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DAILY MANIFESTO

Xbox Live Gets A Price Increase This Fall

Posted on Monday, August 30 @ 16:28:43 Eastern by
...because the Gods know we want to pay more for things other platform holders do for free.

I have to say that I've found my use of Xbox Live a shaky affair from the outset. I never felt especially happy to pay for online gaming services, especially when the PC has enjoyed that feature for decades and never asked for a credit card. Nevertheless, I "jumped in", as did many of my friends. Of course, that means all of my friends are on Xbox Live, I've grown much more accustomed to the architecture in place on the 360, and I'm reluctant to have a console in my house that CAN'T play online.

Xbox Live Gold will be upping its fees from $50 to $60 a year, with smaller subscription increments seeing smaller increases. There's a lot of explanation provided about how Live cost the price of a game when it launched and it should cost the price of a game now, but when it comes down to it, wouldn't you rather buy a game than buy the "privilege" to play online?

What bothers me most, though, is the way the press release makes it sound as if subscribers are getting so much more Live for their dollar. This was in my e-mail today (and may be in yours right now):

Over the past seven years, Xbox LIVE has evolved from an online gaming platform to an all-in-one gaming and entertainment service. As an Xbox LIVE Gold member, you can not only play blockbuster games, such as Halo: Reach with your friends online, you can also stream movies from Netflix and music from Last.fm right to your TV. You can even connect with friends near and far on Facebook® and Twitter™. Plus, you also enjoy exclusive discounts and early access to game demos. And we aren't even close to being done.

This holiday, Xbox LIVE is adding new Gold features, including ESPN and Video Kinect, with Hulu Plus coming on Xbox LIVE in 2011. With ESPN on Xbox LIVE, you can stream and watch over 3,500 live and on-demand sporting events plus highlights. Video Kinect allows you to chat with family and friends on the big screen, right from the comfort of your living room—no headset or controller required. With Hulu Plus on Xbox LIVE you will be able to enjoy a customized Hulu Plus experience that will include Kinect navigation and Xbox LIVE Parties.


First, I don't use Facebook or Twitter. Secondly, if I did, I'd gladly have Microsoft remove them from my console so I wouldn't have to pay for those services. If I did have a Facebook or use Twitter, I'd simply use my iPhone, my computer, or any of the seemingly endless devices that offer that connectivity for free.

The same can be said for ESPN, Video Kinect, and Last.fm. I've used Last.fm, maybe twice. I'm not going to be getting a $150 Kinect. I'm not going to be watching ESPN on my Xbox. Finally...

HULU PLUS HAS ITS OWN SUBSCRIPTION FEE!

I will admit to copious amounts of Netflix consumption through my Xbox Live.

I feel cheated here. "Look at all this stuff you don't use! Pay us for it!" This is bullshit.
Tags:   Xbox 360, xbox, live
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