Complaints mar Xbox 360 Elite launch, transfer cable now free

Lack of data transfer cable, XBLA game and video content DRM turn has turned some early buyers of Microsoft's tricked-out console into vocal critics; Microsoft now offering data-transfer accessory <i>gratis</i>.

Though several retailers jumped the street date, the Xbox 360 Elite did not officially go on sale until yesterday. The new edition of Microsoft's popular console sports a sleek new black finish, a 120GB hard drive, and HDMI audio-video output. It also has a higher price of $479--$300 more than the stand-alone 120GB HDD sold separately to existing 360 owners.

Ironically, the 120GB HDD does come with a piece of equipment not included in the Xbox 360 Elite--a cable to transfer content from older 20GB 360 HDDs. This comes as no surprise, as Microsoft said the Elite would not come with the accessory when it announced the Elite back in March. The company's rationale was that the Elite is intended for consumers who hadn't purchased a 360 yet, so no transfer should be necessary.

Now, Microsoft is offering data transfer cables for free to Xbox 360 Elite owners for a "limited" time. According to a rep for the company, the offer is not in response to customer complaints but was "was always part of Microsoft's plan." To obtain a cable, though, gamers must first jump through a few bureaucratic hoops. First, they must download, print, and fill out an authorization form with both consoles' serial numbers. The form must then be sent via standard US mail to a redemption center in Indiana, which will then send out an Xbox 360 data migration kit gratis.

Once the kit is received, its cable is connected to the old Xbox 360 and the Elite's 120GB drive. Then the transfer--which can be performed only once--commences, erasing any existing data on the 120GB. Said data will then be replaced with all nonmovie content from the old 20GB, which is then itself blanked. The cable is thrown out, the 120GB drive is connected to the new console, and--voila!--the Elite is complete.

Though cumbersome, the data transfer process will likely prove only a mild headache to the tech-savvy consumer. However, some of those same key customers are voicing their frustration about a potentially maddening side effect of transferring Xbox Live Arcade Games. Said frustration has even prompted some Elite owners to swear off all future XBLA purchases.

Why all the fuss? As anyone who has ever brought a 360 HDD to a friend's house (or had to replace a broken system) knows, Microsoft's digital rights management (DRM) software ties each Arcade game on said HDD to a single console. When the HDD is removed and attached to another 360, the games are playable only in demo form unless said console is online and signed into Xbox Live. Even then, transferred XBLA titles can be played only with the gamer profile used to buy the game, not other profiles.

The widely read tech blog Ars Technica vented about the fact the DRM affects XBLA games transferred from regular 360s to Elites--even though the same person owns both. "Why can't this be something that turns on when you move the games, and then you can call and get them unlocked again?" Kuchera said. "If I bring my Elite to a friend's house that doesn't have ethernet in the living room, we can't play Geometry Wars? That's silly."

The DRM on XBLA games also affects television content downloaded on Xbox Live Marketplace--and is apparently permanent. "While all of your Xbox Live Arcade games and Xbox Live Marketplace TV shows will transfer [to the Elite HDD], you will have to be connected to Xbox Live (to verify your identity) in order to access that content," the company said in a statement. "This process is permanent and we advise [you to] not transfer your data if you wish to access it while offline."

While TV shows bought from Marketplace can be transferred to and watched on Xbox Live-connected Elites, movies rented from the service cannot. "In all cases, movie rentals downloaded from Xbox Live will not be available after content transfer," said Microsoft. "If you have movie rentals, watch them first!"

Written By

Want the latest news about Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved?

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved

Follow

Discussion

846 comments
luisdcastro
luisdcastro

I don t know what to do, in my country i have to pay 650 dollars by my 360 premium edition ( 20 HDD), and six months later it is crush, i have to fix it or buy an 360 elite? the news are I DON T HAVE MORE MONEY because i live in Costa Rica and i can t pay 800 dollars by an 360 elite. God forget mi.

bagman58
bagman58

I've always been a bit of an xbox 360 fanboy, until I got the red circle thing and then realised even if I get this version of the xbox the PS3 still has better quality audio and graphics, I have no idea what to do as Fable is my favourite game of all time and I don't know if I can live without Fable 2... Damn it.

silent_riku
silent_riku

It's the real world people... though most of us try to say that this doesn't really count as 'GOOD ENOUGH' there will still be 360 owners who will also grab this Elite thingy whatever... I mean come on... I don't have that much money but I bet you anything that a rich kid who already has a 360 will still grab this Elite 360 because he's rich! I mean Microsoft... anything to make a BUCK and you can't blame them... it's part of business people... if they didn't have strategies to get rich people to keep buying a product that would other-wise be the same as its predecessor to people who think properly they wouldn't be as rich as they are now!! come on tell me I'm wrong and their just doing this cuz they want to help... yeah right?!! again I say... this is the world we live in and the rich will spend people yes they will spend...(SUCKS THAT I'M NOT ONE OF THEM....)

gforce007_basic
gforce007_basic

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

theKSMM
theKSMM

I would say that Microsoft made a major miscalculation here with the whole DRM thing. Even when it doesn't bite people personally, they find it repulsive on principle. Nonetheless, I do have to point out that most XBOX 360 owners are playing on standard television sets that are smaller than 37 inches. The HDMI 1.2 vs 1.3 debate is a moot point for them. And my casual observation suggests that on screens smaller than 50 inches, most people don't notice the difference between 720p and 1080p or they don't care enough about it to pay a premium for the enhanced resolution. I suspect that most of the people on this site are technophiles who care about that sort of thing, but we may just be a small, vocal minority. While the migration problems do suck, they're not problems that affect 10% of the 360 base.

DoctorFu
DoctorFu

Microsoft knows it's customers!!

Crazy_McGee
Crazy_McGee

Speaking as a person who thought that having a 20 inch television in their rooms was the height of gaming delight in the wee hours of the morning, I find most of the debates between audio and visual formats quite confusing. I'm ignorant (as in I don't know any better) about HDMI quality and the difference between DD and DDS-lossless; I only bought an Xbox 360 because I thought the games on that console suited my tastes more than that on the PS3. So, I sincerely apologize for my lack of intelligence, and ask that someone please explain some of these terms to me so that I can make an informed opinion about these things.

goatman455
goatman455

Wow I am ever more set on not getting the Elite now. All I wanted from Microsoft is UPGRADABLE HDMI support since my Sony tv does not support 1080p from Component (only HDMI or VGA, and surprise, Microsoft's VGA adapter "coincidentally" doesn't support 1080p on certain TVs (including Sony's flagship 1080p sets). Now I hear that if I get an elite, I can't play my downloaded content offline. Wow, sorry Microsoft, but my movie transfers and a majority of my games are going to be bought on Sony's service, because they have a much better transfer system. The nerve of such a big company to screw the customer like this is insane. These people had faith in you Bill, they bought your "Microsoft points" and purchased your online games, and now you are screwing them by not even allowing proper access if people get your Elite Xbox. I will let "# Early in the Xbox 360's life cycle, a Microsoft representative basically said that HDMI wasn't a necessary feature for the Xbox 360 to have. It was also said that if a the consumer demand for HDMI output was high enough they would provide a 'solution'. Jay (from http://jayfng.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A5557A058F6EA78B!1475.entry) says it best: # The 'solution' to the "HDMI issue" is to purchase another $480 console... The Xbox 360 Elite. "

goatman455
goatman455

Wow I am ever more set on not getting the Elite now. All I wanted from Microsoft is UPGRADABLE HDMI support since my Sony tv does not support 1080p from Component (only HDMI or VGA, and surprise, Microsoft's VGA adapter "coincidentally" doesn't support 1080p on certain TVs (including Sony's flagship 1080p sets). Now I hear that if I get an elite, I can't play my downloaded content offline. Wow, sorry Microsoft, but my movie transfers and a majority of my games are going to be bought on Sony's service, because they have a much better transfer system. The nerve of such a big company to screw the customer like this is insane. These people had faith in you Bill, they bought your "Microsoft points" and purchased your online games, and now you are screwing them by not even allowing proper access if people get your Elite Xbox. I will let "# Early in the Xbox 360's life cycle, a Microsoft representative basically said that HDMI wasn't a necessary feature for the Xbox 360 to have. It was also said that if a the consumer demand for HDMI output was high enough they would provide a 'solution'. Jay (from http://jayfng.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A5557A058F6EA78B!1475.entry) says it best: " Early in the Xbox 360's life cycle, a Microsoft representative basically said that HDMI wasn't a necessary feature for the Xbox 360 to have. It was also said that if a the consumer demand for HDMI output was high enough they would provide a 'solution'. The 'solution' to the "HDMI issue" is to purchase another $480 console... The Xbox 360 Elite. "

JaMMaNIII
JaMMaNIII

I'm confused. Is it saying that you have to buy the arcade game again in order to play it offline? What if you haven't bought any arcade games and then you bought it on your 120 gig that was transferred from a 20g, then could you play it offline?

hovan316
hovan316

You can't upgrade it with just a firware update... What about the cable???

ekisom
ekisom

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ekisom
ekisom

look see!! this is all too confusing. correct me if i'm wrong. audio technology support for features such as dolby digital and DTS are by default a standard with HDMI capable systems like the xbox 360 elite right? and support for newer technology like dolby digital tru-hd and dts master lossless comes with version upgrades of 1.2 and 1.3? so in simple terms; support for audio technology depends on what version hdmi your 360 has and by default with no upgrades, an xbox360 with hd dvd player regardless of whether it is: core, premium or elite is hdmi 1.2 which supports which audio technologies? The xbox website does not have any details about this whatsoever. i would understand this because u buy an xbox to play games which rarely have very high audio tech. but still some of us would really want to know.

Serious
Serious

Microsoft is so greedy. They see an opportunity to make more money and they take it. I read that some of the 3rd party game have issued free content to XBL. However they have to submit it to Microsoft for review first. Microsoft then decides that they want customers to get use to paying for extra content so they slap a charge on formerly free items. Now they launch a even better Xbox, The Elite. Microsoft should promised that this is the final upgrade to the Xbox line. This is the exact strategy used for Windows 95/98/ME/XP/Vista. Can we expect the Xbox 360 "Optimum" next with a hdmi 1.3 cable 200gb hdd and maybe built in HD-DVD? If this "Elite" succeeds and Microsoft sees a payday believe me it will happen.

gmoney20xx
gmoney20xx

Some of you guys seem to have forgotten that M$ can upgrade from HDMI 1.2 to 1.3 through Dashboard updates.

Lamario
Lamario

I find it funny, that so many people are defending M$'s choice to use HDMI 1.2 instead of 1.3. I remember when people said, "I have a VHS player, why would I want a DVD player." Or, I dont have that great of a tv, so why should I care about DVD." It's all about moving foward people, to all those people, go out and buy an old tv without a/v inputs, and connect your 360 via RFU. Since you seem to be okay with spending money on older technology, it should fit you well. I on the other hand, when I spend $480 on hardware, its important to me that I'm okay for the future. Would any among us go out an buy a television that only supports up to 720p? Thats what I thought.

Symphonycometh
Symphonycometh

K...Which one of my post were forced out...I don't think I see it...

lannyboy334
lannyboy334

i agree with frost elf that is really your only option until MS lets up. people won't stop moaning and groaning, understandably, until the situation is fixed. this truly sounds like a headache, i feel sorry for all of you guys that got your 120hdd and transferred all your stuff before you knew this, i really do. i believe that MS will fix it, they are too quality of a company to take a turd this big on the gaming community at large.

mpeg3s
mpeg3s

DRM is DIGITAL RIGHTs it was not designed to do peer to peer. For digital rights management to work you HAVE TO LOSE something. Otherwise, hackers or consumer can take advantage of it. However, MS could offer another solution. This would permit you to signup online on XBL account for a one time redownload dl of permitted content online from your OLD to a new system requiring the same XBL account to be used on both system. However this would blacklist the new system from being used on XBL from anyone else. If resole MS could require the new user to repurchase all old content before permitting XBL access.

hovan316
hovan316

ReaprX : Everybody is entitled to their opinion...you wanted 5, I named more. I had a feeling some morons would rip the list apart, but hey, that's the internet and we don't have control over it. Plus calling me a 30 year old virgin makes me laugh...I can hit you with the same crap bro and call you a 40 year old virgin. till then, ciao fangul

hovan316
hovan316

Too bad the X360 Elite give you only HDMI 1.2...a little too behind on the HDMI version hein Microsoft?

ex-paranoia
ex-paranoia

javajoe96work > Obsolete? All I have to do later on is buy another receiver.

IIIverson
IIIverson

well thats really gay wat u have to do just to transfer data, and you cant play XBLA games unless signed into xbox live with the acount u used to downlaod it? WTF is that, its so G@y

SD_Hitman
SD_Hitman

YuckFoo, let me ask you a question. What happens to a digital signal if it experiences "loss" as you put it? I would love for you to bless us with your knowledge. I love how you have tossed in the word "algorithm" in with hardware as that is totally sofware based. See the thing is, I know that the word algorithm can be applied more accurately to the compression program used, IE; MP4, MP3, AAC, MPEG4...etc, etc. which has nothing to do with loss over a fiber or coax. You are getting your "big words" mixed up. Which brings us back to the original question...tell us what happens to a digital signal when it falls victim to loss. I know. Put it this way. If you can see it and hear it, you are not experiencing loss of your digital signal. And if that is why you wouldn't buy an HDMI receiver because you think you might introduce "loss" into your data chain, you are mistaken. Most HDMI receivers and switches actually boost the signal. Digital cables will only attinuate a digital signal if the cable is too long or if there is too much EMI (electro magnetic interference). Any other issues?

javajoe96work
javajoe96work

-ex-paranoia- What are you going to do with your 7.1 system anyway. Nothing truly supports it. Blu-rays do not have 7.1 audio streams. Yuck_Foo's point is that 7.1 is useless to people right now other than taking a 5.1 stream and upsampling it to "be" 7.1. Also technology changes so fast that your system will be oboslete by the time that true 7.1 is implimented in moves, etc. Also everyone else do not piss on DD. Many Blu-ray movies only support DD track and no DTS in site. DTS and DD and just two different ways to do a track and one is not inferior to the other. And while HDMI 1.3 incorporates Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master HD and only one Blu-ray even uses Dolby TrueHD and that is Letters to Iwo Jima (comes out 5/22/2007) which by the way it still only 5.1 and so DTS-HD Master Audio is still only 5.1 which Most Blu-ray movies do not carry these tracks standard.

Pea1
Pea1

That Arcade problem is really annoying. My launch Xbox 360 died a month ago, so now I have to be connected to XBL in order to play any of my bought content. I can’t play Arcade games with my cousins anymore without having to bring a 100 foot Ethernet cable with me. -.-

SD_Hitman
SD_Hitman

Yuck_Foo I never said the PS3 was better than the 360. I merely stated that the PS3 had ver 1.3. Head over to AVS forums and you will see almost 100% of it's members have 6.1 or 7.1 as I do. And that's just in the gaming area. HD DVD and Blu-Ray routinely have 6.1 and 7.1 soundtracks...I watch both. RFOM was 7.1 and sounded great. Also RESIDENTIAL FIBER that is used in audio components does not have the bandwidth to handle uncompressed 7.1. That has nothing to do with fiber itself being unable to hande the bandwidth...the hardware...your 360, PS3, receivers...I do not care what it is, cannot handle the bandwidth...it's the hardware. If you haven't been impressed by HD/Lossless audio...too bad for you. What can I say...many are impressed. Are you in the game of not buying stuff because you don't know anyone else that has it. What about going for video, audio and gaming excellence? I buy the best I can afford. I don't worry about how many people I know buy something. Then again none of this matters since the Elite can't pass HD/lossless audio anyway. Also the 360 does not output DTS yet. It converts DTS to DD and passes it to your receiver. It will be able to pass DTS as DTS with the spring update.

FrostElf
FrostElf

This situation sucks...it just ruins the point of actually getting the hard drive besides for downloading extra movies...I guess you should just decide to NOT transfer your data from the 20GB HDD so that you can still just put that HDD in when you want to play arcade games or play games whose data is it. >.>

dmastor
dmastor

awesome when my system stop working red and black going to look great together

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

--ex-paranoia -- First if you know 2 dozen familes that have 7.1 systems I'm impressed. I don't know 2 dozen families that even have PS3's. Second, of them I am willing to bet far more then half of them do not use HDMI for their audio. Instead I bet they pass the audio straight from the player to the receiver. I'm not saying people don't use things like Sony STR-DA7100ES but my guess of 99% don't, is probably a lot closer to the real number then not.

ex-paranoia
ex-paranoia

Yuck_Foo > "First off 7.1 is a joke for 99% of the people. Unless you have a specific custom built room you're not going to have it." Your generalizing for 1% of the population? I'd beg to differ, including myself I know more than 2 dozen families that have 7.1 surround systems in their homes. Not all of them have "direct" hdmi receivers, some have pass-throughs, but that's aside from the point. There are alot more people out there that have these "expensive" systems in their homes. Maybe not in the U.S. but in countries in europe where high-definitions been on the scene for a long time, it's quite common. Yuck_Foo> "So saying HDMI is needed for sound and the PS3 is better is really rather ignorant." I think it's ignorant to say that since HDMI 1.3 (Playstation 3) is a better architecture than 1.2 (XBOX360) and lower. Some people may not spend the cash to buy a 70" Bravia HD-TV, but some will. If they can experience full HDMI 1.3, then let them. Just because some poeple can't and will probably enver be able to experience it, doesn't mean that it's a general consensus that 99% of the population won't.

ReaprX
ReaprX

Hey Hovan316: you thirty year old virgin. half of the games you mentioned ive never heard of so as far as popularity goes you can throw them right out of the window. and the games you've mentioned probably only three or four of them i would actually play. and i will admit some of the games i would consider but they have yet to prove their quality on the PS3. and i want to refer you to AzureLivesOn and his post because he looked into your list of games and basically tore it to shreds i appreciate your attempt though.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

--SD_Hitman -- First off 7.1 is a joke for 99% of the people. Unless you have a specific custom built room you're not going to have it...never mind the number of games or movies that will use it being almost zero. Also if you think Digital coax or fiber cannot handle the bandwidth you seriously need to take a look around. Further HDMI receivers are a joke and totally pointless. In fact they just add one more connection and point of loss for signal for both audio and video. What's worse is even digital to digital connections have been proven to be less then 100% loss free. All depends on the hardware they put in it because one algorithm is not the same as another and you get what you pay for. So saying HDMI is needed for sound and the PS3 is better is really rather ignorant. It has everything to do with your speakers and receiver. Fact is anyone with a half decent home theater is not running sound though the TV speakers and is instead using a proper receiver and all I said was people who think that HDMI sound though a TV is better is wrong. Oh and the 360 does DTS.

Sundaze
Sundaze

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

SD_Hitman
SD_Hitman

You are correct about the 360 and it's "dumbed down" audio. Even though it is HDMI 1.2 and sould output DD, DTS and all of the advanced audio options, it only outputs DD at this point. It will output DTS with the spring update. But the 360 and the Elite will never do TrueHD, Master or Lossless, and that is a deal breaker for me. In the end the the only thing the Elite only offers as a real improvement is 1080p and DVD upscaling (Meh)...I don't care about the larger hard drive. No deal. I will keep my pro.

colinjennison
colinjennison

Regular dolby digital and DTS are very similar, with subtle differences that depend more on the quality of the soundtrack of a particular game or movie, and less on the encoding process... The xbox360 doesn't have the HDMI v1.3 uncompressed audio tracks though, which is definitely a negative when compared to the PS3. I'm reasonably picky about my audio experience, and although i'd love to have HDMI v1.3, and love the way it sounds when I hooked up my friends PS3 to my rig... It's still like the difference between component at 720p, and HDMI upscaled to 1080p... you have to try to notice the difference to notive it... So I'm still not dropping 600$ on a PS3 til they get some more games!!

ekisom
ekisom

isnt the xbox360 audio quite inferior becuase it does not have DTS features? i think i read 360 only supports dolby digital???

Snake057
Snake057

Hey Derayokray, WAY DID THE DO THAT!!!. I'm pretty sure that sentence is incorrect. It amazes me that some people can't take the .0004567 seconds to look back at there comment and check for mistakes. It makes you look like an idiot. =)

SD_Hitman
SD_Hitman

Here's a bit of lite reading. HDMI Ver 1.1 is all that is needed to experience advanced/HD/lossless audio. If that wasn't the case NOT ONE current HD DVD player or Blu-Ray player would be ables to output HD/Lossless audio over HDMI...which they ALL do. They all use Ver 1.2 except for the PS3. All 1.3 gets you is "Deep Color", which deosn't matter if your display isn't also 1.3. The only display that has 1.3 is the new 70" Bravia ($30,000). 1.3 Also alows the owner to decide wheather the player decodes the audio or the receiver...but once again there are no 1.3 receivers...nor do you need one. For HD/Lossless audio all you need is 1.1 on both the player and receiver...end of story http://www.hdmi.org/about/faq.asp

SD_Hitman
SD_Hitman

Guess you never experienced DTS Master/Lossless, or DD HD in a properly cal'ed HT. There is no comparison to DTS or DD. If you can't hear the difference, your system or ear is the cause. The only way to experience advanced audio is via 5.1 analogs or HDMI (WITH AN HDMI RECEIVER). Fiber and coax don't have the bandwidth to handle 7.1 discrete channels of lossless audio. Do some research.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

--Lamario -- LOL...anyone who is using HDMI for their audio is already lost. Digital fiber or coax to 5.1 anything less is lost. I find it so funny all these people who think their TV speakers are good. 5.1 DTS is more immersive then 16:9 HD...like eyes in the back of your head.

baelrrogg
baelrrogg

MS and DRM...a match made in heaven

Sharvie
Sharvie

This is good news but it still hasn't persuaded me to switch.

blackace
blackace

M$ needs to get this crap fixed. I won't get an Elite anytime soon until M$ fixes the HDD transfer issue. It would have been easier if M$ just provided everyone with an online memory account. You could copy your entire HDD to a M$ secure storage database and when you got your XBox 360 Elite, you could just download it from the storage database to your 120GB HDD. Then M$ could erase it from the database storage 30 days later. How hard would that have been? People without Xbox Live (Silver or Gold) could use the one time transfer cable, but M$ should give them at least 3 of these cables, just in case something goes wrong.

yackers
yackers

I have a premium and it sucks its loud the disk tray never works it keeps telling me i need to be put the game into a xbox 360 console! But i love the games and apart from the awful build on the console i love the 360. so i thought i would get a elite maybe it will be better so i thought of trading in my premium and getting a elite how the feck im i suposed to swap my stuff over!!!!!! I cant! There has to be another way!!!!!

Volothamp86
Volothamp86

I don't understand what the problem is. Instead of transferring your old data just keep your 20GB disk drive and swap it out when you want to use the things saved on it. It is as easy as changing memory cards.

Lamario
Lamario

DRM sucks. And, to everyone talking about full 1080p on 360, its not gonna happen. HD audio is a part of tru HD, and 360 wont support the latest. For some odd reason, M$ decided to only support 1.2 HDMI instead of 1.3. So you wont get the full audio benefit.

derayokray
derayokray

a one use cable? way did the do that!!!!!! what if something go's wrong with the download and needs to be redone?

BloodMist
BloodMist

Microsoft:Masters of the Half Assed. BTW DRM is the most ridiculous, obtrusive , and customer detrimental anti-pirating scheme ever made.So i'm not surprised that they made it so absurd.Of course pirates don't have to worry about it, since DRM is easily hacked, even on 360 apps, with custom OS'es and mod chips widely available for 360's. OH BTW gratis is derived from a Latin word, which also meant "free" or "for free", and is a legal term.