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Peter Skerritt's blog

Consoleation: The (correctly predicted) Xbox Live price increase

Xbox Live Sign-in Image

So, yeah. I called it. Sure, it was just shy of 10 months ago, but I did predict that Microsoft would increase the price of Xbox Live (XBL) subscriptions… and here we are. The increase occurs on November 1st, which is just before the release of Microsoft's Kinect camera and associated hardware bundles. It's a blatant attempt to cash in on these new users while raising prices for legacy consumers at the same time.

Consoleation: Ledesma-gate odds and ends

Consoleation: Ledesma-gate odds and ends

What's unfortunate in all of this is that Ledesma's comments have not only damaged relations between the industry and its consumers who read Ledesma's views… but they've also succeeded in widening a rift between the haves and have-nots when it comes to this form of entertainment that we all enjoy. Charges of entitlement are flying back and forth and the argument that video games are a luxury—or even a service—makes what was once touted to be "fun for everyone" into a select group of individuals who are financially fortunate enough to take part.

Consoleation: Used games, the gloves are off

Used Games: The gloves are off

Some things are better left unsaid. For example, most gaming consumers know that the industry doesn't care about them. The disconnect between the industry and the consumer has never been more evident than it's been during this console generation, as I've mentioned more than a few times before. We've known that the industry treats used game purchasers as second-class citizens—or worse—and this well-publicized "war on used games" has devolved into taking basic gameplay modes away from those looking to not pay $60 apiece for games that may or may not be worth their asking prices.

Missing the Point

Missing the Point

As time has marched on and the World Wide Web has gradually replaced magazines as a source of video game reviews, many people seem to have lost touch with the reason why video game reviews really exist. Reviews are no longer the informative tool that they once were. It's a big business now. Sites like Metacritic actually influence the direction of the industry, and it's been documented that there's a very tense relationship between reviewers and publishers. If a reviewer is overly critical of a game, especially if it's a higher profile game, it can cause unnecessary shockwaves.

Passive Violence

Passive  Violence - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Working in video game retail opens your eyes to a lot of things. You realize that you probably don't agree with a lot of corporate policies. You find that the majority of gaming consumers don't know how to put a disc back in its case. You also see that, despite its good intentions, the ESRB rating system simply does not work when it comes to trying to protect minors from controversial or explicit content. With the recent news that the Supreme Court of the United States is going to review a violent video game law in California that was struck down by the state's 9th Circuit Court, the argument about violent video games has reared its ugly head once again, and it's time for me to throw my hat in the ring on this subject.

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