Microsoft Bundles Xbox 360, Kinect for $99

Dennis Faas's picture

Amid rumours that a new Xbox has recently entered production, Microsoft is attempting to maintain interest in its current video game console with a special promotion.

Under the terms of the deal, customers who sign on for a two-year Xbox Live membership will receive a 4GB Xbox 360 and Microsoft Kinect peripheral for just $99.

Purchased separately, the 4GB Xbox 360 retails for $199.99, the Kinect attachment for $149.99. That means that buying the two systems together would cost roughly $350, or $251 more than the price of this specially-priced hardware package.

Xbox Live Membership Adds Up

But there's a catch to this $99 deal: to get it, buyers must sign up for two years of Xbox Live, Microsoft's online gaming service. (Source:

As you might expect, the Live service is somewhat pricey. The $99 hardware bundle is available only when you sign a two-year contract at a monthly rate of $14.99. Do the math: after 24 months of services customers will have paid $360 for their Live membership.

Of course, the price may be worth it for some. Live members can play their friends in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Madden 12.

In addition, the service allows customers to access Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix; purchase and download high-definition TV shows and movies; and obtain additional downloadable content for popular video game titles.

Getting out of the contract is expensive, since exiting reportedly requires a payment of $250, as an 'early termination fee.'

Deal Limited to Microsoft Stores, For Now

Many think the small print takes away from the deal's overall allure. But for other gamers interested in playing online, it's still an attractive option.

Technically speaking, many observers consider Xbox Live vastly superior to the PlayStation Network (PSN), Sony's online platform, even though the Sony system is free.

Right now, the $99 hardware deal is only available through Microsoft's sixteen retail stores. However, many think it's likely that heavy enough consumer demand will drive Microsoft to expand the offering.

Meanwhile, other reports suggest that an Austin, Texas-based electronics manufacturer may have recently landed the contract to produce Microsoft's next console, tentatively named the Xbox 720.

The company, known as Flextronics, is the same one that made the Xbox 360. (Source:

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