The PC's Black Box bundle of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, which was to include HL2:Episode 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2 had a head crab dropped on it today and is no more. The $49.99 Orange Box is the only thing that will be offered to PC gamers and it will include the original Half-Life 2 and HL2: Episode 1, along with everything else that was to be in the Black Box. Xbox 360 and PS3 owners will be charged $10 more than that for the same thing as PC gamers, swallowing the standard "next-gen" price of $59.99.
Valve's Doug Lombardi says it's not so bad, "Those who purchase the PC version of The Orange Box will get three separate Steam product codes: One for the three new games, one for HL2, and one for Episode One. This way a PC Orange Box owner can give away their Half-Life 2 or Episode One unused Steam product codes if they don't need a copy of those games. We are excited to deliver the highest value of new gaming content ever offered in one box."
Now that's some slick spin. PC Half-Life gamers have to spend $10 on top of the deceased Black Box price ($39.99) to buy this thing they probably don't need... so they can give it away. We're sorry, what? Can people just take Half-Life 2 and HL2: Episode 1 out of the box if they don't need it and take $10 off the top? If you're a believer in digital distribution, none of this will affect you because everything will be downloadable through Steam, which if you already own Half-Life 2, you've already got. It's just such a strange thing to remove the choice for retail shoppers and leave them the more expensive package.
See also: Team Fortress 2 gets cheeky