This week we're looking at Xbox One Slim rumors, Gears of War '5' and the week of beta tests!
We're also giving away a copy of Dark Souls III to one lucky commenter! Leave a reply and join the discussion for a chance to win.
Every week, I summarize some of the biggest Xbox rumors and talking points in one handy post every weekend. You can also rely on this weekly column to catch up with all the latest Xbox One game releases.
Welcome to the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.
Xbox One Slim rumors abound!
While Phil Spencer has previously debunked the idea of modest mid-gen hardware upgrades for the Xbox One, Sony are expected to be ploughing ahead with a more powerful PS4.5. We discussed some of the potential problems that a PS4.5 could create for both the Xbox team and game developers at large on this week's OneCast show, be sure to check it out!
The week of beta tests
In the Xboxosphere, this week has been all about beta tests! We had Gearbox's Battleborn, a MOBA first person shooter hybrid, which attempts to combine the best of League of Legends and Team Fortress. This week also marked the beginning of Bethesda's DOOM multiplayer beta, which takes arena FPS back to its gritty basics. 343i was also testing Halo 5's upcoming Warzone Firefight mode, and Monday marks the beginning of Gears of War 4's multiplayer test.
We'll have some impressions up for DOOM and Battleborn next week, but if you've previously played Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, you should receive your Gears of War 4 beta key in your Xbox Live messages shortly. The keys will go out in waves based on when you played GOW: UE and the test will last from April 18th all the way to May 1st!
Brush up on your Gears multiplayer knowledge in The Coalition's tips video, posted earlier in the week. And, speaking of Gears...
Gears of War 5 will happen unless Gears of War 4 'does horribly'
In an interview with DigitalSpy, Gears head Rod Fergusson stated that the series' fifth instalment is all but confirmed, unless the upcoming Gears 4 'does horribly' when it's released into the wild this October.
"One of the things that's nice about Microsoft's investment is that we know, unless this does horribly, we're probably going to do another one. That's made it easier to design moving forward. In the past, when we were doing Gears 1, Gears 2 and Gears 3, there was a lot of doubt, we didn't know whether there would be another one, so we just had to get everything in right now. Here, we're able to look at it, recognize a great idea that doesn't quite fit right now, but it'll fit in the next one. It's made it a lot easier."
Judging by what we've seen of Gears of War 4 so far, it's unlikely to do 'horribly,' so we can rest assured that the franchise is here to stay.
Phil Spencer likes the idea of bringing the Xbox One UI to Windows 10
In an exchange on Twitter, Phil Spencer appeared enthusiastic about the idea of bringing the Xbox One UI to Windows 10, emulating Steam's Big Picture mode which allows gamers to connect a PC to a TV for a console-like experience.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update coming this summer will bring a range of benefits to Xbox One, including background music support and UWP apps. Expect to hear more about Microsoft's plans for further Xbox One and Windows 10 convergence at this year's E3 conference, which will land on June 13th.
Giveaway – Dark Souls III for Xbox One or PC!
This week we're praising the sun with a Dark Souls III giveaway! Dark Souls III is a critically acclaimed action RPG developed by From Software. Known for their difficulty, the Souls series has redefined rewarding, skill-based gameplay with its gigantic bosses, treacherous, atmospheric environments and punishing combat.
Join the discussion in the comments for a chance to win a physical copy of Dark Souls III for Xbox One or PC!
Congrats Virtuous Lumox! You won Dark Souls III! Check back next week for another giveaway!
ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week
- #OneCast Ep 14: Gears of War teasers, PS4/Xbox One upgrade rumors, VR worlds
- Breaking down Quantum Break's story with Narrative Designer, Cam Rogers
- Learn the basics of Gears of War 4's multiplayer combat in this beta tips video
- Report: Red Dead Redemption sequel's map has leaked, along with other details
- Review: Gear Gauntlet is an Xbox One action puzzle game that will drive you mad
- Microsoft hypes record Killer Instinct player numbers as an Xbox March highlight
- DOOM 3 BFG Edition and Monaco added to Xbox One backwards compatibility list
- Xbox One Slim may debut at E3 2016, according to regulatory filings
- Check out how the Cuphead team brings its animations to life
- A future Xbox One Slim and a new Xbox may have been revealed in FCC filings
New Xbox One game releases for the week ending April 17th, 2016
Gear Gauntlet ($9.99) - Action & Adventure, Racing & Flying - Drop Dead Interactive
"Gear Gauntlet is a fun but rage inducing 2D action arcade game from Drop Dead Interactive. Test your patience through ever more punishing gauntlets while boosting, teleporting, reversing and rotating to survive. Use your reflexes to break through coloured barriers and earn your place on the leaderboard."
Soda Drinker Pro ($9.99) - Snowrunner Productions - Action & Adventure, Strategy & Simulation
"Soda Drinker Pro is the premier in software in the first person soda drinking genre. Experience what it's truly like to drink a soda at the beach, in the park, and even… in SPACE!!!"
Minecraft: Story Mode ($39.99) - Telltale Games - Action & Adventure
"As Jesse, you'll embark on a perilous adventure across the Overworld, through the Nether, to the End, and beyond. You and your friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone: Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect; slayers of the Ender Dragon."
Dark Souls III ($59.99) - Role Playing - From Software
"As fires fade and the world falls into ruin, journey into a universe filled with more colossal enemies and environments. Players will be immersed into a world of epic atmosphere and darkness through faster gameplay and amplified combat intensity. Fans and newcomers alike will get lost in the game hallmark rewarding gameplay and immersive graphics."
And that's a wrap!
This week I've been hitting Battleborn and DOOM betas to write up some impressions, but I've also finally managed to get full high-end gear in The Division, meaning I can at last hit the raid mission. What have you lovely people been playing this week? What was this week's Xbox news highlight for you? Let us know in the comments for a chance to win Dark Souls III!