, but an unfortunate restriction on the Xbox Series X. To truly get the most out of the Xbox Series X and 120 FPS gaming, you'll want a TV that pairs a 120Hz refresh rate with HDMI 2.1 support.
Here are three quick picks for awesome TVs that support 120 FPS gaming on Xbox Series X|S.
Not only is the LG OLED series of TVs some of the best TVs for gaming, but they're also just some of the best TVs, period. If you want the best of the best, look no further than the LG C1. Proper HDMI 2.1 support for 4K and 120 FPS gaming, Dolby Vision HDR, VRR, and some of the most outstanding picture quality in TVs makes the LG C1 OLED the perfect pair for your Xbox Series X|S.
The Sony X90HJ can't compare to the LG CX, but it still offers great features like HDR and HDMI 2.1 ports for true 4K at 120 FPS gaming while costing hundreds of dollars less. It doesn't include every next-gen feature the Xbox Series X|S can take advantage of, but if you want the best of next-gen gaming without shelling out a premium for a flagship TV, the Sony X90J is a fantastic mid-range choice.
This LG TV is a long way from the super expensive and premium LG CX, but it still manages to offer true 4K at 120 FPS gaming for Xbox Series X|S with the inclusion of a handful of HDMI 2.1 ports and a high refresh rate display. You'll compromise on image and HDR quality, but the LG NanoCell 85 series is a wonderful budget choice for those who still want next-gen features.
Finding the games
Finally, the last step to experience the wonders of 120 FPS on Xbox Series X|S comes down to, well, the games that support it! The list of games that support 120 FPS on Xbox Series X|S, which you can find above, continues to grow over time. Some of these games rank among the best Xbox games around!
What you may not realize, however, is just how many of these games are actually included in Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate! Microsoft's revolutionary gaming subscription service includes access to hundreds of games, and many of the titles that now support 120 FPS on Xbox Series X|S stand among them.
Here are all of the games that support 120 FPS on Xbox Series X|S that are currently on Xbox Game Pass or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate:
Battlefield 4: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
Battlefield 1: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
Battlefield V: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
CrossCode: Xbox Game Pass
Destiny 2: Xbox Game Pass
DiRT 5: Xbox Game Pass
Gears 5: Xbox Game Pass
Halo: The Master Chief Collection: Xbox Game Pass
Minecraft Dungeons: Xbox Game Pass
Mirror's Edge Catalyst: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
New Super Lucky's Tale: Xbox Game Pass
Ori and the Will of the Wisps: Xbox Game Pass
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
Rainbow Six Siege: Xbox Game Pass
Sea of Thieves: Xbox Game Pass
Star Wars Battlefront: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
Star Wars Battlefront II: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/EA Play
Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on the go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.
If you have to change the system language on Windows 11, you can do so without reinstalling.
Windows 11 makes it easy to change the system language settings if you made a mistake during the initial setup or the computer came with the wrong language.
Regardless of the reason, if you must change the language settings, you can download, install, and apply a new configuration through the "Time & language" settings without reinstalling Windows 11.
In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to change the computer's default language.
How to change default language on Windows 11
If the device came with the wrong language, you can change the settings without reinstalling anything. You only need to follow these instructions.
Disable sync for language settings
Since the language preferences will sync across devices, which means that if you only want to update the settings on a particular computer, you will need to disable the language settings synchronization option. Of course, you can skip these instructions if you want the new settings to sync across devices.
To stop syncing the language preferences on Windows 11, use these steps:
Click on Accounts.
Click the Windows backup page in the right side.
Click the Remember my preferences setting.
Clear the Language preferences option.
Once you complete the steps, you can proceed to change the language settings without affecting all the other computers connected with the same Microsoft account.
Change language settings
To change the Windows 11 default language, use these steps:
Click on Time & language.
Click the Language & region page in the right side.
Under the "Language" section, click the Add a language button for the "Preferred languages" setting.
Search for the new language.
Quick tip: You can search the country's name to find the language faster.
Select the language.
Click the Next button.
(Optional) Check the optional language features to install on Windows 11.
Check the Set as my Windows display language option.
Click the Install button.
Click the Sign out button.
Sign into the account to start using the new language.
After you complete the steps, the display language will apply throughout the experience, including the Sign-in screen, Settings app, File Explorer, Desktop, apps, browser, and the web.
Configure region settings
Also, if you are changing the language settings because you are in a different location, you may also need to adjust the region settings.
To set different region settings on Windows 11, use these steps:
Click on Time & language.
Click the Language & region page in the right side.
Under the "Region" section, use the Country or region setting to select the current location (if applicable).
Use the "Regional format" setting to select the correct formats for the new region's date and time (if applicable).
Quick tip: You can also expand the setting and click the Change formats button to change other regional settings, including calendar, first day of the week, short date, and time format.
Under the "Related settings" section, click the Administrative language settings option.
Click the Administrative tab.
Under the "Language for non-Unicode programs" section, click the Change system locale button.
Select the new system locale by specifying the new language.
Click the OK button.
Click the Cancel button.
Click the Copy settings button.
Under the "Copy your current settings to" section, check the Welcome screen and system accounts and New user accounts options.
Click the OK button.
Click the OK button again.
Click the Restart now button.
Once you complete the steps, the laptop or desktop computer will display the correct region settings.
Although users rarely need to adjust or add more languages to Windows 11, these settings can come in handy to match the local settings if you are in a different region of the globe or when getting a computer comes with different settings. The only thing you need to remember is that changing the language settings will cause the Microsoft Store and web browsers to show content based on those settings.
More Windows resources
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:
The Xbox Series X and Series S introduce significant storage gains, adopting custom solid-state drives (SSDs), poised to cut back loading screens to a minimum. Microsoft positions that high speed as fundamental to its next-generation vision, also introducing changes to storage. With that comes the arrival of a proprietary memory card-style SSD, while USB external hard drives take a backseat for backward compatibility. Here's what you need to know about your available storage options on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and what each entails.
Expanding Xbox Series X, Series S storage: The TLDR
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S pack shared custom NVMe SSD storage technology, bringing up to 40 times speed increases over the Xbox One family. The Xbox Series X ships with a 1TB internal SSD drive, while the Xbox Series S features a reduced 512GB capacity out of the box. In reality, Xbox Series X has just 802GB of space usable for games, with Xbox Series S offering just 364GB.
When your games library eventually fills the internal drive, Microsoft provides two primary routes to increase your available storage on Xbox Series X and Series S. It worked on the Xbox Seagate Storage Expansion Card, mimicking the internal SSD with identical performance. It also supports USB hard drives like Xbox One consoles, although this time with limitations attributed to slower speeds.
In brief — the list of Xbox Series X and Series S Optimized games needs high-speed storage, and only the internal SSD or official expansion card can deliver. While USB hard drives work fine, they only store those games, and you will need to transfer them to the SSD to play. However, backward-compatible titles, including Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, work fine on USB drives. Here's a handy breakdown of how USB drives compare to the SSD expansion card.
Seagate Expansion Card
USB external drive
Xbox Series X/S games
Xbox One games (upgraded)
Xbox One games (not upgraded)
Xbox 360 games
Original Xbox games
The challenges around storage space only grow for Xbox Series X and Series S, with top titles larger than ever. The latest blockbusters often surpass 100GB, with the added increased capabilities of the latest consoles unlikely to reverse that trend. While Microsoft states that on average, Xbox Series S titles should clock in 30% smaller than Xbox Series X, storage is far from plentiful on either device.
Xbox Series X, Series S Seagate Expansion Card
With Xbox Series X and Series S focused on processing capabilities and speed, games designed for the consoles require the full bandwidth of its custom storage technologies. Traditional USB devices fail to hit the mark, which led Microsoft to pursue a custom expansion card. In short, it's a fast proprietary memory card to expand your storage, guaranteed to meet the standards for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Where to buy Xbox Series X, Series S Seagate Expansion Card: Price and size
The Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox, as expected, is more than your everyday hard drive. It costs $220 in the U.S. for the 1TB model, which fell in line with our previous predictions, given the average pricing for current PCIe 4.0 SSDs. That translates to £220 in the U.K., $300 in Canada, or €270 in Europe. While undeniably a premium device, it's a result of the bleeding-edge console hardware.
Microsoft and Seagate have teamed up on a compact expansion card for Xbox Series X and S consoles. It leverages the same custom SSD technology seen inside both devices as the only expandable storage solution capable of playing next-generation games.
The cards come in only slightly larger than your average USB thumb drive, with a sliding cover for safekeeping. They connect via a dedicated rear port on either console, which hooks up directly to the processor. That provides cutting-edge speeds, but the PCIe 4.0 tech used is also notoriously costly, driving up the RRP.
We continue to wait for more storage options beyond the 1TB Seagate Storage Expansion Card, with more capacities and brands expanded in the future. Microsoft remains quiet on when to expect new products, but we're hoping to hear more as the one-year anniversary for Xbox Series X and Series S approaches.
The Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series X and Series S targets enthusiasts demanding the best, exactly matching Microsoft's baked-in solution. It guarantees the best across internal and external storage if you can take the hit.
How to use the Xbox Seagate SSD Expansion Card
Xbox Series X and Series S both feature a dedicated storage expansion port to accommodate the Seagate's official SSD expansion card.
The Seagate Storage Expansion Card connects to Xbox Series X and Series S via a dedicated, proprietary connector on the console's rear. The rectangular port sits adjacent to the HDMI output on both consoles, labeled with "STORAGE EXPANSION." Upon removing the included plastic cover, the SSD slides into the port, slightly protruding from the back I/O panel.
Microsoft allows external SSD cards to be inserted with the console turned on, enabling those with multiple expansion cards to hot-swap on the fly. When inserted, the Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S will automatically recognize and configure your external storage.
Remove the protective sleeve included with the Xbox Storage Expansion Card.
Insert the Expansion Card into the Storage Expansion port.
Firmly press the Expansion Card until it emits a distinct click. Your Xbox console will automatically detect and configure the Xbox Storage Expansion Card, coupled with an on-screen notification.
Once configured to work with your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S console, the Xbox Storage Expansion Card will add 920GB to your pool of available Xbox storage. You can copy, move, and install content between the internal SSD and the external Expansion Card.
Does Xbox Series X, Series S support USB external hard drives?
Microsoft supports almost all Xbox One accessories with Xbox Series X and Series S, extending to the existing storage ecosystem. That guarantees partial compatibility for external hard drives from the Xbox One era via USB connectivity. It makes them an ideal, budget-friendly alternative to the official Seagate Storage Expansion Card, especially when offloading titles from the internal drive.
However, USB drives don't match Microsoft's custom SSD speed, imposing significant limitations on their capabilities. Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox titles all run on an external USB hard drive with Xbox Series X and Series S. And provided previous-generation software doesn't receive Xbox Series-geared upgrades, it also runs on USB storage.
But Xbox Series X and Series S titles won't run on external hard drives due to slow transfer speeds, failing to meet next-generation demands. An internal SSD or an external expansion card is required for upcoming releases or older games updated for Xbox Series X or Series S.
But with the high price of the SSD expansion card, it's worth stressing that all Xbox Series X and Series S titles can be offloaded to an external USB hard drive. While some titles may not be playable from the slower storage, it's still possible to shift data between an SSD where your games can be playable and a USB for storage. Your USB hard drive's transfer speeds will determine how fast they move back and forth, but it's a useful way to cycle games from the internal SSD without investing in the $220 expansion card.
How to use a USB external hard drive with Xbox Series X, Series S
Most modern external hard drives work on Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, expanding your capacity for games, with speedier load times also obtainable via compatible SSDs. You'll need a USB 3.0 external drive to meet the requirements, ensuring high data transfer rates to run backward-compatible games over a USB connection. Compatible drives must also have at least 256GB of storage, although we recommend shopping for at least 1TB for future peace of mind. Don't forget that the best Xbox One hard drives and SSDs are also compatible with new Xbox consoles if you've recently made the upgrade.
The Xbox Series X and Series S feature USB-A ports, making it important to check whether an external hard drive uses the correct connector to hook up to the console. That's especially important with modern SSDs, more commonly using USB-C connectors to achieve the highest possible transfer speeds. The two consoles feature twin rear-facing USB-A ports, ideal for hiding external hard drives while freeing up the front port.
You'll also need to permit your console to format the drive, losing all data currently stored onboard. It's crucial to back up ANY stored files to avoid losing existing documents and data.
Your Xbox console will automatically detect external storage when connecting a USB external drive, with on-screen prompts to ease the setup process.
Best Xbox Series X, Series S external hard drives
If the SSD Expansion Card isn't for you, a vibrant ecosystem of USB-connected hard drives will meet demands for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox titles. These storage solutions all function with Xbox Series X and Series S today, multiplying your console's capacity, with plug-and-play access also guaranteed for older Xbox One consoles.
The best Xbox Series X hard drives start as cheap as a video game, with Toshiba offering reliable storage within performance demands below $50. That 1TB expansion can over triple your room across some consoles like Xbox Series S.
Expanding your Xbox storage doesn't need to be expensive, and this 1TB hard drive is one of the cheapest options out there. It's performant to support Xbox One games and older backward-compatible titles, while also ideal for offloading Xbox Series X/S games.
Go big or go home with this 4TB behemoth from Seagate, providing room for your full games collection for the average user. It offers four times the internal capacity that ships with Xbox Series X, proving an essential pickup today and all you'll need as a next-generation sidekick. While SSDs are incredibly costly in these sizes, slower hard drives remain affordable right now.
High capacity, low price
Seagate Portable 4TB external hard drive
Get more Xbox storage for all your gaming needs
This 4TB Seagate portable drive is all you need, hitting the highest capacity of its USB-powered drives. Formidable speeds and space for dozens of games make this ideal for any frequent gamer.
Opting for an SSD will boost your read and write speeds over a traditional hard drive, cutting load times across your favorite titles on Xbox One consoles. And while even the best external SSDs for Xbox Series X and Series S don't meet the demanded speed for Xbox Series X|S Optimized titles, that boost still comes in handy for backward compatibility or fast transfers to your internal SSD.
Need for speed
Samsung T7 500GB portable SSD
A storage speed boost that fits the budget
Samsung's T7 500GB external drive packs top-tier speed below $100. You're getting an over 50% boost in capacity with Xbox Series X while over doubling Xbox Series S. That speed won't match what's inside either console, but it's still a vast improvement over other USB drives. Encased in a shock-resistant metal finish; it fits stealthily beside any console.
A caveat: Play Xbox Series X|S games via USB drives
Titles developed with upgrades for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S need Microsoft-approved SSD storage, but diving into the technicalities, that's not always the case. The way Xbox Series X|S Optimized games are developed means that some don't require the full benefits of SSD storage and operate via USB-based storage devices. Under the hood, these titles essentially run as standard Xbox One games, only with some enhancements when booted on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S systems.
In reality, that means some Xbox Series X|S Optimized titles can be on USB hard drives, even if not formally intended. While entirely functional, this may impact performance or load times when running these titles on your system. You can identify these games through the following steps.
Open My games & apps on your Xbox console.
Navigate to your chosen game.
Press the Menu button.
Select Manage game and add-ons.
Select the File info tile.
If the fourth line of displayed text reads AppModel:XDK; Gen:Durango; and the sixth line reads ConsoleType:XboxOneGen9Aware; the game still runs on external USB hard drives.
If the fourth line of displayed text reads AppModel:GDK; Gen:Scarlett; and the sixth line reads ConsoleType: XboxGen9; the game doesn't run on external USB hard drives.
Various top Xbox Series X|S titles are among those compliant with USB drives, including Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Rocket League, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Minecraft Dungeons, to name a few. Check your Xbox games via the above steps for additional details on your library.
Seagate Expansion Card vs. USB: Which is for you?
When your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S runs low on storage, your decision to expand primarily hinges on whether to invest in the official Seagate Storage Expansion Card for Xbox. With fast storage fundamental to titles designed for the next generation, this external SSD offers a seamless solution at a high price. The cost may deter some but reflects the reality of the hardware.
Investing in a USB external hard drive may be more appropriate when looking for an affordable alternative. Connecting USB devices is an easy way to store your games, even if the limitations mean you can't play without moving them to your internal SSD. It saves redownloading titles, provided you're happy to cycle them back and forth.
It had been rumored, but did anyone really think even Apple would do it? Oh, they did it all right. The all-new MacBook Pro has a freaking notch.
I'm still laughing. This is the most ridiculous thing I've seen on a laptop since, well, Apple launched the Touch Bar. I've been critical of Apple's design for its laptop and desktops for a while because it felt like the company had gone from truly innovating to just treading water. Enticing its fans with fluff while the rest of the world's PC makers were collectively making real steps forward.
And that still seems to be the case. The Touch Bar was one thing, but the notch is something else. But there's a bigger question, concern, even. And that's the inevitable copying of Apple design by at least some hardware makers that might use Windows. Not only is it ridiculous, but what possible purpose does it even serve?
Especially when Apple itself is hiding it in most of the promo renders on its own webpage.
Notch what we want to see
Apple's hiding the notch in a lot of its promo images on its own website. Not embarrassed, surely?
The MacBook Pro doesn't even have Face ID. That's the biggest joke here. Eventually, you'd assume it will and the notch is a pre-emptive decision before making that a reality. But in its first incarnation, it's literally a home for a webcam. And since macOS is all menu bar all the time across the top of the display, you're really making the most of that extra few vertical pixels' worth of space.
Apple analysts would no doubt disagree, but I'm adamant that Apple has made a conscious decision to make the notch a feature. I mean, we're all talking about it so I guess it worked? While it is/was excusable on a smartphone, what possible quality of life increase will it provide?
Does it exist purely to tell other people you have the latest MacBook Pro?
Aside from letting the other MacBook users in Starbucks know you're using the latest model, of course.
The sad part is that the silliness with the notch distracts from some of the actual, serious work Apple has done under the hood with its M1 chips. If you ignore the fact that there are going to be Macs powered by an M1 Max. An M1 Max Mac? Yeesh. The MacBook Pro otherwise just looks like another Apple laptop, and in days past, Windows OEMs would try their best to mimic the MacBook style.
For the love of God, don't.
Windows laptops can do both skinny bezels and facial recognition
I'm not breaking out the calipers, or even looking too long at spec sheets, because Apple's bezels might well be the skinniest. But we're talking about the smallest of margins that it really doesn't matter.
What should matter to anyone buying a Windows laptop or a new MacBook Pro is that it's just not necessary. If you're going to hide the notch with a dark mode theme anyway, why go through the trouble?
The fact Apple didn't even do Face ID is a pretty big letdown.
The lack of any kind of Face ID is a bit of a letdown though. Obviously, we're used to Windows Hello and being able to log into our machines before we even put the cup of coffee down. But we're not exactly lugging around great lumps of metal and glass with bezels you could land a plane on, are we?
I'm sat typing this on a Razer Book with delightfully thin bezels, a compact form factor, and Windows Hello facial recognition. I could do the same on a similarly designed and equipped Dell XPS 13 or XPS 15. How about the new Surface Pro 8?
The reasons for buying a Mac or a Windows laptop haven't changed with any of today's announcements. The people who really benefit are the existing Mac buyers, and they're probably going to have a blast. But this stupid notch is one trend we really, really don't need anyone copying. We've already got a good thing going on.
After years of speculation and months of teasing, Warner Bros. Montreal's new title has finally been revealed. It's called Gotham Knights and while at first glance it looks like it is set after the events of Batman: Arkham Knight, WB Montreal has confirmed that it's not connected to the Arkham games and is instead a completely original setting in the Batman universe.
With the co-op support combined with a new story, this could end up as one of the best Xbox games available. Here's everything we know so far about Gotham Knights.
Gotham Knights story trailer from DC FanDome
We got a new story trailer for Gotham Knights at DC FanDome 2021 that goes into the Court of Owls, the Penguin, and more. This trailer almost leans into something of a horror vibe, giving the sense that the Court of Owls is a truly unknown horror, a secret society unlike anything the Bat Family has tried to take on so far.
Check it out in the video above.
What is Gotham Knights?
Gotham Knights is revealed with the premise that Bruce Wayne is (ostensibly) dead and with that, a new protocol has been enacted, requiring the Bat Family to take action in Gotham against villains like Mr. Freeze and the mysterious Court of Owls. You can check out the reveal trailer below.
Gotham Knights is being developed by WB Montreal, a studio at WB Games that previously worked as a support studio on the Batman: Arkham games, in addition to leading development on Batman: Arkham Origins.
It appears this game is an original Batman setting that isn't connected to the Arkham games, despite several seeming similarities in how the story is set up. Instead, the official continuation of the Arkham games is found in Rocksteady Studios' Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
Gotham Knights story
In Gotham Knights, Bruce Wayne appears to have died. With Gotham's protector gone, the Bat Family is forced to come together against the villains who now seek to conquer the city. The Court of Owls, a secret society, seems to have even darker ambitions though, providing the core mystery behind the game.
There's a saying about the Court of Owls, a nursery rhyme that gives an idea of the true horror wielded by this group:
Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime.
They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed. Speak not a whispered word about them, or they'll send the Talon for your head.
Gotham Knights gameplay and features
Gotham Knights is a third-person action RPG that can be played solo or in 2-player co-op. So far, the roster consists of Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl and Nightwing. Each of these characters has their own progression, allowing them to unlock new abilities and skills. They all play differently, with a variety of advantages and disadvantages. The developers have also teased that as players grow stronger, their foes grow stronger as well.
At the reveal of the game, a few minutes of gameplay footage were shown, which you can see below.
In co-op, players don't have to choose different characters, meaning if you want, you can have a team with two Batgirls or two Nightwings. With that in mind, the difference in playstyles means that players may benefit more from mixing and matching different combinations of characters instead of just doubling up.
Players will need every edge available in taking on the Court of Owls, as WB Montreal reveals there are multiple classes of Talons, the warriors of the secret society, from scuttling, crawling assassins to hulking, hammer-wielding enforcers. Each poses a unique threat and will require a different strategy if you hope to stay alive.
Gotham Knights playable characters
So far, we know of four playable characters in Gotham Knights. Right now, we know for sure that players will be able to take up the mantles of Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, and Jason Todd. It's not impossible that there are other characters being kept a secret, but these four are clearly the main focus for the game.
Batgirl is Barbara Gordon, daughter of police commissioner Jim Gordon. Robin is Tim Drake, the newest hero to wear the mantle of Robin. Nightwing is Dick Grayson, a former Robin who struck out to defend Blüdhaven. Jason Todd is the original Robin, a hero beaten to death by the Joker before being resurrected.
They all play very differently from one another, with unique skills that can be improved and abilities that can be unlocked as players progress through the game.
Does Gotham Knights have crossplay?
It's not currently known whether crossplay will be supported in Gotham Knights. We're hoping so, as it will allow friends to play together across platforms, which is a big deal for a game that supports co-op.
When is the release date for Gotham Knights?
Gotham Knights is currently slated to be available at some point in 2022. Despite getting a new trailer at DC FanDome 2021, no new release date was announced. We'll be sure to keep you updated as WB Montreal and WB Games share more information.
Gotham Knights was originally scheduled to release at some point in 2021, but like many games, ended up being delayed due to the ongoing pandemic affecting development. When it arrives, it'll release on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS5, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
If you're eagerly waiting for the new Gotham Knights, why not check out two of the most critically acclaimed superhero titles — Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City — with fully remastered and updated visuals.
Games on Steam Deck can range from fully verified to flat out unplayable, with information at a glance.
What you need to know
The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming PC that aims to play the majority of modern PC titles.
Ahead of its launch, Valve has detailed how games can be verified for the Steam Deck, and how players can quickly check different games.
Valve's compatibility program will review games against various metrics to gauge how well the game is suited for play on Steam Deck.
Players will be able to quickly check how supported a game is on Steam Deck, and learn the reasons behind its score.
The Steam Deck is a fascinating handheld gaming device that promises to let players take their Steam library (full of PC games) on the go. Not every game will run seamlessly on Valve's ambitious handheld, however, so the company is taking measures to ensure players can quickly see what games they can play on Steam Deck. Today, Valve has detailed how games can become verified for Steam Deck.
The program is pretty straightforward. Valve will test games to ensure they support the Steam Deck's input, provide seamless gameplay, support the Steam Deck's display and resolution, and support the Steam Deck's software and Proton. Afterward, games will have one of four tags that will be prominently displayed in the Steam Deck's software, including the Store and player libraries: verified (fully supported), playable (works with caveats), unsupported (will not work), and unknown (has not been tested yet).
Valve wants to ensure that players know exactly what will work on their Steam Deck, and why a game does or does not work as expected (for example, VR-only games will be unsupported) with a helpful details screen. Valve has already begun testing games, and will continue to test more and more titles even after launch. The company is also working on a way to let players see how much of their library is verified for Steam Deck before purchasing.
The Steam Deck is intriguing, but many players were concerned how fully-fledged PC games would translate to the handheld screen and unique control scheme. With this new program, Valve will (hopefully) be able to alleviate some of those concerns. The Steam Deck begins shipping in Dec. 2021, and is now available to preorder. If you're preparing for your very own Steam Deck, personalize your experience with some of the best Steam Deck accessories.
Forza Horizon 5 wants to feature the best soundtrack ever, with an improved streamer mode to match.
What you need to know
Forza Horizon 5 is only a few weeks away from an official release, which means Playground Games are winding down pre-launch coverage.
The final Let's Go! FH5 stream just concluded, with a focus on the Forza Horizon 5 original soundtrack and radio stations.
Playground also went over the new and improved streamer mode, which features a curated selection of original songs and more.
Finally, we got a look at six custom Xbox Series S consoles Playground made to gift to the six mural artists that helped work on Forza Horizon 5.
Forza Horizon 5 is now practically around the corner, with a release date only a few weeks away. As we near the eventful launch, Playground Games aired the final Let's Go! stream to share more FH5 details with fans. Let's Go! Episode 10 was all about the soundtrack in radio stations in Forza Horizon 5, but there was also some additional information and tidbits to tantalize players eagerly waiting to play the game. Playground also discussed the improved streamer mode, which aims to give streamers and creators ways to play Forza Horizon 5 without giving up the incredible music.
Everyone's favorite Forza Horizon radio stations are returning, including Pulse, Bass Arena, Eterna (previously Timeless FX), Hospital Records, Block Party, and XS. Each station features a mixture of major names (including artists like Dua Lipa, Lil Nas X, Bring Me the Horizon, Foo Fighters, and more), authentic Mexican artists and musicians, original compositions, and so much more. Playground seems confident they've put together the best soundtrack in a Forza Horizon game yet, and it did sound pretty great in our Forza Horizon 5 preview.
Playground also updated the streamer mode for Forza Horizon 5, which now includes a healthy mix of original sounds and licensed tracks that are entirely safe for creators to stream or include in videos, and can be toggled at any point. Hospital Records is also returning and further deepening its relationship with Forza Horizon and Playground Games, with an all-new collection of tracks. Apparently, fans will also be able to purchase a vinyl record featuring the complete Hospital Records FH5 soundtrack.
Elsewhere in the stream, we got to see more of the Forza Horizon 5 map and some of the brand-new vehicles being featured on the Forza Horizon 5 car list. We also got a look at the revamped Route Creator, which gives players in-depth options to customize existing races and tracks with tons of options and settings.
Playground also showed off six gorgeous custom Xbox Series S consoles, each adorned with one of the murals that are featured in FH5. None of these consoles will be available to purchase, and instead are intended to be gifted to the Mexican artists that provided original art pieces for Forza Horizon 5.
One surprise that Playground Games revealed at the end of the stream is that Forza Horizon 5 has gone gold, which means the game is feature complete and ready for release. Of course, the team will still be hard at work during the next few weeks, but Forza Horizon 5 is more or less finished. While it's unfortunate that this is our final Let's Go! stream, Forza Horizon 5 is truly about to launch for everyone.
Forza Horizon 5 is the latest project from Playground Games and continues the epic Forza Horizon adventure with a new roster of amazing cars and a brand-new location to explore: Mexico. Forza Horizon 5 launches on Xbox and PC later this year, and it's already available to preorder.
Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. Forza Horizon 5 will be available through Xbox Game Pass day one, including on consoles, PC, and the cloud.
Sign up for an early hands-on with the latest from Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin ahead of its launch this February.
Developer FromSoftware's Elden Ring is an upcoming action role-playing game being published by Bandai Namco. Fans of past FromSoftware games like the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice know to expect a mysterious world filled with terrifying monsters and difficult bosses to overcome. Depending on how it shakes out, it could even end up being one of the best Xbox RPGs available.
Ahead of the game's launch, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco are inviting players to sign up for a Closed Network Test. While it's not a full open beta, this does mean a handful of players will get to try an Elden Ring beta if they're selected. Here's what you need to know about signing up, the start time, and more.
What is the Elden Ring beta and Closed Network Test?
Alongside news of Elden Ring's delay, FromSoftware and Bandai Namco shared news on how players can sign up to try part of the game ahead of launch. This test isn't open to everyone but instead, certain players will be selected on certain platforms in order to test the network of the game.
FromSoftware has previously held these kinds of tests for past games that featured online functionality, including the Dark Souls games and Bloodborne. The Closed Network Test is being held on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PS5 and PS4. Unfortunately, it appears that there won't be access for PC players, at least right now.
List Elden Ring beta Closed Network Test times and dates
The test is being held across five sessions in the middle of Nov. 2021. If you are selected, you'll have access to all five sessions, which is when the servers will be online for players to access. Here are the five sessions and the times they'll be open:
Session 1 - November 12th (Fri) from 3:00am to 6:00am PT
Session 2 - November 12th (Fri) from 7:00pm to 10:00pm PT
Session 3 - November 13th (Sat) from 11:00am to 2:00pm PT
Session 4 - November 14th (Sun) from 3:00am to 6:00am PT
Session 5 - November 14th (Sun) from 7:00pm to 10:00pm PT
How to sign up for the Elden Ring beta and Closed Network Test
To sign up, you'll need to head to the official page. You'll then need to select your platform: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, or PS4. You'll also be asked to select which FromSoftware games you've played in the past, which is probably being used as selection criteria. An email address is required and it's important that you keep track of your inbox.
It's important to note that registration closes on Nov. 1, 2021, so you need to get your entry for this test in before the sign-ups close.
An upcoming epic
Elden Ring is the result of years of FromSoftware's years of learning, drawing inspiration from games like Demon's Souls, the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It's an open-world game where players can summon others for help or invade the worlds of other players. There's also stealth mechanics, as well as horseback travel.
The world of Elden Ring was designed as a collaboration between FromSoftware's Hidetaka Miyazaki and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin. The game also introduces other new features, such as Legacy Dungeons, which are designed to be even more difficult than other parts of the game.
Elden Ring is currently scheduled to arrive on Feb. 25, 2022, on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, PS5, and PS4.
Elden Ring is FromSoftware's next fantasy epic, featuring a focus on open-ended design in a universe created by both FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin.
Discover every new game coming to Xbox Game Pass right here.
Xbox Game Pass is the ever-expanding Netflix-like gaming subscription from Microsoft, the makers of Xbox. For a monthly subscription, Xbox Game Pass partakers gain access to a constantly rotating catalog of hundreds of high-quality Xbox games. The best Xbox Game Pass games include third-party multiplayer games, older AAA titles, indie projects, all first-party Microsoft games, and pretty much everything in between.
Xbox Game Pass is also included in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, an all-in-one subscription that gives players full access to Xbox Game Pass on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One consoles, Xbox Game Pass on PC, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Cloud Gaming (Project xCloud), and even EA Play. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate represents one of the best values in gaming, and that value only increases from month to month.
That's because Xbox Game Pass is always adding new games, with announcements once or twice a month. While games occasionally leave the service, the number of games available through Xbox Game Pass has been steadily growing since its launch. In this Xbox Game Pass guide, we'll go over all the new games coming to the service, the games about to leave, and the top games you should be keeping an eye on.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes everything you could possibly need for gaming, including Xbox Game Pass for consoles and PCs, EA Play, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Game Pass gains new games all the time, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate keeps getting better.
Best new Xbox Game Pass games: October 2021
You'll rarely go wrong with the diverse selection of games on Xbox Game Pass, but there are always a handful of titles that stand above the rest — including but not limited to exceptional indie games, addictive multiplayer games, expansive AAA games, and Microsoft's first-party games. These are the best new games that have recently arrived on Xbox Game Pass.
Back 4 Blood
Available: Oct. 12 (Xbox Series X|S Optimized, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
Good zombie killer games are beloved by gamers, but are often hard to come by. Left 4 Dead is a cult classic that is still fondly remembered, and Back 4 Blood aims to be the dormant series' spiritual successor. Built by the same team as Left 4 Dead, Back 4 Blood is a modernized, hectic co-op zombie shooter that delivers on its promises in spades, as long as you're willing to play with other people.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light
Available: Oct. 12 (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, & PC)
Destiny 2: Beyond Light is the title's most recent expansion, and is one of its best yet. With plenty of fresh content for players to explore, Beyond Light is a great starting point for newcomers to try Destiny 2. After a little bit of waiting, Destiny 2: Beyond Light is finally available on Xbox Game Pass for PC alongside console, where it has been available for ages now.
Available: Sept. 30 (Xbox Series X|S Optimized, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
Marvel's Avengers was an inconsistent adventure when it first released, but a still-excellent singleplayer campaign and a variety of updates to its multiplayer experience makes it worthwile to play through Xbox Game Pass. If you're a fan of superheroes or the Marvel universe, it's hard not to be tempted by everything Marvel's Avengers offers on pretty much every Xbox Game Pass platform.
Xbox Game Pass new games: Full list and schedule
It can be easy to lose track of all the new games coming to Xbox Game Pass, so we've compiled the full list for your convenience. In this section of our Xbox Game Pass guide, learn what games have been released on Xbox Game Pass recently, when they became available, and what platforms on which they're available.
The Good Life (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
Ring of Pain (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
The Riftbreaker (Xbox Series X|S Optimized, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
Back 4 Blood (Xbox Series X|S Optimized, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
Destiny 2: Beyond Light (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, & PC)
The Procession to Calvary (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
Visage (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (TABS) (Xbox Series X|S Optimized, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
What's coming to Xbox Game Pass soon
Microsoft loves to give Xbox Game Pass subscribers plenty of time to prepare for upcoming additions by announcing them early. This section of our Xbox Game Pass will help you keep track of all the games coming to Xbox Game Pass shortly, so you can decide what you want to play and whether you need to free up some space.
Into the Pit (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, & PC)
Moonglow Bay (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox Cloud Gaming, & PC)
Age of Empires IV (PC)
Minecraft: Bedrock Edition (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, & PC)
Minecraft: Java Edition (PC)
Football Manager 2022 (Xbox Series X|S Optimized, Xbox One, PC, & Xbox Cloud Gaming)
What's leaving Xbox Game Pass soon
For the most part, more games join Xbox Game Pass than leave. However, most games do leave the service eventually, so Microsoft likes to give players a heads up if they hadn't gotten around to playing that game yet. Keep an eye on this section of our Xbox Game Pass guide for games you still want to play. If you see a game you've played and loved, be sure to purchase it with your Xbox Game Pass discount so you can keep it forever.
There are currently no games that have been announced as leaving Xbox Game Pass in the near future. Check back in regularly for more updates!
Upcoming games launching on Xbox Game Pass
Microsoft gives us updates on games heading to Xbox Game Pass a few weeks before those games become available, usually twice a month. However, Xbox and [email protected] events toss aside this expectation to announce a flurry of games that are hitting Xbox Game Pass day and date, meaning they're launching into the service when they land on Xbox platforms. That means day one access to all of these games for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, including some of the best upcoming Xbox games.
Many of these games are far enough out that they don't even have a release date, and we're not certain exactly which platforms they'll come to through Xbox Game Pass. Still, this list in our Xbox Game Pass guide will give you an idea of what to look out for in the future of Xbox Game Pass. We'll constantly update this list as we get new information about release dates, when games become available, and what platforms are getting them.
The following events have been added to this section:
State of Decay 3 (Xbox Series X|S Optimized & PC) — Unknown release date
The Outer Worlds 2 (Xbox Series X|S Optimized & PC) — No release date
Xbox Game Pass adds new games all the time, but there's already a vast selection of high-quality titles available for gamers to play. Check out our list of best games on Xbox Game Pass for some fantastic ideas on what you should play next. You can also pick up one of the best external SSDs for Xbox Series X|S to ensure you always have enough storage for all these games.
Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on the go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.
The Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard was already affordable, but it's now 50% off.
Microsoft has a long history of making ergonomic keyboards. Dating all the way back to 1994, Microsoft has released keyboards like the Sculpt Ergonomic, Surface Ergonomic, and the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. The Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard follows in those footsteps and is down to one of its lowest prices ever. Right now, you can purchase the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard for just $30, which is half off of its normal price.
The Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard was our pick as the best ergonomic keyboard before its price drop. It has deep key travel and large keys to provide a comfortable typing experience. Its keys are designed to bounce back, lessening the effort needed to type.
This ergonomic keyboard delivered an excellent value at its normal price. Right now, it's 50% off through Microsoft.
Our executive editor Daniel Rubino has used several ergonomic keyboards from Microsoft and gave this one a 4.5/5 in his Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard review. It earned high marks for its improved layout, larger keys, and consistent key travel. Rubino also praised the keyboard for its price, and that was back when it cost $60.
"Microsoft's Ergonomic Keyboard for 2019 is an excellent follow-up to the legendary Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000," said Rubino. "With larger keys, better key actuation, fixed spacebar, and now dedicated keys for the Windows 10 emoji picker, Office, and Windows snipping tool, it's also the most useful."
The biggest drawback of the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard is that it lacks backlighting. Many would excuse this due to the keyboard's low price tag, but it's a noteworthy omission.
While the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard is an excellent option, it isn't the only ergonomic keyboard on the market. In fact, Microsoft makes three of the best ergonomic keyboards you can buy. They're all a bit different when it comes to design, so you may prefer one over the other. Logitech, Razer, and Kinesis also make solid ergonomic keyboards that are featured in our roundup.
You can now store and sync your addresses and payment information through Microsoft Authenticator.
What you need to know
Microsoft Authenticator now supports syncing addresses and payment information.
You can use Microsoft Authenticator on iOS and Android devices.
Microsoft Authenticator already supported storing and syncing passwords.
Microsoft Authenticator can now store and sync your payment information and addresses across devices. Microsoft's Vishnu Nath announced the new functionality in a Windows blog post. Once you set up the app, Microsoft Authenticator can autofill your payment information and addresses on iOS and Android devices.
Microsoft Authenticator already had the ability to sync and autofill passwords. With the addition of payment information and address support, the app is now a more robust option for filling out forms on the web. Autofill data is encrypted on devices and in the cloud when synced across hardware. To use Microsoft Authenticator to autofill payment information, people need to use a biometric security option, such as a fingerprint.
"Let Autofill securely save your address or payment info for you so you don't have to type it again or make any mistakes in getting your important packages delivered," says Microsoft's blog post. "Your addresses will sync across devices and can be filled automatically, including on your desktop devices using Microsoft Edge or the Microsoft Autofill Extension on Google Chrome."
Android and iOS support autofilling forms on the web. A support document explains how to set up Microsoft Authenticator as an autofill provider.
The Chrome Web Store also has a Microsoft Autofill extension that supports addresses and payment information.
The Surface Duo 2 continues to be the ̶a̶p̶p̶l̶e̶ Surface of our readers' eyes.
What you need to know
Google, Microsoft, Apple, and other major companies have new gadgets coming out in October 2021, which has been called "Techtober."
The iPhone 13, Pixel 6, and new Surface hardware are among the newly announced devices.
Windows Central readers are overwhelmingly most excited about the Surface Duo 2.
October is always a big month for gadget geeks, and that's especially the case with October 2021. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants have new gadgets to show off this month. Many in the industry now refer to October as "Techtober" due to the number of announcements each year. Over the weekend, we ran a poll asking which gadget drew the most excitement from our readers. In a poll full of options from the biggest names in tech, the Surface Duo 2 won in a landslide.
Over 58% of polled Windows Central readers said that they were most excited about the Surface Duo 2. That was more than five times the interest the Pixel 6 drew. Only 2.6% of voters said that they were most interested in the iPhone 13. The MacBook Pro, which should be announced on October 18, 2021, only earned 2% of the votes.
As Windows Central has a readership with many Microsoft and Surface enthusiasts, it's not surprising that the Surface Duo 2 garnered the most attention. What is a bit surprising is the margin by which the Surface Duo 2 beat out every other device. Microsoft's Surface Laptop Studio (6.9%), Surface Pro 8 (6.4%), and Surface Go 3 (2%) didn't come close to their foldable Surface sibling.
The Microsoft-made device that drew the second most interest was the Xbox Mini Fridge (9.6%).
The Surface Duo 2 is the most anticipated device among Windows Central readers this Techtober. The foldable Surface runs on a Snapdragon 888 processor, supports 5G, and has an improved camera setup compared to its predecessor.
Outriders is officially coming to the Microsoft Store through Xbox Game Pass for PC on Oct. 19, 2021.
The game will support cross progression between the Xbox and Microsoft Store versions of the game, and it will also support crossplay between all platforms as well.
Additional updates for Outriders are also coming soon, according to the official blog post regarding the move to Xbox Game Pass for PC.
In a brand new blog post, it has been announced that the popular RPG looter shooter Outriders is coming to the Microsoft Store on Oct. 19, 2021 through Xbox Game Pass for PC (and by extension, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate). Like other Xbox Game Pass for PC titles, players will be able to download, install, and play Outriders through the Microsoft Store on Oct. 19 and beyond.
It has also been confirmed that veteran players can transfer progress between Xbox consoles and the Microsoft Store version of the game on PC, meaning that you won't need to make a new character and start over as long as you're using the same Microsoft Account on your Xbox and your PC. Additionally, Outriders will also be updated with support for crossplay on all platforms, allowing all players to play with each other regardless of platform.
The blog post concluded with a tease that fans should "keep your eye on Outriders in the coming weeks" and that "some exciting updates are coming your way," suggesting that there will be new features and/or content announced for Outriders soon. Overall, Outriders is already one of the best Xbox shooters for fans of the looter shooter genre, so it's great to see that it's being improved with crossplay, cross progression, and more.
Grab an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for your access to all things Xbox, including access to Xbox Game Pass for PC that you can use to play the Minecraft PC Bundle when it becomes available Nov. 2.
Crucial's X8 2TB portable solid state drive has hit a new low price on Amazon. It's down to $189.99 from a street price around $240. This is $10 better than any other deal we've seen on the X8 in the past, and it's especially good if you consider the drive was selling for as much as $280 at one point this year. You can actually find it going for that much at other retailers like Best Buy, which tells you the sort of bargain you're getting from Amazon today.
Crucial X8 2TB portable SSD | $50 off
With USB-C and fast read speeds up to 1,050 MB/s, you get fast speeds with this SSD for whatever you're working on. It also works on a wide array of platforms. Plus, since it's portable it's designed to be durable, too.
So as a portable SSD, the X8 has several benefits. For one thing, it's a lot more durable than a regular hard drive. None of the same moving parts means it'll last longer even while it's getting tossed around. It's not as vulnerable to vibrations or normal wear and tear from being on the go. Plus, the X8 itself is built with durability in mind. It has an anodized aluminum unibody core and is drop-proof from up to 7.5 feet. It's also resistant to extreme temperatures and shocks.
Plus, as an SSD it's just plain faster. You can get read speeds up to 1,050 MB/s. That's even faster than a lot of other SSDs, so you can maximize how you're using the X8 to transfer data. The larger the file, like a game or a movie, the more you'll notice just how much faster the X8 is compared to something like a regular hard drive.
You'll get both a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port and a USB-A port. That's important because having both USB-C and USB-A means it's compatible with a wide variety of platforms. You don't have to just save the X8 for your laptop. Use it with a mobile device or as extra storage for your Xbox or PlayStation gaming console. It works with Windows or Mac, the iPad Pro, Chromebooks, and more. It's also covered by a three year warranty.
Having a desktop PC doesn't have to mean having a separate box, monitor, and the endless cables that run between the two. Whether you're tight on space or just looking for something simpler and more elegant, the all-in-one PC could be the right choice for you. And fortunately, there are some great all-in-one Windows PCs, like the HP Envy 32.
Best Overall: HP Envy 32
Sometimes with an all-in-one PC, you have to compromise, but with the HP Envy 32, you genuinely do not. Its size helps a little, but you can have pretty much everything you could ever want from a PC all in this single unit.
That includes a full-fat 65W Intel Core i7 CPU, not the slimmed-down versions you often find inside an all-in-one or a laptop, and its paired with either NVIDIA GTX or RTX dedicated graphics. You might not be buying one of these as a gaming rig, but you bet it can tear up the latest titles.
The Envy 32 also boasts a massive 32-inch display, with both 4K resolution and HDR and a neat anti-reflective finish, which makes it so much nicer to sit in front of for long periods.
HP's ENVY 32 AIO sets the bar for AIO PCs in 2020. It blows away the Apple iMac 27, and it can act as your TV, computer for work, and a gaming rig.
Runner-up: Lenovo Yoga A940
Microsoft's Surface category usually sets a trend that the Windows OEM partners will try to emulate, iterate or just plain make better, and Lenovo's Yoga A940 all-in-one is undoubtedly one which fits that mantra.
It has an articulating hinge reminiscent of the Surface, which means for the creative folks out there, grab the pen and get to some comfortable drawing on a massive sketch pad. It's not just creators and designers who will enjoy it, though.
The big, beautiful 4K display is attached to some pretty exciting hardware, including a full desktop-class Intel Core i7, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and an AMD RX 560 GPU. It's also got Thunderbolt 3, an essential desire in modern high-end computers. Perhaps most amazing, though, is that you can upgrade some components on this machine, meaning you can keep it up to scratch for much longer.
Relatively affordable pricing.
Plenty of ports, including Thunderbolt 3.
4K touch display with excellent color.
Robust hardware options.
Loud, full, front-firing audio.
More powerful GPU options would be welcome.
Fan is quite loud.
Build quality lacking compared to other premium AIOs.
Upgrade hardware, enjoy the included accessories, and create to your heart's content with this multipurpose all-in-one PC.
Best for creators: Microsoft Surface Studio 2
The Surface Studio 2 isn't just an all-in-one PC. It's perhaps the most innovative computer in recent memory. Not only do you get a full, powerful Windows 10 PC in the same box as a display, but you also get a stunning, sleek, slim form factor. Oh, and it also folds down flat like the biggest, most glorious sketchpad you've ever seen.
The Surface Studio 2 is an amazing PC, but it comes alive when you're a creator. That massive display is all-touch with pen support, so it's an incredible digital canvas. Throw on the Surface Dial, and you've got a killer toolset at your fingertips. It isn't cheap, but at the upper levels, you can get fairly capable dedicated graphics from NVIDIA that will even be OK for some modest gaming.
The real draw to the Studio 2 is the articulating display, though. It's still largely unmatched, and the biggest drawback to it right now is that the Surface Studio 2 remains very expensive and, at this point, is probably due for a refresh. But the experience it delivers is still absolutely superb.
It's incredibly expensive, but with one of the best displays on any PC and a unique articulating hinge, this is a game-changing all-in-one.
Best Budget: Dell Inspiron 24 5000
Dell's new 24-inch all-in-one is a perfect addition to your family setup, thanks in no small part to its thoughtful design. The bezels are virtually non-existent, making for a compact body, and even the stand has been designed to be as space-efficient as possible.
It's not lacking on hardware, either. Inside, you'll find a range of Intel 10th Gen processors, up to 16GB of RAM, options for speedy NVMe SSD storage, and even a front-facing soundbar to make your music and movies sound great. There's also a pop-up webcam for those important calls to relatives. Or work colleagues.
There are options to suit all budgets, including a very affordable entry-level model, but you'll have to make do with sluggish HDD storage at this level as a compromise. All spec levels come with a 1080p display, though, making for a well-equipped, stylish family computer.
With a space-efficient design, a great screen, a pop-up webcam, and a host of spec options, the Inspiron 24 5000 has something to offer the whole family.
The bottom line
Choosing an all-in-one PC can be difficult, not least because they're not the most popular type of machine, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of hot hardware to choose from. HP's Envy 32 is the cream of the crop, and for many good reasons.
It ticks just about every box you could think of. You get a big, beautiful display, high-end hardware inside that includes actual gaming-class graphics from NVIDIA, stunning design, and some thoughtful features.
Not only does it include a webcam, but it pops out of sight when you don't need it, and it supports Windows Hello when you do. It's also one of the only all-in-one PCs that can accept a display input as well, so you can also use it as a monitor for your laptop when you need to. It can't be beaten right now.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. F5ollow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
Even though Windows 11 is now available, Microsoft still plans to support Windows 10 for several more years. In fact, Microsoft is gearing up to release a new feature update for Windows 10 before the end of this year that will include minor enterprise grade features and under the hood enhancements and bug fixes.
For over a year now, Microsoft has based new feature updates for Windows 10 on an older platform release known as Vibranium. This is the platform that version 2004, 20H2, and 21H1 shipped on top of, and 21H2 will follow that same path. This means 21H2 is not a major release for Windows 10, but is a continuation of the shipping release already on the market. This allows 21H2 to install like a monthly security update, and not a full build upgrade.
Here's everything you need to know about the next Windows 10 feature release, known as version 21H2.
Public name: N/A
Windows 10 version 21H2: Price and availability
Just like previous versions of Windows 10, version 21H2 will be a free update for existing Windows 10 users, offered as an optional feature release that you don't immediately need to install right away. 21H2 will only be forced upon you once the version of Windows 10 you're currently running reaches its end of support date.
Currently, there is no official date for the general release of Windows 10 version 21H2, however Microsoft is already testing it publicly in the Windows Insider Release Preview channel, so if you'd like to get access to it today, joining the Release Preview ring is your best bet.
Windows 10 version 21H2: New features
Windows 10 version 21H2 does not include any new features in the traditional sense. Just like 21H2 and 20H2 before it, version 21H2 for Windows 10 includes enterprise-grade enhancements and lots of fixes and under the hood improvements designed to make Windows 10 more stable to use day-to-day.
This means that version 21H2 for Windows 10 doesn't include any notable changes that you'll have to adjust to. The user experience and feature set will remain mostly the same, which is good news for people who don't like change.
Microsoft has already confirmed that the new Microsoft Store built for Windows 11 will also be coming to Windows 10 at some point as well, though this doesn't appear to be tied to a specific version of Windows 10. That likely means it'll be pushed out as an update for all in-support versions of Windows 10.
Here are the highlights for what's new in 21H2 for Windows 10:
Added WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security
Windows Hello for Business introduces a new deployment method called cloud trust to support simplified passwordless deployments and achieve a deploy-to-run state within a few minutes
GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning and other compute intensive workflows
One big change coming to 21H2 that some users may be effected by is with the Timeline feature, which can be found in the Task View button on the Taskbar. Starting with this release, Timeline will no longer sync activities across devices. The feature still works for local files and images, but that data will no longer be synced across PCs.
Microsoft has also confirmed that the new Microsoft Store built for Windows 11 will also be coming to Windows 10 at some point, though this doesn't appear to be tied to a specific release version of Windows 10. That likely means it'll be pushed out as an update for all in-support versions of Windows 10.
Windows 10 version 21H2: Support lifecycle
Microsoft says that Windows 10 version 21H2 will be supported for 18 months on Home and Pro SKUs, and 30 months for Enterprise and Education SKUs. Microsoft is also designating Windows 10 version 21H2 an LTSC (long-term servicing channel) release, meaning it will be supported with critical updates for up to 5-years on devices running LTSC versions of Windows 10.
If you're looking for a new TV, Amazon's Epic Daily Deals have a few options for you from Sony today. The biggest deal is Sony's 2019 65-inch OLED smart TV on sale for $1,699.99. According to this TV's price history it has never gone below $2,500 before. In fact, the same TV is currently $3,000 at Best Buy, and it has sold much higher than that in the past. These days the street price is around $2,800 most of the time, but that still makes today's deal an $1,100 discount.
Sure, this is a 2019 model and Sony has since released models with more modern tech, but 2019 was not that long ago. This is still a great TV, and this price is ridiculous. It might be my favorite deal from Amazon's Epic Daily Deals so far.
Sony XBR-65A9G 2019 OLED TV | $1,100 off
You get a quality OLED panel, a fantastic processor for upscaling content and capitalizing on the panel's intense contrast, and a smart platform that works with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. All at a crazy low price.
If that price tag is still a little too steep, Amazon has a couple of other options for you. You can grab the Sony X950H 4K Smart TV on sale in either the 55-inch or 65-inch versions. Pay just $949.99 ($250 off) or $1,199.99 ($300 off) respectively. These are high-quality TVs with 4K resolution, Sony's X1 processor that can boost image quality and upscale content, full array local dimming for improved picture, and more. They also have Android TV and work with either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Sony's Bravia OLED TV also has Android TV with Google Assistant built right in. Of course it can work with Amazon Alexa through an Alexa-enabled device. It also has Apple HomeKit support, and you can use Apple AIrPlay 2 to stream content straight from your mobile device.
Of course, the OLED TV includes amazing image quality and the tech to back it up. The Pixel Contrast Booster supercharges every pixel. Sony's Master of Quality feature ensures you're watching your favorite movies exactly as the creator intended you to with the best picture possible. The TV even has a triluminos display, which provides advanced color and gradation.