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Microsoft's Reward scheme. It's alright. In about 15 months I've made just over £240 from it and I've not been doing it religiously. It's not the gravy train it once was, but it's still a simple way to get Xbox credit in return for a good use of your time while sitting on the toilet, a tenner a month or so is easy enough to attain. Interested? Of course you are! Go here https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/rewards sign up using the MS login you use for your Xbox, follow the instructions. Click on everything available for points under https://account.microsoft.com/rewards/ and also do the desktop PC Bing searches to finish off - for those it's easiest to search for a letter under image search, and middle click on 30 different options. You can do it on mobile in a browser desktop mode, for that just put in a search term 30 characters long and delete a letter, search, delete a letter and so on until you've done the searches. Once you're earned 500 points (takes a day or two, there are all sorts of welcome offers to hoover up) you'll be at Level 2 and be able to earn direct from mobile searches as well (again, via Bing - app or set it to default search on your browser), and that's your lot. Daily, you get 3 points per mobile search (up to 60) and 3 points per desktop search (up to 90), along with three "daily sets" of things to click on. They're usually 10 points each, but there will be a couple of occasions per week where it's a quiz on one of them for 30 points or similar. Do those every day, and you can earn extra points for "streaks" where every few days you'll get a bonus for your streak, which is 15 points per day no matter what really: Streak 1, Day 3 (3 days) = 45 pts Streak 2, Day 8 (5 days) = 75 pts Streak 3, Day 13 (5 days) = 75 pts Streak 4, Day 20 (7 days) = 105 pts Streak 5, Day 27 (7 days) = 105 pts Streak 6, Day 35 (7 days) = 105 pts Streak 7, Day 44 (10 days) = 150 pts There's often additional stuff to click on daily and you can also pick up a number of points a day by using the Xbox Rewards app on the Xbox One, but that's tended to be 15 points per day so is a bit crap. You can get a couple of thousand for buying particular games or hardware, but sales generally beat doing that. You also get some points back for any game you buy from the MS store regardless. The occasional email gets sent with links for additional points, usually only 50 and they're only once few weeks at most. All in all, you can get an absolute minimum of 180 points per day just from a couple of minutes searching and clicking, with some extras on top. To what end? Rewards! Live Gold subs, Game Pass subs, Xbox Credit, Microsoft Credit, and things from other vendors that are really poor value. You can easily fund a month of Game Pass every month (6800 points, 17000 for 3 months), I usually save points for credit, of which Xbox and MS Credit are identical so pick whatever makes sense (currently they're 5850 or 4410 points for a fiver, respectively - the latter is on a 30% off deal 'til the 15th of October). As of the other month, any credit gets deposited directly into the redeeming account and you've got 3 months to spend it so you can build up 30 quid in your account if you like but then you have to spend some, but it gives plenty of time to hang on and see what comes up in the various sales. Gold and Game Pass are still supplied as codes to use anywhere. Anyway, the sums above only add up to a fiver of credit a month at best though, but you can near double it up. You're allowed 5 accounts per household, and if you set up a pair of accounts as a family you can transfer 5000 points per month between them. The only thing I'd recommend is using a separate phone number to verify each if you're asked, and don't ever set up a kids account as it's a right pain in the arse with the age restrictions. If you have two pairs of accounts, you can use the other pair to gift games to yourself if you go for credit (a code for the game gets emailed). If you want to rapidly gain points it's a bit finicky but you can use a VPN and pretend you're in the US, where they generate points almost twice as fast as we can. Switch back to UK, deposit points to the paired account, switch back. Might get your account banned doing that, but it'll only be the rewards part of it so there's little to lose. Here are my accounts, this is after exactly the first two weeks in September which is when the Streaks were added to the UK side of it. I use the second account to feed 5000 points to the first every month, and I'll probably use some of the slack to buy Gamepass subs. Not sure why the second account has earned so few by this point in comparison. Same sort of thing here with another couple of accounts, but the second account is gaining points from the US side of it and you can see the difference - almost a couple of thousand points more in 14 days. Lost that streak the day after, bloody timezones did for me. Again, second account feeds 5k points per month to the first but getting it to work was a bit of a pain given the functionality wasn't available on the US side so lots of region switching in the MS account was needed as well. Think it just works now, they got the transfer functionality added the other week. There you go then, that's it. I can appreciate a lot of people can't be arsed as it does take a bit of effort to really go for it plus Bing is awful and so is the Bing app, so there's that.
Digital Foundry Links http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-project-scorpio-tech-revealed http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-scorpio-is-console-hardware-pushed-to-a-new-level http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-project-scorpio-back-compat-five-ways-your-existing-games-will-be-better http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-04-06-why-microsoft-is-making-project-scorpio http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-04-06-project-scorpio-explained
Latest issue out in Thursday. Inside the xbox making of seaquest history of ys retro revival chaos engine archives artic computing making of conker’s bad fur day collectors guide Sinclair research 40 years of Atari 2600 ultimate guide rygar making of toonstruck making of Star paws other stuff I can’t remember as I’m on holiday.
Conference Expectations Wrap Up & Media: You’d be hard pressed to say Microsoft didn’t bring enough games to the show this year. From the glorious Cuphead and outrageously beautiful Ori & The Will Of The Wisps, to Forza 7 and survival RPG, Ashen, MS bombarded their conference with game after game after game, mixing original IP with anticipated sequel and first party exclusives with third party reveals. Yet there was a sense that many people watching would have been happy with half the games if only two or three of them had really screamed "fun" at them. The star of the show was of course, MS's new flagship console, the X1 X. With all games being presented in 4k, and Forza 7 being demoed to an impressive 4k/60fps spec, MS are clearly pushing this as the console for the high end gamer. At $499, it didn't come in below anyone's price expectations, but the technical feat in getting that much tech into such a small box has to be acknowledged and nobody should have ever been under the illusion that this was going to be a $50 price bump. The console looks neat too, and has more than a little echo of the classic PS2 design. With the hype surrounding X1 X, expectations were that MS had been keeping their first party powder dry, in order to blow people away for what many were anticipating would be a soft re-launch for the brand. However, the big AAA first party games just weren’t there, and with so much time being spent on multi-platform and timed exclusives games, one has to wonder what is happening with MS's first party teams! Rare’s Sea Of Thieves got a good showing, and if you enjoy that sort of online co-operative world, then it came across well. Crackdown 3 was present, but the paucity of time spent on it has raised concerns that the game may no longer have the enthusiastic backing of Microsoft. State Of Decay 2 sounds compelling enough; with a greater focus on team building and surviving the waste lands rather than just mowing down zombies, it stood out for me as one of the best games of the show. The early reveal of Metro Exodus set the eye candy bar pretty high for all that followed and the announcement that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, would be a Xbox console exclusive raised many cheers amongst the audience. Assassins Creed: Origins made a surprise appearance and instantly impressed with it's vivid colour palette and rich, detailed terrain, but it soon became apparent that this was very much the same Assassins game we've been playing for the last decade, only now we have a drone hawk to play with. Life Is Strange 2 also made a surprise reveal, although it's not clear if this is a full blown sequel or the rumoured prequel. After many more game reveals, the announcement of Xbox Original backwards compatibility, and a string of sizzle reels, MS rounded the evening out with a look at Bioware's impressive new action RPG, Anthem. MS brought enough content to show off and there's no denying the technical achievement of the X1 X, but if you're looking to convince people to drop the best part of $500 on your new, super specced console, then it's a curious strategy to make the two most notable games of the conference a pair of 2D platformers. Preview by Robo_1 - Graphics by VN1X