It was just a month ago that we wrote about Microsoft’s offer to purchase an Xbox 360 4GB Console Bundled with Kinect for $99 on a two year payment plan.  It now seems that they are expanding their pilot program outside of their Microsoft retail store setting.

According to MarketWatch, Microsoft will expand this program to all Best Buy stores in the United States and a certain group of GameStop locations.  There is no indication of what locations that includes for the GameStop stores.

Microsoft said it still regards the program as a pilot, adding that the stores will offer the deals to a limited number of users for a short period of time. If there is enough interest in the program, it may once again expand, the company said.

I did find an interesting quote in the story that lends some support to my opinion piece on the Xbox brand which I just posted:

"They realize that the best days of the Xbox platform are behind it," Ward said, noting that even if the pricing program helps buoy sales for the next year, it will also show Microsoft whether a similar pricing model could be successful in the future.

See those folks in Redmond know exactly what they are doing. They are diversifying their audience for this console and now appealing to hard core gamers, casual gamers and also providing the extensive entertainment options to everyone.

This two year purchase plan brings in folks that might not have made an initial purchase by having to outlay the entire amount up front for the console.  That is also expanding the Xbox audience in ways that will carry over to the next version when it comes out.

Shout out to @MichaelGillett who tweeted out the MarketWatch story link.