Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!
We'll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed, but I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumours and talking points into one handy thread every weekend!
So without further ado.
Alan Wake sells 4.5 million units to date
Remedy CEO Matias Myllyrinne praised his team on news that Alan Wake has crossed 4.5 million units sold on Xbox 360 and PC. The news bodes well for the future of the third person thriller, which won a ton of critical acclaim.
Remedy are hard at work on the time-warping Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break and have been coy about the future of Alan Wake, which has a somewhat open-ended finale. With sales like that and rumours of an HD re-mastered version for Xbox One, we could be hearing more about Alan Wake sooner rather than later.
Double Games with Gold for April
Starting on Wednesday, Xbox Live Gold subscribers get to enjoy twice the usual amount of freebies as part of the Games with Gold program.
Xbox One fans can get their hands on Child of Light - Ubisoft's highly praised hand drawn JRPG love letter and Pool Nation FX, a brand new Unreal Engine powered pool sim from Cherry Pop Games.
Xbox 360 gamers, on the other hand, will receive Terraria, Gears of War: Judgement, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel.
Star Wars: Battlefront set for mid-April reveal
EA have confirmed that the reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront will enjoy a full reveal at next months Star Wars Celebration convention which takes place in Anaheim, CA on April 16th - 19th.
Battlefront is expected to be part of a blockbuster year for EA, as the publisher previously confirmed during an investor's call that they would be committing a Battlefield-sized marketing push for the game. Star Wars: Battlefront will also enjoy its own Battlelog and associated companion apps, courtesy of Uprise, EA's own app studio. Expect a deluge of new information in just over two weeks.
Liu Kang returns to Mortal Kombat in new MKX trailer
Detailed in the Maxim Russia exclusive Shaolin trailer, we get a look at Liu Kang, Kung Lao and newcomer Kung Jin, who have risen from the dead. If you're of weak constitution be warned, this trailer is as violent as they come.
Mortal Kombat X is landing on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on April 14th and in June for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Xbox One's instant on standby mode costs $250 million per year claims environmental report
The standby state which allows you to turn the Xbox on using voice commands comes with a hefty price tag, according to the National Resources Defense Council. Noah Horowitz claims that the instant-on standby state costs us $250 million in unnecessary electricity bills per year collectively.
The blog post also notes that the problem is exacerbated because the Instant On feature is enabled by default in North America and other territories, which stands in contrast to Europe, which has it switched off by default. The report states that the console is using 12.5 watts of power at all times, which is typical of an average light bulb being switched on at all times. The consumption accounts for 40% of the consoles total usage.
The figures may make some users think twice about the cost v. convenience, what do you guys think? Hit the comments!
Pure Hold 'Em beta is available free for Xbox One right now
Poker sim Pure Hold 'Em is now live on Xbox One for free, by searching for "poker" via Bing. Ripstone and VooFoo Studios have teamed up to bring an authentic poker experience to Xbox One, complete with full blown eight-player online lobbies and an increasingly difficult single player campaign across several tables.
If you've given the game a try, you can send VooFoo feedback here.
Codemasters announce F1 2015 for June Xbox One release
Legendary UK dev Codemasters have exploded back onto the scene with some incredible screenshots of their upcoming F1 2015 racing game, slated to hit Xbox One, PC and PS4 in June.
The game has been developed ground up utilizing a new engine with the goal of recreating the Formula One experience in as much authenticity as humanly possible.
The new model delivers enhancements and additions in over 20 areas including engine and transmission, aero dynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension and most notably a brand new tyre physics model – creating a truly breath-taking and realistic representation of how these cars handle on the track.
In addition, the game will support Kinect voice commands, allowing drivers to communicate with their engineers to prompt race information, weather updates, tyre status, tyre requests and front wing changes - teasing further commands in the full game.
Game Director, Paul Jeal had this to say:
"F1 2015 marks an exciting new chapter for Codemasters and FORMULA ONE; it's a shift in direction for the game series, on new formats and our brand new game engine, with the game set to be released earlier in the season, launching this June."
Hisako joins the Killer Instinct roster, Cinder teased
Hisako has joined the Killer Instinct roster and received a spine tingling character trailer, which you can view here. At the end of the trailer, in typical K.I. style, Iron Galaxy teased the next character - Cinder, pictured here. Gamers have been divided on his new design, but Iron Galaxy will eventually release a retro style costume for Cinder for fans wanting something a little more classic.
Hisako sports wall jumps and an aerial attack which allows for further combo chaining. Famed K.I. YouTuber Maximillian managed to pull off an insane 151 hit triple ultra as a result of Hisako's aerial attack. Which you can check out for funsies below.
New game releases for the week ending March 28th 2015!
Forza Horizon: Fast and Furious - Arcade racer
Forza Horizon: Fast and Furious builds on the arcade racer, injects a health dose of nitrous oxide in the process and introduces iconic cars from the popular movie franchise.
Oddworld: New n' Tasty - Puzzle platformer
Oddworld: New n' Tasty is a remake of the legendary PS1 platformer, Abe's Oddysee. We've recently interviewed the developer, who praised ID@Xbox and emphasised that a remake was what the fans were asking for. Start asking for Exodus now!
Slender: The Arrival - Survival horror
Slender: The Arrival is an re-imagining of the indie hit Slenderman: The Eight Pages, which is based on a strangely hypnotic meme from a SomethingAwful.com photoshop thread. Not for the faint at heart.
Game of Thrones: Episode 3 - Adventure
Telltale's Game of Thrones adventure game series continues with Episode 3: The Sword in the Darkness. This latest instalment tells the story of House Forrester, a noble family loyal to the Starks of Winterfell. Expect betrayal, and blood.
Life is Strange: Episode 2 - Adventure
Square Enix's own adventure game effort Life is Strange has finally received its second episode. The game allows the user to rewind time, experiencing consequences resultant of decisions made as a plot device. The game has a staunch following, and should not be missed by adventure game fans.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection comprises Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in one handy package. This acclaimed FPS with a Diablo-like loot addiction allows up to 4 players to explore the wacky and deadly borderlands of Pandora. Players will blast their way through giant aliens and violent vagrants using millions of procedurally generated weapons.
And that's a wrap!
Hit the comments to kick off the discussion! And keep your eyes trained to Windows Central for all the biggest Xbox One news and reviews. I'll see you again next week!