PC gaming wins either way...X86 means we will get more and better games !
Lowly console peasants !
Those are some reasonable, workable solutions, but I doubt Microsoft will act in time. It will take a big failure on the scale of Windows 8 for them to attempt Xbox One.1
Honestly, I'm shocked they didn't drop the price on the old Xbox 360 consoles. If they're going to introduce a refresh, why not drop the price there? It'd probably help reduce a bit of the griping for those who don't have internet connections...
The Xbox 4GB 360 should be $149
The Xbox 4GB 360 w/ Kinect should be $199
The Xbox 250GB should be $249
The Xbox 250GB w/ Kinect should be $299
That's a $50 price drop (or more) over existing prices. It'd spur some sales I think... rather than the collective shrug the refresh produced from most people.
I'm also kind of surprised that the Xbox One doesn't have a second HDMI IN port dedicated to an Xbox 360... it would be a way of handling backwards compatibility. Pass through to your old Xbox 360, and let the Xbox One take care of switching inputs and handling it "automatically".
And I completely agree with one of the comments above: Everyone who purchases an Xbox One, should get at least six months of Xbox Gold Live for free. As part of the deal. "The first taste is free!" :-) Since it's basically required now (not really, but 80% of the value of this new console is in the Gold subscription arena), this would probably sign up a lot more people for the service, as well as reducing the kvetching about the Gold subscription and the immediate extra cost just after dropping $500 on a new console.
MS shouldn't change Xbox Live Gold to free just to please people, That's Google's area. XBL service is the best in class and I want it to continue that way. With constant revenue into the stream this will happen.
What should change though is the requirement for a Xbox Live Gold subscription to use Netflix & other entertainment apps. If they want an Xbox One in every home then this requirement simple shouldn't exist, not when the console costs £450. This is another reason MS continue to come across to consumers as money grabbing.
Kinnect should stay, It's an amazing piece of kit with huge potential if correctly tapped into. To see this potential we need to see development for it. Which will only happen if developers can count on it being there. Otherwise MS are asking for fragmentation, which is never good. It's not the Kinnect hardware that's the problem but rather proving that it's not a gimmick and that it can bring a level of interactivity to the console that is worth it, Without the image of somebody standing in front of the TV waving their arms about or feeding some virtual animal. That's helps nothing. However telling the Xbox to find me documentaries on world war 2 and it being able to do so, whether through my Sky subscription or the various entertainment app's I have installed on my console, That is useful.
The issue of the Kinnect "always on or always watching" is just a conspiracy theorists wet dream nothing more. The kinnect actually has a shot at fixing all the frankly terrible set top boxes that cable companies give you if it's a: implemented correctly with no gimmicks and b: the benefits communicated clearly in a practical way, Which by the way feeding a virtual animal isn't.
MS biggest problem is image, It's seems to have a terrible time managing it's image and how it responds to criticism. They can hire all the best agencies in the world to make MS look modern & talk about restructuring the company for the new age. But when situations like this arise they simply fall apart. It's hard to watch alot of the time and cringe worthy at best the rest of the time.
Sony aren't MS competition, It's widely known how Sony are staying in business and the console market isn't part of that. MS handed them the PR victory at E3 but little else, The Xbox loyalty runs alot deeper than DRM and always online connection, To be honest all MS has to do to keep me around is to continue developing Halo, It's that simple, for others they aren't that loyal so will continue to move between Xbox and Sony until there is only one left or there is new boy in the market to destroy the both of them.
Couple of ways to get over this overblown PR disaster.
> Subsidised Console, Whether that is through XBL or cable companies, The latter would be alot more interesting to see. Just as the rumors are suggesting could happen with Sky here in the UK
> Another option is to simply blow Sony out the water to win this generation, Use some of the money reserves that MS to simply undercut them again, IT's quite clear that $399 is as low as Sony could go on the price, MS can afford to take that hit in exchange for the user base.
The "winner" of this "war" will be decided at the checkout and not on facebook and twitter. History shows that the hate a products get online generally doesn't affect sales, iPhone, iPad for example. How much of the hate is real or simply Sony fans releasing 10 years of frustration of Xbox taking it's crown at the first credible opportunity it got is debatable.
How much "Fixing" the Xbox actually needs is debatable and I'm sure it will continue for another 10 years to come.
Unfortunately for Microsoft whilst they may be technically similar, one is very clearly technically superior and it isn't the Xbox. It needs to be cheaper than the PS4 and I'm sure it will be soon enough after launch, because as it stands Microsoft has another Surface debacle in the works.
In addition, nobody in Europe is daft enough to think that those media functions will be worth diddly squat without much firmer commitments than are currently being offered.
Does anyone have the amazon worldwide preorder stats? Ill bet they are eye watering for Microsoft.
Paul, l think your suggestions would go a long way to fixing the problem.
Allowing a disc in the drive to work offline would solve the biggest issue. Simple. If you don't want to use a disc, then that is fine too!
And for those who say Xbone is part of a connected future, "l still want my online updates" yada yada. Guess what! You still can! You CAN have a fully internet enabled console with all of the goodies that brings AND offline play in the same console. One does not exclude the other! It is effectively the 360/ps3/ps4 model that works perfectly today, with EXTRA features. Call it a 360+ model if you like. Remember, there is no technical reason why the console cant work standalone too.
Where I live we don't have unlimited internet and have to pay for our data usage. Having a device always connected potentially generating a large bill is not what I would call entertainment.
I also keep devices switched off because power is expensive - I don't see why the console cant remember the state that I left it in and just resume from there - even if it is switched off (or not connected to the internet) for a month.
All those modern features are good for those that want to use them, but I figure it is just as important to provide an equal opportunity for those that cant or are limited in what they can do.
There is another issue not covered here, that is brewing up to be a big storm:
The Xbox One is region locked. And will only launch in 21 countries initially. There are 27 countries in the European Union go give a sense of scale. And you CANT just take it across the border.
Among countries not getting the Xbox One is Greece, Portugal, Romania, Poland and many more...
Mind you, the developers of "The Witcher 3", one of the most anticipated Xbox One games and shown by Microsoft at E3, has their HQ in Poland! They wont be able to play their own game when it comes out!! Their own game!!!
I can defend a lot of the Xbones silliness, but this is just... This might just be the thing that puts me off buying it, of all things....
Paul, I'm a long-time follower of your website. How could you not have seen this PR disaster coming? You KNEW Microsoft had a hard story to tell and you know these guys suck at PR.
No matter the arguments, Microsoft screw up E3. Their PR was just atrocious, sending all the wrong messages, time after time. It's unbelievable for such a key product, honestly. People should be fired for this basic communication incompetence.
How did *I* not predict this future? :)
The Xbox team has been the goldenboys of Microsoft for so long I think we forgot they could be called the floor for anything. This is a business that lost several billion dollars over the past decade and had a record $1.1 billion warranty repair issue due to creating the single most unreliable consumer electronics product in history... and they were never criticized for it.
That's how. They've gotten away with everything. Until now.
My personal take on all these things is that most debaters are arguing the 'tactics' of the issue; drm, price, discs, resale, or gold membership. For me there is an attitude problem at MS. They seem to be saying - we don't care how you enjoy games now if you want to use the next generation we have decided the new paradigm and that's it. if you don't like it use the old console. They seem to be saying this is a multi-billion dollar industry and the customers are the little people who will play what we provide and we will monitor their usage and decide how customers use our equipment. We (Microsoft) have made this decision for you and we (Microsoft) don't understand why you should not be totally satisfied to hand over hundreds of dollars, euros or pounds to us. We think this is great and we don't think any of our decisions are controversial.
That seems to be a profoundly ego centric non-customer focussed message. In some respects it's the common theme from the Windows 8 launch and Windowsphone launch. Rather more strange is that the most service orientated product MS have launched, Office 2013, seems the most flexible in delivering the product in different ways to meet different customers. They (the Office Team) also immediately changed their one license one machine rule when customers explained why there should be more flexibility on single installs.
What the Xbox team needs is the humility of the Office team.
However MS have spoken. If you don't like it then just buy a Xbox 360. Of course some customers may say - I don't like it so I am buying a PS4.
OK $499, the Xbox One is simply too expensive wow you guys in the are lucky try live here in Australia it going to cost us $599 and we will not get half the stuff you will get will not.
I do think that they will back down a bit and have the call home be a longer time then 24hrs would be OK at 72hrs would it not.
Other than price, most of the complaints regard problems that are all derivatives of DRM. Paul, discussed a couple of options to get around the 24 hour requirement on Windows Weekly (require the disk, for example, being the most obvious solution).
Bottom line, downloadable content requires MS to side with publishers over ease of use for consumers. Nothing different than what Netflix and MS have to deal with re: Hollywood.
Games in the cloud. The future. How many smart TVs are sold? MS want each one of those connected to an XB1.
If I ever get to a place in life where I don't have internet connectivity, I doubt I will be concerned with $500 game consoles and $60 Titles.
Hmmm so now we have:
Windows Phone : Failed
Windows 8 : Failed
XBox One : Looks like going to Fail as well
Microsoft needs to sit back and think how its arrogant aptitude to the consumer is being received by the market.
None of those above products can be classed as complete "failures" Windows Phone market share is growing even in a dominated market. Windows 8 is way to early to be called a failure in my opinion, The hardware is only just beginning to catch up & 8.1 will go along way to fix some of the issues people have. The next year or 2 will really be the time to judge Windows 8.
Record breaking pre-orders for the Xbox One and you say it looks like it's going to fail? Just because there is hate on the internet for a product doesn't mean it's going to fail, I mean look at the hate the iPhone 5 got online but could you class that as a failure? Facebook and Twitter is not the place to judge the success or failure of a product.
It appears you lack both an understanding of what you are speaking of and the proper use of the language with which to express it.
I think their will be more price points soon and all else is easily fixable in software.
The xbox one is unfixable. User sentiment is wildly against it - at last count the PS4 was roughly seventeen times as popular as the xbox one. The DRM policies break consumer laws in several countries - Germany and Australia specifically, and render the console unusable for anyone who travels or serves in the US military. Sony have ALREADY started making fun of the restrictive policies, and Microsoft has handed them absolute marketing dominance on a silver platter. The Ps4 isn't just cheaper than the Xbox one - it is more powerful, and by a significant amount. If the rumours of downclocks are true, the PS4 will have roughly 200% more graphical power than the xbone.
How many japanese developers(who make some of the best-selling games in the world) are going to develop for a console that cannot even be bought in their home country and has a much smaller install base than the much faster PS4(Amazon pre-order figures make this abundantly clear)? The answer is "however many Microsoft pay", but not even MS has the money to buy enough exclusives to make the Xbone remotely competitive with even the Wii U.
The console is utterly unsalvageable at this point - DRM issues, price issues, power issues, problems with Kinect, ridiculously out of touch comments(expecting people who move or have unreliable net connections to purchase a 360 instead of a ps4) and yield issues. If they don't scrap the entire system and delay release to fix the multiple system-killing problems the console has, they're done.
I would like to see the data that MS uses that indicates to them that they take in more revenue than they lose by charging for streaming media content. I agree with you completely that it should be free and part of XBL Silver. Fine to keep charging for online gaming, but not paying for free services.
If XB1 is now equally touted as a media hub, then how can MS justify charging for what it's competitors don't? How will they even know how many sales they will lose for the many people who want the DVR features but won't pay the extortionary subscription fee? And if MS is trying to get these consumers (I am one), how do they justify additionally having to have a set top box to use XB1?
This suggestion goes back to that post by the MS employee describing the purpose of the always-on DRM. Make the games $40 now rather than $60 and publicize the used game market DRM as the reason for dropping the initial price on games. They have got to show the benefit for the consumers and a $20 price difference between XB1 games and PS4 games will get their attention pretty quick.
The once-per-day check in is insane, but just having the disk won't work either. Maybe Microsoft could implement some type of fixed time license for the games that would not require reactivation until the end of the period, but would also prevent any other access or transfer of that license during the time. For example, a soon to be deployed service member could log on to their Xbox account and request a six-month license for games they wanted to play while unable to connect to the internet. The server would then push a license file to the console that is good for that period of time, but would also lock the license down from any transfer or lending during that period. Only the main account holder could play the game during that time. Basically you would be trading the 10 family member access for the ability to play completely offline during the period you knew your Xbox wouldn't be connected to the internet.
Price aside, as one who cares about privacy, I need clarification on connectivity requirements for Kinect, Can I just not plug the thing in? My plan is to leave the Kinect in the box until I find a game where it makes sense then only use it in that game and disconnect it afterwards, like the duck hunt zapper on the NES.
Will the xbox one stop working if the cam is unplugged? My fear is that if it isn't connected you will be prevented from going on xbox live in the same way you are if you refuse a firmware update.
Your concern about "privacy" is interesting. Apparently the NSA can monitor every aspect of your on-line/telephone activities anyway. If it makes you feel better turn the Kinnect toward the wall.
The strange thing is, they say the XboxOne does not work when Kinect is not plugged in. But you can turn it off completely. I can't imagine whats the reason behind that. I mean the only thing that would make sense is that its is required for PRISM ;) Sorry but does someone else have a better idea?
If you've been following E3 at all you see that Kinect 2 actually works this time and including it in the box is absolutely the right move. It's kind like how the hard drive was optional at the begging of the Xbox 360s life span. It made things unnecessarily awkward for developers for a long time.
Conversly the Playstaton Eye is dead on arrival. Sony may as well cancel production. But it looks like it barely had the functionality of the Kinect 1 so it probably better that they cut their losses.
This is what MS needs to do:
Allow offline mode for people who buy discs
Extend the window for online check-in to once a week
Throw in 1 year of XBL Gold with the $499 sku since multiplayer is no longer free on PS4
Provide usage of one free game a month like PS+
Sony is also allowing 3rd parties to implement DRM for used games so MS does not need to reverese course on that, not mention there would be rampant "install to hd then imediately sell disc" if there isn't some kind of license check at re-sellers.
The perception of Microsoft's licensing changes isn't helped by the fact that so far MS hasn't spelled out the 'benefits' in detail. I mean, I can see what I'd be giving up, but what exactly am I being offered in return? And the thing is, the more I wonder about it, the more bizarrely complex the whole system seems.
For example, does anyone really know how family sharing is going to work? I've read the statement from Microsoft that says "You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time." So if I try to read this literally, to me it sounds like if I buy a game, I can always play it when signed in with my account, and only one of my family members can be playing games from my shared account on another console at the same time. Now I don't think that's what MS means. I suspect that all of my family members could potentially be accessing the shared library simultaneously, so it should read 'any of your family members...", not "any ONE..." but who knows for sure.
Also how many simultaneous copies can be played from a single purchase? 'One' seems like the most likely answer, but there are a couple of things that make me wonder, First, it appears that Xbox 360 downloads can be played on up to two consoles simultaneously. I'm not absolutely sure about that, but I've tried a couple of games I downloaded (including Call of Duty 4) with my son playing under his account on the primary console and me playing under my account on a secondary console, both connected to my network, at the same time and it worked. Second, from the MS quote above, it states that "you can always play your games..." so what happens if one of my 'family members' is playing one of my purchased games on his console and I decide to start it up on mine? If I'm not allowed to play it because someone else is, then I can't "always play" my game, can I? What if I have 5 games and 5 family members, and each of them is playing one of my games, so I can't play anything? So is it that there can be up to two copies in use at one time? (The master account and 1 family account can play simultaneously, but two family accounts can't play simultaneously?)
Regardless of the number of copies allowed, what happens if that's exceeded? Say one of my family members is playing one of my games, and another one tries to play the same game and can't? Will the second person get a message saying who's using it so he can contact the first about getting a turn? What if the first person pauses the game and goes off for hours? (My sons are bad about this.) I assume that would tie up the license. Is there any way to bump a person after a while? Maybe just from the primary account?
Here's another question: Is it possible to be in multiple families? Can I be the head of one and a member of another? Can I be a member of two or more?
Like I said, the more I try to understand this, the more complex it seems to get, and I really wonder if Microsoft has thought this through.
And the idea you have a virtual license is already contradicted by the fact that I have had a number of movies "Disappear" from my XBox Videos section because the license had expired from the original content owner. The only reason I could still view that particular movie (there has and continue to be more than one instance of this) is because I had downloaded a physical copy of the movie to my XBox. Who's to say this couldn't happen to a game title that was having a licensing dispute with MS some time in the future. Also, with the possibility (probability?) that some time in the next 5 years 4K screens will come out of the stratosphere of pricing (1080P has experienced that in the last 5 years) 500 GB will be woefully inadequate to support 4K games and movies. At least this console will support USB external drives (hadn't noticed whether the USB ports are 2.0 or 3.0).
As a retired military member I am really disappointed at the "Buy an XBox 360" comment to military members who have, will have to and will continue to serve our country being told to buy 8 year technology because we can't figure out a way to make the XBox One work off line for a few weeks or months at a time. There are plenty of Games (even the elite FPS games) that work just fine in single player mode and even (yes, they still exist) games that have no multi-player online mode.
Sadly, what they are really saying is if you want a next gen standalone experience there is only ONE choice left in the market, PS4. A monopoly if you will.
An option without Kinect makes no sense as past optional console accessories have shown that they do not get supported. While personally I would rather have the digital benefits (family share, no disk needed etc.), as they are trying to bridge the gap between digital and disk, why not just give consumers two separate options, one with current drm but without all the online share benefits etc. for disk users and the new policies and benefits for digital users (and a lower day one price for digital). If the benefits are worth it (as they are to me), then people will migrate to digital and the disk can be totally phased out over time.
quick fix for used games:
1. lower price of a disc based game. let's guess at say $40 instead of $60.
2. the disc is the property of the purchaser and they can do with it as they please; no need for a console to authorize or any such lunacy. it can be resold indefinitely.
3. any online content or interaction (which is a HUGE draw on almost all major games now) will need to be paid for separately...for let's say, $20...or whatever price was reduced off the common cost. that person buys the ability to interact online fully.
of course if they don't have the disc, they can't use the content; this is a flaw, but there are flaws in any disc-based system that still uses inter-console interaction. if someone doesn't like this, they can just buy the digital version of the game that includes the online content as well for....
4. $55. or some small subsidy. or perhaps full price, but with extra digital content for free (first DLC, artwork/behind-the-scenes, etc) digital content SHOULD be cheaper. not much necessarily, but in general, it should be.
this removes the need for online authorizations tied to specific discs, and also removes the overstepping of boundaries by trying to control used discs. it sets up a system in the mind of the user that digital is cheaper and preferred if possible...hence lowering the need for disc-based games in the future (which is undoubtedly where the market is slowly heading). everybody wins.
Is there any word if Azure will allow companies to offload any game hosting? Azure has nodes all over the US, and a decent number of locations throughout the world. I’m not saying dedicated hosting is automatically a far superior experience, but it would lower overall latency and free up resources on the consoles. I could happily live without a game searching for a new host or lagging horribly.
Based on the availability of the console at launch, clearly they ditched the subsidized model because it makes no sense to subsidize a $500 sku that will sell out for month after month initially anyhow.
The issue on price is simple marketing. Hardcore gamers aren’t worried about the price holding them back from their games. Casuals might be, but the box itself is going to be offered to consumers broadly as a STB that has features and content for every person in the family so the value proposition is nothing akin to previous console launches (nor the PS4) as this box offers more for several demographics within the typical household.
MS should let supply eventually saturate demand, and THEN offer a subsidized model.
‘Always On’ connection:
This is a non-issue. It’s simply communicated poorly as MS hasn’t effectively marketed why it exists yet. There could be an adjustment made before the marketing kicks in though; allow for the disc to authenticate without a connection just like current gen platforms. Also, ‘Draconian’ doesn’t mean what you think it means. There is hardly anything ‘Draconian’ about using a connection to make sure ppl aren’t stealing games. Using that kind of language drums up ignorant connotations that have no reasonable connection to the actual policies on offer. Not helpful to opening up a rational discussion.
Best solution here imo is to allow retailers AND consumer the ability to access MS’s authentication servers on XBL in order to manage game sharing, trading games in, and private sales. This would merely require an internet connection at the retailer’s PoS setup. This opens resale up to ALL retailers meeting that criteria. Retailers can opt to take the disc with the trade in or not (for faster installing). Wal-Mart may not care to stock the discs but will still do license transfer whereas on PS4, etc they can’t do anything related to used game sales. This would turn the whining about ‘participating retailers’ on its head.
You sell a game privately to another person via some XBL feature on an open market therein. You don’t send them the disc, instead once you get payment (which MS should handle similar to PayPal, etc) MS wipes the license from your gamertag and grants it to the buyer. Like eBay and other private sales sites, MS can take $5 of the payment to go entirely to the game’s publisher.
This can be the exact same process for trading in a game, except the buyer is a retailer. Publishers then make $10 for every game that is resold ($5 on the trade in, $5 on the resale). That’s plenty fair for everyone.
To handle loaning games, just do game sharing. The existing ‘family sharing’ option should be more than enough to accommodate that in a reasonable manner. Just give users options to manage how long ppl are granted shared access and the ability to edit who is in your ‘family sharing group’.
For rentals, MS can grant game companies licenses that expire after a set period of time and which cannot be shared amongst the ‘family sharing group’ outside of the household.
Get rid of gifting…it serves no purpose with the aforementioned features in place. You can simply ‘share’ games.
Another non-issue. Make sure to advertise the ability to turn its functions off by highlighting the parental controls and MS should be all set here.
Subscription fees for this are now a non-issue, thanks to Sony’s move Monday night. Just move any aspects related to used games, sharing, rentals, etc outside the XBLG paywall and this aspect will continue to be a bullet point in MS’s favor.
Regarding price, I'd be curious to see Microsoft post the pre-order sales numbers. I don't know if they will or not, but it provide at least some sort of indicator (good or bad) as to whether or not people are willing to drop $499 for the Xbone.
I love a lot of your ideas. But here are few of my own.
First: Used Games need to be regulated so that the original developers/producers get a percentage of used game sales. As the law stands from the most recent 9th Circuit Court decision from Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc., software sales do not have a first right of sale. The software maker retains first right. I think that resell retailers like GameStop & Amazon should be required to give a percentage of used game sale back to the developer & or production studio. Then studios/developers are happy & won't interfere with used games at all.
Second, Xbox Live needs to change its model. All the services that currently use Xbox Gold down to the Silver membership. That way anyone can use all the services as long as they pay for it. Netflix, Hulu, & other services should be useable without the Xbox Gold requirement.
What I would do to make Xbox Gold membership worthy of the $59.99. First, Microsoft should make a revenue sharing deal with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Manga, Amazon, etc, & others to have a freemium model. Imagine if you bought Xbox Gold & you get a choice of several services included with your subscription. Other services get a special Xbox Gold price as part of the revenue sharing.
I'd allow Xbox Gold members to get 2 free movie rentals a week from Xbox Video. It's just to get your a taste of Xbox Video. Then I'd make every Xbox Gold membership give you the Xbox Music Pass on your Xbox & Windows including the one or two free songs per month. It would also be cool to get one or two of the PPV events free or reduced price with revenue sharing. I would also make a deal as a part of the revenue sharing that forbids a similar deal with Sony or Nintendo.
Third, I'd make a $329 model Xbox One with no Kinect, a 250 GB storage option, a 2 year $15 per month Xbox Gold subscription. If you buy a game with the lower costing console & almost everyone will? It will still be cheaper than the PlayStation 4 after tax & it will give a better value to potential customers.
Microsoft has done some extensive brand damage. They are going to have to give away stuff for awhile or strike deals to make services cheaper. The good will it generates will help smooth over people.
MS seems to want a diskless system. I'm all on board for that. I doubt I'll ever buy a game on disk for XB1. I suspect all the deals and details haven't been fully hammered out. They may not be hammered out by launch (which would be unfortunate). This might explain the hazy picture presented by MS at this time. They want to say, Look it'll work like this, but they can't quite commit to it yet.
Paul, this is a great article and I am glad you did this. This brings some sanity to the discussion and reduces the PR Gamer Rage flowing violently over the web.
I would add one solution. Just Ban Used games. Commit and Go digital 100% AND lower prices 50%. They can keep the disk based install for convenience and those with internet connectivity issues. A move like that would have balanced the discussion and offered a very bold and unique differentiator to
Minor Point. The replaceable hard drive is moot. Microsoft has demonstrated very successfully through Office 2013 the streaming of programs. I can see a large hard drive being managed by a recently used library. Microsoft downloads and compresses the important files and streams the remaining content when needed.
I am just surprised that so many gamers are luddites.
I for one believe that there are PS fans and there are XBOX fans. Sure some people have both, but the majority of console gamers prefer one or the other. In my opinion Microsoft once again has made a more compelling hardware and software play. As a consumer, I don't think the extra $100 is going to turn away XBOX fans. I think apple has proven that consumers will pay a steep price for what they want. Typically these are going to be parents buying XBOXs for their children. If they choose to educate themselves they may come to find that this device is an all in one entertainment device that will truly dominate the living room as we know it. Xbox Live is far superior to PSN. That in itself is worth the $100. PS4 seems to me like another rehash of the PS3 as was the PS2 etc. Microsoft is truly bringing innovation into the mix as they do with every product. Fortunately for them with this particular piece of hardware they have a fantastic brand to push. Good article. I personally think these changes are going to be a part of a winning strategy and that we will all come to expect these things in the industry in the future.
Paul, you've asked the wrong question. The question is, how can Microsoft fix Microsoft? Because there aren't many companies that would get their head so firmly stuck in a bee hive (again) before wondering what that annoying buzzing sound was.
I haven't given this the thought the topic deserves. But here's my quick opinion of things:
The price is high. I don't care if kinect is bundled - if mom and pop consumer have to spend another 100 U.S. dollars for xb1, when the same price will get a ps4 AND a new game.. for value reasons, the ps4 wins out. Solution: sell the xb1 for $399.00 U.S. No ifs or buts.
It's a mental barrier. To the average jane and joe, ps4 and xb1 are much the same thing. Having to spend another $100 just to get the basic xb1 (i.e. no games) is just a mental barrier which I feel many people won't do.
But keep the kinect in.
The kinect is a genuine differentiator. If MS make the kinect an optional' accessory.. it's dead. Why should developers choose to code for "that motion thingy" which perhaps only a small slice of the xbox userbase might buy?
MS have the data, so I'm sure they have looked at this pricing and know that they just cannot match the ps4 with the kinect bundled.
But, maybe they have to look beyond that first sale. Look at the average lifetime value of a buyer. How much does the average buyer spend on Xbox Live Gold subscription? How many download purchases does the average user make? How many games? What about selling them an Xbox Music subscription? Not everybody uses these services, but isn't the real money MADE from the services, and not the machine?
Sell the device through co-op channels. Sell a subsidized xb1 to cable provider subscribers. Sell a subsidized xb1 to ISP customers. At least MS will be tapping into an existing database of millions of customers who use non-competing, but complimentary services.
The biggest joke is that some demos run on PC and Windows 7 using NVIDIA setup. Consoles as idea for gaming should not exist.
The $100 price point difference isn't enough to bother me. Would I like it to be cheaper, yes? Did it stop me from pre-ordering one, no. (I'm even contemplating a second for the bedroom, as I'm worried if I wait they'll be sold out for ages like the 360 was.)
Dropping Kinect out of the equation as a 100% guaranteed availability on every console means killing the product before it has a chance to shine. Developers have to support it to see where things can go, and developers don't support things that will cut their userbase.
As much as people are complaining about the DRM/internet required thing, I think this is the same as the connect. Xbox One is basically being built from the ground up as an internet enabled service. Developers get access (free, if I read correctly) to Azure backend servers to add whatever features they see fit. From the looks of the opening lineup almost all of them are using it, too. So the idea that you're screwed because you're playing the xbox alone in the woods and have no internet is pretty moot, because it looks like 90% of your games are going to be using internet elements to add to the gameplay experience.
Sony CAN do all this, but it's up to the developers to use and support, which means they're less likely to do so as it adds to their cost, which long term means Xbox One games are likely to more consistently have new and interesting features that require internet, whereas Sony's are likely to mostly be more of the same.
I'm also a little scared of the self-publish game idea. I'm hoping I'm misunderstanding and there's some sort of gatekeeper process in play, as it seems to add just one more doorway for hackers to do bad things on the console.
Anyway, both of these consoles are likely for the next decade and it feels like MS has the better long term strategy. Sony is catering to a mindset that's not far removed from the old days of hardcore PC gamer = casual PC pirate, and while it may end up being cheaper in the short run to get your hands on games in a license/DRM free world, if developers and publishers don't make money... They stop making games...
People pirated XBOX 360 games more than PC...just for your information. Pirates will always pirate and won't even stop them from hacking even XBOX One or PS4. No game needs to use Internet Elements to add to the gameplay experience because for every XBOX One PC will have much better version which you will be able to play with network cable being disconnected.
Funny you said this console is for the next decade, this console is already a joke in term of performance and what it can push compared to PC and in 5 years will be absolute joke. Again won't stop average people to buy things. Having console is crazy expensive than putting $1500 into high end PC. XBOX One games will cost minimum $59 which is absolutely outrages where same game on PC quickly drops down to $39 and with Steam sale into $2x.
Again, Microsoft is trying to copy Steam...unfortunately for them Steam does it much better and you can play games with Steam being offline.
No, no, and no. The author does NOT understand where MS is going with the XBox One, DIGITAL What if they completely removed the Blu-Ray optical drive entirely and dropped $50 off the price? I have not bought a game "disk" on my PC in years and I would love to get rid of the drawer full of scratched, unplayable, or lost disks for my consoles.Game rentals? Digital. All you can play subscriptions? Digital. Lost disk? Digital download. Play on another system? Log in digitally.
As for Kinect Either include it with every system or leave it out. SONY move controller camera should have been included in their bundle too. Sles of move equipment will be just as low as it was on the PS3, making it a pretty much useless peripheral.
Go digital or go home.
Welcome to the DRM-restricted digital world ver. 1984.
I'm waiting to go all digital too (if the prices are more sane than they are at present), but I think things need to improve on the network and ISP side of things for that to be practical for everyone.
As an example, I downloaded The Last of Us on PSN at the weekend. It's a 24gb download, and that's for a current gen game. How big will next gen games be? 30gb? 40gb? Maybe even 50gb?
That's a big download for anyone, and even on my 100mbit cable connection it still took 2 hours to download enough so I could start playing. There are no doubt more advanced play while you download tricks coming next gen, but still, that's a lot of data, especially if you're on a capped connection.
What you're saying makes sense for SOME of the market - but not all. I personally prefer digital and I absolutely believe that Xbox One should support it, but it shouldn't force it.
If disk usage is really as low as you imply, then including the ability play offline if you actually have one would hardly be much of an impact for Microsoft or any game studios, so why NOT include it?
Only one of these issues matters to me. The Xbox Live Gold subscription. My Xbox 360 sits pretty much fallow in my living room, never getting use as a media device, because of this idiotic requirement.
I can justify $500 for a console. Don't care about the Kinect but I'm willing to give it a try. Always have a internet connection and never trade/rent/sell games. I'm basically the MS dream customer for this new "nerve center of the new living room" strategy, but this idiotic "fee" not only prevents me from using my 360, it prevents me from signing up for Netflix and from ditching iTunes/Amazon for my digital rentals and music purchasing. Since when has it been wise to erect a barrier making it hard for casual users to adopting your ecosystem? Talk about Pound-foolish.
Couple of things..
About resell - only dealers authorized by Microsoft can resell. So the pool of resellers will almost certainly be smaller. That means they can pay out less and charge more since there's much less competition. It also means Microsoft can impose rate limits to reduce the value of resell.
The thing that's completely missing here is how the new system basically wipes out indie publishers. Microsoft's response to this is "We completely support indie publishers - all they have to do it get published by a company we support." thus completely misunderstanding what the term "indie" means.
As for privacy with the Kinect, I don't think you've actually addressed anyone's concerns - rather you've essentially said "I trust Microsoft to get it right." Thing is, *we* don't.
User set policies aren't a security feature unless you can show that malicious developers *cannot* bypass it. A lot of device control in Windows for example are through GPOs and you can get around them. We don't know if the Xbox system will be more secure.
You also indicate that the Kinect is optional - but everything we're hearing from Microsoft is that it's not. You can't disconnect the Kinect sensor and have this system work properly. So suggesting you can use some other input is only a valid argument if you can actually detach the Kinect and keep on going. If you can't - then all the rest is moot.
Finally, there's the attitude. "We have a solution for people who don't have internet access: it's the Xbox 360." That's amazingly arrogant. Blocking indie producers and then claiming they aren't - and suggesting indie producers can go to a known publisher. That's arrogant AND insulting. It doesn't leave me feeling confident that Microsoft has *my* best interests at heart, rather that they're trying to create a great ecosystem for big producers no matter how much that degrades my experience.
Finally, let's get over the "Live TV" thing. It's not live TV. It's TV passthrough with an overlay. It's not really new. We had Media Center extensions before that would let us actually stream TV from our PCs running Media Center with pretty much the same benefits. On the other hand, now we see why Microsoft is so eager to kill off Media Center...
Since I happen to watch TV using Media Center - that's another black mark against the Xbox One.
So, no.. I'll not be getting an Xbox One. I have a PS4 on order.
A while back, I was part of the Windows Phone user group on technet. There was a sub board that was for people interested in the future of XBox and had idea for the console after the 360. I want to say the people who posted on there were almost all in agreement that it should contain a blu-ray player. I also received quite a lot of attention when I posted my hopes that the next console would be the one box that would replace everything else connected to my TV. I was sick of the tangle of wires and the incessant switching of inputs and whatnot. I requested that they make a machine that could be not only a great gaming machine, but a cable box and surround sound system too. I detailed out about the surround sound system and the cable box features I would like. One of the Cable box features was that I could get the machine free with a 2 year renewal to my cable/satellite provider. I noticed when I set up my Satellite or my moms cable at her house that they require a connection out to run On demand. I am starting to think MS made a deal with Comcast or Direct TV and one of the requirements was to have a box that calls in once a day. Also, the info gleaned from our viewing habits is also something MS might be interested in. In totality though, I think that once a day call in feature is for the media side of XBOX and has little or nothing to do with the games. If I am right I would love to see if MS backed in some sort of sling box feature incorporated into smartglass ( I think that is a feature they would be saving for launch).
Why not keep things simple. Let people who want to buy the disc at a store live in the old world. No cloud based DRM, no cloud sharing, so need to put the disc in to play. People who want the benefits of no disc, cloud based sharing etc let them buy the game online.
This should solve the sharing, reselling and always connected problems and makes it simple. Discs work the way they work now. Games bought online are the future and have the added benefits associated.
Also I think it is reasonably straightforward for people to understand that physical media can be played offline and digital media requires a connection.
You cannot resell online purchases but you can resell physical media just like you can today. You can't resell mp3s or movies purchased online so why would games be different.
Don't blur the lines. Have different rules for digital media versus physical media and let it die a natural death.
SuperSite for Windows
Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×