The Xbox One Would've Hurt Soldiers And Sick Kids

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The Xbox One Would've Hurt Soldiers And Sick Kids

The Xbox One's now-removed online requirement would have been too steep a cost for some.

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Beautiful article, and what you listed completely says what were some major problems with the Xbox One. They've reversed some policies, but Microsoft has a long way to go before they can even try to rebuild consumer trust. This entire ad campaign for the Xbox One is comparable to that of New Coke.

The XBox One as originally envisioned excluded a lot of people- so many, in fact, that one wonders to what extent those who devised the plan had factored it into their plans at all. CD Projekt discovering it wouldn't include Poland stands out in my mind. It was like they had this image of the wonderful space they would create, how Microsoft would lead consumers into the future... and failed to notice that the only people they would be leading were a narrow range of people with lots of discretionary income in a double-handful of countries.

I'm sure that there will be people who will insist that Microsoft would, of course, have come up with a work-around for on-duty service members, if not necessarily hospitalized children. And I wonder if such news might, in time, have come to light- caged in another of Microsoft's increasingly infamous "we'll fill you in on the details later" statements. Others will say the aggrieved should simply have bought a Wii-U, a PS4, or an older system, ignoring how Microsoft's insistence on the "simplicity" of their new system was marketing to a user base that might easily have found itself betrayed by the reality.

In any case, I'm glad they did change their stance; I'm hoping it isn't one more case in which the "devil in the details" only comes to light later.

Really nice article. Like that piece on where the raw materials for consoles come from, it's nice to read something completely unexpected and different from what I normally hear.

Sailors aboard an aircraft carrier or teens in the hospital may not be able to play Titanfall, for instance, since it offloads to remote servers. One hopes that Microsoft plans to label these cloud-based games clearly in order to avoid confusion, as they do with games that require Kinect.

Are there plans for making mandatory Kinect games? Most developers in the last cycle viewed it as optional, and I'd be surprised if they didn't make games with a "turn Kinect off" feature for those games who don't want to or are incapable of using the Kinect.

As well, could cloud computing be turned off? I'm barely computer literate, but could one disconnect from the internet and have a game be playable at a lower level (using the example in the article, having less enemies participating), similar to sliders on PC games for graphics?

Robert Rath:
The Xbox One Would've Hurt Soldiers And Sick Kids

The Xbox One's now-removed online requirement would have been too steep a cost for some.

Read Full Article

After all, the same game company that trades off the military's reputation in so many of its blockbuster franchises just announced a console that's incompatible with military life. This bitter irony was especially apparent at the Xbox One's launch event, where Microsoft unveiled Call of Duty: Ghosts - a game that couldn't be played by the very people it celebrates.

This part of the article struck me the most. I'm ex-military and have been to Iraq for a year. I know how much playing video games can mean to people out there, whether it's just a relaxation thing or simply something to burn the time and enjoy some competition. Microsoft really destroyed their consumer base by doing what they did.

But doing that to children in hospitals? This brings to me an anger that's usually reserved for someone who needs to be taken out to a forest and disemboweled with a wooden cooking spoon.

You know something? I think M$ should have a Kinect in all of the hospitals, so they can see the potential alienation they caused as those kids played on something that wasn't an XBone.

"While Xbox One may work perfectly under controlled circumstances, Microsoft's attempt to "own the living room" may marginalize consumers who rely on consoles specifically because of their versatile and mobile nature."

This. This. This. This. THIS. A thousand times.

I broke the news to my boyfriend (we've been following the news closely with our roommate), and there was a strange moment where we both were thinking the same thing quietly - does this change our decision to jump the Xbox ship? We're already looking at where to pre-order the PS4. The three of us are kind of voting together for the next three consoles in this house.

But then I asked him, what about our roommate? His room is really, really cramped (he chose it, and prefers it), with hardly any room to stand and move. Do Kinetics even function in such environments, or would he end up with a $500 paperweight? Then we got to thinking about the Kinect - a seemingly-far-too-intrusive device for me to feel comfortable with, even *if* it functioned they way it's supposed to.

So many unknowns.

Article:
For example, Polygon reports that cloud computing could allow 10,000-100,000 computer-controlled enemies in a single battle by offloading offscreen enemies to remote servers.

It could...if you have a very good internet connection to transmit and receive all that data.

But the thing to remember about ALL of the Azure Cloud buzz: it was a benefit that was pitched to everyone but only really applied to a select few.

As for the other limitations of the Xbone; yeah, it's a service-centric device. It's more about restricting what the user can do than anything. Its ancillary features were upsold as primary features, but you don't need a fucking Xbone to access facebook or watch movies; most of the Xbone's target market already have devices for that. (if you can afford a $500 console, you can probably afford a blu ray player or cheap PC. Or even a netbook)

Article:
consoles offer a very different playing experience than PC. Consoles are "lounge games," if you will. You can play them while sitting in a variety of places and positions. There's nothing to prevent me from playing Halo while lying down on the couch, for instance, which would be difficult to do even on a laptop. Consoles follow a fairly simple setup.

This is so true. Consoles should be all about plug in and play. They're for people who don't have the time/money/knowledge/will to build and maintain a gaming PC. Power is traded for simplicity and that's fine by me

The biggest publicity problem for the Xbone has been that the only things we've heard about are the terrible, anti-consumer policies. Microsoft has thus far utterly failed to convince us that any of these policies or features are actually useful or interesting. We're just asked to trust them that these features, which are at present merely onerous burdens for the consumer, will factor into interesting games. With the recent announcement, I now have a tiny sliver of optimism for the console, but I have yet to actually find anything to validate that.

It's the same reason I'm entirely unimpressed by the mandatory Kinect. I'm given to understand that the biggest problem with the Kinect was that the USB ports on the 360 simply weren't capable of transmitting enough data fast enough to actually register precise movements. That's why there were so many interesting applications of the Kinect that weren't games. If they designed the Xbone from the ground up for Kinect, they might have fixed that problem, but I have yet to see real evidence to that effect.

CrazyCapnMorgan:

Robert Rath:
The Xbox One Would've Hurt Soldiers And Sick Kids

The Xbox One's now-removed online requirement would have been too steep a cost for some.

Read Full Article

After all, the same game company that trades off the military's reputation in so many of its blockbuster franchises just announced a console that's incompatible with military life. This bitter irony was especially apparent at the Xbox One's launch event, where Microsoft unveiled Call of Duty: Ghosts - a game that couldn't be played by the very people it celebrates.

This part of the article struck me the most. I'm ex-military and have been to Iraq for a year. I know how much playing video games can mean to people out there, whether it's just a relaxation thing or simply something to burn the time and enjoy some competition. Microsoft really destroyed their consumer base by doing what they did.

But doing that to children in hospitals? This brings to me an anger that's usually reserved for someone who needs to be taken out to a forest and disemboweled with a wooden cooking spoon.

You know something? I think M$ should have a Kinect in all of the hospitals, so they can see the potential alienation they caused as those kids played on something that wasn't an XBone.

Yeah, think that's why they made sure the Xbone wouldn't work without the internet? So we couldn't make them look at the sick kids they don't care about?

Also, were you(like me) almost expecting MS to say something like; "Well, we think solders have better things to do than play our games anyway" when the news about the "sin against Navy service members" thing came up?

I can't believe they were really thinking they could do this.

Anyway, as Rath(and others) said, even with some of the other bad stuff gone, I don't think MS is going to keep them gone, and even if they do with all of those new games needing "the cloud" it sounds like people will still "require" a GOOD internet connection to play the games.

I still think they hurt themselves too much this time around. Even with this X-box one 80.

When Gabe Newell graces us with the Steam Box, whatever advantages consoles currently have over PCs will be no more!

The cloud is not what they want you to think it is, It is not the solution for creating bigger worlds, or better AI or any of that stuff. Can you imagine having to wait online lag times for enemies to respond? it's bad enough on small maps with 20 people on it.

These companies keep trying this shit, it always burns them because reality does not match up with the vision of what ever twatshine is selling them on the idea.

Reeve:
When Gabe Newell graces us with the Steam Box, whatever advantages consoles currently have over PCs will be no more!

The Steambox isn't one thing... it is a franchise released to many companies to develop and release. Different boxes will have different specs and will be able to run different games. It is really no different than buying a ready made gaming PC, except it will only play games... Will still get one though! :P

OT: I am glad of this. I pointed it out in a thread a while back that I was jumping ship because I couldn't deploy with the XBone. Although, even though they have reversed the decision I will still get a PS4... In the military we promote proactive natures not reactive...!

Pink Apocalypse:
"While Xbox One may work perfectly under controlled circumstances, Microsoft's attempt to "own the living room" may marginalize consumers who rely on consoles specifically because of their versatile and mobile nature."

This. This. This. This. THIS. A thousand times.

I broke the news to my boyfriend (we've been following the news closely with our roommate), and there was a strange moment where we both were thinking the same thing quietly - does this change our decision to jump the Xbox ship? We're already looking at where to pre-order the PS4. The three of us are kind of voting together for the next three consoles in this house.

But then I asked him, what about our roommate? His room is really, really cramped (he chose it, and prefers it), with hardly any room to stand and move. Do Kinetics even function in such environments, or would he end up with a $500 paperweight? Then we got to thinking about the Kinect - a seemingly-far-too-intrusive device for me to feel comfortable with, even *if* it functioned they way it's supposed to.

So many unknowns.

Personally, I think that if you're having hangups about how well a system will work with your lifestyle, then you should probably refrain from pre-ordering. Reviews will be out not long after it is released and you can read customer reviews.

Microsofts' biggest failure, I think, was putting the restrictive aspects of the counsel front and center. This leads me to believe that the "Family Share" was MS's initial attempt to mullify the outcry against the restrictions, because to be honest its kind of a cool idea, and I cannot think of any reason why you wouldn't want that on your opening pitch if you're gonna have these restrictions.

I hope that MS (and Sony) remember the one positive idea that emerged from this debacle and implement Family Share for digital games.

Imp Emissary:
snippity

You and I both realize what they're after with the XBone: money. That's ALL they're after. They want to ensure "legitimate" sales in order to maximize their profit, for both their system AND their games. In ignoring what their consumer base wants and going for what they wanted, they spelled their demise this gaming cycle. Sometimes we don't just play games to have fun; we play to relax, take our minds off of what's going on in life, enjoy a good story and a bunch of other reasons I could post. As a former soldier, I can say, along with Mr. Watson:

Elementary - Dear Watson:
In the military we promote proactive natures not reactive...!

Though Sony isn't a clear winner just yet and they were also reactionary to the XBone announcement, they brought forth a better product in my mind. One that doesn't alienate its consumer base at the cost of the maximization of profit.

Zen moment (just realized): You ever notice how when you chase money, you never seem to get it? And when you don't chase it, you tend to find it? Wonder why that is...Could it be greed?

CrazyCapnMorgan:

Imp Emissary:
snippity

I don't think it's just greed. I think MS was freaking the F@#K out about the video games industry changing, and this was their way of adapting(you can still say they did a bad job at that though, yes).

Have ya seem MovieBob's newest Game Overthinker Overbites episode? It's his reaction to E3(he had to make some last minute changes, because so did Microsoft).

He came up with this neat theory that Microsoft basically made the X-box one as a system that could ride out an imploding games industry market. Basically, the Xbone was MS's end of the world bunker.

If it's true, it kind of makes some sense out of their crazy actions. But it's just a theory, so who knows what they were really thinking.

Isn't this article about a week late?

Seems a bit weird to be listing the downsides of a console that no longer exist, I know you put a little "congrats for reversing your console" at the end but I still feel like it was a little late.

Even if MS didn't buckle and kept there choices, doesn't mean those people you listed couldn't game on a console, PS4 could have easily filled the role.

Article:
For example, Polygon reports that cloud computing could allow 10,000-100,000 computer-controlled enemies in a single battle by offloading offscreen enemies to remote servers.

Did everyone already forget SimCity? I'm seriously asking.

1olee1:

Article:
consoles offer a very different playing experience than PC. Consoles are "lounge games," if you will. You can play them while sitting in a variety of places and positions. There's nothing to prevent me from playing Halo while lying down on the couch, for instance, which would be difficult to do even on a laptop. Consoles follow a fairly simple setup.

This is so true. Consoles should be all about plug in and play. They're for people who don't have the time/money/knowledge/will to build and maintain a gaming PC. Power is traded for simplicity and that's fine by me

That wasn't true with the last generation, and it won't be true with this next one... though it was true with the PS2/Gamecube generation, the Xbox changed the game for the worse.

There's a whole new skillset to learn with modern consoles. Dealing with their proprietary game installations, inputting your wifi password with a controller (or USB keyboard... not that most games support it) to get an update that it needs to play the latest game you bought, maintaining your account with their online service in order to keep playing those new games with their required system updates... face it, consoles have been little locked-down proprietary PCs ever since Microsoft reshaped the industry.

Also, I play games in my living room all the time, laying on the couch with a keyboard leaned up against me on my left side and a mouse on the coffee table (a skill I learned as a soldier overseas). The PC I have hooked up in there has three things plugged into it: an HDMI cable, a standard power cable, and a USB RF wireless adapter. Simplicity of setup and use is the same as my PS3 (and the PC itself is a $400 APU build in a mini-ITX case. Cost me less than my PS3 did new (yes, I still have one of the $600 backwards-compatible ones. I've only had to replace the heat sink compound, cooling fan and hard drive), takes up less shelf space and produces less heat).

Frostbite3789:

Article:
For example, Polygon reports that cloud computing could allow 10,000-100,000 computer-controlled enemies in a single battle by offloading offscreen enemies to remote servers.

Did everyone already forget SimCity? I'm seriously asking.

^also this^
Cloud gaming is something that works in a laboratory with a dedicated T1 connection... not in a living room with cable internet.

...although if you wired up your whole house with 1-gig ethernet and had 5 or 6 Xbones, you'd have the available power to run titanfall... if you could get the rest to act as your cloud.

If they're good enough at working together, maybe the next Condor Cluster will be made out of Xbones (after the price of 'em plummets)

...which goes back to my original point: modern consoles are PCs... Just with standardized hardware and proprietary, locked-down software (which, admittedly, is replaceable... if you don't plan on playing games with them).

The Xbone still won't be of any use to military people who buy a console while they are overseas. It still needs to connect when you first set it up and that makes it useless. The internet in Iraq was so crappy that the 360 wouldn't recognize any connection at all. I imagine that Afghanistan wouldn't be any different. So I'm still getting a PS4.

Pink Apocalypse:
"While Xbox One may work perfectly under controlled circumstances, Microsoft's attempt to "own the living room" may marginalize consumers who rely on consoles specifically because of their versatile and mobile nature."

This. This. This. This. THIS. A thousand times.

I broke the news to my boyfriend (we've been following the news closely with our roommate), and there was a strange moment where we both were thinking the same thing quietly - does this change our decision to jump the Xbox ship? We're already looking at where to pre-order the PS4. The three of us are kind of voting together for the next three consoles in this house.

But then I asked him, what about our roommate? His room is really, really cramped (he chose it, and prefers it), with hardly any room to stand and move. Do Kinetics even function in such environments, or would he end up with a $500 paperweight? Then we got to thinking about the Kinect - a seemingly-far-too-intrusive device for me to feel comfortable with, even *if* it functioned they way it's supposed to.

So many unknowns.

I agree, they haven't really clarified much on the existing information still. Kinect is still my main gripe with the Xbone really. I don't have the open space in my room for Kinect and frankly I don't won't one Orwellian or not.

The console itself seemed okay, apart from the definition of ownership and checking in although where I live in the UK we still don't have decent speeds -if it came down to cloud processing the games would somehow be worse for me, I think they should have invested more in the hardware itself in that respect. The lack of region free wasn't something I had thought about until I read this article but for something pertaining to be inclusive to people that buy the xbone 180 it seems stupid to let geographical location limit availability of games.

"For example, Polygon reports that cloud computing could allow 10,000-100,000 computer-controlled enemies in a single battle by offloading offscreen enemies to remote servers."

Sure, that COULD happen, as remote servers are capable of that, and so much more...
Except that it would COST a ton of money to have loads of servers burning electricity and cooling dollars.
So, no, this is going to be a temporary gimmick to wow a critic before launch and maybe the first two months of play, than silently they will reduce the backroom servers or drop them.

All that leads me to think that the Xbone was largely designed in order to assuage the concerns of Microsoft's shareholders. Corporate wanted a foolproof system that would stamp out the used games market and the known Modchip scene, without giving much thought of what that would do to their consumer base. They were basically asking us to sign some rights over so they'd be free to reap as much profit as possible. We spoke out.

Will that hold, though? I wouldn't put a post-release rollback patch past them. They've already shown how much contempt they have for their consumer base.

IamLEAM1983:
All that leads me to think that the Xbone was largely designed in order to assuage the concerns of Microsoft's shareholders. Corporate wanted a foolproof system that would stamp out the used games market and the known Modchip scene, without giving much thought of what that would do to their consumer base. They were basically asking us to sign some rights over so they'd be free to reap as much profit as possible. We spoke out.

Will that hold, though? I wouldn't put a post-release rollback patch past them. They've already shown how much contempt they have for their consumer base.

I wouldn't say it is contempt, but more like.....

well, I do have a video for this:

Seriously, Microsoft came out to me as a company that just wanted out of the console business, thus they were sure to make a console customers hated.

Still though, going back on what they said they were going to do wont change my mind, the Ps4 will deffinately be my first console buy of the next generation.

Maybe in a few years afterwords, if Microsoft can convince me why I need a Kinect at all, since I'm not a casual gamer, then I might buy it, right after the WiiU of course.

And I hate the WiiU.

Kalezian:
DAT VIDEO.

You're right, of course, but I just have to say this - I think I'm going to start spouting "DOSH!" whenever I'm asked to lay down some cash for something.

Back to teh Microsofts, though - I figure they've tried to do too much too soon, and to implement changes that today's conception of proper trade and general market value just doesn't support. We've spent years convincing ourselves that we'd eventually beam down anything that isn't inescapably physical through the Internet because, hey, who doesn't like convenience; when the bigger problem is making sure that hypothetical system is democratic and widely accessible.

The Xbox One's pre-one-eighty status failed on both accounts. The DRM killed any chances it had of being democratically available and more or less limited it to privileged types who'd only buy their games mint, and North America (and much of the world's) spotty Internet killed accessibility.

Too much, too soon. Add to that a chronic case of bad PR and there ya go. Don Mattrick needs a refresher course in that respect, and I think Larry Hyrb could do with some of that too.

Robert Rath:
The Xbox One Would've Hurt Soldiers And Sick Kids

The Xbox One's now-removed online requirement would have been too steep a cost for some.

Read Full Article

Very good work. Best article on the Escapist in years in my opinion.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Are there plans for making mandatory Kinect games? Most developers in the last cycle viewed it as optional, and I'd be surprised if they didn't make games with a "turn Kinect off" feature for those games who don't want to or are incapable of using the Kinect.

Kinect is currently an expensive addition to an XBox 360 rather than an integral component, meaning that Kinect-based games are doomed to sell fewer units - but already there are major Kinect-optional games like Mass Effect 3 around.

A better comparison with new tech being integrated into the base hardware at launch is the inclusion of hard-drives and network adaptors in consoles of the current generation. You *could* get a HDD and network setup for a PS2, but it was expensive and therefore under-used. The current console generation is almost entirely *based* on hard-drives and network adaptors and the things they enable.

The only limitation for motion control in this console generation is the fact that the big two haven't yet worked out which system to go with, meaning that only console exclusives will really make full use of it. Personally I'm more excited by voice-control than motion-control (note that Mass Effect 3's use of Kinect is mainly for speaking commands directly to your squad) as it'll open up a wealth of avenues for faster, deeper, more strategic gameplay.

This whole article... You really hit the nail on the head. When I was still in the Navy and serving on a sub gaming was an extremely important part of winding down and keeping sane. Its a huge deal to a N.U.B. (non useful body otherwise known as a new guy) when you are allowed to play in the ship's Halo tournament. A lot of the guys I knew would build insane gaming rigs into their racks which can't be done with a Kinect and I was on one of the larger subs. The constant internet connection would have screwed troops everywhere not just those deployed or at sea, trying to get a strong fast internet connection when you live in barracks is an exercise in futility, its expensive and it won't be anywhere fast enough to game on most bases, and that's in the States themselves much less those in foreign duty stations. Additionally, aside from the work of some of the great groups mentioned in the article like Operation Supply Drop most MWR (Moral, Welfare, and Recreation) groups have budgets for buy games and consoles for unit and ship libraries. Its an important market that the industry forgets about. Never doubt it, the highest grossing Best Buy in the world is on the base shuttle route for Goose Creek Naval Base, SC and that is no coincidence.

"They forgot the Marine at Camp Leatherneck, putting in a round of Call of Duty: Ghosts before he hits the rack.

They forgot a hospitalized little girl, whose only bright moment in a day of blood draws and chemotherapy might be a few minutes with Fantasia: Music Evolved."

Am I the only one who thought that those games could easily be the other way around? ;)

Reeve:
When Gabe Newell graces us with the Steam Box, whatever advantages consoles currently have over PCs will be no more!

Yeah and then console players can REALLY not own their games whatsoever. What a great and momentous day that will be!

This headline is horrible and whoever wrote it should feel bad. :(

It's quite funny that Microsoft has thrown itself wholesale into the Battle For America's Living Room, because they're blatantly chasing the money-printing tendencies of the Wii without having the faintest clue how it did it. People poured scorn on the Wii for relying on motion controls and not bothering with DVD playback facilities - facilities perfect for being a single console in the living room, which had the space and presumably the DVD player already - at a time when flat-screen HD TVs were becoming affordable enough to send consoles flying out of the living room and into Junior's bedroom. My house has eleven people living in it at the moment (long story). There are four 360s in people's bedrooms and a single Wii in the lounge.

And now we have the XBox180, and given all the gags about the device allowing Americans to watch TV on their TV it's obvious that it's trying to get back to being the One Box in the living room; toss the Blu-Ray and the cable box, you've got the XBone and Netflix and all the NFL you could want! And if you don't play in the living room - if you play in a hospital or a barracks or a sub, or even in your bedroom - then the hell with you.

The Wii made scads upon scads of money because it got lucky with a couple of killer apps at day one, not because it owned the lounge. This is Microsoft reading it all wrong, again; they've misread the OS market, they misread Nintendo's money truck and they were completely sucker punched by Sony.

Fantastic article, Robert. It's sad that Microsoft was so intent on grubbing as much money as possible that they failed to consider those unable to enjoy their console. You'd think, with them wanting so much money, that they'd try to make it more available so that more people would buy it, and yet the way they were originally going, only a few would have managed to enjoy it (and by enjoy, I mean signed away your game ownership and whatnot).

Kalezian:

.

That was great. Felt like it was made by the same guy who made "EA in a Nutshell," but apparently not.

Hah! Did you do a ctrl-F for "will" to replace it with "would've", Robert? Or did the Escapist editors have to do it? :D

I don't blame you of course, you couldn't foresee this development, and kudos on not just hashing out a quick random article in less than a day like a procrastinating student.

But it doesn't make it any less funny to read such a borderline melodramatic appeal to the heartstrings "think of the little sick children! Think of the heroes dying for your freedom!" being abruptly bracketed by "...I mean, you already have, but if you hadn't"

People have lost track of what the Xbox and Microsoft are.

They have evolved far beyond just a company and a console.

Microsoft is all thats evil in this world and with its instrument of destruction, the Xbox One, It will take away your rights, it will hurt your kids, it will wound your troops and cover the world in darkness.

image

One Box to rule them all, One Box to find them,
One Box to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

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