We've been teasing you about a new Xbox bundle this week, one which stands to 'own' Christmas, and finally someone's broken the silence and placed pre-orders on their website (retailers just eye us suspiciously when we mention it to them). And that someone is UK-based Gameplay, with whom you can now swap £194.99 (plus shipping) for an Xbox, copies of Jet Set Radio Future and Sega GT 2002, and copies of Halo and Splinter Cell.
Quite a bundle, scheduled for release on the 29th, the same day that Splinter Cell arrives. Expect to see it up and down the country. However, industry sources suggest that the platform holder is not behind this wonderful deal. Instead, fingers are being pointed at one of the big distributors in the UK, which means that our continental European readers won't be able to take them up on this one.
Whoever started it, the prospect of a console and four games puts the Xbox's value in this bundle at barely £40. Not too far removed from some of the bundles mooted in the run-up to X02 in Seville. The good news is that whoever takes the financial hit, Xbox stands to sell a lot of units this Christmas, particularly thanks to Sony's stubborn attitude toward pricing.
After all, as a discerning parent, which are you more likely to buy? A console with better specs and four games at £200 or a game-less, two-year-old, £170 console with no software and an obligatory £30 peripheral spend on top? Ok, we can't rely on everyone's parents to exhibit some intelligence, but even the most hardened Xbox cynic would find it hard to rain anything but green on this Christmas Xbox parade.
Want to hop on the bandwagon? Avail yourself of a credit card and journey here.