Microsoft launching two-year subscription for Xbox 360 console and Kinect bundle

WP Central

Microsoft has plans to introduce a $99 Xbox 360 console package that will be accompanied by a two-year monthly subscription as early as next week. According to sources, the software company will offer the 4GB console package, which includes a Kinect sensor, at Microsoft Stores in the states. The bundle will be subsidised with a monthly fee of just $15.

As well as the console and Kinect, customers who make the purchase will have a Gold subscription activated on their Live ID Microsoft Account throughout the contract duration, and will be covered by a two-year warranty. There is likely to be an early termination fee for those who have the desire to break out of the contract prematurely, but how does the cost work out? Total amount comes to $459 ($99 upfront fee with a two-year $15/mo subscription) for the soon-to-launch package offer. But should you purchase the bundle with a Live subscription outright (without the offer), you'll be looking at around $400. 

Microsoft is targeting those who are keeping an eye out for a cheap entertainment centre. With Windows 8 on the horizon, not to mention a new music service, the software giant will look at more ways to attract potential customers to their new ecosystem. As a slight humorous side-note: the $15 monthly fee equates to $360.

Source: The Verge


Reader comments

Microsoft launching two-year subscription for Xbox 360 console and Kinect bundle


If you have very little disposable income this could get you an Xbox without the extended wait of having to save up. The cost is a wash if you have all the cash now. The cost is much much less than buying one on credit and taking two years to pay it completely off.

Microsoft has lots of cash, its better to use it as free financing to bring in new customers who will then make attaching purchases.

Actually it's not a rip-off at all. Consider this: Xbox 360 4GB + Kinect = $299, 2 yrs of Xbox Live subscription = $120, One additional year of warranty ~$30. Add that up and you get (drum roll...) ~$450. That's right, add the convenience of not having that money all at once and I'd say it's a pretty good deal IMO.

You mean an extra $200 for the hardware (4GB Kinect is $300) and $120 for two years of Xbox Live. That's $420 or $360 upfront if you only pay for 1 year of Live.

Does sound like a bit of a ripoff if you factor in the fact you could get 2 years worth of membership for far less than the normal $60 a year. I paid a little over $60 for 2 one year subscriptions. 

Just bought a Xbox 360 S 250GB for £169.99. Despite the inclusion of Kinect in that deal its not that great is it?

Today's equivalent in the US would be $274.99.
US retail for Xbox 360s 250GB (no Kinect) is $299.99
US retail for Xbox 360s 250GB + Kinect is $399.99

Opps, sorry replied to the wrong comment. I agree with ya, to save a few bucks, some people will take the plunge 

Hmm, why not make membership free? All this makes only for confusing the market. I have paid for 14 months, and now some will get 2 year free? Now granted i have almost a year left on my membership, but if people will be getting free memberships now for sometime and i get skipped out when my year is up, i will feel a bit of a fool. Maybe we all should wait then when our time expires until we get similar treatment. Consistency?

No, it's nor awesome. Just do the math, it's less expensive to pay in full and buy the subscription. Then again, if one doesn't have the money to pay upfront this can be a solution, many people buy phones on contract which is basically the same thing.

Only sounds like a good idea if they combine other services into gold like Zune pass even though they are supposedly going to stop selling it. Btw why can't I pay for my gold and Zune pass in one subscription. I know it really doesn't matter if they don't offer a discount for having both though.

Zune Pass, the service, isn't going anywhere, the it may just be rebranded.  There may be a Xbox Live Platnium coming that will bundle some services.

If you think this is a better deal, you haven't done the math.
New bundle:
$99 [hardware] + $15 [Gold membership] * 24 months = $459
$299 [hardware MSRP] + $5 [Gold standard rate] * 24 months = $419
As others have pointed out, this isn't much different than buying a phone on a two-year contract.

It's exactly the same as mobile phones, for example. It's easier for many to purchase handsets with contracts and pay a monthly fee with the service included. That's exactly what Microsoft is offering. Instead of purchasing everything at once, you can enjoy the service (including Xbox Live) for $99 + monthly installments. It's entirely down to what situation you're in.

OK, hold on. I understand what you guys are saying, but people will eat this up like gangbusters. The economy helps support this model. They pay what? An extra $50 over 2 years? Hell, that's cheaper than what they'd pay in credit card interest (and we all know how high credit card debt is right now).

Also, less affluent consumers so spend money. I saw it all the time in retail. A lot of people love the keeping up with the Joneses game. Drive a crappy car, live in an apartment, but own 3 game systems, high end smartphones, 65" television, satellite, and surround system. I see it all the time.

While true, this may not seem like the best deal up front, it will sell. Provided it's available online due to location of stores. I truly believe it will.

It'll definitely sell. Heck, look at how many people on WPCentral are already on their 3rd, and even 4th, Windows Phone handset. Wish I had that kind of money to burn.

Not a bad choice in this economy, buying a house was the worst decision I ever made, and now I'm stuck.

I got out of townhouse. I got raped. That was all the ex. I like my gadgets and electronics to much. I'm a preferred renter. Let someone else pay to fix stuff. But I digress.....

This article doesnt mention that there will be other included services with the subscription. Depending on what those are this may not be as bad a deal as it appears on the surface.

exactly, if there's some goodies bundled in (Netflix, Hulu, future Zune) then I'd say its well worth it.

to the casual consumer will look very tempting, and that is who Microsoft is targeting not the current owners of the console. So if you are already a Xbl sub (DONT complain about something you won't buy)

I think you are all jumping to conclusions based on incomplete information. The $15 fee may also include access to unlimited music (a la a Zune Pass) which currently runs for $10 a month I think.
Until we know everything that $15 includes, it would be foolish to assume it's a bad deal.

It doesn't matter what services are included. The deal is for those who prefer to pay less up-front and spread the cost over two years. Should streaming and other services be included as well as Xbox Live then sure it'll be a great deal. But for those who can't afford $400 in a single purchase, this is a perfect path to take.

How many of you guys have a subsidized phone contract even though pay more in the end or credit card or some type of loan ....most of you ....this Country is all about pay later so I say good idea

The difference is with a cell phone, you're primarily paying for service anyway. Text messaging, voice minutes, data, etc. without the service, the phone is almost useless. (Almost, you can still use it over wi-fi, but then it just becomes a fancy mp3 player).
With an Xbox, the Xbox Gold Subscription is not necessary to play games at all. It imparts fringe benefits at most, like the ability to use Netflix and Hulu Plus (although you Still need to pay for those seperately, too) and then... multiplayer, too, I guess. 

Uh, no.
It still doesn't justify it.
And for the record, I buy my phones, used, unlocked and I'm out of contract.
Some things are just more important than others, like rent and food.

Yeah, this sounds like an awful deal. We picked up the XBox with Kinect for around $250 or so, and a year of XBox Live you can get cards for about $60. Figure over two years, thats $370. This bundle makes is $460! Just be smart. I really don't think gaming systems will be going after the same model as the cell phone.
Of course, you Can fool some of the people some of the time, and I think the real play is to "lock in" gamers under contract. That way, they won't feel the need to buy other new systems. 

I guess it's a good deal for some people, You can buy a used 360 (20gb old or 4gb) for around $100, Xbox live is about $40-45 a year online (not Microsoft but, shop online), and a Kinect ? I can get a Kinect on creigslist today for $45...
Personaly, I have a 250gb and a Kinect...I also have a old white 20gber that I use for a Media Center extender...

Why not offer all that for free up front? Charge $19 a month instead! 24x19=456
I bet it can double the demand.

Sounds like the intention of a good idea, that can turn easily into a bad one. Once they know they have the market, they'll raise the prices.

I just don't see how this could include any service beyond the Gold membership or free ones already available (Crackle, Vevo, MSN, Today Show, Scyfy). The $15 a month just doesn't strike me as enough to also include Netflix, Hulu, MLB TV or any other subscription service. I could be dead wrong and I would be impressed if so.

I guess when you look at it what Microsoft is really doing is giving people an interest free loan on an Xbox.  Or a much lower fee of $30 to pay over two years instead of up front.  It looks bad at first but might actually be a good idea with the economic times.  This is of course only attractive to those that do not already have an Xbox.