Over the weekend, I spent some time playing online. I did so on Xbox Live and through games on both my PS3 and Wii. All the while, I was thinking about the one simple fact that kept sticking out in my head: for now at least, I can play online with my Wii and Playstation 3 and the experience is basically the same.
And considering Microsoft keeps losing ground to both Sony and Nintendo, why not find a new way to offer a more compelling alternative out of the company's most popular service?
Sure, it sounds radical and losing $50 per year from the millions of Xbox Live subscribers may be a major sticking point here, but it needs to be done. Microsoft's latest NPD numbers have been less than stellar and the Wii, DS, Playstation 3, and the PSP all sold better than the company's console in July. And if you want to compete in the hardware business, that's simply unacceptable.
To make matters worse, the big lead Microsoft had over Sony in the third-party sphere is practically eliminated and it doesn't look like Nintendo will slow down anytime soon, nor will the Xbox 360 become a force in Asia.
So what does Microsoft need to do to right the ship and really turn things around? Announce that all Xbox Live memberships will be free and all gamers can play online without a hitch. It's radical, for sure, but it's the best move Microsoft can make right now.… Read more