In an effort to try to give something back to the gamers, Microsoft created Xbox Live Rewards, a scheme which rewards you for playing games or doing menial tasks like filling in a survey every month.
For 20 glorious Microsoft Points, you’re expected to login to Xbox.com and take part in a small survey, for some reason, it hasn’t been implemented into participating via the Xbox 360 dashboard, so you have to go online through an internet browser.
The latest survey (as of May 30th, 2013), coincidentally is about whether you have a smartphone or not and what features would you like to see in a mobile app (basically, SmartGlass), one of which is the survey.
The newest addition to the rewards is something called MyPunchcard. The way it works depends on what they [Microsoft] want to offer, but it usually ends up with having to spend a lot of money (MSP) before being rewarded with some of it back. An example is the requirement of purchasing five Xbox LIVE Arcade titles at 800 or 1000 Microsoft Points each, only to receive one payment back as a reward for filling out the Punchcard.
The debate on whether the subscription for Xbox Live is worth the money has been going on for ages, it seemed a good idea at first and you felt like you were one of the special elite being a Gold member, but then Sony introduced PlayStation Plus and the XBL novelty wore off very quickly. Nobody had really stepped back and asked what were we getting for our £39.99 (RRP) a year subscription, especially when adverts started appearing on the dash.
Then today, @XboxLIVERewards tweeted something that had more of a negative than positive response:
RT if you've blacked out this month's #MyPunchcard! http://t.co/GiCCZAjJJz
— Xbox Live Rewards (@XboxLiveRewards) May 30, 2013
It appears that Xbox have become so deluded, I enquired as to why you need an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription to use apps, due them not needing to provide anything, but I just got a typical response from what seems the norm with support on Twitter.
@MGaceman Xbox Live Gold provides a host of awesome features including access to many amazing apps! http://t.co/xBODe9Dqnh ^JX
— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) May 27, 2013
So, besides not being very rewarding at all and providing pretty much nothing in comparison to PlayStation Plus, it’s understandable why people are starting to question the value of the Xbox Live service when Sony offer so much for free (as part of the subscription).