Despite what people may think of Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter, the guy is occasionally right so credit be given where credit is due. For instance, almost a year ago from today, Pachter predicted that the Xbox Live yearly fee would increase to an estimated $100. Though he was slightly off as far as the numbers go and the prediction shot down by Microsoft representatives, the increase did come and was announced as late as yesterday, much to the despise of a whole lot of gamers.
Whether the service will be worth paying extra for or not remains to be seen, and will be argued for and against over the foreseeable future. But while the increase in price is a mild one all in all, Pachter still predicts that a $100 ‘Platinum’ service is in the works and will make itself known sooner or later.
“The extra $10 translates to around $100 – 150 million per year in additional revenue for Microsoft,” said Pachter. “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 2 million users to switch from the $60 plan to the $100 plan, they’ll make an extra $80 million a year, and can keep investing to try to grow that business.”
He also referred to a Microsoft/Apple mash-up, in which gamers could eventually manage their iTunes library via their Xbox 360s, if the companies were on enough good terms to create such a service. The point being, while Xbox Live gives great value for money – depending on who you ask – there’s still so much that can be done with the service.
“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.”