Earlier this week Microsoft announced that it is to increase the price of some Xbox Live subscription packages – but Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter thinks the platform holder is preparing to take things much further.
“The extra $10 translates to around $100-150 million per year in additional revenue for Microsoft,” Pachter told Industry Gamers.
“I think that they will reinvest at least this much in developing other new applications, and will roll out a premium service with $100-200 million worth of enhancements. If they can get 2m users to switch from the $60 plan to the $100 plan, they'll make an extra $80m a year, and can keep investing to try to grow that business.”
But what additions could Microsoft offer to temp punters into nearly doubling their annual subscription costs?
“The Xbox 360 can work as a media center, and conceivably could do things like managing a music library,” he speculated. “Although Apple and Microsoft aren't the best of friends, I could see Apple letting Xbox Live members manage their iTunes accounts through their 360s, and other such premium services.
“I'm not the guy to speculate as to what they will offer, but I'm sure that there are many talented and creative people at Microsoft working on such a plan right now. For all I know, the Platinum plan might include virtual goods credits for various Microsoft games. If members could get specialized Halo armor or weapons worth the extra $40, they might be more willing to sign up, and it doesn't really cost Microsoft anything to offer things like that.”