Microsoft: Xbox Subscription Model “Is Pivotal to Our Business”

Microsoft has said its monthly subscription business model for the Xbox 360 is integral to the company’s future plans, suggesting the next-gen Xbox may follow the same model.

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft said that this subscription program will likely remain through any future product launches. Matt Barlow, general manager for marketing in Microsoft’s interactive entertainment unit, said, “This type of program is pivotal to our business.”

Presently, you can buy an Xbox 360 with a 250GB hard drive for $99, on the condition that you agree to pay $14.99 a month for two years of access to Xbox Live. If you want a Kinect bundled in, the initial price jumps to $149.

If you had no option but to sign up for a monthly subscription in order to acquire the next-gen Xbox, would you go for it?

via Eurogamer

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9 Comments on Microsoft: Xbox Subscription Model “Is Pivotal to Our Business”


On October 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Not surprising. Microsoft has made a lot of money with Live, so there is no incentive not to keep doing it because they know that people who buy the next Xbox are already in the habit of paying that fee.


On October 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I am a ps3 guy, and the main turn off for the 360 is a monthly fee. And with MMOs starting to go to free I think some of the gamers out there will start to look at it as an issue. The question is, how many of the xboxers out there have mommy and daddy paying for the service? and when they go on their own, will have to pay it?


On October 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm

I have no issue with paying more money when you actually get benefits out of it.

There is no real benefit to Live. What it is, is them taking something away from you, and making you pay for it.

When you get Live, what you get is the ability to play things online. That’s it. No bonus incentives or discounts, just the ability to play online.

It is literally a feature that they lock out just for their own financial benefit. Nintendo and Sony don’t make you pay, and obviously you don’t have to do that on PC either.

Yet another reason why not to own a Microsoft game console.


On October 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm

If you have a decent enough PC, there’s really no need to use an xbox at all. Almost all the same games, and you don’t have to pay extra just to play it online. Only disadvantage i can think of is the new operating systems, as far as cost goes.


On October 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

I’ve never understood why people have such hard issues with this down-payment +monthly fee model when it comes to small time electronics like phones and game consoles.

When you look on the flip side most everyone follows the same plan when purchasing a car or a house.

If I get the next gen equivalent of Xbox live plus the system for cheap I’ll gladly sign up.


On October 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

I don’t really wanna start a Microsoft vs. Sony argument here, but I don’t think Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network are really the same kind of thing.. sure they both let you play online, but Xbox Live just seems better quality and hasn’t gotten hacked into (knock on wood) and plus, if something doesn’t work and we’re upset about it, as consumers, we actually have a right to complain about it since we paid for it… PSN users really can’t… And Nintendo Network (or whatever it’s called) isn’t really in the same kind of boat as PSN or Live, at least in my opinion. It could be getting better, I just don’t know about it, but…

However, I hope that it’s not REQUIRED to pay monthly for 2 years for Live if you buy an Xbox. That would just kinda suck, unless there’s more to it. I mean, I guess it kinda makes sense, but I’m a broke college student. I only buy Live when I can.


On October 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I wouldn’t. I own a 360, but I wouldn’t have if they wanted me to pay them for TWO YEARS for it. Baffling pricing right there.


On October 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

@ R-man – What about PC players? Do they also not have the right to complain because they dont pay for online access? Oh wait, they do, its called their Internet Bill. Ya know, that monthly fee you pay so you can have access to the internet period. Which means Microsoft is charging you an additional fee just to gain access to a service youre already paying for.

As for this so called quality. Youre comparing the subscription model for the Xbox against the non-subscription model for the PS3. You cant do that, that is apples and oranges. What you need to do is compare the non-subscription models against each and the Gold and PSN+ against each other. When you start to do that, the whole “XBL has the better quality” quickly becomes a line of denial Gold members tell themselves to justify throwing their money away. Gold members are what Microsoft like to refer to as “marks” or ” suckers”.


On October 24, 2012 at 5:59 am

I’m with Axetwin, I think all the justifications people spout for it are just them trying to convince themselves it’s money well spent.