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Darren Waters

Xbox Live goes limp

  • Darren Waters
  • 4 Jan 08, 05:36 GMT

Don't disappoint your customers - it is a lesson that Microsoft is learning the hard way with Xbox.

Xbox Live, Microsoft's online gaming and community service, is often touted by the firm as the jewel in the Xbox crown and as the key distinguishing feature between its console and Sony's PlayStation 3.

It is - largely - a paid for service and is such an integral part of the Xbox experience that many users take it for granted.

But over the Christmas period the service partially collapsed for many users - with patchy performance and glitches.

Microsoft has held its hands up to a mea culpa and is offering every Xbox Live user a free download of a game.

This is becoming a pattern for Microsoft and the Xbox - first something goes wrong, and then the firm steps in to make amends on a grand scale.

I was struck by just how many people had commented on problems with Xbox Live when we invited readers of the BBC News website to send in questions to Bill Gates.

Many were furious with the problems they encountered during the Christmas period.

If Microsoft believe Xbox Live is a serious entertainment platform, perhaps one day to rival TV networks or cable services, it has to ensure it is robust and good value.

There are 17.7m Xbox 360 users around the world, with some paying £40 a year for Xbox Live.

Sony, on the other hand, does not charge for its PlayStation Network, although the service is much more limited than Xbox Live.

The offer of a free Xbox Live Arcade game is good customer service, but there will come a point when saying sorry just isn't enough for some subscribers.

Comments

Nintendo Wii is the best one

  • 2.
  • At 08:35 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Jim Rattray wrote:

Microsoft has ruined my son's Christmas due to "BANNING" his LIVE account for absolutley no reason.They say his console has been "modded" which I can guarantee it hasn't.The console was bought brand new and has never been repaired or modified in any way.I've offered to send my son's console back to Microsoft or would welcome a full inspection from any engineer,but Microsoft has point blank refused and told me it's my problem deal with it,and if I'm not happy then tough.I've sent countless emails without reply and phone calls to people who just want to tar us all with the same "criminal" brush.I've paid well over £1000 for my son to be able to play his XBox,games and online against his friends instead of walking the streets.It's been almost a month since his LIVE account was "banned" and there's been no progress from Microsoft whatsoever.It seems with Microsoft you're guilty until proven innocent and even at that you can't prove your innocense.Another lost customer for Microsoft. Sony & Nintendo here we come!.

  • 3.
  • At 09:19 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • tim laverton wrote:

just a response to the comment about sony's "limited" online service.

1. it works all the time

2. you can play online for FREE.

3. regular updates at the psn store.

4. did i mention its free?

  • 4.
  • At 09:22 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • tim laverton wrote:

just a response to the comment about sony's "limited" online service.

1. it works all the time

2. you can play online for FREE.

3. regular updates at the psn store.

4. did i mention its free?

  • 5.
  • At 09:32 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Mel wrote:

I have been using Xbox live since I bought my 360 when they where released. I have never known the live performance to be so poor, it is shocking. Unable to log in, friends being deleted from your account, continuous can't connect to host errors, speed and just unstable. I have never had any major issue with the service till the last month and if MS say it is sorted now they need to have another because last night was just painful, having to constantly log in and out and friends being unable to join games. If you are talking to your friend over pvt chat how can you not have a connection. They need to sort it out its a shambles.

  • 6.
  • At 09:33 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • baz wrote:

maybe he should be walking the streets?

Consoles are one thing but they cannot replicate fresh air and exercise, nor REAL human interaction that comes with playing sports and outdoor games.

Also, consoles cannot provide love.

Shame.

  • 7.
  • At 09:40 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Tim wrote:

I think it's slightly unfair to level criticism at MS for banning a modified console. The system used for banning consoles is guaranteed to be flawless so unfortunately you will need to accept that the console has been modified and live with the consequences.

These bans stem from a terms of use violation - and most people accept that if they break a contract with any other party, the contract is voided.. MS have to run a business so they are quite within their rights to remove users from their service if terms are contravened.

to poster (2) above...

£1000? you could have had a new one for £500 with 5 games!

Microsoft dont just ban accounts for no reason....

  • 9.
  • At 09:43 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Adrian Wright wrote:

We got an XBox elite for Christmas and opened the box early on Christmas day. We setup the Xbox on our wireless network and confirmed the live account and started playing online straight away.

We played for about five minutes before our connection was broken. It was not the live system that was down, it was Virgin Media.

When our broadband connection finally started working again...days later. We played Call of Duty 4 on Live with no problems at all.

The weak link in our chain was Virgin Media. When the Virgin Media service is up we get a steady and constant 4MB bandwidth. When the connection is down, its down for hours with no explaination and no idea when it will be back on. I complained and got a call back from their complaints department the next day. We had a chat about it all and now all is well.

I am not saying that Xbox Live is faultless, but with hundreds of thousands on new systems coming on line in one day, there was bound to be some issues.

We have a Wii and an Xbox, I decided on an Xbox for our kids because the selection of games is better and the Xbox live has more to offer.

Adrian

Like the author said, This is not the first time it's happened. Apart from this, MS is also in trouble because of banning innocent and legit Xbox users. I my self was a victim of false banning just before christmas while playing an original Xbox game online. After surfing the net i found out that i was not the only one who was incorrectly banned so i complained to MS and my account was unbanned again just before christmas. I hope MS gets their act togather and sort the problems out otherwise paying customers like my self will have to think about our options

  • 11.
  • At 09:58 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • dangermouse wrote:

ive had terrible probles with xbox live!,i joined 2 weeks before christmas looking forward to the experience over the holiday period and since christmas arrived ive spent hours trying to use the service and failing miserably,this is so dissapointing for a company like microsoft ,after paying for the service you expect it to work!!

  • 12.
  • At 10:01 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • D wrawby wrote:

People are forever moaning about microsoft/xbox.
Please tell me which piece of high end/state of the art computer software/game works with no glitches whatsoever.
I know several people who think 30 to 40 pounds is too much to pay for a game, which in my experience can give hundreds of hours of pleasure online i.e Halo3, COD4 etc. In response to this people are trying to modify their xbox360/nintendo ds etc in order to be able to use copied games. The same people will think nothing of spending the same amount on a
shirt they'll wear a few times or a meal.
It's theft and anyone who has their xbox live account stopped deserves it.

  • 13.
  • At 10:07 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Dan Cook wrote:

In response to the comment left by Jim Rattray, the fact that you say Microsoft "ruined" your sons Christmas is very stupid. How about teaching your son (and yourself) that there is more to Christmas than being unsociable, playing video games all day. Kids expect way too much these days. You make me laugh next when you proceed to basically say, video games or walk the streets! Like they're the only two options for a child! I feel really sorry for you. Serves you right really for spending £1000 for something that will be old and very cheap in three years time.

Get a PSP mate, simple, fun and problem free!

  • 14.
  • At 10:10 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Niki Mackintosh wrote:

I'd prefer to know how Microsoft might make it up to those whose xbox360's have crashed with the infamous 'red ring of death' and gone weeks without their machine while it's away getting repaired or should I say, replaced with a refurbed unit. My own 360 died both this and last December, fortunately with Microsoft have been forced to extend the warranty to try and placate the oh so many of us and limit the fallout. Meanwhile we sit with a pile of games we've invested in and pay a subscription to their xbox live service during this month turnaround period (at least it was for me last year and is only days short of being this year).

While I bleat on I don't think my story is an unfamiliar one at all. I'd just settle for experiencing what all the fuss has been about with xboxLive over the festive period rather than receiving the automated emails to renew my subscription while Microsoft are actually in possession of the very beast they want me to continue to invest in.

  • 15.
  • At 10:21 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Kevin Yates wrote:

I noticed problems over Christmas with Xbox Live but theyt were hardly earth shattering and normal service seems to have been resumed. I tend to have more issues with broadband speeds than Xbox Live.

You do get what you pay for though and thats why there are often over a million people online playing Halo 3 whilst both PS3 players are still trying to sort out their sound.

  • 16.
  • At 10:29 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Wils wrote:

Microsoft/Xbox have the worst customer service I have ever come across! October 28 my Xbox suffered the 'Red Ring of Death' which is a hardware malfunction warning on the front faceplate… This basically means your console is toast. After visiting the MS/Xbox website to find out what to do about it I discover MS have increased the warranty from 1 year to 3 in response to this fault, my Xbox was 6 months old at this point. After attempting to fill in the online claim form and discovering MS don't know where the Channel Islands are on there returns form I'm instructed to phone the helpline, which I do… After you go through all the necessary data: Name, Address, Serial number…Blah Blah you receive a Reference Number usually 8 digits long and told you will receive a MRA (Material Returns Authorisation) and empty box within 3 to 5 working days. Rubbish. I can tell you after numerous chase ups and complaints you will get yet another reference number and be put to the bottom of the queue. I am not alone, you will find it hard to find any complaints on the web, its as if there is a hunter killer program running which censors all Xbox complaints out there… Our local retail shop had 4 broken Xboxes under the counter; some had been waiting 2 months for the MRA's to come down and a friend of mine has been waiting since September… I very much doubt I'll get an extension on my Xbox Live subscription (£36 PA) for the amount I've been offline either… My MRA & empty box arrived via UPS yesterday, I wonder how long its gonna be till I get my repaired Xbox back…?

  • 17.
  • At 10:30 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

to baz :

An Xbox is a toy, just like an action man or a meccano set, it's just one which is much more immersive.

There's nothing wrong with playing with toys, you just need to mix it up with other activites in order to stay healthy.

Also, recent tests have shown that playing video games is both beneficial to hand-eye co-ordination and also mental agility, with gamers frequently scoring second only to bilinguals in mental agility tests.

see article here for details of the research :

http://www.newsfarm.net/display-news-none-1270677.php

This doesn't mean that you should allow your kids to spend all their spare time on consoles, personally I think an approach similar to that of eating a balanced diet (ie a little of everything on a regular basis) is best.

  • 18.
  • At 10:41 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Niki Mackintosh wrote:

I'd prefer to know how Microsoft might make it up to those whose xbox360's have crashed with the infamous 'red ring of death' and gone weeks without their machine while it's away getting repaired or should I say, replaced with a refurbed unit. My own 360 died both this and last December, fortunately Microsoft have been forced to extend the warranty to try and placate the oh so many of us and limit the fallout. Meanwhile we sit with a pile of games we've invested in and pay a subscription to their xbox live service during this month turnaround period (at least it was for me last year and is only days short of being this year).

While I bleat on I don't think my story is an unfamiliar one at all. I'd just settle for experiencing what all the fuss has been about with xboxLive over the festive period rather than receiving the automated emails to renew my subscription while Microsoft are actually in possession of the very beast they want me to continue to invest in.

Disappointed customer? It's fair to say I am. Microsoft are still fledgings in the console game, while they got off to a promising start with the original xbox the 360's reliability issues and now failures with their live subscription service may begin to see their reputation preceding them.

  • 19.
  • At 10:50 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • david wrote:

comment 6 what you talking about? console are just part of fun. doesnt mean to say people don't enjoy excerise and freah air. I go to gym 4 times a week and often go out in fresh AIR thank you.

Any I have recently 3 mths ago got rid of my xbox for ps3 and I'll never go back. ps3 free great online speeds no lag etc can connect all good, call of duty 4 has had some match making problems recently but that was down to infitity not sony and its free and the internet is mega fast and great looking on HD tv. I can tell you this ps3 is loads better than xbox I wont go on but the ps3 network is great no problems.

  • 20.
  • At 11:18 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

No one seems to have mentioned the Movie service they unveiled recently. It took me 4 days to download a movie (which you pay for to rent). It was shambolic, from what i read on the x box forums many others had this same problem, a lot of users got points or money refunds but i agree with the author that there is only so many times you can say sorry. I am also waiting for the "3 light syndrome" to strike as my warantee is about expire. Plus rumours of a new XBOX 360 Ultimate being released at then end of the year do not make me happy. But it is a great console and i love it!!!

  • 21.
  • At 11:24 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Nick Foster wrote:

I have both a PC and an Xbox 360, I only pay PC games online because they are largely free to do so (not to mention cheaper to buy initially)

I object to having paid hundreds of pounds for a console and then £40 plus per game to then have to pay a "subscription" to play online?

Thats like buying a car and then having to pay extra if you want the wipers and lights to work.

  • 22.
  • At 11:29 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • daddydowse wrote:

i do think some people are being a little short-sighted here. There have been, although very few, occasions where xbox users have been wrongly accused of having a modded box. Don't just dismiss this as a lie. However, working in the IT industry and being MS trained for years, i am extremely surprised that MS do not have this system to such a state where they can complete a compentant disaster recovery! Come on MS what happened to resilience, backup, change control? Practice what you preach!

  • 23.
  • At 11:31 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Adrian Faulkner wrote:

Back in August Microsoft announced a recall for their Wireless Steering Wheel for the Xbox360. The wheel, costing more than double its rivals, was unique in that it was the only wheel on the market for the console with a feature called Force Feedback (making the steering feel more lifelike by simulating torque). Microsoft stated in its recall notice that the wheel could continue to be operated on batteries but not using AC power. However the Force Feedback feature will not work on batteries, rendering the sole feature that made people pay twice the price of other wheels on the market useless

I, like many others, downloaded the recall forms and posted them off. That was in late August. From then until December nobody heard anything.. no card acknowledging receipt of the form, no announcement in the press saying when the issue would be resolved. I raised a ticket with their support in late November asking for progress, I got a reply just after xmas asking me to call in. However I had already called their support in Mid-December to chase the ticket, which they were unable to find, and then had only faint knowledge of the recall and no idea of what was happening. I returned home from New Year's celebrations to find a very soggy box on my doorstep saying to package up the wheel to send back to them for a replacement. I received no notification that I was going to receive a box or that one was on the way. In fact this is the first acknowledgement from Microsoft of my issue since sending in my form back in August.

Whilst my issue may now be on the way to being resolved, I believe there are still people waiting for Microsoft to action the recall; who paid £100 for a steering wheel that they have been unable to use the prime feature on since August and who have had absolutely no communication from Microsoft whatsoever. This is a health and safety issue (the recall was due to the unit possibly bursting into flames) and yet Microsoft has taken considerable time in resolving the issue and not kept the customer informed.

The customer service is terrible, and the big problem is that because the majority of Microsoft's customers are teenagers, a lot of the issues get brushed off by the media as "teenagers just being whiny". Yet as a 35 year old, I have to say that Microsoft's Xbox customer service is the worst I've ever experienced. Just a look at any independent xbox forums and you'll see post after post of complaints about customer service, legitimate accounts being banned, broken xboxs and more.

I'm glad the BBC is looking at the issue. For all the jokes and complaints about Microsoft, their customer service always used to be top notch with the best people working for them. Now it seems the price of the console wars is shoddy customer support and unreliable services

  • 24.
  • At 11:34 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • C Tilcock wrote:

I have a standard xbox and i wouldn't buy into the whole xbox 360 and xbox live simply because of how microsoft treat it's windows users, i have boxed and lofted the xbox in favour of the WII and PS2, i would suggest that if you are not happy with any product then look around for better rather than keep throwing good money after bad. the problem as for MS banning people who pay for their service then boycott MS, they will soon change their ways once they are no receiving the revenue you keep putting in their pocket.

Long live the Unix revolution coz Microsoft sucks

  • 25.
  • At 11:41 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

The banning of innocent users is NOT a small isolated incident. Check any number of tech or gaming sites. Microsoft have done this before and will do it again. Perhaps they want to remove all trust in the 2nd hand console market. Also, RROD is NOT the only problem with a 360. I have had 2 systems, so i gave it a fair go. graphics card blew up, sent it off for repair and it was returned to me untouched. So i sent it again, then it got RROD. After that, the drive started burning rings on to games and damaging them to the extent that they cannot be used. Now i have a PS3, and have yet to notice even a slight problem. Microsoft don't put anywhere near the attention they should in to customer service. After my experiences, i don't even want to use windows.

big deal - so your xbox live was out for about 24 hours... i (and im sure you) could still play it offline...

tell your kids to play with some of their other presents, visit friends... or is walking the streets the only other option? i pity you.

i think that Microsoft have excelled themselves here - i dont know of many other companies that would offer a free game to everyone.... well done Microsoft.


  • 27.
  • At 11:51 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Andrew Kitson wrote:

I've had an xbox for 2 years now and have been online for over a year now. Putting my xbox online was one of the best things i ever did. (besides parachuting)
I think its great that you can put in a game you haven't played in a while and a new update is ready for it, it just shows you that, once you buy a game from the shop thats not the final product.
For about a year xbox live had been running flawlessly and smoothy, sure every now and again, my mates and I encountered some form of problem, but we always managed to work our way round it.
Over Christmas however with the addition of thousands of consoles i can see why Xbox live has been struggling.
COD4 is what were playing at the minute and after about 3 attemps it works fine and i can say that we have been able to have a night gaming every night without fail.
I think its unfair for people to blame Microsoft. People think that they arn't working to solve the problem, but i'm sure Microsoft is working round the clock to solve it.
As much as i love xbox, one thing really bugs me about it! The fact that all the merchandise is so bloody expensive. I mean is £60 for a wireless adapter and £35 for a wireless headset not abit steep.
Nevertheless, i'll always be an Xbox 360 fanboy!!!

  • 28.
  • At 11:55 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Craig Maxwell Thornton wrote:

I always prefered the Playstation consoles to Xbox in the past, however I recently spent a few minutes on my friends mid range 360 and was really impressed. I don't like the controller but the fact that it is now wireless and the headset plugs into it was a really nice bit of design. The ''scene it'' game was incredibly good fun. All in all i think there doing well. Aslong as in future there customer service keeps up with demand I may get one.

  • 29.
  • At 11:58 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Jonathan wrote:

PS3 network is actually quite good, i have been playing online now for 7months on my PS3 and have encountered no problems at all, there are regular updates and ofcourse graphics are better than xbox360

I am SO glad someone has finally picked up on this. It was only yesterday I was saying to my other half, what on earth are we paying £40 each for when we cant even get online!! 2 weeks this has been going on for. Microsoft should be ashamed...

  • 31.
  • At 12:06 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • BJ wrote:

I had problems with Xbox live, until I noticed that my router was the weak link in the system. I changed the settings so that my NAT was set to "open". I bet half of the complaints result to this piece of Hardware.
Else, I think Xbox Live is one of the best things MS has ever created. Apart from the Xbox360.

I am SO glad someone has finally picked up on this. It was only yesterday I was saying to my other half, what on earth are we paying £40 each for when we cant even get online!! 2 weeks this has been going on for. Microsoft should be ashamed...

  • 33.
  • At 12:12 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Xbox live issues are still apparent. Myself and a few online friends were on LIVE for hours last night, trying to get into any COD4 battles.... but failed.... very disapointed, considering the excellent service I have recieved from MS since the XBOX live first became available.

  • 34.
  • At 12:29 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Philip wrote:

Microsoft should not underestimate the level of feeling of XBOX users. Between Christmas and new year LIVE! performance went through the floor. Even last night it was unplayable after 9pm.

Whilst I appreciate that LIVE! is altogether a more comprehensive experience than Sony's offering, the fact is that if it is not reliable it may as well not exist. Issues like this really will make people vote with their thumbs!

I am seriously considering moving away from an organisation who cannot capacity plan effectively, do not communicate with their customers effectively and do not have the support mechanisms in place to deal with these issues.

Usually you pay for what you get for. This has, in regards to Xbox reliability and LIVE performance, in my experience at least, proved not to be the case.

  • 35.
  • At 12:34 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Karl Carpenter wrote:

Many of the Xbox Live problems are coming form "Internet Service Providers" throttling the speeds of such traffic. I personally recieved no problems over christmas my ISP is Orange, however 2 homes away on the same telephone exchange a friend uses Tiscali and was experiencing problems.

I took my 360 to his home and experienced the same issuses and he tried his at mine and low and behold the error was rectified.

This is another case of ISP not providing the service we are paying for and not so much a Xbox Live issue.

As for the comments by "Jim Rattray" this post is utter fiction what a throw away comment. The modifying scan looks for 360 hacks and hardware that does not match. Even Firmware upgrades of DVD Drives will be found and unless micrsoft are feeling nice and "reflash your drive on the fly which has happened" this will result in console being locked from live.

Don't fiddle inside if you don't want to be banned is my advice. What a waste of the "£1000" you speak of!

  • 36.
  • At 12:48 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

Our xbox suffered RROD failure. The fault was logged by MS on a Sunday evening and the box picked up by UPS the following Tuesday. It was away 2 weeks including Xmas week and delivered back by UPS. An expalantion of the fault and repair (albeit generic) was given, free headset+mic was included and a free one month Xbox live gold subscription was included. All in all considering that the console had had extensive daily use for 2years before it failed, if think MS provided an excellent service.

  • 37.
  • At 12:53 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • damo wrote:

I have been an Xbox Live user since its inception - back when I had my original Xbox. I am also a PC gamer and Let me say this - Xbox Live is an awesome system.

When I use the pc, I have to use third party software such as Xfire and Team Speak to achieve what Xbox Live allows me to. I admit that these apps are free and, as long as my PC and ISP allow them too, work well. However, pcs being pcs, there are a few configurations issues that can inhibit your online experience.

Xbox Live, on the other hand, is oh so simple and oh so excellent. The 360 dashboard and Xbox live are seamlessly integrated so it is easy to see who is online, see what they are playing, send them a message, and join their games. It is simple. And brilliant.

As for the connections problems that we have experienced recently, I can honestly say that it is the first time that I have experienced any issues with Xbox Live service since having it some 5 years ago.

I pay £40 per annum for the service and I do not begrudge a penny. It is by far the best example of a social gaming environment that there is.

And - the best bit - Sensible World of Soccer has been released on Xbox Live Arcade! Genius! My Gamertag is Dai Bonehead if anyone wants a game.

  • 38.
  • At 12:59 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • michael wrote:

I sold my xbox over a year ago for less than £100. Weird how you paid over £1000 for one. I'd say you were ripped off. Sounds more like you bought it 2nd hand and got a modded one with loads of games. Microsoft does NOT allow modded xbox systems on xbox live. After all it is illegal. (lol)

  • 39.
  • At 01:10 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • G Buckley wrote:

I have also been on the receiving end of Microsoft's shabby customer service. My console was sent for repair to Microsoft. Upon return I found that I had been banned from X Box live. Numerous phone calls later I had still not had my problem resolved. Not only this but the customer service staff do not have the strongest grasp of English being a foreign call centre! This only added to my frustation. The solution I found was that I could trade in my X Box with 12 games and get a PS3 with 3 games (which all work on line without disruption)for just £30 extra. I recommend everyone who is tired of Microsoft's poor service to follow suit.

  • 40.
  • At 01:13 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

I bought my Xbox360 on boxing day and after a few days of not problems palying the systems seemed to grind to a halt.

I have had no end of problems getting on to COD4 with friends... oddly enough it seems to be about the time USA comes online...

  • 41.
  • At 01:26 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Andy Taylor wrote:

I am a 30 year old gamer and have been with XBOX Live for a few years now and have to say that the service is outstanding. Ok so there was a period over Xmas when I couldn't connect (1 night), but it is an internet based service and you cannot compare it to TV and cable services. 98% of the time there are no issues whatsoever and it knocks socks off the inferior PS3 online service which I have also tried. £40 a year or £3.33 a month is not expensive for a service which is rarely down. I have had more issues with ISPs than XBOX LIVE with slow internet services at peak times, poor download speeds and 2mbps is nowhere near the 8mbps that they advertise, yet I pay them £19.99 a month or £239.88 a year, NOT £40. Once again it seems we are very fast to complain about a small glitch and slow to praise the fact that on the whole, the service is nothing short of absolutely brilliant!

  • 42.
  • At 01:26 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • BC wrote:

Is it only me that thinks that MS giving away a game is an easy way out? I didnt ask for a free game and probably wont play it unless it is good!

I pay about £30 per year for 24/7 access - what would be better and fairer would be crediting my xbox live subscription with the additional time that it was not available or maybe even a refund!

  • 43.
  • At 01:36 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

Ive heard that Xbox360 has loads of problems like that. Crashing all the time, overheating and stuff like that. All of you Xbox360 fans should just have paid a little more to get a lovely PS3 like me =-)

  • 44.
  • At 01:37 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Graeme wrote:

@Jim Rattray - Keep arguing on the phone. Its a common problem with older DVD drives with the 360 (hitachi and samsung drives) and its due to the laser not reading the discs correctly.


As for the news, its a good move by MS. They set new records for online populations over christmas for any platform. Yes, the PS3 has a free service but a) it isn't as functional as XBL and b) there aren't near as half as many people using it.

The PS3 will be more robust due to lack of users. Lets see how it would handle that many users.

As for XBL being broken. Surely people are reacting a little poorly? Its not the end of the world and for £40 a year, its been stable over the past 12 months other than the last 10 or so days.

Offline play is still an option but I can appreciate that its been borked for 10 days now (be 11 tonight). Its hardly the end of the world though.

  • 45.
  • At 01:38 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Ironc34 wrote:

I didnt notice any problems with my 360 over christmas, as i dont even turn it on since buying a PS3!
Still paying ms £5 a month though!

  • 46.
  • At 01:38 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Philip wrote:

Looks like Mark doesn't know the first thing about playing on LIVE!.

The fact is that if I pay for a service or product I expect it to be fit for purpose. It's a basic legal right. Microsoft appears to be taking the attitude of "just enough". Just enough reliability of 360 to get it out on the market without testing it properly. Just enough service to cover a claim of a 3 year warranty, even if it takes months to get your box back. Just enough to ensure the LIVE! servers work but not taking into consideration forward planning. These guys are meant to be an multi-international organisation!!

I had a PS2 for 5 years and it NEVER, not ever, went wrong. How many customers can MS alienate before they realise they need to become a CUSTOMER-CENTRIC company. Sony may have been dogged by delays and supply issues, but at least they think of their customers.

  • 47.
  • At 01:41 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Craig wrote:

I have been an XBL subscriber for well over a year now, and for me, the service has been great.

I did recieve the RROD and sent the console away for repair. I go tthe console back within 10 days fully refurbed and still working to this day.

The past 2 days have been the only time i have ever seen any problems with XBL and i will continue to be a subscriber in the future.

Besides, I was able to get some Assassins creed play time in whilst i couldnt get on Cod4 which has boosted my gamerscore and my feelings towards AC!!!

People should really stop whining and just get on with it!

  • 48.
  • At 01:43 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Ironc34 wrote:

I didnt notice any problems with my 360 over christmas, as i dont even turn it on since buying a PS3!
Still paying ms £5 a month though!

  • 49.
  • At 01:48 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Arron wrote:

Comment ~#7

You say that the system MS use is "flawless... " I find it hard to belive any such system is flawless. Especally coming for a company who main busisnes is opertaing systems, and they cannot even make these flawless......!

  • 50.
  • At 01:48 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Microsoft have a lot of work to undo the damage caused to their userbase this Christmas.

The offer of a game is unsurprising but necessary to quash the ill-feeling and restore confidence.

They cannot afford to repeat the mistakes they made because they will lose customers otherwise.

  • 51.
  • At 01:51 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Brendon wrote:

Poster 25 hit the nail on the head with one remark.

The Xbox 360 (of which I have had one for a year, but took it online during the Christmas period) does not become a paperweight when Live is experiencing problems, it just means that you can't play online - and is that *really* the end of the world?

Having said that, there are certainly ways around the issue.

I've been playing Call of Duty 4 since I purchased it on Saturday, and most nights so far have found me cursing at the Xbox servers for dropping connections and the like, until I discovered that by setting up private games with friends (private games, due to their nature, will not allow just anyone to join the game - you have to receive an invite to do so. I believe the problems with Call of Duty 4 stem from the sheer number of people attempting to play and join games at any one time), we could play trouble free all night.

I did this for the first time last night and had one of the most enjoyable evening's entertainment with my Xbox that I can honestly say I've ever had.

Kudos to Microsoft for accepting responsibility for their shortcomings - I just hope the offer applies to those who are still playing through their free month's trial!

  • 52.
  • At 02:01 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Ian Collier wrote:

I think that some of you are being a bit unfair on Microsoft. Yes, it's a poor show for not being able to handle demand over a busy period, but I have always found LIVE to be an outstanding service, MUCH better than the Playstation equivalent (that's why I'm prepared to pay for it). And I suffered the red rings of death just three weeks before Christmas - msoft arranged for UPS to collect it and repaired and returned the unit within two weeks, totally free of charge (out of warranty); amazing.

It was rough being without LIVE over Christmas (I suffered too), but I think they are doing well in dealing with it as promptly as they have. I'm a happy customer who is going to stay with them : )

  • 53.
  • At 02:05 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Damian wrote:

To all about the Xbox Live problem, I to have had this issue and was a little annoyed not being to play COD4 at times. But it didn’t ruin my Christmas, I just got on and played offline and other games. Get over it, its not end of the world. Yes I paid to play online and paid money for numerous games. But it is Christmas and hundreds if not thousands of people was joining Xbox Live and playing there new games. So there is bound to be a few issues.
Regarding the people with the Ring of Death, I rang up as soon as it happened to mine and within 5 days it got picked up and two weeks later I got it back fixed. If you are waiting for it to be picked up, ring them up dont wait months for it to happen.
Yes MS are at fault to a certain point, but take some own responsibility. It's not hard to see why Xbox Live is laggy or connection problems, and MS admitted the 'Ring of Death' problem and extended the Warranties so we can get it fixed for free. I got a month free Xbox Live from them, not sure why as I paid for the year, but I will use it when my year runs out.

  • 54.
  • At 02:10 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Philip wrote:

Looks like Mark doesn't know the first thing about playing on LIVE!.

The fact is that if I pay for a service or product I expect it to be fit for purpose. It's a basic legal right. Microsoft appears to be taking the attitude of "just enough". Just enough reliability of 360 to get it out on the market without testing it properly. Just enough service to cover a claim of a 3 year warranty, even if it takes months to get your box back. Just enough to ensure the LIVE! servers work but not taking into consideration forward planning. These guys are meant to be an multi-international organisation!!

I had a PS2 for 5 years and it NEVER, not ever, went wrong. How many customers can MS alienate before they realise they need to become a CUSTOMER-CENTRIC company. Sony may have been dogged by delays and supply issues, but at least they think of their customers.

  • 55.
  • At 02:11 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

It's more like buying a car and having to buy petrol i'd have thought.

Is it really a problem to pay £40 for 12 months subscription to play any game?

  • 56.
  • At 02:16 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • They'll probably sue me wrote:

If Microsoft ran Linux on its servers it would probably be a lot easier to provide a reliable service ;-)

  • 57.
  • At 02:17 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Ben wrote:

I bought Call of Duty 4 before Christmas and I was enjoying playing online from Uni, I got home and found the service was at time very poor, I understand that there are going to be problems with so many new players connecting all at the same time but some warning or explanation wouldn't go a miss.

An E.T.A on a fix would have been appreciated, the fact that the game countdown reaches 0 on a match you have tried to join and you just get a message saying the game lobby has closed. There may be an issue with Call of Duty 4 in this area and I recall some mention of an update that will add features (such as kill cam for air strikes and claymores) but will not be addressing the ‘Game Lobby Closed’ issue. If anyone has heard anything different please shout up because regardless of who is too blame, I’m getting wound up with this and I’m liable to break my Xbox controller with shear frustration if it continues much longer.

  • 58.
  • At 02:17 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Adam C wrote:

To be honest, the Xbox live system is by far the best of any console. I never really noticed much of a problem over xmas, but I did expect a drop in performance with the huge influx of new users (You expect txt msg systems grinding to a halt on new years eve, point being they dont get that much interest all year round so expanding servers to handle the extra load for a very short time just isn't worth it.)

There are always people who find something to moan about, especially on the internet, so its no surprise that anyone can find something bad about xbox live on some forum somewhere.

A wise man once said "You never remember when I am right, but you will never forget when im wrong"... I think that applies here.

  • 59.
  • At 02:42 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

Well annoyed last night, couldn't get a game of CoD4 at all and tried for nearly an hour...the flip side is that i finally played Assassin's Creed (offline game) and enjoyed it more than i was expecting, silver lining yes but it better not rumble on like these last two weeks which have been a waste of space. £40/52 wks = £0.83 x2 weeks x8 million users means M$ have made over £13million for this rubbish, wish my business was as successful!

  • 60.
  • At 02:51 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Jonny Floater wrote:

The gesture of a free game (no doubt a non-seller) from Microsoft is good service, albeit reactive. MS should have foreseen the peak in usage during the festive period because (a) people are off work and have more time to play online, (b) they're going to sell a lot more consoles at Christmas, (c) there will be an influx of new XBox live accounts. MS obviously didn't gear up their servers sufficiently to cope with the increased demand of usage. This happens every time they launch a new game - COD4 being a prime example. When the game launched in early Nov 07, the quality of server connection was appalling, and they still haven't resolved this. Lets hope they learn from their mistakes, and overcome these problems in the future.

  • 61.
  • At 02:53 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

I think it is quite interesting that the general perception is that the PS3’s online service seems to be more reliable, super fantastic and free. I think only time will tell how good Sony’s online service is, since currently, in Europe, they have such a ridiculously small install base and will therefore have far fewer people connecting to their service. A more relevant comparison would be with the Wii’s online service, since they actually have an install base...

Much love!

  • 62.
  • At 02:58 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • lance zotzman wrote:

But, since I am an X-box (not 360) user, and don't have access to online downloads, I won't receive compensation? Great.

  • 63.
  • At 03:14 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Lee wrote:

A lot of people are here bashing the MS service and saying to buy a PS3. No offence but you don't know what you are talking about.

The MS online service is the best thing about the 360 and has been running now for 5 years pretty much problem free over two different consoles. Does the fact it was slightly problematic for a week mean you should scrap your 360 and get a PS3?

For the record, the live service offers a wide range of downloadable content, reliable rservers on hundreds of online games and a superb friends and free messaging system. You could practically use it as a phone line. The PS3 on the other hand has very little content and a paltry selection of games.

I appreciate that poor customer service can drive people away, and the faults on the Xbox have plagued a number of people. My own console did break but it was picked up, fixed and returned to me within a week with no problem. Maybe I'm in a minority but I love the machine and will keep using it for a long time to come.

Also, the graphics on the PS3 and 360 are identical - how you can state the PS3 is superior is a joke, many of its games are delayed ports of games that were out for the 360 a year ago.

  • 64.
  • At 03:15 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • aidy wrote:

To all those slagging the guy off for not having his son walk the streets, maybe he meant on a night? it is dark you know.

Xbox live isnt sorted out yet, I managed to get two goes on team deathmatch on cod4 last night, the first time in over two weeks, then I switched it off because I couldnt get on any match. Continual lags and slowdown.

Shame on Microsoft thats all I can say

  • 65.
  • At 03:18 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Damian wrote:

To all about the Xbox Live problem, I to have had this issue and was a little annoyed not being to play COD4 at times. But it didn’t ruin my Christmas, I just got on and played offline and other games. Get over it, its not end of the world. Yes I paid to play online and paid money for numerous games. But it is Christmas and hundreds if not thousands of people was joining Xbox Live and playing there new games. So there is bound to be a few issues.
Regarding the people with the Ring of Death, I rang up as soon as it happened to mine and within 5 days it got picked up and two weeks later I got it back fixed. If you are waiting for it to be picked up, ring them up dont wait months for it to happen.
Yes MS are at fault to a certain point, but take some own responsibility. It's not hard to see why Xbox Live is laggy or connection problems, and MS admitted the 'Ring of Death' problem and extended the Warranties so we can get it fixed for free. I got a month free Xbox Live from them, not sure why as I paid for the year, but I will use it when my year runs out.

  • 66.
  • At 03:24 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • andrew wycherley wrote:

i to was "banned" from xbox live as apparently my xbox was modded. as previously mentioned i have made numerous attempts to get re-connected as i had done nothing wrong. each time microsofts service advisors accused me of piracy. eventually i have got back connected but absolutley no response from microsoft and no apology!!!

  • 67.
  • At 03:30 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • NICK wrote:

Xbox live gamer and Ps3 online gamer here...

sorry, thats x-Ps3 Online gamer...

the media love to bash MS, I can tell you Ps3 online is worse than xbox live on its worst day.

I have been on live since its beta testing back on xbox. I had no problems at all over xmas. but the free game will be nice

  • 68.
  • At 03:41 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

OVER 500,000 PEOPLE WERE PLAYING HALO 3 NEW YEARS EVE



Come on now. while i agree that paying for live when you have to pay for everything else downloads, movies, and extra levels etc is a bit rude.

each and every 360 comes with xbox live silver. now if a xtra million people pluged a lan cable into the back thats all extra bandwidth . but there lies the problem with microsoft.
unless users who pay, host the servers off the connections at home then there would be no xbox live. microsoft dont have actual game servers its upto the users to host the game
( like when the host quits halo3 the next best connection speed is used), so what with the pay for downloads etc we power other that the live account the games servers so all microsoft do is collect the 40.00 a year off us for nothing really. there is more than enough downloads you pay for which microsoft makes enough money on already.
i have 4 live accounts and 4 360s over xmas, i couldnt even play single player as the problems with live couldnt confirm the downloaded content when the save game was trying to load. i had to resort to xbox connect for a bit of pirate lan play. which by the way mr gates is free and saved the halo series to begin with.
lucky ps3 owner get more players per room fall of man could do 40 players compared to halo3's 16 a free service compared to 40.00 and i dont even like sony lol i must need my head testing.

  • 69.
  • At 03:49 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Duncan wrote:

Having been a Live customer for well over a year now I can confirm that the service is normally brilliant, the so called 'outage' over christmas is the only time i've ever expereienced any problems...even after Halo 3's release where the servers were being hammered.

The 360 is easily the best console on the market today and it would be very interesting to see how well sony and nintendo would handle an online user base as big as Microsoft's

Firstly, I must also comment on the £1,000 remark. I am not exactly sure how you came to that figure but it does seem it isn't entirely correct.

Secondly, as mentioned ISP's do have a MAJOR affect on how your XBox communicates with MS Servers. Whether this is low or high end broadband make sure you stay within your download limits and you will avoid throttling. The key ISPs to watch this with are Virgin (aka. NTL) , Tiscali and Wannado.

Thirdly, the majority of users that experienced problems were those who were trying to create new accounts thus many existing users did not notice the problem, this will answer why many people did not notice the problem

Finally, I do agree the XBox online system has some great characteristics but like most, still has its flaws. For now MS have apologized and I think that being open and honest will keep the customer base.

Mike

  • 71.
  • At 04:07 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Allen wrote:

I think people are getting WAAYYY too uptight about it. Yeah, the LIVE service was shaky during christmastime. That's unfortunate for MS and those who decided to start thier accounts around then. I've had little to no problems since I got on LIVE a year ago. I wasn't aware that they are offering a free game - I'll take it, thanks!! Those that are whining about how they should be reimbursed for the downtime and credited are fools. Even if they gave you a free MS arcade dowload of your choice, you would be better off than a stupid refund. Here in the US, $50 USD gets me a 13 (12+1) month subscription to live. $50 over 395 days= about 13 cents a day. If your service was out for a whole week, it would be less than $1. Formerly working in a customer service related business, I see that people often over-inflate the importance of the services they pay for and feel they "deserve". Live had some issues for a few days. MS did thier best to "repay" you. Suck it up - deal with it, or throw a fit, say bye-bye to people on your friends list, and go spend big $$ on a system that might be MARGINALLY better, and play on a service that has no netwok issues, because fewer people are on it. Better yet, play on thier service and meet people and you can all whine about how much you hate MS. Life is real tough, isn't it?

  • 72.
  • At 04:08 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Simon Watts wrote:

This failure is affecting everyone on my Friends list.

I bet users in the US are unaffected!

Like the author said, This is not the first time it's happened. Apart from this, MS is also in trouble because of banning innocent and legit Xbox users. I my self was a victim of false banning just before christmas while playing an original Xbox game online. After surfing the net i found out that i was not the only one who was incorrectly banned so i complained to MS and my account was unbanned again just before christmas. I hope MS gets their act togather and sort the problems out otherwise paying customers like my self will have to think about our options

  • 74.
  • At 04:14 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • lid wrote:

It's funny how people are talking about how comprehensive the xbox live service is compared to the playstation network but isn't the overriding factor always going to be whether or not you can connect and stay connected to play games? There is more on offer on XBox Live but, seeing as you have to pay £40 a year, so there should be! So, either pay £40 for Xbox live and have connection problems or get the playstation network for free and don't have connection problems. Hmmmm.

I have to say I'm very disappointed with the Xbox 360. I was very cynical about the original Xbox when it was released simply because it was a Microsoft product but was proven totally wrong as it was a superb console and the best in it's class imo. Unfortunatley these fears seem to be coming true belatedly with the Xbox 360 as it's not just Live but the Red Ring Of Death we all dread. It's not acceptable for consoles to be plagued by the sort of errors only PC gamers would normally have to endure. Seems to me the 360 is a high end PC, which is great in one respect but then not so great when you consider how much more fragile it is than any other console I can think of since the early 90s.

Microsoft must get it's act together to keep up it's stiff competition against Sony (which is great for us gamers).

  • 75.
  • At 04:24 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Big Z wrote:


This is typical Microsoft, I've been on Live on nearly a year now and have had nothing but trouble but the last two weeks have been the worst. It was clear demand would be high over Christmas but it appears this concept escaped the huge intellect there at Microsoft and the resulting mess gives me the impression that both teh 360 a dn live are done on a half arsed basis with the attitude that a token jesture with patch up the ill feeling. I just hope a lot of people dump Live or the Xbox to show their ill feeling, which is a shame as Live is a great idea but seemingly held togther by spit and tissue paper.

  • 76.
  • At 04:25 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

Hmmm

For the last 2- 3 years I have been enjoying a satisfying online experience with the original xbox and my 360. Along with early adoptrs we have enjoyed hard drives, regular updates, xbox live arcade, leaderboards...film downloads...I could go on

All the complaints seem to be from new and recent owners of the 360 - thise that held onto the PS2 or got bored of the Wii and wanted something with more grunt.

GROW UP! It was just a glitch....if u had had the balls to invest earlier you might have had 36 months worth of a near flawless online service behind ya, and you would realise how petty ur 'MIcrosoft ruined xmas comments sound"

As for the guy who got a £1000 xbox- u were ripped off mate!!

  • 77.
  • At 04:27 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Colin R wrote:

It's always going to be hard to know what's gone wrong when ISPs ain't perfect, for people using wireless internet in their homes a wireless bridge would boost the signal and may provide you with all the bandwidth you need.
Personally though I'm glad that the microsoft machine with it's billions of dollars has failed it's own very loyal supporters. It is slowly crushing the competition by unfair practice (Bad conversion of the orange box, bought Bungie after they made games for apple back in 1995, Marathon anyone?). Anyhow the games market is one that I personally would not invest in... Games are getting duller, I remember the launch of FF7 and thinking, "christ, what will the games of tomorrow be?" Severely disapointed by nearly everything else since. The only games people buy are sequels of games they like, then the prequels. (setting a movie trend here....) The best games of this YR will prove this... EA has also monopolised most of the industry which is also why I think games are getting increasingly un-original and the platform wars start getting pointless. Games were made once for adults and kids in mind. These days this doesn't seem to happen as much. My advice to ANY LOYAL supporter of The big 3 games co. is don't trust them, they don't care about you and will keep bringing out baddly made games that are over-priced. Some games are just ported to/from other consoles. Whats worse is they converted from the old generation consoles to bring out more launch titles for you to buy...

They don't love you, you love them. Chip your consoles and play on "underground" servers and get cheap games for the price they designed them for on your console.

BTW anyone know is PS3 has the Online mode disabled when the console is chipped ????

  • 78.
  • At 04:43 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

How much of this slow down is Microsoft's fault and how much is it our ISP's?

Lots of people got new XBoxes for Christmas, lots more got computers. I noticed a big slowdown of my Internet connection over the Christmas period.

  • 79.
  • At 04:44 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Colin R wrote:

It's always going to be hard to know what's gone wrong when ISPs ain't perfect, for people using wireless internet in their homes a wireless bridge would boost the signal and may provide you with all the bandwidth you need.
Personally though I'm glad that the microsoft machine with it's billions of dollars has failed it's own very loyal supporters. It is slowly crushing the competition by unfair practice (Bad conversion of the orange box, bought Bungie after they made games for apple back in 1995, Marathon anyone?). Anyhow the games market is one that I personally would not invest in... Games are getting duller, I remember the launch of FF7 and thinking, "christ, what will the games of tomorrow be?" Severely disapointed by nearly everything else since. The only games people buy are sequels of games they like, then the prequels. (setting a movie trend here....) The best games of this YR will prove this... EA has also monopolised most of the industry which is also why I think games are getting increasingly un-original and the platform wars start getting pointless. Games were made once for adults and kids in mind. These days this doesn't seem to happen as much. My advice to ANY LOYAL supporter of The big 3 games co. is don't trust them, they don't care about you and will keep bringing out baddly made games that are over-priced. Some games are just ported to/from other consoles. Whats worse is they converted from the old generation consoles to brign out more launch titles for you to buy...

They don't love you, you love them. Chip your consoles and play on "underground" servers and get cheap games for the price they designed them for on your console.

BTW anyone know is PS3 has the Online mode disabled when the console is chipped ????

  • 80.
  • At 05:25 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • twiglet wrote:

Ha ha...why is anyone surprised a Microsoft product is unstable?

Pretty much everything Microsoft launches is either full of bugs, or doesnt run properly, why should xbox live be any different. Im sick of lining Bill Gates's pockets for products and services that dont deliver. Best bet Get a PS3, with bluray dvd player included, and if you cant play online cos the FREE service is down (shock horror ), you can watch a film or 2 until its fixed.

Ho hum

I must be one of the few people who had no problem playing with any of my friends over the festive period.
Half the time the problem is as has already been pointed out with the ISP.
Get yourselves a decent games focused ISP and half your problems will vanish.

Secondly, to those saying buy a PS3, what's the point, you can play online for free, that's fantastic, but what games? Hah that's right, the ones available on the xbox that all your mates have and you can't play with them... What a damn shame.

  • 82.
  • At 05:46 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • John wrote:

Mark Jaggard wrote:
big deal - so your xbox live was out for about 24 hours... i (and im sure you) could still play it offline...


You may not know but the other elephant in the room at MS HQ is the massive issues users face with their DRM. If you have had a replacement console (a huge percentage of the userbase) then you are locked out of ALL of your downloaded content if Live or your internet is down. You can't play any of your downloaded games, extensions, etc. that you have paid for.

  • 83.
  • At 05:49 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Barman0210 wrote:

I've had an X-Box for just over a year and apart from the problems at christmas I haven't had any other problems. Addmittingly I had the dreaded ring of death but I was within the year and store gladly exchanged it for a brand new one. I recently upgraded to the x-box elite and couldn't be happier with it. The download service for movies has been great, bought/rented 300 for the special price and was with me in a couple of hours and the quality was brilliant. I've my broadband through Virgin and got it on fibre optics not through the phone which can be the reason for the problem, with the telephone exchange working so hard. If people went with the fibre optic version alot of them might get better service.

  • 84.
  • At 05:53 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Devon Montoya wrote:

"...there will come a point when saying sorry just isn't enough for some subscribers..."

Um, how about there should come a point when people accept that not everything in the world is designed to cater to their every fecking whim and instant gratification is not a birhtright of the human species? Does the term "record-breaking growth" mean ANYTHING to people? In the race to provide cheap computers and internet access to everyone from 3-year olds to granny Gum, people have simply failed to understand that there cannot be instantaneous, infinite growth on a finite scale.

Sure, companies should endeavour to forecast for growth and prepare and have contingencies for outages. It is still an niche entertainment service, however, and not Hurricaine Katrina in New Orleans or the Indian Ocean Tsunami. When emergencies hit and you're not prepared, something has to give.

I'm sorry and a free game is more than enough in this case. Jeez. So what if they ruined xmas. IT'S A GAME!

  • 85.
  • At 05:58 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

The Playstation Network is a joke. On PSN downloads take forever (using a 20mb connection) and I am constantly being logged out. Most of the paid-for games have no demos, which can be a pain if you pony up the cash to pay for it and discover its rubbish (Calling All Cars i'm looking at you!!!)
On the other hand i've been using Live for nearly 5 years and have had almost no problems. Last week was the first time where it was a little jittery for about 20 mins - but all my games still worked.
And now for all my intense heartache I get a free game - can't really complain about that!
Microsoft does need to sort out some of its quality control issues, but the 360 remains a far superior games machine than the PS3.

"...there will come a point when saying sorry just isn't enough for some subscribers..."

Um, how about there should come a point when people accept that not everything in the world is designed to cater to their every fecking whim and instant gratification is not a birthright of the human species? Does the term "record-breaking growth" mean ANYTHING to people? In the race to provide cheap computers and internet access to everyone from 3-year olds to granny Gum, people have simply failed to understand that there cannot be instantaneous, infinite growth on a finite scale.

Sure, companies should endeavour to forecast for growth and prepare and have contingencies for outages. It is still an niche entertainment service, however, and not Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the Indian Ocean Tsunami. When emergencies hit and you're not prepared, something has to give.

I'm sorry and a free game is more than enough in this case. Jeez. So what if they ruined xmas. IT'S A GAME!

DOUBLE-POST: While trying to post this, I received a 502 error, (see my URL). Where's my free something or other! I'm SO irate. ;)

  • 87.
  • At 06:24 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Judge wrote:

It makes ma laugh when I read about people complaining that games are £40. People should remember that when the original playstation came out in the early 90's the games were £50 and only came down to around £40 after the console had sold a few million units. Bear in mind that games now are still only 40 pounds new, beats inflation for me so stop moaning. As for MS, I have had the original xbox from launch and a 360 from launch and only had one issue which was sorted by MS very efficiently and politely.

And regarding Sony, they now have one of the WORST customer service records of ANY electrical supplier in the world, fact. Just check out any retail supplier with regard to sony warranty repair. Sony try every trick in the book to not replace or repair a faulty item. Must agree that the PS3 is a great system though, shame the price and the online service is crap.

  • 88.
  • At 06:27 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

since the december update of the xbox live service my xbox has been virtually unusable this is also happening to everybody on my friends list everyone is getting very frustrated with the service and thinking of switching to the ps3 its not our internet connections as they were suggesting also they should have the capacity to run all 20million units sold not just the 8million current subscribers,

ps they do ban people for no reason as i know others that have had it happen to them take it back to shop for a refund under the sale of goods act 1979 you are protected under UK law not what microsoft say

  • 89.
  • At 06:37 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • ai wrote:

I consider myself very lucky to have an XBox 360 (never had an original XBox); a 60GB PS3 and just this Xmas, a Wii.

It was my partner's choice to get a Wii for Xmas and I'm glad she did. While the graphics are certainly not "next gen" by a long-shot, seeing 4 people playing Mario/Sonic Olympics is a joy to behold in itself.

I have to admit though that although XBox live is undoubtedly much better than PS3's current online offering this is due to change soon.

Since getting the PS3 my XBox has hardly been turned on. The PS3 has not even begun to be exploited yet and I expect the differential between the PS3 and XBox 360 to simply get more and more over the coming months.

The PS3 is seriously more powerful and once games start using its performance rather than just porting over Direct-X developed games - I fully expect the Playstation 3 with its brilliant Blue-Ray to completely wipe the floor with the XBox 360 (sorry XBox fan-boys/girls). Being able to watch films at 1080p is a joy to behold.

  • 90.
  • At 06:53 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

I am my friends all experienced connectivity problems during the days after Christmas. It was very frustrating. But, come on....it's not the first time or the last time a service being provided to the public runs into some technical difficulties.

XBL encountered huge #s of new users and it over-maxed the system. What can you do? These things happen.

It's still, by far, the best online gaming service....bar none. No one else is even in the same league.

Frustrating, yes. Wish it didn't happen, yes. But, LOVE my XBL.

  • 91.
  • At 07:29 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • J wrote:

I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the evils of paying for a year subscription and how completely unacceptable a few nights or a week of finicky Live play is. I’ve had an Xbox for a year now and love it. I don’t know what the rest of you pay for with your Gold membership. But I pay for game moderators, extensive matchmaking services, voice and video chat, downloadable movie rental, TV shows, etc… I experienced my share of problems with Live over the holidays and I got over it because you get a lot of great services for an extremely cheep price.

All of which are completely justified by the cost of the Live membership. I think everyone should put your other personal costs into perspective before you start complaining about how much a week of lost Xbox Live time cost towards the membership. Microsoft could have just said “Oh we’re sorry, thanks for still playing.” Instead they are giving 17+ million people a free game, how much money should they lose before you (The faultless) feel better about the week of buggy gaming.

It is unfortunate that people have had problems with accounts being banned. I too would be upset, but the fact remains that it is a feature to protect the legitimate gamers who don’t cheat the system. Your account can be banned for many, many reasons which are in place to make the Xbox Live subscription experience fair and enjoyable to everyone in the Live community. I would prefer the system accidently flag and ban legitimate players, including myself, over allowing one lowlife cheater into games and ruin it for other players. Ask any friend who plays an online PC game how fun it is to run three extra applications to try and stop/limit or to play against cheaters during game play.

To be fair against all platforms, PC’s, Xbox’s and PS3’s, until the happy day comes that we all get broadband internet for free, we ALL pay to play games online.

People seem to spend a lot of time ripping on Xbox because it was made by Microsoft, get over it. The Xbox is a solid game platform which is operated by a division of a much larger company. If the Xbox was as crappy as I’ve read in some of these posts, why is Playstation competing so fiercely against it. Why have previously Playstation only titles migrated too and are now only available on the Xbox.

  • 92.
  • At 08:19 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Mike Reynaud wrote:

I’m fortunate in that I own all three current generation consoles and can appreciate each system for its own merits. I love the Wii for its pure soul and innovation; the 360 for the volume of great games and its controller which seems perfectly weighted and sculpted to fit my hands; the PS3 for its huge potential and its purpose as a media hub and Blu-ray player. The only downside with owning all three machines is choosing which console to purchase multi-platform games on. After the many reviews that I read about The Orange Box weren’t able to identify any real graphical difference between the 360 and PS3 versions, I bought it for the 360, mainly due to being able to acquire achievements. However, since then, Microsoft has made the decision easy about which platform to buy multi-format games for as they have decided to hold two of my credit cards hostage on Xbox Live.

About six weeks ago I realized that after purchasing one month’s worth of Xbox Live with my credit card, I was being billed every month for the service. It wasn’t the end of the world, and although it was pretty sneaky of Microsoft, I assumed that locking me into renewing my gold membership was probably mentioned in some terms and conditions somewhere. I would probably not have even noticed if it were not for the fact that I’d stopped using the bank account for the cards which Microsoft had on file for me. I didn’t want to be hit by a large banking fee for going overdrawn by a couple of quid with an Xbox Live bill, so I took a moment to delete the two cards I had registered with Live from the system. However, after about 30 minutes of navigating the various blades and sub-menus, it gradually became obvious that I was unable to delete the cards from the system myself.

Incredulous, I called Xbox Live, and only after over 45 minutes of being passed around from operator to operator and being put on hold did I get to speak to a supervisor – apparently the only people actually authorized to remove credit cards from the system. This isn’t done instantaneously though, as I was told that it would take 30 days for my cards to be removed. By this point I was so irritated by Xbox that I’d decided to buy all future multi-format games for the PS3, even if this meant foregoing Achievements from this moment on.

This isn’t where the story ends though, as two weeks later I had a message left on my phone to call Xbox back and to confirm that I really did want to cancel my cards off the system. I called them back, and over the course of another half hour, felt fairly confident that I had again communicated my wishes to the best of my ability.

Now that I don’t let a credit card anywhere near my Xbox, I purchase scratch cards if I want to add points to my account. While adding some points on Christmas Eve, I thought I’d check that my credit cards had now been removed. It didn’t come as a major shock to find my cards still there, and so began another half-hour phone-in round of being transferred from operator to operator, repeating the same information over and over, until I was again told that my cards would be removed from the system in another 30 days.

I know that Microsoft has only relatively recently started to make any profit from Xbox, but must it really stoop to such low tactics to milk its most loyal fans of their money? My advice to everyone is to keep your cards away from your Xbox as Microsoft doesn’t have the courtesy or the responsibility to treat you with respect. Rather than futilely smashing up my Xbox as I was tempted to do, I decided to make my displeasure known through my actions. So far this has only translated into me buying Guitar Hero 3 and Assassin’s Creed for the PS3 as opposed to the 360. Sure, I don’t expect to make a huge dent in Microsoft’s year-end figures single-handedly, but Microsoft needs to be sent a message that its extortion tactics are wrong. Fortunately there are two other great consoles out there, so I’m going to be avoiding my Xbox as much as possible from now on. Admittedly, at some point in the near future I’ll be using it to play Mass Effect, but call of Duty 4 and Rock Band are definitely going to be PS3-bound for this consumer sometime in 2008.

  • 93.
  • At 08:47 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • azad wrote:

my xbox system broke down 4 times. However Ive always been able to get a replacement either at the store or from MS quickly. Living in Canada I did not encounter many problems with their live network.

MS does its best to compensate and give free one month passes to people like me when their systems get the red rings of death.

The big question is....how can they sell something this faulty. My older game systems like sega, atari and the first xbox never had these problems ever.

MS shame on you.

  • 94.
  • At 09:07 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Stuart wrote:

To Tim Post 7

Sorry Tim, no system is flawless. If you know and believe this to be true, then you either are from MS or supplied said system to them. I challenge you to justify your claim therefore.

  • 95.
  • At 09:42 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • lsn wrote:

to everyone slagging off the PSNetwork. it does everything live does, you can chat to friend, play games online, download movies, games, demos etc. the only problem i have ever had with it was to do with my ISP not the network itsel. the network is always updated when a new system version is available and it is £40 cheaper than live, making it FREE!

  • 96.
  • At 09:58 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • LukeW wrote:

The reson we pay for Live and it being better than PSN is because we can download new content, rent movies and much more. Its a shame it was so patchy over christmas so having a free game worth a fiver aint bad at all

  • 97.
  • At 10:08 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Smith wrote:

I have had an xbox360 for almost 6mnths now which I bought 2nd hand, I have to say that I have been very pleased so far with everything. People are complaining at paying £40-£50 per game, if they shopped around they would get a better deal, I got halo3 on release for £30 and COD4 for £25. Xbox Live has been playing up a little recently due to the extra strain on the system but Im sure they will sort things out quickly enough. Some people are moaning on here about people playing games on consoles and not getting out, theres plenty of drug users and criminals out there, at least when they are on XBOX live its keeping them busy :)

  • 98.
  • At 10:15 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Richard Smith wrote:

I have had an xbox360 for almost 6mnths now which I bought 2nd hand, I have to say that I have been very pleased so far with everything. People are complaining at paying £40-£50 per game, if they shopped around they would get a better deal, I got halo3 on release for £30 and COD4 for £25. Xbox Live has been playing up a little recently due to the extra strain on the system but Im sure they will sort things out quickly enough. Some people are moaning on here about people playing games on consoles and not getting out, theres plenty of drug users and criminals out there, at least when they are on XBOX live its keeping them busy :)

  • 99.
  • At 10:18 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • eli wrote:

I have a Wii, an Xbox360, and a PS3 (just got the PS3 days ago, so i am still fiddleing with its features)

a. the wii is only good for games made by nintendo (why no one else can make good games for it, I have no idea)
b. PS3 doesn't have enough games, but that will change with time, and the graphics are undeniably better... just play CoD4 on both systems and the difference is obvious
c. microsoft sucks, with all of thier products, XP, Vista, MS Office 07, xbox360, and now XBL. every single product has had MAJOR problems after its release. Why? because they don't fully test thier products before release. they take the approach of "lets get it CLOSE to working properly, and then let the public find the rest of the bugs and we'll send out updates to correct it when we get arround to it"
and thier customer service is terrible, i got the ring of death, it took them 3 weeks to send me an empty box, then 5 weeks to "fix" it and send it back to me. but they didn't fix it, they gave me a new one, so why did it take 5 weeks just to ship a new one from stock? and just TRY getting support for windows... haha... good luck with that.

the only reason the xbox360 is better is because it has more games

"...there will come a point when saying sorry just isn't enough for some subscribers..."

Um, how about there should come a point when people accept that not everything in the world is designed to cater to their every fecking whim and instant gratification is not a birthright of the human species? Does the term "record-breaking growth" mean ANYTHING to people? In the race to provide cheap computers and internet access to everyone from 3-year olds to granny Gum, people have simply failed to understand that there cannot be instantaneous, infinite growth on a finite scale.

Sure, companies should endeavour to forecast for growth and prepare and have contingencies for outages. It is still an niche entertainment service, however, and not Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the Indian Ocean Tsunami. When emergencies hit and you're not prepared, something has to give.

I'm sorry and a free game is more than enough in this case. Jeez. So what if they ruined xmas. IT'S A GAME!

DOUBLE-POST: While trying to post this, I received a 502 error, (see my URL). Where's my free something or other! I'm SO irate. ;)

  • 101.
  • At 10:37 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • rob k wrote:

I got XBOX Live for 12 months as a present at Xmas. I decided to use it last night and activate it. Three hours later and I got the Red Ring of Death. Now I have to go through the whole rigmorole of getting a box in the post to send it away and then waiting at least a month for the xbox to be sent back. The only saving grace is that it is free even though my warranty said it stopped on jan 07.
Small wonder why people are going to Wii.

  • 102.
  • At 10:58 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Patrick wrote:

"just a response to the comment about sony's "limited" online service.
1. it works all the time"

funny you should say that,my brother got a PS3 for christmas so i set up his network conection so he could play online it worked perfectly other than when he had is WLAN connection activated no one else could use our internet conection,that never happened with my 360

  • 103.
  • At 11:30 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • G wrote:

Perhaps if Microsoft threw some of the money they lobbed at third party developers (eg 50million to Rockstar for exclusive GTA4 content), used the XBox live subscriptions to ensure that there was enough servers to cope with demand, this problem wouldn't have come about.
And I missing something, what does this have to do with ISP's - Microsoft have admitted there were problems over this period.

@87. If your PS3 breaks down during the warrenty period they will get a replacement machine out to you within a couple of working days - a courier arrives and you swap it over.

@91. Playstation titles are released on the Xbox because of the cost of development of XBox and PS3 games, there will be less third party console exclusives in future.

And as for the PSN over christmas, there were plenty of new ps3s registered online and plenty of fresh meat in game lobbies. Strangely, the PSN coped admirably.... and for FREE!

  • 104.
  • At 11:55 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Jeff Kirk wrote:

I have been a loyal customer of Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360, in my opinion there is no gamming system better, Xbox live is totally taken for granted! I have a stable connection and have rarely had any problems with it since the launch of the 360, however I did experience problems during the Christmas period, but to be honest who cares, there have been so many people joining the service and Microsoft has underestimated this. When Xbox live was down, I played single player! Stop Complaining!!

  • 105.
  • At 11:55 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Jeff Kirk wrote:

I have been a loyal customer of Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360, in my opinion there is no gamming system better, Xbox live is totally taken for granted! I have a stable connection and have rarely had any problems with it since the launch of the 360, however I did experience problems during the Christmas period, but to be honest who cares, there have been so many people joining the service and Microsoft has underestimated this. When Xbox live was down, I played single player! Stop Complaining!

  • 106.
  • At 12:07 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • sathesh wrote:

A lot of you may have mistaken a problem with your internet provider, with a problem with xbox live, this was a recurring problem for me, NTL kept screwing up a lot, time to change my provider I reckon. And whoa, a free game thats fantastic !

And can the rest of you all comparing the three major consoles give it a rest. They all have their strong and weakpoints. The only standout exclusive game for the PS3 is uncharted so can the rest of you give it a rest about how superior the PS3 is ! We all know its a more powerful console....but so what ! Theres no Bioshock :P Next year will be the year of the PS3 hopefully. Also all of you true gamers out there.....PLAY MARIO GALAXY ! It rules ! There some free advertising for Nintendo LOL. My gamertag is ROLL41 if anyone wants to play Halo 3 !

  • 107.
  • At 12:12 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Jay wrote:

".....[xBox Live is] the key distinguishing feature between its console and Sony's PlayStation 3."

Eh? Squeeze me? Sony's PlayStation 3 has the same thing with the Playstation Network (PSN)!! It may not be as big - yet - but it's almost identical in services!

PS @85. No-one I know has had the problems with PSN that you state. Must be a local problem, not Sony's.....

PPS Add the RRoD and Warner going Blu (yey!) and the XBOX 360 looks increasingly like a dud. Roll on PS3 and BD.

  • 108.
  • At 12:29 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • luke tuite wrote:

To the people saying that the PS3 has better graphics, frankly you are either a) liers or b) guessing.. The 360 and PS3 have the same level of graphics, in fact I've yet to see a PS3 only game that looks better than Gears of War..

The 360 is in my opinion a fantastic console and is the better by far when compared to the PS3...

So what if XBL has been down for a week or so, I've had my account since March and I've never had any problem of this sort, in fact I didn't even know of the problem until now as I have been playing on Mass Effect and Bioshock, they have taken me over 2 weeks to complete. Awesome games that as usual, aren't available on the PS3..

Even GTAIV is coming out on the Xbox, and with the release of GoW2 later this year, what possible reason could you have for purchasing a PS3 over a 360?

  • 109.
  • At 01:35 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Jude Kirkham wrote:

Yikes. I was thinking of investing in a 360, basically just for Mass Effect, but this sounds REALLY brutal. I've had a playstation 2 since basically day one and it never crashed, not even once. Looks like there's still life in the old girl yet...

  • 110.
  • At 10:29 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Matthew Maddock wrote:

How sad that I read that Christmas of the son of one of the posters on here has been "ruined" by the Xbox Live service banning his Xbox. For goodness sake, get a grip on life. If being able to play your Xbox defines a good Christmas then things in the UK are worse than I thought.

  • 111.
  • At 10:47 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Steve Cotton wrote:

There were many problems regarding connetions to the XBox live service over the christmas period, & Microsoft have blamed this on the number of new users loging in to the service? well hang on this company is the largest software company in the world supplying operating systems for PC's & servers, with this in mind and given their expertise in this area you would think that they would have the capacity & scalabilty to cope with their own systems? This is simply down to poor planning and lack of capacity at a critical time, (they know their own sale sales figures).I'm not against MS in any way I happen to belive xbox live to be the best online gaming service there is, when its working properly.

  • 112.
  • At 11:02 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Did anybody sign up for broadband early in its life? I got ADSL from BT within months of it becoming available and the service was shocking for a year. I later changed to Virgin and whilst that's been fairly reliable it does have its outages and recently certain they had big problems with under-capacity in some areas of the country. For me, XBOX Live was unplayable for 2 months and it was Virgin's fault.

I think Microsoft has done an incredible job with Live. Let's face it, this is the sort of thing that isn't worth reporting, but with so many hacks sat around looking to fill so much real and virtual paper, well it's going to happen. If you want to report on something useful then turn up the pressure on broadband providers to report to their users how "broad" their band has actually been month on month.

Where Microsoft hasn't performed is actually the RROD problems. I believe the figure is close to 100% for failures of first year systems. They have made it easy to get the things fixed though.


  • 113.
  • At 11:54 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

To put it simply, the Xbox360 is an awful machine...something that can go wrong on so many occasions and you have to pay a subscription for is laughable. It's Microsoft, any hardware that they bring out goes wrong lol. i heard 33% of users suffer the RROD failure but after reading these comments it sounds like more!!! lol not to mention all of the other failures the machine suffers.
okay the Playstaion Network doesnt have as much content on but i sure enjoyed playing COD over christmas with no problems or glitches for free :) the PS3 is a far better machine Blu ray far outshines DVD.
Just watch out for 2008. the year everyone realises that the Xbox360 is a horrible machine.
oh and all those people blaming there ISP's for the fault...I dont see any PS3 users complaining :)
lol Sony are far more experienced when it comes to gaming. just look at MIcrosoft they cant even make an operating system without making flawed mistakes!!! lol

  • 114.
  • At 01:12 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • James Wren wrote:

Live has been shakey for two weeks, big deal! I have been using live for four years now and have had some truely great times and made some good friends using the service. Remember back in Novemember 2005 when the system launched. Global release within 2 weeks of each territory, next gen gaming and cheaper than the projected price of the PS3 which apparently "Europe didn't mind waiting longer than America for"!!!. To those new users who bought 360s for Xmas and have had a bad time with live dont lose faith. If your trying to play on live and its lumpy dont give up. You can find lobbies that are running smooth. Just be a little patient. When its back on its feet you will be able to play with nearly 18 million people worldwide.

  • 115.
  • At 01:27 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Lennie wrote:

Get a PS3, it's much, much better.

Don't listen Xbox fanboys and BBC commentators who are told to give Microsoft favourable reviews because Microsoft back their servers, apps etc.

The PSN isn't 'limited' – in fact it has far more potential than Xbox Live. Forgetting the fact it's free so over the years your Xbox will rack up unwanted costs, think about 'Home' when it appears this year, for FREE, again.

Everyone who invests in a Xbox now will regret it. My friend's just sent his back because it, like 50% of them, broke. I think 1% of PS3's break down.

And don't get a Wii. It's for kids and party games. Ok I suppose if you have a party every night, but if you want to play games then don't bother. And anyone who says graphics don't matter, owns a Wii so don't listen to them.

The PS3 also has built-in Wi-Fi, Blu-Ray hi-def player and you won't have to keep replacing the controller batteries like the Xbox owners out there.

Also, finally, to anyone who says there isn't enough games on the PS3, well there are loads – more than Xbox had out in its first year. How many games can you buy and play at once? This year will see many exclusives like Metal Gear Solid, Unreal Tournament plus loads of other games. Ind for the idiot ho says nothing on the PS3 graphically compares to GoW then you obviously haven't seen Unchartered and even Call of Duty 4 had better graphics.

Listen to Microsofts failings in everything they do. Vista was a disaster, their Xbox wasn't any better and now they're having problems with Xbox Live. Wake up and get a PS3 – you won't regret it.

  • 116.
  • At 01:40 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • James Wren wrote:

Live has been shakey for two weeks, big deal! I have been using live for four years now and have had some truely great times and made some good friends using the service. Remember back in Novemember 2005 when the system launched. Global release within 2 weeks of each territory, next gen gaming and cheaper than the projected price of the PS3 which apparently "Europe didn't mind waiting longer than America for"!!!. To those new users who bought 360s for Xmas and have had a bad time with live dont lose faith. If your trying to play on live and its lumpy dont give up. You can find lobbies that are running smooth. Just be a little patient. When its back on its feet you will be able to play with nearly 18 million people worldwide.

  • 117.
  • At 02:02 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Danny wrote:

So what do you do when live isn't working? Two Words: Mass-Effect.

As an Xbox live user and gaming clan member for 3 years now i would just like to say that we are fed up with this attitude from Microsoft, the service is still faulty incidentally as of posting this.

The sheer gall to state that it's 'never been totally down' is just an indication of their attitude to situations like this. It may not have been totally down but whats the point in running a servive which barely works and has been in turmoil for the best part of a month?

Try playing an online game of COD4 for example, if you are really lucky you may get in to 1 or 2 games from 20 or so tries...very frustrating.

Again offering an Arcade Title as some sort of recompense is a joke, i personally would like the past months subscription back please in the form of an additonal month to my current subscription.

The fact all this happened after their recent software update for the Video marketplace is more than co-incedental, if they just came right out and said "Look we made a mess of this and we are sorry" would make all the difference!

  • 119.
  • At 05:10 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Daz wrote:

I purchased a Xbox 360 after recommendation from all my friends who have one and play online. Over the xmas period we have all been trying to get on COD4, but what a nightmare. From around 6pm until 12.30am it is almost impossible. I was so disappointed because i had spent so much money.

I too thought it was my Internet connection but chat always works so i know its not. All of my friends use different ISPs and they all had the problem.

Its now Saturday afternoon and for the last 30 minutes i can't still get in to a COD4 game. I can't help thinking that Ive wasted my money..........!

  • 120.
  • At 06:40 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Chris P wrote:

In reference to Jude Kirkham "Yikes".. and in the defence of the 360 as a whole.

There seems to be a lot of flak thrown in the 360 and XBL's direction and some of it I'm sure is deserved in individual cases... we all have our own experiences with any product. This is mine.

Having been an avid PC gamer since before CD's existed for home users my transition to an avid 360 user was surprising and pleasantly so. Over the last year plus I've had the pleasure of being able to sit down turn the beast on, watch a film, play a game, play an online game, drop messages in to my mates, review my nub pwning on Halo3 from multiple angles, pay a few quid for some Oblivion mods that are stable and require no effort to install, laugh when I see my friends playing silly games despite their insistence it was their other half... etc etc. Happy days. This Xmas the downtime on XBL sucked, but what the hell... single player games ftw, I got me a ship called Normandy and a galaxy to save. Then, after all that time, my last day before going back to work I get the Red Ring of Death. I phone my local "GAME"s shop and within 30 minutes I have a new 360 and extended warranty (no exaggeration on time there).

I prefer the games on the 360 to the PS3 overall, I've seen no real difference in graphics between the two and if I wanted better I'd get me a quad core pc and some cooling on the go. A few minor dramas with the servers recently aside gaming online is hassle free, user friendly etc etc I could go on for longer. To Jude who is considering getting a 360, don't be dissuaded!

I can understand the frustration, especially for new users with these latest problems, but they are rather minimal in the scheme of things. The maths on your loss of coin because of your Gold subscription is lets face it inconsequential. Try playing and paying for an MMO on your PC and go through the heartache of update day always landing on your day off when you have the house to yourself, especially when the updates are usually nerfs to your character and you're paying a hell of a lot more for it. My point is some of the above rants are way out of context. Things break, MS are getting bad publicity and have lost a few standing points with their customers. It happens, but it's not that big a problem.

As for the person who's son's Christmas was ruined I think you should take a look and the news home page and read some of the stories and tell me if your son really is that hard done by because of it.

On a final note £40 a game is good value for money considering inflation etc, and £40 a year for XBL is not bad too in my book.. On a side note you'll be pleased to know that the Gates Foundation has committed more than U.S. $100 million so far to malaria research but I guess those of you who's lives were ruined by downtime have bigger worries don't you? At least father Gates is there for the rest of us in the real world haha.

  • 121.
  • At 07:07 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • simon evans wrote:

Simple...

By a Sony PS3 it's brilliant and leaving Microsoft behind now.

Microsoft has peaked to early and have little left to offer.

  • 122.
  • At 07:35 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • Beazil wrote:

Well i've had an Xbox 360 for over a year now but only been on Xbox Live for around 8 months. So ok you payed 40 quid for 12 months big deal your paying 20 quid a month for a crappy ISP service and i bet u dont bash them as much as Microsoft.

They put there hands up and said they didnt expect as many new people joining xbox live which is right enough as the xbox 360 has been out a long time now. Give it 2 weeks tops and it will be service as normal.

I myself got these so called problems "You need an active internet connection blah blah blah" i did find the message very funny because if you pulled your network cable out you cant get into the multiplay party lobby where it was giving you the message.

I know people are saying you can still play offline but the best thing about the xbox is being able to play with or against your friends. I personaly dont play any of the games offline much nor do i play online myself, i normaly get a few hours every night with my friends on COD4 which is the game of the moment. We dont play Halo 3 now because of how pissed off we were getting at the so called "beat down system"

  • 123.
  • At 11:07 PM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • John wrote:

I've been playing on Xbox Live since i can remember. (Year after it was released. Never had any issues with the service and never had any trouble connecting to the network.
I have an Xbox 360 now and i've had enough. Everytime is disconnects, won't allow me to talk to my friends over the private chat and i've just had to completely switch off my Xbox because the game wouldn't start/ match me with any players.
I'm confused... Am i playing on an Xbox or am i using a shoebox?
Very bad service.

  • 124.
  • At 12:13 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

It makes me smile that so many of you are prepared to defend Microsoft's appalling treatment of its customers. I've just spent several hours trying to connect my son's Xbox 360 to Xbox Live using the official (overpriced) adapter. Yes I followed all the instructions and went through several of the useless troubleshooting procedures only to discover that Microsoft have been letting people down for several weeks now. Everything connects in the way that I would expect, except the Xbox Live service. If anyone thinks that this level of service is acceptable, then I can tell you unequivocally that you're wrong. Microsoft sells products based on claims that they cannot fulfill. They charge customers a lot of money to obtain a level of satisfaction that most organisations would regard as minimal. Worst of all, they're hopeless at providing pertinent information when things go wrong, which of course, they frequently do. So that's the end of my rant. At least I now know that it's not worth my while spending hours 'phoning their so-called support line tomorrow. Finally, I recommend www.xboxlivetheguide.co.uk. It's everything that the official Xbox site isn't.

  • 125.
  • At 02:38 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • busboy33 wrote:

Since many, many of these posts aren't making any sense, I'll add in my 2 cence (from the States).

Been with Live since it's inception. Aside from the horrendous problems (especially with CoD4) since 12/25, I think Live has been down a total of 16 hours in 5 years -- usually for a major network upgrade, and then for a few hours.

Live does not crash all the time. Never has. This recent situation is totally unprecedented with the service.

I'm certainly not defending the problem. It does get exponentially worse approx. 7PM E.S.T. here in the States, and it's been unacceptable. No question.

To attempt to turn that into a major failing with the service is nonsense . . . or more Sony fanboy whining.

@#2:
If you paid 1,000 pounds for the console either you are completely ignorant of the market price for the machine, or you deliberately bought a modified console. A top-line 360 Elite retails for 300 pounds at Game.co.uk. Games average 40-50 pounds new. If you bought the most expensive version of the console, an extra 200 pounds worth of accessories (difficult to imagine), AND 10 brand new games, you MIGHT reach 1000 pounds. Perhaps you did all that . . . but your story sounds unvelievable.

@#3
Yup. PSN is free. How are you enjoying playing GT5P with no voice chat? No way to connect with your friends in different games? Half the content updates Live gets, and often weeks later? How many people using PSN? Has the service even reached 1 million users yet? Still, you ARE saving almost 4 pounds a month -- goodie for you.

@#14:
When you get a replacement or fixed 360 back, MS gives you a free month of live to compensate for not being able to use it. MS wasn't forced to extend the warranty -- they did it for the good PR. Cost them a billion dollars. Now, if only they would do something "customer-centric" . . .

#20:
I don't soubt the movie downloads are slow in Europe (btw, all you PSN fans -- how are your movie downloads? Oh, that's right . . .you don't have any). Whenthe system was started here it was slow. For about 2 weeks. Now takes an hour for a HD movie.
Also, the console was launched 11/05. The 3 year warranty extension opens that to 11/08, assuming you bought your system on day one. How is your warranty about to expire?

@#21:
No, it's not like buying a car and having to pay for the wipers to work. The 360 works fine offline. That's like buying a car and then having to pay for gas to make it drive around. Oh, you do? Ooops.

@#29:
Of course the graphics aren't better on the Sony console. The sad thing is, that's clearly obvious in any number of side-by-side comparisons (Eurogamer.net has been running 360-ps3 comparisons for the last few months. Over 50 games compared. Number of better loking PS3 games? Zero).

@#43:
You are clearly trolling and a liar. You have not heard that Live crashed all the time . . . because it never has.

. . . and so forth. The recent problems are indeed unacceptable (they seem to be centered around CoD4 for the most part), and MS is fixing them. I'm as displeased as anybody (being in the States it is worst during my peak gaming hours), but the nonsense being spouted above is shameful.

To the Sony trolls -- go the the gaming forums to fire off this MS-hate-filled tripe. Stay off legit sites like BBC.

Interesting . . . I had problems with posting this. Guessing by the double-posts above, I'm not the only one. BBC, how DARE you? I guess it's true that everything about the BBC is horrible, and I should go to a rival news provider since you obviously don't care about us end-level consumers. What utter nonsense.

  • 126.
  • At 09:15 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Simon Rogers wrote:

I have both a PS3 and an Xbox 360.

I've been on Xbox live pretty much since the service started - and the TOTAL down time since then (about 5 years) is less than a day.

Yes the service was a *little* bit slow for two nights over Christmas - but I could hardly complain given five years of almost uninterrupted quality service.

I too have suffered with the 'ring of doom' on my xbox which has gone back twice and has now been entirely replaced. I was given a free game and free controller as an apology.

Great customer service IMHO.

As far as the PS3 is concerned. The PS3 network is a joke in comparison to xbox live - the games are pretty much what you find on the 360. In fact the only reason it ever gets turned on is to play blue ray movies!

I know which console i'd choose if i had to choose one!

  • 127.
  • At 10:59 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Ted Mitchell wrote:

Hi, just woke up. Small comment. Does nobody bother more about how much involvement/enjoymeny/etc. the games actually give ? Rather than "my console moves more pixels than yours, let's piss up a wall and see who gets the highest" type comments.

  • 128.
  • At 01:19 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Tim wrote:

my Xbox is back in for repair again due to "the red ring of death". how many times are they prepared to request I endure this inconvenience? I want my money back.

  • 129.
  • At 01:25 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Tony w wrote:

microsoft did not give the game away because of the problems thay are going to give it away because of record sales. lets get this right plz . i have asked for a refund off them because i just cant get on xbox live whitch cost me forty pounds. i bought a sratch card from game station.thay will not refund on scratch cards .i think this is very unfare .sunday 6 jan and its still not working .but if you ask them thay say evything is up and running.what a lie

  • 130.
  • At 01:54 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • All guns blazing wrote:

I'm generally more than happy with my Xbox 360.

The only times I really have any problems seems to be when there is an Xbox Live update when there seems to be problems for a few days. And have to admit things haven't been right since the last update which happened early December.

A good percentage of my problems are definitely down to my ISP (Virgin) who will be history when I move home later this spring.

Overall I've had a good year on Live and had some great games on Rainbox Six Vegas and can't wait for Vegas 2 due out in March.

  • 131.
  • At 04:19 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Frank wrote:

While I do think this situation with Live doesn't help MS's image, for me personally the 360 still has the best line up of games. The Wii is (slowly) getting some AAA exclusive titles and I'll probably get one soon but the PS3 hasn't wow'ed me in anyway. And I was once a hardcore PS2 player...

However what I find odd is some people who comment on others and will think lesser of them because they have a certain console, for example Wii fans will brag about certain features and appeal and bash other when in fact they most liely haven't had much if not any experience with the others. And the same applies to 360 and PS3 fans but due to different reasons. How does someone else playing affect you?

Besides, because of this giant backlash against MS, they do seem to be really concerned for possible new players so I doubt this is going to be an continuing issue.

  • 132.
  • At 04:28 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Frank wrote:

While I do think this situation with Live doesn't help MS's image, for me personally the 360 still has the best line up of games. The Wii is (slowly) getting some AAA exclusive titles and I'll probably get one soon but the PS3 hasn't wow'ed me in anyway. And I was once a hardcore PS2 player...

However what I find odd is some people who comment on others and will think lesser of them because they have a certain console, for example Wii fans will brag about certain features and appeal and bash other when in fact they most liely haven't had much if not any experience with the others. And the same applies to 360 and PS3 fans but due to different reasons. How does someone else playing affect you?

Besides, because of this giant backlash against MS, they do seem to be really concerned for possible new players so I doubt this is going to be an continuing issue.

  • 133.
  • At 05:20 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

In response to post #125

"@#14:
When you get a replacement or fixed 360 back, MS gives you a free month of live to compensate for not being able to use it. MS wasn't forced to extend the warranty -- they did it for the good PR. Cost them a billion dollars. Now, if only they would do something "customer-centric" . "

As I stated in my previous post, I've already had one 360 repaired, no free month on live was offered in way of compensation.

MS were very much forced to extend the warranty. Given the extraordinarily high failure rate of the console do you realise quite the impact this has been having on their reputation? They were forced to extend the warranties as if they hadn't they were facing a far bigger loss in the wake of very angry consumers. If they hadn't, the xbox 360 failure rate would be far, far bigger news than it already has been. Microsoft have actually done very well to keep the problem so quiet.

  • 134.
  • At 09:24 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Dark Lord wrote:

Well, I when bought an Xbox 360, I was displeased to learn that online gaming is not free. It was fine till recently.

There was an update (last week or something...) which took ages for me.
It stopped and then again I resume it x6-8 times maybe!
And then, well, I found that they updated the dashboard.

Great!! (SARCASTICALLY).

Whenever I keep any thing for download, it gets done for a few % and disappears!

Download Que - Nothing.
Memory (My Hard Drive works perfectly fine) - Present but not Completed

WTF man!

Any idea why??

  • 135.
  • At 10:53 PM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Neil wrote:

All I can say is that since Dec 23rd ish my 360 has been nothing more than a paper weight. Most of the people I play against are fed up with the lack of service and the basic ability to login. I will say it is getting better but still not right MS still have work to do to get it sorted!!!

Lots of comment on just go somewhere else. Select Wii & PS3. Well not likely. I selected the Xbox 360 based on the promise of stable online gaming with lots of download content. I have made investment in the Xbox and establishing relations with other gamers. This is time and money I will never get back.

Microsoft need to get their act together and provide user with minimum the service we pay for. Not to mention living up to promisses made.

For me it's not enough with a lousy arcade game, and some general manager say he is sorry. Make Xbox Live work.

And a correction to the article:
"Microsoft said the growth in new users had been driven by sales of top titles such as Mass Effect and Halo 3."

Mass Effect is a off-line single player game, that does not affect Xbox Live, so unless quoted wrong this is just plain lying from MS side.

  • 137.
  • At 12:00 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Brick Tamland wrote:

Those claiming that PS3 games don't look better than their 360 counterparts have clearly chosen to ignore Burnout Paradise and DMC4.

No denying that 2007 belonged to the 360, but 2008 will see Gran Turismo 5, MGS4, LittleBigPlanet, Home, Final Fantasy 13 and other exclusives for the PS3. The 360 has a new Gears game, and not much else.

If you're undecided, just look at how many posts above refer to how many consoles broke down and had to be sent back for repair. I counted one for the PS3 and lost count for the 360. The reliability of the 'threefixme' is absolutely appalling.

Oh yeah, and the PS3 is outselling the 360 at the moment (vgchartz.com).

Lots of comment on just go somewhere else. Select Wii & PS3. Well not likely. I selected the Xbox 360 based on the promise of stable online gaming with lots of download content. I have made investment in the Xbox and establishing relations with other gamers. This is time and money I will never get back.

Microsoft need to get their act together and provide user with minimum the service we pay for. Not to mention living up to promisses made.

For me it's not enough with a lousy arcade game, and some general manager say he is sorry. Make Xbox Live work.

And a correction to the article:
"Microsoft said the growth in new users had been driven by sales of top titles such as Mass Effect and Halo 3."

Mass Effect is a off-line single player game, that does not affect Xbox Live, so unless quoted wrong this is just plain lying from MS side.

Xbox Live is still not up and running 100% of the time.
I've used XB Live for over 4 years now and this is the first time I've had problems with the service.
It does leave a sour taste in the mouth and must have put many new users off the service.
It's a shame as up until now I would have stated that Xbox Live was the best online gaming service available on all consoles but now I'm thinking of buying a Playstation 3 and moving away for my Xbox.
Microsoft MUST get the Live service up and running ASAP or they will start to lose customers and revenue.

Sort it out Now

  • 140.
  • At 11:04 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

As for the PS3 outselling the xbox...thats monthly figures douchbag not overall, only reason i can see it selling so well over xmas is the price change and that people wanted a cheap blue ray player :D.

    Microsoft Customer Service

In response to a rather discrumpled xbox user above. My Xbox 360 console also suffered the dreaded 3 rings of death aforementioned.
When i contacted microsoft customer services about this they went through several options to attempt a quick fix but this failed and they offered my a refurbished replacement. My xbox 360 was 1 month out of warranty at this stage!
They then credited my xbox account with 15000 gamerpoints so that i could download all my addons for games and arcade games previously downloaded to my account due to the account history not replicating the downloads across all profiles on my console.
I am very happy with their service, it seems that they are getting it right sometimes.

    PS3 issue

My ps3 has now given me the dreaded 3 beeps upon switch on and they have also agreed to swop out the console next working day with a reconditioned one and send me a new copy of the game stuck in the dvd drive.
Again this is excellent customer service.
Just for those wanting to know my thoughts on which is better .... The xbox360 beats the PS3 hands down on the live side of gaming and also on game playability, but BlueRay is the Future.... The PS3 is new still compaired to the 360 so i'm giving it time. Thanks for reading...

  • 142.
  • At 11:36 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • tony wrote:

my xbox got the rrod exactly 1 mnth after the warrenty ran out and has been sitting for 3weeks waiting on ups to come and collect it and its p***ing me off.get it sorted gates.

  • 143.
  • At 11:44 AM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • John wrote:

Mass Effect uses ONLINE for achievements.

From part of the game description on Amazon -

Premium downloadable content and recognition of achievements will be available via the Xbox Live online game service.

I recommend the 360 Elite it is a superb console with huge storage space for a console and it works great especially when connected to live........

  • 144.
  • At 12:34 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • K Juggins wrote:

My husband has had an Xbox since its launch - yes I was one of those stupid people queuing outside a shop at the early hours to fulfil my husbands Christmas dreams. He's never off it (I'm what is called an Xbox Widow). He loves Xbox Live, competing with his friends and other people from all over the world. It suffered in the past the odd glitch, lasting no more than a minute or so, but over Christmas a 32 year old child was crushed! :-) The air was blue, and as a doting wife tried to resolve the problem. Before it was made apparent that the issue was with MS - I thought it was the Modem, so rushed myself to the nearest store and parted with £120 for a replacement Modem/router, to then hurry home a set it up - for it to obviously not work. My husband curled up in a quivering ball. I tried to console him, tried to explain that he could still play, but just not with his friends - for him to spout abuse and repeat in a trance 'It's not the same!, It's not the same!'. He finally logged on at the weekend - Thank GOD! Some people had no problems, some people had a few problems, some people could not log on at all - he was one of them, and I'm the one that suffered. MS may have got them in their thousands to turn the other cheek with the offer of a free download - but what are they offering to the thousands of wives who truly suffered! :-)

  • 145.
  • At 01:06 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

For me im on my 3rd Xbox, 1st one died after 2 weeks, had it replaced in the store....3 weeks before end of warrenty i had red rings again, i wasnt too impressed. Called MS and they offered to pick up and repair, spoke to the store and they swapped it for an elite! did have the option to change for a PS3 but nothing on there really makes me wanna go for it. I too used to be a die hard PS2 fan, but with waiting for the PS3 and the price on release...i just couldnt be bothered and opted for xbox although now its abit cheaper and the outlook in games is looking abit brighter i may consider it, but untill then i still love the xbox.

  • 146.
  • At 03:00 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Marc Hudson wrote:

For all the people on here advising Xbox users to bin there Xbox and go buy a PS3 are talking utter rubbish. If paying £40 a year and having a few glitches at very congested times of the year upsets you that much then please do go and buy a PS3 and free up some space for the rest of us. As for the reliabilty of consoles from the 90's, I went through 3 ps2's before I decided to try the original Xbox (at the same time of replacing the ps2) and have to say in all honesty the new ps2 was only played a couple of times. The Xbox is a far superior machine, I have used both the PS3 and the 360 and the big bonus on the 360 is how much the online service opens games up for you. I love football games but hate playing them on my own against the machine. Regular Monday nights were spent with me and 3 mates huddled round the original xbox playing Fifa, pro evo etc. Not now, we all sit in the comfort of our own homes and play till we get tired (as we are all getting older now and on the wrong side of 30 this is quite a lot earlier than it used to be. I did have problems over the christmas period but this is to be expected, as mentioned earlier how many text messages and or phone calls did you manage to make a minute after midnight? The fact that the lines are getting congested just goes to show how popular Xbox Live is. I don't begrudge one bit paying £40 a year for something that makes gaming enjoyable on a whole new level. Things nowadays are all about choice if you don't like how Live performs go elsewhere. The fact that microsoft have apologised and offered a game to everybody even if they were not affected goes to show that they are thinking about the customers. how much free stuff do you get from British Rail when your train is delayed/breaksdown or gets cancelled?
Now, rant over I better get back to work

  • 147.
  • At 03:16 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Greg wrote:

I am an Xbox 360 and Live user and I also had serious troubles with it over the christmas period.

I have found that Microsoft's customer service has been amazing.

In October 2007 I got the 'Red ring of death' I called Microsoft to log a support call. They had emailed me a shipping label within 24 hours, I arranged the collection with the courier and recieved my brand new console back 15 days later (exactly as MS support had told me) they also gave me a free month on live to make up for lost time, renewed my normal warranty and renewed the ring of death warranty. Effectively giving me a like new machine and service! I think this is fantastic as you will not find another manuafacturer that will do that.

With regard to the poor live service, there is no way MS could possibly predict how many 'new' users they were going to get and the servers became over loaded. I think this is perfectly acceptable (an annoyance but acceptable) if you are from a technical background then you'll understand this. if you're not someone who gets involved with IT etc then yes this would look a shambles but you have to appreciate the level of servers and bandwidth that would be required to reliably support 18 million users... I think that for £40 a year we are all getting a bargain. and the offer of a free game to compensate - what more could you want????

For all of you that want to complain about this - go and buy a board game and stop moaning!!!!!

  • 148.
  • At 03:34 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

Like Andy I was a die-hard PS2 fan waiting for the PS3 but the price is plain robbery. I decided instead to buy an 2nd hand XBox360 with a 2&1/2 year warranty left and loads of great games available at a snip. This will keep me going till the PS3 or it's successor becomes affordable. There really is no excuse for a company with the might of Microsoft to let the Xbox Live issue go on for any more than a day or two. They have every resource imaginable at their fingertips.
No excuses Microsoft, get it fixed !!

  • 149.
  • At 05:37 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Neil - Preston wrote:

Bored of Nintendo vs Sony vs Microsoft debates - here is a different take.

Ok there are faults with the XBox and ring of death - both of which have affected me all I can say thats life and thank-you Microsoft for being so customer friendly.

1 - As the article says there are 18 million users worldwide and x-mas is bound to be a busy time (esp as you get a 1 month free trial). But they acknowledge it, give people a free download and promise to sort it.

2 - Ring of Death - Ooops they made a mistake rushing the 360 out and then extend everyones warranty to 3 years. Ok its annoying sending your 360 away but the courier is free and efficient (they picked up from work). It took 4 weeks but MS also changed our DVD reader, which we didnt know was faulty and sent us 1 months free x boc live for inconvience.

Compare that to the "service" I got when me Samsung TV stopped working last summer, only 16 months old. Bought a TV which after 6 months kept switching itself off - it took 5 weeks for the contractor to come out and take it away, and we had plead for a temporary TV. Two and a half weeks later the TV came back "fixed". After 16 months the same problem occured i rang and was told it was out of my 12 month warranty and repairs were only covered for 3 months! That was that. Awful.

In Microsoft at least they admit their mistakes and make allowances and compensate the customer. How many other global companies in the wider world do that?

£1000 for an Xbox - must've seen you coming!

This ignorance to technology is appalling - almost as bad as your child not being able to ignore you on Christmas day.

Lets do a little bit of simple thinking...
Christmas. Many extra consoles, games and possibly, subscriptions sold.

Anybody who has a games console and internet connection will want to try it out, play said new game, meet some friends or just otherwise use their system.
All of this creates a lot of load for the networks and servers - hence a massive slow down. For those of you with more than one computer in the house, you may know this pain when trying to look to use the web while someone else is downloading something.

As to the banning of innocent machines - I think that in most cases, they (MS) are right - this can also occur when a machine has been fixed/repaired by uncertified individual/business.

I suggest a calm and sensible phone call to MS support - if you have nothing to worry about.

  • 151.
  • At 08:17 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Murton wrote:

I bought an Xbox 360 shortly after release, and a PlayStation 3 on day of release, with the intention of running both side by side, as I did the original Xbox and the PlayStation 2.

After problems from day one with the MicroSoft console however, I am now in the process of replacing all of my 360 games with the PS3 versions and the 360 can go... I'm fed up of the red ring of death, of the drive tray refusing to eject, of the fact that it sounds like a Boeing 747 trying to take off in your living room, and that after shelling out for the console they also want me to shell out on a subscription to Xbox LIVE so I access multiplayer content...

The PS3 is a vastly superior console. It may only have a comparatively small software selection at the moment, but the Xbox has been around longer. When the PS3 has had the time on the shelves the 360 has had and developers are used to its architecture and develop games specifically for it rather than take the easy option and port games over, the Xbox will not be able to hold a candle to it, as the 360 is limited by data storage having its games on DVD, and even if MicroSoft had included the HD-DVD drive in the 360 Elite as standard, the recent Warner decision to back Blu-ray suggests HD-DVD may die soon anyway, not something that disappoints me as my enjoyment of HD-DVD movies through the 360 add-on is spoiled by the unbearable noise of the 360 itself.

People like the American at comment 125 who accuse people who prefer the superior PS3 as being "Sony trolls" (and then proceed to big-up MicroSoft and their inherently flawed console, no bias there, eh?) seem to forget that the Xbox LIVE service is aroud 5 years old, a massive headstart on the PlayStation Network. So you can't download movies on PSN? Shame... I will just have to watch Sky Movies until they're available, oh well. Not as many people using it? That would be because peole have had a few years to buy a 360 compared to a few months for the PS3. PS3 and the PlayStation Network are both in their early stages and will grow and improve. And as for PS3 graphics aren't better? See the porting comment above, and wait and see. You probably don't want to hear any of that though do you, as you sound like something of a "MicroSoft fanboy".

The PS3 is vastly more powerful, Blu-ray games will shortly blow away anything that can be produced for the 360, the PS3 itself is infinitely more stable and reliable, and the PSN will grow to include anything that can be offered by MicroSoft and is free. MicroSoft will probably be on to their ninth or tenth version of the 360 taking more and more money from people like the person at comment 125 before they come close to producing a console to equal the PS3, which has still to have a title come close to using 30% of its power while the 360 is already being stretched.

As previously mentioned, my intention was to run both consoles, but I'm sorry, the Xbox 360 is so bad in comparison it has to go...

  • 152.
  • At 09:01 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • Justin wrote:

After skipping through over 150 posts, i cannot see what game you get free, how do i get it?
Also i experienced poor service, only very slow connection times on Halo last week, yeah its frustrating, but everything at christmas was a damm wait, queueing for presents, traffic on the way home, so whats the fuss on waiting for 3-4 times as long for a game of Halo! Free game please, someone let me know.....
I also have a PS3, have had no problems with connection, but have a small problem with lack of games. But this year should be much better for it, it may get used more than my x-box!

  • 153.
  • At 11:36 PM on 07 Jan 2008,
  • James wrote:

Personally my experience hasn't been all that bad, sure X-Box live was just horrid over the Christmas period (and slowly recovering), however after a few tries everything worked fine, despite being disconnected from a friends game once or twice, and booted from live, despite still being able to talk via private chat with him.... Hmm, strange indeed.

Anyway, on the RROD issue, my console, or rather previous console suffered this condition, whilst i was on holiday. Quite commonly my flatmate will jump on the thing, and hey, it malfunctioned the day after i left and it arrived fixed (Or replaced, never thought to ask..) before i could get back. Nice.

On the side of support on X-Box vs Ps3... Imo, i really prefer having X-box do a bit of work in exchange for a few pounds a month - I'd probably just waste it on severely unhealthy foodstuffs anyway. Having seen the support Sony has to offer (albeit mostly through ps2, only a short stint on the 3).. It pretty much just feels like I'm connecting to ghosts sometimes, even if it works, with those once every so often games that just don't go, theres always the aura of unease.

From the veeeery early post on the 1000 quid console... Sounds like you were indeed 'ripped off'. Or perhaps you bought a heavily modified console via e-bay or some other Internet source? So many questions, and hey, they probably already feature above.

SO I'll cut it short... The outages, although annoying, don't bother me that much, at least not enough to have me go crazy. Then again, i have plenty of other things to do in a day... Fairly too many to be honest :P Gaming isn't #1 on my list, and most commonly i only find short thirty min / 1 hour sessions here and there every day or two.

  • 154.
  • At 01:12 AM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Tim wrote:


My and my brother in-law have been been playing Halo3 all over the christmas break with no issue what-so ever. Both connecting via the same console.

I think this just goes to show the sucess that the 360's had recently. Here in the US both it and the Wii are flying off the shelves yet the PS-3's are just sitting there is a big pile!!! Last time a even saw an elite in the stores was Nov.

By the way if you want customer support don't call Sony - they are the worst. God-forbid if they have an issue with the PS-3. Have had a Sony laptop in the past - never again due to non-existant customer service.

  • 155.
  • At 01:28 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • jonathan greenaway wrote:

Hi all ive had an xbox 360 for over a year now and never really had any major concerns..... untill this christmas, but that wasnt down to xbox it was down to the game. call of duty 4 there servers are useless, any other game is fine online but when you try that game im constantly be kicked out or it freezes, but this has only been since christmas before then it was fine.

  • 156.
  • At 03:13 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • James Moss wrote:

Its really very easy.
If you wish to play games online use a PC.
The consoles arnt a scratch on PC online gaming.
If you want to play without going online get a console.
Ever heard the phrase jack of all trades master of none? Well it truely applies here.
PS I have been gaming for 10 years online and off have used all the consoles discussed and PC and thats my conclusion.

  • 157.
  • At 08:02 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • Justyn Greentree wrote:

If this is everyone can moan about then that aint bad at all is it!!! Their are people dying of starvation in Africa and if thats all we have to worry about is are Xbox's not working when we want them too then thate pretty good going eh!! I have an Xbox and yes it was dodgy over xmas but im sure it will be fine again soon as they do whatever they ahve to do to get it going properly again. Come on all.....wake up!!!! Or get a life.............

  • 158.
  • At 08:06 PM on 08 Jan 2008,
  • christian wrote:

I bought a xbox360 just over a year ago. I was quite impressed with the specification of the machine. But few weeks afterward I bought the game Gears of War. The game constantly freezes so I took it back and got a replacement. Again the same thing happened. I investigated this problem on the internet and found my problem is what now known as the ring of death. More investigation reveal other problems suffered by xbox360 owners, over-heating etc. I was not going to wait until the day when my system over heat, I wasn't prepare keep taking my games back because it freezes. Some may say oh you can buy a cooler to keep the system temperature down. But isn't that the job of Microsoft in the first place? And why should I bare the extra cost?!??!?

Needless to say I lost trust in the product and got myself a Nintendo Wii instead. The Wii remote is beautifully made, it puts game play onto the next level. For anyone who hasn't check out the Wii I suggest that they do so. It may not be as powerful as a xbox360 but gaming isn't all about graphics! Some of the most original games are out there on the Wii company with the unique controller the Wii is the most enjoyable gaming console out there. Some programmer have ready incorporate the use of the wii remote on some pc games. Others have taken one step further and created a way to use the remote to create a 3D environment.

Can you imagine Microsoft trying to create a sophisticated controller like the Wii remote? It would be full of bugs and glitches. I have had my Wii for 2 months now and so far everything is working as it should do. I think Microsoft are running the xbox gaming side just like their Windows business side. They sell their under developed system to us consumers and expect us to put up with it, and expect us to be their tester!!! Anyone who use a windows PC will know what Iam talking about.

After all that I don't think the xbox360 is a bad console, its just that it was under developed and wasn't tested properly before it was launched. Maybe its because they wanted to be the first to roll out the next generation console! In this area you can not afford to do that. Shame really. Real Shame.


p.s. I also use Mac OS X =)

  • 159.
  • At 02:55 PM on 09 Jan 2008,
  • Darren wrote:

What really gets me is the rubbish support we get from MS! Ha what support!

How MS should have addressed there global customers is with a letter or some form of explanation to brief us the client of what is happening and just to say right we doing this that and the other please expect some service interruptions but Microsoft are working on the problem.
The date is now 9th of Jan 2008 and I still don’t know what the problem is and it’s still a disputed service during the evenings!
I read that in there t&c they can do whatever they need when they want type of thing! Fair enough but not when we have paid for a service and expect it to work to me that steeling our money!
We don’t buy a car and it only works when it feels like it that not a service it works the entire time nay only in the day!
I’m very upset that we pay £40 a year multiplied buy 17.1 million users that’s £680000000 a year they make for this so called service they supply.
For that amount of money I expect a service of superior quality and engineers on duty 24 hours with back up that would not exceed at most 24 hours down time!
MS get it right

  • 160.
  • At 09:46 AM on 10 Jan 2008,
  • paul fawley wrote:

I have paid out for 21 XBox 360 games, the 360 its self then on top of that X Box live.... for what? I am now sending back xXBox number 3 for repair and not to mention the hassle of not being able to play games on line because of the endless problems latley with the x box live service.
Enough is enough, I offered to pay the difference to upgrade the 360 premium to the Elite and told no! I have put together a really good E Mail to send to their complaints department but they wont give me their e mail address and i can't find it any where, please can any one help?

  • 161.
  • At 01:10 PM on 10 Jan 2008,
  • Jackson Lord wrote:

Through personal expeirances with Microsoft they do ban xboxs for wrong reasons. This happened four times in three months. One for conduct even though i have a 75% perfered list. Then the other three for an epired card. I then gave them the same card three times only to get banned. I then found their staff to be agressive and not willing to co-operate.

  • 162.
  • At 10:28 PM on 13 Jan 2008,
  • Graham wrote:

Irrespective of whether I pay 5 pence, 5 pounds or 50 pounds. I am paying for a service and expect to get it. I spend hours of a night just trying to get into a game of COD 4. When I do the host ends a game so we all get chucked out again and then have to try and get back into a game. And if its not that then it is server timeouts. I work in the IT field, there is no problem with my Network, firewall etc etc.

I will probably let my subscription run its course but it looks like I will be moving to a PS and cancelling my subscription if things don't improve shortly.

  • 163.
  • At 12:41 PM on 14 Jan 2008,
  • Adrian wrote:

I find it amusing that Microsoft have said that people will get a free Xbox Live Arcade game.

Of course as these have to be downloaded off Xbox Live there hasn't been any mention of what game or on what timescale as this could well overload the servers yet again as millions of players will be tring to download it.

I also find that the official forums are of no help as the moderators of the Xbox forums are somewhat over zealous and delete every single thread about this issue even though that these moderators are not employees of Microsoft but fans recruited by them and paid nothing for their services.

Frankly after all the problems with the Red Rings of Death, the poorly implemented Digital Rights issues and the overall poor build quality of the console I shall not be buying another console in the future but go back to PC gaming where the games are cheaper and any online play actually works.

  • 164.
  • At 11:53 PM on 14 Jan 2008,
  • paul wrote:

rgds banning of xbox 360 recently.
how many ppl have the after market fan unit attatched to the rear of the xbox to aid the cooling of the unit????.

did you know this reduces the voltage to the xbox causing delays in seek time of the drive unit?.

this is also why people get banned because seek times of a copied game are slower than the original so to the MS system it would think your xbox is modded when infact it isnt.

  • 165.
  • At 09:57 AM on 15 Jan 2008,
  • Mr Welch wrote:

I'm sorry, but you can bill up the PS3 all you want, but right now there is still no way I am paying all that money for something that does not appear to be doing anything more than what a cheaper 360 doesn't already do, and in some aspects the 360 does better.

Ok, now the issues over LIVE during Xmas does justify the amount of customer complaints coming out over the lack of information given by Microsoft. I was only updated with information by happing to find the blog of one of the heads of the LIVE support team.

Even then when posting updates, he did so in a rather cryptic way. Not very professional really when you look at it, so I agree that Microsoft should get stick for that.

I also agree that Microsoft have been short sighted in foreseeing the demand for LIVE over the Xmas period which is a direct cause of the problems that happened.

However all other bashing towards LIVE seems to be bashing for the sake of it because it is Microsoft.

For starters many seem to be adamant that the whole of LIVE was down over Xmas. No it wasn't! The only part of LIVE that was down was the Sign In servers. Meaning that new customers could not create new accounts, and existing customers could not retrieve gamer tags onto another machine if necessary.

Yes, an annoying problem, but one that only seemed to last a day. After that, my gamer tag was retrievable and was back playing COD4 over LIVE with my cousin and countless people from around the world that I have never met before.

Being in the IT industry myself, I accept that it is impossible to create a system that is 100% up all the time during the systems lifespan. Computer systems will always fail at some point no matter how much money you throw at it. Lack of information to customers and lack of forsight to demand notwithstanding, £40 a year for a system that has had a total of 2 and a half days of downtime over the last 2 years I'd say is a outstanding success rate.

Secondly, if there was slow down or server kicks, that is down to the shoddy speeds and connections of this country's broadband, because I was having issues on my Wii downloading the Opera web browser for the system, and general internet use on my PC.

And this thing about the Red Rings of Death. I offer some sympathy to those that it has happened to and have got very little help from MS. Again you have a right to be angry about that. But Sony and even Nintendo are not exactly innocent ether. £55 plus the packaging to get my Nintendo Gamecube repaired by Nintendo even though the Cube's lens failure after extended use was common on all Cubes. And the fault came back again!

Yet here I am still with my original 360. No RRoD. Now why is that? Is it that I have just been extremely fortunate? Or is it because I did my research on the console and read the instruction manual with the machine and heard from many other sources that the console does heat up a bit with use. Solution as mentioned in all these sources, place the console in a well ventilated area.

A little bit of furniture reshuffle before the console arrives and hey presto, all this time later I still have a working original 360, because I followed what the instructions told me!

All the bad press the console gets for being poorly made and yet I wonder how many don't simply come under the infamous 95% cause of all computer failure.....user error!

One last note, before I am labeled a 360 fanboy. I hate fanboyism! It is one of the many things that is blighting the gaming community right now. These consoles are not like a sports team that you might support. These are "products" built for us the "consumers" that we might consider buying for entertainment purposes.

I will not buy a PS3 just simply because I bought and extremely enjoyed my time with a PS1 and PS2. I only buy a console after extensive research and testing out the equipment before deciding whether it is a worthy purchase. And as I have said, right now there is no justification to spend all that money on a PS3, accessories and games when I can get the same games and enjoy them much cheaper with usually better online features with the 360, or playing a game in a more innovative way with the Wii.

I will still be using the same sort of scrutiny with the next generation of consoles from the big 3.

  • 166.
  • At 05:43 PM on 15 Jan 2008,
  • Antony wrote:

More fool you guys for getting a " top spec console" after paying £300+ on a console, then extras before you even get get it online and then forking out an extra £40 for a subscription.... MADNESS!!!!

If only there were more Nintendo Wii's available. I've never had a problem getting connected to Wii shop channel to download games nor have I had with the online games.. it may only have under 5 titles which are online but remember "Quality over Quantity" there are more games to come and it will be connected with no yearly subscriptions 'cept for your broadband obviously !

  • 167.
  • At 12:38 PM on 22 Jan 2008,
  • Dagenham Blaze wrote:

xbox live was extremly bad over xmas period, and still is now.
still getting unable to connect to host on call of duty 4

  • 168.
  • At 08:04 PM on 28 Jan 2008,
  • Luke wrote:

the xboxlive experience is definetley worth the money you pay for it. the xbox 360 is the best console around and although the ps3's network is free the playstation3 makes up for that in how overpriced it is. I have never encountered a problem with live and are extremely happy with the xbox 360 and everything to do with it. :D

  • 169.
  • At 01:47 PM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • Darren wrote:

Its a simple, uncomplicated solution, spend a lil more and go SONY its simple.
I have switched and have never been happier, besides BLU-RAY has won the war why dwell in the past when you can play in the future ???

  • 170.
  • At 05:53 PM on 29 Jan 2008,
  • ayan wrote:

what is better xbox 360 or playstaion 3

  • 171.
  • At 02:07 PM on 04 Feb 2008,
  • Aaron wrote:

Microsoft are so lousy my 360 broke i sent it away and 2 months later it comes back guess what ITS BROKEN THEY SENT ME A BROKEN CONSOLE!!!! and i thought it was just the game till i traded in 2 psp games and 2 360 games to get a new one of the game and what do u know? it DOESN'T WORK!!! so i phone microsoft saying i wanted compensation BUT NO nothing COME ON!!! x(
1.they sent me a faulty 360
2.they made me waste money
3.NO COMPENSATION
4.The 3rd 360 i get is crap!!!!
sometimes when im playing a game my controller randomly disconnects with full batteries i turn it back on but the 360 cant find it i do the search thing still nothing i even try a new controller and resetting the console MICROSOFT SUCK SONY FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aaron

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