Okay, so if you haven't heard...MineCraft has been ported over to the Xbox Live Arcade and it's already made a ton of money. The problem however is that while Microsoft is loving the monies, gamers are having a problem accessing the game's split-screen.
So the main issue is that in order to play the game on four-player split-screen -- you know...a feature that's been in thousands of games since as far back as split-screen modes existed in video games -- you need an HDTV. That's right, one of the ugliest looking games ever made in recent years requires an HDTV for split-screen mode. It has to be in 720p in order to play four-player split-screen.
Well, not everyone knew this going in and actually purchased MineCraft for the Xbox 360 specifically for the splitscreen playing options, which also allows for pair-play so that players can play split-screen locally while also playing cooperatively online. What these gamers did not know was that SDTVs are disabled for the game's splitscreen mode. Why? Well, Kotaku reached out for an answer from Microsoft and Microsoft simply replied saying..."in game prompts alert players of the HD requirements for split-screen multiplayer."
Anyways, Kotaku shows off screenshots of the in-game prompts, as well as the game's marketplace description, which does in fact verify the above claims from Microsoft. There's even a slight reference to the 720p requirement, in passing, on the marketplace listing. So if you're not careful you could easily miss it.
As indicated on the Yahoo! Answers board, some gamers are saying that this should have been made clearer and that it was false advertisement, however it's not true that it's false advertisement, because it was printed in the game's listing. However, it just wasn't made readily clear beforehand or embolden that SDTVs are non-functioning for the game's offline splitscreen. It's an easy listing to miss and it's quite ambiguous if you're casually purchasing a game.
When some gamers sought refunds Kotaku is reporting that Microsoft is gauging it in a case-by-case study and that there are a number of factors involved with receiving a refund. Some of their readers have been writing in saying that they are being denied refunds on the game due to not being able to play split-screen on an SDTV.
A conspiracy theorist would probably say this was a big-business attempt to goad people into upgrading into an HDTV, although I tend to doubt in this piss poor economy people would upgrade to an HDTV to play one of the ugliest looking 3D games ever made in split-screen mode.