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Microsoft announces subscription-based Xbox 360

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May 9, 2012

The Xbox 360 is now the world's first subscription game console

The Xbox 360 is now the world's first subscription game console

Microsoft has announced the world's first game console with subscription-based pricing, making the Xbox 360 more accessible to those interested in gaming on a budget. The new package will cost US$99 up front, with a two-year contract of $15 a month, much like your average cell phone contract. This is an entirely untested price model for videogame consoles, and may prove to be a stroke of genius for Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 is closing in on its seventh anniversary. A new price model could breathe life into the system for years to come.

The Xbox 360 has been a crucial success for Microsoft – launching before the PS3 and Wii was paramount in building a fan base that enabled the 360 to outsell its predecessor, the original Xbox, by millions of units. Over time, the Xbox 360 has been offered in a variety of different bundles with ranging prices, the lowest of which was the $199 Xbox 360S 4GB. Now we have the $99 package, and for those interested in Xbox Live Gold, the subscription Xbox may be an attractive option.

Whether or not the subscription bundle is right for you is a question of how much interest you have in online gaming. If you buy the same Xbox 360 outright, you'll spend $299, if you add on two years of Xbox Live Gold you're looking at a total cost of around $420. In contrast, the subscription-based Xbox with its attractive $99 initial payment will actually end up costing you around $460 total. A $40 premium to pay over the course of two years may be low enough for the subscription model to be a hit for Microsoft, provided there is a continued flow of quality software released for the system.

The new Xbox 360 bundle comes with everything you need to get playing the moment you open the box, including the console, a controller, and even a Kinect sensor. Thanks to the inclusion of Xbox Live Gold services such as YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, the $99 Xbox might actually take sales away from streaming boxes like Apple TV and Roku. Making the Xbox 360 more than just a game console has been a priority of Microsoft's for years, and this seems like a natural step toward that goal.

Source: The Verge

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4 Comments

Well.. guess we're not getting the xbox 720 any-time soon then, hope my original 360 has a couple of years left in it

Craig Smale
10th May, 2012 @ 02:36 am PDT

Rumors say that the 720 will be unveiled at next year's E3.

Jon A.
10th May, 2012 @ 08:38 am PDT

Want to save money on an XBOX 360? Buy a used one! Better yet, get given one for free and repair it for $7.76 by buying a new DVD laser off eBay.

Gregg Eshelman
10th May, 2012 @ 07:32 pm PDT

I have a 360. But when I found out the Nextbox was using Radeon 6000 Series Architecture I decided to save money. I just built a gaming pc for $700 that uses better than 6000 series graphics card and 8 core processor. It will run better graphics than the nextbox with no subscription fees, all 360 and nextbox games are confirmed to run on Windows 8, and when the nextbox after next comes out all I have to do is buy an 8000 series video card and once again I have better graphics.

So thats $700 for better than console graphics for at least the next 12 years. Worth it.

Kyle Hays
16th May, 2012 @ 10:29 am PDT
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