Microsoft ends its Xbox 360 $99 subscription business model

Microsoft's efforts to offer a different business model for selling its Xbox 360 game console have officially ended. The Wall Street Journal has received a statement from the company saying that Microsoft no longer sells the Xbox 360 for $99 up-front combined with a two year contract for Xbox Live for $14.99 a month.

Microsoft first launched its subscription model for the Xbox 360 in May 2012 at a number of its retail store locations and later expanded the effort to other stores like GameStop, Best Buy and others. The model actually cost consumers more money over two years compared to paying full price for the console and then buying two cards with 12-month subscriptions to Xbox Live.

In Microsoft's official statement on the shut down of the subscription option, a spokesperson said, "This program was intended to be a pilot experiment from the start, and Microsoft routinely adjusts the mix of offers available to its customers and this change was simply standard business practice." The story also quotes Lewis Ward, an IDC gaming analyst, who claims that Microsoft told analysts in 2013 that the Xbox 360 subscription model was a way to sell a few more units of the eight year old hardware. Ward said that Microsoft wanted to squeeze "the last 10-15% out of the potential market."

Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image via Microsoft

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