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Valenka (User)

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"Oh hun, such a drama queen."

In Defense of Xbox Live

Valenka | 1105d ago
User blog

Author's Note - 3 February 2013: In light of recent comments, I think it's prudent to state that while I am certainly satisfied with the Xbox Live service, I can perfectly understand why others do not and feel that even after what's been said and done, the $5 per month price tag is unjustifiable. That is your opinion and you are welcome to it, but please do not force it down the throats of others and then deafen yourself to other standpoints. This blog was not intended to open a "debate" (when all it really boils down to is a console war and a girth measurement contest) and that remains true - it was intended to be nothing more than an opinion piece, so please do not ruffle your feathers over one's personal point of view. Thank you.

Since 2001 the Xbox console has paved the way in the generation's gaming scene leaving behind a trail of originality and innovation for its neighbours to consume and churn out their own original and innovative take on it. For instance, while the Xbox, however, wasn't the first console to introduce online multiplayer gaming — that honour goes to DEC's PDP-10 followed by the Atari ST — it has revolutionised the way we use the feature today.

Long since the current generation of gaming, there's been an underlying turf war over which console rules vice in the gaming industry. It was originally the Nintendo 64 versus the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 versus Xbox, and Xbox 360 versus PlayStation 3; and while the latter battle has simmered, another has picked up by way of each console's respective online service. It's no surprise that the respective consoles' fan bases go against each other with every piece of ammunition they can find — whether it be pricing, features, customer support, or the look and feel of the interface — it was only a matter of time before it came down to the online services; and it's just as irrelevant and disturbing as the previous wars.

However, before I get too much into it, allow me to first state for the record that while the Xbox 360 is my primary console of choice, I do own and play regularly a PlayStation 3 and a Nintendo Wii. I do not prefer one console over another, but enjoy the three of them for different reasons. I originally purchased a PlayStation 3 for Heavy Rain and other exclusives such as Uncharted and LittleBigPlanet, and I use it primarily for exclusives. I use the Nintendo Wii for exercise games, Just Dance, and WiiSports and it serves as the family console.

I'll begin my rebuttal by quoting an official Xbox advisor — Miranda, a billing and subscriptions representative — that I spoke with earlier today, regarding the charge for the Xbox Live service:

"One reason is security. Xbox Live server maintenance, security, and making the server feature packed or content heavy as Xbox Live. The money that it costs to subscribe to Xbox Live is well rewarded with these extra qualities of service.

Live’s hosting - leaderboards, matchmaking, the lot - are all run by Microsoft rather than by third parties. It means developers are more keen to go online on Xbox where the online play is paid for by you, rather than them, so - in that sense, at least - Live’s hosting model makes for a more cohesive and better supported service, but a model where the cost will always be picked up on the gamer’s end.

So technically, it's about more security, better features and being more reliable."

In my opinion, that is a more than satisfactory response and completely understandable. However, I should make it a point to state the potentially not-so-obvious and point out that while Miranda mentioned ensuring security, better features for the console, and to ensure reliability, that should not be mistaken for a jab at Sony Computer Entertainment.

Xbox Live's current membership rates go for as low as $5 per month and anywhere between $40 and $60 for a year-long subscription, depending on what form it's purchased (through Xbox Live or Microsoft Xbox cards) and at what time (if there are any sales or promotions present.) It's more than fair pricing for a top quality service and if you wish to avoid paying for a service subscription, then you are more than welcome to take your business to Sony Computer Entertainment and purchase yourself a PlayStation 3.

To quote Brian Barrett over at Gizmodo:

"All that money, just for the privilege of paying another $96 each for Netflix and Hulu Plus, $125 for MLB, $79 for Amazon Prime. And it raises the question: Why would I go to the club that has a cover charge when there are three right next door—each almost exactly identical—that'll let me in for free? Xbox 360 might offer great streaming, but it's also got a hell of a moat."

Now that statement is ignorant and unjustifiable. Firstly, the wording of his statement implies that subscriptions to the aforementioned services are mandatory; they are not. With that being said, not everyone has or wants any or all of those services and just wants to pay the $5 a month to play their games online. Secondly, there are alternatives to using those services: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Major League Baseball and Amazon Prime can be streamed from your computer, mobile device or smart-TV for free (minus the cost of your subscription) and you do not need the Xbox Live service to do it. Do you expect Microsoft to give you their individual service for free just because you're already paying for a completely different service that Xbox just happens to have as an additional feature? If you answered yes to that question, you're delusional.

In retrospect, you are paying for the same [free] service provided by Sony Computer Entertainment and Steam, which is the simple ability to play games online. However, Microsoft fairly and understandably justifies their price tag for the aforementioned reasons as well as overlooked features like automated beacons - so you know when your friends wants someone to play a specific game with them - and exclusive discounts on Xbox Live content, plus early access to games, game demos, movies and entertainment. Don't forget the ability to leave feedback on friends and players met online based on positive aspects such as sportsmanship or negative aspects such as aggression. Plus, the fact that you have a ton of more multiplayer-focused online games with gameplay and special features that arguably beat most of what Sony's catalogue can offer.

I should point out that my admiration for the Xbox Live service should not be confused with complacency. I am well aware of Sony's quality PlayStation Network service and I cannot deny the excellence of the PlayStation 3 console, but the fact of the matter is that this entire subject boils down to preference. Those who want to pay the $5 per month for the Xbox Live service are more than welcome to do so and should not be chastised or criticised for it; those who don't wish to pay for an online service have the option of the PlayStation 3 or Steam.

It's fait accompli.

-Further Reading-
• It's Time for Xbox Live Gold to be Free

Nicaragua  +   1104d ago
Nah, I cant agree with this. Anyone who willingly pays more for something that should be free is a bit of an idiot in my book. The fact that they then try to justify it by convincing themselves they haven't just been bum-raped is even more tragic.

Having to pay to play online on a game you own, on an internet connection you have already rented is borderline criminal in my book and if Microsoft really believed that all the other stuff that comes with Live give it value then they should let it stand on those features alone.

The best online service by far is Steam, its features shit all over Xbox Live and its free. The best paid for subscription is PS+, it offers pure value for money. Live is simply a way extorting money out of people who want to play their Xbox's online.

Seriously - who would pay for Live if it wasn't holding your online gaming to ransom ?
NeverEnding1989  +   1104d ago
It sucks paying for Xbox Live. But what other choice do I have? On PSN, most of my friends don't have mics and I'm not big on jumping through obstacles just to talk to them.

Xbox Live should be free. But because SONY didn't think to include mics with each console and since, despite years of asking, they've yet to implement cross game chat, I'm forced to game on Xbox Live.

Sorry, but there is nothing better. Next gen isn't truly next gen if you can't enjoy it with friends.
Sleet  +   1104d ago
Dude, for the money you spent on Xbox live over the years you could have bought all your friends mics for their ps3's :)

Alternatively get some psn friends who have mics. It's a requirement for most gaming clans.

Anyway a mic in the console box isn't a deal breaker for me, paying for online is.
rpd123  +   1104d ago
@ Sleet

If you're smart about buying it, you can get huge discounts. I have never paid full price for Live.

Playstation network is great, and the fact that they have free online is awesome, but cross game chat is a huge feature on Xbox Live, and Playstation should have implemented it by now.

Does it suck that you have to play for Live? Yeah. But Xbox owners don't have a choice in the matter if they want to play online.
WrAiTh Sp3cTr3  +   1104d ago
Nicaragua,tell me what features Steam has that shit's all over Xbox Live. I have Steam and I'm curious as what you're talking about. The only feature Steam has that I wish Live had is gifting games to your friends. PS+ is cool because you get to keep the trophies you've earned, but like Neverending said, I'm not ok with jumping through hoops to get communication with teammates and friends up to snuff when it's all laid out seamlessly though Xbox Live. And anyone who thinks paying for a more straightforward seamless service is an idiot, well I just assume they're a lousy bum that can't afford to pay for a more stable platform. Besides I only look at Steam as a retail platform for the PC market.
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thorstein  +   1104d ago
(I didn't hit your disagree button BTW) You make a good argument but it is a dated argument. Black Ops II (Love it or Hate it) is chocked full of games where almost everyone is on a mic. Plus, the clan system can easily align you with people that all have mics. 2nd, and you are a bit off here, cross game chat isn't feasible because of the way memory is allocated. I am hoping next gen will have more cross platform play.

If I had a billion dollars I would develop a X-Game Open world assassin style FPS called Microsoft v Sony. And, if you were playing a PS you'd be on the Sony side and... well you get the idea.
Godmars290  +   1104d ago
No, it should be an honest choice. Either you pay for it just for the cross chat and game related features while 3rd party entertainment apps are freely accessible, or you don't pay and can still play online w/o chat leader boards and Achievement points.

Also, I got a blue-tooth mic for $15 - FIFTEEN DOLLARS! - and it works fine. Sure I don't use it but that's another thing. Likely lends to your Sony too damn cheap to include one argument but the point's still there.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   1104d ago
At least you admit that it should be free unlike some people.

Everyone should just take your stance: "Live should be free, but I do not mind paying for it as MS currently doesn't offer a free option and/or I am not necessarily a huge fan/don't prefer PSN and/or PS3."

Simple. No need to try and defend something that you know you shouldn't.
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iliimaster  +   1104d ago
i feel the same way neverending i tried making friends on psn and the hoops to jump thru if ur playing a different game...

it sounds so stupid but why does this issue keep popping up xbox users say XBL is the best

psn users awnser to that... "we dont need cross game chat"

well what about the gamers who dont really use cross game chat but like the fact that it is available not only that but have gotten use to it sony is like nintendo in some ways nintendo refuses to add the DVD feature and sony refuses to add cross game chat ...and the best part is the ps3 says it only does everything and it does pretty much everything BUT cross game chat...
dedicatedtogamers  +   1104d ago
People pay for it because they choose to. Ultimately, it's a rip-off if you do a pros and cons list. But that doesn't matter. People pay for it because it's a social thing. Better MMOs have come and gone but people still play WoW by the millions because it's the most social MMO. Better social networking apps have come and gone but people still use Facebook because it has all their friends. Xbox Live is no different, and Microsoft knows it, so they see no reason to stop charging for Gold. They know people will pay for it, so why not?
iliimaster  +   1104d ago
lol exactly they view it as gold IE xbox live GOLD
Chaostar  +   1103d ago
I remember a time when everyone and their gran was on Myspace.

Times change.

If Sony/Nintendo/Valve bring the same level of sociability as XBL to PSN, Steam etc then there's a massive incentive to migrate, whether you have a billion achievements/friends or not.

IMHO the thing most people fail to notice is that new consoles have to capture the interest of brand new generations of players as well as the already entrenched fans, which makes built up loyalty traps like achievements/trophies, as well as backwards compatibility, less important than you would think.
KMCROC54  +   1104d ago
I find people who bitch or find faults with what others do with Thier money to be complete other words live & let live.
rainslacker  +   1104d ago
Most of the time when I speak on Live, or MS in general, it's from the viewpoint of things they can do that are more consumer friendly, not from a fan boy standpoint.

I am literally dumbfounded at the acceptance that Live has gained as a paid service, when any other company doing it would have been met with extreme hostility and rage at the very concept of that.

I know Xbox owners aren't stupid. They are just like most other people. But the Xbox's communities apparent lack of understanding that they are being fleeced is beyond me.

In the end, if the actual community stopped defending it, and started asking..."hey, why are all these other companies offering almost all the same things for free, yet MS is charging...why is that?", then it would force MS to either stop charging for the service, or force them to add real value to it, much like Sony did with PS+.

All of you as consumers have a lot of power to persuade these companies to do what is in your best interest, yet way too many just accept it as the norm. How it became the norm I don't know, because nowhere before or during the Xbox's time has this been the norm anywhere.

On a side note, those that defend this for MS are only letting other companies think they can maybe do the same thing. This to me is unacceptable, because it means one day I will have to be one of those people described above and hate and rage against anti-consumer practices...possibly with a company that I like. Don't think it hasn't gone unnoticed by many PS owners that Sony is now including online passes in their games(obviously not blaming MS for online passes, however).

All that being said, I agree that what people do with their money is their own business. But it would be nice if people could at least be vocal and informed consumers instead of corporate apologist.
Lvl_up_gamer  +   1104d ago
Why should XBL be free? All you are saying is the multiplayer should be free, but ignore all the features that XBL provide you in order to have the best online gaming experience.

I think anyone who pays money so they can pay for more are idiots. PS+ is basically a coupon book that you have to pay for just so you can get discounts on other content, content that you may not even want. Therefore you have payed for coupons for items that you will never want or need.

Sure PS+ offers free content so long as you're a member, but when you quite being a member, you lose all that free content.

Sorry, but paying the same price as XBL for PS+ JUST so you can pay MORE is down right stupid. A fool and his/her money is parted easily.

Until Sony offers the exact same service and features that are in XBL for their online gaming, then you can't say XBL isn't worth it.

"If you're good at something, never do it for free." - The Joker

MS is great at providing the best online gaming service available right now. If the competition can't equal all the features that XBL offers, then it shouldn't be free.

I want the best online service available. I am a gamer therefore I want the best and deserve the best and right now, XBL and it's amazing features it offers is the best.
Outside_ofthe_Box  +   1104d ago
***" All you are saying is the multiplayer should be free"**

Exactly that is the point. The multiplayer should be free and all other features can remain Gold only.
jessupj  +   1103d ago
Please enlighten me on all these feature that make Live better.

In my eye, as long as PSN has dedicated servers for almost all their first party games, it doesn't matter what feature Live has, PSN will always be better as long as that fact remains.
DigitalRaptor  +   1103d ago
So why should basic Peer 2 Peer connectivity be free you ask? If you're smart, you should be able to answer that question. Damn, you guys never look at the bigger picture, do you, nor the finer details?

It's disgraceful that a company can get away with forcing you to pay for technology that has been free for many years. Forget the other features that might make it worth the asking price, the audacity Microsoft has is inexcusable nor defend-worthy. If the games they make you pay to connect to had dedicated servers then I could understand, but do you think Microsoft have a right to charge people for something that doesn't cost them to run? If the answer is yes, then you're an apologiser.

"I think anyone who pays money so they can pay for more are idiots. PS+ is basically a coupon book that you have to pay for just so you can get discounts on other content, content that you may not even want. Therefore you have payed for coupons for items that you will never want or need."

Someone really, really, really doesn't understand PS+ or the concept of a subscription service. Sony doesn't charge you for basic connectivity to your already purchased games because it's a disgraceful move, and no other company that I know of does it, besides you know who. Only they get away with it.
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Kiddcarter  +   1103d ago
"Sure PS+ offers free content so long as you're a member, but when you quite being a member, you lose all that free content"

Let me see you stop paying for live and keep playing your games online.

"Sorry, but paying the same price as XBL for PS+ JUST so you can pay MORE is down right stupid. A fool and his/her money is parted easily"

Because paying 60$ for a game then having to pay MORE to play it online is smart.
s45gr32  +   1104d ago
You just said what I was about to say.
Karpetburnz  +   1102d ago
Very true, If online multiplayer was available on XBL silver, then almost nobody would have a Gold account. There is no value in XBL Gold.
Ducky  +   1104d ago
"Live’s hosting - leaderboards, matchmaking, the lot - are all run by Microsoft rather than by third parties."

None of those services require that big of a cost. It can easily be supported through their digital sales and through advertising.
MS already does both, and probably makes a profit from physical software sales too. So it really is a poor excuse they're offering.

They might get some shred of justification if they at least used dedicated servers for online gaming rather than P2P, but from what I'm aware of, they haven't done that either.

"Netflix, Hulu Plus, Major League Baseball and Amazon Prime can be streamed from your computer, mobile device or smart-TV for free (minus the cost of your subscription) and you do not need the Xbox Live service to do it."

Exactly, so why do I need XBL to use those services on an xbox? If I've paid for the hardware, paid the Netflix/Hulu/etc subscription, paid for the internet, why am I paying to use all three in unison?

I'm assuming the 360 just streams the content, in which case it doesn't cost MS anything and I don't see a justification for them charging consumers for it.
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KMCROC54  +   1104d ago
What makes u think it's that simple. Do you have first hand knowledge of thier on going business practices.
ExCest  +   1103d ago
Well, leaderboards: one can assume it's one big excel sheet that has auto-updates.

matchmaking: p2p (and slow, at that)
DragonKnight  +   1104d ago
""One reason is security."

That's P.R. bullsh*t. Live is no more secure than The U.S. Department of Justice which Anonymous hacked into, it's no more "invulnerable" to social engineering tactics, phishing, and other "cyber-terrorism" thanks to that $60 a year you pay for. The idea that anything online is secure is naive. Live's been hacked numerous times, it's just better covered up than when it happens to, say, Sony.

"It means developers are more keen to go online on Xbox where the online play is paid for by you, rather than them, so - in that sense, at least - Live’s hosting model makes for a more cohesive and better supported service, but a model where the cost will always be picked up on the gamer’s end."

Except in practice developers have a lot more hurdles to go through when going online for Xbox thanks to MS' policies regarding things such as price, size, etc. And making the end user pay to make developers lives easier isn't a good thing. Especially when you can get comparable services for free.

"Now that statement is ignorant and unjustifiable. Firstly, the wording of his statement implies that subscriptions to the aforementioned services are mandatory; they are not."

Actually it's apt and backed by fact. You do have to pay extra just to access those features you already have to pay extra for, and it's not implying that the services are mandatory, you're choosing to see it that way. The use of the word "privilege" negates what you're talking about.

"With that being said, not everyone has or wants any or all of those services and just wants to pay the $5 a month to play their games online."

And they shouldn't have to pay to access half a game they paid $60 for, and more money to their ISP. The point is that Microsoft holds half of a game hostage under the guise of "security", leaderboards, and cross-game party chat. Security we already discussed, leaderboards should NEVER have to be paid for, and cross-game chat is a luxury feature that MS should offer as a separate feature so that if you WANT to pay for it, you can but you can still play online if you don't want to have that feature.

"Netflix, Hulu Plus, Major League Baseball and Amazon Prime can be streamed from your computer, mobile device or smart-TV for free (minus the cost of your subscription) and you do not need the Xbox Live service to do it."

Thus negating the "Live is so integrated and such an amazing multimedia device" argument. Double standards. You can use Skype or a phone for "cross-game chat."
DragonKnight  +   1104d ago
"Do you expect Microsoft to give you their individual service for free just because you're already paying for a completely different service that Xbox just happens to have as an additional feature? If you answered yes to that question, you're delusional."

People expect MS to not hold half their game hostage. That's not delusional, that's a right.

"However, Microsoft fairly and understandably justifies their price."

No they don't. Those are luxury features you should have a choice if you want to absorb the cost of or not, WITHOUT having half your game being held behind yet another pay wall. There is no justification for charging for a service that everyone else gets for free. The more people defend actions like this, the more MS will try to get away with locking more and more behind a pay wall. Right now, the way that it works with MS is you buy a game that has an online component that you paid $60, you paid your ISP we'll say $50 for internet, and then you pay MS another base price of $60 just to be able to play that game's online portion. $170. That's a terrible ripoff.
DK286K   1104d ago | Spam
s45gr32  +   1104d ago
Then there is games for windows live which offers the same as xbox live gold minus party chat.
Sleet  +   1104d ago
There is no defense for Xbox Live.

It is no more secure than any other online service. Anyone who thinks Live is more secure than the military or the global banking system is deluding themselves.

The service itself is mostly P2P so its not like you are receiving a premium connection for gaming. I honestly cannot see any way for it to justify itself as a service in the face of Steam or PSN.

Its a cash grab, nothing more.
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Tetsujin  +   1104d ago
Microsoft "can" have one of two options for Live pricing; Free with advertising, or paid with 0 ads. That alone would help soften the blow for people like me who play online limited times a week, or who want the online only to play with family/friends without having to pay for Live every year. When I get on PSN the only ads I see are all from PSN, and it's mostly game and movie deals, or about Plus.

The deciding factor for me was PS Plus is an optional service with a big payoff in the end; I saw it as an investment over time which saved me tons of $ in the long run.
Valenka  +   1104d ago
Well I'm sorry that most of you feel that way, but the fact of the matter is: this is Microsoft's policy and if you don't like it, don't waste your breath complaining about it and take your business to Sony or Steam.

Microsoft has charged for the Live service for the past fourteen years now, so it shouldn't be treated as such a shock. I can understand the disappointment considering two other platforms offer free online service. However, there are over 60 million people currently paying for Xbox Live because that's their console of choice and their preference and there's nothing wrong with that.

In my opinion, the $5 per month is certainly justified. If you don't share that opinion, then well, you can't please everyone.
Sleet  +   1104d ago
There are not over 60 million people paying for Xbox live.

By Microsofts own admission there are 40 million live users by jan 2012 and that's including silver accounts

It's been estimated that 50% of those are paying customers so the number is closer to 20 million.

As for you saying that there is nothing wrong with paying for something that should be free then you are very wrong. It's that kind of attitude that has lead to this generations shitty obsession with dlc, even it is already on the disk. You are getting screwed for something you already own and the fact you are happy to keep paying is just mental.
DragonKnight  +   1104d ago
You created a blog in which you tried to justify spending money for access to online play, called a journalist ignorant and that his statement was unjustifiable, then when people present you with facts that prove what everyone's been saying is the truth you turn around and say "Well if you don't like it tough, go somewhere else."

See, people like you are what Microsoft love because you're the proverbial Inuit being sold ice. Microsoft knows they can sell you Live and you'll eat it up despite everyone else getting what Live offers for free and the worst part is that most services remove ads if you pay for the service, MS doesn't. So again, there is no justification for the cost of Live. Many can break it down and show you why, but in the end you'd have to want to listen.
rainslacker  +   1104d ago
Your the one that brought the debate forward and now you don't want us to debate it? Are you taking classes from Leland Yee on how to shape public opinion?

If you like paying for Live, more power to you, continue to pay. There is no reason for you to defend it. Consumer's vote with their wallet, and so long as it stays a viable revenue stream for them you can continue to pay for it. In the meantime, people such as myself will be critical of it in the hopes of it being better, or showing people that maybe their perceptions aren't so black and white.

Quite honestly though, given some of your past blogs I've never thought you to be so naive, or afraid to discuss actual topics affecting the industry...and yes Live's cost is an industry issue as it affects other companies perceptions on what they can charge their consumers for.

The price of Live was justifiable to a degree during the original Xbox, and possible early in the 360's life, but even cross game chat isn't exclusive to consoles with them anymore, and the value of Live is quickly diminishing. When Sony comes out with the PS4 and offers all that Live offers for free, which looking at the Vita it will, what will MS and you do to justify the price then?
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sdplisken  +   1104d ago
only idiots pay to use their own internet connection imo

if you want to pay $60 a year for cross game chat that thats ur business

dont even get me started on the ads plastered over the dashboard and M$ stating they would increase em
Megaton   1104d ago | Trolling | show | Replies(1)
Mac420  +   1104d ago
Party chat is the only reason I justify me paying for XBL. Had a Ps3 an just got bored mainly due to playing single players an I'd have to quit just to talk to people. Never liked that fact, an Vita at launch with cross game party chat didn't sit with me well(not that I would buy 1 either way). Sony says they can't add it in a firmware update or use to say they couldn't because of RAM limitations. How is that even possible when you claim you have 50MB more of RAM then the Xbox. Argument could go on for days, but its simple you get what you pay for. You pay nothing so you receive no good features in return. If they would add party chat to PSN I'd get 1 back immediately. Number 1 thing I hear when I ask XBL friends if they would buy a PS3. Because to be honest the first couple months of Multiplayer games have horrible voice setups an don't work until they are patched months later. Plus mics on the PSN are rare get on any major online game an maybe 30-50% of the room has mics. Plus I get my 3 month XBL for like $10 on Ebay an the code is sent to my email within minutes. Whoever is still paying MS the full $60 is a dumbass an by all right should be slapped an talked about.
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MrBeatdown  +   1104d ago
Xbox Live is the single biggest reason I'm mainly a PlayStation gamer. I will not pay to access features of games I already paid for.

Fact is, playing online is the single biggest incentive to pay for Xbox Live. It highlights just how poor of a value it is. If Microsoft can't sell a service with only the features that set it apart from competitors, those features aren't worth it.

Some people talk about intangible things like a "better community" and all that nonsense, but it's just that... nonsense. They try to fool you into thinking you'll get a unquestionably better experience. Let me ask this... what makes the experience so great if half of your 360-owning friends can't play with you because they don't have Gold accounts?
DK286K   1104d ago | Spam
MacDonagh  +   1104d ago
Just a genuine inquiry. Are you a fan of Playstation Plus? The incentive of offering free games for the price of a subscription fee is quite good, but wouldn't you need to keep paying a subscription fee to play said "free" games?

Is that a far more acceptable practice than what Microsoft are doing? Just want to hear your thoughts about it.

Also, cross-game chat has completely ruined the XBL community. Nobody talks anymore on Battlefield 3 or Halo 4. I might as well be playing with myself. *ba dum tish*
MrBeatdown  +   1104d ago
Sure. I like Plus. I've had it since it started.

I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with a subscription model. Paying to maintain access if fine, but it has to make sense in comparison to what else is out there. And if you do have a clear downside to your service that goes against the standard, you have to have a very clear upside. This is true for any service.

With Live, you are paying for the game... the same anyone pays on any platform... but then you have to pay to access half the game.

Nobody but Microsoft uses that model. Sony doesn't. Nintendo doesn't. Steam doesn't. All the third party devs like EA, Activision, Ubisoft, and 2K don't. They sell their games, and they let you play those games without any further costs. If literally everyone else can get by, why can't Microsoft?

The fee is Microsoft's clear downside. It's a huge downside. The upside just doesn't redeem it, especially when millions just want to play their games online. You can tell Microsoft believes this too, otherwise they wouldn't be compelled to use basic online play as a selling point. They aren't trying to get us to overlook a clear negative (price) with a positive. They are using the threat of another negative (no online play).

With Plus, there is no comparison to anything else to make the price or the restrictions look unjustified. You can keep and choose your games if you buy them outright, but you are paying far more. $20 to $60 for one game, versus $50 for about 50 games per year. You get a lower price and can choose your game if you rent, but you don't get to keep your games anywhere near as long, or for anywhere near the same price as Plus. Plus has it's clear downsides in that you can't pick your games, and you give them up if you cancel, but the upside is also clear... An absolutely massive collection of games.

And most importantly, Plus is an option. You can get your games by buying outright, or renting. Those that don't see the value in Plus have reasonable alternatives on PS3. Plus is just one of three good options, the others being buying and renting.

Those that don't see the value in Live don't have other options on 360. It's pay or don't play. It's a choice between two crap options.
#11.2.1 (Edited 1104d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(3) | Report
TuxedoMoon  +   1104d ago
I simply disagree with this. Besides the red ring fiasco, paying to play online was a huge detractor for me for the 360. I like playing with my friends online, but to pay to play with them? I don't like them THAT much. Joking aside, I can see both sides of the argument.

I PAID for the online services on PSO/PSU. Why? Because that game was an online only game and $10 a month was a good deal back in the day. I payed because that was the only online game I had. I think that was the only pay to play online game on the DC (PC and ps2). People pay for online services because they like playing certain games online. It kind of is justified to pay for their servers too. Xbox live's networking is a closed one. I think that's why the ps3 was able to play Portal 2 with PC gamers.

On the other hand, notice that I only named 1 game that was pay to play. As I got into more and more PC games, I noticed that a huge majority of them allowed free online multiplayer connectivity. Steam games especially. I thought that that was the way it was suppose to be. If you buy a game and it has multiplayer, you shouldn't have to pay extra. What solidified my opinion was when the Wii and PS3 offered free online connectivity.

I think that connecting players should be free. If I buy a game and it has online multiplayer, I shouldn't be forced to pay MS or anyone an extra fee to connect to other players. I'm already paying for online access. To justify payment, I think it's okay to have special services to paying costumers. This is where Playstation Plus got things right. They offer special services, but still allow free standard online stuff.

I don't think MS's online services are any more safer than Sony. There is really no truly hack proof thing. If someone really really wants to hack something, then they will try everything in their power to hack it. That's how Sony got hacked hard. It's also the same drive that lets people achieve GOOD things.
steve30x  +   1104d ago
No matter how much you try to justify paying for Xbox live it will never be the right thing to do. I am already paying to use the internet and I am not going to pay another fee to go online on a console. Also its not only paying to go online. in forza if you buy the VIP version of the game and Turn 10 gifts you a car you cant get that car if your not an Xbox gold member.
DoubleVeez   1104d ago | Immature | show
RuleofOne343  +   1104d ago
I pay for live & will continue to do so, cause I choose to period .
#15 (Edited 1104d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(6) | Report | Reply
rainslacker  +   1104d ago

"Do you expect Microsoft to give you their individual service for free just because you're already paying for a completely different service that Xbox just happens to have as an additional feature? If you answered yes to that question, you're delusional. "

in regards to streaming services.

Yes, I do. It costs them nothing to have those services. They do not pay for the cost of development for the software apps, or the media servers used to stream to their device. The only cost they may incur is the cost of delivering the actual app to the hard drive on the system itself from their servers, something more than paid for by the added value to the consumer who purchases their systems for that added value. Holding them hostage to a paid service is counter-productive to consumer value, regardless of Gold's gaming capabilities.

If people want to pay to go online, then I could care less. But don't tout off all the nonsense you did saying it is a good reason for them to charge for Live for streaming services. I'm actually rather surprised most of these streaming services don't want their apps available for free as it would mean more subscribers for them.

MS representative greatly misrepresented those extra "features" to you in this regard. The rest of MS comment is subjective, and I have no opinion on and is up to the individual to decide based on their own playing habits.
s45gr32  +   1104d ago
Well I respect your opinion and your view in regards to this topic. I do however want to point out that xbox live gold is a rip off. Free services utilize ads to stay legalized, xbox live charges gamers $60.00 a year; yet, the gamer experience say ads (mazda, mcdonalds, etc. not game updates or new game anouncements) despite they are paying for a service. Game developers have to pay $40.000 dollars for updating or patching their own games, are unable to run their own networks i.e. valve cannot use steamworks on xbox live gold. Plus game developers are prohibited from releasing free to play games i.e. dungeon figther online or valve unable to release free dlc during the left4dead fiasco. I can go on but I do want to point out why is it that free services like STEAM or PSN offer freedom to game developers and not xbox live gold.
Bladesfist  +   1104d ago
I also respect your opinion Valenka and I am not going to call you or other xbox live subscribers idiots for choosing to pay for a service. Personally however I can not justify buying Xbox live because of Steam and PSN. Steam is the better of the two services and offers cross game chat, an ingame browser and community hubs which allow us to share content for our games, free cloud saves (Game saves, screenshots) and yes steams features go on and on. Without Steam I would have jumped on PS Plus immediately however I am a bit cautious for the same reason that a lot of people don't want to pay for live. Steam does pretty much all of what PS Plus does for free. This is not to say that PS + is a bad service, I think it is awesome and will be picking up a few months on feb 7th when it goes on sale.

Automatic Updates for games and steam - check
Online storage for game saves and more - check
Exclusive access to steamworks betas - check
Money-saving discounts - check
Instant Game Collection - nope

The discounts are also a lot better and more common than on PSN + with games going up to 90% off and at least one new daily deal, mid week deal and weekend deal however there are normally multiple.

So only one of of the PS Plus features (The ones advertised on the website) can not be found on steam for free and that is the Instant Game Collection which you could argue is the most important aspect however steam offers something quite similar. Steam Sales. Where you can find big packs of 30 or so games for the price of one which you could argue is not so unlike PS Plus (Except you "own" the game and do not have to pay a sub to play it).

The point of my post is to say that if you use a free service it can start to devalue other services for you and make them less appealing but the people on live do not know what they are missing.
#18 (Edited 1104d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Games4M - Rob  +   1104d ago
It seems that the majority of live subscribers that have commented here are of the opinion that "it's only a few dollars so who cares?" - so there's your answer right there. People pay because its a small amount of money, not because there is any value in it.

Nobody can actually defend Live because its a rip off, even the article author eventually shows his true colours in a comment above with "we'll that's the way it is so why complain?", which is one of the most sickeningly whimpering attitudes I have ever heard.

Pay for Live if you want what Microsoft has kept from you, but don't try and convince me that them doing so is a good thing.
hennessey86  +   1103d ago
Completely agree
Live is well worth the money, the only reason PSN is free is because its a basic Servise. PSplus is another thing altogether. The whole " party chat is the only extra feature you get" is bull. Xbox live is so much more stream lined, easier to use, easier to communicate with friends, just look at the new ps store and all this checkout bull crap and even when you have done all that it doesn't start to download you have to click on the download button!. Another thing that annoys me with PSN is why it takes till gone six at night to get demos the 360 has had since mid day. PSN is also horribly slow, it even downloads slower than the 360 does. I don't have to justify why I pay for live because as some one who uses both services I know which one is a lot bettter
DoubleVeez  +   1103d ago
lol my comment was labeled immature .. lol im guessing it was the psuedo curse words.. (shrugs) i stand by my comment and the authors view
ExCest  +   1103d ago
Well, you don't use sentences and babble on; so that's one reason. Pseudo-curses are common here. It's your usage that makes you a brat.

"extra costs are all included whereas ps3 you are paying separately" what hidden fees am I paying for?

"whine about the costs then take the ps3s example and end up payin for sh#t you get for free on live" WHAT AM I PAYING FOR?!?
lema008  +   1103d ago
Best Buy is offering xbox live gold for $34.99. That comes $3 a month people. Xbox live gold cards are on sale thru out the year.

It's funny, people attacking MS live had no problem paying Sony's hefty price for it's console simply because it included blu-ray and Sony in it's battle with Toshiba over the new disc format was making you pay the price.

And what about PS3 online experience doing the early years compare to Xbox Live?

That being said, I think a lot of people would like to see MS come out with some type of free online service.
rainslacker  +   1103d ago
The difference is, when you brought the system at the steep price, you could play the entirety of whatever game you purchased. Blu-Ray at the time was an emerging medium that many people wanted, so it helped sell the system, and allowed for games to be bigger.

With MS lower price you could not play the entirety of your games, and if you wanted that feature you had to pay an additional charge. Looking at both systems, who among the early adopters have had to pay more if they both wanted to play online the whole time? Even comparing the cheapest Xbox on launch to the most expensive PS3 at launch, Xbox users spent more, or possibly just as much if they hunt down deals on Live.

Live at the time of Xbox's launch was vastly superior to any console online infrastructure. I won't deny that. But that's just not the case anymore. The same arguments are being brought out today that were around back then, when they are simply not relevant anymore. The only difference in the past couple of years is the deflection of the issue by bringing PS+ into the mix, calling it nothing more than a rental service.

The biggest thing I see with Live now is that MS is struggling to really justify the costs, either that or they just hope more people don't see the diminishing value in it. The statement given to Valenka that was cited in the blog makes that pretty apparent. Make a big list, make the consumer think that those things are something worth paying for, and get people to defend it for you. All those things they offer are free on other systems. The one last bastion they had was cross-game chat, and that will not be exclusive for much longer.
NYC_Gamer  +   1103d ago
I don't really care about what people choose to spend their funds on to be honest..It's just i wouldn't spend money on the service which is why my xbl account is free.
Captain Tuttle  +   1102d ago
I've been a member of Live since the days on the original Xbox and for me MS has done nothing but add value to the service over the years. At the start of the generation it was clearly the superior service and was worth paying for imo. That being said, in recent years Sony has almost attained parity and their payed service PS+ is an excellent product. MS really have to bring it Next-Gen with Live or I'll consider dropping it. Sony's move will be interesting in the online space, I'm curious to see what they bring to the table.
profgerbik  +   1102d ago
Excuses, excuses. Reminds me of T-Mobile, how they told me I could not use the Galaxy S3 and that it would not work without using their "Data".

I got super pissed because their employees are taught to lie to their customers, so I bought a GS3 through other means, unlocked it, walked into the store and asked them could I use their Wi-Fi.

After I connected, I shoved it in their faces and said look phone seems to work perfectly fine without your data huh? Funny how you all told me the phone will not work without your data and that it's impossible to just have plan with high end phones without data because they won't work.. Which clearly is a bunch of bullshit just to sell their crappy cell phone internet.

One of the employees actually straight up told me sorry and that she was told this by her store manager, she sympathized with me and actually agreed it isn't right that we told you that it won't work without data when clearly it isn't true. Sadly she said there is nothing she can do and the high end phones they have all come forced with data contracts.

Ain't that some fucked up shit? Lying to consumer, telling them they need data contracts with high ends phones when you don't at all need data. I am sorry I am a logical person that only needs talk and text rarely needing data and have a perfectly fine internet connection sitting at home I would rather use on top of plenty of things to tether but nope they won't allow it unless you pay for the data.

I mean I even talked to the manager after but he was just a corporate jack ass only reading the script. I told him why the hell do you think Wi-Fi even exist in phones you moron yet you are telling me the phone can't be used internet wise unless it's through your data (cell phone internet).. Ok, maybe if I was an idiot like everyone else I would simply believe that and pay for data I don't need.

No telling that girl probably got fired knowing how shitty this world is, employees are told to lie and god forbid if they are honest with anyone they can lose their jobs.

What is even more bullshit do you notice all cell phone carrier include data in the plans you pay for yet they charge you a completely separate fee for data anyway.. What the fuck is the data included in the plan for then if I have to still pay a separate fee for it..? Just scams..

I am sick of companies getting away with lies to sell their products and Microsoft is no different, them selling Xbox 360's tied to contracts should really open peoples eyes to that but of course not, half the population just waste money and could give a shit if they are being money raped or not. Then they wonder why they are so broke all the time.

People are the problem also just like with XBL because their user base never complains enough, they just take it without ever questioning anything. That is the stupidity of it all. They keep robbing people blind because people don't care enough not to be, so why not just keep doing it?
#25 (Edited 1102d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply

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