An interesting article from Gamezine.co.uk popped up that states that according to the numbers released by both Sony and Microsoft about the number of active accounts on their online platforms, the PS3 actually has a higher percentage of users online than the Xbox 360 and it got me thinking about Microsoft’s decision to keep charging for gold memberships.
The percentages come in at 85% for the PS3 and only 60% for the Xbox 360. The reason is obvious, it’s because Microsoft charge for their online service while Sony does not. I am not going to go into which one is better because that argument has been going on all over the internet for quite a while now and has no answer.
The major question is that if Microsoft claim that they are making most of their money from micro-transactions over Xbox Live Marketplace, then wouldn’t it make more business sense to make the service free and thus entice a whole lot more Xbox 360 users to go online?
Yes, an Xbox Live Silver membership does give people the ability to still access marketplace but honestly, not many people are going to really hang around online with the inability to play multiplayer games or ever join a party in the NXE ( A lot of people don’t actually know that last part but it’s true).
With Microsoft trying to target the more casual market, it only makes sense that a lot of newcomers would be put off by the idea of having to pay to try and play multiplayer games, especially when they are only testing the waters for the most part. Why not just make it free? It will only assist in creating higher sales over marketplace anyways.
A jump from 60% to the region of 85% would mean an incredible jump in marketplace sales and well all know that above anything else, Microsoft is a business and is in it for the money, so it really makes no sense that they are still being so stubborn about charging for a gold membership.
Last Updated: January 12, 2009