Microsoft To Offer Subscription Based Xbox 360, Kinect And Live For Just $99

According to The Verge, Microsoft is about to shake up the entire console industry in a single move, by offering a subscription based purchase model for the 360.

Details are currently a little spare, but it’s expected that the company will offer a 4GB Xbox 360, Kinect and access to Live for just $99, with a monthly subscription of $15, from as early as next week across the United States.


Users will have to pay a penalty if they exit the deal before two years is up, but this is an extraordinary offer and one that’s sure to be attractive to millions.

It is, over the two year period, about $30 more all-in, but everyone loves spreading their payments, right? And you can’t argue that that’s a great deal.

The deal also includes full warranty for the two year period.



  1. It does cost more than buying it all separately mind. And that’s at RRP.

  2. Meh considering all the best games are on Xbox Live (taste) its no use for me but at least its a bit perfect for casuals I suppose.

  3. Also, what happens when your subscription runs out? Do you have to give your console back? Then trade in the games you bought? ‘Cos we all know the industry loves trade-ins.

    • Once you’re paid up its yours to keep I assume.

      I’m more interested to know how they’re going to make me pay this penalty. If o buy the xbox, then default on the payments, what are they going to do? Suppose its only the same as having a mobile phone contract, though they cut off your network if you default meaning your phone is pointless, what are ms going to do?

      • Leaving a black mark on your credit file is enough to fuck up your life, still plenty of people won’t be bothered by that so MS will have to have the credit checks in place to stop people just paying the nominal upfront cost, then selling all the equipment and never paying the monthly fee like used to happen in the mobile phone industry.

      • They are already able to disable the console remotely.

      • Disabling the console remotely requires an internet connection.

      • They send round the hit squad. :)

    • Yeah, that’s a curious bit. Think it’s a good deal otherwise.

  4. Not sure how many people will be interested in this with the next gen consoles coming out either this year or next.

    • Yeah, is there much business sense in tying people into a two year deal, when the next console may arrive next year?

      • The PS2 sold far more after the PS3 was released than it did before. Even now, DSs are selling like hot cakes and the PSP threatens to embarrass the Vita in Japan. “Previous gen” consoles have the capacity to do exceptionally well with casual, emerging and younger markets because they can be so cheap and have such a large library of software at much lower prices.

  5. Essentially a trial before the next gen?

    Going to be very hard to hit the quality of graphics that people demand and build in some future proofing for the 5-7 years following release all for the magic £250

    A subscription model opens the door for £400+ hardware again.

    Aside from that including Gold/PS+ and content from premium stremaing partners to sweeten the deal will make it more attractive.

    • This is absolutely what’s going to happen next gen. Or at least, it should.

      • Will be very interesting to see if this happens for next gen from launch.

        We are all in a shitty state financially, so I guess this would make it more accessible to people, without the £400+ initial outlay…

      • There was a large amount of ‘this gen’ consoles which died not long after the 12 month guarantee. So it could be a shrewd decision if there’s a warranty included for the length of the subscription.

  6. only drawback to this is that it’s the weirdly useless 4GB model – so none of the great XBLA games are an attraction, MS can’t sell you much DLC for Forza and Gears and the newer Halo’s multiplayer won’t work.

    If they’d made it a larger hdd and included access to some of the XBLA’s gems as a part of that ongoing subscription, even at $20-$25 dollars a month, that might have been more tempting. It’s certainly a bold experiment though – and one they can continue with this hardware even after a new generation is at retail. Imagine Microsoft selling at $300-$400 for the hardcore new shiny boxed NextBox or charging $15 a month (they could eventually even drop the initial fee) for a casual alternative that kids will gobble up, much as they did the PS2 when the PS3 took over the hardcore or the Wii. A route into their ecosystem for less than a KFC family meal.

    • There might be inaccuracies with the report, mind. We should wait and see which model makes it out.

    • Terms might limit this, but possibly you could just bung the bigger HDD in if you wanted?

      I’d imagine in the next gen they’d just vary the upfront cost, much like phones do for different HDDs etc…

    • Just beiing a little pedantic, but Halo: Reach now works fully even if you just have the 4GB model.

  7. Wow, my mate will lap this up if it comes to the UK. He only buys a couple of games a year, all of which he plays online so that sounds perfect for him

  8. It still feels like ‘money-grabbing microsoft’

  9. Sounds like a good deal, nice way of spreading out the payments too. Perhaps they’ll announce a price drop at E3 for the other 360 models? I’d certainly be tempted to get one, even if they announce a new console arriving at the end of 2013.

  10. Smart move, grabbing consumers by their balls when you’re readying the release of your next game console in the next year. Still, if they do it for the next generation XBox, then the deal becomes even truly interesting.

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