The news that Microsoft was raising prices for a number of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions was met with uniform negativity among gamers, but EEDAR analyst Jesse Divinch thinks otherwise. Defending the price raise, Divinch claims that the subscriptions are still “incredible value” for consumers.
“When taking into consideration the numerous services added to Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers over the last eight years, it comes as no surprise that Microsoft would eventually increase the price of a Gold subscription by a moderate amount,” says the analyst. “When originally launched in 2002, a Gold subscription cost the same as an AAA video game, $49.99.
“When taking into account for inflation ($50 in 2002 is roughly $60 in 2010) and the additional services available to Gold subscribers in 2010, such as ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Last.fm and Video Kinect, a $10 price increase still represents an incredible value to consumers.”
The thing is, a lot of Xbox Live’s “value” can only be seen from one perspective — a perspective where none of Xbox Live’s offerings are available in a better form and/or free elsewhere. When you can play online for free on both the PS3 and PC, even a dollar a month for Xbox Live could be seen as no value for money at all, and as far as the other stuff goes — Twitter, Facebook, Netflix — when have they ever been exclusive to XBL?
At this point in time, Xbox Live doesn’t hold much value at all for me anymore, and unless you can’t live without Halo, there really isn’t that much incentive to pay outside of feeling like you have to.