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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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January sales.

It has to be said that this item is a little bit on the redundant side of things this January 2nd. With the exception of the Grand Theft Auto III/Vice City Double Pack for Xbox, there's very little to herald the coming of the Chinese Year of the Monkey - and, as many of you will realise, most retailers broke the street date on the Double Pack anyway. Kristan even saw it on sale in GAME in Norwich on Christmas Eve.

Far more likely to capture your attention this brisk Friday morning are the countless January sales going on at various online retailers. As you'd expect Amazon is running a hefty sale with some tasty inclusions (Uplink for £9.99 and Doshin the Giant for £14.99 made it into my basket), while GAME's offering is mammoth, stuffed with all manner of bargains (not least of which Barbie Horse Adventure: Wild Horse Rescue for £19.98 on Xbox). Gameplay's sale is a little less exciting, but with some bargains hidden away nonetheless, and of course how could we forget, whose January sale is bound to rip some notes out of your wallet. It did mine.

On the other hand you may well just fancy buying something released over the past few weeks and months, and luckily for you there's never been a better time to do that, with most full price games going for £30 or even £20 around here - including a range of discounts on some of the best games of 2003, like Prince of Persia and Beyond Good & Evil.

And, helpfully, the GTA3/Vice City Double Pack for Xbox, which most places will sell you for £29.99. Now that's a Happy New Year in the making.