(Please make sure you read my former Blog before reading this one)
The time has come for me to rant on what I hate about the Xbox, I'm an equal opportunity kinda guy that believes eveything should get their fair share, and when it comes to negative aspects of a system I can't just leave it at one. Now again I should mention that this is MY opinion, I got a couple angry PM's from a couple of hardcore PS3 fanboys from my last blog that were called be a "traitor" to Sony and other stupid nonsense. I expect to get a couple more from a couple of Xbox fanboys as well.
These rants are based off of MY experience with each system, certainly it isn't universal to everyone. Each individual has a different experience, so please bear that in mind....Now that we cleared that up let's get on with the rant.
The 360 was my first system this gen, I mainly got it for Oblivion. And it is by far the most frustrating system I have ever owned, everything had some kind of "cache" to it, and the system always just took and took. It never really gave me much in return.
This is what I hate about Xbox Gaming:
System Failures: While the Slim model may have solved this problem, it's still no excuse. The Slim models are still very new on the market and only came out a couple years ago, this gen has been going on for about 8 years, the 360 launched in 2005. That means for the majority of this gen consumers had to put up with the massive system failures that plauged the 360, and there was no way around it. It wasn't just RROD either, it also scratched discs, over heated, it has the highest failure rate in history of gaming. You know if you buy a bad car it's called a Lemon and it's taken off the market? That's what the 360 was, it was a bad system.
Xbox Live: I have absolutely no idea how anyone can justify this. Xbox Live is probably one of the biggest wastes of money in the entire industry, and by no means do I see how Xbox fanboys can claim "it's better". The only time I spent on Xbox Live was with a free month trial thing that you got when you made a new account, and I didn't see anything that was "better" about it. Playing COD on XBL was the exact same as playing it on PSN, there was no difference in performance, no difference in "lag" (Xbox fanboys say XBL has less lag, not true at all), there wasn't anything worth paying for. The so called "other features" that Xbox fanboys like to brag about is really just one feature: Cross Game Chat. I don't care about cross game chat, I don't want to talk to people playing a different game then me, it's nothing more than a gimmic. I've done the math, it would cost a total of $370 for XBL this whole gen, that's $370 that was spent on nothing but a P2P service with dashboard ads (I'll get to that later). I don't see how anyone can sit there and say they find value in the service, it's just asinine. And worst of all I have no doubt that they will raise the price of XBL again in the future.
Dashboard Ads: If you thought paying for online gaming was stupid, it's about to get even dumber. The 360 background has advertisements on it, yes even if you are paying for XBL. And these are not ads for gaming either, many of them are ads for deodarant, dumb reality shows like "Jersey Shore", cars, pizza, popcorn, soda, beer, and all sorts of other garbage that shouldn't be on a video game system. Especially if you're paying for XBL. If anything the ads alone should cover the cost XBL, why can PSN and Nintendo offer online gaming for free without ads but not MS? There are also rumors that the next Xbox will have a 3G OS, meaning that they could easily implement more ads next gen. And seeing as how MS has recently talked about implementing more, I have little doubt they will do this.
Lack of good exclusives: Now when I say "good" exclusives I mean that entirely subjectively, again this is just MY opinion. And in my opinion I find the Xbox exclusive lineup to be lacking in quality titles. While the overall library of the 360 is great, the exclusives leave much to be desired. I'm not much of a Halo fan and got bored of the series, I can live without Gears, Fable isn't anything special to me, and I don't care for to many of the other exclusives on the system. Only 360 exclusive that really interests me is The Witcher 2 (Yes I know it's also on PC, but I consider it a PC/360 exclusive), but it's not worth buying a new Xbox for that game. Now I personally don't care if a game is exclusive or not, as long as I can play it I'm happy. But exclusives give me a reason to buy a system, what's the point of buying a new Xbox if it offers so little titles I like? I can already play most of it's library on my PS3, so again what's the point? Especially when the competition offers so much better quality exclusives? I want the next Xbox to offer more than just Halo, Gears, and Fable.
Too much focus on Kinect: I don't hate Kinect, and in fact I will be so bold as to admit that it can be fun. But by no means do I want it to be the focus of the 360, and unfortunately that's what MS has done. For the past few years MS has been really admimnt about Kinect and are even implementing non-Kinect games with the device, such as Skyrim voice command Dragon Shouts, or Mass Effect 3 voice-command allies. These things are nothing more than gimmics, and Kinect isn't really all that good of a motion gaming device in the first place,it suffers from input lag and half the time the voice commands don't register or work correctly. If MS is planning on making Kinect a bigger part of the Xbox brand (which they no doubt will) then they need to refine it and make it have more functions then just browsing the dashboard with your voice.
Outdated Tech: While the 360 is a fairly powerful system overall, it still has always felt lacking compared to the PS3. I have never played a game on 360 that has ever "wow'd" me like some of the PS3 games. I'm of course talking about God of War, Uncharted, Killzone etc....don't get me wrong, the 360 certainly does have some good lookers like Halo 4 and Gears, but they are not on the same level as those PS3 games I mentioned. Blame the devs or blame the hardware (I blame the latter) but it just always felt like the PS3 was always more advanced than the 360. For the next Xbox I want MS to make a system that will still be able to compete with the tech aspects of it's rival system. It also doesn't stop at games, there are other outdated design choices such as the lack of Blu Ray, using a disc tray etc....these things should be fixed with the next Xbox.
Lack of quality titles on Xbox Live Arcade: There are certainly great titles on XBLA, don't get me wrong. Minecraft, Trials etc....are all great games no doubt, but the overall majority of titles on XBLA are quite frankly worthless. It seems that the trend is more focused on quantity and not quality, indeed XBLA has more content than PSN. But that doesn't matter when most of that content sucks (to put it bluntly).
MS points: This is the single most confusing form of "currency" I have ever seen, and it's certainly not in the consumers best interest. For those who don't know, XBL does not use standard money when buying things off of it, instead you have to spend your money on points instead, to which the points can then be used to purchase content off of the XBL Market Place. Confused yet? Yeah I don't blame you, even more head scratching is the way the point system actually works. One the one hand you can never run out of points, but yet at the same time you never have enough. Anything that is this confusing is never in the consumers best interest, and if you try to do the math you will find that the point system makes content on XBL more expensive than on other services. So while 360 may get certain DLC and Indie games more early than PS3, the PS3 players end up getting the better end of the deal in the end.
No Blu Ray: Going with HD-DVD was a huge mistake for MS and it no doubt hurt them. Aside from Blu Ray being the best format for HD and audio, many games are simply too big for the Xbox to handle. It's not a question of multiple discs either, Blu Ray holds up to 50 GB of data, so say a game such as Uncharted 3 which is 47GB of data on Blu Ray tries to make it's way to 360? The result would be impossible, not only would it require an insane amount of discs but some games need all that data on one disc so they can streamline the experience. And Blu Ray also serves as a way for devs to add in more graphical and visual detail thanks to all the extra space. Plenty of devs have stated that their games are not possible on 360 and Blu Ray is one of them, take the Heavy Rain dev for instance. They were actually an Xbox developer last gen, but due to the lack of Blu Ray they went to PS3 because the 360 would not be able to handle it. Also multiple discs is annoying in certain games such as Mass Effect 2 where some of the missions are only available on one disc, so it requires you to switch back and forth regularly if you want to complete it. The next Xbox will no doubt have Blu-Ray.
There's always a "cache": Everything with the Xbox always has some stupid twist to it. You want to play online? You first had to buy the WiFi adapter which was $100. But that's not good enough, then you had to buy XBL. Having fun playing your system? Only to have it RROD on you and have to send it over seas to get it fixed. Just got Halo? Too bad the single player sucks and now you have to get XBL just to really enjoy the game with your friends. Happy with your dashboard? Too bad now you have to update it to a more Kinect friendly one regardless if you own the device or not. Don't like ads? Too bad. It's never "good enough" with the Xbox brand, it always wants more.
No exclusive content with Multiplats: While 360 does get some timed DLC, it's not the same as getting real exclusive content. Plenty of PS3 games do this with things such as being able to play as Joker in PS3 Batman Arkham Asylum, exclusive gang hideouts and missions in PS3 Red Dead Redemption, extra difficulty and challenge rooms in PS3 BioShock.....the PS3 versions of these games tend to be the best because of this. Whether or not you care about this extra content isn't the point, if there are two copies of the same game and one gives you more for your money then why would you bother with the 360 version? MS should offer these same kind of things, REAL exclusive content that actually stays exclusive, I don't care about getting COD maps a month later, give me something real. It sucks buying a game only to find out that the PS3 version had more content to it.
Crappy Dashboard: The 360 interface is uhelpful and disorganized. It's essentially a bunch of boxes that advertise a lot of useless content (again the ads I was referring to), and the "play game" section is a small box in the corner. Another dumb aspect is how much they constantly keep changing it, there is always a new update coming out for it, and each one just get's worse and worse. Also don't even bother buying a theme on 360, you will never be able to see it. I don't see why they just didn't stick with the original blades or allow people to customize it as they see fit. Even dumber are the 360 avatars, I can't believe people are dumb enough to spend REAL money on cartoon clothing for their avatars.
That about does it for this blog episode. Next I will rant about what I hate about Nintendo and then later the PC.
Honestly I regret getting my 360, if Sony didn't price the PS3 so high I would have just gotten that to start with as the 360 really doesn't offer any advantages over that platform.