Console makers employ a number of tactics to spur system sales, from exclusive big-name game launches to price cuts to alternatively hued hardware. Another popular trend of late has been the bundle, which adds extra value to an existing hardware option and retains the original price point.
The latest example of this trend is apparently coming later this week, as online retailers Amazon.com and GameStop have new listings for a $200 Xbox 360 Arcade Spring 2010 bundle. The Spring Arcade bundle will include the standard hard drive-less Xbox 360 with 256MB of internal memory, a wireless controller, and copies of two family-friendly Rare-developed games: Viva Pinata and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Amazon's listing says the system will begin shipping to customers May 7, while GameStop has it pegged for a May 5 debut.
Released in 2008 to critical acclaim, Nuts & Bolts brought the series into the current console generation with a twist, as it requires gamers to design and build their own vehicular contraptions in order to help Banjo and Kazooie navigate a world full of obstacles. The original Viva Pinata also scored big with reviewers upon its 2006 debut for its unusual combination of gardening and animal husbandry.
The seasonal pack-in promotion echoes a similar move Microsoft made in March, when it packed in copies of Halo 3: ODST and Forza Motorsport 3 into its 120GB Xbox 360 Elite Spring 2010 bundle. That hardware package was also revealed by way of an Amazon listing several days before Microsoft gave official confirmation.