With the stock-market implosion causing many to watch their wallets, people no doubt will be looking to stretch their gaming dollars as far as possible this holiday season. Microsoft is making a serious bid for those dollars, given that the company this week followed up last month's Xbox 360 price cuts by announcing new holiday bundles for each of its hardware configurations.
Starting this month, Xbox 360s will begin appearing on store shelves bundled with free family-friendly third-party games. The Xbox 360 Arcade bundle--which already comes with full versions of Xbox Live Arcade games Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno, Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rocket, and Feeding Frenzy--will now include Sega Superstars Tennis as well. Meanwhile, the $299 Xbox 360 and $399 Xbox 360 Elite will include Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures and Kung Fu Panda.
Free games aren't the only thing that Microsoft is using to push sales of the Xbox 360 this holiday season. The company is also resting its hopes on core games such as Gears of War 2, Fable II, broad-appeal offerings including Lips and You're in the Movies, and an overhauled dashboard referred to as the New Xbox Experience.
UPDATE: Late yesterday afternoon, Microsoft Australia confirmed that the updated Xbox 360 Arcade and Xbox 360 Elite bundles would also be coming down under. Like in the US, there will be no extra price hike, with the Xbox 360 Arcade and Xbox 360 Elite retailing for A$499 ($327) and A$649 ($425.91) respectively.