Microsoft Xbox: Will You Pay a Monthly Fee for the Next Console?

As the launch date for Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) next Xbox grows nearer, video game fans everywhere are waiting with bated breath and pinched pennies to see how much they will have to hand over for the next big thing by the Windows maker and Sony (NYSE:SNE) — and when.

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Interestingly, there were rumors last month that gamers may not have to worry about the prospect of handing over all the dough as early as everyone thought. Actually, if the rumored release date of around the 2013 holiday season turns out to be correct, this may just be the perfect Christmas gift for all.

Forbes reported that gamers have good reason to believe a subscription-pricing model for the Xbox 720 may be available. Veteran tech blogger Paul Thurrott initially reported in April on the new model’s pricing and release date, explaining that “Microsoft will initially offer two pricing models for the console: a standalone version for $499 and a $299 version that requires a two-year Xbox LIVE Gold commitment at an expected price of $10 per month.”

However, he later corrected himself on Twitter on May 3, confirming that a $299 version of Xbox will come with a $15 monthly subscription rather than a $10 one. Nevertheless, if gamers are anything like cell phone carriers, Microsoft has good reason to believe that people will be more willing to handle the larger price tag over a long period of time rather than all at once.

Because we know that Sony is also launching their new PS4 around the same time as the next Xbox’s release date, it is easy to understand why Microsoft wants to make their product as attractive as possible, especially with the already-announced PS4 rumored to carry similar specifications. Luckily, as the May 21 launch event grows near, many cold hard facts will be available to the public.

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