Fifteen bucks each for downloadable games, which you can only purchase with 'MS points', kind of the modern equivalent of buying non-refundable tokens at an arcade... And they only sell points in increments of 1500, and they've priced each game at 800 points - so you'll never, ever quite have enough to spend all your points. At least, not on top-tier content. You can get B-list titles for less, but who cares?
Anyway, it's occasionally worth it. PacMan CE is awesome, Geometry Wars 2 is brilliant, but then I start to wonder about the longevity of it all: Downloading games offers convenience, but the cost is impermanence: 360s are prone to failure, and it took MS three years to work out a mechanism for transferring your legitimate paid-for content from your dead system to the replacement. Looking into the future, it's not hard to imagine a time when Microsoft has finally grown tired of all the crap and stops transferring your games... And you'll end up with a situation like the Super NES where, years after Nintendo cancelled the Satellaview download service, memory cards are sold in auctions for crazy amounts so archivists (ie: pirates) can rip the content and preserve it.
The bottom line is, I don't trust Microsoft to have my interests in mind, ever. Everything I buy on their download service is a long-term rental: all the titles I'm paying for will cease to exist much sooner than I'd prefer. There will be no used-game market for Xbox 360 downloads - the idea of a garage sale full of downloaded games, in the way we'd sell old Super NES games, is laughable.
Every time I buy a 360 download I feel dirty, I feel as if I've failed to make a wise purchasing decision, but I am weak. I'm REALLY weak - I bought the points and I've bought one game so far.
Happily my PacMan CE is on a disc. It will never expire, and I can take it to a friend's house and play it there. All these other games are ephemeral, mere rentals, and every time I play them I'm unable to fully enjoy it 'cause I can't help wonder how much longer I'll have it, and if I'll ever really believe it was money well spent.
While not totally relevent, this quote from Penny Arcade is good:
Quote by Penny Arcade:This is all according to Microsoft's Zoroastrian Magic Calendar, which states the nested laws of the Marketplace thusly:
1. Content can never be free.
2. Content can be free, if you wait long enough.
3. Content is always free if it is available for free elsewhere.
[...] But these rules express a kind of thorny philosophy, where the content that makes the system most unique is universally barbed with costs. All it does is reinforce the sense that the platform is fraught with toll gates, which is, um... true.