$99 Xbox 360 with two-year contract now at GameStop and Best Buy

In May, Microsoft announced it was offering a new Xbox 360 game console for sale for just $99 in its Microsoft Store locations. The catch? The console, which comes with the Kinect add-on and a 4 GB hard drive, also includes a mandatory two year subscription to Xbox Live Gold at $14.99 a month.

Today, Microsoft's Larry Hyrb, via the Major Nelson website, announced that same "deal" is now available more widely at Best Buy and GameStop store locations.

It appears that the terms and conditions are the same as with the Microsoft Store offer. That means people can get a full refund, as well as a cancellation of the contract, without penalty within the first 30 days of purchase. Microsoft will still charge customers $14.99 for the first month of Xbox Live Gold service. After that, Microsoft will charge an early termination fee for any cancellation of the contract, starting at $250 after the first two months and going down every month until the end of the contract.

As we have pointed out before, people will end up spending $458.76 for the deal over two years. However, consumers can also choose to get the same Xbox 360-Kinect hardware bundle for $288.39 at Amazon.com, plus purchase two one-year Xbox Live Gold pre-paid cards for $49.32 each; that comes to a total of $387.03.

Source: Major Nelson

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23 Comments

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It will become even cheaper. I think its not bad if it falls down from 99 to 50 bucks in advance. or at the same price they offer a higher end XBOX with extra features.

Another example of the modern credit culture. It's just the same as mobile phone contracts that give you a "free" PS3 - they attract people by masking the true cost of the product. And as long as consumers keep going for these terrible deals companies will keep pushing them.

A fool and their money are soon parted.

Doesnt sound like much of a deal to me. Calculating everything together you'd be paying over $460. And that is without any games & an extra controller. No thanks.

This isn't so bad really for people who want the whole package anyways. Like others have pointed out, it's not much different than putting it on a credit card. I'm sure there are people who say you shouldn't use credit cards but let's get real at the end.

Obry said,
This isn't so bad really for people who want the whole package anyways. Like others have pointed out, it's not much different than putting it on a credit card. I'm sure there are people who say you shouldn't use credit cards but let's get real at the end.
For anyone who has bad credit, this is an amazing deal too. Someone else said it was about 9% for the interest rate. I have really good credit and my cards all still have around 12% interest on them.

14.99 every month for gold ???

I sold my xbox 1 year and an half ago but wow ??? back then it was around 70$ a year.

At 14.99$ a month xbox live gold is simply not worth it anyway not in canada.

Its funny how everyone slams MS for offering this deal when banks have been doing this for years

Does it cost more? Of course, however if it suites someones budget more than $400 upfront then so be it,

IMHO the only bad thing about offering this is that the next xbox is due next year, so anyone doing this may get stuck with an old Xbox while this new one takes over... I think when the next xbox comes out, this kinda deal will be very attractive for people...

brent3000 said,
Its funny how everyone slams MS for offering this deal when banks have been doing this for years

Does it cost more? Of course, however if it suites someones budget more than $400 upfront then so be it,

IMHO the only bad thing about offering this is that the next xbox is due next year, so anyone doing this may get stuck with an old Xbox while this new one takes over... I think when the next xbox comes out, this kinda deal will be very attractive for people...


Agreed. I don't see how this is so hard to understand.

brent3000 said,
Its funny how everyone slams MS for offering this deal when banks have been doing this for years

Does it cost more? Of course, however if it suites someones budget more than $400 upfront then so be it,

IMHO the only bad thing about offering this is that the next xbox is due next year, so anyone doing this may get stuck with an old Xbox while this new one takes over... I think when the next xbox comes out, this kinda deal will be very attractive for people...

Unless of course someone is buying it for something other than a primarily gaming device. DVD player, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. Even though DVD's are technically dated technology, they are still cheaper than Blue-ray and cost significantly less. Also, when the new system comes out in a year, it will likely be out of the budget range of anyone who has to rely on this deal to be able to afford the device.

Personally I think this is just a pilot to see how many users would be willing to subscribe to a on contract subsidized Microsoft product and service for a new service and subscription that will roll out next year with the new XBox. If you read the leaked documents about the next XBox, it was supposed to act as a 6 tuner IP based DVR. I bet that next year we will see partnerships with Comcast and Verizon to replace their cable boxes with subsidized new versions of the XBox.

It seems like a decent deal, but I have learned it's always best to be patient and save up to buy things so you own them outright without paying any interest. Use the money you save to buy some games for it. I have considered buying an XBox as well, mainly to try my hand at programming games for one though. I used to pay $15/month for WoW, now that I no longer play it, this could be a good option instead.

as was already said above... it's cheaper to just get the 360 with a couple 1 year gold subscription cards as it's cheaper but obviously the benefit of the 2 year thing is the upfront costs are less which would be appealing for some people but for me i would say screw it as long run it's just cheaper to save up and pay for the 360 straight up like normal.

Definitely not a bad deal for those who cannot pay upfront.

It isn't dirty practice, or taking advantage, it is just giving users another option, and a fairly decent one. It isn't like people aren't familiar with rent to own places. I'm sure it is all outlined in the contract. +1 MS.

Caleo said,
Stupid. Just get a 360 for $199, pay $30-40 for 2 12 month cards.

Boom, you just saved $180

You don't realize that some people don't have the money up front. Sure, they probably shouldn't be spending money on a xbox 360, but that's another matter entirely.

Some people would rather pay less up front and more overall spread out over a period of time.

The numbers are pretty simple. They are just offering another option to people that live paycheck to paycheck and don't have good credit.

evacc44 said,
The numbers are pretty simple. They are just offering another option to people that live paycheck to paycheck and don't have good credit.

The numbers are simple. They're taking advantage of stupid people to make money. Dirty practice.

Caleo said,
Stupid. Just get a 360 for $199, pay $30-40 for 2 12 month cards.

Boom, you just saved $180


This option is only $70 more expensive, it includes the Kinect. Essentially 9% interest per year. In the UK we have an Online shopping service called Littlewoods pay nothing upfront and pay it back monthly. It's got an interest rate of 39%. If you can't pay for two years xbox live, Kinect and an Xbox upfront, this is a good deal.

If you can afford upfront that is always the best option but don't take out a loan for $387 on an interest rate of 10% that will take you two years to pay back then this deal would be better.

Caleo said,

The numbers are simple. They're taking advantage of stupid people to make money. Dirty practice.

No it's not. It's no different than a place that rents to own except that this is much cheaper and you get two years of XBL.

Caleo said,

The numbers are simple. They're taking advantage of stupid people to make money. Dirty practice.


You mean like credit cards? That's pretty much what this is, except which a much better interest rate.

Caleo said,

The numbers are simple. They're taking advantage of stupid people to make money. Dirty practice.

It's not any different from any rent-to-own service or a credit card. The only problem with this scheme is the Xbox 360 is 7 years old. if you wanted one by now, you probably would have bought it already.

Caleo said,

The numbers are simple. They're taking advantage of stupid people to make money. Dirty practice.


Here is an idea, you can buy the SAME house for $400k or you can pay $40k now and $700 p/week for the next 10 years + interest.

You think its taking advantage of people now? Its how the world works, you want something cheaper now, you pay for it over the course of the year, overall its a great deal for MS to offer

Caleo said,

The numbers are simple. They're taking advantage of stupid people to make money. Dirty practice.


If you need a payment plan to get what you want, the company should get something extra for offering this to you. Honestly, I don't think the up charge is that bad...

Caleo said,
Stupid. Just get a 360 for $199, pay $30-40 for 2 12 month cards.

Boom, you just saved $180

Report back here when you get your first auto/home loan.