In short, the answer is no. But, like Ansem the Seeker of Darkness, you may ask “…But why?”. Well, let’s look at what the XBOX gold membership has to offer.
Twitter/Facebook: To use facebook and twitter via your XBOX 360 you must have an XBOX Live Gold membership. 360 users should be asking themselves why they should have to pay for a free service that they can use on an iPod touch, computer, cell phone, android device, or any device that can access the internet. (and an internet connection) This feature should really be integrated into the free membership since, in my opinion, it’s pointless to have to pay for a free service.
Instantly watch movies from Netflix: I can see this being a reasonable thing to pay for, however one still needs to pay Netflix for unlimited streaming along with the Gold Membership. Microsoft, if you’re going to make your users pay for a Gold Membership, make sure that Netflix unlimited streaming is including in that fee.
Personalized Music from Zune and last.fm: This seems like a minor and trivial thing to pay for. You can go to Pandora and get customized channels, again for free. (as long as you’re paying for an internet connect)
Play XBOX 360 games online with friends: This I can see as one of the items that would require some sort of cost to cover the service. However, this feature is free for PSN users. Come on Microsoft.
Live Sports from ESPN on XBOX Live: Really? Do I need to explain this one? Alright I will. Watch sports games on your T.V.!
Now, don’t get me wrong. The XBOX 360 is a great device but the Gold Membership is just not worth it to pay for it, although I just might boil down and buy a membership when I get the money. When Microsoft comes out with a next gen console they really need to think about revamping XBOX Live. If they can actually find a good reason for players to pay for a Gold Membership, then go for it. However, right now there really isn’t any reason Microsoft should be charging for a services you can get basically for free or services you are already paying for.