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Microsoft calls Xbox subscription service “pivotal” to its business, hints at inclusion with next-gen

Tuesday, 23rd October 2012 17:03 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft may incorporate its Xbox 360 subscription services on offer into the next-Xbox console, the firm has hinted to the Wall Street Journal.

The firm’s general manager for marketing, Matt Barlow, said the new program is “pivotal” to the firm’s business and while US only at present, it will one day be extended to the international consumer.

“Back in June, we talked about how this is the year Xbox becomes the premium entertainment service for Microsoft,” added Yusuf Mehdi, chief marketing officer for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Division.

“While our success with Xbox to date has been led by a box in the living room, we’re now reaching individuals in new and exciting ways across PCs, tablets and phones. Xbox will be a gateway to the best in movies, TV shows, music, sports, your favourite games and instant access to your friends, wherever you are.

“We realize some may ask, ‘Why are all these apps called Xbox, isn’t Xbox just a game console?’ For us the decision to have Xbox stand for our broad entertainment efforts was a simple one. It is a natural evolution of our consumer offering.

“Even as Xbox has become the number one game console in the world, and continued to deliver arguably the best line up of games in our history, we have seen the use of Xbox broaden to watching TV/movies and listening to music.”

Mehdi said with the world currently a multi-device one, with millions of people “enjoying entertainment on their Xbox within arm’s reach of another device,” and Microsoft plans to take advantage of this through offering its service “seamlessly across devices.”

“We knew we needed a single name for all entertainment experiences from our company and nothing means entertainment at Microsoft more than Xbox,” Medhi concluded.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

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27 Comments

  1. G1GAHURTZ

    XBOX FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Moonwalker1982

    I don’t really see the next-gen hint though?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    I got no interest in paying a subscription for multiplayer access.

    By all means do a subscription service that offers paying customers extra, but essentially holding multiplayer to ransom ensures I never by a Microsoft games console again.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. OlderGamer

    Good luck with that Freedom. Going forward it will be the norm. MS rewrote the rules man. I will be blown away if PS4 doesn’t have the same types of “services” including OMP wraped into its PSN+.

    Lots of room on WiiU for you tho, want to trade friends codes when the system launches? ;)

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ali

    MS has been bragging for a while now… Wondering if they will end that up with a next gen announcment’s announcement.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. monkeygourmet

    So £499.99 to buy new consoles outright then?

    What are people betting?

    I certainly would rather pay a lump sum, but I bet they’ll make it more attractive to subscribe…

    Also, this will def split the market, I can’t see people wanting to subscribe to 2 gaming services (not average families anyway).

    So 720 and PS4 are going to butt heads in a big way! :)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. roadkill

    Wait! So Xbox players have to pay a monthly fee if they want to play say.. Battlefield 3 multiplayer? :D

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Cobra951

    Ugh! I own an Xbox, and play it more than any other platform. But it’s a game system, and that’s all it should ever be. So now, not only are they polluting XBL with media crap I can do better (and cheaper, often infinitely so) on the PC, but now they’re going to spread the name “Xbox” to unrelated systems? What kind of bullshit is that?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. OlderGamer

    What we think of now as consoles will prolly morph into platforms. Or you could just say that the platforms we have now will morph into something else with a different meaning. What I mean is the Xbox is going to be a brand. And MS will use that brand to encompass all maner of services. Prolly music, TV, Video, and Games. And my guess would be all of it Streamed.

    The kicker will be that you can prolly get at those services on PC, Tablet, Phone, Smart TVs, and yes maybe even a multi media physical box that plugs into your TV. I think Sony will do the samething to its Playstation brand.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. MegaGeek1

    So where was the next-gen hint? If one reads between the lines it would seem that the next system will likely retain the Xbox moniker…. Was that it?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Da Man

    The moment they make multiplayer free half of the kids will stop paying for Live, never going to happen.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. NocturnalB

    @3 You obviously don’t live in the US. We’ve paid a sub for Xbox Live since the first Xbox.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. speedxl01

    I will not pay MS to play online when it should be free.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Clupula

    If Sony does start charging to play online, I’m done with consoles. I have no problem with the Playstation Plus service, where they give you extra stuff if you pay a fee, but just to play online? No way. It would be suicide for Sony to do, considering how much of a selling point the free online has been for them.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Christopher Jack

    I think gamers will be better off buying a cheap PC with a top end AMD APU if they want a console on the cheap. You could design one for around $300 with 500GB HDD & 4GB of RAM into a very tiny package. I’m interested in the future of AMD APUs, it’s clear that AMD have lost the spec race & are unlikely to ever catch up but it doesn’t mean they can’t build capable & efficient systems for budget conscious gamers. My $450 laptop certainly won’t be winning any prizes in any category however it’s cheap with a decent battery life & can run Skyrim, Borderlands 2 & Dishonoured on medium without choking.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Phoenixblight

    @15

    I bet that buying a PC to be a next gen device will be stupid since when the Next Xbox releases, Microsoft sure as shit will be paying developers and publishers lots of money for exclusive games or timed exclusives much like they had done with DLC this gen.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Christopher Jack

    The above mentioned example wouldn’t really compare to a next gen device but it’ll play just about anything at medium @720p. Building a PC comparable to next gen will add a few hundred to the price tag but we can only really guess how powerful next gen consoles will be.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Phoenixblight

    @17

    I was just saying if you are planning on buying PC for next gen. I just don’t expect microsoft to let games go on the PC. They will get timed exclusives at the very least.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Christopher Jack

    @18, Exclusives have become increasingly rare over the years, it’s unlikely to see many exclusive games next gen from any 3rd parties.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Phoenixblight

    @19

    THey become rare because it doesn’t matter at the moment but when the next gen comes and releases MS will be doing the same thing they did at the beginning of this gen. They still do time exclusives with DLCs and games to ensure they stay ahead.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Erthazus

    @Phoenixblight, When Xbox 360 launched there were not a lot of exclusive games that were taken from a PC so I don’t see your point.

    So far PC is getting great support. Noit to mention about Kickstarter RPG games. Yummy.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Gadzooks!

    1) People generally do not choose consoles over PCs because of resolution. Unified online service, marketplace, fixed hardware, plug’n'play, and exclusives – yes. Resolution – no.

    2) Quality online services cost lots to run. MS are swimming in money from the Xbox division while Sony make losses. They sell similar amounts of hardware and software. The key difference? Subs. Both Sony and Nintendo will have subscription based online play in the next couple of years. I guarantee that.

    3) Sony already use Playstation as an entertaintment brand rather than just the name of a console. Why would the expanding Xbox brand be any different?

    #22 2 years ago
  23. TheBlackHole

    Why is everyone freaking out about this?

    It’ll be optional, not mandatory, like it is with mobile phones.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Gadzooks!

    #23

    I’m not so sure.

    Unlocked phones allow multiple carriers. Consoles can only access one network each, making a stronger link between hardware and service.

    It’s a very volatile industry. I wouldn’t expect anything like current or past console models to work next-gen. The service is going to be master, not the hardware.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Christopher Jack

    Sony will not be charging for OMP. It has worked for Microsoft so far but I don’t think it’s a very sustainable business model, just look at WoW, people realize the alternatives & it seems less value for money, eventually sales impacts become noticeable & force a change.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. ManuOtaku

    I hope at least the have multiple options or SKU, one SKU like the old days i mean a console with an X price tag, for instance 499$ and thats it, of course paying for XBOX live like this generation, and also another SKU with this subscription model, and the reason for this is one because is nice to have multiple options in order to make everybody happy, two because i dont like the direction the business/industry is going, and three how this subscrition model is going to work on other regions like South America, Middle east, etc?

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Gadzooks!

    #25

    WoW is a game which is showing decline due to userbase fatigue, it is not an online service. Not even vaguely comparable.

    Sony will charge. They quite simply cannot afford not to.

    #27 2 years ago

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