Recent rumors have surfaced about the specifications of the next Xbox. Unfortunately for gamers who were expecting new information to surface, what was revealed is the same old stuff we already knew. Edge’s report did include something that made me think about a working theory i have about the Xbox Live service and its future. It has been stated that a “new iteration of Xbox Live” will be important to the next Xbox. This could mean that the service will look and work differently than the current generation version we all know and love (or love to hate).
With all the news Microsoft has made about their plans to entertain their fanbase, I believe a couple of scenarios will come out of all this. Either the price of Xbox Live will rise or paying yearly could be replaced with a monthly subscription plan. This is speculation on my part of course.
Here are some reasons I believe you will be paying more for Xbox Live next generation:
1. Xbox Live will be jam-packed with apps and features when the next generation arrives. Netflix, Comcast, HBO, ESPN, and YouTube are available on the service, and recently RedBox Instant has joined the ranks. Microsoft will also be launching 40 new apps this year alone. “Value” could be used to justify price changes of any kind.
2. Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studio is creating interactive television and original programming for subscribers.
3. Microsoft acquired R2 Studios, a company that was working on technology allowing digital media to be shared on TV’s and automation devices to allow users to control heating and lighting of their homes via remote control and an Android app. Blake Krikorian, founder of R2 Studios, is now working with a small team within Microsoft. The features I just stated would work perfectly with Microsoft’s SmartGlass app that was announced at E3 2012, and who knows if advanced features will be announced for it. Let’s say, controlling your home’s environment?
I just don’t see Microsoft loading up their next Xbox with new features and content without affecting the cost of a Xbox Live subscription, so the real question here is will the service still be worth paying for next generation?