Personally, I like talking out of my ass from time to time, so for those new in town...this is my 2 Cents feature, which is reoccurring for her pleasure. Check out the other ones here
and over here.
With over 7 million users worldwide, Microsoft's Xbox Live is looking to become the
What will it take to achieve such a thing? Are they on the
right track to that kind of massive success? Let's take the plunge and see, shall we?
Take a good look around and you'll see that online social communities are
everywhere on the interwebs these days. Myspace, Multiply, Facebook...they all have
similar formulas for their success. If you look at Xbox Live's formula, it looks a
teeny tiny bit different.
The biggest thing that XBL has going for it, is the amazing communications technology available at everyone's fingertips. Video chat, online gaming and messaging are a huge part of the service as well as their fairly large library of downloadable content. Now I say fairly large because all of the movies and television shows are not available outside the US, so people like myself are still shit out of luck. Xbox Live is a Stickam/Facebook/iTunes with gaming hybrid perhaps? More or less, that seems to be a good summary of what the service is currently all about.
Microsoft, I love your service, but seriously where is the user created content? The cream filling if you will? Other online communities thrive on user created stuff(clogs
anyone?). They need to start getting some customized personality into the mix in order to compete with the likes of Myspace and Facebook. Perhaps they could add an extra dashboard blade with your very own XBL profile. It could have all the basics such as personal info, comments section, picture uploading, embedded video, just to name a few.
The fact that XBL is a totally closed off system doesn't really help their case either. Now I know the fanboys out there are going to say "ooh what about the custom paint stuff from Forza 2?" or "the upcoming Skate demo with uploadable video?" I mean, sure it's a start, but again, it is completely closed off. You can't edit a level of your favourite game and post it for all to play. You can't make your own song for Guitar Hero and let other people shred to it. You can't even access very common audio and video codecs or external hard drives.
I love the Xbox Live service, and it is more than worth the 60 bucks every year, but I want more. If they want this to become a mainstream online community, they need to take a look around and step it up. They will need to take risks in order to make it happen. Will Microsoft ever allow such an open system? Hopefully the PS3 will be able to put on some much needed pressure with Little Big Planet