Microsoft will soon give gamers the option of paying just $99 for an Xbox 360 console with 250GB of storage when they agree to sign up for a 2-year Xbox Live Gold membership at $14.99 per month. It's the same deal Microsoft rolled out for its 4GB Xbox 360 console with Kinect motion camera a few months back, and is one of three subsidized pricing options gamers will have to choose from.
With the holiday shopping season not far off in the distance, you might be tempted to put off purchasing an Xbox 360 console (assuming you're in the market for one to begin with) in hopes of taking advantage of a price cut. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear Microsoft is planning to lower the cost of its console, at least not for the rest of 2012, though there's a good chance it will launch another holiday bundle this year.
Serving as more proof that Microsoft isn't ready to put its Xbox 360 console out to pasture in favor of its unannounced but oft rumored Durango (Xbox 720) refresh, the Redmond software giant has put the call out for volunteers to test the next version of Xbox Live on the 360. This is the second time in two months that Microsoft has gone in search of beta testers, and though space is limited, the company said it's accepting "far more beta testers this time around."
Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold is kind of like Hulu Plus in that even though you pay a subscription fee for the service, it still dishes up a heaping of ads for your viewing displeasure. Thus far, they've mostly been unobtrusive and ignorable, but a recent announcement heralds a whole new era of advertising annoyance: Microsoft has sold its first NUAds, clips that bug you to utilize your Kinect to talk or shake your fist in response to the product plugs.
Kinect’s launch in late 2010 was accompanied by a lot of fanfare and excitement, all of which seemed justified initially as the motion-sensing Xbox 360 peripheral quickly became a huge sales success. Then millions of Kinect owners began waiting en masse for some top-drawer titles to come along and proverbially slap Kinect’s critics smack in the face. Sadly, those AAA Kinect titles, especially the much sought-after “hardcore” ones, never really arrived. But if you haven’t given up on your Kinect and are looking for fresh excuses to use it, Microsoft has just the thing for you: Internet Explorer for Xbox 360 with Kinect-enabled voice and gesture controls.
As expected, Microsoft just announced something called SmartGlass at E3. Less expected? Just how awesome SmartGlass turned out to be. What could have been just an Apple AirPlay imitation, is something more ambitious. Something that could change television forever. But what is it, exactly?
It's the lifeline that'll make your dumb TV smart. For more info, read on.
It's a mobile world we're living in, and everyone's along for the ride. That includes Microsoft, maker of the Xbox 360 console, which is reportedly going to unlock the capability for developers to stream game content to mobile phones and tablets so that gamers can use them as companion devices, adding a whole new dimension to gaming. Look for an official announcement to come soon.
One thing we never understood about the Xbox 360: it's made by Microsoft, so why the heck doesn't it have a web browser? Even the friggin' Wii has a web browser. Xbox 360 owners who don't feel like hooking a HTPC or laptop up to their TV to get their HDTV Amazon shopping on may have something to look forward in the future, however, as a new report claims that Microsoft is working hard to bring a modified version of Internet Explorer 9 to its home console.
Ask Microsoft about its future console plans and the company will pretend that the world revolves around the Xbox 360, that it "found new ways to extend its lifecycle" through the Kinect and other enhancements, and that any talk of an Xbox 720 is merely rumors and speculation, which the company doesn't comment on. Unofficially, however, Microsoft's next console may have entered the production phase.
Seemingly since the beginning of time, man and woman have been willing to paying discounted prices for subsidized hardware with long-term service agreements. It's how the majority of smartphones are sold, and in the dial-up era, you could snag a low-cost PC if you were willing to pay out the nose for blazing fast 56K Internet service. Could the same principle drive Xbox 360 sales? Get ready to find out.