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How do I Choose the Best Xbox® Bundle?

J. Beam
J. Beam

Like many other entertainment products, including cable and Internet service, video game consoles are often sold in bundle packages. The manufacturers of all the major platforms each typically release a bundle package at one time or another, but it is a tactic most common around the holiday shopping season. Sometimes a bundle package can be a good deal and other times it simply isn’t. To find the best Xbox® bundle, you need to know a few things about the system and its games.

The Xbox® was Micorsoft’s first video game console. The system was first released in 2002 and was followed up by a second generation console, the Xbox® 360, in 2005. The Xbox® 360 has two configurations – Arcade and Elite – though there were other configurations that have been discontinued. The major difference between the two systems is the included memory, but there are other specs worth comparing before purchasing. The primary thing to consider when comparing Xbox® bundles is the core systems and their individual specs as well as their retail price if purchased singularly.

Two young boys
Two young boys

A typical Xbox® bundle includes the console and at least two game titles. Other accessories may be part of the bundle, such as a wireless controller or trial membership to Xbox® Live, a fee-based access to online gaming. Keep in mind that to go online with the Xbox® you must either hardwire the system directly to your wireless router or purchase a wireless networking adapter. This accessory is typically not included in any Xbox® bundle.

To get the most out of an Xbox® bundle, compare the individual retail price of all included game titles and accessories and add that to the price of the individual console. If the bundle includes ambiguous titles that you rarely see on retail shelves, it could be because it's an unpopular title. Many times the Xbox® bundle includes one popular title and one less-than stellar title, but in some cases, it comes bundled with a well-known and in-demand title such as Madden.

In those rare instances where supply is short, especially upon release of a new system, a bundle may be the only way to purchase the system. Again, be sure to compare the individual retail price of the system without the bundle as well as the price of each game title and accessory included. It may be cost-effective to wait until the console is more readily available.

It is entirely possible to run across an Xbox® bundle with a title and accessory included that actually saves you money over purchasing each product individually. This is a good deal and signals a good time to buy. If you are purchasing an Xbox® bundle as a gift, be sure you compare the specs of the included system to the other available systems to make sure you are getting the most for your money. Also ask the retailer about backward compatibility. For example, only certain original Xbox® titles are compatible with the second generation Xbox® 360. Each time a new system is released, older titles may or may not be compatible with the new.

Ultimately, the best Xbox® bundle will give you the console, at least one game, and an extra controller (preferably wireless) at a savings of at least $10 or $20 US Dollars over the price of individual purchasing. However, keep in mind if you don’t see any use of play value in the included games it is hardly a deal considering you will have to purchase the games you want separately.

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      Two young boys