Take command of this weekend’s Free Play Days and put on your real-time strategy hat! Xbox Live Gold members can experience the Halo universe from a unique angle with Halo Wars: Definitive Edition and Halo Wars 2. The Free Play Days event begins Thursday, February 21 at 12:01 a.m. PT and runs through to Sunday, February 24 at 11:59 p.m. PT. You can find and install the games here. To download on console, click on the Gold member area on the home dashboard on your Xbox One.

The games are also available at a discount (see below) so you can continue playing while keeping your Gamerscore and achievements earned in-game.

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition enhances the iconic real-time strategy game, Halo Wars, for a native Windows 10 and Xbox One experience. Set early in the Human-Covenant conflict, players can build and command their own Halo army to turn the tide of war against enemies in an epic campaign or in online multiplayer matches. With all the downloadable content from the original release, updated graphics and new achievements, Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is the best way to start your Halo strategy journey.

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 delivers an epic sequel to the iconic real-time strategy game, Halo Wars. Take control of Captain Cutter and his forces aboard the UNSC Spirit of Fire to battle humanity’s newest terrifying threat: The Banished – a ruthless Brute faction commanded by the deadly warrior known as Atriox. Lead your army of classic Halo units like Spartans, Warthogs and Scorpions to outsmart the enemy and survive the brutal war. Experience the largest and most exciting Halo battlefield to date on Windows 10 and Xbox One.

 

Don’t miss out on this weekend’s great games! Learn more about Free Play Days here and stay tuned to Xbox Wire to find out about future Free Play Days and all the latest news on Xbox.

The hotly anticipated arrival of Halo Wars 2’s new expansion is finally here and with it, a new opportunity to take one of humanity’s oldest adversaries: The Flood. Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare is now available on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and we can’t wait for fans to get in on the action.

Awakening the Nightmare is a brand-new full expansion for Halo Wars 2, featuring new campaign missions played from a Banished perspective, two new multiplayer leaders, two new multiplayer maps, and Terminus Firefight – a unique new cooperative mode where players build both bases and armies to defend and survive against an onslaught of enemy forces.

Purchase Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Purchase Halo Wars 2 for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Purchase Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

In Terminus Firefight, up to three players amass armies to defend both their bases, and their Forerunner terminus node against an ever-increasing and intensifying hoard of attacking enemies. Battle against UNSC, Banished, and voracious Flood forces while fighting for survival. With the ability to construct new defense measurements such as spike floors and barricades alongside classic Halo Wars gameplay features like base-building, tech trees, and Leader power usage, Terminus Firefight adds an entirely new tower defense-style twist to the beloved wave-based Halo mode.

Also coming alongside the expansion is a new update to Halo Wars 2, including Spectator mode and playlist updates. For all the details, be sure to check out Halo Waypoint.

With the release of the new expansion and several months of updates to Halo Wars 2 since launch, the Ultimate Edition of the game will be replaced with Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition. The Complete Edition includes the base game, all Season Pass content and the Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare expansion, making this a great package for anyone who is looking to jump into the Halo Wars 2 experience.

Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare is available now for $19.99 USD exclusively on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

Content: Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition 
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Real-time strategy makes an explosive return to the Halo universe in Halo Wars 2. Build and lead powerful armies, experience an all-new story told across action-packed campaign missions and play against friends online in a variety of multiplayer modes. All playable on 4K graphics in HDR on the Xbox One X and Windows 10.

This bundle includes Halo Wars 2, Halo Wars 2: Season Pass and Awakening the Nightmare DLC (5 campaign missions, 2 new multiplayer leaders, and an all new tower-defense co-op mode – Terminus Firefight).

Purchase Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Website: Halo Wars 2
Twitter: @Halo

NOTE: Supports Xbox Play Anywhere: yours to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost.

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For more information on Xbox Play Anywhere, check out this article at Xbox Wire.

This week kicks off gamescom 2017,  the “leading European trade fair for digital gaming culture and the meeting point for global companies from the entertainment industry and the international gaming community”. And yesterday, Xbox held their briefing to showcase all of the new hardware and games on display at this year’s gamescom. I wanted to provide a recap of all the news posts at Xbox Wire and videos posted on the YouTube channel so you can watch or rewatch all of the news from this event.

You can watch the full Xbox @ gamescom LIVE show here.

Here is a list of gamescom related news stories posted at Xbox Wire:

Bluehole, Inc and Microsoft Announce Expanded Partnership for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Forza Motorsport 7 Delivers the Ultimate PC Racing Experience

Xbox Game Pass Launches in 8 New Countries and Adds More Great Games this September

New Xbox One S Shadow of War Bundles Arriving October 10

Pre-Order the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition Now

Exclusive Trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of War Featuring Foes Old and New

World’s Most Powerful Console Makes European Debut and Kickstarts Global Pre-orders

In Sea of Thieves, Xbox One and Windows 10 PC Players Can Embark on Their Pirate Voyages Together

ReCore Definitive Edition Brings Players HDR, New Adventures and T8-NK Corebot!

Introducing the Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition Bundle

Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare Launches on September 26

Here are the gamescom related videos posted on the Xbox YouTube channel:

We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s briefing and look forward to showing fans more this week when gamescom officially kicks off.

majornelson. Larry Hryb @majornelson

majornelson.

More @majornelson on Twitter

Content: Halo Wars 2 DEMO
Check availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Real-time strategy makes an explosive return to the Halo universe in Halo Wars 2. Lead Spartans, Warthogs and other classic Halo fighting forces in a brutal war against a terrifying new enemy on the biggest Halo battlefield ever. All-new, Action-packed Story – The heroes of Halo Wars return to find themselves – and the galaxy – in more danger than ever.

Included in the demo is a first look at the campaign with mission one, “The Signal,” as well as Blitz Firefight where you can test your mettle against waves of AI using a pre-built deck of cards from Captain Cutter or Atriox. The demo is available for all Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One today, and is coming soon to anyone with a Microsoft account on Windows 10 PC.

Download Halo Wars 2 DEMO for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Purchase Halo Wars 2 for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store
Purchase Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Website: Halo Wars 2
Twitter: @Halo

Content: Halo Wars 2
Check price and availability in your Xbox LIVE region

Game Description: Real-time strategy makes an explosive return to the Halo universe in Halo Wars 2. Lead Spartans, Warthogs and other classic Halo fighting forces in a brutal war against a terrifying new enemy on the biggest Halo battlefield ever.All-new, Action-packed Story – The heroes of Halo Wars return to find themselves – and the galaxy – in more danger than ever. Following the events of Halo 5, the all-new story is told in action-packed missions set on the legendary Halo destination known as the Ark. Players will strategically command overwhelming firepower in large-scale battles against a terrifying threat facing the UNSC and all of humanity.

Purchase Halo Wars 2 for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store
Purchase Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 from the Xbox Games Store

Purchase Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store
Purchase Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition for Windows 10 from the Xbox Games Store

Product Info:
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Website: Halo Wars 2
Twitter: @Halo

NOTE: Supports Xbox Play Anywhere: yours to play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC at no additional cost.

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For more information on Xbox Play Anywhere, check out this article at Xbox Wire.

Halo Wars 2, the sequel to the original Real Time Strategy (RTS) game set in the Halo universe, is scheduled to release on Tuesday, 21 February (those who purchase the Ultimate Edition get early access starting 17 February). To celebrate the launch of Halo Wars 2, I will be co-hosting a live show (details below) and giving away an Xbox One S Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition Bundle, Halo Wars 2 Banished Official Wired Controller for Xbox One, a Halo Wars 2 Loot Crate, J!NX gift certificates and of course, digital Xbox One codes for copies of the game.

This February, real-time strategy makes an explosive return to the Halo Universe with Halo Wars 2. Lead armies of Spartans and other Halo fighting forces like Warthogs, Scorpions and exciting new units in a brutal war against a terrifying new enemy. Featuring campaign, multiplayer, and the all-new Blitz mode, this is the biggest Halo battlefield ever. The action begins February 17th with Ultimate Edition early access. Learn more about Halo Wars 2 here.

Halo Wars 2 Livestream Launch Celebration Details

The livestream will go live on 16 February at 7 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST, and will broadcast out on Xbox One, Beam, Twitch, Facebook Live and YouTube. Tune in to watch the festivities, learn more about the game through exclusive interviews with the team and have a chance to win some prizes. Click here for more details.

Halo Wars 2 Giveaway

  • How do you enter for a chance to win?

Simple. All you have to do is watch the Halo Wars 2 launch trailer below and submit your entry using this form:

Halo Wars 2 Giveaway

Note: I’m using a new method for contest entry – Do NOT leave an entry in the comments or on Twitter. Only entries using the entry form above will be accepted.

  • What can you win?

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controller

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Grand Prize Winner: 

*Xbox One S Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition Bundle – includes the following:

-Xbox One S 1TB console
-Xbox Wireless Controller
-Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition digital code for Xbox and Windows 10
-Halo Wars 2: Season Pass digital code
-Halo Wars: Definitive Edition digital code for Xbox and Windows 10
-14-day Xbox Live Gold trial

*Halo Wars 2 Banished Official Wired Controller for Xbox One from PDP

*Official companion crate for Halo Wars 2 from Loot Crate

*J!NX gift certificate ($50 USD – actual value may vary based on region / exchange rate) – check out the J!NX Halo product line here

*Digital Xbox One code for Halo Wars 2 (Ultimate Edition)

Runner Up Prize (5 winners):

*J!NX gift certificate ($50 USD – actual value may vary based on region / exchange rate) – check out the J!NX Halo product line here

*Digital Xbox One code for Halo Wars 2 (Ultimate Edition)

  • What are the rules?

Submit your entry after watching the trailer using the form above.

Do not @ reply me on Twitter or leave a comment below. That will not count!

Deadline to enter is 7:00 pm ET / 4:00 pm PT on Tuesday, 21 February. One entry per person. Contest is open to everyone but prize availability might not be available in all regionscheck the availability of Halo Wars 2 for Xbox One in your Xbox LIVE region. Winners will be notified on or about 22 February. I will update this post with the winners after they have redeemed their prize.

Have fun and good luck!

Note: Any winner who does not respond to my email notification within 72 hours will forfeit the prize. Only entries received at www.majornelson.com using the submission form will be considered.

 

UPDATE: All of the prizes have been redeemed. Congratulations to the winners, including Andrew (GT: Ajo4ad) who won the grand prize. Thanks to all those who entered the giveaway. Keep checking back for more giveaways in the future.

 

If you want to pre-order Halo Wars 2Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition or the Xbox One S Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition Bundle, you can do that here:

Halo Wars 2 – this bundle includes Halo Wars 2 and Welcome to the Ark, the story missions & multiplayer leaders from the original Halo Wars 2 campaign.

Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition – this bundle includes Halo Wars 2, Welcome to the Ark, the story missions & multiplayer leaders from the original Halo Wars 2 campaign and the Season Pass.

Xbox One S Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition Bundle – includes 1TB console, Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition, Season Pass, Halo Wars: Definitive Edition & Xbox Wireless Controller.

Halo Wars 2 releases Tuesday, Feb. 21 (or Friday, Feb. 17 for Ultimate Edition owners) and today 343 Industries has released a new Halo Wars 2 launch trailer.

After experiencing a pyrrhic victory following the events of the first Halo Wars, Captain Cutter and the brave crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire wake up after 28 years of cryosleep to discover themselves orbiting a familiar Forerunner construct; Halo 3 fans, you know what it is. After receiving a distress signal and sending down some Spartans to investigate, the crew meets Atriox – an incredibly dangerous Brute who is as intelligent as he is strong. He poses a grave threat to humanity, and it’s up to you to stop him and his Banished.

In addition to the robust campaign, Halo Wars 2 is packed with a full suite of multiplayer modes that are suited to players of all skill levels and familiarity with real time strategy (RTS). Build your base, assemble your army and battle for control of the map in Domination, test your strategies solo or with a friend against AI in Skirmish, fight to hold more bases than your opponent in a timed Strongholds match, duke it out until you’re the last one standing in Deathmatch, or jump straight into the action with the all-new deck building multiplayer experience, Blitz.

Halo War 2 is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, so a single digital purchase of the game on Xbox One or Windows 10 will include the other version at no additional cost. Stay tuned to Xbox Wire as we continue to share more news about Halo Wars 2 in the upcoming weeks, and don’t forget to join 343 Industries for the launch live stream event on Feb. 16.

There are 2 versions of Halo Wars 2 available for pre-order – Halo Wars 2 and Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition.


If you’re in the New York City area on Feb. 7 (8:30 – 10 p.m. ET) – join me at the flagship Microsoft Store in New York City and be one of the first to see live Halo Wars 2 gameplay before it is released on Feb. 21. Get exclusive game tips, and enter to win exclusive Halo Wars 2 prizes. Click here for more details about the event.