Xbox Live Gold Subscriptions – Are They Still Worth the Coin?

Davedough of Just Press Start writes:

"There was once a time when I would argue until I was blue in the face over the merits of an Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription. It was a service that offered community type services and multiplayer protocols that were, for the most part, rock solid and gave the subscriber a real feeling of worth. What with voice chat, drop in-drop out gaming with friends, achievements, a thriving marketplace for demos and small downloadable games and a real sense of community, Xbox LIVE (XBL) seemed like a matter of pride. Plunking down your yearly fee seemed trifle in comparison to all that it had offered; but that was only because no one else was doing it quite as well."

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Lucretia2093d ago

not even close. no free games, charges too much, downloads are very slow on my end compared to PSN.

i think people pay for it out of habit so they dont mind

Reverent2093d ago

Not to mention the advertisements that are plastered all over the Dashboard.

Ben_Grimm2093d ago

The advertisements that are actually CONTENT on the 360? Is this what you're talking about?

Or that little box in the corner of the screen that sometimes displays something else other than what is actually 360 related?

Did you just read what everyone else has psoted and decided to join in?
You so cwazy!

EVILDEAD3602093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

So basically this is a guy who let his Live account expire in April and now plays on Steam & his PS3. So now he's like I did it so you should do it..LMAO

Own em'all console wise and IMO Live experience is the best hands down this gen.

Hardcore 360 gamers arent giving up Live just because others have different preferences and want them too.

Why would you give up your playlist of friends, family, coworkers, and gamers you have gamed with for years just because someone tells you they have it free on a sysytem you may or may not own.

Why would millions 360 hardcore gamers give up play Reach, Mass Effect 3, Ghost Recon, Minecraft, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Gears of War 3, etc. some who play with premium subcription just stop because a fan blogger or some troll on the internet screamed bu-bubut they got an advertisment in an option box flashing on the fair'

I have true hardcore gaming friends all over the world and the Live experience is talked about all the time. Playing without Xbox Live party system on multiplayer is like going backwards IMO.

People knock Party chat until youve played for years and you can't anymore. People knock the apps on Xbox Live but I'll take app like ESPN. MSNBC etc over not having them anyday.

Regardless of what happens next gen and whether the price point for Live changes or not..I guarantee you Xbox Live is a HUGE factor as to why millions of games adopt 720.

Again, this is MY opinion. And I still say game on what you want to game..but that is YOUR choice..and your alone.

Larry L2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

@The ever loving blue eyed Thing

To be fair, complaints about non-gaming related ads is not like a new bandwagon people are jumping on. It's been a complaint since 360 launched. I don't have a 360 anymore, but I had one from launch (well the Feb after launch, but I had it pre-ordered), until September 2007, and I was lamenting about nearly half my screen being filled with "The King" from burger king's face on gaming forums back then. I can't comment on how much screen real estate is taken up by these kinds of ads these days, but it sure was an issue when I owned a 360.


You're right. I don't think articles like this would ever sway the established, hardcore 360 base. For them, it's worth it, they love it, and they're likely to never NOT subscribe to Live. And really, there is no reason for them to change, at least not until it's time to make a new hardware choice in a couple years. EVen if they get a PS3, they won't have to pay any extra to play it online, so why drop Live if they're still loving their 360?

So in that way, the debate is invalid. But where the debate, or at least the information comparing the services is still VERY important, is for the still MILLIONS of gamers around the world finally catch up with the rest of us and move into this hardware generation. You'd be shocked I think if your realized how many gamers are still rocking PS2's and Xboxes. Based on hardware sales last gen, there are probably close to 40 million unaccounted for, mostly in poorer countries obviously.

Regardless of how much you've grown to like Live, would you suggest it to a new gamer just getting into this hardware over PSN and Plus if they asked which will get the most out of their money? There's alot to consider, so in that way, the debate is important to always be in the spotlight so people can get the info easily to make an informed choice.

2v12092d ago

Why would you give up your playlist of friends, family, coworkers, and gamers you have gamed with for years just because someone tells you they have it free on a sysytem you may or may not own.

funny thing is that you are paying for a list of friends inmagine if the whole internet does that good luck whit your pay list of dear friends

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Summons752093d ago

the "free" games with PS+ you need to keep paying to keep them so basically they are not free. I love my Playstation but PS+ is really stupid and offers no real incentive for me to pay. XBL I only pay for because I can chat with my friends on it, and the occasional multiplayer.

KingME2093d ago

Wow, I didn't know that. Wait, so when you get a free game to play while carrying a PS+ subscription, you lose that game when you let your subscription expire. If that's is true then that is hilarious consider how much these trolls that don't own Xboxes are trolling this article.

So funny.

kneon2093d ago

Well it's not free since you do pay for PS+, and you don't keep the game once you stop paying so it's really more of a long term rental.

But still, how many games do you get to play for free on XBL? And these aren't some half baked bottom of the barrel games, these are top quality titles.

Godmars2902093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

And the old tried and done counterpoint is that PS+ is direct and forward. You get it to get free games and benefits associated with gaming. It can be ignored.

Oppositely XBL cannot be ignored. If you want to play a multiplayer gamer in an era where most games have a multiplayer component, you have to get XBL. Anything added to it is just padding meant to justify it to the general market, with added features often coming with added costs and subscriptions.

All that said I'm not too happy with the idea of PS+ becoming more of a game leasing service than the discount one it began as if only because it makes the DL only titles popular.

ALLWRONG2093d ago

"so when you get a free game to play while carrying a PS+ subscription, you lose that game when you let your subscription expire"

KingME they want that part to go away, they don't like when you remind them they are paying for rentals.

It's just the way they work, it looks like this to me. "I hate Xbox Live because you have to pay for it, now excuse me while I pay for my PSN+ subscription"

Raoh2093d ago

your right, paying to play a game you already paid for that the dev nor publisher is charging you for is much better.

Even better yet, people are paying to talk to people that are not playing the same game.

Sense. It makes none.

joab7772093d ago

Yeah, but u have to keep paying for ur Xbox subscription too, so atleast u get something. And u can play online on psn for nothing if u don't have much money.

HeavenlySnipes2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

This argument makes no sense to me. You only buy PS+ if you're an avid gamer.

Sony mainly offers SINGLE PLAYER GAMES to Plus members. How long dos it take to beat a game? A week? Maybe that and then some if you're not hooked. By the time the year is over you would have finished all the games (not all of them you'd like anyway, so it's not like you're gonna be overloaded with shit to play before the subscription runs out) and what use are they to you anymore?

I bought Infamous 2 for $60 played it twice and used the UGC for like a week and haven't touched it since. PS + members get it for $50 along with LBP2 etc for an entire year.

Yup PS+ doesn't offer any real value /s

PS-Analog2093d ago

This is true. I pay for PS plus because the games are worth it. Playing Infamous 1 + 2, Darksiders, Saints Row, Just Cause, Deuse Ex, Warhammer and a few more plus I get PS1 classics and minis and entry to closed betas and still get discounts off of selected games.

This service is optional and if you do quit the service then you are more than likely going to be done with the games. If not then the £5 a month you pay is still worth it to play those games for a month and still get the discounts.

If you don't think it's a good deal then you move on

Reverent2093d ago

PS+ free games= Rentals
Xbox Live= Rental

So there.

Lucretia2093d ago

summons....that was moronic. whether its a free rental or included in purchase does not matter. in 1 year for 50 bucks i can beat over 20 games, all really good AAA games.

on xbox I don't get that option and thats the point.

if i play infamous 2, or little big planet 2 or w/e. beat it, put in over 50 hours and its included with my discounts aand everything else, i think i made out pretty damn good.

on my xbox i pay to play online and thats it, nothing else, no games discounts or anything. so i dont wanna hear "Technically its not free" Technically I can play and beat 20 games for the included price of psn+ and when i cancel my sub i would have beaten those games anyway, by then i would have traded it towards another one of those free games but instead would have had to pay.

see where its goin? ur failing, FUUU my friends, I can invite them over or go hang with them in RL if i wanna talk to them

SilentNegotiator2093d ago

Ever heard of a F2P game? Because ps3 has quite a few.

Bon Scott2093d ago

Live is totally worth it N4G!!!!!
For this gen anyway.
Sony may have cross chat and a couple other things PSN doesent have right now, but that may it should!

Happy Gaming everyone :)

Campy da Camper2093d ago

I disagree. You get plus for say 15 bucks and now download infamous 2 ratchet n clank and little big planet 2. The plus lasts 3 months and in that time you plat the games. Had I bought hard copies this is the time they would be sold. So, in my case I am never going back to replay a game I beat in all aspects. The plus cost me 15 bucks and I owned 3 games for 3 months.

This compared to the 180 I would have spent buying hard copies and the maybe 60 bucks I would have received when I sold them on Craigslist.

Spend 15 now or 120. Easy choice

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greenpowerz2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

LOL... You're saying things the opposite of the truth and this article, which is probably why this article exists(damage control of the truth as we know it as of today/holiday/near future.)

Did something happen in the last day or two when I've been gone evolved with politics? PS3 fanboys seem on edge trolling hard. PS3 fanboys getting more agrees than disagrees in 360 articles.

Fanboys will continue to downplay XBL gold's worth regardless of how much more it offers as long as Sony fans think they have something over the xbox

You're paying for the premium and evolution of XBL insuring the company is providing the service that pushes the limit of quality without bleeding the company to death. Mostly servers and server farms need the cutting edge tech and attention for all of It's unified features and services.

XBL has more in common with companies like Version and Comcast than run of the mill game servers in a warehouse.

Xeserox2093d ago

If we are paying for the evolution of the service, why did they stop inside xbox? I'll be honest, I loved some of those shows... Sent U A Message was a favorite, and Major's Minute was informative.

So, if we pay for the service, why get rid of one of the more entertaining parts of it?

EVILDEAD3602093d ago

@ Xeserox,

Inside Xbox isn't even CLOSE to a reason the 360 has evolved or even a reason why gamers love Xbox Live as a whole.

'So, if we pay for the service, why get rid of one of the more entertaining parts of it?'

Do you even have as Live account, because if your talking about the ancient 'Inside Xbox' as the MAJOR entertainment on Live you NEED an update. There is a ridiculous amount of entertainment on it.


DigitalRaptor2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

You guys HAVE to understand where the anti-XBL comes into play instead of laughing it off as always.

1) There should be a free entry level multiplayer that doesn't require to pay again for games you've already bought. The value of games ends there. PC gamers can tell you that; they've been fighting off Microsoft's standards and their supreme desire for profit for years.

What is proposed, and it isn't ridiculous, is that Microsoft is more reasonable and give you more choice for once and have the advanced features of XBL as a premium array on top of what Silver members should get.

2) The fact that you are charged for definitively free applications each and every year on Xbox 360, and that it is accepted is a consumer standard that Microsoft has yet again trampled over without concern. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even subscriptions within a subscription, such as Netflix. I don't see how anyone pro-consumer can justify action like that. Apple and Google certainly don't think that's good practice and for good reason. Nor do the BBC who told Microsoft no, so they had no choice but to allow free access to that already free app. Why? Because they are only reasonable when their hand is forced.

Listen, it wouldn't be unreasonable if they charged you $3.99 per app that was on your account regardless of whether you had a Gold subscription or not. But they have it so you pay for universally free content. Insulting, however you look at it.

These are the only 2 things that REALLY bother me as a consumer, and they are reasonable and justified complaints that get swept under the carpet. Microsoft doesn't even need your billion dollars each year to maintain the truly advanced features of Xbox Live, and they certainly won't "go out of business" without it. So that argument in particular, is a ludicrously illogical and clingy one, that proves a fanboyish tendency.

black9112093d ago

I just watched a Madden 13 Online Match on the PS3 and 360 version. I couldn't tell the difference is the link.

Belking2093d ago

Lucretia you seem to be quite the

Xbox live does have free games and downloads are faster, plus you don't have to install like you have to do on PSN. So it goes like this;

PSN = better price
Xbox Live = better service

And yes the gold subscriptions are well worth it.

Now bring on the disagrees.

thebudgetgamer2093d ago

Please point these free games out so I can get them.

I have downloaded two free games on my 360, one was Crash Course and the other was a racing combat game, can't think of the name.

Feralkitsune2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago ) pay to Microsoft to $60 a year, to download things faster? SUCH A BETTER SERVICE

Blankman852093d ago

Aegis Wing, Dash of Destruction, Crash Course, 1 vs 100, Harms Way and the upcoming Ascend game.
I love crash course, great party game.
Why do people keep talking about $60? Does anyone actually buy Xbox Live Gold at that price? Here in South Africa you can get a 12 + 2 month Gold sub for R299 or $35.

joab7772093d ago

I am torn. My subscription just ran out & aside from halo 4, every game that I plan to purchase I can get for the ps3. I don't really want to shell out the money as I am not a huge online fan. If anyone does though, look for specials. U can always get an annual subscription much cheaper elsewhere.

dkp232093d ago

Live downloads faster for me than ps3. Especially system updates.

LackTrue4K2093d ago

"its not even worth a peso!"

Blankman852093d ago

Faster downloads on PSN HA HA HA, credibility out the window.

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Azykool2093d ago

I have a ps3, wii and Xbox and Xbox live is definite the best online service. The wii offers little interaction with other players for security purposes and pen is always down for maintenance and when it is up nobody uses mics so I may as well be on wii again. Xbl is the only service with an active community.
But people loyal to other console just don't understand what they are missing because they never had it.

TheGamingArt2093d ago

True and not true. I'm loyal to Sony this generation as their the only company that seems to give a damn about the gamers. I have a 360... and I've used Live on a Gold membership. I will never ever pay for Gold... EVER.

Blankman852093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

hehehe Think of Xbox Live fees as the glue that keeps studios and publishers from falling apart. . .That is to say, they keep studios from being closed down every other Tuesday

lodossrage2093d ago

Because I still have my second 360 and I stopped paying for Live nearly a year ago.

sjaakiejj2093d ago

"But people loyal to other console just don't understand what they are missing because they never had it."

Actually, I think most gamers have at some point played online on their PCs, which in its own right has the best online service and community over all other platforms.

Then you've got Playstation Plus, which is an incredible value for your money, considering you get 2 full AAA titles per month for free, with a total of 12 available at any given point in time.

The Wii is really more of an offline platform, where you can have great fun with friends and family alike playing silly games like Sports and Mario Party.

And then you've got Xbox Live.. Ads pushed in your face (even though it's already a premium service), have to pay to play online, and you don't really get many extras..

I think people are perfectly aware of what they're missing, and most are probably happy that they're missing it.

Ryo-Hazuki2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

Paying for p2p servers where it's free everywhere else...of course it's not worth it. I got rid of my Xbox years ago I can't deal with MS with the way they do things. Recycle the same franchises over and over, they worry more about marketing big multiplatform games as there's and securing DLC for the 1st month than making new games, charge to play online. Party chat is cool but it's free on the Vita and will be free when the PS4 arrives. PS4 and Wii U for me. Skipping the next-xbox

KingME2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

Kind of like paying for netflix, hbo, and other TV shows when TV is free. Like paying for satellite radio when radio if free. Funny how it's only a problem when it relates to the 360 and then it's only a problem for PS3 ironic.

BTW, glad to hear you're skipping the next XBOX, please keep your promise.

Hicken2093d ago

Um... but you can't watch the shows on HBO anywhere else on TV whenever you want. Netflix gives you an instant queue of things that, again, you can't just access whenever. You don't turn on your TV, select any channel at any time of day, decide you want to watch Top Gear, and there you have it.

Satellite radio is the same: you don't get all that programming elsewhere for free.

Microsoft is charging you for the EXACT same content and services you get everywhere else at no charge. Namely: online service. You've been getting charged for that since Day 1, before Cross game chat was even available.

Nobody would care if you were getting charged for whatever bonuses you get, but there's no way in hell you can justify paying to play online. And no matter how you wanna spin it, you ARE doing just that.

Feralkitsune2093d ago

I was going to point out how flawed your logic was, but Hicken beat me to it.

BrutallyBlunt2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

XBOX Live is a service, people have argued about the fee since day one but Microsoft has managed to create an online experience that really is seamless behind the scenes. From the ability to continue playing with the same friends from game to game (without losing voice connections) to quick and small game updates and hardware firmware updates that keep you playing games more and waiting less. They are also very aggressive getting time exclusive content, and we all know how people want to be first at getting stuff.

I do agree that the basic principals of being able to play online should be free, but that really isn't how XBOX Live works. It's an integrated service that manages everything from game to game. Whether it be Achievement tracking, having the history of who you muted to make sure that gamer does indeed stay muted, to much better match tracking than its competitors. They also offer a lot of tools at members disposal on feedback, both positive and negative.

You cannot compare system A to system B and say they are the same when it comes to online experiences, they are not. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that just makes things work cohesively. They are also pushing Kinect into it's apps like Netflix and the upcoming Bing to make searching easier and hopefully quicker.

They've spent a lot of time and money creating XBOX Live and the software end of it shows. However like most things it's up to the consumer to decide if these services warrent an additional fee.

Ben_Grimm2093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

It is worth it, I payed $35 (maybe $40, forgot) for Live and I love it.

The easy UI, the features and all around great times I have had with it made this 360 all so worth it.

*looks at comments*
Uh oh...FLAME ON!

darthv722093d ago

you're not Johnny're the Thing.

Jazz41082093d ago (Edited 2093d ago )

I have both consoles even though im constanly told i do not by sony fans thinking that you cant possibly own a ps3 if you talk negative on it and if thats true then you cant possibly own a 360 if you dont think its the best. On topic.....

I Do own both and I love Live and its worth every penny as its easy to use and so fast compared to psn which has slow slow installs that take twice as long because you still have to download it seperate where live installs and downloads at the same time. Then on ps3 there are the partial mandatory installs that are offered on Live as optional complete full game installs on every game and psn cant say that. Cloud storage on silver and gold accounts. These are a few of my reasons why live is my platform of choice. I personally dont like the xmb having features buried in sub menus. I know thats not a huge deal but its just not appealing to others in my house that easily turn on the xbox360 after buying a game and instantly play it without all the installs and hoops the ps3 makes you go through. I believe when i played metalgear4 i had to install every chapter which took like 5 minutes while snake smoked and i had to do it on every play through.

thebudgetgamer2093d ago

Do you think it's because all you do is talk negative about the ps3?

AngelicIceDiamond2093d ago

Not sure what this article is saying, XBL has always been worth the coin. Plus with F2P games announced for XBL, XBL is only getting better from the already great service that it is.

Only fanboys troll about a service they don't use or no nothing about.

Feralkitsune2093d ago

You're happy that you pay to get the chance to play free to play games? Happy to pay for free games; Xbox Fans.

AngelicIceDiamond2093d ago

No, I'm happy with the service in general. Its already great, and MS wants to add F2P as well? by all means go ahead.

Is what I'm saying. Jeez freakin fanboys man.

Icy-Zone2093d ago

Lol. As for F2P, PS3 has about three: Dust 514, DC Universe, and some MMORPG. These games are free as long as you have an internet connection, no subscription required.