Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reasons Why I'm Not Sold on the XBox One

Reason's Why I'm Not Sold on the XBox One
Originally Posted on and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 8/18/2013
Written by Dustin Murphy

  Earlier this year when Former Microsoft President of the Interactive Entertainment Business portion of the company Don Mattrick revealed and confirmed the worst fears everyone in the gaming community had. For Sony Entertainment, this was everything including an assured win for them with the gaming community as Microsoft announced their DRM, online always (24 hour check-in's), used game restrictions, and of course console use limitations with game titles. It was enough that as a Microsoft XBox 360 fan I was left with a foul taste in my mouth, quickly selling many of my XBox 360 titles, and slowly moving towards my PlayStation 3. Over the past few months Microsoft began to restructure their internal organization to "better function" as a company, with it we saw them remove many of their restrictions and in many ways make the XBox One a soul successor to the XBox 360. To me that wasn't enough due to the privacy concerns with the NSA's project PRISM and XBox Ones Kinect Version 2.0. Luckily Kinect is no longer required for the XBox One to function. 

   In much of the reversals from Microsoft we've seen their stances go back to the same as what they had for XBox 360, but the damage has been dealt, my trust has been lost, and now I'm debating whether or not their lack of services will allow for a lower price of the console. Concerns over the XBox One for me are now pushed towards further information releasing regarding the system itself and the pricing. Here I will list my concerns in order and explain them as I go to simplify this for readers. 

XBox One Price

   First off is the price, Microsoft has put a hard price of 499.99 USD on the XBox One while SCEI (Sony Computer Entertainment International) has put a 399.99 USD price tag on their PlayStation 4, which houses more bang for the buck. Unfortunately Microsoft has put the XBox One between a rock and a hard place due to the economic times and has seemed to go with a unfriendly price range, however the XBox One does come with a Kinect 2.0 packaged with it to justify the price. With the announcement of the Kinect not being required to function much like it's predecessor the XBox 360, I hope to see a cheaper console without the Kinect bundled in. A 399.99 price line would be a safe zone for me to debate between the sheer gaming hardware PS4 in comparison to that of the XBO. If this happens I could see both in my gaming area this fall.

Launch Title Exclusives

  Unfortunately this is another issue I've now seen with the XBox One, is their line up for launch, and to me it's just not that strong. With exclusives in the launch window I only have found interest in two titles; Dead Rising 3 and Titanfall. Though with Titanfall being a XBox 360 release as well I've began to eyeball it to even get a taste of what it's about, with it being online focused, won't be a lot. As for Dead Rising 3? I have high hopes for it with Microsoft having rescued it, but I'm concerned for the longevity and support of the title and with that being said is another no go especially with their key franchise Halo being absent from the launch window.

Kinect and Privacy Concerns

  This is where a few of my friends find me being a "tin foil hat" wearing alarmist, though my privacy to me is just that - private. With the XBox one's original announcement Microsoft had announced that it would always be on, always be listening, and always be recording in order to collect data to "better improve upon" this item. The other issues is that this thing can literally read your heartbeat, body temperature, and of course has facial recognition and memory to adjust the XBox One's settings to the person controlling the console. To me this is just too much for something I don't and probably wouldn't use much as my XBox 360 Kinect Version 1 just sits and collects dust on top of the TV. 

A.... Media Device?

  With the announcement of the XBox One Microsoft had also stated that they were further building upon their partners to bring a better multimedia experience to the house hold, an all in one, and by that they literally mean it. With the XBox One many gamer's aren't buying a game machine, they are buying a multimedia device that is meant to deliver a home entertainment experience, allowing owners to hook up their TV cable to the console, and allowing the console to act as a DVR so that they can record and show off their best gaming moments. To me this is a bit overboard. Why give up being a gamin console for this? Seems Microsoft lost me with this one, as well as many others. Downside? Must have an active internet connection and a Gold Membership to XBox Live membership to use the Game DVR and TV Guide listings.

A Console That Knows It's Overheating?!

    When the XBox 360 first launched this was the biggest issue and the most common among owners, even I myself suffered it approximately thirteen times, and all thirteen of them were repaired with one out of warranty racking up a grand total of 150 USD before it was working again. Even then, another console was purchased to ensure a fifty-fifty chance this would never happen again - it did. Unfortunately many players went through this and Microsoft responded with extended warranties based on the Red Ring of Death as it was called. To prevent this with their upcoming console the XBox One, Microsoft has implemented a new heating detection software that allows the XBox to manage power as it needs so that it can prevent an overheating issue like the former console has. This is a red flag, why should it need that if they are reassured it's going to work? To me this means there are underlying issues that they can't fix and the only thing to do is make the XBox somehow detect and prevent this. Hopefully the Sony PlayStation 4 doesn't have this issue and allows players a life-span that should be there.

  There you have it. This is why I'm not quite sold on the XBox One. There are too many issues, matters, and a weak launch line-up that leaves me feeling as if I really don't want or need it like I did my XBox 360. What will Microsoft do to win me back? Promise me lower price points? Lower the cost for subscription? Or perhaps send me one to play and report back how I feel about it? Not sure any of that will happen, but for now. I'm just not sold on it, especially with the price tag it has. I will just end up waiting it out to let the get comfortable with it and maybe deliver the experience to me they did with the XBox 360.

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Authors Note: This version has been edited unlike the one Blast Away the Game Review. It does remain copyrighted and protected by myself and Blast Away the Game Review.

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