The video game industry is full of surprises, and lately, they haven't been pleasant ones. The blame can be attributed to the stupidity of public relations. Peter Moore of EA had to clarify comments he made regarding the company no longer offering single-player offline games after a wave of severe backlash. And now, in light of the 'deal with it' Twitter debauchery that nearly derailed the XBox One's chances before it was even publically announced, we have another Microsoft PR guy spewing his mouth and not helping the console's rather dire situation.
Albert Penello, in a recent interview, defended the XBox One's price point, claiming (if not boasting) the console is the better bang for the higher buck. He went on to insinuate that consumers are likely willing to pay more for a system that can do more and offer more. I think it is safe to assume the majority of people do not share in his rather narrow-minded presentiment. In another interview, he confirms that the company "absolutely" has no plans to release the Xbox One without the Kinect peripheral, explaining the console cannot function properly without it. I don't know about you, but I always thought the higher price point was attributed to the required Kinect peripheral and never about how "better" it claims to be than the PS4.
I'm certainly not surprised at the company's utter arrogance, but I never would have imagined they'd pull this PR stunt during a period when they've grown desperate in the looming shadow of the PS4. I'm not going to sugarcoat the situation at hand here--- Sony knocked two home runs against the XBox One, forcing Microsoft to pull a 180 on many of their controversial policies. The PS4 is hitting many of the right notes with consumers so far, collectively countering everything the XBox One can shake a stick at. I'm beginning to wonder if Microsoft truly understands what it means to be competitive.
I applaud them for reversing their policies, but only two thorns remain in Microsoft's collective backside -- the Kinect requirement and the higher price tag. The most damnable element is the higher price of $100 more than the PS4. Look, I don't care how much you tout the system as being the pinnacle of interactive entertainment; consumers are simply not willing to pay more for a system when they can get the competing console that offers the same experience for much cheaper. While supporters of the XBox One will overlook these traits and argue that their console of choice has a better library of launch games, who's to say if games like Titanfall and Dead Rising 3 may one day end up on the PS4, too? I cannot say that definitively, but given the craziness and unpredictability of the video game industry, it is logical to assume that anything can happen. Remember when Rayman Legends was a Wii U exclusive?
I once believed in the XBox One and its chances, but now I've reluctantly gone and cancelled my preorder. Yes, I had pre-ordered the XBox One out of reckless impulse. I had really wanted a PS4. Why I was possessed to choose the XBox One is beyond me. You might be asking why I did it, but I couldn't really tell you. Yet, with these latest developments coming out of Microsoft, and the dire situation they now face in light of many missteps that they're struggling to recover from, I'm withdrawing my support for the XBox One for the time being. I believe in its potential later on down the road, only if Microsoft is willing the effort to persuade the consumers in a way that does not further alienate their sensibilities.
Keep calm, game on and may the Force be with you.