The $99 Xbox 360 is Microsoft’s devious test bed for a subscription-based Xbox Lite, Xbox 720

| May 13, 2012

Microsoft’s just discovered Microsoft Store promotion offering the Xbox 360 on this account that just $99 is in reality a intriguing test to see if the nearest generation Xbox can be sold side by side expensive multiyear contracts.

It’s not the Xbox Lite, but the $99 Xbox 360 is wholly too real. As rumored, Microsoft is running a advancement through its line of Microsoft Stores that exercise volition offer the 4GB Xbox 360 towards $99, but a hefty catch attached to that discount.

Here’s how it works: You have power to take this coupon from Microsoft’s website to a Microsoft warehouse and plop down $99 for a 4GB Xbox 360. Taking a serving-boy from mobile phone providers like Verizon, the ancone can only be purchased at that excellence with a two-year contract to Xbox Live Gold, the guerdon version of Microsoft’s online netting for multiplayer gaming and streaming entertainment services like Netflix. (Unlike on other platforms like the iPad and PlayStation 3, Netflix Instant is no other than available on Xbox for Xbox Live Gold subscribers.) The concordat is for $14.99 per month, or $180 per year. That is $10 more than the constant monthly fee of $5 and a whopping $60 besides per year over two years than the established $60 annual fee.

It gets worse! The Terms and Conditions agreement states that a single one early cancellation of the contract comes with a steep termination fee of $250 on the supposition that cancelled in the first three months, $240 at four months, and decreasing through . $12 each month over the next twenty months.

Considering that promotions from one side retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and GameStop be possible to net you a 250GB Xbox 360 beneficial to far less than the $299 sticker worth, this new promotion feels far besides like a scam than a bargain. Look deeper granting and you can see hints of the Xbox grade’s future evolution.

This promotion is smaller a way to get more Xboxes into peoples’ homes than a curious test to see if Microsoft be able to transform the game console market into something similar to the cable television or changeable phone businesses. As video game sell in small quantities has started bringing in fewer dollars for year, console makers and publishers accept needed to find new business models. If Microsoft finds that the vulgar are lured in by the depressed price of a game console that’s subsidized by hefty subscription fees—much like variable phone users are lured to a $99 iPhone 4 subsidized by a two year contract through AT&T or Verizon—on that account the rumored Xbox Lite or steady the Xbox 720 could release subject to the same model.

The unfortunate character of this is that you may be able to buy a Durango on this account that just $200 or even $99 whenever it first comes out, but you’ll be locked into a contract that has you remunerative for services that should be clear. This business model will keep every outdated pay service like Xbox Live Gold quick into the future. Online multiplayer is emancipated on everything from PCs to the iPad. Microsoft may regard found a way to keep multiplayer a toward-pay feature on Xbox for years to get to.


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Category: Games

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