Hi there, valued Xbox Live Gold customer! Are there any sharp objects nearby? How about firearms? We're just the messenger, after all, and would rather not be shot for this one. So, are you calm? Have you followed the late, great Bruce Lee's teachings and become as water? Ok then, here it goes:
Beginning November 1, Xbox Live Gold will cost $60 per year. That's a ten dollar price hike , for those of you who don't read your credit statements. One month and three month subscriptions have also been increased accordingly.
So, why's Microsoft randomly kidnapping yet another one of your precious Alexander Hamiltons – especially after eight years of the same price point and Sony's constant “neener-neener" proclamations of free online multiplayer? Well, the long and short of it is that you're now getting a whole lot more stuff.
“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,” said Microsoft, while also citing the upcoming additions of Hulu Plus, Video Kinect, and ESPN this holiday season.
Granted, some of those services require you to fork over additional subscription fees, but there's no doubting that Xbox Live Gold's a pretty slick service. The question, however, remains: is it pocket-change-worthy fool's gold, or is it the genuine, worth-$60 article? Also, what about people who bought their game consoles for, you know, games – and couldn't care less about Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, ESPN and the like? What's in it for them, if anything at all?
Tough questions, huh? So we'll let you do the heavy lifting on this one: Do you think Microsoft's decision to rip another rib out of your piggy bank is a fair one? Will you continue subscribing to Xbox Live Gold?