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Top 5 Reasons Why We Secretly Hate Xbox Live

So the people suck on XBL, but no one talks about the system itself. We know they can do better, but we haven’t said anything until now. Here are the top 5 things we secretly hate about the Xbox Live system.

And for the non visually inclined..

5. Changing Your Gamertag

Microsoft rewards people that get enough complaints about their Gamer tag by letting those people change it for free while everyone else has to pay. So the lesson is, be rude and get free stuff!

4. Reputation
Reputation has no meaning, other than to act as a report card on how well you have done pissing people off. No one but you sees it, it has no effect at all in terms of what a person can or cannot do, there is no punishment for low rep, and you never seem to have less reputation than you initially start with no matter how nasty you are to people. Rep has no point at all.

3. Avatars
They look adorable! You can dress them up but you can’t take them out! Most of the (very few) “avatar specified” games like UNO or Hearts don’t actually allow you to control the avatar. Overall, they sure do look pretty, too bad you can’t really do anything with them. Our characters clothing is free, (for now). Are they going to charge us when they come out with more clothing options? What about buying a cartoon house, or a pet for our avatars? Microsoft has to make up for lost money from people not buying as many gamerpics, so those ideas are not so far fetched.

2. Paying to Play

Unlike other consoles such as the Wii and PS3, Microsoft charges at least $50 a year for us to play games online. That is bad, but unlikely to change, since over 10 million of us are doing so each year, which means over $500 million a year in Microsofts’ pockets (not to mention their microtransactions). Yay!

1. Microsoft Point Scam
Items cost uneven amounts so that you always have extra/never have enough, you can never get the balance to 0, buying points in bulk doesn’t give you a discount, and the points themselves are purposefully priced strangely so that you never know exactly how much that game you want to buy really costs. You have to be a math whiz to figure out what 120 points means in terms of real dollars.

Non Numbered Bonus:
I miss my pretty full-screen themes from the old dashboard.

Which one do you like better?

The New Xbox Live Experience
new dashboard 360


The Old Xbox Live Experience
sexy dashboard old


  1. Anonymous says:

    I feel your pain with the themes thing. Some really just don’t translate to the NXE all that well sadly enough. The rest of your complaints are quite valid too. You know MS designed the points to work exactly that way too. The avatars are supposed to be utilized more in the future Live Games where you can win stuff, but I doubt you’ll get to control the character. The new outfit stuff are supposed to be unlocked with certain games, so you could have like a GoW2 shirt for instance.

  2. Marvin says:

    You make a pretty convincing argument with that old dashboard theme lol, but I still like the NXE. I really like the idea of the
    “return to game” button. It reminds me of the “Windows” key you have to contend with when gaming on the PC, except in the case of console gaming, it would be a welcomed addition.

  3. Torch says:

    Hmm… I still think it’s the people… too many haters, thinking no one can track them down if they really want to!

    But, what’s up with the gamertag? You can get it changed for free?? I didn’t know that… better work on my rep (hmm, maybe you’re right?)!

    Oh if only they DID have a ‘return to game’ button! But, the old system was pretty slow too, I hated getting joined into a game of Catan while I’m in the middle of leaving a message.

    Finally, where’d you get that pic from your old X theme? Reminds me of Leeloo only different colored hair and slightly different costume! Now, THAT would be a theme worth spending MS points for!!

  4. Lynn says:

    I couldn’t agree more about the gamertag fee. I just recently changed mine because I was sick of my old one. Now I’m on my third one in three years (or maybe even less), and I hate that I had to pay to do so.

    It’s pretty obvious Microsoft wants people to be confused about how much they are really spending. Games and things cost typical amounts like 400 and 800 points, which translates to$5 and $10 in real money. The magic number is 80. Just divide any point price by 80 and you get the dollar amount. I know I’ve never had my balance down to zero, but I’m pretty sure that’s because it’s impossible. So far, the cheapest item I’ve seen is 160 points, and I haven’t seen any point prices that end in 40.

    I’ve also never really understood the feedback system, either. If someone marks you as a preferred player, your star rating goes up–whoopie–and it doesn’t take many positive feedbacks to get a full five stars either. If you mark someone else as preferred, it benefits you in no way at all, so why bother? The positive aspect of the feedback system is useless, and the negative aspect is mainly for notifying Microsoft of bad behavior. It’s nice of them to allow users to see if they’ve received any negative feedback and for what, but it’s really not much of a deterrent. “Oh no, someone thought I was aggressive. I’d better tone it down a bit.” Um…more like, “Ha! Someone thought I was aggressive. What a pussy!”

    Finally, I really like the new avatars, but like many people, I worry Microsoft will begin charging for extra clothes and stuff. So far all the new items have been free, but it still seems so limited. I don’t understand why they didn’t set it up like the clothing customization in games like Rock Band. If every current item was available in multiple colors, it would be a lot easier to create more unique looking outfits. Nearly every guy on my friends list is wearing the white suit!

  5. Marvin says:

    Now my comment doesn’t make so much sense anymore. Fail. lol

  6. nixiepixel says:

    Yeah.. the Xbox button is the “Return to Game” button. /cry

  7. Phoenix says:

    It’s all my fault. I told her about the Xbox button returning you to the game. :'(

  8. Torch says:

    Yep, Marvin, me too… I don’t know why I never knew that, but I didn’t. Had to go play a game of Catan right now just to test it out!

    I do have another pet peeve though… the ranking system.

    I won the last two games by decent margins, and BOTH times, my ranking got WORSE! I know it factors in the strength of other palyers, but in both cases, the weak players had quit before the end… does it factor that in? Argh.

  9. Brian says:

    Buy Xbox Live cards/points on Newegg and you’ll save money.

  10. CHOPPERGIRL says:

    Actually the Wii is just as bad. Doesn’t play DVDs, CDs, mp3s (anymore), and you have to buy points for $10 just to use it to surf the internet through an internet connection you already pay for from your ISP. Games are outrageously priced and the thing overheats.

  11. JPLS says:

    Not that I’d rather have any other system over the 360, but these are all so true. M$ isn’t about hooking us up with the freebies, and it makes me angry.

    *I used the free name change thing on purpose.

  12. JOKO13 says:

    As someone who spends an exorbitant amount of time on xbox live i can honestly say i don’t hate any of those things.
    5.If you really want a free name change tell your friends to file a complaint on your name or use the 48hr trial glitch, but otherwise i appreciate it. Trying to keep track of a friends list on ps3 is very annoying because it seems like half the people on there go through 3 name changes a day. I like being able to play with whoever i want, whenever i want.
    4.While there isn’t really a point to rep its not like its a bad thing, you never have to see it if you don’t want to.
    3.If you knew what you were talking about you’d have read on of the countless press releases or interviews from microsoft saying that ALL avatar cloths will be free, and that they have big plans for the avatar’s future.
    2.You are paying to play on what is, hands down, the best online experience. Even my friends who are hardcore 110% ps3 fans agree to that. And its 13 months for $50, and that comes out to about 90 cents a week. 90 cents for countless hours of entertainment when the average movie theater costs about $4 an hour(and that’s just the ticket). Plus with the upcoming release of xbox primetime you will be able to win tons of free prizes just by having a gold membership.(and microsoft has stated those prizes may include arcade games, microsoft points etc…). If you combine that with the ability to instantly stream netflix to your t.v. (and the cheapest standalone device that does the same thing costs $100, the cost of over two years subscription!). The price tag of xbox live isn’t high, consider all that you get from it.
    And finally…
    1. IN response to this, “You have to be a math whiz to figure out what 120 points means in terms of real dollars,” what idiot cant operate a calculator? 1600 points divided by 20 dollars gives you the extremely simple solution of 80 points per $1. Now we move up to second grade level math to determine that 120 is 1.5* 80 and find the solution of 120 points = $1.50. YAY! And you also realize that your upset that buying money in bulk doesn’t give you a discount. Its like a gift card, while once in a while some resteraunts may giveyou an extra five dollars if you buy a fifty dollar card, you usually pay $25 for a $25 gift card, so whats so upsetting about paying $20 for $20 in microsoft points.

    This whole article, and most of the comments, are simply a group of people who seem to be angry about something they don’t quite understand, but are too stupid and/or lazy to put 5 minutes into a google search and find out what they are talking about.

  13. Gazz says:

    A friend of mine set his XBL profile for an American account (he is from the UK) so that he could access American content, his IP is now tracked as a UK IP meaning that he can’t access the American stuff.

    He contacted MS help who informed him that they couldn’t change his location, and that he would have to create a new account. Now that doesn’t seem too bad but he is rather attached to the name, not the score or the friendslist or anything else linked to the account, just the name.

    He offered to pay the points value to change the name so that he could use the original name… won’t work, apparently the name is still linked to the new account, meaning it’s unavailable, despite not being in use, they also couldn’t delete the account. I know it’s just one small issue, but surely there are people that move countries and want their gamertags to move with them.

    To me avatars seem pretty redundant, and I’ll take some convincing of their use.

  14. Nice list. The main thing that bugs me about is that you have to pay. I was really counting on PlayStation to take care of that, and make X-Box more competitive, but they have no reason now, as PS3 is losing ground in this console war. 50 bucks isnt bad, but they could have made it free.

  15. Lynn says:

    I have no problem paying for my subscription. I feel I get more than my money’s worth.

  16. So yeah, I bought a PS3 just to be different. I know I can always go over to a friend’s house if I really want to play Wii or XB360.

    I find it to be a great experience but I’m always curious about the XB360. Mostly I end up talking to people online and want to play a great game with them.

    Recently it’s been Left 4 Dead. I bought the PC version through Steam and they all seem to have purchased the XBL version.


    I understand though. My PC cost me $500 in parts. The XBOX is cheaper and easier to deal with.

    I suppose I could always give up and get an XB360 too, seeing as I have no shortage of cash. I just don’t want to.

    Is that the price of being “different?” :C

  17. Luigi says:

    i have one microsoft point left, how did i end up with one? and how will i ever spend it?

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