Friday, May 6, 2011

Do People Even Play Games on the 360?

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been diligent in logging on to the X-Box LIVE service via my Personal Computer using LIVE-enabled games and the website because of a curiosity I have in regards to how people are using the 360 these days. Bear in mind that I don't have my friend's list filled with people and even if I did, it would hardly be a complete representation of the entire LIVE community. I have been logging on in the evening on weekdays and sporadically throughout the day over the weekend. Except for my two friends who played the online multiplayer mode of Call of Duty: Black Ops nonstop it seems like as well as two others who did play a variety of games, the majority of them were just watching Netflix on LIVE consistently during this period of time. Another interesting thing I noticed is that they mostly watched the television shows instead of the movies. I find this to be very intriguing and a bit sad at the same time because of a number of things:

1) Microsoft prides itself for being able to provide Netflix, and now Hulu Plus, on the LIVE Gold service but you have to pay for these separately on top of the Gold subscription. The Gold subscription fee should have covered the subscriptions for these video services. And yes, Microsoft even dared to hike up the yearly Gold fee by $10 last year because of the addition of, amongst other things, the access to Hulu Plus. The ability to access these video services is a business partnership that has granted Microsoft a lot of cash and yet they demand more from the Gold subscribers.

2) Netflix and Hulu Plus are accessible easily via the PC. Sure, not everyone hook up their PC to their high definition big screen display (even though they should) but almost all set-top boxes and video players now support both Netflix and Hulu Plus - which is why I bought my significant other a Blu-ray player for our living room so that Netflix could be accessed from there. Bottom line: You don't need a Gold-subscribed 360 to watch these video streams on your super cool high definition television wherever it is located.

Please waste your subscription time by doing all of these things instead of playing games online!

I think it is misleading for Microsoft to feature Netflix and Hulu Plus as a big part of the LIVE Gold experience because they are charging people for things that should be accessible for free, without having users subscribe to the Gold membership. Do a lot of 360 users know that these things are available on other devices without paying another fee on top of the subscription prices for those video services? Maybe they don't but for these video stream obsessed users on the 360, perhaps they should reconsider their situation and adopt a cost-efficient solution that makes a lot more sense. For those who actually spent a majority of their time on the 360 playing online games, well, at least they are putting that yearly $59.99 or whatever it was that they paid Microsoft to good use.


Kelli said...

Thank you! I so agree, its ridiculous to have to pay for xbox gold to use netflix when playstation can offer netflix for free (of course with payed subscription)

Loner Gamer said...

The same goes with Hulu Plus on the PS3 - no need to pay another fee on top of the actual Hulu Plus subscription.