Microsoft has admitted it “messed up” when it tried to up the price of the Xbox Live Gold subscription service you need to pay to play games online, and walked back the move as gamers threatened to jump to Sony’s rival PS5.
The company threatened to raise the price of Xbox Live by $US1 a month or $US5 for three months, prices that would have been reflected in other markets.
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In Australia, Live Gold costs $80 a year, $50 for six months, $30 for three months and $11 a month.
The similar PlayStation Plus subscription costs the same for one year, $34 for three months or $12 a month.
Gamers reacted furiously while some speculated the price hike was part of a more devious plot to push people onto the Xbox Live Game Pass, which costs more but includes a library of games.
Xbox quickly caved to the backlash and announced it would not be proceeding with the changes as planned.
“We messed up today and you were right to let us know,” the company said in a conciliatory update to a blog post announcing the price hike 14 hours after it went live.
“Connecting and playing with friends is a vital part of gaming and we failed to meet the expectations of players who count on it every day.
“As a result, we have decided not to change Xbox Live Gold pricing,” Xbox said.