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It's that time of year, the time when Microsoft starts putting together all kinds of Xbox bundles. Head to the Xbox site, for example, and you'll find the usual Xbox-One-at-retail-price-plus-a-free-game kind of offers.
Here's a better one: For a limited time (and I'm praying it doesn't end 5 minutes after I post), Amazon has the Xbox One 500GB console for $326 shipped -- a price that includes Gears of War and your choice of bonus game!
Update: Not exactly sure what happened, here, but the $326 Xbox One is now being sold by a third-party vendor, meaning the free-game option is not valid. Sorry about this... When I first posted the deal, the inventory definitely was Amazon's.
Obviously there's only one bonus game to choose:. It's like Call of Duty or Battlefield -- but Star Wars! No? Really? OK, other eligible titles include Fallout 4, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Halo 5: Guardians.
Not sure if the Xbox One is the game console for you? Read, which covers Microsoft rolled out last week. Among them, you'll note that the Xbox One is now backwards compatible with some Xbox 360 games, and there are more to come.
Here's what you need to know about Amazon's bundle:
To take advantage of this offer, add both the eligible console and game to your cart, proceed to checkout, and the discount will be deducted at the final page of checkout. Applies only to products shipped and sold by Amazon.com; does not apply to items sold by other merchants on the Amazon.com website. Excludes preorders and games priced over $59.99. Offer expires November 21st, 2015 11:59 p.m. PST or while supplies last.
Will there be a better deal than this come Black Friday? It's possible. But $326 for the console itself plus two games worth about $100? That's definitely worth considering.
Personally, I'm new to the One. Played the Star Wars Battlefront demo and was totally blown away. Then I rented a couple games and was surprised that I had to wait about 30 minutes to run one of them from the disc. If you want to make the case that the PS4 is better, I'm listening.
Bonus deal: Can a PC still play the role of media center? Sure, though you'll get no help from Microsoft now that Windows Media Center and built-in DVD support are dead and gone. Fortunately, third-party tools can keep the media moving. Like this one: Today only, Giveaway of the Day has AnyMP4 Blu-ray Player 6.1 for free. Normally $69(!), this Windows utility lets you play Blu-ray ISO files and, if you have a Blu-ray drive, Blu-ray discs.
Of course, I should mention that the Xbox One plays Blu-ray movies -- even 3D Blu-ray movies. Just saying.