Should Xbox Live Be Free?

Over at the 1UP studios they discuss the latest pricing bundles and SKU's offered by Microsoft and Sony as we head into the holiday period of 2007. The predominant discussion point, however, was the pricing of Xbox Live; does is it harm the 360's value?

Talking point starts at 2hours and 1min into the podcast.

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Chabbs04015d ago

probably, but if millions of people are willing to pay for it then theyve made the right decision, and a whole load of money!

highps34015d ago

360 is basically the next Windows. Offers huge dreams and promises but at the end of the day it becomes a complete mess.

Microsoft will NEVER drop that fee, because it makes you get emotionally attached to your account. What guy/girl is going to just cancel there 50,000+ gamerscore account?

On the flip side, how easy is it to cancel your PSN account? Dont know why you would but if you had to you wouldnt feel bad, have doubts etc.

The fee is what keeps you on the 360. Come time for next consoles are people just going to close there LIVE accounts? Or will they feel swayed more towards M$ just because of there achievements?

Silver3604015d ago

The MS board of directors won't allow investment in something that is given away for free. MS currently invests 220 million a year in improving xboxlive. The reason IE sucks is because it is a free application and MS directors won't invest in it unless they have to and then only so much. So as long as Live brings in money it will continue to improve. So free live = no improvements.

ReBurn4015d ago

@1.1 - Cancel a 50,000+ gamerscore account? Gamerscore doesn't have anything to do with whether you pay for Xbox Live or not. Apparently you don't know much about how Xbox Live works.

The only thing the fee goes toward from a single consumer standpoint is online play. The benefit for everyone is that the platform and infrastructure remain solid. I have a 360 and a PS3 and Xbox Live is the better platform to me.

Lyberator4015d ago

I agree with Sliver. I have no problem paying as long as they continue to do the two annual updates every year to add more features and improve it.

I would like dedicated servers for the money I pay though. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't psn have dedicated servers? Kudos to sony for making them free.

xplosneer4015d ago

I'll give you that, personally I like PSN better over my friends Xbox Live account, I just don't get the organization scheme, but alright, I respect your opinion. And yes people you don't need Xbox Gold for gamerscore, Silver supports it was well.

NewZealander4015d ago

i think its fully worth it, just look at the ammount of content xbox live offers! and the effort of all those who put their hours in maintaining XBL and the updates shouldnt go un-notice

being a MS service ive got to say its scarey how well it works, and it just keeps getting better, i always like to check in and see whats new before booting up halo 3 and kicking @ss online

if you are too cheep to pay for the service then dont get it, i pay for what i want and for the price of a game i dont mind paying for a year sub to XBL

ry-guy4014d ago (Edited 4014d ago )

Gamescore is not dependent on if you have Live or not. You automatically get gamescore points regardless. The only way you can share and make public your score is with a Live membership.


So sorry but Xbox Live was a last generation development. Home hasn't even delivered yet. How is there any relation between the two?

MADGameR4014d ago

X Box fanatics better thank SONY! Its the only way X Box Live can counter Home for PS3.

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Meus Renaissance4015d ago (Edited 4015d ago )

I agree with Shane's point. As PlayStation 3 becomes more of a better value, Microsoft will have a hard time justifying the additional $50 price tag for Xbox Live especially as they need to be competitive from a pricing point of view aswell as a gaming point of view. The $50 fee for Live is derogative and should be scrapped. They market Halo 3 and Gears of War; but imagine what they could achieve by saying "play against millions worldwide on these games for FREE".

Instead, charge for the WiFi adapter for $50.

Crazy Larry4015d ago

if a gamer can't afford 14 cents a day for a GREAT online service, then they have much bigger issues to worry about. I mean, how many of us spend $50 in a WEEK just to out to eat?? Sure, free is always a good thing, but why gripe about such a little fee??

CrazzyMan4014d ago

i think you can, but should you PAY for oxygen, if it means to be free?

Snukadaman4014d ago

Let me ask you..if psn starts charging will you pay?...there are 2 things that will eventually happen...1..psn gets better and eventually they start charging for the infrastructure...or live becomes free. sony looks at xbox live and you bet they see potential too charge....It is only a matter of time and how much better can sony make their psn experience. If you notice all the best games on psn have dedicated servers. While that may be the best alternative they will shut them down is not economically sound too have them running forever. While I dislike paying for xbox live , I see no other alternative with playing with others besides system link. I have relatives on xbox live i play with alot. I just think its naive that people think psn will be free forever. As soon as they get their online in order it will be a matter of time.

green_ghost54014d ago

That was a retarded comparison. How in the hell could you charge a person for oxygen? what are they gonna do build a huge dome to cover the world, and then make their money back by charging you 20 cents per day? Ridiculous. I have to agree with crazy larry, I mean c'mon it's 50 dollars a year, if your going to complain about it, then don't go out and spend 60 dollars on a game........or 400 dollars for a console.

ry-guy4014d ago

Bubble for you for pointing out a faulty analogy.

Xbox Live is a service that is high in quality and high in demand. I agree with the above that PSN will eventually be charged. There is no way to maintain those servers over a prolonged period of time off of software sales. Eventually you run dry on funds. I'm sure PSN will begin charging for their service but they will no do so until they have something people can look at and agree is a sound investment.

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reaperxciv4015d ago (Edited 4015d ago )

it is already free, but you have an option to pay for it

Meus Renaissance4015d ago (Edited 4015d ago )

Hence, it is not free.

Panthers4015d ago (Edited 4015d ago )

i feel it should be the other way around with the silver and gold. Silver should be able to play, but none of the features. Gold should get all of the features.

Gold is paying for a feature that is free on PS3. It should be that you pay for the features that are not free. And since Xbox is P2P or whatever (no dedicated servers) then playing online should definently be free.

felman874015d ago (Edited 4015d ago )

Looks like someone needs to look up the definition of free online multiplayer. I've been playing for free on my PC and now MS wants me to pay for it?

skagrerrrr4014d ago

if you know how to work it, you can get it Free for as long as you want.

Rasulis4014d ago (Edited 4014d ago )

Felman you may be playing for free but someone is eating the cost and it's the server administrator. I know this because I drop 30 bucks a month for a server. The only difference is I don't lock down my server then charge people a buck a month to play on it, but don't fool yourself when you think online play on the PC is free. It's only free because their are people who love online games enough to eat the cost at the satisfaction of knowing they don't have to deal with griefers and cheaters in their own server.

Servers and people to run the servers cost money. Sony fans are fooling themselves if they believe Sony will keep throwing money into the incinerator known as PSN. The only way this will happen is if they can run it solely off online purchases, but first they need a very large consumer base to do so.

The only way live will ever be free is if they run it completely off of micro transactions, but I don't know if they could make enough money off of that to maintain it at the quality they do now. I think Sony will start charging before Microsoft stops.

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Hagaf224015d ago

50 dollars a year makes it a constant payment on a system ive already bought but if its free, then it just got alot cheaper...

QuackPot4015d ago (Edited 4015d ago )

Just bought my xbox 360 yesterday and xbox live wasn't a consideration for me - just the games(so far Halo 3 is a little disappointing).

And damn, it's one noisey sonofab1tch.

I'm mainly a SP gamer and I don't fancy net playing with a lot of NA racists; yes, sweeping generalization but but you must admit, there are alot of them on XBL.

Anyhows, the fact that Microsoft is charging - a mediocre amount at that - while Sony doesn't just shows how Microsoft will squeeze every nickel and dime outta ya.

I'll stick to PSN if I need any free online MP.

mesh14015d ago

quack pot u dotn have a 360 stop lieing bu ti aggree with u their are to many racist ON THE INTERNET AND ON XBOX LIVE THEIR FAMLIYS SHUD BE WIPED OUT

QuackPot4015d ago (Edited 4015d ago )

Was always going to buy an xbox 360 for the great games on it.

I was planning to wait til the quality improved and the price dropped significantly.

But I just got sick of waiting because I wanted to play the great game exclusives. Have Bioshock all ready to go but have to finish Halo 3 first - my favourite shooter - but that may change if things don't pick up soon.

But fret not, I will always favour Sony as they delivered with the Ps1, Ps2 & Ps3.

And c'mon, guys. Admit it. The 360's noisey as hell and it's damn annoying.

Seraphim4015d ago

I have to agree. And as a Single Player gamer who only jumps online maybe a few times a year I just can't justify or see the reason in paying to play online [XBL]. Then again, I don't see the reason behind charging for icons either. Those should be available to all 360 owners for FREE. Especially if you're paying $50 a year for an "Online Service" and Online Gaming. Seems to me that XBL is hardly even a service and nothing more than a cash cow in place to line MS's pockets. While it's a good strategy from a business standpoint it's short changing the consumers; ripping them off if you will. Rambles on... I think XBL Gold should be free to all 360 Owners. We already pay an ISP alot of money monthly for internet access. And if online gaming is the future, or an aspect of gaming then it should be included in the price of the console and games, not an additional fee to play the games we buy on the consoles we buy [online]... Aside from the software on PS this is one point I've always found beneficial in owning a PS as my primary console. If by chance there was a game I wanted to play online I could play it anytime for any amount of time for FREE. And because I do rarely get online this is very convenient for me...

And Halo 3, yeah, disappointing. Just another "Good" title in the series imho. While it's certainly a good game it pails in comparison to Bioshock.

ThaGeNeCySt4015d ago

If you only play online a few times a year, then there's no reason for you to be an xbox live gold member... join with silver, have all the perks of gold except playing online with other people and problem solved.. no fee.

Shankle4015d ago

But then he never gets to play online at all, which is the best and most important part of online gaming.

Seraphim4015d ago (Edited 4015d ago )

I do have a Silver Account... And I've been tempted to pay the $50 for XBL Gold lately just to have it... But the fact of the matter is I don't game online often, if ever in any given year. The only exception to this was the 2 years I played FFXI like a crack addict at times only sleeping for 6 hours in 6 days... But the point is, having it there, and free is GREAT because on the rare occasion there is something I want to play online for a couple days, a week, or a couple weeks I can. There's a lot of gamers out there who, like me, would take some of these games online [even if it is only for a couple days] but don't because the fee just isn't worth it. Also, Gold Members do get other perks on occasion that Silver members don't. Case in point the recently released Halo 3 exclusives for Gold members. Also it's kinda unfair to include online achievements in games if you're going to charge $50 a year to play that game online. I only got like half the Halo 3 achievements because the other half are acquired via online play only... Not very cOOl at all...

QuackPot: OO Bubbles!? Yah!! ty

Dareaver14014d ago

you can pay for live on a monthly basis. I think it is $8 dollars a month. So those few times you do want to play online. There you go, an easy and affordable alternative. Though i still don't understand, why paying $50 a year is such a need for complaint. That's a steal to me. That money goes into making live better. And there has to be a profit, but that's reality. Everyone is out to make a profit.

What do you think is going to happen to PSN Home. It's either going to be riddled with Ads, or they might have to start charging. Nothing in this world is free. Plus, it's just $50 dollars for a year, if you are an online gamer, if not just do the monthly thing and go back to silver when you get your fill if Online gaming isn't really your thing. They always give you a month free to test it out. I don't really get it. Look at World of Warcraft, there are fees, and look how successful it is. Maybe the money is going into production and other costs that help the developers continue to make a great product.

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SoulBrotha32924015d ago

i would love that but it is already free cuz siver edition if u want 2 do more things u go 4 gold