Greenberg on Xbox Live: quality comes at a price

Did you happen to catch the latest episode of Gametrailers’ Bonus Round with Aaron Greenberg, the group product manager for Xbox Live? If not, then you missed him explaining to Geoff Keighley how paying for Xbox Live is still superior to Sony’s free online service. According to Greenberg, quality is ingrained in our minds forever, and is a trait long remembered after that nasty price thing is but a memory. Show us what you’ve got, Microsoft:

“To me I don’t think price is a big issue. I really think that if you look at Live almost everything we offer is free. You’re creating your friends list, messaging…. instant messaging, you get a good 80% of the Live experience for free…we feel our multiplayer offering is good value at 50 buck a year. I think you get what you pay for, There’s no hacking, cheating, grieving. Well, not any more.” 

Without a doubt, he must be referring to the  ban-hammer than Microsoft dropped on the not so fortunate few, regardless of any workarounds that may say otherwise. Greenberg’s stance is a simple one: if the monthly fee is an issue with gamers, how can you explain the fact that more than half of the 6 million plus Xbox Live subscribers out there are premium Gold members? Although he gave the approving nod towards Sony for investing in online-gaming, he was quick to attack their weak spot for massive damage:

“It’s not a unified service so if I’m playing Resistance for example and a friend of mine is in the dashboard, I can’t invite him into the game… unifying that across all the games and the dash, there’s not that consistent experience. It’s not built into the core platform which is something for us which is very important.”

So there you have it. On one side is a popular, yet hardly expense-free ride for taking your console online. On the other, is a wallet friendly, yet no frills approach to the same experience. Is the Xbox Live service a classic case of “you get what you pay for?” I certainly think so, but there are a few PlayStation 3 fans out there who might say otherwise. After all, free is rarely a bad thing, especially when you’re dealing with an already expensive habit like videogames.

[Via Next Generation