Microsoft came out today and announced that starting November 1st Xbox Live would now cost 60 dollars for the full year subscription. 3 months will cost 25 dollars and one month will now be 10. I understand that as inflation and the general cost of doing business goes up the price we pay for Live would need to go up but in this case I believe it's kind of crap that MS is raising the price.
When the live service debuted back in 2002 it was like dropping an atom bomb on the console gaming community. It was a way for the first time for console gamers to meet up online and play with each other and it took off.
As the years went on Xbox Live set the standard for console online games, when Sony would launch the PSN with the PS3 it even followed in Live's footsteps.
When the 360 launched Live was upgraded to match the 360 with a new dashboard and new features that the new hardware allowed the service to use. But this is when the problems started.
With every new dashboard update it became more laggy. It became a sluggish mess and just trying to get to your games and videos became a test in patience.
Facebook, twitter, Netflix, all the other add on crap they've added to the dashboard is doing nothing besides bogging it down and making it run like garbage. The streaming ads they don't help either. All this crap all these unneeded features that could be avoided if MS would allow a web browser to run on the 360 and then you wouldn't need all these apps you could just use the browser to tweet and facebook.
On the first Xbox I remember Live being down maybe 3 times over the years and it may of all been maintenance. After the 360 came out Live was down all the time and I'm sure we all remember the December it was down for almost 3 weeks because of what MS claimed were to many new users. They knew how their machines were selling around the holidays that year they should of been ready. Lately it's been nothing but service outages and lame excuses from MS. Then they go and raise the price of their broken service.
It's come to my attention lately the Xbox Live Enforcement service is a busted mess of contradictions and nonsense. Hope you never get falsely banned from the service as you're boned and you will probably not get back on. It's like this, if someone and I mean anyone calls Xbox Live and says that the gamer tag you own and use has been stolen the enforcement department lock the gamertag for 10 days to investigate the claim. You can call with all your personal info stuff only you and Xbox Live would know and you're still locked out. It's crap and I've heard they've revised it somewhat but it's still not perfect.
In the end I think MS needs to fix the issues with Live before they go raising the price. How about a cheaper price for people that just want their machine to play games and go ahead and charge extra for the people that need it to be their one stop shop for all things online.