The best deals on Xbox consoles, controllers, and games right now – including $20 off ‘Resident Evil Village’

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
Microsoft’s latest Xbox consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

  • Microsoft‘s newest consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, are still super popular and hard to find in stores.
  • Though consoles are hard to find, you can often find discounts on accessories and games.
  • Below, we’ve compiled the best deals on Xbox consoles, games, accessories, and subscriptions.

Deals on Xbox consoles have been few and far between with Microsoft’s new video game consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, in high demand.

While newly released Xbox games will continue to work on Xbox One consoles for years to come, Microsoft has discontinued its older models in favor of the $500 Series X and $300 Series S.

The good news is that new Xbox games will continue to work on both the new Series S|X and older Xbox Ones, and gamers who already have a collection of Xbox One games can bring their collection to the next-gen consoles. Controllers designed for Xbox One will work with Xbox Series S|X consoles too.

We’ve collected the best deals on Xbox consoles, games, subscriptions, and accessories below. These should come in handy whether you’re an Xbox One owner looking forward to the Series X, looking for games to add to your Series S|X library, or picking up your first video game console.

Here are the best Xbox deals for July 2021:

(Xbox) (medium, Preferred: Gamefly)The Sims 4 (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)Battlefield V Standard Edition (medium)Battlefield 4 (medium)FIFA 21 for Playstation, Xbox (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)Madden NFL 21 Superstar Edition (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Halo: The Master Chief Collection (medium)Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate (medium)Spyro Reignited Trilogy (medium)Control (medium)The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (medium)

Best Xbox console deals

Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S
Microsoft Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X.

Due to high demand, stock for all Xbox consoles remains low at many retailers, especially for the $500 Xbox Series X. Xbox One consoles may still be available at some retailers, but we recommend buying a refurbished Xbox One or the $300 Xbox Series S rather than investing extra money in aging hardware.

Xbox consoles are capable media devices too, with robust support for streaming apps, 4K resolution, and a digital storefront for movies and shows. Keep in mind that the Xbox Series S doesn’t have a disc-drive, so if you want Blu-Ray disc playback, you’ll have to opt for the Series X or an Xbox One.

Series X (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)Series S (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)

Best deals on Xbox games

Titanfall 2

There are thousands of games available for Xbox, and they’re all designed to work across the Xbox Series S|X and Xbox One family of devices thanks to a feature called smart delivery.

Digital games are available through the Microsoft Store, which offers sales on a regular basis, as well as from other digital retailers like Amazon or Gamefly. We’ve collected some of the better recent sales, including major titles like The Sims 4, Battlefield 5, and Madden NFL 21. 

Whether you purchase a digital or physical copy of an Xbox One game, you can still use it on an Xbox Series X if you choose to upgrade, though some games purchased for the X|S won’t work on the Xbox One, so check before you buy.

Below, we’ve selected some of the best games on sale right now.

(Xbox) (medium, Preferred: Gamefly)The Sims 4 (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)Battlefield V Standard Edition (medium)Battlefield 4 (medium)FIFA 21 for Playstation, Xbox (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)Madden NFL 21 Superstar Edition (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom (medium, Preferred: Amazon)Spyro Reignited Trilogy (medium)
Best Xbox controller deals

xbox one controller

The Xbox controller has become the standard in gaming thanks to its compatibility with Windows, Android, and Apple devices. Newer versions of the Xbox controller support Bluetooth, making it easy to connect to your computer or phone.

The standard Xbox controller uses AA batteries, but Microsoft has released a $25 rechargeable battery pack that allows you to charge the newest Xbox controllers via USB-C. Xbox controllers are universal, so they’ll work whether they’re connected to the Xbox Series S|X or the Xbox One, and you won’t have to buy new ones if you upgrade to a next-gen console.

Microsoft also makes a premium Xbox One gamepad, the $180 Xbox Elite controller. The Elite series offers some notable improvements, like a rechargeable battery with 40 hours of playtime, four rear paddle buttons for extra control, customizable thumbsticks, and a rubber grip.

Xbox Series S|X Wireless Controller (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Xbox Series S|X Wireless Controller (medium, Preferred: Best Buy)Elite 2 Controller (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)Controller (Pre-Owned) (medium, Preferred: GameStop)

Elite 2 Controller (medium)
Best Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass deals

Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Live Gold is a subscription service that’s required for online play with nearly all Xbox One games. The subscription also offers free games each month that remain available as long as the Xbox Live Gold subscription is active.

If you’re already an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, buying a discounted membership will add time to the length of your current subscription.

Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass is a subscription gaming service that lets you download hundreds of games to your Xbox One or Windows PC. The service costs $5 a month on PC or $10 a month on Xbox One. New Game Pass subscribers will only pay $1 for their first month thanks to an ongoing promotion.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes an Xbox Live Gold subscription and will give you access to Game Pass on both PC, Xbox, and Android devices for a regular price of $15 per month.

Game Pass Ultimate 3-Month Membership (Digital) (medium, Preferred: Target)

Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Forget about the Xbox: Microsoft is all-in on its ‘Netflix for gaming’ subscription service

Starfield (Xbox/PC game)
Concept art for “Starfield,” the next major game from Microsoft-owned Bethesda Game Studios. It will arrive on Game Pass at launch, Microsoft says.

  • The focus of Microsoft’s big annual Xbox briefing this year was games, from “Halo” to “Starfield.”
  • A not-so-subtle message was highlighted throughout: Play all of these games on Xbox Game Pass.
  • Of the 30 games shown, 27 will be available on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

During Microsoft’s big annual Xbox presentation on Sunday, there was one clear message: If you don’t already have a subscription to the Netflix-like game service Xbox Game Pass, you’re going to want it sooner or later.

Both of the companies upcoming marquee games, “Halo Infinite” and “Starfield,” will arrive on Game Pass at launch. You could drop at least $60 apiece on those games, or you could sign up for Game Pass starting at $10 per month.

That has become Microsoft’s key argument for the Xbox brand, and the company cemented that during the presentation streamed on Sunday afternoon. Of the 30 games shown, 27 are coming to the Xbox Game Pass service, and many will arrive at launch.

Microsoft has been planting the seeds leading to Game Pass’ wild success since it first debuted in 2017.

The service granted subscribers access to a curated library of over 100 games, and it cost just $10 per month. Moreover, every major Xbox game published by Microsoft, from “Halo” to “Gears of War” to “Forza,” would be published to the service at launch as part of the library.

If you’re thinking, “That sounds sort of like Netflix,” you’d be right, although with Game Pass you can download or stream games.

In the four years since, Game Pass has grown tremendously – it now boasts over 18 million subscribers across Xbox and PC, according to Microsoft. More than just its own games, the service offers a variety of major games from third-party game studios.

To that end, Microsoft made two major announcements on Sunday: “Back 4 Blood” and “Stalker 2” are among several upcoming third-party games that will launch on the service.

Xbox Game Pass (E3 2021)
Games like “Among Us” and “Hades” are among a variety of third-party games on Game Pass.

There was no talk of Xbox hardware or services, and no mention of upcoming operating system updates. The nearly 90-minute presentation was focused solely on games, the vast majority of which were punctuated with the same message: “Play it day one with Game Pass.”

In just a few words, that phrase is sending a message: You’ll get this game and dozens of others for just $10 to $15 per month, instead of paying $60 or more to play this game on a PlayStation or PC.

It’s a good argument, and one that applies to many more millions of people than just Xbox and PlayStation owners – anyone with a PC has access to Xbox Game Pass, and anyone with a smartphone is able to stream Game Pass games.

“There are 2 billion people who play video games on the planet today. We’re not gonna sell 2 billion consoles,” Xbox leader Phil Spencer told Insider in a June 2018 interview. “Many of those people don’t own a television, many have never owned a PC. For many people on the planet, the phone is their compute device. It’s really about reaching a customer wherever they are, on the devices that they have.”

And that’s the point of Game Pass: to move beyond consoles and widen Microsoft’s potential customer base beyond just console buyers. Sunday’s Xbox presentation was the strongest demonstration yet of Microsoft’s dedication to that mission.

Check out the full presentation right here:

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

From a new ‘Halo’ game to the long-awaited ‘Starfield,’ Xbox just showcased a huge slate of new games coming to its consoles

Starfield (Xbox/PC game)
Concept art for “Starfield.”

  • Major upcoming Xbox games like “Halo Infinite” and “Starfield” were shown in detail on Sunday.
  • Microsoft held its annual Xbox briefing, which was focused on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.
  • The presentation is part of the game industry’s annual trade show, E3, which is taking place virtually.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
1. The highly-anticipated new Bethesda project ‘Starfield’ was given a release date in a debut trailer: It’s scheduled to launch on November 11, 2022 exclusively on Xbox consoles and PC. The game will be available day one for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, Microsoft said.

Starfield (Xbox/PC game)
Concept art for “Starfield.”


2. The next major “Halo” game, “Halo Infinite,” is launching this holiday season. The multiplayer is free-to-play, and the story campaign will cost money. Both versions will launch on Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s subscription-based gaming service, on day one.

Halo Infinite (multiplayer)


3. A gorgeous new version of “Forza Horizon” is scheduled to launch on November 9, and it’s the best example yet of what the new Xbox consoles are capable of powering.

Forza Horizon 5 (E3 2021)


4. The first gameplay for this year’s big “Battlefield” game, “Battlefield 2042,” is another example of what the new consoles can do: Massive-scale battles with shockingly detailed visuals and dozens of players, all at once. The game is scheduled to launch on October 22.

Battlefield 2042 (E3 2021)


5. Microsoft’s subscription service, Game Pass, is getting a ton of new games and was ultimately the focus of the 90-minute presentation.

Xbox Game Pass (E3 2021)


Watch the entire presentation below!

Halo Infinite (E3 2021, campaign)

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to watch E3 2021: The biggest gaming event of the year starts this Saturday and continues through June 15

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

e3
  • E3 2021, gaming’s largest annual event, starts June 12 and runs through June 15.
  • Industry leaders like Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Capcom will deliver world premiere trailers.
  • All of E3’s keynote presentations will stream live and gamers can participate in the event for free.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

E3, the video game industry’s largest annual conference, is returning as a virtual event after taking a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic. The show will begin on June 12 and continue through June 15 with premieres, announcements, and trailers from major industry players like Xbox, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Capcom.

Following the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X last year, E3 2021 is expected to focus on the next-generation of games being designed for those consoles. The Nintendo Switch remains wildly popular too, and Nintendo is reportedly working towards an announcement of a new version of the Switch with more power, a better screen, and improved battery life.

E3’s broadcast schedule also includes compilation showcases for PC and indie gaming, giving lesser-known titles an opportunity to shine on the industry’s biggest stage. Some games, like Warner Bros’ “Back 4 Blood,” have their own extended streams planned. Other E3 presenters and publishers include “Borderlands” creators Gearbox, gaming product specialists Razer, the gaming entertainment channel VENN, and Verizon.

How to watch E3 2021

You can watch every E3 2021 event live through the E3 2021 YouTube and Twitch websites. Broadcasts will begin at 1 p.m. ET on June 12.

Gamers can also sign up to participate in E3 2021 virtually for free by registering at the conference website. This will give you access to a feed of E3 announcements and let you visit different publisher booths for a closer look at upcoming games during the event.

E3 2021 schedule

Below, we’ve broken down the full E3 2021 schedule and what you can expect from the biggest keynote presentations.

Saturday, June 12

Publisher Start time
E3 Pre-show 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT
Ubisoft Forward 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT
Gearbox E3 Showcase 5 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. PT
GamesBeat Session 5:45 p.m. ET, 2:45 p.m. PT

Sunday, June 13

Publisher Start time
E3 Pre-Show 11:45 a.m. ET, 8:45 a.m. PT
“Naraka Bladepoint” by 24 Entertainment 12:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 a.m. PT
Xbox & Bethesda Showcase 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT
Square Enix 3:15 p.m. ET, 12:15 p.m. PT
“Back 4 Blood” by Warner Bros. Games 5 p.m. ET, 2 p.m. PT
PC Gaming Show 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 p.m. PT
Future Games Show 7 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. PT

Monday, June 14

Publisher Start time
E3 Pre-Show 11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT
Verizon 12 p.m. ET, 9 a.m. PT
Intellivision 12:45 p.m. ET, 9:45 a.m. PT
Take-Two Interactive 1:15 p.m. ET, 10:15 a.m. PT
Mythical Games 2:10 p.m. ET, 11:10 a.m. PT
Indie Showcase 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT
Freedom Games 3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT
VENN 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT
Capcom 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 p.m. PT
Razer 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. PT

Tuesday, June 15

Publisher Start time
E3 Pre-Show 11 a.m. ET, 8 a.m. PT
Nintendo Direct and Nintendo Treehouse 12 p.m. ET, 9 a.m. PT
Bandai Namco Entertainment 5:25 p.m. ET, 2:25 p.m. PT
Yooreka Studio 6:20 p.m. ET, 3:20 p.m. PT
GameSpot Play For All Showcase 6:35 p.m. ET, 3:35 p.m. PT
E3 2021 Awards Show 7:45 p.m. ET, 4:45 p.m. PT

Ubisoft

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” was one of the first titles released on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

French publisher Ubisoft is the creator of games like “Assassin’s Creed,” “Far Cry” and “Rainbow Six.” During their E3 address you can expect to see more of “Far Cry 6,” which features actor Giancarlo Esposito of “Breaking Bad” and “The Mandalorian,” as well as gameplay from “Rainbow Six Extraction,” an online multiplayer game that previously premiered as “Rainbow Six Quarantine” in 2019.

Ubisioft has confirmed that a previously announced remake of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” will not be shown at E3. “Beyond Good and Evil 2,” another long-awaited Ubisoft title, hasn’t shared any news since September 2020 but that last update anticipated a trailer arriving in 2021.

Xbox and Bethesda

Phil Spencer Microsoft E3 2019
Xbox executive Phil Spencer addressing the crowd at E3 2019.

Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda has been one of the biggest stories in the gaming business this year, bringing a healthy library of iconic video game franchises like “Fallout” and “Elder Scrolls” into the Xbox family.

While Xbox launched it’s next-gen Series X and Series S consoles in November, the company has been slow to deliver exclusive games. At E3 we expect details on “Halo Infinite,” a flagship Xbox title that was originally intended to launch alongside the Xbox Series X|S but was delayed to fall 2021 to improve the finished product.

Bethesda has fewer announced games on its slate, but fans have been excited for new details on the space roleplaying game “Starfield” and the next “Elder Scrolls” game. Future Bethesda releases will reportedly be exclusive to Xbox consoles and Windows PCs.

Square Enix

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
Square Enix released “Final Fantasy VII Remake” last year after more than seven years of development.

This Japanese developer publishes a wide range of blockbuster games, including “Final Fantasy,” “Tomb Raider,” and “Marvel’s Avengers.” The company has promised news on upcoming action game “Babylon’s Fall,” narrative adventure “Life is Strange: True Colors,” and the next big update for “Avengers.”

Square Enix’s Eidos-Montreal will also show a world premiere trailer for their latest game; the same studio previously worked on “Tomb Raider,” “Avengers” and “Deus Ex.”

Take-Two Interactive

Grand Theft Auto V
“Grand Theft Auto V” is one of the bestselling games ever, and it’s coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Take-Two is best known as the publisher of “NBA 2K” and the parent company of “Grand Theft Auto” maker Rockstar Games. Rockstar is currently planning to re-release “Grand Theft Auto V” for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Take-Two recently signed Tiger Woods to an exclusive deal for future games, so we may see some of PGA Tour 2K22 at E3.

Ultimately, Take-Two’s conference could feature a range of surprises from partner studios; early leaks indicate the publisher could announce a Marvel-themed crossover with its “XCOM” strategy games.

Capcom

Resident Evil Village Capcom
Capcom’s “Resident Evil Village” is one of our favorite games of 2021 so far.

Capcom plans to talk about updates coming to some of the big games it released earlier this year, like “Resident Evil Village” and “Monster Hunter Rise.” There will also be news on at least two upcoming titles, “Monster Hunter Stories 2” and “The Great Ace Attorney.”

Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
Nintendo fans hope to learn more about the latest “Legend of Zelda” game at E3 2021.

It’s not clear what exactly Nintendo has planned for this year’s E3 presentation, but there has been wide speculation that the company could be working on a new version of the Switch with 4K resolution and an OLED screen.

Fans are eagerly awaiting new details on “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2,” but Nintendo is planning to release a remake “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” in July. The company recently announced a new Pokémon game called “Pokémon Legends: Arceus,” so we could see more of that, or the upcoming remakes of “Pokémon Diamond” and “Pearl,” too.

Bandai-Namco

Scarlet Nexus Bandai Namco video game

Bandai-Namco has two anime-inspired games set to arrive in the coming months, “Scarlet Nexus” and “Tales of Arise.” Expect to see footage of those two alongside more footage of “Elden Ring,” a new game from “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin and the creators of “Dark Souls.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

The game console inside the new Tesla Model X and S is powered by the chipmaker behind the PlayStation 5 and Xbox

Tesla Model S interior
Tesla Model S interior.

  • AMD’s CEO said the company made the computer chips that power Tesla’s new in-car gaming system.
  • Elon Musk has said the system will have processing power that’s similar to the Playstation 5.
  • The new gaming system is expected to debut later this month when Tesla releases its Model S Plaid.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

AMD – the company known for making the computer chips that power the Playstation 5, as well as Xbox Series X and S – announced on Tuesday that it worked with Tesla on its infotainment system.

The system will have gaming-console-quality graphics with processing power just below Sony’s PS5, AMD CEO Lisa Su said during the company’s annual Computex keynote.

“We look forward to giving gamers a great platform for AAA gaming,” Su said.

She also said that higher-powered processors would only kick in when the infotainment system was running the AAA games that require more power, which would allow the systems to save battery power when playing games that require less processing power.

In January, Tesla announced its upgraded Model X and S cars would come with a new high-powered gaming system that would rival top gaming consoles like Playstation and Xbox. The company’s website said the system would have up to 10 teraflops of power, just 0.3 teraflops shy of the PS5’s processing power. Su confirmed that the chips which incorporate CPU and GPU into a single chip would have up to 10 teraflops of processing power.

The games can be played on two Tesla screens in the new Model S Plaid, which is expected to be released later this month. There is a 17-inch screen at the front of the vehicle, as well as a smaller rear screen for passengers.

On Saturday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the new car would start deliveries on June 10. The car’s release was delayed by several months due to the global shortage of computer chips that power the gaming console, as well as the vehicle’s navigation system, Autopilot, and bluetooth, to name a few.

Last month, Musk told investors at the company’s quarterly meeting that pandemic supply-chain issues had caused “insane difficulties” for Tesla. Tesla is even reportedly toying with the idea of buying chips for its cars in advance.

Last month, AMD said it anticipates at least another six months of video game chip shortages.

It won’t be the first Tesla to feature video games. Musk has been bolstering the gaming opportunities in his electric cars for years, but it will be the first car to essentially become a sophisticated video gaming console on wheels.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best deals on Xbox consoles, controllers, and games right now – including $27 off ‘Titanfall 2’

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
Microsoft’s latest Xbox consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

  • Microsoft‘s newest consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, are still super popular and hard to find in stores.
  • Though consoles are hard to find, you can often find discounts on accessories and games.
  • Below, we’ve compiled the best deals on Xbox consoles, games, accessories, and subscriptions.

Deals on Xbox consoles have been few and far between with Microsoft’s new video game consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, in high demand.

While newly released Xbox games will continue to work on Xbox One consoles for years to come, Microsoft has discontinued its older models in favor of the $500 Series X and $300 Series S.

The good news is that new Xbox games will continue to work on both the new Series S|X and older Xbox Ones, and gamers who already have a collection of Xbox One games can bring their collection to the next-gen consoles. Controllers designed for Xbox One will work with Xbox Series S|X consoles too.

We’ve collected the best deals on Xbox consoles, games, subscriptions, and accessories below. These should come in handy whether you’re an Xbox One owner looking forward to the Series X, looking for games to add to your Series S|X library, or picking up your first video game console.

Here are the best Xbox deals for May 2021:

Titanfall 2: Ultimate Edition (medium)It Takes Two (medium)

Prices and links are current as of 5/12/2021. Updated piece to reflect new discounts and removed deals that are no longer active. Updated by Sarah Saril.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Best Xbox console deals

Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S
Microsoft Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X.

Due to high demand, stock for all Xbox consoles remains low at many retailers, especially for the $500 Xbox Series X. Xbox One consoles may still be available at some retailers, but we recommend buying a refurbished Xbox One or the $300 Xbox Series S rather than investing extra money in aging hardware.

Xbox consoles are capable media devices too, with robust support for streaming apps, 4K resolution, and a digital storefront for movies and shows. Keep in mind that the Xbox Series S doesn’t have a disc-drive, so if you want Blu-Ray disc playback, you’ll have to opt for the Series X or an Xbox One.

Best deals on Xbox games

Titanfall 2

There are thousands of games available for Xbox, and they’re all designed to work across the Xbox Series S|X and Xbox One family of devices thanks to a feature called smart delivery.

Digital games are available through the Microsoft Store, which offers sales on a regular basis. Whether you purchase a digital or physical copy of an Xbox One game, you can still use it on an Xbox Series X if you choose to upgrade.

Below, we’ve selected some of the best games on sale right now.

Titanfall 2: Ultimate Edition (medium)It Takes Two (medium)
Best Xbox controller deals

xbox one controller

The Xbox controller has become the standard gaming thanks to its compatibility with Windows, Android, and Apple devices. Newer versions of the Xbox controller support Bluetooth, making it easy to connect to your computer or phone.

The standard Xbox controller uses AA batteries, but Microsoft has released a $25 rechargeable battery pack that allows you to charge the newest Xbox controllers via USB-C. Xbox controllers are universal, so they’ll work whether they’re connected to the Xbox Series S|X or the Xbox One, and you won’t have to buy new ones if you upgrade to a next-gen console.

Microsoft also makes a premium Xbox One gamepad, the $180 Xbox Elite controller. The Elite series offers some notable improvements, like a rechargeable battery with 40 hours of playtime, four rear paddle buttons for extra control, customizable thumbsticks, and a rubber grip.

Product Card (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Product Card (medium, Preferred: Microsoft)

Elite 2 Controller (medium)
Best Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass deals

Game Pass Ultimate

Xbox Live Gold is a subscription service that’s required for online play with nearly all Xbox One games. The subscription also offers free games each month that remain available as long as the Xbox Live Gold subscription is active.

If you’re already an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, buying a discounted membership will add time to the length of your current subscription.

Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass is a subscription gaming service that lets you download hundreds of games to your Xbox One or Windows PC. The service costs $5 a month on PC or $10 a month on Xbox One. New Game Pass subscribers will only pay $1 for their first month thanks to an ongoing promotion.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes an Xbox Live Gold subscription and will give you access to Game Pass on both PC, Xbox, and Android devices for a regular price of $15 per month.

Game Pass Ultimate 3-Month Membership (Digital) (medium)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Apple and Epic Games are revealing a ton of industry secrets in court filings – from untold billions in ‘Fortnite’ profits to private email exchanges, these are the 5 juiciest bits

Tim Cook Tim Sweeney 2x1
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, right.

  • “Fortnite” maker Epic Games is suing Apple, and the bench trial started this week in California.
  • Epic says Apple’s App Store is a monopoly. Apple says Epic broke its developer contract.
  • Through court filings, major secrets from Apple, Epic, Microsoft, and more have been revealed.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Apple and the maker of “Fortnite” are currently at war in a California courtroom – the culmination of a yearlong spat between the two American business giants.

Epic Games filed suit against Apple last summer after its hit game, “Fortnite,” was pulled from Apple’s App Store.

Apple says it pulled the game because Epic violated the terms of its developer agreement when Epic implemented a payment system in the game that enabled players to circumvent Apple’s App Store. Epic says the App Store is a monopoly, and argues that iPhones and iPads are no different from computers.

The in-person trial began Monday at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland, California. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is scheduled to oversee approximately three weeks of hearings before a verdict is rendered, according to court filings.

After just one week, we’ve already learned a lot: Between major financial disclosures, company secrets, and private emails between executives made public, evidence in the trial is a treasure trove of information.

1. Xbox console sales aren’t profitable, according to Microsoft, and they never have been.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series X, left, and the Xbox Series S, right.

After nearly two decades of sales, Xbox consoles have never been a profitable product for Microsoft.

The Washington-based tech giant sells every Xbox at a loss, according to sworn testimony from Microsoft’s VP of Xbox business development Lori Wright.

“Has Microsoft ever earned a profit on the sale of an Xbox console?” she was asked on Wednesday, May 5. “No,” she said.

Wright appeared as a witness in the ongoing trial, where she answered a variety of questions about Microsoft, Xbox, and digital storefronts. Microsoft has openly supported Epic’s suit against Apple.

The subject of Xbox profitability came up in questioning because of how Microsoft’s console business works: Instead of making money on the console itself, the company makes money from games sales through its digital storefront, from subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, and from sales of accessories like gamepads.

Microsoft, like other console makers, takes a cut of every sale on its digital storefront. That cut is usually about 30%, which has become a standard in the video game distribution market. Apple takes a similar cut from games sold on its iOS App Store, which is part of what Epic is contesting in its court case against Apple.

2. Apple’s reportedly making huge margins on the App Store.

Tim Cook WWDC 2020
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

One of Epic’s expert witnesses, Berkeley Research Group managing director Ned Barnes, said that Apple is enjoying enormous margins on the App Store: In the high 70s for the last two years at least, according to Barnes.

“In my expert report dated February 16, 2021,” Barnes writes, “using Apple testimony and financial information available to me at that time, I calculated the App Store’s operating margin percentage to be 79.6% for each of FY2019 and FY2018.”

He also said that Apple “produced additional documents” for the trial that demonstrate slightly lower percentages for the two years, but that the numbers are “consistent with and confirm the reasonableness of the calculations presented in my expert report.”

Apple, however, disputes Barnes’ report. “Epic’s experts calculations of the operating margins for the App Store are simply wrong,” an Apple representative told The Verge.

Core to Epic’s argument in the trial is that Apple operates a monopoly with the App Store by refusing to allow competing app stores on the iOS platform, in addition to not allowing third-party payment systems. High profit margins from the App Store, Epic argued, is part of the reason for Apple won’t allow either.

3. “Fortnite” is making Epic billions of dollars every year, especially on the PlayStation 4.

Fortnite (loot chest)

In one of the less surprising secrets unearthed from evidence presented during the trial, “Fortnite” is making a huge amount of money – to the tune of several billion dollars every year for the last several years.

In 2020 alone, Epic made over $5 billion in revenue according to sworn testimony from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. Between 2018 and 2019, “Fortnite” brought in over $9 billion.

Epic makes more than “Fortnite” – the gaming giant produces the Unreal Engine, operates the Epic Games Store, and owns and publishes several other big games (“Rocket League” and “Fall Guys”). Data from Epic presented during the trial shows that those projects, while moneymakers in the hundreds of millions, don’t generate anywhere near as much revenue as “Fortnite.”

4. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a 2 a.m. email declaring war.

tim sweeney epic games fortnite
Epic Games cofounder and CEO Tim Sweeney.

At 2 a.m. PT on August 13, 2020, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook and several other Apple executives that laid out Epic’s plan to cut Apple out of payments in “Fortnite” on iPhone and iPad.

It was intended as a declaration of war.

“I’m writing to tell you that Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions,” Sweeney wrote. “Today, Epic is launching Epic direct payments in ‘Fortnite’ on iOS, offering customers the choice of paying in-app through Epic direct payments or through Apple payments, and passing on the savings of Epic direct payments to customers in the form of lower prices.”

In response, Apple pulled “Fortnite” from its iPhone and iPad store, and the game has been unplayable on both ever since. Epic sued Apple on the same day, and this email was one of many private messages between the companies that was uncovered as evidence.

5. “Fortnite” was such a big deal on the PlayStation 4 that Epic was able to force Sony to overturn a longstanding precedent in gaming.

Fortnite

In September 2018, after months spent fighting a losing battle in the court of public opinion, Sony gave in: “Fortnite,” the company announced, would be playable on the PlayStation 4 with friends on other platforms.

“Fortnite” was the first-ever game to allow players on all platforms to play together. “This represents a major policy change for Sony Interactive Entertainment,” Sony said in its announcement. It was clear at the time that, with the game playable across all other platforms, Sony was almost certain to give in: Tens of millions of people were playing “Fortnite,” and they were earning the most from players on Sony’s PlayStation 4, according to documents from Epic presented as evidence in the trial.

Between January 2019 and July 2020, just before “Fortnite” was removed from the App Store, Epic was earning just shy of $150 million each month on average from PlayStation players, according to Epic. By comparison, the company was earning about $23 million per month on average from iOS players, Epic said.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Resident Evil Village’ is the most visually stunning game of the PlayStation 5 era so far

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Resident Evil Village Capcom
The werewolf- inspired lycans in “Resident Evil Village” are much more dangerous than zombies.

  • Resident Evil Village” will release on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles on May 7.
  • It’s a survival horror game set in a European village stalked by werewolves and demons.
  • “Village” is one of the best looking games ever made, mixing atmospheric horror with tense gameplay.

(PS5) (small)(Xbox) (small)

Resident Evil Village,” the latest game in Capcom’s legendary survival horror franchise, will launch on Xbox, PlayStation, Stadia, and PC on May 7. The game is a direct sequel to “Resident Evil 7,” which has sold more than 8.5 million copies since 2017.

Village” is also the first “Resident Evil” game made for the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles. “Resident Evil” is well known for its striking visuals, and the extra horsepower of the new consoles helps deliver remarkable graphics.

Simply put, “Resident Evil Village” is one of the best looking games ever made, creating a haunting atmosphere that will stick with you long after you’re done playing. Players can look forward to a game that blends cinematic presentation with tense gunplay and puzzle-solving as “Village” explores a series of maze-like destinations hidden in a remote European town.

Though we played the PS5 version for review, whether you’re playing on a next-gen console or an older machine like the PS4, “Resident Evil Village” is a well-built game that should satisfy series veterans and newcomers alike with its stunning presentation and gameplay variety.

‘Resident Evil Village’ is a direct sequel to ‘Resident Evil 7’

Resident Evil Village Capcom

Village” stars “Resident Evil 7” protagonist Ethan Winters, picking up three years after that game’s conclusion. After the Winters family is attacked by original “Resident Evil” hero Chris Redfield, Ethan sets out to find his infant daughter. The journey brings Ethan to a European village stalked by werewolves and demons, all led by a mysterious cult figure named Mother Miranda.

As Ethan’s adventure unfolds, players find hints that explain why Ethan’s family was attacked, Chris’s role, and what Mother Miranda has planned. Players will gradually explore the legends that haunt the village through castles, factories, and swamps as they search for Ethan’s family and work to escape.

For those who haven’t played “Resident Evil 7,” a brief recap video with minimal spoilers is offered in-game. Ethan’s story is not directly connected to the early “Resident Evil” titles, so don’t worry if you don’t know the series’ history.

The ‘Resident Evil’ series defines the survival horror genre

Resident Evil Village Capcom
Lady Dimitrescu is unstoppable while she chases players through her castle.

Resident Evil Village” is a first-person survival horror game; that means bullets are scarce and players won’t be able to shoot themselves out of every situation. Instead, Ethan scavenges the village for resources and key items to make his escape. In many cases, solving puzzles is more important to escaping the maze-like village than actually fighting enemies.

Constant exploration is necessary for progress, and players are encouraged to learn the map and village layout to avoid danger as much as possible. Ethan can craft items using found supplies, and eventually a merchant arrives that makes it easier to resupply and buy or upgrade weapons.

If you just want to enjoy some gunplay, “Resident Evil Village” also has a special mode called Mercenaries that lets you fight endless waves of enemies until you die or the round timer runs out. Capcom has also included an online multiplayer mode called Re:Verse, but it won’t be ready to play until later this summer.

‘Village’ offers unmatched visuals on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X

Resident Evil Village Capcom

Resident Evil Village” is one of the most impressive looking games I’ve played to date, offering 4K resolution, HDR color and contrast, and ray tracing on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Without getting too deep into the technical specifications, the environments of “Resident Evil Village” are beautifully crafted and life-like, creating an ideal atmosphere for survival horror.

Capcom’s RE Engine continues to create some of the most realistic human faces we’ve seen in video games, adding to the expressive personalities of the game’s characters. The lighting of indoor spaces feels particularly effective too, creating a dark, cramped feeling that stands in stark contrast to the snow and fog that cover the surface of the village.

While “Resident Evil Village” will certainly look best on PC and next-gen consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners will still be able to enjoy the game as intended, albeit with a slight visual downgrade.

‘Village’ is terrifying, but not too tough

Resident Evil Village Capcom
Not all lycans are created equal.

Resident Evil Village” delivers atmospheric horror, gruesome monsters, and a fair share of jump scares, but players can control the pace and difficulty to limit the terror.

As a horror game, “Resident Evil Village” is designed to be challenging, but it does offer a casual setting for new players. Veterans will also be able to try the game on harder difficulties, including one that unlocks after completing the game.

Though “Village” does include an option for aim-assist, there aren’t many ways to fine tune the experience. Players can expect to die a few times from unexpected traps or monsters, but luckily “Resident Evil Village” has frequent checkpoints.

Resident Evil Village” can be completed in about 10 hours, though that time could be cut shorter if you’re more willing than me to run into danger.

‘Resident Evil Village’ is available in deluxe and collector’s editions

Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village” will be released on May 7 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia. The standard version of the game costs $60; the $70 deluxe edition includes several in-game rewards like a special gun, max difficulty, and a visual filter.

The $220 collector’s edition comes with a map of the village, a statue of Chris Redfield, an artbook, and all the deluxe edition rewards.

The bottom line

Resident Evil Village Capcom
Statues like this are often key to “Resident Evil” puzzles.

Resident Evil Village” feels like a must-play for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X owners thanks to its unmatched graphics and tight gameplay. It’s a beautiful, cinematic experience that’s engaging from start to finish, delivering a satisfying story that builds directly from the most popular “Resident Evil” game to date.

Survival horror isn’t a genre for every player, but “Village” does a fantastic job creating a haunting atmosphere that spans castles, factories, snowbanks, and swamps; turning the game’s destinations into an interwoven environment.

While the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions are the most impressive, players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can also enter “Village” knowing that they’re getting a complete experience. Extra game modes like Mercenaries and Re:Verse bring even more value to the $60 package.

‘Resident Evil Village’ (PS5)

(PS5) (button)

‘Resident Evil Village’ (PS4)

(PS4) (button)

‘Resident Evil Village’ (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One)

(Xbox) (button)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Take a look inside Wall Street darling Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also in charge of the board, and intends to turn the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s the chairman of its board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars in 2020, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.”

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences – not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership – both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Soon after, Cohen was put in charge of a committee created to reshape GameStop and appointed the chairman of its board.

2. He’s swapping the company’s current leadership, both its board and c-suite, for former Amazon and Chewy leaders.

GameStop execs (April 2021)

Since Cohen joined GameStop’s board and was put in charge of the Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee, the company’s entire executive suite has been cleared out.

That includes CEO George Sherman, who is stepping down in the near future, and CFO Jim Bell, who was suddenly forced out of his role at the company after the board of directors “lost faith” in him, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider. At the same time, a gaggle of former Amazon and Chewy leaders have been elected in their place.

Similarly, the company’s board of directors is being completely flipped – at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June, it plans to elect a small group of Cohen’s colleagues to the board. And Cohen is expected to be elected chairman of the board.

In the last six months, Cohen has completely reshaped the leadership of GameStop.

3. The potential future of GameStop: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

Game trade-ins, and their subsequent resale, are the lifeblood of GameStop.

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and representatives repeatedly declined requests for comment.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

6 ways to make Xbox One games download faster

  • You can make games download faster on your Xbox One in several ways, like downloading only one game at a time or rebooting your internet.
  • If your Xbox download speed is slow, you should close out of other apps or restart your console.
  • You can also try connecting your internet router and Xbox One with an Ethernet cable for a faster connection.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

On an Xbox One, you need to download games into your game library before you can actually play them.

This is a relatively straightforward process, but sometimes the download speed can be slow, especially if the game itself is large and requires a lot of memory.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can speed up your Xbox One downloads.

Why is my Xbox download speed slow?

There are a number of reasons for a slow Xbox download speed, like downloading too many games at once, poor connectivity issues, or a slow internet connection.

Try these troubleshooting tricks to speed up your downloads and get to playing your games faster.

Close out of games and apps

xbox one

The Xbox One conveniently lets you play other games or use apps while a game is downloading, but this sometimes results in the download taking more time than usual. This especially goes for other games that use the internet.

If you close out of any other games and apps while your game is downloading, your Xbox One will run faster, and so will your download.

To close a game or app, press the Xbox button, highlight the game or app you want to close in the left sidebar, and press the “Menu” button (it’s the button that looks like three horizontal lines). In the menu that appears, select “Quit.”

Put less pressure on your internet connection

internet router modem cell phone laptop hands
Quickly and easily test how fast your internet is with Google’s free test.

You might have noticed that your Wi-Fi connection runs slower when many devices are connected to Wi-Fi at the same time. The same is true for your Xbox One. 

If you disconnect other devices from your Wi-Fi, like your phone or laptop, it will strengthen your Xbox One’s Wi-Fi connection and allow for faster download speeds.

Reboot your internet router

man setting up router laptop

Sometimes download speeds don’t have anything to do with your Xbox One itself and have more to do with your internet router. 

You can try rebooting your router by disconnecting it from the wall. Wait a few moments, then plug the router back in. 

This can help the internet connection and improve your overall download speed.

Restart your Xbox

xbox one console

If your game is downloading slower than usual or has stopped downloading entirely, try restarting your Xbox One console, which may solve a potential connectivity issue. 

1. Go to the Guide by pressing the Xbox logo button on your controller. 

2. Use the joystick to scroll right to the System menu.

3. Navigate to “Restart console” and press A to select it. Your console should now turn off and on again.

Pause other Xbox downloads

Xbox One Controller
You can plug your Xbox One controller in to charge.

Download speed will often be significantly slower if you’re downloading multiple games at once. 

To pause a download:

1. Go to the Guide by pressing the Xbox logo button on your controller. 

2. Use the joystick to scroll to “My games & apps” and press A to select it. 

3. Press A to select “See all.”

4. On the left side, scroll down to “Queue.”

5. Highlight the download you want to pause and press “Menu” on your controller. 

6. Press A to select “Pause.”

Use an Ethernet cable

ethernet cable being plugged into internet router

If you have an Ethernet cable, you don’t have to rely on fickle Wi-Fi connections to improve your download speeds. 

Simply connect the Ethernet cable to your internet router and to your Xbox One. Once the Ethernet cable is connected, your internet connection will be stronger and your downloads should speed up considerably.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Read the original article on Business Insider