Once you have made the decision to buy an Xbox 360 the fun is just beginning.  You thought it was going to be a simple case of walking into the store and just grabbing a box and heading back out.  Guess again, the options you are going to encounter may surprise you.

One of the keys to getting the best bargain on your Xbox 360 is making sure you buy the right bundle to get started.  While you may see a simple setup which is the lowest starting cost, it might also be your highest long term cost.

A question which should enter your mind as you are looking a consoles is how much memory and storage space does the Xbox 360 have.  You want to get a system with 4GB of memory, and the largest hard drive within your budget.  Look for a system with the 250 GB hard drive to give you plenty of storage for games and other downloads for your Xbox.

gaming-consoles-xbox-360-slimThe next question should be wrapped around the bundled accessories. If you take a quick look at those starter kits they normally only have one controller.  Talk about a disaster.  You get home and rent, or buy, a great multiplayer game and then need to run back to the store to buy a controller.  Choose a bundle with at least two controllers in it.

Speaking about games, why would you buy a bundle which does not include a game?  By looking around just a little bit you can find Xbox 360 bundles which include games from almost any genre.  This will give you something to play when you first get home with the Xbox.  The best news is Microsoft is very picky about the games which are bundled and you can be confident it is a fun game.

Now you may be starting to question the sanity of saving money with this strategy, but you need to really look at the numbers.  If you buy the starter kit, buy another Microsoft controller, and buy a single game to go with it, you will exceed the price of the bundled package.

If you really need to cut corners then take a look at slightly older bundles.  You could drop down to a 120GB hard drive to save a few dollars.  Often the bundles which were released during a special promotion are still sitting around and are being highly discounted to get them moved out of inventory.

If your budget is really tight, then you can even consider the bundles containing Refurbished by Microsoft Xbox 360 systems.  You will save money, but you will get older technology and smaller hard drives most of the time.  These system usually come with a shorter warranty, too.

The most important thing is to not get caught up in the idea of grabbing the starter package to save money.  Look at your options carefully and get the Xbox 360 which is ready for action today, and can still grow with you in the future.