Hello, and welcome to Feedback Unexpected – a feature in which I, Vlad Pintea, express my personal feelings from a gamer’s perspective on the current state of our beloved industry in a tiny bit more personal fashion. My next topic will be all about Microsoft, and its incredibly controversial next generation console, Xbox One.
E3 is over. All the big conferences, gameplay footages, demos, trailers, interviews, hands-on previews etc., have been showed, and discussed. Among these presentations, there were two major presences at this year’s E3 which made big, both positive, and negative impressions: Sony, and Microsoft. The Japanese company did an excellent job with PlayStation 4’s features, and the fans’ response was unanimously positive. Microsoft? Well, unfortunately, this particular company has decided to implement a lot of controversial things into its next-gen console, and obviously, gamers weren’t happy at all.
Microsoft’s E3 conference was decent to good. Still, that doesn’t matter one bit if the Xbox One has so many negative requirements which gamers downright hate. If the audience isn’t happy, then you’re doing it wrong, so I’ve decided to ask our readers about the Xbox One, and what would Microsoft need to do in order to convince them into buying its next-gen console. In contrast to this feature’s title, the feedback was totally to be expected.
The Online Check-In
“Well personally for me to even consider buying one I’d need them to get rid of the online check in and other things deterring from offline play, I couldn’t use it otherwise”
“The 24 hour connection. What if you’re in a place where you have no internet or your internet is down for whatever reason? You can’t do anything with your Xbox then”
Exactly! This has been an ongoing rumour ever since we started hearing about the next-gen Xbox. Things aren’t as bleak as people thought would be (meaning that you don’t need a permanent internet connection), but the 24 hour check-in is almost equally bad. Remember Ubisoft’s attempt at combating PC piracy by forcing players to have an always-online connection, even for single-player titles like Assassin’s Creed II? Yeah, that turned out bad, both for the legitimate consumers (since the servers were hacked, and they couldn’t access the games), and for the company (sales-wise) because the hackers still found a way to “crack” the games.
This would be the first step for Xbox One’s redemption – completely cut-out this 24 hours check-in madness. It’s consumer-unfriendly, and even if you’d like to think that you’re “pushing on” the industry with this always-connected world, the harsh truth is that not everyone has a great, or even always-online connection. Oh, and Don Mattrick, let me tell you something – statements like: “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards compatible,” or “Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity; it’s called an Xbox 360″ are not ways to win fans over. You don’t have backwards compatibility, and your console requires an almost permanent connection? Whatever, just don’t go insulting people over those features.
The Rights to Your Games
“Say that when you buy a game, you have full rights to it.”
This is another restriction which resonated in an ugly manner with gamers. According to Microsoft, after buying a game, you must tie it to your account, and you can give it to another friend, only if that person has been friends with you for at least 30 days on Xbox Live. Want more? After giving it, that said friend will not be able to give it back to you, or anyone else. Gone are the good-old days in which you would simply give the disc to someone else to enjoy it, after which you would get it back. It’s no wonder that Sony mocked this feature with a very straightforward video which you can see below.
This is another way to improve your relationship with gamers, Microsoft – let anyone do whatever the hell they want with the games they’ve purchased! It’s their money, their games, their rights!
“Remove Kinect requirement”
This is a requirement which created a lot of paranoiac statements, and for good reason. First, Microsoft said that Kinect will have to be on all the time for players to enjoy their games. Then, it said that gamers can turn it off. Fine, but what about when it’s on? Now I’m not suggesting that there are hundreds of employees spying on you everyday, but just the prospect of being online with a camera and microphone active in front of you is something uncomfortable to think of.
Let players enjoy their games without the need of the Kinect. Stop using that “Better with Kinect” line, because there still hasn’t been one game which made players say – “Wow, it’s actually way better when you’re using your voice or waving your hands like a jester!”
The Xbox Live Subscription
“Even though Xbox has added two free games a month, PlayStation Plus is still the better deal overall. I have both Plus and Xbox Gold and PlayStation Plus is a much better deal.”
Yes, Microsoft has finally started to reward gamers for their loyalty, but it’s still behind what Sony is doing with PlayStation Plus. Give gamers more titles, access to closed betas, discounts on older titles etc. Let them see that you actually appreciate their support.
The Independent Studios
“[...] let Indie’s self-publish”
“I have a very good relationship with Microsoft, but [there are] a lot of TCRs you’d have to go through,” he explained. “[...] all the stuff you’d have to go through to get your game on Xbox Live Arcade, or even issue updates on; it was a nightmare.” This is a statement coming from Cliff Bleszinski when talking about Microsoft and its relationship with indie developers. Microsoft has announced a few months ago that the independent developers won’t be able to self-publish their games on Xbox Live. This means that the small developers won’t have total control over their games, which comes in full contradiction with their status.
Even though the Xbox 360 was a great place for small developers to get their games on (in the beginning, at least), indie developers have since migrated to other platforms, like mobile, or PC (mainly via Steam) where they can be in full control of their titles. Stop caring only for the “big players,” and start giving a chance to the small ones as well, Microsoft!
Fortunately, that’s it from me, but if you have more problems with the Xbox One, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Remember, you, as a gamer have the power to influence products like the Xbox One. Let your thoughts be heard by whichever means you like, because if we don’t hold these companies responsible for their actions, they will lose contact with reality, and who knows what other “enhancements” they will try to force down on our throats.
In addition to being the PC editor, Vlad Pintea is also a chief of news and reviews here at Analog Addiction, and sometimes he even speaks his own mind. You can contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, My IGN, on Skype, Steam (all at the same name: vlad94pintea) or Facebook (Vlad Pintea). Have a good day, and remember: stay calm and keep on gaming!