Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Xbox 180: Why the Xbox One is Still a Definite "No"

Today, Microsoft announced one of the biggest corporate 180s in gaming history. No longer will the upcoming Xbox One suffer from DRM issues, no longer will it need a forced internet connection, and no longer will it block used games in any form. That's all great and all (we're happy for and proud of the collective of consumers and gamers whose voices were heard), and it's good for Microsoft. However, these issues shouldn't even have been on the table in the first place, and that's what annoys us about this whole situation. Microsoft has done little to earn our trust back and here's why.

Kinect is still mandatory at this stage, and with all that is happening with the NSA in the United States, we still aren't comfortable with the idea of an always-on Kinect.

Then there's the lineup and the cost of the system. Our most anticipated game for the system, Dead Rising 3, has been revealed to have lost the series' comedic edge, which was a good portion of the fun of the franchise. We were eager to see a revival of Killer Instinct, but then we learned it is free-to-play and you have to buy characters to actually have a complete experience. Let's face it-- Microsoft's first-party output is vastly inferior to what Sony and Nintendo offer. If Microsoft has nothing to excite us on their side with exclusives, then what is the point of getting an Xbox One in the first place-- to play multiplatform games that will be available on the PlayStation 4?

Microsoft fosters a software ecosystem where the most popular genres are shooters, racers, and sports games. We've honestly had our fill of all three. We've had enough Call of Duty. We've had enough Halo. We've had enough Gears of War. We've had enough Madden. We've had enough-- you get the idea. You probably yourself have had enough of what we've had enough of!

Let's also talk about Microsoft's treatment of indies. Sony and Nintendo are opening their arms wide open for indies, yet Microsoft contains the same ass-backwards and anti-indie policies that made so many developers scamper away in the first place.

However, what really pisses us off is that gamers are so quick to jump back into their abusive relationship with Microsoft over the lack of DRM. It's basically thanking a company for spitting in your face, yet forgetting that that company was the one that spat in your face in the first place. It's disconcerting to see how swiftly some gamers are to leap back into Microsoft's lap after the company already revealed their true colors and how much they honestly care about consumers (see: not at all).

Microsoft didn't kill DRM because they are nice and respectful to consumers. They didn't do it out of the goodness of their hearts. They did it because they had no choice in the matter unless they wanted the Xbox One to sell like crap.They killed DRM because they saw they were in deep, saw the PlayStation 4 pre-orders outpacing their system by a dramatic margin, and they absolutely positively hit the panic button. How else can this be interpreted with Microsoft and Xbox lackeys constantly defending their previous stances on DRM? They basically told consumers that their way was right and that consumers and gamers just "didn't understand." And we're supposed to automatically forgive them and their past arrogance?!

Some people are actually celebrating and championing Microsoft for "seeing the light." We think that's horrible. Remember, this was a company that was willing to bestow ungodly DRM on people and throw onto consumers a heavily anti-consumer console, where their used games policies are reprehensible and a forced internet connection was needed. Microsoft was willing to make consumers bend over and take it (excuse the analogy, we don't usually go there, but we're mad).

So no, Microsoft. You are not forgiven. You still have a mandatory Kinect, you still contain the worst lineup of first-party exclusives available, your support for your systems trails off early, and your Xbox One is still too expensive for our liking. The fact of the matter is that you've lost our trust after all the crap you've pulled. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.

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