Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Tuesday, 08 May 2012 08:00
Microsoft has made the announcement and a newly priced 360 with Kinect is here. The deal is $99 for a 4GB console with a Kinect that includes a 2-year Xbox Live Gold subscription. The question all gamers want to know is whether or not this is a good deal? Are there better deals for a 360 out there? Will Sony follow suit?
The answers are: no, not really, yes, and, maybe? The $99 4GB console comes with a 2-year subscription for Xbox Live at $15 a month. Time to read the fine print. First off, this console deal is only available through the Microsoft Store. After two years, gamers will have paid $360 for XBL Gold at $180 a year, and $99 for the console and Kinect. The grand total is $450. According to PCWorld, that XBL subscription is mandatory and there is a termination fee for getting out early, which could be up to $250.
Can gamers find a better deal? Sure, here are several great examples. Most retailers have the 4GB 360 with Kinect for $299. Gamers can get XBL Gold for $5 a month or less. Total for two years is somewhere around $419. If one was to pick up the console from Microsoft, they would pay $299 but save $15 a year on XBL, and this deal comes out to be around $389. Amazon has the 4GB Kinect bundle for $289, add in 2 years of XBL Gold and it comes to $409 and is still a better deal.
It gets better, say a gamer doesn’t want the Kinect. There are a few deals for just the 360 that are worth looking into. Newegg has refurbed 4GB 360’s for $169, but often drops the price down to $139. Best Buy's Outlet store has had great deals. A refurbed 250GB 360 for $150 and according to the reviews the consoles have been in fantastic shape. Walmart.com has another deal for a 4GB 360, a bonus game, and a year of XBL Gold for $199. There are lots of options for a the savvy consumer.
The question is, will Sony follow suit with a price drop? Currently, the cheapest you can get a PS3 is for $250, although Gamestop a few weeks ago had the 160GB PS3 for $199. Anyways, I think Sony will probably drop the price or create some sort of bundle for $150-$175 after E3. Granted, gamers don’t have to pay for online play, so there isn’t any real additional cost. Microsoft has drawn a line in the sand, pushing its console to be the center of the living room for entertainment. It will be interesting in the next year or so to see what kind of deals Microsoft and Sony put together to combat what Nintendo is going to do with the Wii U.