Report: $100 subsidized Xbox 360 Kinect bundle coming next week

An Xbox 360 in every home. That's Microsoft's line of thought. A new report details Microsoft's plans to bring a low-cost Xbox 360 by bundling it with a mandatory two-year monthly Xbox Live Gold subscription. Who still needs an Xbox 360?

In an exclusive report from The Verge, the tech blog states that a 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect bundle will arrive next week with a subsidized price of $100. The subscription fee will be $15 a month — for Xbox Live Gold membership — for two years.

The Verge says the subsidized console will be sold at Microsoft Stores in the U.S., but it's unclear if it'll also be sold in other retails or online.

Calculating a little basic arithmetic for minute, the total after two years would be $460 ($100 Xbox 360 + $360 monthly subscription for two years).

If you were to buy the $300 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle that's widely available separately with a two-year Xbox Live Gold membership separately ($120 for two years), it'd come out to $420 (that's with either Kinect Adventures or that and Kinect Sports for the white 4GB Kinect Family bundle). A new subsidized Xbox 360 would only short you $40.

Crunching the numbers some more, if you were to buy all of the parts of the bundle separately, it'd come down to $470 ($200 4GB Xbox 360 + $150 Kinect + $120 Xbox Live Gold for two years).

To sum up: the subsidized Xbox 360 Kinect bundle is $10 cheaper than buying it all separately — both options which come with zero games. The best deal is still the 4GB Kinect Bundle as it saves you $40 and throws in two games).

If you don't care for Xbox Live, the alternative options become $120 cheaper.

So, what exactly is Microsoft trying to accomplish with a $100 Xbox 360 + Kinect bundle? The same thing cellphone carriers do with the iPhone and any other hot smartphone or tablet: throw a cheap upfront price in exchange for subscription fees.

It's understandable if the cost of an Xbox 360 and Kinect is hard to swallow at once, but if you're smart, you won't fall for Microsoft's new option. It's not worth it.

From a marketing perspective, it's kind of ingenious. Shoppers will see the $100 Xbox + Kinect deal as a huge value over the $100 Apple TV or $100 Roku XS (not thinking much of the attached monthly fees). It's marketing 101 and $100 just happens to be the magic price point at which game consoles become impulse buys.

Between this and all the limited edition Xbox 360 bundles, Microsoft is clearly pulling out all the guns to keep the Xbox 360 relevant six years after it launched. After all, an Xbox 360 successor will not be announced at E3.

Via The Verge

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