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In The News 05-04-2012

In The News 05-04-2012
Your Weekly Update In The World Of Technology

 Xbox And Kinect Bundle

Xbox AND Kinect For $99?! (With A Contract!)

For awhile now phones and other mobile devices have tried to be more and more like gaming systems, providing better and faster games and graphics.  Now it looks as if Microsoft is turning the tables and trying to make gaming systems more like phones.  Microsoft, the creator of the popular Xbox, announced earlier this week it would sell its gaming system and the motion-sensor add on Kinect together for only $99.  The bundle would include a 4GB Xbox 360 and Kinect sensor BUT only for those that commit to a 2 year, $15 per month, contract.  The current retail price for the 4GB Xbox is $199.99 and the retail price for the Kinect is $149.99, bringing the total retail value to around $350.  The retail price for the bundle when bought together is only $300.

The two year contract and subsidized bundle, which is something we often see in the mobile device market, is expected to be available as early as next week.  The monthly subscription will most likely include Xbox Live Gold as well as potential content from cable and sports providers.  The move by Microsoft is seen as a strategic move to put more Xbox’s in living rooms and have them serve as a full-fledged family entertainment system as opposed to just a gaming system.

So is the new deal worth it?  The total cost with the two year contract and bundle would come to $459.  The retail cost of the bundle by itself ($300) and a two year Xbox Live Gold subscription ($59/year) would come to $418.  The big question will be if the extras included in the subsidized contract will be enough to justify the higher overall price tag.


The Kindle’s Disappearing Act

Target is giving the Amazon Kindle the boot.  The popular retailer confirmed this past Wednesday that they will be phasing out Kindles and Kindle-branded products by the end of spring.  Target released a statement regarding the move, stating that “we typically don’t discuss our relationships with vendor partners.”

The phasing out of the Kindle comes as a surprise, especially since the Kindle Fire was Target’s best selling tablet on last year’s Black Friday.  One potential reason is the recent plan to include Apple mini-stores within various Target locations.  These mini-stores will sell both iPhones and the Kindle Fire’s direct competitor, the iPad.  It’s merely speculation but many believe that Apple’s new presence was putting pressure on Target to remove the Amazon products.