The first wave of "launch" copies of March 19th's $60 Gears of War: Judgment will come bundled with a bonus $19.99 "value", according to a Microsoft press release e-mailed this morning.

That "value"?

A download code for the original Gears of War, which the company says "more than half" of the players of the last Gears game—Gears of War 3—didn't play. That late-2006 game launched for $60 and goes for $19.99 if you want to download it to your Xbox 360 now.


It's nice to get a free game when buying another game, right? Even if there's a strong chance that nearly half the people buying this new game probably already played it. After all, that's as valid a way to interpret Microsoft's research stat as Microsoft's way, no?

So what's a game that maybe nearly half of the Gears faithful already played really worth? Twenty bucks? Zero bucks (complete with an order for the $60 Judgment)?

It's notable that Microsoft is even trying to sell the original five year old Gears for $20 these days. Who thinks that's a good price for a game that has enjoyed two iterative sequels and is about to get a third? On Steam, on PSN, games that old often go for far less. And over at GameStop, you can buy the original Gears of War, on a disc, for a scant.... $2.99. What a bargain!