Xbox LIVE Getting a Price Hike

In emails sent to Xbox LIVE subscribers today, Microsoft has revealed that they are increasing prices across the board for access to their gold online service. While no actual reason for the price increase was given, it can likely be attributed to added features coming soon to the service, including Hulu Plus, ESPN, and Video Kinect.

A one month gold subscription will cost $9.99 (up from $7.99), three months will cost $24.99 (up from $19.99), and 12 months will cost $59.99. However, “loyal” subscribers will be able to clinch in a discounted rate by following the link included in the email, getting them a year of Xbox LIVE Gold for $39.99.

UPDATE: GameZone’s Stefanie Fogel has the following info to add, pulled from Major Nelson’s blog:

The increase will only affect Xbox LIVE members in Canada, Mexico, the U.K. or the United States. A one month sub in the U.K. will now cost 5.99 GBP instead of 4.99 GBP.

For those who want to renew their subscription and lock in the current price, Xbox is currently offering the chance to do so on their Web site.

“Since launching Xbox LIVE in 2002 we have continually added more content and entertainment experiences for our members, while keeping the price the same,” writes Major Nelson. “We’re confident that when the new pricing takes effect, an Xbox LIVE Gold membership will continue to offer the best value in the industry.”

Consumers, however, might disagree with that statement given the fact that the competition’s services, while perhaps not as robust, are completely free. So what do you, as a consumer, think of the changes? Leave a comment!