Retailer marks up 360 by $400

JCPenney pinching hopeful 360 owners; sells Premium package for twice retail price, won't ship for two weeks.


"If giving really is better than receiving, you'll love wrapping this up!"

That's the tagline at the bottom of the JCPenney product page for the Xbox 360. However, the retailer's customers had better really like giving, because it could cost them a whole lot of dough.

Known more for women's casual wear and dinette sets, JCPenney also sells some electronics, including the Xbox 360. But instead of listing the highly sought-after machine for the standard $399, it gives a price tag of $799.99--$400 more than normal. Expensive bundles with games and accessories are the norm for online stores, but JCPenney adds only a play and charge kit (list price: $19.99) to the package (a remote is also listed, but some were included with early Xbox 360 Premium Packs--it's unclear whether this is the limited-edition remote or the larger $29.99 Universal Media Remote).

It's unclear whether JCPenney is trying to exploit the hype surrounding the system and its scarcity or whether this is simply a clerical error. However, those in desperate need of an Xbox 360 might consider paying the premium, as the console is selling for even more on eBay.

That said, shoppers who think they're only a few mouse clicks, 800 bucks, and overnight shipping away from playing Perfect Dark Zero tomorrow should read the fine print. On top of the inflated prices, the Premium Packs won't even ship for another two weeks--meaning they will barely make it to buyers by Christmas.

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