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Rumor: Microsoft Continues Its Campaign on Increasing Online Fees

Drew Bergmark of PlatformNation.com: Since the inception of the PlayStation Network, gamers have been questioning as to whether Microsoft’s stance on their subscriber-based online services would change, making them available for all audiences for free. If this report isn’t enough to reveal what their business plan is, then I don’t know what is. According to Praveen Rutnam’s (Microsoft Corporation: Group Product Planner) LinkedIn page, Microsoft has continued plans to develop strategies to “further monetize Xbox LIVE subscriber base.” What does this mean for the Xbox fanbase? Does this mean gamers could move from paying the now base $60 a year to perhaps $100 a year or maybe even $15 a month?

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Dante1122062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

$100 a year?!?! WTF! If Microsoft increased the Live fee again I'd stop playing the 360 and wouldn't buy their next gen console. I know it's a rumor, but I could really see this happening.

StrongMan2062d ago

All they have to do is add a Google search or some other feature that's free everywhere else and the fanboys will praise MS to no end. Just look at how they reacted when they got Youtube, also free everywhere else.

Godmars2902062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

*Dies laughing*

Dante1122062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

@ Godmars

Lol, hey. MS added a feature before when they raised the Live prices to 59.99. Everyone cheered and congratulated MS. I have the link if you wanna see it.

Parapraxis2062d ago

Dante112, I think Godmars290 was laughing because MS most likely would rather use their own proprietary search engine Bing over Google.

ZippyZapper2062d ago Show
Godmars2902062d ago

Free and discounted games vs voice chat and required added subscription for access to paid and free services others get for free. Including the PS3.

@Parapraxis;
Yes, after buying Yahoo just so they could have a better marketing stance, I really can't see MS inviting their chief competition onto their system.

ziggurcat2062d ago

there isn't a hope in hell that google will be on the xbox... not while (lol) bing is around.

sikbeta2062d ago

@StrongMan

Bing dude, you'll not see Google even in your dreams lol

O-T

Being honest, people gladly pay $60 a year, they accept it, so they'll accept a price hike and pay for live as usual, is either that or ditch their investment on games in that platform

guitarded772062d ago

@ ZippyZapper
Why are you getting all defensive... I play on both consoles, and yes, cross game voice chat is a great feature. The only reason it's not a feature on PS3 (for free) is because of hardware limitations. I pay for Live and Plus, but Plus gives me stuff every month... it's much easier for me to justify paying for Plus than Live. The reason I pay for Live is because I usually seem to find a sale every year for $35 for 12 months, and I like playing co-op Gears with friends... if it wasn't for that, I'd do all my online gaming on PSN. Just because it cost money doesn't mean it's better.

spicelicka2062d ago

@zipperzapper
i have an xbox and you're an idiot

DragonKnight2062d ago

@ZippyZapper: And with the 360, you get the all-inclusive fun of paying for access to the online part of a game you already paid $60 for, and for the 3rd party games with Online Passes you get to pay for that twice. Wow, MS actually did give you a feature for free. The feature of paying them 3 times the amount anyone else has to pay just to play online. :D

Septic2061d ago

Rumours guys...rumours.

Kurt Russell2061d ago

The pay-for price is high enough as it is. I do appreciate having features like cross-game chat, but I have a feeling next gen consoles will all probably have a similar function. I am happy to pay its current price, but any higher and I'll start talking my friends into switching console of choice ;)

SilentNegotiator2061d ago

You shrug your shoulders at an additional $10, they start considering $20.

That's the game industry for you. If you want better treatment, stop taking everything without resistance.

dale_denton2061d ago

ZippyZapper.... how are you today? you've just been SERVED. have a great day sir.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 2061d ago
mobhit2062d ago

I just lol'd reading that.

Awesome_Gamer2062d ago

I'm really starting to hate microshit..

cynosure2062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

After 8 years at a 50 dollar price point they increased it by 10 dollars.What makes you think they would increase it again out of nowhere and by as much as forty dollars.

ExPresident2062d ago

Their perception of value.

-Alpha2062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

They are not going to up the fee to $40+, that's just the website trying to cause a stir, let's at least read the rumor before going crazy

Soldierone2062d ago

it'll go up by maybe 5 to 10 dollars if it goes up at all.

the only way I see it jumping 40 dollars is if they attempt to attack Netflix. 10 dollars a month to help them get licensing and what not for content. Though IF they do that I'd hope that added fee is optional so people that don't need or want it can get away from it.

humbleopinion2061d ago

@cynosure
Nobody actually thinks they'll increase the price to 100$, it's just a website looking for hits by misinterpreting statements, fueling fanboy rage in the process.

By “further monetize Xbox LIVE subscriber base”, the actual meaning is to get them to spend more on stuff. Notice they didn't say GOLD LIVE subscribers but refered to all live subscribers.
And how do you "monetize" subscribers? By giving them extra stuff they are willing to pay money for: more VOD, more services, more subscribers channels, more games. If you create more value for the customer they might be willing to spend more.

This can be easily seen in recent months: MS dramatically increased the amount of video content available for users around the world, started with many promotions so users will be drawn in (discounts on movies so people will start using the service, free weekends for entertainment apps this week etc).

This can be best seen in the Xbox Live Arcade section in the recent months - MS are just pumping out one hit after another for their service: Alan Wake, Sine Mora, Fez, The Splatters, Trials Revolution and plenty of other games incoming. In the long term, providing good content is the PROPER WAY to make people spend more money.

Sure, they might as well raise the price to 100$, but then they will most likely just see more people stop paying for the gold service and in turn to other services.
Hell, even the 10$ increase is entirely superficial, since the street price for 12 months is 40-50$ (you can check Amazon right now) and sometimes sells for as low as 30$'s. I believe that the main reason for the raise is that retailers all around will be able to make it appear as if they are giving big discounts on the "official" price. Does anyone even pay 60$ for gold these days!?

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GraveLord2062d ago

Let's be honest here, most people will continue paying no matter what.

showtimefolks2062d ago

i play a lot of games on xbox360 but all of them are single player games, for online its all for me on my ps3.

i don't use any features i want to play lag free online and psn has done an excellent job of that. more power to you if you use xblive but each person has different needs with their consoles

Denethor_II2062d ago

And to think if people just refused a service which can be obtained for free anyway, they (MS) would have no choice but to then make it free for all anyway.

theeg2061d ago

no you wouldn't......I'm sorry, a ton of people said this when it went up to sixty, they do this crap just like the banks or the government or the oil companies do it.

You want to raise the price of something to $80, ok, you leak out to the press that the price is going up to $100.

The public screams, they cry, the denounce said company/entity

months later it goes up to "only $80" and the public is relieved and happily bends over.

THC CELL2061d ago

Zippy looks like someone don't own a vita

KosmoCrisis2061d ago

I was Live on the original XBOX for two years before I realized how much of a rip off is was. Today, its way less of a rip off, but competing markets are showing up Microsoft. Instead of jumping in line, rock your body in time, they are recanting with higher prices.

I hope they raise the price. They must need the money more than we do.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2061d ago
badkolo2062d ago

i know people hate hearing this, but when you dont have goggles on and actually use xbox live, all around its better, faster, smoother then psn. this isnt fanboyism, i got my ps3 here and using my ps3 24 inch 3d screen as we speak. I know live is blasted with ads but minus that and its simply better(for me). in the end 60 bucks a year for this service and the improvements it brings then so be it but I agree its not fun to keep getting prices raised on just for improvements.

dedicatedtogamers2062d ago

"Better" is subjective. The question at hand is if Xbox Live is $60 "better", and is it so much better that you're fine paying $60 to use features (online multiplayer in the games you already own, Youtube, Facebook, Netflix, etc) that are included for free on other platforms.

The answer is a resounding "no". The only people wearing goggles are the people still happily paying for Live.

cynosure2062d ago

Well Sony will be charging for PSN next gen
They cant keep it free forever not with the financial mess they are in

-Alpha2062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

Here is how I understand the justification:

-Far better apps like Youtube and Facebook
-Cross chat, PSN gamers don't understand the value of this. When I had an Xbox I was surprised how popular party chat was, people really use this a lot
-Cloud storage

These three features for $5 is, for many people, not a big deal at all. This is a value not all PSN gamers understand, but a lot of XBL gamers feel.

Additionally, the overall usage of XBL is smoother, quicker, and more convenient (instant-open messages, send voice messages, etc) Fact is that PSN doesn't compare to this, and this is something MS takes advantage of this gen.

I really think PS4's online will be able to pull PSN into something that is more marketable. I don't understand how MS doesn't have more options, as a free version of XBL with heavy advertising to offset the loss of paying for a gold service could easily entice a lot of consumers not willing to pay to play.

Going just by how great VITA's PSN system is, Sony can use PS4's online to be more competitive next gen-- if MS is going to keep pushing the price, Sony offering a free service with premium features will definitely be something to look out for, in my opinion.

Personally, $60 is better spent for me elsewhere, all my friends are on PSN, and while I like the better integration of XBL, I can put up with PSN until next gen when it's bound to improve past the limits of the hardware's RAM. But, this gen, a lot of people started on XBL where they were able to make friends, socialize, and build up a reputation (achievements), and this is where the value comes in for them.

-Alpha2062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

@Cyno

No, they wont. Unlike MS's black and white options, Sony will likely keep the online access free and build a product that offers a premium service for consumers willing to pay. The immediate solution to Sony's losses isn't "force to pay to play". PS+ is a rough starting grounds that I think can grow grand next gen with Sony offering more reasons to justify an upgrade without limiting customers and putting themselves directly against XBL.

jimbobwahey2062d ago

Yeah, buying a PS3 made me resent paying for Xbox Live to the point where I eventually cancelled and played all multiplayer games on PS3. The dealbreakers for me were:

1) Download speeds are much faster on PSN.
2) XMB is much faster to navigate and use than the 360 dashboard, so I can chuck invites to people and get games etc going much quicker and easier.
3) More people use PSN than Xbox Live, so there's a vastly larger userbase playing all sorts of games which is great. It seems that more people on PS3 use headsets too. Ever since Microsoft introduced party chat on 360 there's no voice chat in games, they're all like a ghost town which is just bizarre.
4) PSN can support larger playercounts than Xbox Live. This was a big one that impressed me when making the jump and seeing so many games that support 32 players and more, since I was traditionally a PC gamer before hopping on the console train.

Other than those I find the PSN just has much better connectivity too, and I rarely encounter any lag in games, something that would drive me crazy when playing on Xbox Live. I couldn't cancel my Xbox Live gold subscription fast enough once I'd actually given PSN a chance and used it.

Of course, if you just wanna have a conversation with people while you're watching Netflix or whatever then Live is better, but as someone who's more interested in actually playing games online my priorities are with the actual gameplay experience which is why PSN is king for now (on consoles that is).

Having said that though, it doesn't help that one of my favourite games on 360 (Chromehounds) had its servers shut down which left me thinking, "If I'm paying to pay online, how the hell can they get away with shutting down servers for games I want to play?!"

TheRealHeisenberg2062d ago

I prefer PSN over XBL simply based on what I get for free. On XBL, I lost multiplayer access once I let my Gold subscription expire. It had nothing to do with cost because the fee is not even a drop in the bucket for me. I just felt cheated so to speak. So many things I can't do on my 360 without Live Gold. I think XBL is great service just not necessarily a great value.

As for lag, I never experienced it on Live but I have several times on PSN. Oh well, I can live with it because it is free.

ziggurcat2062d ago

@ Cynosure:

"Well Sony will be charging for PSN next gen..."

not going to happen. it's too huge of an advantage over the competition.

kaveti66162062d ago

Nobody happily pays for anything, "dedicatedtogamers."

People begrudgingly pay for LIVE because one or two good games offer compelling multiplayer.

For me, there's not a single game on PS3 that offers a multiplayer experience compelling enough for me to pay a fee.

On 360, currently there's nothing. There's a chance Halo 4 will be worth it, but I'll have to see how the multiplayer turns out.

DragonKnight2062d ago (Edited 2062d ago )

@Alpha: One aspect of Live makes all of those features are ripoff. That being that you are locked out of the online portion of a game you paid full price for until you decide to pay for features you may not want or use. That makes all the apps, all the chat options, cloud storage, and anything else on Live NOT worth the money. There is NO justification for it in the world.

Not to mention online passes that make you pay for accessing your internet a total of 3 times if you're a 360 gamer. Once to your ISP, once to Microsoft for Live, and once for the online pass. There is simply no justification for it. People praising Live as being worth the money are praising getting ripped off and not being able to play the online portion of a game you paid for that was advertised as having a fully accessible online portion of gameplay.

How are Microsoft able to get away with metaphorically stealing people's money? Well, given how much they've stolen since their founding, I'm not surprised. But still. How can so many people not catch on to the fact that they are paying Microsoft for access to their own internet connection they are already paying an ISP for? I really want to know. If someone has an answer that isn't the incorrect "it haz teh feechurz" one, please let me know.

ShinMaster2061d ago (Edited 2061d ago )

PS4 will be next.

Currently the PS3 and Vita offer Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, VUDU, Music Unlimited, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, voice chat, online multiplayer, etc for free.

Justification destroyed.

@ kaveti6616

So literally just Gears and Halo.

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cynosure2062d ago

I agree Live is the best

LOL_WUT2062d ago

Lmao who are you agreeing with?

MysticStrummer2062d ago

Good for you. No one I know agrees with you though. Most of my circle of gaming friends bought a 360 at launch because they didn't want to wait for PS3. None of them have a 360 now, and none of them think XBL is worth paying for. But if it's worth it to you, keep on keepin on.

Gamer30002062d ago

lol who did you agree with ???

Brosy2061d ago

@cynosure
Who are you agreeing with? All I see are sony fanatics pouncing on a rumor. But I agree Live is worth $60 a year, much better than shitty PSN.

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PirateThom2062d ago

I don't think there's ever been any question if Live is best, the question always comes down to "is it worth x amount more?" and if cross game chat and invites are worth $60, then so be it.

hiredhelp2062d ago

Wait you pay $60 year you have to put up with ad's WOW.

kaveti66162062d ago

I haven't seen any intrusive ads on XBL GOLD.

This is the worst you'll see.

http://www.411mania.com/gam...

It covers up an area that would otherwise be white space.

Septic2061d ago

So many deluded Sony fanboys on here. TO argue that PSN is better than Xbox Live is a joke. You kids really need to wake up.

Nathaniel_Drake2061d ago (Edited 2061d ago )

You have a hole in your statement. The competition offers it for free. Not to mention the fact that most of the games on the 360 are multiplat so really you are paying for games that you can play for free on other consoles.

I think more people would agree, if MS agrees on releasing a tonnage of exclusives like Sony then the price hike might be more bearable but for right now you are paying to play muliplat games that are free on other consoles. So instead of paying $60 for a multiplat game with online play you are actually paying $65 for the same game on the 360, so I guess next gen started already for the MS, price wise that is.

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FarCryLover1822062d ago

I'd be willing to pay $250 a year Microsoft. It's totally worth it, I hope you're reading this. Monetize me MORE!! Thanks.

If this happened, I will not game on Xbox anymore. the $60 is acceptable and I usually find it on sale for $40 or so when I need to renew. BUT if they start charging for more junk, I'm gone. Charging me more for $%^$ I don't want and can get for free other places.

Bzone242062d ago

I think what he means on his Linkedin profile is to give value to. Basically make Xbox Live valuable to the subscriber to make them want to pay the subscription fee. I could be wrong and probably am.

akaFullMetal2062d ago

Raising the price, i didn't see the advantage when it moved to 60, what would be their reason for another price hike???

slaton242062d ago

microsoft=greed all that needs to be said