Aaron’s Random Thoughts: Price Hikes, D-Pads, and PAX

This post has been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

I always have a bunch of game-related thoughts running through my head. Sometimes one of those thoughts is enough for an entire article, and sometimes it’s not. I feel like I’ve had a lot of little things on my mind lately, so I sat down and typed them out stream-of-consciousness-style.

This week I ponder price hikes, new D-pads, and the game convention that's by the people, for the people.

Xbox Live is getting more expensive. Clearly this is the worst news in history! OK, not really — only if you read the comments on Major Nelson's blog (Hint: don't).

I don't know if I buy the argument that the addition of stuff like Netflix, LastFM, and other non-gaming features are a good reason for a price hike. I buy the “but the price has been the same since 2002,” rationale even less. I pay for Xbox Live to play games online; this was a feature of the original Xbox Live and it's really the only feature I use. Why should I pay more for bells and whistles I have little interest in? I shouldn't.

There's an easy solution to all of this: Make it so the gold subscription will only let you play games and download demos, and give folks like me a price cut. Then create a “diamond” tier of service that includes Netflix, Facebook, and lame avatars, and charge more for it. Problem solved. You're welcome!


Oh, look! Microsoft is coming out with a new controller — one without a crappy D-pad. I would be thrilled about this news… in 2007. I already own four controllers with busted-ass D-pads, I'm certainly not going to shell out cash for a new controller this late in the console's life cycle.

I don't know… perhaps I'm being too hard on Microsoft. Maybe, if the controller's cheap, I'll buy one. What's that? It's $64.99? Clearly you misread the press release good sir, for that price would be utter insanity!

I've done a lot of whining thus far; let's see if I can use my powers for good for a change. Ahh, here's something: PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) starts later this week, in Seattle, Washington. I guess the best way to describe the event is E3 for gamers. Actually, E3 pretty much lets everyone on the planet in as well, so that's not really a fair way to describe PAX. Let's just say that it's gaming nirvana for people who love games.

Believe it or not, I've never been to PAX. Each year I tell myself that I'll go the following year, but then that time comes and I seem to have a new reason not to attend. Fortunately for me (and any other Bitmobbers not making the trip), we'll have tons of community members in attendance to tell us about all the cool stuff we're missing. Last year our readers posted several excellent picture galleries, as well as a number of interesting stories on everything from the show: games, musical acts, get-togethers, and of course, cosplay.

I'll live vicariously through the community this year, but I'm telling you, next year I'm totally there!

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!
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