When new game consoles launch, retailers often choose to sell ‘bundles’ instead of just the console itself. That’s because the markup on the consoles themselves are next to nothing (usually just a couple of dollars when everything is all new and shiny), and also because it allows them to force some of the less popular accessory items on customers who just want the basics.
Now we don’t care so much about bundles, because we figure if you’re desperate enough to pay upwards of $1,000 for a new game system, capitalism is doing its job by fleecing you for all you’re worth. Besides, you can always shop at stores that don’t force bundles—unless they force you to buy one at the last minute anyway.
That’s apparently what happened at a Portland, Oregon Best Buy store, where dozens had lined up to purchase the new Xbox 360. Store employees handed them fliers advertising the bundles, then told them they would not be able to purchase the console alone, despite Best Buy’s national advertising that said otherwise. The Oregon Attorney General has opened a case, so if you got burned by Best Buy on a bundle (and live in Oregon, obviously), give them a call.
Bonus Rumor: We’ve been hearing scuttlebutt about an FTC investigation into Microsoft’s Xbox 360 shortages. Anyone got a friendly ear at the FTC?