Apparently, You Don't Know How To Work Your XBOX 360 Or PS3

Next gen consoles have more features than ever before, but if you’re like many consumers, you don’t know about them.

From Ars Technica:

It’s apparent from the study’s results that one thing interests the majority of consumers: games. The dueling next-generation HD disc formats, the ability to download content, and even high-definition graphics don’t seem to matter to the majority of the game-buying public; if these figures are reflective of the wider market, all those features are being roundly ignored by most gamers.

Among the features you don’t know you have: The ability to play blu-ray discs (only 40 percent of PS3 owners surveyed knew that the system even had Blu-ray built-in), the ability to stream video and sound from your PC, the ability to download content via XBOX Live, and the ability to “upscale” your DVDs through a HDMI connection.

Ars speculates that your disinterest in these features is one reason the Wii has been so successful. You just like to play games. What’s wrong with that?

Report: Gamers largely clueless about next-gen console media capabilities [Ars Technica]
(Photo:everyone’s idle)


Edit Your Comment

  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    so….is that a picture of what a Blu-Ray looks like? O_o

  2. DeeJayQueue says:

    For one thing, you need to have a subscription to XBL to download content for it, and not everyone is willing to shell out for that. Also, not everyone is willing to either string cables or buy a $100 network adapter to get their 360s online in the first place.

    Plus, unless you shell out beaucoup bucks for the 360elite box, you don’t have HDMI out, and the quality of the playback on the regular DVDs sucks ass compared to even the cheapest Coby walmart unit.

    As far as the PS3 goes, that is kinda surprising that more people don’t know that it plays blu-ray discs Then again, most people don’t even know what blu-ray discs are, because there aren’t that many titles out for them yet.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @DeeJayQueue: Just so you know, the Premium 360 (which just got a price cut) all have the HDMI output standard.

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @DeeJayQueue: Oh…also, you can use the free Xbox Live Silver to download game demos, trailers, and purchase arcade games.

  5. B says:

    @DeeJayQueue: There’s no monhtly fee for downloading content from XBL. I know because I download stuff from them all the time, and I don’t pay a fee. Of course, all I can download is trailers and game demos. If I wanted to download games or movies, I could, but I pay per item.

  6. Download services are value-adders. They’re just there so that once you get bored with one thing, there’s something else waiting in the wings that you can download.

    Some people will doubtless choose a system based somewhat on the online experience (cough*HALO3*cough), but generally such things aren’t really even explored until long after the purchase decision has been made.

  7. Nakko says:

    Nintendo began making games, and will surely always make games. These are ancillary business for Microsoft and Sony, and their products reflect this. Sony wants to sell you the TV, the receiver, the speakers, even the movies and games you watch and play. Microsoft potentially wants to obsolete the PC and own the living room as the place where your computing and entertainment take place. Nintendo just makes games.

  8. kelmeister says:

    Part of the reason I was so quick to get a PS2 when they came out was because I needed a DVD player in the living room where I’d be playing games. I also use it to play CDs when the need arises, because I don’t have a stereo.

    My Xbox supposedly does the same thing, but I would need to purchase an adapter, so screw that.

    The Wii is so brilliant because it has a cheap Opera browser available for download, and with a WiFi connection I can read my email and watch YouTube on the TV if I’m not bowling.

    So with the Wii and PS2, I have an entertainment and computing system (abet primitive) in my living room.

    Although I’d love to buy an Xbox360 or PS3 if I had the money to waste (Grand Theft Auto 4, *drool*), they’re too expensive, they still have a too-high failure rate, and I can wait for the games to show up cheap and used. Plus those “awesome” extra features duplicate everything I already own. Hence why I’m not buying.

  9. Leiterfluid says:


    You might be thinking of the Xbox 360 Elite which features HDMI as a standard output. Microsoft has only recently started producing Premium 360 packages with HDMI.

  10. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @Leiterfluid: Ah, I guess I phrased that poorly, I meant the price cut, and the addition of HDMI for the Premium units, are both recent changes.

  11. Nakko says:

    @kelmeister: It is widely known that Xbox 360’s fail at what I consider an unacceptable rate. I won’t buy something that I know has a 33% failure rate.

    I have read a bunch of Consumerist and video game blogs.

    Has anyone heard of PS3’s failing? I think PS3’s are rock-solid. (At least in terms of hardware longevity I mean; it won’t overheat and melt important components!)

  12. axiomatic says:

    @Nakko: “Rock solid” like a door stop? Because after you play the 4 good games that are on the PS3, it’s a door stop for the near future.

    I’m not saying I won’t eventually get a PS3, but next year, when there are more games out I might consider it.

    Right now though, regardless of what anyone says, the “fun” is on the Wii/DS and the 360.

  13. JRuiz47 says:

    I just got a new laptop with Vista 64-bit and I had forgotten about linking my laptop with my Xbox 360. I was watching a DVD a few days ago and when I stopped the DVD, my laptop gave me a prompt about linking the two.

    Once I did it, I was impressed with the ease of use.

  14. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    I’ll stick to my PC games, thanks.

  15. Iron_Dragon_2.0 says:

    “only 40 percent of PS3 owners surveyed knew that the system even had Blu-ray built-in”

    Well of course… Most PS3 owners are fanboys who just bought it because it’s the next playstation.

  16. agent2600 says:

    most consumers also don’t know how to write programs for there computer in C++ and take atvantage of Windows .bat file features? does that meen people arn’t taking advantage of their computers as well??

    the WII is doing well mainly because of its price point…

    most people who own a ps2 also own a DVD player…why? because of the PS2 dvd interface sucks, and the video decoding is subpar (plus it takes forever to load a disk).

    40% of people not know about the blu-ray i think is skewed, im sure its more like 40% don’t use blue ray on it

    if sony and m$ realized that and did a “real” price drop (you know to the normal 200-300 video game system price range.) maybe then consumers would acutally start buying them.

  17. zannadu says:

    I definitely agree that these stats aren’t about consumer ignorance. Most of us gamers simply don’t care that we can play movies on the systems because we just want the games. There are much better products out there for playing movies.

    In this case, my opinion would be in line with Nintendo’s… leave out DVD features and keep costs down.

  18. boandmichele says:

    the wii’s price point is not the reason for its selling well. if it were, then the gamecube would have sold the most consoles last generation.

  19. superlayne says:

    I bought my gaming system to play games.

    Blue ray’s for blue jays. ;D

    I’m not surprised at the statistics. I’d like a cheaper PS3 sans all the fancy add ons.

  20. says:

    @kelmeister: “Part of the reason I was so quick to get a PS2 when they came out was because I needed a DVD player in the living room where I’d be playing games

    Me too! Came in handy when I was a hungry (but not starving) student and only had just so much to waste on personal electronics…

    All the Blue Ray crap is too much, though. I must be getting old. Back in my day all we needed was a DVD player in our console game, and you had to wind it by hand with a crank to power it, while walking uphill in a blizzard…

  21. kbjone says:

    @ boandmichelle:

    Actually, the price points on the last-gen consoles, even at debut, weren’t considered exorbitantly high, and the prices came down quickly enough to get them into the “sweet spot”.

    I actually did buy a GC (at $149) before a PS2 (got it at $199, but if not for tight finances, would have gotten it even at $249, maybe $299). And I never bought an XBox.

    Now, as for this current generation, only the Wii is even close to the sweet spot, and it’s dead-on right now. The XBox 360 is still $200 too high, even with the recent price drop, and the PS3 is more than double what most are willing to pay, with the fact that there are not enough games available currently adding another strike against it.

    Let those two systems dip under $400 (I can see $399 in this generation as equal to last generations’ $299), and they’ll start seriously biting into the Wii’s edge.

    Until then, I have no problem with my PS2, might get a Wii if I have the spare money (none right now), and won’t even think about a PS3 or an XBox 360.

  22. Scuba Steve says:

    Yay, nothing like spending 1200 bucks to be able to use the HDMI features on a 500 dollar console.

  23. harleymcc says:

    Love that Wii!

  24. randomizer9 says:

    Jane Jetson called, she wants her dress back :)

    Gaming console extras are Nice Things to Have, and the extra stuff can definitely come in handy at times. I see it as getting more bang for the buck. For about two years my Playstation 2 _was_ my home entertainment system; I used it to watch movies, listen to music CD’s and play games.

    I’m definitely enjoying the extra stuff that the Xbox 360 has to offer, the Media Center connectivity particularly comes in handy.

    With the price of consoles getting higher and higher I wonder if at some point we’ll start seeing more ‘bare bones’ systems that don’t have the extras, similar to the 360 Core System.

  25. Thain says:

    @DeeJayQueue: Wow…you don’t have any of your facts straight, do you? $100 for a network adapter? Every Xbox 360 (from Core up to Elite) has an ethernet port, and has since the system launched. If you want WIRELESS, then, sure, you have to shell out $100, but why would you want to use such an unreliable, easily interfered-with signal for online gaming and downloads?

    I’m really not sure what 360 you’ve been using/watching, but I’ve been delighted with the DVD playback quality on my 360. It upscales the picture very nicely to 720p.

    Now, as far as people not knowing about the 360’s media center capabilities, that really doesn’t surprise me. Unless you’re running Windows Vista, it’s a bit of a pain to set up the shares for it, and even with Vista, an average user wouldn’t know about the media sharing capabilities unless they saw Vista’s auto-configuration prompt, which wouldn’t happen unless they were hooked up to a router with both systems and running them at the same time. I love the media-center capabilities, because it’s nice to be able to put custom playlists into a game without taking up console hard drive space. Now, if I could just find a converter to reliably turn DivX and XviD files into WMV.

  26. DeeJayQueue says:

    @Thain: Wow, you don’t read comments do you?

    I said: “Also, not everyone is willing to either string cables or buy a $100 network adapter.”

    Also, as for the DVD playback:
    Just because it outputs at 720p doesn’t mean it upscales. It doesn’t. DVDs play back at a standard 480p

    I had my 360 pulling music and video from my Mac, and it worked great, wasn’t hard to set up or anything, but lots of people don’t even think that it’s possible to do.

    @B: Yes, you can pay per item, but in order to do that you have to buy “Points” from the store, which don’t coincide with regular dollars, and which you can’t cash out if you decide you don’t want them anymore. So Microsoft gets to hold your money while you decide what to spend it on, which could take months. Also, with the Silver membership you can’t play online with other people (except MMOs). So essentially over half the accessible content is locked to you if you have the free membership (which you still have to register and sign up for anyway even if it IS free) and in order to get to the full games, movies and TV shows you have to buy a gold membership and points.

  27. DeeJayQueue says:
  28. theblackdog says:

    The last line of the article nails it, many gamers find that the PS3 and XBOX 360 are becoming so complicated and being bundled with so many “features” that it’s starting to turn some of them off. I know that I got sick of trying to mash buttons like crazy in the heat of a battle. It’s why I like my Wii, they finally simplified some things.

  29. FullFlava says:

    Has anyone considered that a lot of the people surveyed were probably parents who bought the consoles for their kids?

    If 10 year old Billy got a 360 for Christmas, I doubt his parents noticed or cared that it has HD content and downloadable stuff and whatever else it does, they just wanted to get him what he asked for. When the survey people called, who do you think they talked to?

    I’m probably way off, but it struck me as a distinct possibility.

  30. Maeg says:

    As a part time, some-time employee of a major game retail chain, let me clue you in on a few things…

    Failure rate on XB360 is, from a consumer standpoint, abysmal – but that’s not 100% M$’s fault. It galls me to say it, but really it isn’t. The Red Light of Doom can – and usually is – brought on by overheating. Kinda like a computer. Hmm. Make sure you don’t cram your high powered system in a tiny, suffocating entertainment center, and you’ve cut down the chances of your spanky new system going tits up by about half. Ignore all the pretty marketing, and lie your XB360 flat, instead of up on its side? Your chances just got that much better, because you’re no longer resting the box on the vents.

    Also, laying it flat almost completely cuts out the risk of having those nasty rings cut in your games.

    And the failure rate of PS3? Not as bad as XB360, sure, but it still overheats. We’ve taken quite a few defects in because it just won’t start anymore. Those things kick out a LOT of heat; its so bad that sometimes our floor model, the demo box, overheats, and won’t work.

    Part of this is the perpetually craptastic nature of first-run consoles – which seems to be a fairly common theme in many different electronics areas (hi, iPod, I’m talkin to you).

    These are all things that I make sure – on my own – I tell my customers before I even let them walk out the door with their shiny new box. Yes, I lecture them on the proper care and feeding of their consoles.

    I also give them hope – I waited about a year before I got my XB360, and I haven’t had a problem with it yet. Patience pays off – especially for those who waited a little longer, and now get to take advantage of the price drops.

    And my Wii? Love my Wii. Really! Now, if I didn’t have one of the handful of wireless routers that Nintendo products don’t know how to talk to, I’d love it even more… >.>

  31. evilhapposai says:

    Why would I want to buy a Xbox360 when all the big “exclusive” titles are just released a year later on pc with better graphics and modable? Not to mention paying a fee on top of the internet service fee I already pay just to play multiplayer online is BS.

    Sure ps3 does not have the games at the moment but GTA4, Final Fantasy XIII and Vs. are on the way and has more potential and the $100 price drop is going to drive up sales and thus more games will be released. As for now I am going to stick with my pc and ps2 until the big games come out.

  32. FullFlava says:


    …because PCs cost a shitload more than consoles? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a PC gamer all the way, but I’m getting closer and closer to converting to consoles. I’ll take even a $600 console every four years over the absurd amount of money it takes to keep a PC upgraded to keep pace with the latest games. When a new graphics card costs more than a PS3, it really starts to hurt.

  33. @FullFlava: Buddy, you ain’t kiddin.

  34. metalhaze says:

    Consumers in general are half retarded when it comes to new technology and what it has to offer.

    This is nothing new.

  35. rawsteak says:

    or if you want a media center but don’t want to shell out that much moola, go buy an xbox at eb games for $80, or on ebay like me for $40 and do some creative finagling and voila!

    also, if you’re spending $500 on a video card, and it doesn’t last you long enough to get you off from the next few video games, you need to start competing for video games or start a new hobby, because you’re either really good at video games or really boring.

  36. dthestryker13 says:

    I thinks some people are missing the point of even owning a video game console.

    What features it has does not matter, it’s the games it plays.

    Sure Dvd playback is fine, for people who don’t have a dvd player.

    When it comes down to it the only thing that matters to me is if the games a system plays is good or not. I personally like the Wii (even though I do not own one) and I love my 360. The PS3 does not look appealing to me right now because the games on the system (that and all of the fanboys screaming about how wonderful a system it is). Right now the only reason I can see buying PS3 is for Metal Gear Solid 4, as thats the only game I would want to play on it.

    Bluray looks the same as regular dvds to me. Why? Because I’m not looking for quality when I watch a movie. As long as I can see the screen and know whats going on, I am fine with watching it.

    Imo I really don’t see the PS3 lasting as long as its contenders. Right now its looking to be the Sega genesis of the new age; Talks a lot but can never live up to what it says.