Microsoft, makers of the Xbox One entertainment console, can’t offer any exclusive Star Wars Battlefront release date extras or a console bundle of its own. Rather than let Sony’s PS4 have the limelight to itself, the company is working with retailer GameStop to offer up a Star Wars Battlefront deal on the sly.
GameStop began offering what some are calling Microsoft’s Star Wars Battlefront bundle this past Sunday in the United States. Star Wars Battlefront is expected to be one of this fall’s biggest video game releases. Battlefront lets gamers relive classic fights from the Star Wars movie franchise. The game has an emphasis on ground combat, but there are vehicles from across the best-selling multimedia franchise too. Thousands took part in this fall’s free Star Wars Battlefront Beta last month.
When shoppers purchase a new Xbox One console at GameStop – any Xbox One console at all — they’ll get a single game of their choice to go alongside that purchase. GameStop’s image promoting the Xbox One deal includes Halo 5: Guardians, Madden NFL 16 and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Trick is, the details of the deal reveal it doesn’t matter what title shoppers purchase with their console. “New in-stock Xbox One console purchases get a new in-stock Xbox One game valued at $59.99 or less for free.” Star Wars Battlefront is $59.99 for a basic version without any season pass extras.
Pricing is one thing, but the timing for this deal underscores it’s true nature. Microsoft and GameStop began offering this Xbox One deal on Sunday, just ahead of the Star Wars Battlefront release at midnight tonight Eastern Standard Time. The deal runs until Saturday November 21st. In short, the deal runs for the entire Star Wars Battlefront launch week, then disappears right after.
Strictly speaking, Microsoft doesn’t have a bundle or custom console to go along with the Star Wars Battlefront release because Sony is promoting the game for the PS4. All of the television and web ads include the PS4 logo. Sony also has a Star Wars Battlefront PS4 bundle for $399. There’s no way Microsoft can make up for the extras that users get if they purchase the dedicated PS4 bundle. The console comes with a PS4 DualShock 4 controller that has red highlights on its directional pad and bumpers. Also included are PS4 console faceplates with series villain Darth Vader painted on the front. A special voucher gets users access to old games in the Star Wars universe. Included are Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Jedi Starfighter and Star Wars Bounty Hunter. Buyers also get the Deluxe version of Star Wars Battlefront, not the standard version of the game. That’s the version that sells for $69.99, not the base game for $59.99.
For upgrading to the Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe shoppers get Han Solo’s Blaster, Ion Grenades, MPL Ion Torpedoes, the Ion Shock emote and the Victory emote. To be clear, there’s a Star Wars Battlefront Deluxe Edition on the Xbox One too, it just costs $10 more than what’s covered by this Xbox One deal.
Offering extras and exclusive content are the biggest weapons in Microsoft and Sony’s struggle for platform dominance. It isn’t that one or the other has to win necessarily, it’s that the console with the most fans gets the most attention from gamers, usually. Both Microsoft and Sony make money on every game that’s sold for their platform. That’s an addition to the subscription fees for their online gaming networks, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.
For it’s part, Microsoft had an Xbox promotion exclusive of its own this November. Crystal Dynamics’s Rise of the Tomb Raider launched on Xbox One and Xbox 360 last week. Microsoft’s deal went even further than Sony’s deal for the Star Wars Battlefront release, it won’t come to the PS4 and Windows PCs until 2016.