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Microsoft pushes forward with its Xbox 360 subscription program

Following a pilot period for its $99 Xbox 360 subscription program, Microsoft now plans to make the scheme more freely available, with new bundle types also announced.
Following a pilot period for its $99 Xbox 360 subscription program, Microsoft now plans to make the scheme more freely available, with new bundle types also announced. The program was launched earlier this year, giving consumers the option to pick up an Xbox 360 with Kinect for a cheaper initial fee, and instead pay a two-year subscription. The pilot ran in retail Microsoft stores, before expanding to Best Buy and a select number of GameStop stores. In the coming weeks, Microsoft plans to expand the offer to Wal-Mart and Toys R Us stores, as well as all GameStop outlets. A number of new subscription types will also be made available, including an Xbox 360 with a 250GB hard drive for $99, and the same device with Kinect for $149 -- both will require a two-year, $14.99 a month subscription. Talking to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft's GM of marketing Matt Barlow explained, "We wanted to see if we would get sustained consumer excitement and willingness from partners to get this in retail." Thanks to the success of the scheme, Barlow says that Microsoft plans to maintain it for the foreseeable future, and will also be providing the offer to international customers at some point. He also suggested that future product launches, such as the next Xbox console, will likely offer a similar subscription payment option. "This type of program is pivotal to our business," he added.

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