Xbox Live subscription proposals Watch

Randomfrench
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#1
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Hi everyone,


I fondly recall the launch of online gaming on Sony's PlayStation 2 almost a decade ago, which marked a turning point in the direction of the machine. When I succumbed to Microsoft's latest offering, complete with red ring of death overheating issues, I found myself fighting a personal battle to justify the price of online gaming.


Had Sony's PlayStation 3 powerhouse launched with subscription-based online play, the discontent felt by users worldwide would arguably have been somewhat alleviated. Remaining faithful to the PS2 setup, online gaming came (and still comes) at no extra charge.


As life becomes more complex and my time is divided into frequently unmanageable chunks, I have found myself unable to spend a sufficient amount of time before my consoles to contemplate continuing to pay Microsoft's asking price for online play. I therefore propose suggestions to thestudentroom community in the hope to ascertain if they would be viable.


Firstly, do Xbox Live users feel they are receiving the quality of service to be expected from a service which charges just shy of forty pounds annually? Does the experience surpass that on the PlayStation 3 to the extent that the asking price is justified? Even more importantly, would it be reasonable to expect that the user's quality of service would diminish should the service be offered for free?


Secondly, a proposal which could appeal to less frequent users of online services, a 'pay as you go' approach to online interaction. I rarely find the time or desire to play Call of Duty for extended periods, but when the fashion takes me, I have been known to spend the odd evening annihilating virtual terrorists. Disappointingly, should I wish to play a friend online, or simply take my frustrations out on unsuspecting internationals, I am unable to without a subscription. Should I not be able to pay a nominal fee, agreed between game publishers and Microsoft and potentially unique to each game, to enjoy this pleasure on an infrequent basis?


The final proposal on this far from extensive list is perhaps the most contentious. Would you agree that developers could be allowed to offer access to online features, perhaps for a limited time, as a reward for game progression? If a player is dedicated enough to spend time working towards a certain achievement, they could plausibly be rewarded with something more than Gamerscore points. Some may even be encouraged to subscribe following a successful trial.


I concede that these points are little more than fantasy. Their implementation would modify a successful part of Microsoft's Xbox strategy and would never please all thirty million subscribers. Can you offer any suggestions on top of those mentioned here? I would be interested to read any comments.
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Parente
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I would just like to point out that a one year xbox live memberhsip costs £30 :P
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Randomfrench
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(Original post by Parente)
I would just like to point out that a one year xbox live memberhsip costs £30 :P
Thank you for your feedback. I was taking my information from here: http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/Live/Join/home which states "GOLD membership 12 months for £39.99". Is this inaccurate or is there a promotion at present?
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Psyk
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I personally can't see MS continuing to charge for playing online. Or at least not every game will require a gold subscription to play online.

What about free to play games? The whole point is that you can start playing them online for free, and then pay for upgrades/new levels/etc. if you want to. It would defeat the point if you had to pay a subscription to be able to play anything online.
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Randomfrench
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(Original post by Psyk)
I personally can't see MS continuing to charge for playing online. Or at least not every game will require a gold subscription to play online.

What about free to play games? The whole point is that you can start playing them online for free, and then pay for upgrades/new levels/etc. if you want to. It would defeat the point if you had to pay a subscription to be able to play anything online.
This is certainly an interesting proposal. What price points would you implement? Would others find this approach more appealing than the others outlined earlier?
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Psyk
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(Original post by Randomfrench)
This is certainly an interesting proposal. What price points would you implement? Would others find this approach more appealing than the others outlined earlier?
Price point - £0

I'm saying there wouldn't be a platform-wide charge for playing online. Publishers would have the option of charging a subscription, or having micro transactions, making it ad supported, or just plain free if they wanted. Obviously they will have to pay Microsoft for whatever services they use, but it would be up to the publisher how they charge the consumer.

E.g. if the publisher wants to use the built-in Xbox Matchmaking service, they will have to pay MS for access to it. It's between MS and the publisher how they pay for that, and up to the publisher how they take money from the end consumer.
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SillyEddy
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I'll start by saying that I've had Xbox Live for over 7 years. I think my Xbox is only registering the membership for the 360, but I'm sure that I had it for longer on the original console.

As such, I can honestly say that the cost of membership has never bothered me. It has my support because it has never let me down. Some of the individual games can have reliability issues, but the network as a whole is a good one.


The only thing I really dislike is not being able to pay for additional services in full. For instance, the points system. If I want to buy a game worth 1200 points, you have to pay for 1600 points - You can't always buy things for their value, you have to pay at least that cost and round up. As such, I always have some lousy number of points left over in my account, and I'd rather just pay for the actual product. I bought Minecraft a while back, and it cost me a few quid extra just for unnecessary spare points.



Microsoft recently displayed their ineptitude of pay-to-play with MS Flight. I was a beta tester so I got all the at-release addons for free, but it was a service where you started the game with a few aeroplanes on a small map, and you had to buy specific countries/areas/continents/aeroplane addons separately. If you looked at the cost of it, you get very little game for your money - Buying the service in full (FSX, FS2004, etc) was worth the money because you got everything at once.

There are probably quite a few casual gamers who would benefit from pay-to-play Xbox Live services, but given the amount I played, it would probably be cheaper just to pay for the service fee as a whole. Yeah, Sony has demonstrated that it's possible to play for free, but I have heard of people having issues with that service. I am happy to invest in a service that I trust.
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Parente
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(Original post by Randomfrench)
Thank you for your feedback. I was taking my information from here: http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/Live/Join/home which states "GOLD membership 12 months for £39.99". Is this inaccurate or is there a promotion at present?
It used to be that price, but everywhere I've seen it be sold, it is £29.99. It might be a promotion but it has been on for a loooonnnng time if it is. Maybe microsoft are just trying to get more people on the xbox?
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