Microsoft's $99 Xbox 360 bundle: what a rip-off!

Last week, we heard rumors that Microsoft would be releasing a Xbox 360 console with Kinect for $99, subsidized by a two-year Gold subscription commitment to the Xbox Live service, in a fashion similar to mobile phone subsidies.

Monday, the offer went live on the Microsoft Store site, and the plan, which got us excited here in the BetaNews news room, turns out to be no deal at all.

To get your hands on the subsidized console, you have to commit to a two-year Xbox Live Gold subscription at $14.99 per month, a rate jacked up from the normal one-year Gold subscription rate of $5.00 per month.

So this subsidy deal includes a $99 console and a $360 Gold subscription, bringing the total to $459, which is over a hundred dollars more expensive than standard rates.

At the regular prices, the 4GB Xbox 360/Kinect bundle would cost $229, and the two-year commitment to Xbox Live Gold would cost $120, bringing the total to just $349.

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