Let me make something clear, I absolutely love my Xbox360. Were I to be forced at gunpoint to choose which one of my consoles I could keep it would almost certainly be that. However, I'm currently rather pissed off with the manufacturer, Microsoft, because they are – as far as I am concerned – trying to rip people off.
For the uninitiated let me briefly explain. The Xbox360 comes with an online store from which you can purchase map packs for the likes of Modern Warfare 3 or entire standalone games, such as Trials Evolution, which is the one that has prompted this blog update.
You see, the problem is this. To purchase anything from the Xbox Live online store you need 'points' (no, you can't just pay cash by credit card, that'd be too f**king simple). These points can be purchased in the following amounts.
So what's the problem? The problem, and it's quite a large one if you ask me, is that nothing they sell is actually priced at these increments. Starting from zero points you will always either have too few or too many for the item in question.
For example; Trials Evolution, as well as a large number of their offerings, is priced at 1200 points. Ah, but you can't buy 1200 points, you would have to purchase 1000+500, which leaves you paying for an extra 300 points that you might well have absolutely no use for and certainly can't afford to purchase unnecessarily! It's like going in to a shop to buy a loaf of bread that's priced at £1.20 and being told they'll only accept £2 but you can spend the other 80p on something else – which you might not want!
I'm aware they sell scratchcards in highstreet stores that may be of the requisite value but that is besides the point. Why should I have to traipse to my local stockist, probably at some further expense, to purchase a scratchcard simply to avoid having to fill Microsoft's pockets with extra money? I shouldn't.
It's bad enough they charge over £35 a year just so that you can play multiplayer games online, unlike any other console manufacturer, now they're trying to scrape more money from the poor sodding punters who merely want to buy one game from them occasionally! It's not as though there's any incentive for buying more points than you need, the pricing offers no extra value, you don't get more bang for your buck.
Microsoft, this is very shoddy practice and you need to rethink your pricing structure. Either change the cost of the games (downward!) or offer points bundles in the appropriate sizes.
Oh yes, and whilst you're at it, give the damn Xbox360 an internet browser. If the Wii can manage it, just about, then I'm damned sure your console could if you could be bothered!
BTW, if anybody reads this and decides it might be an idea to post a comment about how the PS3 rulez – don't. I own one. I love it too but it has its own flaws, major ones.