So, Microsoft, Why The Xbox Live Price Hike?

This week, the price of a subscription to Xbox Live Gold went up. Want to know why? Here's the reason Microsoft is peddling.

"In 2002 it was strictly multiplayer gaming," Xbox Live's Craig Davison told Gamasutra. "Now we get those Call of Duty map packs before anybody else does. We've got Gears and Halo, of course, as exclusives. We continue to get exclusives on the service as well. And we've gone from 400,000 members in our first year to 25 million."

"So during that time, we've definitely got to fund it, and we want to add more and more and more. ESPN is a great example. No extra charge for Xbox Live Gold members. But we want to continue to bring that content in. We also want to continue to innovate on all dimensions, whether it's social, entertainment, or gaming. So there you go."

That second paragraph, as rough as price increases are, it's understandable. As is the argument that keeping the price at $US49 for eight years in the face of inflation amounts to a saving of sorts. But that first one... I know it's not what he meant to say, but it sure comes across as "these exclusives cost us millions, and we've got to get some of that back".

Interview: Microsoft's Davison On How Kinect Will Help Xbox Live Ramp Up [Gamasutra]


    This doesn't affect Australia right? Only in America. Right?

      Yep, this is only applicable to US and a few other places. Aussies keep their price as is.

      If you guys are still paying $80+ for live, check this place out.. $52.40 AUD for 12 months of XBL.

      and Mike, a polite note. If there are news stories that have either a particularly negative or positive impact (or none at all) to Aussie gamers, a one liner from the AU ed is handy to stop us worrying so much :)

        Fair point - but a lot of these stories are posted on the site pretty much automatically without me having time to read them.

          Dammnit Mark! Don't you have an iPad mounted on the back of your toilet door so you can stay constantly connected!?

        for once im proud to be australian. I was on the verge of raging my butt off when i read your comment that it didnt effect Australia.

        Also, could you say that you heard of us from Cybergamer. Cybergamer is a competitive gaming site for those who don't know and it's a double win if you get cheap MSP & Live while also helping out the community.

    "We've paid $10 million+ to get 'platform exclusive' COD content and have only just realised that Activision has charged us to provide a last-minute beta-testing pool so that PS3 and PC can actually have a smoother experience 30 days later"

      Exactly right. MS pay a crap ton of money so xbox players can get content ahead of other platforms.
      Does this really make people want to buy the xbox version more? I know I buy fewer games on xbox now as I don't want to pay for live seeing as I can play my PS3 online for free. I really don't care about waiting a little for extra content as I'm probably not going to buy it anyway.

    Which mean that in Australia we are still getting royally screwed

    I'll hand it to them, it's corporate spin, but it's seemingly straightforward HONEST corporate spin. 'we bring you the goods but it's costing more and more to do so'. I can live with it. As long as it's just a minor rise.

    You know its funny that, because despite the weak U.S dollar xbox live is $92 at JB HIFI. Now i'm no retail professional but thats 42 bucks more than the Americans pay, for a plastic card. Do they ship in solid gold crates or something?

    and its still $80 a year buying it on Xbox live via the console, it's a great service, lots of features etc. But why the hell are we getting ripped off STILL


      Check FatShady's link above - guys at Gamercard are fantastic (they have their own website and can be found on eBay as well). Have used their services for a couple of years and had zero problems and pay about $50 for a years gold. The retail guys are no longer the best way to get your gaming fix - online is the way to go.

    It's a joke and more moneygrabbing by M$. They're charging people to pay for a p2p gaming service, no dedicated servers, nothing special compared to the PSN.

    They harp on about exclusives and content when all they have are Gears and Halo - how about Uncharted 2, KZ2, Demons Souls, MGS4. The PS3 still beats the 360 in exclusives despite being released a year later and Sony doesn't ask it's consumers to pay for a primitive gaming online gaming service.

    Don't spin crap about this money being used for stuff that gamers might enjoy. M$ just paid over 500mil on Kinect advertising, funded by what they make on Live sales.

      If you don't like it, dont pay. Simple. Too many people want something for nothing nowadays. Running a service such as Xbox live would be a huge cost, and it is the best console online service, you do get what you pay for. For example, which console online service couldn't handle the load when MW2 came out and crumbled under the load? Hint, it wasn't Xbox Live!

        CP what do you base the theory on? Another one of the "my console is better than yours because i own it" people? I have both consoles and guess what? I think PSN is a far better service. It doesnt have the crashes that microsoft does, you dont pay $80 to pay for exclusives, i dont have seppos and children to deal with and i dont have to pay to have my account banned for reasons that boggle the mind. Also last time i checked XBOX live did crumble when MW2 came out you peanut. Also remember this will always be opinions never hard facts we cant exactly race them but dont throw your wild accusations out there without being able to back it up, idiot.

          Wow pretty agressive answer. Did I touch a raw nerve? Where did I say I own an xbox and not a ps3. Now you're the one throwing around wild accusations. I'm allowed a view on which service is better, grow up!

            Nice bit of racism thrown in there too... 'seppos'? I'm sure the American children don't want to play with this particular old fart Australian (I'm guessing) either.

              Haha seppo isn't racism you idiot, next question. I'm 23, hardly old dont you think? If you want to play with american children go right ahead... Cp you've got me there i did assume with that slightly bias comment. I'm allowed to voice my opinions too so before you tell me to grow up think before you say. Thats why i added that bit of opinions at the end ;)

    Is he saying they've gone from 400,000 paying subscribers to 25 million paying subscribers? How is that a loss exactly?

      Lets say 25% of the 400,000 bought something today. 100,00 people downloading something from MS's servers. Not too bad you say. Now lets say 25% of the 25 million all buy and download something. Thats 6.25 million people downloading something. That means more bandwidth is used. More power is used (more servers are needed) and more staff to make sure everything runs smoothly. All those things cost more money.

      Like any company MicroSoft want to make a profit so they have to end up charging more so they can roll out more servers, content, etc etc.

      Im personally fine with the $50 I paid last time I got gold. its less then $1 a week. Thats less then one small cup of cheap nasty franchise coffee.

    "So, Microsoft, why the xbox live price hike"?

    So, Kotaku, why the hell not.


    Everything costs money... the fact that PS3 doesn't charge for their online means they were losing money over it. It's part of the reason that the had to introduce PS-Plus. Enjoy it whilst you've got it... it's going to be gone come PS4.

    If they're going to pass the cost of their spitting war with Sony onto us then I'd rather they didn't bother securing us these 'glorious timed exclusives'.

    I thought the deafening silence at E3 when they announced getting the DLC early for Call of Duty might have been a hint they'd wasted their money.

    We should have different plans for what we use. I don't care about extra features like ESPN, and I don't want to have to pay for them just so i can play xbox games online.

    They need to have an option where you just pay for the individual features you use (like playing online), and can pay a small extra fee to get rid of the sodding "spotlight" channel.

    Should be 3 levels of subscription. Free, Silver and Gold. Silver should be basic multiplayer and Demos and such. Gold would have everything.

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