Top 10 Reasons the Xbox 360 Arcade SKU Sucks
October 16, 2008 – Being a gamer in this day and age is tough. With game companies releasing multiple SKUs for their respective systems it’s understandable for some to be confused about which is right for them. Microsoft made this more complicated last year by introducing the Xbox 360 Arcade SKU. A poorly accessorized, poorly marketed and poorly named system that is aimed at those “mainstream” gamers that enjoy XBLA games more than full retail releases.
We’ve hated the system since the day it was announced and now we present to you our Top 10 reasons why.
10. The Marketing Line “Go Play!” is Terrible
We’re not sure who came up with the line “Go Play!” as a way to differentiate the horrible Arcade SKU from the rest of the Xbox 360s that are out there, but they should be taken out back and beaten with a wet noodle. What does that even mean, “Go Play!”? How is it indicative of the spirit of the cheap piece of garbage that is the Arcade SKU? Not at all, I say, not at all.
9. No Chrome!
We love our chromed out rims, our chromed out toasters and our chromed out Xbox 360 disc drives. Sadly the Xbox 360 Arcade SKU has the old nasty grey plastic that the discontinued Core system featured. Shell out the extra dough and slap some shiny metal on there, Microsoft. If we’re going to be stuck with an archaic disc drive rather than a slot-loading drive that PS3 users get to enjoy, at least bling it out for us.
8. Worst Accessories Ever
People yelled with anger when they opened their PS3 to find only composite video cables and now 360 Arcade buyers get to experience the same agony. Why with an “HD system” Microsoft would limit any of its customers to standard definition video output is beyond me. Toss in the fact that you don’t get an Ethernet cable or a headset and the Arcade SKU is even crappier than its green box would have you believe.
7. Xbox Live is Awesome…
…but not on the Arcade SKU. For a system that is supposedly for gamers who spend more time playing XBLA games than full retail releases, the Arcade system is pathetically equipped to handle people’s downloading needs. Want to download a movie? Can’t. Want to download more than a handful of undersized XBLA games? Can’t. Want to download any of the awesome game demos on Live? Can’t. Rock Band tracks? No more than 10 or so. Good call, Microsoft.
6. Only One Good XBLA Game In The Box
Pac-Man Championship Edition is awesome. Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, Uno and Boom Boom Rocket are not. In fact, some of those games are downright boring. It touts itself as being the choice for those who want to mainly play Xbox Live Arcade titles yet you get poor representations of what the system has to offer. Makes very little sense to me.
5. This is the Digital Age
In a time when everyone is importing and exporting their iTunes music library, downloading movies hours and hours of pornography onto their computers, the fact that the Arcade SKU has no storage medium big enough to accommodate our love for all things digital is inexcusable. The Arcade SKU should not only have a hard drive, it should be as big as the Elite’s to truly accommodate someone’s downloading habit. Plus, if you want to play original Xbox games, either through backwards compatibility or downloading them, then you’ll need a hard drive.
4. Developers Can’t Rely on a Hard Drive
Ever wish load times weren’t so long in the games you play? Well maybe they could have been just a bit shorter if it weren’t for the Arcade SKU’s total lack of a hard drive. It’s the only Xbox 360 SKU remaining without a HDD and it’s about time that changed. Of course people do have the option of upgrading but…
3. Cost of Upgrading is Painful
We’re not sure what planet Microsoft is living on, but a 120 GB hard drive no longer costs 150 bucks. In fact, we were able to find a 1 terabyte hard drive at Newegg.com for the same price as the 120 GB Xbox 360 hard drive. For shame, Microsoft, for shame.
2. Xbox 360 is Getting Its Ass Kicked.
It’s tough to admit that an initiative has failed but it’s high time that Microsoft bit the bullet and come out and say that the Arcade SKU has been discontinued. It’s not working. The Xbox 360 is consistently getting beat by the Wii and PS3 despite the cost-competitive Arcade SKU looming off to the side. It’s time to reinvigorate the 360 marketing strategy with something of a slightly higher quality.
1. It’s Just Asking to Ruin Some Kid’s Christmas
If you’re under the age of 18 and not much of a gamer, chances are you’re not going to specify one of the numerous Xbox 360 SKUs to your parents when you fill out the all-important Christmas list. Instead you’ll likely say, “I want an Xbox 360.” Any normal kid could make this mistake. Then on the biggest sales day of the year your parents or grandparents walk into a store and ask for an Xbox 360. The stores clerk hands them a box that says Xbox 360 on it with the camouflaged words “Go Play!” inconspicuously placed on the box and they think they’ve just made their child’s dream Christmas a reality. Little do they know that they’ve just ruined not only their son or daughter’s Christmas, but their entire Xbox 360 gaming experience.