Saturday, November 26, 2005

XBOX 360 to the Rescue(PC Mag)

An article on the XBOX 360 from John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine.


Dvorak's articles are always insightful so it's a good read.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Price Gouging

Why does this particular picture make it's way into a blog about the much anticipated, highly sought after XBOX 360? Simply put, because price gouging opportunists on Ebay are to the 360 what Saudi Arabi is to oil.

On the right you'll find a link directly to the results of a search query for the XBOX 360 on Ebay where countless morons are either trying to over charge to a ridiculous degree for the next-gen console, or rip you off to an even higher degree by taking your money and leaving you with nothing at all. If you click on the link you'll see prices that soar above retail value, once on the page, click on the refresh button and you'll see the bidding on these units rise before your very eyes. The fact that certain greedy individuals are attempting to take advantage of the shortage isn't what is surprising(anyone who isn't completely naive knew something like this was bound to happen), what is, however, is that people are flocking to an absurd means of acquiring this item.

I want an XBOX 360 about as much as anyone, that I've dedicated an entire blog to my anxious anticipation of it should be testament to that. But I'm not about to lower myself to the point where I deal with thieves, because that, in the simplest and most blunt terms, is what the Ebay 360 merchants are.

I'll wait till Christmas, till after that, or until March if I have to. Not happily mind you, but I'm not trading in my integrity for a video game console no matter how bad I want it. And you shouldn't either. As I'm sure you can tell by now, this isn't purely a monetary issue in my eyes - it's about the principle. We aren't just talking about overcharging someone for a product, that happens everyday, albeit on a smaller scale. We're talking about taking advantage of someone who likely stood out in the cold for hours to acquire this item at it's fair price, someone who is probably just a mom or a dad trying to get their kid the top item on their list.

Finally, I'd like to make it clear, I know these people didn't cause the shortages(there's other people to blame for that). I doubt anyone selling their 360 on Ebay sits in their house all day thinking up ways to take people's money. This is just a situation that happened and this is how some people have chosen to react to it, but that still doesn't make it right.

The people selling XBOX 360s on Ebay are fully within their rights to do what they're doing. In just the same way, however, I'm fully within my rights to tell those individuals to take their $1,000 offer and swivel on it.

signed in misery,
Still Standing in Line

I Want My XBOX 360

I want the much touted Xbox 360, this much I'm sure you already know.

What you likely don't know is my story, not personally. Nevertheless I'm sure you're familiar with one similar, and more than likely - if you're a gamer - had an experience similar to mine.

Imagine, or recall, if you will, a Best Buy, a Walmart, a Circuit City, or one of many other retail stores(anyone will do, or all of them if you made the complete roundup). Imagine a group of people, around fifty or so, lined up on a sidewalk. They're all different sorts of people, some hardcore gamers, other just moms or dads standing in line so their son can get the holiday's most coveted present(or to snag one for themselves). Race and class is mixed, but in defiance to what any other circumstance would suggest, that doesn't seem to matter here. Most everyone is friendly and eager despite unsavory conditions. There's a few malcontents grumbling about the cold and making it obvious they're in need of sleep, but this doesn't cause any real problems. The majority lined up are talkative. Conversations that would otherwise never take place thanks to barriers like age or occupation spark in speculation over the first next-generation system launch.

Hours pass and in many cases calenders shift - people have been waiting for a long ass time. Those in front of the line - despite cold and sleep deprivation - are in an enviable position. However long and arduous the wait may be, they know what's coming at the end. If you're stuck farther back, you're left only hoping your efforts will be successful.

This is the point where stories begin to vary.

For some, the campaign ends in blissful success and acquisition of the Xbox 360. Needless to say, my story didn't have that ending. Chances are, yours didn't either. I'm not alone in my lacking, this much I'm sure of. In every instance where I lined up unsuccessfully, I walked away as one of a dozen, two dozen, three dozen or more of people who didn't get what they came for, and that's just a damn shame.

Now by this point certain readers(those that are currently clutching a white wireless controller in their hands, no doubt) are screaming, "you could've gotten on if you really made an effort you idiot!" Surely thoughts of, 'why didn't this guy just preorder?' float around some people's head, these thoughts are certainly understandable and they pop into my head now and again, I assure you. Suffice to say, my brief explanations as to each possible retailer are given on the right sidebar. And if you're so inclined, call me an idiot for doing what I'm doing. I won't bitch about you bitching about me bitching, because hey, that would just be hypocritical.

And what exactly am I doing? I'm doing what any game obessessed person would do in an internet age, I'm grabbing whatever platform I can and complaining till I'm satisfied(which won't happen till I get my 360) or someone makes me stop.

From now until whenever I snag me an Xbox 360 I'm going to spout off on this here blog. Taking the occasional shot at Microsoft or retailers like Gamestop for taking so many damn preorders. Mostly though I'll just complain, try to entertain, and maybe post a few of my speculative thoughts on the 360 and its games.

So if you're like me and 360less, I'm sure you'll appreciate my expression of dismay. And if it's the opposite, then cackle away at my suffering, I'd do the same to you.

signed in misery,
Still Standing in Line
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