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Microsoft The Almighty Buck XBox (Games) Games

Xbox Live Pricing To Go Up To $60 Per Year 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the nickles-and-dimes dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "Microsoft has raised the annual price of Xbox Live Gold to $60, which is a price hike of $10. The new price goes into effect on November 1, but gamers can lock in the current Xbox Live price by renewing now. EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich is not surprised by the move, nor does he think it will really have much impact on the Xbox momentum."
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Xbox Live Pricing To Go Up To $60 Per Year

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  • Makes Sense (Score:5, Funny)

    by chazchaz101 (871891) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:38PM (#33420244)
    Well, with the price of gold these days...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rainmouse (1784278)
      Its like they say. Girlfriends are for people who cannot afford Xbox live memberships.
      • heya,

        Depends - are we talking real girlfriends, or virtual?

        Because speaking from experience, the former is often enough for you to buy Xbox live membership for your street...lol.

        Cheers,
        Victor

  • Lock in at $40 (Score:5, Informative)

    by tzenes (904307) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:38PM (#33420260)

    For those of you interested you can lock in your yearly rate at $40 a year (a $10 discount on the current price and $20 on the increased price) by going to this link:

    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/pricelock/default.htm [xbox.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're not locking into the yearly rate. You're getting the $40 for this year and then the "regular rate" for the next year when auto renewal comes up.

      • Re:Lock in at $40 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Digicrat (973598) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:18PM (#33420680)

        Still a good deal though (thxs), even if it's just for a year. Personally, I'm on the fence about renewing now ... for $40 I'll probably renew it, but at $60 it's probable I won't next year.

        Lately, all I've used my M$ Xbox Live for is Netflix and very rarely for games. The Xbox is the fastest/most convenient way of watching Netflix ... but if the price goes up and I don't find myself playing Live games any more over the next few months, it'll be time to drop it in favor of just watching it through the PC.

        Of course, then I'll need to buy myself that silly DisplayPort adapter so I can output to the TV and both monitors at the same time from the PC instead of having to choose 2 of 3 screens already connected via the other ports, but that's another story/rant...

        • by yotto (590067)

          Funny, I'm in almost the same boat and I don't mind at all. Granted, $60 means that it'll likely be $50 from Amazon (It's now $40 on Amazon, as opposed to $50 from Microsoft), but still $60 is $5/month. That's a single beer in a bar, once a month. For the (very little) I get out of Xbox Live Gold, I think $5 a month is worth it.

        • by Machtyn (759119)
          Wow! You're paying twice for the Netflix account? In order to use the Netflix feature on the XBox, the user needs the Live! account? I'm glad I've got the Wii (even if it did come out months after the XBox or Playstation versions).
      • Re:Lock in at $40 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ArundelCastle (1581543) on Monday August 30, 2010 @11:58PM (#33423492)

        Which is why it's better to pick up a few 12 month cards on sale between now and November, save a few bucks, and choose to use them or resell them as you wish. I've seen posts where people have Gold memberships paid up to 2013, so likely you can use multiple codes now if you don't want to risk losing the cards.

        And an increase of $0.84 a month really counts for a greed tag? Really /.? Would you rather go back to paying the same $50 for the features LIVE had in 2002? Not having a price increase for 8 years seems like a good deal to me. Think about what they can do in the next 8 years now that they don't have the old system weighing it down.

        If you're about to say that it took 8 years for them to add enough features to be worth $50, I will kick you in the shins. You don't get to play in our fort.

    • Can't I buy that to lock in this year - And go to HMV and buy like ten $40 Gold Live cards, for the next ten years? Or will those no cards longer be valid after November 1, and if so do I get refunded?

  • by nomadic (141991)
    This is probably the least outrageous thing I've read on slashdot in a while.
  • by timeOday (582209)
    My only online play is for one hour per week with my brother in another state. It's a bad deal for me, even at current rates. Why this even requires a paid subscription is a mystery to me, older games could "direct link" to a specific IP without paying anybody.
    • $10 divided by the 52 hours you spend talking to your brother on Xbox Live == $0.19 an hour extra you are paying. How much is a long distance phone plan?

      • $10 divided by the 52 hours you spend talking to your brother on Xbox Live == $0.19 an hour extra you are paying. How much is a long distance phone plan?

        If he's anything like the average Xbox player, he probably has a cell phone and doesn't pay anything extra for long distance. Depending on when that hour is, it's likely a call made at that time would not even consume his monthly allotment of minutes.

        • by timeOday (582209)
          Actually I have ooma so I don't pay anything for phone, except something like $9/year in taxes.

          My point is, "one size fits all" pricing is a terrible deal for light users like myself, and decreases the value of the XBox 360 relative to other options (like the PS3).

  • by Dusty101 (765661) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:39PM (#33420276)

    Perhaps the timing of this isn't a coincidence, given that Sony recently just launched their own pay-to-play subscription service, PSN Plus? They can claim that this is just the going rate, nowadays...

    • by crabbz (986605) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:45PM (#33420336)
      Sony does not charge to play on PSN. PSN+ gives you access to content, everyone can play.
      • Sony's not putting Netflix behind some bizarre paywall either.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          How could they do that? Netflix owns the rights to the content, the only thing that Sony could do is refuse to sign the disc, but at the end of the day, it doesn't cost Sony anything, it's Netflix (Well really Amazon) servers, the customers ISP's bandwidth, the only part that has anything to do with Sony is the PS3, which has already been paid for by the customer.
          • by cdrudge (68377) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:33PM (#33420834) Homepage

            Ask Microsoft how they can do it. That's exactly what they do. You have to be a gold subscriber in order to use the Netflix app/dashboard/whatever you call it on 360.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by sixfootfive (1875604)
              It was free for a bit, I had let my Gold membership expire, which gave me a Silver, and Netflix worked for about 2 weeks before they required the Gold memberships. I think this is in poor taste. If I bought the console, pay for a Netflix subscription, and pay to have Internet, why does Microsoft need money for this transaction as well?
      • Also, I can buy stuff that is discounted on Playstation Plus and up to 5 of my friends can log onto my account on their PS3 and download it too, and play with me on their accounts.

        Seriously, the ability for me to buy a game and have my friends play with me has made me buy more stuff than I have ever bought from any game company.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by MaxBooger (1877454)
      PSN Plus is a superset of PSN, mainly related to the PSN online store. With Plus, they offer beta access to some games, store discounts, free copies of older PSN titles as well as other goodies. The core networking of PSN is untouched and remains free.
  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xugumad (39311) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:41PM (#33420292)

    All those extra features with no ongoing costs, and it's a real pity computer services aren't getting cheaper... No, wait...

    • $5 a month (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jim Hall (2985)

      I hate to be the one to defend Microsoft here. $60 may seem like a big number, but do the math: $60 per year is $5 a month. That cost is nothing compared to what you're already paying for Internet or cable TV service.

      • by Xugumad (39311)

        I'm not saying it's a huge amount, or that MS doesn't provide something in return, I'm questioning the analysts' assertion that this should be expected because their costs will be going up.

        With hardware becoming both cheaper and more powerful, their costs should have been coming down rapidly over time, and should be a fraction (half, at most) of what they were when XBox Live first launched. Or am I missing costs that aren't going to be hardware related?

      • by grumbel (592662)

        I hate to be the one to defend Microsoft here. $60 may seem like a big number,

        Because it is. $50 or $60 over the lifetime of a console means an additional $300 or more you have to pay, it is basically doubling the price of the console and just because that cost is spread out over a few years doesn't make it go away.

        The real joke of course is that people pay that money in expectation of good service, but yet you still see Sega pulling the plug on Chromehounds or EA pulling it on all their not-current sport games or heck even Microsoft itself pulling it on the whole Xbox1 network.

  • Greedy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Necreia (954727) on Monday August 30, 2010 @04:54PM (#33420434)

    Live is a portal that provides the following:
    - Targeted Advertising, which makes Microsoft money
    - Media purchasing avenue (Games, Videos, Add-ons, etc), which makes Microsoft money
    - Multiplayer functionality around games which make Microsoft Money
    - Subscription Fee, which makes Microsoft money

    Only cost that has no/little return is from people who play multilayer constantly and somehow avoids seeing any of the advertisements.

    This is really just a profit grab. I can't really blame them since they don't have to compete with anyone for their existing install base, but it does irk me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chewbacon (797801)
      Don't forget they phased out Xbox originals support on XBL. So they slashed features and now they're charging more? PSN is looking more appetizing to me now.
      • Re:Greedy (Score:4, Informative)

        by demonbug (309515) on Monday August 30, 2010 @06:32PM (#33421340) Journal

        Just wait, the next rash of games on PSN and they will start requiring a Plus membership in order to play online. Sony arbitrarily yanked OtherOS, I don't put a whole lot of stock in their assurances that they would never, ever, pinky-swear-we-wouldn't, require a plus membership for playing online.

        For some reason I get the feeling this is going to crop up around the time I go to buy the next Gran Turismo (though I'm really not all that interested in playing it multiplayer anyway, so whatever).

        • Yet the PS3 still has a free (crappy) browser (with flash) while the 360 doesn't.

          The PS3 can take any image and turn it into wallpaper while the 360 can't. (Gotta pinch that penny!)

          The PS3 can use any external hard drive, can use any laptop hard drive internally, can use any keyboard, any camera, any printer, as well as letting you backup to external thumb drives / hard drives, etc. 360 Charges you massive money while refusing competition.

          And most importantly, the PS3 only took away the Linux OS af
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Don't forget they phased out Xbox originals support on XBL. So they slashed features and now they're charging more? PSN is looking more appetizing to me now.

        They slashed support for maybe a couple of thousand users (the vast majority of whom were playing Halo 2) so they could supply the millions more users with features people have wanted. If you want, Halo 2 PC still plays via Games for Windows Live - the same Live network and linked to your Xbox Live account. But the Xbox was holding back Xbox Live and fe

    • Re:Greedy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moridin42 (219670) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:10PM (#33420608)

      And how many multiplayer games are hosted by one of the player's consoles, rather than a Microsoft server? I haven't played all that many XBL games, admittedly, but only one of them was not hosted on a 360 in the match.

    • Re:Greedy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by j0nb0y (107699) <jonboy300&yahoo,com> on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:23PM (#33420724) Homepage

      Yeah, seriously. You forgot things like Netflix, which requires a live subscription AND a Netflix subscription.

      At least when they had 1v100 I felt like I was getting a little value add, but now it just seems like a ripoff. I wonder how many people will actually pay $60 though. When the price was $50, the subscription cards periodically went on sale for $35 - $40. I wonder if the sale price will go up too. I think I'm good until around March, which means I'll have to renew to play Gears 3, *groan*

      When live first came out it was a great thing. No one else had that level of seemless match making, game joining, friends list, etc. But now the PC has things like Steam and XFire *for free* so Live just seems like a rip off.

      • by Cylix (55374) *

        I can routinely find cards online for 35$ so I don't know if it is a sale.

        Though I might buy a few just in case the price fluctuates a bit too much.

        That said the value add is mostly worth the purchase cost when compared to something such as Sony's current offering.

        I have always scratched my head at why Microsoft attempts to limit it's own audience. While I have no figures I would assume there is a healthy number of users who are happy to purchase DLC, avatar bling and movies. I know I have purchased a few s

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>I wonder how many people will actually pay $60 though.

        Not me. I don't play enough to warrant $60/year... I have a bunch of short duration cards, and just pop one of those off when I get a new 360-exclusive that I want to play online with friends.

        Not paying for Plus, either, and I buy about 3x as many PS3 games than 360 games, due to the above reason.

        I just don't see Gold being worth any money at all, to be perfectly frank. The digital downloads I buy should be enough to support their infrastructure,

      • by Inda (580031)
        Me and the family enjoyed 1vs100. Getting into the 'hundred' was doubly exiting when we won some points.

        Why did they take it offline? Why, if they need this extra $10 so much, didn't they start offering it for 600 points?

        I know they were network testing but surely, with the thousands of players online playing, it was a money-maker?

        Oh, and back ontopic, no one with any sense pays the full price for Live. eBay is your friend.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I have Netflix and a 360 and would like to have Gold so I can watch Netflix, but I told myself I would buy it if they lowered the price. Microsoft just failed big-time, because not only will they lose some customers (no matter how numerous, or not) they are also missing the chance to rope in a large number of customers who were considering Gold but will never, ever pay them so much for a matching service on a console that already wastes my bandwidth with adverts.

        My next console machine will apparently be no

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Let's get one thing Straight: Xbox Live Silver is free. 1 lifetime Silver account comes with your XBox. With that, you get

      - Media purchasing avenue (Games, Videos, Music, Add-ons, Themes, etc)
      - Chat with friends online and a way to compare achievements easily
      - Some Basic Features, such as free demos, Xbox News updates, Facebook, etc

      With A Gold Membership, the only thing you really pay for is the Multiplayer Functionality. At 60 dollars for 12 months, that's 5 bucks a month. In comparison, lets say going to

      • by Narishma (822073)

        Why compare it with something unrelated (going to the movies) when you can compare it to the competition. Neither Sony, Nintendo or PC games make you pay to play online.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Montezumaa (1674080)

        You are missing the point completely. With the PS3, customers get to play the multiplayer portion of the games they own(which, incidentally, we paid $60 for the single and multiplayer portion) for free. It does not cost $50 or $60 USD to do that with a PS3.

        Microsoft charges customers $60 per game, then forces customer to pay another $50(about to be $60) per year to play a portion of the game that was already paid for. It would be like a customer purchasing a movie on DVD or Blu-ray, then having to pay a

    • I can't really blame them since they don't have to compete with anyone for their existing install base,

      Are you kidding? PC gaming, Steam, PSN and even the Wii are all free to play online, not to mention handhelds. In effect, even their own Xbox offline play titles are competing against the $60 play online tax.

      The Live subscription fee might have made sense in 2003 when online multiplayer was still a novel feature for most players, but as the years go by its becoming more and more difficult to justify paying

    • In the same vein they also have absurd markups on their hard drives. Considering all you can put on the drives is shit you buy from them, you'd think they'd be eager to give them away.
    • by flynt (248848)

      Well, it's $5 a month. Lots of people spend about that at Starbucks every *day* of the week, so I don't it's really a show-stopper price...

    • by Raenex (947668)

      This is really just a profit grab. I can't really blame them since they don't have to compete with anyone for their existing install base, but it does irk me.

      Not totally true. I switched from a 360 and bought a PS3. I have an original 360 model which is collecting dust now. What tipped me over was that if I wanted a bigger hard drive and HDMI, I would have had to pay Microsoft's exorbitant markup. The 360 was also a noisy beast. The PS3 was well designed from day one, with free multiplayer, blu-ray, commodity hard drives, and Bluetooth. When the Slim came out for $300, I switched.

  • Cost vs Service (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218)
    Why is Microsoft increasing the price when service is going downhill? Is Xbox live -really- that enjoyable for anyone? In my experience its filled with 12 year old kids who just call you gay the entire match, team-killing assholes, most games have a pretty crappy skill matching system meaning the learning curve is high and older players get frustrated, etc.

    I'm not seeing why Xbox live costs as much as it does now, let alone why there would be a price increase.

    And really, MS shouldn't give Sony a foo
  • So now that they're increasing the cost, they'll allow me to turn off all paid-for-by-ad content, right? Guys? .... guys?
    • I fucking hate the AD-BOX 360. :) Everytime I turn it on, advertisements. The ads come up before you can even switch menu to go to your account, or games...

      Microsoft may have a decent online platform for a console... but they killed it for me, and I went back to PC gaming where I can play a game with out a cocaine addict screaming "yeah nigga.. yeah headshot nigga!?" and then have a 12 year old chime in with the same "Hell yeah head shot niggggggggga"

      I'll take Starcraft 2, Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, T

  • What exact value is XBL Gold giving anyway? It's totally bizarre.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Monday August 30, 2010 @05:09PM (#33420600) Journal

    The final decision that tipped me toward the PS3 and away from the Xbox360 was the fact that playing online games on the PS3 is free. I hadn't even considered the fact that Microsoft would eventually increase the fee for their service.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by arkane1234 (457605)

      Add in that the Nintendo Wii does the same as the PS3, and this makes the XBox Live price increase ludicrously laughable. I just shake my head and laugh whenever someone asks me why I don't have an XBox after I tell them I don't.

  • For what I get out of XBL, $60 USD ain't worth it.

    Especially when I can just log into Steam on my PC and play lots of fun games online for free.

  • I have a feeling XBox Live could increase up to $100 per year and everyone would still do it. Anymore than that and they'd probably start losing a few subscribers.

  • Seems like the Family Pack [xbox.com] coming in November is still US$99 for 4 people.
  • I don't mind so much paying for "Gold level." What I do mind, however, is that they still feel the need to stick all kinds of ads in the service. In fact, they now have motion/sound ads that start when you scroll to the line it's on. At this point, if it wasn't for my family using it to stream Netflix, I'd probably just let it lapse.

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