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MS launches £130 Xbox/PGR2 bundle

Feel the tyre tracks on your face!

Rather unfairly, if you ask us, Project Gotham Racing 2 began sliding backwards down the charts this week, dropping ten places in Chart-Track's countdown to appear at No.27 in the All Formats Top 40 - and failing even to take the top spot in the Xbox Top 20, where EA's Medal of Honor: Rising Sun brushed it aside with a tornado of high profile marketing and TV spots. Then again if Microsoft went as far as EA and made a fancy advert that bears little or no resemblance to their game, maybe they'd be reaping the rewards - but we're kind of glad they haven't.

Instead, this morning the platform holder has unveiled plans to ship a new PGR2/Xbox bundle for £129.99 starting today, allowing players to get their hands on the console and one of the best games of Christmas 2003 for less than the price of a PS2 with no network adapter, memory card or software. Maybe if they write that in big, ten-foot letters on the side of a bus, the masses will wise up. It's also worth remembering that PGR2 comes with a voucher/scratch card thing worth two months' free access to Xbox Live.

Of course the PGR2 bundle isn't the only option for potential Xbox gamers. At the end of October, Microsoft launched an impressive £139.99 bundle consisting of an Xbox console, flagship first-person shooter Halo and Live-enabled driving title Midtown Madness 3. While it can't compete with PGR2 for depth of Live integration and pure racing, MM3 is certainly a lot of fun, and one of the better nonsense-racers we've played in 2003. That many retailers also bundle a couple of other games with this package makes it worth hunting around for.