Why 360 is winning the console arms race.

Here’s what you have to do to get your Xbox 360 online:

  1. Plug in an ethernet cord.
  2. Failing that, plug in the wireless internet adapter.

That’s it. You push the button, and it does all the heavy lifting. Yes, you have to know your WEP key if you want to go wireless, but that’s easy to get.

With Sony, though? There are screens and screens of unintuitive settings to slog through. I wanted to download FF9 onto my PSP. Should be easy enough, right? As it happens I did have my WEP key handy, and plugged it in. No big deal!

Then I tried getting into the store. It said I needed a system update. Fair enough, this is the first time my PSP had been online, of course it’s going to download some updates. So I went to the system update button. “Your firmware is up-to-date.” Um… okay. So the store is telling me I need an update, but the system update button is telling me I don’t. Get it together, guys!

Oh wait, there’s a network update button. So I press that, and — lo! — it has to download some stuff. And then restart. Twice.

So now I get into the store, and it wants me to set up a PSN account. Which means plugging in a bunch of information with that annoying cell phone-style text input thing. Four button clicks to input the letter S.

Ah, but now that I finally get into the store and select my game, they already have all my credit card information on file. Funny how giving them money is the easiest part of this entire process!

I… don’t really know what my complaint is here. I understand I need to keep my firmware up-to-date and I need to log in using a user profile. Just… does the process have to be this cumbersome? I feel like I’ve said “Accept” 500 times in the past 30 minutes.

…oh look, I don’t have enough free space on my memory stick. Time to back out and clear some room. Okay… done. Back to the store and– WHAT!? “Do you want to sign in?” Of course I want to sign in! Why did you sign me out!?

All that finally accomplished, and only 516 minutes remaining on the download. Huzzah!

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7 comments to Why 360 is winning the console arms race.

  • You have to put in information on the Xbox 360 as well. Creating an Xbox Live account, updating, etc. Just don’t put your credit card info into the system, because it keeps it forever and charges a buck every so often (at least it did with mine up until I got rid of my Xbox a year ago). The PSP store is kind of shitty, though. I just buy the games on my PS3 and transfer them over, since it’s easier. I rarely play the PSP, though.

    Oh yeah, and the PSP has a mode to switch to a qwerty keyboard like on the 360 (pressing select). =p

    • As in actually charged a dollar, or just looked like it did? It’s standard practice for any company to put a notional 1$ charge on credit cards to ensure that they’re valid, and then they revoke the charge once it’s confirmed. But because it takes some time for your bank to get on the ball, it sometimes looks like they’re charging you a buck.

      • They’re supposed to charge a dollar once to confirm the credit card is working but not only do they not refund the dollar when you refund the dollar, MS charges the account a dollar every month it seems like(which isn’t common practice). From what I’ve read, I’m not the only one to have the problem.

  • Funny, I thought it was Nintendo DS that was winning the console race…

  • Aaron

    I disliked the process of getting my 360 online because, as unintuitive as getting the PS3 connected was, at least I didn’t have to buy/attach any extra shit to get the process started. I need wireless when I’m at home. I ended up having to use a network bridge (? or whatever) with my laptop at home, which locked me out of my campus’ network after Christmas break. Granted, I didn’t talk to tech support about this and found the solution months later with very little work (I cared, but I didn’t really care, you know?), but this is America, and I WILL be slightly upset over unreasonable things. My Founding Fathers fought and died for this privilege, maybe.

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