Microsoft is trying to score during the holidays by bundling its Xbox One with popular video games.
Touting a week of bundles, Microsoft on Thursday came up with two new deals, one for fans of the Gears of War video game franchise and one for Kinect aficionados. The Xbox One with Kinect Bundle costs $499, and the Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle costs $349. The Gears of War bundle is cheaper because it does not include the Kinect motion sensor.
Sales of Microsoft's Xbox One are doing better compared to last year and earlier this year. Sony's PlayStation 4 was still the top-selling console in the US in August, Gamespot reported in early September. But Xbox One sales in the US rose by 26 percent compared with August 2014, Microsoft announced. Still, Microsoft could use more help in boosting those sales. In the past, the company has done everything from slashing the price of the Xbox One to bundling free games to offering a Kinect-free version of the console. For the upcoming holiday season, Microsoft is betting that the bundle approach will convince more consumers to buy its console.
The Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle includes a 500GB Cirrus White console and controller, a full-game download of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, the Superstar Cole multiplayer skin and early access to the Gears of War 4 Beta. The Ultimate Edition is an updated version of the original Gears of War with a multiplayer option,19 maps, 6 game modes and 5 campaign chapters.
Gamers who play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox Live will also get the entire Xbox 360 Gears of War collection to play on Xbox One at no additional cost, at least for a limited time. Plus, you'll get access to the Gears of War 4 beta in the spring of 2016. The Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle will be available exclusively at Walmart in the US starting in November.
For Kinect fans, the Xbox One with Kinect Bundle comes with an Xbox One 500GB console, Kinect for Xbox One and full-game downloads of Dance Central Spotlight, Kinect Sports Rivals and Zoo Tycoon. The Xbox One with Kinect Bundle will be available starting in October at Microsoft and certain third-party retailers.
You can preorder the Xbox One with Kinect Bundle now through Microsoft or through Amazon. The bundle is also supposed to be available at Best Buy and Target. Best Buy's Web page simply shows a "Coming Soon" button, while Target's page says the item is no longer available.
Microsoft has been busy unveiling new Xbox One bundles to cash in on the holiday season. Other offerings introduced this week include Xbox One Rise of the Tomb Raider bundle, Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame bundle, the Xbox One 1TB Holiday bundle and the Xbox One Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians bundle.