It was nice the other week to see a little remorse, even insincere, by Microsoft on the subject of its ripoff “points” currency system:
I think people like to see the dollar amount. We never intended to ever mislead people. I think we want to be transparent about it, and so it is something that we’re looking at. How can we be more transparent and let people see it in actual dollars? The fact is that you’ve got to think that we have one service that we’re offering around the world. The nice thing about points is that no matter if you’re on the yen or the euro or the dollar — something that’s 200 points is 200 points everywhere around the world.
Yeah, but those 200 points don’t cost the same.
And you don’t sell in multiples of 200. In fact, whilst most games are priced in multiples of 400, you only sell points in multiples of 500, so consumers HAVE to pay more for games, even once they’ve figured out the real-world cost – something the points system clearly obscures.
“We never intended to ever mislead people” indeed. What a total lie.
As Gizmodo pointed out:
But don’t think they’re just doing it because they’ve suddenly acquired a conscience. In all likelihood, if Microsoft moves away from the Points system on Xbox Live, it’s because they’re planning on expanding the Zune Marketplace and integrating it more with the Xbox 360. The Zune Marketplace is in dollars (or whatever local currency you’re using), and it’d be much easier to unify the two systems by switching it all to currency than cramming the points system into the Zune Marketplace.
Meanwhile, someone else is suing Microsoft on the grounds that they were charged for points they were prevented from using.
Oh, Microsoft, will you ever really change?
(No, as the next post – about how Microsoft’s offensive ripoff hard drives for the 360 discourage gamers from purchasing Live content, and how publishers should consider switching to a platform where potential customers can actually store their product – will demonstrate.)
UPDATE: And now MS is removing online support for all original Xbox games. See the problem with games whose multiplayer is dependent on the indefinite good grace and benevolence of a soulless corporation? And just to rub salt in the wound, MS has removed paid DLC from Live, so many of those those wanting to play a last Halo 2 match at Bungie’s farewell, can’t.
Microsoft’s explanation for shutting down original Xbox games is that those older titles are to blame for the stupid 100 person friend list cap. Does that make any sense to anyone? If older games don’t support more than 100 people, then just limit those games to the first 100 games on someone’s friends list. MS’s original solution, capping EVERYONE to 100 friends, makes no sense to me; and its new solution, shutting down all original xbox games, even less.
Remember, online Xbox gamers – you’re paying Microsoft for this service.