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 Microsoft raising Xbox Live membership prices

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PhAnToM_PhRaG
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PostSubject: Microsoft raising Xbox Live membership prices   September 2nd 2010, 9:01 pm

Love playing your Xbox 360 games online? Join the crew...and please have your credit card handy, because Microsoft would like to have a word with it.

Specifically, the word "more."


On Monday, the company announced plans to raise the price of the Xbox Live Gold membership, making it the online network's first fee hike in its eight-year history. Beginning November 1, gamers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K. will have to fork over at least $10 extra per year to enjoy the premium service, which is required for playing games with (or against) pals online.

In the U.S., the annual subscription plan -- once $49.99, soon to be $59.99 -- will remain far and way the most economical. The monthly plan will see a $2 bump ($9.99/month, or $120/year), while the three-month plan will jump $5 ($24.99/month, or $100/year).

Why the sudden hike? To Xbox Live spokesman Major Nelson, someone has to pay for all the stuff they keep adding to the network, right?

"Since launching Xbox LIVE in 2002 we have continually added more content and entertainment experiences for our members, while keeping the price the same," he said. "We’re confident that when the new pricing takes effect, an Xbox LIVE Gold membership will continue to offer the best value in the industry."

Well, that's one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that Microsoft remains the only one of the big three console makers to charge a fee for online play. While Sony's recently-released "Playstation Plus" upgrade gives gamers access to premium content, playing games online is still entirely free for all users. And though the Wii has lagged behind in the online gaming field, the relatively few games that support online play don't cost players extra.

But with blockbuster multiplayer games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 selling like hotcakes on the 360, Microsoft hasn't had a hard time convincing users to pay up. According to Bloomberg, a good 25 million Xbox 360 owners went Gold in the last fiscal year, netting the company about $600 million in fees alone and accounting for roughly half of Microsoft's estimated $1.2 billion in revenue via the online service. With the Xbox 360 topping charts in July and surefire seller Halo: Reach arriving September 14th, the company might need to buy a bigger wallet.

It's not all doom and gloom for 360 gamers, however. In a half-hearted attempt to make amends for the rate increase, Microsoft is letting current U.S. Xbox Live Gold members lock in one more year of membership for $39.99, a $20 premium over the coming price. Not bad, but an even thriftier move is to snap up a few discounted pre-paid cards at online retailers like Amazon. Redeem one now, then save one for next year to renew at the discounted price again. Sneaky...and sure to vanish quickly, so hop to it.

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PostSubject: Re: Microsoft raising Xbox Live membership prices   September 2nd 2010, 10:09 pm

Wow I might not know what im talking about, but microsoft sounds pretty greedy. Thats really gay
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