Microsoft plans new Xbox Live pricing

Microsoft plans new Xbox Live pricing

Microsoft will offer new pricing in North America for its Xbox Live online gaming service, later this year. It will raise the price of its "starter pack" by $US20 and offer a new monthly subscription option for $US5.99.

The starter pack includes a year's subscription to the service, a Voice Communicator headset for "talking trash" to other gamers, and one or two sample games.

Currently $US49.99, the new price for the starter pack will be $US69.99, Microsoft said.

It said the items bought separately would cost more than $US100.

Gamers will have the option to sign up for one month of Xbox Live.

The option was good for people who want to try out the service or play it only when their favorite sport was in season, Microsoft said.

The company also planned to offer a two-month free trial of the service.

The price for a one-year subscription, or a subscription renewal, will remain at $US49.99. Microsoft also will start selling the Voice Communicator headset separately for the first time this fall, for $US29.99.

The announcement comes a week before the giant gaming conference, Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), kicks off in Los Angeles.

Microsoft promised that "exciting new Xbox Live" features would be announced at the show.

The new pricing options apply only to North America; the company didn't say if it plans to offer new pricing options in other markets.

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