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

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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!