Microsoft delivers new Xbox package

Gamers, gift givers, adrenaline fanatics and entertainment enthusiasts throughout North America are in video game nirvana today as Microsoft Corp. unveiled plans for a special Xbox® holiday offer.The specially priced promotion, available at some retailers as early as Sept. 17, features the powerful Microsoft® Xbox console, a two-month trial subscription to the highly acclaimed XboxLive (TM) service, the blockbuster game “Star Wars®: The Clone Wars (TM) ” from LucasArts and THQ Inc.’s “Tetris® Worlds (TM) Live,” an enhanced version of the perennial favorite optimizedfor online play.

With a torrent of new action-packed titles, a flood of innovative new features, and the surging popularity of the unified Xbox Live online gaming service, Xbox already has claimed the top spot on many wish lists this year. Approximately 400 games will be available by the holiday season, satiating gamers of all skill levels and interests. Breakthroughs such as Music Mixer and XSN Sports titles further expand the appeal of Xbox, while the console’s built-in Ethernet port means gamers can plug into the 500,000-member-strong Xbox Live community.

“By offering Xbox with two super-premium games and a trial Xbox Live subscription, we’re giving consumers an easy and affordable way to bring the complete Xbox entertainment experience into their homes this holiday,” said Mitch Koch, vice president, retail sales and marketing for the home and entertainment division at Microsoft. “There’s never been a better time to buy Xbox.”

Retailers are bracing for a deluge of Xbox demand fueled by today’s announcement, stocking up for what promises to be the busiest holiday season yet for the games industry. Recent studies from the Entertainment Software Association indicate that video games have burst onto the pop culture scene with fervor, attracting new legions of digital entertainment fanatics.

“When Xbox came out two seasons ago, we experienced heightened sales to the hard-core gamers,” said Pete Roithmayr, vice president of merchandising for EB Games. “This year, due to the impressive lineup of new releases and the added value of the Xbox holiday offer, we’re expecting that Xbox will appeal to a much broader, mass-market consumer audience.”

Offer Features Premium Games

With wrapping paper off and Xbox plugged in, families can immediately jump into two exhilarating titles shipping with the offer. The first, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” by LucasArts, is a high-intensity adventure incorporating popular characters, vehicles and settings from “Star Wars: Episode II.” Players can change vehicles during battle and pilot an array of units from the arsenal of the Republic, including a speeder bike, AT-SX assault walker, fighter tank and Republic gunship.

The second game, “Tetris Worlds Live” by THQ, takes everything gamers love about the addictive puzzle game “Tetris” and enhances it with beautiful 3-D graphics and all-new game elements, including online play. Tapping into Xbox Live, “Tetris” fans can test their block-dropping skills against other players all over the world. The “Tetris Worlds Live” community will be constantly updated so players will be able to view their online ranking.

Xbox LiveTrial Makes Online Play a Snap

The holiday offer includes a two-month trial subscription to Xbox Live so new owners can join the throngs of gamers playing on Xbox Live right away. And because Xbox has a built-in Ethernet port and was engineered from the very start for online play, no bulky adapters are needed. The trial grants gamers full membership privileges on the unified Xbox Live service, meaning one Gamertag (network identity) works across all Xbox Live games and makes it easy to find friends online. New Live -enabled titles such as “Project Gotham Racing® 2,” “Counter-Strike,” “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3” and “XIII” bring the number of online games to 50, making Xbox Live the most engaging online gaming service available.

Holiday Offer Available in One Box Oct. 15

For early-bird holiday shoppers anxious to get a jump on this special promotion, many official Xbox retailers will offer the holiday pricing as early as Sept. 17. (Free games and trial offers will simply be provided at checkout.) The console, games and trial Xbox Live offer will be packaged conveniently into one box starting Oct. 15.

Computing

Man pleads guilty to scamming Facebook and Google out of more than $100M

One of the men behind an elaborate fraud that saw Facebook and Google each hand over tens of millions of dollars has admitted to his part in the scheme. Lithuanian Evaldas Rimasauskas faces up to 30 years in a U.S. jail.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Product Review

HP’s gem-cut Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful 2-in-1 you can buy

HP’s 2019 Spectre x360 15 brings this massive 2-in-1 up to speed, literally. It now equips the same six-core Intel CPU as the rest of the 15-inch field, along with a real GPU for some 1080p gaming.
Computing

Ditch the background from your photos with these handy editing tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence, we'll show you how.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Computing

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.
Computing

Tired of all that white? Here's how to change the Google background image

Did you know that you can change how your Google search home page looks? It's a simple process to pick a new theme: We'll show you how to change your Google background, what to look for in themes, and how to download your own pictures for a…
Deals

These big, beautiful BenQ gaming monitors are on sale on Amazon right now

All gamers know that a good monitor is just as important as PC hardware to fully enjoy what today's games have to offer. BenQ makes some of the best (including some of our favorites), and three top-rated BenQ gaming monitors are on sale on…
Deals

The best Raspberry Pi 3 kits for coders, gamers, and DIY projects

The Raspberry Pi 3 is a low-budget computing platform capable of doing just about anything. We rounded up a handful of the best Raspberry Pi 3 bundles to get you started on a variety of DIY projects.
Computing

Need a portable workstation? One of these two 15-inch laptop might do the trick

HP's Spectre x360 15 is the most powerful 2-in-1 around, but it faces stiff large-laptop competition. Can it beat out powerful clamshells like well-built Apple MacBook Pro 15?