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Is a paid subscription service for basic online service viable for next gen?
While Sony has remained mum on the future of PSN and whether or not paid subscriptions (outside of PlayStation Plus) will be a part of it, everyone seems confident Microsoft will maintain their paid Xbox LIVE Gold service, or some variant of it, for their next-gen console. In a market where free basic online multiplayer is expected on PC and PS3, how valid is the LIVE business model in 2013? PlayStation Plus offers subscribers free games every month, while Steam periodically frequently sells titles at deep discounts. Meanwhile, LIVE offers little more than access to features that are routinely free on every other platform. Even more concerning, with the increasing presence of consoles as streaming media boxes, will a Gold LIVE account still be required to access services like Netflix?