Here we go…a special episode of This Week On Xbox plus a message from Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, about the games lineup coming to Xbox in 2017.

NOTE: This page uses a prerelease interactive media player. Please let us know what you like and what we need to fix. 

Remember, you can watch the interactive version of This Week on Xbox from the Community section of the New Xbox One Experience dashboard in Canada, the UK and the US or at the Xbox YouTube channel (This Week on Xbox Playlist).


 

Today is a big day for Team Xbox as we celebrate the worldwide launch of early access for Halo Wars 2. Since the launch of the original Halo Wars on Xbox 360 eight years ago, the passionate Halo community has been urging us to publish a sequel. I am incredibly proud of the action-packed experience the talented teams at 343 Industries and Creative Assembly have created on the biggest Halo battlefield ever.

From the in-depth, story-driven single-player campaign to the innovative and accessible Blitz mode, to the more traditional Deathmatch, Halo Wars 2 is designed for players of all skill levels to have fun. And, with Xbox Play Anywhere, players get both the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC versions of Halo Wars 2 with a single digital purchase, including shared progress and achievements across both platforms. I have been playing Halo Wars 2 behind the scenes for a few months now and the game feels like a return to what made the first Halo Wars great with a new take on RTS that will attract even more gamers to the genre.

2017 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years ever for Xbox gamers. We are preparing to launch the most powerful console ever made this holiday – Project Scorpio – along with a diverse lineup of games.  In fact, we are committed to delivering even more exclusive games for both Xbox One and Windows 10 this year than we launched in 2016.  I was very proud of our first-party lineup in 2016 and I am encouraged by an even bigger and more differentiated first-party lineup in 2017, starting with today’s launch of Halo Wars 2.

Our studio partners at Rare, Undead Labs and Sumo Digital/Reagent Games are working hard to develop exclusive Xbox One and Windows 10 games this year, from new IP like Sea of Thieves to all-new chapters of fan-favorite franchises like State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3. Sea of Thieves is currently in technical alpha and is taking a community-oriented approach that lets players participate in the development process, and both State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3 are looking and playing great.  And of course, we’ll have more in store for you at E3 2017 in June.

I’m also excited about the return of two original Xbox classics coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 this spring – Phantom Dust and Voodoo Vince. Fans of the original Xbox game Phantom Dust can look forward to the re-release of the original classic with Xbox Play Anywhere support and cross-play, as well as improvements to game balance and frame rate. And Voodoo Vince: Remastered is coming to Xbox One, Windows 10 and Steam through the ID@Xbox program. This new edition features high-fidelity visuals and Xbox Play Anywhere support, along with the classic gameplay and brilliant soundtrack fans know and love.

There’s a lot to look forward to this year from independent developers as well.  Between Cuphead – one of my personal favorites and an Xbox One console exclusive also coming to Windows 10 – and Below, Thimbleweed Park, Tacoma, Ark: Survival Evolved, We Happy Few and more, 2017 is shaping up to be an incredible year for the ID@Xbox program.

We are focused on building the largest games library in Xbox console history, which means our Xbox One Backward Compatibility lineup will continue growing this year.  We’ve delivered top fan favorites like Grand Theft Auto IV, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and the BioShock and Mass Effect trilogies to our catalog in recent months, and we’ll continue adding more  games throughout the year.

In addition to all the amazing exclusives, ID@Xbox and backward compatible games coming this year, I’m thrilled with the great games our third-party development partners are creating, including upcoming titles For Honor, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, TEKKEN 7, Mass Effect Andromeda, South Park: The Fractured but Whole, Prey and Injustice 2.

With such a broad and varied roster of games and first party exclusives on the horizon, continuous improvements across Xbox Live, and the upcoming launch of Project Scorpio, 2017 is going to be an incredible year for Xbox One and Windows 10 gamers. On behalf of everyone at Team Xbox, thank you for your continued passion and support.

Phil Spencer
Twitter: @XboxP3
GT: P3


Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think of the show.

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We know choice is important to our fans and today, we’re pleased to announce the addition of two new controller designs to pair with your Xbox One S, the ultimate gaming and 4K entertainment system with 4K UHD Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and High Dynamic Range: the Xbox Wireless Controller – Ocean Shadow Special Edition and the Xbox Wireless Controller – Winter Forces Special Edition.

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Xbox Wireless Controller – Ocean Shadow Special Edition

The Xbox Wireless Controller – Ocean Shadow Special Edition is following the Dawn Shadow Special Edition controller announced this fall as the newest addition to our Shadow controller series. This controller comes in a matte black that fades to a light blue metallic finish. The buttons, triggers and D-pad have a glossy black finish with light blue highlights on the ABXY and menu buttons. The Xbox Wireless Controller – Ocean Shadow Special Edition will be available for $69.99 USD at select retailers worldwide starting Feb. 7.

Pre-order Xbox Wireless Controller – Ocean Shadow Special Edition

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Xbox Wireless Controller – Winter Forces Special Edition

The Xbox Wireless Controller – Winter Forces Special Edition is the newest of our Forces series controllers, and is inspired by the popularity of our Armed Forces, Covert Forces and Midnight Forces controllers. It has a high-tech artic camo pattern that embodies a modern design.  The finish is matte with dark grey accents and light grey highlights on the ABXY and menu buttons to compliment the colors of the controller. The Xbox Wireless Controller – Winter Forces Special Edition will be also available for $69.99 USD at select retailers worldwide starting Feb. 7.

Pre-order Xbox Wireless Controller – Winter Forces Special Edition

Both controllers include all the same features that you know and love of the Xbox Wireless Controller, including textured grip, improved wireless range and Bluetooth technology for gaming on Windows 10 devices or Samsung Gear VR. These controllers are compatible for gaming on Xbox One, Xbox One S and Windows 10 PCs and tablets. You can also take advantage of the custom button-mapping feature through the Xbox Accessories App, available for download from the Xbox Store or Windows Store.

Visit Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com, or your local retail store for more information

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2016 was a great year for gaming on Xbox – we brought you the new Xbox One S, the ultimate gaming and 4K entertainment system with 4K UHD Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and High Dynamic Range; we released over 100 console-exclusive games; we became the fastest, most reliable gaming network with Xbox Live; and we launched our most comfortable, highest-performing controllers to date with the new Xbox Wireless Controller. Today, we’re pleased to introduce two more color options for the Xbox Wireless Controller that provide even more choice to our fans so they can game how they want.

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The first new controller is the Xbox Wireless Controller – Red, which has a two-tone matte red finish with gloss highlights on the triggers, bumpers and D-pad, as well as behind the thumbsticks. The Xbox Wireless Controller – Red is available now in the U.S., exclusively at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and GameStop, for $64.99 USD. The controller is also shipping to select retailers worldwide today.

Purchase Xbox Wireless Controller – Red from Microsoft Store

Purchase Xbox Wireless Controller – Red from GameStop

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The second new controller is the Xbox Wireless Controller – Green/Orange, which has a similar design to the Xbox Wireless Controller – Red, but it’s green with orange accents. This controller comes with a green matte finish and gloss highlights on the triggers, bumpers and D-pad, as well as orange accents behind the thumbsticks. You can get the Xbox Wireless Controller – Green/Orange in the U.S., exclusively at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and Walmart, for $64.99 USD starting January 24. The controller will also be available at select retailers worldwide starting January 31.

Purchase Xbox Wireless Controller – Green/Orange from Microsoft Store

Purchase Xbox Wireless Controller – Green/Orange from Walmart (coming soon)

Both controllers feature all the benefits of the latest Xbox Wireless Controller, including textured grip, improved wireless range and Bluetooth technology for Windows 10 devices. These controllers are compatible for gaming on Xbox One, Xbox One S and Windows 10 PCs and tablets. You can also take advantage of the custom button mapping feature through the Xbox Accessories App, available for download from the Xbox Store or Windows Store.

For more details, check out xbox.com or visit your local retailer.

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Microsoft Stores announced its 12 Days of Deals – the store’s annual series of incredible, one-day-only savings and doorbusters – and there are a ton of can’t-miss deals on Xbox One bundles, games, controllers and more. Savings run December 5 -16 at your local Microsoft Store and microsoftstore.com while supplies last. In-store doorbuster deals are exclusively available at brick-and-mortar locations, while supplies last. Xbox and gaming offers include:

  • Day 3 (December 7): Save 50 percent on select Xbox One games, including Battlefield 1, ReCore and Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. Gamers headed to their local Microsoft Store can take advantage of an In-Store Doorbuster Deal to get a $50 Microsoft Store gift card with the purchase of a 12-month subscription to Groove Music.
  • Day 4 (December 8): When you visit your local Microsoft Store, get a $25 Microsoft Store gift card while supplies last with the purchase of a 12-month Xbox Live Goldsubscription, giving you access to the fastest, most reliable gaming network, free games through the Games with Gold program, exclusive discounts on games purchased through the Xbox Store and more.
  • Day 7 (December 11): Get a $25 Microsoft Store gift card with the purchase of select Xbox Wireless Controllers. And for those looking to take an Xbox One home too, you can save $120 on select Xbox One* bundles (500GB) at your local Microsoft Store, while supplies last.
  • Day 8 (December 12): Save $50 and get two free select games with the purchase of select Xbox One S and Xbox One bundles. Plus, if you’re one of the first in line at your local Microsoft Store, you can also get a $25 Microsoft Store gift card.
  • Day 9 (December 13): Get a $100 Microsoft Store gift card with the purchase of an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, offering some very real savings on virtual reality. Want to test it before you buy? You can try HTC Vive or Oculus Rift for yourself at select Microsoft Store locations.
  • Day 10 (December 14): Save up to $1,000 on select Intel powered gaming PCs, starting at $799. You can also get Microsoft Studios blockbuster games: Quantum Break, Halo 5: Guardians and Forza Motorsport 6, for $19.99, as an in-store doorbuster deal at your local Microsoft Store.

For a full list of the 12 Days of Deals offers, visit the The Fire Hose blogs. With such great savings, there’s never been a better time to visit microsoftstore.com.

*Offer applies to original Xbox One bundles

Larry Hryb 💬 @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

We’re celebrating the 15 year anniversary of Halo and Xbox this week and to promote the special occasion we’re adding a number of new images to the Xbox One gamerpic gallery. These new images are starting to roll out over the coming days but may take some time to appear in all Xbox Live regions. To change your gamerpic, go to Settings, About Me, Customize profile, Change gamerpic (this may vary if you’re a Preview Program member with the New Xbox One Experience).

Browse the gallery and you should see the new Halo And Xbox 15 Year Anniversary images – shown below:

You can download a .ZIP file containing all of the images here: Halo And Xbox 15 Year Anniversary

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Feedback from our fans is important to all of us here at Xbox, and one of the more popular places to give feedback is through the Xbox Preview Program. Since the program launched in February 2014, your feature requests, ideas, and millions of votes have helped shape and improve your Xbox experience for the whole community. We’re happy to share news about what’s next for the Xbox Preview Program, including some improvements and more ways for fans to help shape the future of Xbox.

The first change is that the Xbox Preview Program is becoming the Xbox Insider Program. This new name reflects how we are expanding to offer opt-in opportunities to provide feedback on Game and App Previews alongside System Update previews.

Next, we have an update to the Xbox Preview Dashboard that has been rebuilt from the ground-up based on fan feedback. A few highlights include:

  • A new name – the Xbox Insider Hub
  • Personalized to give you more relevant announcements, quests, and Insider content opportunities to get early access to select games and apps
  • A new UI, inspired by the New Xbox One Experience, makes it easier to find the right info and provide more robust feedback
  • The Xbox Insider profile card where your contributions in the program come front and center
  • Support for multiple users on a console to participate and provide feedback

We’re starting to roll these changes out today to a small number of preview members who have provided the most feedback since the inception of the Xbox Preview Program. If you have your Xbox One console in Instant-on mode and you have the Xbox Preview Dashboard app installed, then you don’t have to do anything – the app will update automatically overnight. If you want to see the changes sooner, you can check for updates by going to My games and apps, and then looking at the updates section. Over the next few weeks, all existing Xbox Preview members will get access to the new Xbox Insider Hub.

Our final change is that the Xbox Insider Program will soon be open to all Xbox users. More fans will have the ability to provide feedback directly from their Xbox One consoles. The Xbox Insider Hub will provide great opportunities to try out games, apps, and other console experiences. Note that Xbox system updates will currently be limited to those already testing them (not open to new members), as we still have a huge number of volunteers already doing a great job testing and providing feedback. For more detailed info, check out the Xbox Insider Program FAQ located here.

Whether you’re an Xbox Insider who enjoys previewing the latest Xbox One system updates, or an Insider who loves checking out the beta of the latest installment in your favorite franchise, you’ll now get to choose how to participate. We hope you enjoy the new experience. Be sure to let us know what you think by taking surveys in the Xbox Insider Hub, or on the Xbox.com forums. Thank you for participating, and know that each of you is a huge part of making Xbox a great place for all of us to play!

Ever since the team at Xbox Australia revealed the Xbox Onesie, many fans have been asking how they can get one of these unique and rare Xbox One wardrobe items (myself included). Well, the good news is the team graciously provided me with some to give away.

The team at Xbox Australia has now turned its hand to the world of fashion design, releasing their first collection known simply as the Xbox Onesie.

Set to delight fashionistas and entertainment fans alike, the limited edition Xbox Onesie has been designed in collaboration with some of the country’s biggest film, TV, gaming and sports fans. The result…what can only be described as the perfect lounge wear attire for true entertainment fans!

Not just your standard onesie, the Xbox Onesie comes with everything an entertainment enthusiast could need when streaming a favorite TV show or film, watching a sports match or playing the ultimate gaming session. The Xbox Onesie has been custom designed to enhance the entertainment experience with features including:

  • Enlarged pockets to fit your Xbox Controller and Media Remotes
  • Arm pouch to offer quick and easy access to your mobile phone
  • Roll-able legs and arms to cater for all temperatures and seasons
  • Forearm grips to prevent slipping on those ‘edge of your seat’ moments
  • Extra-large hood to accommodate headsets for the ultimate gaming sessions
  • Customised Gamertag embroidery

If you win one of the Xbox Onesies – you can choose your size (S/M/L/XL), color (black or white) + the name or gamertag you would like embroidered on it – and we’ll ship it to you.

Xbox Onesie Giveaway

One entry per person. Contest is open to everyone but prize availability might not be available in all regions. Winners will be notified on or about 01 September. I will update this post with the winners after they have redeemed their prize.

Have fun and good luck!

UPDATE: Winners have all been notified via email and claimed their prizes. Once the Xbox Onesies have been shipped to the winners, I’ll update this post with the winners.

For the sixth consecutive year, Xbox will be bringing great gameplay, first-look panels; and exclusive experiences to San Diego Comic-Con. I’ll be there hosting a few panels and meeting the fans, so if you’re going to be there, stop by, say hello and check out everything we have to show.

San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) will take place from 21-24 July at the San Diego Convention Center.

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You can find Xbox in two different locations this year.

XBOX BOOTH LOCATIONS AND HOURS

Xbox Booth
San Diego Convention Center
Hall A #100
111 W Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101
(Comic-Con badge required.)

9:00 AM – 7:00 PM PDT (Thursday – Saturday)
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM PDT (Sunday)

Xbox @ Nerd HQ
The New Children’s Museum
200 W Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

9:00 AM – 9:00 PM PDT (Thursday, Saturday)
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM PDT (Friday)

XBOX PANELS AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON

-Sea of Thieves: Art of Adventure
Thursday, 7/21/16, 10:30am – 11:30am, Room: 24ABC (San Diego Convention Center)
Comic-Con badge required.

-Gears of War 4: Creators, Characters and Cast
Thursday, 7/21/16, 2:15pm – 3:15pm, Room: 6BCF (San Diego Convention Center)
Comic-Con badge required. (I’ll be moderating this panel)

-Nerd HQ PANEL: Gears of War 4: Creators, Characters and Cast
Friday, 7/22/16, 4:00pm – 5:00pm, Nerd HQ (The New Children’s Museum)
Nerd HQ badge required. Register here. (I’ll be moderating this panel)

-Halo Wars 2: Know Your Enemy
Friday, 7/22/16, 10:15am – 11:15am, Room: 6BCF (San Diego Convention Center)
Comic-Con badge required.

For more information about Nerd HQ and/or to register for events, visit the Nerd HQ website.

For more information about San Diego Comic-Con, visit the official website here.

For more information about Xbox at San Diego Comic-Con including a look at the titles we’ll be showing off, visit the Xbox.com events page.

San Diego Comic-Con is one of the country’s biggest and longest continuously-run comics and popular arts convention and one of my favorite industry events I always look forward to attending. Hope to see you there next week.