It's no secret that I'm a massive Halo fan. The amount of Halo related toys, games, and other items I have aside from the games is borderline obscene. The long awaited Halo 5: Guardians is a few short weeks from release and with any major AAA release, there's also an accompanying pricey Collector's Edition that nets you a bunch of physical goodies alongside the game for the massive fans like myself.
I'm not ashamed to say that I ordered mine the day it was announced, even before the contents that were included were revealed. Even though I'm still excited to pick it up, there was a major problem for myself and many others discovered when all of the contents were finally revealed.
First, it has quite a hefty price tag, $279.99 (in Canada) so with the price alone you would hope for an absolute ton of bonus items to justify the cost. So, let's quickly go over what's included for just shy of $300:
Warzone REQ Bundle: 14 Premium Requisition packs
Halo: The Fall of Reach - Animated Series
Guardian model by Metal Earth (For my review on Metal Earth models, check here)
Uniquely-designed Spartan themed SteelBook
Spartan Locke's Classified Orders
Dossiers on Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris
Xbox Live Gold 14-day Trial
Lastly, the main reason you're spending this kind of money on it:
A statue that depicts Chief and Locke together. The statue actually are book ends that use magnets, so you can display it as a single statue or separate them.
Now, this article isn't about if the items within are worth the cost, that's up to each person to decide, but there was one massive problem I had with the Collector's Edition that sparked some outcry. The one thing it doesn't come with is a disc of the game itself. Yes, it does come with a digital code but then why would you need a steelbook case? To pretend you have the disc and put it on the shelf with the rest of your collection? I don't mean to turn this into an argument of digital vs physical either. If I'm paying the high cost for bonus physical items, I would naturally expect a physical disc to be included as well not just a tease of a case that won't ever hold a disc.
One interesting move is that people who ordered the Collector's Edition will actually be able to pick them up in stores on October 20th 2015, a full week before the official launch of the 27th. The idea of a digital copy and an early release is so that fans would get their physical items but be able to have enough time to download and install the game well before the launch once the servers are turned on and allow players to start gaming. I get the idea of it but I was still massively disappointed that I don't get a disc in my $300 purchase (yes, I keep all my games and display them).
Luckily, due to similar minded fans and some mild backlash about the odd combo of case and digital Microsoft has finally announced that there will be a way for people in my exact predicament and mentality to trade their digital code for a physical copy, for free, albeit with a few stipulations.
First, make sure that once you do open your Collector's Edition on the 20th, that you do NOT redeem the digital code. Yes it will be tempting, but no, you still won't be able to play it for a week anyways. You will then contact Microsoft Support and let them know you want to exchange your code for a disc. They will ask for your Gamertag, Email Address, Shipment Info, and the unused digital code, so make sure you have all of this info ready.
They say that the physical copy (along with the associated bonuses with the Collector's Edition such as the Warzone REQ Bundle and Halo: The Fall of Reach) should arrive on your doorstep in 3-5 business days. Just in time for the launch on the 27th. Another stipulation is that this offer is only good from October 20th through November 1st, 2015. That's a very short time span, so you'll need to do it right away once you purchase it within that time period to be eligible.
So it seems like the 'issue' finally has a solution, though I still have a few questions. What guarantee is there that the disc will arrive before the 27th? Sure it says 3-5 business days, but I know I'm going to be upset if it doesn't arrive in time and all my friends are online playing while I wait since the digital code you swap will be negated once swapped.
While I wish there was an option to do the swap at a store level instead at least Microsoft is providing a solution for us in this unique predicament. Just make sure you don't redeem the code and you'll have another disc to store on the shelf with the rest of your collection, it will just take a little hassle to get said disc.