Trending: One year later, Microsoft AI and Research grows to 8k people in massive bet on artificial intelligence

Software and online services have long been sold as subscriptions, but what about game consoles?

A report this morning by The Verge, citing anonymous sources, says Microsoft plans to introduce a $99 version of the 4GB Xbox 360, with a Kinect sensor, in conjunction with a two-year subscription of $15/month providing access to the Xbox Live Gold service and additional streaming content.

If it happens, the move would put a new twist into the competition between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has been outselling both of its rivals, but the video-game console market overall has been slumping.

Reporting for The Verge, Tom Warren says the new package will be introduced as early as next week.

From a financial perspective, the reported terms would be an interesting proposition for consumers, but not necessarily a good deal over the long run. The same Xbox and Kinect bundle currently sells for $299, and an annual Xbox Live Gold subscription runs $60. That adds up to $420 over two years.

By comparison, the console and subscription package would cost about $460 over the same period.

Microsoft would be counting on the appeal of the lower up-front cost, and also the perceived value of whatever additional streaming services the company would introduce.

No comment yet from Microsoft on the report.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline

Comments

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.