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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Triple Play Should Be Triple the Gaming Fun

There's a promotion going on with the X-Box LIVE Reward program on the X-Box 360 for the month of April in which gamers can earn a measly 300 Microsoft Points by completing 3 tasks from the 3 main functions of the console: gaming, entertainment, and social. Yes, we are all smart enough as a gamer to notice that "entertainment" and "social" could actual fall into "gaming" but no, Microsoft wants you to see that they are not. Be very, very afraid 360 lovers because it is apparent now that the console is no longer seen as a gaming console primarily by Microsoft. Click here to see the "gaming" requirements needed to qualify for the 300 MP but I am going to show you below the disgusting tasks from the the other two portions of the promotion:

Do you know you can access all those things on item 2 for free everywhere else but the 360?

By now, you probably have noticed that this promotion is really about showcasing these other frivolous, non-gaming features found on a now supposed gaming console and I am sure that many would not just pay 400 MP just to gain the reward of 300MP so realistically, to come up on top of this whole deal, you would have to do item 2. But 10 hours of using those applications on the 360? That is just ridiculous. I mean seriously, the people who actually use that many hours of doing those things on the 360 should consider accessing them from other set top boxes because they can gain access to those services for free versus paying for the LIVE Gold subscription. Heck, if you are serious about accessing those things easily, consider hooking up a Personal Computer to your living room display - it's possible and extremely easy. Why the high requirement in this "Be Entertained" area? My idea of being entertained by a 360 has something to do with playing video games on the darn console and not doing non-gaming things on a gaming console. Now let's look at the "Be Social" requirements that don't make sense at all in the gaming context:

My idea of being social on a console is playing a co-op game!

So it's cool that the 360 has social networking capabilities but the way that they are separated from the actual gaming experience is troubling and that is the way that they are presented in this promotion. Why not count multiplayer gaming hours as a requirement instead of doing something that may or may not have anything to do with you doing some gaming on a gaming console? Do you know that you can do these things on your smart phone? I always find it funny when people choose to game on the 360 because they can "party it up" with friends when they can just use Skype to even do some cross-platform gaming. My point here is that Microsoft needs to stop turning the 360 into something it shouldn't be: a set top box with gaming options. It should be a premier gaming console. The way it is presented in this promotion however is a clear indication that it is anything but that.

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