Modern day consoles aren’t exactly the cheapest thing money can buy and in these hard economic times, they just aren’t a viable purchase for many consumers. Microsoft understands this and, in the coming months, they plan to release a $99 4GB 360 that that will come pre-packaged with a Kinect sensor.
The catch is that it will then require a finance plan of $15/month following the initial payment. This monthly fee will include a two year warranty and possibly an Xbox Live Gold subscription as well as various streaming packages. Like other similar deals, there will be an early termination fee if you choose to stop the monthly payments before the two year period is up.
As the 360 is quickly becoming the centerpiece of many consumer media centers, and with all of the various packages such as Netflix and sports streaming, it makes sense that Microsoft is trying to give consumers an alternative option to big upfront payments. They plan to market this new option as a competitor to Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation 3, and various other giant media centers. The drawback is that it will only be available at official Microsoft stores.