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Fable just the first step in getting more Xbox One games on Windows

It's easy to forget the Xbox's place inside the Windows empire. The bespoke platform is hinged on games and entertainment, looming over the console world but still living in its own fiefdom under Microsoft. The Xbox 360 and Xbox One are seen as instrumental to the software giant's goals, but their reach is about a billion behind that of Windows. Microsoft wants to dismantle the barriers within itself now, unifying games, productivity and phones under the banner of Windows 10.

The Xbox One will host new universal apps – programs designed to run on both Windows devices and Xbox architecture – alongside a Windows 10 update later this year, but that's a lesser gesture compared to what Microsoft announced on Wednesday during its Windows 10 event. Even having the Xbox and its games there, on stage, represents a change in the Windows message.

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, took that stage to announce a PC version of Fable Legends, the latest entry in developer Lionhead's long-running and lovably lighthearted fantasy role-playing series. Not only is the game coming to Windows PC players, but it's coming in a way that allows them to play and chat with Xbox One players through Xbox Live. According to Spencer, it's the first game of several first-party Xbox games coming to PC.

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The hows and whys of time manipulation in Life Is Strange

Image The latest footage from developer Dontnod's Life Is Strange offers a detailed look at how the game's central time manipulation gimmick is supposed to work, courtesy the developers that built the system in the first place. [Image: Square Enix] ... Continue Reading

Ubisoft announces next experimental game for PC, Grow Home

Ubisoft announced a new platforming game for PC today, Grow Home. Developed by a small team at Ubisoft Reflections, the game features a red robot named BUD (Botanical Utility Droid), who travels across the galaxy to find a "new species of flora to help oxygenate his home world." While the game was built and launched internally on PC for Ubisoft employees to enjoy, the development team created it with a game pad in mind, as BUD helps a giant beanstalk-like Star Plant grow and climbs around it using the left and right triggers on a controller.

Grow Home's universe features other floating islands, so players can branch the plant out to craft their own "playground in the sky." The game is physics-based and procedurally-animated, emphasizing freedom of movement and allowing BUD to latch on to any object should he find himself plummeting to the planet. Players will be able to launch off of giant leaves, teleport to other parts of the plant and use parachute-style flowers to slow BUD's descent, all while trying to climb two kilometers up to the robot's spaceship. Inspired by Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Pixar's animated film Wall-E, Grow Home will launch on February 4.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Joystiq Giveaway: SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controller times 2

So you're playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on your iPhone and you're thinking, "Man, it sure would be a lot easier to slice this Dark Jedi directly in their stupid cowled faces if I was using a controller." Than you're playing BioShock on your iPad and you're all, "Stupid Big Daddy wouldn't have drilled a giant hole in my abdomen if I were using a controller." The thought comes again and again while you play Limbo, XCOM, and myriad other games.

Don't worry about it! Joystiq has your back. We're giving away two, that's dos, SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controllers. These babies work with any iOS device with a Lightning connector and running iOS 7 or higher.

Here's how to get the prizes: Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between January 23 and January 30. Winners will be selected at random and contacted via email (so make double sure you use an email we can actually contact you at!) Full rules and details after the break.
SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controller times 2
[Images: SteelSeries]

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League of Legends studio CEO headlines DICE summit

Riot Games CEO Brandon Beck is the opening keynote speaker at the 2015 DICE summit in Las Vegas, The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences announced in a press release this week. Beck founded Riot, the studio behind League of Legends, in 2006. He's poised to take the DICE stage on Wednesday, February 4.

Also scheduled to talk at DICE is Monolith Design Director Michael de Plater, CastAR co-founder Jeri Ellsworth, Ubisoft's New IP Editorial Director Tommy Francois, Funomena CEO Robin Hunicke, and Twitch COO Kevin Lin, among others. See the full lineup in the below press release.

DICE runs from February 3 - 5 at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas. The talks and 2015 DICE Awards will be streamed on from February 4 - 5.
[Image: Riot]

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Real-life, giant Pac-Man maze stars in Super Bowl ad

Image Bud Light's Super Bowl XLIX commercial sends a clear message: Drink beer, be chased by ghosts. Or is it "Drink beer, have a lot of strangers touch you?" No, no – it's probably "Drink beer, then run around a ton and don't throw up!" Or just, "Pac-Man is still awesome."... Continue Reading

Armello enters Game of Early Access Thrones

Digital board game Armello is available now on Steam Early Access. Developed by Australian studio League of Geeks, the strategy-RPG hybrid delivers eye candy, with analog gameplay mechanics like cards, dice-rolling combat, along with digital aspects like day/night cycles and an in-depth equipment system.

Armello is priced at $20 during this Early Access phase and playable on PC, Mac and Linux. Once development concludes, the game will make its way to iOS and Android, which is how we first saw it at GDC last year. Check out more of the game after the break.

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WoW's new Blood Elves arrive in update 6.1

Our sister site WoW Insider reports this morning that World of Warcraft's Blood Elves, left off the roster of races that received model revamps with the Warlords of Draenor expansion last November, will finally meet their new faces. Actually, it's just the bodies: The male faces aren't entirely done yet and currently share the same facial geometry.

"While we're excited to share with you our progress on these new models, I do want to stress that the models, textures, and animations are not entirely finished. Bug fixing and iteration can and will occur, and that's where you come in!" writes Blizzard QA on the US and EU forums, soliciting costructive feedback.

MMO Champion has full-size, head-to-toe bikini shots of both the female and male models because of course it does.

Also arriving in update 6.1 are class tweaks, new heirloom gear, garrison expansions, follower mission fixes, and the chance to buy (with gold) those followers you missed while questing. The first iteration of the update landed on the PTR in early January; the patch's launch date on production servers has not been announced.

Take a bite out of this Dead Rising film trailer

Image Already preparing your popcorn for Dead Rising: Watchtower? Well don't do that; the video game-inspired film will first hit Crackle on March 27, your snack certainly won't last that long. We suppose you can still eat it while watching the film's trailer right here.... Continue Reading

Theatrhythm's new DLC Beat stars The World Ends with You

Theatrhythm Curtain Call continues to ignore its Final Fantasy prefix by adding The World Ends with You music as part of the latest DLC batch. "Twister," the 2007 JRPG's theme song , and "Calling" are two of six new tracks available now in the 3DS rhythm game.

As per the Shibuya-infused DS game, Twister is a Battle Music Sequence in Curtain Call while background tune Calling is a Field Music Sequence. The three other new BMS tunes are "Liberi Fatali" from Final Fantasy 8, "Final Confrontation" from Romancing SaGa 3, and "World Revolution" from Chrono Trigger. The sixth song and second FMS is "Wind Scene," also from Chrono Trigger. All six DLC songs are priced 99 cents (£0.89/€0.99).

To remind yourself of TWEWY's J-pop music - your humble author would argue it's one of the best soundtracks you'll find on the DS - do the Twister again below the break. By the way, don't think the Curtain Call DLC train is stopping just yet. According to Square Enix, the game's next dollop of add-ons is planned to arrive on February 19.

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Jon Snow brings lack of knowledge to Game of Thrones Episode 2

The second episode of Telltale's six-part Game of Thrones saga debuts early next month, starting February 3 for PC, Mac, PS4 and PS3. Titled "The Lost Lords," the episode is also coming to Xbox One and 360 on February 4, iOS on February 5 and Android at a later date.

The Lost Lords continues the story of House Forrester, a Westeros family who in history have aligned with the Starks - not always the wisest alignment, it has to be said. Telltale's game is interwoven with HBO's TV series, and the plot takes place between the end of the third season and the start of the fifth.

If you've played the first episode then you've already had a few chit-chats with Cersei Lannister, her brother Tyrion, Margaery Tyrell and the huggably lovely Ramsay Snow. As the teaser trailer below the break reveals, another Snow is coming to the game in Episode 2.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Half-price Punch-Out!!

You can grab a Little Mac takeaway right now, because Punch-Out!! is on the Wii U eShop with a $10 price tag. Like last week's Wii re-releases, the 2009 boxer is available at 50 percent off in its first week, but be warned: After 9AM PT/12PM ET on January 29 it goes up to $20.

That offer is part of Nintendo's Throwback Sale, which you can check out here along with the last week of the current Super Indie Collection Sale. Otherwise, you'll find the complete list of this week's new eShop releases by ducking and weaving below the break.

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Spend 48 hours torturing loved ones for free in The Sims 4

EA's latest addition to its Origin Game Time vault is The Sims 4, meaning you can download it now and enjoy a free 48 hours of playing God. To do just that, get your godly ass to Origin.

Those 48 hours are real-time rather than in-game, so unless you're planning an unadvised binge you won't get the full two days of free-ness. You can start the free time whenever you want, however, as the 48-hour countdown only begins after you launch the game for the first time. Also, if you later buy The Sims 4 then your Game Time progress does transfer over.

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Creative assassination in turn-based stealth game, Ronin

Ronin, a bloody action and stealth platformer from Tomasz Waclawek, is on its way to Steam for PC this year, courtesy of Devolver Digital. It's turn-based, fast-paced and deliciously violent, starring a "vengeful heroine determined to strike down five prominent figures of a powerful corporation." There's a free, early-build demo available here.

Ronin has been lurking in the shadows of independent development lore since August 2014: Waclawek introduced it as "a Gunpoint ripoff" on Reddit, but Gunpoint developer Tom Francis kindly disagreed, calling Ronin "really fucking cool." Francis even uploaded a Let's Play of Ronin.

"It's clearly not a Gunpoint ripoff, because the core mechanics are so different," Francis said. "A lot of what it does copy is superficial, and that stuff doesn't matter. But the jump is pretty central, and if that was directly taken from Gunpoint, I'm delighted. I wouldn't want anyone to reuse Gunpoint's artwork or music, but the ideas in it are absolutely there for the taking. Every non-standard thing about it, from the jumping controls to the saving system, I did because I wanted more games to be that way."
[Image: Tomasz Waclawek]

Joystiq Deals: Bluetooth Audio Beanie

Today, Joystiq Deals serves up the The Bluetooth Audio Beanie, a fashionable and functional piece of gear that allows you to take calls and listen to music while you keep your noggin warm.

The one-size-fits-all beanie features features a 33-foot Bluetooth range, simple controls, and 6 hours of play time on a single charge, and it's available today from Joystiq Deals for $34.99.

Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 126: Dying Light, Bloodborne, Evolve, story in games

Latest episode: Friday, December 19th, 2014

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