Microsoft's $99 Xbox 360 deal now available at Best Buy and GameStop
Microsoft's Major Nelson announced today that participating Best Buy and GameStop stores will now off the pay-as-you go program which allows you to purchase a 4GB Xbox 360 console with Kinect for only $99 with a new two year Xbox LIVE Gold contract at $14.99/month. After that, consumers are free to cancel the service, which I would recommend given that an Xbox LIVE Gold account averages just $60 for a yearly membership.
Microsoft hasn't revealed if this new sales model for the Xbox 360 has been successful, but the company has repeatedly emphasized that this a pilot period for the program.
Before calling your local retailer, you should be aware that this plan, over the course of two years, turns out to be more expensive than if you just flat out purchase all of the equipment separately at once. The final tally for the "$99 Xbox 360" comes out to be $459. Comparatively, purchasing the same console and Kinect bundle plus two years of Xbox LIVE results in only $419. On top of that, Gold Memberships are often discounted so you could get it for even cheaper. I suppose the only attractive difference is that the new model allows you to pay it off in monthly increments without the added tax of a credit card.