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Xbox Game Preview, ID@Xbox titles coming to Windows 10 this year

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While celebrating the third anniversary of its ID@Xbox program this week, Microsoft announced that “tons” of independently produced Xbox One games will hit Windows 10 over the next several years, with many “amazing” titles premiering by the end of 2016.

The publisher also announced plans to introduce a Windows 10 version of its Steam Early Access-styled Xbox Game Preview program, allowing PC gamers to preview and purchase in-development games before their official release.

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Microsoft launched its ID@Xbox program in 2013 in a bid to attract independent developers and publishers to its Xbox One console. As part of the program, enrolled developers get free devkits and access to Unity middleware, along with support and publishing assistance from Microsoft and other affiliated companies.

Recent firmware updates for the Xbox One also made it easier for hobbyists to test their projects on retail units, among other developer-friendly additions. More than 300 ID@Xbox games have hit the Xbox One to date, including recent standouts like Playdead’s Inside, Psyonix’s Rocket League, and Versus Evil’s The Banner Saga.

“More than 300 games have shipped on Xbox One via the ID@Xbox program since Strike Suit Zero debuted in April 2014, and there are more than 1,000 (way more than 1,000!) games in development today for Xbox One and Windows 10,” ID@Xbox program director Chris Charla stated. “We’ve seen multiple million-sellers, and independent developers working through ID@Xbox have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales revenue in the Xbox Store.”

Charla additionally outlined Microsoft’s plans to introduce its Game Preview program on Windows 10 PCs starting later this year with the launch of Rockfish’s Everspace. Originally introduced as Xbox Game Preview in 2015, the Early Access-inspired program allowed in-progress Xbox One games like Elite: Dangerous, The Long Dark, and Sheltered to be sold digitally via the Xbox Store prior to completion.

“I’m super happy that we’re enabling PC gamers to preview and purchase work-in-progress digital titles, participate in the development process and help developers make Windows 10 games the best they can be,” Charla said. “We’ll have lots more games to talk about in Game Preview for Windows 10 soon.”

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Netflix expands its game lineup with new titles from Ubisoft and more
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Netflix is doubling down on its commitment to gaming. During a presentation attended by Digital Trends, the streaming service's games team teased four new titles. It highlighted how many games are in the works for Netflix as it continues to put its mark on mobile gaming and ramp up its efforts on its cloud gaming service.
The four games Netflix discussed were all from external studios. Following Valiant Hearts: Coming Home, Netflix is collaborating with Ubisoft again on the action roguelike Mighty Quest: Rogue Palace, which is based on the game Mighty Quest for Epic Loot and launches on April 18. 
Ustwo Games is bringing complete versions of both Monument Valley titles to Netflix in 2024, building on the partnership established with Desta: The Memories Between. Netflix also confirmed that it is working with Catalyst Black and Vainglory developer Super Evil Megacorp on a tie-in game for an unannounced Netflix IP.
Finally, Netflix confirmed that it is working with developer Nanobit on another game based on the show Too Hot to Handle. Their previous tie-in game for that show is the most popular Netflix game.

Netflix made it clear that it understands that people like games that tie into known franchises and that there are plenty of titles still in the works. Leanne Loombe, vice president of External Games, confirmed that Netflix is currently working on 70 games with external developers, in addition to 16 titles that are in "early ideation" at its internal studios. She explained that the ultimate goal is for Netflix to release batches of new games that appeal to a wide variety of gamers every month.
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In the near term, that means the focus will remain on mobile games that players download on the App Store and Google Play Store before authenticating them through Netflix. Loombs also reaffirmed Netflix's efforts to build a cloud gaming platform, albeit slowly and steadily.
"We are very early in that side of our journey, but we are very committed to making sure that games can be played wherever you have Netflix," Loombe said. "We do believe that cloud gaming will enable us to provide that easy access to games on any screen, be frictionless, and provide that accessibility into gaming experiences. But we do want to be super thoughtful about how we build that and how we bring it to our members, ... just like we're doing for mobile games, we will take it slow."
Don't expect Netflix to be an immediate competitor for Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo, but don't be surprised if it ends up becoming very relevant in the mobile and cloud gaming spaces in the future. 

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The fantasy Japanese RPGs debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987, but they became cultural touchstones in the '90s as Super Nintendo games. From there, the series made an incredibly successful jump to 3D on the PlayStation 1 before the mainline series started to take more risks, including the elimination of turn-based battles and massively multiplayer online game (MMO) entries, and the latest game, Final Fantasy XVI, becoming a full-on character-action game.

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The Xbox Series X and Series S have now been out for over two years, bringing better resolution, higher frame rates, and ray tracing to gamers around the world. The upcoming Xbox Series X games on this list promise to continue to show off all those bells and whistles in fun, new experiences.

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