In a move that will surely incite riots on the internet, but will shortly be followed by - "I guess we'll pay it" - Microsoft is raising the price of an Xbox Live Gold Subscription for the first time since Xbox Live launched back in 2002.
Pricing of Xbox Live is currently $7.99 a month or $49.99 if you pay for a year. The new pricing will put monthly costs at $9.99 and a yearly subscription at $59.99.
The move is somewhat shocking because, as its been since the service launched, the subscription fee has been question by most customers. PC gamers have enjoyed free online play for ages and now Sony and Nintendo both have online services on their respective consoles at no cost - though Sony has recently launched a premium version. Many wonder why they should pay for it on the Xbox when they can get it for free elsewhere.
The central debate point has always been about paying for online multiplayer and it looks like that isn't going to change. Instead expect Microsoft to argue that it's adding value to the service with things like ESPN 3 and other services. Of course for most people - they really have no interest in these extra services - they just want to play games online.
The flip side of the argument is Nintendo's online service is nothing more than a retail store with very little multiplayer functionality and Sony's online service has been playing catch up since it launched.
We'll wait and see how Microsoft spins this, but so far they've only just told us that on November 1st, 2010 our prices are going up. They are offering gamers the ability to lock in at a discount price of $39.99, but you need to do that soon. The price increase only affects the US, Canada, Mexico and the UK.
You're co-op gaming just got a lot more expensive. We suggest stocking up on XBL Subscription cards now at the discounted price - they do stack!