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Microsoft joins game-sale stampede with serious discounts for Xbox Live titles

Xbox Live's Games on Demand download center now offers full digital versions of Assassin's Creed 3, Borderlands 2, and Far Cry 3.

Microsoft has cut the prices of many of its Xbox console titles. The software giant showed off the first round of discounted games Monday as part of its ongoing "Ultimate Game Sale."

Through Xbox Live's Games on Demand download center, you can buy full digital versions of Assassin's Creed 3 for $14.99 (originally $39.99), Borderlands 2 for $9.99 (originally $39.99), Far Cry 3 for $19.99 (originally $59.99), and Max Payne 3 for $9.99 (originally $39.99).

A new grab bag of day-long deals (taken from a preview list released by Microsoft on June 28) will cycle in each day through July 5, while an ongoing 11-title sale runs in the background through July 8.

Larry Hryb, Microsoft's director of programming for Xbox Live, is tweeting details from the sale as they go live, so you might want to follow him @majornelson.

Deep cuts

Highlights from the 11-week-long deals list include $4.99 titles like Mass Effect ($14.99 originally), Dragon Age: Origins ($14.99 originally), Bulletstorm ($19.99 originally), and Crysis ($19.99 originally).

Microsoft seems to be making deep cuts to the price of select titles as opposed to the comparatively across-the-board price drops typical of, say, Valve Steam's annual sale, which has yet to appear this year.

[Related: Summer game sales have begun! 6 tips to maximize your dollar ]

Xbox's offerings will compete alongside a cluster of heavyweight summer games sales, each with their own lineups and logistics. Amazon Sunday announced its two-week game deals, while Green Man Gaming's sale staggers six new deals every six hours for six days, ending July 6.

We also expect Steam's popular annual game sale to start soon. So, while it's a great time for game bargains, watch your wallet. You still need to pony up next month's rent.

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