Microsoft is trying their hand at the low cost, subscription-based console model today, as GameStop and Best Buy are now officially selling $99 Xbox 360 Kinect units with two-year Xbox Live Gold contracts attached. This late in the console’s lifecycle, one has to wonder about the pricing and the timing of this bundle—it’s quite curious.
As a few commenters point out on Major Nelson’s blog, there is a definite difference in price if you commit to the deal.
Basically, the $99 Xbox 360 4GB Kinect bundle, at $15 a month for the two-year Xbox Live subscription, rounds out to $460 at the end of the contract.
But, if you just picked up an Xbox 360 4GB console without the deal and bought two 12-month Xbox Live Gold cards at $50 each, you’d only be spending about 400 dollars, aside from taxes and whatnot.
With that deal launching today, it’s clear that the idea is to get consumers to try Xbox Live Gold, then become attached to the service. Considering that an Xbox 720 launch is expected in the holiday season of 2013, it might not be too far-fetched to think that this is also another means to maintain as many concurrent Xbox Live Gold subscriptions as possible between both consoles.
Source: Major Nelson