A) * The D-pad sucks
* The continued hardware failures
C) * No Wi-fi on the Elite
D) * Enough with the double-A batteries
E) * Overpriced hard drives
F) * Subscription fees: lose 'em!
A) Agree. I'm sure MS will have a good solution for their next console. But at the same time, it's not a huge deal to myself personally because I don't play games that use the d-pad enough for it to matter.
MS is solving this and has already made great strides in this area. Not to mention, the increased warranty time MS now gives is more than adequate. I'm very satisfied about the "hardware issues" today but when my first 360 went out, before MS started to fix these issues and increased their warranty, I wasn't too happy.
C) I agree wi-fi would be a good feature, but I don't want it. It's too difficult (if not impossible) to get 100% full up and down speeds over wifi. That's why, even with wi-fi on my Elite, I would NEVER even consider using it for my gaming console. Call me anal, but I want 100% full internet bandwidth speeds to my gaming console over wi-fi, and I've never been able to achieve that (I've got 20 Mbit down, 2 Mbit up and although wi-fi is completely capable of maxing my internet bandwidth, it's never come close no matter what my max has been, what wi-fi equiptment I've tried including routers, receivers, etc.)
D) Not a big deal. Expecting MS, or Sony or Nintendo for that matter, to pack in every practical accessory into their console packages, just isn't being realistic. From a business standpoint, it makes much more sense to leave some accessories out to force buys so you gain more income. Also, by the way, I am completely content using AA's in my 360 controllers 1/2 the time anyway. It's not a big deal.
E) This is something that has always come with the territory in console gaming -- overpriced hardware upgrade/addon accessories. The reason it's much cheaper for PC's is that any hardware company can release a hard drive for the PC. MS has licenses on the 360 with the intent of not letting any company who pleases to make a 360 hard drive. Thus, there's no competition for hard drives on the 360. Thus, no low prices. But anyway, it's a one-time buy if you buy a 360 without one. And it's so useful that it's more than worth the money.
F) Hahaha. NOPE. Wrong! Xbox Live is a fee/subscription based service for a reason -- To provide unmatched quality in terms of online gaming over the Xbox & Xbox 360 platforms. XBL is the single best investment for any and all console gamers. I'd gladly pay well over $100/year for the service if I had to, and I only play online twice a week or so. If XBL went to becoming free, most of what makes the service so damn great would be gone or become insignificant. The online community for Xbox platforms would be pissed and would want to pay again. Overall, this is a dumb idea. XBL is quite simply an amazing value. Saying that you'd like XBL to be free is either being an idiot, an absolute cheapskate, and/or an Xbox/MS hater. GamePro has a reputation for disliking MS and Xbox so go figure -- No surprise.
In all honesty, Nintendo and Sony got 100 times more things to worry about than MS. I could literally write a book on what Sony needs to do, and Nintendo's got two main issues: They need to embrace and standardize current a/v technology (such as HD) as well as focus much more on network multiplayer (online play).
Anyhow, interesting article I suppose...