With the holiday shopping season now fully behind them, Microsoft is giving users a new reason to purchase an Xbox One if they already haven’t. Soon, its cheapest Xbox One bundle will come with a free copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Microsoft announced the new Xbox One bundle on its Xbox Wire news blog earlier today. Included in the bundle is a standard edition Xbox One console with a single wireless controller. A power cord, fresh set of batteries and an HDMI cable are also included. Microsoft isn’t using this as an opportunity to raise the cost of purchasing the Xbox One. This bundle is just $349.99.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection should have been the Xbox One’s start attraction last year. Instead of simply remaking it’s Halo 2 game to celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Microsoft had teams around the world refresh almost all of its past Halo games. For $60 Xbox One owners could experience Master Chief John 117’s entire story line from start to finish. Included is Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. Microsoft still threw in a complete high-definition makeover with new cut-scenes and sound for Halo 2 lovers. Each game in the Master Chief Collection includes its multiplayer. Users can stitch together different maps and experiences from each of the games through a few called playlists.
Also included was access to this past winter’s Halo 5: Guardians beta and a free television series. That television series, Halo: Nightfall, is still available through the Halo Channel app on Windows 8 and Xbox One. It’s also in the Xbox Video Store for purchase separately. At launch, Halo: The Master Chief Collection ran into tons of multiplayer issues. Those issues appear to be fixed now though.
By itself, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was already a good deal at $60. Microsoft could have easily gotten away with charging more for a game packed with so much content. By bundling it with an entry-level Xbox One console, Microsoft is baiting more longtime Xbox fans into purchasing its current-generation console.
Announced back in 2013. The Xbox One originally cost $499. It didn’t include any free games at all, but did have a Kinect 2 sensor inside the box. Kinect gives the Xbox One eyes and ears, it can see users in the room. This is good for navigating the Xbox with hand gestures, chatting with people using the Skype app and playing motion games without a controller. It listens for commands too, like “Xbox, On” or “Xbox, Volume down.” Finally, it allows the Xbox One to directly communicate with television sets and speakers.
This new Xbox One bundle with Halo: The Master Chief Collection is based off the standard version of the console. This means, there’s no Kinect 2 sensor included. Instead, users will need to purchase the Kinect separately used or new for $150. Included with that purchase is a copy of Dance Central Spotlight. An Xbox One with Kinect 2 sensor costs $449 from Amazon.
Luckily, users don’t have to make any other purchases to get started. Microsoft includes a wired chat headset for users who don’t have a Kinect 2 sensor or prefer not to use it for voice chatting in video games. It’s not required to play games locally, but Xbox One buyers should definitely consider picking up an Xbox Live subscription too. Xbox Live is how users play online with their friends and family. Also included with Xbox Live are monthly free game downloads and online video clip storage.
Typically, users buying console bundles like to try the game that came with their system before reselling it to stores like GameStop or Best Buy for even more savings. You can’t do that with this Halo: Master Chief Collection Xbox One bundle. the copy of Master Chief Collection included here is digital, meaning it’s actually attached to a user’s account once it’s redeemed. There’s no disc to resell.
Microsoft only says the bundle should be available widely soon. It’s currently not listed on Amazon. It is available from the Microsoft Store.