Microsoft News Roundup: Intel Arc GPUs, new Xbox dashboard, Windows 11 on Surface Duo, and more
Intel's upcoming Arc desktop GPUs and the Surface Duo running 3-D games headline our news roundup this week.
Things are ramping up in the world of tech. While we aren't quite into Techtober, announcements are aplenty these days. Over the last week, we saw Intel share the specs of its upcoming Arc desktop GPUs, Microsoft unveil a new color for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, and got a first look at the revamped Xbox user interface that's in the works. Here are the biggest stories from the last week.
Intel shares Arc GPU specs
Intel has teased its Arc desktop GPUs for quite some time. We've seen ray-tracing benchmarks and a drip feed of details since the graphics cards were announced, but Intel hadn't shared full specs before this week. The tech giant took the wraps off its upcoming GPUs by sharing the full specifications of its Arc A-series lineup.
The Intel Arc A770 is at the high end of the A-series, closely followed by the Arc A750. While we'll have to use the cards in the real world for complete testing, they look like they'll compete with the best graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA.
Apple unveils iPhone 14
While not directly Microsoft or Windows related, Apple's annual iPhone event is the big news in the tech industry. Any announcement Apple makes has ripple effects throughout the industry, so you can expect the smartphone market to be shaped by the newly announced iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple also unveiled the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch SE, and AirPods Pro 2. Our friends over at iMore covered everything announced at the Apple event live and after the fact.
If you're really into Apple announcements, you can even listen to the music from the event. The best part? It's not a forced U2 album.
Microsoft unveils white Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller is one of the best Xbox controllers, but it is rather pricey. Thankfully, Xbox enthusiasts will have a more affordable way to get an elite controller soon. Microsoft announced the white version of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.
While the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller has an impressive feature set, it has been plagued with malfunctioning shoulder buttons and other issues. Microsoft said that it's heard complaints "loud and clear" and that it will improve the quality of the components in the controllers.
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is also on the way to Xbox Design Lab, allowing players to customize the design of their controllers.
Xbox dashboard being revamped
In what appears to be an annual occurrence, Microsoft is working on a revamped dashboard for its Xbox consoles. The UI has a refined home screen that makes it easier to access the settings menu and other content, all while requiring less movement from a user. Here are some of the biggest changes
- A revamped "Jump Back In" row populates a list of your most recent games and apps at the top.
- A visual search bar and settings menu button can be found right at the top, which should improve ease of access for new users who aren't familiar with the Guide menu.
- A new permanent Microsoft Store button will be found on the home screen, next to three dynamic content tiles as is typical.
- Microsoft is updating other aspects of the dashboard to fall more in line with the new styles. We've seen this recently with a revamp to the Xbox Games & Apps screen.
- There will be new curated content categories below the main screen as you scroll down.
Microsoft is asking for feedback to help shape the new dashboard through the Insider program.
Windows 11 on Surface Duo can now play 3D games
Microsoft's Surface Duo is supposed to run Android, but that hasn't stopped people from forcing Windows 11 onto it. The Windows 11 on Surface Duo project is run by an independent developer that's determined to get Windows to work on Microsoft's foldable phone. This week, we saw a major step forward for the Frankenstein foldable.
The Surface Duo can now natively run 3-D games, including Minecraft and Skyrim, when running Windows 11. The impressive feat was accomplished when developer Gustave Monce smoothed out graphical glitches with the setup. Even after the fix, you shouldn't expect much in terms of performance. Titles often drop to single-digit FPS rates. But hey, what do you expect from an Android phone being forced to run Steam on Windows 11?
Who needs Xbox Cloud Gaming?
This is the craziest thing I've seen in a while. Full 3D game running on Surface Duo in Windows 11. pic.twitter.com/60N4SHsqTESeptember 3, 2022
Games, gadgets, and more get reviewed each week by our team of experts. Here's a look at everything we reviewed over the last seven days.
- Roccat Kone XP Air wireless gaming mouse review: Rapid charging with a gorgeous RGB dock
- Lenovo Slim 7 Pro X review: A feature-laden Yoga alternative for creators that costs less than you might think
- Steelrising Xbox review: Can this steampunk soulslike live up to the real thing?
- Anycubic Photon D2 review: Longevity at all costs
- TP-Link Deco XE75 Pro mesh Wi-Fi review: Cutting-edge 6E wireless in every room
- Ooblets Xbox review: Even the glitches are wholesome
- Keychron Q5 review: Easily customize this full-size behemoth mechanical keyboard
- Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro review: This wireless gaming mouse ticks every box
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.