Microsoft is preparing to unveil a new Xbox 360 bundle that is going to give it complete ownership of the living room.It’s selling the Xbox 360, its home entertainment console, with a Kinect motion controller for $99, reports Tom Warren for The Verge, citing unnamed sources.
There’s a catch, though. You have to sign up for a specialised two-year subscription for Xbox Live, which costs $15 per month.
At that price, the total cost, even without transactions, comes to roughly $460 — about the cost of an Xbox bundle today.
The normal Xbox 360 bundle costs $300 — and the cheapest Xbox Live subscription for two years is about $120 for the duration.
Here’s why the move is brilliant: Microsoft essentially makes the same amount of money over time, and gets consumers to buy in at what appears to be a lower price.
By sticking players online automatically, it’s going to increase the likelihood that players will buy flair in games that they already play online, like Call of Duty.
Plus, you can purchase indie and professionally published games, flair, music and movies on Xbox Live.
Microsoft takes a cut of each transaction for the digital download, just like Google and Apple. (It doesn’t actually disclose how much the cut is.)
With a high enough volume of transactions, Microsoft will probably end up making way more money off this bundle than selling the typical hardware.
Think of it like phone carriers: AT&T sells the iPhone cheaper than the actual cost of the hardware, because it knows it will make back the cost of the phone (and then some) off your two-year contract.
This will essentially give Microsoft a huge first-mover advantage in the living room — a part of your life Microsoft is very interested in taking over.
We reached out to Microsoft for comment, which said it doesn’t discuss plans about pricing and has made no announcement.