In a move sure to shock and dismay gamers all across the world, Microsoft‘s Major Nelson has revealed that the subscription price for Xbox Live is due to increase, starting November 1st, 2010. Suddenly, the less capable PSN and Wii online services don’t look so bad.

Posting on his blog earlier today, Major Nelson described the price increase in largely positive terms, stating that:

“Since launching Xbox LIVE in 2002 we have continually added more content and entertainment experiences for our members, while keeping the price the same. 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.”

Now, I don’t know about him, but in my house, free content beats paid any day. I also know that even when compared to the increased feature set of Xbox Live, the free PlayStation Network doesn’t do a bad job overall. Pictured below is the new pricing scheme;

New Xbox Live Price Scheme

Honestly, I’m shocked. I know that myself, and a lot of other gamers, were eventually expecting a decrease in price, as opposed to an increase. Whilst I don’t deny that cross-game chat and various other Xbox Live exclusive features are worth the current £40/$50 price tag, I just can’t comprehend how Microsoft expect the gaming population to handle this news. With tears of joy? Cheering in the streets? Will there forever be a “Xbox Live Price Increase Day”, akin to that held in memory of Martin Luther King Jr.?

Still, I can understand the business behind it. With Halo Reach arriving relatively soon (September 14), it’s no surprise that the corporate heads at Microsoft saw a money-making opportunity. And who can blame them? Reach will undoubtedly be one of the biggest selling games this year (even beating the multi-platform Red Dead Redemption, in my opinion) and with the Holiday season fast approaching… I’ve no doubt that many of last year’s 12 month subscriptions will be expiring very shortly.

But the question is: How do you, the gaming population, feel about this news? Do you feel it’s worth the extra $10 a year? Are you annoyed that there’s nothing you can do about it? Let us know in the comments below.

Be sure to follow Game Rant on Twitter (@GameRant) as well as the author of this post (@speedydesiato).

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