In sort of annoying news, Microsoft is increasing its Xbox Live subscription price. (News Article) The pricing is going from $49.99 to 59.99 per year.
While this poses a good amount of annoyance to gamers across America. It’s important to note that this is the first price increase Microsoft has instilled since the launch of the Xbox360 in 2005. Many services (some of which are barely useful, but many of which are great) have been released for the Xbox360 since 2005, so I really don’t see this as a major deal.
Most gamers are smart enough to purchase Xbox 360 Live Subscription Cards (In fact, buy them now while they’re cheap!) through vendors that usually price battle over these. On an average day, the membership cards can be purchased for approximately $40, resulting in a 25% savings. There are times in the year where these cards can be found for under $30. In fact, my most recent was purchased in May and was $27.99.
Even if the card wars did not exist and I had to pay $60 per year for service instead of $50, I would just chalk that up to inflation and increases in cost of living. Not for nothing, everything has increased in price over the last five years, so with the addition of services, I don’t see a point to complaining about a minor (less than $1/month) increase in price.
Another way to look at this is that the newer hardware pricing is way less than at launch. The increase in subscription price can be viewed as a way of catching up the late hardware adopters on the pricing that many of us have been paying all along. Of course the price is also higher for the early adopters, but see above argument and workaround.
So please, no whining about a price increase. Microsoft provides a sound service that is continuously evolving, and there’s no reason to complain.