Analysis: Why I'm Not Renewing My XBox Live Subscription

A writer on gives his reasons for not wanting to renew his Xbox Live, which includes Netflix requiring Xbox Live Gold membership, while Wii and PS3 do not. Also, he questions why gamers can play online for free on Wii, PC, and PS3, but not on Xbox 360. Valve's Portal 2 and its free updates on PS3, and Team Fortress 2 and its lack of updates on Xbox 360 are also discussed.

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Mustang300C20123420d ago

And you won't be missed. Gabe can't make up his mind and all it comes down to is promoting steamworks. He flipped the coin when his plan works with Sony even though for years he bitched about it.

Cevapi883420d ago

why so serious?? lets put a smile on that face :) it with me

plus the author brings up good points...the reason MS wouldnt allow free content for a game like TF2 is because MS wouldnt be getting a share of the profits if valve actually ended up charging for the content in the end

- Ghost of Sparta -3420d ago

Agree with the article. Xbox Live is a waste of money and now they're increasing the price, making it even more laughable. Gabe saw the light and for that he'll be remembered as a badass.

bobcostus3420d ago

What a surprise that someone named "Ghost of Sparta" would agree that a Microsoft product isn't worth it... get real.

-Alpha3420d ago (Edited 3420d ago )


Regardless of his name, did he say something wrong?

MS has always charged for LIVE, yes. I think the product was great at the beginning-- understandably, they charged money for a pretty solid service on the original Xbox and they needed funds to do that. I get that. And I get that Sony couldn't compete with that (PS2 online was a complicated service to my knowledge and MS simply was the company that had the expertise in this category).

With the 360, they continued to offer great features. XBL was so much superior to PSN at launch-- hell the PSN couldn't even let you read messages in game at one point. I could understand that, while PSN was free, XBL simply was worth paying for at that time. Universal music, achievements, message system, cross chat, etc. were worth paying for when the competition didn't have it or did it poorly.

But I think MS has stopped pushing XBL, and the service is in dire need of updates. MS has profited a lot off of LIVE. I'd think they'd offer users some more incentive or show some appreciation. Perhaps a free game here and there, or maybe even a price drop. Instead they raise the price.

And I know there are new features coming to XBL but I feel none of them are particularly important to the gamer. Cross chat was a great in-game feature. Achievements were a great addition to extend games and offer players a dimension of being a gamer online. Universal music made playing multiplayer sessions more enjoyable. Yet now we have stuff like Twitter integration that doesn't do so much for the way we play. That's my personal problem. It's bloody evident that such features are aimed at the would-be Kinect adopters and I fear MS will continue to shaft the gamers. In the beginning the Xbox 360 and LIVE was all about gamers and now I don't feel that way.

I don't understand what exactly it is people are paying an extra $10 for. I do hope MS has surprises for XBL down the line, something like Youtube integration, recording gameplay/uploading to Youtube, etc. But they are taking that extra $10 and I sure as hell hope it's going towards something that I can benefit off of.

FarEastOrient3420d ago

Why not drink the Kool-aid with and put in another year, but than again I write it off as a business expense just like the Wall Street Journal online fees.

frostbite063420d ago

Yeah dude, business expense is the way to go. But seriously, can I write off Kool-aid?

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3420d ago
Strikepackage Bravo3420d ago (Edited 3420d ago )

I agree with some of what you said, in fact I decided I am not ever paying full price for live again. If I cant get it at some kind of discount, I wont renew.

But after my anger with MS subsided a bit I looked at it from another angle as well. Put yourself in M$'s shoes. From day one not just PS3 fanboys, but the gaming media as well as many of their own fans, have done nothing but complain about XBL. No one ever fully and officially acknowledged XBL was superior to PSN. From day one all the media and most gamers have done is complain, and ask why do we pay for XBL if PSN is free. Sure XBL had a ton of refinements and features that made it more user friendly and useful; but that was all largely ignored.

Fast forward to now and PSN has improved, still not equal to XBL but closer, and the drumbeat from the public is still the same, "why do we have to pay for XBL, PSN is just as good, Microsoft sucks and is evil, they have no right to charge us for their product, they should do it for free no matter how much it costs them."

So now that MS is saying screw everyone and jacking up the price, we have no way of communicating to them that we really do not like this move, all we have ever done is bitched from day one, so why would or should they listen to us.

When it comes to doing right by the customer, MS can never win, no matter what they do they are ripped relentlessly from all sides. They buy PS3 exclusives and bring them to their customers and make it more fun and better to be 360 owner, and the entire world comes out against them and calls them evil, and bad for gaming. And for what, making it possible for me a 360 owner, to play games that I would have had to spend 4 to 600 dollars more for a PS3 to play, they are evil for that? No other company is held to such a standard.

I guess my point is its hard to feel sorry for "gamers" on this one since no matter what MS does gamers are never happy, so why shouldn't MS raise the price, Im sure they can find something to do with the revenue. And their customers are NEVER happy anyway, so why try to avoid making them unhappy?

If we are going to bitch and moan about the bad, we have to start giving credit for the good, otherwise these companies dont know right from wrong.
At that point they will just default to what is best for their shareholders. Lets be real here, 360 at launch, excluding RROD was miles ahead and superior to PS3 in almost everyway. PS3 was a mess, difficult to set up use and once you did you had no reason to ever turn it on.

Microsoft did an excellent job on 360, it was refined easy to use and it had GAMERS in mind on every level. NO ONE ever let MS know that they did the right thing by doing little things like including HD cables with an HD console, nor had anyone ever given Sony crap for not including them, so what did MS later do, they took them out. That is just one example, but it just goes to show how this stuff works.

Pumbli3420d ago (Edited 3420d ago )

"No one ever fully and officially acknowledged XBL was superior to PSN."

Wait, where were you in 2007? Or 2008? PS3 was getting slammed hardcore and the getting 360 praised like there was no tomorrow.

People don't need to send MS an email saying "Omgs I luv my 360 so much and XBL too ^^" gamers show their appreciation with their wallet.

MS is greedy, no matter how you twist and turn it, not because the media didn't give them enough attention and now they're just "f#ck it", it's because they're a company. Companies like money, Sony likes money, Nintendo likes money and they would all do stuff to make more money.

MS know that their 360 is awesome in many ways and they've been told that a thousand times. Both by the media and by gamers.

ozps33420d ago

U say xbl is superior to psn. Can xbl do 256 players online. With no lag, or even 60 players online ?

Kichiguy3420d ago

You read my article that quickly? Gee your fast! The article is more than just about Portal 2. Microsoft won't allow updates unless they're to fix a game (aka patches), but Sony will. Try reading and giving the story a chance, as right now you sound like a fanboy with a knee-jerk reaction.

Sometimes companies make you pay for things just because they think they can get away with doing so.

FantasyStar3420d ago

Should added how corrupt the MS-Points system is. UGH.

pippoppow3420d ago

MS has really pulled a fast one this gen with the help of their media affiliates. It really is a shame the things they have gottern away with this gen. As a long time gamer I've never seen a console manufacturer be so deceitful and disrespectful to a community so willing to support them.

Regardless of how well MS does in the console market it has created a division like never before. It isn't just some brand allegiance keeping gamers away from MS' consoles but their business ethics and practices.

I gave Ms a chance last gen but will never give them another chance and I'm sure many feel the same way for various legit reasons.

-Online play should be free. Ms has done a good job brainwashing gamers into thinking paying to pay is normal and just. It is not. If any platform should charge it would be the PC but that and other very viable platforms remain free.

-360s should be cheaper and better made. Scratches disc too easy and the price should be $200. It is going into it's 6th year.

-Lack of high quality exclusives considering how much money MS has generated from XBL alone. Still after all this time they have less 1st party studios, not more. This year they have a few exclusives with a usual Halo iteration. Next year it'll be Gears and maybe 1-2 other good exclusives. All that money is not going into producing games, let alone try and push gaming forward in any way.

MS is just taking advantage of a community who loves to game.

T9X693420d ago (Edited 3420d ago )

This guy writes like he doesn't even own an Xbox.

"Microsoft’s, so why can’t playing online be free?"

Since the day the Xbox brand was started its been a paid service, 7 years later and you're still questioning this? PS2 was free and the original Xbox wasn't, this isn't anything new, either pay for the service like other people have been for years, or don't pay anymore, its not that hard.

"Yes folks, Facebook, ESPN, Twitter,, and Video Kinect are coming to Live."

All those features are already on XBL besides Video Kinect and ESPN. Have you been living under a rock?

"Halo 3 being as popular as it is got people to want to play online despite there being a cost."

People play COD more than Halo. Halo is not the only reason people pay for XBL, some people don't even play Halo or COD to begin with.

"So, basically Microsoft had free reign on the multi-player section of gaming and took advantage of gamers."

How are they taking advantage of gamers when the original Xbox was pay to play as well? Again this was nothing new.

"but they need to make some changes, or they may find that their Xbox Live subscriber list is rapidly decreasing."

With Halo Reach, Fable 3, Gears 3, COD Black Ops, etc XBL subscribers are not going to "rapidly decrease". There might be a few that leave but nothing major, you would have to be an idiot to think otherwise.

"P.S. Your Xbox Live Gold account auto-renews itself."

*sigh* No it doesn't. If you buy XBL by the cards when your membership runs out, its done. If you select "Pay monthly", you will do exactly that, pay every month automatically. If you sign up for ANY service and choose pay monthly, what happens? OH that's right they take the money out of your account every month until you cancel it.

At least get the correct information if you want to rant.

@Cevapi88 - That's true people do know what they are buying when they get a 360, so if you know its a paid service to play online and has been since the day the brand started, wtf is the point of bitching about? I think its kinda tough to say its 50/50 because with any console not every single one sold=1 person, because ome could be upgrades, some could have broke, etc.

@Kichiguy - Yes Halo was the biggest thing on Xbox at one point, but when it first launched there was no Halo, people bought it because it was next-gen.

Online gaming was relatively new? PS2 had TONS of online games, I played SOCOM 1 & 2 up until the day I bought a 360. Granted there wasn't as many then is there are now, the Original Xbox was still pay to play while PS2 was free, it didn't stop people from paying. I could play online games on PS2, PC for free while XBL charged for it. Like I said if you would have brought this up 7 years ago it would be been a valid argument, but now its nothing new, so either pay for it, or don't. MS isn't forcing you to pay for their service. If you can play on those systems for free then go play and stop bitching about something you don't want anymore.

Cevapi883420d ago

i dont think its as bad as the OP makes it out to be....but consumers know what they are buying when they get a 360...last time i checked around 22 million 360 consoles were connected to its about 50/50 on who wants to pay for the service and those who just enjoy SP games

Kichiguy3420d ago

One of my theories in the article for Xbox Live beating out PSN is that PS3 came out at too high a price ($500-$600), so of course Xbox Live took off and PSN didn't. Xbox Live owners wanted to play online, and just accepted that it costs money. If PS3 and 360 came out at the same time and the same price, I don't think consumers would have been willing to pay for Xbox Live.

Cevapi883420d ago

yeah i know that...the machine was hyped to hell when it firat came out...and this was when MS actually had first party support for the had a diverse launch line up...a game for everyone, shooters, rpgs, action/adventure, racers and so on...another thing was that Live was being hyped as a next generation service and people ate it up...everybody was super excited for HD graphics along with a MP experience...if the PS3 had released earlier, i think it would have only hurt the console...not a lot of games would have been ready for the launch plus faulty hardware was another thing that must have been on their minds....MS overlooked that, began downplaying RROD saying it was a freak occurrence for specific 360's and then all hell broke loose, plus people buy the console that their friends own, at that time it was the 360...people enjoy playing games online with their personal friends, that was the big selling point behind the always hear people talking about which version of a game to get...and having friends own one console over the other is really trump card when it comes to buying a system or game

Kichiguy3420d ago

There was once a time when Halo was the big dog. Yes, CoD is bigger now.

Xbox Live came out with the original Xbox, yes, and at that time, online gaming was relatively new. Answer me this, why is it that you can play online games for free on Wii, PC, and PS3, but not on Xbox 360 at all?

As for mentioning the different services like ESPN etc. my point was that MS is adding services (that users like myself don't want), and upping the price on Live.

pippoppow3420d ago

Pay to play is the main lure. The 360 fanatics can harp on x-chat of other fluffy features and apps but the main lure is online gaming. Something MS denies you unless you pay.

What are you paying for? Apps and extra non gaming features. It isn't for games with dedicated servers allowing for big skirmishes with 64-256 players. It isn't for games like LBP that allow for mods and sharing. It also is a closed system that will not allow for Steamworks to be available.

I know 360 has fans that are fine with MS' tactics but they are making you look foolish.

Kichiguy3420d ago

Most of my information is correct. The only thing you found incorrect is that I included some slightly older Xbox Live services with new ones. I changed the wording of the sentence. You seem like you don't want free online gaming or your games to be updated. Do you accept whatever Microsoft tells you?

I own an Xbox 360. My gamertag is RabbitBBQ. I own the following 360 games:
Gears of War 2, Halo ODST (half price), Mass Effect 1 and 2, Fallout 3, Condemned 2, COD2, Orange Box, GTA IV, Lost Odyssey, Batman: AA, Bioshock, Devil May Cry 4, Dead Space, Resident Evil 5, G.R.I.D., Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, and BattleField: Bad Company 2.

Kichiguy3420d ago

Microsoft just upped the price of their service while PSN, Wii, and PC gaming remain free, so yes, it's a relevant article.

I would say that in the days of the original Xbox Halo was much more important to Xbox Live. Halo was the game people wanted to play online, and not Socom, so people were willing to pay up.

My argument is not solely focused on Xbox Live, but it is about companies doing things because they think they can. There have been a lot of gamers who question DLC, and what should cost something; Resident Evil 5's multi-player comes to mind. I am putting my opinion out there to convince people that Microsoft is cheating consumers, and perhaps either Microsoft, and/or the consumers will wise up.

DigitalRaptor3419d ago (Edited 3419d ago )

The very sad fact is that currently, the average Xbox 360 gamer doesn't care enough to make a change, and $60 is justified.

In my opinion it's their lack of self control and poor perspective on things that is causing this. People NEED to wise up to it. Microsoft has had control over these passionate gamers for too long, and now it is openly clear how strongly they are taking advantage.

Seriously, just say NO to Microsoft. It only has to start with one passionate individual. Otherwise Microsoft will have a clamp on your wallet for as long as you care enough about gaming.

AKA3420d ago

Or get a PS3 and play the games online for free with no need of paying a fee to play online.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3419d ago
scofios3420d ago (Edited 3420d ago )

I agree with you .
But the sad thing is they actually get away with it .
Xbl $$ , rrod , T9X69 , .... , are proof of that .

FantasyStar3420d ago

To be fair. Microsoft didn't get away with the RRoD. They paid for it and still continue to pay for it. Of course, they make it all up though in other devious ways.

GusBricker3420d ago

I remember when they told gamers not to turn on their PS3 for a couple days.

That's just ****ing brilliant.

IHateYouFanboys3420d ago

im sorry, so am i IMAGINING that there have been 6 FREE title updates to Gears of War 2 since it came out? each of those had pretty significant changes too.

updates do not have to be charged - but content is a different story. microsoft make a cut from everything sold on Live, so of course they want stuff to not be free. business 101 - if you want to make money, charge people for things!

also, there are 3 or 4 free Halo 3 map packs on Live, to go with free map packs and content from dozens of other games.

is Live tightly controlled? definitely. is that a bad thing? not necessarily.

i pay for Live and ill gladly keep paying. why? because if i dont, i cant play Gears of War, Halo Reach, Forza 3 etc online. a 12 month subscription is roughly 2 hours work.....i blow more on drinks when i go to a footy match! if you complain about how much Live costs, the cost of Live is the least of your worries.

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