Update: Turns out AMD's original email announcing the bundles was misleading. Battlefield 4 isn't included with all Radeon R9 cards after all.
AMD has fired another volley in the ongoing game bundle battle between the Radeon and GeForce camps.
Starting today, all Radeon R9-series cards from select retailers will come with a free copy of Battlefield 4. The game was already included with special BF4 editions of the R9 290X. Now, everything from the newly released R9 270 on up is in on the action.
The R9 cards aren't the only ones getting some love, either. AMD is welcoming the Radeon R7 260X to the silver tier of its Never Settle Forever program, which entitles users to two games from a selection of 10 titles that now includes the upcoming Thief game. We've long known that AMD planned to freshen its Never Settle bundles with new games, and Thief is a good candidate. Like BF4, it's slated to use AMD's Mantle API. The game isn't due out until the end of February, though.
Neither bundling deal is retroactive, which is a shame for early adopters of the new Radeons. Some of AMD's most ardent supporters were surely among the first to buy the latest cards. Folks who have been holding on to Never Settle silver credits from previous HD 7000-series purchases should be eligible to pick up Thief, at least. Prospective Radeon buyers can check which outlets are participating in the new deals on this page for the R9 family and this one for the Never Settle update.
We can probably consider the BF4 Edition of the R9 290X a dead man walking. Right now, that card is selling at a $30-50 premium over the standard version, which now comes with the same game.
For those of you keeping score, the R7 260X is a lower-priced alternative to Nvidia's GeForce 650 Ti. The 650's extras are limited to free-to-play credits, making the Radeon's Never Settle bundle a notable step up. The R9 series does battle with pricier GeForce cards that now come with discounts on Nvidia's Shield portable Android gaming device in addition to the most recent Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell games. GeForce 770 and higher cards also include Batman: Arkham Origins.
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