Rumored Xbox bundle is live, but do you want to buy into two years of Xbox Live?
Microsoft is continuing to push Kinect, with its latest bundle offering Kinect with a two-year Xbox Live contract
I’ve never really imagined the Xbox 360 being offered in a two-year contract, as something akin to a mobile phone or tablet plans. In fact, I don’t even want to pay for Xbox Live for year: sometimes I don’t play for a week so I don’t want to commit to that price. Apparently, I’m one of the few: as reported yesterday Microsoft is continuing to push Kinect. For $99.
The 4GB Xbox 360 comes with Kinect for $99 with a two-year Xbox Live Gold contract for $14.99 per month, which means players can play games online and generally have access to anything Xbox Live offers. To buy one, you’ll need to live near a Microsoft Store and bring a coupon – or have to the store associate enter a specific code – and sign up for two years of service. Like a mobile phone contract, canceling early requires a fee. So be sure you’re going to be playing Xbox Live for two years.
Short term gain, long term pain
Overall that means the bundle will cost $458.76 over two years, compared to an Xbox 360 S console for $299 (and cheaper if you’re buying second hand). Xbox Live subscriptions for a year would cost $59.99 if bought individually, and can be found for cheaper online. The result is the deal saves money in the short-term, but is ultimately more expensive over the two years.
Customers who pass a credit check have 30 days to return the console for a full refund, though the first month’s subscription fee won’t be refunded. For the first three month, the early cancellation fee is $250 and drops to $240 in month four. Every month thereafter drops by $12. As Michael Pachter noticed in the Bonus Round covered yesterday, Microsoft sees the Xbox 360 as a complete media device. Media apps are more popular the games now, so pushing Kinect is no surprise.
Personally speaking I wouldn’t buy the product if I lived near a Microsoft Store, but then again I’m not the average gamer.