With the rollout of the new Xbox 360 system Dashboard comes the monthly and annual price hike for Xbox LIVE Gold level subscription fees first announced back in August. Currently only the US will be seeing subscription fee increases across the board, with the annual fee in particular now setting you back $59.99 USD. Craig Davison, senior director of Xbox Live marketing, defends the new pricing.
Things were different in the early years, because XBL back then was primarily onilne multiplayer. Now XBL offers much more than before, including exclusive incentives for gold-level subscribers. Speaking to Gamasutra, Davison explains that with increased XBL content like ESPN comes increased infrastructure costs.
Unfortunately some of this had to be passed down to the consumer in form of heftier subscription fees, but Davison believes that with the increased cost of ownership comes greater reassurance that a consistent standard of quality can be maintained by Microsoft for all the new and upcoming features.