Out of this generation of consoles we constantly give praise to the Xbox. It has the best online service, the best line up of games, the best interface. For the most part I agreed with this statement up just until I was given the task of setting up a brand new Premium Xbox 360 console along with a Gold Xbox Live membership. It was after finishing this task the only thought running through my head was “Damn You Microsoft.”
Warning this is a PERSONAL rant, read no further unless you want to read my opinion.
Maybe it was because I purchased my console at launch that the frustrations of set up were so far back in my mind I had almost forgot them, but I could not believe how frustrating it was to set up a console with a new Xbox Live Gamertag. The console in question was my younger brother’s; he received it at Christmas and I was instructed to set it up for him. At first I was only asked to set up the 360. I simply hooked up the Xbox to the TV and turned it on. The first thing I noticed was that the NXE was not installed.
It was that realization that prompted my to go and get my Wireless adapter so that my little brother would at least be able to use the new features that the NXE provides. Connecting to the wireless network was simple and painless. I was quickly prompted to update which I accepted and went about other business while it downloaded. I was a bit frustrated that these new consoles did not ship with the NXE, but I could understand that since it has only been two months since its launch.
So the NXE finished downloading and my brother made his profile and avatar. I took back by wireless adapter and left him to play with his newly acquired console with the promise that I would later let him borrow the adapter and that I would set him up a Live account. Unfortunately the first game he decided to play is Halo 3 and Halo 3 needs an update as soon as you put the disc in to the system; how it knows to update even when the console is not connected to the internet is beyond me, but regardless I once again leaped into action with my adapter.
So it was time to set up my brother’s Xbox Live account. It starts off simple enough, his Gamertag was original so we had no problem with that step. I decided to set up a silver account, since my brother did not yet have the money or an adapter or cable to play on Live for himself. There I ran into my first stumbling block, he is not eighteen so I had to call in my father to be the adult account to confirm his account since all of my emails are tied to Live accounts. Already this was taking longer than I wanted it to, but I was going to see it through.
Of course seeing this through is much more frustrating than it should be for the “best” online service out of the consoles. Apparently even though we had no intention of paying by credit card Xbox Live requires a credit card for membership. Why do you need to sign up with a credit card to be able to use Xbox Live. I do not trust my brother with my credit card. I do not trust my brother with my parents credit card. Unfortunately we had no other option so now my parents have to monitor my brother to ensure he is not spending their money.
(Edit: The Credit Card was a requirement to sign up a minor to the service as proof of being a parental guardien.)
So I finally finish setting up his account; he is using that free month of Gold membership that comes with the console. Now I am left with the task of going out and either buying a long Ethernet cable that would be incredibly obtrusive or a pain to get wired through the wall or buy a $100 wireless adapter. Yes other cheaper ones work but the Xbox one is guaranteed to work and is very streamlined which is necessary for his room. Why is Microsoft the only console manufacturer to not include wireless.
The entire time I’m out searching for a wireless adapter, since for some reason most stores do not carry it, I am thinking about how the Wii and PS3 both have built in wireless. The Wii, out of all the consoles, has the best networking structure. It can store three different wireless settings, a very nice feature for those like me who move their consoles a lot. Microsoft, for all their praise, still have the worst console to set up. Once it is set up, the 360 has the best online service. Microsoft, however, needs to get their act together on the setup. So until then, Damn You Microsoft.