I may be several days late on this but I am still completely baffled to find out that Microsoft will be increasing the X-Box Live's subscription fee in North America (amongst several other unfortunate nations) starting on November 1st of this year. The yearly subscription - the one that I am on - will be increased by a whopping $10 because of some additional as well as worthless features that will be included into the service:
An unnecessary move in that PlayStation Plus kind of way.
Let's review the new features shall we? The ESPN thing, well I am not a sports fan so it has no value to me. Even if you are a sports fanatic, I bet you already have subscribed to some great high definition sports channels on your cable so this is going to be so redundant - after all, you jump on your 360 to play games not to passively watch sports. Video Kinect? Really? You can already video chat now on Live and has anyone ever heard of Skype? It's a free video chat on the Personal Computer and yes, you CAN hook up your PC to the big screen, you don't need a 360 console for that! Hulu Plus? Another passive activity on the 360? I want to play games while I am on my gaming consoles! Will I be renewing my subscription when it's up? I have kept my subscription setting on no auto-renewal when that feature became available and I will keep on the lookout for cheap renewal codes from online retailers because they sell those quite often. As a matter of fact, that has been the way that I renew my subscription over the past several years. One thing is for sure, I will never pay $59.99 for the yearly service, ever! Microsoft is trying to soften the blow by offering a $39.99 yearly subscription right now before the eventual price hike but the only way they can recover from this offensive move is if they abandon this whole thing and issue an official apology to all of the current Live service subscribers.