Yes, he wants you - he wants you bad... but only for your mind. In Microsoft's continuing efforts to keep Xbox Live at the top of the online service food chain, Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb has put out a call to Xbox 360 owners to write in with suggestions on how the company can improve Xbox Live, Xbox.com and the Xbox 360 itself.
While we can debate whether or not Microsoft actually plans on listening to any of the feedback it gets or if they're just trying to drum up some positive PR, there's no question that this move is going to generate a lot of responses - if there's one thing gamers are, it's opinionated. Personally, I'd like to see the following added to the roster;
- Sell a larger hard drive - at a normal cost - Sorry guys, but not only is the Xbox 360 standard hard drive entirely too small, but charging $99.99 for a 20gb hard drive is insane.
- Sell Microsoft points in smaller lots - Because when you want to buy a 400 point Live Arcade game, but only have 380 Microsoft points remaining in your account, being forced to buy 500 more points is not customer friendly.
- Sell an Xbox 360 Live Arcade stick - preferable one that would feature 2 joysticks where at least the main stick was also 4/8 way switchable. (Like the Ultimarc Mag-Stick Plus) - Because playing a lot of the Xbox Live Arcade games with the standard controller is a chore.
- Allow RedOctane to make the Guitar Hero II X-Plorer guitar wireless - This should be self explanatory.
- Add requirements for game packaging - I'm sorry, but every year the instructions to Madden become smaller and smaller. Madden '07's instructions were actually just controller diagrams... and then EA had the nerve to sell online "guides" on how to play the game. Look, the game had virtually no instructions, no tutorial and then EA wanted money to teach people how to play the game. Situations like that are just an all-around black-eye to Xbox Live, the 360, Microsoft and most importantly your customers.
- Fully test Dashboard updates before they're released - This isn't the PC industry guys, every piece of hardware you have out there is fundamentally the same. There's no reason an update should ever brick a system.
- Release complete games - and force third parties to do so as well - This is another huge issue with the next-gen consoles - the constant patching. The reason console gamers play consoles is specifically to avoid the headaches of constant patches, bugs and the like - but developers are starting to get a little lazy. Perhaps some forced quality assurance testing? I cannot honestly believe that Madden '07 was properly tested if something as large as the fatigue bug could get through the process.
- Arrange/Sort items in the Live Marketplace better - While I haven't checked in awhile, there were quite a few games that had entirely too many related items for sale or download, making finding what you were looking for a bit tedious. Why not separate those items into subfolders? I remember at one point, you would have to scroll through tons of Basketball, Hockey, Baseball and Football gamer pictures just to see what else was available.
- Improve the ease with which Windows Media Player Connect can interface with the 360 - Neither I, my friends or the people at both 1-800-4MYXBOX or the general Microsoft Windows support line could ever figure out how to get it working on my system.
So that's my wish list, and I plan on tacking it onto the current thread over at the Major's blog. If you want to make your opinion heard, head over to the post at this link to put your 25 cents worth into the coin box.