The following is a copy+paste of a bit of a rant I went on on my other social media accounts, trying to find some good in the console. This isn't formatted or written particularly well, I was just kind of spitballing thoughts.
The basic conclusion was this: while it does have some good ideas, the execution is flawed beyond all belief. Read on for more, most of which you've probably read elsewhere.
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']I know I've been giving Microsoft a lot of shit lately, but I have to admit, I appreciate what they're trying to do. A predominately digital, always online console is definitely the direction the gaming industry is going in, so they're definitely pushing further towards the future than Nintendo and Sony are. One day all consoles are going to be similar in nature to the XBone. That's just how tech is progressing.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']The problem is they pushed way too far, too fast, and went about it in almost the completely wrong way. If they had done a slower phasing in (as you can see Sony and Nintendo doing), and then pushed to where the XBone is now in another gen or two, they would've been golden.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']Internet infrastructure isn't where it needs to be. One third of the population of the US either straight up can't buy an XBone because they have no broadband access, would have to take on extra monthly bill to get broadband access, or just don't want it. In another decade or two broadband coverage will be a lot more widespread, and with companies like Google pushing for faster and cheaper coverage, the number of people with it will only grow. And the 24 hours before the console locks you out of games was a dumb, dumb idea. That's way too short. They need to tweak that to at minimum 7 days. 14 would be better. 30 would be godly, but unlikely since it has to check to see if you've traded in any of your games. [/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']The subject of game ownership is still hotly contested. Most gamers are from a time where you buy a disc, you own the disc, you can do what you want with the disc. Sell it, trade it, whatever. It's yours. The idea of licenses isn't something we're used to. People point to PC gaming (and Steam in particular) as an example of how Microsoft's system would work. Thing is, sites like GMG allow trade-ins of digital titles. There are lawsuits going on right now over ownership rights of digital titles (and a couple have been found in favour of allowing people to resell their digital games). If I buy a game from Steam, while I am prevented from selling it on or trading it, the fact is, I do own it. I don't own a license. I own the game. If Valve were ever to shut Steam down, they would patch away the DRM, allowing my games to function forever (this has been stated by multiple PR reps, higher management, and even Gabe Newell himself). They have stated this from virtually day one. Microsoft has made no such claim, and considering that is NOT how they treat the rest of their software sales, it is unlikely that they would. Waiting until the matter of digital media ownership has been settled would've only been a benefit. It also would've been an easier pill to swallow if discs had been done away with completely. Keep the disc in place and that idea of being able to do what you want with the disc sticks in people's heads. [/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']Kinect requirement was also a big misstep. First of all, it jacked the price up. From what I can gather from the few released Kinect specs, it seems to be an improved version of the original Kinect technology, when it could do individual finger tracking and contained its own dedicated processor. It was nerfed before finally being released because they were too expensive to produce. Even nerfed the thing came out at $150, so you can imagine how much Kinect 2.0 is adding to the cost of the system. This allowed both Sony and Nintendo to drastically undercut them, which is only going to hurt in the long run. And requiring it to be plugged in for the console to even function? Bad, bad move. You're putting a piece of plastic on a wire that has to balance on top of a TV or entertainment centre, in houses with children. That Kinect breaks, your whole console is bricked until you buy a replacement. And since the original Kinect was $150 out of the gate, what do you think the new one will cost? Warranties don't tend to cover physical damage. [/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']Also, call it what it is. The XBone is inferior hardware to the PS4. I'm sure my MS employee friends will jump on here claiming that's not true, but tech specs don't lie, and every spec released points to the same conclusion: it does not have the raw horsepower the PS4 does. Releasing inferior hardware at a higher price point is a stupid, stupid move. You can get away with releasing a console that doesn't have as much under the hood (see: the Wii), but ONLY if you price accordingly. That's why the Wii, despite being a Gamecube with more RAM, was so successful. Well that and people seemed to fixate on the idea of waggle, a trend that's thankfully dying off because most developers can't seem to get the hang of fun motion controls.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']I could keep going, but what it boils down to is this. The Xbox One has a lot of cool features going for it, and it's setting trends that, in another generation or two, the other console manufacturers will be following. The ideas are sound, but the execution is terrible, and the timing couldn't suck more. And at this stage in the game, it's too late to make any super drastic tweaks to how the console works.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']It's going to do well, I have no doubt of that, but it's not going to be the runaway success the 360 was (even if it did come in last with the current console gen, eating away that much of Sony's market share is a feat to be commended). [/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']Good ideas, bad execution, the Xbox One in a nutshell.[/font]
[font=verdana, arial, geneva, 'sans serif']And for fuck's sake their entire PR team needs to be fired, and their management needs to be muzzled. I haven't seen worse damage control since Hurricane Katrina (too soon?)[/font]