Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

After an awful start, Xbox One must redeem itself at E3

After an awful start, Xbox One must redeem itself at E3

Wed 22 May 2013 6:49am GMT / 2:49am EDT / 11:49pm PDT
BusinessHardware

Microsoft's confused, boring reveal event angered the core audience and worried business commentators. E3 will be a chance to set things right

E3 is only three weeks away. That might be important - it might, in fact, be central to Microsoft's thinking. Perhaps the company thought that, with the annual gaming jamboree fast-approaching, it could bundle all of the excruciating corporate newspeak and market positioning nonsense into a brief one-hour press conference and then - with appropriate lip service and homage paid to the twin gods of broadcast TV and American sports - it could rapidly move on to an E3 focused almost exclusively on games, delighting the core audience so much that they'll utterly forget a coming-out party that seemed to imply a jumped-up cable box that merely plays games as an afterthought.

"Here is a company which is so arrogantly confident in its dominance of the core gaming space that it believes it no longer has anything to prove"

I sincerely hope that's the case - that Microsoft is keeping its powder dry for E3. It's an odd and probably deeply misguided communications strategy, since the firm completely held the specialist press' attention for the days surrounding its unveiling event and could have used that to set the tone for E3. Instead, whatever wonders it pulls out of the bag at E3 must now act first and foremost as damage control, a job made tougher by sharing the airwaves with what will no doubt be a massive charm offensive on Sony's part. Still, while such a muddled reveal isn't a great start, the firm did tease 15 exclusive launch window titles, eight of them new IPs - an E3 focused with laser precision on that line-up would cover up early stumbles nicely.

That assumes, of course, that Microsoft understands and accepts that what happened this week was a stumble. There's a more pessimistic interpretation, one to which core consumers have been quick to leap - that Microsoft genuinely believes in the way it positioned Xbox One (a daft name, but we got used to "Wii" so I suppose we've proved that daft names aren't much of a stumbling block). That here is a company which is so arrogantly confident in its dominance of the core gaming space that it believes it no longer has anything to prove - that it can take for granted the support of core gamers and early adopters, instead focusing its energies from the outset on television, movies, sports, music and, er, Skype.

If that sounds familiar, it's probably because - like me - you watched the Xbox One reveal with strong flashbacks to exactly the kind of hubris and arrogant assumption which dogged and ultimately crippled Sony's launch of the PlayStation 3. Rather than seeking to enrapture and engage the tens of millions of core gamers upon whose support a successful hardware launch might be built, Sony simply assumed that they would support PS3 no matter what - a line of reasoning which led to a ludicrous price point (they'll get second jobs to afford one, remember?) for a system openly intended as vehicle for the nascent Blu-ray movie standard and both designed and promoted as a home entertainment hub rather than a games device. Core gamers, in the end, demurred in large numbers, preferring Microsoft's upstart Xbox 360. There's always a choice, and having usurped Sony's market dominance only a few scant years ago, you'd think that Microsoft would recall that brand loyalty - quite rightly - doesn't run all that deep.

"The tone and content of Microsoft's announcement should also rankle, and deeply concern, shareholders and analysts"

The tone of Microsoft's event rankled gamers, for good reason - the reveal of a game console which focuses so heavily on how good it is at controlling television shows and movies shows basic disregard for the reasons most people watching the reveal online have to actually buy game consoles. Do not, however, fall into the trap of thinking that Microsoft's reveal only slighted gamers in order to delight the business community. In reality, the tone and content of Microsoft's announcement should also rankle, and deeply concern, shareholders and analysts.

Television is in trouble. It may not look like that from some angles, given the immense critical and audience success of shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men or Game of Thrones, but the business model on which television has based itself - especially in the United States - is creaking at the seams. With the decline in the value of advertising (caused by the rapid fragmentation of the audience - only huge events like the Superbowl, which guarantee a large, unified audience, have held their value for advertisers), everything in that industry now boils down to the cable subscription model. If you want to watch a TV show, you end up paying an exorbitant amount of money every month to subscribe to dozens if not hundreds of TV channels you'll never watch.

Consequently, two things have happened. Firstly, a whole generation of consumers has bowed out of the legitimate model entirely. Despite the efforts of media firms to crack down on piracy of TV shows, the tide has not been stemmed in the slightest; TV episodes find their way onto pirate services within minutes of broadcast and are watched in that manner by a vast swathe of consumers. No legal or technical adjustment short of the most insane and wicked invasion of the privacy of every citizen - honest or otherwise - is going to stop that from happening. What has helped, though, is the emergence of a new business model, with companies like Hulu, Lovefilm and the daddy of them all, Netflix, stepping into the breach. Netflix is now, by hours watched, the most popular and successful TV network in North America. It's started making its own high-budget, high-profile TV shows. If every cable network in the US isn't terrified of it, then they've not been paying attention.

It's against this background that Microsoft has seemingly decided that the most important thing about the new Xbox One is how well it plays with your cable box. Of course, it'll play Netflix as well, but so does just about every device you own. The core of Microsoft's strategy to "dominate the living room" seems to be that its box will be good at streaming content from providers to whom you pay a subscription fee entirely independent of Microsoft's ecosystem, and whose content will, incidentally, work perfectly well without an Xbox One in the equation. Without an Xbox One you won't be able to wave your hands to control it, but then again, nobody I know who owns a Samsung Smart TV actually uses the hand-waving control system anyway, other than to show house guests how broken and annoying it is.

"A business strategy which in five years time will probably look about as wise as launching a game console that plays VHS tapes"

It's for this - a business strategy which in five years time will probably look about as wise as launching a game console that plays VHS tapes - that Microsoft has chosen to alienate and annoy its core consumer base at what should have been a triumphant coming-out party. Microsoft achieved absolutely remarkable, wonderful things with the Xbox 360; Xbox One should build on all of those things and be a system that gamers simply cannot do without. Perhaps it is that system, and perhaps we'll see that at E3, but we didn't see it during the reveal.

Meanwhile, all the murkiest rumours about Xbox One refuse to be dispelled. It cannot have escaped Microsoft's notice that consumers and press alike are deeply concerned over the system's online requirements and its policies with regard to used software. Yet rather than smiling graciously on stage and saying "of course not!", earning brownie points and clearing the air with a single phrase, or even explaining their approach in clear, humble terms, earning at least some respect, Microsoft executives ignored the issue in their presentation and subsequently equivocated in interviews, ducking and dodging around questions regarding second-hand software (or even the ability to lend games to friends without incurring a charge). We still don't know exactly what the firm has in mind, but it's safe to assume that it's going to be a pretty flagrant violation of consumers' existing rights and behaviours - because if it wasn't, then they wouldn't be dodging the question, would they?

If consumers felt left out in the cold by a party which was supposed to be about games but ended up being all about TV and live sports, then spare a thought for developers. After the developer love-in that was the PS4 announcement, where Sony laid out the red carpet to invite creators of all shapes and sizes to come and play in its garden (formerly walled, now surrounded with something more akin to a picket hedge), you might have expected Microsoft to give some kind of nod in a similar direction. Not so. The only third-party bodies on the stage were from EA (who showed FIFA) and Activision (who dutifully showed up to stun the world by confirming that they're making another Call of Duty game). The broad, thriving community of independent developers and creators who have turned out so many of the great games of the past half-decade didn't even warrant a wink and a nod. Like so many other things, that can be fixed at E3, but the contrast in tone to Sony's invitation will not go unnoticed. (The missed opportunity to have Steve Ballmer run on stage reprising his "developers, developers, developers, developers!" routine is also disappointing, of course.)

Do I sound unimpressed? Well, I was seriously unimpressed. It's only the first hour of Xbox One, but it suggested a company that's curiously both mired in arrogance and somewhat directionless. I don't know who the Xbox One reveal was meant to appeal to, other than the TV executives whose egos it massaged. Worse; I'm not sure that Microsoft knows who they're meant to be appealing to. The company is desperate to head off Apple in the consumer space, and Xbox One right now feels less like a competitor to Sony's heavily games-focused PS4 and more like a pre-emptive shot at a hypothetical future version of the Apple TV.

"Xbox One feels less like a competitor to Sony's heavily games-focused PS4 and more like a pre-emptive shot at a hypothetical future version of the Apple TV"

That's unfortunate, because it brings to mind something rather uncomfortable. Xbox 360 was a fantastic system - probably the best thing Microsoft has ever done in the consumer space, and unquestionably one of the best games consoles ever created. Xbox One should remind us of that, but instead it's hard not to think of other products Microsoft has created since the 360 - products like Zune, Surface, Windows Phone and latterly, Windows 8. Products which have, even when they've been rather good (as Windows Phone is), completely failed to ignite interest from consumers. In fact, in terms of consumer entertainment products, Microsoft has had one hit - Xbox 360 - in the midst of a litany of failure (it's fair to note, though, that Sony has its fair share of dodos as well, Vita being only the most recent). Xbox One needs to replicate the factors that made Xbox 360 into a success. This week, we saw none of that; we saw a console that felt less like an Xbox and more like a Microsoft Product, with all the baggage that brings. We can only cross our fingers and hope that with the dull rubbish out of the way, Microsoft is now preparing an E3 showing that will really light the touchpaper for the next console war.

82 Comments

Randy Marr
Customer Service Representative

12 37 3.1
I felt like this would be the case. Coming into this conference I was afraid that Microsoft was going to look like Sony did 7 years ago. Directionless, too full of itself, and feeling invincible. Before PS3, the PS2 was king. THen the 360 was king. Sadly I don't think WiiU will be king this time, but that's okay, 'cause I still like it. I've got my PC if I wanna play any 'powerhouse' games.

Posted:11 months ago

#1

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 410 0.6
Popular Comment
Yeah, I walked away from the stream with more questions than I went in with - not to mention disappointment at a US-only feature set that will be absent in the other 95% of the world.

Then the reports from Wired, Kotaku and polygon rolled in from their interviews with various executives and people in the Xbox division:
- Games are tied to a live account
- Console has to connect to the internet to authenticate every 24 hours or games stop working
- No lending of games to friends or family; even within the same house
- Some nebulous promise of a digital licence second hand market that will be elaborated on at a later point

This means that the console has no value (or more accurately, less value) to the family units that MS want to target. If I bought a game, I don't want to have to have my children's friends on my friends list so that they can play together. Nor do I want to lose that "put the disc in and play" value that works so well across multiple consoles within the same household (one under the TV, one for the kids - for instance).

I just hope Sony are not going down the same route because if they do I'm not getting either Xbox One or PS4... I'll probably get a Wii U since I get the Wii catalogue as well as the future Wii U catalogue. Combined with PC I would get the best of both worlds. Just in case anyone brings it up as well: the reason I'm more okay with this stuff on PC is that Steam, Origin and UPlay are not the only stores in the market I can and do get DRM-free software... and I didn't spend Ä600 on my PC just to play games. Steam at least has good sales and I can pick up games for far less... for Xbox One I'm very sceptical that it will result in any lower game prices despite the "100%" customer conversion rate promised by such an onerous DRM scheme.

I really hope this backfires and kills profitability for the market. The mass market didn't accept one-use expensive DVDs, it wouldn't accept licences on DVDs, CDs or books... why does software get a special case? What warrants it for a piece of entertainment that you cannot control or alter?

Posted:11 months ago

#2

Christopher Bowen
Editor in Chief

393 503 1.3
Frankly, I don't see the big deal. I don't think Microsoft cares if they angered the games press, because ultimately, the games press - and its consumers - are not the target audience of the One. We're not the target; our families are. They are targeting the audience that will buy a few blockbuster AAA titles - a Halo here, a Madden there - and once they're done playing with their friends, go to ESPN3 and watch American Football. In all actuality, the core games consumer - who, let's face it, is likely going to get a PS4 first - will eventually be made to heel with a few exclusives. The exclusivity of FIFA Ultimate Team for the One, as I'm sure most of this site's visitors know, is a huge, potentially system-selling deal to quite a few football fans.

Eventually, the consumer will buy a One. It's just a matter of when, and for what. Microsoft has the money to throw around for exclusives - CoD map packs, whatever EA has up their sleeves - and already I'm seeing voiciferous defenders of the frankly indefensible policy of single-use retail games. Turnaround at retail, Microsoft is betting, is a matter of time.

Frankly, the PS4 isn't their biggest threat. Smart TVs are.

Posted:11 months ago

#3

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
@Christopher: I'd prefer a TV and console that aren't smart, thank you much. Playing what I want when I want to do so is so much more attractive than the mandatory addressing of a console once a day like I've been drafted into the Orwell army's basement brigade. You're right about MS not really caring what the press says because they'll lure in the rubes with dangling content and magic features and I bet many will buy in on launch day. Me, I'll go remote fishing and get up to change my game discs when necessary.

However, will they stay once they've moved in and found out there's that unbreakable lease thing in the way of actual freedom? We shall see, but with no way to be sure games will be anything but disposable commodities (and no wonder the medium is having issues being seen as an art form by some!), I don't think the trumpets will blow a victory tune for all that long...

On the other hand... hell, all they needed to do was add a Clapper and a Roomba plus a MedicAlert app to that One setup and you'd have a hospice care kit in a box. It's a plot to make us all lazy Weebles so the Commies can drop in and roll us away, I tells ya...

Posted:11 months ago

#4

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
And wait...
Console has to connect to the internet to authenticate every 24 hours or games stop working?
What part of "I'm on VACATION, dammit!/I'm at a trade show for a few days!/I'm moving to a new state today/I'm having an affair with a co-worker who lives in a different zip code!" et cetera don't they get here?

Er, unless the privacy invading console that maybe always needs to be plugged into the internet AUTOMATICALLY updates itself as a user-selected option (eek... and no thanks)...

Posted:11 months ago

#5

John Pickford
Owner

46 137 3.0
Excellent article.

Posted:11 months ago

#6

Adrian Cummings
Founder and Owner

18 5 0.3
What ^John said :)

Posted:11 months ago

#7

Chris Hunter-Brown
IT / Games specialist

51 14 0.3
Popular Comment
Xbox One feels like a console design driven by a fear of what everybody thinks the fruit company will do (and probably won't) and usage metrics considered out of context.

If Apple genuinely has designs on assaulting the living room via the TV with a new product (not an automatic proposition given the sizeable iOS foothold they already have) then they must be pretty bemused watching their competitors falling over themselves to get out in front of them with various gizmos deigned to make the TV "smarter". Nearly all of which vastly over-emphasise either the importance of a cable TV business which Rob eloquently paints a petty grim picture of (Google TV, Xbox One) or a touch-centric interface designed to work at a distance of inches transported to ten feet away (Samsung Smart TV's et al).

If Steve Job's actually cracked this problem (if indeed it's a problem that exists) both of these things strike me as the last thing he would have done. It's far from certain Apple will be able to redefine things again but if they do, everybody's spent a lot of money not getting very far.

The justification for the Xbox One that I keep seeing from Xbox executives old and new is how everybody uses their console for "more than games" these days swiftly followed up by a dazzling array of statistics gleaned from Xbox Live. Whilst no doubt factual, this usage pattern conveniently ignores how the box got under my TV in the first place and how the vacuum that has been filled by Netflix was created; games and a lack thereof. I bought my Xbox 360 to play Halo and fell in love with Geometry Wars. It is my primarily Netflix device now only largely of this happy accident and the fact that in the last year or so the amount of games released that have motivated me to switch it on can be counted with my fingers.

A good E3 will make us forget all this of course but that's a big IF based on the last couple of years. 15 exclusives they say yet they couldn't find 10 minutes yesterday for just one that would render most of the Internet chat today moot.

Posted:11 months ago

#8

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
A good E3 will make us forget all this of course but that's a big IF based on the last couple of years. 15 exclusives they say yet they couldn't find 10 minutes yesterday for just one that would render most of the Internet chat today moot.
Exactly my thoughts. I mean, they COULD have just done away with the hour, held this online-only (like a Nintendo Direct video) showing only upcoming game footage and trailers for half that time (of NEW IP, not EA Sports or CoD ho-hummery) with a teaser that even more was coming at E3, then bore us to tears with tech and specs before more reveals. The Remedy game was a meh teaser because the live action to game footage was so jarring and tonally different as to be more distracting than "wow" inducing. But I like Remedy's games, so I'll give them a pass.

Of course, this places pressure on Microsoft now to REALLY blow everyone away with exclusives (and as few potential duds as possible in those eight of fifteen new IP), so I have to at least give them a tiny bit of credit of creating suspense to go with that thick coating of internet hate coming from all sides that aren't saying this is a bestest idea ever...

Posted:11 months ago

#9

John Pickford
Owner

46 137 3.0
Popular Comment
A good E3 (amazing games shown) won't make me forget the fact I can't lend a game to my brother any more. And it definitely won't make me forget the mandatory Kinect interface. I don't want to talk to my console. I don't want to wave my arms about. It's not happening for me.

I thought the 360 was a fantastic console. This is a real shame.

Posted:11 months ago

#10

Nick Parker
Consultant

264 124 0.5
Well done Rob; just when we thought you took days to compose a great article, you maintain the standard by knocking one out in hours.
Xbox One seems like Microsoft has created a consumer friendly brand over the years to get to this stage of a one stop shop multi media content delivery hub. I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt until launch but after the first 24 hours, games seem no longer to be the priority for the Xbox brand.

Posted:11 months ago

#11

John Pickford
Owner

46 137 3.0
Cancelled my Xbox Live Gold Subscription. I think that's the clearest way to send a message to MS.

Posted:11 months ago

#12

Benn Achilleas
director

72 32 0.4
well, after the initial reveals from both Sony and MS, I'm actually coming closer to converting to a PC gamer than ever before...

Posted:11 months ago

#13
Sometimes, its hard to shake off initial impressions even with a E3 game focused event.
Maybe we should just stick to our PC/Macs.....Deep Down (dragons Dogma2?) on PS4 is quite alluring as well

Posted:11 months ago

#14

John Karageorgiou
consultant

17 11 0.6
Excellent insights and well written article.

@ John Pickford's comments........could not agree more.

Posted:11 months ago

#15

Darren Stewart
Videogame investor

52 17 0.3
Excellent article, Rob. From my mind to your "pen".

Having reflected on what MS have said, surely the biggest mistake (that we know about so far) is to bundle the new Kinect with the One. The impact this is going to have on the price is hugely significant whereas the majority of people who want to play games won't even use it.

Was it ironic that the games they showed (Forza, Call of Duty, FIFA) don't use the Kinect? It was almost drawing attention the strategic mistake they were making forcing everybody to pay for it.

www.bougafer.com - investing in videogames

Posted:11 months ago

#16

Keith Andrew
Editor, PocketGamer.biz

31 28 0.9
I think calling it an "awful" start will look a bit ill-advised in the years ahead, but it certainly didn't break the mold for console reveals.

People seem to actively forget how awful reveals and press conferences - for consoles and all forms of tech, in fact - are. They're never want they want, and now thanks to the power of Twitter, everyone seems to unite in ramping up each other's rage.

Last night's Xbox One reveal annoyed people because of its focus on TV and multifunctionality, I think, but then that's where the market is heading, and for consumers outside of the gaming 'hardcore', that's what people are looking for. PS2's early sales, for instance, were driven off the fact it was a cheap but good DVD player for many, and that's a trend that continues today. Frankly I'd be worried if Xbox One - and, indeed, PS4 - weren't fully formed media hubs. That's what consumers want and need.

PS4's reveal was equally dire and seemed utterly rushed. No machine. No groundbreaking games to speak of. Just a lot of talk about what Sony was looking to achieve.

All in all, we'll get another blast at E3 - when Twitter will, no doubt, explode once again. This is the first page in a very, very long book.

Posted:11 months ago

#17

Keith Andrew
Editor, PocketGamer.biz

31 28 0.9
@Nick Parker:

Of course they're not, and they never have been. Games were always a means to an end - a way for Microsoft to create a space for Windows in the living room. Why is everyone surprised when their longterm goal actually starts to come to fruition?

That said, I don't think Xbox One will be any more or less a games machine than the PS4.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keith Andrew on 22nd May 2013 12:09pm

Posted:11 months ago

#18

Alex Bunch
Proof Reader

87 86 1.0
@Christopher: If you don't see what the big deal is then frankly you're in the wrong business. Families won't like the One because if Dad buys Halo, no one else in the family will be able to play it!
Also this whole second hand game calamity will transfer to the mainstream press ie. daily newspapers. And this will certainly impact sales. EA and Activision's exclusives will soon dry up if no one is buying the console.

Posted:11 months ago

#19

Chris Hunter-Brown
IT / Games specialist

51 14 0.3
That's the thing though, the PS4 reveal wasn't that much to write home about. Given the luxury of going 2 months later Microsoft could actually show us the product so all they really had to do to elevate themselves is give maybe 5-10 minutes of stage time to one of their 15 exclusives / 8 new IP's. Saves plenty in the bank for E3 and makes most internet commentary moot until June. It wasn't like they made any efforts to downplay this event to the gaming 'hardcore'.

That they chose to spend time showing FIFA and COD instead is possibly telling.

When the PS2 launched, many people didn't have DVD players. These days I already have a litany of devices under my TV that can deliver content to my living room. I'm not convinced there's a huge market of people looking for the same thing but with voice control and Internet Explorer.

Posted:11 months ago

#20
Here is what I took from the presentation:

- The focus lies on Smart TV applications (that will be in every TV only a few years from now anyway)
- The console has a camera that recognizes you and is connected to the web ( good luck explaining to your girlfriends/wifes/ data protectionists why you need "big brother" in your living room)
- Games, the reason why people buy consoles, hardly got discussed
- Most of the fears of the core gamers didnt get adressed. And what we took from the interviews later on looks like most fears have become true...
- A new innovative COD with a dog that has HD-textures so you can see tattoo in his ear. Great innovation!

Even if MS is holding up the big news for the E3 that was a horrible communications strategy. Two and a half weeks of rather bad press until the event starts.Sony made clear that they are addressing the core gamers. They seem to understand that the console market is rather satuarated now and that the competition is about winning that market, rather than trying too hard to attract new customer segments...

The upside to the whole presentation was Hirschberg's introduction to COD Ghost however, which gave me a really good laugh: "We could have taken the safe way and developed CoD:Modern Warfare 4. We didnt want to take the safe way and create something new. Thats why we develope CoD: Ghost"

I have to admit my hopes might have been way too high, though. In my wildest dream I imagined John Carmack entering the stage telling that Microsoft bought his team and in combination with Kinect they will deliver the next big leap for gaming. Yeah yeah wild dreams I know ;)

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Konstantin Hohl on 22nd May 2013 1:32pm

Posted:11 months ago

#21

Robin Clarke
Producer

275 600 2.2
So the almost universally negative reaction was down to:

1. Social media existing
2. The format of press conferences
3. People not liking multipurpose devices suddenly
4. Someone wearing the wrong colour tie


Or perhaps it was because they didn't show any new games, or any functionality that directly applied to games other than over-reaching DRM?

Posted:11 months ago

#22

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
I always find myself confused with this type of reaction. What were you expecting?

There's almost no way the Xbox (or the PS4) reveal could have been anything but a disappointment based on the complaints.

I personally was expecting a hardware reveal and not an awful lot more. Sony did a bit better on the games, Microsoft a bit better on the OS platform, but that's about it.

Oh, IMO ;)

Posted:11 months ago

#23

Mariusz Szlanta
Producer

16 13 0.8
I think you oversimplify Robin.

Xbox is not a gaming console anymore. It's entertaiment box that happens to play games and that simple statement is core of MSFT strategy. As every versatile machine, it makes cuts to address vastly expanded potential customer base and core gamers fear how exactly they will be affected.

There was not a single good message for people who just want to plug and play at this conference and no killer game that can make up for bundled Kinect for example. Let's wait for E3.

Posted:11 months ago

#24

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

953 804 0.8
E3 redemption has costs attached. You have to beat the PS4 head to head; screenshot by screenshot, gameplay video by gameplay video.

Sure, for the duration of an E3 presentation, you can get away with saying "only on Xbox" 50 times. Then people will hit the floor and start comparing third party titles. Developers will be asked about lead platforms, Digital Foundry will plot odd graphs over gameplay scenery.

When the Call of Duty dog was promoted, i could feel the spirit of Peter Moleneux pad me on the back in shared anguish.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Klaus Preisinger on 22nd May 2013 2:55pm

Posted:11 months ago

#25

Guy Cocker
Journalist

2 1 0.5
Congrats Rob, this is one of the best opinion pieces I've ever read.

Posted:11 months ago

#26

Caleb Hale
Journalist

144 209 1.5
I'm surprised and a little annoyed so many gaming journalists have jumped on the whiny bandwagon with Xbox One and have assumed any unanswered question about the console or services indicates gamers are in store for a good screwing over in the near future.

Microsoft billed Tuesday's announcement as a hardware reveal. It revealed hardware. The Xbox One won't play 360 or XBLA games; given the fact so many people wanted console games to more closely resemble their PC counterparts, it was inevitable there would have to be a hard break somewhere down the road to make it a technical reality. Because both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are so similar, Microsoft and Sony realize they need to ramp up production on new IPs and exclusive games. I think the Xbox team and GameStop execs have enough business savvy not to suddenly abandon one another, so there will be a way for people to enjoy discounts on second-hand next-gen games. The Xbox One may work as a TV tuner, but no one said it must be used as one, and its existence doesn't appear to detract from the gaming power of the machine. Finally, it doesn't appear the Xbox One needs to be online any more than the 360 to function as a game system for a single player. So what if the Kinect sensor is always partially on? I doubt Microsoft is stupid enough to sell to an increasingly suspicious, gun-hording American public (that's where its big money is) a device that will be spying on them in their living rooms.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting tired of reading the same old gaming press narratives of "Nintendo should just lay down and die," "Microsoft is bound to fumble the ball," and "Sony is a gamer's saving grace because...indie games."

Posted:11 months ago

#27

Keith Andrew
Editor, PocketGamer.biz

31 28 0.9
Indeed, I think the worrying thing about the Xbox One reveal is that large portions of the games press (not Mr. Fahey, I might add) seem unaware of the growing desire for multifunctionality within devices - whether phones or consoles.

It seems like many are fighting for games to stay as *games only* machines, when in reality, it'd be unthinkable for Microsoft or Sony to - for instance - release a console without Netflix on board.

The console business is changing, so much so that soon enough it's going to seem daft even referring to 'consoles' as a separate entity anymore. Mobile, consoles and PC are converging just as games, TV, film and music are, and there are a lot of editorials being written across the internet that are going to look very foolish in a year or two.

Posted:11 months ago

#28

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,374 1,024 0.7
I'd be far more impressed with the multifunctional aspect if there was more information about codecs. It sounds lame, I know, but if they're trying to provide a one-stop multimedia platform, then knowing whether it can play .flac and .mkv files out-of-the-box would be damn useful. No doubt they'll provide the details eventually, but as it stands they gave us a vast amount of information that doesn't affect me - living in the UK as I do - and not a single detail on whether I'll be able to watch the 720p version of the latest Game of Thrones without transcoding it through a media player on my PC.

It's the little things, y'know? :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 22nd May 2013 4:17pm

Posted:11 months ago

#29

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
I'm surprised and a little annoyed so many gaming journalists have jumped on the whiny bandwagon with Xbox One and have assumed any unanswered question about the console or services indicates gamers are in store for a good screwing over in the near future.

Microsoft billed Tuesday's announcement as a hardware reveal. It revealed hardware. The Xbox One won't play 360 or XBLA games; given the fact so many people wanted console games to more closely resemble their PC counterparts, it was inevitable there would have to be a hard break somewhere down the road to make it a technical reality. Because both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are so similar, Microsoft and Sony realize they need to ramp up production on new IPs and exclusive games. I think the Xbox team and GameStop execs have enough business savvy not to suddenly abandon one another, so there will be a way for people to enjoy discounts on second-hand next-gen games. The Xbox One may work as a TV tuner, but no one said it must be used as one, and its existence doesn't appear to detract from the gaming power of the machine. Finally, it doesn't appear the Xbox One needs to be online any more than the 360 to function as a game system for a single player. So what if the Kinect sensor is always partially on? I doubt Microsoft is stupid enough to sell to an increasingly suspicious, gun-hording American public (that's where its big money is) a device that will be spying on them in their living rooms.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting tired of reading the same old gaming press narratives of "Nintendo should just lay down and die," "Microsoft is bound to fumble the ball," and "Sony is a gamer's saving grace because...indie games."
Thank you.

Posted:11 months ago

#30

Barrie Tingle
Live Producer

337 103 0.3
I'd say I'm part of the core audience and I have to say I am excited for the machine. Then again I knew the games were coming at E3 so didn't expect much in the way of the games in the console reveal event.
Not keen on the name (should have just used Xbox as everyone will call it that anyway) and the box itself isn't a looker but the more I see it the more I get used to it.

Posted:11 months ago

#31

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,205 817 0.7
YOU KNOW WHAT PISSES ME OFF???

You know its not even the fact they didnt have many games. What bothers me is how they want to control every aspect of how you use the device. The fact that you cant lend your games, share your content, they are tied to your account and single machine, you need to install every game and the disc becomes virtually usless after you first use it.

Its obviose the machine can play games. Its just not as easy as they claim it to be.

My girlfriend has two boys, one is married and lives next door, he often lends his games to his little brother. Now that just got so much harder.

So what now? Microsoft is expecting the little brother to pay everytime his older brother lends him a game?

Im sorry at this point Xbox one is beyond redemption... Im simply not getting one. Its a device that offers alot of features but limits you in a very harsh, draconian way.

And the fact that the console has to verify every 24 hours if the game your playing is a registered copy... seriously, they can dress it up as nice as they want to, dodge the topic like they have been doing.... but to me its DRM... plain and simple.

I also have privacy concerns about a device that requires an internet connection and to use has a camera pointed at you. There is also a patent about visual DRM... that some skeptics think microsoft is trying to impliment

And Im sorry if this is the future of games Im ready to just drop out entirely from them.

For now my money is on PS4 and WiiU (after a price drop).

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 24th May 2013 3:42pm

Posted:11 months ago

#32

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,051 0.9
Popular Comment
I can sort of get the direction they are trying to go but that event wasn't promoted or presented to those TV watching people they were after.

Your average Wheel of Fortune watcher was too busy watching Wheel of Fortune to watch some MS Xbox (associated with video games) event on the Internet.

Sports enthusiasts...they probably weren't paying much attention to this presentation either.

So who watched that presentation? Gamers. Gamers watched it. And gamers wondered what the hell that had to do with them.

Posted:11 months ago

#33
Popular Comment
I just find it amusing these companies are trying to take over the 1950s living room in 2013. As if the typical family in 2013 all still sits down to eat and then happily goes off to the living room all together to watch Uncle Milty each night. WTF? Who has a family like this? Everyone has crazy schedules, does their own thing and we are lucky if we get to watch possibly one or two shows or a movie together each week, and thats if we are lucky and plan for it.

Xbox's and all consoles reside in kids bedrooms, and man caves. The only living rooms they occupy is usually single person homes, and at that point a room is a room is a room.

the 1950's Father Knows Best Living Room doesnt exist in 2013.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 22nd May 2013 4:59pm

Posted:11 months ago

#34

Barrie Tingle
Live Producer

337 103 0.3
@Rick Lopez I agree it is a pain because my wife and I both have a 360 and sometimes we buy two copies of a game if we want to do multiplayer and other times we buy one copy and share it.
Microsoft say that you can play it on the same console as the account that owns it but what if I want to play Forza 5 and my wife wants to play my copy of LEGO Batman 3 on her console, she can't unless she buys the extra license which then removes it from my own account.
Microsoft should re-instate the family Gold account and anyone that owns one of those 4 accounts should be able to play the game that one of those accounts owns without paying the game license fee again.

I'm still going to be buying one though :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Barrie Tingle on 22nd May 2013 4:59pm

Posted:11 months ago

#35

Kevin Patterson
musician

181 93 0.5
I am a big fan of Xbox, watched the entire presentation, and came away confused with unanswered questions.
After the presentation, I read every article and faqs I could find, and I'm still confused, as there is conflicting information out there.

I would have thought with all the negativity regarding the next Xbox in the press, that MS would have taken the time to counter or discuss that. They didn't and so the negativity continues. In fact, new negatives have sprouted up which is just unbelievable to me.

All of my friends and I own Xbox's, and we have since the original Xbox. We all signed up for Xbox Live when it launched, and have been paying members since. After the presentation, none of them are sure they want the next Xbox! They are thinking of going to the PS4, which is amazing to me as some of them have been fanboyish in the past. Most of them have kids with their own Xbox's and want to be able to share games, and this is a concern. MS shouldn't count on COD and Halo forcing us to their console, Steam is now a force in PC market as well as other digital download sites like Origin, and Sony is hungry and not the arrogant company they were in 2005-2006.

It amazes me that for the first time since 2001, I may not be buying a new Xbox at launch. E3 might have a ton of impressive games, but if its as locked down as whats been hinted at, and the PS4 isnt, I would be more tempted to go for Sony or stick with PC for awhile and wait. I just cannot believe I am not super excited after a new Xbox reveal..........

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kevin Patterson on 22nd May 2013 5:14pm

Posted:11 months ago

#36

Gareth Donaghey
Customer Support Agent

31 32 1.0
@Lopez

"My girlfriend has two boys, one is married and lives next door, he often lends his games to his little brother. Now that just got so much harder.
So what now? Xbox1... is expecting the little brother to pay his older brother to use his games?"

I come from a low income area, and I know loads of 'sharebuy' groups of people, from school kids to grown adults with just enough to buy one or two games every month or two if they trade in the last ones. They agree to buy a game each, one gets A, another B, etc, and share them to see if they like it or not. Then when they are finished a few months later, they are traded in to make the next purchase. I am sure we all know people who do this.

This in turn has the effect that the 'quirky' games are tested out, when I say quirky I mean not the usual games, for example Borderlands 2 or Kingdom of Amulur. Ones not 'normally' attractive to buy. These sometimes result in all of them buying the game to play each other and keeping for longer.

With Xbox1, I can see them either heading to piracy if its cracked easily, or just not buying that many quirky games per year. Or laughably, SWAPPING CONSOLES with the games. End result is bad news for the system.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gareth Donaghey on 22nd May 2013 5:30pm

Posted:11 months ago

#37

Jean Auguste
Consultant

4 2 0.5
You have to relate everything they said with the presence of Kinect and the fact it has to be always on and the fact that the console has to be always connected. The main purpose of this is DATA : Kinect scans faces/living rooms/behaviours and the programs you watch or the people you chat with on Skype, all of that will bring data. And that's how they want to make their money from, the same way as Facebook, the same as Google.

If they sell 10 or 20 millions less Xbox One than any of their competitors, it's not the way they'll measure success or fail. It's about how meaningful the data they pull out can be : Tv ratings more precise than ever, what ads really catch up your attention, how many persons are in the room, male/female, can we identify the unknown person that is with you in the room based on your recent Skype communications, are you single, kids around, etc ?

This is where they want to be 10 years from now. And for gaming. It's very independent from that (except for some of the resources). They believe they will be successul enough in the industry whatever happens and even if they're far behind the Ps4 (considering the Xbox One could never be released in Japan or in 2015-2016 minimum).


Thanks.

Posted:11 months ago

#38
@Jean
I agree there is a definite creepy factor here as well.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 22nd May 2013 5:49pm

Posted:11 months ago

#39

Alan Ashby
Recruiter

8 4 0.5
Upwards of 15M consumers buy either FIFA or Madden on an annual basis. 40 million votes were cast on espn.com for the Madden cover vote contest. 32+ Million people over the age of 12 in the US and Canada play Fantasy Football annually. ESPN just built a new $125M tv studio at the HQ's. In early April, Skype announced that it users spend more then 2B minutes a day connecting. The Call of Duty franchise has sold over 100M games.

How can you possibly come to the conclusion that Microsoft was acting arrogantly at a press event (that's right a press event, not a trade show)?

They did the one thing that the core gamers wanted to see that PS did not. They revealed their machine and showed us their updated controller

I don't know the demographic breakdown of who actually pays for (not uses) video game consoles, but it was obvious that Microsoft was gearing their event towards those consumers and those that might not be in the market currently for a new console. How many more people bought the PS3 over the 360 because it was also a blue ray player?

You'll get all the nitty gritty on performance and what not at E3...and I'm sure it won't be much different that what you already got from the PS4.

Posted:11 months ago

#40

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,205 817 0.7
Sigh... :/

Back in the day I used to take my game and memory cards and that was it, now a days I have to drag my entire console along with camera and motion sensors to my friends house.

Xbox1 makes all this easier doesnt it.... DOESNT IT!!!!!

Posted:11 months ago

#41

Ian Brown
IT Developer / IT Infrastructure

107 26 0.2
Have to say I was incredibly bored watching that reveal with lots of details about content not available to me (live in the UK) and as such I turned it off and played D3 on my PC when Halo TV was on. As many others have said I bought a games console to play games, the fact it plays DVD's Netflix, love film etc are bonuses that happened over time and were never the reason for me buying it in the first place.

My Sony Bluray player which cost me £120 three years ago can watch netflix/lovefilm and MKV media from a usb drive or media server and also plays blurays. Funnily enough my PS3 does the same but plays games too! Why the hell do i want yet a forth device under my TV (with added camera that I have no space or use for) that does the same thing?

If they want to sell them they need games and yes it will have them but if they require online connections to "check in" or can only be used once then I'm most likely out until they change their way. Solid Live subscriber for a decade and I'm on the edge of not continuing my subscription next January and getting myself a PS4.

For me the winner in this the one that shows me the games and allows me to share those games with my friends and family. Who ever does that will be getting the Futurama line of "shut up and take my money!"

Posted:11 months ago

#42

Chris Hunter-Brown
IT / Games specialist

51 14 0.3
My original Xbox was multi-functional when I could rip CD's to it and play DVD's with the dongle thing. That's before we get to things like XBMC that came along later. The 360 certainly built upon that so I don't accept a desire for "multi-functionality" as something new. It's been there from the get go.

Microsoft's living room ambitions are well chronicled from Dean Takahashi's two excellent books about the genesis of the Xbox and it's successor. Netflix being available on the Xbox One isn't news. It's a given.

Whilst I'm sure there is plenty of whiny Internet outrage and it's right to point out how it's so much more amplified by social media these days I don't think every raised eyebrow at #XboxReveal is without foundation. There aren't many people here who would have put money on a new console being revealed without stage time for one single first-party game.

The TV I bought the same month the 360 came out only has one HDMI port and I still have to put up with my partner's mockery when I have to swap wires about, load up and check Netflix and jump through another 10 hoops when we want to rent a mutually agreeable film! Believe it or not, I'm very much in the market for a single box that plays Blu-Rays, Halo and connects to Internet TV services. NFL here would be a bonus!

But equally I was hoping to see how this next (last?) generation of consoles with their clouds and array's of sensors might enable some new interesting game experiences after a couple of fallow years of the current gen limping on (with odd notable exceptions). Saving it *all* for E3 is a curious strategy at best.

Posted:11 months ago

#43
All I could think while watching this is that it will lead to a whole new slew of parenting issues and phrases.

such as " Dad, JIm keeps yelling Oprah Network every time he walks by my room"
my new response will be " Jim stop yelling Oprah Network while walking by Toms room!"

yeah aint tech grand.

Posted:11 months ago

#44

Barrie Tingle
Live Producer

337 103 0.3
@Kevin Patterson
So you mention you may stick to your PC if used games are locked down on Xbox One. Surely PC uses a similar system with install keys and entitlement licenses where it becomes assigned to you/your account whether Steam, Origin, Amazon, Direct2Drive etc.

Posted:11 months ago

#45

Donald Dalley
Freelance writer

47 27 0.6
Thanks, Rob Fahey. Under the circumstances of what we know today, I think you covered more concerns in this one comment than I have seen anywhere else.

Posted:11 months ago

#46

Anthony Chan

83 68 0.8
... The living room is so 1950s??? I don't know about you, but all my friends and colleagues still use the living room of the houses and condominiums they buy. Home theatres still exist, and game consoles have always been a part of them. I have stated this before. The core gamer is aging. The target demographic that was for PS2 and XBOX has now aged over 20 years. The same demographic is now focused on getting married, raising a family probably with one or more kids. They have successful careers (not some dingy hourly pay job) and probably have median incomes above 50K USD per year.

The same demographic maintains mortgages and car loans, paying off student loans. The point? This demographic likes to play games but they don't spend every waking hour doing so, because they cannot. As such, Microsoft and Sony are smart to now turn focus of a gaming console into a media hub capable of playing games. Apple did this by accident. They created a phone that plays games and now it is one of the most popular mobile gaming devices on the market.

I have said this before as well. Hardcore gamers complain like this. They complain about the lack of love and consideration from publishers, from hardware developers, and they speak as if they are the target audience. You are the guys in the back row. Hidden away in a corner. You are not the main audience. But don't worry, the PC will always have love for you.

Posted:11 months ago

#47
@anthony
The same demographic is now focused on getting married, raising a family probably with one or more kids. They have successful careers (not some dingy hourly pay job) and probably have median incomes above 50K USD per year.
check, check ,check, check, and this is what we are saying, the married guys, with families, with good income, with nice houses, money, etc are telling you... the 1950s living room doesnt exist

Posted:11 months ago

#48

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,200 318 0.3
Of these, 15 first/second party IPs, we know Forza, and Remedy's thing that looked intriguing, but we saw no real gameplay. Twisted Pixel have a project in the works, that may be 360 or one bound. We can be sure the other games do not include Halo, because I can't see them passing up on a chance to show that up. So how many of the others are the types of game that have been seen so far on Kinect? Nothing against Dance Central or Kinect Sports, but they ain't gonna' sell me a console.

Posted:11 months ago

#49

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,374 1,024 0.7
@ Barrie

But it's give and take, is the thing. Steam provides users with shockingly good deals on games. Yes, something like Deus Ex:HR is tied to my Steam account. But, then, Deus Ex: HR was £3.75 just a couple of days ago. With the one-hand Steam ties the game to your account, with the other you get AAA games at amazing prices. Given MS has gone on record as not wanting to antagonise retailers by selling digital downloads at competitive prices, tell me what the up-side is for a system that ties a game to your account, but doesn't give the user much in the way of benefits?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 22nd May 2013 6:37pm

Posted:11 months ago

#50

David Serrano
Freelancer

281 248 0.9
One thing is for sure: AAA developers and publishers will finally learn the extent to which trade in's positively or negatively impact new game sales. My gut tells me it will be a case of regretting what you wished for.

Posted:11 months ago

#51

Kevin Patterson
musician

181 93 0.5
@Barrie - This is true, but the difference is that on Steam and others like it, I generally buy games for a much cheaper cost, and that offsets it.

I bought Fallout3 with all DLC for $4.99 on a summer sale, you think it matters that its locked down as much when you get games at that price? Console game prices are always much more expensive and much less of a discount, and so the idea of owning that disk and being able to trade it or knowing that I actually own the game rather than a license is more important to me.

(I should also note that I originally bought Fallout 3 on Xbox 360 new and paid full price for all the DLC as they were released, earning a free theme from Bethesda which was a nice surprise. I would be much less likely to buy games new rather than wait for sale if the locked down system was in place.) I would also buy less new games period, more waiting for sales and discounts.

One last thing that bothers me is the required kinect. My friends and I have Xbox parties and everyone brings their xbox, now we have to bring the Kinect to be able to use it? Also, I am very concerned about required Kinect because I actually play on a very close 27 inch monitor on a desk, not a TV in a living room. I don't have the space for a Kinect really, is this goin g to be a problem?

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Kevin Patterson on 22nd May 2013 6:58pm

Posted:11 months ago

#52

Andrew Jakobs
Lead Programmer

211 75 0.4
Frankly what do you classify as 'core audience' as that is rapidly changing, you already see it on the curren consoles where people are also fully using the multimedia/online (like hulu/netflix) part.. If you would release a console these days with only gaming in mind, it propably won't sell anymore..
And it's the extra stuff beside gaming that might make the xbox one (they should fire the marketing people who came up with crap name) be even more interesting as the PS4.. With having access to (propably) all Windows RT apps they have a big market there..

But we still have to see what really will happen.. 'hardcore' gamers have always been bitching, but in the end they'll buy it anyway and enjoy it very much..

So the old 'core audience' isn't what's the target anymore, as they are not the ones that will spend a lot of money on the xbox one platform.. And let's not forget Sony, MS and Nintendo aren't in the business to please their 'core audience' they are in the business of making money..

Posted:11 months ago

#53

Duncan Turner
Ad Operations MAnager

4 1 0.3
I live in America. I have cable TV. I buy new games and almost never borrow games from friends/realtives/etc. I have a constant internet connection.

This reveal didn't blow me away with its games but the functions all looked like something I could use and the games will be shown at E3. All the fretting about internet connections, used games, etc. is lost on me.

If there are no interesting games shown at E3 then I'll consider getting another console or bowing out completely but until then I'm just going to wait and see because all the problems people have will not be problems for me. I'm not saying that these won't be problems for other people I'm just giving my view based on my circumstances.

Posted:11 months ago

#54

Ashley Gutierrez
Animator

21 13 0.6
I don't want cable, Microsoft.
If I wanted to watch sports and TV, I wouldn't be buying a gaming console.
I'll stick with PC. Valve doesn't betray it's core audience like the fickle console developers.

If Microsoft does the same thing Nintendo did, expect the same epic failure they're currently going through right now.
Don't betray your core demographic. Don't have the hubris to think you're immortal.

Posted:11 months ago

#55

Julian Toseland
games podcaster/website

21 3 0.1
Some great comments, my 2 cents, ...

My overall opinion as a 30 year gamer is one of utter disappointment on all fronts, the first one, and one of the biggest for me is the one use or pay a fee for used games, I actually thought it would never happen from one of the big 2, a crazy idea that has actually become real.
More shocks came thick and fast, the biggest for me though was the complete and utter disregard for the rest of the world, OK we know it will come to us all later than the big old US of A , but to not even give your customers worldwide a bit of a heads up would have gone someway to ease the horrors that we were being shown.

I have said this on my 6 year old podcast for at least 8 months now, the Xbox was fast becoming a glorified media player, now the true horror of the xbone is upon us with the total apparent take over of out TV's.
When will the Microsoft realize there is a world outside the USA, the whole machine its features are horribly biased towards the US audience we were gamers waiting to see the next generation, we got Microsoft's version of "Smart TV".

For me, and I can tell you right now my community, feedback has been virtually 100% negative with many already saying no way will they buy one, were gamers, and for me personally no matter what E3 stuff is shoveled out , the machine itself with its media rich infrastructure is just not for me and judging by the gaming community and developers not for them either..

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Julian Toseland on 22nd May 2013 9:09pm

Posted:11 months ago

#56

David Serrano
Freelancer

281 248 0.9
@Alan Ashby

"Upwards of 15M consumers buy either FIFA or Madden on an annual basis."

Another way of looking at this is 72M consumers choose not to purchase FIFA, Madden, COD or Halo titles on an annual basis. The worldwide 360 and PS 3 active installed base is approx. 87M. 15M copies represents approx. 17 percent of the potential audience for games released on both systems. And 15 to 20M copies is now the best case sales scenario. The average 360 and PS 3 game reaches a single digit percentage of the base. Also... how many of all copies sold are purchased by GameFly, RedBox, Blockbuster, etc...? You can't claim a glass is half full when 83 to 99 percent of the glass is empty.

MS's goal with the roll out is to convince 100 percent of 360 owners to purchase the new system. If they only convince 17 percent, they're kind of screwed. So intentionally or unintentionally, MS sent the wrong message to 360 owners who are already on the fence by focusing all of launch attention on those types of games.

"The Call of Duty franchise has sold over 100M games."

True. But The Sims has sold over 150M copies and almost 70 percent of Sims players are female. Now look at the demographics of the market MS is trying to reach: 47 percent of players are female, women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%) and the average age of a frequent game buyer is 35 years old. In light of this, and the fact that one of the best selling core franchises of all time has a huge audience of female players... why the hell are console manufacturers and AAA developers and publishers still hyper-focused on male teens and frat boys? If MS wants to reach the wider audience, they should have had at least one game targeted at female or older players featured in the reveal.

So did MS act arrogantly in the press conference? No, detached from reality would be more accurate. But all parties involved were guilty of the ridiculousness Chris Hecker showcased in his GDC 2013 Rant: http://tinyurl.com/kv92n29

Edited 2 times. Last edit by David Serrano on 22nd May 2013 9:55pm

Posted:11 months ago

#57
MS may not realise it, but they are going to be fighting Sony for every purchase. Both the XO and PS4 are virtually identical - and that can be a dangerous game to play.

Apart from true exclusives, both platforms are likely to host the exact same titles. Which means platform differentiators become even more amplified.

XO:
- digital only
- requires Internet connection
- no lending of games
- limited resale/trading
- may get more publisher support (due to less 2nd-hand sales)

PS4:
- digital and physical media console
- Internet connection optional
- supports lending of games, running from disc
- full 2nd-hand market, physical games can be sold at shops
- may get more retailer support (due to second-hand sales)

There will be some brand loyalty, and some gamers will always get both. But for everyone else, surely this makes any decision a whole lot easier.

Posted:11 months ago

#58

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

770 1,005 1.3
That wasn't the greatest of reveals but they have been going in this direction for quite sometime. Ironically enough the 360(over time) actually turned into what the Xbox One is suppose to be, an all in one media device. So they are still trying for the same end game. The problem, of course, is the means they are taking to reach said end game. I definiely need more details about the online requirements and selling used games but right now things aren't looking so great. But they did bring us the Xbox and 360 so they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Posted:11 months ago

#59

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,200 318 0.3
I want to know about the HDD. Every game needs to be installed fully, and it's fair to assume the AAA games at least will be averaging between 10 and 25 GB, possible hitting 50+ a few years down. If I don't want to delete, then reinstall (needing to download if I've misplaced the otherwise useless disc) 500 GB isn't going to cut it, even before I add demos, updates/dlc, movies and DVR functionality.

So am I going to be asked to pay £150 for a proprietary Xbox 1.5 terrabyte drive, then in a few years £120 for a 4 TB drive at a time when Seagate will be selling 100 TB drives for £60?

This was a big negative for Vita (surprising when the PS3 allows standard 2.5 inch drives), and I wouldn't be surprised if it's not even a question on MS's radar. And no, I don't want to stream it off the cloud at home, even if that is an interesting feature at a friend's house.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Goodchild on 23rd May 2013 5:14am

Posted:11 months ago

#60

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
Well, all those new servers will be getting used, that's for sure. I do wonder what's going to be packed onto that HDD on launch day when it should be streamed in the first place. If the One is supposed to be the box it's supposed to, as soon as you plug it in, it should go online and streeeeeeeam you setup info (well, in a perfect world) and get you yapping an waving your arms within oh, twenty to thirty minutes at best (mandatory system update and account fiddling time not included)...

Posted:11 months ago

#61

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 410 0.6
@Michael Shamgar

Unless you're privvy to unreleased information, Michael, none of that PS4 information has been confirmed. The only information we have from SONY are half-hearted statements saying that there will be a second hand market - the same as there is in statements from Microsoft about the Xbox One.

Posted:11 months ago

#62
For us folks outside of US, internet bandwidth is extremely limited.

As such, allowing the console to have even wifi access can nerf the whole household internet service.
Surely, anyone who has a idea of contingencies will think - how can these games operate without online DLC - becasue call it waht you want, having to check online is just a digital dongle in all but name and that ...is frankly disappointing.

Posted:11 months ago

#63

Ken Varley
Owner & Freelance Developer, Writer

39 30 0.8
I don't need a device to attempt to control my Virgin Media TiVo box, or my Samsung "smart TV".

Even then, all Xbox One is US centric for the near future. I don't think that you will see Sky Sports Premiership Football with a snap side of your fantasy football along with it. Half of the features show are pretty much redundant for the rest of the world.

I'm moving to the Playstation 4, which looks like a console for gamers.

Posted:11 months ago

#64
I'm with you Ken. Looks like the PS4 easily wins the hearts & minds of gamers before launching any bullets yet! :)

Posted:11 months ago

#65

Keith Andrew
Editor, PocketGamer.biz

31 28 0.9
But the thing is, on almost all of the subjects Xbox One is being slated for, Sony is yet to comment. People are filling in the blanks for themselves and assuming Sony's strategy when it comes to second hand games et al will be different. The smart money suggests it won't be.

As far as I can see, both machines will be for gamers. Those suggesting otherwise are going to look rather daft come E3.

Posted:11 months ago

#66

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 223 0.4
For us folks outside of US, internet bandwidth is extremely limited.
For us folks outside of the US, access to content is even more limited. Netflix, Hulu iTunes and similar sites offer only a fraction of their content in the UK or Europe, and unavailable in some countries. The media companies are still living in the region locked world of the 90s.

Posted:11 months ago

#67

Keith Andrew
Editor, PocketGamer.biz

31 28 0.9
@Michael

"PS4: full 2nd-hand market, physical games can be sold at shops" - this hasn't actually been officially stated anywhere, as far as I know. People filling in the blanks, again.

Posted:11 months ago

#68

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,051 0.9
Anyone else notice that all that media stuff is basically Nintendo TVii with voice and gestures?

Posted:11 months ago

#69

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,205 817 0.7
Ill tell you one thing the WiiU has going for it. It has all the good stuff, like backwards compatability, DRM free and ease of use. I can watch TV, Play games, surf the web share photos, Angry birds, netflix etc etc etc. without all the technological mumbo jumbo of XboxOne.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 23rd May 2013 3:51pm

Posted:11 months ago

#70

Shaun Roberts
Systems analyst

2 4 2.0
As an industry outsider, I simply cannot believe the level of downright hostility to this new console that both the games development & journalistic community has shown Ė Iím literally flabbergasted.

So, we have a new system which appears to have all of the features that you guys have been bemoaning the lack of for years: Built in Hard Drive with every device, robust online services that are baked into the system, common PC style architecture, loads of RAM, a natural user interface device with every system sold etc etc. They are all finally being delivered and whatís the response?

Outrage at the sheer gall of MS for assuming that you have an internet connection and youíd use that connection to connect your box to the net?

Palpable anger at the fact that you developers & publishers MAY be able to take an extra slice of the pie should a user chose to purchase a second hand game?

I also find it difficult to believe the absolute rubbish being spouted regarding the ďmust connect to Live every 24 hours or my games will stop workingĒ statements.

From the sounds of things, yes, if you are running a game from the HD and youíre not connected to Live for 24 hours youíll have to re-validate against Live. Now, letís assume you have internet issues, or have taken the xBox to your Nanaís for a family party and you canít validate the install against Live. Disaster ensues?!

What do you do? No gaming? Surly not! As MS have stated again and again, you DO NOT NEED an internet connection to play disk based games, so how do we ensure you can play a game at your Nanaís place or play a single player game when the net goes down? Surly we do what we have always done; you put the disk in the drive and validate the install and away you go.

Now, as a console launch event, I would have liked more focus on the games. I canít deny it. Has that fact unsettled me? A little. But, Iím sure MS, will you know, release some great games for their games console.

What has me more unsettled are the often narrow minded thoughts, opinions and open hostility to this system from the development community being expressed both here, and all over the net.

You guys are supposed to relish the arrival of new technology, be slobbering at the thought of how youíll use all that extra RAM, extra processing power and how youíll create new and amazing games that leverage the increased power that you now have access to. Iím hearing none of this and that has me more worried than the fact that I may have to pay a little bit extra for second hand games or that MS has the indecency to allow me to make Skype calls from the xBox.

What am I not getting? Am I missing something?

Posted:11 months ago

#71
@Jim Yup. I was disappointed to find out Nintendo TVii was just a universal remote control. I had hoped for better from Microsoft.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brendan Sinclair on 23rd May 2013 4:12pm

Posted:11 months ago

#72

Ken Varley
Owner & Freelance Developer, Writer

39 30 0.8
@Shaun Roberts: I'm not hostile to all what you have said.

I'm just not getting this "one box" thing. I still need my Virgin TiVo, my AV setup, a tablet/smart phone for Smart Glass. From the presentations, all I'm getting is that the PS4 is more of a gamers machine.

Ok, if I lived in the USA, then the Xbox One might be more useful. But all what they announced/demo'd won't work here in the UK, and might never.

Posted:11 months ago

#73
@shaun
What am I not getting? Am I missing something?
noone was asking for a tv remote or tie ins with some other heavy handed corps. As for all this power you speak of, much of it will be tied up in the OS.

We want a high tech, game focused console, that is not what the xbone is, and hence the disappointment.

Posted:11 months ago

#74

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,051 0.9
Does anyone else think that it's a bad idea to target TV watchers with a $400 - $500 TV guide?

Posted:11 months ago

#75
Welcome to a console that will be only relevant in USA, to the niche of Sports fans and people that ignores you can switch from games to movies with the TV remote control.

Posted:11 months ago

#76
Welcome to a console that will be only relevant in USA, to the niche of Sports fans and people that ignores you can switch from games to movies with the TV remote control.

Posted:11 months ago

#77

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,205 817 0.7
from 360 to 1... how the hell did this happen....

Posted:11 months ago

#78

Patrick Frost
QA Project Monitor

383 175 0.5
10 hours ago
Does anyone else think that it's a bad idea to target TV watchers with a $400 - $500 TV guide?
I think that is the point that's being sorely missed in the discussion. The value judgement; why would I spend X amount of money (likely to be substantial) for the XB1.

From the features list so far, I see a device whose cost is massively wasted on features I have no interest in at all and. Even with all of the excellent features that the X360 had included the value seems to be missing particularly is some of the more worrying possibilities are true as this would mean that the games experience side of things is worse than the X360 in some ways.

Considering the broad audience that they are trying to aim at I'm surprised that they have the confidence that consumers will be willing to spend such an amount of money on a system whose KSP so far are very future tech niceties. Apple carved a good market for itself on appealing to that future tech ideal but it was always built on a foundation of their devices being some of the best at what they do in terms of serving a purpose. I don't see what problem the XB1 solves or what it does well enough to inspire people to drop that kind of cash.

Based on what we know so far it's neither mainstream nor a sophisticated aspirational product in my eyes. It just does lots.
The consumers' financial situation is not what it was in 2005... will they pay out?

Posted:11 months ago

#79

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,205 817 0.7
Look... I pretty much enjoy NFL football on my local cable or dish provider on an HDTV... all these bells and whistles that XBone provides are very cool, but hardly worth the money and hastle that comes with it. Why do I need this new box???

Posted:11 months ago

#80

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,205 817 0.7
Just wanna know what you guys think??? its disturbing that anyone would think of this.
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/05/24/xbox-one-will-kinect-2-use-visual-drm

Xbox One: Will Kinect 2 Use Visual DRM?

Microsoft has issued a response to concerns.
by Luke Karmali MAY 24, 2013

Microsoft has responded to fresh privacy concerns over a patent from 2011 that suggests Kinect 2 may be used as a form of visual DRM, should the company decide to implement such a measure in Xbox One.

ExtremeTech discovered the filing back in November, which is labelled as covering "content distribution regulation by viewing user." Theoretically, if the Kinect establishes there are more people in the room than is permitted according to the licence that users agree to when renting of purchasing content, the movie won't play.

"The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken," it reads.

According to unverified "industry sources" spoken to by MCV within the last month, this is a real thing Microsoft is planning to implement on Xbox One using Kinect 2.


Today, however, the company has responded to speculation with the following statement: "Microsoft regularly applies for and receives patents as part of its business practice; not all patents applied for or received will be incorporated into a Microsoft product."

That appears to be all the information the company is sharing for now. While there's no guarantee it's true, if it is then it's latest instance of a potentially concerning encroachment into privacy. Seeing as we already know that the Kinect 2's microphone will always be on and the new console won't function without the device, such a measure isn't out of the question.

Microsoft has, however, already told Polygon that privacy is of the utmost importance when it comes to Xbox One and Kinect. "The new Kinect is listening for a specific cue, like 'Xbox on'. We know our customers want and expect strong privacy protections to be built into our products, devices and services, and for companies to be responsible stewards of their data. Microsoft has more than 10 years of experience making privacy a top priority. Kinect for Xbox 360 was designed and built with strong privacy protections in place and the new Kinect will continue this commitment."

We've reached out to Microsoft to see if we can get any further information, though it's unlikely we'll get much. As soon as we hear, we'll be sure to update the story.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 24th May 2013 5:59pm

Posted:11 months ago

#81

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now