[sc:entertainment-category ]Way back in this post, I mentioned I had picked up and Xbox Gold membership and that I would eventually write a post about it, well, eventually has arrived 😉
At the end of last year, the big retail electronics chains here put up the 4g Xbox 360 on sale for $130, so I bit the bullet and picked one up. Mostly to see how Microsoft had implemented the Metro design in the fall 2011 update.
In general the Xbox has a really nice interface to it, better than the PS3 and Microsoft continues to extend the 360 in to other areas. This really underscores the difference in philosophy between Sony and Microsoft in this generation of game consoles.
The good side of those design choices is the better interface and the extended support for applications etc. The downside is the Xbox Gold membership. Without forking over the cash for a gold membership, the Xbox is virtually useless.
Microsoft’s MSRP is something like $99 on a 12 month membership, which seems high until you realize nobody actually pays that. Every retailer has a $59.99 12 month membership and they go on sale once in a while as well. I found one for $49.99 that included a copy of Lego Star Wars, so effectively free.
Once you activate the gold membership pretty much everything becomes available, from the apps to on-line saves and game play.
I’m impressed with the 360, it’s a nice piece of hardware with a great interface, I think Sony really needs to re-think its strategy on the Playstation, Microsoft has a vision of what living room entertainment should be and Sony is still thinking of only gaming.
Having said that, I still use my PS3 most of the time and honestly since I acquired the gold membership I think I’ve turned on the Xbox maybe half a dozen times tops, but when the next generation of consoles comes out, it’s going to be a hard choice as to which one I pick up.