Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 14th Jul 2012 03:10 UTC
Games "People who don't play video games would be forgiven if they turned on an Xbox 360 and didn't realize it was a device used to primarily play games. The first screen you see on the Xbox 360 Dashboard is often a mixture of ads for all sorts of goods and services, and many times games are in the minority of ad slots. The latest redesign increased the ad space that can be sold to advertisers, and that in turn increased this problem. Let's be clear, it is a problem." No kidding. I pay for Xbox Live, yet I'm being bombarded by useless crap ads. It's ridiculous. And yet I don't stop playing. It seems as if there's a solution to this problem in there somewhere, but I can't quite put my finger on it.
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Comment by sagum
by sagum on Sat 14th Jul 2012 04:12 UTC
sagum
Member since:
2006-01-23

I used to love the idea of xbox live and the all in gaming service it provided with the xbox live arcade games being some of the most played content I own.

However, I've pretty much left it alone. The interface is poor at best and getting blasted by adverts all the time really starts to wear thing quickly. It almost feels like I'm being used and abused for being a paying customer. I play on an offline account mostly and buy with my live enabled account. Saves watching all the adverts and useless crap, and actually speeds up the interface.

I've since got back into PC gaming thanks to indie bundles that have been doing the rounds and I have to say, steam has matured rather well and we have things like desura coming along and a multitude of sites even offering trade in on digital games (greenmangaming for example).
Tack on the super savings from sales on the PC, it makes me wonder why I even stuck with the xbox for so long.
Its a shame, as it had good potential but money grabbing was/is going to be its down fall.

Edited 2012-07-14 04:15 UTC

Reply Score: 4

A solution somewhere?
by darknexus on Sat 14th Jul 2012 05:32 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

How about doing what everyone on here always says to do: vote with your wallet? If you don't like it, don't pay for it and make it damn clear why you're not paying for it any longer. I'm not a gamer, but I'd have to think there are good games and solutions out there apart from Xbox Live, right?

Reply Score: 3

RE: A solution somewhere?
by Lion on Sat 14th Jul 2012 05:55 UTC in reply to "A solution somewhere?"
Lion Member since:
2007-03-22

In order to play networked multiplayer on xbox, it is necessary to pay for Live Gold.
Suggesting that people jump ship is not really a valid option as that would require giving up not just the console, but access to multiplayer in the already-purchased games library.
If you were to suggest simply jumping ship for future purchases... That's a little more valid but there's still issues with the people you play with not being on the competing platform's service - lack of access to your friends.
That doesn't even bring the functionality into play... Live is a more capable and better integrated multiplayer service than is offered on PS3. I am saying this as a PS3 player.
That said, I play more games on Steam than I do on my PS3 these days.

TL;DR: Voting with your wallet is not as simple as you might think (or hope)as an external viewer of the situation

Edited 2012-07-14 05:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

The PS2 was my last games console.

I become disappointed with the way console updates are shovelled down users throat, the requirements to buy (at the time of lunch) expensive TVs to be able to use them, copycat games of the same old concepts.

Getting mobile or PC Indie games (Mac/Linux/Windows) is way much better, and one is not bothered what a big corporation thinks games should be.

Reply Score: 4

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, I agree for PC games, but since the mobile market is just as badly controlled by megacorps as the console one, it really depends on which OS you are buying into.

Apple have a very good idea of what software should be, and will never hesitate to ban anything that doesn't suit their taste. Google, on their side, are often criticized for doing exactly the reverse and not giving a shit about what goes on their Play Store. I don't know where exactly Microsoft stand between these two extreme approaches, but from the general way they handle their platform, my guess would be that they are closer to Apple than Google.

Edited 2012-07-14 08:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Well, I agree for PC games, but since the mobile market is just as badly controlled by megacorps as the console one, it really depends on which OS you are buying into.


Android & Symbian

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Indeed, I had forgotten about it but side-loaded self-signed apps have enough capabilities to implement games on Symbian, so on this platform developers don't have to fear the banhammer either.

Edited 2012-07-14 12:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I become disappointed with the way console updates are shovelled down users throat, the requirements to buy (at the time of lunch) expensive TVs to be able to use them, copycat games of the same old concepts.


True that. These days, gamers are taking it up the ass in so many different ways, it's not even funny. On the 360, you have to pay to use the online service, and they STILL show you ads, plus you have to pay to access features that are free on other systems. On the PS3, they remove features from the system and force firmware updates down your throat almost every time you turn it on. And neither one has an interface that's worth a damn. And on both systems, you have games being sold that cost $80-$90, which includes $60 for the game plus another $20+ for DLC (which they're even starting to ship locked on the disc, no longer pretending that they're not f**king the consumer.)

And what about the PC? Well, you can buy games you never really own (Steam), or you can have games hold you hostage by either forcing you to be online to play, or installing some horrible shit that runs in the background, in order to ensure you're not a pirate.

And is it any better on phones? Well no, not really:

http://www.reviewlagoon.com/?p=518

This kind of thing is going to continue indefinitely, and you know why? Because gamers will scream, bitch, cry, moan, start up petitions, and do whatever else. But when the next military shooter flavor of the month comes out, they'll be there on launch day to take it up the ass, just like they always do. Hell, maybe they should bring some Vaseline to the store with them when the next-gen consoles come out. Somebody said 'voting with your wallet is not that simple'... well, why the hell not? This stuff isn't air... you don't HAVE to have it ;)

As for me, I'm glad not to be a part of any of that anymore. If I want to do some gaming, I might plunk down some cash for one of the Humble Bundles (Braid and Super Meat Boy FTW), or just fire up an emulator and play the classics. As for the other stuff, I just don't have the patience for all of the bullshit anymore. Enough is enough.

Reply Score: 5

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Agreed. Humble Bundles, GOG.com games, the odd Indie Royale bundle, the DRM-free games on Desura, and emulators are definitely the way to go.

The most network-DRMed thing I own is Minecraft and I bought that way back before the first Humble Bundle made indie games for Linux trendy and easy to find.

(I actually have more working games than I can play, and I'm a Linux user who only buys games on sale and only for $2.50 or less if they weren't already on my TODO list.)

...and, lately, I've had too many other interesting things (like programming, reading, and watching stuff off ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com) on offer to do much gaming anyway.

All I've really been playing recently is my GOG.com copy of Legend of Grimrock. (It runs perfectly in Wine)

There's plenty of entertainment to be had without compromising your principles if you know where to look. (There are even some free gems on PlayDeb.net that you can get Windows or OSX builds for if you visit their websites)

Reply Score: 4

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

You can use the xbox 360 with an old CRT, why do you need an expensive TV? Same with the PS3.

Some of your points are valid, but no need to make stuff up to pad your post.

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

You can use the xbox 360 with an old CRT, why do you need an expensive TV? Same with the PS3.

Some of your points are valid, but no need to make stuff up to pad your post.


This is not true in practice, as many games require HDMI resolutions, regardless of what XBox itself supports.

Reply Score: 4

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

That is not Microsoft's fault, and we are discussing Microsoft not 3rd party game developers.

Reply Score: 2

darseex Member since:
2010-12-06

"Here are a bunch of reasons not to use Windows."

"Oh yeah, well can you play games on it?"

"I'm having difficulty getting this <game_related_thing> working on Windows."

"You can hardly blame that on Microsoft."

Reply Score: 1

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

That is not Microsoft's fault, and we are discussing Microsoft not 3rd party game developers.


If Microsoft wasn't ok with it, the games would not have been approved in the XBox 360 certification process each game studio has to go through.

Reply Score: 3

ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

BS, the vast majority work fine with a CRT. They just downsample the image and it still looks great compared to last gen.

I know this because I have taken my xbox to hotels and I read about the experiences of others before choosing which games to take. The only game I came across that had problems was Dead Rising.

Reply Score: 1

ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

These days, gamers are taking it up the ass in so many different ways, it's not even funny. On the 360, you have to pay to use the online service, and they STILL show you ads, plus you have to pay to access features that are free on other systems.


You really think Xbox gamers are unaware that other systems have free online? Everyone has a friend with a PS3 or gaming pc. I bet at least a third of Xbox gamers have one or the other.

With the Xbox you pay $5 a month for integration of services that you can't get on the PS3 and PC. Most gamers can afford $5 a month and don't mind paying it. Hell most Westerners don't mind paying $5 a day for coffee. No one is taking it up the ass, try both the PS3 and Xbox online and you will see why people pay for it. As for the it PC doesn't have universal communication system that integrates with the games. It also misses a lot of console exclusives and has become MMORPG heavy.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Funny thing about that is, it wasn't so long ago that most Linux enthusiasts, when asked about gaming, said things along the lines of "just get a console, PC gaming is on the way out." Just goes to show how difficult it is to predict the future when it comes to technology.

Reply Score: 2

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Perhaps. I'm not exactly a typical case.

I've always preferred emulators to real console hardware and, when I originally switched to Linux, I was at a slump in my interest in gaming and got tired enough of Windows XP to quit it cold-turkey.

I still have yet to beat Dungeon Siege... though that's partly because I can't remember which DVD+R has my saved game on it.

Reply Score: 2

ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Funny thing about that is, it wasn't so long ago that most Linux enthusiasts, when asked about gaming, said things along the lines of "just get a console, PC gaming is on the way out." Just goes to show how difficult it is to predict the future when it comes to technology.


I am a Linux enthusiast, although that's unrelated to the reasons why I agree with the "just get a console": while I'm not an avid gamer by any means I sometimes enjoy playing the occasional brand new "AAA" game, and I'd rather do so without forking money every year just to keep my computer hardware updated.

I also prefer playing games laying on my couch instead of sitting on a chair, and while technically I could plug my PC to my TV (which is the setup I already have anyway) and use a controller, that would imply even beefier hardware to keep the game smooth at the native TV resolution.

I've never said anything about PC gaming being on the way out, though. I'm just no longer interested in it.

Reply Score: 5

ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

That's fine you if you mainly like 2D games and don't mind the piracy delay for games that go console first and then to the pc.

I've done plenty of both pc and console gaming and I find the latter to be far less annoying. PC gamers too often get treated like crap when it comes to multi-plat games. From a purely economic pov it's entirely understandable given their high piracy rates and fragmented platform.

Reply Score: 2

This is a problem?
by BluenoseJake on Sat 14th Jul 2012 13:43 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

Do you spend your time sitting on the home screen? I know I don't. I just turn it on, wave over to what I want to do, and play that game, watch that movie or listen to my music. I certainly couldn't care less what ads are on the home screen. I don't think most other people do either.

Sounds like one of those "First World Problems" to me

Edited 2012-07-14 13:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: This is a problem?
by sagum on Sat 14th Jul 2012 21:04 UTC in reply to "This is a problem?"
sagum Member since:
2006-01-23

Do you spend your time sitting on the home screen? I know I don't. I just turn it on, wave over to what I want to do, and play that game, watch that movie or listen to my music. I certainly couldn't care less what ads are on the home screen. I don't think most other people do either.

Sounds like one of those "First World Problems" to me


When will you start to care? ok so right now you only have adverts on the screen where your games and tv shows could be put for easy access, sure thats just a extra menu to flick through.. but were do you (or anyone else draw the line).

Gold members are paying for the service up keep already. There should be no reason to show adverts (more so adverts that have no relation to the topic/screen or your past gaming experiance at hand).

So, were does microsoft intend to take it. Adverts before every game you want to play? Don't think it'll happen? What did Google do with youtube?

Already I see xbox live games on WP7 with adverts at the bottom of the screen. These are games by Microsoft branded as XBOX LIVE titles. They have adverts. Its the next logical step for them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: This is a problem?
by BluenoseJake on Sun 15th Jul 2012 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE: This is a problem?"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I won't start to care. There are ads everywhere, you can't avoid them. They are a fact of life. There are ads before and after every tv show, and during, and we pay for cable. There are ads on every page of a magazine, but we pay for the magazine. There are ads on both the inside and the outside of buses, but we pay for the bus.

Ads are a fact of life, get over it. It's a non problem.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: This is a problem?
by ssokolow on Sun 15th Jul 2012 00:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is a problem?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I won't start to care. There are ads everywhere, you can't avoid them. They are a fact of life. There are ads before and after every tv show, and during, and we pay for cable. There are ads on every page of a magazine, but we pay for the magazine. There are ads on both the inside and the outside of buses, but we pay for the bus.

Ads are a fact of life, get over it. It's a non problem.


I beg to differ. I live in the middle of the countryside, study through distance education, and I'm gearing up to telecommute whenever possible. I run AdBlock Plus in concert with DNS-based ad-blocking and avoid podcasts and Internet radio stations with ads. The only TV I watch is Mythbusters with ads already removed. I let other family members answer the phone.

I use SpamGourmet to give out e-mail aliases that can be expired if they receive spam. (I expire maybe two aliases per year at most)

The only ads I see on any kind of significant basis are Project Wonderful ads and only because I respect and want to support Project Wonderful.

Edited 2012-07-15 00:39 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: This is a problem?
by BluenoseJake on Sun 15th Jul 2012 02:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: This is a problem?"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Good for you. Ads are the way that websites keep their content free, and you block them all. I also use adblock plus, but I turn it off on sites I like, so I can help support them.

There was a discussion about that on OSNews a while ago, and websites need that revenue to survive. Sometimes blocking ads is selfish.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: This is a problem?
by ssokolow on Sun 15th Jul 2012 04:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This is a problem?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Good for you. Ads are the way that websites keep their content free, and you block them all. I also use adblock plus, but I turn it off on sites I like, so I can help support them.

There was a discussion about that on OSNews a while ago, and websites need that revenue to survive. Sometimes blocking ads is selfish.


I did mention that I make an exception for Project Wonderful.

As for the rest, blocking ads serves several purposes: It's part of my efforts to minimize how trackable I am, it makes my browser significantly more performant (and my PC is almost brand new), it protects me against certain types of 0-day exploits, and, most importantly, it keeps the advertisers off my blacklist.

(I tend to boycott any vendor that wastes their money annoying me, rather than pouring it into good service or R&D and my general policy is "If I want it, I'll search for it. If not, you're on the blacklist.")

Heck, it's one of the more ordinary things I've done on the tracking front. Given how much work I've already been putting into using things like NoScript, RefControl, and fine-tuned tweaks to my browser's headers (see Panopticlick) to make my browser difficult to track, it'd be foolish of me to allow ads.

Besides. If a site has a problem with me, I have no problem moving to some other site that funds itself in a more palatable manner. In fact, I'm in the process of migrating off Google's free offerings to the greatest extent possible.

I get the impression you think they're somehow entitled to make money off every single visitor. I don't know about you, but I think a TV channel that managed to force you to watch commercials or a supermarket that forced you to spend money before you leave wouldn't have very many customers.

I've also read interesting arguments on the viewpoint that, if you induce your visitors to turn off their ad-blocking systems when they still have no interest in buying the products, then you're essentially committing a more indirect form of click fraud against the people paying to advertise on your site.

EDIT: Here's one of the relevant posts:

http://www.less-broken.com/blog/2011/11/why-ad-blocking-is-not-mora...

Edited 2012-07-15 04:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: This is a problem?
by ilovebeer on Sun 15th Jul 2012 06:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: This is a problem?"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

There was a discussion about that on OSNews a while ago, and websites need that revenue to survive. Sometimes blocking ads is selfish.

I couldn't disagree with you more. Blocking ads is in no way selfish what-so-ever. No user is obligated to view ads, much less click on them, or further yet, spend their money.

Also, revenue does not accrue by you looking at an ad on the side of a message forum. Or the top. Or splashed all over the place. If you don't click the links, no revenue is generated.

Lastly, most people don't click on ads, whether they see them or not. Ad-blockers do not cause any lost revenue from people who have no intention of clicking ads or buying crap in the first place.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: This is a problem?
by Soulbender on Sun 15th Jul 2012 04:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is a problem?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Ads are a fact of life, get over it. It's a non problem.


While ads are not a problem excessive ads are but not primarily for the consumer.
When the ratio of ads to actual content becomes too large the consumers will abandon your product.
So what MS seems to be doing is to make the service unusable for small-medium game developers and actual gamers and instead making it an ad service. So what will happen when all those small-medium companies stop developing games for the Xbox because it's not longer financially viable? What will happen when gamers find it excessively difficult to use the system to actually find and play games?
That won't be a fun day at the Xbox division.

Edited 2012-07-15 04:43 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: This is a problem?
by zima on Tue 17th Jul 2012 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is a problem?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There are ads everywhere, you can't avoid them. They are a fact of life. [...] get over it. It's a non problem.

They are a fact of life, but ad pollution of sorts is a bit of a problem...

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WarsawCity6.jpg - there are actually two buildings right behind the yellow tram...
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Warschau,_Jerozolimskie_DSC_...
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taomina_Lumbi.jpg
At this point, it's basically not a city / building architecture, it's advertisement architecture.
(plus ad-clunkers... http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Polski_Fiat_126p_and_Trabant... )

There were some series of big cities photos, with advertisements photoshopped out - the difference is striking.

Edited 2012-07-17 23:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: This is a problem?
by Wafflez on Mon 16th Jul 2012 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE: This is a problem?"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26


Gold members are paying for the service up keep already. There should be no reason to show adverts (more so adverts that have no relation to the topic/screen or your past gaming experiance at hand).

So, were does microsoft intend to take it. Adverts before every game you want to play? Don't think it'll happen? What did Google do with youtube?

As a both PS3 and xBox360 owner, I know for what I pay.

Never experiencing downtime? Check. Not having to change my credit card? Check. Communicating with others while playing different games? Check. Heck, even communicating with others on the same friggin game (helloooo Battlefield 3)? Check.

As for advertisments before games - I have seen plenty advertising SpeedTree and Unreal Engine and PC games have another "the way it's meant to be played" ad.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 14th Jul 2012 22:12 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

The way advertising is delivered these days pretty much guarantees I will not pull my wallet out for whatever crap people are peddling. When I get everything thrown at me, including the kitchen sink, I can tell you now that nothing is going to stick.

Like BluenoseJake however, I spend only as much time as necessary on the home page of the xbox360 to start a game. While my stay is very short, I still despise the ads I see.

Reply Score: 2

Oh please
by Nelson on Sun 15th Jul 2012 09:22 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

On my Xbox I see ads for:

New Games for the 360 when I'm on the Games section
New Music when I'm in the music section
etc.

Its not like they're trying to sell you Viagra while you're trying to saw someone in half on Gears of War.

I actually quite like having at a glance information on new games that are out or upcoming, or the latest album out on the Marketplace.

Reply Score: 2

Privacy
by Modafinil on Sun 15th Jul 2012 20:28 UTC
Modafinil
Member since:
2012-04-28

@Thom,

Perhaps you could install privoxy on your desktop machine or local server and set your XBox proxy settings to go through it?

I haven't touched my daughters 360 since I originally set it up months ago so I'm unsure of this is feasible, but I will look into it soon as I was unaware that it was full of advertising.

Edited 2012-07-15 20:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

So buy a PS3?
by ze_jerkface on Mon 16th Jul 2012 00:27 UTC
ze_jerkface
Member since:
2012-06-22

I don't mind ads for new games and movies since that is what I use the xbox for.

You can buy an PS3 for a $250 and you can also set the xbox to load the game and not the dashboard.

Serious western problems here.
http://epistleofjim.blogspot.com/2011/08/oh-problems-with-living-in...

Reply Score: 2