Devices |

We’re giving away 10 Xbox Series S Game Night packs for an epic night in

By Luke Hopewell March 31, 2021

Tell us what your perfect #GameNight is and go in the running to win a big night in thanks to Telstra and Xbox.


What does game night mean to you? Footy? Board games? When I was a kid, the greatest game night in history was the LAN party. I still remember one afternoon when I installed a new graphics card bought with my pocket money into the family computer, and cart it over to my mate’s place for some all-night Starcraft action.

And when Halo came out, it only got better. I’d borrow the family car and cart my first-gen Xbox and weighty CRT TV over to a friend’s place and get ready for some hardcore system link play. Cherry cola, network cables snaked around the house and The Prodigy on the stereo until the early hours? The perfect game night.

These days, game night looks a little different. Especially with the gorgeous, all-digital Xbox Series S, which packs next-gen power into a tiny and stylish parcel, so players can jump in and out of games faster than ever and even pre-order and pre-install games so they are ready to play at the moment of launch. Carrying that bad boy around can be accomplished with just a satchel bag. No minivan required for transport to that LAN party!

And with Xbox All Access from Telstra, you’ll also carry with you access to 100+ games on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ready to go.

Together with Xbox, we want to make the game night of your dreams come true so you can party with your squad like it’s 2001.

All you’ll have to do is jump on social and tell us what your perfect #GameNight looks like (mostly because we’re after ideas for our next one!)

You’ll be in the running to win one of our exclusive Xbox All Access Game Night Packs, which includes an Xbox Series S with white Xbox Wireless controller; 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership; extra controller (for Player Two); luxe Crumpler backpack (to cart your new console around in); customised Xbox All Access hoodie, and more.

How to enter

(Update: Thanks everyone for playing! We’ve been blown away by your #GameNight ideas. Needless to say that Friday at our place won’t be boring for the next few months! We will be contacting the winners and posting their names shortly.)

We have ten Game Night packs to give away, thanks to our partnership with Xbox for Xbox All Access, each valued at over $1200 (inc GST). All you have to do to be in the running to win one is to share with us, in writing, still or video content, what your perfect game night would be by:

  • posting a response to the Xbox Series S Game Night promotional post on Telstra’s social channels (including Twitter and Facebook); or
  • posting on your own Instagram, Twitter or YouTube page or account, tagging @telstra and including the hashtag #GameNight in that post.

Entries open on 31 March 2021 and close on 13 April 2021, and you can check out the terms and conditions here. Eligibility requirements are set out in the terms and conditions. This is a game of skill and chance plays no part in the outcome.

Xbox Series S on Xbox All Access

Telstra and Xbox All Access, the all-inclusive way to get a next gen console and Game Pass Ultimate, for one monthly price. The Xbox Series S is an all-digital next-gen console designed to deliver faster load times, higher frame rates, and richer, more dynamic worlds in our smallest Xbox ever. Its speeds will help you enjoy more gaming and less waiting.

Experience next-gen gaming with no upfront cost, available in-store and online, the Xbox Series S is bundled with Xbox Game Pass for Telstra post-paid customers for $33/month*. With the Xbox Series S you can also play some of your favourite games from the previous generations of consoles including Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox titles with backward compatibility and many of these games will look and play better than ever.

To find out more about Xbox All Access from Telstra for your next game night, check out Telstra.com.

Things you need to know

* Min cost $792 when you stay connected for 24 months plus your data plan charges. Eligibility criteria apply. You can only order one next-gen console per customer.

Entertainment |

All the new games on Xbox All Access: March 2021

By Luke Hopewell March 24, 2021

A new month means new games for customers with Xbox All Access from Telstra. This month adds incredible new titles to the library, including Star Wars: Squadrons and more.

Here’s what’s coming to Game Pass for March.

Undertale (Console, and PC) ID@Xbox – Available now

Fall into the underworld and explore a hilarious and heartwarming world full of dangerous monsters. Date a skeleton, dance with a robot, cook with a fishwoman… or destroy everyone where they stand. The future is yours to determine in this critically acclaimed role-playing game from indie developer Toby Fox.

Empire of Sin (Console, and PC) ID@Xbox – March 18
Empire of Sin is a strategy game based in the 1920s Prohibition-era Chicago underworld. Step into the wing-tipped shoes of real and fictional gangsters like Al Capone or Stephanie St. Clair to build and manage your criminal empire. Schmooze, swindle, and strategise your way to the top.

Nier: Automata (PC) – March 18

Humanity has been driven from the Earth by mechanical beings from another world. In a final effort to take back the planet, the human resistance sends a force of android soldiers to destroy the invaders. Now, a war between machines and androids rages on… a war that could soon unveil a long-forgotten truth of the world.

Star Wars: Squadrons (Console) EA Play – March 18

The New Republic fights for freedom. The Empire demands order. The Galactic Civil War is at a tipping point in a time where ace pilots on both sides could make all the difference. Master the art of starfighter combat in Star Wars: Squadrons, coming soon to EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Torchlight III (PC) – March 18
In Torchlight III, Novastraia is again under threat of invasion and it’s up to you to defend against the Netherim and its allies. Gather your wits and brave the frontier to find fame, glory, and a new adventure!

Genesis Noir (Console and PC) ID@Xbox – March 25

A noir adventure spanning time and space. When a love triangle between cosmic beings becomes a bitter confrontation, you’ll witness a gunshot fired by a jealous god—otherwise known as The Big Bang. Jump into the expanding universe and search for a way to destroy creation and save your love.

Octopath Traveler (Console and PC) – March 25
Eight travellers. Eight adventures. Eight roles to play. Embark on an epic journey across the vast and wondrous world of Orsterra and discover the captivating stories of each of the eight travellers. Use each character’s distinctive abilities in and out of battle and make decisions to shape your path.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire – Ultimate Edition (PC) ID@Xbox – March 25
Bend the world to your will as you explore the depths of infinite possibilities, including detailed character customisation, total freedom of exploration, and more meaningful choices at every turn. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Ultimate Edition redefines the role-playing game experience for a new generation.

Supraland (PC) ID@Xbox – March 25
Save the red-stick figure village in this hit first-person, open-world, action-puzzle platformer. Roam and explore a grand interconnected world, unlock new versatile abilities, and combine them to overcome imaginative puzzles or uncover shrouded secrets.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (Console and PC) – March 25

Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima, returns with the dream of living a quiet life. But soon he discovers Haruka has been in an accident and is now in a coma, leaving her young son, Haruto, without care. To protect this child, Kiryu takes Haruto to the last place Haruka was spotted, Onomichi, Hiroshima. Why are the Tojo Clan and Yomei Alliance both after Haruto? Kiryu will have to navigate through the criminal underworld he left behind and fight for the answers to keep the family he loves safe.

Narita Boy (Console and PC) ID@Xbox – March 30

Become symphonic in Narita Boy! A radical action-adventure as a legendary pixel hero trapped as a mere echo within the Digital Kingdom. Discover the mysteries behind the Techno-sword, lock swords with the corrupt and tainted Stallions. Save the world!

Outriders (Console) – April 1

Outriders brings intense action and deep role-playing to Xbox Game Pass! Developed by People Can Fly, veterans of the shooter genre, Outriders presents a journey of survival across a savage planet, which can be tackled in both single player and 1-3 player co-op.

What is Xbox All Access from Telstra?

With Xbox All Access, you can take up either an Xbox Series X or an Xbox Series S console and get access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate starting from $33/month for the Xbox Series S when you stay connected for 24 months.

An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership includes all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, plus over 100 high-quality console and PC games, and access to EA Play at no additional cost. 

New games are added all the time, so there’s always something new to play. Plus, enjoy exclusive member deals and discounts, play together with friends on the most advanced multiplayer network and discover your next favourite game.

Get in on the action

If you don’t have Xbox All Access yet, now is a great time to join with the latest generation Xbox Series X and Series S consoles.

We currently have a good amount of stock of the Xbox Series S on Xbox All Access available both in-store and online. This console offers next-gen performance in the smallest Xbox ever, and is bundled with Xbox Game Pass for Telstra post-paid customers for $33/month*.

Games recently added to Xbox Game Pass include Madden NFL 21 with Star Wars™ Squadrons upcoming later this month.

Head to our website to find out more about Xbox All Access from Telstra, and to sign–up.

Things you need to know about Xbox All Access

Available to Telstra consumer postpaid customers only. Prices vary by console. Stock is limited. Limit of one pre-order per customer account. If you cancel, your monthly subscription within the first 24 months you will need to pay out the remainder of your Xbox console as a one-off payment on your next bill. In order to receive your paid months of Games Pass, you must have activated your Games Pass before you cancel. You cannot activate Games Pass after you cancel. Any months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Live Gold, or Game Pass that you have paid for but not yet used will remain on your account after you cancel until they expire up to a maximum of 36 months, inclusive of the 24 months that is part of All Access. Roll onto monthly subscription on your Telstra bill at the standard market rate after 24 months. Your existing Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass membership(s) will convert to Ultimate at a conversion ratio, up to a max of 12 months (36 months inclusive of your All Access package). Learn more xbox.com/gamepass. To activate the Game Pass subscription that is part of Xbox All Access you will need to sign into your chosen Microsoft account on your new console. Learn more at xbox.com/digitaldirect. Game catalogue varies over time. Requires internet and suitable display. Not available in conjunction with other offers.

Entertainment |

Blockbuster Bethesda titles now on Xbox All Access from Telstra

By Luke Hopewell March 19, 2021

The best thing about Xbox All Access from Telstra is that you’re never far away from discovering your next favourite game on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Now some of our favourite all-time titles from Bethesda are set to be made available on the service. From classic dungeon crawlers updated for modern platforms to massive open-world adventures, there’s something for everyone.

Bethesda has spent decades crafting gorgeous and immersive worlds and stories for us to explore and enjoy. Thanks to a team up between Microsoft and Bethesda, many of these incredible stories are now available through Xbox All Access from Telstra.

Xbox All Access from Telstra means you can get the latest gaming hardware and a huge range of games, with no upfront fees, starting from $33 per month when you stay connected for 24 months. Included in the package, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gives you a month-to-month membership to access over 100 high-quality console and PC games with new titles added all the time. Plus, enjoy all the benefits of EA Play. It also includes all the online multiplayer benefits of Xbox Live Gold.

And now, some of our favourite Bethesda titles are included, too! Earlier this month, 20 Bethesda titles joined Xbox All Access, including:

Dishonored Definitive Edition

Disonored 2

DOOM (1993)

DOOM II

DOOM 3

DOOM 64

DOOM Eternal

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

The Elder Scrolls Online*

The Evil Within

Fallout 4

Fallout 76

Fallout: New Vegas*

Prey

RAGE 2

Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

And now that ZeniMax Media/Bethesda is part of the Microsoft family, you can expect to see more iconic titles from the studio drop onto Xbox All Access later this year.

Cutting edge performance with FPS Boost

The new Xbox All Access titles from Bethesda are set to look better than ever on the next-generation Xbox Series S and Series X hardware thanks to a little feature called FPS Boost.

FPS Boost takes advantage of the raw power available on the next-generation consoles to almost double the original framerate on select titles. Higher framerates mean buttery-smooth gameplay!

For five of the new Bethesda Xbox All Access titles – Dishonored: Definitive Edition, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, Fallout 4, Fallout 76, and Prey – players can expect to see an increase from 30 frames per second to almost 60 frames per second thanks to FPS Boost.

Some titles – such as Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 – have not had FPS Boost automatically-enabled by default, as it requires a reduction in the game’s resolution in order to run smoothly. You can turn on FPS Boost for these titles in the Manage Game>Compatibility Options section of any enhanced title. There you can also toggle Auto HDR to off or on.

To tell if you’re running either FPS Boost or Auto HDR in game, you can tap the Xbox Button on your controller to see the indicator in the upper-right hand corner of the Guide overlay.

Get in on the action

If you don’t have Xbox All Access yet, now is a great time to join with the latest generation Xbox Series X and Series S consoles.

We currently have a good amount of stock of the Xbox Series S on Xbox All Access available both in-store and online. This console offers next-gen performance in the smallest Xbox ever, and is bundled with Xbox Game Pass for Telstra post-paid customers for $33/month*.

Games recently added to Xbox Game Pass include Madden NFL 21 with Star Wars™ Squadrons upcoming later this month.

Head to our website to find out more about Xbox All Access from Telstra, and to signup.

Things you need to know

* Title not available on Xbox Game Pass for PC

Entertainment |

Keeping your kids safe gaming online

By Louisa Harris-Baxter December 24, 2020

More than a few kids will be looking forward to finding a new video game console wrapped up as a birthday or Christmas present this year. Gaming is a hugely popular activity, and it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of playing games online.

While the new Xbox consoles are a tonne of fun and a great way to keep entertained over the holidays, most gaming these days happens online – and this means it’s important to know what your kids are up to and how to help keep them safe. With the Xbox family settings app, for example you can manage kids time, friend requests, who they are talking to, purchases and so on. But there’s a lot to learn, so read onwards.

If you haven’t spent much time with a controller in your hands recently, you might be surprised to find out how diverse and interactive the world of gaming is these days. It’s natural to worry about how much time your kids spend in the world of online gaming (the pain of getting them to the dinner table is real), but when we roll up our sleeves and get involved, online games can be a way for the whole family to play and work together.

You may have listened to your kids talk at length about Games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla ,which transports players to the Viking age with axes and longboats, but you can also take your family on a journey around the world in Microsoft Flight Simulator, or have some mad-cap culinary fun as a team in Overcooked. Gaming really can be a family activity, and getting involved is one of the best ways to help keep your kids safe online

The latest gaming data shows that over 80% of Australian teenagers have played video games online before, and of those who do, almost all of them think they’ll play even more going forward. A big reason for this is new advancements in technology, such as virtual reality, a new generation of consoles and being able to access games instantly without downloading over the internet.

Nearly half of those teenagers surveyed also see the future of gaming as multiplayer, social, and co-operative – all things that are innately positive, but mean that when they’re online, they’ll be interacting with other people – which may carry some risk.

All the new games and advancements in technology can be a bit overwhelming to keep up with, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the wide world of gaming out there. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to give yourself peace of mind while your kids are playing online – and help keep them safe.

Here are four basic tips to follow to help keep your kids safer online. If you want to know more, visit the eSafety Commissioner’s online gaming page or read their research on how kids game online.

You might notice that the common advice is to keep clear lines of communication open between you and your kids. It’s crucial that you talk about these things openly and regularly – if you can empower your kids to make wise decisions for themselves, you’ll be setting them up for success whether they’re gaming or doing anything else online.

Know what your kids are playing

The best thing you can do to keep on top of things is understand the type of games your kids are playing.

This means keeping gaming consoles in the living room where you can keep an eye out, and paying attention to the parental rating of each game to make sure it’s not too violent and that it doesn’t contain themes, language or images that your kids aren’t ready for.

Online reviews are a great way to get a quick read on whether a game is appropriate. Common-sense media is a great source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families and schools, and has a ‘what parents need to know’ section to their reviews that takes out the guess work.

Help keep their identity safe

While kids mostly want to play online with their friends, the next best thing – and a central part of some online games – is to play with strangers around the world.

Here’s the reality: when you’re playing an online game, you can’t be completely sure who you are playing with. Because of that, it’s important to set parental controls for younger gamers, and make sure older kids play with things like screen names instead of their real names, and not to share information such as their city, age or even gender.

It’s easiest to educate them about this early – you can even help them choose a screen name! Using a screen name can help keep them safe without impacting their gaming experience.

Take an interest

My daughter could talk for hours about the games and tv shows she’s passionate about. Taking an interest isn’t just a great way to bond with your kids, it’s a great way to help keep them safe.

More than just knowing what your kids are playing, if you know who they spend most of their time playing with, how they play and act online and how others interact with them, it can help put you on the front foot in making sure nothing bad happens.

One of the best ways to do this is simply to sit down every now and then and play a few games with them – you’ll get a better picture of what they’re actually doing, plus they’ll feel more comfortable talking about issues if they pop up.

Teach them basic computer safety

No matter where your child or teenager is gaming – whether it’s on a smartphone, game console or a PC – let your kids know that the same risks are there that would apply if they were browsing any other part of the internet.

This means things like not clicking on random links sent by strangers, not downloading files, or ever sharing passwords, login details or personal information over gaming chats. As digital natives, kids take this sort of information in their stride, and agreeing on your gaming rules and expectations together up front can help to build trust, avoid angst, and minimise unsafe behaviour down the track.

It might seem a bit daunting letting your kids play a game online – it’s a far cry from the multi-player Mario Cart we grew up with – but taking the time to engage with the games your kids are playing, and basic computer safety tips and tools will help you to keep your kids as safe as possible, while still letting them have a great time playing the latest games online this summer.

Immortals Fenyx Rising review
Entertainment |

Immortals Fenyx Rising review: how to become a gaming god

By Joshua Appadoo December 3, 2020

It’s time to experience Greek mythology how it was supposed to be experienced! Many games in recent history have tried to bring the player back in time to travel the pathways of Olympus and battle with the gods – but few have done quite as well as Immortals Fenyx Rising.

During my time with Immortals Fenyx Rising, I found one thing that wasn’t there during gameplay – frustration! Regardless of if I was stuck on a puzzle for too long, couldn’t quite defeat a boss, or if I just had no idea what I was doing, ‘burnout’ didn’t set in. There’s a good reason for this: the fact that I could view the gorgeous emerald fields and gargantuan stone statues in the distance made it all worthwhile as I traversed the Golden Isle. It’s really hard to get angry while you’re looking at vistas as good as these!

One of the biggest highlights of the gameplay of Immortals for me was listening to Zeus and Prometheus converse in your ear as you go about your quests and tasks. Zeus is voiced by Daniel Matmor, who has lent his talents to the gaming industry in titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Far Cry 2, and Prometheus is voiced by Elias Toufexis in games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

It’s convincing, too; you can see straight away neither of these actors are unfamiliar with Greece’s history and mythos. Apart from their larger pieces of dialogue throughout the story – which are done beautifully – they just tickle your eardrum with little tidbits of arguments and petty squabbles between the two. It’s charming, really, and sometimes funny enough to make even Medusa crack!

I hope you love exploring, because Fenyx Rising has collectibles and secrets to spare! Once I was able to climb atop some of the towering statues and get my bearings, I could see just how much land there was to cover. From experiencing the ruins of Greek monuments, delving through vaults for upgrades to your abilities, or uncovering above ground puzzles to unlock better equipment to grow stronger, I was hard pressed to complete everything – there’s a phenomenal amount of activities on offer.

Do not let Immortals Fenyx Rising’s cartoonish nature make you think this is a game only for children, though. There really is something for everyone here and it is absolutely a title you shouldn’t let pass by! In a world of games where everything seems dark and dismal, Fenyx Rising manages to illuminate its experience with simple yet engaging gameplay and a worthwhile narrative.

Check out the Immortals Fenyx Rising website for more info on the game and how to get your hands on it. I played Immortals on my Xbox Series X.