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One Thing Right, One Thing Wrong: Microsoft Edition

posted on April 18th, 2007 by matt

Continuing our week-long series of “One Thing Right, One Thing Wrong,” today we turn our attention to Microsoft and it’s rather sleek-looking Xbox 360 console. Compared to the original Xbox, the 360 is leaps and bounds better, but still isn’t exactly perfect, which we’ll now discuss.

Xbox 360: So smart, yet so stupid.

In a move that Nintendo should probably take a lesson from, Microsoft gives each person a Reputation rating on their Gamercard, which is represented by a 5-star rating. It lets players that play games online know what kind of people they are playing with. The lower the rating, the more obnoxious the player will be while playing with him/her. All you have to do is view that player’s Gamercard and check the Reputation rating, which is to the right of their Gamer pic.

Also, if a player comes into contact with an unsavory character, one that doesn’t play by the rules or acts belligerent towards the other players, the community can give the person a bad review, which will then decrease his/her Reputation rating.

So, the next time you play on Xbox Live, it will be unlikely that you are ever paired with that specific player again, making your time playing online more enjoyable. We all know how annoying it is when there’s that one guy running around, acting like a complete tool, so it’s great that Microsoft has implemented a system where you can start to weed out the bad eggs. It may not stop all the haters from ruining online deathmatches, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

As for the bad, I think Microsoft went down a bad route when not implementing WiFi into their system. Both the Wii and PS3 have wireless Internet, so why can’t the 360 have it too? Instead we have to either buy a separate wireless adapter from a third-party manufacturer that is compatible with the 360 or buy the first-party offering, which is going for the rather expensive price tag of $99 USD. Either way, it’s annoying that Microsoft didn’t include it with the system to begin with.

Amazingly, they didn’t even include it with their newest SKU, the Elite. I would think that WiFi is more important than an HDMI video connection, as component is still a capable option, but I guess I’d be wrong on that.

So now, all of the fortunate gamers out there that could just afford a 360 find themselves having to move their furniture around, hoping that their 3′ Ethernet wire makes it from the TV to the router, which usually ends up with a wire floating in the air, knocking people down as they come into the entertainment center.

Microsoft is usually pretty good with giving what the consumer wants, but not including wireless Internet with any of their packages seems counterintuitive to that fact. It just seems like a standard thing these days, but I guess Microsoft never got that memo.

And there you have. Next time we’ll talk about the arrogant, but always entertaining Sony and it’s behemoth of a console, the PS3. Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?

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