New Xbox One S Bundle with Forza Horizon 3 and Hot Wheels Expansion Now Available

XboxOneSHotWheelsBundleAttention, race fans! Or even just driving fans, really.

Microsoft has announced that a new Xbox One S bundle is now available, and included with the 500GB console (which, they note, features “High Dynamic Range for video and gaming, premium audio, a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player and 4K video streaming with partners like Netflix and Hulu”) and wireless controller, you’ll also get to start your choice of engine with the included copy of Forza Horizon 3, an open world driving game which takes you across the Outback as you play host to the latest Horizon Festival. What’s more, you’ll have access to the game on your Windows 10 PC, for when getting in front of the TV is out.

Better still, this bundle also includes the Hot Wheels expansion pack for Forza Horizon 3 that was released earlier this year, a one-month subscription for Xbox Game Pass, and 14 days of Xbox Live Gold.

All this can be yours for $349 CAD, and it’s available now at participating retailers and the Microsoft Store, where as of this writing, you can also get a free select game, $15 off a select Xbox Wireless Controller, and $10 off Xbox Live Gold membership (your choice of 3 or 6 months) for no extra cost.

To find out what I thought of Forza Horizon 3 (spoiler: I liked it), check out my review.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

Once again, the folks behind the Forza games have joined forces with toy manufacturer Mattel to bring the wild world of Hot Wheels racing to the Xbox One.

The Hot Wheels Expansion is available now for both Xbox One and Windows 10, and comes as a part of the $44.99 Forza Horizon 3 Expansion Pass. Or, if you’d rather just get this expansion by itself, it’s available for $25.99 in the Microsoft Store. Either way you go, you’ll find yourself transported to a new locale in the Outback where orange roads loop and twist as far as the eye can see, to say nothing of a variety of new cars to take for a spin.

To celebrate the occasion, the expansion was streamed on the Forza Motorsport Beam and Twitch channels. You can check them out in their respective archives through the links, or catch the highlights right here:

In addition to the new Hot Wheels expansion, there’s a number of improvements which have been made to the Windows 10 version of the game, including expanded driving wheel support, improved CPU performance, updated threading affinity model, more graphical options, and an updated minimal specification. You can find out more about all of this by clicking right here.

Finally, you can find more screens showing off some of the new cars available in the Hot Wheels expansion by way of the gallery below, and if you’re interested in learning more about Forza Horizon 3 from a franchise newcomer who’s wary of driving sims, you can find my full review here.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

Do you love Minecraft and Magic: The Gathering, but somehow can’t manage to find time in your life for both? Then I have good news!

Well, contingent on your primary means of playing Minecraft being either the Windows 10 or Pocket (known collectively as the “Bedrock Engine”) editions, anyway.

Magic-The-Gathering-Skin-Pack-Key-Art

Mojang and Microsoft have announced that soon, you’ll be able to download 15 Magic: The Gathering skins, including “fearless planeswalkers” and legendary “Magic creatures,” all for just $2.99! A specific date wasn’t given, but the press release I received says it’s out today. At the very least, it sounds like you can already try a few for free right now.

And if I’m being honest with you, all I know about Magic: The Gathering is that it’s sort of like Yu-Gi-Oh!, except it isn’t and predates that franchise, as well as whatever I’ve gleaned from the occasional LoadingReadyRun sketch (but I don’t watch the more dedicated Magic stuff they do). So if you’re looking for more info, then let me just throw you over to their official blog post, where you can read more insights and see more skins and images and have a better idea than I do of what you’re looking at.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

As mentioned in my review of LEGO Worlds, one of the keys to Minecraft‘s longevity that they will have to contend with is the ongoing support the latter has received over the last several years following its launch in 2011. That trend continues this week with no less than three updates to the console* versions of the game.

First up is the addition of a new mini-game simply known as “Glide,” which allows players to use their Elytras to do as the name suggests over a track filled with shortcuts and secrets (and maybe even some secret shortcuts). Different modes include Score Attack, which has you flying through rings for points; Time Attack, in which you’ll need to master the use of speed boosters and employ thermal drafts to shave off precious seconds; and a race against up to 15 competitors in Glide Multiplayer.

For more details about Glide, check out this post on the official blog.

minigamemastersminecraft

If you want to look the part when you’re at your Gliding best, then you might want to look into picking up the Mini Game Masters Skin Pack, where you can deck your character out in the garb of Team Guardian, Team Creeper, or Team Zombie. You can get a better look at each available skin here.

Suit up with your team of choice for just $1.99 for the pack.

powerrangersminecraft

Finally, it’s Morphin’ Time!

With Saban’s Power Rangers kicking butt in theatres, Mojang is going old school with a new Minecraft Skin Pack based on the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV show. In addition to the six costumed teenagers with attitude, screens also show Alpha 5, the original Megazord, Ninjor, Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, Goldar, Scorpina, and Rito Revolto. You can check those out here. Hm, think they managed to include Dragonzord and the Thunderzords as well?

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Skin Pack is available for $2.99.

* From what’s stated in the blogs and press materials, it sounds like the Glide mini-game and Mini Game Masters Skin Pack are available only for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but not Wii U. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Skin Pack is for “Minecraft: Console Edition, Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition, and Minecraft: Pocket Edition, which I think may leave the Wii U version out again. I’ll update this if I hear otherwise.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

In my review of Dead Rising 4, I think I made it pretty clear how much I enjoy it when the game world and the real world are in sync, particularly with regards to time of year, weather, that sort of thing. And I think that I made it clear in my Forza Horizon 3 review that it’s just a really enjoyable game — enough to make my Giftamania 2016 list.

Ah, but the latter game takes place in Australia during a sunnier time of year. What is one to do?

Well, Microsoft Studios and Playground Games have the answer in their newly-released Blizzard Mountain expansion for Forza Horizon 3:

These snowy, elevated areas are “a place where speedy vehicles are welcome, ice and blizzard conditions are the norm, and snow tires are heartily recommended,” according to the press release. And for those playing on Xbox One S, it’s even better:

For players on Xbox One S with HDR-ready hardware Blizzard Mountain is a visual treat. HDR allows you to see detail in the beautiful snow-covered terrain of Blizzard Mountain like never before thanks to the expanded contrast range available on the Xbox One S. Together with HDR, our physics-based rendering system ForzaTech brings even more accuracy to the experience, with sunlight bouncing off the snow and the ice, and frozen lakes glistening under the mountain’s all-new Australian winter skies, all immersing you in a completely authentic winter wonderland.

In addition to new places to race, there are also new vehicles, new specially designed events and challenges, and even new Achievements. You can check all those out right here.

The expansion can be purchased on its own for $25.99, or as part of the Expansion Pass, which is normally $44.99 but is $13 off for the next 17 days if you purchased the Ultimate Edition.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

Well, that didn’t take very long, did it?

Only about a week after releasing Forza Horizon 3 on Xbox One and Windows 10 personal computers (you can find my review here, Microsoft Studios and Playground Games have already released their first monthly downloadable content package: The Smoking Tire Car Pack:

This bundle contains seven vehicles which are new to Forza, including the 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan, 2000 Lotus 340R, 2016 Pagani Huayra BC, 2010 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, 2016 GTA Spano, 2016 BMW M2 Coupé, and the 1976 Jeep CJ5 Renegade — seven cars for just $7, all yours in the Xbox Store, unless you sank the necessary funds into getting the Ultimate Edition of the game. In which case, you’re all set — drive to your heart’s content!

If you’re not into the piecemeal strategy, then you can also get all the cars with the Car Pass, which will bring new cars to you every month through March 2017.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

Sadly, I have to admit that this news is coming a bit late for those in Vancouver and Saskatoon, but Forza fans in Northern Ontario, Toronto, and Montreal still have time to check out Xbox Canada’s #AcrossTheHorizon tour of the country as they rev up for the release of Forza Horizon 3 on the Xbox One and Windows 10.

At each stop along the tour, Forza fans get to choose which challenges to compete in while driving vehicles inspired by the game by tweeting to @XboxCanada with the hashtag #AcrossTheHorizon.

ForzaHorizon3_StreamCross

In Northern Ontario from September 17th to 20th, the choices will be whether to take control of a Polaris Side X Side in Wawa and face mud pits, ravines, and rocky roads, or if they should instead get behind the wheel of a Ford F150 at an abandoned mine in Quarry Park, where they’ll challenge 30 degree climbs and catch a little air.

In Toronto, the choices are between time trials at Shannonville Motorsport Park in a McLaren 570S or taking some custom cars for a spin at Topp Drift (where drifting is the name of the game, of course) on September 21st and 22nd. At the final destination of Montreal, Quebec, a Forza Horizon-inspired meet-up at New City Gas will allow fans to play the game early on September 23rd to 25th before it goes on sale on September 27th. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy some “amazing music” and check out some supercars, too.

And while they may not have the sights and sounds of New City Gas’s event, select EB Games locations across Canada will still allow gamers to get their hands on Forza Horizon 3 early.

For further details, be sure to visit the official #AcrossTheHorizon home page.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

nyteworkspatreonbutton

Microsoft has released many various bundles since 2016 began, and there is apparently no signs of letting up as they bring Remedy Entertainment’s latest expereince, Quantum Break, to the fore of a new Xbox One package.

Xbox-One-Quantum-Break-Bundle

Featuring a 500GB Cirrus White console and matching wireless controller, the Quantum Break Xbox One bundle also includes a full download of the game in question, as well as Remedy’s previous work, Alan Wake and the two add-on packs, “The Signal” and “The Writer.” This bundle will be available a week before the release of the game by itself on March 29th, 2016 for $399 CAD.

According to Xbox Wire, however, those who would rather opt for a traditionally black Xbox One console, “most regions” should be carrying such a package with the game on the same day. So if that’s what you’d rather have, check with your local retailer.

Those who pre-order the digital version of Quantum Break for Xbox One through the Xbox Store, purchase a digital token at participating retailers, or pre-order the above bundle will also receive the Windows 10 version of the game for free, downloadable through the Windows Store by way of a redemption code (to see if you have the right specs to run it, click here. What’s more, each copy comes with a full game download of Alan Wake for Xbox 360, playable on Xbox One via backwards compatibility, as well as the aforementioned downloadable content of “The Signal” and “The Writer.” But if you pre-order through select retailers or the Xbox Store, you’ll also a full-game download of Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, too.

Following is a live-action trailer by Microsoft and Remedy Entertainment which brings the game to life and gives you an idea of what you’re in for:

Quantum Break is a unique experience; one part hard-hitting video game, one part thrilling live action show, featuring a stellar cast, including Shawn Ashmore (X-Men) as the hero Jack Joyce, Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones) as his nemesis Paul Serene and Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings) as Jack’s genius brother, William. Quantum Break is full of the vivid storytelling, rich characters and dramatic twists Remedy Entertainment are renowned for. Your choices in-game will affect the outcome of this fast-paced fusion between game and show giving the player a completely unique entertainment experience.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

nyteworkspatreonbutton