Category Archives: Buyer beware
*There’s a catch – why wouldn’t there be? According to Joystiq, some GameStop and Best Buy locations are selling Xbox/Kinect console bundles, normally priced around $250-300, for only $99 provided you also sign up for Xbox Live Gold for 2 years at $15 per month.
If you do the math, which Joystiq did for you, you will actually end up spending about $60 more over the next 2 years under this contract, than if you bought the bundle at retail plus two 12-month XBLG cards for $50 each. So basically it’s the same marketing trick as rent-to-own or building up debt on your credit card: pay less now, but more in the long run.
It should be interesting to see how well this cell-phone pricing model works for Xbox. Just FYI, you can still do a lot on Xbox Live for free, without paying for the extra Gold subscription. You can still buy downloadable add-ons and songs for games like Just Dance 3 and Dance Central, use Your Shape‘s online workout-tracking features, and download free demos of Kinect games (you may have to wait a week or two for them to become available to non-Gold members).
EA has announced that they will shut down the online servers for a group of games, including EA Sports Active 2 (on all consoles) and NFL Training Camp (for Wii). That means your online workout stats and workout groups for those games will go to cyber-heaven on April 15.
While EA should get some props for having the first console fitness games to have crucial online support – something I decried the lack of – it’s still dismaying that they’re pulling the plug after only about a year and a half after those games were released. It’s also a consumer issue, since EASA2 and NFL are still on many retail store shelves and still selling for as much as $50. Someone might pick up one of those games on a whim, or as a gift for a football fan who’s wearing a hole in the couch, only to find that the online support promised on the box no longer exists.
On the silver lining side, NFL has been drastically cut to under $15 at Amazon and I expect EASA2 to soon follow suit. I picked up NFL a couple months ago and tried it a couple times, and while it does have some connectivity issues (Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 for Kinect has really spoiled me) it’s still a good workout with plenty of NFL fan flavor. The heart rate monitor and leg controllers are identical for both games, so if you get one of each, you can enjoy multiplayer on both games.
And since it’s the age of social networks, there will still be forums and groups devoted to EASA and NFL even after the built-in support is gone. The EA Sports Active forum is very active, and by all indications, will keep on movin’ after April.
(Via Ars Technica)