Just recently, Peter Moore released an apology letter to the Xbox Community. The letter, which sounds sincere, talked about a new warranty that will cover any issues with the “Three Red-lights Of Death”, for the next three years. Peter, who is the corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division of Microsoft Corp, even guaranteed refunds to anyone who has paid for repairs in the past. Everything will be covered, including shipping.
Why are they doing this now? Is it because they are sensing a price-cut for the competition, holiday season, or lawsuits? After all is said and done, they will lose over $1 billion by adding this new warranty. Throw some of that money my way, Bill.
So, with so many 360 owners, who are on their second, third, forth, and even Thirteenth “refurb”, why do we keep supporting the Xbox? What is it that makes us forgive and forget, that our console, which we paid a nice chunk of change for, comes back from repairs as a refurbish replacement? That’s like taking your clothes to the dry cleaners, and getting some one else’s underwear.
Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online gaming service, released to the gaming public on November 2000, could very well be the main reason why gamers from all walks-of-life, choose to give MS some slack. I am on my third 360, both of which have been refurbished, plus, I am an Xbox MVP who is involved in the XBL community. I got fed up after my second 360 flashed me with red, but I found myself forgetting my anger, and sat around in anticipation, for the UPS truck, and my console. While I was without it, I still kept in touch with the gaming community by logging on to xbox.com. There, I was able to send messages to people on my friends list. It was something I could not be without for too long.
I have met some great individuals on XBL. Some of which I’ve met in person, or worked with. I have heard of countless couples that have met on Xbox Live and are now married. No other console or PC can replace the type of interaction one experiences on “Live”. When you log on to the 360 dashboard, filled with your friends, who enjoy the same games you do, nothing feels better. It’s like getting home after school, hurrying to change to your play clothes so you can go outside to chill with your friends.
The Sony playstation 3 has a free online service. Sony said it would surpass XBL in every aspect. So far, it hasn’t come close. The structure, well, lack of, is nowhere near XBL. Online games like Resistance: Fall Of Man, suffer because of the lack of gamers with headsets. Yes you can play with over thirty people online, but what type of fun can I have if we can’t talk? If you want to invite, or chat with a friend, he/she needs the same game to do so. The most simple task, aren’t possible with the PS3, at least for now.
Nintendo, with its new console, the Wii, has not made any bold statements about online dominance. They are content with allowing its fan base to download classic titles on demand, which is cool. But I can’t see myself putting a huge friends code, in order to have a friends listing. The big N still has some work to do online.
If this were any other company, they’d go broke. It’s no secret that Microsoft has huge pockets. But that doesn’t mean we need to feel like “Beta-testers” with our consoles. How many times do I need to see a message on XBL announcing that their 360 is dead? Supposedly, repaired consoles will now include a rumored heat sink, which should help with the heating issues that accompany many hours of use. A lot of gamers, who haven’t purchased a Next-Gen console, are waiting to see what the long anticipated 65nm chip would do to cure the Xbox 360 of Red-rings-of-lightis, time will tell. I will say this; Xbox Live has got me hooked. The point of no return has come and gone, for me. This is Microsoft’s “X-factor”, a BIG one, and they know it. The online service is there, now the hardware needs to catch up, quickly. read