Microsoft inks Xbox game deal with Boosteroid cloud service
Microsoft said Tuesday that it has struck a deal to make Xbox PC video games available on the Boosteroid cloud gaming platform, its latest move to appease antitrust regulators scrutinizing its purchase of game maker Activision Blizzard.
The U.S. tech giant said the 10-year agreement would also include Activision Blizzard titles like the popular Call of Duty franchise if or when the acquisition gets approved.
Microsoft has been announcing new partnerships as it tries to persuade regulators in the U.S. and Europe to allow the $69 billion all-cash transaction to go through.
In recent months, Microsoft has signed similar agreements with Nintendo, Nvidia and Steam as it battles stiff opposition from Sony, which makes the rival PlayStation console and fears losing access to Call of Duty and Activision’s other hit games.
The agreement makes “more clear to regulators that our acquisition of Activision Blizzard will make ‘Call of Duty’ available on far more devices than before,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said.
Boosteroid, which has 4 million users and a software development team based in Ukraine, is billed as the world’s biggest independent cloud gaming provider.
London, The Associated Press
Absolutely BROKEN Necromancer Gameplay – Diablo 4 Beta – IGN
Counter-Strike 2 may immediately end matches with cheaters – GamesHub
Counter-Strike 2 (CS2), the next evolution of Valve’s, long-running, ever-popular, and lucrative tactical first-person shooting game was revealed in mid-March 2023. But beyond several visual improvements and refinements to the high-stakes game, it appears as if the company is taking the opportunity to implement far stricter measures to counteract cheaters, who utilise third-party tools to gain an unfair advantage.
As spotted by Twitter user Aquarius and reported on by PC Gamer, a line in the source code of CS2 has indicated a new feature that will immediately cancel an in-progress match of Counter-Strike 2 if a player is detected using cheating tools.
The code, which appears to outline the conditions for certain notifications to pop up in-game, includes the phrases ‘Cheater Detected’ and ‘This match has been cancelled by VAC Live’.
‘VAC’ in this instance, of course, is an abbreviation for Valve Anti-Cheat, the company’s proprietary cheat monitoring solution. VAC was first introduced with Counter-Strike in 2002.
As PC Gamer astutely notes, this appears to be Valve taking a page out CS2’s closest competitor at the moment, Valorant, developed by Riot Games. Riot’s anti-cheat measures have included match cancellations since the game’s launch.
Counter-Strike has always been a game with high stakes, requiring exceptional levels of player investment and focus to succeed. Having your multiplayer experience ruined by a lopsided, unfair match can be incredibly demoralising, especially if you’re stuck in it for some time before you can move on. If Valve’s new anti-cheat measures do go ahead, it can only be a positive thing.
Don’t cheat in multiplayer games. That’s a loser move.
Counter-Strike 2 will launch on PC sometime in mid-2023.
Microsoft Ends $1 Xbox Game Pass Offer For First Month of Use – Kotaku
Microsoft’s long-running introductory offer for its Xbox Game Pass subscription platform, which let users try the service out for $1 for the first month before moving onto more expensive payments, has finally come to a close.
As The Verge report, the deal—which applied to both Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and the PC Game Pass—has recently been pulled, with a Microsoft spokesperson saying “We have stopped our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass and are evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future”.
What those “different marketing promotions” could be is anyone’s guess, though given the whole point of the $1 deal was get new users on the hook, a natural successor could easily be the Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family scheme, which while still unavailable in the US has been tested in a number of international markets since late 2022.
Anyone signed up for Game Pass will see months from existing subscriptions converted into partial months on the sharing plan. If you’re currently signed up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, every remaining month will turn into 18 days of Game Pass Friends and Family. Those signed up for the piecemeal tiers will see their subscriptions convert into 12 days of Game Pass Friends and Family.
There are some limitations, however. If you’re the account holder, you can only have four additional people on an account at any given time, and can only share with eight unique accounts over the course of a calendar year. And it’s region-locked: The primary account holder can only add members who live in the same country or region.
While that’s not a 1:1 replacement for the $1 offer, which was just a good deal for anyone, it does mean folks recommending Xbox Game Pass to friends or family would have a pretty easy way to get them onboard via their own account.
It sucks to see the $1 deal go away, since I’m sure many/most of you took advantage of it, but if you weren’t ready for the time Xbox decided to start doing stuff like this, you have not been paying enough attention to TV and sports over the last five years.
Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors Live Score and Stats – March 26, 2023 Gametracker – CBS Sports
Air Canada: Wheelchair storage issue prompts complaint – CTV News
Maple Leafs @ Predators 3/26 | NHL Highlights 2023 – NHL
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