Best Buy, GameStop to sell $99 Xbox subscriptions

Microsoft plans to expand its discounted subscription and console bundle at retailers as part of a pilot program, the WSJ reports.

Microsoft plans to expand its $99 Xbox subscription offer to all U.S Best Buy stores and some GameStop stores later this month, according to an entry posted in a company blog today.

The deal is for a limited number of users for a short period of time, but if there is enough interest, the company may expand the offer again, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Currently, the offer is exclusively available at 17 Microsoft stores. The $99 offer combines an Xbox 360 and Kinect motion sensor with a two-year service contract.

The company announced the plan last month as a cheaper way for consumers to buy the console. To get the $200 savings, however, they'll need to sign up for a two-year Xbox Live Gold membership, costing $14.99 per month.

Access to the Xbox Live network lets gamers play games with one another, watch streaming videos, and access Netflix, among things.

The Xbox and Kinect package retails for $299. The Xbox Live Gold online subscription regularly costs $60 per year.

The company has been working hard to change the image of the Xbox from a video game console to a full entertainment system, and debuted a number of its new features at the E3 game expo yesterday.

Update, 11:24 a.m. PT:Updated with more info.

Microsoft's Smart Glass application will let users employ their mobile devices for multiscreen viewing of games and other multimedia entertainment. James Martin/CNET

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