Keen to get a new console on the cheap? A new scheme being trialled in the US by Microsoft may be your answer. But then again, it’s probably not. We’ve run the numbers to figure out why the subscription-based Xbox 360 is a terrible waste of your hard-earned cash.
So, here’s the deal: walk into one of the 16 US Microsoft stores and you’ll see a brand new offer. In a bid to undercut the Wii and PS3, Microsoft has reduced the price of the 4GB Xbox 360 to just $99 (£61.38).
Only, there’s a catch – and we’re not talking about the paltry 4GB of storage in the base model. The rock-bottom price is only available if you agree to sign up to a two-year Gold subscription to Xbox LIVE, at $14.99 (£9.29) per month.
It’s a trial designed to see if the Xbox 360, with its raft of entertainment services, can stack up as a cheap alternative to the likes of the Apple TV set-top box, while providing gaming thrills at the same time. Only, we think its a terrible idea. Here’s why:
Excuse us, but we’re running our napkin maths in pounds sterling. Now, that $99 Xbox 360 comes out at £61.38, while your monthly subscription to the Gold package of Xbox Live is £9.29. Over the course of your two year deal, you’ll end up handing over a little over £283.
Thing is, if you take advantage of the current best deals here in the UK, you can get the same 4GB Xbox 360 for £130, and 12 months of Gold Xbox LIVE action for £34 per year. So, £130 plus two lots of £34? That’s £198, by our reckoning.
That’s a full £85 cheaper than what Microsoft’s proposing with its subscription deal. What’s worse, if you want to cancel early you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee that can hit $250 (£155). As mentioned, this is in the trial-stages in only a few stores in the US, but we hope it doesn’t work out. Are you in favour of or against subscription console buying? Let us know below.