Archive | May, 2013

When Xbox says, “We don’t need gamers.”

24 May

As a continuation of the last post, I’ve been reading over the defense positions taken by Destructoid in regards to the Xbox One. I see their points, holding on the hope that Xbox can still wow and amaze, but there are a few fundamental flaws.

In the article, “The Xbox One reveal wasn’t nearly as bad as you think”, Dtoid thinks that Microsoft hasn’t made some major screw up, when really they did. While Microsoft may have stated that they weren’t going to show any game right off, that in itself is an insult to the primary audience. Or are we not the primary audience anymore? Is the Xbox One just a gloried DVR for Mom and Pop? And if that’s the case, why attach the Xbox name? Xbox can only it’s position in the electronics pantheon because gamers put it there. Microsoft had the event showcase backward from the start. And while they may not “need to vie for (our) attention”, they do need to vie for our money.

I highly doubt that Microsoft appealed to as many people as possible. This is just a black, tweaked Google TV, hearkening back to all those promises Google never fulfilled.

I also contend that Microsoft hasn’t gotten all the bad press out of the way. It’s still ongoing. There are only none answers from Microsoft, which only increases the doubt and shakes our confidence. It makes them look incompetent and unprofessional.

While Microsoft may have nowhere to go but up in the publicity, their lack of presentation presence and passion in the initial event doesn’t bode well for E3. And no amount of retailer controlled trade-in and required internet connection news, even if it isn’t always on,  is ever good.

There is still a firestorm coming.

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Xbox One Debacle

23 May

I’ll admit that I’ve been an Xbox faithful since pistol sniping across bloodgulch pissed off my LAN friends. I even tolerated the Xbox 360 RROD campaign. But I don’t think I have the metal to bear the Xbox One.

Before I get to tearing the system apart, let me start with the event. Painful. Absolutely painful. While I understand that Microsoft is trying to redefine the entertainment system (I think they’ve done well this generation), it seems like they have isolated their primary audience: gamers. The Xbox is still a gaming console. There wasn’t any actual gaming, just trailers and hints of reiterations of old IPs. This wasn’t an event for gamers, was an event for the press.

The overall passion was lacking. The deliver of every presenter was formulatic and bland. There were no true gamers in the audience. As Destructoid tweeted, “TV, TV, TV, Sports, Sports, Call of Duty, Dogs.” Sigh.

I am depressed about what I see in the machine itself. From the outside it looks to be modeled to another rival black box from this generation. The camera, simply a wider 1080p off the shelf webcam. The controller, similar to this generation. Nothing from the looks wowed.

The one bright spot I found was the settop box function of the xbox. I do think it’s cool that I can quick switch between TV, movies, music and game. I like the refined gestures and multiple tasking capability. Microsoft made a nice interface. But what happens to my other devices, like my original 360. I still have to reach for my remote to change to it, right?

There are more marks against the machine then for it. Rumor is that the Blu-ray player won’t play movies, it’s game only. I understand people’s concent that physical media is going to disappear from existance, but I highly doubt that. People like to feel like they own something tangible, not simply borrowing it. Hence the simmering rage with games on demand and XBLA, but more on that later.

The HDD is internal, though expandable with external USB drives. 500GB may sound like a lot, but it won’t be. Eights years forward it won’t be. I know some ardent fans won’t have any problem hooking up their externals, but this is ugly. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but I don’t want to have my harddrive sitting by my TV or in range of friends flailing to Kinect.

Now to get to the heart of the geek rage. First off, backwards compatibility. I undestand that technology has moved forward and that architecture has changed quite a bit since the start of this current generation. I get that, but it doesn’t mean that I am willing to let go of my library of 360 titles. Or my on demand and arcade games. Geekdom knows what emulation is, and we’re not quite sure why it’s not in there.

Second, used games. Initial reports mentioned that the Xbox One won’t allow for the playing of used games. That once they were activated, they were attached to the xbox or the player’s account. Now Microsoft has taken the position of paying an activation fee for hand-me-down owners. The caveat is that they haven’t mentioned a pricing structure or who even sets the price. One possible exploit I seen floated around is where someone buys a game, installs it and turns around next day and resells it. Course this only works if the game can be played straight from drive and if that is the case, 500GB is definitely too small. I don’t think Microsoft would be that moronic and draconian to disenfranchise gamers who primarly play used games.

Between Windows 8, Windows phone, Surface, Offfice 365 subscriptions and now Xbox One, I don’t see how Microsoft is going to win this generation. I think most of us are waiting for Microsoft to implode, if not rooting for it at this point.