The bump in cost for a Gold membership on Xbox Live is just the tip of the iceberg, according to game industry seer Michael Pachter. Predicting a $100 plan as the next evolutionary step in subscription options soon to be available to Xbox Live consumers, he told IndustryGamers reports that while the initial extra $10 "translates to around $100 to 150 million per year in additional revenue for Microsoft," the company will "reinvest at least this much in developing other new applications, and will roll out a premium service with $100 to 200 million worth of enhancements. If they can get 2 million users to switch from the $60 plan to the $100 plan, they'll make an extra $80 million a year, and can keep investing to try to grow that business."

It makes sense: Xbox Live is easily one of the biggest draws of the console and consumers have already shown they're willing to pay a premium for it. But even if Microsoft were to offer a "Platinum" service, what could justify what is comparably such a heftier price tag?

"For all I know, the Platinum plan might include virtual goods credits for various Microsoft games," Pachter posits. "If members could get specialized Halo armor or weapons worth the extra $40, they might be more willing to sign up, and it doesn't really cost Microsoft anything to offer things like that." You know what? We may know a few people willing to pay for something like that.

[Thanks, Mark]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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