Microsoft Monday: Xbox One X Pre-Orders Now Available, Project Scorpio, Bill Gates Donates $4.6B – Forbes

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Microsoft’s Xbox One X “Project Scorpio” edition console

“Microsoft Monday” is a weekly column that focuses on all things Microsoft. This week, Microsoft Monday includes details about Xbox One X pre-orders, a Minecraft themed Xbox One S, 7 games being added to Game Pass, the delay of Crackdown 3, the acquisition of Cycle Computing, new LinkedIn features, Paul Allen’s discovery of the USS Indianapolis, a large donation by Bill Gates and much more!

Xbox One X Now Available For Pre-Order

Yesterday at the Gamescom press conference, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One X is now available for pre-order. You can pre-order the console at GameStop and Amazon.com. The Xbox One X costs $499 and you can play all the same games as the Xbox One S with improved resolution and frame rates. Forbes contributor Dave Their suggests people with a 4K TV to buy the Xbox One X for an optimal experience.

Another incentive for buying the Xbox One X is that you when you plug in an external hard drive from your older console, the content you have saved can be swapped to the new console. And games that are downloaded to the internal storage can be copied through your Wi-Fi connection. Plus the settings can be synced from the older hardware to the new hardware.

At the event, Microsoft also announced a Xbox One X “Project Scorpio” edition — which has a few aesthetic differences. The Xbox One X “Project Scorpio” edition looks similar to the original Xbox and the words “Project Scorpio” are lit up in a green font. The Xbox One X “Project Scorpio” edition has a black and graphite textured casing.  Plus the “Project Scorpio” edition also has a vertical stand.

GameStop is offering trade-in options if you want the Xbox One X. You can get up to $200 when you trade in a Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4 Pro. Or you can get up to $150 for trading in a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One S. And the original Xbox One X can get up to $100.

On October 10th, Microsoft will also offer a “Middle-earth: Shadow of War” Xbox One S bundle. That is the date when Middle-earth: Shadow of War will be officially launching.

Plus Microsoft also announced that over 100 new and existing games like Halo 5 and The Witcher 3 will receive free 4K upgrades in the future so you can fully utilize the native 4K and HDR video quality that the Xbox One X provides.

New Minecraft Themed Xbox One S And Controllers

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‘Minecraft’ themed Xbox One S

At Gamescom, Microsoft also announced a 1TB Minecraft Limited Edition Xbox One S Bundle. “The Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition Bundle (1TB) includes a custom designed grass block console, Xbox Wireless Controller – Minecraft Creeper, Minecraft system sounds, vertical stand and transparent underside with Redstone circuit accents. This exclusive bundle also includes a full game download of Minecraft plus the Redstone Pack, a collection of unique skin packs. Available only in limited quantities, it’s a must-have for avid Minecraft players and collectors. The bundle is available for pre-order now and will be launching in all Xbox One markets, except China and Brazil, on October 3, 2017,” said Microsoft Xbox Wire Editor in Chief Will Tuttle in a blog post.

Forbes contributor Mitch Wallace pointed out that the Minecraft themed controller can be purchased separately for $74.99 and there is also a Pig version for $74.99. The Pig version has a pink color and a “blocky swine mug.” The console bundle will retail for $399.99 and it is available for pre-order at Microsoft.com. The individual controllers will be available at Microsoft and Target retail stores on September 5, 2017, and other retailers starting September 12, 2017.

Two More Xbox One Backwards Compatible Games

Microsoft has added two more games to the Xbox One backward compatibility program. The two Xbox 360 games that can now be played on the Xbox One includes Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and ScreamRide.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a spin-off of Metal Gear and is a sequel to Metal Gear Solid 4. ScreamRide was released for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2015. But now you can play the Xbox 360 copy on the Xbox One. You can see the full list of backward compatible games on Xbox.com.

Microsoft Adds 7 Games To Game Pass

Microsoft has announced that it is adding 7 games to Game Pass, which is a Netflix-like service where users can access over a hundred Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles for $9.99 per month. Plus Game Pass is now available in eight new markets. The seven games that will be available on Game Pass starting September 1st includes ReCore: Definitive Edition, Metro: Last Light Redux, Fable II, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, 10 Second Ninja X, Hue and The Bridge. And the eight new markets where Game Pass will be available are Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey and UAE.

Crackdown 3 For Xbox One X Is Delayed Until Spring 2018

Crackdown 3, an open-world action game for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox One X, has been delayed until spring of 2018. Crackdown 3 was originally announced at E3 2014. And Crackdown 3 was scheduled to be released this November alongside the Xbox One X.

“We’re very excited about Crackdown 3, and so are many fans, and so it’s a difficult call to move the release date,” said Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis via Polygon. “However, we want to make sure to deliver the right game, with the right quality, and at the right time.” The extra time spent on the game will be for “visual polish.”

Microsoft Buys Cycle Computing

Microsoft has announced that it has acquired Cycle Computing. Cycle Computing is a “leader in cloud computing orchestration” that makes it easier for customers to use High-Performance Computing (HPC) and other Big Computing capabilities in the cloud.

Microsoft will be integrating Cycle Computing’s technology into Azure. “Combining the most specialized Big Compute infrastructure available in the public cloud with Cycle Computing’s technology and years of experience with the world’s largest supercomputers, we open up many new possibilities. Most importantly, Cycle Computing will help customers accelerate their movement to the cloud, and make it easy to take advantage of the most performant and compliant infrastructure available in the public cloud today,” said Jason Zander, a corporate vice president for Microsoft Azure.

Some of Cycle Computing’s customers include City of Hope and MetLife. And prior to the acquisition, Cycle Computing bootstrapped and did not have any rounds of funding. The financial details of the acquisition were undisclosed.

comScore: Bing Has A 33% Share In The U.S.

Last week, Microsoft hosted a webcast called “The Art And Science Of Bing Ads Automation.” During the webcast, the Bing Ads team published a tweet with some stats about Bing. Based on comScore’s analytics, Microsoft Bing is hitting 12 billion individual searches per month — of which 5 billion is from the U.S. This gives Bing a 9% search market share worldwide and 33% share in the U.S.

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