Microsoft Corp. this week expanded the pilot program to allow customers to purchase the Xbox 360 at $99 with a 2-year commitment to the Xbox Live online service at Best Buy Co. Inc. and GameStop Corp.

Under the initiative, customers can purchase the Xbox 360 4GB SKU at $99 with a two-year contract for the Xbox Live Gold service at $14.99 per month.

The program was initiated at Microsoft Stores several weeks prior.

Microsoft in Apr. recorded a 16 percent decline in the division that includes the Xbox business in third quarter results.

The Entertainment and Devices division posted revenue of $1.62 billion, a 16 percent decline from the year prior.

Microsoft cited a soft gaming market for the decline. The Xbox 360 held as the top console for the 15th consecutive month, and the company this quarter introduced new entertainment options to Xbox Live service to more than 40 million members.

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