Microsoft quietly kills $99 Xbox 360 promotion

Pilot program where you could buy a less expensive Xbox 360 if you signed up for two years of Xbox Live comes to an unceremonious end.

Almost two years ago, Microsoft began selling Xbox 360s with Kinect for $99 if you agreed to a two-year Xbox Live contract, but the offer is no longer available. This promotion was quietly killed last summer, Microsoft spokesperson David Dennis told The Wall Street Journal this week.

The promotion, which borrowed from the pricing model used by wireless carriers, gathered significant buzz, and some even thought the Xbox One would be offered on a similar basis. But the $99 Xbox 360 offer was never anything more than a pilot program, Dennis said.

"This program was intended to be a pilot experiment from the start, and Microsoft routinely adjusts the mix of offers available to its customers and this change was simply standard business practice," he said.

The $99 Xbox 360 promotion was originally introduced exclusively at Microsoft Stores, but the offer would later expand to nationwide retailers like Best Buy, GameStop, and Wal-Mart. The up-front cost was less than what the Xbox 360 was selling for at the time, but you'd end up spending more in the long-run and even faced an early termination penalty if you canceled ahead of schedule.

The Xbox One currently sells for $499, but Microsoft director of product planning Albert Penello told GameSpot in September that he expects Microsoft to introduce a subsidized offer later on in the platform's life cycle.

"The subsidized model really makes a lot of sense towards the end of the life. People are more price sensitive," Penello said at the time. "They are more cost conscious. It's a model I like; I'm sure we'll bring it back. But not right now."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Eddie Makuch

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

I know a bunch of pill heads who signed up for this - ( guess a high credit score was not neccessary) and went up and down the neighborhood trying to sell them for pills. 

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I remember reading about this. Was it really two years ago? Glad to hear it didn't take off.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Now everyone knows what they did last summer.

Oh, that was groan-worthy. I should never have hit the "Post comment" button, lol

xcollector
xcollector

Why would they sell a long term contract when the 360 is at the end of its life and won't last the contract term?

DARKSPACE
DARKSPACE

Microsoft is in deadly stealth mode... once again.. LOL

phbz
phbz

Hey people, so that you know. SEGA will no longer offer a 2nd controller and the Sonic game when you buy a Megadrive. 

niknokseyer
niknokseyer

This is actually a good deal. I would have get it if they offered it with the XBox One.

jedicommand7
jedicommand7

If this was killed last summer, why is it news now? Maybe if 360 Live support was about to die and this deal was still available it would be an issue, but it's like stories about an unknown game that was cancelled 8 years ago suddenly is revealed with 2 concept art images: no one cares.

cws3e
cws3e

I actually think this model makes more since at the beginning of a console's life when they are the most expensive.  

megakick
megakick

Works like cell phones... You think wow what a DEAL then you realize you locked to  2 year and and you need to meet minimum service requirements...

FULGOREY2K
FULGOREY2K

wow, talk about selling more than the XBONE

bad choice M$

enoslives7
enoslives7

THIS JUST IN: 

PS4 has quietly killed the xBone.

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

The 99$ model was just a scam to get dumb people to pay more than they were supposed to, I don't see why this is news, as far as I'm concerned, it should not have existed in the first place, but you know MS will do anything to scam customers so... Oh, and fix Windows!

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

This just seem so sad. Their best Game console and they are already severing ties with it. Just sad.

RossRichard
RossRichard

Killed last summer? I guess Gamespot has fallen behind on news, with all the fearmongering and reporting on rumors.

StHapns247
StHapns247

 Did I fall into a time warp? Is it summer of 2013 again? I am confused.

dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

Why pay more in the long run when you can pay less straight away and own the machine? Only stupid people would have fallen for this strategy. 

wookiegr
wookiegr

Besides the $99 offer, I don't recall there being any other offers. So the statement "Microsoft routinely adjusts the mix of offers available to its customers" was just bogus.

jameston80
jameston80

@xcollector How would you even say that? The 360 is still being supported for another 3 years, and this ended last summer. So by the looks of it there will still be at least 1 year left of the 360 even after any contracts are up.


I have an Xbox One, and still have my Xbox 360, and I am still getting great games on my 360 very cheap, hell I downloaded Soul Calibur V today for only $3.74 well worth it and alot of great games still coming to the 360 like in 2 weeks Titanfall !!  and the recently Dark Souls 2 !!

sanchango
sanchango

@phbz  NOOOOO! I just got enough money buy it! MY LIFE IS OVER!

Vodoo
Vodoo

For the consumer, yes. But for a business it makes more sense when the cost of building the system is much less. There's obviously people that aren't gonna make the payments and keep the console. Microsoft would be out a lot of money on the XB1 at its current cost. But as the system and components get cheaper, they don't have to eat as much of the cost.

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

@DiamondDM13 So what you're saying is, every phone company is a scam, too? =x

It's basically the same thing as a loan.  You didn't pay for it all up front, so you end up paying more over a longer period of time.  But then again, with interest rates these days, those are sure to be scams as well ;)

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

@dribblesbarbax Better buy that house and car with cash mate.  Since you don't want to pay more in the long run.

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@dribblesbarbax  

Tell that to all the people who go to Rent-to-Own places for their electronics, appliances, and furniture. 

kayveecee
kayveecee

@wookiegr I think it was meant in regards to other price changing offers to normally MSRP products. Maybe like LIVE promotions and etc. I purchased a second Xbox 360 for my three sons to use at the price of $199, came with a 250GIG HDD and I had no problem paying $15 a month for two year XBL. I'm THEKINGKINDRED on there by the way, add me for some Street Fighter play.


-TKK-

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

@Tigerbite2 @DiamondDM13Yes, pretty much. You pay more than you would up front, and the phone is locked to that company, it's pretty much a scam to me. I always buy phones from the makers themselves, unlocked, so I can use any of my operations in whichever phone I chose.

dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

@Tigerbite2 Hmmm theres a slight difference between paying 300 bucks upfront than paying half a million. Consoles are luxury items for people that can afford them. They dont need ridiculous payment plans. Having a place to live on the other hand is a necessity for survival. Thats why there are payment plans to help people out straight away. Your comparison is probably as dumb as you appear to be.

wookiegr
wookiegr

@kayveecee @wookiegr  I cancelled Live last year and abandoned Xbox. Even though I just recently bought a refurbed Xbox One I am not certain I plan to pay the high price for another Gold membership on top of my two PSN accounts. Maybe if Microsoft has some offers for Gold I might reconsider.

megakick
megakick

@FULGOREY2K @blackace DirectX update and good updates it will eventually get better. PS4 who knows but at least it plays video games better than Wii U and a couple games in 1080/ 30fps.

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

@DiamondDM13 @Tigerbite2So tell me this.  Are you (or did you) pay for your house in cash?  Because if not, you're definitely going to be paying a lot more in the long run.

dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

@Tigerbite2 "By the way, if you want to talk down upon people's intellect, you should choose your words better. "dumb" lulz."

Oh the irony. This coming from the person who uses "lulz" as a form of expression. 

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

@dribblesbarbax @Tigerbite2 The only difference being the amount.  We can use items of less cost if it makes you feel better.  That $20,000 car (luxury item), that $2,000 bed room suit (luxury item).  It's the same thing.  You want it. You buy it.  You spend more on it in the long run to have it now.

By the way, if you want to talk down upon people's intellect, you should choose your words better. "dumb" lulz.

Jebril
Jebril

@dribblesbarbax @Tigerbite2  Because trash (of all colors) are poor and dumb. They will probably get it having barely saved to a 100 dollars never pay the first payment and further ruin their credit. It's a Southern thing you wouldn't understand.

StHapns247
StHapns247

@wookiegr @kayveeceeAmazon and other online stores routinely sell 12 month Gold subscription cards for $30 or $40. I haven't payed full price for a year of Gold in several years.