AMD pleasantly surprised us the other day by announcing that the much-hyped Battlefield 4 was to be bundled with any Radeon R9 series cards.
The above graphic, taken from an AMD-provided PDF, is pretty clear which GPUs are to be included in this new bundling effort. AMD went on to say " First, if a gamer purchases any AMD Radeon™ R9 Series product starting 11/13, they will get a copy of Battlefield 4 with that purchase. As with any game bundle, buyers must first check availability, which they will easily be able to do at www.amd.com/battlefield4." That's pretty clear, right?
However, just this morning, AMD has backtracked on the statement by saying that "AMD’s Battlefield 4 promotion was not clear and has led to some confusion in the marketplace. It suggested that all customers who purchased an AMD Radeon R9 series graphics card on or after November 13, 2013 would receive a complimentary copy of Battlefield 4. While all AMD Radeon R9 series cards are theoretically eligible for the promotion (which is administered by AMD’s channel partners), retailers and add-in-board partners ultimately decide which select AMD Radeon R9 SKUs will include a copy of BF4.
Now, call us obtuse, but the original wording does indeed say that 'any' R9 card is eligible for the promotion - there's certainly nothing confusing about that. The page carrying all this revised information, http://www.amd.com/battlefield4, doesn't seem to provide any extra details, and clicking further (PDF) does little to clarify what 'select' means.
We've subsequently checked retailer pages for the Radeon R9 270X, a GPU that's supposedly entitled to Battlefield 4, and neither Scan Computers nor Overclockers.co.uk seem to have any Battlefield 4-compatible cards, save for a single Sapphire model, which, the AIB has told us, is a Sapphire-led initiative.
The Battlefield 4 bundling announcement caused obvious consternation amongst folk who had purchased Radeon R9 cards prior to 13th November, so "as a gesture of goodwill towards our loyal fans, AMD will be giving away 1000 BF4 codes through our social media channels over the coming weeks. Details will be available soon at www.facebook.com/amdgaming and on www.twitter.com/amdradeon."
We hope that AMD and its retail partners can resolve this bundling problem immediately; Nvidia's holiday gaming bundle isn't limited to select GPUs.
Asus has been the first to confirm to us that select R9 cards are included in the promotion, though it's telling that only the 270 and 270X are covered..