Retail Radar: Xbox 360 bundle

Canadian Future Shop accepting preorders for a premium 360 with free Project Gotham Racing 3, three months of Xbox Live Gold, and 1,250 Marketplace points.

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Earlier today, part of Microsoft's strategy to counter the launch of the PlayStation 3 became clear. The company announced that it will release Gears of War just before Sony's console arrives in the North American market.

Canadian retailer Future Shop is suggesting another aspect of the company's plan to have the Xbox 360 flying off shelves in a season with new consoles from Sony and Nintendo. The store's Web site is taking preorders for an Xbox 360 bundle that will include the premium edition of the console, a copy of Project Gotham Racing 3, three months of Xbox Live Gold, and 1,250 Marketplace points. The bundle will contain the premium edition of the system and will retail for the same price the premium unit fetches on its own right now (CA$499.99). Future Shop is expecting the bundle to be available August 9.

Those details match up closely with a rumor from last month that originated on a gaming message board. The post's release date is off by a week, it mentions a price presumably in American dollars ($399--again, the same amount the premium sells for now) instead of Canadian, and it doesn't specify which version of the hardware is included, but the rest of the details line up exactly.

If this bundle is real (keep in mind Microsoft has not officially announced a bundle of any sort just yet), expect to hear more about it very soon.

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