While the Wii and PlayStation 3 give it up for free, Microsoft gets away with charging gamers $50 a year for its online service, Xbox Live, because it’s so robust and user-friendly. And yet earlier this week Microsoft revealed it was taking a step to water down that latter advantage by using Silverlight to bombard its users with ads.
But not to worry! Xbox Live director of programming wrote on his “Major Nelson” blog that the ads will actually enhance gamers’ experiences rather than detract from them. Admit it — you were worried there, weren’t you!
Major Nelson’s sweet talk should calm your nerves:
One of our core principles is to enhance, not interfere with the gaming experience, and we work directly with our partners to only deliver experiences that are relevant to the LIVE community. Silverlight will help make those ads a more organic part of the dashboard, like we’ve done with some of the NXE slots in the past.
That got me wondering exactly how ads would enhance my personal experience, so I brainstormed a few ideas for Microsoft to chew on:
-A Kool-Aid Man who tags along with me to online Halo 3 matches, punching through walls and pinning enemies to the ground so I can shoot them easier.
-Not letting anyone but me get help from the Kool-Aid Man.
-Downloadable coupon codes for free Kool-Aid.
-Did I mention I need a Kool-Aid Man to help me fare better in online warfare? Yeah, that sure would be neat.