Today we’re extremely excited to share two big announcements that deliver on what are easily the most frequently requested asks from our community over the last few years: First, Halo: Reach is being added to Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) and second, the entire collection is coming to PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam! This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us to bring the Halo Universe and Master Chief’s story to a new audience and to offer PC gamers a chance to step into the franchise on the PC platform of their choice.

For the team at 343 Industries, the most important and critical element of this project is ensuring that Halo: The Master Chief Collection delivers a true ‚Äúfirst class‚ÄĚ experience on PC. We‚Äôre embarking on a journey with our community to build a PC experience that delivers on PC gamer expectations. The team is passionately committed to ensuring that all of the features, bells, and whistles expected in a modern PC title are included with MCC.

The Master Chief‚Äôs arrival on PC will happen in stages with each title releasing one by one over time -‚Äď giving the development teams the ability to ensure each one is¬†right,¬†while giving players a chance to jump in right away, rather than having to wait for the entire suite of games to be completed. Our current plan is for this journey to begin with the launch of¬†Halo: Reach¬†‚Äď the fictional beginnings of Master Chief‚Äôs saga ‚Äď with the rest of the titles following in chronological order thereafter.¬†Halo: Reach,¬†Halo: Combat Evolved,¬†Halo 2,¬†Halo 3,¬†Halo 3: ODST (Campaign), and¬†Halo 4¬†will each be available for individual purchase within MCC as they become available. And each game will evolve and grow over time with community input.

Along with ‚Äúbring¬†Halo: The Master Chief Collection¬†to PC!‚ÄĚ, the next loudest refrain from Halo fans has been to ‚Äúadd¬†Halo: Reach¬†to¬†Halo: The Master Chief Collection!‚ÄĚ and we‚Äôre excited to make good on¬†both¬†requests later this year.¬†Halo: Reach¬†in¬†Halo: The Master Chief Collection¬†on Xbox One looks better than ever in stunning 4K/HDR on compatible hardware and plays better than ever at a silky smooth 60FPS.

On Xbox One specifically, Halo: Reach’s multiplayer content (which includes Forge and the Theater) will be automatically included for everyone who owns Halo: The Master Chief Collection while Halo: Reach’s Campaign and Firefight experiences will be offered together as a premium digital add-on. Xbox Game Pass subscribers will have access to the entirety of Halo: Reach within MCC as part of their subscription. Halo: Reach will look and play just as great when it lands on the Microsoft Store and Steam with Campaign, Multiplayer, and Firefight available for purchase as the first step in this PC journey.

We know many of you will have questions, so stay tuned to¬†Halo Waypoint¬†‚Äď we‚Äôll have plenty more to say, share, and show on the road to release. The team at 343 Industries, along with our partners at¬†Splash Damage¬†and¬†Ruffian, are already hard at work and we can‚Äôt wait to bring the community along on this journey.

On behalf of the entire 343 Industries team, thank you to everyone who’s continued to play and support Halo and Halo: The Master Chief Collection and for not giving up on the dream of one day enjoying these great experiences on a PC.

This Fall, Windows has another major update to bring even more great features to your Windows 10 PC. Learn more here about the broader set of updates and features that arrived with the October Windows Update. And if you like gaming on your Windows 10 PC, we’ve got some specific updates that you’ll want to pay attention to!

Here are the latest improvements to Windows 10 for PC gamers in the recent October Windows Update:

Game bar Improvements

*New look: Enjoy a cleaner new look and layout.

*New audio controls: With the new audio control panel, get more control out of individual audio channels without ever having to leave your game.

*Game bar is now an app: Launching Game bar is now easier than ever, whether through the desktop, apps, the Start menu, or task bar.

Game Mode Improvements

*Fewer gaming interruptions: Based on feedback from gamers, we’ve simplified the way Game Mode works. Now auto-enabled for all games with a master On/Off toggle in Windows Settings, Game Mode suppresses Windows Update driver installs and blocks Windows Update interruptions such as restart notifications while you’re gaming. You may also see improved game performance with less FPS variability depending on the specific game and system.

Got a great idea for a Windows gaming feature? Let us know on the Xbox Ideas site!

John Smith, Sr. Director, Microsoft Store Product Marketing, provides details about PC digital game gifting.

Last Fall, the Microsoft Store enabled gifting of select Xbox One digital games, Xbox One downloadable game content (durables only), and Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. This feature has been a huge hit with our fans and has made buying presents for friends and family even easier, especially around the holidays.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we have expanded digital gifting to include PC games and PC downloadable game content (e.g. map packs, skins). Further, all Xbox One games are now eligible for digital gifting.

PC Gifting In-line Image Final

Here’s how to start sending digital gifts in the Microsoft Store:

*Head over to the Microsoft Store on Windows 10, on the Xbox One family of devices, or online, navigate to the product that you would like to purchase, select Buy as Gift, and enter the email address of the gift recipient. On Xbox One, you can choose a Gamertag from your list of Xbox Live friends.

*The gift recipient will receive a code for their product along with instructions on how to redeem the code. On Xbox One, gift recipients will receive a system message with a clickable redemption button.

A few things in keep in mind as you’re gifting:

*Gift purchasers can only buy two discounted products ‚Äď and a total of 10 discounted products ‚Äď every 14 days. There are no limits for gift purchases made at full price.

*Gifting of Xbox 360 and Xbox original games, pre-orders, free products, and consumable downloadable game content such as virtual currency is not allowed.

*Gift recipients can only redeem gift tokens in the country or region where they were purchased.

Many PC games are available for gifting today, May 10, and all games should be available for gifting by Friday, May 11. We are hard at work on improving digital gifting, adding new capabilities as well as support for new content types. We look forward to bringing you updates on the gifting of paid PC and Xbox apps soon.

Over the years, digital gifting has been one of the top asks from our fans. Please continue to give us feedback on features you would like to see, either using the Windows Feedback Hub app in Windows 10 or using our User Voice page. Thanks!

Last month, gamers worldwide got to experience fantastical pirate adventures firsthand, as Rare welcomed the community into the Sea of Thieves Closed Beta. As we approach the global launch of one of the most anticipated Xbox One exclusives for 2018, we’re pleased to announce the Xbox One S Sea of Thieves Bundle, offering prospective pirates the best value in games and entertainment alongside Rare’s highly anticipated shared-world adventure. Games play best on Xbox One, making it the perfect place to jump into Rare’s unique multiplayer adventure.

Pre-Order Xbox One S Sea of Thieves Bundle from Microsoft Store

The Xbox One S Sea of Thieves Bundle will be available starting March 20, 2018 for $299.99 USD at a Microsoft Store near you and online, as well as participating retailers worldwide and is available now for pre-order. The bundle includes:

*An Xbox One S with a 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, a built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, support for 4K video streaming, High Dynamic Range and premium audio with Dolby Atmos. With over 1,300 great games including over 200 console exclusives ‚Äď from the biggest blockbusters and most popular franchises to 400 titles across three generations of Xbox classics ‚Äď there‚Äôs never been a better time to game on Xbox One.

*A full-game download of Sea of Thieves, allowing you to dive into the game’s shared-world on release day exclusively on Xbox One. Form a crew and take to the open ocean on voyages to discover buried treasure, solve puzzling riddles, secure precious cargo and combat a wide array of challenges. In a world where every sail signals a ship crewed by real players with unique goals and motivations, you never know what lies over the horizon.

*A 1-month Xbox Live Gold subscription, so you can experience the thrill of the high seas with the greatest community of gamers on Xbox Live, the fastest, most reliable gaming network.

*A 1-month Xbox Game Pass trial so you can discover over 100 Xbox One games with unlimited across three generations of consoles. Xbox Game Pass members will also receive access to new games from Microsoft Studios like State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3 on the same date as their global launch.

Looking for additional pirate plunder? The¬†Xbox Wireless Controller ‚ÄstSea of Thieves¬†Limited Edition¬†will let you fight, sail and loot in style. Available now for $74.99 USD, the controller features a deep purple translucent design, adorned with laser etched barnacles, one treasured golden trigger and haunted by a mysterious glow-in-the-dark skull. The controller comes with the exclusive Ferryman Clothing Set for your¬†Sea of Thieves¬†character, a 14-day¬†Xbox Live Gold¬†trial and a 14-day¬†Xbox Game Pass¬†trial at no additional cost. In addition the Seagate Special Edition Sea of Thieves 2TB Game Drive for Xbox will boost your console‚Äôs storage capacity, while the Controller Gear Limited Edition Sea of Thieves Xbox Pro Charging Stand and Controller Gear Limited Edition Sea of Thieves Xbox One Controller Stand V2.0 will help display your treasure in style. These accessories are available for pre-order now for $89.99, $49.99 and $14.99, respectively.

Already have an Xbox One? Jump into the immersive multiplayer world of ‚ÄúSea of Thieves‚ÄĚ on March 20 with Xbox Game Pass for $9.99 a month, or preorder for $59.99.¬† With Xbox Game Pass, you can enjoy unlimited access to over one hundred great Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles, including fan-favorites like Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War 4, and Bioshock. Starting with Sea of Thieves, all future Microsoft Studios games will launch day and date on Xbox Game Pass, providing an additional option to set sail on day one.

Pre-Order Sea of Thieves for Xbox One from the Xbox Games Store

For more information, visit xbox.com. And for the latest on Sea of Thieves, stay tuned to SeaofThieves.com and Xbox Wire.

 

 

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Adam Isgreen, Creative Director at Microsoft, shares details about the launch of Age Of Empires: Definitive Edition on Windows 10.

Welcome back to history! Today is an exciting day for us at Microsoft, as we celebrate the legacy of Age of Empires with today’s release of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition worldwide on Windows 10 PCs.

Purchase Age of Empires: Definitive Edition from the Microsoft online store

We created Age of Empires: Definitive Edition as a homage to all Real Time Strategy (RTS) fans and to PC gamers everywhere. The Definitive Edition brings back the original Age of Empires and its Rise of Rome expansion with 16 civilizations to explore and 10 campaigns to conquer. Fully remastered with beautifully enhanced graphics that support up to 4K resolution, an impressive orchestral soundtrack, brand-new narrative, major gameplay improvements, Xbox Live support for multiplayer and Achievements, the Definitive Edition brings back the original feeling of Age of Empires, but better than ever.

We’re excited to start playing the game with you, and can’t wait to show you what’s next for the award-winning RTS franchise as we work on Definitive Editions of Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III.

As we welcome new and returning players to the Age of Empires franchise, we invite you celebrate launch by joining fellow Age of Empires fans at select Microsoft Store locations for the Age of Empires Tournament to conquer other civilizations and advance your Empire to the next age. Starting March 1, join a bracket style 1-v-1 tournament at 5 p.m. local time, to win prizes and a chance to receive Age of Empires swag. Tournaments are free to join, and players can sign up at smash.gg.

Check out the Age of Empires tournaments at the following Microsoft Store locations:

We’d like to thank everyone who has already experienced the game through our Closed Beta program. We’ve been so appreciative of all the insightful feedback we received, feedback which helped us develop the Definitive Edition as it is being released today.

On behalf of Microsoft Studios, Forgotten Empires and the rest of the Age of Empires team, thank you to the fans for supporting Age throughout the years. Ready to return to history with Age of Empires: Definitive Edition? Visit a Microsoft Store near you or Microsoft.com online to play or participate in the tournament action. Hope to see you soon!

Games play best on Xbox One, but if you haven’t already made the jump, we’ve got a couple great deals kicking off as early as today for Xbox One S and Xbox One X.

In the U.S. and Canada, there are great savings on Xbox One S bundles, including the new Xbox One S PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle launching February 20 and available for pre-order today.

  • In Canada, starting today, February 15, through February 23, save $60 CAD on 1TB Xbox One S bundles
  • In the U.S., starting February 18 through March 3, save $50 USD on Xbox One S bundles

Also, back by popular demand, we‚Äôre bringing back the offer where every Xbox One X purchase will come with a digital copy of the Xbox console launch exclusive PlayerUnknown‚Äôs Battlegrounds. The promotion will be available in most Xbox One markets for a limited time ‚Äď starting February 18 through March 4. Start and end dates will vary by market ‚Äď in the U.S., the promotion runs from February 18 through February 24 ‚Äď so you‚Äôll want to check with your local retailer for more information including, Microsoft Store near you or online. Here‚Äôs a quick overview of where the promotion will be available:

  • Available in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States and select Latin American countries starting February 18
  • Available in Australia, India, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and select European, Middle Eastern and African countries starting February 20

The Xbox One gaming experience features a robust library of titles with more than 1,300 games and 220 exclusives available today, including Backward Compatible titles that make Xbox One the only console system to play the best games of the past, present and future. It’s also the only console where you can play the hottest game on the planet, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, now with more than 4 million players across the Xbox One family of devices.

In addition to having a comprehensive games library at one‚Äôs fingertips, Xbox One X and Xbox One S owners have access to a full suite of exclusive services like Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Play Anywhere and Xbox Live ‚Äď the fastest, most reliable gaming network. Fans can also enjoy the ultimate 4K entertainment experience with a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player and premium audio with Dolby Atmos support.

Whether you’re gaming on Xbox One X or Xbox One S, there’s never been a better time to join your friends on Xbox.

For more information on Xbox One, visit xbox.com or Microsoft Store.

Since its release as a console launch exclusive on Xbox One in the Xbox Game Preview program, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has reached incredible milestones, most recently surpassing 4 million players across the Xbox One family of devices. We‚Äôve been blown away by the response to PlayerUnknown‚Äôs Battlegrounds on Xbox One and today, we‚Äôre excited to announce the Xbox One S¬†PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle, offering fans the best value in games and entertainment with the hottest game on the planet.

Launching February 20, the Xbox One S¬†PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle includes:

*An Xbox One S with a 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, built-in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, support for 4K video streaming, premium audio with Dolby Atmos and access to a games library of over 1,300 games like Forza Motorsport 7 and Cuphead.

*Full-game download of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Join the battle playing solo, or team up with friends in duos or squads. With the Xbox One S PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle, you‚Äôre one step closer to earning your first chicken dinner.

*1-month Xbox Live Gold trial so you can experience the most advanced multiplayer network.

*1-month Xbox Game Pass trial so you can discover over 100 Xbox One games across three generations of games. Xbox Game Pass members will also receive access to new games from Microsoft Studios like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3 on the same date as at their global launch.

The Xbox One S PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle will be available for $299.99 USD at participating retailers worldwide and is available for pre-order today. For more information, visit xbox.com or Microsoft Store, near you or online.

There’s never been a better time to join your friends in the ultimate battle royale experience on Xbox. See you on the battleground!

Adam Isgreen, Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, shares details about the upcoming launch of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, releasing February 20th on Windows 10 PC.

When we set out to create the Definitive Edition of the original Age of Empires, our goal was to deliver the best possible version of this classic, from a top notch audio-visual presentation to multiplayer to core game systems. Everything needed to be as good as you remembered it (or better!) to deliver a compelling RTS experience 20 years after its original release.

…and that took us a bit longer than we’d originally planned. But, it was important for the team to treat the Age of Empires franchise with the respect it deserves, so we took the time we needed to get features like attack-move and the improved minimap exactly right, and even added things like an in-game tech tree (how did we survive 1997 without that?) that we hope fans will love.

And now I’m happy to announce that Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is launching on February 20 worldwide for Windows 10 PCs at $19.99 USD.

For this Definitive Edition, we’ve made improvements like:

  • Completely rebuilding assets for a modern 4K presentation
  • Letting you play online with Xbox LIVE (in addition to LAN play)
  • Re-recorded the original soundtrack with a new orchestral score
  • Adding campaign narration for every mission
  • Enhancing the campaign and scenario editor, which allows anyone to make original custom campaigns for the game, by letting players easily share them with other players around the world via¬†AgeOfEmpires.com

The above and more outline the many quality of life gameplay improvements we‚Äôve added ‚Äď all while retaining the original feel and unique gameplay that made¬†Age of Empires¬†so special for so many.

To celebrate this announce, we’re also opening up the multiplayer beta to more players worldwide starting January 29 so everyone can get a taste of the game for free before it launches on February 20. You can find more information on the beta and sign up for it at AgeOfEmpires.com.

We’re excited to get Age of Empires: Definitive Edition into the hands of players this February and we thank you for your patience while we put the finishing touches on it!

Welcome back to history!