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

Tuesday, 23 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 3 years ago
  2. Moonwalker1982

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

    #2 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 years ago
  13. speedxl01

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

    #13 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 years ago
  23. TheBlackHole

    Why is everyone freaking out about this?

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

    #23 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Square Enix has released a Final Fantasy 15 video which shows highlights from the Episode Duscae demo included with launch editions of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. FFT0 has shipped over one million copies worldwide, and a player feedback survey is available for the Duscae demo until May 19. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on PlayStation […]

  • Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since release – SuperData

    PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since it was released on March 24, according to SuperData’s latest report. The figure produced by SuperData is worldwide and comes on the heels of the one million units sold announcement earlier this week. “After the release of the beautiful but terribly short game The […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Mega May returns, Super Smash Bros. update, Mii Fighter costumes

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]