XBox 360 4GB

Would you non-Xbox 360 owners be willing to pony up $99 for an Xbox 360 bundled with a Kinect sensor? Okay, what if landing that price required you to sign up for a two year contract with a $15 monthly fee built into it?

That’s Microsoft’s current, supposed plan. The folks at Polygon have an exclusive from an inside source that suggests Microsoft will be launching this new sales model at their retail shops across the United States in two weeks. Customers will spend $99 for a 4GB Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle, they will then spend $15 a month for two years. Doing so will earn them an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription for the duration of their contract.

Think of it like a traditional cell phone contract. Small money up front for the hardware and monthly fees earns the companies in question a good amount of long term revenue.

Polygon also did some quick math (cheers!) and figured out the upfront vs. contract costs. If you were to walk into a store today and score the same set of goodies, it would cost you $420. Buying these things with the contract will cost you $460 by the time the two years is up. That’s a pretty good split as far as hardware contracts are concerned.

Making this even more like a phone contract from today’s carriers, Microsoft will also be offering an early termination option for those that want out of what they bought into. It will come with a fee, though that bit was not revealed in this report.

Is this news good from where you stand, or is it the beginning of a long, dark and ugly path for the world of console gaming? For me, this is a bit scary. I feel like Microsoft could apply the same model to the next gen system, and that would mean we either pay a ton of money up front or sign up for a monthly subscription…because I really want another one of those.

[via Polygon]