Rumor: $99 Xbox bundle to be subsidized by monthly subscription

According to a new report, Microsoft may be exploring a subsidized business model for Xbox 360 and Kinect, offering a discounted Xbox + Kinect bundle for only $99.

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Americans generally dislike having to pay for something upfront. Look no further than the popularity of the smartphone. While "unlocked" phones can go upwards of $600, most opt to sign two-year contracts with providers to get the cost of the device subsidized. According to a new report, Microsoft may be exploring the same kind of business model for Xbox 360 and Kinect.

The Verge claims that Microsoft is planning to launch a $99 bundle that will include a 4GB console with Kinect sensor. That bundle currently retails for $299--so how is Microsoft cutting the cost so significantly?

In order to get the discounted Kinect bundle, customers will have to agree to a two-year subscription. "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," the report details. The subscription would supposedly cost $15 a month.

It's unclear what additional value the $15 subscription would include, but over two years, the "discounted" $99 bundle would end up costing more than just buying the same bundle without the contract. Over two years, the subsidized bundle would cost $459 versus $419--and those costs will only increase over time.

When contacted for an official response, a Microsoft spokesperson told us: "We don't discuss plans about our pricing, and we've made no announcements."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 2, 2012 10:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Rumor: $99 Xbox bundle to be subsidized by monthly subscription.

    According to a new report, Microsoft may be exploring a subsidized business model for Xbox 360 and Kinect, offering a discounted Xbox + Kinect bundle for only $99.

    • reply
      May 2, 2012 11:38 AM

      Could be a game changer or it could blow up in their faces. We're getting to the point that you need to build a very expensive box to get the same kind of jumps that we saw with ps1/n64 to ps2/xbox/gnc or even ps2/xbox/gcn to 360/ps3, so this might be a way for them to keep the upfront cost down and get people hooked on xblive and all the services they provide on there. very interested to see how this plays out.

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      May 2, 2012 11:53 AM

      It'd be interesting if it was like $100 + regular cost of gold, and you had to sub to it for like 2 years or something.

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        May 2, 2012 11:54 AM

        Wow now that I read the news article everything I said was exactly on, except it was extra per month (with possible bonus features)

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      May 2, 2012 11:59 AM

      Worked for TiVo for a loooooooooong time.

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      May 2, 2012 12:00 PM

      More proof that the Nexxxbox is around the corner.

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        May 2, 2012 12:01 PM

        That was a Bolo Yeung reference btw for the whipper snappers

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      May 2, 2012 6:26 PM

      Probably going to use this as an experiment for the pricing of the next Xbox, not a bad idea.

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      May 2, 2012 11:29 PM

      Most folks will snap it up and then not pay the lame subscription. Woohoo! $100 Xbox!

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        May 3, 2012 12:20 AM

        Woo hoo, $560 Xbox!

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        May 3, 2012 1:06 AM

        you didn't even bother to read the article, did you? You're tied in to a 2 year contract.

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          May 3, 2012 3:08 AM

          I suspect you missed the point of my post. Tons of people who don't care about their credit, will just buy this deal and FAIL to pay any more payments.

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            May 3, 2012 5:09 AM

            None of my friends deal with credit so you may be on to something. Debit cards from your bank work great and people are allergic to debt these days...

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        May 3, 2012 1:23 AM

        you didn't think about this very long did you?

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        May 3, 2012 2:45 AM

        Yeah!!! This is how smrt people buy phones too.

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      May 3, 2012 2:57 AM

      Honestly, not a bad idea. It makes it much more appealing to people who may not be traditional gamers, but are intrigued by Kinect.

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      May 3, 2012 3:54 AM

      I vaguely remember Atari doing something like this back in the day.

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      May 3, 2012 5:14 AM

      more like $249 for a similar bundle, plus $30-$40 a year for Live = $310-$330 at fairly regular sale prices vs $459 for the bundle. This works for the cell phone providers though so it might work for this too.

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      May 7, 2012 7:40 AM

      I believe the Xbox Bundle at $99 would be to compete with not only the PS3, but more interestingly the equally priced $99 Apple TV.