Gears of War fans with an Xbox One are in for a treat with the upcoming release of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. Microsoft and The Coalition announced Monday that Ultimate Edition owners will automatically unlock a free backwards compatible copy of the entire four game Gears collection.
Those that play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition between its August 25 release and December 31, 2015, will automatically unlock the entire Gears library to be played on the Xbox One. Support for backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles is currently undergoing testing in the Xbox Preview Program, but is expected to become available this fall for everyone.
The entire Gears of War collection consists of the original, both sequels, and the prequel, Gears of War: Judgment. That's essentially four games for the $40 asking price of the Ultimate Edition, and also gives us a peek into the how Microsoft will use backwards compatibility in its Xbox One marketing efforts.
Note that Microsoft announced that anyone who plays Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will be able download the entire Gears collection for free, and not just those that purchase it. That means if you play the Ultimate Edition just once on a friend's or family member's console, then you will own the entire Gears collection.
Preview Program members will be able to play the original Gears of War today, assuming they already own a copy. It and Shadow Complex are being added to backwards compatibility library on the Xbox One.
Xbox One Preview Members: Own Gears of War or Shadow Complex on Xbox 360? Play both for free via Back Compat pic.twitter.com/8PfrJmHA2NAnother enticement to pick up Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is the chance to get access to the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta. The beta is currently targeting a spring 2016 run. Expect a more defined date as the beta test nears.
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) August 3, 2015
Microsoft announced backwards compatibility support for the Xbox One during E3 in June, to much fanfare. Games are downloaded to the current-gen console's hard drive, along with software that emulates a full Xbox 360. As previously covered, that gives users access to the last-gen console's quick dash, messages, friends list, voice chat, and Xbox LIVE multiplayer. Xbox One features, such as broadcasting through the Twitch app, recording gameplay from the GameDVR, and taking screenshots are also supported.
What do you think of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition coming with free backwards compatible copies of the original four Xbox 360 titles? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images via Xbox Wire, Gears of War]