XBOX ONE: A Post-Press Release Autopsy

Hello there, my name is Scott Dunn and I’m a new member of the Electro Kami staff as of a few days ago. As the new guy and looking around at all the recent gaming article, I notice there seems to be one not written that needs to be do and have thus declared myself the judge, jury, and executioner of the XBOX One. Yes, I’m going to say things you’re not going to want to hear, and yes, you’re going to hear things you may have already heard, but finally have some backing in understanding, so let’s get down to brass tacks. I’d like to state that all of the following comes in combination from Microsoft’s website, and their video Press release

As it currently has been promoted on the Microsoft website, the Xbox One with be running 8 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM, and 8 CPU cores. Rather than try and compare it to the PS4 which is still at this time shrouded in mystery, I find it more entertaining revealing who has already won this round in the console wars, AMD. Yes, both the Xbox One and PS4 will, as of this time be running with the AMD Jaguar (a move up from the 360’s previous IBM Power PC).

The controller for the Xbox One has been promoted as being larger than the 360’s to fit a person’s hands more comfortably, and the Xbox logo being shoved upwards from it’s previous home between the Start and Back buttons.

xbox one controller

But this isn’t what you came here to read! No, you came here to watch me crucify this thing, so let’s get started:

1. NO BACKWARDS COMPATABILITY

I don’t quite understand the crippling fear of money Microsoft has, after all, isn’t a company supposed to amass as much as they can? Seems like it makes sense, so then why would you make the 950+ games on your previous console that everyone loved, adored, and occasionally whispered sweet nothings to like it were some kind of secret lover that only understood them, into total pariahs on your next gen? Do you not like what you made in the past Microsoft? I mean yes, Duke Nukem Forever was a complete abortion, and yes, Gears of War did resemble Halo when in place of his armour Master Chief wore several dirty garbage cans, but these game were part of what made you great and why you’re able to make the Xbox One.

2. LACK OF GAMES

“But Scott, E3 is coming! That’s when all the big sparkly triple-A titles will come out and lead the One as the savior of video games!” say the fanboys as they drink another can of Monster and huff more glue. I know E3 is coming, but considering the console has already decided to snub its own previous library, I can only wonder what they’ve been doing to game developers in their free time now. Not only that, but Microsoft is known for being notoriously unkind to independent developers unless the developer can guarantee their games will bring in lots of money.

Besides, they had their chance to wow me at the press release, and what did I see when it comes to games? And orange car. And the same orange car. Go to the Microsoft website (by the way, “How it games” is second to last on their website release if this whole thing didn’t bode well to you already) and what do you see, the same 3 orange cars.

“But Scott, the One is not just a gaming console anymore, it’s a multimedia networking revolution” cry the fanboys as they huff more glue. To be honest, I like the idea of a computer being able to recognize my voice and do what I tell it to, that’s why I bought one 2 years ago that’s just like the Xbox One, except it fits in my pocket and is called an “iPhone”. Maybe I don’t want to play with other people, ever consider that, Microsoft? Maybe I just wanted to sit alone inside and play a nice single-player game instead of Call of Duty: Brown FPS #26 and achieve something by my own doing. I didn’t ask for a multimedia device, I asked for a gaming console. But no, Microsoft knows where the money is and will use this console to get all the good kiddies to bilk their parents into spending THEIR hard earned money, which brings me to the next point.

3. THE DRM & KINECT

Microsoft has signed on with the DRM, you know, that thing EA worked with when they released Simcity that borked everyone and assumed the public were nothing but thieves essentially killing that franchise? That thing. As a result, the Xbox One will need to connect once a day online to Microsoft.

That may not seem like a huge problem except for people who don’t have a steady internet connection except when you add the Kinect to this. Say you’re playing a game and have some friends over to play, if you exceed a certain amount of people in the room (which it will be able to tell how many are there thanks to face recognition software) the game will say “Nope! You don’t get to play until you buy another X licenses for you and all your thieving friends in the room!” Not only that, your One will be registered your IP address, so if you even think of taking it to a friend’s house to play something “Nope! Take me home! Leave these people here and we’ll go play!”

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe this is a brilliant ploy to get people to not buy the console and instead go outside and be with other people. Maybe Microsoft is assuming all us gamers have no friends to socialize with to begin with, I don’t know, but frankly it’s insulting. But what’s insulting without being a bit threatening, here’s point 4 which I think outweighs all the others.

4. PROJECT PRISM

Project Prism? What is this? some new function? No no no, allow me to step you back and explain. 1 week ago, the American government admitted they had been spying on people via the internet, cell phones, webcams, and anything else they thought would be necessary. This was done by the NSA, and admitted to as a gross invasion of the public’s privacy.

So why does this matter? The first company to sign on to Project Prism and hand over personal data to the American Government? MICROSOFT in 2007. So now, after knowing they’re been handing over your info willingly to the government, do you want to stick a camera and microphone in your house that needs to connect with Microsoft once a day? This is not some crackpot conspiracy theory, this is documented and being looked into right now by numerous government agencies.

Personally I’m disappointed by this all so much, I was looking forward to the next Microsoft console, but considering games are no longer being made for fun and instead for profit, Microsoft has taken this cue and has developed their console to be not for gaming. A console not for gaming, hmm, a novel idea, but I don’t think I could use a 600$ paperweight, and I already have an iPhone and PC, so I think I’m good.

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  • bad

    I’d like to think that a 12 year old wrote this…. at least then I could forgive how poorly it was written.