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Since inception, one of the most criticized elements of Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform is the lack of support for file modification. After many years, it seems Microsoft is finally changing their tune. In the current build of Windows 10, Reddit user Pycorax has found a folder with an interesting name in their Program Files directory, titled “Modifiable Windows Apps”. Microsoft’s official webpage provides more information, shedding light on the folder’s purpose. While modding was definitely possible (albeit difficult) on UWP applications, Microsoft finally supporting file modification will alleviate what is perhaps the most controversial issue plaguing the Universal Windows Platform.
The Gears 5 Tech Test pre-load is now available for Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, as well as those who have pre-ordered Gears 5. Unlike Halo: The Master Chief Collection's recent beta testing taking place on Steam, Gears 5's testing will only be available on the Windows Store (though the game will be receiving a Steam release). For those eligible, follow this link to reach the Windows Store page for the Gears 5 Tech Test and begin the 13GB download. The Tech Test will have two playable periods, the first starting on July 19th at 10am PDT until July 22nd at 10am PDT. The second will begin on July 26th at 10am PDT until July 29th at 10 AM PDT. The Coalition has also published recommended hardware specs for the test: Furthermore, Windows 10 version 1903 will also be required. Will you be taking part in either of the tests?
With the announcement of Metro Exodus on Microsoft Store excited you, then it might be because Metro has been broken free from its exclusivity from the Epic Games Store. It also helps that it's available for the princely sum of $1, contained within a 1 month trial in the newly branded Xbox Game Pass for PC. This is where the good news ends. Even though Metro Exodus was released 4 entire months ago, its new release on the Microsoft Store reminds us more of rushed console port than a smooth launch you'd be expecting. It's a harsh reminder of the problems gamers faced with Games For Windows Live back in 2007. More painful is the realisation that many problems are probably the result of the restrictive Universal Windows Platform (UWP) that Microsoft Store applications must be contained within. Firstly - not being able to install the damn thing - threads mention many people cannot install the game, giving error message 0x80070005 even with the above updates both installed. Make sure to install the latest Xbox beta and make sure to update to Windows version 1903 (the May update), then you'll need to buy the game or subscribe to Xbox Game Pass for PC. Now this does not guarantee it'll work - in fact it hasn't been installable on one of my PCs and the issue still isn't fixed. If you are one of the lucky people who can 'play' the game, you're likely to encounter one or all of the below issues: Game won't save - thread thread thread - even this poor chap losing 3 hours progress Settings won't save (e.g. resolution) - thread Config and save files are very hard to locate and edit - thread Cannot switch to DX11 despite it being a graphics option - thread After first cutscene, can't login to Xbox Live - thread thread (real GFWL flashbacks here) My current working theory is that porting Metro Exodus to UWP has caused all sorts of issues with permissions, where normally the user files of the game are easily accessible, e.g. %AppData%\Saved Games\metro exodus\<user-id>\user.cfg but are now contained within the locked down UWP format which is unwritable for whatever reason: %AppData%\Local\Packages\DeepSilver.ProjectWindfall_hmv7qcest37me\SystemAppData\wgs\....someuniqueusernumber\ Another issue UWP may be causing is the 'blurry screen' as if the game is being rendered under a much lower resolution. This may be due to the fact that UWP forces borderless fullscreen windowed mode stretching the default 720p image. This combined with the fact that resolution changes aren't saving correctly are causing a lot of confusion. Apparently alt+tabbing will solve the issue but it's not a great first impression. It's just conjecture at this point but it's a bad sign for future 3rd party AAA UWP games that are bound to come in droves to sign up for the Xbox Game Pass money pot. For more up to date issues, the Metro Exodus wiki page will contain more up to date fixes. Many thanks to contributor Anthraksi for bringing the issue to our attention.