Industry News: Increase in Gold Accounts for XBOX LIVE

It's easy to be angry with Microsoft and easier to not care, assuming you have the funds, but the $10 price hike on Xbox Live is both a warning to consumers and a wake-up call to Sony. As a consumer we've got two options, renew when our subscriptions are over (for $10 more) or to play all of our games online with the PS3. Neither option makes us happy. We got used to paying $49.99 and were happily complacent about it. So why the price hike now?

Microsoft isn't one to throw free money away, their board meetings must have agreed on one thing, they were going to make more money from the people that would renew for 10 extra bones then they were going to lose from people being offended by the cost increase. Essentially, they know we're hooked. So as consumers we'd be silly not to watch Microsoft for service improvements, because our $10 dollars should be going to something.

As for Sony, they can't feel great knowing that a large share of their target demographic would rather pay Microsoft $10 more then switch over to their FREE service. The 2 main reasons that Microsoft can get away with this is that they have stronger exclusives that require online play (Halo) and because Live is simply a superior way to connect with friends. If I were Sony I'd announce a number of things, at least some improvement to their online service, because right now is the ripe opportunity in which to respond, but will they?