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Posted by Slither_Maggot

@EXTomar said:

Many feel it is a failure of aesthetics because they are seeing things that are undesirable to them. It would be like jumping into Giantbomb.com and seeing articles about "10 delicious cake recipes" and "How to unjam your garbage disposal" all over it. It isn't that you don't want that information but in that context it is annoying. You'd wonder what they were doing right?

hahahahaha. That is gloriously epic. Lost it at the garbage disposal bit.

Posted by Trusty_Spoon

I used to love xbox live. I used to think the service I was paying for meant I had better server connection in online games, a higher support rate for DLC , digital games and anything that had some connected to live element. Now I feel like I am paying my subscription fees to find out how amazing JCVD thinks Coors light beer is, or why BT broadband is far more superior to play my online games with (even though my orange broadband runs from the same exchange in my town and is a fraction of the price). Like I said I used to love xbox live. Now I just feel like its whore who got tricked into a false sense of security. I am still waiting for the "it will never happen again" statement, but I know its coming!

Posted by Diachron

But who actually navigates to the games tab to learn about new content on Xbox Live? I don’t. Do you?

Yes, I do. And I do it every week to see what's new. I do the same on PSN.

It's a habit I picked up when the services launched and it continues to this day.

Posted by Ultragonk

The more I read about XBOX live the more I'm happy that I packed my XBOX 360 away in favour of my PS3. I know I'm missing out on games and what have you but with Steam and the like I already have too many games *eyes Backloggery list with guilt*

Posted by PimblyCharles

@runnah555: Wait until you see Windows 8! The store is almost front page and is nothing but ads. fun stuff..... not really

Online
Posted by StriderNo9

Well said Patrick. With that being said I need to actually go buy Mark of the Ninja.

Posted by runnah555

@MattSchwabby said:

@runnah555 said:

For a pay service it does have an obscene amount of ads.

Yeah for real. I pay almost ten times as much for my television service and there are NO ads on that. Wait...

Touche`

Posted by AssInAss

@Terramagi said:

Oh boo-fucking-hoo, your pet game didn't sell very well and isn't going to get ported to other platforms because of it (and the fact that Microsoft owns the property). Normal people just deal with it, as opposed to trying to guilt people into maneuvering through 5 menus to buy a game that clearly nobody cares about.

It's coming to Steam. Eat some crow.

Posted by MattSchwabby

@runnah555 said:

For a pay service it does have an obscene amount of ads.

Yeah for real. I pay almost ten times as much for my television service and there are NO ads on that. Wait...

Posted by runnah555

For a pay service it does have an obscene amount of ads.

Posted by Village_Guy

Wow, looking at the pictures, the difference between those pictures and how the dashboard looks where I live is huge.

First of all I have two ads on the right side instead of four, and I have never had an ad this isn't for either a game for the 360 or a movie on the 360 service. And I think the only movie ad I have seen was for Halo: Reach...

Posted by Eli

Man, I really like Patrick as a person and agree with his opinions more times than not, but this article has numerous, dumb mistake typos that I feel should've been caught in editing. I know these types of comments are nit-picky and shouldn't bother me, however, it honestly takes away from the legitimacy of an otherwise very thoughtful observational editorial.

Posted by ralphredimix

@MattSchwabby: Yes, there was just an ad for dove soap in front of a video. We know gamers don't bathe so wtf is that doing here?

Posted by Sammo21

All of this could be fixed if you could customise your dashboard completely, but Microsoft won't do that because then you wouldn't have ads in your face on every portion of the bar. I think the only two spaced that don't, in my beta version, is the friends tab and the settings tab.

Posted by MattSchwabby

@EXTomar said:

Many feel it is a failure of aesthetics because they are seeing things that are undesirable to them. It would be like jumping into Giantbomb.com and seeing articles about "10 delicious cake recipes" and "How to unjam your garbage disposal" all over it. It isn't that you don't want that information but in that context it is annoying. You'd wonder what they were doing right?

Funny you mention that. Lately, I have noticed some ads below giantbomb articles that aren't video game related when I'm not logged in.

Posted by MattSchwabby

@Tesla said:

@MattSchwabby: It is the jack of all trades, master of none. There is a little bit of everything on that dashboard. The problem with trying to please everyone, however, is that you end up pleasing no one.

The game you have in the tray is given no more prominence than the 5 or 6 other ads that are on the Home tab. There are ads on every. single. tab. For Silver members I can understand a bit more of an advertising presence. But when my experience is this inundated with ads I have to ask "what am I paying for?"

None of this would be a problem if so much of what is on there wasn't useless trash. I want to play video games and watch Netflix. They would do well to *gasp* take a page from Sony's XMB and limit the ads to the store front for Gold members. That would be a nice start.

Bottom line, it does not look cool. It looks like an interactive billboard. Marketing department loves the design, consumer does not.

Ahh ok. I misunderstood. I thought you were actually talking about the aesthetic qualities of the dashboard, not the content. Yeah if ads bug you then I can see why you wouldn't like the dashboard. Aesthetically speaking, it is very well designed.

Posted by blurienh

The 360 dash if far from perfect these days but I really disagree with you on this Patrick, I think the vote thing is much more important to be on the home blade because otherwise you wouldn't know or expect it to be on there. I check the games tab every few days to see whats new and if I need something to play I have a dig around, download a couple of trials to see if I like any of them. This game got the main slot in the games section and I don't think anyone not willing or bothered enough to click across 3 or so tabs to the games is going to download anything so putting it on the home blade wouldn't have helped it much more. I think the home blade is the best place for ads if we have to have them, I like that I have a place (the games blade) where all the stuff I'm interested on for Xbox is together, I don't do movies or music on my Xbox so I can ignore them parts.

Edited by warrenEBB

huh. I haven't seen any mention that: maybe it was intentional?

Marketing can be a sort of black magic (or a giant war with many battles). Maybe some marketing guy was curious how an indie game would sell based on reviews and word of mouth, separate from front page promotion to the masses. the best way to gauge this would be to give word of mouth a few days before you drop the ad.

When Zero Punctuation videos pop up on twitter and facebook at different times, hours after the video debuted on the site, I assume it's an experiment in gauging visitor traffic. Seeing which push delivered the most eyeballs, each time. (I know it could be incompetence, or a way to stagger traffic so the site doesn't crash. but in this modern world of massive marketing power, I tend towards thinking Marketing was experimenting with something).

Posted by Aleryn

Good article. Thanks for bringing this up as a full feature, Patrick.

Edited by Tesla

@MattSchwabby: It is the jack of all trades, master of none. There is a little bit of everything on that dashboard. The problem with trying to please everyone, however, is that you end up pleasing no one.

The game you have in the tray is given no more prominence than the 5 or 6 other ads that are on the Home tab. There are ads on every. single. tab. For Silver members I can understand a bit more of an advertising presence. But when my experience is this inundated with ads I have to ask "what am I paying for?"

None of this would be a problem if so much of what is on there wasn't useless trash. I want to play video games and watch Netflix. They would do well to *gasp* take a page from Sony's XMB and limit the ads to the store front for Gold members. That would be a nice start.

Bottom line, it does not look cool. It looks like an interactive billboard. Marketing department loves the design, consumer does not.

Online
Posted by EXTomar

Many feel it is a failure of aesthetics because they are seeing things that are undesirable to them. It would be like jumping into Giantbomb.com and seeing articles about "10 delicious cake recipes" and "How to unjam your garbage disposal" all over it. It isn't that you don't want that information but in that context it is annoying. You'd wonder what they were doing right?

Posted by MattSchwabby

@Tesla said:

This article alludes to the bigger issue at hand: just how shitty the 360 dashboard has become. It utterly fails now from both a design aesthetic and as an advertising tool. The first point of that statement requires no elaboration. Everyone with eyes knows its a clusterfuck. It's buckshot advertising...just load a bunch of shit into the barrel and fire it at our audience. They're sure to buy one of those things.

In my case this has caused a thousand yard stare of sorts. I've built up a resistance to the constant bombardment of bullshit, and so now I don't pay attention to any of it.

On a related note, this will be my last time renewing Gold. And I don't even pay 60 for it...I'm one of those smart monkeys that figured out you can get it cheaper on Amazon. Even $35 a year is too much for this bloatware.

Explain how it is a bad design aesthetic. What are some examples of better design in your opinion?

Posted by fisk0

@patrickklepek sai

Microsoft should be applauded for crafting an interface that, while rightfully scrutinized in recent revisions, can prove useful to the user and creator, and help expose them to one another. That’s not as easy to do on Wii or PlayStation 3, and having to open a store will always mean some never see it. It's an important distinction.

I know there are some differences between the XMB layouts in the US and EU (when you've shown the XMB in Quicklooks there's always an ad scroller below the system clock, which I've rarely seen here), but my EU PS3 automatically opens an "What's New" window when I boot it up, which is an 18 tile grid, where the first row (3 tiles) generally is a big SCEE announcement or recent release, the second row is your three most recently played games, and the next 12 tiles are ad spaces with a selection of PlayStation store releases, both games and media, as well as some PlayStation Plus content.

Isn't that what you're talking about? It doesn't require you to open the store to see some of the new releases, though the What's New thing can be disabled in system preferences (which of course about the same number of people who would never have opened the PlayStation Store would probably never look for in the settings either).

The current contents of the What's New page is a row about the new PS3 slim, ads for Little Big Planet Vita, Machinarium, Sound Shapes, Jet Set Radio, some Pink music video at Vidzone and some stuff about the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection.

Posted by Tesla

This article alludes to the bigger issue at hand: just how shitty the 360 dashboard has become. It utterly fails now from both a design aesthetic and as an advertising tool. The first point of that statement requires no elaboration. Everyone with eyes knows its a clusterfuck. It's buckshot advertising...just load a bunch of shit into the barrel and fire it at our audience. They're sure to buy one of those things.

In my case this has caused a thousand yard stare of sorts. I've built up a resistance to the constant bombardment of bullshit, and so now I don't pay attention to any of it.

On a related note, this will be my last time renewing Gold. And I don't even pay 60 for it...I'm one of those smart monkeys that figured out you can get it cheaper on Amazon. Even $35 a year is too much for this bloatware.

Online
Posted by PoisonJam7

I agree 100% with this article. When I first heard about Mark of The Ninja, it was the day it came out and I read about it on this site. It literally came out of nowhere, because I had never known it existed until it released. I'm so glad I read about it here though, because I immediately downloaded the trial, fell in love and bought it all within the space of 15 minutes.

Posted by hookem1883

@Katkillad: Thanks for the reply. I can see your argument, I just don't think Patrick is doing a very good job of presenting that issue. I think the way XBL skews toward triple A titles and media is a problem for independent developers. With regard to your point about paying for Xbox live and expecting video game ads/services, I think that's a general problem with subscription based services. They've got your money, so now they are going to try to find new ways to get more of it or get you to give some to their advertising partners. But unlike a subscription for a magazine or a website - where you can simply stop subscribing if you don't like the message - you need to stay on XBL in order to play online. I think people need to realize that from Microsoft's standpoint, Gold members are paying for the right to play online, use video services and receive certain discounts on games. They are not paying for the right to determine the ads or general presentation of the service. Perhaps there is a way subscribers can change this. My feeling is that the ship has sailed on this.

Maybe this will change in the next generation of consoles. With this generation, paying for Xbox live didn't seem like such a bad deal because Xbox had much better games and UI than the PS3. Now that the systems are entering the next console cycle largely neck and neck with regard to content/games, and Sony has seemed to learn their lesson with reference to UI and Online experience, it could mean that Microsoft will have to improve Gold membership in order to maintain the same success. Following on top of that, both systems will have to compete with other media units (Smart TVs, Roku, etc.) for advertising as well as game sales. Basically I'm saying that a change in Microsoft's approach will only come from market forces, and not from a group of users who, though disgruntled about the presentation of their service, have already proven time and again that they will pay for memberships regardless.

Posted by DeadDorf

Proofreading?

Posted by FellOpenIan

If people ever want this nonsense to change then they should be blocking the ads and refusing to pay for Gold.

Posted by BR4DL3I9H

@sickVisionz: You are absolutely right there. The average person whose only experience with videogames are off hand purchases and big releases probably has no idea that xxx is being released on xx/xx/xxxx on the market place, and thus gets annoyed when they don't see it on the front page of XBL marketplace. The day it IS on the front page is the day that they notice it.

I do think this article is making a bigger deal out of this than it really is.

Posted by Nation764

@abdo said:

@lockload: But in relation to other games services like Steam and PSN, it's atrocious. You don't pay to use Steam and PSN, or to play online on their games, and you get ads on one and none on the other. Xbox Live Gold makes you pay for something you get free with its competitors, and still gives you ads. I've always wondered what those costs cover, since not all online games use dedicated servers, if not most of them.

The only response that will have any effect is to not pay for Xbox Live Gold. Vote with your dollar, and see if that has any effect. My guess, not so much. Like Michael Pachter always says , its a profit deal. Money, money, money, take it or leave it. All the whining and bitching will not change a damn thing.

Posted by abdo

@lockload: But in relation to other games services like Steam and PSN, it's atrocious. You don't pay to use Steam and PSN, or to play online on their games, and you get ads on one and none on the other. Xbox Live Gold makes you pay for something you get free with its competitors, and still gives you ads. I've always wondered what those costs cover, since not all online games use dedicated servers, if not most of them.

Posted by lockload

@abdo: Like pretty much ever other medium including tv, magazines, newspapers....

Posted by theuselessgod

The new Xbox dash was what convinced me to ditch consoles forever and build a gaming PC.

So you won the battle since I still play my 360, Microsoft, but lost the war. If you are going to charge me yearly for something and STILL plaster ads on it, our business is through.

Posted by Katkillad

@hookem1883 said:

This article represents a lot of my recent problems with this site. Patrick, as others have written, you need to step up your game. I know you probably don't have access to a copy editor (it's a position that doesn't make money, so why have one), but you are a professional writer. Have respect for your craft. With regard to the article itself, what's the point? There's an army of revenue managers at Microsoft who have crunched the numbers, and determined that the non-game stuff makes more money. They know that more promotional space for Mark of the Ninja isn't going to make any difference to the bottom line. This article treats a numbers decision like it's an unfortunate XBL glitch or oversight. It's business. This article, as well as your article on Steam's Project Greenlight, comes across as merely a means to post something rather than an attempt at real journalism. We can get complaints from developers about Microsoft or Steam's policies on Twitter - don't settle for being an aggregate source. You can do better. I know it.

The point is, people are paying a monthly/yearly subscription to play video games on a video game console. The added media center options are nice and i'm sure some percentage of users might use Xbox360 primarily as a "media center device" and less of a video game console, but i can guarantee they are in the minority.

What value do you get from paying for XBL service? You get to play games online and there are sales, which are a complete joke except the big sale they do at the end of the year. If you compare that to Sony, and i'm thinking completely with business logic as I don't even own a ps3, these are things you don't have to pay for with an option for a premium service that gives you actual video games and video game deals.

Now that is kind of a tired/old comparison at this point, until you factor in how the XBL service has changed. It went from functional, to user friendly and focused on games, and finally to something slightly unrecognizable as primarily a video game service. From a business standpoint, you are right...it's pretty damned brilliant to have people paying a subscription that now focuses on advertisements unrelated to video game content and in many cases replacing updates/notices on games we could potentially be interested in.

This is a video game website and i'm assuming patrick wants what is best to further the industry. With the "indie boom" the relationship between game developer and end user has changed and users are getting more vested in the games they enjoy. So instead of microsoft helping developers with advertisement, instead you get to see a state farm insurance advertisement or MSNBC's funniest clip of the week. It's not good for gaming and that is the point you failed to see.

I think more people should be upset about it, personally if microsoft has a paid service again next console generation i'm not buying into it again, because it's hard to see what value i've got from it when you compare it to PS3 and Steam.

Posted by YummyTreeSap

@Terramagi said:

Oh boo-fucking-hoo, your pet game didn't sell very well and isn't going to get ported to other platforms because of it (and the fact that Microsoft owns the property). Normal people just deal with it, as opposed to trying to guilt people into maneuvering through 5 menus to buy a game that clearly nobody cares about.

So you're kind of a butt, huh?

Posted by Arrangers

I'm agree with Patrick. Well said :)

Posted by hagridore

I'm in the beta for the new dash and I'll break my "confidentiality" to say the UI is constantly receiving tweaks. Almost like Microsoft doesn't have a strong idea of how it should be formatted. I'd personally like the marketplace only visible in that menu option & have a simpler menu. Like that'll happen...

Posted by CTS_1987

I'm Just tired of the 360 dashboard getting bigger and bigger (boxes) and showing more ads with every system update, to the point where my background is almost gone. Currently right now all I have as my background is a inside view of a 2011 Dodge Challenger. I used to have pics of good looking ladies untill the dashboard got bigger.

Posted by Terramagi

@bkfountain said:

@Terramagi said:

Oh boo-fucking-hoo, your pet game didn't sell very well and isn't going to get ported to other platforms because of it (and the fact that Microsoft owns the property). Normal people just deal with it, as opposed to trying to guilt people into maneuvering through 5 menus to buy a game that clearly nobody cares about.

Actually, they hinted that Mark of the Ninja is going to Steam.

So did Phil Fish. Look what happened to him.

Posted by bkfountain

@Terramagi said:

Oh boo-fucking-hoo, your pet game didn't sell very well and isn't going to get ported to other platforms because of it (and the fact that Microsoft owns the property). Normal people just deal with it, as opposed to trying to guilt people into maneuvering through 5 menus to buy a game that clearly nobody cares about.

Actually, they hinted that Mark of the Ninja is going to Steam.

Posted by hookem1883

This article represents a lot of my recent problems with this site. Patrick, as others have written, you need to step up your game. I know you probably don't have access to a copy editor (it's a position that doesn't make money, so why have one), but you are a professional writer. Have respect for your craft. With regard to the article itself, what's the point? There's an army of revenue managers at Microsoft who have crunched the numbers, and determined that the non-game stuff makes more money. They know that more promotional space for Mark of the Ninja isn't going to make any difference to the bottom line. This article treats a numbers decision like it's an unfortunate XBL glitch or oversight. It's business. This article, as well as your article on Steam's Project Greenlight, comes across as merely a means to post something rather than an attempt at real journalism. We can get complaints from developers about Microsoft or Steam's policies on Twitter - don't settle for being an aggregate source. You can do better. I know it.

Posted by imfaraway

Man.... NG+ is looking pretty enticing right now. Everybody play this damn game

Posted by SatelliteOfLove

The 360's dashboard has been an ever more enraging trainwreck. I'd love if it went back to 2008-era when the goal was functionality of finding what you seek not cram-assing shit they want you to want. The Durango's will be hell.

@Nashvilleskyline said:

I see indie games a bit like indie music. The diamonds in the rough will come out to light eventually. I'm a bit tired of hearing both journalists and game developers bashing on the services that put out their games to the public. Not every great game needs to be a commercial success. Patrick, as long as you will see games as a "product of rentability" and not a work of art, you will always be disapointed in this side of buisness... From Microsoft, sony, steam etc etc. They will all, eventually, let you down. What won't are the games created by passionnate people. I'd say that 95% of the best music will never be listend by 95% of the population. And you know what. That's totally fine. As the game industry grows, it becomes impossible to know and be aware of all the game that comes out. And it will get harder to play them all too. It's up to site like yours and community like ours to share that knowledge and be part of what I could call : a living and breathing indie game world.

Don't write an article to whine about a service that almost created indie gaming, but instead write another article on how you believe Mark of the Ninja is the best thing you've played this year.

This too. If it was dicked over, THEN we can talk about something else other than Dashboard's clunkiness.

Posted by PerfidiousSinn

I understand being upset about getting non-game related ads, somewhat.

But some people are taking it too far by saying "I'm paying for this, there shouldn't be ads at all!"

I pay for my internet, cable television, AND Xbox Live. There's ads all over them and I've never thought "this is BS, my money should go towards removing ads entirely". Just remember that we are all material girls, living in a material world.

Posted by abdo

@Toug said:

But who actually navigates to the games tab to learn about new content on Xbox Live? I don’t. Do you?

See, that's what surprises me. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I just got into the habit of clicking over to games and checking the "new releases" section. It's just muscle memory for me at this point. I find it strange that others, particularly other (ugh) "hardcore" gamers don't do the same.

Agreed, I didn't want to call Patrick out for this, but yeah. You want games, you go to the games tab, it's not exactly difficult.

Posted by Terramagi

Oh boo-fucking-hoo, your pet game didn't sell very well and isn't going to get ported to other platforms because of it (and the fact that Microsoft owns the property). Normal people just deal with it, as opposed to trying to guilt people into maneuvering through 5 menus to buy a game that clearly nobody cares about.

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

I just wish there was a option to customise dashboard, choose what tabs you want and where they appear. The dash needs to show things like a top 10 weekly list on arcade titles on the games tab front page and a what's new. The tiles system doesn't show enough information. I'm starting to think Patrick does typos on purpose to generate more comments on his articles because how hard is it to use spell check and get a friend of the sites name right...

Posted by NGPriest

Free comment! :D

Posted by Nation764

@Metal_Mills said:

@Nation764 said:

@cancerdancer said:

"and are often part part of contrats between Microsoft"

PROOF READ YOUR SHIT.

This, among several other examples pointed out. Are you a professional or not? You're paid to be a writer, act like it. These errors don't happen when the other guys write articles, but happen very frequently in yours. No excuse. The fu**ing huge tile of the article has a spelling error!

Also, whine much? Are you a PR rep for Mark of the Ninja or what?

I guess you've never written professionally. Some articles are riddled with errors, they get corrected when the editor-in-chief reads it. You know, like what Jeff did for a decade. That's why his grammar is perfect. And are you really bitching about Patrick whining after whining yourself?

Yes

Edited by Metal_Mills
@Nation764 said:

@cancerdancer said:

"and are often part part of contrats between Microsoft"

PROOF READ YOUR SHIT.

This, among several other examples pointed out. Are you a professional or not? You're paid to be a writer, act like it. These errors don't happen when the other guys write articles, but happen very frequently in yours. No excuse. The fu**ing huge tile of the article has a spelling error!

Also, whine much? Are you a PR rep for Mark of the Ninja or what?

I guess you've never written professionally. Some articles are riddled with errors, they get corrected when the editor-in-chief reads it. You know, like what Jeff did for a decade. That's why his grammar is perfect. And are you really bitching about Patrick whining after whining yourself?