Category Archives: Gaming

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Looking for new PC gaming hardware? Check out this roundup – Windows Experience Blog

Xbox Wire takes a look at some of the hottest Windows gaming hardware announcements across various events—bringing them all into one, easy place for you to see and read about. The last few weeks have seen a handful of new gaming laptops, GPUs, monitors and more announced at gamescom and IFA for PC gamers of all varieties.
Check out Xbox Wire to see this new hardware.

NZXT announces HUE 2 family of RGB lighting accessories for PC builders – Windows Experience Blog

NZXT announced on Tuesday 10 products comprising the new HUE 2 RGB family, delivering the broadest line of RGB lighting accessories for PC builders. NZXT, a leading developer of software-powered hardware solutions for PC gaming, noted that the new HUE 2 ecosystem – including the four-channel HUE 2 RGB controller and the external HUE 2 Ambient Lighting controller, along with several new accessories – provides PC builders more options for customizing their systems.
“If our H Series cases provide a canvas for people to build the gaming PC of their dreams, then our new HUE 2 family provides the palette they paint with,” said Johnny Hou, founder of NZXT. “We love to celebrate the creativity of PC builders and we can’t wait to see the amazing battlestations they create with this complete line of RGB lighting accessories.”
One key innovation in the new family is the addition of a microcontroller to every single RGB accessory. This patent-pending feature allows each HUE 2 component to identify its specific LED configuration, thereby breaking the limits faced by existing RGB components available today.
In addition to allowing for different LED counts and unique accessories, the feature lets builders mix-and-match different components on a single channel, making installation easier and allowing lighting modes to be synchronized across channels.
HUE 2 products are seamlessly integrated into CAM, the free control and monitoring application from NZXT, making it easy for builders to select from a variety of lighting modes, including preset, system and custom modes. With lighting synchronization across channels and accessories, and individually addressable RGB LEDs, a nearly limitless number of lighting setups are possible to make a PC truly unique.
At the heart of the HUE 2 ecosystem are four complete RGB kits that include everything PC builders need to get started: the HUE 2 RGB Lighting Kit, HUE 2 Ambient Lighting Kit, Aer RGB 2 Starter Kit (120mm) and Aer RGB 2 Starter Kit (140mm). Choose one to get started and add accessories to complete and perfect your PC’s lighting.
Accessories abound
Builders can choose from a variety of RGB accessories to express their creativity and build the perfect lighting for their gaming PC. All HUE 2 accessories require a HUE 2 RGB controller, purchased separately in one of the HUE 2 kits.
Aer RGB 2 fans: Known for their distinctive RGB ring, NZXT’s Aer RGB fans have been updated with a new microcontroller and full HUE 2 compatibility, allowing the new fans to be mixed with other HUE 2 accessories on the same channel.
Uniquely shaped RGB light guide provides bright, even light dispersion
Custom-engineered winglet-tip blades deliver high airflow with reduced fan noise
Precisely control fan speeds using pulse-width modulation (PWM)
Available in 120mm and 140mm sizes
HUE 2 Underglow accessory: The easy-to-install HUE 2 Underglow accessory incorporates a diffuser to provide a softer, more even glow under the PC case, and is compatible with all HUE 2 lighting modes. Available in two models, one for ATX and EATX cases and the other for mATX and mini-ITX cases.
Two custom-designed HUE 2 underglow strips with diffuser
PCI pass-through bracket to make installation easier
All necessary cables
HUE 2 Cable Comb Accessory: Nothing finishes off a fully-custom PC build like braided PSU cables — except braided PSU cables with RGB lighting. This new HUE 2 accessory adds RGB lighting to cable combs for the 24-, 4+4- and 6+2- pin PSU cables.
Supports 3mm diameter braided PSU cables
Includes two 24-pin (motherboard), two 4+4-pin (CPU), and two 6+2 (GPU) cable combs
Key features of the HUE 2 RGB and ambient lighting controllers
Faster processors deliver virtually instantaneous response and more lighting modes
Two additional channels on the HUE 2 RGB Lighting Controller allow for even more HUE 2 accessories to be connected
Each channel supports up to six HUE 2 accessories or 40 LEDs
Backward compatibility with existing HUE+ accessories
Multiple HUE 2 family starter kits are available
Availability and pricing
The new HUE 2 family of products will be available in North America in mid to late August, and in the rest of the world in late August. For a complete list of pricing, see the NZXT press release.

HP kicks off Gamescom with OMEN innovations – Windows Experience Blog

OMEN by HP unveiled new hardware and mobile software innovations for gaming enthusiasts on the eve of the industry’s big Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany. On the hardware front, the OMEN Obelisk is the latest addition to the company’s desktop gaming family. On the software side, OMEN Game Stream for Android will bring OMEN experiences to gamers looking to connect and play on the go.
Also unveiled are new features for the OMEN Mindframe Headset – the world’s first headset with active earcup cooling technology – to add comfort and audio benefits for both competitive play and streaming.
“HP is focused on delivering incredible experiences that fuel the future of gaming and enable the community to perform at their best,” said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, Consumer Personal Systems, HP Inc. “Integrating the newly announced NVIDIA GPUs and teaming up with HyperX to provide high-performance memory for our OMEN Obelisk and future desktops demonstrates our commitment to building a world-class ecosystem comprised of the world’s best gaming solutions.”
Gamers are always hungry for the latest and greatest generation of components such as graphics cards and memory. The OMEN Obelisk will be one of the first systems to carry the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20 Series of GPUs by way of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080, powered by all-new NVIDIA Turing architecture, giving gamers access to the world’s ultimate gaming architecture. The integration of HyperX high-performance memory within the OMEN Obelisk is another critical part of engineering a desktop to utilize the latest GPUs, RAM and other components through an industry-standard upgrade path vital to gaming at the highest levels, both now and in the future.
“HyperX is pleased to work with HP and provide HyperX FURY memory in all upcoming and refreshed OMEN by HP gaming PCs,” said Mark Leathem, general manager, HyperX Peripherals Division, when speaking to the memory integration. “With over fifteen years of experience delivering gaming memory, the HyperX brand is a great fit with HP’s vision of providing exceptional PCs for gamers.”
The OMEN Obelisk Desktop addition to the family of OMEN Desktops has been engineered with peak performance and customization so PCs can keep up with the latest in gaming. With a DIY-friendly, industry-standard upgrade path, along with options for the latest graphics and processor architectures, gamers can continually achieve the performance they expect.
Top features of the OMEN Obelisk are detailed in HP’s press release and include world-class power and storage, latest series of NVIDIA GPUs, HyperX integration, strategic cooling with extensive venting that takes advantage of thoughtfully placed components to generate optimal airflow, and a customizable and clean design.
The OMEN Game Stream feature of the OMEN Command Center enables gamers to harness the power of their OMEN on other Windows 10 devices to play games on their big screen TV. The addition of Android functionality later this year will add a new array of devices for gamers to stream their OMEN experience. OMEN Command Center comes preinstalled on all OMEN PCs, providing features such as Network Booster and System Vitals. It also supports customization and settings adjustments for the latest accessories, such as the OMEN Sequencer Keyboard, OMEN Reactor Mouse and OMEN Mindframe Headset.

Speaking of which, the forthcoming OMEN Mindframe Headset is the world’s first headset with active earcup cooling by way of HP’s patented thermoelectric driven Frostcap technology. It has been built with comfort in mind, while also delivering top-notch sound quality. The OMEN by HP team has made further additions prior to launch, including noise cancellation, real-time audible feedback via sidetone to take advantage of noise cancellation, and new fabric cups for improved breathability.
Regarding pricing and availability, the OMEN Obelisk Desktop is expected to be available in September via HP.com and other retailers for a starting price of $879.99. OMEN Game Stream for Android is expected to be available later this year via the Google Play Store for free. And the OMEN Mindframe Headset is expected to be available in October via HP.com and other retailers for a starting price of $199.99.
Updated August 20, 2018 11:27 am

New Alienware gaming desktops and Dell gaming monitors announced at Gamescom – Windows Experience Blog

Gamers both experienced and new now have more options to choose from in hardware, training and updates, with the launch of Alienware Aurora, NVIDIA and AMD graphics updates to Alienware Area 51; the availability of Alienware Academy; Alienware notebooks; and Dell gaming monitors.Alienware Aurora

The new Alienware Aurora gaming desktop, designed for VR experiences, and currently the designated training PC for Team Liquid, is both a proven powerhouse for gaming professionals as well as a complete package for gaming noobs and veterans who need significant performance and upgradability under a reliable, high-quality chassis.
For gamers looking for a mid-tower desktop, the new Alienware Aurora is ready for current Oculus VR or HTC/VIVE requirements and can also support higher performance configurations for the near future’s more demanding VR, as well as 4K gaming and even up to 12K gaming with its highest end graphics options. Gamers can choose from a wide variety of upgradability options, spanning many performance and budgetary considerations.
Engineered around the principle of supporting more dedicated graphics power than any previous Aurora, it now comes with a total 600W (2x 300W) of dedicated desktop graphics and an additional 120W of dedicated power for custom CPU overclocking with liquid cooling.

With a MicroATX motherboard, it’s Alienware’s smallest dual-graphics-capable desktop and has more tool-less features than any previous Alienware mid-tower desktop, including: tool-less graphics, expansion cards, hard drives and memory. It’s Alienware’s first chassis supporting tool-less graphics card upgrades.
Inspired by the Alienware Area-51, the external design of the system includes AlienFX customizable lighting and has incorporated various ergonomic features for user-handling and component access. Its internal arrangement and fan positioning delivers ambient air towards the priority components with exhausts at the top and rear of the system to deliver maximum performance.
Some notable features of the Alienware Aurora:
Supports five storage drives + one ODD
Supports Intel Optane memory technology
Killer Gigabit Ethernet hardware and software
11ac wireless technology on all configurations
Whisper-quiet operation
All-parts upgradeable. Includes intelligent cable and Wi-Fi antenna, routing
Alienware Academy

Coming this fall, you can now enroll in Alienware Academy, an online training platform where all PC gamers can get data-driven lessons and be challenged to learn, train and improve in competitive gaming.
You’ll find CS:GO weapon spray course curriculums for the most popular competitive games and more than 10 lessons taught by Team Liquid’s pro gamers and other esports professionals. You’ll also get tools enabled with eye tracking that will help you gain insights from your play, with specially designed challenges and custom practice maps that will help you train.
To advance to the next level and unlock your true potential, after each lesson you must pass objectives designed to test your understanding. You can see your progess over time across different challenges on Alienware Academy profile pages. Those who demonstrate lesson mastery receive badges and rewards.
Alienware 15 and 17

With up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9 k-Series processors, the Alienware 15 and 17 are engineered with an improved thermal solution and a thin, hinge-forward design to extract the maximum performance from top-of-the-line components.
The design introduces premium materials such as anodized aluminum, magnesium alloy, steel-reinforcements and copper thermal management to ensure a level of stiffness, rigidity, thinness and high-quality feel – all without sacrificing gaming performance. You can also get to internal components easier through a new bottom door mechanism.
With an upgraded Alienware TactX keyboard, with per key RBG LED, Alienware 15 and 17 now support n-key rollover, enabling more than 108-key commands for maximum actions per minute. It’s the only keyboard on a laptop with 2.2mm of key travel, allowing for rapid response for any keystroke. Reinforced with a steel back plate for rigidity and uniform feedback, it’s guaranteed to stay functional for up to 10 million keystrokes.
You’ll also find:
More than 80 quadrillion lighting combinations via per key RGB lighting with many effects and modes
Improved audio output with a new speaker design that includes internal smart-amps used to monitor the audio waveforms, enabling the use of the entire thermal margin of the speaker, thus enabling louder sound
Support for desktop graphics cards from NVIDIA or AMD with the optional Alienware Graphics Amplifier
The highest performance available AMD- or NVIDIA-based graphics cards using GDDR5 video memory
Optional 120Hz TN+WVA 400-nits display designed for NVIDIA G-Sync experiences
All configurations include Killer Networks e2500 Gigabit Ethernet and Killer 1550 Networks 802.11ac 2×2 Wireless with Bluetooth 5.0 technology
Includes 3 USB 3.0 ports, one of which includes PowerShare technology, another of which uses a Type-C connector for Type-C compatible devices
One Thunderbolt 3 Port (USB Type-C with support for SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps, 40Gbps Thunderbolt, and DisplayPort)
Dell 24 and 27 gaming monitors

S2419HGF                                                 S2719DGF
With Dell’s 24 (S2419HGF) and 27 (S2719DGF) gaming monitors, you’ll experience sharp, tear-free graphics with a swift overclocked refresh rate at 144Hz and 155Hz respectively. You’ll also leave lag behind, with blazing fast and responsive gameplay at an extremely rapid 1 millisecond response time.
These monitors support AMD FreeSync for smooth gameplay and give you the flexibility to game with the No-Sync fast refresh option on your existing hardware. You can also personalize and preset up to three gaming profiles, in addition to three factory preset modes, with a gamer-geared menu. Both monitors are distinguished by metallic paint in recon-blue to complement Dell gaming PCs for unified look and gaming experience.

With tilt, pivot, swivel and height adjustable features, you can find your ideal viewing position and game for long hours comfortably. With the wide range of ports, you can hook up these gaming monitors to your PC, and add another secondary device – like your gaming console of choice – for simultaneous entertainment options.
The Dell 24 Gaming Monitor offers FHD resolution, while with the Dell 27 Gaming Monitor, you’ll enjoy vivid edge-to-edge gameplay, crisp QHD resolution and 3.68 million pixels – almost twice as much than full HD.
The all-new gaming monitors provide maximum reliability with Dell Premium Panel Exchange, which allows a free panel replacement during the Limited Hardware Warranty period even if only one bright pixel is found.

Windows 10 Tip: Find out all you can do with improved Game bar – Windows Experience Blog

Good news for PC gamers: The Windows 10 April 2018 Update delivered a makeover to the Game bar so it’s even easier to find what you’re looking for.
New buttons on the Game bar provide easy access to your captures, themes (dark, light, or your current Windows theme) and the time (thanks to a new clock).
You can also use the bar to toggle your microphone and camera, start a Mixer stream without any extra hardware or software, and edit the title of your Mixer stream.
Check out the improved Game bar:

If you like this, check out more Windows 10 Tips.

More Resources for Universal Windows Platform Games with Fall Xbox One Update

Since the advent of consoles, developers have asked for ways to create games for one platform that you could run anywhere. With the release of the Expanded Resources feature in the Windows Fall Creators Update, we are taking the industry closer to that goal than it has ever been before. Now, developers will automatically have access to 6 exclusive cores, 5 GB of ram and full access to the GPU!
When Windows 10 launched in July 2015, Windows and Xbox converged to a single operating system for game development and introduced the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application model.
UWP apps created for Windows 10 PCs and Xbox games created for Xbox One could be bought and run side by side on consoles, but only in a specialized environment created for lightweight entertainment experiences.
Coming this fall, UWP games published through the Windows Store to Xbox One consoles such as Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks, games in the ID@Xbox program, or games in the Xbox Live Creators Program will be able to access the expanded resources. UWP game developers get both a performance boost and a much larger sandbox in which to Dream, Build, and Play.
Team Xbox is excited to see how creators take advantage of this extra power to bring even more variety and creativity to Xbox One. ANYONE can become a creator for Xbox One, get started here.
*D3D12-Based UWP Games get access to the full power of the GPU

Windows Developer Day Returns!

Windows Developer Day is back! Join us on October 10, starting at 9:30 AM PDT via live stream, or attend a viewing party in your area (location list below), as we explore what’s new in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update for developers.
The day’s schedule features an introductory keynote by Kevin Gallo and members of the Windows engineering team, a live-streamed Q&A session and several streaming sessions diving deeper into the current Windows 10 update.
Learn what’s new for developers in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
No matter what you’re working on, you’ll find plenty of new features and improvements to make your software more compelling:
Game devs
Game Mode and new performance enhancements improve the gameplay experience for most of your players.
Xbox Live Creators Program lets you integrate Xbox Live into your game and publish to both Xbox One and Windows 10.
Mixer is the only next gen streaming service that offers viewers real-time influence and participation in your players’ live streams.
Windows Store improvements help you promote your games with video trailers and control timing and pricing more precisely.
Commercial devs
.NET Standard 2.0 adds more than 20,000 new APIs and lets you share code across all your .NET code base.
Xamarin lets you use your existing C# and .NET skills to build truly cross-platform apps for iOS, Android and Windows 10 devices.
Desktop Bridge improvements to tooling and more make it much easier to convert your existing Win32 and .NET software to Windows 10.
Windows Mixed Reality delivers new levels of immersion to help you enhance the visual experience of your users.
Consumer devs
Microsoft Graph and UserActivity API make your end-to-end experience seamless by connecting screens and experiences across devices and platforms.
Fluent Design System helps you engage your users continuously across all their devices with beautiful, expressive experiences.
Tooling improvements within Visual Studio make it easier to create, convert and deploy your software.
.NET Standard 2.0 adds more than 20,000 new APIs and lets you share code across all your .NET code base.
Live Stream Viewing Parties
Join other developers from your local developer community and attend a Live Stream Viewing Party hosted by a Microsoft Windows Development MVP. Enjoy refreshments, watch the live stream, participate in the Live Q&A alongside your peers and make new community connections!
Here is a list of the locations: 
Amstelveen, Netherlands
Bonstetten, Zurich, Switzerland
Boston, MA, USA
Chicago, IL, USA
Cologne, Germany
Dresden, Germany
Durban, South Africa
Ghent, Belgium
Manchester UK
Mexico City, Mexico
Milan, Italy
Milwaukee, WI, USA
Moscow, Russia
Munich, Germany
Paris, France
Penang, Malaysia
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Singapore, Singapore
Stockholm, Sweden
Vienna, Austria
Zagreb, Croatia
Learn more about Windows Developer Day and sign up here!

Dream.Build.Play 2017 Challenge Updates

When we launched the Dream.Build.Play 2017 Challenge in June, we had big plans for not just a contest, but a way for indie game developers to connect with each other and show off their skills and experience. We didn’t set out to replace existing communities, but maybe we could create a little something that would complement other systems. Our goal is always to help indie developers be as successful as possible, and Dream.Build.Play 2017 Challenge is just one thing we thought up.
Before I begin, I do want to say that this article is long. I’ve got a lot of cool and important information to share, and rather than break it up into individual posts and have you search for it in multiple places, I’m throwing it all down in one place. Come back and refer to this page as often as you need to. Ok, let’s get started!
State of Play
By the look of it, that contest is generating some great interest from you all. To date there are over 2,000 indie developers from all walks of life signed up on the competition site, and we know there are more to come. And what do I mean by “walks of life”? Well, we have students, we have professional developers trying their hand at building a game, we have dedicated indie studios who want to showcase their talents.
But it doesn’t stop there. We have indie developers from all over the world too. My home country, Australia, is represented, as is the US and the UK. But how about Bangladesh? Yep. Austria? Yep. Greece, Sweden, France, Brazil… The list goes on. Dream.Build.Play is turning out to be a truly global experience.
That’s all great and all, you say, but what about these big plans you mentioned?
Glad you asked.
The Big Plans
This month, we launched phase two of the Dream.Build.Play website. It takes the contest and amps up the stuff you can do with it in a big way, but we’ve tried to do it in a thoughtful way that will help you out for other things too.
As of now, you can log into the Dream.Build.Play website and check out the community of developers who have created profiles. And you can create your own too. Each profile comes with name, country, photo and a brief bio description. But then it can be enhanced with what I consider the special sauce of Dream.Build.Play. Besides that basic biographical info, you can add all the ways people can connect with you, plus all the skills you have, plus all the games you’ve worked on.
Yes, all. First, take connections and networks. You can choose from Xbox, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and so on, but you can also add your DeviantArt or Bandcamp accounts, or GitHub, Unity, Unreal or Stack Overflow accounts. And a whole lot more. And if there’s something missing, we’ve got you covered with a Personal Website link. Add as many as you want. Add none. It’s up to you.
When it comes to skills, it gets event better. We’ve built an extensive list of skills, from a variety of programming languages, to middleware and game engines, to more softer skills like game design. But if you want to advertise a skill that’s not listed, just add it in, and as long as it passes our moderation queue, it’ll show up in your profile.
Adding games is where the magic really starts to show through. You can add every game you’ve worked on, and each one comes with its own set of information. From the game’s name and genre, to cover art, screenshots and even a trailer video. And then add a description, and what platform category it belongs to and you’re almost there. Every game entry can have its own set of connections. So if you have a website for your game, a YouTube link, a Twitch channel and a Facebook page, add them all so people can check it out.
Why is this important?
We created the community like this for a very important reason: so you can all connect with each other. Let me give you an example.
Dave is building a game in Unity, but he doesn’t have a single audio engineering bone in his body. But he really wants to enter the Dream.Build.Play 2017 Challenge and potentially win big cash money. I can relate.
Dave heads to the Community page and filters the Skills list for Audio Engineering. In the results pane, he sees a few other members who have that skill. He clicks on Grace’s profile. Dave sees that Grace not only has Audio Engineering as a listed skill, but she also has Unity. Great! She’ll likely know how to incorporate sound into his Unity game.
He can then check out the games Grace has listed, heading to their websites, or videos, and check out the audio that she has created previously. He likes the sounds he’s hearing and decides that he wants to see if Grace would like to join him on his epic journey. He can then return to Grace’s profile and click on any of the Connections she has added and get in touch.
Cool!
Cooler, if they agree to join forces, the Dream.Build.Play website allows them to do just that. All Dave has to do is head to his game page, edit it and add Grace to join his team. Bam! Both will now be listed as being part of the cool game that they’re collaborating on.
I love this community
One of my favorite things about the game developer community, is the willingness of everyone to help out and give people tips, feedback and advice on how to improve or fix their creations. I wanted to flag one great example of that that came out this week: Simon Jackson’s post on Unity and Visual Studio.
Simon and fellow indie dev Jim Perry brought to my attention a small issue between Visual Studio, Unity and Xbox Live. They thoughtfully investigated and figured out a workaround, and for all of you who are actively building UWP games in Unity who want to integrate Xbox Live, Simon has written up their findings on his blog: https://darkgenesis.zenithmoon.com/resolving-build-issues-for-uwp-packages-with-unity/
Also, I also want to highlight that Simon has created a special area on DevPost for Dream.Build.Play here: https://devpost.com/software/dreambuildplayresources. If you’re looking for additional info or resources, or you want to contribute back to the community, please head there and take a look.
Quick recap so far
A quick summary of where we are:
Phase two of Dream.Build.Play has launched. Woo!
You can now add your personal profile, complete with skills, connections and games.
Games can have their own connections, as well as screenshots, videos and more.
Games do NOT have to be for the Dream.Build.Play 2017 Challenge. They can be used to showcase your experience.
You can search the community based on skill.
You can form teams.
One special note. As I mentioned right at the beginning of this post, we’ve had (to date) over 2,000 people register to compete. If you look on the Community page and see less than that, that’s because only those people who have created a profile will show up on that page. So get in there and create your profile and make sure your friends and colleagues are heading back to Dream.Build.Play and updating theirs too, so the community fills out.
But wait, there’s more!
I hope you didn’t think we were stopping there. I’ve got some exciting news to share! We’re announcing a new contest as part of Dream.Build.Play: The Developer Diary Contest.
The Developer Diary contest challenges Dream.Build.Play creators and developers to document their journey in building a game. It has some minimal requirements such as needing to do at least five posts or videos, across at least a month in duration, but it’s really about encouraging you all to share your stories with each other.
Talk about a pain point you encountered and tell people how you fixed it. Or maybe something you were pleasantly surprised by when you started exploring UWP. Or how about how Azure made your life easier with some kind of cloud coolness.
Here’s a great example from Tarh Ik who we shared this with just a couple of days ago: https://tarhik.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/antimatter-instance-dev-log-entry-1/
And yes, the game he’s blogging about is indeed on Dream.Build.Play! https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/Windows/dream-build-play/game/7
You’ll have until December 31st to create your Developer Diary and be in the running to win $5,000 cash and the adulation of your peers. Get to it!
Need help?
To finish off this article, I know that creating a game can be tough. But we’re here to help. Not only can you post questions to our Windows Developer Twitter handle or Facebook group, but you can grab a whole bunch of documentation, all conveniently located in one place: The UWP Game Development Guide!
Until next time, good luck, create your profile and add all the games you’ve worked on, and see you in the Dream.Build.Play community!
Oh, and keep your eyes peeled. We may have some other announcements soon.

Xbox Live Creators Program Is Now Live!

Back in March, we revealed the Xbox Live Creators Program. Today, we’re excited to announce that any developer can now directly publish their games to Xbox One and Windows 10. We’ve already had some great games published during the preview program (check out the list below!), but there’s always space for more, and it’s time for your game to shine. Microsoft is committed to ensuring that any developer who wants to publish their game on Windows 10 PCs and the Xbox One console family can do so, and the Creators Program enables creators big and small, from around the world, to do just that.
What’s the Creators Program, you ask? Xbox Live Creators Program allows any developer to directly publish their games – any of their games – to Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs with a standard certification process already in place for any other app or game in the Universal Windows Platform ecosystem. In other words, if you have a Dev Center account, then you’re ready to publish your game to Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.
But it gets better! Using the Creators Program also allows you to implement a number of Xbox Live services directly in your game. Stuff like Gamertag Presence, Xbox Live leaderboards and Connected Storage. Things that make your life as a game creator easier, but also enhance your gamers’ experiences. And you also get to take advantage of killer features like Game Hubs and Clubs, Mixer streaming (and integration for more interactive experiences) and some really awesome accessibility features to make sure your game is available for an even wider audience.
And because you get to use the standard Windows Store certification process, you can have the freedom to publish when you’re ready, set pricing the way you like and establish sales and updates that fit your schedule.
Any Creators Program game published on the Windows 10 Store will be listed in the Games category, it’s that simple. On the Xbox One console, we’ve created a special section of the Store called Creators Collection, so that your game can be easily discovered by people looking for something new. We also did this because we know from feedback from players, parents and developers, that the current curated experience on the Xbox One Store is something they love. So, having the Creators collection gives all of us the best of both worlds: A curated store and a fully open marketplace in the Creators Collection.
Does the Creators Program sound good to you? It does to us! And it’s so easy to do. First step is to build your game utilizing UWP and Xbox Live SDK, and for that you can use the tools you’re already using – Visual Studio, game engines like Unity, Construct 2, MonoGame and Xenko – and combine them with a retail Xbox One console and your Dev Center account. You’ll need to grab the free Dev Mode Activation app from the Xbox Store, but then you’re just a few button presses away from converting that retail machine into something ready for your development efforts.
The Dev Center account is the standard one for anyone building apps or games in the Microsoft ecosystem. If you don’t have one yet, it costs as little as $20 as a one-time fee. Then get started on your Xbox Live integration by checking out the Creators Program page and the Xbox Live Creators Program step by step guide.
Creators Program games have access to a large set of Xbox Live services, but not all of them. You’ll be able to implement features such as sign-in and presence, use of your Gamertag, leaderboards, access to your Activity Feed, Game Hubs, Clubs, Party Chat, Game DVR and broadcasting on Mixer.
However, since Creators Program is an open program as opposed to a managed one, some services are not available to you: Achievements, Gamerscore or internet multiplayer. The good news is that if you want access to these features, we encourage you to apply to the  ID@Xbox program where you’ll get the ability to incorporate these. And of course, there’s a path for games to move from the Creators Program to ID@Xbox during development (or even after they reach the Store) if a developer decides they want to add Gamerscore, Achievements or internet multiplayer later on.
While ID@Xbox was designed for professional game developers who wish to use the full set of Xbox Live features through a full certification process, the Creators Program gives all the other developers a “right-sized” set of Xbox Live services. So whether they’re small studios, hobbyists, makers, teachers and students, or if they’re just learning the ropes – the Creators Program is a simplified way to create and ship games to the Xbox community.
We know that the below set of titles is just the beginning. We’re going to highlight more of the diverse array of Creators Program games that catch our eyes on the Xbox Wire. I hope to see your game listed there one day soon.
Here’s a quick look at the first titles that will be available via the program:
Animal Rivals, Blue Sunset Games: Animal Rivals is an action-packed couch party game for one to four players. Drop into the game and fight for the Animalonia’s throne as one of the furry contenders in different mini-games and locations. The game itself presents a unique art style mixing the cartoonish looks and satire approach. (Xbox One, Windows 10)
Block Dropper, Tresiris Games: Block Dropper is a fast paced, arcade style, 3D platformer. Try not to fall as you guide your character through the challenging single player mode or grab a friend to battle head to head in a local multiplayer Block Battle Arena. Tresiris is a small game studio based in Olathe, Kansas, who create fun and simple games with quality as their top priority. (Xbox One, Windows 10)
Crystal Brawl, Studio Mercato: Gauntlet meets NBA Jam in Crystal Brawl, a 2v2 capture-the-flag local multiplayer game that melds fast action with MOBA-like strategy. Choose from a variety of characters with different abilities, with a notable twist: each character has a unique ability that alters the terrain. Experiment with different character combinations to uncover hidden strategies! Studio Mercato is an independent game studio based in New York City. (Xbox One, Windows 10)
Derelict Fleet, Bionic Pony: Derelict Fleet is a fast-paced space combat game. You are tasked with defending a refugee fleet as you travel the stars searching for a new colony to call home. Bionic Pony is a small indie studio based in Tampa, FL that started making Xbox Live indie games in 2010. (Xbox One)
ERMO, Nonostante: ERMO is a relaxing puzzle game featured with a calming and peaceful graphics. Immerse yourself in the landscapes and colors of ERMO and let you be carried away. You will learn the rules in a few seconds, but ERMO will catch you for hours. (Xbox One)
GalactiMAX!, ONLYUSEmeFEET: In the vast darkness of space, GalactiMAX has the player shooting aliens for points to pierce the heavens in classic arcade shooter action! As more aliens are defeated, the player’s ship will increase in size and power. How big can this ship get?! (Xbox One, Windows 10)
kubic, Pixel Envision Ltd: kubic is a relaxing optical illusion puzzle game based on M.C. Escher’s art, impossible objects and other geometric designs. The object is to construct the goal configuration from a number of pieces. (Xbox One, Windows 10)
Space Cat!, GershGamesLLC: Shoot your way past an onslaught of enemies and bosses. Collect weapon upgrades like missiles, bombs, laser beams and much more. GershGamesLLC is a group of young hobbyists that makes for fun on the weekends. (Xbox One, Windows 10)
Stereo Aereo, The Stonebot Studio: Stereo Aereo is an action rhythm game that is inspired by the pop-culture influences of the 80’s. You, the player, have to make sure that the mediocre space rockband Stereo Aereo, gets to their life changing concert, on time, in this comic styled sci-fi game. (Xbox One, Windows 10)
Finally, to celebrate the availability of Creators Program becoming open for any developer, we’re also highlighting the Dream.Build.Play contest, which has an Xbox One category for any game developer who incorporates Creators Program features into their game. So not only can you get your game on the console for the first time, you have a shot at winning some cash money while you do it. Sounds good to us!