Skip the holiday lines this year and give the gift of great games to your friends and family. Now you can gift select Xbox One games and downloadable game content as well as Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, right from Microsoft Store on your Xbox console, on Windows, or online. With immediate digital delivery and one click-redemption for your recipient, it’s the easiest way to give and receive the best of Xbox. Limitations apply. Click here for Terms and Conditions.

James Shields, Global Product Marketing Manager at Xbox, discusses Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos Spatial Sound.

This holiday, not only can you play your games on Xbox One X, the world’s most powerful console, but you also have a broad and diverse lineup of new games to experience – including Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Assassins’s Creed Origins, Super Lucky’s Tale, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. While the power of Xbox One X will immerse you in the beautiful visuals of your games, you can take that immersion even further by simply enabling spatial sound for your headphones or compatible home theater system. By using Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos spatial sound, you’ll hear your games in a whole new way.

What is Spatial Sound?

Spatial sound is an enhanced audio experience where sounds can flow around, above, and below you in a three-dimensional virtual space that simulates a more realistic environment. Spatial sound provides an immersive atmosphere that traditional channel-based surround sound formats cannot replicate. Imagine playing Gears of War 4 and a Raven helicopter flies overhead. With surround sound, you’d hear the helicopter flying around you, but with spatial sound, you’ll hear it flying directly above you.

Spatial Audio Feature Feature Image

What is Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos?

Both Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos are technologies that enable spatial sound on your Xbox One and Windows 10 devices. They both provide support for immersive surround and elevation audio cues. Windows Sonic is Microsoft’s platform-level solution for spatial sound. As the platform evolves, it will support more endpoints and different technologies.

How do I enable them on Xbox One?

Windows Sonic for Headphones, Dolby Atmos for Headphones, and Dolby Atmos for home theater are the three audio formats available on your Xbox One to experience the immersion benefits mentioned above.

Windows Sonic for Headphones and Dolby Atmos for Headphones both enable spatial sound for all headphones, earbuds, and audio headsets. Windows Sonic for Headphones is available out of the box, while Dolby Atmos for Headphones is $14.99 USD and provides additional support for Dolby Atmos movies. To enable either of these on your Xbox One, navigate to [Settings > All settings > Display & sound > Audio output > Headset format] and select either Windows Sonic for Headphones or Dolby Atmos for Headphones. If you select Dolby Atmos for Headphones, you will be prompted to install the Dolby Access app and either purchase Dolby Atmos for Headphones or start a free 30-day trial.

Dolby Atmos for home theater can be experienced for free through your Dolby Atmos supported home theater system, sound bar, or TV. To enable on your Xbox One, install and open the Dolby Access app, and follow the instructions provided.

Which headsets work with Spatial Sound on Xbox One?

Xbox gamers can use any Xbox supported headset to take advantage of spatial sound. If your headphones support other virtualization or equalization audio technologies, it is important you turn these features off to avoid double processing.

If you’re picking up a new headset, we recommend checking out the latest Xbox Wireless headsets such as Turtle Beach STEALTH 700 or Razer Thresher, which will connect directly to your Xbox One without the need for wires, a base station, or an adapter. For Dolby fans, it’s worth noting that the Plantronics RIG 400LX, RIG 600LX, and RIG 800LX each come with a Dolby Atmos for Headphones Xbox activation code in the box.

What games and movies support Spatial Sound?

Any traditional surround sound content is automatically upscaled with Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos to provide an enhanced audio experience – making that content more immersive than before. Games that natively support Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos offer the highest level of audio immersion and location accuracy, including Gears of War 4, Super Lucky’s Tale, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Assassin’s Creed Origins. Additionally, there are over 250 movies for Dolby Atmos that you can watch on Blu-ray, UHD Blu-ray, or on major streaming services such as Netflix, Vudu, and Microsoft’s own Movies & TV app.

This holiday, experience your games and movies in full audio immersion by enabling spatial sound with Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos on your Xbox One or Windows 10 PC.

Matt Lapsen, General Manager of Xbox Devices Marketing, shares some details on the consoles and accessories available this holiday season.

It’s been an exciting year for Team Xbox. Just a couple days ago, on Nov. 7, we launched the world’s most powerful console, Xbox One X, which joins Xbox One S in the Xbox One family of devices. 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 help make Xbox One the only console system to play the best games of the past, present and future. More titles are on the way as well, including the hottest game on the planet PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, releasing as an Xbox One console launch exclusive Dec. 12, 2017.

In addition, both Xbox One X and Xbox One S offer fans a variety of features that make Xbox One the best place to enjoy gaming and 4K entertainment, including:

For a limited time, everyone in the U.S. can take advantage of special offers at participating retailers, including:

  • From now through Nov. 18, buy any Xbox One S bundle starting at $249 USD and get an additional game of your choice at no extra cost
  • From now through Nov. 18, buy an Xbox One X and save $50 on Xbox Elite Wireless Controller
  • From now through Nov. 18, save $10 on select Xbox Wireless Controllers

See below for an overview of all the various Xbox hardware options available now, and make sure to check with participating retailers – including your local Microsoft Store, whether you’re shopping in a physical store, online or through your Xbox device – for more information on availability and pricing.

Xbox One X

Xbox One X is both the most powerful console in the world and the smallest Xbox ever built, capable of true 4K gaming. With 40 percent more power than any other console, Xbox One X is where console gamers can play the best versions of games. More than 50 Xbox One X Enhanced games are available now, including Forza Motorsport 7, Super Lucky’s Tale, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Middle-earth: Shadow of War and FIFA 18, with more on the way. Additionally, Xbox One X makes your existing library even better, with higher-resolution textures, smoother frame rates and faster load times, even on a 1080p TV. Xbox One X is currently available in 35 Xbox One markets with more coming soon, and retails at $499 USD. Fans are encouraged to buy the new console early this holiday season before quantities run out. For the latest on where to buy Xbox One X, visit xbox.com/xboxonex.

Xbox One S Bundles

Xbox One S offers the best value in 4K entertainment, with bundles starting at $279 USD. See below for all the different Xbox One S bundles available this holiday season. Availability and pricing varies by market, so please check with your local retailer for more information.

*Xbox One S Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels Bundle. ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Forza Horizon 3 with the Hot Wheels expansion, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition Bundle ($399 USD). Features a 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller – Minecraft Creeper, Xbox One S Vertical Stand, full-game download of Minecraft with the Redstone Pack, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Minecraft Complete Adventure Bundle ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Minecraft, full add-on download of the Minecraft Explorer’s pack, full-game download code of Minecraft: Story Mode Season 1 – The Complete Adventure (Episodes 1-8), 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Assassin’s Creed Origins Bundle (£229 GBP / €279 EUR): Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Assassin’s Creed Origins, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Assassin’s Creed Origins Bonus Bundle ($279 USD): Features a 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Assassin’s Creed Origins, full-game download of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Madden NFL 18 Bundle ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Madden NFL 18, 20 percent discount code on com, 14-day trial subscription to Xbox Live Gold and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Rocket League Blast-Off Bundle (£229 GBP/€279 EUR). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Rocket League, 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Shadow of War Bundles (starting at $279 USD): Features either a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game download of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, 1-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold and 1-month membership to Xbox Game Pass.

*Xbox One S Starter Bundle ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, 3-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and 3-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

*Xbox One S Ultimate Halo Bundle ($279 USD). Features a 500GB hard drive, Xbox Wireless Controller, full-game downloads of Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial and 1-month Xbox Game Pass membership.

Xbox Accessories

In addition to your Xbox One console, fans have several controller options to choose from to take their gaming to the next level:

*Xbox Design Lab (starting at $79.99 USD). This year, we introduced even more customization options, giving Xbox fans over a billion design combinations to choose from, including new color options, thumbstick colors, metallic finishes for D-pads and triggers and black rubberized grips. We also recently introduced the Xbox Wireless Controller – NFL, giving fans in the U.S. yet another way to personalize their Xbox experience. Xbox Design Lab is available to residents in Canada, France, Germany, the U.K, the U.S. and more than 20 additional European countries.

*Xbox Elite Wireless Controller ($149.99 USD). For fans looking for professional-level customization, look no further than the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. The controller was built from the ground up to meet the rigorous demands of hardcore, competitive-level gamers, and offers various options to adjust unique elements of the controller for better control, precision and comfort.

*New Xbox Wireless Controller options. In addition to Xbox Design Lab and the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, fans can expand their collection of Xbox Wireless Controllers with a bevy of special edition and limited edition designs, including Minecraft Pig, Minecraft Creeper, Patrol Tech Special Edition, Green/Grey and Volcano Shadow, starting at $64.99 USD. Every Xbox Wireless Controller features textured grip for enhanced comfort and Bluetooth technology for gaming on Windows 10.

With Xbox One, you can create your perfect gaming experience this holiday, choosing from  a multi-faceted lineup of new consoles and accessories.

Last week, we delivered an upgraded console experience to Xbox One owners that focused on personalization and speed improvements.  It was a massive update, but we aren’t done just yet.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be addressing customer feedback and adding even more great new features that gamers have been asking for.  Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect:

*For Xbox Insiders in the Alpha ring, the Microsoft Store now enables gifting of most digital Xbox One games, “durable” downloadable content (DLC) (map packs, weapon skins, etc.), Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Game Pass—right from your console! Just choose a game within the Store, select “Buy as Gift,” and send it to your friends or family members by picking their Gamertag or entering their email address.

*In addition to games and friends, you will soon be able to add club blocks to Home. We’re also making it easier to explore additional types of blocks at the bottom of Home by adding a new section under “Add More.”

*We’re improving the setup experience to make it better for both new users and upgraders. The settings from your home console will now be saved to the cloud, just like your game saves.  Whenever you set up a new console, you will have the option of applying these settings during the sign-in process.

*Additionally, your console will now back up even more settings, including your TV & OneGuide settings. This expansion will provide a simple experience when you transition from one console to another using the settings backup to your external games and apps storage device.

*The Xbox app for iOS and Android will now enable you to finish setting up your new Xbox One X console while it’s downloading the day one update. Additionally, we’ve also improved the process for enabling 4K output right out of the box.

*Xbox’s new notifications provide an at-a-glance status of what activities you can immediately step into after you’ve had to step out for a moment. We’re adding additional notifications types when your system goes idle, including LFG posts, broadcasts, and Achievements.

*We’re adding miniature Game Hubs for your most recently used games in the Guide. That way, you can access the great content on a game hub without having to leave the action.

*Adults who have enabled the “Buy & download” online safety setting will now have an easier time purchasing games thanks to a passkey/password challenge directly in the Xbox dashboard.

*We’ve heard your feedback! Games with no unlocked achievements can now be hidden from the personal and public view of your profile.

These features will roll out to Xbox Insiders over the next few weeks. Insiders can check the release notes within the Xbox Insider Hub for more details, or navigate to the Xbox Insider forums at forums.xbox.com.

Larry Hryb @majornelson

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We believe games are more fun with friends. Starting Friday, October 6 at 1:00 a.m. PDT to Monday, October 9 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, you can play online in any game you own with your friends for free during our Free Play Days For All weekend on Xbox One and Xbox 360 — Xbox Live Gold membership not required.

Download the STAR WARS Battlefront II Multiplayer Beta

There’s more! If you’re looking for a new multiplayer experience to try during the Free Play Days For All event on Xbox One, the Star Wars Battlefront II open beta also runs for free from Friday, October 6 at 1:00 a.m. PDT to Monday, October 9 at 11.59 p.m. PDT.

Honestly you should play the Star Wars Battlefront II even if you’re not actively looking for something new — it’s going to be spectacular and one of the largest ever distributed by EA. So, be sure to get started with your download as soon as possible. During the multiplayer beta, you’ll have the chance to try Arcade Challenges against AI foes, try your hand in the multi-stage Galactic Assault mode, and team up with your squadron of friends in Starfighter Assault.

Star Wars Battlefront II Hero ImagePlus, everyone who plays the beta will receive a specially curated Founder’s Crate filled with goodies as a thank you from the developers, including credits, an exclusive emote for Darth Maul, and a rare trooper Star Card to give them a head start in battle.

If that’s not enough, tune into the Xbox Channel on Mixer or use the Mixer App on your Xbox One during the whole weekend to watch some of our top streamers livestream the Star Wars Battlefront II open beta. There will be lots of sci-fi movies as giveaways to viewers, so come hang out. It’ll be a great time!

As a reminder, these offers are only available from October 6 – 9, so log on your Xbox One or Xbox 360 now to get in on the action. For more details on Free Play Days For All, visit Xbox.com.

Star Wars: Battlefront II arrives on Xbox One on November 17, but don’t forget with EA Access you can jump in early beginning November 9 in the EA Access Play First Trial and save 10% if you decide to buy the whole game only on Xbox One.

Last month at gamescom, we unveiled pre-orders for the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition, a limited edition console designed for our biggest fans. Thanks to you, we saw record-setting sellouts in the first five days, making Xbox One X the fastest-selling Xbox pre-order ever with more Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition consoles pre-ordered in the first five days than any Xbox ever.

We know you are anxious to get your hands on the world’s most powerful console and we’re pleased to announce Xbox One X standard edition pre-orders begin today. Local retailers around the world, including Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com, are opening up more pre-orders for Xbox One X, so be sure to get yours today.

Pre-Order Xbox One X Standard Edition from MS Store

Pre-Order Xbox One X Standard Edition from Amazon

Pre-Order Xbox One X Standard Edition from GameStop

Pre-Order Xbox One X Standard Edition from Best Buy

When it comes to games, we’re pleased to announce that you’ll be able to enjoy more than 130 (and counting!) new and existing games enhanced for Xbox One X to take advantage of its full power, including Far Cry 5, L.A. Noire, Greedfall and Okami HD. We set out to make Xbox One X the best place to create and experience games, and hearing how our partners are excited and committed to Xbox One X confirms our vision. For more information explaining Xbox One X Enhanced program, visit xbox.com/enhanced and check out this video with Albert Penello, Head of Xbox Console Marketing, and me.

Xbox One X joins the Xbox One family of devices this holiday alongside Xbox One S and the recently-announced Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels bundle, Minecraft Limited Edition bundle, Shadow of War bundle and Madden NFL 18 bundle – all also available for purchase or pre-order now. And of course, all your existing Xbox One games and accessories are compatible across the Xbox One family of devices.

 

Chris Charla, Director of ID@Xbox, shares some details on the Creators Program and introduces the first round of indie titles featured in this program.

Back in March, we unveiled the Xbox Live Creators Program. Starting today, I’m excited to announce that any developer can directly publish their games to Xbox One and Windows 10. And, the first wave of games from the Creators Program are live right now for everyone on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs! This is an important step for Team Xbox as we continue to deliver a large and diverse lineup of games from creators big and small from around the world.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about the Creators Program, what it means for games to be available in the Creators Collection, why developers should signup, what gamers can expect, and look at some of the first games available starting today.

First, what is the Creators Program? Xbox empowers game developers large and small to create different types of games for every type of players. It’s all about offering a diverse range of games, and this program has that for sure! The Creators Program was established to enable developers to directly publish their games – any of their games – to Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, with a simplified certification process and no concept approval required.

Developers that publish through the Creators Program have the freedom and independence to develop games that are truly unique, resulting in a collection with games that can be quirky and have varying degrees of polish, but are always interesting.

Here’s a quick look at the first titles that will be available via the program:

*Animal Rivals, Blue Sunset Games: Animal Rivals is an action-packed couch party game for one to four players. Drop into the game and fight for the Animalonia’s throne as one of the furry contenders in different mini-games and locations. Game itself presents a unique art style mixing the cartoonish looks and satire approach. (Xbox One, Windows 10)

*Block Dropper, Tresiris Games: Block Dropper is a fast paced, arcade style, 3D platformer. Try not to fall as you guide your character through the challenging single player mode or grab a friend to battle head to head in a local multiplayer Block Battle Arena. Tresiris is a small game studio based in Olathe, Kansas, who create fun and simple games with quality as their top priority. (Xbox One, Windows 10)

*Crystal Brawl, Studio Mercato: Gauntlet meets NBA Jam in Crystal Brawl, a 2v2 capture-the-flag local multiplayer game that melds fast action with MOBA-like strategy. Choose from a variety of characters with different abilities, with a notable twist: each character has a unique ability that alters the terrain. Experiment with different character combinations to uncover hidden strategies! Studio Mercato is an independent game studio based in New York City. (Xbox One, Windows 10)

*Derelict Fleet, Bionic Pony: Derelict Fleet is a fast-paced space combat game. You are tasked with defending a refugee fleet as you travel the stars searching for a new colony to call home. Bionic Pony is a small indie studio based in Tampa, FL that started making Xbox Live indie games in 2010. (Xbox One)

*ERMO, Nonostante: ERMO is a relaxing puzzle game featured with a calming and peaceful graphics. Immerse yourself in the landscapes and colors of ERMO and let you be carried away. You will learn the rules in a few seconds, but ERMO will catch you for hours. (Xbox One)

*GalactiMAX!, ONLYUSEmeFEET: In the vast darkness of space, GalactiMAX has the player shooting aliens for points to pierce the heavens in classic arcade shooter action! As more aliens are defeated, the player’s ship will increase in size and power. How big can this ship get?! (Xbox One, Windows 10)

*kubic, Pixel Envision Ltd: kubic is a relaxing optical illusion puzzle game based on M.C. Escher’s art, impossible objects and other geometric designs. The object is to construct the goal configuration from a number of pieces. (Xbox One, Windows 10)

*Space Cat!, GershGamesLLC: Shoot your way past an onslaught of enemies and bosses. Collect weapon upgrades like missiles, bombs, laser beams and much more. GershGamesLLC is a group of young hobbyists that makes for fun on the weekends. (Xbox One, Windows 10)

*Stereo Aereo, The Stonebot Studio: Stereo Aereo is an action rhythm game that is inspired by the pop-culture influences of the 80’s. You, the player, have to make sure that the mediocre space rockband Stereo Aereo, gets to their life changing concert, on time, in this comic styled sci-fi game. (Xbox One, Windows 10)

Where can you find the games? On Windows 10 the games are in the Games category of the Store. On Xbox One, the games can be found in the Creators Collection, a special section of the Xbox One Store which you can find in the Games section. Why a special section? We think it’s awesome to open up development to anyway with no barriers – no traditional certification, no “concept approval,” and no limitations. But we also listened to feedback from players, parents and developers who let us know they love the curated store experience on Xbox One. This gives us all the best of both worlds: A curated store and a fully open marketplace in the Creators Collection.

For developers, publishing games through the Creators Program is easy. First, you can take advantage of tools you’re already using; like a retail Xbox One console, the free Dev Mode Activation app from the Xbox Store, and game engines like Unity, Construct 2, MonoGame, and Xenko. Second, there are minimal barriers to the program; use a Microsoft Developer account which can cost as little as $20, download the Xbox Live Creators SDK, create your game, and then ship it through a short and simplified certification process. That’s it!

Games published through the Creators Program have access to the full set of social features from Xbox Live, including sign-in and presence, use of your Gamertag, leaderboards, access to your Activity Feed, Game Hubs, Clubs, Party Chat, Game DVR, and broadcasting on Mixer.

As an open program, Creators Program games don’t have access to Achievements, Gamerscore, or internet multiplayer. To access those features, professional developers can go through the ID@Xbox program. Of course, there’s a path for games to move from the Creators Program to ID@Xbox during development (or even after they reach the Store) if a developer decides they want to add Gamerscore, Achievements, or internet multiplayer.

While ID@Xbox was designed for professional game developers who wish to use the full set of Xbox Live features through a full certification process, the Creators Program makes publishing a game accessible to anyone. Whether they’re small or budding studios, hobbyists, makers, teachers and students, or if they’re just learning the ropes – the Creators Program is a simplified way to create and ship games to the Xbox community.

We hope players will enjoy the games in the Creators Collection. You’ll find creative games, some familiar styles, and some brand-new experiences; really, whatever these imaginative developers chose to make. Gamers can expect the Creators Collection on their Xbox One, and the Window Store on their PC, to regularly add new games as developers finish their work. And these are unfiltered games directly from the developers themselves, so your feedback is of course welcomed.

This is just the beginning. We’ll be sure to spotlight more of the diverse array of Creators Program games that catch our eyes right here on Xbox Wire. I can’t wait to see all the games that these developers will create, and of course, I can’t wait to play them. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime, have fun!

Starting today, Spotify is available on Xbox One in 34 markets around the world. The new integration means that millions of Xbox One gamers can now choose the perfect music from Spotify to provide a fresh gaming soundtrack every time.

Just download the Spotify app from the Xbox Store to choose your personalized gaming experience. You can choose from your saved music, search the full Spotify catalog of 30 million tracks, or browse the pre-curated gaming playlists in the ‘Gaming’ hub.

And, to celebrate the launch of Spotify on Xbox One, I even created my very own curated playlist.

Simply play your music on demand with your Xbox One controller, whether you are a free or a Premium Spotify user. Worried about interrupting your game? Don’t be! You can also control playback on your Xbox wirelessly from the Spotify app on your phone, tablet or desktop using Spotify Connect.

Creating your personalized gaming soundtrack has never been easier.

Download Spotify Music – for Xbox app here.

For more information, check out the official Spotify website.