Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming at Xbox, discusses a major update to the Xbox Game Pass program. Details below:

When we launched Xbox Game Pass in June 2017, we knew we wanted to craft a service with gamers in mind. That meant a diverse, expanding library of over 100 games and counting, matched with one monthly price and unlimited access to download and play full-fidelity experiences.

We’ve been blown away by the incredible response. Following launch, we heard from fans around the world who wanted Xbox Game Pass in their country. In September, we expanded globally and Xbox Game Pass is now available to fans in 40 countries. We’ve also continued to expand the catalog with new games added to the Xbox Game Pass library every month, so there is always something new to play.

We know our fans value having a variety of games to play at a low monthly price. We’ve also heard from fans that the ability to play new blockbuster games in Xbox Game Pass is important. So we’ve continued to explore new ideas to make this possible.

Today, we’re excited to announce plans for a major expansion to Xbox Game Pass that underscores our commitment to deliver our fans the ultimate gaming subscription service.

Moving forward, we plan to release all new Xbox One exclusive games from Microsoft Studios into Xbox Game Pass on the same date as their global release. This means that when Sea of Thieves launches on March 20, it will be included in Xbox Game Pass to all members.

This plan to bring new games timed with their global release into Xbox Game Pass not only includes announced titles like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3 but future unannounced games from Microsoft Studios including new iterations of our biggest Xbox One exclusive franchises such as Halo, Forza and Gears of War, on the same day they launch.

Our fans have also asked for more choice in the subscription offerings available for Xbox Game Pass. As part of today’s library expansion, we are also pleased to announce that we are working closely with our retail partners, such as GameStop, to offer a 6-month Xbox Game Pass subscription card for those fans who look for a variety of ways to purchase and enjoy new games and services. The 6-month Xbox Game Pass subscription card will be available at select retail partners for $59.99 beginning March 20. By working closely with retail partners, Xbox Game Pass will have valuable ambassadors in popular destinations for gamers to discover new and exciting games and enjoy community.

With the addition of more great games, new blockbuster releases and a new subscription offer, we are giving fans more choice and value in how they discover and enjoy games – purchase games for their permanent library or play through Xbox Game Pass for one low price.

We’ve only scratched the surface of the opportunity this new model brings to the industry and what we can deliver to our fans. We firmly believe Xbox Game Pass will be a catalyst to create new opportunities for game developers and publishers to innovate in the way games are developed and delivered, leading to entirely new ways to play.

We’re truly humbled by the incredible response we’ve received to date for Xbox Game Pass, and we look forward to offering an unprecedented choice and value with Xbox Game Pass this spring and beyond.

Phil Spencer
Twitter: @XboxP3
GT: P3

It is a big week for Gears fans as we get ready to watch the top four professional Gears of War teams compete to be crowned the first-ever Gears of War Pro League Champions. The Season 1 Finals are taking place this Sunday, January 10, live at ESL Studios in Burbank, CA.

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Congratulations to the finalists for making it this far. Denial, EnvyUs, VexX and Onslaught will all be duking it out for a $50,000 prize pool in front of a live studio audience. You can catch all of the action live on Twitch via the official Gears of War channel starting at 11:00 AM PST (2:00 PM EST) this Sunday.

Aside from watching all of the Gears carnage, there will also be a special panel during the broadcast stream with the Studio Head of Gears of War developer The Coalition, Rod Fergusson, and Lead Multiplayer Designer, Ryan Cleven. Whether you are a longtime Gears fan or new to the franchise, this is an event you are not going to want to miss.

To celebrate the event, Xbox is also giving away a custom Gears of War Xbox One to one lucky winner. Visit this website during the event for a chance to win, or head to the rules and regulations page for complete info. Check out the video below for a special sneak peek at the console.

Finally, for all the latest info on all things Gears eSports, make sure to stay tuned to gears.gg.

Last week we announced a new Xbox One bundle every day of the week starting with Rise of the Tomb Raider and ending with Fallout 4. With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to recap each of the announcements and provide a link to each…and also give you an opportunity to win one of the new Xbox One bundles.

I have a few of these consoles to give away and starting today and ending this Friday, you can enter to win a Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame Bundle and some other cool prizes.

How do you enter for a chance to win?

Simple. All you have to do is leave a comment below (do not post it on Twitter that will not count) to this post answering the following question:

What new Xbox One bundle announced last week was your favorite and why?

What can you win?

Five fans will win a code for The LEGO Movie Videogame (Xbox One).

One runner-up will winner win The LEGO Movie Videogame (Xbox One) and a Lunar White Wireless Controller.

One Grand Prize winner will win a Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame bundle.

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What are the rules?

Leave a comment to this post with your answer. Do not @ reply me on Twitter. That won’t count!

Deadline to enter is 4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET on Friday, 09 October 2015. One entry per person. Contest is open to everyone but prize availability might not be available in all regions – check the availability of The LEGO Movie Videogame in your Xbox LIVE region. Winners will be notified via the e-mail account associated with their Disqus account or Twitter (when applicable) on or about 12 October. We use the Disqus commenting system – read this if you have questions about Disqus.

Have fun and good luck!

Note: If you do not have an e-mail address or Twitter name associated with your Disqus login, you must include this information in your comment to be eligible. Any winner who does not respond to my email notification within 72 hours will forfeit the prize. For faster notification, follow me on Twitter where I can DM you if you win. Only comments received at www.majornelson.com will be considered.

UPDATE: This Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame Bundle Giveaway is now closed. Winners have been notified via the email address listed in their Disqus profile. Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway.

Today’s new Xbox One bundle announcement includes not one, but two new bundles – the Xbox One Special Edition Gears Of War Bundle, available this November and the Xbox One With Kinect Bundle, available this October.

Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle

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The Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle features a 500GB Cirrus White console and controller, a full-game download of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, the Superstar Cole multiplayer skin and early access to the Gears of War 4 Beta.

Experience the original Gears of War rebuilt from the ground up in 1080p, including 60FPS competitive multiplayer with 19 maps and six game modes, and five campaign chapters never released on console. And for a limited time, when you play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox Live, you’ll get the entire Xbox 360 Gears of War collection to play on Xbox One at no additional cost (more details here). Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is also your ticket to early access of the Gears of War 4 Beta in Spring 2016.

The Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle will be available exclusively at Walmart in the U.S. starting in November for $349 USD.

Xbox One with Kinect Bundle

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Also today, we’re unveiling the Xbox One with Kinect Bundle featuring an Xbox One 500GB console, Kinect for Xbox One and full-game downloads of Dance Central Spotlight, Kinect Sports Rivals and Zoo Tycoon.

The Xbox One with Kinect Bundle will be available starting in October for $499 USD. Check with your local retailer, including Microsoft stores, for more details including pricing and availability.

We have one more new Xbox One bundle to reveal tomorrow and it might be the best one yet. You can find all of the Xbox One bundles currently available here.

L a r r y H r y b @majornelson

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If you’re planning on purchasing an Xbox One and want some great games to go along with it, then this bundle is the one for you.

The Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle features a few favorites from the greatest games lineup in our history including Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Rare Replay and a full-game download of Ori and the Blind Forest. With 1TB of storage, you can play and store more games than ever, including your Xbox 360 favorites, thanks to Xbox One Backward Compatibility.

Holiday Bundle

The Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle includes:

  • 1TB Xbox One console
  • Xbox One wireless controller with 3.5mm headset jack
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Rare Replay, featuring 30 iconic games from Rare
  • Ori and the Blind Forest full game download
  • Xbox 360 Gears of War collection

The Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle will be available starting 28 October for $399 USD. Check with your local retailer, including Microsoft stores, for details today or pre-order it from the Microsoft store now.

There are a variety of Xbox One bundles to choose from including the Rise of the Tomb Raider bundle we announced yesterday plus the Xbox One Elite Bundle, Xbox One Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition Bundle, the Xbox One Forza Motorsport 6 Limited Edition Console, the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition bundle and more. And if that’s not enough, we’ll be announcing another new bundle tomorrow.

 

Content: Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Check pre-order price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: The landmark original Gears of War returns, stunningly remastered and modernized for Xbox One. Emergence Day set in motion a brutal war that would both shatter humanity and forge a valiant band of heroes. Revisit the explosive events that lead to the beginning of Gears of War in this opening cinematic for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

Purchase Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Purchase Gears of War Ultimate Edition Deluxe Version for Xbox One from the Xbox Game Store

Product Info:
Developer: The Coalition
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Website: Gears of War
Twitter: @GearsofWar

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition launches 25 August and I’ll be teaming up with Jeff Rubenstein and streaming the game.

The stream is scheduled for Tuesday, 25 August at 5p ET / 2p PT and will be streamed live on my Twitch channel (or watch it below once it goes live).

Watch the stream for a chance to win a code for Gears of War Ultimate Edition Deluxe Version.

Purchase the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition – Pre Order Version  or the Gears of War Ultimate Edition Deluxe Version.

The Coalition are excited to announce that all fans who purchase Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, or the Xbox One Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle, will be able to unlock the entire Gears collection via Xbox One Backward Compatibility. By playing Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox Live from Aug. 25 through Dec. 31, 2015, you’ll get access to Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 and Gears of War: Judgment in Backward Compatibility when it launches this fall. In Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, you’ll get the complete remastering of the original game – painstakingly reimagined from the ground up with stunning next-gen graphics, recaptured and rebuilt cinematics, new achievements and modernized gameplay for an even better experience. And don’t forget the new maps, modes and missions, early access to the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta, new Achievements, improved haptic feedback and an additional difficulty level – it’s a must-have for every Gears fan and part of the greatest games lineup in Xbox history.

All Gears of War titles will be supported on Backward Compatibility when it launches publicly this fall. This means if you own Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 or Gears of War: Judgment on Xbox 360, you’ll be able to play them on your Xbox One and utilize some of your favorite next-gen features like Game DVR, Snap, screenshots and more. You can even keep all your previously-saved files, game add-ons, achievements and play with friends on Xbox Live no matter which Xbox console they’re on. For those of you in the Xbox One preview program who just can’t wait, the original Gears of Wars is available today in Backward Compatibility.

As we announced at E3, Xbox One Backward Compatibility is all about giving you the ability to play the games you love most from both generations in one place for free. And we know how much our fans love the Gears of War franchise – tens of thousands of you have voted on Xbox Feedback for Gears titles to enable Backward Compatibility.

This is just the beginning of the news we have in store for this week, so stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming out of gamescom.