Microsoft's $99 Xbox 360 + Kinect Offer is Real, Only Available in MS Stores

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News Posted: Thu, May 10 2012 10:32 AM
Cash strapped gamers who would rather avoid paying a large upfront fee for an Xbox 360 console can take advantage of a subsidized offer that has Microsoft charging $99 for a 4GB game console with Kinect and Xbox Live Gold membership, provided you pass a credit check and agree to a two-year service agreement at $15/month. The previously rumored deal has been confirmed on Microsoft's website, and we have some concrete details to share. Let's have a look.

The subsidized offer is only available in one of Microsoft's 16 stores, meaning you can't march into your local Best Buy and demand a sales associate sell you an Xbox 360 console for a Benjamin. If you do happen to live near one of the Microsoft Stores, you're supposed to bring in this (see below) printable coupon, though we imagine it's not really necessary to do so.

What your $99 investment and two-year Xbox Live Gold contract at $15/month gets you is the Xbox 360 4GB console, Kinect accessory, and Xbox Live Gold membership. It was rumored that there might be other extras included, like special streaming subscriptions, but as it stands right now, there aren't any other goodies associated with the subsidized offer. So, is a good a deal? Let's look at the math.
  • Non-Subsidized: Xbox 360 4GB ($200) + Kinect ($100) + 2 years Xbox Live Gold ($120) = $420
  • Subsidized: $99 (Xbox 3604GB + Kinect) + $15/month for 24 months = $459

You're basically paying a $40 premium to avoid a larger upfront cost, and that premium gets even bigger if you factor in holiday sale pricing and the fact that you can routinely find 12-month Xbox Live Gold memberships selling for around $35 instead of $60. Had Microsoft thrown in some extras as previously rumored, the subsidized offer may have made sense. But as it stands, you have to seek out a Microsoft store, which are few and far between, only to ultimately pay a premium over the long run. And yes, early termination fees apply if you duck out of your contract early (see the full terms and conditions).

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Too bad the deal is not a deal. Unfortunately most people won't do the research that the author has done and actually get stuck in a bad deal in the long run. Fortunately for the consumer the MS stores are not as prevelant as Best Buy or Apple Stores.

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Silly Microsoft but people will bite I am sure just like people do for subsidize phones. What they should have done is started this deal over a year ago because now a lot of people are waiting for the next-gen consoles.

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ajm531 replied on Fri, May 11 2012 1:11 AM

This is idea is both bad and good. As mentioned its super similar to cell phone deals. Now the price you pay at the end isnt that much more and is good for people with lower incomes. I agree with omegadraco that this should have been offered sooner. We all buy into these subsidized phone contracts so why not with our gaming consoles as well. The really on bad side i see is the A) ETF and B) the contract.

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digitaldd replied on Fri, May 11 2012 9:31 AM

If you don't have the cash upfront that is the only way this makes any sense. the other side of it is at least once a year i see lower priced xbox live memberships 

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