NEWS - Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Buyer Beware...

Circuit City has managed to find a new way to extract money from customers interested in purchasing an Xbox 360 by offering to install software that already comes preinstalled on the system. According to this post on, Circuit City is offering to install the software that allows the Xbox 360 to play original Xbox titles for a fee of $28.99. Obviously targeting the casual gamer that's less likely to know the ins and outs of the console, the Circuit City in-store advertisement reads like this: "Want to play your original xbox games on your new Xbox 360? Backward compatibility on the Xbox 360 is done through software* Let Circuit City install it for you For just $28.99 What are the benefits to playing original Xbox games on my Xbox 360 console? • Every game* will be playable in high definition. • Every original Xbox game* will be upscaled to 720p and 1080i, and will take advantage of Xbox 360's anti-aliasing capabilities, delivering a picture that is clear and crisper than anything available on Xbox. *Refer to the original Xbox games list to ensure compatibility on the Xbox 360." For gamers (or people buying gifts for gamers) that are not already familiar with the Xbox 360's backwards compatibility support, the Xbox 360 is capable of playing many original Xbox titles straight out of the box. As time goes by, Microsoft releases free updates that allow the Xbox 360 to play more and more original Xbox titles, improving the scope of the system's backwards compatibility. However, you do not need any additional software to play many Xbox titles; what Circuit City is offering to do is install a free Microsoft update that allows more games to be played on the Xbox 360 than before. Additionally, systems being sold new in the stores will probably have the most recent updates preinstalled, making additional updates mostly unnecessary. Still, if you did need to update your system, the updates are easy to acquire and install for free. If you're able to connect to the Internet, the updates can be downloaded for free from Microsoft's servers; you don't have to know anything, the software installs automatically when you connect to Xbox Live with your Xbox 360. If you don't have your system connected to any version of Xbox Live, you can download the updates from right here, burn them to CD, and install it yourself. The actual install process takes less than 60 seconds and is designed to be fool-proof. No matter how skilled you are at accidentally killing electronics, you won't be able to mess up your Xbox 360 with this. Finally, if you don't have Internet connections at all, you can order an update CD from Microsoft here at near the cost of shipping and handling. Heck, if you have troubles, I'll download and burn a copy of the update CD and mail it to you for free. Just e-mail me and ask. Circuit City's attempt to charge people nearly $30 for a service that comes preinstalled whether the customer elects to pay them money or not is fraudulent. It's selling snake oil, and they should immediately stop the process, or at the very least re-write their advertising fliers to make what they're offering more clear. Cicuit City Display Ad


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