Microsoft have developed a console for the future and if we don’t like it? Tough. Never mind that the company have given us too much future too soon. They aren’t bothered that we aren’t ready for their next “too early” step in a gaming system that promises to do everything except make us our morning coffee.
Microsoft’s new catchword is arrogance. Don’t believe me? Just listen to Xbox chief Don Mattrick. He said, “We have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity. It’s called Xbox 360.”
All that is missing is the snide and troll-like bullying laugh.
What an attitude!
And to show just how taken aback I am by this arrogant and downright stinky attitude, I cannot for the life of me, think of a comparison. I am the literary version of speechless.
AS I have mentioned before, Microsoft lost the E3 race before Sony even stepped into the ring. If you look past the obvious NSA scary associations with a machine that has to always be connected to the internet, it was Microsoft’s attitude that really shot them down in flames.
If you stand back and look at what the new Xbox One can do, without the prevailing attitude of the company, it is not a bad system. In actuality, it is a great system. Just not right now. A few years down the road? It could be the home entertainment system of the future that will the face of gaming forever.
Which to be fair Microsoft has already done, to a point. They’ve killed second hand gaming outright. After blaming it on the publishers, which by the way Microsoft, why hasn’t Sony done the same thing, if it’s the publishers who are responsible?
Don’t bother waiting for an answer, with their annoyingly smug behaviour, don’t forget Mattrick’s snotty 360 crack, because they won’t give you a satisfactory answer.
As Techcrunch.com put it, “Damn it, Microsoft: stop being a jerk.”
Because as Don Mattrick, the head of Xbox at Microsoft, put it, in a nutshell, if you don’t like their new “future proof” system stick to your eight-year-old Xbox 360.
But Microsoft are resting on their past performances, which to be honest aren’t really that great. Sure they’ve “changed” the face of gaming with their Kinect, but apart from “party games” and sports games et al, the Kinect wasn’t that great. Except for the ability to say, “Liara singularity,” in-game on Mass Effect and she’d do it! That was, pretty awesome!
Okay, Mass Effect fan-boy moment over. Microsoft is resting on their laurels, but like since this is really the dog eat dog world of business and not just gaming; the question has to be asked, “What have you done for me lately?”
But Microsoft won’t answer. This is the company’s position and they don’t care if you’re unhappy about it. That came through loud and clear during the E3 press conference. Take it or not, Microsoft knows that even with Sony undercutting their console price of $499 by a $100 that they’ll still make out just fine.
“B**ch all you want gamers, it’s happening anyway.’ Says Microsoft.
And apart from the dreaded “red circle” of death, the company has reason to feel confident. Although, it has to be said, that the Sony customer care in the area of “after sales” beat Microsoft hands down. But regardless of after sales let downs, the Xbox 360 ruled the living room. The console set a high standard for media streaming devices in the home.
But Microsoft have set the standard too high and too soon, that much is clear from the outset. Despite the “reliability” of the 360, that had to be built up over time.
There have been teething problems, such as the Kinect not being able to identify movements that were too quick, but overall, the Xbox 360 is a fantastic system. I won’t try to deny that fact, even if I am a Sony fan-boy. But the company’s insistence that the Xbox One has to be continually connected to the internet is an unfair one. Sure, it’s target demographic already has broadband, but if you don’t live in the Asian part of the world, most other country’s broadband is a joke. That includes the US, unfortunately.
In Asia, you can get broadband through your bloody light fixtures for crying out loud and the rest of the world is years behind in the internet technology needed for that strength of broadband. But a lot of people, the same ones who aren’t too fond of the NSA dropping in when they want, don’t want the Xbox One to check on them every 24 hours.
In a few years time the Xbox One has the potential to outsell the PS4. It has the potential of being a better investment for both the casual and hardcore gamer.
But not right now.
As I said at the beginning of this article, the Xbox One can do everything but make you a cup of coffee in the morning. The system allows you to play games, watch subscription television (and not even have to use a remote) you can talk to your cousin Mabel, and look at her while doing so; you can watch live-streamed events and the system could change gaming forever.
As has been pointed by just about everyone but Microsoft, the Xbox One treats every owner as a potential thief. By requiring a constant broadband Internet connection so the company can check a game’s DRM, the Xbox One is locked into your living room.
You can’t, as of right now at any rate, take it with you on a trip. Or, as mentioned by Techcrunch.com take it to your family’s cabin or holiday home or even to your granny’s house. Without broadband, you might as well play Pinochle or checkers.
The other major drawback is the mandatory inclusion of the Kinect. Not only is your box being remote controlled in the area of updates, but since your Kinect always has to be on as well? Let’s just say that walking naked across your living room might not be such a great idea any more. Unless of course, you’re into that sort of thing.
If you add all these “futuristic” features together, it does add up to a system for the future. But not a one that we, as consumers, are ready for just yet. It is a case of too much too soon Microsoft. Developing a new gaming system that does almost everything, but, that boasts a price-tag that not too many can afford easily, it doesn’t seem like the best idea in the world. We won’t even go into the whole “Big Brother” schtick. That will be in another article.
By Michael Smith