Microsoft expands its subsidized Xbox 360 program, it’s still a rip-off

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Back in May 2012, Microsoft started up an Xbox 360 subscription plan where people could get a 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect for $99, provided they were willing to commit to a two year Xbox Live Gold contract and pay $14.99 per month. We here at GamerTell did the math and found that if you grabbed this console and two years of Xbox Live Gold separately, you’d pay less than you would if you went with Microsoft’s subsidized Xbox 360 deal. Not to mention Microsoft also had early termination fee penalties in place should someone cancel Xbox Live Gold, not keep up with payments or get banned from Xbox Live. As crazy as this deal sounds, some people must be taking advantage of it, because Microsoft is keeping the subsidized Xbox 360 program going, expanding it and now calling it the Xbox 360 Entertainment for All Plan.

That is quite the mouthful, isn’t it? The revamped Xbox 360 Entertainment for All Plan is still pretty similar to the original one we first heard about five months ago. You still can get yourself a subsidized Xbox 360, but now you have more choices. The 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect for $99 with two year, $14.99 per month Xbox Live Gold subscription is now the basic option. There will also be two other plans, one of which costs $99 and contains a 250GB Xbox 360 and another which is $149 and includes a 250GB Xbox 360 and a Kinect.

Since I don’t mind doing the math, I’ll work out the real prices for those bundles for you. The 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect price has actually gone down since that original article, making Microsoft’s subsidized Xbox 360 deal a huge rip-off. You can get a 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect for $199.99 and two Xbox Live Gold cards for at most $119.98 if you get them on your own, making the total price $319.97. Microsoft’s deal would charge $458.76. If you grab a 250GB Xbox 360 on your own and two Xbox Live Gold one year membership cards, you’ll pay $419.97. Since the Xbox 360 Entertainment for All Plan version would be $458.76, it’s only slightly more expensive. The 250 GB Xbox 360 option is most feasible. If you grabbed what’s included in this plan on your own, it would cost $519.97. It would end up being $508.76 if you went with the subsidized Xbox 360 plan. This makes the Xbox 360 Entertainment for All Plan seem like a good deal, but it really isn’t considering what time of year it is.

See, now that we’re approaching the 2012 holiday shopping season, the 250GB Xbox 360 with Kinect holiday bundles are appearing. There 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle has Kinect Adventures and Kinect Disneyland Adventures with it. The 250GB Xbxo 360 comes with Skyrim and Forza 4. Finally, the 250GB Xbox 360 with Kinect includes Dance Central 2 and Kinect Sports. The subsidized Xbox 360 plans just include the console or the console and Kinect.

I know these subsidized Xbox 360 plans are getting you excited, but you have to be calm. Since this is a program relaunch, they aren’t immediately available. Microsoft says all the details are coming soon and people will be able to pick a Xbox 360 Entertainment for All Plan out for themselves from Microsoft or another retailer shortly.

Site [The Xbox 360 Entertainment for All Plan]

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