All the free Xbox and PS4 games you can download in April revealed

XBOX and PS4 owners can bag two free games this month – if you meet the right criteria.

You'll need an Xbox Live membership or PS Plus subscription to qualify, which many players will already have.

Xbox Games with Gold – how to get FREE Xbox games

Games With Gold is Microsoft's answer to the free games you get with Sony's PlayStation Plus.

You can get the free games on Xbox if you subscribe to Xbox Live Gold – something that's required for online play.

Then, each month you receive four free games, two on the latest console and two for the previous generation.

These are yours to keep for as long as you have your Xbox Live Gold membership running.

  • Buy Xbox Gold one-month membership – £6.99 (UK) / $9.99 (US)

The headline freebie for April 2020 is Project Cars 2.

This motorsport racing simulator came out in September 2017, and was particularly well-reviewed.

The other free game is Fable Anniversary, a 2013 remake of the iconic 2004 game Fable.

A major graphical update featured, but the main components of the game were kept identical.

This action RPG follows a questing hero who can learn skills, make moral decisions, and interact with a semi-open world.

  • Buy Xbox Gold one-month membership – £6.99 (UK) / $9.99 (US)

PS Plus – how to get FREE PS4 games

PS Plus is a premium subscription service for PS4 gamers.

It gives you access to online multiplayer as well as exclusive discounts across the PlayStation Store.

But it also nets you two hand-picked PS4 games to download and play each month, which remain available as long as you're a member.

Many PS4 owners will subscribe to PS Plus for the multiplayer alone, so the free games are a pleasant bonus.

  • PS Plus at Sony PlayStation Official Store for £6.99 a month – buy here

The first PS4 freebie is incredibly popular game Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

This critically acclaimed title came out in 2016, and was developed by Naughty Dog – who also made The Last of Us.

You play as Nathan Drake, a former treasure hunter who comes out of retirement to search for long-lost loot.

The second freebie is Dirt Rally 2.0, which is the 13th title in the legendary Colin McRae Rally series.

As the name suggests, it's a racer focused on rallying and rallycross.

You compete in timed events on tarmac and off-road, in locations around the world.

The game came out on February 26, 2019, so it's fairly new.

  • PS Plus at Sony PlayStation Official Store for £6.99 a month – buy here

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.

In other news, you check check your Xbox addiction over the past 10 years with the new 'My Decade on Xbox' tool.

Don't miss this cracking deal on the Xbox Game Pass.

And we've tracked down the cheapest Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch bundles.

Have you spotted any great gaming deals recently? If so, let us know in the comments!

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Microsoft asks Xbox game makers to release fewer updates to reduce strain on internet during coronavirus crisis

MICROSOFT has asked games studios to release fewer updates for its Xbox consoles in a bid to stop the data-heavy downloads from overwhelming the internet.

The US firm said the move was in response to the "unprecedented times" faced by gamers and internet service providers as millions of people are locked indoors amid the coronavirus crisis.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

The news comes via an internal email seen by the New York Times.

Game-makers regularly release updates for their titles as a way to fix bugs and tweak gameplay.

However, they're often hefty downloads several gigabytes n size, which are instantly downloaded by thousands of gamers.

Microsoft said: "Microsoft is actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we're optimising service for our customers worldwide, and accommodating new growth and demand.

"At the same time, these are unprecedented times, and we're also taking proactive steps to plan for these high-usage periods."

Microsoft's move makes it the latest company to respond to an EU call to stave off internet gridlock as millions work from home.

Facebook and Instagram, as well as video giants Disney, Netflix and YouTube, have all responded to the call by reducing the video quality on their platforms.

Sony – Microsoft's biggest competitor – announced on Wednesday that it would slow down game downloads for the foreseeable future.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton has urged streaming platforms to free up bandwidth for healthcare and distance learning for thousands of children sent home by closing schools.

While European telecoms operators say their networks have been able to cope with the data traffic rise so far, there are fears of congestion as more and more people work at home.

It's not clear how Microsoft's self-imposed restrictions will remain in place.

Facebook and Instagram's video quality downgrade is indefinite, while both Netflix and YouTube have said they will cut their picture quality for 30 days.

Disney said it would lower its overall bandwidth utilisation by at least 25 per cent in all of the European countries launching its new streaming service Disney+ this week.

Britain's internet traffic has jumped 20 per cent in recent weeks following a surge in the number of people working from home and avoiding outside activities, according to BT's OpenResearch.

Internet service providers in the UK have insisted they are "ready" to handle extra broadband demand from people at home during the pandemic.

Last week, Andrew Glover, chair of the Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA), which represents the industry, said: "ISPs are ready to handle any potential extra bandwidth and consistently assess the demands that are being put on their networks."

However, one analyst warned last week that it's possible surging demand for home broadband is already affecting people's web speeds.

"The more people that connect to a network at the same time will inevitably put a strain on it and thus reduce the speed," Paolo Pescatore, of PP Foresight, told The Sun.

"This is akin to a motorway; increasing the number of lanes means more cars. However, the more cars on the road will lead everyone to slow down."

"Telcos clearly need to brace themselves for an explosion of traffic over their networks," he added. "More needs to be done to stabilise the network."

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In other news, your internet may be getting slower as the coronavirus outbreak causes a huge surge in web traffic.

We reveal how to clean your iPhone without breaking it.

And take a look at the world's best iPhone photos taken using "night mode".

Are you happy with your internet speeds? Let us know in the comments!

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Xbox Series X 'graphics code STOLEN by hackers and held for $100million ransom', insiders say

SECRET Xbox Series X code has reportedly been stolen by a hacker – and is being held to ransom for $100million.

The Xbox Series X is Microsoft's upcoming console, a next-gen gaming machine set to launch towards the end of 2020.

Graphics firm AMD – which makes processors for the Xbox – revealed the hack in a blog post.

Fragments of the code behind a number of AMD graphics devices were posted to GitHub, a website where developers share work.

And according to an IGN report, the person who claims to have stolen the data is asking for $100million – or all of the code will be published.

"At AMD, data security and the protection of our intellectual property are a priority," AMD wrote.

"In December 2019, we were contacted by someone who claimed to have test files related to a subset of our current and future graphics products, some of which were recently posted online, but have since been taken down.

"While we are aware the perpetrator has additional files that have not been made public, we believe the stolen graphics IP is not core to the competitiveness or security of our graphics products.

"We are not aware of the perpetrator possessing any other AMD IP.

"We are working closely with law enforcement officials and other experts as a part of an ongoing criminal investigation."

AMD is one of the world's biggest graphics card firms.

And the graphical prowess of the Xbox Series X will play a large large in the console's success.

According to TorrentFreak, a hacker has somehow obtained source code for Navi 10, Navi 21 and Arden devices.

The latter represents the GPU that will power the upcoming Xbox Series X.

It's not clear how the data was obtained, but it could represent a significant risk to Microsoft's gaming business.

Competitors could use leaked source code to gain a competitive advantage.

And hackers could dig deep into code to find holes that they could exploit for illicit gains.

We asked AMD whether the data was being held to ransom, but the company declined to comment due to the ongoing legal investigation.

The Sun has asked Xbox for comment and will update this story with any response.

In other news, check out the cheapest Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch bundles.

We reveal the video games that take the longest amount of time to beat.

And take a look at this weird £450 "gaming bed" with room for snacks and drinks.

Are you team Xbox or team PS5? Let us know in the comments!

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Cheapest Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch bundle deals you can order online during coronavirus lockdown

LOOKING for a great console deal during the coronavirus lockdown? You're not alone.

Gamers are desperate for cheap console bundles, so we've tracked down the most tempting PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch offers out there.

If you're spending more time at home, a console isn't a bad investment.

And prices on console bundles are fairly low right now – as retailers bid for your attention in these strange times.

Also, consoles are extremely cheap for another reason: the Xbox Series X and PS5 are both due to launch later this year.

But that won't happen until much closer to Christmas, so there's plenty of gaming to be had in the meantime.

Cheapest Xbox bundle – our favourite deal revealed

The best Xbox deal we've found so far is on an Xbox One S all-digital edition – with 1TB of storage.

This GAME bundle gets you the digital-only console, which means it doesn't have a disc drive.

Instead, you simply download games over the internet.

It also comes with Sea of Thieves, Minecraft, Fortnite Battle Royale DLC and a Now TV pass.

  • Xbox One S (digital) deal at Game for £199 – buy here

 

Another good option is this Xbox One S (proper, not digital-only) with Gears 5.

It's got 1TB of storage and comes with one of the best games of the last year.

  • Xbox One S deal at Amazon for £229.99 – buy here

Cheapest PS4 bundle – our favourite deal revealed

By far the best PS4 bundle we've seen is from Amazon.

You can get a PS4 (500GB) with three very excellent games for just £249.99.

And if you're a Prime member, you get delivery at no extra cost.

The games in the bundle include Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, and The Last of Us Remastered.

You also get the Frozen Wilds expansion pack for Horizon Zero Dawn.

  • PS4 deal at Amazon for £249.99 – buy here

Cheapest Nintendo Switch bundle – our favourite deal revealed

For some reason, good Nintendo Switch bundles are extremely difficult to come by right now.

Animal Crossing is the hit game of the moment, so this is the best bundle we've been able to find.

  • Nintendo Switch bundle at Argos for £329.99 – buy here 

It doesn't save you any money, but Argos offers credit plans – which may be an easier way for you to pay (with the usual caveat: don't buy what you can't afford).

And Argos does offer some add-on deals for accessories and additional games.

In other news, we reveal the video games that take the longest amount of time to beat.

Check out this weird £450 "gaming bed" with room for snacks and drinks.

Call of Duty has added a new Warzone Solos mode.

Take a look at our Call of Duty Warzone tips and tricks.

We reveal the best places to land in Warzone.

And find out how much money pro Fortnite gamers really earn.

Have you spotted any great gaming deals recently? If so, let us know in the comments!

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Samsung phones can play Xbox AND PS4 games from Friday with new Google Stadia app

GOOGLE Stadia will work on loads of new Android phones from February 20 – most of which are Samsung models.

The popular game-streaming service is designed as a replacement to your PS4 or Xbox One, so it's great news for gamers.

What is Google Stadia?

Google Stadia is a game streaming service that lets you play console-level titles on smartphones and laptops.

Normally, a games console renders graphics on the machine – requiring powerful and expensive hardware.

Stadia renders the graphics on a Google computer and sends them to you over the internet, a bit like Netflix.

It means you can play games on really rubbish devices, including smartphones or the Google Chrome web browser.

The service costs £119, and includes a Chromecast Ultra and three months of access to Stadia Pro's free library of games.

If you don't want Stadia Pro, you can simply buy games from the Google Store.

Google Stadia supported devices – here are the smartphones you can play on

These are the new additions:

  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 Active
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy S10E
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Razer Phone
  • Razer Phone 2
  • Asus ROG Phone
  • Asus ROG Phone II

And you could already play on these devices:

  • Google Pixel 2
  • Google Pixel 2 XL
  • Google Pixel 3
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
  • Google Pixel 4

It's worth remembering that Google plans to add even more devices to these lists over time, so don't be too disappointed if your mobile isn't on there yet.

Google Stadia games – February 2020 list

Here are the games you can play on Stadia right now:

  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle
  • Baldur's Gate 3
  • Borderlands 3
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Darksiders Genesis
  • Destiny 2: The Collection
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • DOOM
  • DOOM Eternal
  • DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE 2
  • Farming Simulator 19
  • FINAL FANTASY XV
  • Football Manager 2020
  • Get Packed
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • Gods & Monsters
  • GRID
  • GYLT
  • Just Dance 2020
  • Kine
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Metro Exodus
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • NBA 2K20
  • Orcs Must Die! 3
  • Rage 2
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration
  • SAMURAI SHODOWN
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
  • Supercross 3
  • SUPERHOT
  • The Crew 2
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • Thumper
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
  • Trials Rising
  • Watch Dogs Legion
  • Windjammers 2
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood


Video game streaming – how does it work?

We explain it all…

  • When you watch a movie, the images you see are already prepared
  • That's why very unsophisticated computers inside your TV, DVD player, or computer can playback film footage
  • But video games render the visuals in real-time, because a game never knows what you'll do next
  • That means you need much more computing heft to produce game visuals, compared to a standard movie
  • So if you want amazing 4K PC-style graphics, you'll need to fork out for an expensive computer
  • Alternatively, you could use game streaming technology
  • The idea is that a company like Google, Microsoft or Sony would handle the generation of the visuals on powerful computers at its own HQ
  • Then it would send what's effectively a video of that game to your smartphone
  • You tap and play, and those commands get sent back to Microsoft or Sony, which then inputs them into the game, and sends you the visuals again
  • Because modern internet connections are so fast, this all happens in milliseconds
  • The resulting effect is 4K PC-style graphics on a smartphone – which is only possible because it's not the phone itself rendering the graphics
  • It also means that you could potentially be playing an Xbox or PlayStation game on your console, and then leave the house and carry on playing using your iPhone
  • This sort of technology could eventually kill off gaming consoles for good, because all you'd need is a TV with game-streaming tech built in, and a controller to play with
  • But game streaming is still trying to get off the ground
  • Sony bought a game-streaming called OnLive, but shut it down in 2015
  • Google launched the relatively successful Stadia last year
  • And Microsoft is currently preparing to launch its xCloud streaming service

In other news, the PS5 and Xbox Series X could cost a hefty £500 at launch.

Sony has already sent the official PS5 website live.

And both new consoles are expected to have thousands of games ready at launch.

Are you tempted by Google Stadia? Let us know in the comments!

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