Hardware accelerated ray tracing is now firmly established in triple-A titles on PC and with the transition to next generation Xbox and PlayStation hardware, consoles can now join the party. Watch Dogs: Legion is the first DXR-enabled title we’ve seen that also features ray tracing on consoles – which raises the question: to what extent can the new machines match up to existing PC hardware? What kind of compromises are required to bring RT to consoles – and what happens when we retrofit those cuts to the PC version? Let’s just say that the answers are illuminating.

Hardware RT in Watch Dogs Legion is used for reflections, replacing the standard system based on a combination of screen-space reflections and cube maps. To make that clearer, cube maps are essentially non-dynamic ‘probes’, capturing environment detail and baking them into a texture wrapped around a cube – and typically thousands of them … Read the rest

We know you’re busy and might miss out on all the exciting things we’re talking about on Xbox Wire every week. If you’ve got a few minutes, we can help remedy that. We’ve pared down the past week’s news into one easy-to-digest article for all things Xbox! Or, if you’d rather watch than read, you can feast your eyes on our weekly video show above. Be sure to come back every Friday to find out what’s happening This Week on Xbox!

Power Your Dreams: Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S Now Available Worldwide
The future of gaming starts today with the launch of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, bringing the most performant, immersive and compatible next-generation console gaming experiences to players around the world. The launch of these next-generation consoles is the continuation of our vision of an entirely new future for players… Read more

The Read the rest

(Update, 7:25pm): Montreal Police have issued a statement on today’s incident at Ubisoft Montreal, confirming again that no threats were detected and no injuries reported. Police also confirmed that the 911 call was in regards to a false hostage situation. An investigation is planned to begin soon. The full statement can be read below. 

This Friday afternoon, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) deployed a large number of resources to answer a call for a hostage situation in a Saint-Laurent Boulevard office building. The perimeter was quickly secured and the SPVM confirms that no threat has been detected and no injuries are reported.

The evacuees are being directed to a place where investigators will take their statement. A team of CIUSS social workers is also on hand to support them as needed.

An investigation will follow regarding the call behind this important police force deployment.

(Update, Read the rest

Treyarch has added a couple of options to Black Ops Cold War that should make it harder to stream snipe.

Through a series of settings new to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, streamers now have tools that allow them to mask themselves from their audience.

Stream sniping is a very real problem for streamers. The bigger the audience, the more problems you are likely to run into. The practice sees viewers trying to enter a matchmaking queue at the exact same time as the streamer they are watching. If they are successful and get into the same game, they can watch the streamers’ feed and know where they are at all times.

That’s a problem for any competitive Call of Duty player.

The most effective of the new options is a matchmaking delay. This allows you to set an artificial time buffer on your account. It … Read the rest

Some might say that Xbox Series S is the anti-Digital Foundry console. Out of the gate, its mission statement is specifically not to deliver the state of the art in its visual presentation. Instead, the pitch is something very different – to enable next-generation gaming without having to shell out $500/£450 to indulge your hobby. Combined with Xbox All-Access, or as a standalone purchase with the value-rific Xbox Game Pass, it’s a machine designed to enable access to the games of today and tomorrow without having to wait a couple of years for the latest and greatest console hardware to drop in price – something that Microsoft says may not happen anyway.

Series S delivers exactly what it sets out to achieve, but it’s not an anti-DF machine, far from it. It’s beautifully designed, irresistible in the flesh, and in a world of economic uncertainty and an increased drive … Read the rest

At sixteen years old in the Summer of 2013 I set out to make the dream game I wanted to play with my friends: Unturned. Seven years later it is still my passion project for Windows PC, and now 505 is bringing an edition to Xbox One! Over the years the game has expanded with dozens of maps, hundreds of new features, all with the help of a vibrant modding community.

Unturned is a sandbox survival game where you set your own goals, so almost any feature can be included in one way or another. As the developer this has been a lot of fun because I have been able to build in elements from all my favourite games, and experiment with tons of different ideas.

One of these aspects I am proudest of is the Coalition questlines on the Russia map. The Coalition is an international team of … Read the rest

Announced as a part of the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Nintendo Direct in September, the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. system is a nifty, beautiful little handheld that simultaneously pays homage to Nintendo’s classic Game & Watch portable devices from the ’80s and the company’s flagship game franchise, Super Mario Bros.

This new handheld system from Nintendo gathers the first two Super Mario Bros. games (Super Mario Bros. and the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, known as the Lost Levels in the U.S.), as well as the classic Game & Watch game Ball, with Mr. Game & Watch swapped out for Mario. I don’t need to run down the features of the Mario games – you likely already own these classics multiple times across myriad devices – but for those new to Game & Watch, Ball is a simple title where you focus on juggling multiple balls without … Read the rest

Early in your Demon’s Souls adventure, Penetrator can be a hard stop to your progress. However, there’s a definite strategy you can follow to take down this difficult boss – as well as a cheap cheese strategy.

Demon’s Souls – How to beat Penetrator

The easiest way to beat Penetrator is to fight him alongside Biorr. If you rescued him from World 1-2, he will join the fight as soon as you enter the boss fog.

Let Biorr tank hits from Penetrator, but be careful to step in when you need to and not to let him die. While Penetrator is attacking Biorr, hit him in the back until his attention is on you again.

Roll away and dodge his attacks until he’s back to focusing on Biorr, then repeat the process.

The Penetrator does mostly dashes and sweeping attacks. They are all fairly slow and telegraphed, but can be … Read the rest

It’s finally happening. Ever since Microsoft and Sony revealed the hardware specifications of Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, the question has always been to what extent differences in teraflops, clock speeds and memory bandwidth will actually translate into the gameplay experience and today, we have our first glimpse at how the systems truly compare. Capcom’s Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition was initially supplied to us on PlayStation 5 last week, with Xbox Series X code arriving yesterday. There’s what looks very much like feature parity across the board here, and a unique set-up that’s very friendly for benchmarking – so which machine is faster?

First of all, it’s worth emphasising just how preliminary this test is. Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is essentially a cross-gen title – an enhanced version of the game already available on current generation Xbox and PlayStation hardware. And we also know from … Read the rest

Everyone here at Studio Wildcard has been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to reveal the second part of the Ark: Survival Evolved Genesis saga, which is launching March 2021. And this weekend at the annual Extra Life charity event, where the Ark community raised over $180,000 for the kids, we finally did just that and revealed quite a bit of what’s coming!

Continuing the story of ARK: Genesis, the second installment takes place on a huge contiguous new world packed with mysterious biomes, story driven missions, and otherworldly creatures. Set on an enormous colony ship travelling through deep space, survivors will join the spritely HLN-A in a final confrontation against her archnemesis Sir Edmund Rockwell. Drawing on all your previous Ark experiences will be key to overcoming this challenge!

This expansion pack is our largest yet and has game-changing additions for every kind of Survivor. Say hello to convenience with … Read the rest