Microsoft has confirmed its pricing for its Xbox Live service for the forthcoming Xbox 360 next-gen console, revealing a basic yearly fee of $49.99 to use the Xbox Live Gold service, the flagship online service for Microsoft's next-gen console.
All Xbox 360 users will have an Xbox Live Silver membership, which allows members to connect to the online membership community and create their own digital identity with an Xbox Live gamertag and personalized Gamer Profile, and receive text and voice messages, as well as buying items from the Xbox Live Marketplace online store. However, only Xbox Live Gold members will be able to play multiplayer Xbox 360 titles online, with enhanced matchmaking and feedback tools, along with "exclusive privileges and rewards on Xbox Live Marketplace."
Overall, the various packages are headed by the 'deluxe' pack of a 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Live headset, a $20 money off coupon for Xbox 360 games, 200 points for the Xbox Live marketplace and access to the Xbox Live Arcade game Bankshot Billiards
. This is the most expensive of the five bundles, with a quoted price of $69.99.
In addition, a 3 month version of the Premium Gold Pack, costing $39.99 is also to be made available, with a headset, $10 coupon, 100 Xbox Live marketplace points and the Xbox Live Arcade game Joust
. As for the subscription card-only deals, a month's Xbox Live Gold subscription will cost $7.99, 3 months will cost $19.99, and a year will cost $49.99.
Microsoft also today announced that credit cards will no longer be required to create an account on Xbox Live for Xbox 360, removing one of the biggest barriers to entry. Gamers can purchase 12-month Xbox Live subscription cards via cash or other payment methods at any participating retail store. Subscriptions will also be available for purchase by credit card in one-month, three-month and 12-month increments through the Xbox Live Dashboard.
Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Publishing for the Home Entertainment Division at Microsoft, commented: "Xbox Live on Xbox 360 gives each and every player the opportunity to become a member of the world's largest online gaming community... We're excited to offer our existing 2 million members this supercharged online experience at the same retail price, as well as introduce new users to the next generation in online gaming and entertainment." The Xbox Live 360 service will launch alongside the console's release, currently believed, but not confirmed to be early November in North America.