Outfitting Your New Xbox One - Free Games for Xbox Live Gold Members in 2014
It's already November 23 and the end of the launch day for the Xbox One has already been gone for those of us on the east coast.
Whether you planned ahead and took the day off to get Microsoft's newest gaming gadget all settled into your living room setup, or called in sick with Dr. Microsoft's handy premade doctor's note, the point of the matter is that many of you have one at last.
And now what are you going to do with it?
The obvious answer aside, the fact of the matter is this: you've already dropped a pretty penny for your purchase. And for many of you, it took a great deal of scrimping just to get your hands on it. Peripherals are nice, but they can come later. Much later.
What can you do in the meantime?
The PlayStation 4 already had that covered, offering two pretty sweet free games at launch for PlayStation Plus members - Contrast and RESOGUN. However, as far as the Xbox One goes, it is gunning strictly on the strength of some of its bigger launch titles like Forza 5 to get you gaming on Day One.
It looks like just for now, unless your Gamerscore was high enough to net you a free (full) copy of Killer Instinct, you're just going to have to look for some of the less expensive titles on the Xbox Marketplace.
Not that Microsoft is unaware of the goings-on in the enemy camp. In a likely step to compete against Sony's "Instant Game Collection" service that is available to PlayStation Plus subscribers, Microsoft is extending its "Games with Gold" perk and also moving it to the Xbox One.
Announced at E3 2013, Microsoft's "Games for Gold" program allowed Xbox Live Gold members to receive two free games per month from their older catalogue, gifting a generous sampling of older AAA and indie titles like Halo 3 and Iron Brigade available for download. The program was due to end at the end of this month, but a post back in October on the News Wire announced that due to "overwhelming support", has been extended for the Xbox 360.
"Today, as a part of the “Week of Xbox Live,” we’re excited to announce that we are making Games with Gold an ongoing benefit for Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox 360.
Whether they are blockbuster AAA or popular arcade titles, Games with Gold continues to offer a diverse mix of games with two free Xbox 360 titles a month – yours to keep and at no additional cost".
Last week, Microsoft's Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson) tweeted that Microsoft will implement Games with Gold on the Xbox One as well, and that details will come later in 2014.
Great news: Access to free games each month is coming for Xbox Live Gold members on #XboxOne – Details coming later in 2014— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) November 14, 2013
Considering some of the titles that have been handed out to Gold members on the Xbox 360, there should be a smattering of nice stuff to get your hands on next year for free.
But what to do in the meantime?
For those of you who don't want to drop top dollar on triple-A launch titles, you are unfortunately not in the best place right now at launch. But the horizon is not completely empty.
If your Gamerscore wasn't high enough to net you the full version of Killer Instinct for the Xbox One, you can still check out the game anyway. It comes free-to-play with one character unlocked - not a bad way to test out whether or not you like it. And if you do, the full copy of the game with all characters unlocked is $19.99 - not nearly as steep as the $60-80 for some of the other launch titles.