Saturday 8 June 2013

Is the Xbox One already doomed?

It's been a rocky couple of weeks for Microsoft. First came the bewildering press conference that introduced the world to their next gen console: Xbox One, where most were left with more questions than answers. Then we've had a trickle of information about how the Xbox One's more controversial aspects (i.e. DRM games, 24-hour online verification, game loans) are actually going to work.

It doesn't look like good news.

So what do we actually know about the console? Microsoft have stated that while it won't have to be always connected to the internet, it must find a connection every 24 hours otherwise you can't play any games. Period. They console us by saying we can still watch live TV and Blu-Rays, but that makes little difference. So, if you've just moved into a new house and the internet company are going to take a couple of weeks to set up your connection then it's no games for you.

There was also some worry around the simple ability to lend out your games to friends and while Microsoft has clarified this (mostly) it's really not exactly what people wanted to hear. It sounds like it's going to be a much more complex procedure than it needs to be. Apparently you may only lend a game out once and the friend who is receiving the game must have been on your friends list for a minimum of 30 days. This seems utterly convoluted and I hope that the rules surrounding this are refined soon.

Similarly, MS confirmed that you can indeed trade games in...sort of. The big fat caveat is that the retailer must be signed up with MS to be able to trade-in used games. Furthermore, the license states that the person buying the used game will be unable to then go on to sell it again. This isn't 100% clear at this point and MS seems to be being a little cagey on the subject.

While we're still waiting on further details for a few of these things, one thing we do know is that Kinect can be paused, but not turned off. Also the microphone will always be on, but MS say that they won't be sharing user data without permission from the user. However, with the recent news about Prism I'm very wary of this feature.

You can't say that MS has exactly been up front with everything. Now there are rumours that the corporate giant is doing devious things on Reddit and possibly paying off third party developers to not show PS4 games at E3; it's really not looking good for them.

Because of all these shortcomings (to put it mildly) comment threads and forums are in uproar about the new console, many vowing to either get the PS4, should it be any better, or give up consoles altogether and head into PC-territory.

Personally, the Xbox One isn't getting any of my money. I've just invested in a new gaming laptop because I figure I might as well switch over. I may get a PS4, but after all of this I'm really not hopeful for the future of consoles.


  1. The sad truth is all this controversy is not going to mean a damn thing. It will still be a major cash cow for M$ even if it becomes the bottom of the 3 consoles. It's all about what games are available and that people don't care about the background, only that it will play those games.

  2. That's why I never bought consoles ever. I like my PC just fine.

  3. Xbox One sounds like a lame console. PS4 for me.

  4. I think Microsoft is counting on consumer apathy to win out by the Holiday season...I really hope that this bites them in sales, because their console is ridiculously and needlessly draconian.

  5. Or people could just, you know, remember that the Wii U is an excellent, viable console.

    1. It's a good console, but its third party games need to step up. I'll get one when there are simply more titles.

  6. have been a fan of xbox for years and have had Live service since it started,but wont be buying a console that has the ability to spy on my household, in this day and age you cant trust large business or the government with your privacy.

    second strike for me is there crazy DRM plans on this system,i see several problems with this,not just the trade in or loaning,i dont know about you guys but i like to keep my old consoles with my favorite games for them and years later pull them out and replay some of my old favorites,who is to say 5 years from now when they come out with the Xbox 2 or whatever they end up calling it comes out, and they turn off there servers for the xbox one like they did with there last console we will no longer be able to play our games on it making it useless.

    heck i still use my NES every few years to play zelda and mario brothers and that system is pushing 30 years old,i can guarantee the xbox one wont still be working in 30 years....

  7. Agreed - the consensus at work among a large group that have supported Xbox for countless years - the move to PS4 is unanimous.