Save the Xbox!

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Save the Xbox!

Here's some free ones, Microsoft. Here's how you fix your console.

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Good points, but I doubt many of them will happen.

1) I doubt will happen because at this point they have probably spent a lot of money on making cases and boxes for the thing and the name will be plastered all over other objects. Changing it now would probably cost a lot of time and money.

2) As you said, it's too late for this generation, and considering you said it will be a long one, I doubt by the time we are ready for an upgrade they will be thinking of preserving the ability to play games released this year.

3) I agree with all of it, except Minecraft is still indie, because they don't have a publisher. Being successful doesn't really change that, but I agree with the overall point being made. That supporting Minecraft isn't really "supporting indie's" as a thing, because at this point it doesn't actually need support.

4) Again, I imagine the thing is pretty much made at this point and I can't see them drastically changing it now. Changing the software to allow offline play is considerably different from physically redesigning a required piece of kit four months before release.

5) Unfortunately Microsoft never learnt this with the 360, and only recently have they decided to even do what the PS3 did with PS+, so really I don't think they will learn to do this properly for a good few years yet.

6) If they haven't learnt this one, then they deserve to go bankrupt.

7) Not going to happen. November is ideal for Christmas, and that's the kind of thing they are relying on to make them a lot of money. If the PS4 is released before Christmas, you can guarantee the XBone will as well. They cannot afford not to.

If the Xbone has a red ring problem, nothing is going to save them. They better have got their stuff together on that

Legion:
Good points, but I doubt many of them will happen.

1) I doubt will happen because at this point they have probably spent a lot of money on making cases and boxes for the thing and the name will be plastered all over other objects. Changing it now would probably cost a lot of time and money.

...
3) I agree with all of it, except Minecraft is still indie, because they don't have a publisher. Being successful doesn't really change that, but I agree with the overall point being made. That supporting Minecraft isn't really "supporting indie's" as a thing, because at this point it doesn't actually need support.

I'm with you on #1. There's no way the name or design can be massively altered at this point unless they delay the whole thing, which they really don't want to do.

Disagree on #3, though. Mojang is a billion-dollar company. Billion as in "more money than I can comprehend", billion with a B. When Minecraft started, they absolutely could be classified as an indie developer. However, at this point I'm uneasy calling them that because they don't need a publisher; There is less of a need for publishers on PC games, and I'm sure as far as Microsoft is concerned they count as the publisher for the 360 version. (Hell, if they continue their current activities, they could be the money behind a lot of 'indie' games in the future).

OT: A good piece, and just as enjoyable for the fact that Microsoft won't do any of these things (except maybe an indicator on the Kinect).

1.) No one who matters cares what the thing is called. The average consumer is going to see the words XBOX/Playstation, nothing more.

2.) Not really sure what it is about the new systems that takes compatibility off the table but I agree, this is a big mistake.

3.) What would you rather have? 10 games of Minecraft quality or 10,000 fruit ninja knockoffs? Users don't need a larger selection of crap, they need a smaller selection of gold. Proven developers with reliable/complete ports is the way to go. Some sort of non intrusive sampling ground would be good as well. But indie games should have to meet a certain standard before inclusion. Tech demos abound and that just ain't fun.

4.) See #1. The only people worried about this are tech bloggers. The average person releases more information to facebook on a daily basis than Kinect will ever get from being in their living room. A non issue for the average consumer.

5.) Agreed, they also need to start pricing digital items accordingly. Charging the same is foolish and THAT is something consumers will not like.

6.) Your PS2 is a much simpler device so I wouldn't put too much stock in that comparison, however, discount wholesale parts is never the answer. This generation of console better be rock solid indeed.

7.) Nah. The only people who would cry about this are tech bloggers and nerds. The average consumer is still buying 360s and PS3s to this day. A bad launch isn't going to kill MS or its minuscule games division.

The takeaway here IMO, people who are ingrained in technology, the ones who write about it, who have to have everything as it comes out. They don't represent the average consumer. MS knows this, Sony knows this, and neither company is going to plan their long term strategy on that small subset of consumers. Both consoles will sell. both will have their ups and downs, and both will be scrutinized to death by people like you and the people who read tech blogs and gaming sites.

I refuse to believe that anyone who workdd on GFWL is still employed in any way in software development. GFWL is a pox on gaming.

I think Kirk has something to say about this.

Bro, who the fuck cares if the internet hates the XB1? This doesn't mean the console is sure for failure, most of the ppl who buy consoles don't even know about forums like these. If you looked back at PS3 vs XB360 on western gaming sites, the PS3 was waaay more popular and won polls all the time, yet sold abysmally. The X1 is pre-ordering quite well on amazon, dominating all 4 of Sony's PS4 bundles. The XB versions of CoD and BF4 are selling FAR better than the PS4 versions, so we all know where that HUGE bulk of gamers is going.

For hardcore gamers in the west its not going to be as polarized as it was this generation, most will have XB1 but there will be a good chunk that get the PS4. And for the casuals, there will be no real competition, its just the XB1 for them.

2-A: At the very least don't tell you customers they are "backwards" for wanting to still play their old library of games AS WELL AS your shiny new games. Unless you're gonna be offering a ton of games every month (good ones that is) then I'm probly going to need something else to play while I wait for you to come up with something new.

5-A: Make digital games CHEAPER! If I can buy a physical copy for the same or lower price then I'll just buy a physical copy instead. Even at normal price I may get some free extras and the freedom/security that comes from having a physical copy in my hands.

6. Make the hardware rock-solid reliable.
If rumours are true this one is already on the rocks. Microsoft are (supposedly) having trouble hitting adequate manufacturing numbers at their intended spec for the APU that the whole system hinges on. Microsoft being who they are I can see them either down clocking it to oblivion or selling at original spec and hoping, not that they ever tried that one before.

The more expensive console having both slower and less reliable hardware would be a doozy, it's five years deferred but if it happens I want it to sink Xbox division. In fact, not sink them, but drag them to the bottom and bury them so deeply that when Sony and Nintendo (and possibly Apple, Valve, Google) come to designing new hardware they'll have a big fat reminder of what they absolutely shouldn't do.

fix-the-spade:
6. Make the hardware rock-solid reliable.
If rumours are true this one is already on the rocks. Microsoft are (supposedly) having trouble hitting adequate manufacturing numbers at their intended spec for the APU that the whole system hinges on. Microsoft being who they are I can see them either down clocking it to oblivion or selling at original spec and hoping, not that they ever tried that one before.

I've read rumours that claim the complete opposite. One said that Microsoft have been telling developers that the specs of final silicon are better than expected which should give performance of the GPU a 10-20% boost. The other said that Sony backed out of a load of component orders due to production issues with the PS4.

As with all rumours who's knows what's true.

i almost wonder if they have already written off the xbone and will give it a short generation and try to pull a sega by launching a new system really early.

of course being wholly and willfully ignorant of past failures of the industry it would seem like a brilliant idea to them

While most if not all of those changes are sensible, it's going to be difficult for Microsoft to adopt any such changes or respond to further market pressures. They already made their bid for power, and it bit them in the ass; HARD.
I've already seen apologists and gaming "pundits" (/sarcasm), saying that Microsoft's backtrack made them look weaker and worse than before. In one way, I do agree with them: M$ lost a LOT of trust by trying to force their dark DRM-laden future on the market at large.

(*interpolating the WiiU's present failboating into the future anyway; who knows, maybe Nintendo can stop the ship from sinking. Defend it if you must, but I'm not convinced it's worth a shit as it stands.)

BrotherRool:
If the Xbone has a red ring problem, nothing is going to save them. They better have got their stuff together on that

A greater than 50% critical hardware failure rate didn't break the 360 market; so pardon me if I don't have much faith that it will for the Xbone. (Or maybe I'm just an old gaming fool.)

It's kind of funny and sad that just a couple of years ago, I thought that the biggest problem people would be speculating for the 360's predecessor would be RRoD and most of it would be done in jokes.

Instead, the we got to watch a flaming trainwreck of anti-consumer bullshit; bullshit that only two years ago would reek of something SONY would do (why not? They had been on a big DRM binge since the PSP and weren't averse at all to downgrading the PS3 post-purchase).

So who knows? Maybe after all the trust M$ lost, a critical Xbone hardware pandemic would be the last straw and kill the system. Lord knows I'd be keeping them on a short leash now if I were in the market for an Xbone.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Disagree on #3, though. Mojang is a billion-dollar company. Billion as in "more money than I can comprehend", billion with a B. When Minecraft started, they absolutely could be classified as an indie developer. However, at this point I'm uneasy calling them that because they don't need a publisher...

The gaming world really need to sit down and hammer out some grounded definitions for "Indie".
Some people say it means "Self-Published" or "self-owned", others attribute it to "low budget", "non-mainstream" or even "niche".

And there are issues with each interpretation so long as the term retains loose definition.

(It would seem logical to rely on the more objectively described "self-published" descriptor though that forces one to ask some interesting questions. For example, isn't every Mario game indie because technically they're self-published and financed by Nintendo?)

rasmithuk:

I've read rumours that claim the complete opposite. One said that Microsoft have been telling developers that the specs of final silicon are better than expected which should give performance of the GPU a 10-20% boost. The other said that Sony backed out of a load of component orders due to production issues with the PS4.

As with all rumours who's knows what's true.

I've heard that the Xbone's APU is positively massive for a wafer of its size at its printing scale (29 nanometers, IIRC). That was about three months ago.

You're right though, it's all rumors. I'd love to get a look at the physical architecture of both systems, but both Sony and Microsoft will probably be keeping those close to their vests until near launch (with good reason).

Oh Shamus, I do love it when you get all ranty about Origin and Microsoft/GFWL (which to this day I automatically read as "Games For Windows FAIL")!

'm saying that you should not let the people who designed Games for Windows LIVE anywhere near the thing. Actually, you should probably fire those people.

I am not joking.

Indeed. Every time I realize I accidentally bought a game that requires Games For Windows Live, I want to scream.

overheating problems in this huge case would be quite an achievement

Good points. Though in relation to point #6, making the Xbox One rock-solid, I am afraid I have some bad news.

Basically, the red ring of death was caused by many things, one of which was cheap solder on the CPU socket and the GPU socket. Basically, the system would overheat and the solder would fail. Another major problem was the GPU bus, which would overheat and damage in much the same way.

Sony solved these problems with the PS3 slim, but MS failed to do so with their own reversion.

This next generation, Sony will have the CPU and GPU cast in the same die, while MS has the GPU on-board. Basically, Sony married the CPU and GPU very close together, thus reducing power consumption and heat generation. Whereas the on-board GPU in the Xbox One is much the same as the Xbox 360 slim, unfortunately. While MS could have invested in new solder, better cooling, and better bus connections, at this point it does not seem like they have learned from their past mistakes.

Legion:

3) I agree with all of it, except Minecraft is still indie, because they don't have a publisher. Being successful doesn't really change that, but I agree with the overall point being made. That supporting Minecraft isn't really "supporting indie's" as a thing, because at this point it doesn't actually need support.

By the same logic Blizzard-Activision is indie, as they self-publish. Overall I fully agree though - especially as I'm not entirely convinced you should call it Mojang supporting Microsoft, as XBLA sure needs minecraft a lot more than minecraft needs XBLA.

OT: I'm not sure Microsoft fully appreciates just how much they need to make a complete 180 on so many major features. Everything points to them mostly relying on just brute forcing their way to profitability.

All of this is interesting, as are the comments thus far, but the reality of the situation is MS is unable to admit a mistake. Yes, they backpedaled on the always on. But recall the real news. This is a tablet processors. It is slow, cheap and draws little power. A few years from now a (maybe even at launch) a Windows Surface Pro will be able to run almost any game designed for the Xboner. Absolutely will if they ignore the Kinect. As most users will ignore it so will many of the developers. None supported by MS of course. It's in the contract.

The camera is a hack and will be always on. MS is lying about it. How do I know that? Their lips were moving. I am waiting for the box to be released and our dysfunctional congress to get up in arms about it. Those will be hilarious hearings, btw.

The Game OS is a cut up version of W8. Which means it will be easily hacked. The processor is an AMD APU and it will allow W8 being hacked. It is the nature of those beasts. Which means someone will find a way to drop a hack into the data stream somewhere and it will harness a W8 zero day exploit. Resulting in video being uploaded just to embarrass Xboner customers or MS themselves.

The console is effectively dead with the Next Gen. If one cannot build a $500 PC today then it will be possible in less than two years. Then what? Run W8 and play games? Nope, just run Steam and kiss the list of bad decisions goodbye.

theApoc:
2.) Not really sure what it is about the new systems that takes compatibility off the table but I agree, this is a big mistake.

Pretty much un-emulatable architecture, especially for PS3-on-PS4 (I'm not explaining it again, look through my previous posts if you really want to know)

3.) What would you rather have? 10 games of Minecraft quality or 10,000 fruit ninja knockoffs? Users don't need a larger selection of crap, they need a smaller selection of gold. Proven developers with reliable/complete ports is the way to go. Some sort of non intrusive sampling ground would be good as well. But indie games should have to meet a certain standard before inclusion. Tech demos abound and that just ain't fun.

We're not saying 'let anything on the console' (although there are rumours that there's gonna be an 'app store' for the Xbone that integrates with the Win8 store...yay...-_-), but if something is of high enough quality to be on the console, let them release without 1) going through a big publisher (e.g. like what Klei did with Shank) or 2) Going through Microsoft Studios publish it and then be platform exclusive (e.g. what Klei sadly did with Mark of the Ninja)

If it dies, then it's because they made the wrong business choices and treated their customers badly. Like what should happen if you do those things.

Legion:
3) I agree with all of it, except Minecraft is still indie, because they don't have a publisher. Being successful doesn't really change that, but I agree with the overall point being made. That supporting Minecraft isn't really "supporting indie's" as a thing, because at this point it doesn't actually need support.

I recall seeing a Steam Indie Sale with half the titles branded with an EA logo. The term is just meaningless pop jargon now.

Long short of it is microsoft cannot screw up anymore if it wants to keep a good market share this genration. In this they choose there own destiny, let it be what it must be.

theuprising:
Bro, who the fuck cares if the internet hates the XB1? This doesn't mean the console is sure for failure, most of the ppl who buy consoles don't even know about forums like these. If you looked back at PS3 vs XB360 on western gaming sites, the PS3 was waaay more popular and won polls all the time, yet sold abysmally. The X1 is pre-ordering quite well on amazon, dominating all 4 of Sony's PS4 bundles. The XB versions of CoD and BF4 are selling FAR better than the PS4 versions, so we all know where that HUGE bulk of gamers is going.

For hardcore gamers in the west its not going to be as polarized as it was this generation, most will have XB1 but there will be a good chunk that get the PS4. And for the casuals, there will be no real competition, its just the XB1 for them.

Are you being serious? First, there are SEVERAL different PS4's on Amazon. Several in the Top 100. That includes the PS4 Launch edition, Standard Edition, Killzone Bundle, Knack Bundle, Watchdog Bundle, and Battlefield 4 Bundle. There are no bundles for Xbox One.

Let's look at the Top 20 at this moment. (Just for the consoles and bundles)

#4 Xbox One Day One Edition
#5 PS4 Standard Edition
#9 PS4 Watch Dogs Bundle
#18 PS4 Battlefield 4 Bundle

I don't even think the PS4 Launch Edition is available because they can't guarantee that they will get it to you on Day One, which is the difference between the Standard and Launch Edition. In other words, it's sold out. Do you really think the Xbox One at #4 is greatly outpacing those three with one a single spot below it? Plus, the other bundles. At the end of the day, you're claims are hollow. Even if we do assume that Amazon reflects the truth of the systems preorders.

Oh, and about the games. I know I saw the PS4 version of Destiny nearly 50 spots about the Xbox One version, and considering that there is a Battlefield 4 bundle, which is selling well, I think you are wrong on that, too.

I've asked at my local Gamestop and they are practically sold out of Xbox Ones. Because they are barely stocking the machine. Meanwhile, their PS4 preorders are flying off the shelves. Nearly 10 to 1, if they were accurate. And I live in a major city with access to good internet services, so that can't be the problem.

Now, I'm not saying that PS4 will sell 10 to 1, but I think you're seriously biased if you think that Xbox One is dominating. You're trying to convince yourself that this is the truth. But we won't know for sure until we get some actual sales figures, but the fact that Microsoft pulled a 180 on their DRM policies, seems to imply that they knew they were losing business. Don't try to pretend otherwise.

We'll know for sure in November. Until then, we have nothing, but speculation.

And this article has many good points. From some of what I heard, the new system might have it's own RROD, which would hurt them. And the name is tainted. Even if we ignore the controversy (which did bleed over to the mainstream a bit), the name is not doing them any favors. One theory for the poor Wii U sales is that the name is too similar to the Wii. Consumers don't know it's a new system. A coworker of mine actually thought it was a controller. He didn't even know it was a console. The same problem applies to Xbox One. People say Xbox One and think of the first one. You know people were saying "Xbox One", even in the past few years when referring to their original Xbox console. So, yes, this WILL affect your standard non internet going person.

By the way, they have to download a patch to fix the online requirement. So, if they don't have the internet, how does that help them or your case? And if, a person knows nothing about either console, which will they buy? The $400 one or the $500 one?

theuprising:
Bro, who the fuck cares if the internet hates the XB1?

Ya, because such a small minority of gamers go on the internet.

theuprising:
This doesn't mean the console is sure for failure, most of the ppl who buy consoles don't even know about forums like these.

You think the Xbox One's PR issues are limited to just these forums? The outcry against the Xbone was so large and so universal that it caused Microsoft to change the product. Something virtually unheard of until now. If you think the outcry against the Xbone was small even Microsoft disagrees with you.

theuprising:
If you looked back at PS3 vs XB360 on western gaming sites, the PS3 was waaay more popular and won polls all the time, yet sold abysmally. The X1 is pre-ordering quite well on amazon, dominating all 4 of Sony's PS4 bundles.

Wow, do you not know how to brain? Each of those PS4 bundles only represents a fraction of the total PS4 pre-order, so outselling.... screw it I won't bother, I'm pretty sure you know why what you said is stupid and if you aren't you're beyond hope.

theuprising:
Bro, who the fuck cares if the internet hates the XB1? This doesn't mean the console is sure for failure, most of the ppl who buy consoles don't even know about forums like these.

You're right. But marketers have long known that with anything technical those who don't know anything often ask their 'tech' friend for their opinion before buying. I get it amongst my circle of friends all the time. Any time any one wants to buy any technology (that has more than one choice) they ask for my opinion on it first. What sort of printer should I get? What browser should I use? Which is better iOS or Android? And what will I say when they ask about the next generation of gaming consoles? (as two of them already have...).

Legion:

1) I doubt will happen because at this point they have probably spent a lot of money on making cases and boxes for the thing and the name will be plastered all over other objects. Changing it now would probably cost a lot of time and money.

Also, their marketing department sucks at creativity. Also, we'll still call it the Xbone. It's literally too late for that. This ship has sailed.

While I appreciate where Shamus is coming from, most of these are impractical at this point (as you pointed out on a couple of them).

They do seem to have turned the corner on the indies, at least. They've gone from treating them like utter crap (except Minecraft, Praise Minecraft!) to just being an all-around crummy distro platform. There may still be hope there.

And their hardware...The box is 92.560289463% ventilation.

theuprising:
Bro, who the fuck cares if the internet hates the XB1?

Apparently, Microsoft. And Sony. Both kinda important companies when you're thinking consoles.

theuprising:
Bro, who the fuck cares if the internet hates the XB1? This doesn't mean the console is sure for failure, most of the ppl who buy consoles don't even know about forums like these. If you looked back at PS3 vs XB360 on western gaming sites, the PS3 was waaay more popular and won polls all the time, yet sold abysmally. The X1 is pre-ordering quite well on amazon, dominating all 4 of Sony's PS4 bundles. The XB versions of CoD and BF4 are selling FAR better than the PS4 versions, so we all know where that HUGE bulk of gamers is going.

For hardcore gamers in the west its not going to be as polarized as it was this generation, most will have XB1 but there will be a good chunk that get the PS4. And for the casuals, there will be no real competition, its just the XB1 for them.

Erm what? The Xbox 1 'dominating' the PS4 on Amazon? That isn't entirely accurate, as of this moment in the video game bestsellers list in the UK for 2013 the PS4 sits in 3rd place while the Xbox one is down in 47th, in the US the PS4 is 3rd and the Xbox one is 6th (Updated daily). Those are just two examples alone of the PS4 dominating the Xbox one in pre-orders, I personally don't see the Xbox one doing very well this generation, it wont fail but it sure as hell isn't going to enjoy the kind of popularity the 360 had, not for a long time.

Has anyone said release a games console not a multimedia pile of shit with advertising in mind and TV?

And I was wrong about my amazon views b/c at the time of posting the PS4 bundles were collectively doing better than the X1, and lol @ the ppl attacking me b/c they thought I didn't know there were multiple bundles, the X1 was doing as well as I said on amazon prior to the PS4 being sold out at gamestop.

And I still hold to my original views, hardcore gamers make up a FRACTION of ppl who buy gaming consoles. I'm sure all of us hated the Wii, see how well that thing did?

wulfgar_red:
overheating problems in this huge case would be quite an achievement

Was that a pun? Because it's a goodie! I can see now on the screen: 10G: Crash & Burn!

JustanotherGamer:
Has anyone said release a games console not a multimedia pile of shit with advertising in mind and TV?

Yeah, they call it the Wii U.

Heh, guess it's too late for MS to replace the GPU portion with an actual good one. The one they have is really weak.

OP:
I agree completely! I have a stack of Xbox 360's that don't work, one with such a crappy network card that it will not work with internal or Microsoft's 360 external adapter. The poor hardware built into these things is far worse than even building a dirt cheap $300 gaming rig. I don't think Microsoft truly understands who all they are alienating with this Xbone disaster. Sure people will buy them, then they will be pissed and let everyone they know hear about it. They are alienating their biggest market which includes high school and college students, company break rooms, military, families, and techs all in one blow.

I would like to add though that a cap on the lens is not enough, employers already have policies in place that apply to phones in regards to cameras, and only allow company/government issued phones, and since you cannot remove the Kinect it will be restricted from the break rooms and will not be able to replace the existing Xbox 360's in those break rooms. I thought originally it would only be break rooms in tech departments that would be affected, but after I heard from the UPS guy that they are already saying as long as the Kinect is connected it is in violation of their policy as well.

The other thing they seemed to miss here, is that people that buy new consoles already own smart TVs and do not need the TV features in the xbox at all. People do not buy consoles for TV features, they buy them to play games, and when they tacked on a $100 more price tag to an inferior product with cheaper video in it than playstation what exactly are they bringing to the table here?

We bought another xbox 360 last December to replace the graveyard of dead Xbox's we have sitting here and renewed our xbox memberships for now, but have no plans to purchase the xbox one due to their choice of direction with this product.

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