We all know that Microsoft raised the price of it’s wildly popular online gaming service by $10 for a years subscription. Sure it doesn’t seem like much and to most people they don’t care because they see a value in it.

XBL is without a doubt the most seamless and robust of the services available on today’s console but where exactly is this money going to? They like to point out all the fancy features that have been added to the network so let’s have a quick looksee at these features.

FaceBook: There’s really very little to no FB integration with games on XBL not that I want everyone to know what I’m playing or doing. What if my boss looked for me one day. Besides, typing with my gamepad just plain sucks and I’m not forking out the dough to get the chat pad.

– Twitter: I really don’t like Twitter. I use it but really for nothing more then to blow off a little steam with a profanity laced tirade about my recent customer support issue I had with MS earlier this month. I’ll admit that The team on Twitter did help immensely.

– ESPN: I love the idea of this and have friends in the US that say it’s great but the reality of it all is that this  feature isn’t even available here in Canada so why should we care? Why should I help to pay for it? Unless we’re getting something here in Canada soon, I want some money back.

– Netflix: Netflix is my new digital love and I have Xbox to thank for this ,but, my BluRay player, Boxee, PS3, Wii PC, and Laptop all allow me to use Netflix anyway. Somehow I’m supposed to feel like this is a great value to me? Bundle it in with the price of XBL Gold so I can take an extra monthly charge off my credit card and I think we’d be onto something.

– Adding to the Customer Support Infrastructure:  RIGHT!!! Then why did it take almost 1 full week, 4 different “support” people, receiving incorrect dashboard navigation, being hung up on, Twitter support (they were awesome) and a manager at the Xbox HQ to fix my problem? Something tells me a very small portion of my $10 extra per year is going to poorly trained ” support” staff in India.

– Paid for by the Government Ads: You read that right – The other day I saw an add from the government of Canada on my dashboard. Thanks but I get fed enough BS from the Canadian government in the news. Not to mention the bastards are always in my pocket taking money so I really don’t need to see them invade my gaming console. Surely they must have had to pay enough scratch to get that space.

New Video Featurettes: Did anyone catch those videos leading up to the release of Halo Reach?  Unfortunately I did and all I can say is I was damn happy when the screen went blank and we couldn’t see her. I hope she didn’t get paid because she was terrible. Also, do we really need a channel for that Kinect chick? Sure she’s nice to look at but give me a break. Leave Jessica Chobot right where she is though.

– Upgraded Voice Quality: How exciting.

I’m sure I forgot something somewhere so feel free to add to my list of exciting features that have been added to Xbox Live that surely must justify spending $60+ per year on a service that’s free in other places.