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Game on, Sony: Buy an Xbox One, get any game free

Sony might be leading the console market, but Microsoft's free game offer with the purchase of a new Xbox One could make a difference.


Microsoft is offering a sweet deal over the next week to gamers looking to buy an Xbox One.

Between September 7 and September 13, Microsoft will give one free game to anyone who buys an Xbox One, Xbox One with Kinect, Xbox One Madden NFL 15 bundle, or Xbox One Forza Motorsport 5 bundle, the company announced on Thursday.

Unlike some other past promotions from Microsoft and other console makers that required gamers to choose between a selection of titles, Microsoft is offering the free deal on any game that's available at the time of purchase. That means everything from Titanfall to the highly anticipated Destiny is included in the deal.

Despite the somewhat loose restrictions, there are some caveats. The deal doesn't apply to preorders, so any game launching later this year will not apply. Microsoft is also banning refurbished consoles or used games from the deal. Gamers must also buy the title on physical disc and its value must not exceed $59.99 before tax.

Microsoft's move is shrewd, if nothing else. Next week, Destiny, the first major non-Halo title released by Bungie, is hitting store shelves September 9 (Tuesday), and it's expected to make quite a splash. Since it's not exclusive to the Xbox One but could be a huge hardware-seller for both Sony and Microsoft, the software giant's decision to offer it for free with the purchase of an Xbox One makes choosing its console far more palatable to some customers. It also puts Sony on notice to respond.

Whether Sony will actually respond, however, remains to be seen. Sony has announced that it has sold 10 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide since the hardware's launch last year. It's believed, though not confirmed by Microsoft, that it has sold approximately 5 million Xbox One units in about the same time. The free game offer may be a ploy on Microsoft's part to inch closer to the PlayStation 4.

A Microsoft spokesperson told CNET in an e-mailed statement that most major retailers will be participating in the free game offer, including Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Toys 'R Us. The company urged gamers to check with local retailers not listed to see if they're participating.