Is no Games with Gold on the Xbox One such a bad thing?

Yes it is. Well, kind of yes. It’s mostly a bad thing, but the lack of Games with Gold on the Xbox One has led to a series of fortunate events for myself and it could for others too, I guess. I think the best way to look at this is in the long and the short term. That way, I can tell you about the slight benefits as well as bitch / moan about the fact that a lack of Games with Gold really pisses me off.

In the long term … Yes, of course it’s a bad thing. If Microsoft don’t pull their fingers out of their arses and hurry up with bringing me some decent free games on the Xbox One, they’re going to have a war on their hands. Not that there’s much that I could do to Microsoft … I could boycott the Zune? That’ll show them. (For those of you that don’t remember, the Zune was Microsoft’s equivalent of the iPod, and it was embarrassing on so many levels). I don’t think it’s just me either, I’m sure that there are plenty of disillusioned Xbox One owners that see the 360 getting some decent free games and wonder to themselves, “why do you hate me, Microsoft?”. Even Sony are dishing out the free goods on the PS4, which makes me feel like Microsoft are giving me a real “F-U”, whilst taking my £5.99 a month for my Gold membership. They’re pretty much taking my money and then giving me the finger whilst shouting, “see you next month, you gullible prick!”. “Oh, good. They’ll see me next month. I’m sure Games With Gold will be up and running on the One by then!” – Alec Ward, pretty much every month since December. But still, I pay my £5.99 and I hope that I’ll be seeing some free games in the near future. It’s getting to the point where I wonder if they’ll ever do it, they seem to have kept pretty quiet about it recently. I swear, if the first Game with Gold is Loco Cycle, that weird looking Dragon game, Power Star Golf or Project Spark, shit’s going to go down.

It feels like Microsoft are punishing us for supporting the Xbox One early. They keep giving 360 gamers free titles, but give us nothing. They drop the price of the console by around £60, but don’t appease the people, like myself, who saw the potential in the console and paid full price on release. What’s worse, the games are still ridiculously expensive, both in store and digitially. £50 for Zoo Tycoon? Please. I want to be treated like a valued customer, and Games with Gold really accomplished that on the 360. At the moment, I just feel like a walking wallet.

Ahhhh, that felt good. I needed that rant. But, in all seriousness, where are my free games, Microsoft?

In the short term … It’s not all doom and gloom though, I guess. The lack of Games with Gold on my Xbox One did lead to one fortunate outcome – I started playing my Xbox 360 again.

*The audience gasps, a women in a purple frock faints as onlookers seem terrified by the unfolding events*. “Blasphemy!”, *a gentleman cries from the stands*.

I know, I know. I’m playing my good old trusty Xbox 360 again. But why is that such a bad thing? I have a fair few friends who refuse to use their 360 anymore, and that doesn’t really make any sense to me. I was sitting on the edge of my bed, looking through the games on my Xbox One, waiting for a moment of inspiration as my eyes scanned the titles on my shelf and in my hard drive. But alas, nothing. So I reached underneath my bed, pulled out the hefty matt black battery pack and plugged in my Xbox 360. I felt a little dirty at first … like I was cheating on my next-gen beauty with an older model. But then I realised, I paid good money for this games console a few years ago and the video-games that I have with it. I spent many an hour playing this console, and enjoyed every minute of it. Why shouldn’t I play it again? Especially considering that my Gold membership spans across both consoles, I might as well make the most of it. So I downloaded the free game of the month, which was Deadlight at the time, and I quickly remembered everything that I loved about my 360. Memories of joy came flooding back as my hands picked up that, now slightly alien, controller, with the chunky battery back in the arch of its back, and slightly rubbery joysticks. I’d missed that console, and it only took plugging it back in for me to realise it.

So, after loving Deadlight, I decided to download a couple more games. I purchased some DLC for State of Decay that cost just two measly pounds. I bought Dark Souls II and got to playing that epic title. I even ordered Tropico 4, which arrived yesterday but I’m yet to play. The lack of Games with Gold on my new console has rekindled my love for the older model. So I say to you, Xbox One fans that want more games, don’t be embarrassed to plug in your Xbox 360, or your PS3, PC, DS, PSP, PS Vita, Wii and Wii U. There is no shame in taking a step backwards and enjoying the older consoles … except for maybe the Wii U. Sorry Nintendo. There are plenty of brilliant games on those great consoles, and there will be plenty more – some of which will be free. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Microsoft are still giving out some great deals on the Xbox 360 and you can pick up some real gems for next to nothing at the moment. I’m bored of sitting around and waiting for Microsoft to deliver what they’ve promised. It could be months before they bring Games with Gold to the One and years until the prices of games start to drop, so why not have the best of both worlds and pick up that chunky controller once more? So yes, a lack of Games with Gold on the One is indeed a bad thing, but it isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of great deals out there on other consoles, you can pick up a PSP for next to nothing these days and even a pre-owned 360 will barely set you back £70, assuming that you don’t have one already. I’ve come to realise that it’s ok to be frustrated about a lack of Games with Gold (as well as other broken promises), but it’s stupid to sit around and mope about it.