Microsoft expanding $99 Xbox 360 program

E3 2012: Company bringing Kinect-equipped Xbox 360 hardware bundle to all United States Best Buy stores and some GameStop locations later this month.

LOS ANGELES--Microsoft is expanding its $99 Xbox 360 pilot program to all United States Best Buy stores and "select" GameStop locations later this month. According to a statement provided by Microsoft, this next phase in the program will be limited in terms of timing and number of consoles available. No further information was offered, and Microsoft said interested gamers should call their local Best Buy and GameStop locations to find out more.

The $99 Xbox is headed to Best Buy and GameStop stores across the country.

Last month, Microsoft confirmed a deal that will sell the 4GB Kinect-equipped Xbox 360 hardware bundle for $99 if customers commit to a two-year Xbox Live Gold subscription at a cost of $15 per month. The bundle was first outed by unnamed sources.

The $99 Xbox 360 deal would cost less up front, but consumers will wind up spending more in the long run. If purchased separately at today's standard prices, the console and two-year Xbox Live subscription would cost $420. If purchased under this promotion, the deal's total cost at the end of the two years would come out to $460.

The offer was originally available only at select Microsoft Store retail locations in the US. There is also an early termination fee for those who want out of the contract, with the penalty starting at $250 in the first three months of the contract and scaling down to $12 in the 23rd month.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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71 comments
theraptoreffect
theraptoreffect

Okay.  They're doing a deal similar to phone companies and it really makes a lot of sense.  Yeah, you'll pay more in the long run, but some people's income isn't so fluid as to make it affordable off the bat.  I like the deal.  It's a hook, but it ain't that dirty.  @riverofsparta @goblowsoup @theraptoreffect 

jb9776
jb9776

This would have been a decent deal if the system would have included a hard drive, there's not a lot you can do without one so add at least $100 to the end price. I would rather they had included a hard drive instead of kinect.

leeko_link
leeko_link

$250 for early termination of the service? Damn with that kind of greed penalty you would be better to use those $250 to buy a PS3 and some good games instead. I hate greedy corporation that locks you into their service contract and force you to pay them just so you could get out. A non-greedy corporation should never force their customers to stay.

QOSMSTR
QOSMSTR

They are selling the Xbox as an App center instead of a gaming console. Nothing to see here people, this isn't for you.

XanderZane
XanderZane

A better deal would be a XBox 360 -4G for $149.99 without the XBL subscription. Microsoft just needs to lower the price on the XBox 360. This bundle isn't needed or wanted. Time for a new plan Microsoft.

Upat3am
Upat3am

I would rather pay 199. and have the storage space.

ZOD777
ZOD777

I think a better deal is a PS3 considering that PSN is free....

buying1999
buying1999

This is good for someone whom can't afford the up front cost of getting into console gaming. Otherwise not a good deal.

 

The Xbox 360 is the BEST console EVER made. --John Carmack

theKSMM
theKSMM

I don't see any problems with this arrangement. People can get in quickly on the cheap, and the total cost over two years is less than ten percent more than the total cost if paid up front.  I wish my credit card had such a low rate.

 

And of course there's an early termination fee.  This is the cellular phone subscription model brought to game consoles.  Do you think Microsoft is going to allow you to keep that shiny new XBOX 360 if you suddenly stop paying for it?

okassar
okassar

This "deal" is for people who failed 2nd grade math.

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

I think MS should have been more aggressive with the upfront fee, instead of $99, instead $49. Then charged an extra $2-3 a month for the 2 year XBL period.

 

Or, $0 (in tiny print: "After $99 rebate after 1 year of XBL paid").

 

Main point is that I don't know if $99 for a 360 causes enough heads to turn, even if it's with Kinect.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

This isn't exactly a "bad" deal, per se, since it allows gamers on a budget to get a system. And since a 360 is pretty much USELESS unless you have a Gold account, you'd be paying for a sub. to the service anyway.

 

I was against this at the beginning, but after giving it some more thought it's not really a bad deal. It's $40 more in the end, which isn't that hard to swallow all in all for what you get.

dereky
dereky

Lets get real here. This is just to test out this option for when the next Xbox comes out. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo don't make money off the consoles anyway. So this is great for them because if people use this option that means more consoles in households which means more game sales early on. Sure, the deal doesn't look great now, but they are planning ahead because of the massive downward economic spiral. Who wants to pay for a $600 console upfront when it hits the fan? Not me. Just like I don't want to pay for a $800 Iphone upfront either.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

One last point........how many of you buy a 60 dollar game that you end up hating?  And if you say none you are a liar......40 dollars to own it today instead of saving for how ever long it may take each person is not that bad of a deal, at least you don't have to take that 60 dollar game to Gamestop where you will get 35 dollars out of it.......just a thought.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

The only thing that would make this a deal would be a bigger hard drive the 4 GIG, I mean come on.....

thedarklinglord
thedarklinglord

And this is the sort of crap that's kept me from supporting Microsoft and buying a 360.  Either offer a no-strings $99 package - because I have zero interest in playing games online, or downloading games, or streaming Netflix, or using XBox Live for anything - or a more reasonably priced bundle with an actual hard drive instead of the 4GB p.o.s.

Flint247
Flint247

It would better if you just save your money up until you get the full amount than this deal.

kca89
kca89

This idea is a smart move by Microsoft but a dumb move from a consumer perspective.

 

On the MS side, this will get more people to buy a 360 who otherwise may have skipped it. It can also land them a larger profit assuming said customer makes all of their monthly payments.

 

On the consumer side and let's be honest here, if you can't afford the upfront cost of a 360 or any luxury item for that matter, you shouldn't be buying it in my opinion. However, if you have to have a 360, use MS's plan against them. Set aside $99 right now or however much money you want. Then each month allocate a certain amount of money to that fund. Once you reach your goal go buy yourself a 360.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

How many people are going to fall for this? Anyone with half a brain can easily see that buying the Xbox 360 S 4GB console and the Kinect. Paying for Xbox live upfront is cheaper than this "Deal". Unless MS is just hoping to clear out inventory onto those people how will fall for the $99.99 Xbox 360 Bundle. You don't get any savings with this deal.

monson21502
monson21502

 no idea who would really do this deal.... maybe people who think they can just stop paying after the first month?

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

still a crappy deal.....but it is WAY better then rent a center or other rent to own locations!

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

This is akin to what Cable companies do with their hardware boxes, or at least it is a first step in that direction.

I don't really feel like it's giving access to people who wouldn't already have an XBox.  Installment sales are almost always a ripoff for the customer, and the cost of ownership is higher over time.

I think it's stupid for anyone to sign up for it this late in the generation.  The next consoles will be out during the 2 year period, so you'll be paying money towards this that you could be putting toward the next big thing.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

How is this a bad thing?  Did Microsoft suddenly remove the ability to outright buy the Xbox 360 console with no contract?  Did they remove the ability to continue playing on your existing Xbox 360?  Did they increase the fees you already pay?  The answer is NO, just in case you didn't realize it.

 

Or perhaps some of you will get off your high horse and realize this move allows for a lot more people to get involved and play on an Xbox 360.  For those who do not have the $400+ in cash, they can instead choose to pay in monthly installments, thus able to include gaming on a lower monthly budget.

 

 

Foppe
Foppe

 @okassar All telephone companies have these kind of deals.

You know what, all kind of stores that allows part payment have these kind of deals, it got nothing to do with people failing math classes.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

 @Gelugon_baat Maybe they reasoned that strict anti-drug consumers would be offended by a $420 price tag, and adjusted accordingly

implosion
implosion

 @theJBlounge I agree and disagree at the same time. 

With a $49 price tag people would pick up the system and wouldn't notice the extra couple bucks a month to make up the difference in cost. But from a company's point of view with that low of a price point you may attract people not willing to buy many games. That wouldn't help game developers that much.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @thedarklinglord 

 

For someone who isn't going to take their Xbox 360 online, the 4gb should be plenty of space.  You won't be downloading games, won't be getting game updates, won't be getting any DLC, etc.  

 

So, why would someone who wants an Xbox 360 for offline only really need a harddrive?  $199 seems pretty reasonable to me.

 

I don't think the PS3 (competition) has a cheaper alternative available.  Nintendo Wii would be the exception to this with a $149 deal for a Wii with games.

 

Lastly, remember that supply and demand are in play here.  MS may not see the need to reduce price or offer a cheaper bundle since they have been the highest selling console for the past 14 months or so.  I figure we'll see a price drop at the end of this year when the holiday season rolls around.  Nintendo Wii U will be out causing more competition for PS3/Xbox.  PS3 will most likely drop in price again and that's when we'll see Xbox 360 finally getting cheaper.

 

After that, I wouldn't expect any more price drops as we'll see the next gen consoles coming out at the end of 2013 and both Sony and MS will be milking their PS3 and Xbox 360 (respectively) for as long as possible up until then.

ant2967
ant2967

 @Megavideogamer 

It is only 40 dollars more doing this. If you go to a store and buy this you will pay way more then this in interest over the months. This is not a bad deal for people who can  not afford one up front.

NightDrifter05
NightDrifter05

 @Megavideogamer People who buy this won't be buying for the savings. They are buying it because they can't afford to drop $300+ for the console and kinect. It's alot easier to get $99 up front and pay $15 a month then it is to get $350 all at once.

NightDrifter05
NightDrifter05

 @monson21502 Or people who can't afford to drop $350 up front so they'd rather pay the $15 monthly fee then try to save the full amount.

COPMAN221ISBACK
COPMAN221ISBACK

@monson21502 I see my best buddy has returned to the boards. :)

NightDrifter05
NightDrifter05

 @Richardthe3rd You'll be paying $15 for Xbox Live which will still be accessible on the next console. Another thing you need to realize is the people taking advantage of this deal will be people who are new to the 360 and if it took them this long to get a Xbox it will probably take them just as long to get the next gen Xbox.

COPMAN221ISBACK
COPMAN221ISBACK

@Richardthe3rd Watchout dude, the Microsoft PR reps are all over this board trying to convince the masses how this is a great deal. It's almost comical.

frankblack789
frankblack789

 @Landsharkk another microsoft employee trolling the forums trying to spin against comment threads they don't like...

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

 @implosion they honestly are not doing this for developers just for themselves.

theJBlounge
theJBlounge

 @implosion Hm that only makes sense if people who will buy software at $99 suddenly won't if it's $49.

 

That aside, MS's end goal is for people to use the 360 as a media box in lieu of a cable/satellite box from Comcast, Verizon, etc. They went crazy at E3 pushing TV content (ESPN, Nickelodeon, Hulu Plus, etc) on the 360. The reality is that core and casual gamers for 360 are pretty tapped out. System's been out 7 years and the Xbox 720 is nowhere in sight. They want to find a new audience for 360.

 

I think it has to be a low enough startup price that it's an impulse purchase. I think $49 sends a stronger message than $99, then just make the subscription $2-3 higher. Getting more subscribers let's them persuade more content providers to put their TV shows, movies, music, etc on XBL.

 

A lot of the younger generation has opted for Netflix, Hulu, MLB TV, NHL TV, Amazon Instant instead of subscribing to cable/satellite. MS is trying to capitalize on this buy making the 360 the system to own for streaming this content, along with providing a game system with Kinect with a large library of games.

 

To directly go back to your response again, this isn't about game developers. Obviously they hope they buy games, particularly on XBL Marketplace. But video games are only part of what MS is trying to accomplish.

 

(Sorry for the long response lol)

ZOD777
ZOD777

 @Landsharkk Well, the hard drive space is irrelevant.  It could be 1TB or larger, but the issue here is the mandatory 2 year Xbox-Live sub.  That is all @thedarklinglord is saying. He wants nothing mandatory, or if so, at least offer a better bundle than that.

frankblack789
frankblack789

 @mjc0961 it actually is 'dumb' to pay for your car or house over time.  the interest paid is often equal to the principal itself.  people do it because they often have no other choice.  that doesn't make the system any less unfair to the average consumer.  perhaps when you're older, you'll understand.  i think it's your bedtime now...

frankblack789
frankblack789

 @mjc0961 you do a lot of name-calling.  is what you're trying to say so irrelevant that you know of no other way to make your point?

Renegade__angel
Renegade__angel

 @mjc0961 A house can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, that is a BIG difference from a 300$ console. It may make sense to you but I don't know anyone or have even heard of anyone who could only spend this much money now and then be bound to an extra 15$ monthly for two years.

 

It seems to me that if you can't afford to spend 300$ on a console then you probably can't afford the monthly payment of live (I can't be so sure to spend money monthly, otherwise I would gladly own a 360 myself but I don't think I could renew my live every single month) and the whole purpose of this bundle is for the cheaper console or so it seems and you don't even get a good one.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

 @frankblack789 yeah I so see the breakdown of Landsharkk name  if you put all the letters in a hat and shake them up.....how wait you still cant spell microsoft.....

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @frankblack789 

Thank you for your contribution.  Your ability to base your comment entirely on nothing speaks volumes of your credibility.

 

 

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @frankblack789 

 

Sorry, I don't.

 

But the question begs to be answered, how do you know so much about Microsoft accountants?

 

 

frankblack789
frankblack789

 @Landsharkk now i know you work for Microsoft.  accounting division perhaps?  your argument sounds like something a Microsoft accountant would say.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @frankblack789  @mjc0961 

 

Frankblack789, Often buying a house with a mortgage is cheaper than renting one of the same size/quality.  You could rent for 30 years while most likely your monthly rent will increase over time.  Or you could buy a house and pay a mortgage for 30 years which can actually decrease your monthly payment over time as you pay down the interest, and end up not only with the value of the house as equity, but also the sense of ownership throughout the experience.

 

Lastly, having a car payment or house payment INCREASES your credit score (as long as you pay on time). If you always paid cash for everything, getting a loan from a bank is a lot harder, because you've never shown the ability to successfully pay a creditor on time each month in the past.

 

You learn all of the above by actually experiencing it yourself (which I have, on all points above).

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @frankblack789  @mjc0961 

Frankblack789, you really need to stop posting. You are contradicting yourself way too often here and really just embarrassing yourself in the long run.  I have yet to see you add anything substantial or constructive to the comment section of this article. 

Renegade__angel
Renegade__angel

 @Landsharkk A car is something that is necessary for everyday life, a 360 is a luxury, a very fine one but still it's a luxury and getting stuck to a payment when you can't afford the luxury all at once, why get stuck to paying it slowly over time.

 

I'm not saying no one can benefit from this as I'm sure this is a good deal for quite a few people, but alot of it is very very mis-leading and will trick consumers who, let's face it, aren't as smart as you and I. Just remember some people don't fully comprehend this deal like me and you and it just looks like trouble waiting to happen for those people.

 

And a 4gb model that is coming with a live subscription isn't good at all, a 4bg is just barely better than the arcade and this xbox is expected to be used online so it doesn't make alot of sense  to me.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @Renegade__angel 

If you can't afford to buy a car, then why lease one? etc, etc.

 

Also, what exactly is a 'good one' when talking about consoles?  You are getting a 4gb 'S' model.  The only thing lacking is the harddrive (which is not necessary if you have a USB flash drive available), but that doesn't stop anyone from choosing this option and playing every single Xbox 360 game available today (yes, even Arcade games!).

 

 

COPMAN221ISBACK
COPMAN221ISBACK

@monson21502 welcome back, I have missed you antics. :D

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @frankblack789 

 

Does it matter who I work for?  I'm intelligent enough to understand that Microsoft is offering a new option for purchasing their Xbox 360 console, allowing more people to enjoy the Xbox.  They aren't cramming it down anyone's throat.

 

If anyone's in denial it's you.  You are saying I'm the one trolling the comment section, but you need to look a little closer at what you've been posting.  The one trolling here is very obvious.