Could the $99 Xbox Be A Testing Of The Water?

jdelacey's picture
Fri, 05/25/2012 - 07:08 -- jdelacey

At the beginning of May, the rumor was confirmed. The rumor is, Microsoft would offer a Xbox 360 bundle, somewhat similar to how you buy a mobile phone. Where you get it at a cut price, but are tied into a contract. In the case of the Xbox 360, Microsoft would offer the 4gb console, a Kinect, and two years Xbox Live Gold for the price of $99 and then $15 per month for the next 24 months. Many have said that this is a very expensive way of getting a Xbox, and truth be told it is. If you calculate it all up, for the exact same money you could buy the limited edition Star Wars Xbox 360 which not only comes with a kinect, and a couple of games, but also has the 320gb hard drive. However when you really think about it, this could be the way forward for Microsoft when the next Xbox hits stores.

Now one thing that I think Microsoft have gotten wrong with this idea is what they are offering. $15 a month gets you the bare bones Xbox Live, and nothing extra at all. I think this is very overpriced for what it is. Now l remember that Microsoft wanted the Xbox 360 to be the only entertainment machine needed in the family room, and this idea is a great way to do this.

Now lets just say that the Xbox One is released in 2013. This price I am just throwing out here OK, lets just say the console costs $350 at launch, and they keep Live at the $5 a month, as it is now. While this may be ok for some gamers there is no way some people could afford this. But what if Microsoft offered a deal where you pay $100 for the console and like they are doing now offer a similar deal of say $15-20 a month.

What they could do to sweeten the deal is throw in a Netflix subscription. This in truth would cost Microsoft next to nothing in the long term. And it would go along way to the next Xbox being the only entertainment device you would need under your TV if they did this. I think the Netflix subscription should have been thrown in with the current deal they are offering in there Microsoft store with the current 360.

Could the $99 Xbox Be A Testing Of The Water?

I know that I as a gamer, I would be up for a deal like this. Of course the price would be key. I would have a hard time if Microsoft were to do something like this, where they set the monthly contract at under $20 per month, and give you nothing but a standard Gold Live membership. But if they start throwing things in like I mentioned before a Netflix subscription, perhaps a few other new features exclusive to contract as well, then it suddenly becomes a pretty good deal. Especially for those gamers reluctant to fork out the better part of $500 for a console and some games at launch.

Many of you guys reading this right now will be doing something very similar with your mobile phone. Heck here in the UK we even do a similar thing with our SKY TV package where we buy the HD box (or get it free) and then pay a monthly fee. There are thousands of people round the world who happily will pay well over $100 for a phone, and then again as much as $50 a month on a contract, and this is just for a phone. My point is many forms of entertainment offer a similar introductory way of getting involved. So a video game console really always was at some point going to get on board with this.

Like anything price is the thing that could kill this, if they get a little greedy, like what they are doing with there bare bones package they are offering at the moment then I really cannot see it taking off. But if they do go all out, and give gamers some real good content for there monthly contract then this really could be a winner in the next round of the console war.

Article by - Jason Delacey
Insert Date: 05/25/2012

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