Can Microsoft get away with charging for online play next gen?

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#1 Edited by Sanity (1907 posts) -

This is something i have been thinking about lately as i really thought at this point in the life of the 360 online play would be free. I think its total bullshit at this point for them to charge 50 bucks a year for a big part of your gameplay experience when you are still paying full price for the games you buy and thats really all it gets you.

They dont offer anything close to what PSN offers for Plus subscribers in terms of benifits and discounts, there adds are really intrusive and in your face all the time on the dash board and the excuse that Live has better support really doesn't fly anymore. I was sent a email last week from them saying that i need to renew by the 15 of October or i cant play online, which also caused me to say fuck buying NHL 13 as im not going to buy that and also keep my live sub up for it when i could get it on ps3 and pay nothing to play online.

With how far the internet has come since 2006 i dont think theres anyone at this point who can present a good reason for why they charge for things like party Netflix streaming. I mean I already pay Netflix to watch the movies... why do i have to pay Microsoft to play them on my 360? I will not buy there next system at all if i am required to pay for these basic features.

#2 Posted by cannonballBAM (602 posts) -

If you have listened to the last few giant bombcasts talking about the value of a PSN plus account versus a Gold membership, the decision is getting easier.

It was a good business model while it lasted.

#3 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2298 posts) -

They can and I bet they will

#4 Edited by Sanity (1907 posts) -

@cannonballBAM: Yea, i know Plus is a much better thing but also Sony has never tried to charge for online features, Plus is really a different thing considering its totally optional, if your into online gaming at all you have to pay on Live. I mean the least Micrsoft could do is offer a add free dashboard for Live members.

#5 Posted by MKSKILLZ16 (130 posts) -

@Oscar__Explosion said:

They can and I bet they will

Agreed, they have, still do, and have no reason to stop as long as people keep paying.

#6 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I think they can, but I wouldn't be surprised if they stopped. At this point, I think the service is valuable enough without online pay to pay for. And if they add cool new stuff next generation, then all the more reason.

Comparing Plus to XBL Gold always seemed like bullshit to me, PSN is so lacking in basic features and to convince you it's better, they give you basically netflix for games only you don't pick the games, and they stop being available after a month. It IS pretty cool, but PSN itself falls woefully short of even the basic functionality of XBL.

#7 Posted by Sanity (1907 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

I think they can, but I wouldn't be surprised if they stopped. At this point, I think the service is valuable enough without online pay to pay for. And if they add cool new stuff next generation, then all the more reason.

Comparing Plus to XBL Gold always seemed like bullshit to me, PSN is so lacking in basic features and to convince you it's better, they give you basically netflix for games only you don't pick the games, and they stop being available after a month. It IS pretty cool, but PSN itself falls woefully short of even the basic functionality of XBL.

But i guess my argument to this would be that i can do everything that Live dose well on a pc far better and for free. And really dose anyone give a shit about the big yearly dashboard updates at this point? It seems that they just find more places to throw adds at you.

#8 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

Yes.

#9 Edited by Opus (148 posts) -

They'll keep the subscription costs, even if the PSN or Nintendo Network turn out to be phenomenal services, Microsoft can still squeeze plenty of cash from it's established userbase before they begin defecting to the competitors.

It also doubles as a fallback plan. Let's say a year or so into the new generation Sony or Nintendo offer some serious competition. Microsoft can then play the card of canceling their service charge as a "goodwill gesture", then make more money on returning customers visiting their service.

Personal call; Xbox live gold will stop being mandatory for online play sometime into the next generation of consoles, but they'll still keep the subscription cost in some way or another, whether it's to use the service without ads, or locking content like Netflix or Hulu behind it. Because you have people giving you money! Why would you stop letting them give you money?!

#10 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

They probably can get away with it but it'll be absurd amounts of bullshit in my opinion and will ensure I will not buy their console. There's no doubt they'll keep XBL Gold around, but if they don't let people play the games they bought online without having to pay a month fee... that's some real horseshit in my opinion.

#11 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -

Can Sony get away with dropping the servious altogether for another month ? I'll gladly pay so stupid shit like that doesn't happen.

#12 Posted by huntad (1939 posts) -

Yup

#13 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@dudy80 said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

I think they can, but I wouldn't be surprised if they stopped. At this point, I think the service is valuable enough without online pay to pay for. And if they add cool new stuff next generation, then all the more reason.

Comparing Plus to XBL Gold always seemed like bullshit to me, PSN is so lacking in basic features and to convince you it's better, they give you basically netflix for games only you don't pick the games, and they stop being available after a month. It IS pretty cool, but PSN itself falls woefully short of even the basic functionality of XBL.

But i guess my argument to this would be that i can do everything that Live dose well on a pc far better and for free. And really dose anyone give a shit about the big yearly dashboard updates at this point? It seems that they just find more places to throw adds at you.

You can do IM and Voice chat free, pretty much all of the other stuff still costs money, and is a lot harder to do on a TV with a PC.

#14 Posted by cannonballBAM (602 posts) -

@dudy80: The idea behind their paid service was for server maintenance and a quality experience. Besides winning an online match only to to be called an obscenity by someone ten years younger is three new dashboards that have added paid advertisements and integrated updates for a piece of hardware I do not support.

I am just gonna stick to Steam/Nintendo.

#15 Posted by ninnanuam (281 posts) -

One of the reasons MS charges for their services is their outlay when building live was massive.

I did a very quick search but couldnt find any numbers but I remember that at the time Live was the biggest outlay by a non-telco company on communications infrastructure up to that point (and possibly still is)

And their outlay still gives them serious benefits, sure I can play online on PS3 for free....but its laggy and sucks most of the time and downloads take forever, but downloads from live are always fast and 9 times out of 10 public games are playable. \

I think actually being able to use multi player at all is worth the 5 bucks a month.

That being said if the growth of PS+ get MS to make it free or start offering games for free id be super happy, so long at the live service its self did not drop in quality.

#16 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1788 posts) -

Are people still willing to pay for it? A shit load of them, you say? Well, we all know corporations like to stop steady sources of income, especially annualized income. /sarcasm

I'm more curious if PSN could become a mandatory subscription feature. Sony tried the free angle to gain some leverage over Microsoft's service, but you have to imagine that they want to monetize it as well. Why else roll out the PSN+ service? Despite whatever people tell themselves, no corporation does something like that out of good will towards their customers. (Especially if they're charging for it.) Of course, I don't actually see Sony making that play. Charging for service now would give them a major backlash. But like EA eyeing the WoW & CoD dollars, you have to imagine some higher ups looking at XBLive and wondering how they good get a piece of that pie.

#17 Posted by pornstorestiffi (4915 posts) -

It's microsoft, of course they will keep the subscription. Its the same company that sells people virtual goodies for their Avatars, and people are dumb enough to gobble it up. The question is what other things will they try to monetize.

#18 Edited by MachoFantastico (4687 posts) -

Gold as been a rip-off for me for at least two years, don't play many multiplayer games and haven't been a Gold sub for a year now.

That and holding back demo's just because I'm not a Gold subscriber.. Microsoft can go to hell.

#19 Posted by Happenstance (462 posts) -

I think so many people are already so invested in their Xbox Live accounts that they will be able to carry on charging for it. Thankfully I dont see myself getting a new Xbox next gen so it wont be my problem.

#20 Posted by M_Shini (551 posts) -

They will and can, and add more stuff we prob don;t care about to add useless bullet points to justify it.

#21 Posted by krazy_kyle (716 posts) -

I think having to pay for an online service to enable you to play games that you've already spent around £40 on is getting to be more rediculous at times move on. I'm definitely having doubts about renewing my subscription, especially with the Wii U on it's way.

#22 Posted by living4theday258 (679 posts) -

so long as theres 13-14 year old kids with their parents disposable income it will continue to cost. I think the only reason ill play 360 now is for halo, gears, and bethesda games(since their 360 ports are much better than ps3s i leaned that the hard way...)

#23 Posted by Vexxan (4620 posts) -

Pretty certain they'll keep charging for Gold.

#24 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

They will add content if that's what it takes, but they will never stop charging.

#25 Posted by believer258 (11905 posts) -

This is one of the lines of thinking that brought around to building a PC. I'm sorely disappointed in Microsoft's treatment of the Xbox, so they've lost me a customer and I don't think I'll be going back unless they can both stop charging for online and start making good exclusives that don't have the terms "Halo" or "Gears" in them.

#26 Posted by ciscoidiot (35 posts) -

@Happenstance said:

I think so many people are already so invested in their Xbox Live accounts that they will be able to carry on charging for it. Thankfully I dont see myself getting a new Xbox next gen so it wont be my problem.

Pretty much this. People have put a lot of money into XBL accounts, not to mention they're already getting away with charging for the services. People aren't complaining in large enough numbers to really affect the business model. I believe that Plus offers a lot more for the money, but even by giving things away they're not pulling enough business from XBL. However that's due to other issues. Microsoft has a proven model that works and makes a lot of money, we'll be paying for the service for a while.

#27 Posted by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

Of course they will, morons eat that shit up.

#28 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1727 posts) -

If they don't mind losing marketshare, sure. 

#29 Posted by mrcraggle (1938 posts) -

Of course they will because people are willing to pay the price. Sony offered up online for free the way it should be but the service was lacking and didn't drive people away from paying to play online with the Xbox. It's a pretty bullshit service but people do have a choice not to pay but millions of people are paying to play Xbox Live plus Elite for CoD which I think is pretty much the driving force at this point.

#30 Posted by Dezztroy (794 posts) -

Of course they can. They've spent the better part of a decade making sure everyone is used to paying for basic online features.

#31 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

I'm expecting the next XBox to be just as much about selling access to video on demand as games. It would not be a surprise if MS wants to really push rent to own (with monthly payments for content / console) instead of selling out right. So I expect MS to continue charging for online, as they seems to prefer to collect their monthly toll (or yearly for those that want to pay 1/4 as much).

That would not stand if PS4 ends up more popular than x360 though.

#32 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

They can because there will still be people who think being free means the other consoles' online must be worse.

#33 Posted by mordukai (7150 posts) -

@dudy80 said:

@cannonballBAM: Yea, i know Plus is a much better thing but also Sony has never tried to charge for online features, Plus is really a different thing considering its totally optional, if your into online gaming at all you have to pay on Live. I mean the least Micrsoft could do is offer a add free dashboard for Live members.

And lose all that advertising revenue?! Never going to happen. MS will keep charging people as long as they pay for it. People want to change their minds then just stop paying for it. That's about the only way they will change their way.

#34 Posted by j0lter (235 posts) -

Fact is i'm not buying the next xbox simply because they can do that. I'd raher get a ps4 and be able to just use the internet i am ALREADY paying for.

#35 Posted by JasonR86 (9707 posts) -

Absolutely they could. I hope they don't though.

#36 Posted by DeF (4887 posts) -

@Oscar__Explosion said:

They can and I bet they will

This. The fact that people still just go ahead and pay for Xbox Live Gold when they can have pretty much all the same stuff on other systems for free should be telling. Established friends lists, gamertags with achievement scores and that whole familiar ecosystem is what is gonna bring people back. Gamers most of all, I think, don't like change.

#37 Posted by DoctorDanger99 (686 posts) -

people complain about paying for live all the time but its money well spent.there are not constant updates like on ps3,live almost never goes down and when it does it's usually for a short amount of time.paying for live makes sure 360 owners get dlc and such early. at the end of the day you get what you pay for. microsoft is offering somthing. they arent simply saying,pay us to play. we get a wealth of exclusive things before most others do and we get a stable online area to play our games. im not knocking the ps3 but how many times in the last six months has xbox live gone down for any reason? how many times has the ps3 gone down? since ps3 is a free service you cant really complain but with microsoft you can. they take care of thier shit. you get what you pay for.

#38 Posted by spilledmilkfactory (1876 posts) -

I'm sure that they can. After all, people are so used to dropping 50-60 bucks a year on Xbox Live that it'll be easy for Microsoft to keep charging. They might add a few new features or services in the future. Right now, though, Sony's clearly got the better value proposition.

#39 Posted by FreakAche (2953 posts) -

I have no idea, but I can tell you that I'm done with Xbox Live. A lot of my friends feel the same way. It just seems laughable that all of the services they lock behind a paywall have better versions that are available for free elsewhere.

#40 Edited by KaneRobot (1608 posts) -

@living4theday258 said:

so long as theres 13-14 year old kids with their parents disposable income it will continue to cost. I think the only reason ill play 360 now is for halo, gears, and bethesda games(since their 360 ports are much better than ps3s i leaned that the hard way...)

Yeah, because no one over the age of 13-14 pays for Live.

Microsoft will be happy to have you as a customer no matter what your "only" reason is (2 franchises guaranteed to have at least 2 games each and 1 company's games don't seem like much of an "only").

----------

For better or worse, the XBox has changed gaming, not the other way around. That's why Call of Duty is the way it is on PC now, and why Sony introduced a pay service, and why everybody and their mother has an achievement system now. The leader sets the standard. If Sony pulls ahead next time, they'll set the standard and Microsoft will be playing catch up. As much as I preferred and still prefer the XBox over the PS3, I kind of hope Sony kicks them in the ass next time around. Really seems like Microsoft has gotten arrogant and sloppy. Getting trounced by the PS4 would force them to make a better effort.

#41 Posted by laserbolts (5322 posts) -

If they actually put up good deals it would be worth it but it's always shit deals. Fucking GTA 4 dlc sale 4 years after the game was released or some shit fucking XBLA game for half price. Every now and then there will be something decent at a discount but it's very few and far between. Early dlc? Fuck that give me something worth paying for.

#42 Posted by RE_Player1 (7560 posts) -

@MKSKILLZ16 said:

@Oscar__Explosion said:

They can and I bet they will

Agreed, they have, still do, and have no reason to stop as long as people keep paying.

Yup. It's come to the point where people are trained to pay the $60 a year. I just got a 360 and after my free month I won't be resubscribing but if I was part of the ecosystem from day 1 I could see myself paying it like anything else and just accepting it.

#43 Posted by Cincaid (2956 posts) -

I've been Gold on Xbox Live for 3+ years now, and I really don't mind the cost since their online services are stellar. Downloading stuff is going fast, even for me with a shitty connection, and I rarely have issues when I'm playing online (well, except when you can blame it on the game's netcode).

I do, however, mind to get blasted with ads everywhere on the dashboard when I'm paying a subscription for it. And it's a fucking nail in the eye every time PSN+ members get their free game promotions, and us Gold members are left with recycled "deal of the week"-price cuts. If I buy the next Xbox (which is quite likely), and if they continue their monthly subscription, I really hope they learned some lessons from Xbox 360.

#44 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Probably, but I won't be subbing because having to pay for multiplayer when it's free on PC and PS3 is absurd to me.

#45 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

@KaneRobot said:

@living4theday258 said:

so long as theres 13-14 year old kids with their parents disposable income it will continue to cost. I think the only reason ill play 360 now is for halo, gears, and bethesda games(since their 360 ports are much better than ps3s i leaned that the hard way...)

Yeah, because no one over the age of 13-14 pays for Live.

Microsoft will be happy to have you as a customer no matter what your "only" reason is (2 franchises guaranteed to have at least 2 games each and 1 company's games don't seem like much of an "only").

----------

For better or worse, the XBox has changed gaming, not the other way around. That's why Call of Duty is the way it is on PC now, and why Sony introduced a pay service, and why everybody and their mother has an achievement system now. The leader sets the standard. If Sony pulls ahead next time, they'll set the standard and Microsoft will be playing catch up. As much as I preferred and still prefer the XBox over the PS3, I kind of hope Sony kicks them in the ass next time around. Really seems like Microsoft has gotten arrogant and sloppy. Getting trounced by the PS4 would force them to make a better effort.

I agree they're getting arrogant and lazy. Hopefully they catch onto that while we're still in this gen, so the next X-Box doesn't blow like the PS3 did compared to the PS2.

As for paying for Live, I really don't give a fuck. It's not much, and it's good. I couldn't tell you a single ad on the dashboard because they don't distract me or enrage me. Ads for Coke or something are kinda retarded, but the ones for services on Live (games, movies, whatever) are just "Hey! We have this and maybe you don't realize it!" to me.

#46 Posted by geirr (2570 posts) -

They couldn't get away with it this gen to me. I was appalled by the fact that I couldn't even browse the 360 online shop without paying them money - making it the only store in the world that I've seen where you have to pay to enter. So my 360 life was basically the 3 months that came with the purchase of the Slim.

Imagine having to pay Steam to just browse their library, let alone use it.

#47 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

I'm sure that the big "M" will still charge for their online services, but I'm pretty much done with multiplayer on consoles now. I will still play the exclusives like Halo, but I mostly play MP on PC. I will definitely still buy the next Xbox, but I won't pay for Live anymore.

#48 Posted by LikeaSsur (1530 posts) -

Unfortunately, they probably will get away with it. Even though I never play online save for specific circumstances, I'll still probably pay, too. Luckily, I've never paid more than $50 a year. Thank goodness for deals and discounts.

#49 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

"We're fucking Microsoft, we can do whatever we want. Now put more ads on that dashboard."

#50 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

@Oscar__Explosion said:

They can and I bet they will

This. Not enough people are complaining about paying for online play, so they'll probably continue doing this.

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