"This is a watershed event: It's the first time a game system has ever been given away with the purchase of a game." That's how OnLive CEO Steve Perlman describes his company's announcement that ("while supplies last") anyone who pre-orders THQ's Homefront via the cloud gaming service for $50 will receive its MicroConsole hardware and immediate access to another THQ title, Metro 2033, free of charge.

In a blog post, John Spinale, OnLive's VP of games and media provided further details, confirming that Homefront will be available to users of the service on March 15 at midnight. He also noted that the console hardware, while "free," isn't free from sales tax or shipping charges. The promotion is running from today, February 25 through March 15.

Spinale cheekily quipped that people should "get in on this before our Finance department finds out what we're doing!," but we sort of have to wonder if he's only joking a little. This is definitely the most gung-ho play for new users we've ever seen.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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