Microsoft doing itself no favours (shocker)

Discussion in 'Xbox Forums' started by 16to9, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. 16to9

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    I've got a mate who is the classic non-Microsoft user. He's into computers, but has Macs at home for general use (and always has) and for gaming has always been a Nintendo boy.

    He's always been suspicious of MS kit and makes (fair) comments that we would all understand: their OSes are unwieldy and unreliable, and their gaming is repetitive and often teenage.

    Mind you, he came down to see me in the summer and really loved Forza. In fact, in one weekend he played it more than I have since.

    So at Christmas his girlfriend bought him a 360. He was pretty chuffed.

    But I played with him tonight for the first time in a couple of weeks, and he's in dispair. He said he wants to chuck his 360 out the window. (And as it happens, right after he said that, our COD4 game fell over and kicked everybody out. I know how he felt.)

    I've tried explaining that it does work, and has for a long time - but how many people like him must have got a 360 at Christmas, and have had their worst impressions of Microsoft confirmed?

    It's not just online gaming either. He's had problems in the single-player mode of COD4. He thinks the dashboard is a mess and very difficult to navigate (after the last update I agree). He asks why text is so tiny (he's "only" got a 26" 4:3 Sony) and I explain that developers have probably made games for 32"+ widescreens. His headset on his new Elite is faulty (as is mine) - simple hardware failure on a 3-week-old device. The list goes on.

    The trouble is, from his Apple- and Nintendo-centric view of the world, he has a very good point. The kit he's used to using, as he said to me tonight, "just works". The games just play.

    It's quite likely that Microsoft are going to blow everything they've achieved with the 360 in the next 12 to 18 months. It wouldn't surprise me if Sony win this generation of gaming (in terms of coming second to Nintendo). They don't deserve to, and I don't personally give a monkeys if they do, but it could well happen, particularly now the Blu-ray drive in it makes sense.

    Microsoft probably like to see the 360 as an extension of their Windows brand, even if it's not actually branded as such. (To Microsoft, extending Windows is everything). It extends (in more ways than one) their influence to the living room. The trouble is, it also seems to extend their image of poor industrial design, poor software design, poor UI design, poor customer service...

    I can live with my 360. The problems Live has right now are appalling and if it goes on much longer I will be seriously unhappy, but I expect, like most of us, my attitude is "that's how it is". Actually, that's not good enough. That's how Microsoft is. We should expect better.

    Actually, it's very ironic - but perfectly suitable - that my mate wants to chuck his 360 out the Window right now. At least in so doing he'd be "on message".

    Microsoft, you're rich enough to be your own worst enemy; just don't become everyone else's as well.

    Discuss.
     
  2. Munkey Boy

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    a) Is Live still playing up? Really? I've not had problems recently.

    b) I find the UI very intuitive and navigable, in fact far more so that the competitors to date.

    c) The 360 isn't really trying to capture the mainstream market yet I'd argue. I feel they still feel they are after the 120m odd PS2 users, and some are being won over.

    d) You can buy a very good 32" HDTV widescreen TV for less than £500 now...
     
  3. Rob100

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    Whilst I'm no fan of the dashboard (especially with all the adverts splattered all over it when connected to live) I don't find it difficult to navigate. However I do prefer the PS3's XMB.

    What text is tiny? My Son plays his 360 on a 21" 4:3 Sony CRT and we have no problems reading anything from 8-10ft.
     
  4. Member 79251

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    Not had an issue with my live, you got to understand how live works and then you can see that all it takes is for one link to fall over.

    Do you host games that fall over ? My gripe with live is that people will host 16 player rooms on a very small upload speed and maybe also have another few users on the network surfing the web and a few other things. Thats fine but then add to that all the features your ISP add to your service, then you got problems.

    I like the dash and have used it on a little portable screen also, no issues what so ever.

    Microsoft should build a live service check into the dash, this would help many people. I mean test your connection on hosting a game not connecting to the servers.
     
  5. daveon

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    16to9 you make some valid points but I think some of your friends issues may be exagerated in his mind due to his mistrust of MS.

    Yes there are still issues with Live, my dash just hangs trying to log into Live, though games work fine. MS should have sorted this by now as they really are risking loosing a lot of their new members from Xmas.

    The interface, personally I like it and find it quite easy to navigate but I am sure there will be plenty of others who don't like it.

    As for the small text, is your friends TV standard definition by any chance? I know some games do not show text well in SD, I have never had any issues in HD though, not that this helps your friend any but it may explain the problem at least.

    I think MS could make things a little better by explaining exactly what they are doing about the issues rather than offering an arcade title that many people do not want (me being on of them).
     
  6. shagaboopon

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    There are many things about Microsoft that frustrate me but the 360 is not one of those things. While it easy to say Microsoft has had issues with reliability, for every 10 tales of a 360 failing I can tell you 1 of a Nintendo failing :D. My uncle got a Wii for xmas for his son and that just wouldn't display anything straight from the box, instead of complaining though he got it replaced and his son loves his Wii.

    The only little gripe I have with the dashboard is the inability to eject the HD-DVD via remote when a disk is in the tray. Its silly I know but its such a stupid thing that would annoy people I cannot see why they haven't fixed it yet.
     
  7. la gran siete

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    I have a Mac and a 360 Whats the prob.???
     
  8. D@Z

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    Wow, thats one hell of an over dramatic rant just because one guy (your mate) had a disconnect from LIVE!!!

    My LIVE has been fine for a couple of weeks now.

    And I cant really understand how someone coming from PC gaming to a 360 can claim that he is used to everythign 'just working'.

    Ithink you also seem to have a view that everything is rosey with the PS3. Far from it, hop on over to the COD4 thread on the PS3 forum and you'll see what real online problems are. Sure the 360 is far from perfect, but on the grand scheme of things its as good as it gets right now.
     
  9. D@Z

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    But you can eject the disc via remote. There is an eject button on the media remote that comes with the HD add on.
     
  10. smallclanger

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    Why can't MS get the disc out of the tray, back into the case and onto the shelf (in order).
     
  11. Deleted member 92943

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    I do feel that Microsoft really need to some more effort on what they are doing with the 360. The PS3 is really starting to gain some momentum and i think for me especially is becomming a better propisition over the 360.
     
  12. Member 79251

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    What is the ps3 doing ?
     
  13. Deleted member 92943

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    IPTV is something i was really looking forward to on 360 but that's hardly turned out Microsoft said it would. PlayTV on PS3 will cost for the equipment but looks very promising.

    Video Marketplace is a little thin shall we say?

    Some of these PS3 exclusives look and sound Amazing. Killzone 2, Resistance with 8 player online co-op and 60 players online?
     
  14. Member 79251

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    True

    But if cod4 is having issues how will these cope ?
     
  15. Deleted member 92943

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    I guess we'll find out. Anything i say is my opinion of course:thumbsup:
     
  16. Member 79251

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    Same for all of us.....;)

    Has Metal Gear Solid <ps3> got some swanky new online feature ? That is meant to be a first regarding online features ? :confused:
     
  17. mrm3

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    Neither PlayTV (PS3) or IPTV (360) has started yet. To praise one for looking promising and criticise the other for not being released is just nuts or bias.

    MS Xbox360 IPTV and BT will be rolled out in the UK soon. In fact this is the first partnership to be signed up. PlayTV hopefully soon too. Then lets compare.


    EDIT : more on the IPTV deal http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/technology/technotes/jan08/xboxbtdeal.htm

    Another EDIT : 28th March 2008 for PlayTV (unconfirmed rumour) ! :)
     
  18. kismet110

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    For some perverse reason the Eject button on the HD-DVD Remote opens the default tray, not the Addons :confused:
     
  19. 16to9

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    Well not really, I thought it was well-constructed and reflected my mate's views pretty well. If you'd recommended someone a make of car, and it kept packing up in the first few weeks, you'd feel like I do now.

    I myself certainly am not anti-Microsoft - I've got plenty of MS-powered products, from a phone to a media centre.

    Terribly and I'm not alone.

    After the last update you have to admit it's a bit haphazard.

    Anyone reading that in Redmond or in Reading has just spat their coffee out. Of course they're trying to capture the mainstream market! That's standard Microsoft behaviour! And for every PS user they win over, how many are underwhelmed with the current offering? Everyone who's posted here needs to view this through the eyes of a new user.

    And he will, at some point soon. But I remember when I had a 28" Sony CRT that some text was pretty difficult to read.
    It was fine until just before Christmas. Since then, it's been shocking. It's not as simple as pointing at users' connections.

    Even considering my own experiences I still love the 360: I've had FOUR until the last one finally went pop and I bought an Elite. But even then the headset - the freaking HEADSET! - was faulty. Credit to MS, they resolved it in a (30 minute) helpdesk call and sent me a new wireless one. But that's all Microsoft does - patch over problems, not fix them at source. It's nice if you're a rich enough company to be able to afford to do that, but all it does in the end is test your customers' patience.

    I didn't say the two should be mutually exclusive. All I said was, from his point of view, the 360 doesn't work as he'd expect. It'd be interested to hear the views of any other Mac-using 360 owners.

    Believe me he's never been into PC gaming - I think he'd rather shoot himself!!
     
  20. ShadowTD

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    I've had a 360 since Christmas. Long time Mac user.

    I was very impressed with how easy Connect360 was to get going. My PC using 360-mad friend who came over to share the unboxing joy was also impressed.

    It's pretty annoying that the main blade is so tied to Live (now anyway) that you're just sitting looking at the spinning dots while Live gets its booty in gear. And while the blade design may be excellent for a games machine, as a piece of consumer electronics (which is what the 360 supposedly is now) it looks somewhat childish. But I still love my 360. And Orange Box.
     
  21. Munkey Boy

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    There's been very few comments recently... I think most people are ok now.

    I don't have to admit it, because it's been fine for me! Every update has been a step in the right direction, IMHO.

    Well, they aren't trying very hard if that's the case, and to be honest they'll have a very hard time up against the Wii. I think that 120m market is a more realisitic target first, and then the userbase will inevitably bring it's own mainstream Singstars, Buzz products.

    I think (in some cases) it is peoples connections and some poor netcode on popular games. CoD4 has always been a bit flaky since release in my experience. I think many problems people are having are now being laid at MS's door whereas they weren't pre-christmas. People will just hear/read "Live is having problems" and just assume that's the problem now - but if you search this very forum, you'll find connection errors stretching back through the entire 5 year history of Live. Unfortunately, networking still just isn't easy enough yet for mainstream audiences.
     
  22. jms_uk

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    Microsoft from established XBox360 consumers' perspective have had a really bad few months PR wise you could argue.

    ..and then you look back to the superb 12-18months before that and you realise at least as far as XBox360 is concerned, its almost like a different company made the thing (people sometimes forget just how bitty, Windoze O/Ses can be!).

    Its stating the obvious, but ALL computer-based systems are subject to failure points.. due to Microsoft's size, their mistakes are a lot more public than most which is why these kind of things come up and get discussed frequently..

    For the most part, and certainly more than any other M$ product I can think of, the Xbox360 experience does "just work" (like Apple products for example) and that, I think, is the thing we and the OP's disillusioned friend need to hang on to

    :)
     
  23. Pugs1

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    I cant see the problem with Microsoft, if it wasn't for them we'd all still be in the 60's and a lot of people would have to have a MAC or nothing which means a lack of games etc

    It's not all Microsoft's problem when your PC happens to go down..half the time it is the idiot behind the mouse or components made by other manufacturers but in an ironic sort of way it's to Microsoft's testament, that everyone thinks it's Microsoft.

    However XBox 360 is another story.....:)
     
  24. cantaloupe

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    Hi, and thanks 16to9 - I'm the Mac owning mate he's referring to! I've just joined AVForums especially to join in with this discussion - apologies for sparking off the debate...

    It's worth clarifying a couple of points - I was ranting over the (very useful) XBox Live chat facility to 16to9 last night and I probably didn't explain a couple of things too well.

    I've bought pretty much every console Nintendo have made, and never had any complaint in how their (1st party) games play, hardware reliability, or in general operation of the console. I've passed up the opportunities of the PS1 and PS2, but that's more been on the basis of the games and my tastes.

    But it's a different situation with this latest generation for two reasons. All of the consoles all 'do' a lot more, and the Nintendo offering is quite distinct from the competition.

    That left me wanting something to acompany my Wii for the style of game that isn't going to be possible on it - thinking Forza 2's processor draining physics and hi-res graphics, and big COD4 online domination matches, etc.

    But - and this applies to all 3 consoles - with all this new stuff they can do, can each manufacturer maintain ease of use and reliability which are central to such a mass-market, pick-up-and-play product?

    I've taken the plunge (very kind present!) for all those experiences my Wii won't offer, and it's really been a mixed bag - with the last week being particularly bad.

    My point is that my Wii has always 'worked' - Metroid Prime 3 has crashed once, I've had to unplug the Nunchuck a few times to reset it which takes seconds, and that's about it. Everything it claims to do, it can - reliabily and easily.

    I don't want to come over as a Mac fan boy here, but the same applies to my iPhone and iMac. There's plenty my iPhone doesn't do, but everything it does do works 100% and it achieves and goes beyond ease of use, as it's even enjoyable to use.

    Same with my iMac. It's a more closed device than a PC, but the OS and core apps benefit from this (and good design) and are a treat to use. There's more leading edge kit out there, but it all works and does everything (and only what) it claims to do.

    Complex decision with a computer though - you may need it do any number of things in any number of ways, so this isn't always going to suit. PCs and Linux fill that gap - although I feel PCs fall between the two camps and hence become inappropriate for either need, and this is where my dislike for MS products arises.

    My XBox 360 is full of features and capabilities not available on my Wii, if it's easy and reliable then I'm laughing - both consoles, one living room, perfect. However it doesn't seem able to do what it claims to do:
    • online play - XBox Live/Messenger login seems very flakey
    • multi-user online play in COD4 - doesn't work all the time
    • online chat with the headset - problematic to say the least, noisy connections on mine and others which seems to be cabling
    • hardware reliability - most people I know has either had a problem with the power supply and/or the hard disk at some point - fingers crossed mine will be fine
    • comprehensive system software - stacks of online features, account and system settings etc. all managed by the blades and those grey side windows that slide in and out - not the worst MS have produced, but a long way from intuitive (and I'm no dunce with sofware, it's my job to design it and used to be to write it)
    • SD TV support - I'm actually playing on a 29" Sony 4:3 CRT - best of the old generation. Not a huge problem, but clearly most games aren't designed for it
    Over the last week I've mainly spent time on my 360 sat in COD4 lobbies waiting for various issues to resolve, resetting my controller and wobbling the headset cable to get online chat to work, messing with spurious badly structured interface options within the system blades/screens. On the evidence of this, the 360 and it's games can't do the things they claim they can.

    On my Wii I could have been simply playing some reliable, intuitive games, flicking between a few simple but accurate Online apps (channels) instead. And that's what a mass-market, living room-friendly product should be doing.

    And the games design - Nintendo carefully police major titles and to good effect...

    COD4 - single player fails to communicate the flow of the level well often leaving you lost. Listening to instructions from team members amongst all their other non-essential babble, or sifting through the useless stuff for something crucial in the tiny text at the top left just makes it no fun, despite some moments of brilliance. And the game still hasn't properly shown me how to use the Claymores!

    Metroid Prime 1-3 never left any confusion - a more limited game, but it works. I won't mention Goldeneye ;-)

    This applies to most titles, but Forza 2 is the example here - menus are a drag to get through and changing car on a time challenge can take over a minute. Better pre-emptive loading and sensible low-graphic design decisions would make most of these heavy weight games twice as much fun (and productive!) to play. But that wouldn't look as flashy in the shop window. Even ending a race can be confusing and time-consuming! Shame, as the core game is a beautiful product.

    Compare this to Mario Kart 64 with about 10 seconds from machine boot-up, to starting the race and hopefully you get my point.

    These points are analogous to the argument of detail vs. framerate - publishers push to sacrifice smoothness and speed which are crucial to gameplay against how an impressive screenshot can boost sales - surely it's better to only claim and produce the level of detail the console is actually capable of.

    It feels to me that - while the 360 seems a better design than many other MS products, it's still falling foul of the same corporate strategy, and this is the core of 16To9's point.

    MS are attempting to lead a market by promising more, but compromising quality, ease of use, reliability. They can't do that with an inherently mass-market, living room product - they're relatively new to this market, and as Nintendo's sales volumes (and profitability) demonstrate, they may not be making the right decisions. And personally I love the games console industry - I don't want it spoiling with games and equipment that detract from the pure enjoyment.

    PS. I'm well aware this is coming across as a rant, so I fully expect a flaming!
    PPS. Will be buying a 43" or 60" Pioneer plasma in the next 3 months - as you may be able to tell, I'm a very cautious buyer...!
     
  25. smallclanger

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    LOL what! If it wasnt for microsoft there would be other OS's on the IBM PC , possibly the public would have gone with the Amiga which had multitasking multimedia OS back in '88.

    Microsoft have been very clever but have very often simply bought software or copied it.
     
  26. Pugs1

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    Well done them then :thumbsup:, dog eat dog world..get on with it;)

    got me a job as a DBA, so who cares:devil:
     
  27. Munkey Boy

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    A very well expressed post cantaloupe, and I think I can see where you're coming from. I must say I don't appear to have had half the problems you have with failures and difficulties getting things going, but I have had to do quite a bit of reading around the subject (usually on this very forum!) to get the most from my 360. I mean when writing the FAQ it only really dawned on me what a complex bit of kit it is and what it takes to get it working just how you want it.

    A semi-related rant from Charlie Brooker again this week (please note this is not directed at anyone, just funny and makes you think!) I love complex gadgets. What I can't stand are idiots who don't know which buttons to press :)
     
  28. smallclanger

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    I am getting on with it, and yes I use loads of MS software, i dont have any bitterness towards them. But to claim that MS dragged us out of the 60's is a joke, especially since they didnt start until the 70's
     
  29. Pugs1

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    Yeah alright, I'm sure people will know what I mean.

    Maybe i'm more bitter and twisted because of 'end users' than Microsoft:suicide::rolleyes:
     
  30. Sqweeky Badger

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    I know a few mac lovers..... there horible to live with they hate everything M$

    mabe its just that.... inside deep down he wants to hate M$ its built into every mac lover:rotfl:


    Munkey Boy sumed it up for you, most of your problems are down to you and yours

    my online is pure sex.... thanks to making sure I or a friend host with our large conections. (im sure pple still come on live with 512K GETOFF:mad:)

    dash board does its job, i have a 26inch screen and sit about 8 foot away, never have a problem reading it...

    Some people just have all the problems... ive never had any of the problems you or anybody talks about on here.....(look at me tempting the RROD)

    had my 360 pritty much since launch loving every min of it
     

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