Subsidized Xbox 360 program expanded to 250GB models

Microsoft beefing up subscription-based offer to include $99 250GB model and $150 250GB Kinect offer when two years of Xbox Live are purchased; coming to Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, all GameStop locations.

Microsoft is expanding its subsidized Xbox 360 program with new models and wider availability. Beginning sometime soon, the technology giant will offer a 250GB model for $99 and a 250GB version with Kinect for $150 when users sign up for two years of Xbox Live at $15 per month. The new models will join the existing $99 4GB model with Kinect.

The subscription-based Xbox 360 offer launched in May 2012 and is currently available only in North America through official Microsoft stores as well as retailers like GameStop and Best Buy.

However, Microsoft is expanding the offer to even more retailers. Microsoft marketing general manager Matt Barlow told The Wall Street Journal recently that the deal will be extended to Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and all GameStop locations in the coming weeks.

He also suggested that the offer may be extended to international markets, though he did not confirm a timeline for this. Additionally, Barlow said a subsidized model is likely to remain in place for future product launches, adding, "This type of program is pivotal to our business."

Microsoft is the only major platform holder to offer a subscription approach. The offer mirrors that of cell phone plan providers, whereby subscribers pay less up front but are required to commit for two years and face early termination fees should they want out.

Written By

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

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