Re: Dropping XBox
quote: "Sony are hardly angels, witness the rootkits they included with music CDs not so long ago. But until they start charging for the privelege of accessing content you've already paid for using a broadband service you've also paid for, I will stick with their products."
To play devil's advocate for a second, none of the XBox titles I have ever purchased have required me to be online just to play them. None. (maybe I just haven't bought the right ones though)
Yes, you need to be online to play Black Ops 2 against potty-mouthed, 12 year old Americans, but there is a single player campaign as well BTW ;)
So while I understand your point above, it's just a little too sweeping, and a little too generalised, for me to just let it lie. Yes MS charge for XBox Live Gold (which is required for online play), but they are not charging you to access the content. They are charging you to access the other XBL users via their hosted matchmaking + VOIP + social networking service. A petty distinction, but a distinction nonetheless.
Compare that with, say, Blizzard charging you a monthly fee to access content (i.e. World of Warcraft) over a broadband connection you have already paid for. How does that compare to Microsoft, and at what point are you deciding that the content counts as "already paid for" versus "this content requires an ongoing payment or we will terminate your access"?
I'm not saying either way is right, but an awful lot of people seem happy to pay monthly to play a single game online, via equipment and infrastructure they have already purchased and pay for. I don't see that model disappearing any time soon, unless every gamer migrated en masse to the free to play platforms.