Microsoft has begun selling the Xbox 360 for $99, with a $15/month two-year Xbox Live Gold subscription. However, the plan is only available through Microsoft's physical retail stores.

As reported last week, potential Xbox 360 buyers can now pick up a 4GB console with a Kinect for $99 dollars, plus a contract to pay a $15/month subscription, which includes an Xbox Live Gold account. However, the only way to set this up at the moment is to bring in this coupon to a Microsoft store and buy the console there. There aren't a whole lot of MS stores, (There isn't one here in NYC!) so the new plan isn't going to be in a position to change the way most people think about buying game platforms.

Though the plans does each payment more affordable, looking at the long-term investment players who buy the console with a subscription will end up paying slightly more than Xbox 360 owners who spent $300 on a console and purchase two annual subscriptions to Xbox Live separately.

As reported last week, terminating the Xbox 360 hardware subscription early will result in a cancellation fee, similar to a cell phone. The final version of the offer reveals that cancelling in the first three months will cost you a hefty $250. In the fourth month, it goes down to $240, and then decreases by $12 every month after that. New buyers do get have thirty days to return the console for a refund, though subscription fees are non-refundable.

In the end there are a whole range of factors that go into deciding whether the plans is right or wrong for any one person. The question is, will the model's run at the Microsoft store be successful enough warrant expanding the program to third-party retailers.

[Via The Verge]