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XBox (Games) Advertising Businesses Microsoft The Almighty Buck Games

The Ugly, Profitable Details About Xbox Live Advertising 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the nowhere-is-safe dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In an editorial at Penny Arcade, Ben Kuchera writes about how Microsoft's subscription-based Xbox Live platform has become an advertising cash cow — to the detriment of users who already pay for the service. Quoting: '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. Sadly, this issue isn't going away: Ad sales simply bring in too much money to ignore, and revenue is growing. ... I contacted Microsoft and asked how much advertising revenue impacted the profitability of the Xbox 360. "We don't share this information publicly but we can tell you that, since 2010, the advertising business has grown 142%," I was told.'"
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The Ugly, Profitable Details About Xbox Live Advertising

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  • So, basically ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:36PM (#40643121)

    With Xbox Live you pay to receive ads. With PSN, you don't pay a dime and still get online gaming.

    While I'm acting smug as a PS3 owner, who doesn't have to put up with Microsoft's bullshit, I have to wonder just how much longer Sony's offering will last.

    • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:40PM (#40643163)
      You are absolutely right my friend. I find it amazing that people will pay money to receive ads. This is why we need a non profit FOSS console that doesn't do this crap.
      • by hbean (144582) on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:48PM (#40643261)
        Lots of people pay for cable, and there's a ton of ads on it. Just saying.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I'm not sure this is a perfect metaphor (though I don't know much about advertising in cable). In order to relate TV to Xbox live, you have to consider that the cable provider = Xbox live service, and cable channels = video games. With the cable advertisement system, advertisements are run on a per-channel basis, with time slots sold by the channel. The difference here is that the advertisements aren't coming in through the analogous video games, but through the provider itself, Xbox.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            There are ads sold by the cable provider as well.

            Either way this is why I will not pay for cable. I will not pay to see advertising.

      • That exists, it's called a PC.

        • by Belial6 (794905)
          It has always surprised me that someone like ASUS has never sold a complete system that had a Console Mode. As the component manufacturer, they could guarantee extended availability of a specific model. If they included something like a linux distro that booted directly to a modified XBMC that was set up to boot games, and then return to the launcher with a standard keypress, they could be a console manufacturer over night. They wouldn't need to sell at a loss, as PC hardware that is on par with the curr
      • by jazman_777 (44742)
        I find it amazing that people will pay money to receive ads.

        Cable TV used to be ad-free.
      • Re:So, basically ... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by stms (1132653) on Friday July 13, 2012 @09:13PM (#40645467)

        I'm surprised no one else has posted this yet. There's been a pretty big recent success with a FOSS console on kickstarter with the Ouya Console [kickstarter.com]. Why was that modded funny it would be awesome if there was a successful FOSS console I certainly hope the Ouya is a success.

      • This is why we need a non profit FOSS console that doesn't do this crap.

        Maybe this is not as funny as you think.

        One of these would make an excellent starting point for a Linux or Android powered console. You could build it yourself.

        A Korean hardware manufacturer called Hardkernel is launching a high-end alternative. The company’s new ODROID-X board comes with a Samsung Exynos 4 processor, a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.4GHz. The board also has a quad-core Mali 400 GPU, 1GB of RAM, six USB host ports, an ethernet adapter, headphone and microphone jacks, and an SDHC card slot for storage.

        With four times as much RAM as the Raspberry Pi and a much more powerful processor, the Hardkernel board seems like a nice option for more computationally-intensive usage scenarios. The system is still highly compact, measuring at about 3.5 x 3.7 inches.

        http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/07/korean-company-offers-3-5-inch-quad-core-arm-linux-computer-for-129/ [arstechnica.com]

        • There are a lot of indie consoles out there, but most have one (or more) of these problems:

          A) Impossible to find.

          B) Questionable build quality

          C) Lack of non-emulated games

          Currently there are quite a few Linux-based consoles out there:

          The GP2x and its successors the Wiz and CAANOO. The Dingoo. And most notably the Pandora (or Open Pandora as its often called)

          Out of all of them I only own a GP2x (original model) and it wasn't a bad console, it was a pain to get (I think I had to order
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Or just play games on computers instead of consoles...

      • Well, people are already working on it. It's called OUYA [kickstarter.com] and sounds good to me.
    • by Rijnzael (1294596) on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:52PM (#40643305)
      I doubt Sony is going to see what Microsoft is doing as anything other than a precedent and road map for future endeavors. The only reason PSN is free is because they wanted to overcome the shocking price of the initial PS3 models and wanted to take a chunk out of Xbox Live's market share. Xbox Live is profitable, PSN is not. If PSN ever reaches comfortable profitability, you can bet they'll be doing exactly what Microsoft is. They're just as much about screwing the customer as any other company (anti-piracy rootkits anyone?).
    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      I've had both Xbox Live and PSN. And it should tell you something about how shitty PSN is that I'm still willing to pay the $5 a month for Live.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      With Xbox Live you pay to receive ads. With PSN, you don't pay a dime and still get online gaming.

      While I'm acting smug as a PS3 owner, who doesn't have to put up with Microsoft's bullshit, I have to wonder just how much longer Sony's offering will last.

      My PS3 is annoying in that there's an annoying ad ticker that I can'd disable (it's was controllable in OS 2, but as of 3, it's always on if it's connected to the internet - you don't even have to be signed into PSN for that).

      Now, granted, the Xbox ones have

    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      While I'm acting smug as a PS3 owner

      That's like someone who eats cat shit looking down on someone who eats dog shit.

      You're smug about being a Sony customer. That is rich.

      If you are spending money supporting either platform, you're being used and abused.

  • Filter it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:40PM (#40643165)

    I was really annoyed with this when they first updated the console so the home screen was overrun with ads. I simply blocked their ad sub domain on my router. Problem solved.

    • You are a genius, I will do that this very day.

    • Have you got the address so the more lazy among us can block it too?
    • Re:Filter it. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dahamma (304068) on Friday July 13, 2012 @05:32PM (#40643789)

      What makes it even more annoying is that there were *2* primary reasons for the Xbox Dash redesign:

      1) make it 100% Kinect-accessible
      2) promote content more (much of it paid) and increase advertising space

      So, they changed the fairly decent previous Xbox Dashboard to something designed around products I don't want to see and a UI navigation mechanism I don't want to use. For the vast majority of users out there who just want to use a controller to play a game or watch a movie, it's a major step backwards in usability.

      • by demonbug (309515)

        What makes it even more annoying is that there were *2* primary reasons for the Xbox Dash redesign:

        1) make it 100% Kinect-accessible
        2) promote content more (much of it paid) and increase advertising space

        So, they changed the fairly decent previous Xbox Dashboard to something designed around products I don't want to see and a UI navigation mechanism I don't want to use. For the vast majority of users out there who just want to use a controller to play a game or watch a movie, it's a major step backwards in usability.

        Hmm, reminds me of a certain other MS product... what's it called... oh yeah, Windows 8.

        Hey, let's redesign our UI specifically for an interface that 95% of our customers don't use! Brilliant!

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          Hmm, reminds me of a certain other MS product... what's it called... oh yeah, Windows 8.

          Hey, let's redesign our UI specifically for an interface that 95% of our customers don't use! Brilliant!

          Yeah, I forgot to add to my last comment - Hello Metro, meet he Xbox...

      • by Torodung (31985)

        So, they changed the fairly decent previous Windows 7 desktop to something designed around products I don't want to see and a UI navigation mechanism I don't want to use. For the vast majority of users out there who just want to use a desktop computer to play a game or watch a movie, it's a major step backwards in usability.

        Hmm. With substitutions in place, I'm detecting a disturbance in the force...

  • by jeffy210 (214759) on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:41PM (#40643177)

    So what is exactly is suffering for gaming? Has the hardware been gimped? Can you not just pop a game in and play it? The XBox is being slotted as a media platform, not just a gaming platform and it seems to be doing that rather well, just look at the sales. Just because it's not the uber-hardcore gaming machine you're expecting does not make it bad. If you really want that go build a PC. But as long as it plays games and you still have access to game content, all while providing additional entertainment and media options, I fail to see the issue.

    To be honest, I use mine mainly for Netflix and other media related options. Occasionally I do play a game, so it fits perfectly for me. It's no longer just a "gaming console".

    • by Baloroth (2370816) on Friday July 13, 2012 @05:14PM (#40643555)

      Well, besides the fact that it can interfere with your ability to find actual content (as others have pointed out), it's also the "frog in boiling water" problem. While it may not interfere with your ability to do what you want now, I have no doubt MS is looking at the possibility of doing things like playing unskippable ads before you can play DVDs or games, or adding ads into games (or even movies) on the fly. Anything they can do to make even more money. And so long as people have a good deal already invested in the platform (in the form of locked-in games and whatnot), people won't switch away. Whatever MS can get away with, they will do, eventually.

      • by chispito (1870390)
        Movies have trailers, and product placement. TVs have ads. Magazines have ads. A lot of the xBox applications, like Hulu Plus, have ads. What is the big deal, exactly?
    • Just because it's not the uber-hardcore gaming machine you're expecting does not make it bad. If you really want that go build a PC.

      I thought the whole draw of a console over a PC was living-room games. Not enough people have a PC in the living room to convince major publishers to fund living-room games for PC. Sure, a lot of Slashdot's base does, but the living room PC market is a rounding error compared to the console market [slashdot.org].

      But as long as it plays games

      That's the entire point of the article: a console doesn't "play games" if it makes it too hard for the user to find games.

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        For a long time, it has seemed strange to me that a component/system manufacturer like ASUS hasn't built Linux distro that just plays media and games with a console interface. If they took Linux, added on XBMC, skinned it so that it appeared to be a console, and sold it with one of their motherboard already in a nice consolly case, they would be in the console market selling hardware at a profit. OK, they would need to do a little more than that. They would need to make the system hide anything Linuxy.
        • They would need to make the system hide anything Linuxy.

          Android already hides anything Linuxy. Get more games supporting Bluetooth gamepads and add gamepad support to Android's UI, and ASUS might have the chance to make a version of its Transformer/Nexus 7 product line with an EeeBox case as a low-end console filling a niche similar to that of the Wii.

    • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday July 13, 2012 @05:27PM (#40643717) Homepage
      Anyone with half a brain knew the 360 was another attempt at a set-top box to dominate the living room but you can't blame people for being upset when MS specfically aimed the system at "core" gamers and have now turned it into something to appeal to their mothers because it turns out those gamers aren't profitable enough in their eyes.
      br / Also it's pretty fucking poor as a media machine. A desktop serves that job better. For starters the xbox is never going to have to space to hold all my ripped music and DVDs. I own easily at least 500 DVDs and some blu-rays. I need some serious space for that. Not some toy whose sole purpose is to drain my wallet.
      • by phriedom (561200)
        If you had all your media on a Windows PC, which you probably don't but lets pretend you do because lots of people who don't read slashdot do, then an Xbox would be a pretty good way to get that media into the livingroom for $200. The big thing it is missing is that it isn't a DVR, but it is actually a pretty good solution for the rest of the problem.
    • by Dahamma (304068)

      The focus on content/ad placement and Kinect gesture/voice support throughout the entire Dash (and all media apps) was a major step backwards in usability for navigation and discovery for the vast majority of users. Welcome to Metro...

  • by LordNimon (85072) on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:42PM (#40643195)

    Here's a method you can use to block some of those ads:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/n5831/how_to_block_xbox_dashboard_ads/ [reddit.com]

    It doesn't block all of them, but it does block most of the animated, generic ads that aren't related to gaming.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I've got a better idea. Switch to PC gaming, and say screw you to consoles. You can indeed hook a PC up via HDMI without a problem.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Hey, awesome. I plugged the hosts rad.msn.com and msnvidweb.vo.msecnd.net into my D-Link router's "Website Filtering Rules" section and no more ads at all. The lower right panel on the dashboard home is now encouraging me to "Check My Network".

      What else is awesome, but is less awesome and totally unrelated, is that "Website Filtering Rules" was in all-caps on the router config page, but it pasted in camel case here. CSS FTW

  • The XBox Live interface has gotten worse with each revision. Usability is terrible, with the features that the user is really interested in buried under a ton of ads. The PS3 interface is enormously superior, and at least all of the ads are segregated out of the way.

    But both of their online stores are really lousy even in terms of selling things--far inferior to Apple's iTunes (which is no great shakes itself).

    • Just out of curiosity, do you really feel that the PSN interface is better than XBox? Whereas XBox is more complex and not as simple to navigate, it has always felt like a richer experience overall. That being said, I don't subscribe to Live....because I"m not willing to pay for a service that is free on every other platform. Fanboi console monkeys seem to be willing to settle for dumbed down gameplay, poor control schemes, and price gouging....but that's the world they choose. (I do own a PS3, Xbox360,

      • by tgibbs (83782)

        Yes. I have both, but I'll always go to the PS3 first if I have a choice. I recently had to go to the Xbox to access HBO Go, and as usual found myself swearing at the horrible interface. Most of the menu items on the upper level XBox menu are things that Microsoft is trying to sell you. Things like preferences and access to services like Netflix or your own media on other devices are buried. And instead of being organized in a nice, clean hierarchical menu like on the PS3, things are in panels in blocks (al

    • I live in terror that one day Sony will realize how much money they could make if they ran their store more like Steam--how many games they could sell if they cut the normal prices a bit and ran occasional steep sales, how easy it would be to kill Redbox by allowing me to rent movies I can't find on Netflix at a competitive price (instead of the current you'd-have-to-be-insane-or-stupid-to-pay-it rate that amounts to half the cost of the damn DVD just to "rent" the digital file), no more points bullshit (do

      • how easy it would be to kill Redbox by allowing me to rent movies I can't find on Netflix at a competitive price

        Microsoft is not the company to blame for that. Try blaming Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros.

  • Xbox Live is in the unique situation of being able to sell ads to the end-user, sell the ability to access end-users (via Marketplace) to publishers/developers, and take a cut of those purchases between publisher and end-user.

    The article discusses this as a problem, but as far as Microsoft is concerned, it's everything as it should be. Customers aren't pissed enough to leave because they still see value in the service they're paying for and the ads are pretty unobtrusive. Until end-users or publishers
  • Dashboard Devolution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday July 13, 2012 @04:47PM (#40643247) Homepage

    I didn't own an original XBox, so I don't have a frame of reference but I've noticed that since I bought my 360 in 2008 most updates to the Dashboard have been working hard at making it more difficult to find my games or my home media.

    In fact, with the latest batches of updates (Metro-like?) I've found it very difficult to get to games I want to play in my library, to the point now that I forego the GUI and go straight to the "quick play" option (which is basically just an alphabetically sorted list). And browsing my home network has been completely removed in lieu of streaming (yuck, no thanks).

    I think Microsoft could learn a thing or two from Valve, Steam is pretty easy to use but is also a ad delivery system, I can find everything rather easily in Steam and I find it a lot less annoying than the 360 Dashboard, also Steam has sales for games that don't suck, and that makes me want to spend money but hey, that's just my opinion...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dyinobal (1427207)
      Ya I'm a pc gamer and I've only sever seen xbox live used and never used it myself but I am baffled at why people pay to get ads on their xbox and to play games online, when you're already paying for the internet connection, why should it matter if your console is connecting or not. It would be like paying for my tablet to connect to my wifi and get online and play scrable or what ever. Why do xbox users put up with this?
    • by fermion (181285)
      The customer of microsoft is never the end user. The customer of MS WIndows is the OEM. The customer of the xBox is the the developer. Obviously this business model is not working, so they must p the ads.

      Yes, this is a problem if it is hurting developers. However, if the developers are not using screen real estate effectively, then MS has to do something else.

      To me it seems the issue is the charging for xBox Live.Charging to do what one can do for free on a computer is really stupid. I can see some

  • Overstated (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kamapuaa (555446)

    I'm annoyed by the idea of ads, but in reality I don't think the ads get in the way at all.

    If you start your system with a game in it, press the "a" button and the game goes. To browse the game library, press down and hit "a."

    It's not like you have to sit through a commercial, it doesn't even take up screen space that would be better used elsewhere. It's basically a non-factor.

    XBLA games that get popular get popular through positive reviews, word-of-mouth, and advertising. Not because people are randomly

  • Cable TV anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NalosLayor (958307) on Friday July 13, 2012 @05:09PM (#40643511)
    Not to point out the rotting dead fish in the middle of the room, but this is exactly what happened with cable TV, and yet there is no real outrage on that front any more. I'm not saying it's the right thing...or even "acceptable" but customers seem to never balk at ads, and content streamers never turn down a revenue stream. It feels almost inevitable.
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      So do what I did, cancel cable.
      Tell them why.

      Netflix has no such advertising and is cheaper. Hulu has the advertising but is free. I will pay for Hulu+ the moment it goes advertising free.

    • by Pontiac (135778)

      There is no outrage on cable/dish because 90% of the users have DVR's with add skipping remotes.

      Before I cut the cord I wouldn't even watch a show unless I had 20-30 min of skipping power.
      If I caught up to live programing I'd pause and do something else for 10-20 minutes.

      I wonder how long until my Blue Ray starts downloading streaming adds I can't skip before playing a new movie.

    • I think the lack of outrage has been mitigated in recent years by the introduction of timeshifting devices (e.g. VCR and Tivo) that also allow you to skip ads, as well as alternative sources for content that either display less ads (e.g. Hulu) or no ads at all (e.g. Netflix, torrents, other P2P, etc.). Instead of outrage, people are either working around the problem or are voting with their wallets and leaving cable in droves.

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Friday July 13, 2012 @05:10PM (#40643519)

    I have to say that the 360 has been one disappointment after another when it comes to the console itself. The games are fine, as is the media selection, but after coming from a PS3 and Wii, the 360 doesn't even feel like it's designed for people interested in gaming or media consumption at all, which came as an utter shock to me, since everyone I know seems to enjoy theirs for those activities (and Sony isn't exactly known for quality products these days either). There's so much cruft and unnecessary nonsense between you and whatever you want to do on the 360 that it's extremely exasperating to do trivial tasks that are incredibly simple on the PS3. For instance, the only way I'm aware of to simply watch a video that's been downloaded to the local hard drive is to:
    1) Navigate to the Videos tab
    2) Select the option to view my video apps
    3) Launch one of the video apps, then wait for it to load
    4) Once it loads, navigate to my local videos
    5) Find the one I want then play it

    (I'm eager to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable, since I would love to know an easier way to do something so simple)

    And several of those steps involve navigating past tabs filled with image and video ads mixed in with actual content in a Metro-ish UI style. In contrast, on the PS3:
    1) Go to the Videos tab
    2) Find the one I want then play it

    And the only ad that you can't disable is some text scrolling in the top right corner (and it's oftentimes actually useful information related to sales or game launches in the PSN Store).

    At least Microsoft had the good sense to not have the audio enabled automatically on the video ads that are constantly showing in the dashboard. Even so, it's rather jarring when you accidentally scroll over one of them and suddenly get blaring sound as they respond to the controller's focus on them. I don't know what the numbers are, but, at least to me, it feels like the majority of the UI elements in the dashboard are actually ads of some form, without only a few useful things present. Unfortunately, since they've mixed them all together, it's rather difficult to discern at a glance sometimes.

    And don't get me started on the fact that even though I can watch Netflix on my iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Mac, Windows box, PS3, and Wii without having to pay anything extra, I have to be a Microsoft LIVE Gold subscriber if I want to watch it on my 360.

    • I feel your pain. I force my Xbox to boot up in MCE mode (its an option in settings) and watch videos from there to avoid all that.
    • For instance, the only way I'm aware of to simply watch a video that's been downloaded to the local hard drive is to: 1) Navigate to the Videos tab 2) Select the option to view my video apps 3) Launch one of the video apps, then wait for it to load 4) Once it loads, navigate to my local videos 5) Find the one I want then play it

      (I'm eager to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable, since I would love to know an easier way to do something so simple)

      Allow me.
      1. Press the guide button
      2. Scroll right to the media tab
      3. Select video player
      Downloaded videos are at the top of the list. It seems as though they've replicated much of the old-style NXE menus on the Xbox guide.

      • Don't your steps just replace my 1-3 (or 1-4?) with a different 1-3? That's genuine curiosity, not an attempt at an argument. I haven't explored that particular part of the interface much yet (it feels VERY out of place), so I honestly don't know.

        • The number of steps may be the same, but with the way I've given you only have three button presses (compared to the nine you have to do now) and no waiting for the list of video apps.
          • In that case, many, MANY thanks. I really appreciate it, since that'll prove useful. I'll have to see what else is tucked in that part of the interface.

    • by Teckla (630646)

      ...but after coming from a PS3 and Wii...

      I was excited when I unexpectedly received an Xbox 360 as a Christmas present. I thought I could sell my Wii, which my wife and I use only for streaming Netflix.

      To my severe disappointment, Microsoft wants me to pay $5/month for the privilege of streaming Netflix movies on the Xbox 360 (that is, on top of the normal Netflix bill).

      No other device I'm aware of charges extra for this (Wii, PS3, Windows, Mac, Roku, Tivo, etc.)

      Fucking Microsoft and their nickel and dime shit.

  • Since the change I've hardly used my Xbox, and have moved pretty much to the PC. I'm sensitive to this kind crap.

    This is my biggest worry is that they're going to pull the same trick with Metro. It's the advertiser's dream, and the one way they'll beat Google. They control the platform, they control the ads.

    • If you've seen Win8 pre-releases, a Metro start screen still shows what you as a user want to see there - you pick and choose what tiles to pin. An app could technically use its tile notifications to spam ads (though I don't know how that would go with Windows Store licensing agreement), but you can always kill that.

  • This is why I stay offline on the 360. I never saw a reason to pay if they're displaying ads. The only time I connect is for title updates and for XBLA games I can't find on PSN. And yes, I'm waiting a year+ for FEZ because of this crap.

    On a side note, the fact that the UI keeps changing on the 360 just makes me turn on the "boot to game disc" option. I really can't stand navigating the "dashboard." I feel like I'm going back to a supermarket that constantly rearranges their displays and products. I wou
  • "We don't share this information publicly but we can tell you that, since 2010, the advertising business has grown 142%"

    If their was dollar value worth bragging about, even with vague allusions, you could be sure that they'd be doing it. The fact that they would instead resort such an obvious attempt to impress you without providing any basis for arriving at an impressive conclusion yourself, suggests that they are blowing smoke.

    Which is actually more aggravating. They will continue to try to squeeze money out of this rock, to the detriment of their core customer base, just because some piddly revenue that isn't even worth

  • I have blocked the ads on the dashboard by having my router block the following sites:

    msnvideoweb.vo.msecnd.net
    rad.msn.com

    Unfortunately, it retains the ads provided by Microsoft themselves, which are, I think provided by the same domain as the actual Xbox Live services (i.e. unblockable if you want to continue using your Xbox online). Also, you still have the god awful presence of Bing Search in your dashboard, whether you like it or not. I cannot find a way to remove Bing like it is possible to remo
  • by SuperTechnoNerd (964528) on Friday July 13, 2012 @06:03PM (#40644125)
    See when you don't pirate, pay lots of money for games and hardware, do everything you are told like a good little boy. You get rewarded with beautiful ads. Isn't it so much better when you follow the rules?
  • I bought an XBOX 360 even though my friends had the PS3. I figured that by paying for XBOX Live I was paying for a quality service. I play Call of Duty online and the service was fine. Most of the time I was the "game host" thanks to my FIOS internet connection from Verizon. Everything was fine until Call of Duty Black Ops. There were constant issues with online play. It was so bad I called XBOX Live and they created a trouble ticket. After two weeks of no improvement I called XBOX Live to check the status

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