Microsoft justifies Xbox Live costs

The majority of next-gen gamers already know that Microsoft and Sony both offer some form of online multiplayer service in their respective machines, but one of the most contentious points in the "which console is better" debate is the fact that the PlayStation Network remains a free service while Microsoft charges $50 a year for either Xbox Live or the Windows equivalent, Games for Windows -- Live.

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SmokeyMcBear4222d ago

actually if I recall correctly, in GTA San Andreas, it portrays a very negative light on all of those that do drugs. Shoot, you are even encouraged to clean up the neighborhood and kill the dope dealers, always good for some quick cash. It showed the effects of drugs, the house of ballers that has all these guy high on drugs just lying around, the friend that was turned into a skinny shell of his former self.

Mk Red4222d ago

It's all about having a unified interface.
PSN doesn't have it.

XboxLive has a unified friends list, a common platform for achievements, and a central navigation menu that provides access to friends, scores, music, games, movies, and console settings. All of this can be accessed and managed on-the-fly while playing any game, in any mode, online or off.

XboxLive provides users with a single online identity, with stat tracking and leaderboards that can be seen by all XBOXlive members. Ther is no fragmented system like PSN, with different user names for different games.

XboxLive provides cross-game chat across your friends list, and the ability to invite a friend to a game, regardless of what they are doing (watching a movie, playing an XBLA title, playing another game).

All of this is offered in the sidebar menu that can be accessed at any time.

It's a matter of convenience, and uniform interface.

Microsoft has eliminated the division caused when you leave the online connection to the discretion of each game developer.

It helps ensure that all games have an online component.

Sure would be nice to play a great game like Motorstorm online wouldn't it?
Well, because SONY does not require any kind of online capability for its titles, Motorstorm is leaft DOA with no online play.

kewlkat0074222d ago (Edited 4222d ago )

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"There are bandwidth costs, there are things that go above and beyond", said Chris Paladino of the Xbox Community Team. "I think it goes back to this unified system. We have to have voice communication, text communication, now we're doing cross-platform. There's Marketplace, there are demos, and all these things don't just mystically hover around that you can pull them out of the ether."
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Well I don't think he is lieing when he states these. To me, XBL is just another service, that continues to evlove. Just like cable(you get what you pay for) Vs "Free" over-the air television.

1. People have got to understand, there is a lot of OVERHEAD involve with NETWORKS, and people have got to be paid some how. I know some cannot comprehend the Cost involved with "Network Resources" but it is not cheap. On another note, as more people subscibe and the Network gets much larger, we only hope XBL continues to evolve, and stay at this price.

-Now were having cross-platform play, I mean who would of thought this like 6 years ago, and all because of XBL and that ginea Pig of a game Shadowrun(which brings some other elements into play, that provides an OK experience but nothing great). Can't wait, and I know it is coming a "The World's first cross-platform Massively Multiplayer Online Game". I think this will be big , if they can make it work.

2. The Unified Network Model works great. I know some gamers will comepare to the PSN Network Model, but you have to remember EVERY DEVELOPER that chooses to make their game online, will have MS's FULL backing and SUPPORT. No thrid-party charging for sh!t, which first-parties reaping the "homefield backing" of full support for thier online games.

-. This is all coming out of MS pockets, and $50 for a the service is not too shabby. As long as they continue to listen to User feedbacks as to how the network can improve, I'll continue to subscribe(unlike other pay for services, where they don't give a sh!t). I rather pay knowing, every game that is made to be online first, second or third party, will be. Third-Party developers probably love the Idea, that they do not have to fork up CASH or maintain their own network infrastructure, cause if and when they do, users are going to pay for it somehow. Same as the PC Model, in some ways.

Ms did not become the MS, we know today, by offering a "free Windows Software", and making money of downloads/ads withing it's OS. Nothing is "free" forever. Sorry but Business is Business and eventually it will be about Business.

M1am1U4222d ago

I agree 100%. Building a network infrastructure like Xbox Live is a huge undertaking. People have to keep in mind that this network and its administration/management is terribly expensive. $50 a year for that quality of network is not that much when all is said and done.

Firewire4222d ago (Edited 4222d ago )

More MS bullcrap, and the xbots eat it up.
More bandwith, yeah right! No Dedicated servers is more like it.
Lame little xbots. So lets see voice & video chats are the only things,
well you can get both free over the internet, so whats the story?
Oh, now its cross platform play, well thats new, but PC gamers don't want anything to do with xbots or MS. Unified system? how much & how long do you have to pay for that bullcrap? Its basically a badly designed web page! With advertising no less!
Have fun being raped little xbots!

for shame MS, for shame!

toughNAME4222d ago

when compared to the other lackluster online console services

i would be happy to pay $100 a year

(a different friends list for every game??? WTF?)

warfed4222d ago

shows how much you know about psn....

funkysolo4222d ago

Gears of War online vs Resistance online agreed, since these 2 titles are the most popular online games.

Gears of War:
host shot gun
no clan support
4 vs 4 only
p2p connection inferior to dedicated servers
invite to a hosted game

20 vs 20
dedicated servers no lag
clan support
play rank matches with friends
join server created matches, join hosted or host a match
invite to a hosted or rank game

so it seems we are paying $50 a year to be able to chat with someone on a different game and except the inferior connection. Everything on xbox live costs points so lets compare the features that come with the $50. Text, chat and P2P connection vs text, chat, dedicated servers for free and PSN cash for downloads, Xbox live you have to buy points which is a scam, buy a game for 400 points but you have to buy 1200 points because M$ doesn't sell 400 points. I wonder how sony can put 40 player online lag free but Ms can't make 8 player game lag free. I guess you get what you paid for.

BIadestarX4222d ago (Edited 4222d ago )

@funkysolo, the simple fact that you are using 2 games to compare the services proves that you have no Idea what you are talking about.
Gears does not equal xbox live. XBox live goes beyong a single game... I can even invite you to a game am playing even if you are not even playing that game... retail games have the same online cabilities than xbox live arcade games.... XBox live is cross-game and cross-patform(PC). I can even see what some of my friend on MSN are playing and I can send them mesages and receive them... even if they don't have an xbox 360.

Here... I will use the example you gave:
let me ask you something about these features...

20 vs 20 - Does every game allow 20 vs 20 multiplayer?
clan support - Does every game support clan support ?
play rank matches with friends - Does every game allow play rank matches with friends ?
join server created matches, join hosted or host a match - every PS3 game?
invite to a hosted or rank game - Every PS3 game?

Yes.. thats right... Resistance does not represent PSN... these are in game features... and must be implemented by each game.

XBOx live.. features are supported by all games... if a game has multiplayer... it will have game invites, leaderboard, voice chat, etc.

PSN may be = Resistance.. but XBox live is not Gears... Soon.. when Clan support is added to xbox live.. all games will have it and will be cross games and even platform... even for those games that are already released... The same way... one can use the MSN messenger... when playing games that were released prior to that update... can you say the same about PSN?

And we are not even talking about the marketplace... How come PS3 users don't get as many demos as we get? Sometimes for games that will be released on both platform.. the 360 gets it and PS3 does not... why?
how about the movies? and music? and videos? how come the PSN is nothing to compare to those?

Because is free.. and Sony can't simply spend all that money on servers and personel to support it.

that's why Sony Exec Says 'PSN May Not Always Be Free'.

frostbite064222d ago (Edited 4222d ago )

I agree, i think Resistance does beat Gears but i still believe Halo 2 ( a 2 1/2 year old game) represents the pinacle of online console gaming

Fisher3394222d ago

Sony has to pay for bandwidth useage, too. Yet its still free....

Honestly, this article didn't justify, it just told why they are charging...

and no justifying and tell why, aren't the same thing.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 4222d ago

I agree. Things cost money. The only thing about Microsoft I dislike is their business structure. I like to know up front what I have to pay for. I don't like the idea of getting a game 80% complete and paying the rest in microtransactions. Look at The Godfather for PS3 and 360. The Godfather is 100% complete on the PS3. The 360 version stripped 20% out and sells it online. If the 360 version was cheaper to start, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it.

kewlkat0074222d ago (Edited 4222d ago )

Well the thing is, I wonder if it is the developers taking advantage of this Microtransaction option to make more money, or is it MS telling the developers to screw the gamers?

I don't know how the internals of these deals work, as far as downloading new Content.

I rather have a finished game as opposed an 80% one, for which I have to buy extra sh!t to complete the game. That's just some funkd up sh!t.

jmoneezie4222d ago

ACEMANWISE - good point, I never really looked at it that way, can I have a couple more examples of this practice. Is there any more games that you can name for me so I can compare.



To answer your question about developers causing these fragmented games: Why 360 and not PS3? Think about it for a moment. Why would EA release the same game differently for each console? The answer is simple. We are both different consumer groups. It is Microsoft that designed the 360 setup. Remember the PC? And Windows? That is why the 360 is a fragmented console. It gives the consumer the "Illusion" of choice. The pieces you do buy, however, cost more. The 360 consumer wants to save money NOW, then pay hidden costs later. The PS3 consumer pays up front and is not into paying monthly fees. This gives the "Illusion" of having more bang-for-your-buck. The PS3 consumer has to risk buying a package that includes things he/she doesn't want. Thus the choice has been taken away.


jmoneezie...How can anyone tell that 20% of a game is stripped? No one can. That is why it is done. To sap more money out of the consumer by making them believe the 20% online is "Extra" content. We call this abusive microtransactions. It is not right. Gaming is getting stripped down like this. Episodic gaming will kill sequels. There will be no part 2,3,or 4. Just continuous releases until people tire of it. Another example is "download-only" games. There is no hard copy or disk. Easier to control that way. They may control the game by locking it out if you don't pay your subscription fee. By doing that, online service will become a necessity to play games. That is called software control. Research how PC business works. Most of your answers will point to Microsoft.

Why o why4222d ago

where do you get some of this info. microtransations can be both positive and negative it seems. Can you see this happening for many games within the year. Will this be the new trend

Bill Gates4222d ago

Bro this is what some of these hardcore M$ lovers don't want to believe no matter how you tell it to them. M$ stuck with DVD9 for a reason, and that reason was to nickel & dime the consumer. They've created an illusion of choice, and their followers fell for it.


I have been playing video games since the Atari 2600. I have extensive research knowledge of where the gaming industry is headed. Here is a quick breakdown of the future. Game consoles will be a PC/console hybrid. It will be an all-in-one entertainment center in your living room. It will play movies, music, games, and have PC and telephone functions. All movies, music, and games will be downloaded to your harddrive. Disks will be eventually be phased out. Here's the kicker: In order to play, you have to pay. Online services will be required. This is a good way to get everyone to pay for it. Software control my friend. If you check the PS3 files information, you will see an expiration date section. There is nothing worse than agreeing to the "TERMS AND CONDITIONS" of a service. I just hope that our game collections last longer than 1 year.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 4221d ago
DJ4222d ago

Downloadable content and advertising. They offer the same services as Playstation Network, but I'm sure that the money is going to good use.

RedSeven4222d ago

I agree it might be going to good use, but honestly, I wish they used some of that income to address hardware issues.