Due to the number of people having to change their Xbox 360s, I am surprised the topic of migrating to a new console hasn’t been talked about more. I’ve been through it a couple of times, but only this latest migration has really pumped up my blood pressure.
As it happens, I’ve moved to a new console on both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 lately and it feels fitting to compare the process. I’ve had enough grief from both that I can’t really say which one is the lesser evil, but overall, I’m a little less angry at Microsoft.
The actual process itself is not terribly taxing. You plug in either a Microsoft-branded memory module or for the PS3, any USB memory stick, and copy or move your saved games to that. Then you boot up your new console, sign in to your existing profile and move or copy over your saved games. Resume being entertained.
If only each step of the way wasn’t riddled with tears. In a surprise move, the copying (or moving) of saved games is broken on both platforms. Shouldn’t be terribly difficult, no? Well, yes, if some of the saved games weren’t locked. In a game of virtual Russian roulette, I managed to dodge every bullet I would’ve actually cared about, so this only annoys me. On the PS3, Motor Storm: Pacific Rift, Lost Planet and parts (!) of the Devil May Cry 4 saved games wouldn’t move. On the Xbox 360, same situation, with the additional twist that some of the saved games could only be moved, not copied. Considering the reliability of the whole process, this did not leave me terribly amused. I didn’t make notes of the guilty 360 titles.
Once you have moved your saved games over, thus far everything is working alright. Except the one title I’ve put over some 30 hours into lately, Fallout 3 on the PS3. It does not let me save any of the moved games once I load them up.
To add insult to injury, I started up a new game of Fallout 3, which does let me save the game, to find out that every time I should get a Trophy, it informs me (with a cling) that “You did not earn a Trophy”. Well, thank you. (No, I have not received any Fallout 3 Trophies before.) I haven’t been this aggravated in a while, feels like goddamn PC gaming all over again.
Migrating the profile and in the PS3′s case, the separate Playstation Network profile, was hassle-free. I would have appreciated some user input and information when Xbox Live downloaded all of my small (I think sub 50 MB) XBLA titles while migrating, as this did take an hour or so. Of course it left me in the dark regarding which titles I still have to download manually.
Not that any of that did me any good when I hauled the Xbox 360 to a Rock Band party, only to discover that none of my paid for and downloaded songs work when I’m not connected to Live. I did use the XBLA ownership transfer tool, but either it didn’t work or it doesn’t apply to the Rock Band DLC.
(Edit: Using the transfer tool (which is not easy to find) again, it appears that all of my content now works. I had to re-download all of it, but luckily it only downloaded the licenses from Live, not the content itself.)
It’s clearly a process both console manufacturers have neglected to really work on and something which could leave a sour taste in the mouth for a long while, especially for people who need to go this numerous times, as is likely the case with Xbox 360 owners.
So what’s the new hardware like? Worth all this troble? I moved from a launch phase 60 GB PS3 to the current 80 GB model, bundled with Little Big Planet, and from a launch phase Xbox 360 Premium to the current Pro.
On the Playstation front, I do like the Dual Shock 3 compared to the rumble-less Sixaxis. Even Motor Storm feels like something, now, and I’m looking forward to playing Sega Rally as God intended. The console seems even quieter than before, but the hard drive makes plenty of noise compared to the practically soundless old one. I mourn the loss of two USB ports, but it’s not really an issue. I had the occasional use for the now missing memory card readers. I expected them to at least hang on to their own Memory Stick format. I have a separate PS2 Slim and the support was buggy anyway, so the loss of backwards compatibility does not bother me.
The Xbox 360 change got me a triple-size hard drive, from 20 GB to 60 GB, allowing me to actually install games on the HDD. This is a great improvement, as it completely eliminates the DVD roar. The DVD noise does not sound improved at all, but at least it’s a less frequent invasion of your ears. The power brick seems smaller and it comes with narrower cables, as I’d expect with the supposedly much reduced power consumption.
All told, I’m all for the change, but I could do without the grief, especially since these seem to be a failure of processes on the platform owners’ part.