Microsoft’s woes mixed with a cocky attitude could spell trouble in the future
NOTE: I started this post on Tuesday June 18, 2013 and it is being posted on Wednesday June 19, 2013. Later today it is rumored that Microsoft will announce that a couple of their Xbox One requirements will be lifted, so this piece was mostly written before this news came out, so I am going to post it as if Microsoft isn’t going to make any announcements
In terms of video games Microsoft appears to have recently hit a wall when it comes to good publicity, but bad publicity has been a staple for Microsoft for awhile now.
After Windows 8 bombed badly with it’s redesign Microsoft pretty much gave its customers the middle finger by not trying to take the feedback and running with it. Think about this, Microsoft claims to have heard the customers and added a start button to Windows 8.1 which is essentially a patch for the clusterbleep and it includes a start menu that takes you to the tiled mess that is the home screen. To me that comes off pretty much as a middle finger to the customer base giving us the start button but then going out and having it take us to the tiled mess that Microsoft calls a home screen.
Now lets move to how this translates to the Xbox, because there is a direct connection here and if you pay attention to both angles you get it, but if not let me lay it out. It all started with the Xbox One reveal on May 21st in California when they introduced the console and instead of focusing on gaming, they decided to show off its entertainment values as an all in one console, it could control your cable box, TV and console, which is nice and all, not what I want in a console but it’s a nice option. But at the reveal they failed to gain much momentum going into the E3 expo last week because A) A lack of games were shown and B) the restrictions the console presents to the gamers.
To explain the restrictions lets look at them one by one, in order to play offline you MUST sign in once a day, which if you’re always online on Xbox Live that is not a big deal, but if you live in the middle of nowhere, or somewhere in a country surrounding with limited internet access then signing onto Xbox Live will be a challenge. But don’t worry about that, if you want an offline console Microsoft’s executive Don Mattrick says you can buy an Xbox 360 for offline games. But what Mattrick doesn’t realize, or seem to comprehend is that a lot of people who were interested in the Xbox One are probably already Xbox 360 royalists as it was, so to make such a comment is stupid and quite frankly off the mark.
Another issue is that the Kinect is a requirement. Firstly for those who typically search for PC articles and came across this might be wondering what it is, the Xbox Kinect is a camera, like a web cam in a way that can connect to the Xbox Console and Kinect 1.0 was made for the Xbox 360 and it is not required to run the system. So to get back on point, the plan for the Xbox One is that Microsoft decided to make the Kinect 2.0 a requirement in order to even use the console. Which seems like nothing, but it has prompted privacy concerns for the users and so forth even though most gamers play online for the most part and as PC users know, being online is never anonymous to begin with but this seems to creep them out more than making death threats over Xbox Live, as weird as that sounds.
Those are two of the biggest issues facing North American consumers when it comes to the next generation of gaming consoles. Sony has stayed clear of controversy, from used game policies to not requiring a camera to operate it’s Playstation 4 console. Whereas Microsoft has not only created its problem for itself, but also seems to be ignoring it to boarderline firing back at its customers for being angry about the ridiculous restrictions imposed by the Xbox One.
But here is the true problem for Microsoft, if they keep this face of they’re right and the customer is wrong than they will fail, and they will fail hard.