The Showdown: should Xbox Live be free?

Ars Technica writes: "The Showdown continues. In the Showdown, we pick a topic, flip a coin to see which side each OT writer gets to argue, then present the results to you. Today, Ben and Frank discuss whether or not Microsoft should make Xbox Live free."

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Fishy Fingers3707d ago (Edited 3707d ago )

How many of these threads? Of course Live should be free, you bought the console, the game and the internet connection, that should be enough, and on EVERY other platform online gaming is free (MMO excluded).

Still, speak to the majority of Live subscribers, you'll find most are more than happy to pay while Live is still considered to be the "best", now when the opposition catches up, which will happen will MS be able to carry on with the subscription, yes as long as people are still happy to pay.

Have console gamers been to forgiving? Perhaps, Games for Windows offered a similar program, PC gamers quickly said NO! to that and many even refused to buy games simply because of the online fee, MS have just announced that fee will be dropped. Would we have seen a similar scenario if console gamers did the same, who knows, too many years and too many members now.

Shadow Flare3707d ago

True. I hate people who say its cheap though. "Uh, its only $4 a month buh buh buh". It's not. You pay $50 in one go. Over 5 years you pay $250. For a peer-2-peer network. Nobody should be charged to play online. I can afford to throw 5 bucks down my toilet every month but it doesn't mean i should. Its the principles more then anything but if people are happy with Microsoft making them pay for something they shouldn't then, so be it. I'm more then happy with psn. I'll just be more smug when i know im playing COD4 online for free while my counterparts are playing the same thing for $50

n4gzz3707d ago

Don't wanna say free or not BUT
I hate to pay 50 dollar a year when i play online once in a while. Its not much money for a year but when competitor are free, i just feel like that i am wasting money.

thor3707d ago

They don't take into account the fact that you are then restricted to one account. I don't know how it works, but if it's like PSN then you get one username, one set of high scores for each game, one online rank and one set of stats. My family has 3 PSN accounts so we each have our own seperate stats and rank on warhawk etc. The price would really add up.

kewlkat0073707d ago

XBL came first and this is MS business Model. It was to charge, since they are in charge of the maintenance and upkeep, while the devs don't have to do much work to put their game online on the 360. we clearly see the difference in consistency with XBL and PSN amongst devs.

Without MS and Xbox 360 as competitor, I doubt PSN would be where it's at now, and I feel like it's been a rushed job to try to answer XBL and keep up. That network is still a Work in Progress and is taking much longer to implement the simple things. You think it would of been done without faster or even free with XBL bringing the heat?

Sony had to distinguish itself so it chose a different model but I feel PSN will lack consistency amongst Devs. About it being Free, MS Model is no different and is noting new here.

-You still have the Internet, but some will pay to play MMO games.
Some don't mind paying to play "multi-player" games on the XBL.

-Your still paying for Cable TV but if you want "TIVO" you still need another charge on top of your Bill. What's the difference? Your paying for a service on XBL.

-You have CABLE but you don't get "free" Pay Per view movies. XBL = Pay Per Play multi-player. Everything else is free like the competitor just not multi-player online.

XBL has been a success ever since birth, so while even I wouldn't mind it Free, I have never had issues with the pricing, seeing we buy $5 cups of coffee a day and maybe 1 less double cheeseburger meal a month and you can pay for live. Now not everyone one in the world will have money for live but that's not different then the other Services I mention. Free is Great but this is still a business. I just don't think $50 is outrages, could alwyas be cheaper tho.

Bangladesh3707d ago

I can see the point that some of you are trying to make. You guys could be right, but you could just as well be wrong. Live is the highest quality online service on the planet. There is no searching for patches, putting in ridiculious friend codes, and the U.I. isn't a big pain in the a**. It's full featured and easy to use. It seems no one ever asks the question "Why is online gaming for PC, PS3, and Wii free?" It's because online gaming for these platforms is subpar when compared to Live. Why? Probably because it's free.

Would it be nice if Live was free? ONLY if the quality of the service didn't degrade. I enjoy Live, and I don't feel cheated in the least by it's small subscription fee. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing PC, and PS3 fanatics telling me that I should feel cheated. All while they are putting up with the technical headaches and missing features on their free online platforms.

Shadow Flare3707d ago

Ok, completely true. Here's a thought though, wouldn't you prefer it if Microsoft put all that subscription money to some use and invested in some dedicated servers for their games and stop relying on p2p networking?

Bangladesh3707d ago

From what I see now and upcoming, they are putting it to good use.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3707d ago
Shadow Flare3707d ago (Edited 3707d ago )

You shouldn't be charged to play online. That's all there is to it. You certainly shouldn't be charged to play online using a peer-2-peer network. But Microsoft knows people will pay and they will milk it for as long as they can.

Whatever reasons about the mass of features is given for charging for xbox live, i simply reply why did they charge you for Live on Xbox 1?

Saint Sony3707d ago

They get the money out of happy customers for keeping up the service and making it better. IF they can do that without us paying for LIVE, then it should be free...but if there's any signs of quality loss, then NO.

Shadow Flare3707d ago

You talk about quality loss but didn't Xbox Live crap out one christmas? I think it was the year Halo 3 launched. And that was over the entire christmas break. Also, alot of Xbox Live's features are accesible to Silver members, so it is mainly online play that you pay the $50 for. I find that ridiculous.

SL1M DADDY3707d ago

How would the service get lower quality? How hard is it now to have peer to peer gaming? Is MS paying so much into the service that a loss in payment would make it suffer so? I think not. In fact, with Sony's service getting better each year, and still being free, there is no excuse as to why MS's Live would suffer if they didn't charge for it. Even if they left it alone and went free, they would cement their stand as the best online service. At this point, the yearly fee is what brings them down to an even playing field with the PSN IMHO.

pp3707d ago

I wish it would be free but if not i don't mind paying as long as the service is up to scratch

Joe29113707d ago

but is it up to scratch?

3707d ago Replies(9)
Mc Fadge3707d ago

$80 US for us here in Australia, no NetFlix or nothing either

ice_prophecy3707d ago

Exactly. Its not only the amount that may or may not be an issue to people, but the fact that you are getting an inferior product for the same price? Crazy.

I'd get it in an instant if the prices were scalable and regionally corrected based on services and other factors.

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