Xbox Announces New Freedom Rewards Program; Win Prizes and Free Credit

Microsoft has announced a new program for Xbox users. The new Freedom Rewards program allows users to gain reward points by playing the free games of the month, which will allow them to win prizes and gain store credit.

There are a couple of ways earning rewards; first way is by spending $ 30 on add-on content for one free game; second is by spending at least $ 5 on add-on content for a free game; and the third is spending at least $ 5 (before tax) on add-on content for three different Free to Play games on the Xbox Store.

Check out the full rules down below:

Rewards You Can Earn Today

Free Pass: Earn 2,000 Rewards Credits per month by spending at least $ 30 (before tax) on add-on content for one Free to Play game in the Xbox Store. This offer resets monthly, starting at 00:00 UTC on the first day of the month and ending at 23:59 UTC on the last day of the month.

FREEquent Player: Earn 2,000 Rewards Credits every three months by spending at least $ 5 (before tax) on add-on content for Free to Play games in the Xbox Store for three consecutive months. These can be for one or multiple games, but the three purchases must be on the same title. This offer runs for three months from January 1, 2017 at 00:00 UTC until March 31, 2017 at 23:59 UTC.

One-Two-Free Punch: Earn 3,000 Rewards Credits per month by spending at least $ 5 (before tax) on add-on content for three different Free to Play games on the Xbox Store. This offer resets monthly, with the period starting at 00:00 UTC on the first day of the month and ending at 23:59 UTC on the last day of the month.

rewards

Exclusive Prizes for Featured Games

From now until February 28, we have some special offers to earn limited time Xbox Live Rewards on great Free to Play games like Roblox, Neverwinter, World of Tanks, Star Trek Online, DC Universe Online, and Warframe:

Dream Big, Win Bigger: Download Roblox from the Xbox Store and play for at least 30 minutes to start earing Xbox Live Rewards. For every 30 minutes you play you’ll gain a single entry into our Dream Big, Win Bigger sweepstakes (maximum four entries per week allowed). Click here for further details and official rules on the sweepstakes.
Prizes include:

– 49” 4K Ultra HD TV (ARV: $ 1,499.99)
– Wireless Gaming Chair (ARV: $ 249.99)
– Gaming Headset (ARV: $ 119.95)
– 400 Robux (ARV: $ 4.99)

Refer Your Friends, Get Rewarded:

It’s more fun to play with friends on Xbox Live. Now, Xbox Live Rewards members can earn a variety of exclusive prizes for referring their friends to select Free to Play games during the offer period. Play in the fantastic world of Neverwinter, command history’s greatest armed vehicles in World of Tanks, live long and prosper in Star Trek Online, and fight with and against iconic heroes in DC Universe Online. Gather your friends and play with them to get rewarded with great prizes.

Play Your Way to Rewards with Warframe:

Get ready to reap rewards worthy of an ancient warrior! In Warframe, you’ll fight as a Tenno, master of both gun and blade. But don’t let the fight stop there. Download the game and play until you complete five new achievements by February 28 and you’ll get a prize that any Tenno would appreciate: 75 Platinum ($ 4.99) to spend in game.

It looks like Microsoft wants to reward players who buy add-on content for their free games; and add incentive for those who steer clear from the free titles. Now there might be some reason to check out those free titles.

The post Xbox Announces New Freedom Rewards Program; Win Prizes and Free Credit appeared first on Gameranx.


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NPD Group releases sales data for December 2016 and its annual report

Market analyst NPD Group has published two sales reports: one for December 2016, and another looking back at annual trends and data for the entirety of last year.

Total spending took a hit last month, with $ 2.8 billion spend on hardware, software, and accessories, for a 15 percent decrease for the month relative to December 2015.

Hardware and software sales for the year were more uneven. The hardware category dropped by 24 percent as a result of total sales and average retail prices compared to units sold and the price per unit in 2015. “On a positive note, Nintendo did shift an additional 4 percent of 3DS systems thanks in large part to the heightened demand for Pokémon,” an NPD representative pointed out.

Getting more granular, PS4 emerged as the top hardware seller for the month of December, with the PlayStation 4 Slim bundled with Uncharted 4 and a 500GB internal hard drive standing tall out of Sony’s SKUs. Microsoft enjoyed a year-on-year increase of 10 percent in Xbox One systems sold, and Nintendo saw a 14 percent jump in sales of the NES Classic Edition compared to sales in November—probably because people actually managed to find some.

Unfortunately, the release of Xbox One S and PS4 Pro were not enough to buoy hardware sales. “Total hardware spending for 2016 reached $ 3.7B, a decline of 24 percent versus 2015.”

Final Fantasy XV’s wave of positive reception translated to high sales in December 2016: although Activision’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare took the sales crown, Square Enix’s JRPG was the second-best-selling title of the month and the top seller on PS4. “Final Fantasy XV experienced the best console launch month in the history of the franchise (since tracking began in 1995) selling 19 percent more new physical units than Final Fantasy XIII in its launch month and 54 percent more in total dollar revenue including digital full game sales,” per NPD Group.

As for accessories, consumers bought more Xbox One and PS4 controllers than they did in 2015, but not enough to prevent a five percent decline in gamepad purchases for the year. 

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Injustice 2 Beta Announced; Available on Both PS4 and Xbox One

Creative Director at NeathRealm , Ed Boone, announced via Twitter that the upcoming superhero fighting game Injustice 2 will be receiving a beta.

Earlier today Boone tweeted out an ominous tweet teasing gamers, however, that didn’t last too long as Boone announced the upcoming beta shortly after. Check out the tweets down below:

No specific dates or details about the beta was shared, however, we do know that the beta will be available on both PS4 and Xbox One.

Earlier this week NeatherRealm released the new trailer for the game, which gave players a little backstory of what they can expect when the game launches this Spring.

Sign up for Injustice 2’s beta right here!

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Syriana writer-director to helm Ubisoft’s The Division film

Ubisoft Motion Pictures has announced that Stephen Gaghan will write and direct The Division, its big screen adaptation of the Tom Clancy game.

Gaghan is known for writing Traffic, and for writing and directing Syriana. Traffic won an Academy Award, while Syriana was nominated. Gaghan is the third Academy recognized name attached to the project, as Ubisoft had previously confirmed Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain to star. The two were also said to be helping develop the picture through their own production companies.

“The game has been an enormous success, in large part due to the visual landscape they created, their vision of a mid-apocalyptic Manhattan,” Gaghan said in a statement. “It’s immersive, wonderfully strange, and yet familiar, filled with possibilities. It’s also remarkable to be able to collaborate with Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal early in the process. We all feel the story Ubisoft created is more relevant than ever.”

The Division has the player assume the role of a sleeper agent for the Strategic Homeland Division, activated to help restore order to Manhattan after a super-virus decimates the population and throws society into chaos. It broke sales records for Ubisoft at launch.

Ubisoft has been gathering impressive talent for its motion picture studio, most recently bringing Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in to headline its Assassin’s Creed adaptation. That film was panned, though, partly for being too overcomplex with its mythology. As a simpler story more akin to a standard post-apocalypse film, The Division might have a better chance.

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Luckey, Iribe take the stand in Oculus-Zenimax case

The Oculus-Zenimax case has moved on to another day, this time with the VR company co-founder Palmer Luckey and CEO Brendan Iribe taking the stand.

Zenimax lawyers spent much of the day going after Luckey (via Polygon), trying to establish that the young entrepreneur could not have developed the Oculus without help from then-Zenimax employee and current Oculus CTO John Carmack. Part of the dispute revolves around an NDA Luckey signed in June 2012 with Zenimax on its proprietary information. To drive home the point, Zenimax lawyers introduced emails between Carmack and Luckey suggesting that Luckey had misrepresented who knew about the NDA, which happened around the time that Oculus was founded. Zenimax is using that as the basis for its conclusion that Luckey violated or deliberately tried to circumvent the NDA.

Apparently, Luckey got a bit flustered as he and the Zenimax lawyer started talking over each other, as Zenimax tried to show timeline conflicts and Luckey trying to offer technical explanations, prompting Judge Ed Kinceade to step in and essentitally tell the two to behave. The defense then produced its own evidence showing how Luckey learned VR from his own research, despite lack of a college degree, and that much of what was used in early development of the first prototype was public knowledge long before any initial contacts with Carmack. The fourth iteration of the prototype for Rift was out in public three months before Carmack first asked for info on the device.

Iribe also took the stand to discuss the Oculus software, the meaning of such terms as SDK, shaders and source code, and explain that the software had nothing from Zenimax or Carmack.

Iribe is expected to continue his testimony today, wrapping up before the afternoon. Previously, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on the stand to talk about the acquisition of Oculus, with Carmack offering his testimony last week.

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Shack’s Arcade Corner: Detana!! TwinBee

We look back at Detana!! TwinBee on this week’s episiode of Shack’s Arcade Corner. Detana!! TwinBee, originally released outside Japan as Bells & Whistles, is a vertical-scrolling shoot-’em-up game originally released by Konami in 1991 as a coin-operated video game. 

For more great videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the Shacknews and GamerHub.tv YouTube channels.

If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack’s Arcade Corner, please let us know in the comments section or tweet @shacknews & @GregBurke85 with #ArcadeCorner.

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