We first learned of the Xbox Live “Power Users” back when several of them got special Xbox 360s commemorating Xbox Live’s 10th anniversary. Now they’re receiving e-mails telling them they will get a free version of Killer Instinct with all characters unlocked, or in some cases a free Xbox One. Many who received the e-mail thought it was a scam, like those Facebook messages we get telling us Bill Gates will send a puppy to Disney World if we forward this. Then they contacted Microsoft and found out this was legitimate. No obnoxious chain letters were necessary to get the benefits.
The KI reboot is free-to-play, but comes with only one character, Jago. Additional characters cost extra. The Ultra Edition includes six launch fighters and early DLC access for $39.99. The Xbox One is $499, so that’s a nearly $600 gift package for the people who got both. Not a bad reward for some console loyalty. It’s free at launch, so there’s no reason not to try it. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many free titles there are coming in the near future. That takes some of the sting out of dropping that much on a console.
So how they’d go about determining who the lucky souls were? Several are Xbox celebs, such as Operation Sports writer Bishop Tart. Others are average joes with really high Gamerscores or long tenures on XBL. As word of these gifts spread, Microsoft sent out some clarification. It considered “a variety of things including Gamerscore and Xbox Live tenure, as well as other factors in markets where Xbox One is available.”
This is also a good way to stir up publicity right before the launch. Everybody’s reporting on this, and the comment boards fill up immediately afterwards. It’s a mixture of congratulations and people complaining that they have 56,000 Gamerscore and didn’t get anything, but anything that gets them talking is good right now. This much advertising would have cost a lot more than what Microsoft is paying to send out these consoles and downloads. Do you have new console fever yet?