Xbox Live: No Longer the Gold Standard

Xbox Live Gold is an antiquated dinosaur that no longer fits within this industry. It's an exploitive service that takes advantage of people's innate desire to connect with others, charging significant money ($59.99/year, or $9.99/month) for features given away for free on competing platforms. As the next generation approaches, it's time for Microsoft to shelve this nickel-and-diming venture once and for all.

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NYC_Gamer2141d ago

I agree,that's way my Xbl account is on free status.I refuse to pay for online features that Steam and PSN offer for free of charge.

Welshy2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

All fanboyism etc aside.

When you look at the facts between XBL, PSN and Steam, it seems more than a little ridiculous that XBL still gets away with charging for online features.

The simplest way to break it down in the XBL vs PSN debate in my book is: If everything on XBL was made free excluding cross game chat which was still $60/£40, would you still pay for it knowing that you were only paying for features literally EVERY other platform does for free?

Apart from the obvious (not being able to play online at all) without paying, i think it's got to such a stage where long term XBL users have just been so accustomed to paying that they feel that:

A) If they are paying, then by default it MUST be better or worth it somehow.

or B) Admitting it's a rip-off now and saying it's not worth it after shelling out hundreds, if not 1000's, of £/$ over the years would be like admitting defeat and confessing to being fooled all those years and not wanting to look silly.

Regardless of platform, title or company, online features should ALWAYS be free, especially if they want to go down the Online Pass route we have been travelling. Can anyone honestly say it's fair to have to buy a £400 console, buy a £40 game, pay up to £10 per month for your internet, pay £40 MS to allow you access to your own internet and if the game is preowned or rented, having to shell out £8 AGAIN just to play the full product on the disc?

It's all getting a bit out of hand and, especially MS, if they just swallowed their pride and admitted noone has the money to go through that process for 5 more years next gen, and ditched the XBL fee, they'd be on to an absolute winner not just in the eyes of Xbox gamers, but the industry in general.

SolidSystem2141d ago

For me, its something that when I first got into the platform and grew accustom to it. Its the same way with something like WOW. I go into it knowing I'll be paying yearly for MP.

I dislike it, but at the same time its where the games I like are. So I have to.

It will be interesting to see what MS does.

Akuma-2141d ago

paying for xbl is silly but i guess we all are individuals and free to do whatever as long as its not hurting anyone.

ive got an xbox or several but i realise that i shouldn't be paying extra to play online because i can play most of its games on ps3 and way more. also the few extra xbox exclusives i dont need to experience online for xbox because i dont need to experience every game online or play. i love gears of war but ill just have to go without playing them all because i refuse to pay for xbl.

ill get the next xbox but dont plan on ever getting xbl for it.

Eazy-Eman2141d ago

Yo, faceless...that was a really good comment. I bubbled you up. Couldn't have said it better myself. I have had both a ps3 and an xbox and I can tell you that aside from playing halo and gears online it's really not worth it playing 60 dollars a year just to play those few games online. I also felt like when I had a gold membership I would feel like I was wasting it by just playing single player games.

Diver2141d ago

the ps3 was attacked relentlessly for its launch price. for those that bought a launch 360 an live 7 years later the get it cheap now didn't pay off.. ps3 cost more at launch but was the better investment

omi25p2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

im happy paying for Xbox live because i think the service is better but also the main reason is party chat.

If ps3 had party chat for free i may reconsider.

Also microsoft is the only Publisher/Developer not doing Online Passes.

DigitalRaptor2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

The truth is strong in this one. Well said!

Being forced to pay for P2P online gameplay is outrageous. By all means, charge for the advanced features like party chat but I can guarantee that there are millions upon millions of willing Xbox customers in waiting (like myself) who would snap up a next generation Xbox, minus the ransom to play half of its games online that you paid full dollar for.

Microsoft have been investing in first party studios and this is an absolutely positive move for next gen, but I just wish they would go a step further, swallow their pride and stop charging for basic connectivity where it's neither necessary nor pro-consumer.

@ omi25p

PS3 hasn't and won't ever get party functionality. PS Vita has it for free, as should PS4.

thebudgetgamer2141d ago

@omi: Xbox live is an online pass.

riverstars862141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

I don't think that Xbox Live Gold is worth the money that I spend for it, however, I pay for it because I value the social features such as cross game chat and party chat. These features are great and I wish the PS3 had them, but because they aren't on the PS3, it is hard for me to have the same experience when I play PS3 online.

I know there are a lot of people on this site who will argue that it isn't a big deal, but I got so accustomed to using cross game and party chat on Xbox 360 that I find myself hard pressed to play PS3 online because of the lack of these features.

Honestly, that is all it comes down to for me sadly. I don't care much about the apps of either service, but PS+ is a great service for that easily puts Xbox Live Gold to shame. I'm not a fan boy of either.

However, I'm so excited about next generation because I know that the PS4 will implement these features and if I find myself not having to pay a yearly fee to use them on PSN, then Microsoft has lost me as a customer, because I know Microsoft will still charge for Xbox Live. Now will Microsoft and Sony please quit stalling and bring on the next generation!!

MasterCornholio2141d ago

Well said faceless well said.

And i completely agree with you that it doesn´t make any sense to pay for multiplayer on XBOXlive if every one else is offering for free. Its free for the PS3, Vita, Wii U, Wii, 3DS, PC and many other platforms so what reason does Microsoft have for charging for it? None at all in my opinion and the only reason why they can get away with this is because XBOX gamers (since the first XBOX) are used to paying for multiplayer which is why they continue to pay for it.

I used to own a 360 and i used to have a subscription to gold so i know what it was like to pay for online multiplayer. But the problem that i had with the service is that it didn't provide me with anything that i couldn't get on the PC. So i made a decision to sell my 360 and buy a PS3. I had a regular PSN account for a short while but then i saw Plus offered for 40€ and in September i joined PlayStation plus. Ever since i joined plus i manage to download a ton of games that i haven't played before. Which got me thinking why gold subscribers are not demanding a similar service with XBOXlive gold? I seriously cant believe that XBOX owners don't want something like plus because it provides a lot more content than XBOXive and in my opinion its a service worth paying for.

Thanks for your comment as it was a very thoughtful, logical and very pleasurable one to read. However you might receive some degree of backlash from the fans who refuse to accept the truth about XboxLive.

cannon88002141d ago

The only reason I personally didn't buy the xbox 360 was because I would have to pay just to play my own games online etc. I swear I would have bought it if xbox live was just free.

mewhy322140d ago Show
carlocgc2140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )

@ TheFaceless

excellent comment very well put and my sentiment exactly however MS will charge while people will pay for it and i cannot see them turning away easy money.

I would rather that all the people willing to pay for Xbox live ON Xbox live and away from me as i no longer use Xbox for gaming though i do still use LIVE on windows for FREE from time to time but only if i have to.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 2140d ago
aquamala2141d ago

cloud saves are not free on PSN. yesterday Best Buy had a sale of 3-month XBL cards plus 800 ms points for $12.99 , so really 2.99 for 3 months, I bought 2 years worth of cards.

Welshy2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

So paying slightly less for something that should be free, and IS free everywhere else makes it OK?

Bottom line: you are still needlessly forced into paying for something you already pay your ISP for.

Edit: @SolidSystem PSN, Steam, Wii U, 3DS, Vita etc all let you use your ISP without a 3rd party surcharge for basic online play.

My point being that what MS provide is no different from the other platforms, so all they are essentially doing is standing in your way demanding more $ for the privelage of using their service which offers nothing different.

Refer to my comment #1.1 for a full explanation of what i'm trying to say so i don't have to retype my whole point here.

SolidSystem2141d ago

Faceless, you have that wrong. I pay my ISP for a connection. Not the other services available on the internet.

I agree gaming online should be free, with maybe some promotions (like PSN+ does.... which I am a member of) to bring in additional money.

Though the argument about ISP is silly.

dontbhatin2141d ago

Still paying to play the games you purchased to their full usefulness. discounted or not.

aquamala2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )


like I said, cloud saves are not free on PS, to get it on PS you need to pay $50 a year for PS+. so no the "free" PSN does not have the same features as XBL gold.

DigitalRaptor2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

@ TheFaceless

It's frustrating when people completely miss the point you're trying to make, isn't it? Happens all time in specific regard to this topic.

People think you're hating on a service. No!!! Xbox Live is excellent service. What is under scrutiny (and rightly so) is Microsoft's decision to charge their customers for something that is free in ecosystems outside Xbox. Basic online play or P2P. Look it up people. That shouldn't be a ransom/selling point for Xbox Live. That should be a guarantee for the $60 you pay for each of your games. Have MS charge $60 a year for advanced features only - I have absolutely no issues with that.

And discount arguments shouldn't even apply here since it's about the principle, not about how much you can save on things you shouldn't have to consider paying for to begin with.

Hozi2141d ago

you bought two years? did you check the expiration date(not sure if there is one) I just don't want that to happen to you before you finish your first 3 months.

grifter0242140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )

It's funny that people that don't know where to look cry about paying for XBL.

If you actually were a person that played on the 360 and paid for XBL you would already find deals everywhere.

The dashboard when you become a silver member has $1 for 1 month deals...and guess what you can cancel the auto renewal so when the month ends you just do it over again. Not to mention everyone that was gold last week got 1 whole free month for free because cloud was down.

I've paid 12$ for 1 whole year doing that...oh but wait I'm still paying boohoo.

If you don't want to pay and don't have a 360 I don't know why you are in here crying about it.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2140d ago
2141d ago
mochachino2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

My Gold account expired December 2012, haven't renewed it and don't plan too. Not having a gold account makes my 360 seem worthless now though, like a car missing an integral part that isn't worth fixing.

I may even sell my 360 as I'm starting to really appreciate my PS3 lately. Looks like all my future multiplats will be on PS3 for the foreseeable future, which is OK cause all my friends switched over to PS3-only a while ago for the free online anyways.

$60 per year to play online is about $30 too much for me. The apps and other stuff certainly isn't worth the high surcharge.

It seems the US is the only place where 360 does well now, PS3 dominates every other market. I live in Canada and don't know anyone that has a 360 anymore. They all switched to PS3 after their consoles broke or just sold it for PS3s free online.

Rivitur2141d ago

Cheap ass gamer had a post a while back that I used to get 2$ for two months

MasterCratosKong662140d ago

not disagreeing w your main point, but ps3 does not dominate every other market

Zephyrus342141d ago ShowReplies(1)
shutUpAndTakeMyMoney2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

If ps4 and 720 release at the same price 720 will be $60 more.. $120 for multi-player and a game on 720 or a $60 for a ps4 launch game + gaikai features? hmmm

Buy a MS car(xbox) and they will charge you extra for the steering wheel(multiplayer).

delboy2141d ago

And when did you realize that?! Lol
Why did you buy a xbox in the first place?
Lol for everyone that bought a xbox in the first place,knowing about gold subscription and no online without payment.

Mr_Writer852140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )

@ omi25p

im happy paying for Xbox live because i think the service is better but also the main reason is party chat.

If ps3 had party chat for free i may reconsider.

Also microsoft is the only Publisher/Developer not doing Online Passes.

Sooooooo..... You pay £40 a year for party chat? Hahahahahahahahahahah mug.

And MS wont do online passes because they charge you for online already :/

Kran2140d ago

I don't disagree with you. I do agree.

But the problem is so many people pay for XBL, which means Microsoft will think: "Wow. We're actually making money from this. Stuff those people who disagree with us. XBL WILL ALWAYS BE A PAID SERVICE!!!"

Stupid I know.

Nes_Daze2140d ago (Edited 2140d ago )

Another thing people bring up is lag on PSN, which is ridiculous. There's lag on both sides, when I was on Live I got kicked about every 15 minutes from a party chat, or randomly disconnected. And now with PSN Plus, I just can't justify paying $50 for cross game chat and a prettier display.

otherZinc2140d ago

No, its ridiculously naive for a so-called super site like Gamespot doesnt realise the importance & fluidity of XBOX Live. PSN is a POS & all of you know this.

PSN doesnt work until a few patches have been released. It isn't integrated.

Most of All:
If you guys think SONY is going to do this for free next gen...You're Stupid!

M$ worked on LIVE for 3 years before it released: Oh, and you nuts think people work for free? Do you work for free? Yet, a service like Live that isn't duplicated, you want for free? You're Stupid!

Its funny, these articles release every month. I know its for traction, but, it just tells me how Stupid a Site can actually be.

Keep up with the day 1 patches & complaining about SONY online games that dont work day 1, also, the massive load times.

Keep up the Stupid, People.
You get what you pay for.
If LIVE were overrated it wouldnt be killing PSN right now!

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 2140d ago
NeverEnding19892141d ago

I just renewed my annual gold subscription for $30. I wasn't too happy about it, but it's the best way to play multiplayer. Forget about most PS3 owners not having a mic, PSN is a gimped service compared to Xbox Live. Chat, Invites, UI, etc.

PS+ will force M$ to do better next gen. But until that time multiplayer gamers don't have a choice.

DA_SHREDDER2141d ago

Gimped? I can play free games online for free like DCU, PShome, MAG, and Dust 514. Where's this gimp you speak of?

SolidSystem2141d ago

DA_Shredder, he outlined the features he considered gimped. if you agree or not... thats a different matter.

I agree with him though. The invites, and missing chat support (cross game specifically) are a big deal to me.

dontbhatin2141d ago

Since when do invites not exist on PSN? LOL

ThanatosDMC2141d ago

That just means he's criticizing a console he's never touched.

ipe2141d ago

yes they do.

bunch of garbage right there. Huge amount of people on live dont use mic at all, most of them use it in halo or cod, but it not some "standard".

bunch of people on psn and steam use mics.
I wont speak for everyone, but when i use mics i get distracted from game, i use it for casual games with friends, thats it.

It doesnt matter anymore is it 60 or 40 bux, i refuse to pay for p2p and things i dont use.

At this point psn, steam>>>> live, i received about 500 + euros worth of content with ps+ which was 45 euros. Many games i wouldnt have tried.
And steam is also different world dor live. PERIOD

tee_bag2422141d ago

@ NeverEnding - "Multiplayer gamers dont have a choice" Heard of Steam or PS3?

If your happy paying for online play...thats fine, maybe I should make some extra money off you too and buy some MS shares.
Try and respect and educate yourself to the fact people have been gaming online for free, years before the xbox existed.

Riderz13372141d ago

Lol the reason why I don't even bother with Multiplayer games is because of the mic. Just a bunch of pre puberty kids screaming every time they die or yelling "I'm the best" when they get a kill. I just use Skype if I wanna communicate with friends online. It's free too.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 2141d ago
Alderney2141d ago

I'm assuming he's referring to cross game invites and the amount of time it takes to bring up the XMB while in game.

I agree tho. PSN+ is awesome, but my primary method of online gaming is going to continue to be Xbox live because of the features you listed.

Max-Zorin2141d ago

This gen isn't the gold standard.
1. Gamers showing nothing but hatred toward each other. No unity whatsoever.
2. Companies purposely locking away game content and calling it DLC claiming technical difficulties.
3. Flame bait articles left and right.

BanBrother2141d ago

The funny thing about your comment is that, I bet half of the people who 'agreed' with you fit right into your first point, but are in denial.

I also agree with you, but this will never change. This gen we saw a massive influx of this generations teens (the bratty, over-spoiled douche-bags) and so it is more apparent.

mochachino2141d ago

You realize that you just demonstrated that you too are in denial by showing your hatred making your comment not only hypocritical but an indictment of yourself as well.

AD7052141d ago

Toooooooooooooooooooooooooooo true sir

high five!

wumster2141d ago

I stopped paying this past November. It was hard to give up 7 years, but I have to agree that I don't think it is worth the price anymore. In the beginning, I was amazed that the online experience was so cohesive with the OS. Now, we have Steam, SEN and even Miiverse and they are free.

I know people are going to say it is not 60 dollars and you are right, you can find it for cheaper. However, when there are free services that offer the same thing and in some cases more, I had to eliminate my LiVE account.

Godmars2902141d ago

Have to say as someone with a PS3 who never used XBL, the only people who seemed to think it was only had a 360. Worked for pro-360 sites.

taylork372141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

I have both and can tell you that PSN is where it is today because of XBL. I actually prefer my PS3 over my 360 for multiplats, but besides the fee (which is still not a big deal), XBL was the model that Sony followed to better PSN. Its really as simple as that.

PSN would look very different if XBL did not come first and I really don't think anyone can argue.

With that said, XBL never stopped being the "gold standard." XBL doesn't stop being the gold standard because a bunch of people who don't like anything about the 360 or MS don't like the fact that it isn't free and other people don't mind paying the insignificant fee.

You can pretend to downplay the popularity and success of XBL but that doesn't make it disappear.
Nest gen, when PSN is still free and has some of the obvious features that it lacked this gen then XBL will no longer be the gold standard. It will happen, it just hasn't happened yet.

AD7052141d ago

I'm not a fan of xbl but I agree with your comment. PSN did pretty much follow XBL when it came to online. I remember when I first got my ps3 and how I refused to play on PSN in it's current state due to how terrible it was. But as it start to take after XBL it got better.

P_Bomb2141d ago (Edited 2141d ago )

Absolute credit to XBL for forcing Sony to improve their service to the point that MS now has reason to do the same.

The 10 million hardware lead is gone, so it's time for the pay model to reflect that and evolve. Apps like Youtube, IE, Netflix, Twitter and even the discontinued Facebook shoulda been open to Silver users. Period. Competition is great though cuz it forces these guys to look at what they offer, bang for buck. Remember no in-game messaging on PSN, no in-game XMB, the awful Konami log-ins for MGO, no scrolling game tickers on friend profiles, no premium avatars, no trophies, no blocking, no custom soundtracks period, no Plus, no Home? I do.

We've come a long way. From the "haz no gaemz" memes to this. Both systems became better because they had to and subsequently leapfrogged eachother at different points, while the Wii just kinda went on in its own lil' SD bubble.