Thursday, June 13, 2013

Jumping Out: Why We're Currently Not in the Market for the Xbox One

We know what you're thinking. It's cool to hate on Microsoft right now. Well, if they didn't make it so easy to, then there probably wouldn't be a problem. Similar to Sony in 2006, it is quite easy to criticize Microsoft currently. However, unlike the situation with Sony, where we were making fun of Sony in the process and laughing at them, we're simply pissed off at Microsoft. No laughs are being had. This is SuperPhillip Central's short rant on Microsoft's past consoles, their present situation, and the future that is the Xbox One.

The fact of the matter is that we have given Microsoft chance after chance to impress us, and they have consistently let us down. We get suckered in with the promise of compelling content across various genres throughout the generation, and then we get primarily the same genres that Microsoft consoles always seem to give us: shooters, racers, and sports games. We are not college frat boys anymore. We are not 13-year-old children who think we're cool and grown up by playing Call of Duty while we call people bigoted names over Xbox Live. We've evolved as gamers. We want something more... or at least something different for a change.

The games shown at E3 did little to excite us. For goodness sake, we love franchises like Dead Rising and Killer Instinct, but these exclusives managed to be soiled to us. For one, Dead Rising 3 is more serious than previous installments. Half the freaking fun was how comedic the violence was. Then, you have Killer Instinct, which isn't even being made by Rare. That wasn't said at the E3 conference, nor was the fact that the game is going to be free-to-play (F2P), only giving players one character to use, forcing them to pay for the rest. How do you manage to botch the software so badly?

Dead Rising 3, an Xbox One exclusive
We were first in line for the Xbox 360 when it launched back in 2005, and what was our reward for that? Oh, yes. The Red Ring of Death. Thanks Microsoft, for building one of the shoddiest home consoles in existence. We happily paid the $50 a year for Xbox Live-- oops, now it's $60 a year, suckers-- to play online. Oh, and you don't get any free games, and you get the privilege of having even more ads than ever before on the dashboard.

Yes, we're extremely peeved about how needlessly complicated and convoluted Microsoft's policies are towards used games. (Can we get a straight answer on this finally, or are you just making this up as you go along, Microsoft?) Yes, we find the idea of having a console that needs to be connected to the Internet at least once every 24 hours to be a burden. And yes, having a device in the Kinect that can constantly watch us makes us uneasy, especially with all of this NSA nonsense going on. Considering it could be used for targeted advertising-- something we don't put below Microsoft to do-- this concerns us.

That's not what gets our proverbial goat (pardon the antiquated phrase) the most about Microsoft and their Xbox One. No, it's Microsoft's pure and utter arrogance. When you have President of Interactive Entertainment Business for Microsoft, Don Mattrick, saying that if you don't have a steady Internet connection, then you should get an Xbox 360 instead (oh, okay. So much for getting a system with future support.), you have a company that obviously couldn't care less about a good percentage of potential customers. Microsoft this coming generation is more about exclusion rather than inclusion, and seeing how they are focusing the Xbox One to be more of an all-in-one device rather than a video game system first and foremost, we can safely say we don't much care for Microsoft's direction.

Don Mattrick
What angers us most is that we're sure Microsoft is going to do what they always do to try to get on top-- strong arm the industry through using their immense amount of wealth to advertise, advertise, advertise and storm the airwaves to get the unassuming public to buy their product. How else do you think they swindled so many customers into buying the original Kinect on Xbox 360? Microsoft has a limited number of capable first-party studios, so they throw money at publishers to get exclusives since they are generally incapable of coming up with compelling content of their own. That's how it seems to us anyway. 

The Xbox One is a mess of miscommunication and anti-consumer policies. We know that businesses are in the industry to make money first and satisfy consumers second, but no company in recent memory seems to glorify this line of thinking and showboat it as much as Microsoft. The pure arrogance of the company is absolutely disgusting. Thankfully, our fears at E3 did not happen, where Microsoft showed a bunch of games people wanted-- no, needed-- for the Xbox One and then magically all the worries about DRM and used games went away. This did not happen, thankfully. 

For all we know, Microsoft might change their policies late in the game and the Xbox One might change its public perception. As it stands, we at SuperPhillip Central cannot support the direction Microsoft is wanting to take the industry. We've always been about games first. Microsoft cares more about their well being than contributing positively to the industry's future. We can only hope that Microsoft gets incredibly humbled like Sony did this past generation. Perhaps then they will create content that gamers want. Sorry Microsoft, but we're definitely jumping out for the time being.

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