Image courtesy GamesLive
OK, so maybe the title is more than a bit of a stretch, but look at it this way: what product costs more to make than what you pay to buy it, but that lowered cost is subsidized by a two-year monthly contract? A cell phone … and now an XBOX360 bundle including the Kinect according to a report from TheVerge.
Check out the details (emphasis mine):
Microsoft is planning to launch a $99 Xbox console package with a monthly subscription as early as next week, according to our sources. The software giant will offer the 4GB console with a Kinect sensor at its range of Microsoft Stores in the US, subsidized with a monthly cost of $15. We’re told that the two-year subscription will provide access to the Xbox Live Gold service and possibly some additional streaming content from cable providers or sports package providers. Customers who sign-up for the deal will also be covered under a two-year warranty.
There will be an early termination fee for those wishing to break the contract ahead of its two-year duration, and we understand that Microsoft will position the package as a competitor to Apple TV, Roku, and PlayStation 3. For those buying the bundle now and getting the cheapest two-year Xbox Live Gold option, that’s about $299.00 + $120 = $420 vs. $459 over a duration of two years. With E3 2012 on the horizon, and Microsoft working on a “Woodstock” music service — it’s clear that the company wants to ensure as many people as possible have an Xbox in their living rooms.
Considering the bundle itself is $300 as noted, and that pretty much EVERYONE gets some amount of XBOX Live Gold service (multiplayer is HUGE on XBOX), getting a decent bundle price seems pretty reasonable. However, for bargain hunters there might be a reason to pause – I have personally paid no more than $45 for a 12-month XBOX Live subscription, and it is pretty easy to find bundles with the 250GB XBOX360 and Kinect for $329, which is an improvement over the 4GB bundled version.
However, it is definitely possible that more value added items will be included – particularly things related to video streaming, since that is clearly the route Microsoft is going … and the XBOX360 is already one of the most popular movie viewing solutions available.
What do you think? Will this be a hit or is it already too late?