As of right now, Microsoft charges three separate tiers for access to their globally-available Xbox LIVE service. You can choose from a one month (month-by-month, essentially) plan, to three months at a time, or a year-long price that effectively decreases the overall cost, when compared to those more "monthly" prices. For a year, right now, it will cost you $49.99. But all of that is about to change, as Microsoft has just made official that their Xbox LIVE pricing is about to get a price hike.
According to Major Nelson of Xbox, the price changes only affect players in the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. And, as you can see from the graphic above, while the price hike isn't all that much in of itself, it's still enough to warrant some angry responses from customers/players. Just scrolling down on Major Nelson's page, the comments range from "hating" the increase in price, to out-right blaming "useless" services like Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm (which were all added last year as extra features) for the hike.
As of November 1st, 2010, Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions will now cost $9.99 for one month (previously $7.99), $24.99 for three months (previously $19.99), and $59.99 for the one year subscription plan (which was $49.99). As Major Nelson puts it, "Since launching Xbox LIVE in 2002 we have continually added more content and entertainment experiences for our members, while keeping the price the same. We’re confident that when the new pricing takes effect, an Xbox LIVE Gold membership will continue to offer the best value in the industry." So, it sounds like Microsoft has been planning the price increase for a little while now, and are just now getting around to it. But, what do you think of this? Is $59.99 per year (or more, depending on how you pay) worth it to you? Oh, and if you're wondering if you pay for a one year subscription any time before November 1st if you'll get the charged the difference, you won't. Nelson is even promoting the idea of "locking in" your current price point, by getting yourself a one year subscription right now.
[via Major Nelson]