As early as next week, Microsoft stores in the US will reportedly offer a 4GB Xbox with Kinect for a mere $99 with a two-year agreement. The contract will require a monthly payment of $15, but will include a Xbox Live Gold subscription and console warranty for the duration of the agreement. An early termination fee, naturally, will apply if you break the contract prior to its maturation date.
Comparatively speaking, it’s not a terrible deal. The 4GB Xbox with Kinect bundle runs at an MSRP of $299.99, while an XBL Gold subscription costs $60/year. Combined, that will run you $420, while the 2 year subscription at $15/month will cost $460. Sure, it’s a little more expensive, but the initial costs are mitigated. (The differential gap becomes a little larger, though, when you figure that you can occasionally get your hands on the Xbox bundle with $50 gift card from some retailers and on $35 XBL Gold 12-month subscription cards. So balance your finances wisely.)
Ultimately, until it’s announced, this will stay purely in the “rumor” column, but if the sources for The Verge are right, then we may be getting confirmation soon. We’ll keep our eyes on this one.