First it was the woeful failure rate of its Xbox 360s, which resulted in a warranty extension from one year to three, and now Microsoft is offering gamers an as yet unnamed Xbox LIVE Arcade title free to compensate them for the terrible performance of its online gaming service over the holiday break. But we here at VideoGamer.com reckon it's not enough. We think you lot deserve more. And here's why.
The Christmas break was the time of year many gamers had earmarked as their chance to get their game on. Most people were free from work/university/college/school and thus had more time than normal to play games. I know I was looking forward to catching up on some serious Halo 3 online action. Unfortunately, my, and millions of other gamers' hopes, were dashed. And it was Microsoft's fault.
The problem has been compounded by the "new game" factor. Millions of gamers across the world woke up on Christmas morning, frantically tore open their presents, shoved whatever new game they got for their 360 into the disc drive (I'm looking at you Call of Duty 4) and excitedly searched for what would prove to be an elusive online match. The result? Millions of disgruntled, disappointed gamers and, perhaps worse, millions of angry parents too.
So, after a week of silence from Microsoft the mega-corporation has spoken. In an open message to Xbox LIVE gamers, Marc Whitten, general manager of Xbox LIVE, said the issues were the result of a "massive increase in usage" over the holiday season. Whitten expressed his "disappointment" in "Microsoft's performance" before announcing that as a "thank you" for our loyalty, it will be offering "all of our Xbox LIVE members around the world access to a full Xbox LIVE Arcade game that will be available to download free of charge".
Let's forget for a moment that no-one at MS has yet apologised for the poor performance of Xbox LIVE over Christmas and instead concentrate on its peacemaking deal - a full Xbox LIVE Arcade game. We don't know if we'll get to choose what title we want or a game will be chosen for us. So we could end up with anything from Yie Ar Kung-Fu, worth 400 MS points, to RoboBlitz, worth 1200 points.
Well we here at VideoGamer.com think this offer isn't enough. In fact it's no-where near good enough. We want our choice of an Xbox Original game. We're thinking Halo, Psychonauts, Fahrenheit or Fable. All excellent, proper games and all worth 1200 points, the same amount as the most expensive XBL Arcade games.
And while you're at it MS throw in a free HD film rental as well, we're thinking 300 or Zodiac, worth 540 points each. Then, and only then, will we be approaching the sort of compensation gamers deserve for such a poor Xbox LIVE service over Christmas. Remember. Xbox LIVE isn't free if you want to play games online. It costs money. We have already paid for this.
Of course in an ideal world MS should just add 2000 points (£17) to Gold accounts and 500 points (£4.25) to Silver accounts. That way we could decide what we wanted to spend the points on - an XBL Arcade title, a movie rental, DLC or an Xbox Original. But we've got a feeling that this, however appropriate, unfortunately won't happen.
So get it sorted MS. We don't want no crappy XBL Arcade title in exchange for our gaming heartache over Christmas. We want some serious points.