Xbox One Bundlemania is running wild

Microsoft have announced their holiday bundles this week, a big range featuring a bunch of different titles at different price points, here’s a rundown of my thoughts on each:

Tomb Raider Bundle [Xbox Wire]

  • Black 1tb hard drive console
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition digital codes
  • Releasing November 3rd for $399
  • Microsoft Store and Best Buy exclusive in USA, sold in all other markets where Xbox One is sold except for UK and China

This is an expected bundle given the timed-exclusivity on the game however I was surprised by a few things: the first one being it was the 1tb bundle at $399 as opposed to a $349 bundle, I really thought this would be their big holiday bundle, not being sold in the UK – a region that loves the franchise and finally it’s a Best Buy/Microsoft Store exclusive in the US which seems strangely limiting to me.

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I like the inclusion of both Rise of the Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition though, thats a good move as its out a week before the game and people can play Definitive Edition whilst they wait for the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider.

It’s a nice bundle, a brand new game but I am confused by some of the decisions around availability.

Xbox One 1tb Holiday Bundle [Xbox Wire]

  • Black 1tb hard drive console
  • Digital download code for Ori and the Blind Forest
  • Physical copies of Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Rare Replay (both M rated titles)
  • Also includes Gears of War 4 beta access and Gears of War 1/2/3/Judgment backwards compatible versions
  • Releasing October 27th for $399, available worldwide

People are saying this is the best one, I’m not so sure but what I do know is there are 36 (yes, 3-6) games included: Ori + 30 in Rare Replay + Gears of War Ultimate Edition + Gears 1/2/3/J backwards compatibility versions and a side helping of Gears of War 4 early beta access, which is obviously top value.

That said the bundle isn’t out until the day Halo 5 releases and I suspect for Black Friday and the Christmas period all three titles will be reduced, Ori is getting a “Definitive Edition” with more content and having released in early and late August I think we will see Rare Replay and Gears discounted over that period anyway (Rare Replay is $19.99 at Target as I type this, YMMV)

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This seems to be their main bundle given its been named the “Xbox One 1tb Holiday Bundle” so this is the one that will be stocked the most which is interesting because it includes all Microsoft games, it also features physical copies where available which was mandated by Gamestop too.

It’s still a good bundle though, with a 1tb hard drive, perhaps I’d feel a bit differently if it was out earlier in the month.

The Lego Movie Videogame Bundle [Xbox Wire]

  • Black 500gb hard drive console
  • Copy of Lego The Movie Videogame (appears to be a physical copy but isn’t specified)
  • Releasing October 3rd for $349, available in most markets

This is the weakest bundle by far, one Lego title which released in February 2014 and is currently on sale for $8/£12.80 (thanks for that currency conversion, Warner) with a regular price of $19.99/£31.99(!), it’s not a good bundle. I know that console bundles are aimed at people who don’t currently own the console but even still there’s not value there.

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Microsoft spend $2.5bn on this huge franchise called Minecraft, would that not be more enticing? Or as well as the current pack-in? There have been 3 other Lego titles release on Xbox One since then too (Hobbit, Batman 3, Jurassic World), perhaps even a double pack would have been better?

The bundle is aimed at parents and this bundle allows them to keep the price low, something like Minecraft sells great anyway so certainly doesn’t need the help, its a strange bundle though. It is available next week though unlike the other ones.

Special Edition Gears of War Bundle [Xbox Wire]

  • Cirrus White 500gb hard drive console
  • Digital download code for Gears of War Ultimate Edition
  • Superstar Cole multiplayer code + Gears 1/2/3/J BC + Gears 4 early beta access
  • Xbox Wire says available November for $349 but the Walmart (which it is exclusive to) have it available October 30th for $329

There was already a Gears of War Ultimate Edition bundle for $349 which Walmart are selling with an extra right now so this isn’t that interesting unless you really want a white one although admittedly people seem to love white consoles all of a sudden so maybe its a good deal after all. Its a low cost option with a 500gb hard drive and a great game though, can’t go too far wrong, it also makes the 1tb Holiday bundle look a bit better in value I guess.

Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle_Hero

Another curious release date at the back-end of October, the $20 off on the Walmart website is nice though and being Walmart exclusive it seems Microsoft have a bundle for everyone, how nice.

Xbox One with Kinect Bundle [Xbox Wire]

  • Black 500gb hard drive console
  • Digital download code for Dance Central Spotlight, Kinect Sports Rivals and Zoo Tycoon
  • Releasing October (unspecified date) for $449 in most regions

Ah Kinect, I remember when you were alive but that was a long time ago and here we are. The bundle is still $499 from launch, Microsoft packing in 3 titles they published (two they own) to sweeten the deal. This bundle is based on stock left over from last year given all of the other bundles specifically state they include the controller with the 3.5mm headset jack and this one doesnt, once they successfully shift all of the old Kinect stock the bundles won’t be returning I suspect.

Xbox One with Kinect Bundle_Large Tile

 

The games includes are probably the best ones they could have done, some DLC sales for Dance Central  on top of that too isn’t a bad thing, it will be the last resort bundle though for when all the other stock has sold out and gift buyers who have foolishly left it late will end up grabbing these.

Fallout 4 Bundle [Xbox Wire]

  • Black 1tb hard drive console
  • A copy of Fallout 4 (digital for everywhere but Gamestop?)
  • Digital copy of Fallout 3 for Xbox 360
  • Releasing November 10th for $399 in all regions and retailers

Like the Tomb Raider bundle I think this is a good one although it only includes 1 Xbox One game but Fallout 4 will be a highly sought after game particularly in the US, it is actually available at every retailer and in the UK too though which the Tomb Raider one isn’t. People have suggested it should have been themed or include this or that which would have been nice but I think its fine, its a shame BC won’t be out a bit earlier so people could pre-load Fallout 4 and play Fallout 3 whilst they wait though.

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So these are all the new bundles Microsoft are announcing for the holiday, it will be interesting to see how they do as the holidays roar on. They do also have the Forza Motorsport 6 and Halo 5 Guardians Special Edition consoles, Elite controller console bundle and also various other hangers on like the Gears of War Ultimate Edition black bundle, Madden 16, Fifa 16 and MCC bundle so you can’t say they given you lots of choices!

Its worth noting that Microsoft are being pretty specific about some bundles containing headsets and some not, it would be a strange move for Microsoft to reverse the decision not to include a headset and then upon finally adding a headset jack to the controller to then take it out, bizarre.

Bundlemania is over although Larry Hyrb (Xbox Live’s Major Nelson) takes the craziness to a whole new level, enjoy!