Apparently, Microsoft is about to make a giant push to get their console into more hands.
According to The Verge, sources say that a cheap Xbox 360 / Kinect bundle is coming our way as soon as next week. The package will cost only $99 at Microsoft Stores across the country. No word on if and when the bundle could hit other retailers.
Well, it's not really all that cheap in the long run. In order to snag the cheap bundle, you'll have to enter into a contract. That contract will last two years and will cost $15 a month. And yes, there will be an early termination fee. But hey, you will get a two-year warranty out of the deal.
That $15 monthly charge will cover your Xbox LIVE Gold membership. The total cost of this new bundle will wind up being $459 by the end of the contract. If you do the math on buying all of these components without the bundle, it's a bit cheaper. Right now, a 4GB console with Kinect is $299.99. Xbox Live Gold is $60 a year (or $45 right now with purchase of the 360+Kinect). With that route, you're looking at $389-$419 for the whole deal.
Of course, this new bundle and contract plan would allow gamers to get an Xbox 360 in their living room and Xbox LIVE for just $115 up front. That's a reasonable price to most.
But you have to think that Microsoft is planning on giving users a little more than just Xbox LIVE Gold for $180 a year. The Verge says that they plan to advertise the new bundle as a "competitor to Apple TV, Roku, and PlayStation 3." And I'm sure you remember all that talk last week about Microsoft's new music (and possibly video) service that's going to replace Zune. Maybe we'll see some content subscriptions included as a part of that $15 monthly fee?