Can’t afford the full price of an Xbox 360, but still want to walk away with the gaming console? Have no fear, Microsoft is here and they’re now extending their $99.00 subsciption-based model for the Xbox 360 and Kinect montion sensor with a two-year contract down at your local Best Buy.

The subsciption model sees the price of the Xbox 360 drop to $99.00 and customers will also have to pay $14.99 per month over two years for Xbox live access, putting the total cost at $359.76 for Xbox Live access over the duration of the contract, plus the original $99.00 price of the Xbox 360. The current cost of an Xbox 360 with Kinect on Amazon is $285.98. The 12 Month Gold Membership is $49.46. That brings the grand total to $384.80 over the course of the two year program if you decided to purchase the hardware and service outright, a small savings if you go with the contract subscription model, but you’re also locked in for two years. Originally only available at the Microsoft stores, the company is now rolling the pilot program out to Best Buy and GameStop stores.

Is it just me or is this subscription based model getting way out of hand? Whatever happened to saving your money for a purchase instead of paying monthly fees all the time for your products? There are only so many subscriptions someone can afford. Currently I own subscriptions to Netflix, Rdio, iTunes Match, and NHL Center Ice, in addition to typical monthly fees like cable and Internet. At some point these little services add up. I’d be very interested to see what the typical consumer behavior is for these purchases. Is it easier to subscribe to these small services than it is to save for them, or purchase these products outright? Does the smaller monthly fee make it easier to purchase these programs outright as opposed to a yearly rate, or flat hardware rate? Inquiring minds want to know.

Any armchair shrinks out there? What do you think? Are these subscription models getting out of hand? Let us know in the comments.

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