While I often live on the bleeding edge of technology, there are occasions when I’m content to wait. As a casual gamer, I didn’t pick up the Xbox 360 last year and I waited to try all three next gen systems before making a purchase. Now that I’ve some experience with the various consoles, I decided on the 360. Many factors led to this choice including price, online offerings, controller comfort, and visual quality (Wii doesn’t make the cut). Sony’s integration of a Blu-ray drive into the PS3 is compelling, but the downloadable high definition movies makes it nearly a wash and Microsoft beats them in the other areas… Not to mention I could actually find an Xbox and for significantly less cash.
So now let me tell you how I’m (theoretically) getting the 360 for half price… Micro Center is running an in-store deal to promote their Gaming Department. Buy an Xbox (Core or Premium) by December 5 and get a $100 rebate by mail. That brings the Premium unit down from $399 to $299. But wait… there’s more! If you get their credit card (and potentially lower your credit score in the process) and make a $399 purchase you’ll receive 13,000 points redeemable for $100 check. For a twenty dollar rebate I wouldn’t bother jumping through these hoops, but $200 makes it worthwhile… assuming it works.
I’m still between projectors, so the 360 will live with the TiVo Series3 and Slingbox Pro attached to a 30″ Panasonic HDTV. My classic Xbox and Moviebeam are headed to ebay (to join my former Gamecube and PS2). I’ve enjoyed playing the online demos of Rainbox Six and Modern Warfare the last two nights, and I’ve loaded up on Points to make my first purchase once Superman Returns HD arrives. If you’re interested in kicking my butt online, my gamertag is Zatz and I look suspiciously like the creepy Burger King.
UPDATE: Turns out Micro Center has extended the $100 rebate dealio through 12/31! That should give you enough time to get to one of their 19 locations.