My take on Microsoft and the Xbox One

xbox One
So the majority of news from E3 is out there and we the gamers have already made our decisions on what’s going to be awesome and what’s going to stink going into the 2013 Holiday. Of course that mainly refers to the Xbox one vs the Playstation 4 and the DRM shitstorm that surrounds the former. Well I have to be perfectly honest on the DRM from that while I can understand where Microsoft is coming from what they are trying to do, I also feel that they have lost their way and need to be reminded of that. Of course hurting them where it costs, their pockets is the perfect way to do that.

But let me back up a bit and see if I can try to make some sense of this. Microsoft and it’s infinite wisdom decided that the best way to win the hearts of gamers was to impose some rather draconian DRM schemes to help them less consoles… er, to help them do something. That something however escapes me. So let me get this right;

  • Internet connection is required and the system will “Phone Home” once every 24 hours. If it fails to acknowledge during that sequence then you are no longer able to play a game if you can not establish a connection. You can still watch TV or watch a Blu-ray however.
  • If you goto another Xbox One system other than your own the time shortens to once every hour.
  • Games will be automatically ripped to the hard drive, which is only 500GB , which them become useless since that disc is no longer needed anymore to play the game. So the disc basically becomes a library card so to speak.
  • The hard drive is only 500GB and can not be upgraded at all. Sure you an add an external drive  via (3) USB 3.0 port’s, which is plenty fast for data transfers so your games or installs won’t suffer but it’s the point that the internal drive is not upgradeable. So likely if it dies you’ll need to send your system in for repairs. I didn’t see anyone touch on this point so I contacted Microsoft about this. Let’s see what they say.
  • Confusion on used games, borrowing games and fee’s associated with them.
  • The Xbox One off-loads computations to the cloud (That’s actually awesome) but if you lose your connection, then what? The system performance suffers, but to what extent?
  • Indie game developers are not able to publish their titles on the Xbox One and will need a established publisher to do it for them.
  • Microsoft states that 3rd party companies asked for the DRM solution, yet many have gone on record stating they never asked for this and were against it; EA, CD Projekt for example.
  • Microsoft has gone on record stating if you don’t like the DRM that you can always get an Xbox 360 and be excluded from the next-generation of consoles, if you like Microsoft’s camp that is.

This is totally unacceptable and is low, even for Microsoft. A a pivotal point in the console wars this is the last thing you would want to do, especially now with the Playstation 4 poised to take out both Microsoft’s Xbox one (Priced $499.99) and the Nintendo WiiU (Priced at $349.99) at $399.99 all while not imposing any of the DRM methods that Microsoft has proposed.

Now I’m not saying that the Xbox One should be boycotted, I’d never tell a gamer to choice a system over another if they’ve already made up their mind either due to game selection, desirability or even brand loyalty. I will have ask them to question on if the company they are loyal to is in-turn being loyal to them. Microsoft thrived on the success of the Xbox 360 (unless you count Japan) and used it to surpass the Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii until recent. So as many gamers imagined they would ride out that success and do it even bigger and better, well until now. That’s not taking away from the Xbox One as it still is a decent system, especially if used games aren’t a concern for you and let’s be real, there are gamers who don’t care about used games. Sure I didn’t touch on the TV aspects of the Xbox One but do you know why? Cause as a gamer I don’t care. There’s Hulu, Netflix, Blockbuster, HBO Go and a slew of other online TV / Media distributions already available for consoles right now, did Microsoft even need to focus on their implementations of it?

It just simply seems that Microsoft is out of touch with the people that matter, the gamers and not their shareholders. We’re the ones who make or break them, we’re the ones who dictate their success by buying their products and keeping them in the green. So as a gamer I ask you, is this what you want? If you say this I’m merely say that you deserve better and for $499.99 you definitely deserve better.

That said, will I get a Xbox One? You want my honest answer? Yes I will likely get one, regardless if Microsoft changes their DRM stance or not. Why you ask? Simple, Microsoft is still the home of many of the games I enjoy; Halo, Killer Instinct (This has my full attention now), Project Gotham Racing,  Forza 5 (OMG it’s so beautiful) that as a gamer I’d be dumb to pass on it. Currently my home owns three Xbox 360’s; one in the family / media room, front room and one in the master bedroom (Gotta have some late late night gaming) but as it stands looks like we’ll be a one Xbox home this time around.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.