Let's Be Honest, Xbox Live Gold Has Become a Huge Ripoff

GR's DeShaun Zollicoffer writes:

Xbox Live didn’t have any real competition when it hit the scene. PlayStation Network wasn’t around and online gaming was the last thing on Nintendo’s mind. Sure, a decent amount of PS2 games worked online and the GameCube had games like Phantasy Star Online, but both consoles lacked a unified online service.

Fast-forward 10 years later — we have PSN and the recently launched Nintendo Network. These services let you play games online, use Netflix, watch videos on YouTube, and connect with people on your friends list. It’s free to connect to these services through your console provided you have an Internet connection and a Netflix subscription.

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NYC_Gamer3169d ago

MS will charge long as people are willing to pay

Akuma-3169d ago ShowReplies(16)
NeverEnding19893169d ago (Edited 3169d ago )

Unfortunately, Sony or Nintendo have a ways to go before they catch Xbox Live so until then I'm paying $30 a year for Live. IMO PS+ has forced M$ to reevaluate Live for next gen. I'm excited to see what they come up with.

Everything's better with friends :D

Well, except singleplayer games first time through. Which only represents 1% of my total game play time.

MAJ0R3169d ago

That's why I love Steam. You don't have to pay for any service, especially in order to get good deals and F2P games. Sales are way better than Playstation Plus or Xbox Live as well. So I think in general paid console services have become a huge ripoff.

HammadTheBeast3169d ago

Wait.... catch up to what? Party chat? Ok fine. But how about tons of new games for free, with diverse choices every month? How about discounts, betas, packages, and overall goodness? How about cloud saves, awesome F2P games and loads of other things?

jessupj3169d ago

While Sony has dedicated servers for almost all their first party games, it's actually MS that's been playing catch up this entire gen.

Unless of course you think the tiny extra bells and whistles are more important than actually playing the game.

flankhim3169d ago

Dang dudes its not like we are doing a paper route and getting $30 a week. A couple hours of real work will get you a year of online playtime. Fork it up you cheap bastards!

EVILDEAD3603169d ago

'Unfortunately, Sony or Nintendo have a ways to go before they catch Xbox Live so until then I'm paying $30 a year for Live. IMO PS+ has forced M$ to reevaluate Live for next gen. I'm excited to see what they come up with.'

Again as I stated, if your a fan of Live and are a part of the millions of core 360 gamers that game daily and love what Live offers then most likely you arent in the audience screaming that Live is worthless.

IMO Xbox Live is the best console online this gen, but that doesnt take away from PSN at all. From the days I picked up my PS3 Slim, I bought games like Demon Souls and UC2 day one, and gladly played online for free.

People who only have one console enjoy what that console offers whether it's Gold on the 360 or Plus on the PS3.

But, I do disagree with the thought that PSN plus is going to make MS 'reeavaluate' what is offered next gen when it doesnt even put pressure on what Live is even doing this gen. But it definately provides a great incentive to subscribe if you already own a PS3.

But, I'm with you it's going to be interesting what Sony and MS decide in regards to what come next.


SilentNegotiator3169d ago (Edited 3169d ago )


So your point is that people who aren't fans aren't fans? Wowie, you really justified XBL there!


I'm still only seeing the "justifications" that...."It's only X a month after I buy it on sale! Getting ripped off a little is okay by me!" (X being a number based on the breaking down of long sub times, not actual per month rates), Chat, "Anyone who disagrees is a pstree fanboi!", and "It's popular, and thus is good and justified".

Imalwaysright3169d ago (Edited 3169d ago )

"if your a fan of Live and are a part of the millions of core 360 gamers that game daily and love what Live offers" I have a hard time believing that someone "loves" something that is free on every platform. Maybe im giving to much credit to the human race but i dont think that anyone is stupid enough to gladly be ripped off because that is exactly what Live is, a rip off.

Online play is free on every platform so why the hell does MS charge for it? What exactly is MS charging 360 users for? Nintendo, Sony and Valve do it for free. Why can these companies offer free online but MS cant? I have no doubt in my mind that MS charges for live because they know that 360 users have no choice but to pay if they want to play online. MS is taking advantage of 360 owners because they can. Just another case where this industry fucks the consumer.

pixelsword3169d ago (Edited 3169d ago )

I like XBL but in my heart of hearts I know to me it's not worth paying for; if my friends have it, then I'll play it; if not, the I don't, not when I play PC and PS3 for free.

I don't *need* to have my friends online to have fun in a game; that's the games job.

DarkHeroZX3169d ago (Edited 3169d ago )

lol all sony is missing is cross chat which is a limitation of the ps3's ram pool not the network.

But please tell me what features live has that I must pay to have it? I don't know of any.

Cam9773169d ago (Edited 3169d ago )

To me it's always been a ripoff, however; the introduction of the redesigned PS+ has brought that issue to light and exposed how extortionate it truly is.

tee_bag2423168d ago

Online should be free. You kiddies are fooling yourself trying to justify paying for online. Finally after 6 years most of my friends (and me) have migrated over to steam and/or PSN where online is free, the way it should be.
Party chat is great but not worth $70 (oz) per year. Screw paying for online.

FriedGoat3168d ago

The main point is, If I'm using MY internet connection to host online games, why is Microsoft charging me to do this? I don't use any of the other crap. Peer to peer online play is free everywhere but Xboxlive, If I want to connect to somebody I pay my ISP for that.

s45gr323168d ago

Explain what Sony and Nintendo need to catch up. Sony already offers free games, cloud saves, and the communication features are fine it even includes social services integration into say games like youtube or facebook even twitter was added to the uncharted series............

Consoldtobots3168d ago (Edited 3168d ago )

I let my xbox live subscription lapse nearly 2 years ago. Haven't missed it one bit. To each his own though. I really don't care what other people do with their money no matter how foolish.

btw the real issue here is that part of the industry that likes Microsoft's online gaming business model of transferring the cost of multiplayer support for their titles to the end user in order to reduce their cost and maximize their profits. Just because THEY think it's a good thing doesn't mean it is. Im being optimistic here about the relationship between MS and game developers. The fact that alot of titles have p2p online says they are just pocketing the money.

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Picnic3169d ago

Yes- and by doing so they have made it very likely that I will get a PS4 following this generation's PS3.

I do hope that what looked to some people as desperation on Sony's part to drive up PS3 sales (givng online play free) works in Sony's favour.
The Xbox 360 said 'Jump In' and then decided to charge for part of the swimming pool.

Consoldtobots3168d ago

regardless of what it looked like to others it has more to do with Sony being an OG in the industry back in the days where it would have been considered unethical to milk the consumer like this.

kopicha3169d ago


your comment is the worst comment ever I have seen. So people who wants to contact you need to buy a 360 with XBL Gold membership? What kind of justification is that. Almost everyone owns a cellphone / tablet these days. There are tons of "free" ways to keep in touch with friends and families. Whatsapp, Tango, Skype, blah blah blah and the freaking list go on forever. And they are all FREE. All you need is a cellphone which is something essential in today's day to day life. Even a 10 year old kid down the streets I see them using their own iPhone (and no, those devices definitely not their parents' phone as you dont need 4 smart phones with a family of 4). But you dont need a 360 for day to day. I dont think you even can differentiate between what's actual needs and luxuries. I too find XBL Gold a huge rip off where almost all the services are suppose to be obtain for free. The only reason I sign up for Gold is only because of friends who want to play Halo or Gears together online. Other else there is no other reason to even actually pay for it. In short is actually being forcefully paid for since we cant do so if we dont go Gold. If there is a choice I would play it on PC or PS3 since they are free and it has always been how it should be. Even PS+ give way more value than what Gold does and it's fact. Especially to those who actually own both PS3 and Vita concurrently.

blackbeld3169d ago

Exactly kopicha, he totally ignoring facts.

So damn pathetic. Everybody has an smartphone aka 2012.

andibandit3168d ago

I've tried using the free apps like Skype and Viber, and my honest conclusion is that it depends on the connection. I live in Europe and when my wife calls me on Viber im almost prepared to immediately hang up cause i know well be saying

"Can you repeat that"
"No you go ahead and talk"

most of the time. However it is my preferred method of texting. Also sometimes i enjoy talking with random people, it's a great way to make friends and one of the reasons i still pay for live.

showtimefolks3169d ago

look as long as gamers see value in xblive than why should MS make it free? here is the real question come next gen when ps4 will support cross game chat from day one for free than what will be the excuse for some to keep paying for xblive?

with online passes in most games and having to pay $10 to play online if bought used than paying another company to go online, i mean how does that make sense?

IMO xblive will see a huge decrease if sony plays its cards right from day one with ps4 cross game chat and a much better cloud based service. if its possible to avoid downloading games from psn and just playing via cloud that would be killer feature IMO

right now people see value in xblive and many say their friends have xbox360's so they want to stay connected gaming wise. but i do believe come next gen if sony does everything right there is no way xblive will be worth paying for.

psn:plus is the kind of service MS should offer, where we pay $50-60 and get free stuff plus discounts

Ashby_JC3168d ago

I have both systems at the moment. Been a XBL member for 10 years. Do I feel ripped off....nope.

Both XBL and PSN have the pluses and minuses. At this point in life. I can afford the fee.

Next gen....I will sit back and see what Sony and MS come up with.

If I had to BET....Sony will figure out a way to charge for there online service. Thats just my opinion. I cant see them NOT figuring out a way to do what MS is doing.

CommonSense3169d ago (Edited 3169d ago )

4 dollars a month is such a HUGE rip off. It's cheaper than a crappy meal at mcdonalds but i am such a desperate fanboy that i need to find any excuse to criticize the competition.

it's such a rough life paying 15 cents a day for superior service.

I'd pay 15 cents a day for JUST the ability to voice chat with a party of people. Hell, i paid a lot more than that when i rented a Ventrilo server. Hell, I'd pay 15 cents a day just to make it so I don't have to wait 60 seconds for my trophies to sync up EVERY time i want to compare games with a friend.

Gamers are such entitled babies on n4g. get over it. If my choice was between free PSN and 15 cent Live, it's a no brainer. Fortunately, i don't participate in the console war, and i own both. So i have no reason to be a child about this. Maybe you should consider getting jobs...rather than complaining about spending 4 whole dollars a month on a great service.

Cam9773169d ago

Comparing it to Psn has just exposed how much of a fanboy you are. It's a ripoff, stop being blinded by fanboyism.

NonApplicable3168d ago

I get your point, but don't use your comment to bash PSN.

I would rather use that money to pay for my Netflix subscription or purchase a psn/xbox live games, but in the end, Live still is a quality service. Comparatively it isn't the best deal, but it is worth paying for.

Think of it like this. Music can be downloaded for free. When I pay for a good CD, I don't complain about it being a "HUGE Ripoff". Sure the same content can be had for free, however there are certain advantages to owning a physical copy.

oNIXo3168d ago

Dude, most computers come with a cd/dvd/bd burner.

ziggurcat3168d ago

your math is wrong. XBL is $60 per year, not $48.

as far as XBL being a "superior service"? that's debatable. paying that much per year just to party chat is a bit much, imo.

and paying $60 extra per year just to be able to play half of the game you already paid $60 for is also a bit much... or paying $60 just to be able to watch netflix on your X360 when you're already paying $96 per year on that service...

why would you prefer to pay money for a service when all other platforms offer those same services for free? it must be nice to be able to throw money around.

moparful993168d ago

I love it when people try to break it down to a monthly fee like you just did... Thats cute, however you have to pay all of it up front.. I you were to pay month to month you would spend 3-4 times more in the long run.. But most of us complain, not because we cannot afford it but rather out of principle.. I could easily afford the cost of live but whenever I get to play all of my games online for free with PSN why on earth would I ever pay for live? As of now both services are essentially the same thing.. Both services have minor gripes like your trophy syncing.. Something I dont have to worry about since my Ps3 turns itself on, downloads updates, patches, and syncs trophies whenever I'm away... But when you consider VALUE Psn blows live out of the water...

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360ICE3169d ago

Oh, cry me a river people who say Xbox 360 is a rip-off too. If paying next to nothing for a machine that plays many of the greatest games this generation is a rip-off, then just about everything is a rip-off.

Consoles in general give a lot back for your money. If you want to buy a 360 just for Halo 4, you're still not wasting all that much.

moparful993168d ago

But when I can play 99% of the games you play but for free on my ps3 why would I spend that money? I'm not a Halo fan so it makes much more sense for me to have a ps3..

360ICE3168d ago (Edited 3168d ago )

99% of the games? Factually incorrect. And I wasn't aware quantity was what mattered anyway. What if you really want the new Halo? Also, you can't play them for free. You still have to pay for the game, and then you can play the online games for free.

You're right it makes more sense for YOU. Which is my point to begin with. Me, I can't pick a favorite, so I went for both. (and scratched Wii :P)

tordavis3169d ago

If you don't have a 360, why are you complaining? It's not a ripoff, you get to play online with your fee. PSN+ doesn't have free games, you have to pay a yearly fee to 'RENT' those games. The only ones who ever complain about it are PS3 users who don't have 360's. I find that hilarious. If a 360 owner doesn't want the service, they stop paying. Simple as that.

moparful993168d ago

Ok and? You RENT the right to play the online component of your games... You sit here and mock PS+ subscribers but you are paying more money for a privilege that shouldn't cost you a dime.. But 360 owners will defend that point till the death... I will never understand that logic...

tordavis3168d ago

Yep and I'm also a PS+ member. PS+ is game rentals, PERIOD. XBL is a mp gaming service. If I stop paying for either, I lose something. That's my point!

Cueil3168d ago

These people are to ignorant to understand that their opinions don't matter if they don't have the system. In the end it's an opinion and we all know what opinions are like

T3MPL3TON 3168d ago ShowReplies(2)
mcnablejr3168d ago

This website is dead to me.
if a comment gets 107 agrees from brain dead fanboys AND is flagged as trolling, you know something is wrong.

Jaces3168d ago

I stopped paying due to my lack of game time on my 360. I'm mainly a PS3 person so a lot of my online and multiplats are played there.

The more I compare to what LIVE offers to what PS+ offers, it's obvious to see which is the better deal. You just get more bang for your buck with plus, that's a fact.

mcnablejr3168d ago

please explain? I'm curious

moparful993168d ago

@Jaces I'm in the same boat as you I love all of the exclusives on PS3 and I have 6 years worth of online activity on my PS3 so thats where I spend most of my time.. I have no need to pay for Live.. But people are always going to argue and justify their choices. People that pay for Live will say that the service is more unified, better quality players, more social etc all of that of course is preferential.. I feel that social connectivity of PSN is just fine.. I've used both services and there's nothing about Live that makes makes me want to pay the fee... I'm more then happy to put up with the quirks of PSN considering it's free... Now if Sony charges for PSN then we wouldn't be having this conversation, I wouldn't pay for PSN the way it is.. PS+ on the other hand I have no problem paying for, the amount of content that I get from it justifies the price tag..

mcnablejr3168d ago

@ moparful99

''I'm more then happy to PUT UP WITH the quirks of PSN ''

That says allot.

Jaces3168d ago


Go to the xbox website and just see what GOLD offers. A lot of it is already free on PSN and the last few are straight up asinine to be paying for. "Chat with friends face-to-face on your TV with Kinect. Use Avatar Kinect to chat with friends as your avatar mirrors your gestures and expressions." Are you kidding me?

Then compare that to PLUS:

Yes I gave you a link because there's too much there to type it all out. The best part is the constant flow of FREE and Heavily discounted games I receive on a monthly basis. The amount of free games I've downloaded recently have surpassed my $50 a year so that right there is already worth the money, everything else is just extra.

I don't buy new releases any more due to PLUS offering them for %50 off a couple weeks later or free a couple months down the road. The only downside? You lose the games you downloaded for free if you quit PLUS, but who keeps games around (especially downloadable ones) forever after they've beaten them. So not really a downside if you think about it that way.

Good enough explanation?

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LAZL0-Panaflex3168d ago

Agree. I pay for live for a combination of reasons. Controller, polished online community, gears, call of duty looks better on xbox, forza, so i do like live better for $30-$48 and i play ps3 for infamous, killzone, uncharted, and god of war.

But if i ever take a hit financially i'm most likely going to game on ps3 because of the free online, plus i like killzone better than halo,...and infamous, god of war and uncharted outweigh gears, and i could just do call of duty on psn with my r2& L2 trigger extensions by pelican.

meetajhu3168d ago

You got to be kidding me. Ever even touched a PC in your life? Oh Wait!

CalvinKlein3168d ago

Lets be honest, its really not that much money to where people all over the INTERNET without xboxs cry about how other people spend their money.

I got xbox gold and ps+ and steam, why dont you go cry to your mommy because I bought something that makes you butthurt.

Gamer19823168d ago

NYC_Gamer NAIL MEET HEAD. You really cannot say it better than that. We are aware its a ripoff only the real hardcore fanbots disagree. You can bang on about features Sony doesnt have etc.. But in reality it is a ripoff but Hey while people keep paying for it they will charge and you know why people do? Because people are already invested in Xbox live. The great thing about being first was they got people initially invested in there service all there friends use it now and they only own a 360 so its actually cheaper for them to stick with XBL than switch to PS3 at least until there 360 finally cuts the bacon they think.. Then they look at there massive game collection and think.. Its not really a good idea to switch consoles as I would lose all those games..

Investing in a console early on was MS strong point but it will not have that with the next console and if both launch at similar times and Sonys service is still free MS will have a hard sell with XBL on 720.

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Chuk53169d ago

MS better either stop charging or make it worth it next gen. Or I am gone.

chaos-lockheart3169d ago

i see you like to give free money away

MikeMyers3169d ago

Live is still the easiest and most streamlined service of the bunch. How the games connect with one another, how gamers keep connected no matter what game is being played, and all supported by voice chat. Is that enough to warrant a fee? That depends on how much you value the small differences between Live and something like Playstation Network and Steam.

I find there is far more value from Playstation Plus. I see the value over what else is offered. I don't see a lot of value in Xbox Live Gold over what others offer.

If Microsoft really wanted to shine a light on how people are willing to pay for Live then offer a basic service that simply allows people to play with others for free. Everyone else does! Trouble is Live isn't designed that way. It's all integrated so that all the services run seamlessly within it. Live was something fresh back in 2002 but now it's very questionable how they can continue to charge.

Unless people stop supporting Live they will keep charging and for one reason only, because they can. It's the same reason people pay a premium for the iPad over other tablets, because they are willing to be part of the IOS service provided by Apple. People like the ecosystem Apple has. It's easy to use and it's universal across all Apple products. Difference is it's free to sign onto IOS but you still pay a premium for the devices.

B1663r3169d ago

Xbox live is totally worth it for the Bing search, and directory of tv shows and movies, on the various tv and movie services. That feature is totally missing from every other option including your Windows or Mac PC.

It is utterly unique in the industry.

tee_bag2423168d ago (Edited 3168d ago )

you're being sarcastic right? Please tell me you are

Gamer19823168d ago

PC has had them features for years and even better ones.. You really need to get out more.

Intentions3169d ago

Idiots will buy it at the full price, where you can research to get it cheaper. Eg: $1 - 30 for 12 months.

Old McGroin3169d ago

Agreed. If you pay for your Gold account here in Europe through Live it will set you back 60.00 Euros. A bit of investigation work online (e-bay and Google are your friend) will see you pay half of this amount.

Still an absolute rip off though when you compare it to the amount of content you get as a PS+ subscriber.

8bitHero3169d ago

wow really? im about to go google this. maybe i might actually renew live so i can play halo 4.

SnakeCQC3168d ago

yh ive been buying the 12+2 month gold memberships for about 25 pounds on ebay

8bitHero3168d ago (Edited 3168d ago )

ahh im not from EU. i live in the US :(

THC CELL3169d ago

People are slow I realize when ps3 come out

Sketchy_Galore3169d ago

Many moon ago when Sun rise over hill like great buffalo?

Pillsbury13169d ago

I realized this a long time ago which is why I chose to sell my 360. This is my personal opinion so no need to start foaming at the mouth because of the conclusions I have come to but live does nothing but let you play the other half of your game. alot of people put cross chat as the single reason why its worth to pay to play online but I can connect and chat with friends the same as anywhere else. they either need to add more value to its service or stop charging for what is offered free everywhere else (ps3,pc and wii u).

lashes2ashes3169d ago

I agree with you. I don't like online playing for the most part so it seems like a waste of money for me.. Plus cross game chat seems really stupid to me. I really don't want to talk to my friends while we are playing two completely different games. I would rather pay attention to what's going on. Most people I know that cross chat spend most of the time not having a clue what's going on with there game, that would be fine with online halo or cod but during something like bioshock or assassins creed I don't see what the point of even playing story driven games if you don't want to pay attention to the story.

Tetsujin3169d ago

I regretted buying Live a few days after hearing the racial comments towards me and others from kids half my age and younger, the wanna-be rappers, people breathing in the mic, and couples arguing over what they did sexually the night before.

If I had it my way, I'd make Live free with advertising all over (more than what's there now); or have it at a cost with 0 advertising and special features that PS+ has with the free games and added cloud storage, etc. that way if someone can't afford it or only plays online limited times a year they don't feel pressured into buying something they really don't need.

hellvaguy3168d ago

"after hearing the racial comments"

Just select mute everyone for all games except for your friends list. Problem solved. Love that option.

kopicha3169d ago

not trying to troll or whatever. but honestly there are many way to do "free cross game chat" in a way. example ventrillo / teamspeak / mumble. these apps are even on cellphones and you dont need a pc to use it. connect a BT headset to the phone and there you go. chat with multiple friends be it on same game, different game. same console or even different console. it is not entirely impossible. its really only want to or dont want to.