Xbox One Livestream Recap: Halo Convention, Crackdown 3, And Hardware Bundles

It's going to be a big spring for Xbox.

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Now Playing: Crackdown Is Free On Xbox One Right Now - GS News Update

Microsoft held an Xbox Insider livestream on Tuesday, and it was unusually chock full of news about the coming months and beyond. Packed into the presentation were announcements regarding the Halo series, Game Pass, Sea of Thieves, new console bundles, and more. Read on for a full recap of the news.

Halo Outpost Discovery

We're still not sure just when to expect Halo Infinite, but fans can live out their Halo fantasies this year regardless. 343 and Microsoft will be hosting a traveling event with in-universe activities, panels, and more. It will visit five cities this year, open for one weekend in each. You can explore a Halo Ring, visit a Warthog, play VR simulations and laser tag, attend panels with creators, and get cosplay tips. Plus, of course, you can just play yourself some Halo. Check whether it's coming to your neck of the woods.

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Game Pass in February

The smallest month is bringing some big games to Xbox One Game Pass, the all-you-can-eat subscription service. The February line-up includes Shadow of the Tomb Raider, The Walking Dead Season 1, and Batman: Return to Arkham, to name a few. The real headliner is Crackdown 3, which is finally really coming out after years of delays. As a Microsoft first-party game, it's included as part of Game Pass, so if you're a subscriber you already as good as own it. Check out the full calendar for when each game will drop on the service.

The Division 2 and Anthem Bundles

Two more big games are dropping soon, and Microsoft is partnering with each one's publisher to offer hardware bundles. Both Anthem and The Division 2 are getting paired with Xbox Ones. The Anthem bundle includes the game's Legion of Dawn edition with bonuses, an Xbox One S 1 TB, and one-month trials of EA Access, Game Pass, and Xbox Live Gold. The Division 2 is getting two separate sets of bundles, one with a black Xbox One X and one with a white Xbox One S. Check out price and release date details to plan your purchases.

Sea of Thieves Brings Your Mateys Aboard

If your adventures on the high seas are feeling a little lonely, Rare and Microsoft are making it a little easier to fill your crew. Owners of Sea of Thieves or Game Pass subscribers can gift a copy of the game to up to three people, which will let them play for free until February 13. After that, they can purchase it for a 35% discount. Keep in mind that they'll need to a Gold membership to play the online game.

New Red Controller is Sporty

If you need a brand-new controller to play all these games on, the livestream covered that too. It debuted the new Sport Red Special Edition, which aside from the nifty paint job features rubber grips along the back. Because sports. It will cost $70 and release on March 5. A matching Pro Charging Stand will also be available in North America. Read more details on the nifty piece of kit.

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Microsoft Game Studios Becomes Xbox Game Studios

In a bit of branding news that you may notice when you start up a first-party game in the future, Microsoft Game Studios is no more. It's been renamed Xbox Game Studios, which corporate VP Matt Booty says is a reflection of how the Xbox brand itself has expanded. This comes just after a series of acquisitions, so the newly rebranded Xbox Game Studios is now composed of 13 teams. Booty said the teams are working on "incredible exclusives, original IP, and all-new chapters from your favorite franchises."

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Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

No more rubber on controllers... It collects grease and dead skin cells, and requires scrubbing with a clorox wipe to get even slightly clean.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

Wow, I didn't know MS still had any idea what VR was. I thought they forgot it existed right around the time of the Xbox One X launch. I wonder if they'll bring any of that to their next console.

Avatar image for thedarklinglord
thedarklinglord

If it's still available later in the year when holiday sales ramp up, or if it's on sale somewhere before then, I might finally buy an Xbox One with that The Division 2 bundle, since I'm sure as hell not buying it on Epic's store.

I give Microsoft credit for one thing this generation: they have bundles galore available for their console. That's one area where Sony seems to have dropped the ball.

Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

In addition to all the news from this insiders livestream I have a feeling Microsoft is really going to go big later in the year. With Sony stepping out of this years E3 festivities Microsoft is no doubt chomping at the bit to deliver news of all the things “gaming” they have cooking up.

I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this is one of the Xbox One’s/X’s best years in terms of what is potentially going to be revealed (assuming that many of the titles teased at last year and this years E3 make it out on time.).

Throw in the success of other avenues of capital like the Gamepass and the thought the Microsoft might have a stellar year becomes even more pronounced.

-X GONNA’ GIVE IT TO YA! NINJA APPROVED-

Avatar image for barcaazul
BarcaAzul

@videogameninja:

I really like the way they are heading and the services they are offering. I just wish they had more varied first party. Maybe they will come with the new studios though

Avatar image for spectrexr1
spectreXr1

@barcaazul: Ms already has the most diverse 1st party games . Sea of thieves state of decay crackdown 3 halo gears forza motosport and horizon killer instinct halo wars. None of those games are the same . All diff genre . Sony is the one with just 3rd person action type games for first party .last of us uncharted horizon god of.war days gone death stranding ghost .all the same type game . Ms needs more AAA 1st.party games i think beside the big 3. But Ms def doesnt do the same thing over and over .like Sony and Nintendo .

Avatar image for barcaazul
BarcaAzul

@spectrexr1:

I kind of see what you mean, but I see a big difference between a Bloodborne, TLOU2, HZD, Spiderman, GoW and a Detroit, Dreams.

Halo , a bit like Uncharted whilst good, doesn't have the same appeal that it had previously. Forza comes out every year. This was more what I meant. The re invented GoW was really good. I would like them to do newer IP.

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boardsport311

@videogameninja: I just hope Battletoads is good.

Avatar image for dynamotnt
dynamotnt

@videogameninja: or, like in typical Microsoft fashion, they will spend loads of cash going spectacularly big showing precisely ZERO of anything interesting. some dude will go EXCLUSIVE and a few indies will pop up, then they will say we've changed the name from Microsoft to xbox, cuz.. we did. and then beyond that anything they show will either be met with "great just 5 years to wait" or "that sucks" lol...

best thing they can do is put cash down devs throats to bring more and more new games to game pass. that'll help. nothing they can do will be good enough soon enough though lets face it. everything will be for the next xbox.

Avatar image for thelostscribe
Thelostscribe

@videogameninja: Haha, like that closing there.

I do think Xbox is geared up and preparing for a huge next gen. While it's cool about the streaming and Xbox Live coming to other devices, I do think it might be sending a bit of mixed signals. I think and hope they use E3 to really cement their message.