Rather than coming deep out of your pocket for a wholly-owned Xbox 360 with Kinect and an Xbox Live subscription, you’re getting all of that for $100 plus $15/month for two years. The math makes the new subsidized plan more expensive but the point here is lower the initial barrier to entry. The up-and-coming folks at The Verge have an exclusive report describing the details of the whole shebang.
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.
You’re even going to get early termination fees if you decide to bail on the whole deal before your two years is up. The limits on streaming content could be an issue if subsidized Xbox fans can’t get access to, say, FiOS or Xfinity television services. Look for details on those limitations to come soon. We’ll pencil in a fail right now if subsidized users can’t stream Netflix.
It’s an interesting concept based on the proposition that folks are already used to this type of down payment-plus-subscription set up with their phones. How does the value of the fun and utility of your mobile phone compare to the value of the fun and utility of Xbox with Kinect? That’s the multimillion dollar question Microsoft will get very soon.