Microsoft has announced that they are expanding the $99 Xbox 360 contract-subsidized program to include additional bundles and more participating retailers.
Originally, the company tested the waters last May by offering a 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect for $99 plus a 2-year $15 Xbox Live Gold subscription. The expanded program includes that original bundle but also adds options for a standalone 250GB console for $99, and a 250GB system with Kinect for $149.
Microsoft’s GM of marketing Matt Barlow also confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the program is being expanded to Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, and GameStop, in addition to the Microsoft retail stores and Best Buy.
Barlow also hinted that we could see similar offers for the company’s next-generation console, adding “This type of program is pivotal to our business”.
Despite the Xbox 360 contract-subsidized program costing buyers more than if they had just bought the console outright, I actually like the idea of having this as an option. Especially going forward to the next-generation of consoles, which are sure to come with a heavy price tag.