Console manufacturers want to convince consumers that they’re getting a good deal when they plunk down the cash for a new system, and Microsoft is doubling down on bundles to ensure that its Xbox One looks like a great value.
This morning, Microsoft announced that it will reveal a new Xbox One bundle every single day from Monday, September 28 through Friday, October 2 on its Xbox Wire website. That means the company will have at least five different games packed-in with various configurations of its system in addition to the Madden NFL 16, racing game Forza Motorsport 6, and other bundles already on the market. While five more different Xbox One on store shelves sounds like a lot, Microsoft has a good reason for doing this. Bundles are hugely popular with customers, and they make up a huge portion of new systems sold.
“Hardware bundles gained share of overall hardware sales in June,” The NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement provided to GamesBeat in August. “With [bundles making up] 35 percent of sales in June 2014 and now rising to 82 percent of sales in June 2015.”
NPD, which is an industry-tracking firm, points out that 67 percent of all systems sold in 2015 have come packed with a game.
Microsoft didn’t even hint at what games you should expect to see bundles for, but we can tell you for sure what you shouldn’t expect. Sony has a co-marketing deal with publisher Electronic Arts for Star Wars: Battlefront and one with Activision for Call of Duty: Black Ops III. And the PlayStation company has already announced PS4 bundles for those games, so do not expect Microsoft to announce anything with those major releases.
If we were to attempt to guess which games will get an Xbox One bundle, we’d first take a look at the Xbox One exclusives (or timed exclusives) that are coming to the system this holiday. Those include Halo 5: Guardians and Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Microsoft has already announced a Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition package, and today’s announcement specifically says it’s about “unveiling a new Xbox One holiday bundle.” So unless the company is planning a variation its Halo 5 bundle that comes with more or less stuff, it’s unlikely that is one of the five games.
So Rise of the Tomb Raider seems like the only sure thing. Other guesses? Well, Microsoft does have a co-marketing deal with Bethesda for postapocalyptic role-playing game Fallout 4, and that is one of the most anticipated holiday releases. If Microsoft is helping pay for commercials for that game, it seems like it would have tried to get the open-world post-apocalyptic blockbuster into a box with its system. But that’s not guaranteed.
Other possibilities include action game Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate or shooter Rainbow Six: Siege. Microsoft has had an Assassin’s Creed bundle on sale for a while now, and it obviously has a close deal with publisher Ubisoft. It’s possible that it will want to refresh that package.
But even if all of the above ends up happening, that only accounts for four bundles (Tomb Raider, Fallout 4, Assassin’s Creed, and Rainbow Six). And I honestly don’t think I’m that good at guessing. Other possibilities for bundles could include publisher Square Enix’s Just Cause 3 (and open-world shooter), EA’s Need for Speed (a racing game), pro-wrestling sim WWE 2K16, or music games such as Rock Band 4 and Guitar Hero Live.
Whatever the bundles are, we’ll find out next week — be sure to stick around to tell me how wrong I was.