XBOX, PS3: FIGHT! Microsoft Drops XBOX/Kinect Bundle for $99 and a Catch.

Hot on the heels of the PS3 price drop to $199.99, Microsoft has fired back with an XBOX/Kinect bundle for $99.00. The catch is you have to sign up for 2 years of XBOX Live Gold for $14.99 a month bringing the total package to around $460.  Wait, what? If you were going to sign up for Live Gold anyway, this is a deal. If not, maybe not so much. Personally, I’ve never understood Microsoft’s monthly service.

The free PlayStation Network has been more than serviceable for my PPV and DLC needs. I admit to being occasionally envious of the goodies PlayStation Plus members get and PS+ is a far better deal in my opinion. Three month activation for $17.99 or a year subscription for $49.99. I don’t know what Live Gold members are getting for their $180 a year but I can’t imagine a world that much different from Sony’s offering.

The deal also fails for me because after two years, you’ll continue to pay $180. 00 a year for Live Gold account. To recap:

PS3 $199.99, Blu-Ray player, no annual subscription requirements.

XBOX $99.00, Kinect controller, 2 year Live Gold contract $360, $14.99 monthly for life after that.

This is Microsoft’s answer to Sony? The Kinect controller is really the only attractive bargain but that contract is a beast. Look for ferocious ad campaigns as the holidays near as the Big 2 slug it out for our Christmas dollars. I believe this is the last big push for both systems before the rollout of their next gen replacements. When the smoke clears in January 2013, we should have a clear picture of who bet right on their price drop and who is better positioned for the next generation.


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