Xbox One "witch hunt" somewhat unjustified, says Carmack

Id Software cofounder says backlash surrounding Xbox One policies not necessarily justified, believes the future will be fully digital.



Industry veteran John Carmack, who cofounded Doom studio id Software, believes the blowback surrounding Microsoft's since-reversed Xbox One policies was somewhat unjustified.

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"I think the witch hunt was a little bit unjustified there," Carmack said during this keynote address at QuakeCon. "I personally am extremely fond of having all of my digital purchases in a curated garden. All of my iTunes, all of my Amazon stuff, all of my Steam things. And it's a positive thing."

The days of physical media are numbered, Carmack said, adding that a digital-only future is clearly the way forward.

"Yeah, you can have better and worse ways of doing that, but we are very quickly going to be past the age of having a game that you hold in your hands on optical media," Carmack said.

"It probably won't be many years before we wind up with SKUs that just have the optical drives deleted and everybody will just be getting it through the net," he added. "The future is obvious right there and it will be good for us in general."

Carmack also said he believes fears are overblown over the possibility that the Xbox One's new Kinect camera will snoop on users.

"If you go back 10 years, the idea that everyone would carry around a phone that has your GPS-located position at all times would cause the tinfoil hat crowd to go absolutely crazy," Carmack said.

He said it is possible that the government will have backdoors into technology like smartphones and potentially Kinect to track consumers, but "that's pretty much the situation…we just kind of carry on."

He pointed out that the situation with the Kinect is already in existence on laptops, which have had built-in webcams for years.

At the end of the day, Carmack said, "We'll get used to it," because potential security concerns that come with new technology are "just inevitable."

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