By Jonathan Charles | Oct 01, 2012 10:24 AM EDT
Microsoft redesigned its award program to offer longtime Xbox Live players meager discounts on marketplace titles. Players can also earn a Halo 4 Spartan avatar costume as a reward for watching the 2012 Presidential Debates.
Players can watch Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, or Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, debate during the first three weeks of October using the Election 2012 app. Players need to watch three out of four debates to get the Halo 4 "Warrior" Spartan armor for avatars.
Debates run from 9-10:30 PM Eastern on Oct. 3, 2012, Oct. 11, Oct. 16, and Oct. 22. Thursday, Oct. 11, is the Vice Presidential debate. Players can visit the Xbox 360 Dashboard between now and Election Day on Nov. 6 to view the Election 2012 hub.
Microsoft's revamped rewards program offers players a two percent discount, which some see as a token gesture. The service falls behind PlayStation Plus, which offers free games and releases earlier than retail, or the Steam Summer/Winter Sale. Whether Nintendo will offer a rival service remains unknown.
Master Chief avatar were offered earlier this year to tie in with Halo 4's impending release (35 days). Microsoft also offers Xbox Live players the ability to buy Halo 3 armor for avatars from the Avatar Store.
Developer 343 Industries recently showed off Halo 4 at London's Eurogamer Expo, demonstrating the third level from the game's campaign. Various media outlets also wrote on impressions from the game after being invited to 343 Industries' base in Seattle, Washington. Those impressions seemed to be largely positive, though a lack of context was mentioned.
Halo 4 releases Nov. 6 on Xbox 360.