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Xbox Celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by Supporting API Game Creators and Players

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A shoreline scene with mountains, clouds in the sky and the Xbox logo as a setting sun.


Team Xbox is proud to honor the contributions and significance of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community. As a second-generation Asian American, I am excited to not only pay tribute to our culture, customs, and traditions, but to celebrate the creators and players who share our passion for increased Asian representation and inclusion in games. Asians and Pacific Islanders are a richly diverse set of communities, representing a myriad of histories and heritage. We are celebrating this month by amplifying the many voices, stories, and expressions of Asian and Pacific Islander life that have influenced culture, society, and gaming today.

At Xbox, we are committed to creating a safe place where everyone on the planet can experience the joy of gaming, while championing the unique and diverse content made by innovative Asian and Pacific Islander creators who illuminate the positive role of gaming in their lives, as well as the power of respectful representation in games. This also includes broadening the perspective that careers and opportunities in gaming are welcome to all people, and that our industry will so richly benefit from seeing more creators in gaming who represent players around the world.

Why does increased API representation matter? Nearly half of the 3B+ gamers on the planet are in Asia (source). When it comes to gaming, the Asian and Pacific Islander community is influential, playing an impactful role as players, creators, and spectators.  Asian American households own more video game related products than the entire US population (source). We strive to celebrate a global community and the many dimensions of the people within it. We endeavor to see more Asian and Pacific Islander characters in games telling our authentic stories and representing our vast cultures.

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We invite you to join us in this celebration of culture and contributions from the Asian and Pacific Islander community. Here are some of the ways Xbox plans to honor this community in May:


Gaming and Impact with Microsoft Rewards


Microsoft Rewards members in the United States can earn and donate points to organizations supporting the Asian and Pacific Islander community with Xbox. The organizations below will be featured on console throughout May:

  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC: Advancing JusticeAAJC works through policy advocacy, community education, and litigation to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.
  • AAPI Equity Alliance: AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity) is dedicated to improving the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy.
  • Stop AAPI Hate: Stop AAPI Hate advances equity, justice, and power by dismantling systemic racism and building a multiracial movement to end anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hate.

Xbox gamers can earn Microsoft Rewards points in various ways, such as playing or purchasing games after downloading the Microsoft Rewards app on Xbox. Earn points and redeem them for real rewards. Join us today and donate through Xbox


Xbox Plays Livestreams Celebrates Asian and Pacific Islanders in Game


In celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Xbox Plays will be dedicating our livestreaming content in May to this community, featuring Asian and Pacific Islander protagonists in games, developers, content creators/streamers and nonprofits. Follow us on our Xbox Twitch Channel and don’t miss any of the action!


Xbox Ambassadors Showcase Asian and Pacific Islander Gaming Community


The Xbox Ambassadors logo colored in orange on a light red, pink and light blue circular textured background with clouds and flowery silhouettes.

In the Xbox Ambassadors community, we are dedicated to sharing and amplifying community voices. So, in celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we asked those who identify as Asian and Pacific Islander in the Xbox Ambassadors community how games with diverse representation have impacted them and to share their stories about being a member of a gaming community. Here are their stories.


Discover Games Curated by Asian and Pacific Islander Communities at Microsoft


A shoreline scene with mountains, clouds in the sky and the Xbox logo as a setting sun featuring four game titles: Skul, Windbound, Raji and Sable.

At any time, Microsoft Store on Xbox or Windows visitors and Xbox Game Pass members can access games selected by Asian and Pacific Islander communities at Microsoft, reflecting the vast diversity of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander cultures.

Check out the Xbox games and Windows games collections spanning creators, leads, cultures, Asian American creators and leads, plus games with audio, interface, and subtitles translated in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

  • Life is Strange: True Colors (Rated M and Available with Xbox Game Pass) – Alex Chen, the first Asian American protagonist in this award-winning series, uses her psychic power of empathy to try to solve the mystery behind her brother’s death. The story explores the importance of self-care and includes same gender relationship options.
  • Sable (Available with Xbox Game Pass) – Guide Sable through her Gliding; a rite of passage that’ll take her on an unforgettable journey. Written by Meg Jayanth, who is Indian, and music composed by Japanese Breakfast, headed by Korean American, Michelle Zauner.
  • Hoa – Inspired by Vietnamese art and culture, Hoa is a beautiful puzzle-platforming game that features breathtaking hand-painted art, lovely music, and a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere.
  • Apex Legends – Playable characters include Rampart, who is voiced by British-Indian actress Anjali Bhimani, and Makoa Gibraltar, a symbol of strength for Pacific Islander and LGBTQIA+ communities.
  • Elden Ring (Rated M) – A fantasy action, role-playing game adventure set within a world created by Hidetaka Miyazaki in collaboration with fantasy novelist George R.R. Martin. 

View the collections in Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Visitors to both the Xbox and Microsoft Store on Windows can find Asian and Pacific Islander community picks by searching for “API Heritage” and related terms. Content is subject to availability by country. 


New Gamerpic, Profile Theme, and Avatar Items


A screenshot of an Xbox profile using the Asian and Pacific Islander GamerPic and profile theme.

In partnership with the Asian and Pacific Islander community at Xbox, we’re introducing a new gamerpic, profile themes, and avatar items! The gamerpic and profile theme will be available on console and the Xbox PC app. Get your avatar items here.


343 Industries Celebrates APIHM with New Nameplate and Emblem


343 Industries logo written in white text surrounded by a black diamond shape, surrounded by the colors blue, green, orange, red and purple with gold accents.

The 343 Industries Team is celebrating APIHM with new content in Halo Infinite Lone Wolves: Season Two! During the month of May, any players logging into Halo Infinite will receive an exclusive nameplate and emblem celebrating APIHM.


Learn more about all that Xbox is doing to engage our communities at the Xbox Community Hub.

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GAMES

Relive the Classic Sonic Games That Defined a Generation

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Sonic Origins Key Art


After 31 years, the legacy of Sonic the Hedgehog shows no signs of slowing down!

As one of the icons of gaming, Sonic, and his beloved friends, have helped shape gaming culture. We are proud to present Sonic Origins as a celebration of the early games that helped define an era of gaming.

The game has been a journey of re-discovery for the team involved to bring the first titles in the brands history to new audiences around the world.

Dating back the early console era, Sonic made his mark with a unique visual presentation, memorable characters and of course his trademark speed. These early games, including the original first three to launch, left their mark.  Sonic Origins is a tribute to these early titles, and brings them back in a revamped bundle of four of the most popular games in high resolution: Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

Sonic Origins Screenshot

From the iconic Green Hill Zone to the treacherous Death Egg Robot, you’ll help Sonic and friends blast through Eggman and his delinquent Badniks. Players have the option to explore each of these adventures as the famous blue blur, Sonic, his trusty friend, Tails, and their pugnacious ally, Knuckles.

Each game in the collection offers two different ways to play. In Classic mode, players can retroactively experience the game in its original ratio and with the challenge of limited lives. In Anniversary mode, players can spin dash through the perilous zones with unlimited lives and revamped 16:9 resolution.

Sonic Origins Screenshot

Watch new, never-before-seen animations both at the start and end of each game that were produced by Sonic’s Animation team in partnership with Powerhouse Animation Studios.

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Players that order the Digital Deluxe version will receive bonus content from the Premium Fun Pack and Classic Music Pack, featuring Hard Missions, Letterbox Background, Bonus Character Animations, music player, and additional re-mastered music tracks.

Sonic Origins Screenshot

From Sonic Team and Sega, thank you for an amazing ride and hope you check out Sonic Origins today!

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Sonic Origins

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$39.99

Relive the classic collected adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD in the newly remastered Sonic Origins! From the iconic Green Hill Zone to the treacherous Death Egg Robot, you’ll speed down memory lane to thwart the sinister plans of Doctor Robotnik in polished high definition! This latest version includes new areas to explore, additional animations, and a brand new Anniversary mode!

Pre-order and receive the Start Dash pack featuring in-game currency 100 Bonus Coins, new Mirror Mode unlocked and customize your playthru with themed Letterbox Background.

Classic Re-defined
Explore the classic Sonic titles in high-resolution, with all-new opening and ending animations for each title!

New Unlockables
Complete various missions to collect coins to unlock new content, challenges, and Special Stages through the Museum.

Classic and Anniversary Mode
Choose to Spin Dash your way through the numerous zones in Classic mode with the game’s original resolution and limited lives, or the new Anniversary mode with unlimited lives and revamped fullscreen resolution.

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Sonic Origins Digital Deluxe Edition

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$44.99

Sonic Origins Digital Deluxe

Relive the classic collected adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD in the newly remastered Sonic Origins! From the iconic Green Hill Zone to the treacherous Death Egg Robot, you’ll speed down memory lane to thwart the sinister plans of Doctor Robotnik in polished high definition! This latest version includes new areas to explore, exclusive animations, and a brand new Anniversary mode!

Sonic Origins Digital Deluxe includes the Premium Origins Pack plus Another Sound Pack, featuring Hard Missions, Letterbox Background, Bonus Character Animations in-menu & music player, and additional re-mastered music tracks.

Classic Re-defined
Explore the classic Sonic titles in high-resolution, and all-new opening and ending animations

New Unlockables
Complete various missions to collect coins to unlock new content, challenges, and Special Stages through the Museum.

Classic and Anniversary Mode
Choose to Spin Dash your way through the numerous zones in Classic mode with the game’s original resolution and limited lives, or the new Anniversary mode with unlimited lives and revamped fullscreen resolution.

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