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).
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.
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.
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.
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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