Video game industry's flurry of bundle deals aims to boost sagging sales

The video game industry appears to be pulling out all the stops this holiday season as the beleaguered sector looks to salvage what remains of a year continually dogged by sagging sales figures.

While this may be bad news for an industry that typically generates more than 40 percent of its revenue during this time period alone by some estimates, gamers should have no trouble spending their holiday dollars on many of the deals console makers and developers have already slated to start on Black Friday.

On the hardware side of things, Microsoft has teamed up with various retailers to offer its flagship Xbox 360 console at a reduced price.

Starting Thursday, Wal-Mart is offering a 4GB Xbox 360 with a Kinect sensor plus a $50 Wal-Mart gift card for $199.

The mega-retailer is also offering an exclusive online deal on a 4GB Xbox 360 that comes with a copy of Epic’s newest title, “Gears of War 3,” a three-month pass to Xbox Live and a $50 Wal-Mart gift card as well for $199.

Microsoft will also have a special holiday bundle available at most retailers on Friday that packages a 250GB Xbox 360 with a copy of “Fable III,” “Halo Reach,” as well as a three-month pass to Xbox Live.

Sony will also be offering up a special holiday bundle for its PlayStation 3 console.

For $199, gamers can purchase a 160GB version of the PS3 that comes with “Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One,” “LittleBigPlanet 2: Special Edition,” and a 30-day subscription to PlayStation Plus.

This offer will be available at most retailers. However, Toys R Us will also be packaging an extra controller with its bundle at no extra cost.

Nintendo is also looking to bolster sales of the Wii this year, with Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club offering a limited blue edition of the console for $99.

Late last week, the company also announced that it would be offering two 3DS bundles in an effort to renew interest in the handheld device.

Starting on Thanksgiving, gamers can get either a red 3DS, which comes with “Super Mario 3D Land,” or a black “Legend of Zelda”-themed 3DS that comes with the latest version of the franchise, “Ocarina of Time 3D,” for $179 at most retailers.

Software sales are also looking to get some help from the Black Friday rush.

GameStop is offering a buy two, get one free deal on used products.

Best Buy is also advertising a $29.99 sale on a few newer titles, such as “Batman: Arkham City,” “Battlefield 3” and “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.”

Target is offering a $10 gift card on selected titles, including “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” and “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.”

For those looking to do all their shopping online, Valve Software’s Steam service will also be holding its annual Thanksgiving sale starting this holiday weekend. This sale typically includes deep discounts on many of the titles in their extensive catalogue, with deals changing regularly.

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