Play to Pay

In response to ‘Slimlining” from The Escapist Forum: I have no problem with the slimlining of an old console to lower prices and help sales. BUT, I do have a major problem with the current gen version of slimlining, where there is a new or tweaked version of each console every couple months. It is ridiculous that my particular xbox 360 is only the same as about 6% of the other 360s out there, and that since I bought mine in x month, I missed out on the upgrade introduced in y month.

I see this as sort of an equivelant to a developer releasing a buggy game early to rely on patches to fix it later. The only problem is, I can’t patch my console, only new customers get that patch.

– strandiam

Nintendo didn’t master slimlining. It mastered the illusion of slimlining in order to gain more profit. Because I truly believe that every portable console Nintendo puts out in the market is simply a draft, in exception for the last one of each generation. It’s incredible how they repeat the same thing at least two times in a row.

Add all that along with the several re-releases of each portable with new colors or art on the box or new features or with a function to create a pokemon in real life and you kind of start to fear to buy their systems once they come out, since it’s pretty much guaranteed the first version will have annoying problems and a better version ends up showing up some months later. And since there doesn’t seem to be any support by Nintendo for people who buy a handheld (Specially in Europe) and want to get the upgraded generation without having to pay full price for it, unless you’re a member of a specialty shop like I am and I had to give my DS, my Sonic Rush and some more money to trade for a Lite, you’ll probable have a sour time before you forget about it once you get addicted on the new upgrade.

So you either:

A) Get the patience to wait some months so a new version comes out.

B) Be lucky enough to be born and grown into the last version of a handhelds generation, if you’re starting to play games.

C) Get your money screwed out if you’re an avid Nintendo fan. Which there are many.

Somehow, Nintendo has a mastery to make people spend their money on them unlike any other company. It’s like a legal drug.

– Divinegon


In response to “What’s Actually Good (In Comics)” from The Escapist Forum: First, thanks for the interesting article, though I can’t critique anything about comic books since I’m only now considering getting into them outside a few web-comics…

However… What’s with writers at Escapist slamming non-game formats (even while praising one of them)? I know it’s not a constant by any means, but it’s often enough to be irritating, and it’s usually done with surprising ignorance. Different people get an immersive experience full of action, thought, etc. from different formats, and having it with one of them doesn’t mean we can’t also get it from others or that we automatically think they’re inferior. It’s possible to go into details at length about some aspect of one format without dissing another; other sites (usually non-game, not always) manage it. This site is great in so many other ways, so I kind of expect more than this from it.

I’m sorry, I’m coming back to gaming after a 10+ year absence, and the Escapist seems to be the best site for me thus far (it certainly has the most intelligent discussions). Since I’m trying to also broaden my horizons by getting into new formats, I’m checking out recommendation-focused articles & discussions, and it’s just frustrating to see an entire format (or format subtype) I’ve loved for ages put down based on someone’s experiences with a specific sub-genre. (The quoted lawyer clearly hasn’t watched much film outside the blockbusters, and certainly hasn’t read many books or much outside a particular genre, if he seriously thinks only comics can combine all of the elements he mentioned!)

– Koselara

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In response to “Escalation” from The Escapist Forum: Of the four 360’s I’ve received from the service center, only the last one was the same as the one I had sent in. That particular console was actually a DOA that I received from the service center after a six week wait, necessitating another round of Xbox “support”, whereupon that one was actually fixed about a month later.

Regardless of the hardware issues though, the Xbox Live Marketplace DRM is turning out to be a much bigger problem, especially for those with shared 360s (families, roommates, dorms, etc.) My family’s been locked out of ~$200 worth of XBLM content for upwards of five months in the last year alone.

There are currently two methods to restore XBLM access, both of which are tortuous, painful and error-prone, seemingly by design due to the sheer volume of delays, roadblocks, and outright lies told by “support” personnel.

The first method, which used to be the only method, is now frowned upon by Microsoft and only applied sparingly. Essentially, you have to create another Xbox Live account and Microsoft will give you Points codes to apply to that account to repurchase your content with. You’ll need to use a different account each time you go through this process. Unfortunately, this is the most painful “solution”, as Microsoft’s become very stingy with this solution for a variety of reasons. Microsoft claims that over 90% of the refunded Points are spent on new content, not the content for which they were issued; I dispute that claim, as some of my previously purchased content is now free or reduced in price.

The second method, introduced this past May, requires the service center to replace your old console ID in the DRM database with your new console ID (since they’re still replacing most 360’s). There are a couple of problems with this “solution”: The first is that the service center is not uniformly performing this step on every console. The second is that the console ID switch only applies to the most recently serviced console; if you purchased most of your content on a console prior to the one just sent in for service, that content is not unlocked on your replacement console.

Also, if you replace your 360 with a different model through a retailer’s warranty exchange program, Microsoft will flat-out refuse to help you at all. They claim that this “upgrade” irrefutably voids your XBLM rights.

They’ve started ignoring BBB complaints within the past six months. I was only able to fully resolve my DRM problems this time around by contacting my state’s Attorney General’s office.

It’s just a matter of time before a class-action lawsuit or a bunch of media attention gets Microsoft to remedy this once & for all. A user-initiated DRM transfer would be preferable, as it would eliminate Microsoft’s outsourced “support” for this particular problem altogether.

– Mystakill

Guys. It’s Microsoft.

Is anyone actually surprised things have gone ass up?

– HalfShadow

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