Microsoft raising Xbox Live fees

US annual subscription jumping $10 to $60 as prices go up across North America, UK starting November 1; discounts offered in meantime.

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Microsoft gave Xbox Live Gold subscribers some good news and some bad news today. The bad news is that starting November 1, the company is instituting a wave of price hikes in the North American and UK Xbox Live subscription plans. The good news is that until those hikes go through, gamers in the US can sign on to a full year of the program or renew their current subscription at a discount.

The price of the console goes down over time, but the price of the service goes up.
The price of the console goes down over time, but the price of the service goes up.

Currently, a 12-month subscription to Xbox Live Gold sells for $50 in the US. With the November increase, that same term will cost gamers $60, although Microsoft is offering annual subscriptions for $40 until the new pricing takes effect. The month-by-month plan price is also rising from $8 to $10, with three-month plans going up from $20 to $25.

In the UK and Canada, only the month-by-month plans are being adjusted. Canadians will have to pay $10 a month instead of $9, while their transatlantic counterparts will see the cost of the same term jump from £5 to £6. Finally, Mexico's full-year subscription fee is also being amended, rising from its current 499 pesos to 599 pesos.

Electronic Entertainment Design and Research analyst Jesse Divnich downplayed the importance of the fee hikes, pointing out that the average price of a new game has also jumped from $50 to $60 since Xbox Live's debut in 2002. He said the move would likely do little to impact the Xbox 360's momentum, or even consumers themselves, in the near-term.

"EEDAR does not believe the $10 price increase will fully affect current Xbox Live Gold subscribers until late 2011 and beyond, as Microsoft will likely run numerous promotions allowing users to renew at cheaper rates," Divnich said.

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