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There’s still time to take advantage of all the great deals this holiday season and you can read all about them in the Last Minute Deals for Everyone On Your List announcement at the Xbox Wire.

Take advantage of the $50 off* the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle and the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect still going on in the Microsoft Store.

Here’s a list of some of the offers being offered by your favorite retailers you won’t want to miss. These deals are only valid for online purchases and are subject to change at the retailer’s discretion. 

  • Meijer: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free Xbox One game of your choice
  • Newegg: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and a $20 Newegg gift card

*$50 off any Xbox One console or bundle. Offer valid Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 through Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 at participating retailers in the U.S.

Here are some other special holiday deals available at select participating retailers in the U.S. and through Xbox Live to help you check off the rest of your shopping list:

  • Save $20 on Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One until Sunday, Dec. 28 at participating U.S. retailers
  • Save $10 on Kinect Sports Rivals, Dead Rising 3, Ryse, Zoo Tycoon or Forza Motorsport 5on Xbox One until Sunday, Dec. 28 at participating U.S. retailers
  • For Xbox fans worldwide, save 25 percent on Destiny and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on Xbox One through Xbox Live from Tuesday, Dec. 23 to Wednesday, Dec. 31
  • For Xbox Live Gold members worldwide, save 25 percent on The Crew and Far Cry 4 holiday bundle through Xbox Live until Monday, Dec. 22

Deals for Xbox 360 and Xbox Video will also be available until Wednesday, Dec. 31 through Xbox Live. Be sure to check out all the holiday offers and additional deals at your local Microsoft Store, participating retailers or on xbox.com.

Happy holiday shopping!

For the month of August, Xbox Live Gold members can look forward to two new free games on both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Crimson Dragon and Strike Suit Zero will become free downloads on August 1st, replacing current Xbox One Games with Gold titles  Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. Now is a good time download those two if you haven’t already.

    
On Xbox 360, starting Friday, August 1st, Motocross Madness (normally US $9.99) will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through August 15th.

Then on August 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Dishonored (normally US $19.99) for free through August 31st.

    

*Titles are available as free downloads for qualifying Xbox Live Gold members in all markets where Xbox Live is available. Some regions may offer different titles depending on market availability. 

Coming up in July, Xbox Live Gold members can look forward to three new free games on Xbox One and Xbox 360. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition will debut on Xbox One as a free download, replacing June’s Xbox One Games with Gold title Halo: Spartan Assault (so be sure to grab it now if you haven’t already). Max: The Curse of Brotherhood will remain available for Xbox Live Gold members to download for Xbox One.

On Xbox 360, starting Tuesday, July 1st, Gotham City Imposters (normally US $14.99) will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through July 15th.

Then on July 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download BattleBlock Theater (normally US $14.99) for free through July 31st.

 

*Titles are available as free downloads for qualifying Xbox Live Gold members in all markets where Xbox Live is available. Some regions may offer different titles depending on market availability. 







/ Larry Hryb / @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

With the next system update coming in June, we’re thrilled to announce two of your most-requested features will be here soon: external storage support and real names for identifying your friends.

Since our launch of Xbox One last year, we’ve been hard at work to continue making Xbox One the best destination for all your gaming and entertainment experiences. Because of the way we’ve designed the Xbox One platform, we’ve been able to continually improve the product for you with a more regular cadence of system and app updates. Your feedback for what you want most has been our guiding light for these updates, and will continue to be as we work to bring the fan-favorite features you want most.

Real names and external storage support are just the beginning for June. With this update, Xbox Live is being improved in a number of ways as we announced last week. You will also be able to take advantage of great new SmartGlass features, including OneGuide and Universal Remote Control, select an account for automatic sign-in, and for Xbox One owners in Canada and Europe, get access to OneGuide and more TV, SmartGlass and voice features.

Easily Increase Games Capacity with External Storage Support
It couldn’t be easier to increase your storage capacity of games and apps with the external storage support features we’re bringing in June. Your Xbox One system will soon support up to two external hard drives at once. Simply plug in your 256 GB or larger USB 3.0 external hard drive and once formatted, copy and move games, apps and game add-ons to increase your storage capacity at home.

This is also a great way to take your content to a friend’s house and get straight into a game directly from an external drive. You’ll need to sign in to Xbox Live if you’ve purchased your content digitally or insert a disc to verify your game ownership when you take your content on the road. The great benefit here is there’s no need to wait to re-download your game and all the DLC. With external storage support in June, you can also choose to copy full games and all of the associated content in one easy step.

Real Names Makes it Easier to Identify Friends
With Xbox One you can have 1,000 friends and infinite followers, but as these lists grow it can become increasingly more difficult to remember the people you know by their gamertag alone. Now with real names feature you can recognize people on your friends list and more easily discover people you already know who are on Xbox Live.

Most importantly, we heard your feedback that to make this most useful you need full control. You’ll be able to share with all your friends, a subset of your choosing, friends of friends or none at all. The choice is yours. Also, your name doesn’t show up in games, and you can change your settings any time from your profile and when adding new friends.

SmartGlass Provides Access to full OneGuide and Universal Remote Control, Pin Reordering and More
We’ve made a ton of changes to your SmartGlass app for Xbox One. After getting great feedback from our SmartGlass beta, we’re thrilled to be bringing the entire OneGuide experience and Universal Remote Control to SmartGlass. Now in supported markets you can view all of your TV listings on your SmartGlass device and set and view your favorite channels and app channels on your smart phone, tablet or PC. With the Universal Remote Control, you can also easily switch channels, set new recordings and select and control recorded content from your DVR. Another great companion feature now in SmartGlass is pin reordering. With the touch of your finger you can easily organize your pins in categories or favorites based on your preferences and have those changes refresh to your console.

Other improvements to SmartGlass will help you stay current on what you and your friends are up to, even when you’re away from your console. We’re bringing hero stats and activity feed front and center, and adding more ways for you to compare achievements via SmartGlass whether you’re on a friend’s profile or viewing a game from the activity feed. Just like on the console, you can choose to get notifications on your smart phone, PC or tablet when a favorite friend signs into their console or starts broadcasting a game. For many devices, you can even choose to start watching the broadcast wherever you are.

Expanded TV and OneGuide Soon Available in More Markets
The TV and OneGuide features we began sharing with select Xbox Live members in April will be available in June to everyone in Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The update will bring OneGuide, alongside Favorites and App Channels, for people in these markets who have their TV connected to Xbox One via HDMI-in. Additional features in these markets include Kinect voice commands for controlling your set-top box and other AV equipment. We’ve also updated TV and OneGuide settings to provide better power management and control of your devices and improved compatibility with more devices.

New Gold Membership Benefits, Access to Apps for All and More
With this update, you’ll find a new hub in Xbox One for exploring all of the great benefits available to Xbox Live Gold members, including Games with Gold and Deals with Gold. Also, with the Xbox Live Gold changes announced last week, shortly after the Xbox One system update becomes available in June all Xbox Live members will be able to access popular gaming and entertainment apps without a Gold membership.

Finally, we’ve made it possible for you to choose an account for automatic sign-in on your Xbox One – another much-requested feature from fans like you.

Coming soon, these features will be available to members previewing Xbox One system updates as they help us work through final improvements. This system update will become available to the full Xbox One community in June. We look forward to hearing what you think and keep the feedback coming.

Cross posted on Xbox Wire







Today we’ve announced the list of projects slated for the Xbox Originals program. Including details on the documentary that was behind this weekend’s discovery of the Atari E.T. games in a desert landfill.  Starting this June, you’ll have more reasons to love your Xbox: Xbox Originals – premium dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation, unscripted shows, and live events. Available only on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and other Microsoft devices, every Xbox Original will offer interactive capabilities, as well as unique interactive features customized on a per-show basis, making it a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Committed Projects

“Halo” television series
The “Halo” television series is a groundbreaking original series based on the award-winning “Halo” franchise. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer Steven Spielberg will executive produce the live-action TV series, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Amblin Television.

“Every Street United”
“Every Street United” is an unscripted series of eight, thirty-minute episodes and a one-hour finale, featuring legendary soccer players Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids, focused on the global search for soccer’s most gifted and undiscovered street stars scouted across eight countries (United States, England, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ghana and South Korea). The series culminates this July in a 4v4 street game finale in the shadow of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

Each episode will feature unique and incisive narratives about the grassroots street stars and the communities that shaped them. Industry veteran and eight-time Emmy-Award winning producer, director, writer and editor Jonathan Hock (“Streetball,” “30 for 30: The Best That Never Was”) is directing the series. Emmy-Award winning producer Mike Tollin and Mandalay Sports Media are executive producing. Professional soccer luminaries, Henry and Davids, will serve as coaches for the 4v4 street game in Rio. “Every Street United” will premiere in June 2014. All episodes will be available through Xbox Video for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8 (PC and Surface) and Windows Phone 8.

Bonnaroo
Xbox owners around the globe can experience the magic of the 13th annual Bonnaroo music and arts festival with a live concert destination on Xbox Live Friday, June 13 through Sunday, June 15, 2014, brought to viewers in partnership with Superfly Presents. With the Bonnaroo app, fans can enjoy live music like never before, with a virtual experience featuring the best performances, multiple stages, biggest artists and amazing SuperJams, and explore this year’s lineup to see the best of Bonnaroo’s past with exclusive performances. Fans can also join the conversation with fellow virtual-Bonnaroovians and get connected to their friends and the festival. Xbox is the exclusive broadcasting partner for Bonnaroo and the only location to get all of the interactive features.

“Signal to Noise”/“Atari: Game Over”
Xbox is creating a new six film documentary series, “Signal to Noise,” (working title) with two-time Academy Award winning producer Simon Chinn (“Searching for Sugar Man” and “Man on Wire”) and Emmy winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s “30 Days” and PBS’s “American High”), through their multi-platform media company, Lightbox. The series will expose little known stories of how modern technology has radically altered the way we interact with our world.

The first installment, “Atari: Game Over” (working title), explores the fabled Atari mystery, dubbed “The Great Video Game Burial of 1983.” As the legend goes, the Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the E.T. video game, disposed of millions of unsold game cartridges by burying them in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Fuel Entertainment took an interest in the legend, and in December 2013, with help from local garbage contractor Joe Lewandowski, acquired the exclusive rights to excavate the Alamogordo landfill. Fuel Entertainment then brought the opportunity to Xbox Entertainment Studios. The team will head to the landfill in question to determine if the story is true, interviewing a cast of characters related to the game and its mystery along the way. “Atari: Game Over” is directed by writer/director Zak Penn (“X-Men 2,” “Avengers,” and “Incident at Loch Ness”). It will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014.

“Humans”
“Humans” is a bold new drama co-produced with UK broadcaster Channel 4. Award-winning UK production company Kudos (“The Hour,” “Utopia,” “Broadchurch”) will produce the hour-long, eight-episode series, which will share a premiere broadcast window on the Xbox platform and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015.

Executive produced by Jane Featherstone (“Life on Mars,” “Broadchurch”) and Derek Wax (“The Hour,” “Sex Traffic”), and written by British writing team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley (“Spooks,” “Spooks: The Greater Good”), “Humans” is an English-language adaptation of Sveriges Television and Matador Film’s acclaimed Swedish series, “Real Humans.” “Humans” is set in a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a ‘Synth’ – a highly-developed robotic servant eerily similar to its live counterpart. In the hope of transforming the way they live, one strained suburban family purchases a refurbished synth only to discover that sharing life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences. Casting for “Humans” will begin in May 2014, and production will commence later this summer.

“Halo” digital feature
343 Industries and Scott Free Productions are creating a “Halo” digital feature to be released later this year. The project will be executive produced by Ridley Scott and Scott Free TV President, David Zucker. Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Pillars of the Earth,” “Heroes”) will direct.

Projects in Development

“Deadlands”
Xbox Entertainment Studios has committed to a script based on the successful pen-and-paper role playing game created by Shane Lacy Hensley. “Deadlands” is a genre-bending alternative history of the Weird West, filled with undead gunfighters, card-slinging sorcerers, mad scientists, secret societies, and fearsome abominations.

“Extraordinary Believers”
Xbox Entertainment Studios is developing an innovative, hybrid stop-motion show dubbed “Extraordinary Believers” (working title) with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, creators of the Emmy-Award winning “Robot Chicken,” the longest running stop-motion show on television. The executive producers on the project are Seth Green, Matt Senreich, and creators/writers/executive producers are Eric Towner and John Harvatine IV.

“Fearless”
“Fearless,” (working title) is an unscripted series currently in pilot production starring Paul de Gelder, an Australian Navy bomb clearance diver and shark attack survivor who takes on an adrenaline-fueled quest to aid individuals who risk their lives to make the world a better place. “Fearless” will be produced by Australia’s International Emmy-Award winning production company, Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ).

“Gun Machine”
Xbox Entertainment Studios acquired the rights to “Gun Machine,” a hardboiled detective thriller based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Warren Ellis. Ellis will executive produce with Brett Conrad (“The Killing,” “Sons of Anarchy,” Netflix’s upcoming “Marco Polo”) who has signed on to write the pilot script about a detective tracking a serial killer who is tied to a mysterious collection of guns used in infamous New York murders.

Untitled JASH Comedy/Variety Half Hour
In this unique comedy format developed by Xbox Entertainment Studios with JASH (a comedy collective founded by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Tim and Eric and Reggie Watts), the biggest names in comedy will showcase the people that make them laugh. Each week, a different comedian will host/curate a show featuring new and unsung talent, in various video formats. Sarah Silverman will host the pilot episode and Daniel Kellison (“Late Night/Late Show with David Letterman,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Crank Yankers”) will executive produce. The series has a pilot commitment and will begin shooting in June.

“Winterworld”
Xbox Entertainment Studios and IDW Entertainment are co-developing a limited event live-action series based on Chuck Dixon and artist Jorge Zaffino’s seminal graphic novel series “Winterworld,” in which our world has been encased in ice from pole-to-pole. The surviving humans have formed tribes that war, enslave and trade with one another in an effort to survive the infinite winter. Ted Adams and David Ozer from IDW Entertainment, and Rick Jacobs and Dave Alpert from Circle of Confusion (“Walking Dead”) will executive produce.

More details on Xbox Wire

February’s set of free games for Xbox Live Gold Members in will be Dead Island and Toy Soldiers: Cold War.

  

Starting Saturday (February 1st) Dead Island (Normally US $19.99) will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through February 15th .

Then on February 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Toy Soldiers: Cold War (Normally US $14.99) for free.

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.

Call of Duty: Ghosts’ first DLC, Onslaught, arrives this Tuesday only on Xbox LIVE. Nightfall is part of the Onslaught package, the first of four Extinction episodes. Take a look:

More on Nightfall: At a remote facility in the Alaskan wilderness, the shadowy Nightfall Program has been researching the origins of the “Alien” threat. When the scientists lose control, a small team of elite soldiers must retrieve the intel, exterminate hordes of hostile creatures, and survive a three-story tall terror unlike anything they’ve faced before.

To view the entire Onslaught package, including its multiplayer maps and the Maverick dual-purpose rifle, click here.