Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 6th Jul 2013 11:52 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. Game discovery is terrible in the current design of Xbox Live, and the usability of a system that used to be about games is suffering in order for Microsoft to make money on ads." Written a year ago by Ben Kuchera for Penny Arcade. In light of increased advertising efforts in Windows 8.1, this has become relevant once more. In a nutshell, do not count on Microsoft being able to strike a proper balance (thanks, Soulbender!).
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XBone and advertising
by WereCatf on Sat 6th Jul 2013 12:11 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I'm somewhat surprised to see no mention of how Microsoft is planning to make advertising a wholly-integrated part of the Xbone & Kinect - experience ( http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/07/microsoft-xbox-one-advertisin... )

Granted, I do understand Microsoft's motivations behind this and I can only hope that the ads will be tasteful, not in-your-face, but seeing as how the ads will utilize Kinect both for targeting, marketing and for actual control of the content I doubt that will be the case. I just recently learned that even on the Xbox 360 the ads often have audio so that you just cannot ignore them, and with the next Xbox it'll just get worse. I wonder if PS4 will do ads, too, and how they are presented.

Disclaimer: I'm not buying either of these consoles, I have no personal beef here or an axe to grind.

Reply Score: 10

RE: XBone and advertising
by bnolsen on Sat 6th Jul 2013 12:41 UTC in reply to "XBone and advertising"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

If MS wants to do this they should be giving these things away. It's painfully obvious MS doesn't believe the end user owns his own console. Will see what sony does.

Edited 2013-07-06 12:42 UTC

Reply Score: 12

RE[2]: XBone and advertising
by Lennie on Sat 6th Jul 2013 13:22 UTC in reply to "RE: XBone and advertising"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

They are just trying to see how far they can stretch the xbox money making schemes without annoying the users, they need to utilize anything they can find.

Who knows what will happen with Windows on mobile and desktop or even server they want to diversify.

They used to be able to deliver integrated solutions, but they might not be able to leverage that on the long term.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: XBone and advertising
by Nelson on Sun 7th Jul 2013 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE: XBone and advertising"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

FTA Sony has a patent on a similar idea.

My fear is that while the goal might be to increase engagement and make ads more palatable, it just makes them more capable and annoying.

Reply Score: 2

RE: XBone and advertising
by bassbeast on Sun 7th Jul 2013 21:49 UTC in reply to "XBone and advertising"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Ya know I do have to say there IS an upsaide to MSFT seeing how nasty and ugly they can get with the Xbone...business has been GREAT for us PC builders!

As for the Xbone...sigh. You HONESTLY think there will be "taste" from the guy that pushed through Windows 8? Really? Or crap brown Zunes? if there is one thing Ballmer has shown is he has ZERO taste and will happily burn his own company while trying to squeeze his own customers for every cent (see how he jacked the prices on Windows 8, or has the gall to charge more than the Apple Appstore for many popular apps on winRT).

So if it follows every other thing Ballmer touches it'll be about as subtle as a hammer to the face and when users complain he'll just dial it up to 11. Prices will be higher, already the Xbone is $100 more than the PS4 while having weaker hardware, you'll get to pay for the "fun" of suffering through irritating ads just to use the thing, Steve Ballmer and subtle are two words that shouldn't be in the same room,much less the same sentence.

Reply Score: 2

Advertising is a BIG turn off
by shotsman on Sat 6th Jul 2013 17:58 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

As a registered 'Grumpy Old Man', any adverts I see are a sure fire certainty that I will never ever buy the item being advertised.

At the moment, MS and others seem to be hell bent on increasing the amount of Advertising forced upon pretty well all IT/PC/Console users.

When will they wake up and consider the laws of diminishing returns. More Adss does not always mean more sales.

IMHO, Better Ads mean more sales but for me, I abhor pretty well all adverts (I used to work in the Advertising Industry...) Thank God for the BBC and when I watch other channels, the PVR skip 2 minutes button.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Advertising is a BIG turn off
by WorknMan on Sat 6th Jul 2013 19:04 UTC in reply to "Advertising is a BIG turn off"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

As a registered 'Grumpy Old Man', any adverts I see are a sure fire certainty that I will never ever buy the item being advertised.


Same here, unless I really, REALLY need it for some reason. I will tolerate ads if the content is free, so long as they're not completely obnoxious. (Which they are, most of the time.)

Personally, I'm glad MS is doing this with the Xbone... makes the decision not to buy one that much easier. I wonder when you buy Call of Duty or Halo 27 for $60+, put the disc in and press play, if you'll have to sit through a 30 second video ad first. Personally? I wouldn't put it past them ;)

Reply Score: 9

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I'll put up with an ad or two on little sites and then ONLY if they ask nicely. I think Confused Matthew pretty much set the bar for me when on one of his videos he said "I really need the money guys, the transmission is about to fall out of my car"...Okay, I'll buy that. He is a little guy just trying to stay afloat and being a student those ads are probably the only thing keeping him from living on ramen noodles, most of us have been there so I'll let it slide for a little guy like that.

Where I WILL NOT let it slide is when a multi-billion dollar company like MSFT expects me to pay them ONCE for the hardware,TWICE for the ability to play MP on the games I already paid for which they got a cut of, and then a THIRD TIME by pounding me with ads so they can have a stock price. Not no but HELL NO, I'm not giving you a pile of money for a piece of hardware only to have you slap me in the face with ads, MSFT can go jump off a bridge.

This is why I refused to buy Windows 8 even when it was just $40, because I'll be damned if i pay for an OS only to have it filled with adware that is gonna take me an hour or two to strip out before i can even use the thing. Quit being such greedy pigs MSFT, you'll get more customers if you treat them right but instead you just keep trying to gouge and see how far you get.

Reply Score: 4

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Honestly? In Windows 8, you'll never see ads, unless you use any of the shitty Metro apps they provide. But even then, the ones that have ads (like the news and weather apps) are basically glorified web pages, and the couple of times I used them, I didn't even notice the ads. I had to go back and check after I heard about it, and I found a couple of ads at the very bottom of the screen. For this reason, they don't bother me like they do on the 360, since I never saw 'em ;)

At any rate, I think the Bing search in 8.1 will be similar. Android does the same thing in that regard; do a search via the search box or Google Now, and you'll get ads with the search results.

Edited 2013-07-08 01:53 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Even in Metro apps there is some exaggeration going on. The advertisements are often all the way to the right, or if they are in between content they separate logical groupings of information. Its not obtrusive, obnoxious, or annoying at all.

There are just these "get off my lawn" types that will bitch about everything under the sun. The question is do they reflect a broad sentiment? I'm not convinced.

Besides, for every advertising supported app there is an ad free alternative in the Windows Store. Supply and demand at work.

Microsoft has a right to make money, they aren't a charity, and their current financial status is largely irrelevant to that. If Microsoft wants to increase the Bing team's bottom line then this is one way to do it. If you don't like it, open the app and leave feedback, but I doubt the OP will do that. Its a shame, because they may listen.

Reply Score: 3

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Even in Metro apps there is some exaggeration going on. The advertisements are often all the way to the right, or if they are in between content they separate logical groupings of information. Its not obtrusive, obnoxious, or annoying at all.


When it comes to ads, everybody has their own tolerance level for them. Some people will see one text ad and lose their mind. Others could be shown full-screen video ads every time they open an app, and it wouldn't really bother them.

As for me personally, I just don't want to see ads. Ever. That is, unless I'm shopping for something and go looking for them. That doesn't mean I'm a freeloader... if I can find a paid alternative without ads, I'm happy to pony up. And I often do just that. So as you can imagine, there aren't too many people who hate ads more than I do. But even I'm not going to go ape shit over ads I never see, in apps that I don't use.

On the other hand, if they started showing ads on the Start screen tiles, I'd have a real problem with that... I don't care how unobtrusive they are. I can understand accepting ads for content or services you paid nothing for, but once money is involved, the ads need to go, or else the price better be reduced. In other words, we need to train these companies that ads are something they feed us when we're not paying, not something they can shove on top of shit we're already paying for.

Reply Score: 2

unhappy user
by TechGeek on Sun 7th Jul 2013 04:05 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Most of what I use my Xbox 360 for is Netflix. I am sick and tired of paying for Xbox Gold just so I can use a service I already pay for. Soon, my 360 will be disconnected and used for dvds and games offline. I just haven't decided what Netflix box to replace it with. I keep hoping Netflix will get their HTML5 video app out the door so I can just watch on Linux.

There will be no XBox One in my future. Just wait until we find out there is a back door to let the government or hackers view content on the kinect without anyone knowing.

Edited 2013-07-07 04:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: unhappy user
by WereCatf on Sun 7th Jul 2013 05:16 UTC in reply to "unhappy user"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Most of what I use my Xbox 360 for is Netflix. I am sick and tired of paying for Xbox Gold just so I can use a service I already pay for. Soon, my 360 will be disconnected and used for dvds and games offline. I just haven't decided what Netflix box to replace it with. I keep hoping Netflix will get their HTML5 video app out the door so I can just watch on Linux.


While the PS3 is also rough around a lot of corners the thing I like about it is that Netflix doesn't require PSN Plus -- you can just install the app and be on your merry way. Also, since the PS3 can play both DVDs and BluRay-movies it's a rather handy box for movie/TV-show consumption.

As for Netflix on Linux? That'd require Firefox or some other F/OSS browser to implement the support for DRM-modules; the Internet Explorer that ships with Windows 8.1 supports this and Netflix therefore uses HTML5 on it. Alas, what I've seen it seems none of the F/OSS-folks are willing to implement such support even if W3C were to accept the proposal and therefore such support seems unlikely :/

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: unhappy user
by phoenix on Sun 7th Jul 2013 20:39 UTC in reply to "RE: unhappy user"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Google Chrome on ChromeOS (x86 and ARM) already supports HTML5 DRM and this can play Netflix streams.

Google Chrome on Linux already supports HTML5 DRM, although the Netflix module is not supported. Shouldn't be too long, though.

And, to help speed things along, IE11 on Windows 8 supports playing Netflix streams via HTML5 DRM.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: unhappy user
by Nelson on Tue 9th Jul 2013 01:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: unhappy user"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think you're trading performance for ubiquity. I still don't get adaptive bitrate streaming with HTML5 video which is a major step backwards from Silverlight.

Its a shame that we let politics get in the way of the superior solution from a technological perspective.

On a plugin-free note, MPEG DASH support in IE11 is an arguably better way to support adaptive bitrate streaming which is standards based and done over HTTP using existing infrastructure.

Reply Score: 3

Console should remain a console
by Kochise on Sun 7th Jul 2013 06:40 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

In the good ol'time, the game industry lived from selling the console at 'bargain' price then made its revenue from selling games with a large margin. I say the whole game industry because by a very strange phenomenon, all prices were pretty leveled.

Then the printer industry copied that and started to sell printers at very low price but ink is now sold at a price gold seems cheap in comparison.

Now the game industry, while making fun (of their consumers) and money from the hardware and 'online' games (less costful physical medium, the gamer pays for a larger hard drive to hold the game) and a monthly fee, they are also spoiling the 'experience' with ads. No just in-game ads...

I wait for the printer industry move, where you'll see ads pops up on your printed pages.

Then Microsoft will do it directly into your Word pages, Excel sheets, Powerpoint slides.

Hmmm, yummy future...

Kochise

Reply Score: 5

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Selling consoles at a loss wasn't at all typical until the X-Box came out. Sony also dropped the price of the PS2 and started taking a loss to compete with the X-Box, but it was profitable before that.

Prior to the X-Box, The PS2 was sold at a profit, as was the PSX, and Nintendo has always and continues to sell their systems profitably. Sega, too, at least before the final days of the Dreamcast, when they dropped the price to $99 in a last-ditch effort to move some consoles.

Reply Score: 2

Several problems
by wocowboy on Sun 7th Jul 2013 11:55 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

Ads everywhere is just one of the main problems with Xbox. When you are required to have half a dozen (exaggerated to make a point) subscriptions and memberships before you can do ANYTHING with the device is a deal-killer for me. I realize players need to have a repository for saved games, achievements, and the like, but to require an Xbox Live Gold monthly subscription BEFORE you can also pay a subscription to Netflix to use that app is completely ridiculous. The same applies for playing your own music files. We play games on ours and that's it, it just sits there the rest of the time.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Several problems
by Nelson on Sun 7th Jul 2013 13:36 UTC in reply to "Several problems"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

The Xbox Live paywall needs to go away. Its a pointless edge MSFT gives their competitors.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Several problems
by vitae on Sun 7th Jul 2013 20:34 UTC in reply to "Several problems"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

I'll second that. Can't even surf with Explorer without subscribing. Just plain greed by Microsoft.

Reply Score: 5

Well
by peteo on Sun 7th Jul 2013 12:45 UTC
peteo
Member since:
2011-10-05

Oh. Yawn.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 7th Jul 2013 13:31 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

While I disagree that *all* of the examples in the article are advertisements, some were. The situation on the Xbox is less defensible than the one on Windows 8.1

In 8.1 the ads are kept confined to the app. On the Xbox the ads invade the dashboard. Thats worse in my opinion.

Reply Score: 3

Paid or free with Ads
by SaschaW on Sun 7th Jul 2013 15:21 UTC
SaschaW
Member since:
2007-07-19

I hate ads. I personally like the idea of free-with-Ads or a paid subscription with no ads. Makes a lot of sense to me. But MS does both, they charge you $40/yr for a Gold membership, which I am fine with, but I looking at stupid ads really puts me off. They should do one or the other, but not both. Hulu does something similar. I understand Hulu can't make enough revenue from the subscriptions to cover the licensing fees. I wouldn't mind paying more for a super-premium-ad-free subscription. But paying for a service and watching mindless commercials is a no go for me.

Reply Score: 8

Comment by jigzat
by jigzat on Mon 8th Jul 2013 05:26 UTC
jigzat
Member since:
2008-10-30

I'm not getting an XBONE I'm a PS3 aficionado but this is just sad. I said it before the market is not bit enough for 3 mayor console makers and now with Android gaming consoles everybody is now a gaming console maker.

Microsoft strategy suggest they are taking a step back, the console is more a cable box mixed with their wish of selling their own hardware a la Apple with Windows 8 to intercept the consumers before Google in order to sell ads since Google basically owns the world wide web. People doesn't even use the address bar any more, they just "google" things up.

It is a good strategy Apple made a similar move with the Appstore and iTunes store, the idea is to take away the need of opening the browser. If it works fine, I think it is about time to balance things up with Google but I hate ads from any source, I just hope both Sony and Nintendo won't take the same route.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by jigzat
by ilovebeer on Mon 8th Jul 2013 05:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by jigzat"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Microsoft strategy suggest they are taking a step back, the console is more a cable box mixed with their wish of selling their own hardware a la Apple with Windows 8 to intercept the consumers before Google in order to sell ads since Google basically owns the world wide web.

You're absolutely wrong that Microsoft is taking a step backwards. Microsofts long-term goal has been to own the living room and be a supplier of all forms of living room entertainment. That is exactly what they're well on their way to accomplishing. One center-piece box that accommodates all your needs. The people who think this is just about ads are thinking too small. The funniest thing about that is it's not exactly like what I'm saying has been kept a secret.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by jigzat
by jigzat on Mon 8th Jul 2013 17:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by jigzat"
jigzat Member since:
2008-10-30

Well when I said Microsoft is taking a step back I meant in the console wars, their message is clear, gamers will take a second seat this time. Microsoft innovated a lot with the XBox but it wasn't enough, both Sony and Nintendo are still standing and they have barely break even with all the investment. This time they are taking a different direction by not focusing on gamers.

Reply Score: 2

Funny
by SithLord on Mon 8th Jul 2013 06:29 UTC
SithLord
Member since:
2013-06-03

It's funny seeing linuzists praising the dumbed down adware centric UI of the new phone-wannabe OSes as they are selling well, after bashing MS for 20 years for having success with a simple to use and program-for environment.
Well, the picture is complete and ready for the crackdown, you praising ex revolutionaries: the new PC, smartphone, phablet, tablet, console, media center, is and ADWARE MACHINE and nothing better than new UI concepts demonstrate it.
Be happy with your new television set.
I no longer care what is the kernel, as the fruit is all about gouging out my moneys with ads.

Reply Score: 2