Microsoft Offers Release Dates For Free Games With Gold Titles

Microsoft Offers Release Dates For Free Games With Gold Titles

Fable 3 screenshot

We now know exactly when to expect the free games Microsoft has earmarked for Xbox Live Gold subscribers.

First announced at E3, Microsoft's "Games With Gold" promotion offers periodic free game downloads to anyone with a valid Xbox Live Gold subscription. The first of these titles, Fable III is now available for download, and will remain free until June 30. If that title isn't your cup of tea, the good news is that Microsoft has just revealed the dates on which it will be releasing new, free titles.

According to the official Games With Gold promotional website, new titles will appear on the 1st and 16th of each month. As with Fable III, each of these titles will only be available with the gratis price tag for a limited time, so it would probably behoove you to pay attention to which new games Microsoft periodically adds to its Games With Gold stable.

On the other hand, if you don't have an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you may want to sign up for one now that the rewards are so much more substantial than the standard Xbox Live Gold features we've come to know and tolerate over the past half-decade. Microsoft has reserved a page on the Xbox website to promote this idea, and claims that an Xbox Live Gold subscription can be yours for just "$5 per month." That's true, more or less, if you buy a 1 year subscription at its standard $60 retail price, but since Amazon and other retailers run sales on Xbox Live Gold subscription cards with such regularity, you can probably join the service for far less money by simply shopping around.

Now that all of the logistics of this promo have been detailed, we turn to you to ask what games you'd like to see Microsoft add to the Games With Gold initiative. I've got my fingers crossed for any entry in the Viva Piñata franchise, but then I've got a thing for sugary wildlife so that could just be me.

Comments below. You know what to do.

Source: Xbox

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They would have to pay me to get the pile of garbage that was Fable 3 (again), but perhaps in future the games they will offer will be a bit more to my liking although I very much doubt they will convince me to pay for an Xbox live subscription.

I heard somewhere that the games still belong to you if you stop being a gold member, is that true?

I give it a couple years tops before all the 'free' games you get from the gold service are 'new' but filled with micro transactions, and DLC that is damn near mandatory to enjoy the game. Maybe I'm just a cynic though.

PSN+ is better than live, better free games, and it's cheaper too.

Fable3? No thanks, you'd have to pay me to get that game.

neppakyo:
PSN+ is better than live, better free games, and it's cheaper too.

Fable3? No thanks, you'd have to pay me to get that game.

Isn't PS+'s yearly rate about 50 dollars too? I got a discount this year due to the timing of my renewal time.

Edit: Sure they offer more than 1 free game at a time and discounts across other titles.

On a side note I think someone said something like if you get it now it's free but if you delete it and want it back later you'd have to pay for it? Has anyone seen a more informed policy on this or is Gold not set up to have access to two versions where one type is current priced for money version and a limited time offer free version that can be re-downloaded later if you still have gold?

I guess I'm in the minority. I didn't think Fable III was that bad. I liked it. Was it great? No, but you'd have been a fool to believe the drivel Molyneux was talking up. I'll actually "buy" this for free on the Marketplace just to ensure I have a digital copy available when I want.

neppakyo:
PSN+ is better than live, better free games, and it's cheaper too.

Fable3? No thanks, you'd have to pay me to get that game.

Better than live? Could you be more vague? You mean the extremely long download times? In my opinion, you get what you pay for with Xbox Live. It's a better, faster service than the current PSN. As for cost, again, regardless of whether you get PSN+ or not, you get what you pay for.

As far as the offerings of free games, this is just the first one. A little quick to judge, yeah? They release one game for free and suddenly you're already making the call that Sony gives better games for free.

So Microsoft is offering free games with Xbox Live Gold now, OK.

Microsoft: Fable III

Vs

Sony: Uncharted 3: Drakes deception (PS3)
Demon's Souls (PS3)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)
Rayman: Origins (PS Vita)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Shadow of the Colossus & ICO HD 1080p (PS3)

As well as a few others.

Loads of semi recent well received games, two platforms for the same price and discounts on everything in the PSN store with 60min demos of any PSN game Vs a very poorly received 2010 game. Easy to see which company is offering the better deal here.

Hmmm, while Fable 3 and then Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed 2 isn't the best start, at least it is a start. PS Plus is still a lot better value at the moment though, I would say.

Let's hope MS can close that gap with these sorts of ideas though.

Midniqht:

Better than live? Could you be more vague? You mean the extremely long download times? In my opinion, you get what you pay for with Xbox Live. It's a better, faster service than the current PSN. As for cost, again, regardless of whether you get PSN+ or not, you get what you pay for.

As far as the offerings of free games, this is just the first one. A little quick to judge, yeah? They release one game for free and suddenly you're already making the call that Sony gives better games for free.

They could have had other games for free that people didn't already have. Besides the frame rate for Fable 3 that they made free was absolutely terrible. I know because I downloaded it and it takes a bit for character models to load in cutscenes.
And slower downloads on PS3? I've not had any slow downloads on the PSN at all when compared to Xbox Live. They had also made Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed 2 free, both games that I'm pretty sure people already have. If they want this to take off Microsoft is gonna have to make their free games service look a lot better than Sony's, and as of right now that's not the case. If they were to also give discounts like how PS+ members get then it would pick up even more.

synobal:
I give it a couple years tops before all the 'free' games you get from the gold service are 'new' but filled with micro transactions, and DLC that is damn near mandatory to enjoy the game. Maybe I'm just a cynic though.

Wait: I thought the Games For Gold thing was a limited promotional deal that only lasted to the end of the year?

Lucane:

neppakyo:
PSN+ is better than live, better free games, and it's cheaper too.

Fable3? No thanks, you'd have to pay me to get that game.

Isn't PS+'s yearly rate about 50 dollars too? I got a discount this year due to the timing of my renewal time.

Edit: Sure they offer more than 1 free game at a time and discounts across other titles.

On a side note I think someone said something like if you get it now it's free but if you delete it and want it back later you'd have to pay for it? Has anyone seen a more informed policy on this or is Gold not set up to have access to two versions where one type is current priced for money version and a limited time offer free version that can be re-downloaded later if you still have gold?

Nope! Once you own it through the promotion you own it! You can download it at any time, even if you're no longer an Xbox Live Gold member.

I also renewed my XBL Gold account for $38, and would have to say that besides the free games in term of service quality that Xbox Live Gold trumps PS+.

Hopefully once we start expanding both the Xbox One and PS4 libraries both systems will continue to receive free games under paid membership.

It's certainly a day late and a dollar short; but, still, given how cheap Xbox Gold is and all the services that come free with it, this is really a nice icing on the cake. True, they could have started with a *much* stronger game than Fable (*bleeping*) III (perhaps the least liked of the entire series (The Journey doesn't count...), but it's still a step in the right direction in my humble opinion.

Assassin's Creed II is on the list for July and that would have been a better first free title than Fable III, even though I am enjoying said Fable title quite a lot. Minus the microtransaction garbage they built *into* the game. Regardless, instead of bitching about how their copying Sony or not doing as good as Sony, how about just appreciating that their trying to emulate Sony's smart choices.

I wouldn't be surprised if they offered Kameo : Elements of Power as a Free with Gold game somewhere down the line. I don't exactly have much faith in Microsoft, even though I have the 360 is the only console I own, crappy laptop aside. But I guess it's nice they're finally trying to spice up Xbox Live, even if it is with games that most people have.

On a side note, I actually enjoyed Fable 3. Not much, but it was a fun timesink while it lasted.

CellShaded:
I wouldn't be surprised if they offered Kameo : Elements of Power as a Free with Gold game somewhere down the line.

Is it sad that my heart actually jumped at that possibility? Probably the last great Rare game there, and I lost my copy years ago, and it's so hard to find now...

And someone with ps+ please confirm; if your ps+ membership expires, do you lose access to those games? Do the games have limited time to play them as they cycle through? I genuinely don't know, I've never payed for PS+, so I'm curious. Because if PS+ is like I think, then Microsoft may not offer the best games, but the deals on them seem to be generally better (y'know, with the whole keeping them thing).

alfinchkid:

CellShaded:
I wouldn't be surprised if they offered Kameo : Elements of Power as a Free with Gold game somewhere down the line.

Is it sad that my heart actually jumped at that possibility? Probably the last great Rare game there, and I lost my copy years ago, and it's so hard to find now...

And someone with ps+ please confirm; if your ps+ membership expires, do you lose access to those games? Do the games have limited time to play them as they cycle through? I genuinely don't know, I've never payed for PS+, so I'm curious. Because if PS+ is like I think, then Microsoft may not offer the best games, but the deals on them seem to be generally better (y'know, with the whole keeping them thing).

You get to keep them forever on PS+ as long as you "purchased" it while it was there. I never actually downloaded Mass Effect 3, but it's in my download list if I ever want it :)

EDIT:
You do have to keep your subscription up though to play them. If it drops, you have to re-subscribe to play them again.

alfinchkid:
snip

If the game was free when downloaded then you need to stay a PS+ member to play it, but all DLC and discounted games are yours forever and you can play them even if your PS+ membership runs out. Sony does a lot of sales, sometimes games being 50% off, and it's always good to check.

The first time I got PS+ all FF games were 50% off so I snagged them right up. They are also adding quite a few more PS2 classics onto their as well which is good.

Neronium:

If the game was free when downloaded then you need to stay a PS+ member to play it, but all DLC and discounted games are yours forever and you can play them even if your PS+ membership runs out. Sony does a lot of sales, sometimes games being 50% off, and it's always good to check.

The first time I got PS+ all FF games were 50% off so I snagged them right up. They are also adding quite a few more PS2 classics onto their as well which is good.

Nah, you can only play the DLC if the DLC doesn't require the original game to play it. Like the GTA IV dlc, I would think. I've been a PS+ member for, I think, two years now and I'm renewed all the way to September of 2014. You do have to keep the subscription up, but if you ever let it lapse, you can renew it again to play the content. There is no time limit for how much you can play the game and it doesn't expire as long as you have a subscription.

They give out about five free games per month (one of which is for Vita), and at least one of them is always of the $60 disc-based variety (sometimes several). They also offer big discounts during sales (Recently: $21.59 for Dishonored, $18 for RE6, $14 for All-Stars, $19.59 for AC3 and Borderlands 2). Anything you buy at sale is yours with or without a subscription. PS+ also adds cloud saves and you can set your PS3 to turn itself on every day at a specific time to download updates. So there are benefits besides free games.

But a previous commenter was right about slow downloads. It's not every time, but occasionally the Sony store can't seem to handle the traffic (nevermind how glitchy the store itself is). It's usually when they release more than one large game like they did recently. I think that's why they released a single game each week this time instead of releasing all the games at the same time the way they did at the last E3.

On the plus side, one membership will cover three devices (PS Vita, PS3, PS4). Bet Xbox won't do that.

J Tyran:
So Microsoft is offering free games with Xbox Live Gold now, OK.

Microsoft: Fable III

Vs

Sony: Uncharted 3: Drakes deception (PS3)
Demon's Souls (PS3)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)
Rayman: Origins (PS Vita)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Shadow of the Colossus & ICO HD 1080p (PS3)

As well as a few others.

Loads of semi recent well received games, two platforms for the same price and discounts on everything in the PSN store with 60min demos of any PSN game Vs a very poorly received 2010 game. Easy to see which company is offering the better deal here.

The US got:

Saints Row the Third (PS3)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3)
Uncharted 3 (PS3)
Little Big Planet Karting (PS3)
Machinarium (PSN)
God Eater Burst(PS Vita)

And we still have games from earlier months (The Cave, Knytt Underground, Joe Danger, Malicious, Labyrinth Legends). I envy you your Shadow of the Colossus though.

Overquoted:
snip

Ah, thanks for clarifying. I don't buy DLC often at all, mainly I just get the discounts that PS+ has when they aren't having a sale. I've not had any real problems with the store at all. Only time I had some was when they first changed it. I will admit that I liked the old PS store way better because I liked how much easier it was to search for things. Also because the Classics were split up between PS2 and PS1 when now they are just jumbled together.

Also, I missed the Borderlands 2 sale!? Curse you Let's Plays, creating those LP videos has distracted me from yet another sale that I would have liked!*shakes fist at R&C game in disc drive* >.<

Oh, wow, I might have to start upgrading my 360's hard drive. I gotta say, good move microsoft! On the same note, I'd hope you have plans on catching up to what playstation plus already does, though. :P

Still, it's a decent start.

Overquoted:

J Tyran:
So Microsoft is offering free games with Xbox Live Gold now, OK.

Microsoft: Fable III

Vs

Sony: Uncharted 3: Drakes deception (PS3)
Demon's Souls (PS3)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)
Rayman: Origins (PS Vita)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Shadow of the Colossus & ICO HD 1080p (PS3)

As well as a few others.

Loads of semi recent well received games, two platforms for the same price and discounts on everything in the PSN store with 60min demos of any PSN game Vs a very poorly received 2010 game. Easy to see which company is offering the better deal here.

The US got:

Saints Row the Third (PS3)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (PS3)
Uncharted 3 (PS3)
Little Big Planet Karting (PS3)
Machinarium (PSN)
God Eater Burst(PS Vita)

And we still have games from earlier months (The Cave, Knytt Underground, Joe Danger, Malicious, Labyrinth Legends). I envy you your Shadow of the Colossus though.

I called this month "see what the fuss was about" month, I got to play Shadow of the Colossus and Demon's Souls.

J Tyran:
So Microsoft is offering free games with Xbox Live Gold now, OK.

Microsoft: Fable III

Vs

Sony: Uncharted 3: Drakes deception (PS3)
Demon's Souls (PS3)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)
Rayman: Origins (PS Vita)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Shadow of the Colossus & ICO HD 1080p (PS3)

As well as a few others.

Loads of semi recent well received games, two platforms for the same price and discounts on everything in the PSN store with 60min demos of any PSN game Vs a very poorly received 2010 game. Easy to see which company is offering the better deal here.

While I usually won't defend Microsoft, they have JUST started, give em an opportunity to expand it for christ sake.

Dogstile:

J Tyran:
So Microsoft is offering free games with Xbox Live Gold now, OK.

Microsoft: Fable III

Vs

Sony: Uncharted 3: Drakes deception (PS3)
Demon's Souls (PS3)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)
Rayman: Origins (PS Vita)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Shadow of the Colossus & ICO HD 1080p (PS3)

As well as a few others.

Loads of semi recent well received games, two platforms for the same price and discounts on everything in the PSN store with 60min demos of any PSN game Vs a very poorly received 2010 game. Easy to see which company is offering the better deal here.

While I usually won't defend Microsoft, they have JUST started, give em an opportunity to expand it for christ sake.

As its a big and obviously competitive gesture don't you think they would have come out swinging? No they just came up with games that they know won't sell much anyway and think its enough.

Is it just me or does this seem like a "Please like us again, here's free stuff" manuver? Or is it more like "Ehhh, we are moving on so ya'll can have this crap while we focus on our 180".

J Tyran:

Dogstile:

J Tyran:
So Microsoft is offering free games with Xbox Live Gold now, OK.

Microsoft: Fable III

Vs

Sony: Uncharted 3: Drakes deception (PS3)
Demon's Souls (PS3)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss (PS Vita)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)
Rayman: Origins (PS Vita)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PS3)
Shadow of the Colossus & ICO HD 1080p (PS3)

As well as a few others.

Loads of semi recent well received games, two platforms for the same price and discounts on everything in the PSN store with 60min demos of any PSN game Vs a very poorly received 2010 game. Easy to see which company is offering the better deal here.

While I usually won't defend Microsoft, they have JUST started, give em an opportunity to expand it for christ sake.

As its a big and obviously competitive gesture don't you think they would have come out swinging? No they just came up with games that they know won't sell much anyway and think its enough.

Fable actually sold fine. Managed to get onto steam top sellers for longer than anyone thought.

Dogstile:

J Tyran:

Dogstile:

While I usually won't defend Microsoft, they have JUST started, give em an opportunity to expand it for christ sake.

As its a big and obviously competitive gesture don't you think they would have come out swinging? No they just came up with games that they know won't sell much anyway and think its enough.

Fable actually sold fine. Managed to get onto steam top sellers for longer than anyone thought.

Its not going to sell many copies now, sell not sold.

Xanex:
Is it just me or does this seem like a "Please like us again, here's free stuff" manuver? Or is it more like "Ehhh, we are moving on so ya'll can have this crap while we focus on our 180".

Does it matter? Free game is free.

J Tyran:

Dogstile:

J Tyran:

As its a big and obviously competitive gesture don't you think they would have come out swinging? No they just came up with games that they know won't sell much anyway and think its enough.

Fable actually sold fine. Managed to get onto steam top sellers for longer than anyone thought.

Its not going to sell many copies now, sell not sold.

So? Currently your argument is "What they're giving me for free isn't good enough". Well done, if your goal was to come off as someone with a severe case of entitlement, you've won.

Dogstile:

J Tyran:

Dogstile:

Fable actually sold fine. Managed to get onto steam top sellers for longer than anyone thought.

Its not going to sell many copies now, sell not sold.

So? Currently your argument is "What they're giving me for free isn't good enough". Well done, if your goal was to come off as someone with a severe case of entitlement, you've won.

I take that as if I won the debate then, people on throw the "entitlement" argument in when they have nothing else and its a loaded word they think can defeat any argument.

What I am actually saying is there new feature is crap value compared to their competitor, that's a simple consumer observation not entitlement. On the other hand your willingness to suck up anything up and defend your chosen champion to the point of making personal attacks I get a slight whiff of fanboiism. Its "free" is not enough, if you have XBLG its very well and fine enjoying your free bone Microsoft have thrown you.

The problem is its obviously designed to compete with PS+, If a customer is deciding either which console to get or which on line service too subscribe too Microsofts is the worst value. How is pointing that out entitlement? Your Fanboiism had blinded you to to that obvious truth.

J Tyran:

Dogstile:

J Tyran:

Its not going to sell many copies now, sell not sold.

So? Currently your argument is "What they're giving me for free isn't good enough". Well done, if your goal was to come off as someone with a severe case of entitlement, you've won.

I take that as if I won the debate then, people on throw the "entitlement" argument in when they have nothing else and its a loaded word they think can defeat any argument.

What I am actually saying is there new feature is crap value compared to their competitor, that's a simple consumer observation not entitlement. On the other hand your willingness to suck up anything up and defend your chosen champion to the point of making personal attacks I get a slight whiff of fanboiism. Its "free" is not enough, if you have XBLG its very well and fine enjoying your free bone Microsoft have thrown you.

The problem is its obviously designed to compete with PS+, If a customer is deciding either which console to get or which on line service too subscribe too Microsofts is the worst value. How is pointing that out entitlement? Your Fanboiism had blinded you to to that obvious truth.

You can take that if you've decided to ignore the word just because others use it incorrectly. Of course, that must mean you ignore anyone who mixes up cue and queue. I'm throwing entitlement because you took one look at a free game and went "not good enough".

Defending my "chosen champion". Well done, your observation is incorrect however, as I am a PC gamer. In fact, I don't even like Microsoft, especially with this new Xbox one disaster. If you consider getting called entitled when you're displaying a textbook case of it a personal attack, then you should probably stop visiting forums, its only going to get worse.

My point was they're testing the waters with it and that you're stamping on it before giving it a chance. That isn't pointing out which is better.

Dogstile:

J Tyran:

Dogstile:

So? Currently your argument is "What they're giving me for free isn't good enough". Well done, if your goal was to come off as someone with a severe case of entitlement, you've won.

I take that as if I won the debate then, people on throw the "entitlement" argument in when they have nothing else and its a loaded word they think can defeat any argument.

What I am actually saying is there new feature is crap value compared to their competitor, that's a simple consumer observation not entitlement. On the other hand your willingness to suck up anything up and defend your chosen champion to the point of making personal attacks I get a slight whiff of fanboiism. Its "free" is not enough, if you have XBLG its very well and fine enjoying your free bone Microsoft have thrown you.

The problem is its obviously designed to compete with PS+, If a customer is deciding either which console to get or which on line service too subscribe too Microsofts is the worst value. How is pointing that out entitlement? Your Fanboiism had blinded you to to that obvious truth.

You can take that if you've decided to ignore the word just because others use it incorrectly. Of course, that must mean you ignore anyone who mixes up cue and queue. I'm throwing entitlement because you took one look at a free game and went "not good enough".

Defending my "chosen champion". Well done, your observation is incorrect however, as I am a PC gamer. In fact, I don't even like Microsoft, especially with this new Xbox one disaster. If you consider getting called entitled when you're displaying a textbook case of it a personal attack, then you should probably stop visiting forums, its only going to get worse.

My point was they're testing the waters with it and that you're stamping on it before giving it a chance. That isn't pointing out which is better.

Of course its pointing out who is better, Microsoft are stupid if they are "testing the water". They obviously want to either match or compete with Sony's PS+ and their attempt is pretty poor. They should go big or go home in this situation, get the service prepared and market it extensively.

You are totally misusing the word "entitlement" in this case.

I have no personal stake here, I have both consoles and both services. I am not to bothered about XBLG at the moment and considering not re-subbing, I don't play consoles all that much because I like my PC. I am simply pointing out as a consumer that one service is better value than the other.

Thats not entitlement its common sense.

I do not feel that I am "owed" anything at all, its simple one service is cheaper and offers incredible value and the other service dribbles out something nobody really wants.

 

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