So Stark and I are at it again, this time we talk about E3. At the time of recording this stuff was relevant. It meant something. Granted, not much has really changed since the recording. Microsoft has given an inch but still decided that it will fuck anyone that decides to step out of line. Aside from that we also go off topic in some of the most wonderful ways ever created. We recorded this awhile ago, but if you listen to our streams at all, which are only not being posted here because instead of being long periods of uninterupted awesome are now broken up pieces of sadness, he still brings up as a major concern. He thinks that the people offering him the billion dollars are going to force him to take it, one way or another.
For those of us that can’t wait until next month for some amazing rumors, it seems that Microsoft will be launching a version of Internet Explorer for the XBOX 360 at some point in the near future. While this might not seem that Earth shattering to anyone out there, as the PS3, Wii, and most handhelds have been able to surf the net for years at this point, it is an interesting side note that the 360 is just now getting around to adding functionality that every other platform, and phone, has had for the last five-ish years.
This move also seems to follow more of the stance that Microsoft has been taking with the console as of late, meaning that they are pushing it farther away from a gaming system and something that people use as a broad stroke for entertainment. It is kind of odd to think about something like this just breaking at the end of the life-cycle of the system, mainly because I rarely turn on my 360 at this point and have cancelled my Live account from renewing—everything that I enjoyed doing on that system seems to be handled rather poorly at this point and I am oddly playing my Wii more than it.
Source: Slash Gear
Microsoft will soon be offing the Xbox 360 the same way cellular carriers offer you those snazzy new smartphones. $99 and a 2-year contract for $15 a month will snag you a 4GB Xbox 360, a Kinect sensor, and 2 years of Xbox Live Gold service. So just like a cell contract, you will get hit with an early termination fee if you bail out of the contract.
This is an interesting new way to sell a game console, and if it catches on it could change the way people buy game consoles in the future. Microsoft is hoping to compete with video streaming devices such as Roku and Apple TV by making the hardware more affordable and locking people into more profitable service contracts. This contract also offers a savings of about $40 over two years compared to purchasing the hardware and subscribing to Xbox Live up front.
In 2 years, Microsoft is planning to end support for its popular operating system, Windows XP. That means there won’t be any more patches to fix vulnerabilities that could let malware into computers using XP, and this has some security experts concerned. There are many people and companies that are not willing to upgrade, and this means that millions of computers around the world could come under attack, or even worse, become taken over by botnets to attack even more computers.
There are many reasons people are not willing to spend money on upgrading, including folks that use the home computer for simple tasks such as e-mail and little else, and companies that use custom versions of XP that would be difficult to replace. Even worse, there are going to be plenty of people that don’t even know support for XP will expire. Computer geeks around the world, it’s time to do your part and shame noobs around the world that won’t upgrade of use a Linux distro.
The current generation of console gaming systems have introduced many new elements of gaming that only seem to exist to put bigger dents into the pockets of gamers. MSRP game prices rose to a new standard of $60, Microsoft made online gaming a paid service, greedy publishers used DLC as a means to nickel and dime gamers for content that should arguable be part of the full game, rushed games fly out the door with severe bugs still in the code… I could go on forever with this list. If console manufactures get their way things could be even worse when you buy your next console.
There are rumors floating around that gaming giants Sony and Microsoft are flirting with the idea of requiring an “always on” internet connection to protect games from piracy, meaning that every time your shitty ISP has a service outage, no gaming for you. Sony is looking to tie the games you purchase with your PSN account, making it impossible to sell your used games to retailers such as Gamestop, and preventing game rentals. Nintendo still seems to be struggling to bring gamers decent hardware, as the specs for the “Wii U” are still not even on the same level as the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3.
Will gamers actually behave like real consumers and reject this sort of consumer abuse, or are they going to let the console industry walk all over them again and keep handing them money without question? This generation of consoles showed me that gamers can be awful consumers. No one complains when a firmware update for a console forces you to sign a mandatory EULA that takes away your right to sue a console manufacturer for letting hackers have your personal information, but if someone doesn’t like the ending to a game there is a media-fueled shit storm. It’s time for gamers to man up, get some priorities straightened out, and stand up to real consumer abuse by console manufacturers and game publishers.