Though it may look the same, the Xbox One has changed an awful lot since launch. New software updates have improved its clunky, struggling interface. Entertainment users no longer have to subscribe to Xbox Live to enjoy the console’s HDMI pass-through port. The Xbox Team has narrowed its focus to just games and gaming in general, delivering more of what users said they always wanted: more exclusives. The first Xbox One S bundles arrived in early August to fix that.
Microsoft has changed the Xbox ecosystem a lot, but hadn’t changed the console itself. New hardware launches are a chance to boost morale and increase interest in your product. If that product has had a few tough years – as the Xbox One has – it’s a great opportunity to include what users want and emphasis how you’re addressing the things that they’ve said they don’t want. Microsoft announced Xbox One S at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. Besides being 40% smaller than the original console, the Xbox One S supports 4K video and sports HDR support. The 4K video support is for use with services that offer 4K high-definition video streaming. HDR is to add more color contrast in video games. Both require a compatible television set.
What started out as a pretty easy decision has turned into more of a complicated matter. As it has always done with the Xbox One, Microsoft rolled out a slate of Xbox One S bundles that include games and digital extras. Deciding which of these Xbox One S bundles are for you can be a chore.
Xbox One S Bundles: Xbox One S Limited Launch Edition – $399
The Limited Launch Edition Xbox One S was the first configuration to be announced. It arrived on store shelves in early August, where users promptly began snatching it up. Besides being the first console in Microsoft’s line-up to include 2TB of storage, this bundle comes with a stand for the console free of charge. The Limited Launch Edition Xbox One S costs $399, if you can find one.
Why Buy: The Limited Launch Edition Xbox One S has 2TB of storage, but doesn’t include any free games. Those that buy this version do so because they want more storage, HDR and 4K video support as soon as possible.
Xbox One S Bundles: Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Bundle – $449
This special edition Xbox One S comes with the same 2TB of storage that the Launch Edition does, plus it packs a digital copy of the game, a custom paint job and a custom controller for $449. This bundle doesn’t officially arrive until October 7th.
Why Buy: Buy if you want an Xbox One S and love Gears of War or don’t have an Xbox One and plan to purchase Gears of War 4 and an Xbox One in October anyway.
Xbox One S Gears of War 4 Special Edition Bundle – $299
This recently revealed custom colored Xbox One S comes with a copy of Gears of War 4 and has 500GB of storage. The console and matching controller are a unique shade of blue. It launches on November 1st at GameStop.
Why Buy: This is the cheapest way to get the Gears of War 4 with an Xbox One at no additional charge.
Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Bundle – $299
Ever ready with a new console bundle promoting each season’s most popular titles, Microsoft recently revealed the Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Bundle. It and its sister bundles are all available for pre-order beginning September 12th.
This model arrives on store shelves October 13th. It includes an Xbox One S with 500GB of storage and a standard copy of Battlefield 1, plus a month-long trial of EA Access.
Xbox One S Storm Grey Special Edition – $299
Available only at Wal-Mart and the Microsoft Store, the Xbox One S Storm Grey Special Edition is only the second Xbox One S console bundle to get a signature color upgrade. It arrives on November 1st. $299 gets shoppers a digital download of Battlefield 1 and a grey controller to match their console.
Why Buy: You want a Storm Grey Xbox One S.
Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Special Edition Bundle – $349
The United States, Canada, Europe and New Zealand can expect the Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Special Edition Bundle with 1TB of storage to launch on October 13th.
Another signature colored Xbox One, this console comes with Battlefield 1 Early Enlister Deluxe Edition, a Hellfigther Pack, Red baron Pack, Lawrence of Arabia Pack, five Battlepacks for use in the game and a month of EA Access.
Why Buy: You don’t own an Xbox One and want to experience Battlefield 1.
Xbox One S Bundles: Madden 17 Bundle – $349
Announced recently, the Xbox One S Madden NFL 16 bundle includes an Xbox One S with 1TB of storage and Madden NFL 17, this year’s entry in the long-running football game franchise. It’s $349.99, and Microsoft plans to launch it on August 23rd. This model doesn’t come with a stand to sit the Xbox One upright.
Why Buy: As it also comes with seven Ultimate Team Pro Packs and a month of EA Access, this bundle is for the Madden and EA Sports fan out there.
Xbox One S Bundles: Halo Collection Bundle – $349 & $299
Microsoft hopes to give everyone that hasn’t experienced Halo a great opportunity to do so with the Halo Collection Xbox One S bundle it just announced. This bundle comes in two storage sizes, 500GB and 1TB. The latter will sell for $299, with the former going for a less modest $349. This model doesn’t come with a stand for the Xbox One S either.
Why Buy: The Xbox One S Halo Collection Bundle is for absolutely anyone – including early adopters and upgraders that don’t need 2TB of storage.
Xbox One S Bundles: FIFA 17 Bundle $349 & $299
Available September 22nd, the Xbox One S FIFA 17 Bundle is another console that’ll have two storage variants. Buyers get a digital copy of FIFA 17, this year’s premiere football game, 3 Ultimate Team Legends packs, a Rare Player pack and a month-long subscription to EA Access. You can pre-order this console bundle now from the Microsoft Store. This model doesn’t come with the Xbox One S stand.
Why Buy: Buy this bundle if you like soccer or think you might like a soccer.
Xbox One S Bundles: Minecraft Favorites Bundle $299
Available right now at GameStop, the Xbox One S Minecraft Favorites Bundle comes with all the digital extras that gamers need for Mojang’s survival and sandbox game. Codes included with the 500GB Xbox One unlock Minecraft for Xbox One and the Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta for Windows PCs. A Favorites Pack code unlocks seven different content packs. The included Builder Packs unlocks six more content packs.
Why Buy: Plain and simple, this bundle is for the Minecraft fans.
Microsoft says in a post on its Xbox Wire news blog that news of more bundles for other territories are on the way too.