What you need to know
- The soundscapes of Halo Infinite and Sea of Thieves are now available for Calm Premium subscribers.
- Calm is a popular app that helps with meditation, sleep, and relaxation.
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can get three months of Calm Premium for free and half off their first year.
If you long for the shores of Sea of Thieves or the sounds of Halo Infinite, Calm and Microsoft have a new partnership that should be music to your ears. The soundscapes of the two popular gaming franchises are now available within the Calm app.
To play the audio based on the games, you'll need to have a Calm Premium subscription, which normally costs $70 per year. But if you're an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, you can get the first three months of Calm Premium for free. If you like it, you can also take advantage of a deal that gets Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers 50% off their first year of Calm Premium.
The "meditative sounds of whirling waves and chattering birds from the ocean expanse of Sea of Thieves" that Calm describes certainly seem like they'd be relaxing. Some may not feel the same way about the "ambient alien sounds of Zeta Halo from Halo Infinite."
Microsoft's partnership with Calm aims to help the mental health of gamers. A study commissioned by Microsoft showed that more than half of those that play video games (54%) do so to relieve stress. Now, that experience can extend beyond the time spent actively playing games, thanks to the collaboration with Calm.
Xbox Game Studios will also donate 1% of net revenue from all Gears of War games and merchandise to organizations that work to prevent suicide and combat loneliness. Microsoft Rewards members can also donate points to organizations that support mental wellness.
A collection of games that “provide an escape from the trials of life" was highlighted by Microsoft in its press release about the Calm collaboration. Perplexingly, the list included Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Persona 5 Royal. Both of those titles have mature ratings and traumatic themes.
Microsoft explains why it chose certain games in a blog post. The list also includes Disney Dreamlight Valley, Unpacking, and Stardew Valley.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gives you access to Xbox Cloud gaming and a plethora of other benefits. With Xbox Cloud Gaming, you can stream games to your phone, tablet, PC, Xbox console, and other devices. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can also try Calm Premium for free for three months.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.