Whatever Happened to Plug and Play?

It’s been a while since I turned on my Xbox, and that’s not because I haven’t wanted to, but because I haven’t had the time. You’re probably sick of me saying that, but it’s true. I have spent 5 hours today playing with budgets and time sheets in Microsoft Excel. Yes, I’m using spreadsheets in a Journalism course, I’m confused too.

Anyway, after blurring my eyes and seeing wavy lines that weren’t there, I decided that five hours in one piece of software was just about enough for one day, and thought I would fire up my Xbox for the first time in, well, what feels like months. I still haven’t played anything new, and the On Demand sale has been and gone. It had some very good deals, but I either had all the games or I didn’t want them. Fallout 3 was the best deal in my opinion, and I was tempted by Civ 5, but I think those games are best played on a PC or laptop.

But I’m rambling. The point of this post is to ponder this; what happened to plug and play? I turned my Xbox on, and it needed an update. I looked at the special deals they’ve got this weekend, clicked on one of them and was told I needed to do an update. So it does the update, and what happens next? I’m suddenly in IE on my Xbox, looking at very small text that I need to zoom in on. I’m not going to get into my objections to having browsers on consoles, but really? You give me a button on the dashboard for a deal, and you send me to IE? Bad move Microsoft, bad move.

So I spot something about free Gold Key for Borderlands 2 on the deals. Sounds interesting, I open that up and get sent to IE. Frustration rises again as I zoom in to access the code they’re dishing out. Make note of the code, get up to get the game, and shove it in knowing that there will at least be a small update. Small update over and done with, I get into the game, and now it’s want me to do a 258.15MB update for online play. I turned on my Xbox 30 minutes ago. I don’t think I’ll be playing Borderlands 2 for at least another 10 minutes.

E3_BL2_Shot_1

I want to go shooty bang bang, not wait for an update!

This is the issue I have always had with the PS3, but it seems to have transferred to the Xbox at the moment. Whether that’s because I don’t turn it on very often at the moment I don’t know, but I can’t seem to just turn on a console and play a game. I’m constantly waiting for an update before I can do anything, and by the time the update is finished I’ve normally gone off the idea. I really hope that the new generation doesn’t have all this constant updating, but I think all my hoping will be in vain.

Don’t get me wrong though, I love the fact that modern technology allows us to receive game improving updates instantly to our consoles, I just wish I could opt out sometimes. That’s the main issue for me, it’s the whole if you don’t update, then you can’t play the game. It’s all a bit of a ploy to fill up our HDDs as quickly as possible to we have to get a new one, or is that me being a bit too cynical? I just wish I could put a game in, find my saved file and carry on from where I left off, and all in less than 5 minutes. I’m still a big fan of my PS2, and I’ll always love the Ps1 because they were just to quick and easy to use. Sure, you couldn’t get content delivered straight to your console via internet connection like you can now, but they were just great little consoles.

Xbox_360_S

Will the next Xbox have these constant updates?

I’m a huge technology geek, clearly otherwise I wouldn’t write this blog in the first place, but I do find it a bit much at the moment. The technology had advanced much further than we had previously imagined, but the hardware (and my internet connection) can’t quite keep up. The ironic thing is, if I had done this before 6PM it would have zipped along. That’s an entirely different blog post about ISPs and their inability to catch up with the demand.

In other news, I think my parents are sending up Assassins Creed 3 for me this weekend, so I’ll get a quick (and free) glimpse into something new for the first time in a while. And as of me finishing this blog post, the Borderlands 2 update still hasn’t finished.

What do you think? Do you think we should be able to plug and play? Or are constant updates our bright future?

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Ramble with me

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