Lamborghini for 40 bones

Publisher Atari shocked the tar out of us today by announcing thatit will be releasing the Xbox 360 version ofits upcoming hyper-customizable racer Test Drive Unlimited for a slim $39.99. For a game widely hailed by critics as a AAA title (or "really good" for those of you unfamiliar with our crazy industry-speak), this comes as quite a surprise.

When you consider Atari's commitment to continue online support of the game after it has shipped, things begin to look a little less absurd. Asthe publisher'splans include monthly car packs that you'll be able to download for a price, perhaps Atari is looking to hook you on the cheap and then bleed you in micropayments (which would of course be totally optional). No matter how much the follow up car packs end up costing - though we've been assured they'll be extremely affordable -you'll find no argument from us on the price drop for the core game... as long as it ships with the Dodge Viper included.

July 20, 2006