'Xbox: Where's My Free Game?'

'Xbox: Where's My Free Game?'

When I hooked up my PlayStation 4, it already offered me two great games for me to play, three, if you count DC Universe Online. Had I not traded in a bunch of games for store credit the day my Xbox One arrived, I would have been able to, what? Play a fighting game with one character? A Kinect demo?

Yes, Killer Instinct may be free but, hand-to-God, I couldn't find it in any of my menus after connecting the console. It's also not the full title, which Resogun and Contrast are on PlayStation Network. Yes, getting them depends upon subscribing to PlayStation Plus, which if I wasn't already signed up represents a hidden cost (because you need it for multiplayer) on the level of a new game purchase. But Xbox Live Gold access represents the same thing and costs $US10. And there ain't no free game with the Xbox One, let alone two.

Lest you think that's some kind of a specialty bundle practice only, a free game with the machine is a concept as old as the Atari 2600 and the ColecoVision (which the Xbox One easily surpasses in mass. Oh my God.) After all, you buy the machine, you want to plug it in and play it, not admire it. It's why Super Mario Bros. shipped with the NES. My original Xbox came with some Star Wars game; my Xbox 360 had some arcade titles like Hexic installed on the drive. The Xbox One? Bupkiss.

Rich Grisham, my friend who writes for GamesRadar and hosts the Press Row Podcast panel on sports video games, put the disappointment much more sympathetically in our Google hangout on Friday night. Rich is literally a day one subscriber to Xbox Live and he's a day one purchaser of the Xbox One. Here's how he put it, at 1:28:01 of this video.

When I turned on my PS4 I instantly got two free games. Spectacular. Super fun. Within 15 minutes — and I had a very small PS friends list — but within a day I had a whole bunch of people all there. I plugged in my Xbox One today and got going and I just didn't have the same — I didn't get a free game. I have been an Xbox Live subscriber since day one. Since the first day Xbox Live was a thing, I have been paying for it.

Hey, you're an Xbox Live subscriber, and you have an Xbox One on day one. Here's ... something ...

Instead, what do you get? Some nutball "achievement" for getting the machine day one — an achievement some dumbasses are selling on eBay and some even dumber asses are buying.

Gamers are notoriously and justifiably chided for a sense of entitlement, even if that criticism has become prone to overuse. I don't think it's applicable here. You bring home the Xbox One, that's like the start of the negotiation. What's it gonna take to put you behind the wheel of Call of Duty: Ghosts today?

Don't want to buy a game off the Xbox Live Marketplace? I found you can download an early edition of Kinect Sports Rivals (due for release in the spring) for free. Demos? If they exist I can't find where they are in the menu.

"PlayStation 4 welcomed me into the PlayStation 4 era much more than the Xbox One did," Rich said (and no, he didn't expect the Xbox One to welcome him to the PS4 era, either.) "It's almost like Microsoft expects me to be there, and Sony's happy for me to be there." That's an important distinction, maybe the most profound one between the consoles that I experienced in the first week both were available.

The rest of the Google Hangout concerns sports, mainly — although you can watch me fumble around clearing space, cleaning up and re-wiring my TV cabinet for five consoles. Warning: I'm bending over and reaching into the entertainment center, so my Dan Aykroyd refrigerator repairman asscrack makes a (deliberate) cameo at 27:20.

If you're a sports gamer you really should subscribe to our podcast, and tune in for our hangouts on Fridays at 11 p.m. which you can catch live or as a rebroadcast via Pasta Padre. Press Row's Twitter feed also sends out notices of hangouts when special subjects arise.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @owengood.


    I got FIFA 14 for free, thanks MS :)

      FIFA14 free, Killer instinct free, xbox fitness free. I don't feel hard done by.

      It'll be interesting to see a breakdown of Xbone sales between NA and EU/AUS, because the NA customers didn't get FIFA. MS just assumed that America is the home of the Xbox.

      It will also be interesting to see how PS4 launches in Japan, considering Sony has relegated it to next year. I think Sony is giving Knack to Japanese customers for free, if I remember correctly.

    I don't mind not getting a free game, what I want is demos. Where's the demos? The 360 had plenty of great demos that I enjoyed playing. I don't think there's a single demo on the system at all. Ah well, hopefully devs get on that soon.

    This article really takes the wrong tone. PS4 gives you free stuff so you lash out of Microsoft because they didn't? Talk about a misplaced sense of entitlement. Why not "thanks Sony, that was real neat of you" and leave it at that.

    This is kind of like getting mad at your current girlfriend because she doesn't give you blowjobs like your last girlfriend did.

      I think it would be more apt to say that you're old girlfriend gave you great blowjobs, while your new girlfriend gives you none.

        Nah, it's more like saying you're mad because your mistress gives you better blowjobs than your wife (or swap mistress and wife etc).

        the aptest thing to say would that you paid your ex for blowjobs and now you're paying your girlfriend for nothing. Now onto the next question, if you were paying her for blowjobs, was she really your girlfriend? And the new girlfriend is just fleecing you for all you're worth. Time to re-evaluate your lovelife my friend

          We all pay, in one manner or another, we pay.

          The most apt thing is that your ex wouldn't give you blowjobs... but if paid her, you could not only get them, but from all of her friends/sisters as well. Your new girlfriend used to get paid for nothing in her old relationship, but feels the pressure to give BJ's now because she knew how good you had it before... but still wants to get paid and is inexperienced so has teething(ouch) issues.

          Last edited 25/11/13 11:41 am

          Considering PS only gave you the free games so it would soften the blow that your now paying for online play the analogy then becomes " received a bill from current girlfriend for everything she used to do for free" this is why i dont let the wife go on girls nights out she comes back with messed up ideas

      No, this is paying $100 dollars more for a console and more for a live subscription and not getting even close to the value you get with ps4 and Plus!

      You should really go back to the last girlfriend though... Just sayin!

      As for M$ they have their moments - my kids had a blast on the weekend playing A World for Keflings a game which was completely free which I otherwise wouldn't have heard about. The Xbone will get there eventually

    PS4 might have free games, but they're also games I've been playing and will continue to be playing on the PC. Killer Instincts free version might be limited, but at least I'm not already playing it elsewhere.

      "Resogun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Resogun (stylized as RESOGUN) is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up video game developed by Housemarque exclusively for PlayStation 4."

      ...how are you playing that on the PC?

        He's one of the "PC master race" they have all no matter what they are exclusive for.

          Or he could be referring to PlanetSide 2's EXCLUSIVE TO PLAYSTATION 4* trailer thing

          Resogun slipped my mind, though I didn't even realize it was free.
          Was talking about Blacklight, DC Universe Online and Warframe.
          So fine, it has Resogun. And that looks great.

          And for the record I'm hardly "PC Master Race".
          I plan on grabbing a PS4 when there are more games out for it and I'll probably like it, I'm enjoying my Xbox One right now as I enjoyed all the previous gen consoles, the consoles before that and so on and so on.

          I do enjoy gaming on my PC but mostly because you don't tend to find MMOs, good versions of The Sims or Roguelikes on consoles. Nine times out of ten I'd rather play a game on a console even in spite of the fact I have a PC that could run it better.

          Platform fanboyism is wankery of the highest order and not a thing I engage in, I just like good games whatever they come out on.

    Actually - pack in games on launch consoles is hardly the norm.

    I think you're confused with pack-in games after launch.

    this article... *sigh*

      Indeed, it's got a really shitty entitled attitude about it doesn't it???

        The problem with mainstream gaming society today imo

    I think Microsoft thought they gave out Forza 5 for free.

    That would explain the greedy use if free-to-play mechanics that permeates the entire game.
    Free cars on level up? Gone. Reasonable rewards for winning races? Hell no, then you could afford the cars you want. Access to all cars in free-mode? Removed.

    They charge full price for a game, include only 14 tracks and then hold the cars (which are really the point of the game) against a grinding ransom unless you want to fork out real money for tokens to allow you to earn credits faster or buy the cars outright (again) with your real money. Compare the average time taken to earn a car in Forza 2 to what it takes in Forza 5 and it’s very obvious that they’ve intentionally made it much more time consuming in order to grind their full paying customers into opening their wallets again.

    Add to that the game has some 400 cars LESS than Forza 4, but they still manage to have 10 cars day-one DLC ready and a promise of 50 more if you pay SIXTY F*CKING DOLLARS up front. That’s some 75% of what I paid for the first 200 cars and 14 tracks.
    Oh, and if you actually want to USE those 60 cars? You have to grind. Or, conveniently you can buy real money tokens to unlock them.

    This is how Microsoft treats their day one customers who buy full price games and you’re annoyed that you aren’t getting a free game? You’re joking right?

      Sorry didn't realise we were talking about Forza here guy

    People selling the Day 1 achievement aren't dumbasses. The people buying it are dumbasses. The people selling a virtual trophy for $30 are goddamn geniuses.

      They're dumbarses for not waiting 6 months when other dumbarses would pay $100 for them.

    Holds up code, FIFA downloads, browsed to Store, Killer Instict, downloads. Simples.

    Strange article, very strange...

    Last edited 25/11/13 11:24 am

      yeah i really didnt have any trouble finding any of the content on the store.

      Holding up the code was awesome - shame the article missed that...

    Warframe is also "free" with PS Plus. A couple of others too like DC Universe Online.

      Haven't seen DCUO on the AU store yet - anyone know if it'c coming? That and Blacklight would be ace. 260ms ping on US servers is not fun.

    If you're too dumb to work out how to find Killer Instinct or didn't get in early enough to get the free copy of Fifa you can't really blame Microsoft.

    Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q Q MAI FREE GAIMEZZZZ - Owen, Kotaku

    Author is an fing idoit and should be fired. I never seen such an utterly incorrect article on this site your incompetence knows no bounds .

    Microsoft already gave out Fifa and killer instinct is free to play with characters that cycle. You also get the fitness app with some free work outs.

    So for you to claim anything else is beyond pathetic, get this trash US article off Kotaku AU.

      Well, he's half right. Americans didn't get FIFA.

    Sick of this Sony bandwagon everyone seems to be jumping on. This is Kotaku AU we got FIFA 14 and Kinect for only $50 more then the PS4, articles like this are a fucking joke.

      I don't think i have seen necessarily more favourable Sony Articles then Microsoft and vice versa on Kotaku (Even though this one rubs me the wrong way and while this is clearly an opinion piece it should be labelled as one).

      However the actual gaming community as a whole generally seems to be pro Sony and that can be easily seen in comments sections on all websites. It is a little frustraing to see to be honest because you see the same people say "Sony PSN outages/slowdown are ok for only a few days" and then say when MS had that few hours of downtime due to Azure on launch day as "Xbox Live outages are unacceptable and i laugh at them".

      I'm sick of US articles on both Kotaku and Gizmodo. I find the Au articles are usually far more balanced and worthwhile, but the US articles are a steaming pile of fanboy crap on both sites.

    Suprised OP didn't mention Ryse in the article as well!

    Killer Instinct is a "Free-mium" game. Sure, you get the free version which is a glorified demo, but unless you pay you don't get the full game. Fifa was only a bundle game with EU/AU consoles, since this is probably an American piece, the author is correct in his issue. Yes, you get the Kinect Sports game, but that's something that is a given. PS4 comes with The Playroom already installed for use with the camera.

    Keep in mind that in order to get your Kinect game, you need to have a paid Live account. So for the extra you are paying, you get 1 game. In contrast, the PS4 has The Playroom all ready to go and if you spend the extra on PS+, you get 2 more games.

    There is this concept called "Value for money" maybe the Microsoft apologists need to look it up and remember it's meaning. The author, for his state in all this, does have some gripes and points out some big issues with Microsoft's treatment of it's player base. Just because he is speaking favorable about Sony doesn't mean he is instantly wrong or is biased against the Xbox; he's just wanting value for the money he has spent for the system.

      I got value for money, I got FIFA 14 and killer instinct for free and I also got a fantastic system.

      And also, just because people defend the one dosn't make Microsoft apologists. In the same way people who defend the ps4 arnt sony fan boys. Their both great consoles and one day I'll own both.

    Article should be retitled 'The Xbox one is an awesome console, as is the PS4, but my entitled attitude is REALLY shit...'

    Last edited 25/11/13 12:50 pm

    The problem is you are "expecting" free stuff. Times are changing, holding onto the idea that you still get Altered Beast with your Megadrive or Mario 64 with your N64 is an old adage. Mobiles, also have a lot to answer for.

    I wonder if he griped about Nintendo Land with the WiiU which with in all fairness could have been given away with a monthly magazine. Maybe Angry Birds pre-installed would have made him happy?

    Last edited 25/11/13 2:49 pm

    I can't wait to download these. I just got a free ps4 from goo.gl/ouQ8F2 but have to wait 2 weeks for delivery

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now