Update, 6/30/17, 11:20am PT: The Ultimate Game Sale is now live. Discounts in the Xbox Store are higher than Microsoft originally said, especially for Xbox Live Gold members, who can get up to 80% off certain items, as opposed to the "up to 50%" discount Microsoft announced. You can find lists of discounted items in the Xbox Store and Windows Store.
Original article, 6/28/17, 1:00pm PT:
Summer is the season of nice weather, grilled food, and... game sales. GOG already threw its Summer sale, the Steam Summer Sale runs until July 5, and now Microsoft's Ultimate Game Sale will go through June 30 to July 10. (And don't forget the Humble Spring Sale from the last week of May.) While the rest of the world heads outside, the games industry seems hell-bent on making sure you stay inside with your new toys.
Microsoft's hoping its Ultimate Game Sale will stand out for a few reasons. The first is that it's not restricted to a single marketplace, with discounts appearing in the Microsoft Store, Xbox Store, and Windows Store. The second is that those discounts apply to "gaming hardware and accessories" as well as games . And the third is a competition, the Ultimate Game Face Sweepstakes, offering thousands of dollars in prizes.
Microsoft didn't reveal any specific deals coming in the Ultimate Game Sale. The company said it plans to reveal more when the sale starts on June 30--which is par for the course for many of these events--and that it will offer savings "up to 50%" across its three marketplaces. That pales in comparison to other sales, which have offered up to 90% off some titles, but you might still be able to save a little bit of hard earned cash.
More information was available about the Ultimate Game Face Sweepstakes. As you may have guessed from the name, the contest requires you to share your "best game face" on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #UltimateGameFace and #PCSweepstakes2017 or #XboxSweepstakes2017. You don't have to buy anything in the sale to win--you just have to post the image and the hashtags. The first hashtag lets Microsoft know you want to participate in the sweepstakes; the second lets you choose which grand prize package you're hoping to win.
Here's what's included in the Ultimate PC Gaming Prize Pack:
Alienware Aurora R6 Gaming Desktop Alienware 25" Gaming Monitor Alienware Pro Gaming Keyboard Alienware Elite Gaming Mouse $1000 Windows Store Gift Card HyperX Cloud II Headset YETI Hopper Two 20 Cooler Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack
And in the Ultimate Xbox Gaming Prize Pack:
Samsung 55" Class Q7F QLED 4K TV Custom designed Xbox One S Custom designed Xbox Elite Controller $1000 Xbox Gift Card Seagate Game Drive for Xbox (4TB) HyperX CloudX Pro Gaming Headset YETI Hopper Two 20 Cooler Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack
Microsoft said the approximate retail value of the Ultimate PC Gaming Prize Pack is around $3,338; the Ultimate Xbox Gaming Prize Pack's worth roughly $4,555. You have to live in the U.S. and be over the age of 14 to enter the Ultimate Game Face Sweepstakes. (Minors will also have to get the consent of their guardian.) Just remember you'll have to pay taxes on the prizes--you don't want to be surprised when tax season hits.