Microsoft to announce $99 Xbox Kinect bundle with two-year commitment?

Interesting news out of Redmond this morning.

According to The Verge – one of our favourite tech sites, by the way – Microsoft is planning to release an Xbox 360 Kinect bundle at a subsidized price so long as users sign a subscription contract for Xbox Live Gold membership for two years.

If accurate, the report says that Microsoft will launch the product as early as next week through its Microsoft Stores, and only through its Microsoft Stores. The plan would only cost users about $40 extra over the life of the two year plan, but the cost of entry is much lower up-front, so the appeal would be for the budget conscious consumer that isn’t interested in paying much right now.

The package also extends the warranty to cover the user for the full two-year length of the subscription, and it isn’t exactly specific about whether or not any Microsoft Points are included or any other bonuses are to be given.

With Microsoft’s Woodstock music service rumoured to be debuting at E3, it makes sense that Microsoft is trying to get their console in front of as many people as possible before the big rush happens.

Remember, we talked about subscription models for software recently, and they’ve been around for decades on tech like mobile phones, but this is new territory that Microsoft is treading upon. It could be hugely successful, but given that it’s only likely to be available at the Microsoft Store, we’re not exactly sure how popular this kind of thing can become for Microsoft in its current incarnation.