Microsoft has upped the price of Xbox Live Gold membership in the UK, US, Canada and Mexico.
In the UK the price has increased for £4.99 per month to £5.99. For UK users who pay monthly this represents an annual increase of £12. Those who pay for XBL access once a year won’t see any increase on the current £39.99.
In the US monthly membership has climbed from $7.99 to $9.99, with three month membership increasing from $19.99 to $24.99 and yearly member ship jumping $10 to $59.99.
Current members are being offered the chance to extend their subscription at existing prices.
Though Xbox Live is open to any 360 owner via the free Silver membership, Gold access comes with a hose of extra perks (such as early demo access) and, crucially, is required for online multiplayer.
The decision will be all the more testing for Microsoft as Sony’s rival service PSN and Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connect offer online multiplayer for free. In June Sony did, however, launch a premium arm of its network, PlayStation Plus, which offers members a host of monthly freebies.