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I'm paying for what? How Xbox Live Gold must change for a new age of free

Mark Hachman | May 2, 2014
It's time for a change. Whether Microsoft's ready to mess with this cash cow is the big question.

Xbox Gold (paid tier): optimized SmartMatch multiplayer gaming, NFL on Xbox One, virtual trainers, Game DVR and streaming, SmartGlass support, Microsoft's original programming, and (eventually) Games with Gold.

What I've done is preserve Microsoft's revenue stream, but tweak it so gamers don't have to pay an additional fee for what a modern entertainment console was designed to do: provide a gateway to the best of what the Web, TV, and recorded audio and video have to offer. PC gamers don't have to pay extra for multiplayer, and Xbox users shouldn't either. Note that even though Xbox Video and Music is placed within the free tier, selling and renting content to gamers still brings in extra cash. And if Microsoft loses some sales to Netflix or Hulu, so what? This is how competition is supposed to work.

We could add some more items to our wish list--HBO GO support, and an improved UI, among others. But the bottom line is this: Xbox Live Gold should provide truly premium services for the price. Charging for something you can easily get for free somewhere else shouldn't be part of the package. If you're a current or former Xbox Gold subscriber, let us know what you think about its services in the comments.

 

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