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 - 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™ - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at 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 tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!