Friday, August 14, 2009

August 11, 2009 Xbox Live Update

On August 11, 2009 the new update for Xbox Live was released to some mixed reviews. The ability to rate marketplace games and sort by said rating will make using the Xbox Live Marketplace much more user friendly. The update also brought along a new Avatar Marketplace, where you can buy items for your avatar with Microsoft points. Video playback with Netflix also runs smoother. A few unannounced things were added as well, such as a logo saying how long you or anyone else have been an Xbox Live subscriber. An Avatar awards page was also added, but as of now, is unused. It's said that some games will start offering these Avatar Awards that you can wear or use with your avatar, much like the Avatar marketplace.
Games on Demand is where the criticism comes in. You can now download full Xbox 360 games right from the Internet. These 6GB+ games will take over an hour to download at speeds of true 1MB/S. Pretty convenient, right? If you don't mind spending more than twice as much per game, then have at it. But Oblivion from Games on Demand is 39.99, a game you can find for 14.99 in stores. This being said, you don't even get the physical copy of the game, you get a digital copy fully playable from your Xbox 360 Hard Drive. You get bored of the game, there is no trading it in or selling, because it's a Digital Copy of the game, not a physical copy. Microsoft doesn't seem to understand this. They justify the pricing system by stating that they're adding a lot of convenience by making the games available from home 24/7. But a lot of gamers (like myself) would much rather have a physical copy. It looks better in a collection and you retain some of the games value. I personally believe Games on Demand will be a waste of time, space, and money, unless Microsoft changes their pricing.

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