The cost of streaming Netflix, accessing social networks and playing games online on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console will go up beginning Nov. 1, just as Sony begins rolling out its premium $50-a-year Playstation Plus service.
The monthly Xbox Live “gold” service will now cost $9.99, while the three-month service will cost $24.99, and the annual price will be $59.99 a year. The previous prices were $7.99 a month, $19.99 a month, or $49.99 a year.
Microsoft did announce a handful of new services at this year’s E3 for gold users, including ESPN 3 integration, but users will still have to shell out an additional $9.99 to access the popular Hulu Plus television show service, on top of the increase in the gold subscription fee.
Microsoft also recently canceled the popular 1 vs. 100 online trivia game offered to Xbox Live gold users at no additional charge. The prime benefit of the Xbox Live gold subscription is multiplayer gaming, a service that Sony has provided for free on its PlayStation Network.
Users have until Nov. 1 to lock themselves into another year’s subscription at the current price — or go out and buy a truck full of prepaid subscription cards.
Bloomberg reported that Microsoft accrued around $1.2 billion in revenue last year in revenue as a result of popular sales of cosmetic changes to player avatars and the immense popularity of “Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare.”