Microsoft sets holiday Xbox bundle

Microsoft announced on Friday a new holiday Xbox package that essentially gives buyers two free sports games and a trial subscription to the Xbox Live online gaming service. The bundle, available starting Oct. 31, will add Electronic Arts' "NCAA Football 2005" and "Top Spin" tennis game, plus two months of Xbox Live service, for the same $150 Microsoft now charges for the standalone Xbox.

Bundles are a common way for game console makers to boost seasonal sales in between price cuts. Microsoft last trimmed the price of the Xbox in March. Competitor Sony will begin selling a trimmed-down version of its market-leading PlayStation 2 console on Nov. 1.

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