We’ve got something special for all you basketball lovers out there: a brand-new trailer featuring all-new gameplay from the upcoming NBA 2K19 basketball video game that you can watch above. And what better way to celebrate a new gameplay clip than to tell you about new Xbox One bundles designed for basketball fans: the upcoming 1TB Xbox One S ($299.99) and 1TB Xbox One X ($499.99) NBA 2K19 bundles.

Each bundle comes packed with an Xbox Wireless Controller, a digital download of NBA 2K19, 1-month trial of Xbox Game Pass, and 14 days of Xbox Live Gold.
Enjoy instant access to over 100 games out of the box with the included 1-month trial of Xbox Game Pass. And celebrate 20 years of redefining sports gaming with the No. 1-rated NBA video game simulation series. Explore your open-world Neighborhood and immerse yourself in real-life basketball excitement and culture in NBA 2K19.

Dunk with the legends when these bundles arrive on September 11, 2018. Contact your favorite local retailer starting tomorrow for pre-order availability.

Pre-order NBA 2K19 (standard and 20th Anniversary editions available)


Games play best on Xbox One, but for those of you that haven’t already made the jump, we have two new bundles joining the Xbox One family today: the Xbox One X PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle and the Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle. More details below:

Xbox One X PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle

With over 8 million players on Xbox One, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been one of the most popular games on the platform since its release as a console launch exclusive in the Xbox Game Preview program. Today, you can join the Battle Royale phenomenon with the Xbox One X PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle, which comes with the following:

  • Xbox One X with a 1TB hard drive
  • Xbox Wireless Controller
  • Full-game download of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds enhanced for Xbox One X
  • 1-month Xbox Game Pass trial
  • 1-month Xbox Live Gold trial

The Xbox One X PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Bundle is available later this week for $499 USD at most major retailers worldwide.

Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle

If the Xbox One S is more your style, we’ve also got the Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle. Beat the summer heat with the cool new Update Aquatic and explore new ocean biomes, shipwrecks, ruins and more. Infinite worlds and ways to play can be found in this bundle, as well as the option to play with your friends on nearly any other platform thanks to Xbox Live! Join millions of players in the Minecraft community on Xbox, Windows, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices with this new bundle, which comes with the following:

⦁ Full-game download of Minecraft featuring the exciting Update Aquatic plus the Explorer’s Pack
⦁ Season one of Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure
⦁ 1-month Xbox Game Pass trial
⦁ 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial

The Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle starts shipping today and will be available soon for $299 USD at select retailers in select regions. In the U.S., the bundle is exclusively available at Microsoft Store and Walmart.

Xbox One is the only console system that plays the best games of the past, present and future with more than 1,300 games available today – including over 200 exclusives and over 400 Xbox classics. If you’re on Xbox One S or Xbox One X, you can also enjoy the ultimate 4K entertainment experience with a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player, premium audio with Dolby Atmos support and the fastest, most reliable gaming network with Xbox Live.

Grab the bundle of your choice at the Microsoft Store.

After announcing earlier this month that Fallout 4, The Division, and The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited have joined Xbox Game Pass, members can look ahead to a plethora of games from independent developers through 2018 and beyond, including Warhammer: Vermintide 2 which joins the catalog July 11.

Xbox Game Pass members can look forward to DiRT 4, Zombie Army Trilogy, Human Fall Flat, Bomber Crew, Abzu, Shadow Complex Remastered, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Fallout 3 all coming to Xbox Game Pass this July, in addition to the over 100 more great games included in your membership.

Plus, tune into Inside Xbox, July 10 where we’ll reveal another exciting addition to the Xbox Game Pass catalog!

01 JULY

DiRT 4

Zombie Army Trilogy

ABZU

Shadow Complex Remastered

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Fallout 3

Human Fall Flat

10 JULY

Bomber Crew

11 JULY

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

With over 100 great games available for one low monthly price, including highly-anticipated new Xbox One exclusives the day they’re released, plus more games added all the time, Xbox Game Pass gives you the ultimate freedom to play. Thanks for reading July’s Xbox Game Pass update and don’t forget: if you haven’t tried Xbox Game Pass yet, you can start your 14-day free trial now.

To read more about the titles coming to Xbox Game Pass in July, check out Xbox Wire.

 

April is here, and it comes with a feature-packed update to Xbox One. We unveiled some of these new features on the premiere episode of Inside Xbox last month (and I did a walk through of the features on Inside Xbox episode 2). This month, we’re announcing that they’ll become available to Xbox One owners around the world over the next few days. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

Video & Display

We’ve added a bunch of new video features we hope you’ll enjoy, starting with Auto Low-Latency Mode (or ALLM for short). Auto Low-Latency Mode enables the family of Xbox One devices to notify your display when you’re playing a game, so a TV that also supports ALLM will know to switch to its low latency video mode. Many displays refer to low latency mode as “game mode.”

Gamers will also enjoy the newly introduced support for variable refresh rate output to AMD Radeon FreeSync and FreeSync 2 compatible displays. AMD Radeon FreeSync is a form of variable refresh rate which helps to reduce input latency and minimize display stuttering, delivering a buttery-smooth visual gameplay experience in your favorite games. The entire Xbox One family of devices will work with FreeSync-certified displays. Xbox One S and Xbox One X will also support high dynamic range with AMD Radeon FreeSync 2.

In addition, Xbox One X and Xbox One S now support output at 2560 x 1440 (1440p) resolution for games and media. With over a million and a half more pixels than 1080p, this resolution offers even more choice between Full HD and 4K displays. This feature should be especially appealing to Xbox One owners who use a 1440p display for PC gaming. Media apps can now add an option for 1440p output for on both Xbox One X and Xbox One S.  Developers can also now enable games to run at native 1440p resolution on Xbox One X.

You can enable all these video options from the Settings menu on your Xbox One.  Just navigate to “Display & Sound,” then “Video Output.” Note that you’ll only be able to turn on these settings if your TV or monitor supports them.

Streaming & Captures

This month, we’re also introducing a new Mixer Interactive feature called Share Controller. Mixer streamers on Xbox One can now share control of their game with a viewer on Mixer.com. Just turn on the “Share Controller” toggle from the Broadcast & Capture section in Guide and your viewers will be able to share control through a virtual controller in their web browser, or by plugging a physical controller into their PC.

You can also now start Mixer broadcasts from anywhere on Xbox One, making streaming easier than ever. If you decide to switch games or exit to the dashboard, your viewers will see a pause animation until you jump back into a game. You will also see a pause animation on your broadcasting status bar on your screen.

In addition, you can now share captured screenshots and clips directly to Twitter, after authenticating your account, from the Broadcast & Capture tab of the Guide. Shared captures will now display and play directly in your Twitter feed instead of showing up as a link. We’ll also help you get your content discovered by suggesting a hashtag for the title of the game. Want to follow clips shared by Xbox gamers? Track clips with the #XboxShare hashtag!

Xbox Insiders have seen this option for a while, but now everyone can choose to switch between light and dark themes on your Xbox One based on the time of day. You can also personalize your theme to automatically transition from dark to light based on sunrise and sunset in your location. We’ve also added a new high-contrast light theme option, which makes on-screen elements easier to see.

Audio & Ease of Access

Based on fan feedback, we’re making additional improvements to Narrator on Xbox One. Narrator volume can now be adjusted independently from system audio volume. We’ve also introduced a new input learning mode to the Narrator menu. With input learning mode enabled, the Narrator on Xbox One will say the name of whatever button you press on an attached input device. High contrast light theme and narrator options can both be adjusted in the Ease of Access menu in Settings.

If you love to stream music while gaming, you will be happy to hear that you can now selectively balance game audio against background music within the Guide. Simply navigate down to the app that is playing background music in the Guide. Press “A” to open a new flyout with additional music controls, including a new slider that will allow you to adjust the balance of background music and game audio.

We’ve also made audio enhancements in the Xbox One dashboard itself. System sounds on Home and in the Guide have been completely revamped to support spatial audio, so the audio cues from your surround sound system will match the actions you see on-screen.

Apps

The Microsoft Edge browser on Xbox One has been updated to a more modern look and feel. Enhancements to history and favorites make it easy for you to get back to your favorite sites. Other new features include tab muting, read aloud and autofill. You can also now download and upload pictures, music, and videos from Microsoft Edge on Xbox One; your downloaded content can then be browsed with the File Explorer app.

Clubs, Game Hubs & Tournaments

Community tournaments are now available directly in Game Hubs for supported games. This means you no longer need to own or be the admin of a club to create a tournament.  To get started, open the Game Hub for a game that supports tournaments.  Head to the “Multiplayer” tab and select “Community tournaments” then choose the option for “Create tournament.”

Club feeds have also gained new filters to show you “what’s new,” “what’s hot” or “top posts.” Additionally, you can now lock the comments on your feed posts across clubs, Game Hubs, and Community, so the only person in control of the narrative is you.

If you’re a club owner or admin, you can now filter invitation requests based on several criteria, including Gamerscore, play time, reputation, Xbox Live Gold status, and recommendations from club members. Club invitation filters will persist until the administrator changes them, so if you set or edit club invitation filters, they will still be there the next time you sign-in.

In addition to all these new features on Xbox One, a subset of users may also see additional experimental features that we didn’t mention here. These features are only enabled for a portion of the Xbox audience to gauge interest and collect feedback.

Many of our Xbox Insiders have already had the chance to play with these features. If you would like to join them, getting started as an Xbox Insider is easy! Just download the Xbox Insider Hub app on your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC and select your desired ring. Visit the Xbox Insider blog here for release notes.

Larry Hryb @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

Games play best on Xbox One and there’s no better place to forge your adventurous pirate voyage than on a new Xbox One X console for the launch of Sea of Thieves! In celebration of its March 20 release, exclusively on Xbox One and Windows 10, we’re excited to offer a limited-time promotion at participating retailers where the purchase of a new Xbox One X, which retails for $499.99 USD, will come with a digital copy of Sea of Thieves. The promotion will be available in most Xbox One markets starting March 18 through March 24, but start and end dates will vary by market, so you’ll want to check with your local retailer for more information.

If you’re looking for the best value in games and entertainment, we’ve also got the Xbox One S Sea of Thieves Bundle, which comes with an Xbox One S with a 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, a full-game download of Sea of Thieves and 1-month of Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. The Xbox One S Sea of Thieves Bundle is available for pre-order now at participating retailers in most Xbox One markets for $299.99 USD.

If you already have an Xbox One or are looking to uncover even more Sea of Thieves treasures, we also have special edition and limited edition accessories available, including the Xbox Wireless Controller – Sea of Thieves Limited Edition, Seagate Special Edition Sea of Thieves 2TB Game Drive for Xbox and Controller Gear Limited Edition Sea of Thieves Xbox Pro Charging Stand and Xbox One Controller Stand V2.0. These accessories work seamlessly with Xbox One X and Xbox One S.

With Sea of Thieves, you can join your friends, assemble your crew and become a Pirate Legend, and Xbox Play Anywhere and cross-play ensure you’ll be sailing with friends regardless of your platform of choice. On Xbox One X, you can set sail on the world’s most powerful console and experience the game in native 4K, including hi-res textures and shadows. Sea of Thieves will support HDR on both Xbox One X and Xbox One S.

With the Xbox One family of devices, you can play 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. Xbox One is the only console where you can play with the best multiplayer community on the fastest, most reliable gaming network, Xbox Live, with games like Sea of Thieves and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. In addition, all Xbox One X and Xbox One S owners have access to exclusive services like Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Play Anywhere, and can 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 set sail with your friends on Xbox.

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

Bill Stillwell, Lead Program Manager on the Xbox Platform team, provides an update on the Backward Compatibility program including new enhanced Xbox 360 titles and a new feature.

Starting today, four new Xbox 360 titles will be enhanced for Xbox One X, which includes The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, Forza Horizon, Fable Anniversary and Crackdown, the newest addition available now in the Xbox One Backward Compatibility library. We’re also excited to release a new graphics setting for enhanced Xbox 360 titles on Xbox One X to give you more control over your gaming experience.

Xbox 360 games that are enhanced for Xbox One X run at a higher resolution and 9X the original pixel count on Xbox One X. The power of Xbox One X enables the Xbox 360 emulator to showcase the very best version of the game possible with the existing assets—all without touching the game code. Today’s additions join the seven previously released Enhanced Xbox 360 titles like Halo 3, Skate 3, and Gears of War 3 for a total of 11 Xbox One X Enhanced Xbox 360 games.

Here is the full list of Xbox 360 games that are in the Xbox One X Enhanced catalog:

When you play Enhanced Xbox 360 games on Xbox One X, you can now choose how to experience them—with enhanced graphics or in their original form. Enhanced graphics will be turned on by default, running your game with higher resolution, 9X the pixel count, increased texture details and antialiasing, allowing you to enjoy greater visual clarity than ever before. If you turn off the Graphics setting, the graphics will be comparable to the experience on Xbox One or Xbox One S. Here’s how to access the setting. Note, once you change the setting, you’ll need to restart the game:

  1. Press “View” and “Menu” buttons on the controller to pull up the Xbox 360 guide
  2. Navigate to “Settings” blade
  3. Select “Xbox One X Settings”

 

  1. Select to optimize for “Graphics” or “Performance”

We’re thrilled with the continued excitement for Xbox One Backward Compatibility—the community has played more than 840 million hours of Xbox 360 games on Xbox One. Compatibility is important to Xbox, to developers and their games, and our community. Preserving the art form of video games is part of our DNA, which is why Xbox One is the only console designed to play the best games of the past, present and future. We’re excited to continue to deliver on our vision of compatibility and grow our current Backward Compatible library, which includes more than 460 Xbox 360 games, 11 Xbox One X Enhanced Xbox 360 titles, and 13 Original Xbox games.

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

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