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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Xbox Live fee hike sucks for gamers

    If you have an Xbox Live account, go buy another year’s subscription right now. Seriously. Do it before Microsoft enacts their new price hike. Oh you didn’t even know, did you? Well let me save you some money.

    A little over a week ago, Microsoft announced their decision that all the content they offer with Live is now worth more. Effective Nov. 1, a year’s subscription will jump from $50 to $60, three months will go from $20 to $25 and the monthly option from $8 to $10.

    It may not seem like much, but depending on the package you buy, you could end up spending a good deal of money that could be used for plenty of other things, especially as a college student. What’s worse is the fact that what Microsoft is doing is tantamount to extorting money from a drug addict.

    They know full well that Xbox owners will pay whatever grotesque fee they charge because they’re hooked — and in the end, willing. Of course it would be unfair to call their current prices grotesque, but that doesn’t mean they won’t continue to go up in the future. Microsoft loves squeezing money out of gamers, so who knows how high the prices could get.

    Their justification for these price increases isn’t even convincing in the slightest. According to the officials, now that they offer ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Last.fm and Video Kinect through Xbox Live, in addition to their online play, an increase is warranted.

    It’s great that they offer all of these things, but realistically, the only feature worth using is Netflix. There are smart phones and computers for a reason. No one is so addicted to social networking that they’re doing it while playing video games — meaning gamers are paying more for features they won’t even use.

    But at least they’re not being total dicks about it. For now you can go online to xbox.com and lock in a year’s subscription for $39.99 — quite the steal.

    It’s also like Microsoft is rubbing it in our faces. They know that it’s wrong to be charging more, and so in a vain attempt to appease their loyal fan base they’re offering a temporary escape from their greed.

    So what can you do? Take the deal, of course. You can’t avoid the increase forever, but it’ll help for a while. Another option is to go to Costco and buy the $50 memberships in bulk. You’ll save a bit of money, assuming you don’t misplace them somehow.

    Either way, it sucks that Microsoft decided to pull this. It’s not as if they’re hurting for money, even in this economy. But it’s not like the rest of us are a little tight financially. Oh wait, that’s right. We are.

    So thank you, Microsoft, for charging us more money that we don’t really want to spend for features that we dont really need. Thank you for proving that you are still a corporation, and the gaming community really doesn’t matter more than your bottom line.

    — Jason Krell is a creative writing sophomore. He can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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