With $99 XBOX Subscription Bundle, Microsoft REALLY Enters the Smartphone Gaming Era!

With $99 XBOX Subscription Bundle, Microsoft REALLY Enters the Smartphone Gaming Era!
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?

Source: TheVerge

About the Author

Michael Anderson

I have loved technology for as long as I can remember – and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life – I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a ‘Laptop First’ person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs … and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies … but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!