CAUTION: This blog may contain "RANTING".
Well, after all the rumours & speculation, much has been confirmed by Microsoft themselves and for the most part, it's mostly bad news.
After watching the Microsoft conference at E3, it might as well just be called the Bro, or Dude-Box. It's pretty clear Microsoft is aiming squarely at the COD crowd, or to put it another way: Morons with too much money, who know nothing about video games outside of COD, FIFA and Need For Speed.
So... What we know so far:
As I said previously, it's being aimed at the "Bro-Dude" market, so expect a constant stream of shooters, racing & sports games. Don't we have enough of these already ? Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the odd shooter, if it offers something a bit different and I do play the odd sports game, but, so far it just seems the Xbox One isn't being aimed at gamers, like myself, who enjoy RPG's and other genres away from the clutter of shooters, sports games and racers.
Also, given the fact that there's been a lot of articles regarding sexism and equality in the games industry, Microsoft doesn't seem to be doing themselves any favours by aiming at the Bro-Dudes.
For the price, you can buy a half-decent gaming PC with far superior graphics and capabilities. An option I'll certainly be considering.
You can only lend a game to one friend and that's only if they are on Xbox Live and have been on your friends list for more than 30 days. After that you can't lend it to anyone else, which must mean this has an impact on re-selling, or trading games in.
Still no clear explanation from MS as to what happens after that, except: "It's up to the publishers." Well if that's the case MS, why are all these supposed "security" measures being implemented by YOU and YOUR stupid console ?
Online checks every 24 hours on your own console, every 1 hour if you're gaming on a friends, or family members console. If you can't make the online check, then you can't game, simple as that. This doesn't really effect me too much, because my internet is fast & reliable, although my internet has went down for more than 24 hours on a few occasions. So, I feel for people with unreliable connections, or those who aren't online at all, who just wont be able to use the console for GAMES.
Still charging a subscription for the basic privilege of playing games online. This either needs to be dropped, or made optional, like PS+. At least that way you actually get something for your money, like a couple of free games and early access to demos etc.
Renting games is no longer an option. It's not something I really do, but I know a lot of people who like to rent games to try them out before purchasing. To me this move just seems counter-productive and may negatively impact game sales, but Microsoft are either ignorant, or just dont care. Either way, it's not good.
Got to admit, I'm really struggling to find anything positive to say about the Xbox One and as someone who primarily games on the Xbox 360, I find it quite sad. The only announcement that got me genuinely excited was the Halo live-action series and that has nothing to do with the actual console. I'm not an NFL fan, so I couldn't care less about exclusive NFL content. Besides, it's not REAL football anyway !
I don't play COD, so first access to DLC is meaningless for me. Been there done that. Been playing online shooters since the early DOOM days and although they've evolved in terms of graphics, the core game-play is still pretty much the same. It's a tired genre.
So, it looks like I wont be purchasing the Xbox One at launch, if at all. I refuse to support Microsoft any further. The restrictions they are placing on the Xbox One are just a step too far in my opinion. I can understand the need to clamp down on Piracy, but placing restrictions on lending and re-selling/trading games is a deal-breaker for me and still charging for playing online is just pure greed. I also think it's still a bit early for online checks and not allowing un-restricted offline play. In some areas the Internet just isn't reliable enough. In 5 years, maybe, but not right now.
The big killer for me though is the lack of emphasis on actual games. Microsoft seems to be more content on gimmicks and useless apps rather than the games themselves and it shows. I've not been overly impressed by what I have seen so far from a technical stand-point. Sure, the graphics look better, but it's not a huge leap from the current generation. It seems that Microsoft wanted to make some kind of multimedia box rather than a proper GAMING console. Like I said earlier, for the price, you could buy a PC with far superior hardware that can do all that for you, so what's the point of having an Xbox One ? I'd normally say the exclusives, but again they don't look like anything special, certainly not worth buying the console for.
It also appears that Microsoft have spent a fortune to get into bed with EA & Activision rather than investing in new new titles. Again, this just seems to be them aiming at the Bro-Dudes who play COD & Battlefield, by enticing them with first play of any new DLC. Microsoft must be banking heavily on this being enough to push sales of the Xbox One.
On a final note, as a result of Microsoft's seemingly anti-consumer policies and Sony remaining silent on similar issues, I'm being pushed into considering going back to PC gaming. I don't think I'm alone either. I just wonder if we might see a boom in PC gaming as a result of all this mess. I don't think it would be a bad thing at all.
What do you guys & girls think ?
Is Microsoft just catering to "Bro-Dudes" ?
Is their business practices getting shadier with each passing day, or are you quite happy with what they are doing ?
Will the online-checks and restrictions on lending/reselling games have an effect on you ?
Is the government going to secretly spy on you through Kinect ?
Will you ever get over the "Red Wedding" ?
Are you going to buy an Xbox One, PS4 or PC ?
Fell free to comment with your thoughts and if you want to write a lengthy rant, go right ahead.
That's what I've just done....