Giant Bomb News

127 Comments

You Can Now Buy the $99 Xbox 360 In Places Other Than Microsoft's Barely Existent Stores

The cheaper console requires a two-year, $14.99 a month subscription, in case you've forgotten.

All these things! For more money than you'd spend if you paid for it up-front! What a literal steal (for Microsoft, not you!)

Hey, remember when Microsoft announced that super weird $99 Xbox 360 deal that required purchasers to sign up for a two-year contract with a $14.99 monthly fee, like you were buying some kind of gigantic cell phone? And then they made the deal only available through one of the handful of existing Microsoft branded stores? If you don't remember what I'm talking about, I probably sound like a lunatic right now. But I assure you, it happened.

Now, Microsoft has brought that same deal to participating GameStop and Best Buy locations. According to Major Nelson, the deal officially launches at those retailers today, so if you want to get up on this right now, you theoretically could.

As I've mentioned before, however, the math doesn't necessarily work out in your favor on this one. The contract includes a 4GB Xbox 360, Kinect, and two years of Xbox Live Gold. With the $99 up front and the $14.99 monthly charge, that equates to about $460 total spent over the two years. You can get all that same equipment and two years of Xbox Live for roughly $399 nowadays. Of course, the idea here is to give those who can't afford the up-front investment a way to enjoy a new Xbox, but if you're the sort who enjoys not paying more money for things than they're worth, maybe skip this whole deal.

Alex Navarro on Google+
127 Comments
  • 127 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Posted by tangwich

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but the console also has an additional 1 year of warranty, so the cost difference is even less than what Alex posted in his story. Just FYI.

Posted by SomeJerk

This is a good idea if you can't save up for a 360 with a HD, ever.
 
Ever.

Posted by sarahsdad

@mrpandaman said:

@Lurkero said:

I think this is definitely an experiment. The cost of the Xbox 360 was able to be reduced over time, but the next generation of consoles may want to avoid what happened with PS3 when it was first launched. I can't see as many people rushing out for a $600 new Xbox when there are plenty of other devices to be entertained by. Being able to pay a monthly fee may make people more willing to buy.

It is an experiment, I see them offering this deal when their new console comes out as well as having the ability the console outright. This would be a better deal for them instead of the consumer, because, well I think you know why.

You guys have written possibly the two smartest comments I've seen about this deal. If they're expecting the next console to come out at the same 3 to 4 hundred dollar price point as the 360, it's likely going to be a much harder sell for them now than it was 6 or 7 years ago.

Spitballing: This deal could also let them avoid having a BS 'arcade' pack, or worrying about how many kinects there are in the wild. If everything comes with a hard drive and kinect, then I can imagine that'll make life easier for the devs. I'm biting my tongue, but it'll be sort of apple-ish; your choices on day one being matte/glossy, and two or three hard drive sizes.

Posted by Mb246

@Kosayn said:

Hopefullly I'll be able to buy the Surface elsewhere, too

Fortunately the surface will be available on microsoft's website store.

Posted by Cloneslayer

American's only care about the front up price, because we are stupid. People will buy this and think they are getting the best deal ever.

Posted by wsowen02

Why would you want to get locked into a two year deal when the new consoles are coming next year?

Posted by phantomzxro

@matti00:

I feel the problem is in the long run your paying more. Not saying it's bad but it's just the same as buying a pre built gaming computer from a store. Most stores will give you the bundle hardware at an higher price but when building a pc yourself often will result in you being able to do more for cheaper.

Posted by R3DT1D3

The real problem is that you're locking yourself into paying so much up front FOR A 4GB SYSTEM. If I can afford $100 now and 15 every month, why wouldn't I just wait a few months and buy a system that let's me choose if I want gold and how much I'm going to pay for it with a decent harddrive in it? If you've waited this long, a handful more months means nothing.

Posted by BrockNRolla

@SathingtonWaltz said:

This deal really isn't that bad, and as long as they offered a way to own the thing outright sometime in the future I don't see it being that bad at all. Believe it or not, a lot of people use these kinds of payment plans not because they are impatient, but because it fits for their specifc flow of income.

What are you talking about? What "specific flow of income" makes this a rationale purchase?

If you need to purchase an xbox on a payment plan, it's a good indicator that you shouldn't be buying an xbox because you can't afford it.

Posted by Napalm

@hughesman said:

I find it interesting that most the people criticizing this business model have probably been doing this with their cell phones for years.

Apples to oranges.

Posted by EXTomar

I don't think anyone is thinking "Awesome...I need another month bill charging me whether or not I use it like my phone!!"

Edited by tourgen

reminds me of those great rent-to-own rims and tires deals

maybe microsoft can get into the cash for gold and swap meet business next

Posted by Humanity

@Napalm said:

@hughesman said:

I find it interesting that most the people criticizing this business model have probably been doing this with their cell phones for years.

Apples to oranges.

It's the exact same thing. You could buy an iPhone for roughly $400-600 up front or you can sign up a contract with AT&T and get the same phone for $100-200 and pay a monthly bill of roughly $100 for the next two years which is just a tad more than $600. The only difference is that you're also paying for the service of being able to actually make phone calls while a 360 can function just fine without the Gold service. At the end of the day though you are signing up that contract to pay the discounted $200 for the phone instead of $600 just like most people who go for this deal will rather pay a $99 fee up front rather than $400 and then deal with rates.

It's a smart move for a lot of people who wish to maintain a cash reserve and can't afford heavy drops. Alternatively you could just buy a 360 with a credit card and depending on your rates maybe that would be more profitable for you.

Posted by Napalm

@Humanity said:

@Napalm said:

@hughesman said:

I find it interesting that most the people criticizing this business model have probably been doing this with their cell phones for years.

Apples to oranges.

It's the exact same thing.

No, it's not. I'll give you a clue: one is a cellphone, the other is not.

Posted by locolukah

I can usually find Gold cards for ~35$ if I am patient enough :D

Edited by rachelepithet

.

Online
Posted by Humanity

@Napalm said:

@Humanity said:

@Napalm said:

@hughesman said:

I find it interesting that most the people criticizing this business model have probably been doing this with their cell phones for years.

Apples to oranges.

It's the exact same thing.

No, it's not. I'll give you a clue: one is a cellphone, the other is not.

You couldn't possibly be this dense? I'll help you out as well: most comparison aren't limited by the physical attributes of the objects in question.

Posted by Saganomics

@SuperZamrod said:

@TwoSe7enFive said:

Yeah we get it, it's a terrible deal for most people. But maybe try writing with less snark once and a while.

What are you talking about?

No kidding. Calling Alex out for "snark" is as tired as cracks about Patrick's age/hair/whatever the fuck else the chodes around here deem offensive to their sensibilities. There isn't a single thing anywhere in this news post that should upset anyone. What a bunch of babies.

Edited by umdesch4

@Humanity said:

@Napalm said:

@Humanity said:

@Napalm said:

@hughesman said:

I find it interesting that most the people criticizing this business model have probably been doing this with their cell phones for years.

Apples to oranges.

It's the exact same thing.

No, it's not. I'll give you a clue: one is a cellphone, the other is not.

You couldn't possibly be this dense? I'll help you out as well: most comparison aren't limited by the physical attributes of the objects in question.

I think what he's probably getting at is that something like a cell phone (or in my case, a student loan, or a house) is a lot easier to argue as a "need" than a game machine. If you can't afford a cell phone up front, you should probably have one anyway, so that a potential employer can call you any time, anywhere. If you can't afford an xbox up front and you go for this deal, well...there's one born every minute I guess...

Posted by kpaadet

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

It's not the price of the box that's stopping me, Microsoft, it's you charging for your online service.
Posted by MosaicM80

Reading into the legalese of this deal, they DO check your credit score. So I don't see the point of this for people with poor economic conditions, like me. So either you have enough money to buy it outright or you don't but if your that low income you may also have a poor credit score. Who exactly are they marketing this to again?

Posted by MrCandleguy

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Yeah! I hate paying for things that work too!

Posted by tophernav

@umdesch4 said:

@Humanity said:

@Napalm said:

@Humanity said:

@Napalm said:

@hughesman said:

I find it interesting that most the people criticizing this business model have probably been doing this with their cell phones for years.

Apples to oranges.

It's the exact same thing.

No, it's not. I'll give you a clue: one is a cellphone, the other is not.

You couldn't possibly be this dense? I'll help you out as well: most comparison aren't limited by the physical attributes of the objects in question.

I think what he's probably getting at is that something like a cell phone (or in my case, a student loan, or a house) is a lot easier to argue as a "need" than a game machine. If you can't afford a cell phone up front, you should probably have one anyway, so that a potential employer can call you any time, anywhere. If you can't afford an xbox up front and you go for this deal, well...there's one born every minute I guess...

It's not even that. It really is apples and oranges. With a cell phone you still have to pay the full monthly charge even if you pay for the phone up front. You're just not locked into a contract. And that just lets you go to another company...to pay monthly. As long as you want a phone you gotta pay. There really isn't a choice. This is not analogous to the Xbox deal.

Posted by zanshin

@TheCreamFilling: Didn't want to waste time typing and miss my chance

Posted by MrKlorox

Didn't they announce this going to normal stores at E3?

Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam
@MrCandleguy said:

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Yeah! I hate paying for things that work too!

We all make purchasing decisions, man. I just weighed my choices and found that the competition - and in the case of PC games, Microsoft itself - provides a much better value (i.e. free).
Posted by MrCandleguy

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Oh I use to play my Xbox all the time, Had gold and everything. But i've moved onto PC gaming now and stopped paying for gold. So i feel ya brah.

Posted by hughesman

@tophernav: Are you saying that a two year contract with a cell phone company isn't defraying the cost of, for example, an iphone? They give you a consumer electronic up front at a discounted price then you sign a contract to service. Do you think they would ever sell you that phone at that price without the contract agreement?

I get that your saying a phone is useless without a plan but your assuming that those plans would cost the same without the "deal" on the phone.

If your implying that part of that monthly service bill isn't marked up to not only recoup that hardware cost but to make a profit on that hardware "deal" they gave you then your wrong.

It's the same.

Posted by umdesch4

@tophernav said:

It's not even that. It really is apples and oranges. With a cell phone you still have to pay the full monthly charge even if you pay for the phone up front. You're just not locked into a contract. And that just lets you go to another company...to pay monthly. As long as you want a phone you gotta pay. There really isn't a choice. This is not analogous to the Xbox deal.

Ah yes, definitely that too. I have an xbox here that's never been connected to the internet. It's still very useful, and best of all, IT STILL HAS BLADES ON IT!!!

Posted by BlatantNinja23
@Dark_Lord_Spam Meh.... It's worth the 60 to me
Posted by onan

Keep in mind it depends on how you want to cut the XBL cost pie up. The console with Kinect is 299.99. It's $59.99 retail for a 12-month card, or $9.99 for a month to month account. Ignore the very obvious cost savings if someone is trying to cut corners by getting a monthly membership. By paying up front, you're only saving $40 over the next two years. That's forty dollars over seven-hundred and thirty days. I'll do the math for you: You can play the Xbox today for $420, or, you can pay $99.99 to play today, pay the rest later, with the added convenience fee of an additional $0.0548 per day. You save a nickel. If someone put the purchase on their credit card, depending on their APR, the compound interest might actually make it more expensive to buy this bundle in full on day one. (And let's be realistic here: If someone is considering this $99 deal, you know for a fact that putting it all on the CC is the only other option.)

This is criticizing people who can't scrounge up $400+ for an impulse purchase and really doesn't validate the snark. $400 isn't a tiny amount of money, and while many of us might be able to drop that much just because we like the new color or design of a system, a lot of people don't have that kind of extra scratch laying around. For the cost of a World of Warcraft subscription though, people can afford a brand new console *today* instead of a few months or a year from now. That's worth the small premium, I think.

You could ask why anyone here bothers with a Silver membership when a Gold Giantbomb membership costs less money in the long run. It's the same idea. Should people put off those impulse sign-ups because they don't have $50 for you guys today? It's a bit hypocritical.

Posted by sins_of_mosin

It really is a great idea.  Its sad that people are so clueless that this is just like a lot of other things.  Take insurance.  You can save money by paying all six months right now or pay a little more to do it monthly.  Its all about your situation.

Posted by Gazunta

@DonPixel: Polite, great maple syrup, hockey.

Posted by EXTomar

Smart phones just like consoles are expensive and not for everyone. Changing the price scheme isn't a panacea either.

Posted by ch3burashka

To be fair, a 70 dollar premium over 2 years isn't that terrible. As the Bombadeers have admitted, they've let MMO subs laps for months on end, so as long as you make the conscious decision of overpaying in exchange for paying slower, go for it.

Posted by avidwriter

You'd be stupid to buy this, in the end with the 2 year agreement you are paying $460..... M$ must think people are stupid.... oh wait.

Posted by Yalbit

@sins_of_mosin said:

Its all about your situation.

100% this. A lot of people don't have a couple of hundred dollars upfront to buy a console so they go with a monthly plan knowing it'll cost them more in the long run. People are happy to pay that extra if it means they get it right now.

Posted by m0rdr3d

So what the eff does everyone involved in the purchase do if there's a price drop or a new console within the next 2 years?? Sounds like a recipe for confusion and resentment. This should've been done at the start of the life cycle.

Posted by EndlessLotus

Not a good idea....

Posted by DriveupLife

All this is is a marketing experiment that has proven to be profitable. Just like a marketing campaign where you invest 100 dollars and your return is 125 dollars, you've proven profitability and move ahead with scaling up the campaign.

The contract xbox is a product campaign that has proven profitable on a small scale (microsoft stores) and is being expanded because people are buying it. Is the contract a good deal? No. Does it offer a new way to pay for a fancy toy for people who can't pay in full up front? YES.

Just like no money down, easy monthly payments. People want that sort of deal.

Posted by sociald1077

@onan said:

Keep in mind it depends on how you want to cut the XBL cost pie up. The console with Kinect is 299.99. It's $59.99 retail for a 12-month card, or $9.99 for a month to month account. Ignore the very obvious cost savings if someone is trying to cut corners by getting a monthly membership. By paying up front, you're only saving $40 over the next two years. That's forty dollars over seven-hundred and thirty days. I'll do the math for you: You can play the Xbox today for $420, or, you can pay $99.99 to play today, pay the rest later, with the added convenience fee of an additional $0.0548 per day. You save a nickel. If someone put the purchase on their credit card, depending on their APR, the compound interest might actually make it more expensive to buy this bundle in full on day one. (And let's be realistic here: If someone is considering this $99 deal, you know for a fact that putting it all on the CC is the only other option.)

This is criticizing people who can't scrounge up $400+ for an impulse purchase and really doesn't validate the snark. $400 isn't a tiny amount of money, and while many of us might be able to drop that much just because we like the new color or design of a system, a lot of people don't have that kind of extra scratch laying around. For the cost of a World of Warcraft subscription though, people can afford a brand new console *today* instead of a few months or a year from now. That's worth the small premium, I think.

You could ask why anyone here bothers with a Silver membership when a Gold Giantbomb membership costs less money in the long run. It's the same idea. Should people put off those impulse sign-ups because they don't have $50 for you guys today? It's a bit hypocritical.

Thank you for coming at this with a moderate mind frame. This isn't necessarily a bad dead.

Edited by EXTomar

@CH3BURASHKA said:

To be fair, a 70 dollar premium over 2 years isn't that terrible. As the Bombadeers have admitted, they've let MMO subs laps for months on end, so as long as you make the conscious decision of overpaying in exchange for paying slower, go for it.

I believe the issue is that at 2006-7 a similar deal would be a fair deal. At the end of life it is like "shady used car sales" stuff.

Posted by onan

@EXTomar said:

@CH3BURASHKA said:

To be fair, a 70 dollar premium over 2 years isn't that terrible. As the Bombadeers have admitted, they've let MMO subs laps for months on end, so as long as you make the conscious decision of overpaying in exchange for paying slower, go for it.

I believe the issue is that at 2006-7 a similar deal would be a fair deal. At the end of life it is like "shady used car sales" stuff.

I honestly think the 360 and PS3 have at least another 2 years of life in them. Adoption of next gen consoles is going to be pretty slow this time, at least that's the vibe I get. PS1s sold well way into the PS2 life. You can still get new slim PS2s. It's not really all that crazy. It's not like they're out to trick people, it's just another option if they want to take it and to encourage slowing sales in the golden years of a system's life.

What will be kind of weird now that I'm turning my attention toward the future is how quickly gamestop is going to clearance out PS3 games once this generation is officially over. They did it with Dreamcast and Xbox games, and with Wii and 360 having the most significant presence this generation, PS3 is going to have to give up that extra shelf space in stores.

Edited by EXTomar

I'm glad you are so trusting of the vendor while I would suggest "If you haven't gotten a console yet, hold off". Especially from Sony and Microsoft, they have a less than stellar track record on this information where neither have incentive to start now.

Posted by masternater27

They throw in a 2 year warranty as well which our training guides use to tell us that you actually save money.

Posted by crithon

I would love to see the numbers how successful this is within a time frame of 6 months later.

Posted by wefwefasdf

Do you think Microsoft will have this sort of payment option when they launch the their next console, or is it just their last effort to get everyone to purchase a 360 that wants one?

Posted by addictedtopinescent

Whatever, I think this an okay deal, I'll be all over this if they do it for the next-gen system

Posted by Humanity
@tophernav

@umdesch4 said:

@Humanity said:

@Napalm said:

@Humanity said:

@Napalm said:

@hughesman said:

I find it interesting that most the people criticizing this business model have probably been doing this with their cell phones for years.

Apples to oranges.

It's the exact same thing.

No, it's not. I'll give you a clue: one is a cellphone, the other is not.

You couldn't possibly be this dense? I'll help you out as well: most comparison aren't limited by the physical attributes of the objects in question.

I think what he's probably getting at is that something like a cell phone (or in my case, a student loan, or a house) is a lot easier to argue as a "need" than a game machine. If you can't afford a cell phone up front, you should probably have one anyway, so that a potential employer can call you any time, anywhere. If you can't afford an xbox up front and you go for this deal, well...there's one born every minute I guess...

It's not even that. It really is apples and oranges. With a cell phone you still have to pay the full monthly charge even if you pay for the phone up front. You're just not locked into a contract. And that just lets you go to another company...to pay monthly. As long as you want a phone you gotta pay. There really isn't a choice. This is not analogous to the Xbox deal.

If you want to get technical then you can get phones that work on a pre paid system which would eliminate the necessity of a flat fee. That's beside the point since the idea here is that you're getting something cheaper up front and end up paying more in the long run as opposed to dishing out the full cover price up front. This is true for literally any rate system and it's not for suckers but people that have a steady income albeit a lower one.
Posted by Majkiboy

I am giggling, because the 360 isn't worth that much today and certainly not in two years :) (payment plan or not)

  • 127 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3