It’s Time for Xbox Live Gold to Be Free

Gizmodo - If you didn't catch Microsoft's press conference at E3 today, here's a brief recap: game, game, XBOX LIVE CONTENT STREAMING SPORTS MUSIC APPS, South Park game, exeunt. The message was clear: streaming services aren't just the sideshow anymore; they've got a spot in the main tent right alongside Master Chief.

As of today, the Xbox 360 is officially one of the best set-top boxes in the world. So you know what? It's time to start acting like one.

Hulu Plus. Netflix. Amazon Instant Video. Crackle. ESPN. Even before today's additions of NBA League Pass and NHL streaming, Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold offering more than held its own against top-tier streaming boxes like Roku and Apple TV. The console costs twice as much as those two, sure, but it's also a video game/DVD player and a Windows Media Center powerhouse. Totally worth it.

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WayneKerr2351d ago (Edited 2351d ago )

Been on Xbox live over 8 years now, Made some fantatic friends, had some great arguments, 1000s of fantastic experiences.

I will continue to pay for it because the Quality of the unified experience cannot/has not been replicated anywhere else.

But I do think it should be free, Especially with all the advertisement that’s going on now.

I only use my Ps3 for exclusives, I really think PSN is pretty poor, I could argue that LIVE on the original XBOX was a better quality experience than the current PSN-

• Game invites from the start
• Clear comms
• Voice messaging
• 8 was dash chat
• In-game music
• DLC….Maybe not a good thing

If Sony get its online together next gen, I might move over to PlayStation as my main console. As a core gamer I’m stating to feel let down by MS, Only Live keeps me
& many others there.

dangert122351d ago (Edited 2351d ago )

''I really think PSN is pretty poor, I could argue that LIVE on the original XBOX was a better quality experience than the current PSN''

You can't be serious SMH

On topic:
I don't think xbox live Is worth a damn penny In comparison to other gaming offerings what people need to remember Is these ''Gold features'' are only possible because It Is included In the hardware you payed are not getting a good deal out of it because if you're xbox could hook up to psn it would be possible they are making you pay extra to allow you to use you're console to its full potential and yearly too

Just because MS have cut of the console full potential unless you pay them does not mean it is worth paying for...or that would mean the system It's self was never worth buying lol

I agree xbox live should be free but I don't care too much as I don't own one for this very reason

MAJ0R2350d ago

Well I know were arguing about console services here, but Steam beats the hell out of paying $60 a year for Live, and it's FREE.

The features in live do not justify the pricing, no matter which way you spin it.

HammadTheBeast2350d ago

@ Major

Steam is undoubtedly the best, but that's against the likes of Origin and other PC ones.

blitz06232350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

You could list down tons of features Live has that PSN doesn't and it won't change the fact that the main reason people buy Live is because their friends have it. Do you actually pay the $60 to use the awesome features of Live that PSN doesn't?

The most used feature is online play with a party of friends and voice chat - a very basic feature that the FREE PSN service has.

2350d ago
da_2pacalypse2350d ago

I won't lie, I agree with what this article is saying. I would switch to sony's service if they had a chat system (which they don't). That's really the only thing that keeps me and my gaming friends coming back, because we can't have the same experience on the PS3.

These apps need to be free, and in addition, they need to be available in counties other than the states. Us Canadians are getting ripped off -_-

kreate2350d ago

The main problem here is that ppl forget there are features psn has that xbl doesnt. and vice versa.

psn is definately worth it cuz its free. its worth it for everyone. xbl gold is worth it for some ppl.

dangert122350d ago

@Shepherd 214

I haved an xbox I had It before I had a Ps3 and I thought paying ....was worth it UNTIL i actually got a ps3.

So what there Is no party chat I can still talk to the people I'm playing games with and If I'm playing single player I like a good story so I don't need anyone talking over it etc

gaffyh2350d ago

If Microsoft made online gameplay free on XBL Silver, Gold subscriptions would drop 90% easily. Nobody cares about the extra features, they just want to play their damn games online.

Shepherd 2142350d ago


Im pretty sure if i switched to only PS3 the only thing that would happen is that i would miss talking to my friends, something i do almost every night. If my friend was playing shadows of the damned, id be shit out of luck for awhile. and who really needs to pay attention to that game, or any game for that matter unless its your first time playing it? You're being stubborn, if multiple players talking to each other in multiple games was a stupid idea, then me, all my friends, and hundreds of thousands of others wouldn't do it. Im not going to play Resonance of Fate(does it even have MP?) just to talk to my friend. Im just not going to do it and theres no need to pay attention to its story too much anyway, that game is all about difficulty and combat, so I've heard. Plus if 3 or more friends DO want to play the same game, we all can join a party together to easily and smoothly plan it out. And if you don't want to play games while in a party and sit there in the dark by yourself, you can! its a win/win, i don't see the problem here.

I would never dream of talking in a party while playing Mass Effect my first time, but for my second and third playthroughs I'm intelligent enough to pay attention while I'm talking a bit to friends about tons of things. Party chat is an incredibly useful feature and you cant refute that.

insomnium22350d ago


Me thinks you are about 17-22 years old.

Kids and their voice chat... smh. MS really hit the jackpot with these kids.

KillerBBs2350d ago

Do not make it free. I don't want MicroSofty to lower there standards and whats the point of banning these little sh!t talking teens if the account is free.
I have no problem jewing up for XBOX live.

nukeitall2350d ago

What people seem to miss completely is that Xbox Live isn't *just* about features. It's about the community.

If I enter a matchmaking room, I'm far more likely to meet people that has a microphone, and if I friend them, they are likely to stick around and play often.

On PSN, people abandon accounts, don't have microphones and often times play online minimally.

So apart from the unified experience, cutting edge features on console, you are also paying for MS foresight to create a *very* active and social community i.e. people I *want* to play with!

SignifiedSix2350d ago

@gaffyh: That's weird, because a lot of my friends use the apps on live.

Don't see why all you idiots are arguing about some stupid shit. They both have their ups and downs.

Like LIVE for instance. Everything is streamlined and built into the OS unlike the PS3s.

You don't have to pay for PSN to play, but if you get PS+, You get tons of free shit. That right there would be great for us Xbox LIVE members, but MS isn't as generous.

I've been a gold member since the launch of the 360 and i'd expect MS to be giving their loyal customers some free shit for paying $60 yearly..

But in the end, both services are great and I'm happy paying $60 a year although i only get a few hundred MS points a year for a reward.

Enjoy your system and end this annoying war! :)

PwnerifficOne2350d ago

Well I pay $12 a year for Live and I think it's worth that.

gaffyh2350d ago

@signified - yeah you might use the features now, but if those features were the ONLY thing that XBLG had, and online play was free, none of your friends would renew their subscriptions. You might think you would now, but you wouldn't because you can live without them features.

nukeitall2350d ago


...but without the fees, Xbox Live wouldn't be as awesome as it is. When was the last time Sony did anything with PSN?

Even a small things like Trophy syncing is done with batch processing. What are we? In 1995?

PSN is clunky to use, and anyone claiming the experience is the same on XBL and PSN is lying, or really haven't used XBL. There is a reason why people pay for Windows, even though Linux is free as free can be! It's called User Experience.

Keep your PSN as I want Xbox Live the way it is and be happy there are options, premium or free!

tokugawa2350d ago

agreed wanyekerr lol

i have also been on live since 04, and i just find it much better than the psn. i also have a ps3, which i use just for exclusives as well.

i am sorry kids, the 30 pound i pay for my gold subs on ebay is well worth it. whereas i wouldnt pay 10 pound a year for the psn. argue all you want, live is a great service

Shepherd 2142350d ago


actually you're right, I'm 21 years old, I'm going to the state police academy in a couple of months, and I don't use stupid sayings like "smh", I though only Facebook goers and high school girls used things like that. Maybe afte a few years of being an officer I'll be a bitter and cynical older guy like you too?

Anon19742349d ago

You just can't reason with some of these guys. They're brainwashed, plain and simple. The only thing keeping people coming back to XBL is the fact that they have no choice if they want to game online. If you stripped online play out and gave it away for free, no one would pay $60 a year for the additional "features" XBL offers.

And no matter what, people will defend this blatant cash grab. It just makes me shake my head. A fool and his money are soon parted.

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Treian2350d ago

"I will continue to pay for it because the Quality of the unified experience cannot/has not been replicated anywhere else." Steam says hello. I don't see how XBL is any better than Steam and PSN. As long as it supports multiplayer, that is really all that matters. Want to talk to someone? Use a cell phone or go out with them!!!!

Mottsy2350d ago

@ blah blah, Are you really going with that, use a cell phone or go out with them?? Lol get real bro. I have both consoles as well, and if PSN was as good as XBL then that is all i would play. Closet your Fanboyism for a second. Sony beats Ms on almost every other level except the internet part. Communication is a must for most video games these days and XBL has made that very easy and enjoyable.

KeiserSosay47882350d ago

Steam straight up strokes both console services honestly. It also has a party chat that doesn't sound like crap. Plus, easy accessible forums for your games concerning pretty much any issue and in some cases direct contact with the devs themselves make it far superior to Xbox live in my opinion.

Simon_Brezhnev2350d ago

Yeah im a PC/console gamer. Not even their beloved XBL can touch Steam when it comes to quality. Steam is superior and guess what also free. So if you want to be dumb to pay for stuff thats free everywhere else i dont know what to say. LOL

Campy da Camper2350d ago

All I want is to play a game with my friends and be able to go to party chat so I don't have to spend 10 minutes in the lobby muting all the dbags that are screaming and playing their music too damn loud.

Shepherd 2142350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

the cell phone thing really isnt practical. Seriously, there are many more things you could have brought up for why Live isnt worth the money than that.

But, its pretty useful to have cross game chat. While im playing minecraft, a game where you dont need to pay attention to story or doesnt require crucial communication, i can talk to my friend whose been playing Resonance of Fate. Our chat party stays open for other friends who are doing their own thing to join us in our bashing of the Battleship movie. That sort of thing isnt possible on PSN. You could still argue that Live isnt worth that, but to me its very important to keep paying and playing over PSN. Another reason is the excellent game deals that Gold members get.

Its hard for some people who only have a PS3 to understand. Ive seen some comments say "why would you want to talk to someone else when their playing a different game?" Hundreds of thousands of people on Live do just that. Its a very simple and natural thing and i never thought about it once until i read N4G comments. Its like having a smart phone. Smart phones are a must for lots of people. For years i said i didnt need one, but now that i have one id never give it back. Cross game chat with multiple people in multiple games is extremely handy. Is it $60 handy? Probably not, but for a guy like me who has only a few real life friends and a gf that is lovely but sadly doesnt relate to games and movies too much, cross game chat is very important to me for socializing, which is why i reluctantly pay for it.

FunkMacNasty2350d ago

@ blahblah346

REALLY!?! So using a cellphone (which is exactly what my PSN friends do for multiplayer on ps3) and making a conference call to a group of friends so that you can communicate during an online multiplayer match is a good example of how the PSN is "beter" than XBL!?!? You say "as long as PSN supports mutiplayer, that's really all that matters"... but it's not FULLY supporting multiplayer if YOU CANT COMMUNICATE WITH OTHER PLAYERS.

Wow. Just WOW. Talk about reaching for straws. Though given your anti-xbox avatar pic, of course you would throw yourself in front of the train to defend Sony and it's single console drawback.

A-Glorious-Dawn2350d ago

PSN and Steam both allow you to communicate with other players.

PSN doesn't have a 'party chat' feature.
but it does have text chat room. which works much the same way if you have a party of friends. And If you have USB keyboards communication is even easier. and you don't need to hear their annoying voices..

Just my 2 cents

KillerBBs2350d ago

I have both and PSN doesnt cut it. sorry.

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Persistantthug2350d ago

Because you won't stand up, take a stand, and tell them, "NO".

xPhearR3dx2350d ago

Nope. I don't mind paying when the competitor is a ways behind. You cant even send voice messages on PSN.

Genghis2350d ago

He's not stating that he's too cowardly to take a stand. He just thinks it's a valid service worth paying for. There are a lot of things about Live that are great. Just like there are a lot of things about Playstation Plus that are great. If he and most 360 owners believe the service is worth paying for and can justify it, than good for them. And if MS can take that money and reinvest it into the service, than great! Nintendo used up ALL of their revenue to fund the WiiU. It may look silly, but with all that money invested, I trust them to make a worthy successor to the Wii. Just as I trusted Sony to use the revenue from the PS2 to fund the PS3. I trust MS to use the money made from Live to make the next network iteration prosperous. These are not thoughts of someone being cowardly and not standing up, but of someone who thinks their money is being invested in something they believe in. If it fails and MS ruins the online experience with the next generation of consoles, then that's a lesson for us all. But for now, we have no reason to believe MS won't keep providing a service that we think is worth paying for.

TekoIie2350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

look at the evolution and improvements of XBL dashboard since day one and then look at the PS3's XMB... You see where the money goes? Improving the Xbox. Only people that fail to see that are people that dont own one...

Basically if me paying for a service will result in the improvement of that service then i think im cool with that :)

trenso12350d ago

@xphearr3dx really voice messages are really that important? I don't want to get a message from some butt hurt kid cause I beat him in halo or whatever which happened the last time I played halo on my friends Xbox. Some of the "perks" xbl has aren't that important and aren't worth $60.

P_Bomb2350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

Being behind in certain things goes both ways. On XBL I can't check my sent messages, can't type a message in a friend request telling the person who I am, can't see time/date stamps on all my achievements, can't check how many total cheevos my friends have, can't check their completed games at a glance (only gamerscore).

Never once have I cared to send a voice message to someone. Personally, for me, I'd rather have the above options, especially the ones related to cheevos.

As a side, I just find it kinda funny that I always read about how everyone on XBL needs to be talking all the time, yet off the system I spend more time texting on my phone than I do talking or doing conference call 'party' chats. I've become pretty proficient at typing I must say, lol.

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The_Blue2350d ago

I Agree. Xbox Live is a lot of fun but I only play when there is a major release of a good game. Like when Halo 4 drops this fall and Black Ops 2.

I also see a lot of deals for Xbox Gold so it isn't that bad.


TBM2350d ago

Man Im sorry but im not going to pay someone else to use my own damn online service when i already pay my cable subscriber to use online period end of story. its rather stupid imo to pay for things on live like apps that are free everywhere else.

as all as i have a headset and can connect with my friends online I'll stay using PSN for online gaming. i have NO problems being a silver member on live.

Blacktric2350d ago

"Been on Xbox live over 8 years now, Made some fantatic friends, had some great arguments, 1000s of fantastic experiences.

I will continue to pay for it because the Quality of the unified experience cannot/has not been replicated anywhere else."

Been on Xbox Live for over 2 years as a Gold member. Made some decent friends, got called tons of names. Because I killed a girl twice, his boyfriend stalked me with her, in a chopper, in GTA: Episodes From Liberty City and repeatedly killed me and then kept sending a couple of very well written and kind messages. Tried to argue with a couple of good people, got called even more names.

I will continue to not pay for Gold ever since I cancelled my subscription six months ago because the quality of this so called unified experience can be easily found on PC and PS3 for absolutely free. Because let's face it, no one would like to pay 60 dollars a year to listen annoying little brats and get branded a homosexual repeatedly for being decent at a multiplayer game. Add all of those streaming and music services that I can't use because of the region I live in and... Well I don't think I should say anything more...

RockmanII72350d ago

Well that's what happens when you get upset about a little name calling. Grow thicker skin and come back. Same with the GTA chopper, deal with it or GTFO. I'm sorry if this post itself is hurting your feelings, but this is the internet it's not supposed to be taken seriously.

SITH2350d ago

You are a prime example of somone who does not now how to use Xbox live's avoidance options. You could have simply opened the offending party's gamer card and filed a complaint. That filed complaint would automatically not let you join those idiots in a game, and not let them join you in a game unless you purposely invited them. And yes, grow a thicker skin light weight.

Blacktric2350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

"Well that's what happens when you get upset about a little name calling. Grow thicker skin and come back. Same with the GTA chopper, deal with it or GTFO."

Why are you being so mean to me? Oh God... I'm gonna cry right now.

"That filed complaint would automatically not let you join those idiots in a game, and not let them join you in a game unless you purposely invited them. And yes, grow a thicker skin light weight."

OMG OMG you guys are so horrible...


Joking aside, you people do need serious help for purposely missing the point that I am trying to make to support your own "claims". The issue is not getting insulted. The issue is paying a service 60 dollars per year to play online, and getting insulted and not being able to use most of the services they offer on top of that. Of course I got called names on the PC and sometimes on the PS3 via ingame voice chat or text messages. And I'm gonna be honest, I laughed to most of them. Oh and also, you both are the prime examples of the stereotypical Xbox users who assume that they know everything eventhough I didn't say anything about not reporting them. I did report the ones who sent two, three messages before I blocked them, and also marked them as avoided. So please, take your "super intelligent bad boy" attidues and get out. No one needs to see you try to cover your insecurities on N4G...

Prince_Dim-Lu2350d ago

LMAO at people like you Blacktric...

Nobody forces you to open a message sent by some stranger on Xbox Live. Hit the X button and delete it right away without even opening it.

Problem solved.


insomnium22350d ago

It's much easier to play on PSN and NOT get harassed at all. I would HATE it if everyone had mics. It would ruin my online gaming.

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GamingPerson2350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

Steam has steamworkshop, 85,000 skyrim mods, 35,000 portal 2 puzzles, cloud saving, cheaper games = free.

Asgaro2350d ago

Fucking console gamers disagreeing with a FACT.
This is hilarious.

NegativeCreepWA2350d ago

Does Steam or PSN handle matchmaking for games like Live does, nope didn't think. so. And steam is far from unified like some here are claiming.

killerhog2350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

Text chatting
Video chat
Text and video chatting
Web browsing (drop box, save target as, etc.)
Music unlimited, Sonys own video store
Crackle, vudo, Hulu+, amazon video, MLB, NHL, MLS all before Xbox 360
Remote play (especially vitas awesome remote play)
Free give always/promotions to non plus members as well
First party games have dedicated servers (minus r3 and kz3)
Less cheaters (hackers, glitchers, etc.) ruining online play
Video and photo editing (although basic)

Yup PSN is definitely "poor" /s. But I knew you were a troll after reading, "I could argue that LIVE on the original XBOX was a better quality experience than the current PSN-".

Prince_Dim-Lu2350d ago

LMAO, less glitchers, and less hackers.

You do know that hackers brought down ALL of PSN right?

can you give us a link to the findings that there are less hackers and glitchers on PSN over Live, or are you just going off the fact that more people game on Xbox Live over PSN?

killerhog2350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

Yeah *once*and they didn't 'bring it down', Sony 'shut it down' to prevent access. Has it been hacked since? Nope. Now the question is, is the Xbox 360 still hackable since launch? Yup, hardware, software and accounts.

You want facts/links that Xbox has more hackers ruining online? Buddy just play cod, halo, gears, and everyone other 360 games. Go google, I'm not going to hold a blind Xbox fan's hand, when he's choosing to close his own eyes. Xbox is exactly that, a cheap PC with weak security. The only cheating on the ps3 is limited modded controllers and lag, but I rather take that over: lag, modded controllers, auto-aim bot hacks, wall hacks, unlimited ammo hacks, account hacks through games etc.. Go lookup all the game editors for the 360. Go look up how easy it is to mod an Xbox 360 (which I know how).

But I bet if I said, 'more piracy takes place on the 360 over ps3', ya'll go 'where show us facts/links', completely oblivious to common sense and knowledge.

Eddie201012350d ago

You buy an Xbox 360 game which has multi player but you can't play the multi player game you payed for without paying Microsoft more money. Doesn't seem like good buisness to me. Absolutely no one else does this.

BlackTar1872349d ago

U forgot in order to pay said game online that you paid $60 for you have to also pay your ISP to have internet access so in theory you are paying 3x to play online for 360 x2 to play on ps3.

Honestly you guys i pay for it but that's because i have friends who don't have ps3. I believe you are really reaching for justifying paying x3 time to get to play online. Anyways to each there own but i have a feeling most of you don't pay your own bills.

Bobby Kotex2350d ago

"Xbox gold" is why my 360 has been boxed in a closet for years.

AAACE52350d ago

I was with xbl for 5 years until i abandoned it and went with ps3. If xbl went free i would consider switching back. But all i really miss from xbox is gears and carcassone.

It was rough for me to switch considering games like call of duty dont look as good on ps3. But i seem to have about the same experience as on 360 in reguards to gameplay.

otherZinc2350d ago

XBOX Live works, period!

When a new release hits XBOX, online works! cant say that for PS3.

You get what you pay for!

I pay $100 per year for 4 live accounts (my family). Money well spent.

Live works, period!

BlackTar1872349d ago

Thats not true at all.

Madden still has problems. COD 4 had connection problems. Battlestation idway would drop people 1/2 thru games almost 90% of time.

Actually most maddens are broken online on 360 or have been for awhile.

Other games like Too Human? That would delete your save file in coop and then crash?

Or how about the lag that was in GeOW1 and the host advantage.

Stop making stuff up all games have problems on release for the most part.

Asgaro2350d ago

8 x 50 euro = 400 euro so far.
And then Xbox gamers say the PS3 is a LOT MORE EXPENSIVE.

Hahahahaaa, you guys are funny!

andrewsqual2350d ago

You do realise Wayne they brought the sound quality of headset chat up from 11,000 khz only 6 months ago on Xbox 360, FINALLY? I pity poor saps like you paying 8 years for something that you definitely should not be paying for. People have a better service on PC for 20 years and it was free all that time. PSN had fucking cloud saves before Xbox lol. But keep up with that subscription, Major Dickhole and Bill need another private jet and jewel encrusted pajamas you sap.

tigertron2350d ago

Nice stealth trolling Wayne/Horlicks or whatever you used to be called.

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Waddy1012351d ago

It never will be though because Microsoft aren't willing to give up a major income stream for them.

davidmccue2350d ago

If Microsoft are not willing to give Xbox Live for free, the least they could do is follow in the footsteps of Sony with PlayStation Plus, by giving their users free games each month to justify the charge.

At the moment Sony are putting Microsoft to shame with their online service.

GameOn2350d ago

Youre still paying for those games. Theyre not free.

PimpDaddy2350d ago

Sony is not giving you those games for free. You pay a subscription in order to "rent" the games. If you cancel your subscription you don't get to play the games anymore.

Sony is following in Microsoft's footsteps by setting up a Pay To Play service. They are just going about it a different way. They are both only the equivalent of $5.00 a month. To me it's worth it for a unified online gaming service.

If Sony introduces the features that XBL has that they are missing then I would gladly pay to play...

Megaton2350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

It would already be free if nobody would pay for it. It's that simple. The proof is in the GFWL.

DigitalRaptor2350d ago (Edited 2350d ago )

I always hear speak of people who think it should be free, but don't mind paying for XBL because they think the service justifies it. It's a paradox caused by a hard-to-break loop caused by Microsoft. The only way to break it is for fans to step aside and let them know this. Most PC gamers did just that with GFWL.

But the cold hard fact is that there's no real choice in the matter and the fact that MS has always charged for it means that they will ALWAYS charge for it. That's the loop. Most people pay for it for the wrong reason: because they have to in order to be able to play online with their friends. How can they charge for that simple feature? I've always said this: let gamers play online for free, and charge for the extras. There's no way that this is an unreasonable notion, but for MS it's a revenue stream suicide and another reason why it won't happen.

All I can conclusively say say is that MS better have something rather substantial in the pipeline because next gen, the services are likely to be on par and both Nintendo and Sony are going to be much more competitive, especially Sony since they've got their act together with the online, so MS has really gotta pump out something to keep their XBL fee attractive. If these features are added to PS+ for the PS4, well that already kills the proposition of charging for XBL (you know, with all them free games and all. AND the deciding factor - playing online for free).

Just downloaded LBP2 for free* and about to play. Now that kind of service is worth paying for!

PimpDaddy2350d ago

How did you download LBP2 for free of you're "paying" for Playstation Plus? Better yet. How will you feel if you cancel Playstation Plus and have to give back your "free" game???

C0MPUT3R2350d ago

Actually I see them raising the price in the next 2 years.
$99 a year or $9.99 a month.

yewles12350d ago

Try $14.99 a month...