So I’ve had a 360 Elite for 3 years and have been looking to replace it (and give it to my girlfriend so she could use it as a streaming player for Netflix and play games on it every now and then). The $99 subsidized Xbox sounded appealing. If you’re unfamiliar it’s a promotion by Microsoft and GameStop where you can get either a 250gb Xbox 360 or a 4gb Xbox 360 w/ Kinect for $99 if you agree to a 2 year Xbox Live agreement for $14.99/mo.
Now I know $14.99/mo sounds steep especially when at its highest price a year of Xbox Live is $60 (sometimes as low as $40 through Amazon), but this deal offers a low level of entry and the ability to pay for the Xbox over two years while enjoying Xbox Live Gold.
Also you might wonder why anyone would do this when the Xbox One is coming out, but Phil Harrison has confirmed that all current Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will carry over to the Xbox One, therefore you’re paying for something you can still use on the Xbox One and 360.
So here’s where it gets tricky. The deal specifies it’s only available for the specific models shown, which are the plain 250gb Xbox 360 and 4gb with Kinect. The 250gb console is no longer available at any GameStop within 100 miles of me (I checked other cities as well and none have it in stock) and it is no longer for sale online. Why? Because it was replaced by the 250gb Xbox 360 Spring Bundle, which includes 1 month of Xbox Live, Darksiders II and Batman Arkham City all for $299.
This $299 is the same price as the formerly offered 250gb console, and yet this isn’t the model specified in the offer. I contacted Xbox Support via Twitter and they were very helpful addressing my concerns (@XboxSupport is THE best customer support on Twitter, always quick to respond) but in the end they were unsure whether the Spring Bundle would qualify for the deal.
I walked into my local GameStop this morning and asked them about it and they told me that for awhile they were selling the Spring Bundle with the coupon for $99, but they received a notice from corporate that their POS (point of sale) would no longer accept the coupon for the Spring Bundle. I asked if they could try anyway so I wouldn’t have to cancel my contract, and they were nice enough to try.
Upon scanning my coupon and the Xbox 360 Spring Bundle it turned out that the POS DID in fact accept the coupon and they let me purchase the bundle for $99! I also renewed my PowerUp Rewards card since they were so helpful and worked with me.
In the end I wish GameStop and Microsoft would be more clear on this matter. Apparently GameStop is not supposed to accept this coupon for the Spring Bundle, and yet they no longer receive regular 250gb consoles. The Spring Bundle replaced those at the $299 price point. It would seem they should indeed accept the coupon for those consoles since they one specified in the offer advertised no longer exists.