PC & Video Games

Paying for Online Console services (rant)

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 6th, 2018 11:18 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 9, 2007
1122 posts
305 upvotes

Paying for Online Console services (rant)

I'm so pissed right now. Both my PS Plus and Xbox live subscriptions just ended recently. I went into Bestbuy today to attempt to price match another website and was refused. The websites I used to PM were Dell.ca and PCGameSupply to which they replied that these sites only sell the digital code while the price on the cards is the price that Bestbuy pays. $140 a year is a LOT of money just to be able to play online. Now Nintendo wants in on the action so we are looking at $200 a year to play our console games online. I call it the stupid gamer tax! How the hell these subscriptions jump from $50 to $70 in one year? I now regret not loading up multiple years when it was selling for $50. Should we load up on multiple years now in case it goes up even further?

Normally this is not a problem because there is always a deal to be had on these memberships but there doesn't seem to be any deals available right now. Seriously it's ludicrous to think that in this day and age we have to pay to play our games online. I mean Call of Duty has what? A five hour campaign? The main part of the game is the online. Almost every game nowadays has an online service that it's a huge part of the game. You even need live gold inorder to play Free to Play games. How ridiculous is that? Xbox received a lot of backlash and even backpedaled a bit. Originally Netflix, HBO and even the friggin web browser were locked behind a paywall. I don't care about the free games. They only give away those games because they know that 90% of gamers wouldn't pay for Gold if they could play their games online for free. It would maybe make a little bit of sense if we were getting dedicated servers but most of the time gamers are using their own connections to host peer to peer games anyways.

/end rant
39 replies
Deal Fanatic
Feb 11, 2007
6758 posts
1687 upvotes
XBox Live Gold on XBox 360 showed that consumers were willing to pay a premium for better online service
(voice/party chat, gamerscore achievements, other social aspects like avatars, friends lists, etc).
Sony saw XBox Live Gold's success and copied and Nintendo is also following suit.

It is an additional revenue stream but it does cost companies money to maintain servers, hire people to engineer code, and pay for tech & customer support ect.
Microsoft is moving more towards the Netflix model strategy with games delivered as a service as seen with XBox Game Pass and Gold and all upcoming XBox One
first party developed games available at launch on Gamepass.

On PC, no single company has control over what type of hardware people buy or handling of online multiplayer (Steam, Battle.net, EA Origins, Uplay, etc.).
Although, one could argue Steam has the overwhelming market share of the PC video game market space as a platform.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 12, 2006
5073 posts
754 upvotes
calgary
The trick is to buy all your online games on one console so you don't have to pay the online subscription on the other console. XBLG is a no brainer for me here because Microsoft has a lot more exclusives with online components well Sony practically has nothing. Also I can get XBLG for fairly cheap whereas PS+ rarely goes on sale.

I typically don't bother with the free games because if there is a game I really want to play, chances are I'll have bought it by the time it hits the service.
There are a few exceptions here and there though and I do enjoy getting and revisiting some of the 360 titles but overall I'd say I'm lucky to get even one or two games that I sink more than an hour into.

The Nintendo online service is still a big mystery to me, I don't play a ton online with my Switch but recently I've become quite addicted to Splatoon 2. Also I played a ton of Arms online back around release and pop in once and a while. I'll be curious to see what the value proposition is here, we know its cheaper at 30$ but what other freebies are included in that price? I'll probably end up getting a subscription due to it's price but I'll wait to see how the program works and if there are any games I'm playing online at that time.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 23, 2004
6320 posts
2383 upvotes
Toronto
Bryson wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 1:22 am
Seriously it's ludicrous to think that in this day and age we have to pay to play our games online.
lol ya and that's exactly why I don't do it. It was sort of excusable back in the mid 2000s when XBL was relatively new and providing new online features that had never been seen before on consoles, but for that to still be a thing across multiple platforms in 2018, no thanks.

Unfortunately console gamers are backed into a corner where they can pay to play or not and the vast majority of them decided they are going to pay. Had players taken a stand back in 2012-2013 when the new consoles were launching and told MS and especially Sony to piss off with this garbage things might be different now, but as usual the indifferent masses set the precedent and here we are. Same reason every other MP release is micro transaction filled garbage.

If I couldn't play online for free on PC i'd straight up just quit multiplayer gaming entirely and stick to playing quality single player titles which I'm kind of already doing now since so many new MP games are trash anyways. Also how crazy is it that MS is now releasing arguably better version of their games on PC where they let people play online for free against the people who are paying a fee? dude what? If I was an XBL gold subscriber I would've cancelled my Gold sub the day play anywhere became a thing, but once again the masses either aren't aware or don't care enough to do anything about it and the cycle continues.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 11, 2007
6758 posts
1687 upvotes
PS+ and Gold also offer free games for people that add them to their libraries. Those games stay in your account and are playable anytime you are actively subscribed.

PS+ and Gold members also get additional discounts of an extra 20% off digital games on sale on their respective storefronts too.
Practically makes up for the subscription price if you buy games.

I almost pay more on my monthly cell phone bill than for PS+ yearly.
Personally, I get more entertainment value out of PS+ and XBL Gold than using my cell phone just to talk.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 23, 2004
6320 posts
2383 upvotes
Toronto
XFactor11 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 11:00 am
PS+ and Gold also offer free games for people that add them to their libraries. Those games stay in your account and are playable anytime you are actively subscribed.

PS+ and Gold members also get additional discounts of an extra 20% off digital games on sale on their respective storefronts too.
Practically makes up for the subscription price if you buy games.
Ya "free" old ass games that no one is buying or playing otherwise which are so cheap to buy when they hit the service that it doesn't even matter.
Waiting for games to be 20% off without paying for a pointless subscription is also an option. Many games are 50% within a month or two for that matter. Pointless benefits all around.
XFactor11 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 11:00 am
I almost pay more on my monthly cell phone bill than for PS+ yearly.
Personally, I get more entertainment value out of PS+ and XBL Gold than using my cell phone just to talk.
You only pay as much as your monthly cell phone bill because of the telecom oligopoly in Canada which is a whole issue in itself but lol @ comparing a daily necessity cost incurred by basically the entire population to a hobby/entertainment service smh
Deal Fanatic
Feb 11, 2007
6758 posts
1687 upvotes
There have been pretty good games offered on both services:

This month's PS+ has
Bloodborne and Ratchet and Clank reboot. Both highly praised games.
Until Dawn was up there recently as well.

I already own them but having an additional digital copy is nice as well for those that don't have them already.
Last edited by XFactor11 on Mar 13th, 2018 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 23, 2004
6320 posts
2383 upvotes
Toronto
XFactor11 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 11:18 am
There have been pretty good games offered on both services:

This month's PS+ has
Bloodborne and Ratchet and Clank reboot. Both highly praised games.
Until Dawn was up there recently as well.

I already owned them but having an additional digital copy is nice as well.
nevermind that those games are years old and cheap to buy without PS+ but how many garbage months went by before you got this "good" month of games you already played and owned long ago?
Bottom line is if Sony went back to free online play like they had on PS3, next to no one would subscribe for old "free" games and store discounts. We already saw that was true when PS+ was originally launched as an optional thing for PS3. No one subscribed to that crap back then and people only started when they locked online play behind it.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 11, 2007
6758 posts
1687 upvotes
Personally I spend around three to five thousand a year on video games, watching movies at the theatre, 4K UHD bluray movies or sports.
It depends on how much you think that entertainment is worth.

Millions of people did buy into PS+ when they offered free games and discounts. There is no denying that.
PS3's online multiplayer is still free to play if you didn't know.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/532 ... rs-global/
Last edited by XFactor11 on Mar 13th, 2018 11:27 am, edited 5 times in total.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 12, 2006
5073 posts
754 upvotes
calgary
I honestly have a hard time getting bent out of shape paying 30-40$/year for what amounts to the ability to play online plus 48 games.
I've definitely spent my money in much worse ways.

All though I do sympathize with the OP who is tied down to two subscriptions that seemed to expire at the same time and therefore is stuck in a position where he needs to pay what he can get right now to continue his subscription.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 23, 2004
6320 posts
2383 upvotes
Toronto
SpicYMchaggis wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 11:28 am
I honestly have a hard time getting bent out of shape paying 30-40$/year for what amounts to the ability to play online plus 48 games.
I've definitely spent my money in much worse ways.

All though I do sympathize with the OP who is tied down to two subscriptions that seemed to expire at the same time and therefore is stuck in a position where he needs to pay what he can get right now to continue his subscription.
Nevermind that's not what the majority of people pay but It's not about the money as much as the principle of being extorted for something that was free and is still free elsewhere but now costs money for no real reason other than "because we can and we know you'll pay it"
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jul 5, 2001
5392 posts
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I pay for PSN and XBL and 99.9% of my gaming is on XBL. The only game I play on PS4 is MLB: The Show and the only mode I play is DD, which is online. Total waste of money, but what can I do if I want to play online?
Deal Fanatic
Oct 23, 2004
6320 posts
2383 upvotes
Toronto
XFactor11 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 11:27 am
Millions of people did buy into PS+ when they offered free games and discounts. There is no denying that.
PS3's online multiplayer is still free to play if you didn't know.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/532 ... rs-global/
There's no data in this link about subscribers before online play was locked behind PS+. We already know millions of people signed up after 2014 when they had no choice
9394 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 11:38 am
Total waste of money, but what can I do if I want to play online?
Not play online and do something else. I get it though, it's not A LOT of money and you want to play your game so you pay it and it is what it is. Millions of people feel the same and that's why this is spreading across platforms and the price keeps going up
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 9, 2007
1122 posts
305 upvotes
XFactor11 wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 1:59 am
XBox Live Gold on XBox 360 showed that consumers were willing to pay a premium for better online service
(voice/party chat, gamerscore achievements, other social aspects like avatars, friends lists, etc).
Sony saw XBox Live Gold's success and copied and Nintendo is also following suit.

It is an additional revenue stream but it does cost companies money to maintain servers, hire people to engineer code, and pay for tech & customer support ect.
Microsoft is moving more towards the Netflix model strategy with games delivered as a service as seen with XBox Game Pass and Gold and all upcoming XBox One
first party developed games available at launch on Gamepass.

On PC, no single company has control over what type of hardware people buy or handling of online multiplayer (Steam, Battle.net, EA Origins, Uplay, etc.).
Although, one could argue Steam has the overwhelming market share of the PC video game market space as a platform.
The conclusion in your first paragraph is incorrect. Gamers didn't pay a premium for Xbox live gold because they wanted better service. They did it because they were forced to. The option was either pay for Gold or don't play online. I fail to see how gamerscore achievements add to the development cost of a game. If anything they are just another addictive mechanism to instill a false sense of pride and accomplishment. I know because I am one of these people. If it wasn't for achievements I'd probably be playing on PC.

Sony is about to drop and stop offering free PS3 and PS Vita games every month further devaluing their online subscription while simultaneously increasing the price. Is Sony going to start offering an extra PS4 game or two to compensate or are they really going to drop to 2 free games versus Xbox's 4 games per month. Add in the free 4K updates and free backwards compatibility patches from Microsoft and Sony is really looking like bad value right now. IF MS has proved anything its that there is HUGE demand for back compat and Sony's PS NOW service is a complete failure. Will be interesting to see how Sony responds next gen. This is why competition is good. Both Sony and MS have shown that they can get too cocky for their own good.

You do realize that these same engineering and server costs, cost the exact same for the same game on both consoles and PC yet PC gamers are not forced to pay to play online. Call of Duty, Destiny, PUBG, etc...

Xbox gamepass does not interest me. It's more of a novelty that I will subscribe when it's on sale but I already own every game on that list worth playing and MS does not release enough exclusives to make it worthwhile. it's basically renting versus owning and personally I'd rather own something. Could you imagine if Sony released all of their exclusives to a gamepass equivalent sub? That would be huge but of course Sony won't do it.

On PC no single company has control over the hardware. If Steam ever started charging to play their games online, PC gamers would just flock to another online service. Sony and MS own the console hardware so gamers are forced to pay for Gold/PS+ or get stuck playing their games offline.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 9, 2007
1122 posts
305 upvotes
SpicYMchaggis wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 10:22 am
The trick is to buy all your online games on one console so you don't have to pay the online subscription on the other console. XBLG is a no brainer for me here because Microsoft has a lot more exclusives with online components well Sony practically has nothing. Also I can get XBLG for fairly cheap whereas PS+ rarely goes on sale.

I typically don't bother with the free games because if there is a game I really want to play, chances are I'll have bought it by the time it hits the service.
There are a few exceptions here and there though and I do enjoy getting and revisiting some of the 360 titles but overall I'd say I'm lucky to get even one or two games that I sink more than an hour into.

The Nintendo online service is still a big mystery to me, I don't play a ton online with my Switch but recently I've become quite addicted to Splatoon 2. Also I played a ton of Arms online back around release and pop in once and a while. I'll be curious to see what the value proposition is here, we know its cheaper at 30$ but what other freebies are included in that price? I'll probably end up getting a subscription due to it's price but I'll wait to see how the program works and if there are any games I'm playing online at that time.
You advice is sound in theory but impractical in practice. For example I play mostly on Xbox but there are games like Uncharted and The Last of Us for example that are just not available on Xbox. It just seems like online is a huge part of most games that the game feels incomplete if you can't play online.

Backwards compatibility is huge for me especially lately. I absolutely loved Split/Second which recently became back compat. I am about to 1000/1000 The Witcher 2 on Xbox and will be importing that save into TW3. Of the free games offered this month it's actually Quantum Conundrum that I am most looking forward to. I really enjoy the back compat program even more so with the XB1X. I compare it to Facebook which allows you to connect with people that you otherwise never would have, in the same way that you get to play old favorite games that you probably never would have played again.

Will be interesting to see how Nintendo does with Online. It's one of the reasons I hesitated to get a Switch. I can play Splatoon on the Wii U for free.

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