Microsoft’s plans for $99 Xbox 360 in Europe cement the Xbox 720’s future as a subscription-based console

microsofts plans for 99 xbox 360 in europe cement the 720s future as a subscription based console dollars comes to

Microsoft is cagey. Cunning. Wily even. Even after 7 years, the company has found ways to keep the Xbox 360 a profitable business, even if its growth has slowed considerably. The average price of an Xbox 360 console is $285. Keeping the price of a machine that is ancient by entertainment industry standards that high is impressive. It’s also, according to some, damaged the console business to an extent that it can’t recover. Microsoft isn’t showing any signs of lowering the price of the Xbox 360 any time soon either. In fact, the price is going up even as it embarks on a campaign to convince consumers that the price has dropped. That campaign is going international as Microsoft brings its $99 Xbox 360 to Europe, signaling a permanent change in how the company does video game business.

Back in May, Microsoft introduced a new payment model for the Xbox 360 through its chain of Microsoft Stores. Like with mobile phones, customers pay just $99 up front for the console, but have to sign a two-year contract to the Xbox Live Gold service with monthly payments of $14.99. That’s $180 per year twice over, and contracts carry a nasty cancellation fee. Weeks after Microsoft started offering this plan at its own stores, retailers Best Buy and GameStop joined in.

VG247 reported on Tuesday that Microsoft is now targeting its second biggest continental market and is bringing the $99 Xbox 360 to the UK and other European countries.

“We’ll watch [the $99 Xbox] with interest, then we’ll decide if it makes sense for us to expand more fully in North America, globally or by region,” said Xbox Europe head Chris Lewis, “It’ll be very interesting to see how it works out. We listen to what the consumers are asking for and we experiment with different propositions in different markets. There are certain things we’ve done in Europe over the years, for example; a lot of our soft and hard bundling initiatives have ended up becoming global initiatives based on consumption patterns. The one you describe there, we’ll similarly track and see how that goes down. I think it’ll be very popular.”

“We just want to be where our consumers want us to be,” said Lewis.

The truth is that the $99 Xbox 360 and its attendant subscription package isn’t a new dawn for the Xbox 360 in Europe or the US. This 2012 campaign is merely a test bed for the Xbox 720, a device that is expected to be sold chiefly through subscription-based subsidization with the support of cable companies.

Microsoft, you be sinister.


Miss Black Friday but still need an Xbox? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

The most common Xbox One X problems, and how to fix them

The Xbox One X is a brilliant console, but it's not without its issues, ranging from simple annoyances to severe hardware problems. Here are common Xbox One X problems and how to fix them.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

Take-Two Interactive takes down another ‘GTA Online’ modder, seeks $150K

Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games have filed a lawsuit against the GTA Online modder behind the software named Elusive. The publisher is continuing its crackdown against GTA Online mods.

‘Fortnite’ streamer reportedly arrested after abusing wife while on Twitch

An Australian Fortnite streamer who goes by the name MrDeathMoth abused his pregnant wife while he was live on Twitch. An anonymous cybersecurity expert took matters into his own hands, resulting in the arrest of the streamer.

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!

The Epic Games store is already luring indie studios away from Steam

The Epic Games Store is less than a week old, but it's already making waves among indie studios. Multiple studios have announced that their games will be timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store, with one studio forgoing Steam completely.

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.

Bundle up for the huge ‘Monster Hunter: World’ expansion coming in 2019

Monster Hunter: World is getting a major expansion in fall 2019 called Iceborne. The expansion will be similar in scope as the Ultimate versions of previous Monster Hunter games, featuring new quests, monsters, weapons, and armor.

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.