When I saw the $99 Xbox with Kinect bundle that the Verge talked about my eyes lit up…well I’m sure as wide as yours did. The deal is that for just $99 now you get an Xbox with Kinect. Then you need to pay $15 per month for 2 years but that also gives you Xbox Live so you can do all of the great online stuff (YouTube, Netflix, video calls, the tv subscription stuff, etc). As they noted, it’s not a great deal. In fact, it’s about the same price as you’d pay if you just bought the thing and paid for Xbox Live. So it’s just like cell phones. We all go and sign up for 2 year plans with breakage fees to get a subsidized phone. We know the gimmick and we buy into it repeatedly. And that’s why this will work as well. This will move a lot of units for them. On top of that, the more people that have an Xbox means the more people buying games, especially the high end multiplayer ones that require live and Microsoft gets their cut. And Xbox has movie rentals and purchases as well. It also gets them into more living rooms and that means it’s harder to justify getting another secondary entertainment console like an iTV or whatever it may turn out to be.
Kinect is something special and getting people used to more Metro and showing them that Microsoft can innovate does matter. Add this all open and it’s a great move by Microsoft.
I wonder how they go about collecting on their monthly fees later though. The device would have to connect to their server each time you turn it on and confirm you are paid in order to use it I’m guessing