OK so Microsoft’s launching a $99 X-Box with Kinect. Sure you then need to pay a subscription fee (which comes with access to XBox Live Gold), but you also get a warranty.
So that throws things back into Sony’s part in the price wars on their aging platforms. I think it’s got a few interesting repercussions beyond that:
- It’s pretty smart pricing – totally you’d pay $29 for the subscription model, but you also get a lot of benefits. Microsoft may be trying some new plans that won’t just be for this system – but for the next.
- As it’s a two year plan, my guess is we won’t be seeing a new XBox for 1 1/2 to 3 years. If you’re developing for XBox, breathe a sigh of relief – but not if you just started a new project.
- This is an experiment. How it pans out will be watched by others – and responded too. Pay attention.
- It reverses common methods of pricing game systems – and merges them with online services all-but-totally. If you work in gaming, pay attention (and notice how Microsoft is even more of a gatekeeper).