Microsoft Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is In New Trade-In Offer

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Microsoft Puts Money Where Its Mouth Is In New Trade-In Offer

An exciting new idea has emerged from the halls of Redmond, and this is going to be unusual for a few reasons. For the next month, Microsoft is planning to pay a bounty on old gaming systems, which in turn can be used to pay for a new Xbox One system. There are several caveats to this deal, of course, including some that are surprisingly unique.

The offer, essentially, goes like this: those who bring in an Xbox 360, in either regular or slim flavors, can get up to $100 in store credit at Microsoft retail outlets. But here's where things start to get interesting. One, the $100 credit is a maximum, not a minimum, so there's every chance that gamers may get less depending on the condition of the unit. Those who were hoarding systems that red-ringed after Microsoft's repair bounty will likely be disappointed. But additionally, Microsoft will also accept PS3 units toward this bounty as well, under the same conditions as Xbox 360 units.

Users don't specifically have to buy an Xbox One that day, but it is said to be the only way to get the "maximum" value for the system. It's actually a comparatively good deal--at GameStop, for example, a $100 credit could only be had on the newest 500 gigabyte model of Xbox 360. A PlayStation 3 Slim, however, does run between $125 and $200 on eBay, at last report, but the nature of online auctions makes it clear that that's an all or nothing gamble while Microsoft's is much less so.

The deal runs through March 2, and no one knows just yet what exactly will be done with all that Sony hardware. Maybe they'll use it to build a statue out in front of headquarters; who knows? But there are some clear points of unusual about this plan that should be noted. First, why only take the credit at Microsoft retail locations, as opposed to running it through others? Microsoft stores aren't found just anywhere--they're nowhere near as ubiquitous as, say, Target or Walmart--so that's a hefty portion of the audience that's left quite thoroughly out of luck. Why set up a promotion that snubs part of the user base?

Still, making the offer to PS3 gamers as well is a potentially very smart way to get new users from the Sony camp to come over to the Microsoft camp, and that's the kind of thing Microsoft needs very much in order to make up some of the ground it's lost in terms of sales. It's in a good position here, however, and may well have the makings of a great plan. It would have been better if there'd been a little less hedging and a little less snobbery, but still, Microsoft is clearly putting its money where its consoles are, and should get a good reaction on this one indeed.
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