If this doesn’t point to a coming refresh of Xbox 360 hardware I don’t know what does. Starting May 22, Microsoft is offering a free XBox 360 (with 4GB of storage) to folks who pay $699 or more for a Windows 7 PC – note they do not say “laptop,” which suggests that makers like HP and Dell are trying to boost their waning, post-PC sales.
Obviously this is a great deal students but it definitely points to a bit of a fire sale when it comes to the smaller, less memory-studded Xboxen along with the PCs that are currently mouldering on shelves thanks to the relative success of tablets. While I believe that the belief that tablets are eating into PC sales is correlation without causation, I do think that the race to the bottom in PC prices and netbook sales has negatively effected PC makers who are now facing a customer – of their own making – who expects more for considerably less. As a result, sales and profits are down catastrophically.
Also, remember that E3 is coming up and there could be new hardware coming from Microsoft in at least the next few years. While Kinect shot the aging XBox with a dose of adrenaline, everyone is thinking about next-gen this year.
In related news, an update to the 360 is rolling out now that will add Paypal support to the box along with a special “idle” mode that will reduce power consumption when the console is left on and unused for too long a time. Major Nelson aka Larry Hryb writes that the update will appear “throughout the next couple weeks.”
Students who buy select Windows 7-based PCs will get a free Xbox 360 console with purchase.
REDMOND, Wash., May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. today announced a new offer for students who purchase a new Windows 7-based PC. Starting May 22, students buying a new Windows 7-based PC priced at $699 (U.S.) or more will also get a free Xbox 360 4GB console. Students will be able to choose from the wide range of stylish, powerful and innovative Windows 7-based PCs to find the one that’s right for them based on the features, color, size and price they want. The offer is available at participating retailers for current students in the U.S. while supplies last. Similar student-focused offers will be coming soon in Canada and France.
“A hot new Windows 7-based PC with a free Xbox 360 is the ultimate productivity, social and entertainment package for students,” said Kathleen Hall, general manager of Windows Marketing at Microsoft. “In one shot, with this great offer, Microsoft is giving students everything they need for a successful new school year.”
Today’s Windows 7-based PCs come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and colors, and many new PCs boast built-in Blu-ray drives, 3G connections and leading-edge technologies, such as 3-D displays and multitouch-capable screens. With more than 1 million devices and apps that work with a Windows 7-based PC, students’ smartphones, printers, digital music players and cameras will work with their PCs with ease right out of the box. With the addition of Microsoft Office 2010 for Home and Student with OneNote, students can create presentations for class, take and organize digital notes, manage group projects and assignments, and easily stay on top of class schedules. And with an Xbox 360, students can not only have fun gaming but also can enjoy a range of entertainment options, including streaming videos, sports, music and more.
To take advantage of this offer, students or parents must provide valid student identification as defined by the participating retailer. More information about this offer can be found at .