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PS4 for free: are subscriptions console gaming’s miracle?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012 11:48 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Microsoft revealed a subscription Xbox 360 yesterday, a move that has enormous implications for the HD console business. Monthly payments for hardware and services could change everything, says Patrick Garratt.

Imagine walking into a shop to pick up the latest iPhone to find it costs £900. You’d never buy it. Most people would wait for the price to come down and Apple wouldn’t be able to bring out a new iPhone for years. Sound familiar?

The console business is becoming increasingly problematic. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are old, and consoles are almost prohibitively expensive to iterate. Retail’s dying and the current machines are based on discs. A lot of us want to download everything. We can’t. It’s easy to see why many doomsayers have long predicted the console trade won’t be viable after the next round. The dumpy, double-chinned Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are fighting a losing battle against Apple and Google, what with their turtle-necks, cheek-sucking and magic glass mobiles. The concept of the “console” – a dedicated machine which needs to be sold for a loss and does little more than play games, heaven forfend – is ten years ago, daddio. Xbox and PlayStation are soon to be a thing of the past.

For some, especially those working in the business of mobile, social and casual games, it’s comforting to believe that core, HD gaming is about to go the way of the dodo. But the truth is that console gaming isn’t intrinsically broken. People still want to play video games on their televisions, and they probably always will. The console model is just in a state of flux and the current set-up has been sorely tested thanks to an extended cycle.

Yesterday showed a glimpse of how consoles fit into the future. Microsoft unveiled plans to sell Xbox 360-Kinect bundles through a two-year subscription package in the US, signalling a potential way forward for the entire console business and a shift in thinking that may revolutionise how the public views games machines in general. The premise is exactly the same as the one you, and everyone else you know, blindly accepts every time you buy a new mobile phone. You pay a small fee up front, $99 in this case, and then hand over $14.99 every month for the next two years. The grand total comes to $458 for a 4Gb 360, a Kinect and two years’ worth of Xbox Live Gold subscription.

The cost is roughly comparable to buying the same kit as separate units at current pricing. It’s a good deal, and one which will suit those to whom a $500 outlay on entertainment comes a far second to putting food on the table. While there are benefits to consumers, however, the main winner is obviously Microsoft.

This system locks you into the current price and it’s affordable to many more people than the current set-up, so now you don’t have to wait for a price drop to buy one. Great for platform holders: more people buying now, less pressure to drop prices. And now you’re in a credit agreement with Microsoft, just as you probably are with AT&T, Vodafone or whoever else, at a price you’re (hopefully) comfortable with. This is key: buy into this model, and price drops mean nothing to you any more. A 360 can be $199 today and $50 tomorrow, and it makes virtually no difference. You’re in, you’re happy, and you can forget about it. And so can Microsoft.

Liberation

This is liberating for platform holders. The consumer-facing price of its gaming hardware ceases to have the same level of import it currently does, and all those analysts screaming for price cuts to stimulate demand start to lose relevance. The pure beauty of all this is that it changes the console model completely, and most certainly for the better. Instead of the world laughing at you because you stand up at E3 and proclaim your new console to be worth five-hundred-and-ninety-nine-US-dollars, you now say, “This incredible new technology is yours for free, with full online services, at a manageable two-year subscription of only $30 per month.”

A PS4 or Xbox 720. For free. On a contract. Day one. You walk out of the store and you haven’t handed over anything. You have, of course, spent $720 without batting an eyelid, but why on earth wouldn’t you sign up for this? A few years ago, I interviewed the people in charge of PlayStation UK marketing at gamescom. I asked one of them about the greatest challenge he faced in terms of selling PlayStation 3, and he said it was one of perception. Sony had to sell PS3 at a massive loss, because the perception is that a games console can’t cost more than £299, whereas you’ll buy laptops for four-figure sums because you just assume that’s what they cost.

People want HD gaming, but it has to make sense. It has to be cutting edge. HD gamers don’t want to play on ten year-old tech, but nor do they want to be handing over what they perceive to be large sums of money when they have far more important things to worry about, such as mortgages and credit card bills.

This is why smartphones have to be sold on contracts. The perception to the user is that the phone is “free”. When you do the maths, an iPhone or new HTC handset costs a great deal of money, but because you never hand over a lump sum you’re willing to commit to maybe £1,000 over two years because you want the hardware and the plan fits within your monthly budget. Imagine walking into a shop to pick up the latest iPhone to find it costs £900. You’d never buy it. It’d be exclusively for those with a large amount of disposable income, which means most people would sit there waiting for the price to come down and Apple wouldn’t be able to bring out a new iPhone for years.

Sound familiar?

If the concept of subscriptions takes within the console space, the ramifications for Sony and Microsoft could be gigantic. The traditional console model is that you make an over-powered, expensive machine, sell it for a loss and recoup the cost later in the cycle on discs. If we were all buying consoles on monthly payments, we’d be paying full price for launch machines. That means the insane losses suffered by Sony to launch PS3 would, in theory, evaporate. Good for everyone. Apple, specifically, has used this model to devastating effect with iPhone.

And aside from getting you to spend proper sums of money for expensive pieces of technology, the subscription model also locks you into the concept of upgrading. One of the current console business’s greatest flaws is that it makes iteration difficult. Apple, evidently, has no such problem with iPhone, keeping its users at the highest rate of spend possible by constantly releasing newer, better hardware and offering upgrade packages.

With subscription as a normality in the console space, why couldn’t Microsoft bring out a new model every two years with a faster GPU? You enter into a new contract, hand over £100 and your monthly fee goes up £5. It’s back-compat, so you just download all your 720 games again, and off you go with something shiny and new.

People want HD gaming, but it has to make sense. It has to be cutting edge. HD gamers don’t want to play on ten year-old tech, but nor do they want to be handing over what they perceive to be large sums of money when they have far more important things to worry about, such as mortgages and credit card bills. Adopting the smartphone payment model could change everything for consoles. As EA CEO John Riccitiello said in the firm’s earnings call last night, “We are strong believers that console will return to strong growth and represent a great opportunity, one that is in lockstep with our digital plan.”

Don’t believe gaming’s future’s completely Apple-shaped just yet. Apple may represent a threat to the likes of Microsoft and Sony in games, but the rampant success of iPhone’s subscription model may have, ironically, shown an exciting route forward for Xbox and PlayStation’s next generation.

[Pic 1, pic 2]

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67 Comments

  1. Ali Hayas

    Yeah… Do that and I’ll stick to my PC.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. daytripper

    Well written article Pat with some great points, I am unsure about the business model myself.

    I hope you don’t take offence to this but VG247 do seem to be doing a lot Sony editoral stuff of late, are you working with their PR department? I ask because it could be seen as a way for the companies to generate ideas through gaming website communities to get feedback. Testing the water to shape future hardware, I would certainly think about it if I was Sony or Nintendo or MS, get a general public opinion of certain suggested plans at HQ without actually coming outright saying so.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. TheBlackHole

    I’m all for it. Spread the cost at a reasonable rate.

    Can’t really see the issue here, as long as there’s always a ‘pay in full’ option to appease people like #1.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Deacon

    Good article Pat, but I sincerely hope it doesn’t go this way.

    Call me old fashioned (I am) but I don’t want a constantly updated console. I don’t want to feel pressured to re-new my contract just so I can have the latest console, in the same way I despise those idiot Apple fans who feel they must have the latest iPhone/iPad. I’ve got nothing wrong with credit agreements – they’re hardly a new thing, and to be honest I’d rather pay Sony/MS direct as opposed to some opportunist company who want to whack me with their 500% APR.

    I don’t see how this will revolutionize sales because options like this have always been available – though not directly from the mothership. I mean that when the PS3 was launched, most people through one means or another would have been able to tie in to a £30/month plan or something similar, negating the huge initial cost.

    The thing that pisses me off about this ‘innovative new model’ from MS, is that they’re STILL shamelessly flogging Kinect when little to no quality titles exist for it (outside of Dance Central and a handful of party games) and if the next console is going to require ‘Kinect 2′, then well.. there’s little point in you owning the standard Kinect now is there. Top that with the fact that within the space of 2 years the NextBox may hit store shelves, meaning you’re still paying for your old hardware whilst pining for (or waiting to enter ANOTHER credit agreement) the new system.

    Even if the option still remains to buy the system outright, I don’t want a system with 12 iterations. I don’t want to feel like I have to constantly upgrade. This doesn’t appear to be in the interest of the consumer AT ALL. Also it will inevitably produce more waste, so it’s not very ethical.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. kingofscotland

    Hey Pat – where’s my credit?? :-)

    You’re right Pat, as I said yesterday there is no way I’d own an iPhone if had to pay £900 – I’d be divorced for a start, but don’t blink twice at the contract, it makes complete sense.

    For me its the right decision for the Hardware makers effectively everyone paying ‘launch price’ for 2 years but more important for software makers knowing there would be a significantly bigger install base will persuade them to make launch games and or exclusives.

    I’ve got a better idea – ‘if’ they announced at E3 this year and opened a pre order that day you could start paying now, a year in advance at a ‘special rate’ meaning you help with the production/marketing costs and when you get the machine you’ve already payed for a year.

    I would probably do that if the incentive was good enough

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Telepathic.Geometry

    Nice article Pat, it does make you think about the future of gaming. It’s an ugly prospect for me, because even when I got an iPhone I just paid it up front to take the hit early and recover and not have to take a kick in the nuts once a month.

    Just one thing I’d like to call you on here though, and might just be me being completely out of touch, but surely nobody pays 900 snots for an iPhone. I paid my iPhone 3 straight up, and as far as I remember it was like 30,000 yen or something like that, which would probably be what, 250 pounds sterling or so I guess. Even a top of the line iPad 2 doesn’t come to 900 pounds, does it? I’d have thought half a grand max… Am I way off here?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. absolutezero

    If this does actually happen and the up-front price is artificially inflated to make the subscription plan more attractive then im done.

    Im finished.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. ManuOtaku

    I wonder how this will work in third world countries, it will be the same?, how they will handle that?, besides this i dont like the idea, because it will not also look a lot like apple´s way of doing business but also it will look a lot like a PC, call me old school, like a previous commenter on this trend wisely pointed out, but this is the reason i dont do PC gaming at all, i like the close environment of the consoles for a number of reasons that will need another topic for itself, also iam one of those guys that doesnt upgrade every time a new enhace product hit the market, most of the times the differences between the upgrades are not that noticeable IMHO.

    Dont get me wrong i like the option, because i know there will be people that will love this idea, it will have its pros and cons as well, but i dont want this to become the norm, have multiple services, old and new alike is what i hope for, so people like me can be happy as well as the ones that love this idea.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. tenthousandgothsonacid

    I think this would have worked this gen but all signs atm are pointing towards much cheaper launch hardware next Christmas. I reckon both MS and Sony are aiming for 250 (dollars/euros/pounds)-ish at launch and not making a loss at that price either…

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Dimaco

    The subscription model itself doesn’t sound bad, only thing is, considering the developing times of AAA titles I can’t see how releasing new, more powerful versions of the hardware every couple of years can be considered good… Varying too much the hardware install base can’t do any good.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. SlayerGT

    Good read Pat. My only question to this interesting pricing model is (and I’m sure it’s in the fine print) what happens if your Xbox breaks? Can you say console insurance? :P btw if there’s a guy looking to start that business ask him if he knows what rrod means first.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Ali Hayas

    @3 I didn’t really want to sound like a rich jerk and all but, I am guy who just believe in “if I can’t afford it, I don’t need to get it now”. This business model is new and relatively has never been put into consideration. I am not sure if any of those giants would risk building a console and start selling it using this, if anything, the company needs quick sales to cover production costs and subscriptions services ain’t really a quick way to get money, so those 3 giants might use the software aspect and wish to the it would be profitable but who am I kidding ? Sony’s exclusives aren’t really getting better quality wise and the sales ain’t that much.

    Part of me is thinking, well, this might work for next gen seeing ha it would most likely use the same set of already purchased TVs/stereo, but what would happen for the next ones ? I can’t see a guy being able to afford the gaming setting (TV/Home/Job/Free Time) without being able to afford a well priced console.

    Oh and buying a 1000$ console ain’t something I am gonna do… With that sum of money I would be able to bu a PC and start having fun modding.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. manamana

    I agree with Deacon and I also wouldn’t buy in this, as I didn’t have done with my phone but I can clearly see the benefit for Microsoft and the publishers. For many gamers its just more comfortable or imagine parents lashing out just a little sum for their kiddos by thinking they’re done. The rest is just like financing a car, a house, phones, you name it….

    #13 3 years ago
  14. TheBlackHole

    Do none of you realise that this is OPTIONAL?

    More options for people to get into gaming is a GOOD thing, surely?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. StolenGlory

    @14

    I was just about to say that; since when did more choice ever become a bad thing?

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Da Man

    #10 is Erzatwat alt one, or Erzatwat posting from PS3 innit? Or just Erzafriendo?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Dimaco

    #16 point?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Da Man

    Point you say?

    Here’s my point: http://translate.google.com/?hl=en

    #18 3 years ago
  19. ManuOtaku

    #14, #15 i agree, but the post made a clear point this will be the future, hence the only option, at least it will be the main focus, again iam not against multiple choices, it makes everyone happy, but being the main focus it is worrying from some gamers, and it is understandable IMHO.

    p.s this keeps reminding me the kerplunk Vs OG saga

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Deacon

    Yeah of course more options equals more gamers and more money into the industry…

    But how is segregation a plus? If the future transpires as Pat’s article, we’ll have some people on the entry-level PS4, then we’ll have some on the PS4.5, and then those with the latest PS4.9x. Not only a nightmare for devs, but will all of these guys be playing the same version of the same game together?

    As it is now this is definitely not a bad idea (although it encourages people to live beyond their means which I’ve already said I’m against). I just hope it doesn’t lead on to Sony and MS taking the Apple route with a marginally updated system every year or two. That would fucking suck.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. OlderGamer

    Kind of makes buying a system for your grandkids birthday tougher.

    Also the underscoring, and seemingly untalked about issue here is price. This is what is being said to my ears. The next generation of consoles are going to be so expensive, most people won’t want one. Or won’t be able to afford one.

    I don’t think this should even be entertained. Its iresposible.

    Look at Nintendo. You make hardware you can afford to manufacter. And you sell it at a price people can afford. That is a proper biz model.

    Making something that people can not afford unless they buy it on credit, is not a great direction. Imo.

    But I do see it going there. And I think smart phones are the model that consoles will adopt. But really, if your going to buy a 900usd, 1100usd, or 1500usd console …. buy a freaken PC instead.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. KAP

    With payment plans you tend to pay more for the product in the first place… Nah thanx.
    My thinking is people nowadays want what they cant afford which is why so many are in debt in the first place with these kinds of options.

    If one can’t afford it, dont get yourself in debt over it.

    A movie I saw a few months ago called Repo Men is a great example of this.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. TheBlackHole

    “#14, #15 i agree, but the post made a clear point this will be the future, hence the only option”

    Sorry, but that is not what it is suggesting.

    Subs are a way of getting more people to buy, because money upfront is prohibitive to people with lower income. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for 1st parties – After all, it will mean less cash upfront.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Dimaco

    @20 +1 : somebody with some time to lose try and explain that to da man. Good luck

    #24 3 years ago
  25. ManuOtaku

    #21 i agree with your points OG, but the thing is what happens to people that dont like PC gaming,that do like the close environment of the consoles, if this become the norm what options do they have?, again i dont mind multiple services based on the older models and in this new model, but this becoming the future as a main focus is worrying, and i agree this will mean the consoles will be very expensive, and i ask again how this will work in third world countries? if this possible down here at least with the same model? i dont know.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Da Man

    Erzatime?

    Erzasense?

    Meh. Mysterious russians are mysterious.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. stealth

    Bottom line

    its a rip off

    and only a stupid gamer would be for it

    #27 3 years ago
  28. stealth

    roughly comparable? 200 dollars more is not comparable………

    I love it how articles like this dont report truth, or fact but ignore both in order to push an agenda

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Ashlen

    All I can really think to ask is, why do people pay for Live to begin with? Everything on Live should be and is free on PC and PS3. It’s not like Live isn’t ad based (Toyota McDonalds ads ect.)and profitable on it’s own.

    It’s sad to see consumers who not only blindly accept increases and unneeded fee’s but who actually defend price increases on things that are already profitable.

    They can have what ever kind of payment plans and fees they want i’m not going to buy them. These companies will claim the downfall of gaming on everything but themselves. But I can only speak for myself when I say the only thing that will drive me from gaming is all the stuff the Microsoft’s and EA’s keep doing that increase the cost with little to no benefit to the consumer.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. TheBlackHole

    @27/28

    I love how angry trolls feel the need to be angry about something they don’t seem to understand, whilst simultaneously claiming that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid.

    …and somehow expecting people to take them seriously :)

    #30 3 years ago
  31. TheBlackHole

    @29

    Yeah, because free hardware and inflated subscriptions really caused the downfall of the mobile phone industry, didn’t it…

    #31 3 years ago
  32. stealth

    @black hole

    the only troll I see is you right now. Something I dont understand? So analysts and 99 percent of gamers who say its a complete rip off because you actually do pay more for less are wrong, but you mister troll are right?

    Please

    Its a move which proves how little companies think of gamers…….

    Its a rip off that if anything will blow up in there face, its a desperation move considering how schooled the 360 is getting worldwide by the likes of the 3ds and ps3 this year

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Ge0force

    #25 Why would anyone hate pc-gaming? Every recent vidcard has HDMI so you can connect it to your tv. You can play with the input device of your choice. Online gaming and access to Facebook, Twitter etc… is completely free. Mods and community content make games better without the need for payed DLC. You can upgrade your hardware to get even better graphics. The only thing pc doesn’t have is a marketing campaign of several millions dollars, saying it is the best platform for a true gamer.

    That said, I don’t think this subscription model is a good thing. It’s just another step into forcing people to pay for online features, while online gaming all available apps are completely free on ALL other platforms. Hell, even Apple’s devices have free Facebook and Youtube apps. If Sony and Nintendo’s next-gen system have decent online features, maybe some x360-owners would start thinking about what they pay for. This subscription model even vaporise that hope.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. stealth

    @black hole, the mobile games industry is broken enough

    With the top 1 percent of devs getting 50 percent of the revenue aka basically EA, square, rovolio and some other get all the revenue

    #34 3 years ago
  35. stealth

    It really doesnt matter anyone, I doubt we will hear about this past next week, its an idea which is going to fizzle under the realization that everyone knows its a rip off with no merit.

    Look on the bright side, if microsoft is stupid enough to adopt it next gen, thats really one less system to get as it would be off the market in months

    #35 3 years ago
  36. OlderGamer

    One more thing to think about is what type of profit does this model allow a retail store to make? If it is even a modest profit, this could see a big push at stores. Seing as how stores make little or nothing on hardware now. Like the platform holders themself, stores make the shelf space back on games sales.

    Maybe there is more wiggle room for them in the new biz model idea?

    #36 3 years ago
  37. JB

    Developer entitlement ftw \o/

    #37 3 years ago
  38. mutantmule

    It’s about time we sent consoles to Dignitas. Why don’t you all buy an iPad? Come on. Why would you play Skyrim when you could play Infinity Blade?

    #38 3 years ago
  39. Gekidami

    ^ Not sure if serious.

    So lets say Sony releases the PS4 at $600, and like this gen, they sell it at a loss… So they’re going to be happy with the money slowly trickling in rather than instantly getting cash for each console up front? Seems unlikely to me honestly.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. stealth

    @older gamer

    0 Which is why this is only happening at 20 microsoft stores………

    It would never be allowed at a walmart, or a best buy, or a gamestop and 99 percent of gamers would not have it.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. Dimaco

    (Run, tovarishes! Da troll has found us!)

    #41 3 years ago
  42. OrbitMonkey

    If Microsoft are just now releasing this model, that surely means the nextbox is at least 18 months off, right?

    #42 3 years ago
  43. stealth

    2013-14

    #43 3 years ago
  44. Da Man

    There’s something with the russians who visit this website, they’re all equally bolshevistic..

    #44 3 years ago
  45. OrbitMonkey

    @43, Yeah… Xmas 2013, then if your on the model, you’ve only got a few months to wait for your “upgrade”…

    #45 3 years ago
  46. TheBlackHole

    @32

    “So analysts and 99 percent of gamers”

    …Sorry fella, you lost me with all the baseless hyperbole.

    #46 3 years ago
  47. Dimaco

    You got it all so figured out, haven’t you… you must be such a smart guy!

    #47 3 years ago
  48. Gadzooks!

    #33

    We dont hate PC gaming, just PC gamers.

    #48 3 years ago
  49. Da Man

    U mad, bolshevik?

    #49 3 years ago
  50. mutantmule

    How’s OnLive doing these days? (no sarcasm – genuine question)

    #50 3 years ago
  51. stealth

    remember this deal is only applicable in 20 microsoft stores, so its basically nothing……..
    2013 holiday sounds right to me

    #51 3 years ago
  52. freedoms_stain

    I can see a subscription service working, although I think the model Microsoft recently announced is quite frankly shite.

    Who is it aimed at? A 4GB system is unattractive to the “hardcore gamer” – can’t install games, can’t fit much DLC or XBL games, no GoD games. Casual gamers? Do they want or need a mandatory 2 years of XBL on top of the price of a console? What type of gamer wants a 4GB xbox, Kinect and 2 years of XBL?

    I think Sony could pull off a sub system this gen way better – a hardware bundle with or without Move and 2 years worth of PSN+ at a similar “value” ratio to what MS are offering with their bundle. That gets you a system with a decent amount of storage and a regular influx of actual content to play. Realistically the thrifty gamer could get by on PSN+ content supplemented with the odd retail title or PS+ discounted title.

    As for the future… it can work. Pat is right, most of us are happy to take a free or discounted phone on a contract – but we’re willing to do that because we perceive value in the contract. Most people use their phones multiple times a day, in terms of use vs cost my phone is probably the best value possession I own.

    So personally I could see a lot of hardcore gamers taking the contract-console route. If you’re the sort of person who averages 14+ hours a week, you’re gagging for the new hardware, but you don’t have half a grand or whatever they’re asking, why the fuck not?

    But it CAN’T be the only option. MS and Sony both know how many consoles they’ve sold and how many of those consoles are seriously active – less active owners are unlikely to want to sign up to a lengthy contract that costs more than the lump sum and contains perks they don’t even want (like a stinking great Kinect sensor) – but they do buy the odd game here and there and there is money to be made off those people.

    Just like with Phones, there are people who buy their handset sim-free and stick with a contract sim they like or go pre-paid, some people don’t want to be hooked into 18-24 month contracts if they end up with a device they don’t like. I kept my Xbox less than 2 years before I traded it in, if I was in some sort of contract I’d probably still be locked in to that agreement.

    #52 3 years ago
  53. Dimaco

    Haha, yup, you are so bright you should consider changing your name in Da Bulb

    #53 3 years ago
  54. Da Man

    Wow.

    Obv brighter than you then..

    You two are the same person, right? I don’t believe there’re that many angry soviets in here.

    #54 3 years ago
  55. Deacon

    @52 – I have the same problem with the offer.

    If they were offering a decent HDD, not forcing Kinect onto you, and perhaps offered some form of software incentive (whether this be a choice of 1 retail game or a few codes for downloadables) then I honestly wouldn’t be beating down on it as I am.

    As it stands it stinks of M$ trying to shift Kinect stock and trying to catch people out. People who are blissfully unaware that you could get the exact same gear (albeit not brand new) for about half the price elsewhere.

    #55 3 years ago
  56. mojo

    fuck off with subscriptions. just_fuck_off

    #56 3 years ago
  57. JRNO

    I hate contracts. Doesn’t really matter how much anything costs, I always rather pay the whole sum upfront.
    Even the thought of paying a monthly fee for something that could go sour any day of the week makes me feel ill.

    Good on the folk who find deals like this attractive, I suppose.

    #57 3 years ago
  58. DuckOfDestiny

    Wouldn’t this also mean that Sony and Microsoft would be liable in replacing failing hardware as long as you are paying your contract?

    No more consoles dying 6 months after warranty, forcing us to either spend a fortune on a repair or go out and buy a new one.

    #58 3 years ago
  59. speedxl01

    I understand that the scheme could be a good deal, but what MS is currently offering is a SCAM, I don’t know why you twist the truth, and say it’s a good deal, I pointed it in your last article about this, In AMAZON the 360 4G Kinect Bundle cost $275 dlls plus $100 dlls of MS gold live (online should be free) = $375 dlls VS $478 dlls with the subscription model..

    Why PAYING MORE and being tied with a service that maybe you wouldn’t have paid in first place is a good deal??

    The example that you put with the cell phones it’s totally different to what MS is doing, In first place the carriers subsidize the phone and sometimes offer them FREE if your contract is for 2 years, yes your are paying the phone with what you pay for the service, but it’s the same cost would pay for the service anyway, even if you did not have a contract.

    I hope you reconsider your opinion about this, it’s unfair for the gamers that you describe this scheme as a good offer, the media takes this kind of things lightly because often they get consoles and games free, but they must be defending gamers interest not the companies, there are a lot of gamers that can’t afford the luxury of paying more.

    Thanks.

    #59 3 years ago
  60. speedxl01

    @58 you have at least one year of warranty with the current model, and there are lot cheaper extensions if you want to be covered more time.

    #60 3 years ago
  61. absolutezero

    Ok so say you buy a contract for a phone and you then go on to not manage pay any of the contract. They can kill your phone pretty much leaving you with a brick.

    How is that going to work with a console disconnected from the internet? Its not is it.

    Mandatory internet connection then.

    Great. gggggggggggggggreat.

    #61 3 years ago
  62. shogoz

    fuck this shit, the whole reason i purchase phones outright is so i WONT be locked into a contract. im not a poor asshole like the majority of people out there who go for the contract. Think of any horror stories you have of being locked in a contract with a phone provider (everyone would fucking have one) and then imagine the same shit happening with microsoft. fuck that.

    #62 3 years ago
  63. Killerbee

    I do agree with the points made in the article but I think the comparisons with the mobile phone industry are still a little way off.

    For starters, plenty of people prefer pay as you go phones precisely because they don’t want to be tied in to a contract. Okay, consoles can still be sold in the conventional way, but that sort of blows a hole in the idea that they might cost £600+

    Then there’s the idea of having a contract for your console. That’s something totally new for PS3, Wii and PC owners to get their heads around, not to mention that there are plenty of Xbox 360 owners who choose not to pay for a Gold sub.

    I like it as an alternative option to paying up front, but I don’t think we’re quite ready for an entire console generation based on this business model.

    #63 3 years ago
  64. Gigabomber

    Just add another thing for me to painstakingly re-negotiate every 6 – 12 months then. Thanks for that.

    #64 3 years ago
  65. Lord Gremlin

    IDK. Maybe it seem appealing in US or UK… I try to never get into any contracts with corporations like that. I bought my phones, full price paid up front.

    #65 3 years ago
  66. Clupula

    The day this sort of scam becomes the norm is the day I quit buying new systems.

    #66 3 years ago
  67. Christopher Jack

    I’d rather upgrade my PC every 2 years than bend over for a 2 year commitment for just a gaming console. The only reason I have no issues with a subscription for my mobile is that I’ll be paying the same regardless for the credit, may as well get a free phone. The only case I’d be happy paying a subscription for a console is if it came free with my broadband. Ironically how I obtained my Xbox 360- it came free with my broadband. So perhaps an alternative approach for distributing consoles in the future is for MS & Sony to shackle up with network providers.

    #67 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]