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Author Topic: How long can Microsoft keep charging for Xbox Live?  (Read 1403 times)
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corruptrelic
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« on: July 26, 2008, 05:44:57 PM »

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The news that Games for Windows Live - essentially a PC version of Xbox Live - will now be available for free makes it increasingly difficult for Microsoft to justify charging a subscription to Xbox Live.

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/games/archives/2008/07/23/how_long_can_microsoft_keep_charging_for_xbox_live.html

Just an opinion article, but it does bring up the question, with all the competition already having free online gaming and now PC Live going free (which it should have been anyway, IMO), how much longer until Xbox Live follows?
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jersoc
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2008, 07:05:52 PM »

you can't compare online services of a computer to that of a console. also XBL is cheap. The hassle of friend's codes on the wii makes me want to murder reggie more than the stupid chick at the press conference.
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Chaplin
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2008, 07:09:38 PM »

Unless something changes, for a very long time.

Consoles are a different world than PC.  A console audience is essentially held captive.  You can't get around Live by using Instant Messengers and Teamspeak on a console.  You use Live on the Xbox or you play offline, mute, and alone nearly 100% of the time.  On PC, the only potential selling point of Live was stat tracking and rank matches.  Which already makes the PC market groan about features that should be free since friend tracking and voice is already available and not needed in the game or through a game's online service.  You cant take all online play away as that would kill a title such as the early perception (not reality though) about Gears of War for PC.  So, PC based Live has nothing to offer other than a way to make sure a game wont thrive in the multiplayer (ie hurt sales).

Now in strictly console land, I have a PS3 so I am held captive and only have PSN.  I love me some warhawk and Battlefield: BC.  However, the voice support is somewhere between horrendous and false advertising.  I knew going in that PS3 would not be "as good online" but I thought that meant the friends tracking interface, stat tracking, achievements, or whatever.  I didn't care about that.  What I did not know was their VOIP for games is absolute JUNK!!!  And this is a very VERY big deal.  So big, that (even though I love my PS3, feel there are more games I care about on it, and loathe the failure rate of 360s) I am considering turning in my cross platform games and getting a 360.  I would happily pay for LIVE or something similar if I could for working voice support.  So much so, that I may buy a whole freaking console to go with it.

In PC land with PC based games, I don't need to worry about it.  Thus live is probably very safe to continue to charge on the 360 while its DomEd!11! on the PC.
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2008, 08:04:51 PM »

i had this discussion on the PS3 forums..i am a sap,so i am quite happy to keep paying for the LIVE service,as long as it stays head and shoulders above the PSN service...which IMO is crap,but free,so can't really complain

but with the servers SONY has i would of expected a more 'how long can SONY afford to keep PSN free?' thread
and yes i am aware i have turned this into PS3 Vs 360..sorry icon_confused

anywa-for me it works out at 40 a year,which is the price of a game
 
monthly its 3.33....two bottles of 2LTR coke costs 3.30

daily it costs 0.11p...it prolly costs me more to flush my toilet (my water bill is 22 a month,LOL)


i think we will only see a dramatic change in the pricing of XBL,if people stop buying XBL....if SONY were to make PSN 10x better,perhaps,and again if a lot of XBL people drop off
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2008, 08:27:29 PM »

Yeah the author said he got charged about 40 "quid" a year for Xbox Live.. never heard that term before.

I've joined Live twice, once with the original Xbox, and again when the 360 came out. I left after my second year because it's just too hard justifying paying for something that, in my view, should be free. PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, DS, even the Dreamcast was free to play online.
Not to say I didn't enjoy Live, but other than a MMORPG, I can't justify paying (other than the cost of the game) just to play it. Last time I was on Live Microsoft didn't even host their own servers for us, we had to host our own! You'd think with that $50 a year they'd at least host a couple of dedicated severs for us.. but instead they wanted us to do that too.

Xbox Live has had quite a number of years to get it right, at your expense. PSN is still relatively new and Sony is continually working out the kinks and adding improvements, at no cost to you. I think when PSN has been around another 2 years or so, then it'd be fair to start comparing it to Live.. and when PSN is free and Live is still charging, I'd say it's time for Microsoft to stop charging for something that should have been free from the start.
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kronovan
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2008, 09:49:19 PM »

I expect MS will be charging for XBL for quite some time. The way I see it, the cost of the headset that's included with every 360 box is in a way subsidized by it. It's a real winning business proposition for MS; you can't use that headset for anything other than XBL and you can't use XBL unless you pay.

Not that I'm complaining too much, because I think XBL is hands down the best online gaming service I've ever used. And for Canadians like myself it's only gotten cheaper; IIRC I originally paid $80 / year in 2003 and I'm now only paying $50. When I think about last year, I got 2 XBLA games for free valued at roughly $22 CDN. So in a way, almost 1/2 of the cost for me was covered by those freebies alone; both of which were games I wanted to own.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2008, 09:52:11 PM by kronovan » Logged
disarm
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2008, 10:29:38 PM »

it's anyone guess if Xbox Live will ever become free, but i'll gladly continue paying my membership to play as long as they maintain the same quality of service i've come to enjoy for the last 2.5 years.  in my opinion, it's well worth the $40/year i've been spending thanks to always being able to find it on sale somewhere icon_cool
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2008, 11:47:20 PM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on July 26, 2008, 08:27:29 PM

Yeah the author said he got charged about 40 "quid" a year for Xbox Live.. never heard that term before.

'Quid' is Brit slang for a Pound (GBP) - their currency.  It's equivalent to around $2.

As far as the answer to the Topic - it's simple:  As long as people keep paying for it slywink

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metallicorphan
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2008, 01:19:08 AM »

i agree micorsoft should Pony up some servers for us to play on..prolly best thing EA has done for a while is provided us with servers for example Bad Company,while playing over LIVE
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YellowKing
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2008, 02:41:06 AM »

Some people see "subscription" and automatically go into knee-jerk "OMGZ THEY'RE TRYING TO RIP ME OFF" mode. These are the same people who have no problem going to see The Dark Knight and spending $30 or $40 on that two hours of entertainment and popcorn. They'll happily spend $50 on a FPS they get 10 hours of play out of, but balk at spending $15 a month on a title they might get hundreds of hours of play from. I'll never understand that.

Microsoft can get away with charging for Xbox Live because it's a damned good service and an awesome value. The market has proven this already. That market is not going to change unless PS3 or Wii can somehow pull a magical service out of their ass that provides that same value for no cost. Their current offerings ain't it.
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Andrew Mallon
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2008, 03:10:19 AM »

People pay for bottled water even though tap water is just as good; there's no reason to assume that Microsoft can't keep chargi g people for the same services they get for free on the PC. 
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Jancelot
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2008, 03:33:03 AM »

Quote from: YellowKing on July 27, 2008, 02:41:06 AM

Microsoft can get away with charging for Xbox Live because it's a damned good service and an awesome value. The market has proven this already. That market is not going to change unless PS3 or Wii can somehow pull a magical service out of their ass that provides that same value for no cost. Their current offerings ain't it.

Exactly.  It's a great service and worth every measly little penny I pay for it each year.  It is an excellent service that currently cannot be matched on any other platform...yes, even on my once beloved PC.
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JCC
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2008, 01:59:46 PM »

XBox Live will be free only when Sony, Nintendo, or some other new, prominent console maker provides free online play that equals or surpasses the quality of online play Microsoft provides. As a cranky old school pc gamer, I don't (and never will) pay for XBL Gold, but I understand why others do - it's simply much better than what Sony offers and is in a different universe from Nintendo's service.

I just get irked with the seeming trend of "taking away" or "not offering" other services to Silver members. First it was the week delay for downloading demos (I think the delay should only be a couple of days) and now the announcement that only the Gold members can use Netflix. I know they are adding value to Gold and pleasing their Gold user base. But, it irks me as someone not willing to pay to play online, and at the time I bought the console the lack of online play was my only "punishment" for not paying for Gold.
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metallicorphan
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2008, 04:25:44 PM »

no,i am very happy that silver users get the downloads a week later,it really was slow going when downloading stuff,and made me not even bother downloading them when they were released at the same time,sometimes i am a bit late on getting the things,like the too human demo,so i think a week is a decent length...sure it must piss off SILVER users,but i think its fair,its still free for them

the less features for GOLD users would get less people getting GOLD,makes sense to offer more

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HankRaptor
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 12:39:55 PM »

This is an easy answer.

As long as the market will bare it.
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« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2008, 01:06:22 PM »

Quote from: HankRaptor on July 29, 2008, 12:39:55 PM

This is an easy answer.

As long as the market will bare it.

I'd like to see what your market has to offer... eek

(bear)
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« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2008, 03:18:51 PM »

Quote from: Eightball on July 29, 2008, 01:06:22 PM

Quote from: HankRaptor on July 29, 2008, 12:39:55 PM

This is an easy answer.

As long as the market will bare it.

I'd like to see what your market has to offer... eek

(bear)

what, you don't play XBL in the nude?
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« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2008, 03:32:29 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on July 29, 2008, 03:18:51 PM

Quote from: Eightball on July 29, 2008, 01:06:22 PM

Quote from: HankRaptor on July 29, 2008, 12:39:55 PM

This is an easy answer.

As long as the market will bare it.

I'd like to see what your market has to offer... eek

(bear)

what, you don't play XBL in the nude?

No UNO+ Live Vision cam for YOU.
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