Microsoft tempts videogame sports fans with new Madden Xbox One bundle

Xbox One Madden NFL 16 Bundle
Credit: Microsoft

I know I won't get a lot of sympathy from my friends up north but I'm already sick of summer and looking forward to fall. I'm ready for cooler weather and of course, football!

Of course before the regular season of real football begins, the new season of videogame football starts. Every year Electronic Arts publishes a new edition of Madden NFL football and this year is no exception. It arrives on August 25th.

Microsoft still wants you to buy an Xbox One and they've put together a pretty interesting bundle for videogame football fans. Yesterday they announced the Xbox One Madden NFL 16 Bundle.

This is a $400 bundle, and it includes the new 1 TB Xbox One and a digital copy of Madden NFL 16. It also includes a year of EA Access, which is what makes this bundle a little bit different.

EA Access is a $30/year (or $4.99/month) program that offers a few perks. First there's a 10% discount on the purchase price of new EA games. Second it gives members early access to new games (anywhere from 6-10 hours of gameplay starting 5 days before launch). Lastly it gives subscribers access to a selection of free games in "The Vault."

I've been an EA Access member since the service began and it's been an OK experience for me, but for a real sports fan who is new to the Xbox One ecosystem it could be a great deal. The Vault is loaded with sports titles: Madden NFL 25 and Madden NFL 15, NBA Live 15, FIFA 14 and FIFA 15, NHL 15 and finally UFC. Add in the copy of this year's Madden that comes in the bundle and that's quite a library of sports titles to get you going with the Xbox One. (And just to be clear, the Vault includes some non-sports titles too, including TitanFall and Battlefield 4.)

Serious competitors will also see the value in getting access to the new Madden on August 20th (a perk anyone with EA Access can take advantage of, not just those who purchase this bundle), five days ahead of launch. (But do remember you have a finite number of hours you can play. The highest number I've seen is 10. Still ten hours of practice before your friends can start playing is going to give you an edge, right?)

You can pre-order the bundle now (Amazon has it) and it'll be released on August 18th, giving you a couple days to get everything set up and your copy of Madden 16 downloaded before Early Access starts.

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