Microsoft recently announced a new “MyAchievements” system for their Xbox Live platform. For those of you who have been building your Gamerscore for nearly ten years, your achievements will grant you new bonuses and gifts based on your Gamerscore. Now I must warn you, the perks are pretty impressive, so if you’re standing, you may want to take a seat. Players who have received a Gamerscore of 3,000 – 9,999 will unlock the “Contender” status, and will receive a birthday gift from Microsoft, totaling an estimated retail value of twenty-five cents.
But wait, there’s more. If you keep at it and obtain a Gamerscore of 10,000 – 24,999, you will upgrade to “Champion” level and receive a whopping one percent off of all future Xbox Live purchases. Now, I know you’re thinking “aren’t some of these games ten to fifteen dollars?” You would be right if you didn’t consider that the Champion status discount (which was so incredibly benevolent of Microsoft to afford us) is permanent. You may only save a dime here and there, but when you want to download a game three weeks after launch, you will sleep easy knowing that Microsoft had your back on that sixty cents. Keep in mind that your birthday gift will still be there, so you gotta count that annual quarter as well.
It doesn’t end there, though. Players who ascend above a 25,000 Gamerscore will undergo the ultimate apotheosis and achieve the status of “Legend.” Xbox Legends will still keep their birthday gift, and their discount will raise to a mindblowing two percent. I would go on about how amazing two is in comparison to one (it’s damn near double, guys), but I think the numbers speak for themselves.
All kidding aside, is Microsoft serious with this? I know that for all intents and purposes, Xbox is sitting pretty with their paid subscription system. Technically, they didn’t have to do anything for their subscribers whatsoever. The sad thing is doing nothing would have been better than this farce of a perk system. The only reason people aren’t likely telling MS to shove it with this is the fallacious mindset that “some discount is better than nothing.”
I really hate to say this, and it’s mainly because I play my Xbox a lot more than my PS3, but anyone who has both and is paying for Xbox Live in lieu of PSN+ is cheating themselves. I get that Sony really screwed the pooch in 2010 with that whole hacking fiasco, but they have since rectified the situation and have been bringing the goddam heat with their subscription system. You can obtain digital copies of games on their release day and receive a 10% discount on a number of highly anticipated titles. You get free games every month, you have early access to games and betas, and they’re going to flat out give you free vita copies of games if you purchase the PS3 versions.
Why exactly would anyone be giving the Microsoft money machine more of their hard-earned cash to throw into terrible Kinect games, political coverage and Internet Explorer? Sony took forever to make something out of PSN, but things do change. It is mind-boggling how many PS3 owners I know are instead paying for Xbox live (and not for understandable online-community based reasons like fighters or Borderlands). At this point, I wonder if there’s anything Sony can do to shake the stigma of the PSN of yesteryear. Maybe they should pull a Square-Enix, apologize for it, and reboot the whole damn thing.