Xbox Support Sets the Standard

I had a relatively simple question about my Xbox Live account, earlier today, but the answer just wasn’t clear to me. So I hopped on the online and asked the support rep. I had an answer within minutes and was on to the next thing. Mark was a big help. But it got me thinking… I’ve contact Microsoft’s support team a few times in the last few years, and every time they’ve been a huge help. All too often when I call one company or another for support, they find a scape goat. “It must be your internet connection,” they’ll say, or “have you replaced the batteries?” I’ve been asked. Whether it’s for a few hundred dollars in a game console, or thousands of dollars on an enterprise server, I have to work with tech support all the time, and the Xbox Support team continues to deliver the best experience. Continue reading

Two "Slims?" Xbox 360 S vs. E differences

In June of 2013, Microsoft revised the Xbox 360 console yet again. If you thought the “Slim” was the final say, you should know that there was one more change to the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 S was followed by the Xbox 360 E. The big differences are mostly cosmetic, however it is important to note the power requirements of each console: the S uses 135 watts and the E uses only a 120 watt power supply. A minor change is the number of USB ports, from 5 on the S to 4 on the E. Below is the full breakdown. The picture came from an article on syncing controllers, and the rest from a spec sheet.

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Does your Gamerscore carry over to Xbox One?

Good news! If you sign in to the Xbox One using your same Microsoft Account (formerly called “Live ID”) then, yes! All of your gamerscore and achievements will be there waiting for you on your new Xbox One, and you can conitnue to earn more and more Gamerscore on Xbox One games!

Disable Xbox Live cloud saves on Xbox 360

Some people find the cloud save “feature” more of an annoyance. They don’t want to be prompted which storage medium to search for saved games, etc… if you’re one of those who wants to disable the cloud save feature, follow these easy steps:

NOTE: This will erase anything you DO have saved in Cloud Storage. Ensure you move your saved games, first, if necessary.

  1. From the Xbox 360 Dashboard, go to Settings, and then select System.
  2. Select Storage.
  3. Highlight Cloud Saved Games, and then press Y.
  4. Select Disable Cloud Saved Games.

How much does Xbox Live cost?

Xbox Live comes in two “flavors” – one is free and the other is paid. They are known as Silver and Gold. Although there has been no public mention of this, I anticipate the offerings to remain the same when Xbox One releases later this year. I’ve discussed the differences between Silver and Gold before. The main points include: Gold is required for using most apps, such as Netflix. Gold is also required for multiplayer online play.

But what does it really cost? Well, a while back the official list price of Xbox Live went up to $59.99 for a 12 month membership. You can buy 30 and 90 day subscriptions as well, but you get the best value buying the full year. The good news is, you can usually find a better deal online. First, make sure you disable automatic renewal (sometimes this doesn’t work and you have to call support). Once you are certain your credit card isn’t going to be charged automatically (and it won’t be charged until the last possible day of your previous membership expiring, so don’t worry about automatic renewal happening too frequently), then head online to find some better prices than the direct Microsoft pricing.

Be sure to check Newegg, eBay, and Amazon for better deals. Amazon gives you the option of getting an online code emailed to you so that you can redeem it immediately, or have a card physically mailed to you for a few bucks less, if you can wait for shipping.