Xbox Live has been the face of Microsoft's Xbox online gaming for nearly twenty years. Since debuting in 2002, the service has done much to pioneer online gaming and has tens of millions of subscribers. However, all good things must come to an end and Microsoft is waving goodbye to Xbox Live. At least the name, with the service now becoming “Xbox Network”.
Considering Xbox Live is synonymous with online gaming and a massive brand, this is something of a risky name change. Insiders have been spotting Xbox Network instead of Xbox Live on recent preview builds.
Microsoft has now confirmed the rebranding and explains why “Network” is more fitting a name than “Live”.
“'Xbox network' refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge. “The update from ‘Xbox Live' to ‘Xbox network' is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
Recent Price Confusion
Back in January, Microsoft stirred controversy by increasing the price of Xbox Live, making it more expensive than Sony's PlayStation Network. Microsoft said Xbox Live Gold subscriptions will increase in price by $1 to $10.99 to customers paying monthly. Customers on the three-month renewal plan would see an increase of $5 to $29.99.
There were also price increases for the longer six-month plan. Specifically, a six-month subscription would cost $59.99, which is the same as Sony charges for its one-year PlayStation Plus subscription. That would mean Xbox Live Gold would cost the $120 for a full year membership.
After outcry from users, Microsoft backtracked on its decision and issued a groveling apology:
“Periodically, we assess the value and pricing of our services to reflect changes in regional marketplaces and to continue to invest in the Xbox community; we'll be making price adjustments for Xbox Live Gold in select markets.”
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