Microsoft News Roundup: Starfield reviews, Pokémon's gothic cousin, WordPad getting killed, and Labor Day deals

Starfield Review
(Image credit: Windows Central)

If you're anything like our team of writers, you've spent the entire past week reading about Starfield or enjoying early access to the game. You've probably forgotten to do some things, like water your plants or go to your day job. My guess is you also missed some news stories while exploring the cosmos. Luckily, I am here to help you catch up on the biggest stories from the past week.


Starfield: Ship near a moon.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Starfield is one of the most anticipated games of the year, and some lucky folks can already play it. Early access for the game launched on September 1, 2023. Reviewers also had the chance to explore the expansive universe of Starfield.

To be honest, summarizing Starfield in a few paragraphs doesn't do it justice. I'll leave you with a snippet from our Managing Editor Jez Corden and point you toward his Starfield review:

"Reviewing Starfield was a mission. It's unnecessary to emphasize how big it is. Bethesda's new IP spans a large quadrant of our Milky Way galaxy, with hundreds of star systems and planets loaded with potential gameplay. Starfield pushes its Creation Engine to the absolute limit, and cracks of age are indeed beginning to show. While aspects of Starfield's design could've used more iteration, it's one of Bethesda's most impressive cinematic titles. With incredible writing, its slow-burn stories snowball into immense moments, and tight RPG/FPS combat thrills in spaceship battles, grounded firefights, and zero-G death ballets — Starfield is a landmark experience with a bright future ahead of it."

Gothic Pokémon?

Pokémon is one of the most popular franchises in the world. With decades of new games and an ever-expanding list of creatures, Pokémon stands in a league of its own in many ways. While there are other games within the same genre, you could argue that the Pokémon IP is so popular that you can't directly compete with it. Instead, some companies create games with similar elements that have some key differences. That's the case with The Thaumaturge, a game that's set to come out later this year.

The Thaumaturge is an RPG that play testers compared to a dark, gritty, and gorier version of Pokémon. That may be just the game older Pokémon fans want. The game's protagonist has a gift of taming ethereal creatures. It features turn-based combat, which is part of the reason testers compared the game to Pokémon.

Lenovo Legion Go

Lenovo Legion Go

(Image credit: Windows Central)

When Valve launched the Steam Deck, the company sparked interest in the handheld gaming console. Since then, several companies have unveiled their own portable PCs, with Lenovo being the latest. The Legion Go runs on an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, which is the same chip seen in some other handhelds like the ROG Ally.

What stands out is that the Legion Go has a pair of detachable controllers. The Legion Go can also charge up to 70% in just 30 minutes, thanks to Super Rapid Charge support.

Windows 11 is at the heart of the Legion Go, which allows the device to play games from Steam,, Epic Games Store, Xbox Game Pass, and more.

Coming Soon at: Lenovo

Lenovo Legion Go

This powerful handheld brings PC gaming to the palm of your hand and is backed with up to a powerful AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor. It has detachable controllers like a Nintendo Switch and offers the largest screen of any gaming handheld ever at 8.8-inches.

Coming Soon at: Lenovo

Bye bye WordPad

Wordpad on Windows 11

(Image credit: Windows Central)

WordPad has been around since the days of Windows 95, but it will soon go away. Microsoft hasn't updated the app since Windows 8, but the company has continued to include WordPad in Windows. WordPad will be deprecated and removed from Windows in future releases of the OS

"WordPad is no longer being updated and will be removed in a future release of Windows. We recommend Microsoft Word for rich text documents like .doc and .rtf and Windows Notepad for plain text documents like .txt," said Microsoft.

The company did not specify when WordPad would be removed, but it will likely happen by the release of the next major version of Windows, which is expected in 2024.

Samsung gives second life to TVs

Xbox Cloud Gaming on Samsung TV

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung wants you to be able to stream games on just about any device, at least that's what it seems like. The company announced that it will add game streaming apps to its 2020 smart TV. While the older televisions won't receive the entire Samsung Gaming Hub, they'll receive standalone game streaming apps.

Samsung didn't specify which apps are on the way to its 2020 TVs, but presumably Xbox Cloud Gaming and NVIDIA GeForce Now are on the list.

Reviews & Editorials

Tomtoc Carrying Case with ROG Ally.

(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

While Starfield is our most notable review from the past week, our team of experts looked at a wide variety of gadgets and games. The Tomtoc Arccos-G47 Travel Bag impressed as a way to carry an ROG Ally or Steam Deck, Madden 24 launched just ahead of the NFL season, and our Channel Editor Ben Wilson looked at an Alienware monitor with a 360Hz refresh rate.

Labor Day Deals

Some back to school sales may be over, but Labor Day deals are here. You can save hundreds of dollars on gaming laptops, monitors, and much more right now. Here are the best Labor Day deals:

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE Gaming Notebook | was $2279

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE Gaming Notebook | was $2279 now $1599 (B&H)

Save $680 on a 16-inch Predator Triton 500 SE gaming notebook and up your game with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 14-core, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, 1TB m.2 storage, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. It all comes together with a 1660p IPS display with a 240Hz refresh rate.

Price check: $2018 (Amazon)  | $2579 (Newegg)

MSI Katana 15 | was $1,499

MSI Katana 15 | was $1,499 now $1,139 at Newegg

This gaming laptop runs on a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and NVIDIA RTX 4070 laptop graphics. Those internals are enough to power your favorite PC games at higher settings, including getting the most out of the laptop's 144Hz display. Right now, you can order the Katana 15 for $360 off.

Price check: $1,339.99 at Amazon (12th Gen Intel) | $1,422.97 at Amazon (13th Gen Intel)

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i | was $1,799

Lenovo Legion Pro 5i | was $1,799 now $1,249 at B&H

This gaming laptop delivers good value at its normal price, so a $550 discount is quite the head turner. This model features a 13th Gen Intel Core i7, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060, and a 2560 x 1600 display with a 240Hz refresh rate.

Price check: From $1,299.99 at Lenovo (various configurations)

Acer Predator Orion 7000 | was $2999

Acer Predator Orion 7000 | was $2999 now $1699 at Newegg

Packed with an Intel Core i7-12700K (12th Gen) processor, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM and 2TB of storage, the Acer Predator Orion 7000 is an excellent machine capable of playing all the latest titles without even breaking a sweat. The price drop is only good until September 4.

Price check: $2660 (Amazon) | $1599 (Best Buy, 16GB variant)

Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop | was $1749

Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop | was $1749 now $1049 (Acer)

Dive into gaming without breaking open your piggy bank. The Nitro 5 includes an Intel Core i7-12700H processor with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti, 16GB of DDR4 ram and 512GB of storage.

Price check: $1184 (Amazon) | $2299 (Best Buy, 2TB SSD variant)

Razer Blade 15 | was from $2,999.99

Razer Blade 15 | was from $2,999.99 now from $1,799.99 at Razer

This discounted gaming laptop is available with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU or a Core i9 paired with an NVIDIA RTX 3070 Ti. The 15-inch form factor is easy to take on the go while still being large enough to enjoy at a desk.

Price check: $1,999.99 at Amazon

Razer Blade 17 | was from $3,199.99

Razer Blade 17 | was from $3,199.99 now from $1,999.99 at Razer

With an RTX 3070 Ti and 12th Gen Intel Core i7 or Core i9, this 17-inch gaming laptop is a beast you can take on the go. You can save $1,200 on it right now as part of Razer's Intel Gamer Days deals.

Price check: $1,999.99 at Amazon

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

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