Plenty of different Xbox One bundles have been announced this year in an effort to get more consoles into homes and catch up to the PlayStation 4’s impressive sales figures. This is a smart move by Microsoft, because it knows many gamers are waiting for anticipated titles like Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, and Rise of the Tomb Raider to release before investing in an Xbox One.
More importantly, having several bundles to choose from is great for us, since bundles often mean you’re getting more bang for your buck. This week, Microsoft has revealed yet another option, aimed specifically at gamers who want the best the console has to offer:
Available December 1, 2015 on Amazon – Click here for current price and details
Keep reading to find out if this new deal is right for you as we take a closer look at this new bundle. We’ll be providing info on the new Lunar White Wireless Controller as well as other recommended gaming accessories and bundles.
About the Xbox One Elite bundle
About the Xbox One console itself
The heart of this bundle is, of course, the console itself. Despite having an iffy E3 just before launch and playing catch-up with Sony’s console ever since, Microsoft has significantly closed the gap in 2015 in terms of sales when compared to the PS4.
With such an incredible games lineup heading into the holidays, many believe that the Xbox One will eventually surpass Sony’s console in the US. In other words, the Xbox One is turning into the must-have console—for good reason.
The Xbox One is an excellent choice if you want a system that does more than play games. Designed to be “all in one,” Microsoft’s console can satisfy most (if not all) of your entertainment needs by letting you switch between games, apps, and TV. All of the most popular apps are supported, including Netflix, YouTube, and HBO GO; and it also plays Blu-ray discs.
As we’ll cover in the “Is Now The Time To Buy An Xbox One?” section later on, the Xbox One also boasts an impressive library of games, with more still to come. So if you’re all about the games and could care less about entertainment apps and playing movies, the Xbox One is still a fantastic choice.
Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
At first glance, Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller—releasing holiday this year—looks like your average Xbox One controller. It has the two thumbsticks, a directional pad, four classic buttons, etc. But what’s not immediately obvious is that it offers customization options unlike any other controller, which has many critics praising it as one of the best video game controllers ever made.
The Elite controller you’ll get in this bundle comes with several interchangeable parts, including the D-pad, triggers, bumpers, rear paddles, and more. The unique Hair Trigger Locks will also help you step up your FPS, allowing you to hit the trigger buttons quicker. A companion app that works for both Xbox One and Windows 10 lets you save your mapped controller schemes.
If you’re a competitive gamer who always strives to perform well in every game, you can’t go wrong with the Elite Wireless Controller, designed with the help of professional video game players. Considering that the price of the Elite controller alone will set you back a good amount if purchased separately, you already know you’re getting a great deal with this bundle.
Check out our article for a more in-depth look at the Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller, where we help you decide if it’s really the right controller for you.
The 1TB Solid-State Hybrid Hard Drive
The Xbox One Elite is, for now, the only video game console currently available with a built-in Solid State Hybrid Drive. Since an SSHD can save data elements and store them in the NAND flash memory, a device using one sees greater performance as compared to a regular hard drive. Microsoft promises that Xbox One Elite owners will notice this improvement:
“…the Xbox One Elite Bundle includes a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive, which stores frequently-accessed files on a solid state partition and optimizes system performance so you can get to the action up to 20 percent faster from energy-saving mode.”
This means you’ll be able to transition out of the Xbox One’s low-power state quicker, and thus start gaming faster. Booting up your console 20 percent faster isn’t a significant plus for this bundle, but it is nonetheless a welcomed addition, considering that Microsoft could have just as easily tossed in a regular HDD. The big draw of this Xbox One Elite bundle, however, is a whopping 1TB of storage.
For those unaware, one of the biggest problems gamers of today’s console generation face has to do with storage. Both the regular Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles come with 500GB, which at first sounded like plenty, but instead players have found that 500GB simply isn’t enough when the average title requires a 30-50GB install.
With 1TB of storage, you’ll have much more space to install games, download movies and TV shows, and more. And since the Xbox One backwards compatibility feature requires you to actually download Xbox 360 games to your hard drive, the extra 500GB of storage will make all the difference in the long run.
The Xbox One Elite Bundle price
Even though the Xbox One Elite bundle lacks a game to get you started, it is still well worth the cash if you were already considering either a 1TB Xbox One, or even a regular Xbox One with an Elite Controller. For example, say you pay for the regular 1TB Xbox One bundle that comes with Halo: The Master Chief Collection but features a regular HDD and controller instead of an SSDD and Elite Wireless Controller.
If you also want an Elite controller but bought the regular 1TB Xbox One, you’ll be paying more for pretty much the same thing, the only differences being a Halo game instead of an SSHD drive and a matte finish. If you’d really like to own both a 1TB hard drive and an Elite Wireless controller, then go with the Xbox One bundle and save yourself a few bucks.
Further down, we’ll actually cover a couple of other bundles that are also good deals if this one is out of your price range or simply not interesting to you. After all, not everyone needs 1TB of storage and a customizable controller.
Recommended Xbox One accessories to buy in 2015
The Xbox One Special Edition Lunar White Wireless controller
Microsoft also announced a white and gold color scheme controller that’s not only quite attractive, but also has a few minor improvements from the standard controller as well. The Lunar White Wireless Controller will be available September 2015 and is only slightly more than the regular Xbox One Wireless Controller.
This new controller comes with all the updated features of the regular gamepad, but also offers enhanced comfort and control thanks to better grip textures. Keep in mind that this Lunar White controller is not an “Elite” controller, which means it doesn’t offer interchange parts, mappable controller schemes, and the other features found in the Elite Wireless Controller.
If 1TB isn’t enough, get an external hard drive for Xbox One
Like we mentioned before, storage space problems took everyone by surprise this console generation. Not only are game install sizes bigger than ever (Batman: Arkham Knight‘s install size is close to 50GB!), but there are also a wealth of great digital-only titles worth purchasing. When you also start adding apps, downloadable content, movies, television shows, and other saved data, it’s easy to see the problem.
Fortunately, the Xbox One Elite bundle comes with a 1TB SSHD, but what if you’re worried that won’t be enough? Quite frankly, it might not be, since you probably plan on owning your shiny new console for many more years to come. For this reason, Microsoft designed the Xbox One to be fully compatible with external hard drives—a very convenient way of expanding your storage options.
While there are plenty of great choices out there, we recommend the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox. It not only comes with a whopping 2TB of storage, but it’s also available for an affordable price. You’d essentially be paying a reasonable amount for every 500GB, which is pretty good if you’re interested in topping your Xbox One Elite’s storage capacity.
The Seagate Game Drive for Xbox also supports USB 3.0, allowing it to transfer data up to ten times faster than a USB 2.0 device. Faster transfer data speeds mean your game will not only run as smooth as the developers intended, but loading screens times will also get cut shorter.
Other benefits of this hard drive include the ability to plug and play without having to install or setup anything. It is also very portable and able to fit into your average pocket, which is perfect if you plan on taking your games library with you to play on other Xbox One consoles. If you still own an Xbox 360, Seagate’s Game Drive for Xbox is also compatible with USB 2.0, so it will work fine with Microsoft’s last-gen console.
We wrote an extensive article about the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox with comparisons to other external hard drives as well. Just follow the link to learn more.
Looking for a few other extras to make your Xbox One experience even better? Here are some of the most popular and useful accessories you’ll find that will be a perfect fit with the new Elite bundle:
Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter
The Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter lets you use pretty much any stereo gaming headsets with your Xbox One. It has a 3.5mm audio jack that uses the CTIA plug standard, and requires no connection between the console or TV/receiver. You just plug the adapter into your Xbox One controller, then connect your headset to start chatting with friends and teammates.
We recommend this accessory if you already have a great stereo headset you’d rather use instead of purchasing a new one. Since the Xbox One Elite bundle currently does not come with either the chat headset or stereo headset, you’ll need to pick something up if you want to talk with other players.
Xbox One Play and Charge Kit
If there’s one thing Xbox One owners were hoping they wouldn’t have to deal with, especially since it was a problem with the Xbox 360, it was batteries. Unlike both the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4, which come with built-in batteries, the Xbox One’s controllers are going to have you go through a lot of AA batteries in its lifetime.
Avoid this by picking up the Xbox One Play and Charge Kit, which offers 30 hours of battery life with every charge. It not only takes less than 4 hours to fully charge, but also comes with an LED indicator on the cable that lets you know when you’re ready to go. The ability to play games even while the batteries are recharging is a big plus, as is the option to charge while your Xbox One is on standby mode. The days of ending your gaming session early due to dead batteries are over!
Xbox LIVE 12 Month Gold Membership Card
If there’s one thing gamers aren’t too happy about these days, it’s the need to pay to be able to play online. In case you didn’t know, an Xbox Live Gold membership is required to play the online modes of just about every Xbox One title. The good news is that you can get a 12 month Gold Membership Card for only “see current price” —sometimes much less during sales on Amazon and other stores.
Having a Gold membership also grants you access to one or more free games a month with Games For Gold; unlike Sony’s PS+ program, you get to keep playing the games even after your membership runs out. Another great perk is the huge discounts you can take advantage of while buying certain Xbox Store titles. Trust us: that 14-Day Xbox Live Gold Trial included with the Xbox One Elite bundle is only a taste of the great things a Gold membership offers.
Xbox One Chatpad
This handy accessory won’t be available until November of this year, but you can bet plenty of gamers are already putting in pre-orders. You’ll quickly realize why the first few times you use your Xbox One controller to enter text while searching for a show on Netflix, a website, etc. Suffice to say, thumbsticks and buttons aren’t exactly the most efficient tools for typing.
Instead grab the Xbox One Chatpad, complete with backlit keys and a QWERTY layout to significantly boost the speed at which you can enter codes, search apps, send messages, and more. The Chatpad comes with two programmable keys, plugs in directly into your Xbox One wireless controller, and includes a Chat Headset with 3.5mm jack. This accessory is also compatible with Windows 10 devices.
Xbox One Media Remote
Even if you buy an Xbox One Elite bundle strictly for gaming purposes, sooner or later you’ll probably be tempted to pop in a Blu-ray movie or fire up a streaming video app like Netflix or Hulu Plus. This is when you’ll wish you had a convenient remote that could make navigating through all your entertainment options a breeze.
The Xbox One Media Remote does just that. It comes with backlit keys that light up automatically and a button that takes you directly to the OneGuide. Worth mentioning is that for $25, it’s pretty well-crafted, with a soft silicone finish and a range of up to 30 feet.
More Xbox One bundles to consider
If you decide that the Xbox One Elite bundle isn’t right for you, but you still want to get your hands on Microsoft’s new console, take a look at the following other bundle options. Keep in mind that some bundles are available for a limited time only, and thus end up becoming harder to find:
For only “see current price“, you’re getting a 500GB version of the console along with a digital download of the new Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, a remake of the game that blew the gaming industry away when it first launched on the Xbox 360 nearly a decade ago. The Xbox One Wireless Controller included in this bundle comes with a 3.5mm headset jack.
This bundle will get you a 1TB version of the Xbox One, as well as a digital download of Madden NFL 16. What makes this deal even better is the free year of EA Access, which normally costs you either $30 a year or $5 a month. Having EA Access lets you download certain titles for free, including Titanfall and Battlefield 4. The Xbox One Chat Headset is included.
This bundle is identical to the Madden NFL 16 one, except for the fact that you’re getting a Forza Motorsport 6 digital download instead and no free year of EA Access. It’s still a great deal if you’re a huge Forza fan, especially since you’ll also get the Forza Motorsport 6 Ten Year Anniversary Car Pack, featuring 10 special cars. Pre-order it to also get the 2015 Subaru WRX STi.
It’s no surprise that the most anticipated Xbox One title of the year has its own bundle. You’re getting an awesome, custom-designed, 1TB Xbox One console inspired by the Halo universe. Included are: Halo 5: Guardians, the Warzon REQ bundle, FOTUS-class armor, a special multiplayer emblem, and an allow Guardian model. This bundle is yours for “see current price“.
Is now the time to buy an Xbox One?
Oh yeah! The biggest reason many are finally making the jump is due to all the sure-to-be amazing Xbox One games on their way. Microsoft is set to have one of the best holiday seasons in recent years with the release of several highly anticipated titles you’ll only be able to play on the Xbox One this winter. These include:
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (Currently available)
- Forza Motorsport 6 (September 15)
- Halo 5: Guardians (October 27)
- Below (October 18)
- Rise of the Tomb Raider (November 10)
- Fable Legends (November/December)
Keep in mind that these are only exclusive titles, which means Xbox One owners can also look forward to Metal Gear Solid V, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and other excellent third party titles hitting store shelves soon. Owning an Xbox One will, of course, also grant you access to already-released titles like Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, as well as tons of upcoming titles set to arrive in 2016 and beyond.
If you still have some Xbox 360 titles you’d love to check out for the first time or revisit, the Xbox One has got you covered. Unlike the PlayStation 4, Microsoft will soon be releasing an update which allows you to play Xbox 360 titles on your Xbox One. This is a big plus if you’ve never played some of the most acclaimed titles of the last generation: Red Dead Redemption, Halo 4, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, to name a few.
Also worth mentioning is the arrival of Windows 10. For whatever reason, Microsoft has never bothered trying to link its popular PC gaming operating system and video game consoles. This changes soon, now that Xbox One and Windows 10 gamers will be able to play cross platform together; one of the first titles to support this amazing feature will be Fable Legends, with more games to come.
Last but not least, Xbox One players will have the ability to stream their console games to their Windows 10 PCs. It’s not a groundbreaking feature, but a great answer to Sony’s own Remote Play feature on the PlayStation 4. If you live in a home where several people fight for time on the main TV, streaming will be the perfect solution, allowing you to keep playing your game on your computer.
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