Get in the holiday spirit with Monster Hunter: World's Winter Star Fest

It’s a holiday miracle!

Over the past year, Monster Hunter: World has received many crossover events and other festivals. The title has also received numerous updates and boasts a significant fan following. For the past few months, there haven’t been many changes to the game. Luckily, that’s about to change.

New Dragon Age information should be revealed next month

We may know more about the next Dragon Age game next week.

Almost a year ago, BioWare Producer Mark Darrah confirmed that the developer was hard at work on Anthem and the next Dragon Age game. Darrah said that he was the Executive Producer for both, and that “there are people hard at work on both franchises.” He also added that the next Dragon Age game will focus on continuing the story after the main campaign ends. This seems to indicate that development is currently going strong for the next entry in the Dragon Age franchise. We might just see the title sooner rather than later.

Anthem Closed Alpha kicks off next week, sign-ups now live

Electronic Arts has provided the first details on Anthem’s Closed Alpha test, commencing next week.

With 2018’s biggest titles now on shelves, the focus is shifting to what lies ahead. Electronic Arts’ upcoming shared-world shooter, Anthem is slated for a February 22, 2018 debut, promising cooperative class-based gameplay in a vast open world. While details on the title are limited, the publisher is already gearing up for the game’s first hands-on opportunity.

Anthem’s Closed Alpha is set for next week, from December 8 to December 9, spanning Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs. Unlike previously-announced “pre-launch” demos, these will be “more limited,” focusing on networking and stability. The test will be limited to invited players, with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) enforced to prevent sharing. Four three-hour sessions are planned for the period, with registration via the EA Community Playtesting sign-up page.

For those unable to participate in Anthem’s Closed Alpha, pre-launch demo plans are also outlined. The first demo is scheduled for February 1, 2019, with access via preorders, EA Access, Origin Access, and other sign-up portals.

In the meantime, Anthem is available for preorder starting at $59.99, ahead of its planned February 22, 2019, release.

The White House will meet with tech execs to talk ‘transformational ideas’

Top tech executives from Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Oracle will head to the White House next Thursday to discuss “bold, transformational ideas” focused on U.S. innovation.
The meeting, framed as a “roundtable discussion” by The Wall Street Journal, is expected to cover a broad range of emerging tech topics, from 5G to AI to quantum computing, which “can help ensure U.S. leadership in industries of the future,” according to a White House email.
The meeting follows longstanding tensions between the Trump administration and many large tech firms over policy decisions, ranging from social issues like LGBTQ rights and immigration to trade tariffs.
Notably absent is Amazon, which participated in early White House meetings, but has grown increasingly at odds with the administration as Trump has specifically targeted Washington Post owner, Jeff Bezos. Twitter, Facebook and Google have all also been in the president’s cross-hairs over accusations of media bias and “shadow banning.” 
Along with CEOs like Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai (who is also scheduled to testify in front of the House a day prior), Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian and private equity firm Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman will also be in attendance.

The White House will meet with tech execs to talk ‘transformational ideas’

Aliens vs. Predator, Sonic Unleashed, more join Xbox backward compatibility

The list keeps on growing.

Ever since Xbox One backward compatibility was announced, gamers have been asking for a few high-profile games. While the majority of requests revolve around the Call of Duty franchise, the Aliens and Sonic franchises have been other hot series. Today, Microsoft announced that Aliens vs. Predator, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and Sonic Unleashed are now backward compatible.

Microsoft just bought inXile Entertainment, but who are they?

Microsoft is gearing up to tackle the next console generation with a bang, picking up studios left, right, and center in attempts to offset some of its biggest criticisms. Say hi to inXile Entertainment.

Microsoft is setting its bets for the next console generation, as Redmond not only attempts to make up for lost ground against PlayStation, but sets up defences against potential moves from Google, Amazon, and other tech giants.

Microsoft is well placed on a technical level for the next console generation. The combined forces of the Xbox and Surface industrial engineering teams is a winning combo, and Microsoft’s massive investment in regional data centers grants them a sizable advantage in live services, and their planned game streaming service, set to debut in 2019. One area Microsoft has arguably neglected in recent years is in its internal game stable. Both critics and customers have been fairly adamant that Microsoft can improve in this area, and Microsoft has responded in a big way.

Microsoft picked up several new studios this year, including Forza Horizon-aficionado Playground Games, RPG heavyweight Obsidian Entertainment, and State of Decay developer Undead Labs. When Microsoft announced the acquisition of inXile Entertainment, however, it came as a bit of a surprise.

inXile Entertainment, founded by the legendary Brian Fargo of Interplay fame, is known in recent times for classic-style crowd-funded RPGs Wasteland 2 and The Bard’s Tale IV. Both games were well-received overall, but they launched missing some of the polish that you might have expected from a larger studio. I think it’s fair to say the games also flew under the radar a bit, lacking the marketing reach Microsoft Studios games typically enjoy. As part of Microsoft, inXile should be able to push their ambitions to the next level, handing off business administration and marketing efforts to Microsoft corporate, and focusing entirely on their art.

Here’s a brief history of inXile, and what to expect from this hugely promising studio.

Intel launches 'modern' graphics drivers for Windows 10

Intel’s new drivers are aimed at providing broad support in one package across all Windows 10 editions.

Intel this week announced that, starting this month, it will begin distributing drivers for its products as “modern” Universal Windows Drivers (via Neowin).