One of my biggest complaints about my Xbox 360 is that it’s an entirely different machine when I don’t subscribe to Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Live Gold, which costs about $5 to $8 per month, is required in order to use any internet-related features on the machine.
Even something as simple as sending your friends a message is disabled without Xbox Live Gold. Or, if you want to pay $8 per month to watch TV shows and movies on Netflix, then you better shell out $5 per month first for Xbox Live Gold.
The PlayStation 3, on the other hand, never charged a monthly subscription fee for any of its user connectivity features.
It looks like the next generation of consoles will continue this trend, as Microsoft is facing renewed criticism over its next generation paywall. Full details of that paywall were recently uploaded to Microsoft’s website, where visitors will learn that the Xbox One will not have all of the following features behind the Gold paywall:
-All internet-enabled services, like browsing the internet or using Netflix
-NFL on Xbox
-SmartWatch (which is the service gamers will use to find competition online)
-Video recording/game streaming services
Sony will also charge a monthly subscription fee with the PlayStation 4, although that paywall appears to provide more benefits and fewer restrictions when compared to the Xbox One.
The PS4 won’t require PS Plus in order to use services like Netflix, and Sony has said that they “won’t put much behind the PS Plus paywall” aside from online gaming.
Microsoft is certainly earning its title of Micro$oft with the Xbox One and its higher price points. We’ll have to see if consumers actually care.