The Morning After: Xbox Series S gets a key upgrade

Plus, all the biggest news from 2023’s Summer Game Fest.

Microsoft / Xbox

The Xbox Series S occupies an interesting space in Microsoft’s gaming lineup, given it can play every current-generation title available for the Series X. It may be significantly less powerful, but it’s also smaller and a lot cheaper, making it a “good enough” option for plenty of mainstream and casual gamers. Now, at 2023’s Summer Game Fest, Microsoft is addressing one of users’ biggest bugbears about the machine, which should make it a lot easier to live with.

At the event, the company showed off a new “carbon black” version of the console with 1TB storage, double what’s presently available. It’s a big deal for owners of the all-digital console since, with just 512GB, the current Series S users are often forced to delete downloaded games or buy a pricey expansion card to make room for whatever’s just landed on Game Pass. The new Series S will be available on September 1st, days before Microsoft’s latest blockbuster release, Starfield.

– Dan Cooper

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Watch the Summer Game Fest keynote in under 20 minutes

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'Final Fantasy VII Remake: Rebirth' is delayed until early 2024

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Promotional logo for 'Star Wars: Outlaws'
Ubisoft / Lucasfilm

Ubisoft's long-awaited open-world Star Wars game will arrive in 2024. The publisher announced Star Wars Outlaws on Sunday during Microsoft's Xbox and Starfield Direct showcase with a cinematic trailer that introduces fans to the game's Han Solo-like protagonist, Key Vess. Ubisoft is billing Outlaws as the first-ever open-world Star Wars game — though it's worth noting many past games in the franchise, including the recently released Jedi: Survivor, feature open-world elements.

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Gameplay image from 'Mortal Kombat 1' at Summer Game Fest 2023.
Warner Bros.

One of the biggest reveals from a generally muted Summer Game Fest showcase was footage from Mortal Kombat 1. The 12th mainline game in the series restarts the universe with a once-mortal Liu Kang, now a full-fledged god of fire. Alongside this new world, the title also adds Kameos, summonable allies to fights. Read on for our first impressions of playing the game.

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We won’t know how successful Netflix’s crackdown on password sharing has been until we’ve seen its next one or two financial releases. But a third-party analytics company believes Netflix’s policy of nagging users into paying up has started to bear fruit. Its data suggests the streamer saw a spike in sign-ups towards the end of May, far outstripping the number of cancelations.

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