So, I thought I would just toss together a handful of different items and observations from the last couple of weeks. I'll start off with a nice horror story - a woman who apparently had her Xbox Gold account hacked, and how it cost her hundreds of dollars. I've never had to contact Microsoft for a problem like this, but I recall how hard it was to simply get my gold account properly renewed again, and have little trouble in imagining that this issue has driven this lady a bit nuts.
And this was a fun one - major PR fail that got some time on Penny Arcade last week. Since I work in Tech Support and am always dealing with customer service issues, I tell our techs to handle every customer like gold, and that you never know who they are. This provided me with amusement though, as this guy's horrible attitude clearly landed him in hot water:
I've also had some time to spend with the Xbox Live's new dashboard, and at first I really didn't like it. Since then, I've more or less gotten used to navigating around it, but I'm still not thrilled with it. The ads are a bit annoying - especially so if you're a gold member who pays for their access. On top of that, the cloud saves are a nice enough idea, but it's still a pain to move around from one machine to another. I still have to use a USB stick for my profile so I can jump from one system to the other. It's also harder and harder to customize your backgrounds as they have gone from the bladed, very customized background view to one where all of the crud in front clutters the view. There's a bunch of new stations and features added, but almost all of them are ones you have to buy on top of it - so there's still little there for gold members that's new, IMO. All in all, I'm a bit disappointed with the update, and still feel that Xbox Gold and Xbox Live in general are lagging behind Sony's Playstation Network overall, at least for me and my family.
I will give some credit - there were some interesting Xbox Gold deals over the last few weeks, and I picked up a few games like Bastion, Contra Hard Corps and Radiant Silvergun cheaply and have been enjoying those.
Speaking of PSN - if you are a Playstation + user, there's a ton of cool stuff this month. My susbscription runs out in a week or so, but I will definitely be renewing. Between Hydrophobia, Tomb Rader: Underworld, the Minis, Spryo games and everything else I've gotten in the last week, the games actually have had both value and appeal to various members of my family. Better yet? I can use those games and so can my kids. That's so very cool. I have no interest in Spyro - but my daughters do. I couldn't care less about Crash Bandicoot games, but my son's playing them like crazy. My wife was enjoying Tomb Raider. My new 360 games? Turns out since I downloaded them on the 360 in my room, my kids can't play them on the living room 360 - only I can (if I tote in my USB drive). I realize they want to protect developers and make as much money as possible, but it's disappointing all the same to have to deal with.
And lastly, here's the PS+ deals right now - but I've had several friends nudging me about Back to the Future so that right there should pay off this month's investment.
- Back to the Future: The Game (PSN, Free)
- Darksiders (Retail, Discount)
- Darksiders (Retail, Full Game Trial)
- Rocket Knight (PSN, Discount)
- Swords and Soldiers (PSN, Free)
- Syphon Filter (PSone, Free)
- Syphon Filter 2 (PSone, Free)
- Syphon Filter 3 (PSone, Free)