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The rumor mill is churning: is Microsoft about to unveil a $99 Xbox bundle next week? According to IGN, the package would come with a 4GB console, the motion-detecting Kinect, and a monthly Gold Live subscription at $15 a month. If this is true, they will make absolute bank off of unsuspecting parents and tweens who are blinded by the bundle price. Let's break this down.
Right now, a 4GB console costs $200 sans any luxuries such as a Kinect. With one, it's about $300; still steep. For the less informed, 4GB is absolutely nothing in terms of memory. Most 360s come with between 20-60GB, you can literally buy a refurbished console with 60GB for $190 on BestBuy right now. Of course, no one in their right mind would use BestBuy so if you want one, hop over to Amazon or your local GameStop for the best deals.
Back to the story: with that $15 monthly subscription, after two years you're look at whopping $360 bill. Know how much Live costs over two years when you pay it year by year? $120 (roughly $5/month). So if you were to buy a 20GB refurbished Xbox 360 for $150 off Gamestop and purchase two years of Xbox Live, you'd only pay $270. That, my friends, is $90 less than the cost of Live off this bollocks $99 bundle.
These bundles are how companies lure in the big bucks from unaware consumers. They see $99 and start drooling at the mouth, thinking they've found the deal of the century. In fact, they've been hoodwinked by the trick of the century. However, I speculate; rumors are rumors and will remain such until Microsoft makes the official announcement. But, the story did break on Tuesday and they have yet to corroborate or deny the story. For young parents' sake, let's pray it's false.
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