With just weeks left until its Xbox Media Briefing at E3 2015, Microsoft is busy sharing small bits of news about its Xbox One accessory line up and changes to its Xbox One bundles. This morning Microsoft announced the Xbox One Special Edition Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle and those who want it should definitely act quickly.
Microsoft announced the Xbox One Special Edition Halo: The master Chief Collection bundle in a post on its Xbox Wire just hours after it first revealed the promised Xbox One Digital TV Tuner was now available at its stores and online. This console that users get in this new Xbox One bundle costs $349.99 and includes a digital download of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
This special edition console is only coming to retail stores in the United States, and Microsoft says it’s only making a small number of the consoles available. Exactly which stores will carry the bundle isn’t made clear in today’s post, but Microsoft does say potential buyers should “check with [their] local retailers for more details.” At the very least, traditional gaming retailers like GameStop should have the bundle available. In fact, GameStop is already taking pre-orders.
Microsoft is calling this special edition Xbox One not because any new features, but because of its color. The console included in the package is what Microsoft calls Cirrus White. It has a matching controller. This Cirrus White console and controller are the same models that Microsoft gifted to members of the team that worked on the Xbox One for launch.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched last fall at a price of $60 before tax. The game includes a huge assortment of content. There are slightly updated and refreshed versions of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 4 and a significantly updated version of Halo 2. The single player and multiplayer mode for each game is included. Microsoft plans to add new maps and the campaign from Halo 3: ODST to the Master Chief Collection sometime soon free of charge. Halo: The Master Chief Collection has come as a free digital extra in Xbox One console bundles for a few months now.
It’s worth noting that the Xbox One Special Edition Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle isn’t exactly the first time the Cirrus White console has been available to anyone and everyone. Last fall Microsoft released a Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Xbox One bundle that also included the Cirrus White console.
To be clear, only in color and included game are the two special edition Cirrus White bundles different from the Xbox One consoles that come in black. These special edition Xbox One consoles don’t have any extra storage or bonus processing power, for example. So far Microsoft has only altered the internals of a single special edition Xbox One: the Special Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Xbox One. That console came with a whopping 1TB of storage, double what’s available on every other Xbox One console without adding more storage using a USB port.
Presumably, this is the last time we’ll hear about a significant change in Microsoft’s Xbox One line-up before the company takes to the stage for its E3 2015 Media Briefing. What Microsoft will announce at the show remains a mystery, but historically, it’s always waited until the show to announce details about console upgrades, bundles, pricing and new games.
After a rocky start in 2013 Microsoft is slowly managing to turn around its fortunes in the United States. This past week market research group NPD confirmed that the Xbox One was the best-selling living room console during the month of April, beating out Sony’s PS4 for the first time in months.
The Special Edition Halo: The Master Chief Collection Xbox One doesn’t include a Kinect sensor for playing motion games and controlling the console and cable boxes with voice commands. It’s available as a separate $150 purchase.