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RUMOR: Microsoft Launching $99 Xbox 360 + Kinect Bundle

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Posted on May 2, 2012 AT 11:08am

According to talk now going around, Microsoft will be launching a new Xbox 360 bundle next week, one which will get you a 4GB Xbox 360 console and a Kinect sensor for only $99. There is, however, a catch.

That catch? You’ll also have to pay a monthly fee, which will be $15 according to rumors of this new offer posted over on The Verge. Think of it as a similar situation to purchasing a cellphone, where the cost of the phone is subsidized by a contract and monthly fee.

There’s be a contract here as well—two years. For that two years of $15 a month fees, you’d get Xbox Live Gold, “possibly some additional streaming content from cable providers or sports package providers”, and a 2-year warranty (versus the standard 1-year).

So, how does the math break down? Here are the two options:

Option #1

  • 4GB Xbox 360 + Kinect: $299
  • 2 years of Xbox Live Gold: $120
  • Extended warranty (Xbox 360): $25
  • Extended warranty (Kinect): $25
  • Total: $470

Option #2

  • 4GB Xbox 360 + Kinect: $99
  • Two years of $15 monthly fees: $360
  • Total: $459

 

Initially, the $99 Xbox 360 offer might sound crazy due to the monthly fee—but as you see in the numbers above, it’s actually not a terrible deal. Of course, most people aren’t going to go for the extended warranty, and I myself have never paid full price for Xbox Live Gold (I always nab it via sales for $30 ~ $40)—so taking that into account, you could probably get Option #1 for $380 or so.

Still, it isn’t bad all things considered. It gives the Xbox 360 the perception of having an amazingly low retail price, and it helps customers get into the console easier than it might be for them to just drop $300 right off the bat.

There is one final catch according to The Verge, however: An early termination fee for those who decide they want to break their contract. That’s where this whole things starts to kind of give me the creeps. I hate contracts when it comes to my cellphone—I don’t now want them for my video games as well! Sure, here it’s an option, but I can absolutely believe a company like Microsoft would love to have this be the norm for their next generation of consoles.

Now, we want to know what you think. Is this a great idea, and a revolutionary way to get consoles into the hands of new customers? Or is this just another thing about the current era of video games that makes you want to break things in rage?

Source: The Verge

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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