Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Market > Microsoft: Unpopular Xbox One Features Abandoned

Microsoft's new Xbox was going to be too clever by half.

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

June 20, 2013 - 11:00 am
Page 1 of 3  Next ->   View as Single Page
YouTube Preview Image

Microsoft recently announced a dramatic reversal of its plan to change the way we play games on the next generation of hardware. While the plan had promise, its benefits were too esoteric for most gamers to grasp and were so poorly marketed that 95% of respondents to an Amazon consumer poll indicated their favor of Sony’s competing Playstation 4. The episode has emerged as an instructive testament to the power of the market.

Certainly, brand loyalty exists among gamers. Limited budgets require most of us to choose one console in a given generation. Even if you have the money to spend, it can be hard to justify cluttering a room with multiple consoles and a jumble of controllers unless you happen to be single with no children. Gamers want to believe that they have chosen wisely, and thus root for their chosen brand to succeed. Nevertheless, that loyalty runs thin during the transition from one generation of hardware to another.

The Xbox 360 has provided the highest value of any console I have owned, changing dramatically over its lifecycle to become the central entertainment platform in my household. If our television is on, so is our 360. Whether watching YouTube clips with my wife, streaming children’s programing for my sons over Netflix, or sneaking in some Battlefield 3 when no one else is around, I do it all on Microsoft’s console. Since first waiting overnight in the freezing December cold to buy the gadget in 2005, I have accumulated a diverse library of games, both on disc and digitally via Xbox Live Arcade.

Despite all that, despite being a happy and thoroughly satisfied Xbox 360 owner, I must confess to taking a serious look at the Playstation 4 after this month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Even considering a brand switch reflects poorly upon Microsoft. Switching to Sony at this point means abandoning an established online presence, scrapping my current friends list, abandoning exclusive franchises in midstream, and kissing my achievements and gamerscore goodbye. All things being equal, remaining with Microsoft would be a no-brainer for that reason alone. Alas, coming out of E3, things were not equal.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The idea of requiring an internet connection shows what a bubble they live in. Microsoft probably assumes everyone has a T1 connection as well. Sony seems to have a better understanding of their customers. Gamers LIKE the way the current market is set up. It works very well when other companies (Gamestop) can set up within the system and become profitable. Microsoft doesn't profit from the secondary market therefore it doesn't matter to them what happens to it. But Microsoft's customers like it and may become Sony's customers to keep the market the way it is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
The Xbox problem for Microsoft seems to mirror what's happening over in Adobeland, after the company announced its Creative Suite software would only be available via the cloud, and would in fact no longer be purchasable in perpetuity, but would have to be rented from Adobe on a monthly basis. Stop renting, any any files that had been created on the software would be either completely unviewable or could no longer be modified.

The idea that a company is not just going to lock me into their format (or games) for years, but now has the ability to control what I own via their cloud based services may be a wonderful system for Adobe or Microsoft, but for an industry that promises its users greater freedom, comes across as simply a scam to lock you into their software or gaming systems forever (Sony's presence may have forced Microsoft to back off, but Adobe so far is standing firm on their plans to institute their perpetual licensing fee. Hopefully, the market will do to them what it did to Xbox).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"While the plan had promise, its benefits were too esoteric for most gamers to grasp"
Are you kidding me?
What's the benefit in having to FORCE someone to be online in order to play the game they purchased? How about the benefit of not owning the disc and it's content, but owning a license to use said content on only one console? How about the benefit of having Kinect always on, including its microphone?
The fact that you see any benefit there suggests that you have no idea what you're talking about. The XBOX One had to drop its plans because nobody saw them as a benefit except the uninformed. STEAM used to do the same thing with having to be online to play; after a surge of complaints from customers in the military, they dropped it. I'm sure you know better than Valve, of course.
There's no conceivable benefit to 'screw you, you don't own the content on this disc, you own a license to use it on one console' for the consumer. There's only a benefit to the producer, and, as we've seen with Call of Duty, more money to producers and developers doesn't mean better games.
There's no benefit whatsoever to having to be forced to leave the Kinect on. Nevermind the issues with kinect as a system (they are voluminous), let's talk about the fact that you've got a microphone and camera constantly on, connected to the internet (because if you don't have an internet connection, there was no point to buying an Xbox One), and available to who knows what companies and three-letter agencies.
Congrats, you have no idea what you're talking about. For someone writing for an (allegedly) conservative site, you're portraying as benefits things that are not so, and you seem to almost be griping that consumers spoke and a company listened rather than concede this round of the console wars to Sony.
Seriously. Don't write another article on gaming until you know something about it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have the old Xbox 360 and I will not buy the new system due to the NSA xbox tracking issues...
__________________
James R...
Inland Politics [http://www.newscaller.com]
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It must be nice to have the hundreds of dollars laying around to go blow on the "latest" time-waster. Of coarse that does NOT include those minor costs of the add-ons that are needed to even use those stupid underpowered consoles like controllers, games, and internet connections, just to name a few of the assosciated costs. When it is all said and done you will find out that this "toy" aka "money pit" you bought for your child costs upwards of a thousand dollars to keep it up to date and to keep your child up to date with the latest titles that when I was playing cost about $20 brand new and now are $80 to $90 PER GAME.

That is the REAL reason MS has said poo-poo to the used game market, because if your buying used games then your not buying their overpriced "new releases" with "special content" for the early release birds so they can spend an extra $20 on skins for your weapons and or avatars!

MS...PS.... two sides of same rip-off coin!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"When it is all said and done you will find out that this 'toy' aka 'money pit' you bought for your child costs upwards of a thousand dollars to keep it up to date and to keep your child up to date with the latest titles that when I was playing cost about $20 brand new and now are $80 to $90 PER GAME."

I've been playing games since the 2600 - I don't recall ever seeing games average $20. Some games cost that much, but not all.

But I can categorically tell you that average game costs now, not including special editions, are around $60; some Wii U games average about $50. The only way you pay more than those prices is if you're getting a special edition, but then that's your choice, not the industry's.

And as for having to pay up to a thousand dollars to stay up to date, I'm sorry, but you don't know what you're talking about. Purchasing a console is the largest cost a person will make and, depending on the system, will set you back no more than $600. There is no need to "update" your system for additional money.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Indeed. If you buy special editions, that's on you, and most of the time it's not worth it. Maybe do some research, eh? Most games, brand new, cost 50 to 60, depending on the system. The systems cost 300ish (I'm excluding the Wii and WiiU, because they're purposely staying as cheap as possible to save their niche). Xbox Live is 60 a year. DLC isn't required, and for most games, not even necessary. So, unless you're buying First Person Shooters for your child, you don't even have to buy it. Oh, and if you can wait, they'll release a GotY (Game of the Year) edition at some point for 60 dollars, with all DLC and additional content released.


PS: Go look at the original price of the first video game systems and games. Way more expensive than today's .
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The idea of requiring an internet connection shows what a bubble they live in. Microsoft probably assumes everyone has a T1 connection as well. Sony seems to have a better understanding of their customers. Gamers LIKE the way the current market is set up. It works very well when other companies (Gamestop) can set up within the system and become profitable. Microsoft doesn't profit from the secondary market therefore it doesn't matter to them what happens to it. But Microsoft's customers like it and may become Sony's customers to keep the market the way it is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Microsoft's modus operendi in the PC world is to force its changes (many of which mostly benefit MS's bottom line) onto its customers who are largely "stuck" with the PC platform. This mindset seems to have leaked into the console side of the business.

A huge part of my families enjoyment of our Xbox is the ability to rent games (usually to see if we like it enough to buy it). We like buy used games and like to trade in games we don't like or tire of. Unlike the PC world, there is a flatter learning curve and lower expense associated with changing consoles. So we'll do it if MS forces us to. Unfortunately, I don't trust MS very much and they've tipped their hand - so maybe a preemptive change is in order. Who knows.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree that if Microsoft would have explained the reasoning behind why an always on connection was required for Xbox One many people would not have objected. Letting the stigma that an "always on" connection is akin to invading privacy stick is their fault.

I am willing to bet that the always on feature will come back some time down the road, but for the moment Microsoft shouldn't touch the anything regarding always on for a some time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well before E3, I decided I will wait a couple of years before I get an Xbox One. But after E3, I knew I would seriously consider PS4 before I made my decision. Frankly, what really ticked me off was Microsoft's attitude. They simply didn't care if these "features" lost them customers (e.g., "don't have internet? well then you shouldn't buy our product").

Now my biggest dilemma is to buy Destiny for my 360 on release or wait about a year and then buy the XBOne and Destiny together.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All