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This Week in Xbox - Fallout 4 patches, Mass Effect Andromeda's lead, Dark Souls to end?

Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox One news!

From this week, every Sunday we'll be giving one lucky commenter a free Xbox One game, starting with Rise of the Tomb Raider!

We're still posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed. However, I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumors and talking points into one handy post every weekend. You can also rely on this weekly column to keep up to date with all the latest game releases too.

So without further ado, here's the latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.

Mike Ybarra discusses getting original Xbox games onto the Xbox One

The head of Xbox platform development, Mike Ybarra, recently caught up with The Inner Circle podcast to discuss a range of Xbox topics, including backwards compatibility for the original Xbox console. On the original Xbox, Mike said that they're prioritising the Xbox 360's backwards compatibility offering for now, emphasising that the emulator's development was a multi-year engineering effort. He did, however, offer hope, saying that "nothing is impossible":

..."Certainly, it would be very challenging. Getting 360 to work was incredibly challenging, and really a multi-year engineering investment going all the way back to the original, you know, certainly would challenge the team. We're fortunate enough to have a great backwards compatibility engineering team, who loves to take on challenges, and I'm sure they would love that one as an opportunity to go look at."...

Microsoft is skipping December and January updates to ensure the Xbox One has a stable holiday period, but we should see some new features in February 2016. Regarding those future updates, Mike Ybarra encouraged users to head to the UserVoice feedback site and vote for their favourite potential backwards compatible titles and most desired features, stating that the team check the site on a daily basis.

Be sure to listen to the full Inner Circle Podcast over here.

Dark Souls 3 could be the final "Souls" game

The maddeningly rewarding Dark Souls series could be getting its final curtain call, in the form of Dark Souls 3. Speaking to GameSpot, Dark Souls director Hidetaki Miyazaki said that From Software want to 'aggressively' pursue new challenges:

..."I don't think it'd be the right choice to continue indefinitely creating Souls and Bloodborne games. I'm considering Dark Souls 3 to be the big closure on the series. That's not just limited to me, but From Software and myself together want to aggressively make new things in the future."......"I believe that From Software has to create new things. There will be new types of games coming from us, and Dark Souls 3 is an important marker in the evolution of From Software."...

When you factor in From Software's similar Playstation exclusives Demon's Souls and Bloodborne, it's fair to observe the studio may be feeling fatigued with this particular style of game. From Software have a storied history that include titles such as Tenchu: Stealth Assassins and Armored Core. It's likely that whatever they move on to could easily become a hit.

Dark Souls 3 launches on April 12, 2016, for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Mass Effect Andromeda's lead character's name possibly outed

Keen reddit fans (via GamingBolt) might've discovered the name of the Mass Effect Andromeda's main protagonist. At 0.44 in the recent N7 day teaser, a dog tag can be seen sporting the name of "Rider" or "Ryder" on the dashboard of what appears to be Andromeda's flagship space vessel. There are other facts that appear to support the theory that it could indeed be the name of the game's main character.

Mass Effect Andromeda's E3 trailer used Johnny Cash's Ghost Riders in the Sky as its music, and Bioware's studio director sent out a tweet stating "there are very good reasons for that choice of song for the trailer that should become clear later on." Rider could also be a reference to Sally Ride, the first US female to visit space. Commander Shephard from the first three games was named in honor of Alan Shepard, the first US man to visit space.

Mass Effect Andromeda is slated for a 2016 holiday launch and promises a return to the space-faring original, complete with planetary exploration and a Mako-like drivable space buggy. Only time will tell whether the Rider theory pans out.

Bethesda details Fallout 4's bug fix plans

The bugs are evolving.

Fallout 4 is a rather excellent game, but in typical Bethesda fashion, it retains some of the studio's notoriety for engine quirks and bugs. Fear not, though, as Bethesda are already working on patches for the game's worst issues according to this official blog post. In the post, Bethesda thanked fans for their enthusiasm, noting that Fallout 4 is their most solid launch to date:

..."Given the scale and complexity of the systems at work, especially when allowing you to build your own settlements, we're happy that Fallout 4 is our most robust and solid release ever, and we'd like to thank our amazing QA staff who worked as hard as anyone to break the game so we could fix it during development. But a hundred testers will never replicate the many millions playing the game now, and we're hard at work addressing the top issues."......"Our process for updating the game will include releasing a beta patch on Steam, followed by full release on PC, then release on the consoles. This process has worked well for us in the past and allows us to get more fixes out faster. Expect to see more updates, that are smaller and more frequent, than a few big ones."...

Patching games used to cost money on the Xbox 360, but that's no longer the case on the Xbox One. It means that it's just as cost-effective for Bethesda to push out lots of small patches rather than bundle them all together for a single, larger patch. PC players will be offered the chance to download a beta patch as early as this week, with PS4 and Xbox One users seeing the same benefits once testing is complete. I wonder if they'll do something about Dogmeat's penchant for blocking doorways...

Bethesda's Pete Hines says Fallout 4 DLC won't be exclusive, dissuades use of console commands

Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas enjoyed timed DLC exclusivity on the Xbox 360, leading some to wonder if the same deal would be in place for Fallout 4 and the Xbox One. Bethesda's Pete Hines recently took to Twitter to say that it won't be the case this time around:

..."we aren't doing a DLC exclusive with anyone"...

Pete Hines also discussed Fallout 4's developer console. For those who might be unaware - on PC, users can access the developer's console to input 'cheats' like god mode, flying, and so on. You can also use console commands to spawn objects, enemies and alter game rules, such as removing the build limit on settlements. Some Fallout 4 fans were asking if Bethesda might enable PC console commands on Xbox One and PS4, given that mods are on their way. Pete Hines said not only said that console commands 'definitely' aren't coming to console but warned against their use on PC:

..."definitely not. we do not recommend use of console commands for PC players. they screw up their save games."...

Certain console commands, like removing build settlement size limits and allowing NPC spawning could hinder performance on Xbox One and PS4 (and lower-end PC hardware), so it's not entirely surprising that Bethesda discourages their use. It'll be interesting to see how mods impact console versions of the game when they become available in the coming months.

Fallout 4 battle - 100 Super Mutants vs. 10000 Ghouls

Last week I discussed my desire to see 100 Brotherhood of Steel knights against 10,000 ghouls, following Cosmic Contrarians excellent 1000 Deathclaw vs. 100 knight YouTube battle. Mr. Contrarian almost fulfilled my wishes, returning with a rather epic (and laggy) 10,000 Ghoul vs. 100 Super Mutants Fallout 4 battle.

As you might expect, rendering 10,000 ghouls on screen has quite an impact on the game's performance, but there's no blue screens in this frag (lag?) fest. The Glowing Ones face off against a one hundred-strong Super Mutant Militia, featuring various weapons and a couple of Behemoths to keep things interesting.

Cosmic Contrarian has a playlist of other Fallout 4 battles, including an all-out skirmish between all of the game's legendary enemies, 1000 Behemoths vs. 100 Brotherhood of Steel knights, and various others. Some of the battles contain spoilers, though, so be wary of that.

Giveaway! - Rise of the Tomb Raider

From this week, we'll be giving one lucky member of our community a free Xbox One game as part of our weekly Xbox news round-ups. To enter, simply join in the discussion below in the comments. Any commenter is eligible to win, but you must have a valid email for us to contact the winner to arrange shipment of the prize.

The winner is Graxiplon! Check your email attached to your account for us to arrange shipping, congrats!

ICYMI - Some of Windows Central's biggest Xbox articles of the week

New Xbox One game releases for the week ending

The Crew® Wild Run Edition (opens in new tab) - Racing / MMO - Ubisoft

"A stunning open-world re-creation of the U.S. Roam freely from sea to shining sea. Ride recklessly across the entire US map. Customize your cars, monster trucks and motorcycles for mayhem on- and off-road. Join instant stunt and skill challenges."

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ (opens in new tab) - Shooter - EA / DICE

"Feeling the ominous thud of an AT-AT stomping down on the frozen tundra of Hoth. Rebel forces firing blasters as Imperial speeder bikes zip through the lush forests of Endor. Intense dogfights between squadrons of X-wings and TIE fighters filling the skies. Immerse yourself in the epic STAR WARS™ battles you've always dreamed."

Deadpool (opens in new tab) - Action & Adventure / Shooter - High Moon Studios / Activision

"I made sure to capture all my good sides, so I made my game a third-person action-shooter. (Yep, you get to look at my heinie.) - Keep a look out cuz some of my X-Men pals (Whoa, what pals?!) are making an appearance."

Game of Thrones - Episode 6: The Ice Dragon (opens in new tab) - Action & Adventure - Tell Tale Games

"Episode six of a six part episodic game series set in the world of HBO's groundbreaking TV show."

Knight Squad (opens in new tab) - Action & Adventure - Chainsawsome Games

"Knight Squad is an insane 1 to 8 players chaotic arena friendship destroyer. Take on current friends and future frenemies in any of the incredibly fun game modes, ranging from Last Man Standing to Medieval soccer.."

And that's a wrap!

Sometime this week we'll be submitting reviews of Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront. Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege are the only Triple A titles left to launch in 2015, rounding off the year rather nicely. Can Microsoft top their stellar 2015 line-up next year? Only time will tell.

What have you guys been playing this week? What do you think of this week in Xbox? Let us know below for a chance to win Rise of the Tomb Raider!

Join us in the Windows Central Xbox forums!

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Having backwards compatibility down to the original Xbox would be awesome. Take your time team, I'll wait. "Xbox One", the one stop game spot!
  • Indeed. I'd love to play some Jet Set Radio Future and Panzer Dragoon Orta.
  • Yes!
  • That would be awesome! Maybe Ninja Gaiden Black too!
  • NGB - Still one of the best games ever...
  • Loved jet set
  • JSRF is exactly the game I was thinking of when reading this... I wonder if they could license a Dreamcast emulator, than my dreams would ultimately come true.
  • Yes OG Xbox back compat would just give a reason to play old games without uses pirated or rom copies plus KotOR.
  • I totally miss Kotr, Can't play it on my PC, won't load past the launch screen.
  • I would definitely replay kotor. And star Wars Bounty Hunter... and who knows what else...
  • The perfect time to be a gamer on Xbox. The possibilities are just limitless.
  • I'm glad you asked this. I asked the same question on a thread where the 360 backwards compat was announced.
  • that would be really great
  • I can't help but wonder if they'll redouble their efforts to do this after Sony added PS2 emulation to the 4? Does seem like a waste of time tbh, there aren't that many unmissable games on the original Xbox compared to all the really great 360 games not on BC yet.
  • They do have backwards compatibility to the first-gen Xbox because they share x86 CPUs.  There have been comments regarding bringing some old Xbox games to the XB1 at some point, but who knows if they really will.  Games like Crimson Skies and the original Fusion Frenzy would be playable with the newer hardware.  If they don't, oh well.
  • If they could nail down 100% backwards compatibility with the original Xbox, it would truly earn the moniker of "Xbox One". I still have that console hooked up, for the rare time I want to fire up some exclusives like Panzer Dragoon Orta. I like to keep old systems out, but having to manage one less giant box is always welcome.
  • Can't wait for the new Mass Effect, hope they won't delay it to 2017 though...
  • Double edged sword with delays, I was gutted that Deus Ex got delayed... but if it becomes a better game because of it ... it's a hard choice!
  • I'm very excited for it, but cautious. Because I love the trilogy so much I'm afraid I might be disappointed.
  • Same here. The newest trailer, with FemShep narrating got me very excited though!
  • I heard this is very good game. And so looking forward to it.
  • Really looking forward to fallout 4 dc. ... then again with all the side quests and different routes to take I wonder if I'm going to complete the game before then Posted via the Windows Central App for Lagdroid
  • Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever have time to play any game again!
  • I'm surprised I even read this article...
  • I have to finish up the GOT game! That's been a long time coming
  • I'm excited to finish GoT too!
  • Original Xbox backward compat would be nice. I'd like to play Crazy Taxi 3, Metal Wolf Chaos, JSRF, Onimusha and Conker.
  • Loved the first Tomb Raider. Played it twice on PC and once on Xbox One. The new one looks amazing. Haven't picked it up yet since I have a newborn, but I'd love to give it a shot.
  • Tomb raider has come a long way sense it first came out. Seen some people comment bad on it because its a timed exclusive to xbox one, fanboys at the peak. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I hope dice can get Battlefront up to 900p. 720p is noticeable.
  • Definitely encouraging to see that the Xbox team doesn't rule anything out :) Streaming everything (not just games) from the Xbox to Windows 10 devices will be awesome too.
  • You can. Some apps like netflix don't allow you but you stream the whole xbox dashbord to windows 10.
  • And it would be great to stream to a windows phone.
  • That tomb raider looks sweet
  • I just wanna win tomb raider ;)
  • Backwards compatibility sounds like it's going to be a huge push for the Xbox in terms of sales! And I hope I've entered into the giveaway :P
  • Yeah for sure. But I don't want to get rid of my 360, we've been through a lot together. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • we need more games like dark souls
  • Like all the tomb raider games the new one was great have 3 copies, 360, one and pc. Also wonder what they will do after they stop the souls series, have to see if they ever did anything else.
  • Will Xbox mods be free and user loadable? Or will Bethesda give us a set list of the ones they want?
  • Dat Tomb Raider Doe! LOL
  • The mods will be free, they won't allow priced mods on the their system I'm sure I read.
  • I think Bethesda will make a selection of mods for consoles. Purely cosmetic weapons/armor and stuff like that. Consoles just aren't powerfull enough to have the same mods from PC. And yes console mods will be free, Bethesda confirmed that.
  • I disagree. Bethesda said they aren't concerned with "breaking" the game. I think you'll find they allow moat od the mods. They said no nudity or porn tho.
  • I won't think they will allow user loadable mods. PC users have the option to play with the game data files, so even if the developers don't give the freedom, there will always be a workaround (though it'll be unofficial). But for console games, I think that option is out of the question.
  • I'm still hopelessly wishing EA would release Mass Effect Andromeda on Steam without Origin... Oh well...
  • Will be interesting to see what original Xbox titles will be offered as backward compatible.
  • Looking forward to the F4 updates. I've luckily only had the game freeze up once. Most of the issues I encounter are audio related.
  • I can't wait till Fallout 4 DLC
  • hey, I really enjoyed this article. im glad to hear fallout DLC won't be timed. im loving the game and also I can't wait for the new mass effect!!
  • Battlefront is a rather disappointing game, in my opinion. Feels too much like Battlefield game and not enough like Star Wars for me, based on the tutorial missions. I also hope that Mass Effect: Andromeda is worthy of the hype and hopes of the ME fans out there.
  • Tomb riader looks to be a very nice game, thanks wincentral
  • So is fallout 4 worth it?
  • Cant wait for mass effect!!! The ultimate game!!
  • Really happy for the high acclaim the new Xbox Experience is getting. I will be getting a Onr for sure during black Friday! Can't wait!
  • I've always felt like the Souls/Bloodbourne games do come out too often, considering the type of game that they are. The point is to make it challenging for the player and coming out with yearly releases leads to scenarios when the devs make things arbitrarily difficult, as opposed to genuinely rewarding, at least that's how I felt.
  • Just got an X1 a couple weeks ago. Really enjoying it.
  • Disappointed in battlefront. A very shallow game. Looks good, but get bored real fast.
  • Oooooooohhh to be able to play Morrowind on my Xbox one. That would truly be amazing.
  • i cant wait for dark souls 3, those are like my favorite games. disappointed that it'll probably be the last, but i think it's time has come
  • Good luck to everyone!
  • Fallout 3 code was in the deluxe on one of the inserts. I hope kungfu chaos and elder's scroll 3 morrowwind
  • Any1 heard about news on fallout 3 code coming when you buy fallout 4? I haven't gotten any....but I did get all the gears of wars because of UE
  • Been on the fence about Rise of the Tomb Raider. I just bought my Xbox One this month and slowly building up games. Dark Souls II is kicking my butt! However, I'll likly look at Dark Souls 3 anyway haha!
  • I'm about 1/2 way through the new Tomb Raider. Amazing game. This coming from someone who never got the TR games because I thought they were too geared more to generate hormones than fun. I gave the first one on XB1 a shot when it went on sale and haven't looked back.
  • If you liked the last Tomb Raider, you'll probably like Rise
  • I'd LOVE to see the original Xbox game SSX Tricky on the XB1!!! Yeah, very low chances, I know. It was one of the first games I got when I picked up a 360, hoping for backwards compatibly... then they nixed hope of any new games after a few batches of ports. I still have the CD!! The new SSX is not the same
  • a beautiful lineup, for sure. Looking forward to the beginning of the new year though ... big things are queuing
  • cool :)
  • Just got into the mass effect franchise, and the sheer size of the universe has blown me away
  • This could go well with a black friday purchase! :)
  • Xbox one initially may not have that much appeal.. But with each announcement it is leaving competitors way back.. With each announcement they move a step forward.. 10 step forward!
  • I loved the fallout 4 news round up and I would definitely like a copy of the new tomb raider!
  • I've got over 300 game disc's for 360, can't wait for them to be on Xbox ONE!
  • I hope that Dark Souls will live on in other ways. I love that game too much to say goodbye.
  • Tomb Raider, Mass Effect, Fallout, College. darn...
  • so many video games...
  • I've been playing the Knight Squad challenges, anybody knows if the waves in the last challenge are infinite?
  • I think they are infinite. You should get the achievement and unlock brown knight after finishing at least one wave.
  • Just want the other two Mass Effect games on Xbox One already.
  • Yes! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Dark Souls was one of the only reasons I went next-gen :'c
  • Is that a teary eyed handlebar moustache emoji face? :'c
  • I have been playing Dirt 3, my first free backwards compatibility games with gold 360 title on Xbox one. Also finished The Walking Dead season one, another games with gold freebie and great game! As for original xbox backwards compatibility, if they manage to pull that off, then it will make a lot of Microsoft fans very happy. Glad they concentrating on 360 games first as the library there has more depth and variety.
  • I hope that the things with the exklusive games and content will have a end in the future!
  • I played games with gold game dirt 3 on xbox one.. No lag.. Even in split screen.. Clearly the team had done a good emulation job!! Let them port cod and dragon age and all the aaa titles to xb one.. Then yeah classic xbox..
  • 2016 is gonna be a fun year in gaming, glad to see them continue innovating.
  • Would love to see backwards compatibility with the original Xbox.
    Might have to get my original games back off my mate though!
  • Mass effect, can't wait!
  • The NXOE updates cant come fast enought.
  • Xbox ftw for sure. It checks all my boxes and then some.
  • Pick me pick me :D
  • Tomb Raider please
  • So many games recently. At least with all the expense on games, I can now not afford to go out anywhere, so I can stay in the warm all winter and play games.
  • Im curious what types of games they will be making after Dark Souls 3. While I don't like the Souls games, I can't stop playing them. They are addicting because they are so unique. I don't even have fun playing them, but I still cant stop.
  • Immediately I'm searching for those battles on youtube! :P
  • I hope we gonna here something/anything about Half Life 3 in 2016.
  • I'm really really enjoying fallout 4! I can't seem to put it down really. It's so very detailed. Good to hear that the developers are actively supporting it so much, which