It seems clear that services, not products, are the future of entertainment. Microsoft, wanting to get ahead of the curve, will likely announce a new subscription-based model for the Xbox 360 hardware in the near future, according to The Verge.
The new bundle, which may go on sale as soon as next week gamers can pick up a 4 GB Xbox 360 console with a Kinect for $99 dollars, along with a two year contract for a $15/month Xbox subscription. The subscription fee includes Xbox Live Gold membership and possibly access to extra content from entertainment partners, which includes Netflix, Hulu, ESPN and some cable TV providers.
Microsoft will also be announcing their new "Woodstock" music streaming service at E3 next month - It's possible that the subscription could also be connected to that service as well, though that's purely speculation at this point.
Cancelling the Xbox 360 subscription early will be possible, but will result in a cancellation fee.
Looking at the numbers, picking up a Xbox 360 with a subscription will make the console slightly more expensive. Currently, a 4 GB Xbox/Kinect bundle will run you $299.99, and two years of Xbox Live Gold cost $120, so you're paying $420 over two years. The subscription, after all is said and done, will add up to $459 over the same span. Of course, 100 dollars down and 15 dollars a month may make more financial sense for many people.
What do you think about game consoles switching to a subscription model? Let us know in the comments!
[Via The Verge]