XBox Live Prices Going Up But Audio Upgrade And Avatar 2.0 Incoming

Posted on Aug 30 2010 - 11:13pm by Matt Jackson

It’s bound to cause a stir but there’s a price rise in store for XBox Live Gold membership and, in all honesty, it’s not really that big a surprise. As Microsoft has said in their blog post, they have added and upgraded the service considerably since 2002 and haven’t since then increased the price. Yes, the additions helped to make the service more popular but the proposed rise to £6 per month still represents good value for money we think.

While the increase isn’t quite global, it will see prices in the US rise from $50 to $60 a year and in the UK it will go up to £6 per month with a Canadian subscription increasing to $12CAD per month. When you consider what else you can get for these kinds of prices it really isn’t that bad.

To help appease the masses and partially because of the launch of Kinect, one suspects, there is an audio upgrade inbound. The quality of multiplayer chat has been somewhat limited by the audio codec which only required a 64k connection. As msot gamers now pack seriously more punch than this, Microsoft has quite rightly deduced they can afford to improve the quality of the codec.

You won’t have to put up with the crackly abuse anymore, and you’ll be able to quite clearly hear the insults being hurled at you by annoying foreign kids.

There’s also news of another XBox Live upgrade coming our way, this time in the shape of Avatar 2.0. The upgrade will mean that avatars will appear considerably more realistic and lifelike than the current cartoon or caricature looking ones.

Avatars are extremely popular and they’ve undoubtedly proven a good little money spinner for Microsoft as new outfits and accessories, which generally cost a fairly minimal amount of Microsoft Points, are downloaded my masses of people.

Does £6 a month still represent good value for money?

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