Your Halo journey begins next week, and Microsoft stores are planning a celebration. Most of the nation’s 106 locations will begin Halo: The Master Chief Collection launch festivities on Monday, November 10  at 10 p.m. local time.

Attendees will be able try out the game with fellow Master Chief fans while they wait, and enjoy free food and prize raffles. Be one of the first 150 to pick up your copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection to score an exclusive Halo t-shirt and Microsoft canteen. You can also catch everything from the HaloFest Premiere Event, which will be streamed to your local Microsoft Store so you won’t miss the reveal of the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta or the debut of Halo: Nightfall.

What’s more, the Bellevue Square Mall Microsoft Store in Bellevue, WA, will host a special premiere event, which will have Master Chief available for photo opportunities. The Halo: The Master Chief Collection will come to life through a museum-like experience with Halo props from the archives and replica pieces on display throughout the store. There will be lots of great raffle prizes and giveaways too! We’re also hosting an event in the Austin Microsoft Store which will include special appearances from members of the 405th , in full Spartan Armor, 343 developers, and Halo level design master Max Hoberman.

Nine other Microsoft stores locations will also host Halo: The Master Chief Collection events featuring a Live DJ along with free and early game play, great prizes and much more! Bridgewater Commons (Bridgewater, NJ), Burlington Mall (Burlington, MA) Fashion Show (Las Vegas, NV), Oak Park Mall (Overland Park, KS), Pioneer Place (Portland, OR), Plaza Las Americas (San Juan, PR), Scottsdale Fashion Square (Scottsdale, AZ), University Village (Seattle, WA), and Westfield San Francisco Centre (San Francisco, CA).

Microsoft stores will keep the celebration going, all 106 Microsoft Stores will host daily Halo happy hours from 4-6 p.m. beginning Tuesday, November 11 through Friday, November 14 featuring free gameplay and swag giveaways.


Later in the week, I will personally be opening the Microsoft Store at Destiny USA in Syracuse, New York on Nov. 13 at 10:30 a.m. Then at 7pm that evening, I’ll be hosting a special fan meetup, where we’ll be raffling off a special Halo collectables package, as well as an Xbox One and other prizes.

This Facebook event page has all the details of the launch events, including exclusive grand opening day deals and giveaways.

If you pre-order Halo: The Master Chief Collection before Nov. 10, you will receive special offers including:

  • A $10 gift card for Microsoft Stores or $10 to spend in the Xbox Store if you order on
  • Microsoft Exclusive Boom Skull that unlocks 2x Explosion physics
  • “My Other Car is a Warthog” throwback license plate frame
  • Master Chief window decal
  • If you are an Xbox Live Rewards member, you get an additional $5, which is $15 or 15,000 points total, toward the Xbox Store.
  • If you haven’t upgraded to an Xbox One console yet, there is also a limited-time promotion for $50 off any Xbox One. That is in addition to Microsoft Stores’ competitive trade-in offers of up to $100 toward an Xbox One.

Full FAQs here:

Back in 2004, we marveled at the stunning cinematics which delivered the biggest story moments of Halo 2. Ten years later, get ready to be blown away all over again. For Halo: The Master Chief Collection, visual effects specialist Blur Studio has rebuilt Halo 2’s cinematics, and they really do need to be seen to be believed. Here’s a preview:

For your first look at the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta and the world premiere of the first episode of Halo: Nightfall, you’ll want to join us for the HaloFest Live broadcast. Join the festivities on Xbox Live, and Twitch, beginning at 8 p.m. PT on Monday, November 10th.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection arrives on November 11th, and is now available for digital pre-order and pre-download here.

Help Us Launch Sunset Overdrive Tonight, Live

We’re now just a few hours away from the North American launch of Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive. Tonight, Insomniac Games’ Founder and CEO Ted Price and Game Director Drew Murray will join me to kick off the celebration in style, live on Twitch.

Watch live video from xbox on

Starting at 9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific (click to see what time that is where you live) you’ll hear directly from the developers, get your questions answered live, and see lots and lots of Sunset Overdrive – even if you’ve been watching livestreams of Sunset Overdrive over the past several days, you won’t have seen this gameplay.

And, as usual, we’ll be throwing a few surprises into the stream. So get your questions ready, and we’ll see you tonight.

Larry Hryb @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

Microsoft retail stores are celebrating the launch of Sunset Overdrive with a series of in-store events and giveaways. Every store will hold a raffle with great prizes on the line, such as controllers, Xbox Live Gold memberships, Xbox music passes, and the Xbox One consoles.

Sunset Overdrive Controller Stand

Additionally, six of the largest Microsoft stores locations will go full Sunset City; to match the WonderTown Land atmosphere in Sunset Overdrive, the Stores will have a Sunset City insipired carnival atmosphere with a photo opp, a DJ outfitted as the hero, as well as Surface demo tables and special raffle entries for giveaways and more. The following stores will have the full Sunset Overdrive experience: Bellevue Square (Bellevue, WA), The Streets at Southpoint (Durham, NC), Century City (Los Angeles, CA), Dadeland Mall (Miami, FL), Mall of America (Minneapolis, MN), and Metropolis at Metrotown (Vancouver, Canada)

All Sunset Overdrive launch events take will begin at 10 p.m. on this coming Monday, October 27th.

Microsoft retail stores also have the following exclusive pre-order offers for Sunset Overdrive:

  • If you pre-order Sunset Overdrive in store before Tuesday, Oct. 28, receive a $10 gift card for Microsoft Stores or $10 to spend in the Xbox Store if you order on If you pre-order online and are an Xbox Live Rewards member, you get an additional $5, which is $15 or 15,000 points total, towards the Xbox Store..
  • With Sunset Overdrive pre-orders through Microsoft Store, users will get exclusive melee weapons Acordes de la Muerte and The Hangover as an added bonus to the Day One Edition. They’ll also receive an exclusive white controller holder with the pre-order of the Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle.
  • Everyone who pre-orders Sunset Overdrive bundle receives a special controller stand to match your new, white Xbox One system.
  • Trade in your Xbox 360 or PS3 and receive $100 towards your Xbox One console purchase. More details about our game and console trade-in program here.
  • The first 100 customers who pre-order Sunset Overdrive in each store will receive a special edition t-shirt

There are over 100 Microsoft retail stores in the US and Canada. Find your nearest location here.

Xbox at Brasil Game Show

From E3 to gamescom to Tokyo Game Show, we’ve been running full-speed to game events around the globe. This week we arrive at our next milestone: Brasil Game Show 2014. BGS takes place in Sao Paulo, October 9-12, and it’s the biggest gaming event in Latin America.


For those of you in Sao Paulo, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to meet our developers, play the best lineup of games and take in all the frenetic delights our industry has to offer. The team is bringing an awesome games line-up for the Xbox booth.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • When: Thursday, October 9 through Sunday, October 12, 1:00-9:00 PM BRT
  • Where: Expo Centre Norte, Sao Paulo, Rua José Bernardo Pinto 333
  • What you can do: Play at any of our 70 game stations running more than 20 upcoming Xbox titles. Talk to the developers. Get the latest news from our partners.
  • Games: Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, EA Sports FIFA 15, UFC, Project Spark, Killer Instinct, Happy Wars, Minecraft Xbox One Edition, ScreamRide, Ori The Blind Forest, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Disney Infinity Marvel, Lara Croft the Temple of Osiris, ID@Xbox titles, Ryse: Son of Rome Legendary Edition, Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Just Dance, Dance Central, Kinect Sports Rivals

For anyone not lucky enough to be in Sao Paulo, keep an eye on @XboxBR for regular BGS updates.

Forza Horizon 2 launches next week, and Microsoft retail stores are planning activities to mark the occasion on Day 1 and beyond. On Tuesday, September 30th – launch day – at least the first 25 customers to pick up their copy of the game at each of the 104 Microsoft retail stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico will receive a Forza Horizon 2 gift bag.

PreOrder Audi Forza Horizon 2

If you pre-order Forza Horizon 2 in store before Tuesday, receive a $10 gift card for Microsoft Stores or $10 to spend in the Xbox Store if you order on A pre-order will also net you a Microsoft Store-exclusive in-game code to unlock the Audi RS 4 Avant in-game.

Additionally, select Microsoft retail stores will have Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheels available for purchase at $99.99, while supplies last.

Microsoft Stores across the country will also host gameplay tournaments from Tuesday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 5. To find out more about tournaments, contact your local store.

If you don’t want to compete, you can try the game, pick up a copy of Forza Horizon 2, and get a custom Forza photo taken. You can also trade in your Xbox 360 or PS3 and receive $100 towards your Xbox One console purchase. More details about our game and console trade-in program here.

Destiny is mere hours away from launch on Xbox One and Xbox 360, and we know many of you want to play as soon as possible. Join us tonight for the midnight launch party at your local Microsoft retail store and be among the first to experience Destiny.

As you might expect, you’ll be able to grab your copy of Destiny at midnight, but attendees will actually be able to go hands-on earlier, as Destiny stations go live in-store starting at 10 P.M. local time.

Bonus: the first 100 people to pick up their pre-order will get an exclusive Destiny swag bag, and we’ll also raffle off prizes and serve snacks for guests.

If you don’t already have an Xbox One, there are a number of specials going on this week as well. Pick up an Xbox One at the Microsoft Store and you’ll receive a $50 Xbox Gift Card AND a FREE game, for a limited time only.  Microsoft Stores are also offering a $100 credit if you trade in your old Xbox 360 towards your Xbox One purchase.

Nearly every store in the US and Canada is participating this evening, so check here to find your nearest Microsoft Store location:

If you can’t make it out to a launch event tonight, we invite you to join us for a live Twitch broadcast of Destiny, beginning 9pm Pacific/Midnight Eastern. We’ll be broadcasting from the Bellevue, Washington store (just a few blocks away from Bungie HQ), and playing through the early hours of Destiny. We might even toss a few giveaways into the chat stream as well…

Want to play with us? Join the Major Nelson Xbox Clan here, and we’ll see you tonight!

In preparation for the launch of Forza Horizon 2 on September 30th, we’re excited to announce that all Xbox Live Gold members can enjoy Forza Motorsport 5 for free this entire upcoming weekend. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. PDT, Thursday, September 4 through 11:59 p.m. PDT, Sunday, September 7, Gold members in Xbox One markets can enjoy Forza Motorsport 5, in entirety and for free.

The Forza Motorsport 5 weekend will allow you to check out the full Forza experience with special in-game challenges, online play, and collect achievements and Gamerscore. After the weekend, you’ll have the option to purchase the game online from the Xbox Games Store or visit your favorite retailer and continue playing from where you left off.

Additionally, Turn 10 has some special events planned for the weekend; for more details on the click over to Xbox Wire.

As Xbox is headquartered in the Seattle area, PAX Prime is a special event for us. This year, we were thrilled to invite the Xbox faithful over to our house to play some games. Hundreds of you took us up on the offer; take a look:

At the event, we showcased 29 new and upcoming ID@Xbox titles, including Volgarr the Viking, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, and the just-released Warframe. Couch co-op and competitive multiplayer was on full display, with titles like #IDARB, Chariot, Knight Squad, and SlashDash drawing crowds (and lots of shouting).

So we’d like to offer a sincere thank you to those who made the trip out to Redmond, including those who braved a rush hour ride on the Sunset Overdrive bus. Your enthusiasm and sheer numbers are strong encouragement for us to go big next year as well.

And, of course, we’ll keep all of you updated on when these games hit the Xbox Games Store.