Xbox Live Gold Raises Its Price

Playing Call of Duty with all of your friends is going to cost you even more. Microsoft (Stock Quote: MSFT) announced Monday that it is raising the prices on its subscriptions to the popular online game service Xbox Live Gold.

Annual subscriptions will cost $60, up from $50; a three-month subscription will cost $25, up from $20; and a one-month subscription will be $10, up from $8. The new prices go into effect Nov. 1 in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K.

Larry Hryb, director of programming at Xbox Live, said the increase is justified because Microsoft has consistently added titles to its online gaming system’s catalogue since its initial launch in 2002. Xbox Live allows customers to play multiplayer games, such as the aforementioned Call of Duty, Halo and Dead Rising: Case Zero, while they can be miles away and on multiple consoles.

“Since launching Xbox LIVE in 2002 we have continually added more content and entertainment experiences for our members, while keeping the price the same,” Hryb wrote on his blog Monday. “We’re confident that when the new pricing takes effect, an Xbox LIVE Gold membership will continue to offer the best value in the industry.”

Sony, incidentally, does not charge gamers to connect to the Internet via its Playstation 3 system. Microsoft offers a silver membership on Xbox Live at a little to no cost, whose prices are not being increased. However,while this membership does give you access game demos, downloadable arcade games and voice and text chat, it does not let you play the games online with friends.

In an effort to assuage subscribers’ digital battle wounds, Microsoft is encouraging subscribers to renew their annual gold membership now at a discounted price of $39.99 before new prices go into effect on Nov. 1.

Want good news, gamers? There are plenty of new products on their way this holiday season. Check out this roundup of great new video game innovations that will be in stores soon!

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