What's Wrong with Xbox Live?

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6
 

Treblaine:

Narcogen:

I'm curious as to why a suggestion that Steam may not be as large as XBL, based on both service's (admittedly incomplete) statistics, is something you take so personally as to call me a bald-faced liar?

Because it is only through lies, deception and conceit that Xbox Live has found any success at all.

That's a pretty ridiculous (not to mention insulting) statement on its face.

It's tantamount to suggesting that, say, the success of Windows has happened only through lies, deception, and illegal competition on the part of Microsoft.

Would you agree with that statement? Do you use Windows?

Treblaine:

It is an exploitative, dumbed down and incredibly closed system.

Exploitation implies coercion. There is none here. Dumbed down? Matchmaking is a much smarter system than a server browser. Closed-- compared to what? In what way is it closed? I asked that in the previous thread and you never answered it. "open" and "closed" (like "free" and "open source") get bandied about a lot in discussions like these as weasel words for "good" and "bad" without being defined in the proper context.

In what way is Xbox Live "closed" in a way that Steam (or PSN for that matter) is "open"?

Treblaine:

FYI: many steam games DO IN FACT use peer-to-peer online, such as Modern Warfare 2 at the behest of Activision, it functions a tad bit better than the console version but still a big pile of donkey dicks in comparison to server run games. You can also use use peer-to-peer with all multiplayer Valve games like TF2 but no one ever bothers as Client-server model is always better (it's mainly there for LAN games).

I'm sorry, now you are the one displaying technical ignorance. You have no idea what "peer to peer" really means. MOW2 does most definitely NOT deploy a peer to peer networking scheme. It deploys a client/server architecture scheme *in which one of the clients is the authoritative server*. That is entirely different. A peer to peer system is one in which no one client always has an authoritative copy of the game state, put gets an authoritative game state (or updates on game state) from the previous client in a ring, applies updates from user input, and then passes on the updates to that game state to the next closest client in the ring. No modern games use such a scheme. The proof of this is that in what you call "peer to peer" mode the player who is host has host advantage-- just as the host does in any XBL game. That is because his box is acting as the "server". The fact that it is not a "dedicated server" does not make it any less a "server" and certainly does not make it a "peer"-- in the sense that in any true "peer to peer" networking scheme, all peers are treated as equals. That's why they are called peers.

It may be common parlance to define "peer to peer" networking as meaning no *dedicatedB server, but this is technically incorrect.

Treblaine:

It's obvious you know bugger all about servers as earlier you talked about a user run server assuming they'd Actually Physically Own The Server Machine and keep it in their home. Jesus Christ, how can you talk with such confidence on something you are SO ignorant about? Dedicated Servers are kept in the very centre of the internet network to avoid the "uphill" latency that is found in the last-mile of lines that connect to each residential home. They are enterprise run systems and rented out. You can also do the same if you want to run your own website.

I am well aware of this. I have worked at companies that provide both these services. I never posted anything that suggested I was not aware that servers can be rented, as well as deployed at home. What I am suggesting is that there are not enough XBL subscribers willing to pay for dedicated servers to satisfy the XBL playerbase.

Treblaine:

You are really clutching at straws you keep going back to how it is in any way a problem that Steam is free.

I'm not clutching at anything. It is a well-accepted axiom that things are worth what you pay for them. If someone is giving you something for free, it's because they know they cannot charge more for it.

Why is it that the most popular XBL game at this moment has more than ten times the number of online players than on the most popular game on the free Steam service? Is Microsoft that much better at telling a supposed lie than Valve is at telling the supposed truth? Exactly how much smarter than everyone else do you think you have to be in order to count yourself among the few and enlightened?

Treblaine:

My god, you are really chugging back the Xbox kool-aid to hold it against competing services that they are free! You are so vested in convincing yourself you are right to pay for Gold Membership you will resort to any stretch and contortion of logic to Rationalise it!

You proceed from a false assumption. XBL costs a pittance. The cost is entirely inconsequential to me. It does not require justification.

I would suggest that it is you who are desperate to justify your choice-- desperate to justify that the free thing you have and can afford is of equal value to a subscription service you don't want, and you rationalize any fundamental difference in functionality as being "more open" or something else that does not fundamentally impact how a user interacts with the system in most cases.

Treblaine:

Your logic is as insulting to the paying gamer as it is asinine:

You're not a paying gamer, you're a discount bin diver. You've got one big bullet point for Steam, and that's "free" which puts a sign over your head showing developers what you're worth to them-- nothing. You bragged that you got Left 4 Dead 2 for $10. That's a nice thing about Steam that they give good discounts once they've cleared out all the real paying customers-- or as you call them, the "suckers".

There is someone here whose argument is insulting to paying gamers, but it's you, not me.

Treblaine:

"Gold hinges on multiplayer not because that's the part that costs money for MS to run, but because that's the part that people are willing to pay for."

That is the logic that rationalises price gouging, you don't know crap about free market competition and how this is not capitalist economics, this is feudal economics. "you're on my land, I'll charge what I like for you to drink the plentiful water".

It is not price gouging to charge what the market will bear. We're not talking about foodstuffs or medicine here. This is a luxury service, something that is entirely optional-- and there is no monopoly here, as there are many competing services, including the one you have selected for yourself. There is no feudalism here-- no monopoly. No one is forced to buy an Xbox, and no Xbox user is forced to subscribe to XBL. Your analogy is broken.

It's nothing but sheer, antisocial arrogance to assert that your choice is the clearly superior one, and that anyone who has chosen otherwise is a sucker or a shill.

Treblaine:

Narcogen:

Why on earth should it be free?

Things are worth to you what you are willing to pay for them. What you're saying is, multiplayer is worthless to you-- because you won't pay for it. Why should developers spend time and money on creating features their users think are worthless? After all, it's not like those services are worth anything, unlike say-- graphic design. Nobody should be asked to give that away for free, of course-- that'd be silly!

Hey, the GAME ITSELF costs $60!!!!

THAT is where you paid for it, and Blizzard BUYING the dedicated servers is a one off cost just like all the other development costs and trust me that is even then a TINY FRACTION of costs like artists, coders, advertising and legal of actually making the game.

Yes, the game. When I pay $60 for a game I'm expecting to get what is on the disc, and nothing more. I need the console to play the game, but I have to buy that separately. I don't expect my $60 to buy me the console as well, even though the console is required to play the game I've paid the staggering sum of $60 for.

If I want to play multiplayer-- regardless of what service I wish to use-- I have to have Internet connectivity. I have to pay for that separately. I don't expect Blizzard or Bungie or anyone else to supply me with Internet connectivity, even though that is also required in order for me to use the multiplayer portions of the game I've already paid for.

The rationale that the services provided by Steam, PSN, and XBL *must* be free, because they are necessary to fully exploit the content on the disc you've paid $60 for, is just as false as the idea that the game should include console hardware or Internet connectivity. Sony and Valve make these free because it is in their best interest-- because they are trying to build market share and promote their other products. It is not because it is right, or because they feel morally obligated, or because they love you. Frankly I tend to think Valve would prefer you bought your games at full price, and would probably prefer that Steam had a subscription fee-- however they give discounts to increase sales figures (which they don't release... interesting) and give away the service for free because they know you won't pay for it.

I'm sorry that $60 seems to dear to you that you think it entitles you to not just what is on the disc-- the work effort of hundreds of people over several years-- but also years and years more of services and support.

Treblaine:

You know how much a dedicated server costs working it out at per-user PER-HOUR at typical RENTAL rates?

Less than 0.1 of a Penny per hour, less than one thousandth of a Pound. You put up just a single ad that the player views per hour (like when they start a new match) and that will pay for itself Ten Times Over.

$60 for Online SHOULD pay for 44'363 hours of gameplay equal to over 5 years of CONTINUOUS UNINTERRUPTED PLAY! And that is with dedicated servers NOT peer-to-peer online - which is all Microsoft guarantees to run with gold - that really is free to run as the load is taken by the ISPs (paid for by YOU when you pay for your internet broadband) and the hostign console (again paid for by you)

Microsoft to spite demanding $60 per year doesn't PAY for a single god damn dedicated server for any game. The games on 360 that DO have dedicated servers, well the developers absorb that cost without a word of complaint.

We won't pay for it because we KNOW it is a rip-off. It's highway robbery, stand in the road and demand money to be let past:

Highway Robber: "What? You don't VALUE using this road? If you do then why won't you pay? While we are at it... how much do you value your life?"

We have PAID already! We PAY for the internet, we PAY for the host machine, we PAY for the game but Microsoft demands an extortionate amount just for PERMISSION to connect them all together.

I realize you just really don't want to get this through your head, so I'll try and explain it again.

I am well aware that the cost structure of XBL does not include online play.

I am well aware that on any per-hour, per-user, or per-year basis, free Steam plus dedicated servers works out to be cheaper. That is not the point. (Although how the heck working it out on a per-user basis affects anything I'm not sure. It's hard enough getting people to split a restaurant check fairly and honestly at the end of a dinner, even among friends. How many users per server are you calculating that rate at? How are people supposed to collect the fees? Are you locking down the server so it's private-- only those who kick in for the fee are allowed on? I think for an average gamer, that might be a small group. The percentage of the total population that has access to organized gaming groups is probably pretty small. Playing on a private server with the X guys who have compatible schedules, lots of free time, and nobody has enough cash to pop for an entire server (as cheap as it is, according to you) doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Even an XBL subscriber who only plays against people on his friends list has a larger pool to draw on.

XBL provides a monolithic, integrated service across all consoles (Gold or Silver) but restricts online play to Gold subscribers because access to online play is what provides value to customers-- not what costs Microsoft money.

Taking costs and slapping on margin is the most primitive way of presenting any product. It's fine for toasters and cars but works poorly for services.

My point is that from atop the PC gaming heap, what Valve is saying is that they make so much money on their games that they can afford to include the multiplayer service, as well as the multiplayer development, in the initial purchase price.

If I'm a developer and I have the option of distributing my game on Steam, and I have a choice of making a single-player game or a multiplayer game, and they'd both sell for $60-- I'd take a long hard look before greenlighting multiplayer development that's going to cost extra, because what Valve is telling the market is that I can't charge for that-- and that Steam users expect to get that for free. That's great for established developers like Valve, who can use the increased margins on sales through Steam to subsidize everything else. Not so great for a small, first-time developer without Valve's reputation.

$60 a year is, as I have said before, not what it costs Microsoft to do anything. It is what they have determined the market will bear. It is the margin which provides incentive to continue to support and develop the platform. It is a business. It is not a charity. It is not obligated to give you or anyone else anything for free-- multiplayer or anything else. $60 includes what's on the disc-- nothing else. If Valve chooses to give you other things for free, that's their business.

XBL provides some services to users for free, and others for pay. The ones who pay in order to get multiplayer subsidize the ones who do not, but get everything else. I'm sure that also sounds like "communism" to you, but perhaps you'd better decide if Microsoft is too fuedal, too communist, or too laissez-faire for you, because it can't be all of them.

If you consider the withholding of access to multiplayer for $60 to be excessive and extortionate-- don't pay it. There's no reason to insult people who find $60 to be a small amount for what XBL delivers and don't mind paying it, or to suggest that Microsoft change their service to be more like the one you prefer-- which suggestion was the only reason for me to start posting in this thread.

Treblaine:

Remember it was YOU who said you disliked wall o text responses. By as is typical for your muddled thinking and hypocrisy you do it yourself to the worst extent I have ever seen.

Please be more careful. You have misquoted me. I never made any mention whatsoever of the phrase "wall of text". Given the length at which I have written in an attempt to explain my thinking, it would be hypocritical of me, and I have not done so.

Treblaine:

I haven't snipped anything of much worth, just a couple dozen pages of textbook examples of debating fallacies, circular logic and pathetic rationalisations where your conclusions is almost always:

"I'm fine with that"
or
"I'm not interested in if the competition is better"
or
"that's just the way I prefer it"

Again I did not object to any snipping of yours whatsoever, but since you bring this up I should refute it.

Your entire argument is presupposing widespread consumer anger at the crime of being charged for something that, in your view, ought to be free or nearly free.

Statements like "I'm fine with that" or "that's what I prefer" are perfect refutations for that, because if any significant population were to not share your (supposedly) righteous outrage at being bilked, your argument would fall apart. That is why you have to rationalize away that entire population by calling them suckers, and suggesting that XBL's success is entirely due to lies and threats.

This is what is circular logic, because it's an unverifiable claim. You allege that people don't want to pay for these things because they ought to be free-- and then all the people who pay are just suckers. That is the very definition of circular logic.

Treblaine:

All this just shows me how you are psychologically INCAPABLE of viewing Xbox or XBL in a seriously critical way more than token remarks like admitting underplayed issues like expensive proprietary accessories.

To be honest, neither in this thread or even in the OP was there any serious criticism of Xbox Live. If one were to make a serious critical review of the service, there are many, many points that could be brought up-- ways in which the service does not work as expected or intended, does not offer as much value as it could, or things it could be doing to provide value that it does not.

Would Microsoft-run dedicated servers, especially for popular games, improve the quality and value of XBL? They certainly would! Would community-run ones do so? I suggest they would not. I don't think there are enough of them to make a difference, the parallel track (matchmaking vs browser) would divide the population and make matchmaking work less well, and frankly host advantage is bad enough, but I'll take it over an opponent who has administrative privileges.

To be honest, dedicated servers would not help me personally one bit, because I live pretty far away from anywhere that Microsoft could potentially put a server. It would make no difference to me whatsoever-- I'd either be defaulting back to the usual mode, or I'd have even worse network performance. Eliminating host advantage would be a definite improvement. Microsoft so far has not done so because, in their view, it has not inhibited subscriber growth, despite being a common complaint. Perhaps they will relent. I would cheer the decision if they did so, in principle, even if I don't personally benefit.

It is certainly a justifiable position to say that XBL might have been worth $50 or even $40 up to now, but that $60 is just too much-- some people I know feel so and I respect that, even if I don't share that opinion.

You've made no critical review of XBL whatsoever. You've whined about price, cried poor, and clung to the idea that purchasing a $10 game at discount entitles you to thousands of hours of online play.

Treblaine:

This is the worst case I have seen yet. Projector and surround sound system... yet you say you don't care about getting the best quality?

It's only a 720p projector, so frankly, any resolution greater than that isn't fully justifiable. I don't want to game on the couch with a keyboard and mouse. I don't want to run a PC and hook up controllers to it. I don't want to navigate a server browser with a controller. If I wanted the PC gaming experience, I'd have it-- I'd set up a good rig in the appropriate setting. I've had that experience. Over time I've come to get more enjoyment from the living room experience, for which a console is more appropriate, and in which context I find Xbox Live delivers good value for money.

I don't necessarily care about "best quality" I care about "good enough". I can't afford the "best"-- the "best" projectors cost ten times what I paid for mine. But like the difference between the resolution of an Xbox game and that of a PC game, the difference between the quality my projector delivers and the quality delivered by the "best" projectors does not, for me, justify the difference in price.

Just as the difference in price between, say, Steam or PSN and XBL you do not find justified. The difference is that you also assert that the free service is superior, and you're not willing to pay less-- you're willing to pay nothing-- and you insist that anyone who pays more than nothing is a sucker.

It's strange that enough that what you can afford is "the best", but you're unwilling to afford $60 a year-- to the extent that Microsoft's expectation that you pay it qualifies as extortion, instead of just merely a service you don't want.

Treblaine:

I'm just replying to let you know I read your post, I haven't forgotten about you, I just think there is nothing in your wall of text to refute as it refutes itself. I could point out all the glaring contradictions, falsehoods, wrong assumptions and just plain ignorance if not lies but it's clear from what you have written that you are a "true believer".

You are simply incapable of looking at it objectively and seriously considering alternatives and WAY too far gone to ever find perspective, especially not from anything you read in a forum.

If anything I wrote DID challenge your Xbox Idealism you'd just ignore it or come up with endless contorted rationalisations till we get to this point: I give up.

Again, you're responding to someone else's comments, and not mine.

As for the refutations-- actually you can't, which is why you haven't. You've skipped ahead to baseless accusations of being a liar, being a shill, being a sucker, and drinking the kool aid, and I expect that's probably generally what you do when you encounter someone who doesn't share your opinion on the subject-- which suggests to me that Steam and your dedicated servers probably make a lovely little echo chamber in which every idea you come across is the same as your own. How lovely for you.

I find it odd that the single thing you are able to say about Live is that it achieved its market position through lies and deception, and that I am desperate to justify my past expenditures of $50 a year, and that this is my only motivation for describing the service as worthwile. That's not only insulting, it's also circular, because it cannot be disproven.

I've already pointed out that the cost of XBL is not much to me. However, even if I were to have a revelation-- to suddenly come to the conclusion that XBL is overpriced and should be free, and there are better alternatives-- are you honestly trying to suggest that I would expend this amount of effort just to rationalize past expenditures, but that I would continue to spend cash on something that I know has no value?

You completely discount the possibility that XBL has delivered a set of services to me that I find valuable, and that I find it the easiest thing in the world to justify those expenses and to let them continue.

If there's anyone who is functioning as a true believer-- someone who has taken their position dogmatically, without evidence, and is unwilling to consider an alternative position-- it's you. I've admitted, time and again, that for some people, Steam meets their needs and XBL would be an unjustified expense. All I have said is that I do not count myself among these people-- but I have not denied that this market exists.

You, on the other hand, put your preferred option down as the clear superior choice, and have to ascribe to all those who choose a different option a variety of pejoratives: suckers and liars. You're unwilling to admit that there is even a single XBL subscriber who feels he gets value for money-- in your mind, because that is not a $60 value to you, it cannot be for anyone else, because in your mind the only valid judgment that exists is your own. That's the definition of a true believer.

Treblaine:

Not because you have "won" this debate, but because I know any conclusion is impossible, you have dragged it to a stalemate with such excessive fisking

Eric S. Raymond, in the Jargon File, defined the term as:
A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisking

Why, thank you! I was worried I wasn't getting through.

Treblaine:

and endless rambling prose.

I apologize. My editor is on vacation.

Treblaine:

Allow the great Jean-Luc Picard to must succinctly summarise a response to your post:

image

Likewise.

Narcogen:
*snip*

You use circular logic. You say "things that are valuable people pay money for" (paraphrased) and I think you have foolishly paid for Xbox Live for so long you ascribe it value mainly BECAUSE you have paid for it. There is no fact or logic to XBL style Matchmaking (peer-to-peer CAN apply for this but if you insist) being in any way better than proper Client-server model other than it simply being CHEAPER for Microsoft at the COST of the user experience and overall capability.

The best you can give is preference for things like matchmaking: and that clearly comes far more from financial rationalisation, brand loyalty, and familiarity due to blind exclusion of alternatives... than any sensible objective comparison. On so many other platforms we have been given both options and preferred Dedicated Servers. You only like Matchmaking because that is all Xbox has given you.

Do you regularly use ANY other gaming platform? Or is it as you say "I'm just not interested" in anything else?

"are you honestly trying to suggest that I would expend this amount of effort just to rationalize past expenditures, but that I would continue to spend cash on something that I know has no value?"

Nope.

You almost answer it yourself as you have DELUDED YOURSELF that is has the value you say it does, page after page (lot of effort) of earnest arguments you're not convincing me or anyone you "have to say this" to convince yourself. You pay what is easily thousands of dollars for your Xbox in XBL since 2002 AND the many Replacement systems AND overpriced (as you have admitted) Peripherals and also an overkill home cinema system which you have dominate your entire living room for what you yourself describe as only "good enough" performance. (I'd never put a gaming system on a living room TV unless it were used almost exclusively for co-op/party-games, the living room is a social area)

Either you have no concept of the value of money and/or quality (I doubt that) or you're irrationally attached to the brand beyond any objective perspective of getting the best game quality for your money. You say you've been using Xbox since the Original console's launch, don't act like it is so unlikely, companies try SO HARD to foster brand loyalty some people get caught up in the marketing speak.

By all means, an Xbox 360 is an essential console to own this generation but not to the exclusion of others, the amount you admit to investing in Xbox how COULD you justify getting another system? But the entire way Microsoft has played this it is ingeniously designed to exclude alternatives and lock you in, to create a practical if not actual monopoly. For example if you have paid for Xbox Live there is a huge incentive to use it over alternatives before it runs out, it would be a waste not to. PSN doesn't compete with XBL as you HAVE to use XBL with Xbox!

Just don't get caught up in their "game", don't fall for the addictive gamerscore whoring, or get caught up in Gold Membership bullshit, paying for replacement consoles or ever buying their overpriced peripherals. Get some perspective, seriously consider what exclusives are you missing out on and other gaming experiences. Maybe instead of paying $60 every year realise over 4 years that is the price of a PS3 or Wii, or just one year to upgrade your PC.

You ARE an enthusiast gamer (surround sound, giant projector) you shouldn't be limiting yourself to one platform just for comfort and familiarity.

Treblaine:

Narcogen:
*snip*

You use circular logic. You say "things that are valuable people pay money for" (paraphrased) and I think you have foolishly paid for Xbox Live for so long you ascribe it value mainly BECAUSE you have paid for it. There is no fact or logic to XBL style Matchmaking (peer-to-peer CAN apply for this but if you insist) being in any way better than proper Client-server model other than it simply being CHEAPER for Microsoft at the COST of the user experience and overall capability.

I promise this will be my last response, and I'll try and keep it short.

"Things are worth what the market will bear" is neither circular logic, nor a statement I originate. It is a well-known, well-understood economic axiom. It means that what people are willing to pay is the DEFINITION of value.

By giving away PSN and Steam, the owners of those systems are telling to consumers and the market that they do not believe they can successfully charge for it and still achieve their target subscriber figures. Valve doesn't need to because it makes much more on each sale of its games through Steam than they do through other channels, more than other developers make through other channels, and more than console platform owners make through Valve's own titles. Sony gives away PSN because they want the bullet item "free" to show up in a comparison to XBL and no other reason.

The value of XBL is not solely established by my willingness to pay the proffered price, or the willingness of any one subscriber to pay it. The assent of the millions of subscribers is. If the price were higher, fewer would subscribe (and perhaps numbers will decline as the result of the increase). If the price were lower, perhaps more would-- up until the theoretical ceiling implied by the number of consoles in the installed base which are or can be connected to broadband.

The real performance advantages of the dedicated server model don't affect this market so far because the market has not demanded it. The existing system has been deemed "good enough" by most people. "Good enough" is, as the name might imply, "good enough" for most people and most situations. It is not the best.

Treblaine:

The best you can give is preference for things like matchmaking: and that clearly comes far more from financial rationalisation, brand loyalty, and familiarity due to blind exclusion of alternatives... than any sensible objective comparison. On so many other platforms we have been given both options and preferred Dedicated Servers. You only like Matchmaking because that is all Xbox has given you.

Good grief. This is nonsense. I have zero brand loyalty to Microsoft. I may have some to Bungie, and it is certainly true that if it were not for Microsoft's acquisition of that studio, I might very well not own a console-- any console.

Financial rationalization-- addressed. The amount spent does not require any.

Brand loyalty? I'm a Bungie fan and a longtime Mac owner who eschews Windows whenever possible. I notice you completely avoided commenting on my question as to your choice of gaming platform.

My preference for Matchmaking is because I see exactly what is trying to be achieved there-- to try and please as many users as possible. My reasons are mostly unrelated to this thread, which has gone on long enough-- it has more to do with how preferences for certain maps and gametypes tend to dominate over time if minority favorites are not championed somewhere-- unless your favorites are everyone's favorites, you're unlikely to to be completly happy with the dedicated server model unless you run one. Which is fine.

Treblaine:

Do you regularly use ANY other gaming platform? Or is it as you say "I'm just not interested" in anything else?

Not any more, no. As I mentioned, there is only so much time for gaming, and even if one admits that 90% of everything is crap, the remaining interesting games I find on the 360 take up more than the available time I have for them. If I were, say, a big fan of a genre underrepresented on the console-- like JRPGS-- then I probably wouldn't own it, because pickings are too slim. I'd likely have gone for a PS3 or a gaming PC.

If I were still avidly playing RTS games (not since the original C&C and Myth) then I'd have to be on the PC (or the Mac) because generally the console isn't (so far) really suited to those games.

I have a few games on iOS-- mostly things for nostalgia value. Most of my apps are not games. I don't own a handheld console of any kind.

I've often considered getting a PS3 as a Blu-Ray player and then seeing what games on the platform would hold my interest, but I've not committed to doing it yet. With LG adding the Plex network media player to their Blu-Ray players next year, I may not bother with it.

Treblaine:

"are you honestly trying to suggest that I would expend this amount of effort just to rationalize past expenditures, but that I would continue to spend cash on something that I know has no value?"

Nope.

You almost answer it yourself as you have DELUDED YOURSELF that is has the value you say it does, page after page (lot of effort) of earnest arguments you're not convincing me or anyone you "have to say this" to convince yourself. You pay what is easily thousands of dollars for your Xbox in XBL since 2002 AND the many Replacement systems AND overpriced (as you have admitted) Peripherals and also an overkill home cinema system which you have dominate your entire living room for what you yourself describe as only "good enough" performance. (I'd never put a gaming system on a living room TV unless it were used almost exclusively for co-op/party-games, the living room is a social area)

The home theater room is just that: a home theater. It was built for watching movies, and also gaming, although that is a secondary purpose. When it's used for socializing it's because the people in the room are engaging in one of those activities. For social gatherings that aren't organized around viewing material, there are other, better suited venues.

Again, though, your logic is entirely circular: You say X is true, and anyone who disagrees is deluded. Since a deluded person cannot be trusted, no response is possible, since ANY response I make can be dismissed as a symptom of my unexamined, unestablished, alleged delusion. You cannot use your disagreement with my statements as evidence for your assertion that I am deluded-- not if you intend to use your assertion that I am deluded to dismiss my response to your statements. It is circular. My having paid for XBL and considering it good value for money does not establish delusion. You must first establish delusion, and then explain how my delusion led to my actions.

Overkill? I'm using a console that is capable of putting out a 720p signal and a 5.1 audio source onto a 720p native projector and a 5.1 decoder. Yes, some of the games on the console have frame buffers smaller than 720p, and some upscaling is done. It is always good to minimize upscaling, but it is often unavoidable. I have plenty of standard definition content, as well as older games, as well as high definition content. That my system is able to play all of them does not make it "overkill" for the content that could be viewed with less.

What peripherals? Here you go again harping on peripherals. I haven't bought any. I don't need any. I have the controllers it came with. I don't see a need for anything else.

Treblaine:

Either you have no concept of the value of money and/or quality (I doubt that) or you're irrationally attached to the brand beyond any objective perspective of getting the best game quality for your money. You say you've been using Xbox since the Original console's launch, don't act like it is so unlikely, companies try SO HARD to foster brand loyalty some people get caught up in the marketing speak.

Let's apply occam's razor here. What is more likely? That I have no concept of the value of money, or that I-- and millions of others-- are irrationally attached to a brand owned by one of the least likable, least competent, least friendly companies on the planet, that makes most of its money from some pretty lousy, bloated software (Office) and a pretty substandard (in my opinion) operating system?

I live overseas. Other than the Internet, I get no exposure to Microsoft's media spends. I don't see billboards, I don't see TV ads-- I don't watch TV anyway. Of course, there's the internet, but Sony and Nintendo and Valve are all there as well, so why I've somehow been magically suborned by Microsoft and not any of them, I can't really fathom.

So, take your pick: either money is worth much, mess less to me than it is to you (presumably because I have more of it? I'm not sure what you're suggesting here) in which case I find it hard to imagine why I'd even care enough to write anything, or Microsoft's marketing is so powerful that the likes of Sony, Nintendo and Valve are simply unable to stand in its way.

If Microsoft's marketing alone-- solely on the Internet-- is enough to turn rational people into deluded slaves who pay thousands of dollars for goods and services that are clearly inferior, then why isn't the 360 the #1 console?

Don't Sony and Nintendo shareholders want to make money as much as Microsoft does? Do they not also spend money on marketing? Are they held back by scruples that Microsoft has long since shed, or do they simply not know where the button that turns on the Mind Control Ray is?

The centerpiece of your argument is insulting. I've attempted to debate with you as a way of demonstrating that while you see a system that is clearly inferior, many others see as good enough and fit for purpose-- and worth paying for. Your entire response is that anyone who thinks so is a mindless sucker experiencing Stockholm syndrome. It's ridiculous and insulting.

Treblaine:

By all means, an Xbox 360 is an essential console to own this generation but not to the exclusion of others, the amount you admit to investing in Xbox how COULD you justify getting another system? But the entire way Microsoft has played this it is ingeniously designed to exclude alternatives and lock you in, to create a practical if not actual monopoly. For example if you have paid for Xbox Live there is a huge incentive to use it over alternatives before it runs out, it would be a waste not to. PSN doesn't compete with XBL as you HAVE to use XBL with Xbox!

Before it runs out? I'm sorry, I've never felt this pressure for a single minute. I play online when I feel like it and when I have time. I've never worried for a moment that if I don't play today I haven't justified my yearly expenditure. As I said, I just don't think about it in those terms because the yearly amount doesn't rise to the level of requiring that kind of consideration.

Cable television packages can cost about the same per month as XBL does for a year, depending on the contents. Do those subscribers feel obligated to watch more television instead of perform other activities, in order to make sure they get the most value out of that? It's more rational just to evaluate whether the service, at the price it is, is worth whatever usage level you would normally expect. If the amount of television you would watch *if it was free* is worth to you the price they are charging, then pay it and watch what you like. If the amount of XBL I would play *if it were free* is worth my paying $40, or $50, or $60, then I agree to pay it-- and then play however much I would otherwise. Otherwise we'd all be glued to cable TV, Xbox Live and the Internet 24/7 in order to justify all the recurring expenditures. (Wait, I think that already happened.)

I can certainly see that for those on a tighter budget, the recurring nature of the XBL subscription fee might act as a kind of psychological factor, but that's only for people who are incapable of evaluating properly, or else who are going on monthly cards rather than yearly subscriptions. If your online alternatives (PSN, Steam) offer free play, then time spent doing that does not cost you more for Xbox Live. Either Live offers you something worth paying for, or it doesn't.

Having alternatives but putting more time into Live-- simply because it's being paid for-- doesn't make any sense, because short of cancelling Live altogether, there's no savings to be realized, and Live costs the same whether you play it or not. If you ever play it at all, that play has to be worth the price-- if it isn't, then don't pay for it!

I know people fall into this mode of thinking, but it's false.

Exclude alternatives? Does the Xbox somehow detect the presence of another console and send out incompatibility waves?

I can't justify another system because even the sliver of games on the 360 that are worth getting occupy more free time than I can reasonably assign to gaming. For me, in the past couple of decades, the only must-have franchises have been Bungie's works (Marathon, Myth, Halo) as well as Elder Scrolls and Fallout, although I've also become a fan of Mass Effect.

Most of those are available on multiple platforms. They're all available on the Xbox. If I was a Final Fantasy fan I'd probably own a PlayStation 3, and how online play probably wouldn't matter to me one bit.

Most of my spending on entertainment is either in the audio and display pipelines (receiver, loudspeakers, projectors, media players) or on software titles (movies, games). Another console, by itself, does nothing-- it's just a gateway to more software titles. A great many number of titles are available on more than one platform, so the value comes in what that new console brings that I couldn't get anywhere else-- and there just isn't, so far for me anyway, a single game or franchise or list of titles that are enough to get me to go in for a second or third console, or to return to PC gaming in any big way.

That could change-- I could tire of what I have, or I could gain more free time (fat chance) or something could come out that compels me to add another vector-- I've had friends suggest Heavy Rain to me, but so far it just hasn't bitten me.

Treblaine:

Just don't get caught up in their "game", don't fall for the addictive gamerscore whoring, or get caught up in Gold Membership bullshit, paying for replacement consoles or ever buying their overpriced peripherals. Get some perspective, seriously consider what exclusives are you missing out on and other gaming experiences. Maybe instead of paying $60 every year realise over 4 years that is the price of a PS3 or Wii, or just one year to upgrade your PC.

If the exclusives available on other platforms were more attractive to me than the elements of Gold on the platform I had, I'd have bought it. It wouldn't be an either-or, it's not as if my budget for this activity is fixed. I don't have to drop Live to afford another platform. I have Live because I see value in it. I don't have another platform because (up to and including this precise moment) I haven't seen value in it. Either could be subject to change, but both positions are the result of a rational consideration of available options, and neither is a result of marketing or delusion.

Treblaine:

You ARE an enthusiast gamer (surround sound, giant projector) you shouldn't be limiting yourself to one platform just for comfort and familiarity.

This is probably one of the oddest things you've said. Gaming is a leisure activity, and yet you present comfort and familiarity as pejoratives, things to be avoided.

Yes, I am an enthusiast gamer. I want an experience I consider optimal, based on the games I want to play, the aesthetic experience I want to have while playing them, and the degree of hassle I am willing to go through in order to get that experience. For my personal preferences, for the games I want to play, the Xbox console and the XBL platform deliver a combination that meets most of my requirements, enough so that I do not feel any particular urge to add other platforms.

These are games we're talking about. These are not some kind of exotic life experience that need to be sought out in spite of hardship and pain. Virtue is not bound up in misery. Do I want to be comfortable when I play? Yes I do. Do I want the window onto my gaming experience to be familiar and easy to use, so that I spend the least amount of time and effort getting in and out of games, and the most time and enjoyment actually playing them? Why, yes I do-- for the games I want to play.

My assertion that XBL is a platform with value does not suggest that the other platforms do not have value for others whose priorities are different-- they want different games, different interfaces, different levels of control over their experience. I am not attempting to devalue those experiences in order to assign mine some value. Why do you feel the need to do that?

At any rate, thanks for an enjoyable discussion, although I would have wished you were more polite about it and a bit more open-minded. This has, however, gone on far too long, so as I wrote above, this is my last repsonse in this thread.

Speak for yourself Shamus, I fucking begrudge Microsoft for charging for that crap, a lot. All I want is to play my fucking games online in multiplayer, I don't want all their gimicky bullshit. Fuck this industry, seriously. Can't go two minutes without finding reasons to hate or dislike a company. Fuck EA, Fuck Microsoft, Fuck Sony, Fuck Ubisoft, Fuck Activision. All of them are fucking leviathans that feed on the sodomization of the consumer.

THIS is why PC is superior, the only platform that stands unclaimed, but not for lack of trying. Though scarred and maimed by DRM practices and all kinds of bullshit, like Origin and whatnot, but it's still free in itself.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here