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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Are you an XBOX LIVE Arcade fan?

Well, I hope you have the XBOX you want and were not planning an upgrade to an XBOX with HDMI or even thinking out-of-warranty replacement.

It seems that the geniuses at Microsoft have created a rather unfortunate manner to ensure people can't take it with them when they upgrade their hardware to take advantage of HDMI. I'm learning the hard way that while you hoped for a better over-all path to better picture and (in my case) bigger drive, you're sadly mistaken because the licensing for all of those, wonderfully affordable family-friendly games in the XBOX Live Arcade will not be playable when not logged into XBOX LIVE without creating a new silver account and re-buying the games. Yes RE-PURCHASING EACH GAME.

I acknowledge that very few of use bought our XBOX for the games offered by XBOX Live Arcade, but there are some fairly cool and mindless games there that help keep the family game nights interesting.

The problem, it seems, is that if you have your console repaired (such as due to a Red Ring of Death) you're reportedly safe, but if you re-invested in the replacement or upgrade because you're a dedicated supporter of the platform, you're S[imply] Out of Luck.

If you're a die hard online gamer and you've been spending more time off line than online because of the recent XBOX LIVE outages, this would mean that your Arcade purchases might be all you want to play, but should you decide to upgrade, you're simply going to be stuck with the Trial version of any of those games.

Microsoft, I presume, is more interested in selling you the over-priced 120Gb hard disk for $210, and leaving you with something less than HDMI, but should you have reached the end of the warranty periods (1 year, or 3 years for the RRoD), you'll be at a loss. I went all out when my XBOX 360 Premium had it's RRoD, I purchased an XBOX 360 ELITE. Now, I'm stuck with the understanding that to allow my daughters to play games I've already purchased once, I will need to go get a new Microsoft Points card and on a NEW account, not my current one, re-purchase each bit of content I would like to access off line.

Now, this isn't a design flaw, Microsoft has the capacity to change which console is licensed for these games, they simply won't. Should you have had a hardware failure and the console is replaced, the license is reportedly migrated. You might think that ordering the Data Migration Kit would help, it will not, I tried that too.

So, before you buy from the arcade, make sure you are absolutely happy with your current XBOX360. Otherwise consider the cost of the re-purchase a hidden cost to the upgrade. And they wonder why people try to hack their console with bigger drives? It'll be a few days before I'm able to let this go and play a game on my console. I wonder if this affects watching my downloaded Red vs. Blue content while XBOX LIVE is down?

UPDATE: It does not affect my Video Content.

NEW: Video!

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