A member of the Microsoft security team watches over the newly unveiled Xbox One videogame console at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. (GlennChapman, AFP)
Fin24 users have largely reacted with outrage over Microsoft’s plan to hike South Africa’s Xbox Live subscriptions from R50 to R159.
Gaming news website Gamerinformer.com reported on Monday that emails sent to Xbox Live Gold members in South Africa revealed that the price of a monthly Xbox Live Gold subscription is set to increase from R50 to R159 as of June 20.
READ: Weak rand sparks Xbox Live price hike
The increase comes after the South African rand has weakened over the last year from R11.87 on May 18 2015 to around the R15.6 mark to the US dollar on Tuesday.
Subsequently, Microsoft has also issued a statement to Fin24 about the price increases:
“We have updated the South African pricing model to provide a balance of service and value, and to meet currency fluctuations within the region. We do so always keeping in mind that our goal is to offer our members the premium gaming and entertainment service at a fair price. With Xbox Live Gold, subscribers have access to a premium multiplayer gaming experience, free games, exclusive discounts of up to 75 percent in the Xbox Store and more. And through Home Gold, a single Gold membership provides all of these benefits to everyone in your household. Furthermore, with Backward Compatibility, all future Games with Gold titles for Xbox 360 will be playable on Xbox One, giving subscribers double the free games to play each month. Altogether, there’s never been better time to be an Xbox Live Gold member.”
But Fin24 users have expressed their frustrations over the price hike.
Fin24 user Huberto wrote:
“I would just like to add some information to your article, especially regarding the ending. You stated: ‘Currently, at R50 per month, South Africans pay about $3.25 for Xbox Live Gold. However, pricing in the US is $9.99 (R156).’ This is true, however, in South Africa, we do not get the same service as the US. There are games that are ‘not accessible in your region’ as well as apps that that have limited services (i.e. Netflix) added to that that, the fact that we do not have the same customer support that is received in the US. If our consoles have any faults, we have to send them overseas for repairs. If you live in the US, you just take it to one of your local support centers for repairs or replacement. It is absolutely ludicrous that they think that they can charge us the same for a service we are not actually getting. Time to buy a playstation. :( Loved Xbox while it lasted. #XboxRIP.”
Fin24 user Claire wrote:
“I am very upset at this news. My son is an Xbox Live user. I am happy to pay R50 a month for him. But definitely not R159. That's ridiculous. If he want's to continue he will have to earn the money and pay himself.”
Fin24 user Madiney said:
“It is a rip off. Netflix is slightly cheaper. I pay this every month for my son.”
Fin24 user Amica wrote:
“They have to keep it under a R100 or it's going to be too expensive; they should give an option where you can get a cheaper subscription for online gaming only and a premium membership where u get free games and discounts on games; I couldn't care for any of that stuff just the online play and that is worth R50 pm not a cent more”
Fin24 user Johaan wrote:
“It is outrageous! My kids use it. I’ve got three boys and currently it is affordable, but at R159 per player, there is no way I can afford it.”
Fin24 user Greg wrote: “I'm cancelling!”
Fin24 user Anton wrote:
“Its absolutely ridiculous. A hike i can understand, but a jump of R110? Hell no, bye-bye Xbox Live.”
Fin24 user Tim wrote:
“Not happy at all; the rand hasn't depreciated 300%”
Fin24 user Stefan said:
“Is there any way for Microsoft to explain how the rand weakens by 50%, but the XBox Live increase is by more than 200%?””
Finally, Fin24 user Jason wrote that despite the price hike, he’ll still keep the service:
“The change in price of Xbox Live is quite a large jump, but the benefits of "Games for Gold" out weights it. So personally I'm going to keep my subscription :)”