Official Xbox Magazine has annouced that they’re thinking of charging XBL users to download demos featured on their coverdiscs, leading many to question what the annual subscription is actually for.
From the Opposable Thumbs article on Ars Technica:
We’re used to paying for Xbox Live at this pointÃ¢â‚¬â€the feature set is worth the moneyÃ¢â‚¬â€but it was sold to us as something of an all-inclusive deal. You’re a part of the Xbox network, so you get the demos and the videos and that’s part of what you’re paying for.
Demos were touted as part of the XBL package along with the online matchmaking, friends system, and messaging. PC users have been able to download demos for free for years, is the fact that Xbox users are locked into a certain supply chain making the demo distributors (Microsoft basically, it is the Official magazine after all) relaise that they have a captive market and they can basically charge for things that PC users get for nothing.
Granted many people simply buy the magazine for the demos on the disc, and barely read the actual content in the mag let alone look at the other content on the disc. This may explain why the quality of the content in many publications is pretty dire, full of hyperbole, exclamation and toilet humour. Grown up magazines such as Edge and GamesTM don’t offer demos with their mags but rely on the content being good enough to encourage the more discerning (or hardcore) gamer. All the rest seem to be aimed squarely at the teenage market and they need to wake up to the fact that they should be catering for the entire demographic, not just the minority which is in its teens. I’m wandering off the point here, sorry. The matter in hand is whether the XBL subscription is worth it if you have to pay for demos. I understand the need to pay for complete XBLA titles but charging for demos seems a tad on the cheeky side to me. You’re basically paying for an advert.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Would you pay $2.50 (the proposed price) for something which is not a full game or do you think that these demos should be included as part of the XBL package which you already pay for? Answers in the comments.
(From Ars Technica.)