Microsoft "Rewards" Are Just Insulting

Before you read this I want to make 2 things very clear:

1. Never written a blog before I just wanted to write down these thoughts, so bare with me (assuming anyone even reads this thing which I doubt)

2. I am not trying to start a console war, I'm just writing as a very aggravated customer of Xbox.

I've been a fan of Xbox ever since I first played Halo but once I got Xbox Live, and started playing online, it was a whole new experience for me that I never looked back from. That was about 8 years ago, since then we've seen a lot of changes and yes it does annoy me to have to go three or four damn pages just go get to the game section of Live but in the end of the day I still liked playing a game on the Xbox. However, with Steam being the craze that it is I was starting to wonder if I being ripped off by console gaming? It seemed like PC gamers had more options for price and could get really great deals, while I didn't. And yes I do play PC games on my computer but I don't really have that great of a gaming computer. So I just overlooked it and said well it's not like any other consoles are offering crazy deals. In walks Sony.

First it started with their free games which was already making me jealous of people who had Playstation Plus but I shrugged it off because even though it would be awesome to get free stuff it was nothing I was falling off of my chair over. Then it was PS+ members getting $6 off of a game they reserve off of PSN (not all but it's def a step in the right direction) which is pretty good so I started to get really annoyed why am I paying MS all this money to just play games online, what do they give me? I don't use any apps, most Gold Member only games come to PC any or even PSN, and the discounts they have are terrible. What so I get to use Bing and Youtube? Who cares.

So even with all my anger I was said "Whatever MS will probably come up with something soon right?" Well they did so far, and this is why I'm writing. For those who don't know you get money back on games you buy over the Marketplace now, if you sign up online. How much you ask? Well it depends on your Gamer Score which is already kind of odd but it's not ridicules only 25k for the max reward. Which is 2% back every month on every game you buy online and a gift on your birthday month... Now let me put some context behind this in case this doesn't insult you. PS+ member get $6 back for reserving new games that cost $60, you would have to spend $500.00 dollars to get $10.00 dollars from this deal, with the highest reward pack! So I got it to see what the deal was for the birthday since my birthday is the 18th of October and I got my reward. 20 Microsoft Points ... 80 MS is a dollar, 20 is a quarter. I've been a member for 8 years, bought tons of games and been a pretty loyal customer and they give me 25 cents. With this "deal", the amount I spend on the Market Place, and the 200 points I get for buying another year of Live I will maybe get $5 dollars a year if that from Microsoft, while reserving 1 game with Sony saves me $6.

This pissed me off more than anything else, I would rather get nothing and wait for them to actually come up with a good deal rather than try to give me a damn quarter. Who knows maybe a week from now they'll come up with something amazing and I'll be completely on board again, or maybe not.

Between Sony and Steam, if Microsoft doesn't step it up they'll lose customers by the time this new generation of Consoles come out and I will be one of them, and just like when I first started playing Live, I'll never look back.

EDIT: Thanks for everyone who read this I never expected over 1000 people to read this blog (at the same time didn't know I could post it on forums so obviously that helped lol). Everyone has their own opinion and they are entitled to that and I always respect it, even if I disagree with you. Thanks for the taking the time to read my thoughts.

- Ozzie Gonzalez

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Posted by Ozzie

Before you read this I want to make 2 things very clear:

1. Never written a blog before I just wanted to write down these thoughts, so bare with me (assuming anyone even reads this thing which I doubt)

2. I am not trying to start a console war, I'm just writing as a very aggravated customer of Xbox.

I've been a fan of Xbox ever since I first played Halo but once I got Xbox Live, and started playing online, it was a whole new experience for me that I never looked back from. That was about 8 years ago, since then we've seen a lot of changes and yes it does annoy me to have to go three or four damn pages just go get to the game section of Live but in the end of the day I still liked playing a game on the Xbox. However, with Steam being the craze that it is I was starting to wonder if I being ripped off by console gaming? It seemed like PC gamers had more options for price and could get really great deals, while I didn't. And yes I do play PC games on my computer but I don't really have that great of a gaming computer. So I just overlooked it and said well it's not like any other consoles are offering crazy deals. In walks Sony.

First it started with their free games which was already making me jealous of people who had Playstation Plus but I shrugged it off because even though it would be awesome to get free stuff it was nothing I was falling off of my chair over. Then it was PS+ members getting $6 off of a game they reserve off of PSN (not all but it's def a step in the right direction) which is pretty good so I started to get really annoyed why am I paying MS all this money to just play games online, what do they give me? I don't use any apps, most Gold Member only games come to PC any or even PSN, and the discounts they have are terrible. What so I get to use Bing and Youtube? Who cares.

So even with all my anger I was said "Whatever MS will probably come up with something soon right?" Well they did so far, and this is why I'm writing. For those who don't know you get money back on games you buy over the Marketplace now, if you sign up online. How much you ask? Well it depends on your Gamer Score which is already kind of odd but it's not ridicules only 25k for the max reward. Which is 2% back every month on every game you buy online and a gift on your birthday month... Now let me put some context behind this in case this doesn't insult you. PS+ member get $6 back for reserving new games that cost $60, you would have to spend $500.00 dollars to get $10.00 dollars from this deal, with the highest reward pack! So I got it to see what the deal was for the birthday since my birthday is the 18th of October and I got my reward. 20 Microsoft Points ... 80 MS is a dollar, 20 is a quarter. I've been a member for 8 years, bought tons of games and been a pretty loyal customer and they give me 25 cents. With this "deal", the amount I spend on the Market Place, and the 200 points I get for buying another year of Live I will maybe get $5 dollars a year if that from Microsoft, while reserving 1 game with Sony saves me $6.

This pissed me off more than anything else, I would rather get nothing and wait for them to actually come up with a good deal rather than try to give me a damn quarter. Who knows maybe a week from now they'll come up with something amazing and I'll be completely on board again, or maybe not.

Between Sony and Steam, if Microsoft doesn't step it up they'll lose customers by the time this new generation of Consoles come out and I will be one of them, and just like when I first started playing Live, I'll never look back.

EDIT: Thanks for everyone who read this I never expected over 1000 people to read this blog (at the same time didn't know I could post it on forums so obviously that helped lol). Everyone has their own opinion and they are entitled to that and I always respect it, even if I disagree with you. Thanks for the taking the time to read my thoughts.

- Ozzie Gonzalez

Edited by Turtlebird95

WTF 20 points? I thought it would be an avatar prop or at least 400 points. How stingy.
 
Edit: Just checked my Rewards page and yup. 20 points.

Posted by FluxWaveZ

HAHAHA, that's the surprise birthday gift? 20 points?

And that's why I stopped paying for Xbox Live Gold. Never needed it except for having to pay to access online multiplayer. I also never understood the complaints people had with PSN's basic interface compared to Xbox Live's and I've had both consoles for a long while now. XBL Gold is a joke compared to PS+.

Posted by sarahsdad

I'll probably buy a month or two of gold to play around with AC3, and Hitman online modes, but otherwise it's been a while since I've had a regular subscription. Especially with the offer of downloadable games (even if they aren't brand new), Sony's looking like they're going to get my business next generation.

Posted by mordukai

@FluxWaveZ said:

HAHAHA, that's the surprise birthday gift? 20 points?

I also never understood the complaints people had with PSN's basic interface compared to Xbox Live...

See people have problems with simple to navigate UI. It's just too goddamn easy and lets face it it looks simple because lord knows how many hours people put into that game that's called Navigate Your UI. People need pretty pretty colors in their face. Lets not forget that people also can't live with ads plastered all over the screen too.

I really have no problem with the PS3's UI. I guess it's a side effect of growing up on old black and white movies.

Frankly my only problem with XMB is it's in-game functionality.

@Ozzie:

MS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY Valued costumer. Here's a quarter.

You: I'm sorry, I didn't know I was transported back in time to 1955.

Posted by Bigandtasty

That's beyond words. Really don't want to pay for XBL now even with H4 and Judgment soon.

Posted by living4theday258

a quarter.... hell a birthday party hat for your avatar would be better than that...

Posted by CptBedlam

@Ozzie said:

Between Sony and Steam, if Microsoft doesn't step it up they'll lose customers by the time this new generation of Consoles come out and I will be one of them, and just like when I first started playing Live, I'll never look back.

Agreed. I was a loyal XBL customer for years but a few weeks ago I decided to let my gold subscription lapse. I just don't see the value anymore. The dashboard gets gradually worse (increasingly less focus on gaming, more ads and social shit that I don't care for at all, terrible UI), the deals are mostly a joke compared to Steam or PSN and paying for online-gaming is laughable. Good thing one of their shitty ads reminded me that MS invests my subscription money into stupid timed exclusivity deals for COD mappacks - another straw that influenced my decision to not give them my money anymore.

Posted by Tim_the_Corsair
@mordukai

@FluxWaveZ said:

HAHAHA, that's the surprise birthday gift? 20 points?

I also never understood the complaints people had with PSN's basic interface compared to Xbox Live...

See people have problems with simple to navigate UI. It's just too goddamn easy and lets face it it looks simple because lord knows how many hours people put into that game that's called Navigate Your UI. People need pretty pretty colors in their face. Lets not forget that people also can't live with ads plastered all over the screen too.

I really have no problem with the PS3's UI. I guess it's a side effect of growing up on old black and white movies.

Frankly my only problem with XMB is it's in-game functionality.

@Ozzie:

MS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY Valued costumer. Here's a quarter.

You: I'm sorry, I didn't know I was transported back in time to 1955.

Microsoft are the new stingy grandparent

If you've been signed up for 10 years you get a pair of ugly socks for your Avatar
Posted by Mesoian

To be fair, they've been doing this for years. But the hoops you have to go through in order to get the real life points that effect your gamer score are so massive and convoluted that it's never been worth the effort.

I have an xbox rewards card in my wallet. I have never once used it, and I'm pretty sure all the places that you're supposed to be able to no longer take it.

Posted by Portis

I don't mean to sound like a jerk here, and while 20 points is pretty insignificant they don't owe you anything aside from the features the service provides.

Posted by nintendoeats

That is a very large boulder on top of the hay pile that makes using an Xbox 360 a miserable experience.

I am loyal to many Microsoft products, and I am slowly seeing them ruin most of them. If Valve can pull of this "games in Linux" thing, I will gladly put on a red hat.

Posted by mrpandaman

MS maybe forgot to add 0 or two to the end of that 20... probably not. So at first I thought you were kidding and then I looked it up.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2410404,00.asp

Spend $19,000 to get 30,000 MS points. WHAT IN THE FUCK is that BULLSHIT? >.>

Posted by TheSouthernDandy

Funny, I wrote a blog not that long ago regarding Live.

I've been a Live subscriber for a long time now and I've rarely every had a problem with it but lately it's seeming a worse value compared to PS+ and while Sony keeps making their service more attractive MS basically says "meh" and offers nothing in comparison. The problem is they know they have all those CoD and Halo players locked and everyone else who has a friends list and people they play with so why would they change anything? It's a real bummer.

I'm gonna be keeping it for now cause I'm one of those idiots but when this next cycle starts, I'm gonna be looking at whats being offered. At one time the new MS system would have been a shoe in but now, not so much anymore.

Posted by Dagbiker

I bought games for the 360 up until they redesigned it about a year ago, then I kinda stopped. I bought Persona 4 Arena, but thats the only game I bought last year for the 360. I realized that even though the Ps3 interface is crap. Its still not as bad as the Xbox. And the PC beats all of them So my xbox just dropped a place in my console race.

Posted by Grilledcheez

The rewards program is awful...I remember a sponsored achievement contest (I think it was Old Spice) and if you got a certain amount of achievement points in like a month, YOU GOT A $50 GAME....THOSE WERE THE DAYS.

Edited by huntad

The main reason I buy games for the 360 is because they work. I got tired of buying PS3 games and then having problems with them. It got better now that we're at the end of the cycle, but it's not completely fixed.

I switched to PS3 for a few years and loved the free online, but hated how everything felt slapped together. Nothing was integrated, and the XMB was sluggish when in games. I don't buy games for the 360 because of the deals they have. I buy them because Sony fucked up. I don't want to lag in games, have varying levels of voice chat quality, figure out how to invite people in different ways per game, etc.

I love Sony's console, because I'm still on my first one rather than my 6th, but I like things that work on the software side as well and I'm willing to pay for them.

Posted by Demoskinos

They could give you nothing. 20 points isn't much yes but also take into mind you always have extra points left over after buying things I've had situations where I've had to spend 5 dollars because I was 30 points short on something. It will add up.

Posted by JasonR86

It's better then nothing. You didn't earn those rewards. You got them for doing what you normally do. Stop being so ungrateful.

Posted by Quarters

Outside of the infrastructure and cross game chat, XBL is quickly becoming a complete joke. This is just a cherry on top. PS+ has been infinitely more valuable to me than XBL ever has in its entire existence.

Posted by Ozzie

@Portis said:

I don't mean to sound like a jerk here, and while 20 points is pretty insignificant they don't owe you anything aside from the features the service provides.

If you have 2 stores near your house, both offer the same food, same price but 1 has coupons you can use by shopping their and the other doesn't, which one are you going to use? Are you owed this service, No but does that mean your going to shop at the one where you save no money because they don't owe you anything? Most people would go with other store and if that other one doesn't step it up they lose business

Posted by Ozzie

@JasonR86: Didn't earn those free playstation games either but they got them, didn't earn those steam sale but I got those. Nothing to do with earning something has to do with smart business. Sorry if you feel otherwise

Posted by laserbolts

To me PS+ and Xbox gold are both total ripoffs but I have friends that like to play online so I pay 60 bucks a year for gold. It isn't really a huge amount for me so it doesn't bother me as much.

Posted by FluxWaveZ

@laserbolts: Do you even own a PS3?

Edited by laserbolts

I would reply proper but on my phone yes fluxwaves I have a old fat launch ps3. Why do you ask?

Edited by FluxWaveZ

@laserbolts: I don't know... It just seems a bit weird to put PS+ in the same league as XBL Gold in terms of a ripoff, especially since you don't need to pay at all to play online on the former and when demos aren't behind a paywall, either. Free games with the service > not free games, I would think.

Posted by JasonR86

@Ozzie said:

@JasonR86: Didn't earn those free playstation games either but they got them, didn't earn those steam sale but I got those. Nothing to do with earning something has to do with smart business. Sorry if you feel otherwise

The point is not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Edited by laserbolts

You get more with PS+ but I buy games quite often so the "free" ones are already in my collection. What else do you get from the service besides old games and a new one every blue moon? Maybe I should have been more specific in saying that they are both ripoffs but gold is more of a ripoff. Also not sure what me having a PS3 would have to do with the value of each service.

Posted by mrpandaman

I've been waiting for MS to incorporate Gamerscore into some meaning rewards program, because when I had a 360 that is what I thought the Gamerscore was initially going to be. Maybe, hopefully this rewards will be better down the line. MS doesn't have to give anything to its users and XBL members, but they should. You give something to your users, that builds loyalty to the service, to the brand.

Look at Steam, they constantly offer discounts to all users and people love them for that. Sony offers free games and reasonable discounts as long as you are subscribed to their service and people are really responding well to that.

Edited by FluxWaveZ

@laserbolts said:

Also not sure what me having a PS3 would have to do with the value of each service.

Because I'd trust your opinion more on the matter if you actually had experience with both paid subscriptions rather than judging it on the sidelines.

@laserbolts said:

What else do you get from the service besides old games and a new one every blue moon?

There are several discounts. There are several deals where pre-ordering an upcoming big title will save you $6, as mentioned in the OP. This month, spending $100 on PSN will net you a $20 rebate, so that in combination with those deals can be quite nice. There's automatic game patching when your system is turned off, something I don't believe the 360 has.

Also, I don't always buy every game out there, so getting Just Cause 2, Bloodrayne: Betrayal, Pac-Man CE DX, Trine 2, Renegade Ops and more—games I wouldn't have owned otherwise—is a big deal for me.

Posted by _Chad

There no point in complaining. It's pretty shitty. It's still more than they were giving out before.

Edited by BraveToaster

I don't care if I don't get free stuff, but I've already given up on Xbox Live. I'm not going to pay an extra $60.00 just to play a few games online. I could get a few decent games on Steam with that much money.

Posted by NickL

@Portis said:

I don't mean to sound like a jerk here, and while 20 points is pretty insignificant they don't owe you anything aside from the features the service provides.

While you are technically right, MS also didn't have to call an amount of change I can find on the ground every day a "special birthday reward"

Posted by Turtlebird95
@FluxWaveZ said:

@laserbolts said:

What else do you get from the service besides old games and a new one every blue moon?

There are several discounts. There are several deals where pre-ordering an upcoming big title will save you $6, as mentioned in the OP. This month, spending $100 on PSN will net you a $20 rebate, so that in combination with those deals can be quite nice. There's automatic game patching when your system is turned off, something I don't believe the 360 has.


360 doesn't need autopatching considering most updates are less than 10 MB. Unlike the PS3 where you have to download 10 fucking updates just to play Uncharted 2.
Posted by Nightriff

You can get a cup of Joe for the quarter, or put it in the bank to start saving for you retirement. Now go on you little scrap - Grandpa MS

Posted by FluxWaveZ

@Turtlebird95 said:

360 doesn't need autopatching considering most updates are less than 10 MB. Unlike the PS3 where you have to download 10 fucking updates just to play Uncharted 2.

That doesn't change the fact that the 360 often has game patches as well, patches that you need to wait for while they download in order to update a game.

Posted by Village_Guy

@FluxWaveZ said:

@Turtlebird95 said:

360 doesn't need autopatching considering most updates are less than 10 MB. Unlike the PS3 where you have to download 10 fucking updates just to play Uncharted 2.

That doesn't change the fact that the 360 often has game patches as well, patches that you need to wait for while they download in order to update a game.

Right, but I have never seen an update take more than 5 seconds to download, whereas the the PS3 patches takes much longer.

For some reason the download speed on the PS3 always seems slower than the 360, and unfortunately in my experience I have had more lag problems online on the PS3 than the 360 too.

Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1

It would almost be better if they came to your house to throw pennies at you.

Posted by TopSteer

@FluxWaveZ said:

This month, spending $100 on PSN will net you a $20 rebate, so that in combination with those deals can be quite nice.

To be fair, that deal is available to everybody, not just PS+ users.

Posted by FluxWaveZ

@TopSteer said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

This month, spending $100 on PSN will net you a $20 rebate, so that in combination with those deals can be quite nice.

To be fair, that deal is available to everybody, not just PS+ users.

I was mentioning it in conjunction with the pre-order deal only available to PS+ members.

Posted by TopSteer

@FluxWaveZ: My bad then, it sounded like you thought it was PS+ exclusive.

Edited by avantegardener

Yeah, I pretty much came to this conclusion a while back, I rarely re-up to Gold (I was a dyed-in-wool yearly supporter) anymore, unless there is something multiplayer I really want to play. Just thinking about that sentence 'paying for multiplayer' is like waking up from a dream. Like everyone, I have less and less disposable income so I really had to address what I was actually spending money on. Recently I thought I'd see what all the PS+ fuss was all about with one of their short term subs. I was sceptical when it 1st launched, but I have to say that now it is definitely an excellent value proposition, free games for a subscription, seems so damn simple, although there is that much downloading to be done, I could do with a bigger hard drive. I would have to figure that Microsoft are taking notes. That said, it's taken the PS3 till now to get their system and service plan right, just as its next generation dawns. Also don’t know if you know, PCs are preeetty cool.

P.S It was my birthday yesterday, just saw my own 20pts.

Posted by Terramagi

@JasonR86 said:

@Ozzie said:

@JasonR86: Didn't earn those free playstation games either but they got them, didn't earn those steam sale but I got those. Nothing to do with earning something has to do with smart business. Sorry if you feel otherwise

The point is not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

You really need to re-evaluate things if you think Microsoft is doing you a favor by charging you 60 dollars for advertisements.

They don't owe you anything? You don't owe THEM anything. They come TO YOU. This isn't a fucking monopoly.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

At the start of this generation I was almost purely an Xbox user. The way they've handled Xbox Live made me adjust my priorities, to the point where the Xbox has become my least played platform.

I can only assume they're going to wait for their next system before retuning all their online services, because if they plan on continuing as they are, I think they're going to have some problems. There's no point in paying to play games online, when you could be doing it for free on 3 other systems and I can't believe the majority of people out there will continue to do so. The fact Xbox Live was so much better than PSN when it first launched is the only reason it still has any perceived value.

Posted by Humanity

@Ozzie: Just wanted to say my Birthday is also October 18th so high five dood.

Online
Edited by JasonR86

@Terramagi said:

@JasonR86 said:

@Ozzie said:

@JasonR86: Didn't earn those free playstation games either but they got them, didn't earn those steam sale but I got those. Nothing to do with earning something has to do with smart business. Sorry if you feel otherwise

The point is not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

You really need to re-evaluate things if you think Microsoft is doing you a favor by charging you 60 dollars for advertisements.

They don't owe you anything? You don't owe THEM anything. They come TO YOU. This isn't a fucking monopoly.

This was a discussion about the rewards program and not xbox live as a whole. I feel like these are two very separate discussions. The rewards program, to me, equates to given gifts for behaviors most of us were going to do anyway. It is as simple as that. For example, I got 200 points to renewing my year long live service. I was going to do that anyway whether I got those points or not. In fact I didn't even know I was going to be given any points at all. So that extra 200 points was just a nice bonus for something I was going to already do. So getting mad about such a program seems crazy to me. They are giving you something for doing what you always do anyway. Just accept it.

Now if we wanted to talk about Xbox Live as a whole then, yes, it is a total rip off. But it is a rip off millions of people live with year after year. I live with it year after year. So why would Microsoft do anything different? We can bitch here all we want but Microsoft, like every other business on the planet, recognizes one thing; revenue. So as long as millions continue to have Gold memberships nothing will change. In fact, the rewards program is a complete surprise to me because, from a business sense, Microsoft doesn't need that rewards program to keep revenue high.

So I dislike a lot about Live. But I also continue to have a Gold membership regardless so I have no room to bitch because my actions direct contradict my words. As for the rewards program, it continues to be a nice bonus for what I was going to do anyway.

Posted by Wong_Fei_Hung

20 Points! LOL

Nintendo Network is free and awesome, hopefully it will show the others how it should be done.

Posted by Snail

Paying to pay online, in this day and age, sounds just unbelievable.

Posted by Subbeh

@WinterSnowblind said:

At the start of this generation I was almost purely an Xbox user. The way they've handled Xbox Live made me adjust my priorities, to the point where the Xbox has become my least played platform.

I can only assume they're going to wait for their next system before retuning all their online services, because if they plan on continuing as they are, I think they're going to have some problems. There's no point in paying to play games online, when you could be doing it for free on 3 other systems and I can't believe the majority of people out there will continue to do so. The fact Xbox Live was so much better than PSN when it first launched is the only reason it still has any perceived value.

I feel the same way, was in from beta on the first xbox but now if a game is out on multiple formats I'll always take the PC or PS3 version over the 360.

When most of the games I played seemed to be hosted peer to peer, the download speeds weren't exactly great and the whole thing was plastered with ads I just really didn't understand what it was I was paying for anymore.

This reward scheme seems like an absolute joke as well, I don't expect to get a bunch of stuff for free but when your most direct competitor offers a far superior service in PSN+ for similar money then this reward scheme just seems like too little too late for me.

Posted by Scrawnto

I just want to say that I find it interesting that giving someone 25 cents can actually offend or anger that person. I can't help but picture someone throwing the quarter back at their Xbox shouting, "I don't need your charity! Fuck you!"

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