Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft stopped offering the deal in July after using it as a “pilot experiment” for the past two years. The deal let gamers buy the Xbox 360 and Kinect for $99, so long as they agreed to pay $14.99 per month over two years for an Xbox Live membership. Without that deal, which is similar to how cell phone carriers offer subsidized contracts, the console and Kinect cost $249 right now.
WSJ notes that Microsoft hoped the package deal would help spur last-minute sales of the Xbox 360 before gamers made the switch to next generation consoles like the Xbox One and Playstation 4. Microsoft is not offering something similar for the Xbox One, which went on sale Nov. 22 and retails for $499.
Sales of the Xbox One are lagging behind Sony’s PS4, which debuted Nov. 15. By last count, Sony noted 6 million consoles sold worldwide and doubled U.S. sales of the Xbox One in January. Microsoft last revealed its sales numbers in January, when the company said it shipped — not sold — 3.9 million Xbox One devices worldwide.
Microsoft is hoping to ramp up sales with the debut of popular sci-fi shooter Titanfall, which hit shelves on Tuesday. Speaking of bundles, the Redmond software giant last week announced an Xbox One Titanfall Bundle, which includes an Xbox One console, an Xbox One chat headset, one month of Xbox Live Gold and a copy of Titanfall all for $499 — currently the same price as the Xbox One by itself. Purchased separately, Titanfall costs $59.99, so Microsoft is offering a pretty substantial discount with the package.