Most of us know by now that the Xbox LIVE price will be raised from $50 a year to $60 in November. What most of you probably don’t know is that Wedbush Morgan Securities’ Michael Pachter predicted that this price hike would occur, and that he made one other prediction. That prediction has to do with a higher tier membership level priced at $100. Currently, we have the free Xbox LIVE Silver membership and $50 a year Gold membership. Could a third be on the way?
Pachter spoke with IndustryGamers earlier this week, first about the $10 price increase:
“The extra $10 translates to around $100 – 150 million per year in additional revenue for Microsoft. I think that they will reinvest at least this much in developing other new applications, and will roll out a premium service with $100 – 200 million worth of enhancements. “If they can get 2 million users to switch from the $60 plan to the $100 plan, they’ll make an extra $80 million a year, and can keep investing to try to grow that business.”
He then spoke about how rational it would be for Microsoft to make a move like creating a new membership level:
“The Xbox 360 can work as a media center, and conceivably could do things like managing a music library. Although Apple and Microsoft aren’t the best of friends, I could see Apple letting Xbox Live members manage their iTunes accounts through their 360s, and other such premium services. I’m not the guy to speculate as to what they will offer (for example, I didn’t even know ESPN 3 existed before it was announced for the 360), but I’m sure that there are many talented and creative people at Microsoft working on such a plan right now. For all I know, the Platinum plan might include virtual goods credits for various Microsoft games. If members could get specialized Halo armor or weapons worth the extra $40, they might be more willing to sign up, and it doesn’t really cost Microsoft anything to offer things like that.”
If this were all true, would you shell out the cash for the predicted next level of membership? Let us know your thoughts on this.