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Jon Hartley avatar 5:43 PM on 05.24.2013
The stubborn, unlikable Xbox One
There are a lot of reasons not to like the Xbox One. It’s pretty ugly, representing the boxy design favored in 1980s electronics more than a modern, sleek look like what we’ve seen popularized in recent years. The name? Yeah, it’s pretty stupid. Those are things I can get past, though. It’s not like “Xbox” was a cool name to begin with, and you can argue that “Playstation” only sounds alright because we’re so used to hearing it. Anyway, that’s all superficial stuff.


Ladies and gentlemen...the Xbox One!



It’s not even the expected lack of backwards compatibility. I can deal with that. In fact, I don’t hate it so much for any specific feature (or lack of feature) that’s been shown so far. I think the reason why it’s hard to like the Xbox One is that it doesn’t want to be liked. The Xbox One knows it will succeed, whether you like it or not. The Xbox One knows what you want more than you do.

The Xbox One: the first console not to give a fuck.

Not the best slogan, right? It’s fitting, though.

How else can you describe some of the crap that’s being included as part of the new Xbox? Stuff that you or I never asked for, like mandatory installation of discs, a required Internet connection, the ability to have a bunch of windows on-screen with a bunch of crap going on at one time, and being able to control your Xbox with your voice?

Sure, you can counter that with, “Well, somebody out there is going to be really excited about all of that.” Yes, and somebody would have been really excited if Xbox One could make grilled cheese sandwiches, too. That doesn’t mean it should have been included. This brave new world of game consoles that are no longer game consoles is not a democracy, though, and popular vote doesn’t matter.

Instead, what we’re looking at is a console that is full of features that seemingly nobody asked for, but represent a future that Microsoft has already imagined and is doggedly sticking to, whether we like it or not. In this future, what we care about is:

--Not having to get up and put a disc in the tray (so hard!),

--Not having to switch TV inputs (the HUMANITY!),

--Being freed from the oppression of controllers and remotes.


Pictured: the enemy


So, in order to fulfill the demands that we never made in the first place, Microsoft went and made a console that creates a whole host of new problems in the process.

What we’re seeing is the future Microsoft imagined with the Xbox 360, which was responded to with lukewarm enthusiasm at best, is being force-fed to us with the Xbox One. Kinect, which resulted in a grand total of zero classic gameplay experiences that we will remember for the rest of our lives, is mandatory with the Xbox One. You can’t even turn off the speaker.

Microsoft championed digital downloads of games, and although Games on Demand never really took off like they probably expected, we’re being thrust down the all-digital path, nonetheless. You see that’s where this is going, right? If you don’t need a disc to play the game, why buy the disc? If the console requires the Internet anyway, what’s to stop publishers from only releasing games digitally?

Please tell me how that benefits me as a consumer, by the way. Now, I don’t own the product that I could have bought cheaper at a retail store by taking advantage of a sale than I instead bought at the ridiculous Games on Demand price. Umm…woo-hoo? Yes, just imagine a world where console games are digital-only! No more annoying retail sales where you can get games for 33-50% off within months of release. Instead, buy them from one source that has no competition and give up all of the perks and rights of physical ownership in the process! Sign me up!


"Why, when I was your age, we used to OWN stuff!" "Shut the fuck up, Grandpa."


Microsoft continues to tell us that we don’t want physical discs on our shelves, that we aren’t satisfied with having a cable box AND a game console, and that we want less controllers and more flailing around and/or yelling at our game systems. When we respond with, “Actually, we’re fine with those things…” they scream back, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, DUMMY!” and toss the Xbox One in our general direction.

But the problem- the problem is not THEM, dear reader. It’s US. The writers, gamers, and fans that make up this wonderful, dysfunctional family that we call the gaming community, we’re refusing to evolve, you see. Why are we so stubbornly clinging to these stupid controllers, after all? Why do we insist that our game consoles focus on games? Why won’t we just want the things that they want us to want, which would make this whole deal a lot easier?

This business of selling gaming systems would be so much easier if it wasn’t for having to deal with gamers, right?

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