Navy publication blasts Xbox One

New report from independent military magazine Navy Times takes issue with connectivity and region-lock policies.

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Independent military magazine Navy Times has published a new report blasting the Xbox One and its various policies that the publication describes as problematic for those on active duty.

The Xbox One will require users to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours, something Navy Lt. Scott Metcalf believes will be a "showstopper" for those serving downrange, in the field, or at sea.

A past report claimed Microsoft was working on a solution for those in Internet-free scenarios, though the company now says no such plan is in place.

In addition, the Xbox One will be supported in only 21 countries. Those stationed in major military regions like Germany, Italy, or Great Britain will not have a problem. However, service members in Japan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, or other areas are in a bind.

On top of this, since Xbox One games are region-locked, service members who import games won't be able to play them on their local machines. And as Navy Times points out, those who buy games locally will be out of luck, as Xbox Live accounts are tied to regions.

The publication also calls out potential "serious" security concerns for the Xbox One, involving the system's Kinect camera and/or microphone recording conversations not meant to be heard outside of the military. Microsoft has said that the Xbox One does not record idle living room chatter.

"Microsoft has single-handedly alienated the entire military," naval aviator Jay Johnson wrote in a Gamasutra piece. "And not just the U.S. military--the militaries of the entire world."

Johnson added that the Xbox One's Internet requirement is "the single greatest sin Microsoft has committed against all service members."

Xbox executive Don Mattrick last week offered an alternative for those without an Internet connection, such as military members and students.

"Fortunately, we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity; it's called Xbox 360," Mattrick said. "If you have zero access to the Internet, that is an offline device."

Discussion

3188 comments
FlashCharge
FlashCharge

MS you went too far! You might have thought every gamer wanted a multimedia center. We didn't!

shadgrindk
shadgrindk

You have to understand, when Satan has mounted an exec at Microsoft, that exec must please him, and don't these soldiers get enough video game action with their drone attacks?  Damn you guys are addicted. 

Godskeep1
Godskeep1

As a member of the Spec Ops community  now retired due to a bullet that completely destroyed my left ankle leaving me with a plated,pinned and fused foot unable to serve any more I had a lot of down time for healing after two surgeries and a boat load of pent up frustrations at having to leave the SF service. Lots of time to play Xbox games so I appreciate what kind of out let a gaming system is for those of us under high stress. Our service personal deserve some kind of entertainment that allows them to vent their pent up feelings. I see nothing wrong with them having gaming systems for that and Jackwings like this Mok86 need to just step off and shut the hell up! Thank you Lt. Metcalf for getting Microsoft to see reason and from all the SF personal around the world I say HooYa LT.

starjay009
starjay009

Microsoft is like the husband/wife committing adultery. They keep messing with the loyal individual by secretly screwing that ugly piece of sh*t but when caught in the act yell out "I LOVE U.. PLS DON'T LEAVE ME". I have had enough with Microshaft and their ugly XBONE pile of garbage. I hope all military personnel in every country ditch the XBONE. 

jameson425
jameson425

I'd like to Thank Lt. Metcalf and the rest of our Armed Forces for single handedly getting Microsoft to change they're evil ways and give gamers what they want minus the Kinect of course... Thank You for your service and sometimes being the sense of reason for Giant Corporate Assholes like Microsoft...

squidbilly22
squidbilly22

makes my decision to buy a PS4 a lot easier also my 10 yr old PS3 still works ,ha ha, take that ms nothing you build will ever last 10 yrs.

lost2bfound
lost2bfound

I picture Sergeant Gunnery Standing nose to nose with Don Mattrick

“from now on, you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be 'sir', do you maggots( Mattrick)  understand that? BULLSHIT! I can't hear you, sound off like you got a pair. 

And then Mattrick removed the restrictions... LOL

davidrault
davidrault

"However, service members in Japan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, or other areas are in a bind." - are you telling me that the xbox one will not work online in Japan? Thought that would be a huge audience for them.

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

i have been a loyal xbox customer since the first system, but xone is not gonna be in my living room guess i am gonna have to switch to sony

Xirexor
Xirexor

Microsoft got an arrow in the knee 

MoK86
MoK86

well this is what i have to say to Navy Lt. Scott Metcalf 

Nobody cares what you think and as a tax payer i dont Appreciate you spending my tax money on buying toys to use while on Sea. 

zpluffy
zpluffy

Nothing can beat the whining of the Navy Babies. Thanks these guys

HOOYAHHH

CW1252
CW1252

They didn't just screw over military personel, but any American who lives overseas. I hope Microsoft flops out of the console market like they should have with Xbox One...Oh wait, what do I call it now? Wtf Microsoft!!

1337hackz
1337hackz

Well you can play xbox on your nuclear sub now. 

skillz2285
skillz2285

WELL WELL WELL MS changes there policies yesterday after the backlash....Mattrick said now they will NOT have a 24 hour check and policy and also will not have a used game policy...Also we will be able to rent games....Thanks every one of you people for voicing your displeasure and getting MS to change there policies

bigmikeOK
bigmikeOK

As a member of the military, I can tell you that most of the game rooms set up overseas at "forward" locations are filled with Xbox 360's. Therefore, the relationship between Microsoft and the military is of high importance. It may be no coincidence that shortly after the negative feedback from the Navy publication that Microsoft exec's came together make an about face on their console policies that would have prevented thousands of us troops from being able to use an Xbox One overseas and therefore forced the military to consider other options for the regular morale activities they hold for us when we're deployed away from home. Congratulations Microsoft on making the smart business decision here when so many spoke out against those terrible policies.

Jarten
Jarten

Well now its not an issue since they just said they are taking away all the things except for needing the kinect to work because of the backlash they were getting. I personally still don't trust them enough tho to even consider getting it. They didn't listen in the first place.

-Geo
-Geo

Now if they somehow implemented this as an option, instead of it being mandatory, it would've easily had the leg up on the competition. Hopefully somewhere down the line, MS does implement the family sharing system. Digital is the future, the complaints were just postponing the inevitable

If MS does implement the DRM as an option, I'm all for it. I'm not all that excited for waiting in lines for 3 hours to get new releases. Whatever, both MS & Sony can change their policies whenever they want to. 

mamelon2012
mamelon2012

I feel like I dont live on the same planet as these people.  In no way do these decisions affect me on a day to day basis.  Should our military be playing videogames?

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

I'm inclined to believe the military is the major reason why Microsoft changed their minds.

The relationship between Microsoft and the military reaches far beyond merely gaming; any tension between Microsoft and the military is VERY bad for Microsoft business.

GamerShock
GamerShock

This is total non story now that Microsoft has reversed all these restrictions (region locking, always on, etc)

GS2GZ
GS2GZ

@MoK86 Wow, I do hope that was just a very un-funny joke. Pretty crappy, you can play while you do nothing for the country but they shouldn't while risking life and limb, shitty

caloc
caloc

@MoK86  theyre still people just like u and me,whats wrong with playing games in there idle time,what do you do when u have a day off or get home from work?

allever
allever

@MoK86 You are an ignorant fool.  Don't mix taxpayer money with your stupidity.  Go back to school and get an education... You really need it.

WarGrad
WarGrad

@MoK86Listen up you f'n A-hole, do not talk about things you know nothing about.  I have spent time at sea, without anything to remind us of home to keep us sane, the whole ship and crew would crack.  Nothing like angry sailors with weapons on board hitting that first port with nothing to do to keep sane.  They kept showing the same BS movies over and over for a week.  Twilight movies 3 times a day for a week, F*** shoot me.  If we didn't have a console to play movies or games, headlines would read sailors invade French port, France surrenders.

FastClau
FastClau

@MoK86  you idiot.....those people deserve some relaxing and entertainment!!! I guess that because of Navy Lt Metcalf, we'll have a xboxone with no internet connection requirement!!! From all of us, he's the one that gave the best reason!!!

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@MoK86 go to hell those men and women deserve some form of entertainment while they are away from home for months at a time

skillz2285
skillz2285

@CW1252 Yea flop out so that PS4 has no competition and does nothing to improve because they don't have to, they will be the only successful console.

Evolve81
Evolve81

@Jarten Well I understand where you are coming from but, honestly this is the first time that a game company has publicly listened to the gamer community in an obvious way. I don't recall any time this has ever happened. Most of the time game companies just guess to see what is best for the gamers and hope it works then pretend that they are listening. This seems like it is the only time that the proof was revealed. I highly doubt after this backlash that M$ would change their tune because they want to win. If anything at this point they would be the last game company to do something stupid as to going back on what they said because they want to win in the end and this will be about a 10 year race.

dirtyrug
dirtyrug

@mamelon2012 No. You are right. The world revolves around you and military should be standing at attention 24/7 ready to kill the terrorists sneaking into your house. We need to get you in charge ASAP!!! On second thought, go smoke a bowl keep your ignorance to yourself.

PacoTaco
PacoTaco

@mamelon2012 That's a pretty ignorant statement mamelon2012.  Way To Go.  

I feel like i don't live on the same planet as you.  My planet has a little thing called "Common Sense."  Yours does not.  I guess you would like to see our heavily armed and trained military members stressed out 24/7 instead of getting downtime. 

jecomans
jecomans

@mamelon2012 Why not? They're not at Code Red 24/7. They have a hard as something/poop job and deserve all the little bits of downtime they get. 

It sucks more so because so many military people are playing XBox 360 that the military designs the air and land based robots that the soldiers use to be controlled by an XBox controller.

skillz2285
skillz2285

@AncientDozer That's weird cause if there relationship was far beyond merely gaming then why did Mattrick come out with that ignorant ass comment? it's called a 360?.....Regardless of who got them to change there minds im just glad they did because i want an xbox one....Plus now ps4 will actually have competition with xbox with means they will push each other to be better

Fine_TableLamp
Fine_TableLamp

@GS2GZ Lets all take a look at the fact that without the military most of our games would not exist. Ahem... COD, Battlefield, Gears of War, any other game involving shooting.

mjsaxy
mjsaxy

@WantYouBad @OldKye @GamerShock The number of active duty gamers is irrelevant. You really think MS wants to get a reputation for not supporting the military? I doubt this is the only reason they backpedaled, but it is certainly one of them.