Microsoft’s New Deal

Microsoft's New Deal

The deal's a good one - for all of us.

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The price is not too high at all so I don't know why anyone is concerned about that. If you don't want everything in the bundle it can seem too high but for what you're getting, the price is fine.

360 plus Kinect = $300
2 years of Live Gold = $120

That's $420 cash upfront or $460 if you want to finance it. No problems here.

As for buying hardware that will be obsolete. People are still buying PS2's and DS's and they will still be buying 360's, PS3's and Wii's well into the next gen. That argument makes absolutely no sense at all.

My main fear is that we are seeing a shift to a rent to own based model for game consoles. Next gen you will have the option to buy or make payments but what about the generation after that? Will we see $1000-$1500 consoles that only the rich could buy outright? Will most of us be forced down the path of rent to own?

More Immediately: The big slap in the face is the "mandatory" Kinect.
Kinect has proven to be little more than a gimmick when it comes to gaming. The game selection for it is...lacking.
So, if you aren't planning on using the Kinect, pass on this deal entirely.

Long term: I'd recommend an alternative. You can find refurbished 360s for cheaper, and the cost of risk is outweighed by the money you saved on the Kinect (make sure you can get a return policy for units that don't work, and get it up-front. Don't deal with anyone who says no or otherwise sidesteps the question).

Just be careful who you buy from, and know that you may need to nab a new Hard Drive in case the refurbed unit's is banned from XBL or such.

And if you don't encounter problems, hey, you saved yourself some money and potential headaches that come with contracts.

That writer is forgetting one thing: people are sneakily sold a 2 year contract to which they're stuck, and likely it'll auto-extend too.

This offering an advertised seemingly cheap thing which people want and sticking them with a long-term contract is called tying, and commercial tying is banned in many countries. Note how for instance even in the unregulated US, jailbreaking an iPhone (which is sold tied with AT&T) is legal. This implies tied sales with the iPhone is illegal, but hey, can't piss off your main sponsors if you're a US legislator.

And many countries have much tighter regulations. Belgium's Law on Business Practises (Wet op de handelspraktijken) for instance even bans selling mobile phones tied to a specific company, and would no doubt find this deal illegal.
In the Netherlands it's likely to be found illegal because the Competition Law (Mededingingswet art. 24) is used to ban tied sales for large businesses to avoid them cornering the market.


I'd say that if something is banned as a harmfull business practise in many countries, it's alright if people complain about it.

How up-front is the service contract, though?

That's been one of the large points of contention with many people.

Good arguments overall, Dennis. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Once again MS is losing money on Gaming (entertainment division?) so covering the financing on an XBox for $10/month while selling them a Kinect is an novel solution. Now the decision to do this has to been made before this last quarter was a loss. Comparing to using a credit card (which one will HAVE to have anyway) assuming 18% interest $20 payments will cover the balance but cost an additional $48. Standard CC solution cost $100 down + payments of ($20*19) = $480.

With each month the game industry bemoans how much the business has slumped so selling a game+Xbox-Kinect could be a reasonable method to get more people buying games. Amazon has COD:MW3 @ $40, COD:BO2 @ $60 and B3 @ $40. Consoles get ~$10 tax per game compared to PC versions so that should count somewhere.

My other questions are why is the business in such a slump? What direction are Indie games pulling the business? Do iOS/Android games effect the slump? How do Casual gamers (including iOS?) effect the curve? Finally how does MS lose money in the XBox division when they are making money on the console and the Kinect? It is harder to track now that they shuffled the accounting around a couple of years ago. Personally I am caring less and less. The publishers and the console makers are less then stellar people so if they sink it won't bother me. I have Steam.

Time will tell.

Atmos Duality:
More Immediately: The big slap in the face is the "mandatory" Kinect.
Kinect has proven to be little more than a gimmick when it comes to gaming. The game selection for it is...lacking.
So, if you aren't planning on using the Kinect, pass on this deal entirely.

Long term: I'd recommend an alternative. You can find refurbished 360s for cheaper, and the cost of risk is outweighed by the money you saved on the Kinect (make sure you can get a return policy for units that don't work, and get it up-front. Don't deal with anyone who says no or otherwise sidesteps the question).

Just be careful who you buy from, and know that you may need to nab a new Hard Drive in case the refurbed unit's is banned from XBL or such.

And if you don't encounter problems, hey, you saved yourself some money and potential headaches that come with contracts.

Microsoft has said that E3 is going to be more about services than games. Link here, go to 18 minutes:http://www.gametrailers.com/episode/bonusround/604

I get the feeling that Microsoft cares more about being a TV box than a game console these days. So I expect to hear everyone who bitched at Nintendo for ignoring core gamers to do the same with Microsoft.

They have forced a Kinect friendly dashboard on everyone, they are forcing all kinds of services into Live Gold and the price went up a year and a half ago to pay for those services and now I read that they are finally adding an internet browser but it is meant for Kinect. Like the dashboard you don't have to use the Kinect but it is more Kinect friendly than controller friendly.

At first I wondered why they weren't bundling a 360 with a bigger HDD but then I realized that they are going after the services crowd, not gamers who would buy games from the Marketplace.

Crono1973:

Microsoft has said that E3 is going to be more about services than games. I get the feeling that Microsoft cares more about being a TV box than a game console these days.

But of course! Services, DRM and legal entrapment are the way of the future!
What customer can resist?

So I expect to hear everyone who bitched at Nintendo for ignoring core gamers to do the same with Microsoft. They have forced a Kinect friendly dashboard on everyone, they are forcing all kinds of services into Live Gold and the price went up a year and a half ago to pay for those services and now I read that they are finally adding an internet browser but it is meant for Kinect. Like the dashboard you don't have to use the Kinect but it is more Kinect friendly than controller friendly.

At first I wondered why they weren't bundling a 360 with a bigger HDD but then I realized that they are going after the services crowd, not gamers who would buy games from the Marketplace.

Kinect is a farce. I see the uses for it outside of gaming (no, really, I've seen some very cool applications for it already), but on the 360? Practically nobody is developing for it for a reason.

Atmos Duality:

Crono1973:

Microsoft has said that E3 is going to be more about services than games. I get the feeling that Microsoft cares more about being a TV box than a game console these days.

But of course! Services, DRM and legal entrapment are the way of the future!
What customer can resist?

So I expect to hear everyone who bitched at Nintendo for ignoring core gamers to do the same with Microsoft. They have forced a Kinect friendly dashboard on everyone, they are forcing all kinds of services into Live Gold and the price went up a year and a half ago to pay for those services and now I read that they are finally adding an internet browser but it is meant for Kinect. Like the dashboard you don't have to use the Kinect but it is more Kinect friendly than controller friendly.

At first I wondered why they weren't bundling a 360 with a bigger HDD but then I realized that they are going after the services crowd, not gamers who would buy games from the Marketplace.

Kinect is a farce. I see the uses for it outside of gaming (no, really, I've seen some very cool applications for it already), but on the 360? Practically nobody is developing for it for a reason.

The reason Microsoft got into the game industry in the first place was to take over the living room. THIS has been their plan all along. They were afraid that Sony was going to take over the living room when they announced a DVD player in the PS2.

Ok, what I have to ask. if this seems to be a questionable value for anyone that your contemplating if the difference of 60$ more over the course of two years justifies the lower point of entry is at all obliterated by the fact that it is NEVER hard to find 1 year XBL offers for 35$ a year, thus making the offer not 60$ more expensive but 110$ more expensive over the life of the service agreement.

viranimus:
Ok, what I have to ask. if this seems to be a questionable value for anyone that your contemplating if the difference of 60$ more over the course of two years justifies the lower point of entry is at all obliterated by the fact that it is NEVER hard to find 1 year XBL offers for 35$ a year, thus making the offer not 60$ more expensive but 110$ more expensive over the life of the service agreement.

No, the going rate for Live Gold is $60 a year. You can't compare sale prices to regular prices.

Something saddens me that as gaming becomes more 'culturally' acceptable, the less I enjoy it. Perhaps it's the way it's obtaining this acceptance, through family oriented games and commercials of stereotypical, beautiful people sitting around flinging their arms at the screen.

Crono1973:

360 plus Kinect = $300
2 years of Live Gold = $120

That's $420 cash upfront or $460 if you want to finance it. No problems here.

Did Microsoft mandate two years up-front purchasing?

Because as far as I can tell, all that's mandated is the XBox. Even Live Gold doesn't need to be purchased immediately, and Kinect certainly isn't necessary. So that's 200 dollars up front vs 99 dollars up front with a mandatory schedule for Live Gold, meaning you can't even choose when that starts. That means, in the end, 420 cash if you finance vs 460 cash if you finance.

If you want Live immediately, 260 is more than 100, yes. But it's not as astronomic an "up-front" cost.

Let's be fair.

Crono1973:

No, the going rate for Live Gold is $60 a year. You can't compare sale prices to regular prices.

To be fair, when you're considering buying options, you really can.

Zachary Amaranth:

Crono1973:

No, the going rate for Live Gold is $60 a year. You can't compare sale prices to regular prices.

To be fair, when you're considering buying options, you really can.

No, you really can't. Regular prices are consistent and the regular price of Live Gold is $60. Sure you can get it on sale but you can get a 360 on sale too. I don't see you saying "well, since you can get a 360 4 GB for $150...."

Zachary Amaranth:

Crono1973:

360 plus Kinect = $300
2 years of Live Gold = $120

That's $420 cash upfront or $460 if you want to finance it. No problems here.

Did Microsoft mandate two years up-front purchasing?

Because as far as I can tell, all that's mandated is the XBox. Even Live Gold doesn't need to be purchased immediately, and Kinect certainly isn't necessary. So that's 200 dollars up front vs 99 dollars up front with a mandatory schedule for Live Gold, meaning you can't even choose when that starts. That means, in the end, 420 cash if you finance vs 460 cash if you finance.

If you want Live immediately, 260 is more than 100, yes. But it's not as astronomic an "up-front" cost.

Let's be fair.

You aren't being fair. You need to compare everything in the bundle with the regular retail price of everything separately.

If you don't want Kinect or two years of Live Gold, then don't buy this bundle. Doesn't mean you can't draw a comparison here.

Asuka Soryu:
Something saddens me that as gaming becomes more 'culturally' acceptable, the less I enjoy it. Perhaps it's the way it's obtaining this acceptance, through family oriented games and commercials of stereotypical, beautiful people sitting around flinging their arms at the screen.

It's not just me then!

Love it.

Crono1973:
The price is not too high at all so I don't know why anyone is concerned about that. If you don't want everything in the bundle it can seem too high but for what you're getting, the price is fine.

360 plus Kinect = $300
2 years of Live Gold = $120

That's $420 cash upfront or $460 if you want to finance it. No problems here.

As for buying hardware that will be obsolete. People are still buying PS2's and DS's and they will still be buying 360's, PS3's and Wii's well into the next gen. That argument makes absolutely no sense at all.

My main fear is that we are seeing a shift to a rent to own based model for game consoles. Next gen you will have the option to buy or make payments but what about the generation after that? Will we see $1000-$1500 consoles that only the rich could buy outright? Will most of us be forced down the path of rent to own?

A pretty damn good gaming computer is easily buyable online for $400-500 so if consoles start overpricing themselves out the ass hole it's computers for everyone.

besides, consoles for games like skyrim and such are complete shit without editing/modding tools since devs constantly say "fuck it" and stop patching the games and never add anything unless we pay them even if it's supposed to be in there or is simply missing some stuff.

Mick Golden Blood:

Crono1973:
The price is not too high at all so I don't know why anyone is concerned about that. If you don't want everything in the bundle it can seem too high but for what you're getting, the price is fine.

360 plus Kinect = $300
2 years of Live Gold = $120

That's $420 cash upfront or $460 if you want to finance it. No problems here.

As for buying hardware that will be obsolete. People are still buying PS2's and DS's and they will still be buying 360's, PS3's and Wii's well into the next gen. That argument makes absolutely no sense at all.

My main fear is that we are seeing a shift to a rent to own based model for game consoles. Next gen you will have the option to buy or make payments but what about the generation after that? Will we see $1000-$1500 consoles that only the rich could buy outright? Will most of us be forced down the path of rent to own?

A pretty damn good gaming computer is easily buyable online for $400-500 so if consoles start overpricing themselves out the ass hole it's computers for everyone.

besides, consoles for games like skyrim and such are complete shit without editing/modding tools since devs constantly say "fuck it" and stop patching the games and never add anything unless we pay them even if it's supposed to be in there or is simply missing some stuff.

This has what to do with my post?

Crono1973:

Mick Golden Blood:

Crono1973:
The price is not too high at all so I don't know why anyone is concerned about that. If you don't want everything in the bundle it can seem too high but for what you're getting, the price is fine.

360 plus Kinect = $300
2 years of Live Gold = $120

That's $420 cash upfront or $460 if you want to finance it. No problems here.

As for buying hardware that will be obsolete. People are still buying PS2's and DS's and they will still be buying 360's, PS3's and Wii's well into the next gen. That argument makes absolutely no sense at all.

My main fear is that we are seeing a shift to a rent to own based model for game consoles. Next gen you will have the option to buy or make payments but what about the generation after that? Will we see $1000-$1500 consoles that only the rich could buy outright? Will most of us be forced down the path of rent to own?

A pretty damn good gaming computer is easily buyable online for $400-500 so if consoles start overpricing themselves out the ass hole it's computers for everyone.

besides, consoles for games like skyrim and such are complete shit without editing/modding tools since devs constantly say "fuck it" and stop patching the games and never add anything unless we pay them even if it's supposed to be in there or is simply missing some stuff.

This has what to do with my post?

Last paragraph obviously. You fear consoles overpricing. I replied to that. wtf?

Mick Golden Blood:

Crono1973:

Mick Golden Blood:
A pretty damn good gaming computer is easily buyable online for $400-500 so if consoles start overpricing themselves out the ass hole it's computers for everyone.

besides, consoles for games like skyrim and such are complete shit without editing/modding tools since devs constantly say "fuck it" and stop patching the games and never add anything unless we pay them even if it's supposed to be in there or is simply missing some stuff.

This has what to do with my post?

Last paragraph obviously. You fear consoles overpricing. I replied to that. wtf?

Don't follow, I was talking about the future price of consoles under a rent to own system, not about PC's.

The lower upfront cost but higher overall cost is exactly the problem for people without financial means-- everything gets this pricing model; TVs, cars, now video games-- the result being that people who should not necessarily be spending their meager funding on luxury goods do. This is great for microsoft, but one of the biggest reasons poor people stay poor is a lack of financial training. If you see everything as a monthly cost and what can i afford now, you'll never accrue significant wealth on a modest to low income.

i mean, theres nothing illegal about it, but I really feel sorry for the people who go into a CHECKS2CASH place and come out with the money for the 100 xbox.

Crono1973:

Zachary Amaranth:

Crono1973:

No, the going rate for Live Gold is $60 a year. You can't compare sale prices to regular prices.

To be fair, when you're considering buying options, you really can.

No, you really can't. Regular prices are consistent and the regular price of Live Gold is $60. Sure you can get it on sale but you can get a 360 on sale too. I don't see you saying "well, since you can get a 360 4 GB for $150...."

Well that IS the point. Service agreements hold you into long term contracts to offset the price. Game consoles prices invariably drop. Knowing this if your shopping that IS a factor you have to take into consideration.

Should I pay 100$ up front and a higher price for the XBL service and be locked into it for 2 years Or do I patiently shop around for a 150$ 4gb console, pick up the kinect sensor used seeings how they are worthless now, find a refurb'd HDD, and next time I check woot or Newegg to find a 35$ XBL card, pick up two. Hrm, Do I want to go through all that hassel, or do I just do one completely wrapped up deal where everything is completely laid out. Decisions decisions.

I dont get where you suggest you CANT compare the two, because invariably just about every consumer WILL compare the two.

I honestly think what this "deal" is is a pilot program in preparation for the release of a new console generation to which MS wants to turn consoles into cell phones in their structure. It makes sense because if people will buy into a 2 year agreement for a console that is on its last legs, then when the new console comes out with a 800$ pricetag no one will bat an eye when they offer it for 250$ and a 2 year service agreement. Its an attempt to see if the market will allow them to further dictate higher prices to generate more profit.

Crono1973:

Mick Golden Blood:

Crono1973:

This has what to do with my post?

Last paragraph obviously. You fear consoles overpricing. I replied to that. wtf?

Don't follow, I was talking about the future price of consoles under a rent to own system, not about PC's.

His point is that if, as you said in your first post, consoles shift to a rent-to-own model within two gaming generations, then a gaming PC will be a more economically viable option. If you can pick up a PC capable of playing The Elder Scrolls XIII: Oregon for $500 or a console to do the same for $1500 over four years, the PC is the better option by far.

Of course, console would probably still have a niche in the market for those who don't understand PCs for whatever reason.

Under9000:

Crono1973:

Mick Golden Blood:
Last paragraph obviously. You fear consoles overpricing. I replied to that. wtf?

Don't follow, I was talking about the future price of consoles under a rent to own system, not about PC's.

His point is that if, as you said in your first post, consoles shift to a rent-to-own model within two gaming generations, then a gaming PC will be a more economically viable option. If you can pick up a PC capable of playing The Elder Scrolls XIII: Oregon for $500 or a console to do the same for $1500 over four years, the PC is the better option by far.

Of course, console would probably still have a niche in the market for those who don't understand PCs for whatever reason.

PC is the better option right now but that's not the point of this thread.

thiosk:
The lower upfront cost but higher overall cost is exactly the problem for people without financial means-- everything gets this pricing model; TVs, cars, now video games-- the result being that people who should not necessarily be spending their meager funding on luxury goods do. This is great for microsoft, but one of the biggest reasons poor people stay poor is a lack of financial training. If you see everything as a monthly cost and what can i afford now, you'll never accrue significant wealth on a modest to low income.

i mean, theres nothing illegal about it, but I really feel sorry for the people who go into a CHECKS2CASH place and come out with the money for the 100 xbox.

You know though, buying $420 worth of gaming stuff on your Mastercard is the same damn thing. I'll bet it's even more expensive with interest. Using a credit card is the same as financing, not the same as paying cash.

When I was in the military years ago I got hooked on those check cashing places too. Luckily it was only about a month and I stopped but those places are far worse than a credit card or financing through Microsoft.

viranimus:

Crono1973:

Zachary Amaranth:

To be fair, when you're considering buying options, you really can.

No, you really can't. Regular prices are consistent and the regular price of Live Gold is $60. Sure you can get it on sale but you can get a 360 on sale too. I don't see you saying "well, since you can get a 360 4 GB for $150...."

Well that IS the point. Service agreements hold you into long term contracts to offset the price. Game consoles prices invariably drop. Knowing this if your shopping that IS a factor you have to take into consideration.

Should I pay 100$ up front and a higher price for the XBL service and be locked into it for 2 years Or do I patiently shop around for a 150$ 4gb console, pick up the kinect sensor used seeings how they are worthless now, find a refurb'd HDD, and next time I check woot or Newegg to find a 35$ XBL card, pick up two. Hrm, Do I want to go through all that hassel, or do I just do one completely wrapped up deal where everything is completely laid out. Decisions decisions.

I dont get where you suggest you CANT compare the two, because invariably just about every consumer WILL compare the two.

I honestly think what this "deal" is is a pilot program in preparation for the release of a new console generation to which MS wants to turn consoles into cell phones in their structure. It makes sense because if people will buy into a 2 year agreement for a console that is on its last legs, then when the new console comes out with a 800$ pricetag no one will bat an eye when they offer it for 250$ and a 2 year service agreement. Its an attempt to see if the market will allow them to further dictate higher prices to generate more profit.

If you take "well the price will probably drop within the next 2 years" into account for every console purchase, you wouldn't have any consoles right now because you would still be waiting for the next price drop.

I bought the 360 Pro with a 60 GB HDD in 2009 for $300, now the 60 GB model is completely obsolete and for that same $300 I could get the 250GB model today.

Sure you could shop around for sales, used stuff or even refurbished stuff but that has shit to do with comparing this bundle to the price of buying this stuff separately at the MSRP. I am just saying that you need to compare new, regular prices with new, regular prices.

Your last paragraph is spot on.

Crono1973:

No, you really can't. Regular prices are consistent and the regular price of Live Gold is $60. Sure you can get it on sale but you can get a 360 on sale too. I don't see you saying "well, since you can get a 360 4 GB for $150...."

The difference being, you can shop around for that stuff while you are locked into a fixed price with the Microsoft service plan. We're talking a fairly big difference. I do not bring up the potential pricing of a 360 on sale because that portion can apply to both,

Crono1973:

You aren't being fair. You need to compare everything in the bundle with the regular retail price of everything separately.

If you don't want Kinect or two years of Live Gold, then don't buy this bundle. Doesn't mean you can't draw a comparison here.

The point here was that they are not necessary to buy UP FRONT, not that you're not buying them at all. You artificially rigged the up front price, when these parts can still be bought at a future date. The only thing absolutely necessary up front is a 200 dollar unit. You may then purchase all the other parts at a later time. Saying it's 420 now or 460 with financing is freaking dishonest.

The media showing respect for video games and covering angles other than negative ones?
Yeah, when pigs strap rockets to their own flanks and blast off too colonize the Moon.
Even if every single person in the world had three Consoles in their house handling their entire families media needs, games would still be mocked as children's toys or derided as a corrupting influence, because the media and politicians -need- a scapegoat.
The only thing that will change that, is a better scapegoat becoming available.

Dennis Scimeca:
The complaints were... rumors of Xbox 720 development kits implied the program might leave customers with obsolete hardware that wasn't even paid for yet.

To be honest, I don't see how this complaint even makes sense. There are two options:
1) Pay up front, then two years later you're $400-odd down and have an obsolete console;
2) Pay over time, then two years later you're $400-odd down and have an obsolete console.

Ignoring the argument about whether it would actually be obsolete or not (frankly, with a 4 gig hard drive I'd say it's been obsolete for several years already. I didn't think it was even possible to buy drives that small any more), I don't see how there's any difference between the two cases. Either way, you've paid essentially the same amount of money and had exactly the same product for exactly the same length of time. It makes no difference whatsoever to either your finances or your enjoyment of the product if a new console comes out during those two years, so what is there to complain about?

I don't understand why people are griping. You can still buy a 360 up front. What's the problem?

@Everyone Upset About Kinect Being Part Of This Deal -

First - remember that you're probably not the audience for this deal.

Second - remember that people who might use the Xbox 360 as a media hub probably *are*, and it's in that light which I do not understand resistance to Kinect being part of this package. I don't use Kinect for games, nor do I care. I love it strictly for the voice recognition.

If you watch a lot of streaming Netflix or HBO Go, the Kinect is a godsend. I was in the kitchen the other day cooking breakfast, and I wanted to listen to an episode of Home Movies while I worked. The episode ends. Our kitchen is around the corner from the living room where the television and the 360 are hooked up.

I say, in a regular tone of voice, "Xbox: next episode," and damned if the thing didn't pick me up from the kitchen and start the next episode.

It's at the point now where I can be sitting down at my computer, also in the living room, about to finish writing something or doing bills or whatever, and as I'm wrapping up I say: "Xbox, apps. HBO Go. Series. All Series. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Sort by seasons. Season 5," and then I turn to face the television for a few seconds to speak the name of the episode and queue it up.

Sure it's gimmicky, but if I also had children the Kinect would be a no-brainer. I hear Star Wars Kinect is awful. My friend has two sons, 5- and 3-years-old-ish, and they LOVE it. They play the hell out of all those Kinect games which seem so stupid to me...but they're not *made* for me. I'm an adult.

I think that as videogames and we grow up the old-school, hardcore gamers need to accept that we're not the solitary audience anymore. I personally love it. Whereas *I* was the weird one a decade ago for being into videogames, now the person who *doesn't* play videogames, or who isn't familiar with them *at all*, as in even on iOS devices, or who isn't even aware of what the hardware is looks like the square not only within my immediate circles, but even within mixed social circles I'm a part of.

It's such delicious irony. I eat it with frosting and I savor every bite.

 

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