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September 30th 2013, 9:00 am PT

Games with Gold: “Might & Magic Clash of Heroes” and “Halo 3” Free in October

Might & Magic Clash of Heroes™ Halo 3

The next set of free games for Xbox Live Members in September will be Might & Magic Clash of Heroes and
Halo 3.

Starting Tuesday (October 1st) Might & Magic Clash of Heroes (Normally US $14.99) will be free for Xbox LIVE Gold members through October 15th .

Then on October 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Halo 3 (Normally US $14.99) for free.

As a reminder, the “Games With Gold” program gives Xbox LIVE Gold Members 2 free games to keep each month. A new title will be available the 1st and 16th of each month.

Follow me on Twitter to find out what games will be free each month.

September 30th 2013 at 9:00 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 386 comments

August 30th 2013, 9:46 am PT

Watch the Halo 4 Global Championship this Sunday

The Halo 4 Global Championship takes place live from PAX at Benaroya Hall in Seattle and on Xbox LIVE this Sunday at 4PM PDT. This is an incredibly exciting event for the team, as we showcase eSports and Halo 4 with a very ambitious production both for the fans onsite and through our Xbox LIVE interactive broadcast.

In addition to the tournament itself, we’ll also have exclusive Xbox One content debuting during the show as well as music performances that celebrate the spirit of PAX in a special way. Personally, there’s one performer I can’t wait to see the audience embrace. It’s going to be fun.

The Xbox LIVE audience will also have a chance to choose the content of the show, voting live on the console for which new Xbox One trailers they want to see first.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that the audience on Xbox LIVE as well as those at the venue will have a chance to win an Xbox One at launch! Follow @HaloWaypoint on Twitter for details. They’ll announce the tweetstakes ahead of the show.

If you’d like to attend the event in person, you’ve got a couple options. First, PAX attendees get first crack at seats with the doors opening at 3:00PM. If there are any seats available after the PAX attendees are seated, the public will be allowed entry free of charge!

PAX is the ultimate celebration of gaming, and we hope we’ll do the great spirit of PAX community justice with the Halo 4 Global Championship show. I look forward to seeing you Sunday!

     

August 30th 2013 at 9:46 am | Halo, Xbox Live | 30 comments

August 30th 2013, 9:00 am PT

Games with Gold for September: Magic 2013 and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas

Magic 2013 TC's RainbowSix Vegas

The next set of free games for Xbox Live Members in September will be Magic 2013 and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas.

Starting Sunday (September 1st)  Magic 2013 (Normally US $9.99) will be free for Xbox LIVE Gold members through September 15th .

Then on September 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download  Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (Normally US $19.99) for free. Note: South Africa Xbox Live members will receive Banjo Kazooie:  Nuts & Bolts instead of RSV.

As a reminder, the “Games With Gold” program gives Xbox LIVE Gold Members 2 free games to keep each month. A new title will be available the 1st and 16th of each month.

Follow me on Twitter to find out what games will be free each month.

Updated tiles for South Africa

August 30th 2013 at 9:00 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 1,091 comments

August 29th 2013, 9:00 am PT

Xbox One delivers premium voice quality via hardware improvements and Skype’s audio codec

Today we want to share some details about the incredible voice chat improvements made to Xbox One and how these changes will enhance your communication with the Xbox One Chat Headset on the console.

Thanks to integration with Skype’s audio codec, which has a proven track record of high-quality voice through billions of hours of use within Skype, as well as dedicated audio processing (for Xbox One conversations via Skype and multiplayer party chats), Xbox One offers higher quality voice chat with the Xbox One Chat Headset compared to Xbox 360—whether you’re chatting in-game or through party chat with Skype on Xbox One.

But the improvements don’t stop there. The Xbox One Wireless Controller’s new expansion port dramatically expands the data transfer rate between the controller and console. Combined with Skype’s audio codec, this enables crystal-clear digital audio with the Xbox One Chat Headset, both capturing and rendering speech at 24 KHz PCM, which is triple the rendering sample rate and a 50 percent capture rate improvement over Xbox 360 headsets. And, as we shared before, the Xbox One Chat Headset comes with every Xbox One console.

But don’t just take our word for it. Listen to this short sample for yourself:

We think gamers will immediately notice the improvement here—whether it’s through crystal clear in-game chats over the Xbox One Chat Headset, through the sound of crisper conversations taking place over Skype or with your multiplayer party chat.

We can’t wait for you to hear the improvements first-hand in a couple months.

*Voice chat requires Xbox Live. In-game voice chat and Skype require an Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately).

Cross posted on Xbox Wire

August 29th 2013 at 9:00 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox One | 317 comments

August 26th 2013, 10:00 am PT

The Next Xbox Live Update for Xbox 360 is Here

Today, we’re announcing the release of the Fall (or Spring depending on where you are from) 2013 Xbox Live Update for Xbox 360. It brings several features for Xbox Live members, chief among them the ability to buy content on Xbox 360 using local currency.

What do you need to do to get this update? The next time you log into Xbox Live, you will automatically be prompted to start the download. After that, when you go to initiate a purchase or redeem a Microsoft Points card through your Xbox 360, we’ll add to your Microsoft account an amount of currency equal to or greater than the Xbox Marketplace value of your Microsoft Points. We’ll also continue to accept purchased Microsoft Points Cards and codes until further notice. It’s that easy.

For more information read this FAQ on Xbox.com

August 26th 2013 at 10:00 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 291 comments

August 22nd 2013, 5:06 am PT

Upload Outreach Program

We are excited to announce the Upload Outreach Program, an effort to attract creative minds from around the world to become a major part of the Upload experience.  Selected users will receive a brand new Xbox One, a
1- year Xbox Live Gold membership and a selection of launch titles *, and will have the opportunity to collaborate closely with the Upload team to see their content show up within the Upload experience.  

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

IF YOU’RE SELECTED:

We’ll notify you by email and you will receive:

  • An Xbox One
  • A 1-year Xbox Live Gold subscription
  • A selection of Xbox One Launch games*
  • The opportunity to collaborate with the Upload team

Watch the video for more contest details or see Terms and Conditions
* number of games and titles may vary

August 22nd 2013 at 5:06 am | Xbox Live, Xbox One | 118 comments

August 16th 2013, 2:50 am PT

Xbox Live Gold Members: Download your free copies of Dead Rising 2” and “Dead Rising: Case Zero”

Dead Rising 2 DR2: CASE ZERO

Today until August 31st, Xbox Live Gold Members can grab BOTH Dead Rising 2 (Normally US $29.99) and Dead Rising 2: Case Zero (Normally 400 points) for free. Download them both today.

The “Games With Gold” program gives Xbox LIVE Gold Members 2 free games to keep each month. A new title will be available the 1st and 16th of each month.

Follow me on Twitter to find out what games will be free each month.

August 16th 2013 at 2:50 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 399 comments

August 14th 2013, 1:18 pm PT

Video interview with IW’s Tina Palacios about the COD Ghosts news

Tina Palacios shares the highlights from today’s Call Of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer event in LA.

August 14th 2013 at 1:18 pm | COD, Xbox Live | 80 comments

August 14th 2013, 12:20 pm PT

Introducing Season Pass Guarantee: Buy a Season Pass on Xbox 360, Get a Season Pass for the Same Game on Xbox One Free

Good news today via Xbox Wire

Fans of Season Passes now have another reason to look forward to Xbox One with the Season Pass Guarantee program.  With Season Pass Guarantee, you can purchase a Season Pass for a participating Xbox 360 title and automatically receive access to download the equivalent Xbox One Season Pass.* It’s simple.

Some of the biggest publishers, including Activision, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, are lined up for the Season Pass Guarantee program, offering season pass content you can’t find anywhere else for blockbuster titles in 2013 and 2014. You’ll be able access exclusive season pass content on anticipated titles like “Call of Duty: Ghosts” and “Battlefield 4” on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Season Pass Guarantee makes transitioning from Xbox 360 to Xbox One an easier and smoother process, so you don’t have to worry about which console you’re playing games on or repurchasing your existing add-ons on Xbox One.

Stay tuned as publishers and titles participating in the Season Pass program are announced in the coming months.

*Xbox Live members must own the same game on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One in order to receive Season Pass Guarantee benefits.

 

August 14th 2013 at 12:20 pm | Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox One | 165 comments

August 9th 2013, 2:02 pm PT

An update on the change from MS Points to Local Currency

More information about the change from Microsoft Points to local currency that we announced at E3:

Earlier this year, we announced that we are bringing local currency to Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles. This change was a direct result of customer feedback. You told us you want to be able to buy things using money instead of points, and we listened.

Our goal is to make this transition as easy as possible for you. After the next Xbox 360 system update, when you go to buy something or redeem a Microsoft Points card or code with your Microsoft account, we’ll add to your account an amount of currency equal to or greater than the Xbox Marketplace value of your Microsoft Points, which will be retired.

Making a purchase will be faster and easier than ever. You will see item prices expressed in local currency; no need to calculate what an item costs! You will still be able to directly purchase content from Xbox stores using any current form of payment available in your region, including credit cards. And starting in late 2013, you’ll also be able to buy new Xbox Gift Cards (denominated in your local currency) through our online retailers and in local retail stores. These gift cards can be added to your Microsoft account online and are another easy-to-use payment option for customers.

Don’t worry about your Microsoft Points Cards either. We’ll continue to accept purchased Microsoft Points Cards and codes until further notice, and we’ll add to your account an amount of local currency equal to or greater than the Marketplace value of those points. In addition, we know you’ve worked hard on your Microsoft Points earned through Xbox Live Rewards. These will remain in your Xbox Live account and transition to local currency with the rest of your Microsoft Points.

Source: Xbox Wire

August 9th 2013 at 2:02 pm | Xbox Live | 247 comments

August 9th 2013, 10:00 am PT

Xbox One: Sharing Digital Games and Gold

Today Marc Whitten has posted details on how Xbox One will expand how you share your games and outlines some of the benefits that Gold members will be getting at no additional cost.

Here are the highlights:

Sharing Digital Games
Everyone in your home can share digital games with each other. Your Xbox One can become your virtual game library filled with digital games that different people in the home bought. Anyone can pick any digital game on your Xbox One, sign in with their own gamertag and play – even if the owner is not signed in. Like physical media, you can also play many digitally downloaded games without being online, although experiences will be best when connected to the internet and Xbox Live. Finally, when you purchase a digital game, you can start playing even before the entire game downloads.

Because your digital games go with you, you can also use and share digital games when you sign in to another console. And, if you happen to buy a digital game when you are signed in on your friend’s console, your game will also be available on your Home Xbox One console for anyone to use.

Sharing digital games is a great feature of Xbox One, and we’re also making it possible for Xbox Live Gold members to share some of the best benefits of Gold.

Sharing Xbox Live Gold benefits
At E3 this year, we briefly highlighted a new benefit we’re bringing to Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One. We’re calling it Home Gold. It will enable any Xbox Live Gold member on Xbox One to extend many Gold features to others at no additional cost. One Xbox Live Gold account delivering great benefits to everyone in the home.

Here’s how Xbox Live Gold members can extend Gold benefits including multiplayer gaming, Game DVR, SmartMatch and access to entertainment apps and experiences, including The NFL on Xbox, Skype, Internet Explorer:

  • At home. You can set up your console at home so that anyone who uses that console will enjoy multiplayer gaming and access to entertainment apps – even if you are not home or logged in.
  • On the go. You can log in at a friend’s house and everyone there can enjoy multiplayer gaming and access to entertainment apps while you are logged in.

At Home with Xbox One
If you’re an Xbox Live Gold member, an unlimited number of people can enjoy many benefits of Xbox Live Gold while they are using your Home Xbox One console. Friends and family will simply create their own account and gamertag and be able to enjoy Xbox Live online multiplayer gaming and access to entertainment apps.

Friends coming over to play? No problem. They can log in with their own gamertag and play online multiplayer. Even if you sign off, your friends and family can enjoy multiplayer gaming while they are playing on your Home Xbox One console.

At a Friend’s House with Xbox One
On Xbox One if you are an Xbox Live Gold member, you will be able to go to a friend’s house and play co-op multiplayer– even if your friend is not a Gold subscriber. Once you log in with your Xbox Live Gold account, everyone using that console can access multiplayer and entertainment apps for as long as you are logged in.

At Home with Xbox 360 and Xbox One
If you are an Xbox Live Gold member today, you are already set for Xbox One. Your Xbox Live Gold membership for Xbox 360 will seamlessly become an Xbox Live Gold account on your Xbox One and you will be able to enjoy Xbox Live Gold features on either console. You can even be logged in to Xbox 360 and Xbox One at the same time. Home Gold benefits are exclusively for Xbox One.

What Home Gold Means for the Xbox One Experience
With Xbox One everyone in your home has a personalized account, which will enable powerful and personal experiences, and that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to create Home Gold. It means that your account and your gamertag are truly yours. You don’t have to share your gamertag for multiplayer gaming with others in your home, or see recommendations for your kid’s cartoons next to the recommended first-person shooter for you. It also means that you can introduce new games and enjoy multiplayer with friends while they are at your house. Last but not least, it also means that when you buy one Xbox Live Gold membership, multiple people can enjoy the best benefits of Xbox Live Gold on your Xbox One at no additional charge.

 

August 9th 2013 at 10:00 am | Xbox Live, Xbox One | 492 comments

August 6th 2013, 8:47 am PT

Saints Row IV Inauguration Station

Saints Row IV Inauguration Station
Price: Free
Check availability in your Xbox LIVE region
Description: Upload characters created or modified in the "Inauguration Station" to play with them in Saints Row IV. Tip: You can download your Saints Row: The Third characters to update them for Saints Row IV. Browse an online gallery to view thousands of shared community characters.

 

Add the free download to your Xbox 360 download queue

Pre-Order Saints Row IV

 

August 6th 2013 at 8:47 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 124 comments

August 1st 2013, 2:30 pm PT

Looking for trailblazing, kick-ass team to help lead us into the future !

Have you wondered what it would be like to work in one of the coolest jobs on the West coast? Actually, two of the coolest jobs on the West Coast that have just opened up as full-time positions on my team. (One and Two) This is a rare and unique opportunity to join me, Major Nelson, and the Xbox Community team as we blaze new trails and I want you on this team!

Interested? Read the official job descriptions here and here. If you’ve held these reins before, and one of these roles scream you, APPLY NOW via the MSFT Careers Page.  

Knock us out. Show us your innovation. Show us why you are different.

OK, go

#teammjrnelson

Update: As of today, August 23rd the chance to apply is now closed. Good luck to everyone.

August 1st 2013 at 2:30 pm | Industry, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox One | 62 comments

July 31st 2013, 9:00 am PT

Games with Gold for August: Crackdown, Dead Rising 2 & DR2: Case Zero

Crackdown Dead Rising 2 DR2: CASE ZERO

The next set of free games for Xbox Live Members in August will be Crackdown, Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 2: Case Zero.

Starting tomorrow (August 1st) the award winning Xbox 360 exclusive Crackdown (Normally US $14.99) will be free for Xbox LIVE Gold members through August 15th .

Then on August 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can grab BOTH Dead Rising 2 (Normally US $29.99) and Dead Rising 2: Case Zero (Normally 400 points) for free.

As a reminder, the “Games With Gold” program gives Xbox LIVE Gold Members 2 free games to keep each month. A new title will be available the 1st and 16th of each month.

Follow me on Twitter to find out what games will be free each month.

July 31st 2013 at 9:00 am | Free, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 632 comments

July 15th 2013, 10:15 am PT

Xbox Live Gold Members: “Assassin’s Creed II” is yours for Free Beginning Tomorrow

Assassin's Creed IIAs part of the “Games With Gold” program announced at E3 in June, I wanted to give you a heads up the next title will be Assassin’s Creed II. Normally US $19.99, Assassin’s Creed II will be will be free for Xbox LIVE Gold members staring tomorrow through July 30th .

PLUS the following Assassin’s Creed franchise content will be on-sale for the rest of July.

 
Content Normally* Sale Price*
Assassin’s Creed $19.99 $14.99 USD 
Assassin’s Creed II Sequence 12: Battle of Forli 320 214 MSP
AC II Sequence 13 : Bonfire of the Vanities & Secret Locations 560 375 MSP
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood $19.99 $14.99 USD
ACB – The Da Vinci Disappearance DLC 800 536 MSP
Assassin’s Creed Revelations $19.99 $14.99 USD
ACRs — The Lost Archive 800 536 MSP
ACR — Mediterranean Traveler Map Pack 800 536 MSP
Assassin’s Creed® III Season Pass 2400 1600 MSP

 

As a reminder, the program gives Xbox LIVE Gold Members 2 free games to keep each month. A new title will be available the 1st and 16th of each month.

Follow me on Twitter to find out what games will be free each month.

* Prices show in USD. Sign in to your Xbox 360 or Xbox.com for your specific local pricing.

July 15th 2013 at 10:15 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 371 comments

July 9th 2013, 7:12 am PT

The first official GTA V Game Play is here

Beautiful

July 9th 2013 at 7:12 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 209 comments

July 8th 2013, 9:00 am PT

Summer of Arcade Dates and Prices

BrothersCharlie Murder TrailerFlashbackTMNT: OOTS

The annual Summer of Arcade starts August 7th, and I wanted to share the schedule and pricing details:

Brothers: a Tale of two Sons launches August 7th for 1,200 Points

Charlie Murder launches August 14th for 800 Points

Flashback launches August 21st for 800 Points

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows launches August 28th for 1,200 Points

As a bonus, buy any two of the above Summer of Arcade games and receive a Souls Pack for Ascend: Hand of Kul for free.

Here is the Summer of Arcade trailer we released last month at E3:

July 8th 2013 at 9:00 am | Arcade, Marketplace, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 218 comments

July 5th 2013, 2:00 am PT

Sign up for the 2013 Xbox Live Update Xbox 360 Public Beta *UPDATED*

Update: We’ve had an overwhelming demand for participation, and have closed registration. If we re-open registration, I’ll let you know. Update 2: As of 9, July we have started rolling out the beta. Update 3 [July 10, 9PM Pacific]: Japan signup is now available. Beta registration remains closed in many countries but we’ve opened additional spots in Greece, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Turkey, and UAE. Remember that signup is now accessed directly through your Xbox 360 console to streamline the experience. Once the spots fill in these 7 countries, signups will be closed to the public.

 

Update: As of 12, July the program is now closed in all regions. Thanks for your interest and participation!

 

We’re inviting Xbox Live members worldwide to participate in the 2013 Xbox Live Update for Xbox 360 Public Beta.* It will include updates to improve overall performance and the ability to conduct transactions with local currency, as Microsoft Points will be retired later this year.

Unlike our previous beta programs, sign up is now accessed directly through your Xbox 360 console to streamline the experience. Space is limited, so once the spots are filled the beta will be closed to the public.

To join, look for the Xbox Beta Program tile on the home hub of the Xbox Dashboard.

You will be required to agree to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for confidentiality reasons. For more details on the beta are in this Beta FAQ.

Our open public betas allow you to help make Xbox even better.

We appreciate your feedback and thank you for participating!

* Xbox Live members in any of our 41 Xbox Live-enabled markets will be able to participate in the public beta for Xbox 360. Please note that members in Japan will have an opportunity to join at a later date. I’ll update this post when we open it for Japan, and additional information about the program as it progresses.

Update: The FAQ is now live here.

July 5th 2013 at 2:00 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 1,956 comments

July 4th 2013, 3:15 pm PT

Xbox Live “Ultimate Game Sale” Day 4

The final day of the Xbox Live “Ultimate Game Sale” is here. The titles below are on sale through the weekend until July 8th: 

Ultimate Games on Demand Sale Regular  Sale Price Save Savings
Bioshock Infinite $59.99 $39.99 $20.00 33%
Tomb Raider $29.99 $19.99 $10.00 33%
Gears Judgement $59.99 $29.99 $30.00 50%
Metal Gear Rising: Revengence $49.99 $29.99 $20.00 40%
Hitman Absolution $29.99 $9.99 $20.00 67%
XCOM: Enemy Unknown $39.99 $19.99 $20.00 50%

 Plus these titles are still on sale until until Monday, July 8th as well: 

Games on Sale now through July 8, 2013 Regular  Sale Price Save Savings
Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%
Far Cry Instincts Predator $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Crysis $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
WWE ’13  $59.99 $14.99 $45.00 75%
Mass Effect $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
Prey $19.99 $2.99 $17.00 85%
Bulletstorm $19.99 $4.99 $15.00 75%
Perfect Dark Zero $14.99 $2.99 $12.00 80%
Dragon Age Origins $14.99 $4.99 $10.00 67%
Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga $29.99 $4.99 $25.00 83%

Note: Prices show in USD. Sign in to your Xbox 360 or Xbox.com for your specific local pricing.

July 4th 2013 at 3:15 pm | Deal, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 658 comments

July 3rd 2013, 9:02 am PT

Updates to Xbox Entertainment Apps in Windows 8.1

Last week, Microsoft launched the Windows 8.1 Release Preview, including some new updates for the Xbox entertainment apps on Windows. Here’s a quick look at some of the changes in the Xbox Entertainment apps in the preview:

Xbox Games

  • Improvements to Search: Search from directly within the Xbox Games app using the new Search bar, access game extras in search results and view your achievements by date.

  • User Interface Updates: Browse your friends list or receive content notifications in easy-to-view tiles, and use Snap to access other apps while gaming.

Xbox Video

  • Streamlined Search: Through new and improved Windows search, access everything from your local drive to the web with the power of Bing, and easily find content from within the Xbox Video app.

  • Continuous Engagement: Continue to download your video, while you use other apps on your Windows 8 device. Or seamlessly snap other apps onto your screen while you watch, including in portrait mode.

  • More Content: Save your movies and TV shows to an SD memory card and use Play To for streaming user-generated content

Xbox Music

We shared last week that the new Xbox Music experience on Windows 8.1 is entirely redesigned from the ground up while still offering free streaming music.

Updates available now through the Windows 8.1 Release Preview include:

  • Faster, Easier Search: Access your favorite songs, artists and albums faster with an in-app Search bar, also made easier through Windows search powered by Bing.

  • Improved Collection Management: Simple access to your music starts in the “Collection,” where the music you’ve saved in the Xbox Music cloud and your local music will be at the forefront of the app.

  • Streaming Radio Stations: Radio offers seamless creation of new streaming Internet-radio stations based on artists you like and will give you faster access to your favorite Radio stations that you’ve already created.

Download the Windows 8.1 Release Preview and experience the Xbox entertainment apps for yourself today.

Later this year, be sure to check out the full launch of Windows 8.1 that will offer even more updates for Xbox Music and Xbox Video. With the launch of Xbox One, we’ll also be introducing an updated version of Xbox SmartGlass, making games and TV more interactive and immersive with new companion experiences on your smartphone, tablet and PC.

I also cross posted this on Xbox Wire

 

July 3rd 2013 at 9:02 am | Xbox 360, Xbox Live | 56 comments

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