Friday, January 20, 2012

Bowing Out From Xbox: Why I Won't Be in the Market For Microsoft's Next Console

In 2011 Microsoft's Xbox 360 had top honors as the best-selling console for the year. That's all fine and dandy, but I certainly am not impressed. I mean, all they had to do was copy the Wii's success, turn their back on the gamers that got them to their current position, and con gamers out of their hard-earned money with god-forsaken, horribly-made hardware. The following are reasons why I will not be buying whatever Microsoft has in store for next gen anytime soon.

1) Shoddy hardware

I do not believe that there has been a console with as huge and pathetic of a hardware failure rate as the early Xbox 360. The SuperPhillip household in Central City was one of the families hit by this curse, and we received the Red Ring of Death a mere two or three months once the darned system was out of warranty. I cannot help but shake my head furiously when I hear or read reports of people buying second, third, fourth, and even more 360s to replace their RROD'd one. Way to teach Microsoft that gamers like us will reward them for their miserable broken hardware! It's pitiful that Microsoft was allowed to reap the success because of their design flaws. Though to be fair, all three current generation platforms have had their share of failures. RROD, the Yellow Light of Death on the PS3 (apparently gamers aren't that creative with their names of these things), and the Wii's disc read errors (of which I suffered from) are all prominent this go around which makes me hesitant to go guns blazing with my wallet into the next generation of consoles.

2) The FIFA hack

If you are not familiar with this hack, it involved hackers stealing other people's Xbox Live accounts through an exploit in one of the popular FIFA games, charging an incredible amount to their victims' credit cards, and leaving the victim to pay the debt. Just because this isn't affecting as many people as the PSN fiasco doesn't mean it is not worth reporters' time. This is yet another example of the incompetence of Microsoft. You'd think that after having the luxury of paying sixty dollars just to be able to hop online, be called names by bigots and racists, and experience poor sportsmanship that Microsoft could control this egregious oversight.

3) Worst exclusives of any current gen platform

Xbox wins two gens in a row. Whether it is the Wii (which in my view has the best exclusives this gen, or does that invalidate my opinion on everything, trolls?), the PS3 (close behind along with...), the DS (...this platform), or the PSP, the Xbox 360 sits at the bottom of the ladder with the worst exclusives. Unless you cannot get enough of the most over-saturated genre this gen, the shooter, then you probably yearn for more from your console(s) of choice. When they weren't moneyhatting Japanese developers early on in the generation in a failure of an effort to sell software and gain Japanese mind share, they were putting out shooter (Gears of War) after shooter (Halo). Besides, most of the worthwhile games of this gen can be found on both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

4) They essentially killed off Rare and many other of their developers

It seems any and every studio that Microsoft get their hands on they kill. The most disturbing example is Rare which originally made some of the best games on the Nintendo 64 like Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini, and Blast Corps). Now what do they do? After awesome games that failed to light up the charts like Kameo: Elements of Power, Viva Pinata and its sequel, and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. This is apparently because the Xbox userbase only cares for shooters and racing games as evident by sales charts. Rare has now been relegated to making Kinect games and running Microsoft's Mii ripoff, Avatars. Just another reason to have a distaste for Microsoft.

Rare... Good night, sweet prince.

5) They seem to care more about money than actual games.

This could be said about any company, but it is most true for Microsoft. They entered the industry for the pure reason of making more money-- games and developers (why buy devs only to gut them?) be damned. Who needs to develop great games when you can just moneyhat devs to create the games for you? Who needs the core anymore after you've used them like a cheap call girl and turned your back on them-- going with the casual audience with Kinect? And don't even get me started on Kinect. I don't care if it is selling well. Of the 40+ games available for the blasted device, maybe 3-5 are worthwhile or are actually selling. Again, just look at sales charts (and not VGChartz as the owner just pulls numbers from his rear and then fixes them when actual official numbers come). There seems to be a reason critics of Microsoft use the "M$" moniker.

Kinect Sports and its sequel are one of
the few games worth owning a Kinect for.

6) Pay-to-play online

Xbox Live = sixty dollars, avatar clothes = five dollars, getting called the "n" word or the "f" word on Xbox Live by a seven year-old boy = priceless. As if I needed a reason not to go online, there's a charge for services for Xbox Live. I already don't enjoy online multiplayer, so this turned me off even more. At least with PSN, I can play any game I want online and have most of the features of XBL. Unfortunately at this rate, Sony is probably going to charge next gen for their online service thanks to the greed of Microsoft.

Bitter much, SuperPhillip? Definitely. Hopefully my vitriol towards Xbox wasn't too harsh. Regardless, for these aforementioned reasons I have no desire to buy Microsoft's next console at launch. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. That's how the old saying goes, and I intend to live by it. Let me just say this-- with their current business practices and attitude towards the industry, I fear for an industry where Microsoft is considered the leader.


Reggie White Jr. said...

That was another very good read, SuperPhillip.

It's funny, I was looking at 360 and PS3 games earlier this week and I noticed something: many of the best games were on both platforms. The Wii takes a lot of heat, but it does have some very nice exclusives.

When the time comes to buy another system, I think I'll go with a PS3. The controller pad is a million times better than the 360's crappy pad and the RROD has me scared to even touch the system. My brother-in-law has already had his first 360 die on him and the RROD is far more common than the Wii's disk read error.

Unknown said...

Truthfully I find the 360 to be worst popular mainstream console ever. Worst exclusives, worst first-party support, Kinect is awful. It is that bad.