Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
XBox (Games)

Xbox Live Cracks 6 Million, Windows Cost Revealed 117

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-of-uno-played-every-day dept.
Kotaku offers up a Microsoft press release on the unexpectedly early arrival of 6,000,000 players to the Xbox Live service. Along with some rather odd statistics to pass on (over 2,300,000,000 hours in-game time spent on the network already), there are some very interesting numerical tidbits passed on. An astonishing 70% of Live users have purchased a title from the Xbox Live arcade. Nearly half of all users hit the Marketplace at least once a session. This all has to add up to good news, financially, for Microsoft; but are they overreaching? GameInformer reports on pricing for Live on Windows Vista. Gold-level service is exactly the same as on the Xbox ($19.99 for three months), while Silver is free. Encouragingly, if you're already a Gold member on the 360 the same will be true on your PC. Just the same, the company is now charging for services normally taken for granted as a freebie on the PC platform.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Xbox Live Cracks 6 Million, Windows Cost Revealed

Comments Filter:
  • by Froster (985053) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @07:01AM (#18260278)
    I can't say that I'm too bothered by this. I have had all kinds of headaches with online play over the years, and if Live on Vista works as well as it does on XBOX, then its a welcome change. I think that too often game developers take the online portion of their games for granted because it doesn't generate revenue. Hopefully this is a step forward, not back.
    • by Xest (935314) * on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @07:52AM (#18260484)
      The problem I have with it is that it's not even charging for what was free, it's charging for less than what was free - you don't get dedicated servers, game servers are hosted entirely by peers.

      When extra content from the marketplace has costs of it's own and games are hosted by the clients I have to ask what I actually get for my subscription other than access to the service? If access is all then £40 a year is an extortionate cost.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        What PC game gives you dedicated servers for free? I've never seen one.

        MMORPGs, yes... but MMORPGs have dedicated servers on Xbox Live as well.
        • by Endo13 (1000782)
          Actually, most of the multiplayer FPS's I've played had official servers hosted by the developers/publishers. Granted, these handful of servers aren't nearly enough for everyone when you've got tens of thousands of players, but they do exist. And it does mean that during stages where the game isn't as popular, you've still got those servers to play on when player-made servers are scarce.

          And don't forget Blizzard with their Battle.net. That's existed since Warcraft 2 back in the Windows98 days, and it's alwa
        • by rwven (663186)
          I think his point was that it looks like it might be impossible to RUN YOUR OWN dedicated server the way so many other PC games allow you to do, assuming they stick with the traditional "Live" way of doing things. There are thousands of user-run dedicated servers out there for the HL/HL2 series, the UT series, and TONS of other games. Some of them are extremely popular in their communities.

          The way live has traditionally worked, you only host a server for a single "match" at which point you can either host
          • by Blakey Rat (99501)
            Posting here would be easier if people said what they meant. "Gave me the ability to create a dedicated server for free" is a lot different than "gave me a dedicated server for free."

            In any case, I don't see why Xbox Live on PC would change anything. There's nothing technically preventing game companies from making dedicated server versions of their games like they have in the past. I can't say for sure they will, but the grandparent also can't simply declare they won't without any evidence.
        • Warcraft 3/D2/SC (battle.net)? Guild wars?

          Although battlenet just arranges for match making and assigns a random "host" if it's not custom maps. Peer Hosting. But most people don't know that or can't even tell. Guild wars provides free servers.
      • by bigman2003 (671309) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @10:14AM (#18261384) Homepage
        The analogy that always come to my mind is this:

        Free online gaming is like swimming at the public park. Playing on Xbox Live is like swimming at the gym you pay for.

        There's a lot more riff-raff pissing in the pool at the park. The gym pool may not be perfect; but it's a whole lot better, simply because you are forced to pay to use it.

        For that reason alone I am willing to pay for Live, and the pool at the gym.
        • by Endo13 (1000782)
          Not even close. Remember, with Live in most games it's a client that does the hosting. I can't think of even one PC game where you can't put a password on your game when you host it online.

          Your analogy might fit somewhat with MMORPGs, (ie. you may find somewhat more riff-raff in free MMO's) but not at all when comparing Live with regular online gaming.

          Also, most games that are not client hosted give you some means to create your own private passworded game (ie. Battle.net). Payment not required.

          And furtherm
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            I think you missed the point... On Xbox Live if someone is being rude or obnoxious I can block them, they're not only blocked in that game but every other game I might ever play on the service, they'll be excluded from games I host and the automatic match making will avoid putting us in the same room.

            If they're causing more serious problems and I report them, and 9 other people report them as well, then they'll get their account reviewed and banned. They've lost all of their achievements, they've lost t
            • by Endo13 (1000782)

              I think you missed the point... On Xbox Live if someone is being rude or obnoxious I can block them, they're not only blocked in that game but every other game I might ever play on the service, they'll be excluded from games I host and the automatic match making will avoid putting us in the same room.

              If they're causing more serious problems and I report them, and 9 other people report them as well, then they'll get their account reviewed and banned. They've lost all of their achievements, they've lost their friends list, and all of their other account details but most importantly they'll have to pay another $50 to sign back up. How much do you think the "riff-raff" would be willing to lose before they just go bother people on some free service where they can create new accounts to their hearts content?

              Not really. I just assumed (obviously incorrectly) that pretty much everyone who's played online games already knows that these types of blocking and banning do very little to stop these kinds of people. If they get banned, they buy another game/account/etc. and keep right on doing what they were doing. (No, most of these kinds of "players" really don't care about achievements and friends lists.) And for every one you block, there's five more ready to take his place. And how big is your global ignore list

              • Not really. I just assumed (obviously incorrectly) that pretty much everyone who's played online games already knows that these types of blocking and banning do very little to stop these kinds of people.

                Really? You're so sure? I'm glad you know how often I run into these types in my daily gaming routine. I play maybe 4 hours a day... at this point on an average week I might block 1... maybe 2 people. I've only had to report maybe 3 people total over the last year. Maybe I'm just playing the wrong games. Ob

                • by Endo13 (1000782)

                  Really? You're so sure? I'm glad you know how often I run into these types in my daily gaming routine. I play maybe 4 hours a day... at this point on an average week I might block 1... maybe 2 people. I've only had to report maybe 3 people total over the last year. Maybe I'm just playing the wrong games. Obviously it wont get rid of everyone but in my experience it works and works well. There seems to only be so many people that are in my skill range, in my "zone", play the kinds of games I play, and play during the same hours that I play... that narrows the pool down quite a bit, beyond that once you've got 30 or so people on your block list the number of undesirables you encounter plummets to almost nothing. I'm not making some unfounded claim... THIS IS MY ACTUAL EXPERIENCE. The "zone" filtering does wonders too as it seems almost all of the ass hats game in the "underground" zone.

                  Fine. Everyone's online experience is different, I'll grant you that. However most people aren't as lucky as you are, even with Live. No, I don't use it myself but I know plenty of people who do.

                  How is banning someone's IP any different from blocking them on Xbox Live? If someone is in a room with me I push my guide button select their name out of the recent player list and hit the "Avoid this player" option. I never see that person again, not matter what game I play with. If they want to come back they have to drop another $50 to do so, not to mention they wont even know that I've blocked them, the system will just quietly put us in separate lobbies and they're none the wiser.

                  If the person drops another $50 to get another account, the system might just as quietly put him in the same lobby and the same game with you again, and you would be none the wiser. If you ban someone's IP, pretty much the only way they're getting back on your server is if they find another ISP. That's a great dea

                  • Do you know how most ISPs hand out IP addresses?

                    It's dynamic, it changes frequently. They give you a short-term lease (24 hours in many cases). With many ISPs you can request a new IP address at will.

                    Blocking IP addresses is sooooooo much less effective than blocking user accounts that cost $50.

                    You've had quite a few excited exchanges on the subject of Xbox Live. But you've admitted to not using the service yourself.

                    Then you come up with absolute garbage information about blocking IP addresses being an e
                    • by Endo13 (1000782)
                      Yes I know full well how most ISPs hand out IP addresses. I also know that most of the time, even when you don't pay for a static address you'll still have the same address for months or years at a time. They could change them every 24 hours, but most don't. (Unless we're talking about dialup, which pretty much sucks for gaming anyway.) Furthermore, if you want you can easily block the whole IP address range of the ISP the offender uses, so that even if he does manage to pick up a new dynamic address, he wo
            • by Kelbear (870538)
              "If they're causing more serious problems and I report them, and 9 other people report them as well, then they'll get their account reviewed and banned. They've lost all of their achievements, they've lost their friends list, and all of their other account details but most importantly they'll have to pay another $50 to sign back up. How much do you think the "riff-raff" would be willing to lose before they just go bother people on some free service where they can create new accounts to their hearts content?
              • Well you're right that the rating system doesn't really help much at all for weeding out the undesirables. I was more referring to the report system (not to be confused with the prefer/avoid rating system). I've spoken to an actual XBL employee about it and if an account gets 10 or more reports a real person will sit in on a game or two to see if the reports are founded and take appropriate action

                I even recall playing UNO one night and there was a guy in there, he seemed a little rough around the edges..
          • Spoken like someone who has never played on Live, and set up a 'Player Match'.

            No passwords required, because you already know who your friends are.
            • by Endo13 (1000782)
              Oh no, you caught me. Nope, I've never actually played on Live.

              And guess what. I'm never going to.

              It's not really that hard to figure out what it does and does not do without actually using it. There's plenty of information out there about it, and there's plenty of free online gaming services (not to mention MMORPGs where your money actually gets you someone hosting a game server for you as well) that are similar enough to figure out what advantages and disadvantages Live might have.

              There's nothing Live has
              • No problem, Live isn't for everyone.

                But when you spread mis-information about not being able to create private games I think it is important that somebody post a correction.
                • by Endo13 (1000782)
                  Where did I say you can't create private games with Live? Oh, that's right. I didn't.

                  What I did say is that that being able to create private games is not a benefit exclusive to Live. Most PC multiplayer games already have that option.
                  • He's not complaining about inability to host private games. He's complaining about having to pay for the privilege of hosting his own game. I happen to agree... but then, I mostly play quake, so I'm probably not in the demographic.
        • by grcumb (781340)

          Free online gaming is like swimming at the public park. Playing on Xbox Live is like swimming at the gym you pay for.

          Yep, it's just you and 5,999,999 of your closest friends.

          Sorry, couldn't resist. 8^)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Saige (53303)
        It's actually NOT charging for what was free.

        The PC, until now, doesn't have the Xbox Live model. There is no persistent identity from game to game, no gamer profile that sticks with people that allows you to look at someone else and see what games they play. The idea of a "friends list" is either per game, or you're talking about IM. If you're in the middle of one PC game, and your friends want you to come play with them in another, is there a simple way for them to send you a game invite that you can a
        • by tsalaroth (798327)
          One word:

          Steam.
        • by Endo13 (1000782)

          The PC, until now, doesn't have the Xbox Live model. There is no persistent identity from game to game, no gamer profile that sticks with people that allows you to look at someone else and see what games they play. The idea of a "friends list" is either per game, or you're talking about IM. If you're in the middle of one PC game, and your friends want you to come play with them in another, is there a simple way for them to send you a game invite that you can accept that will end the current game, start the new one, and go right into the game they're in? What about playing cross platform between the PC and the Xbox?

          It's called Xfire. No, you can't jump from one game right into another, but it's going to be a few years yet before PCs can do that anyway, Vista Live or not.

          • by prockcore (543967)

            It's called Xfire.


            Does it work for single player games too?

            I love that I can be playing a single player game, and then see a friend sign in and be able to go multiplayer.
            • by Endo13 (1000782)
              Yes. It even works for Windows Solitaire. Hard to get much more single-player than that.
        • by rtb61 (674572)
          You should really read the article carefully. It never once states how make people are paying gold subscribers, the only mention of it is that the average gold member has 22 friends, does that mean there are only 22 gold subscribers and they all work for M$ and they are all friends. Obviously M$ likes to monitor all your friends and communications, rather invasive, talk about no privacy.

          The silliest thing I read is that microtrolls consider it a benefit that they are locked out of the rest of the Internet

      • I have to agree that paying for XBL does seem like a rip off when PS3 and Wii are offering free online service. Then you play PS3 and Wii and you realize that paying $50 a year for XBL is worth it. It would be a problem if the PS3 and Wii would step it up.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Just the same, the company is now charging for services normally taken for granted as a freebie on the PC platform.

      Like this pointless (and incorrect) dig at Microsoft for no reason at the end of the article.

      No, no PC game offers what Xbox Live offers. Sorry. You can find individual games that offer some of the features, but most of the entire point of Xbox Live is that you have the same friends list across every game you play, which is not true of any PC games. Additionally, it does a great job of removing
    • "Charging for what was free"

      shouldn't this be "Charging for what is free"

      A prime example is valve software's steam platform, you get access to multi player, content delivery and everything minus the subscription, plus the range of games keeps growing fast. you pay for just the games (i.e. the retail price or less), not for logging in.
  • the company is now charging for services normally taken for granted as a freebie on the PC platform.

     
    I'm not sure the many thousands of people playing online right now would be keen to pay for traditionally free multiplayer components just so people can settle the whole "keyboard/mouse vs gamepad" debate. I like the idea of Windows Live Anywhere overall, but Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot (for massive damage) by making the unwashed masses pay.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I'm not sure the many thousands of people playing online right now would be keen to pay for traditionally free multiplayer components just so people can settle the whole "keyboard/mouse vs gamepad" debate. I like the idea of Windows Live Anywhere overall, but Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot (for massive damage) by making the unwashed masses pay.

      Are you kidding? I wouldn't do it for long, but I'd pay for Xbox live just to enjoy the satisfaction of joining a game with a bunch of joypadders and

      • by amohat (88362)
        Why can't the 360 support a keyboard and mouse again? They have USB and wireless support in the hardware, and there might be some compatibility issues, but get the right one (official kit, overpriced but quality) and bam, there is no difference! Sales through the roof.

        Sure games would have to support m&k options, but wtf why don't they? RTS games *need* keyboards, among other genres. Key binding, quick text chats...it's a goddamn travesty that these next-gen boxes are joystick only. (reason enough to ha
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Why can't the 360 support a keyboard and mouse again? They have USB and wireless support in the hardware, and there might be some compatibility issues, but get the right one (official kit, overpriced but quality) and bam, there is no difference! Sales through the roof.

          If it was like former Microsoft keyboards and mice, it would be overpriced and with no quality.

          Sure games would have to support m&k options, but wtf why don't they? RTS games *need* keyboards, among other genres. Key binding, quick text

        • by Kalriath (849904)
          The XBOX360 does support a mouse and keyboard. The problem is that game developers are too lazy to support it (although Square Enix does include that support in FFXI Online, not sure about Sega with Phantasy Star Universe). Just plug in a USB keyboard and go. You'll also be interested to note that the Xbox 360 can use a USB Mass Storage device (such as a flash card reader, PSP, iPod, or USB Flash Drive) as storage in lieu of an Xbox Memory Card.
    • by Monsuco (998964)

      but Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot
      Yeah, but at least they are doing so with dual SMGs.
  • Considering the fact that microsoft games are very few why we have to pay the same fee of xbox live for much less game, but maybe the right question is why we have to pay for play online? we have already paid 50-60 euros for the game, WoW costs 5 euros and you also get some free weeks also lineage2 it's totally free to download you just pay the monthly fee. And why we have to pay for trailers and demo too? we can get them for free
    • Are you seriously asking a question? If I can give a free service to 10,000 people, or give paying service to 1,000 people... where do you think I make more profit? Dont really need to hear about "losing customers" because the "x-box" fans are going to buy x-box no matter what (well, pretty much). I cant believe people are actually asking why Microsoft is making them pay... on Slashdot... wtf...
    • by The-Bus (138060)
      Who pays for trailers and demos?
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Obsi (912791)
        Everyone who ever legitimately purchased Windows paid for a beta/demo.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Nobody. Those are free over Live Silver, and Silver accounts are free.

        Good attempt to flame Microsoft for no reason, though! Don't let those silly things like "facts" get in the way!
        • by Verunks (1000826)
          i'm not really sure about trailers, but there are some demo for gold members only
          • by p0tat03 (985078)

            There are no "gold member only" demos. The most you get are demos that hit Gold members earlier than they do Silver, usually by about 3-4 days.

        • Those are free over Live Silver, and Silver accounts are free.


          A 'silver account' is barely an account at all; all they give you for 'silver' is the ability to walk into the store. Awfully kind of them.



          And very telling that they don't bust out the number of Gold subscribers vs Silver.

    • Considering the fact that microsoft games are very few why we have to pay the same fee of xbox live for much less game, but maybe the right question is why we have to pay for play online? we have already paid 50-60 euros for the game, WoW costs 5 euros and you also get some free weeks also lineage2 it's totally free to download you just pay the monthly fee. And why we have to pay for trailers and demo too? we can get them for free

      Welll..

      A) Microsoft is starting a new labeling scheme they call "games for windows" where they certify games as of reasonable quaility, within the bounds of the MS standardized control scheme, and capable of working with Xbox Live. So what you are paying for is access to that community of members, including ladder boards and a bare handful of competitions. You also get to accrue "gamer points" apparently a new way to measure penis length.

      B) I have no idea what you mean by "pay to download trailers and de

  • ... whoever is monitoring the amount of text messages sent (and what they contain) is probably thinking, "What the fuck is wrong with these kids?"
  • ...I had to create a second xbox live account so my friends who came over to play Gears of War splitscreen.
    • by Xest (935314) * on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @07:55AM (#18260494)
      Whilst you're right in that temporary accounts make the total user base figure look less impressive, the original post also states:

      "An astonishing 70% of Live users have purchased a title from the Xbox Live arcade."

      Which is a figure that to be fair on MS, gets more impressive when dummy accounts are taken into consideration.
      • by Deag (250823)
        However the article linked to makes no reference to that though it states: "Xbox LIVE Arcade has been an instant hit on the Xbox 360, with nearly 70% of all connected consoles already downloading and playing Xbox LIVE Arcade titles." - this does not necessarily mean purchased, you can download trial games.
      • The actual wording from the press release is "...with nearly 70% of all connected consoles already downloading and playing Xbox LIVE Arcade titles." Downloading and playing does not necessarily mean purchasing, as every Xbox live Arcade game has a downloadable demo.
      • If anyone is like my friend, who has created at least 5 different silver accounts, that would mean that there is at least 1.2M users on LIVE ?!? I'm impressed. Don't you hate bloated figures like this ? Just like the "10.4M X360 sold" makes you wonder what the real number is when the return rate is so HUGE. Everyone I know is at least at his/her 2nd or more X360 because they fail with some horror stories to up to 4 ! )
    • by anduz (1027854)
      You had to create a second account to play splitscree, yes. But it didn't have to be a live account.
    • by GodInHell (258915) *

      ...I had to create a second xbox live account so my friends who came over to play Gears of War splitscreen.

      I also keep a second account... but not just for gears. Ever since Halo2 came out, and they created a distinction between free play vs. ranked (have be be gold member) play. I want to play in ranked matches. I want to play with my friends. An extra $7 a month +/- is practically nothing for the privledge of enjoying these great games with my friends.

      That's my take on it.

      -GiH

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I know there are throngs of people who enjoy WoW and the like, but I really don't like the idea of paying for a game after I buy it, and I hope that developers don't jump at the opportunity to do this on the PC. It seems like all Vista is doing is bringing death and destruction to gaming on the PC. Games for Windows my ass.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Sobrique (543255)
      For MMOs I can understand a subscription model. I pay for website hosting on a monthly basis, so I don't see a real issue with paying for 'EVE Online hosting'. Either would be meaningless without the 'online' part of the service.

      However I also object to paying just to be able to use games online. I mean, the 'service' of finding matches with another player, and have your local bandwidth/computer systems take up the load, I consider a mandatory part of a game with 'online content' and one that should be bu

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by anduz (1027854)
        I agree with what you're saying, but the sad truth is that some games just don't deliver a working online part. I remember countless times where a couple of friends and I were heading for an online gaming session in whatever, that turned out to be a load of frustrations because the online service just didn't work.

        If that is the alternative, then I sure hope live catches on on windows aswell. More so because I own an xbox, and it'd be nice to play from that with friends of mine who can actually afford hard
      • My only concern about MMOs is what happens when they die. In Diablo 2 there was always the single player if the network was dead or for whenever Battle.net is gone. When blizzard decides it's time to end WoW, where do the characters go? Is all that invested time completely kaput? Will Blizzard provide some method of downloading character information?

        It's all fun, I'm just a save file packrat and the idea that I won't be able to go back and revisit the fun makes me sad.
        • by Endo13 (1000782)
          My guess is that as the number of players dwindle, they'll start combining servers, until eventually they get down to one. And then once the number of players drops below a certain point, to where it becomes much too cost-prohibitive to keep that last server running they'll shut that down too. This is of course assuming a company that's still active and working on new games, as opposed to a game that got shut down because the company went bankrupt.
          • That's the normal course for games that either suck or are mediocre at best. Let's look at a real MMO, a game that has survived the passage of time, Everquest. Sony released the 13th expansion to that series on Feb 13, 2007. I played EQ for about 2 weeks, currently working on my 2nd month in WoW. I'm quite sure the majority of us remember the original "evercrack" jokes, dating all the way back to the late 90s.

            I don't own an Xbox at all. With the size of Microsoft and the fact that they can crank out
  • by cdneng2 (695646) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @08:24AM (#18260624)

    Microsoft is doing what they've always been trying to do. Just because it's had success in one area, it tries to push it's product in a totally unrelated area expecting the same success.

    I have to say that Xbox live is really well done. However, it's successful because it's the only game in town on the Xbox and 360.

    On the PC, there's a plethora of games out there that allow you to play online for free after you purchase it. I can see if my friends are online to play against via IM, Yahoo Messenger, Googletalk, ICQ. I can email them and chat with them. I can VOIP with them. I can download game demos from many sites. I can download videos from many sites.

    What can Xbox live offer me that I can't get for free online? Gamerpoints? I can play with UNO with people on Live?

    Honestly, if I have Halo 2 for the PC, who is still playing Halo 2 on the Xbox? Halo 3 will be on the 360 by that time, so all those Halo 2 PC gamers will just be playing against someone else who has Halo2 on the PC.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      let's not kid ourselves. no one i know bought the xbox to play dashboard games or to frak around with the other "content" or bells and whistles it offers. i've never seen anyone play the dashboard games other than secondary users like girlfriends and non-gamer types who are passing the time while the gamer is doing something else. the *only* reason i bought a Live account is to be able to play Gears online and maybe Halo2 sometimes. i'm not interested in anything else MS has to offer and all the logging
      • Hooray for Anecdotal Evidence!

        Small Arms gets as much play time on my 360 as GoW and Halo2. So lets not kid ourselves. Everyone has live accounts to download and play dashboard games. ALL my friends did, so it has to apply to everyone!
    • You are not looking at this from the right angle here. What Microsoft is offering is a platform. This is what Live is. And if the Live platform for the 360 is as successful as they say it is, why wouldn't a developer leverage it? A developer would be tapping into over 6 million subscribers.

      The choice to go to Live for games is not yours to make anymore, it is put squarely on the developers. If a game comes out that uses Live and you want it, then you will be using Live or you will not be playing the ga
    • You can play uno already: http://apexwebgaming.com/profile/753/UNO-Online [apexwebgaming.com]
    • Halo 1 on the PC still has a strong on-line presence, ~800 active users at any one time? I bought an Xbox, with Halo 2, and stopped playing it because I got frustrated. Sure, I loved the maps and the weapons and it has a fantastic matching system, but hey... the traditional server system that Halo PC uses works for me.

      I play it -almost- every night. I find a subscription service to Xbox hard to justify considering the amount of time I play on consoles. They're just too inconvenient compared to PCs, but that
    • Have you ever stepped back and looked at PC gaming lately? Its a goddamn mess and everyone knows it. (Text) Chat systems range from the decades old IRC chatrooms to (relatively) new XFire. Voice chat range from poorly implemented in-game voice communications to Ventrilo. PC game demos are so goddamn huge these days anything short of using a Bittorrent-style download system results in several hours of download time and because website try to lock you into different downloading systems theres no guarantee you
  • by fr0dicus (641320) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @08:50AM (#18260786) Journal
    Or by online gamers do they include Silver members downloading something?
  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday March 07, 2007 @08:54AM (#18260810)
    Microsoft can get away with that kind of shit on the XBox 360 because it is a closed system. Everything that runs on it must be approved by MS and meet their platform specifications. MS control what runs, how you buy it and how you play it. Want to chat online with your friends? Screw you pay MS. Want to set up a game? Screw you pay MS. Want to "exclusive content"? Screw you pay MS.

    The same is not true on PC (much though MS would wish otherwise). There are countless online systems available, and countless ways that games use those systems or integrate with their own. I really don't see many companies being interested in this unless MS waves a big fat paycheck under their nose. The Valves, Blizzards and NCSofts of this world aren't suddenly going to dump their products just because MS is trying to muscle in. And I don't see the likes of Gamespy or XFire disappearing either unless MS engage in some extremely anticompetitive behaviour to kill them off.

    In fact I see next to no reason for users to be interested either. Unless you own a 360 already and therefore get Windows Live Gold for free, where is the incentive. What is so compelling about the MS service to justify forking out $50 to use it when the same can be had for free elsewhere?

    • That whole "Everything that runs on it must be approved by MS and meet their platform specifications" thing you mention about Xbox and what runs on it? Well, that's Games For Windows now on the PC. MS has put out a whole set of specifications that developers need to support in order to get the tag. No tag? Less advertisement, less official support, maybe less shelf space on the stores. I bet PC Windows Xbox Live (whatever) support will be added onto the list of things games need to offer in order to be
      • by Endo13 (1000782)
        I'm sure they'd like to do that, but that's just *begging* for another antitrust suit.
        • From the MSDN site on Games for Windows:
          Games for Windows: Technical Requirements [microsoft.com]

          * 1.1 Games Explorer Integration
          * 1.2 Support Parental Controls
          * 1.3 Support Rich Saved Games
          * 1.4 Support the Xbox 360 Common Controller for Windows
          * 1.5 Support Multiple Aspect Ratios and Resolutions
          * 1.6 Support Launch from Windows Media Center
          * 1.7 Direct3D Support

          It's only a matter of time before we get a 1.8 Windows Live Gold support

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by p0tat03 (985078)

      What is so compelling about the MS service to justify forking out $50 to use it when the same can be had for free elsewhere?

      The same reason it's always been to fork over $50 for Xbox Live - quality of service.

      You've listed only one pro for PC multiplayer, and that is the free-ness (as in beer) of it all. Personally I can think of a couple more:

      - Support for user mods.
      - Text chatting... but that's more a hardware difference than a service one.

      Allow me to explain why I believe Xbox Live is worth ev

      • by Endo13 (1000782)
        If you're the kind of gamer who's only got a couple of friends and you always just play on pub servers, I suppose what you listed might be somewhat beneficial. But if you're a gamer who's part of a clan, or are part of a group of gamers that you always play with and have gamed with for years, then the Live system actually hinders more than it helps.
      • I have a spoiled rich kid friend who has a nice Xeon server that we set up in his mom's basement. We hold small LAN parties there -- 8-10 people.

        So, locally, we have no lag. People over the Internet can still connect and play with us, but we all have pings of 0-5, and a few of us have admin rights.

        Personally, I don't think it's as fun to give someone a bad review on Xbox Live as to pimp-slap them around the map for swearing -- or turn them into a Llama (so everything they say gets turned into random textual
    • You're paying to get access to the network of other players Microsoft now has at their disposal. Nothing more, nothing less.
    • by DudemanX (44606)
      Agreed. Most of the people that are posting about the massive benefit that Live gives them but would probably be just as happy running the free XFire [xfire.com]. Live may do a bit more, but not $80 a year more. I'd rather buy more games.
      • I disagree. I've played around with and used a lot of different matchmaking/community software including XFire, Steam, All Seeing Eye, Ventrilo, Gamespy Arcade, and a few others that I don't remember by now. Steam was probably one of the most promising but suffered from slow adoption, by gamers and by developers/publishers. XBL was the only service that feels like it's worth the money... slick interface, excellent integration into games, good matchmaking, leaderboards, achivements, profile. I would like
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RexRhino (769423)

      In fact I see next to no reason for users to be interested either. Unless you own a 360 already and therefore get Windows Live Gold for free, where is the incentive. What is so compelling about the MS service to justify forking out $50 to use it when the same can be had for free elsewhere?

      What Xbox Live offers is not available for free anywhere else. It is not available for money anywhere else!

      If I play a game with someone that I like, I can instantly get a list of the games they play online cross references with the games that I play online, tag them as a friend - I can be notified in-game when they log on and log off, And with in 3 seconds invite them to the game I am hosting while I am still playing. Or, when I log in, I can go to my list of friends, see what they are playing right now,

    • Actually, I strongly suspect Valve would cooperate with them. After all, what reason did they have for making Source run on DirectX -- especially when it's a fork of the original Half-Life code, which did run well on OpenGL -- other than because the company was founded by a bunch of ex-Microsoft guys?

      Blizzard would certainly say "Fuck you, MS, if they're paying anyone, it's us." But Valve might just bend over because they like it.
    • by dexomn (147950)
      >>What is so compelling about the MS service to justify forking out $50 to use it when the same can be had for free elsewhere?

      If you think that's bad try purchasing an oem copy... errr LICENSE for Office 2007. They send you a cd case, you cut through the stickers that say "You owe us your first born and agree to all this bullshit by breaking this seal." only to find that when you open the case there is no disc, instead, under the clear plastic where the disc would normally be you see "This products d
  • I have an XBOX360, and a Gold membership- but the fact is that I'm probably going to cancel my membership soon, because I was thinking to myself just the other day that it's really kind of a ripoff. It's touted as an easy-to-use, unified, quality-controlled service for online play, but my experience has been quite the opposite.
    I don't play online extensively, but the few times that I have tried to load up a game online, I've found that half of the time I join a "game" where no game is actually taking plac
    • Couple of quick comments on your PS3 comments. Fair criticisms, but a few points I want to make.

      the only PS3 game I have that supports it so far is Resistance- I'm not about to subject myself to playing a FPS online, though I suspect that I may play Motor Storm online once I pick it up

      Every game I have for the PS3 supports online - Resistance, Blazing Angels, Ridge Racer 7, MLB2k7. The online experiences vary with each, but the connections are consistent. The only game I've experienced lag in was Ridge R
    • Maybe it's your connection that's shitty?

      I've played more hours of XBL than I care to admit, but trust me, it's a lot. I've played everything from saintsrow, cod2, cod3, halo2, chromehounds on my 360 and many many more on my regular box. Lately, with COD3, my disconnect rate is nearly nonexistent. A host quitting results in the game being taken over by another random host. cod3 suffers little to no lag whatsoever, and cod2 rarely had much more. Halo2 is even better for picking non-lagging games. Players don
    • by jidar (83795)
      Arcade is overpriced?
      Tell me something, how much less than $5 would you have to pay for something not to be overpriced?
      Maybe you're just a cheap bastard?

      Or maybe since you think paying $5 to $20 for PS3 online is fine but $5 to $10 for Xbox is expensive... well maybe you're just a PS3 fanboy?
      Could be?
      • by miyako (632510)
        So far nothing on Xbox Arcade has seemed worth it to me. It seems largely to be a bunch of really old arcade games that there are numerous clones of - not much that is very unique. It's really just a matter of preference I guess. To be fair, I will almost certainly download Symphony of the Night at some point.
  • So to be able to play the latest multiplayer shooters I need Vista Live Gold or Xbox Live Gold?
    Anyway Microsoft can in fact do this since most game developers have already married Microsoft and have no plans on getting divorced. The future looks just cruel :(

    I have a Xbox 360 today, but I've only tried the trials of arcade demos, and yeah some games are really fun but NO WAY WORTH $5-10 today. There are so many other free great alternatives. And I'm not willing to pay to play versus people on Xbox Live. I h
    • Even if this service ever does pick up and become popular, it's not going to happen right away and any game that includes DirectX9 (or Win2K/XP) support will most certainly not have a "Windows Live" requirement. This means most games coming out for at least the next year or two might not support this new service at all, let alone require it. So no, UT3 will still be as free to play online as any UT has ever been. :)
  • I'd have no problem paying for Live if it actually did something. Paying 7 bucks a month for a chat server though? Yea right. That'll fly on consoles where theres no multitasking environment to handle stuff like buddy lists properly but not on a PC.

    Anyone who's claiming Live will solve any multiplayer problems they've had in the last 5 years is having wistful thinking. It's a matchmaking service! Most games don't even need such a thing. You can't use that for a real FPS for instance. Nobody wants to
    • You clearly have never used Live. I suggest doing so before giving your criticism. If you did, you would know that Live is much more than a match-making chat server. You would also know that Xbox 360 *does* multitask and handle buddy lists (beautifully, IMHO, though there's always room to be better)... I would say XBL buddy list integration is better than any PC system I've seen.

  • I've been a live member on the 360 for nearly a year now, and have really liked it. I play alot of games online and have never seen any serious issues. Every once in a while there might be a laggy session, but they seem few and far between. What I'm suprised at is how much content I have purchased via Live. Like this morning, Worms hit the Live arcade. I started the download as I walked out the door for work.

    Live seems to encourage impulse buys. They make it easy to get points (just click confirm a

  • If Microsoft offered Live Anywhere on Windows for free, nobody would keep their XBox 360 Live subscription. They're in a tight spot with this; you need to charge the same for both groups, but PC gamers have always had this service for free. Live Anywhere will only work once the entire service is offered for free.
  • live means
    -NO MODS
    -Games dumbed down to work with the xbox 360 controller
    -M$ can force games makers to pay to rated by the ESRB or other $2000-$3000 game raters.
    -People may be banded for just trying to use a mod form all games and may even have there windows key black listed.
    -Forced to use M$ severs
     
    • live means
      -NO MODS

      Says who?

      -Games dumbed down to work with the xbox 360 controller

      Expectation to support the hardware doesn't require the game to be designed around the hardware. Besides. Simple interface != dumbed down.

      -M$ can force games makers to pay to rated by the ESRB or other $2000-$3000 game raters.

      Any game that wants to be carried in major retailers needs to be rated anyway.

      -People may be banded for just trying to use a mod form all games and may even have there windows key black listed.

      'banded'? If you're cheating, I have no pity. A wallhack is entirely different from a TC. There is no logical reason for MS to blacklist license keys because you violate their game service. If you get your Hotmail banned, does your license become invalid? You pulled this out

    • Tell your ass that next time it wants to talk, it should check simple spelling and grammar. I know talking out of your ass is hard work, but it's really only a couple extra minutes of work.
  • Just the same, the company is now charging for services normally taken for granted as a freebie on the PC platform.

    What you had that was free will still be free. Battle.net will still exist. All the other "services" you used will still exist.`

    The only thing that will change is those "Games for Windows" games that will plug-in to the unified service of Live. THAT wasn't available before. The service is a LOT more than just "matchmaking for online games", which is what the old free services were.

    ...henc

    • Ok, I'll bite.

      How is this better than Steam? What features does it have that Steam doesn't already do, better?

      If you're going to bend over for a large company trying to build a game network, it may as well be a game company.

      Then again, Valve is a bunch of former MS guys. They might just bend over -- not because MS is forcing them, but because they like it.
  • Live won't be REQUIRED to game on newer Games for Windows, it just gives you the same advantages (Friends list, Gamertag, Live Arcade, Achievements, in-game notices, etc.) that you get with the Live service. Not to mention that the subscription counts for both PC and Xbox. You get a year of an excellent service for less than the price of one game. My experience with Live has always been great, and it's optional in new games to boot, so we don't have to pay for it if we don't want to. No reason to get al

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.

Working...