Xbox One Exec Acknowledges Failure to Communicate

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Xbox One Exec Acknowledges Failure to Communicate

Xbox One

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Marc Whitten says the petition calling for the return of Xbox One DRM tells him "we need to do more work to talk about what we're doing."

Remember how angry gamers were about the Xbox One in the wake of Microsoft's E3 press event? Angry enough to force Microsoft to change direction on some very fundamental aspects of the console's design. It was a victory for consumers - a victory for freedom! - and then a funny thing happened: People (presumably other people) got angry that Microsoft capitulated and gave up on its a vision of a better future for all of us, and launched a surprisingly popular petition to bring it all back.

It's undoubtedly a frustrating situation, but Whitten took a measured approach in an interview with IGN, saying that Microsoft has to "talk more [and] get people understanding what our system is."

"I see people feeling like we've moved away from digital, when certainly I don't believe that's the case. I believe we've added on choice for people. It was an addition of a feature onto Xbox One, not a removal of a feature," he said. "And I understand people see things like Family Sharing and they're like, 'Wow, I was really looking forward to that,' which is more of an engineering reality time frame type-thing."

Whitten said the petition calling for the return of the Xbox One as it was originally envisioned reflects a problem with the perception of what Microsoft is doing more than anything else. "When I read some of the things like that petition, from my perspective we took a lot of the feedback and, while Xbox One is built to be digital native, to have this amazing online experience, we realized people wanted some choice. They wanted what I like to call a bridge, sort of how they think about the world today using more digital stuff," he explained. "What we did, we added to what the console can do by providing physical and offline modes in the console. It isn't about moving away from what that digital vision is for the platform. It's about adding that choice."

"Frankly, I think we need to just do more to let people see how the console works, what they're going to be able to do for it," he said. "I think a lot of the things they're wishing for are frankly there."

Source: IGN

Permalink

What I read here is a whole lot of nothing.

He didn't tell us anything. All he did say basically boils down to: "We didn't change that much to the Xbone as we announced it and we'll tell you more about it at some time when it suits us best."

And it's digital native.
Which would mean the DRM is still there and not going anywhere at all.

You think?

At the pre-E3 press conference, you could ask five different Microsoft reps the same question and get five different answers. Even after they clarified some of the stuff at E3, there were a LOT of questions that they just, for whatever reason, felt were not worth answering.

The Xbox One had some neat potential but you needed to convince us that the negatives (DRM, Kinect, etc.) were outweighed by the positives (Cloud gaming....and...uh.....I'm sure there's more). You failed. You not only failed, you failed in the most spectacular way you could.

You were the heavy favorites in this next-gen boxing match and not only did you not even get into the ring, you fell over and knocked yourself out on the ring post when you were show-boating coming in...also, your pants fell down before a bird flew into the arena and pooped on your head.

Andy Chalk:
People (presumably other people) got angry that Microsoft capitulated and gave up on its a vision of a better future for all of us, and launched a surprisingly popular petition to bring it all back.

By surprisingly popular, you mean in the same sense that a Call of Duty game is "surprisingly popular", right?

As in, no one is surprised that there are a lot of stupid people who want this stupid idea to come back?

There will always be stupid people who want stupid things. They should not be catered to.

"When I read some of the things like that petition, from my perspective we took a lot of the feedback and, while Xbox One is built to be digital native, to have this amazing online experience, we realized people wanted some choice. They wanted what I like to call a bridge, sort of how they think about the world today using more digital stuff," he explained. "What we did, we added to what the console can do by providing physical and offline modes in the console. It isn't about moving away from what that digital vision is for the platform. It's about adding that choice."

Wow, that might be the first reasonable statement an MS exec has made since this console came out.

They didn't "remove" any of the features that the console offered. They "removed" its pointlessly restrictive DRM policy that prevented the resale of used games and required an internet connection to make the console work. NOTHING in the update suggests that the programs people want to see returned, like Family Sharing, were even dropped in the first place. We only learned of that AFTER Marc Whitten came out and said it, presumably with a large pout face as he took his ball and went home.

And what's more, they're already considering reversing that decision and bringing back Family Sharing anyways, WITHOUT the return of the restrictive DRM. So why is this petition still a thing at all?

This is absolutely gorgeous, we made them squirm under the knife the one way and now we've turned them completely around and we're still making them wriggle. There is nothing more beautiful than hearing an exec have to 'sincerely' defend something they just u-turned on.

You could feel sorry for Microsoft, afterall they're got bad press for choosing the first path. and now they're still getting bad press after going back and choosing the other route. But for some reason that small file in My Heart labelled CompassionForMicrosoft seems to be corrupted and I didn't make a backup.

It would be a lot more awesome if he acknowledged the failure to communicate ala Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke.

Ok enough references from movies almost a half century old.

"Man, we fucked up introducing our system. We didn't explain all the good that can come from it. Let's acknowledge those fuck-ups, but let's not actually fix them. We won't add anymore clarification. It's probably because none of us know what the fuck is going on. Uh, just buy it!"

Sony's got it right by making one person in charge of it all. Cerny has a vision which he can bullshit and make out that there's a confident plan behind it.

Microsoft's mess of executives are confident that they know nothing. They've got at least 10 different people saying 20 different things because no one actually understands this corporate glob of a product. I have no idea why they all still have jobs.

Ahh so now they learn the value of actually talking to their consumers (Although they didn't really because he didn't explain too much in that interview) bit too late now though. Next gen is just a massive rip off I'll wait till one console actually offers me something worth my money or, more likely, becomes stupidly cheep.

Still not convinced that this "petition" isn't done by hardcore Sony fans to completely destroy Microsoft.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Still not convinced that this "petition" isn't done by hardcore Sony fans to completely destroy Microsoft.

I'm not going to lie, as a hardcore Sony fanboy I was really tempted to sign it just for the giggles of seeing Microsoft go through all that crud again

EDIT: Although I think we can agree, if Microsoft caved in to this petition, they'd clearly be too stupid to live

Call me crazy but I'm glad Microsoft won't be the ones to usher in an all-digital future where they control everything.

The funny thing is that most people who sign the petition admit they only do it to troll XBOX fanboys.

Maybe someone should have read the comments. :D

I would have thought that not talking would be Microsoft's best plan of attack. For the past few months now they have failed to make people understand what the hell they are trying to accomplish with the Xbone, even they don't know what the hell it is. Maybe it just jumped out of the Dungeon Dimensions one day and a MS exec figured they'd try and sell it, whatever it is, as a games console.

Right now they just need to lock up all of their employees until the Xbone launches, deny them any means of communication with the outside world and hope it doesn't fail as hard as it already has done. Consider it damage control.

Most of the people who signed that petition were either trolls or retards. Largely the former.

You know, the way Microsoft is acting right now, I think that's how they wanted the consumers to feel. Powerless and not in control of their own property. It's good to know that when our freedoms are threatened, we have the power to defend ourselves.

Someone, please, just make a movie where the Xbox One gets sold with it's online policies intact and then a super-large-ginormous hurricane storm with EMP lightning cripples the digital infrastructure of the United States, rendering it without internet for the next six months.

I even have a good title for it: "Always Off"

Wasn't the petition started in order to get the sharing of digital library games back since MSoft pulled support for that idea when they took away the DRM?

The loss of the DRM took away a lot of things, very good and awesome things that didn't get enough attention. Accessin digital libraries from anywhere on your account. Not needin discs in the drive to play non digital games. Really cool ideas that got axed because apparently MSoft felt that if they couldn't 100% guarantee someone wasn't a dirty pirate then no one got the cool toys.

-__- has anyone even looked at the petition?

It's people trying to get microsoft to add those things back to make their console fail. Seriously, go read what people are saying on/about the petition. They are almost all saying they just want to see microsoft screw up again by adding those terrible ideas back.

I have a free tip for Microsoft

Don't even say anything, at all, just don't.. it will come out wrong!

I have read this piece and.. eh.. no I am still not positive. And they still seem to think their DRM was a great idea. No it wasn't! It isn't and it will not be!

And another tip for Microsoft, buy Sony shares... you really are doing them a big favor right now.

Super Not Cosmo:
It would be a lot more awesome if he acknowledged the failure to communicate ala Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke.

Ok enough references from movies almost a half century old.

I was wondering if someone was going to post that. Thanks, man.

No, you guys communicated. You communicated all too well. You showed your true colors. And people rejected it.

shintakie10:
Wasn't the petition started in order to get the sharing of digital library games back since MSoft pulled support for that idea when they took away the DRM?

The loss of the DRM took away a lot of things, very good and awesome things that didn't get enough attention. Accessin digital libraries from anywhere on your account. Not needin discs in the drive to play non digital games. Really cool ideas that got axed because apparently MSoft felt that if they couldn't 100% guarantee someone wasn't a dirty pirate then no one got the cool toys.

Small thing about not needing a disk. You would need to download the full game to the system. That would take time. So you'd come home from the store and want to play your game? Too bad. Wait one hour. Maybe it'll be ready. Which completely undermines one of the tenants of console gaming. Pick up and play. And the system has a 500 Gigabit hard-drive, which can't be removed. How many full games will that hold?

cricket chirps:
-__- has anyone even looked at the petition?

It's people trying to get microsoft to add those things back to make their console fail. Seriously, go read what people are saying on/about the petition. They are almost all saying they just want to see microsoft screw up again by adding those terrible ideas back.

Not gonna lie, I was upset about the 180. Not because I liked the ideas, but because they are so bad that they need to be seen as salting the Earth. I wanted the Xbox One to launch with those features, crash and burn. To be so bad that all future console developers would realize that a console with those same features would be doomed to failure. So that no one else will try to implement online requirements and DRM.

Now, I fear, they will only think that we weren't "ready for the future" of gaming. And maybe next time, no one will care. And considering what we've seen, I'm not hopeful.

Ah, gotta love corporate speak. When the speaker knows he's talking crap, the reporter knows he's hearing crap, the editor knows is publishing crap and we all know what we're reading.

Nothing to see here, move on.

cricket chirps:
-__- has anyone even looked at the petition?

It's people trying to get microsoft to add those things back to make their console fail. Seriously, go read what people are saying on/about the petition. They are almost all saying they just want to see microsoft screw up again by adding those terrible ideas back.

The thing is, not every gamer bothers to keep on the up-and-up about his or her rights. A lot of supposedly hardcore types are frighteningly casual, when you dig into their awareness of the corporate sides of the culture. You find a complete lack of it in most cases; as though MS, Sony et al. were nothing but merchants of hopes and peddlers of dreams and guilt-free fun times. The people who actually support the petition aren't the same who've bothered to try and figure out just what the Hell DRM means - these are the people who are angry that a few very superficial convenient aspects got taken away.

Dig around, and you'll find the usual cries of "BUT MY GAME SHARING! I WANT MY GAME SHARING BACK BECAUSE IT WAS NEW!", in complete ignorance of the 30-day policy between friends or of the fact that this effectively enforced and supported the Xbone as an always-online device. There's also the usual droves of fairly entitled idiots who have trouble understanding that not everyone has access to a top-tier broadband connection, simply because they and their close circle of friends and relatives all do own an ADSL or cable connection.

What *we* know is that sometimes, it's better to be a bit on the retrograde side of things. There's one heck of a difference between fearing change and fearing that your rights as a consumer are going to be trampled in the name of some vapid and frilly features - as well as the corporate wallets out there.

Saltyk:
Not gonna lie, I was upset about the 180. Not because I liked the ideas, but because they are so bad that they need to be seen as salting the Earth. I wanted the Xbox One to launch with those features, crash and burn. To be so bad that all future console developers would realize that a console with those same features would be doomed to failure. So that no one else will try to implement online requirements and DRM.

Now, I fear, they will only think that we weren't "ready for the future" of gaming. And maybe next time, no one will care. And considering what we've seen, I'm not hopeful.

I can share the sentiment, but I doubt it would've turned out like this. A big share of gamers don't even come to sites like this one and, like I said, a lot don't bother to stay abreast of the development process or legal aspects of a game's early lifespan. All they care about is more of their favourite franchise. They'll gladly let their rights be trampled, they'd come in big enough numbers to vindicate Microsoft in its choices - and they wouldn't voice the slightest complaint.

Why? They just don't give a shit. All they want is more Halo, more CoD, more whatever. They would've had it, even with the Xbone's pre-reversal incarnation.

Considering, I'm glad the policy reversal happened. It's more or less the lesser of two evils, and it might educate those careless gamers out there on the necessity to keep an eye out for crotchety practices.

As an aside, I know a guy who very honestly loves The War Z. He's not a hacker or a troll or anything like that - the game just fit his standards and his wallet. It's a shame, but this is why I said we need to educate the rest of us.

Gaming isn't just a wee hobby anymore. I think it requires its own form of consumer advocacy.

Andy Chalk:
Remember how angry gamers were about the Xbox One in the wake of Microsoft's E3 press event? Angry enough to force Microsoft to change direction on some very fundamental aspects of the console's design. It was a victory for consumers - a victory for freedom! - and then a funny thing happened: People (presumably other people) got angry that Microsoft capitulated and gave up on its a vision of a better future for all of us, and launched a surprisingly popular petition to bring it all back.

I think digital is a good way to go, eventually. But, I can't help but think that the people behind this petition have absolutely no idea just how bad the Internet infrastructure is in most countries. Or that it wouldn't support the Xbone's old stripped out features.

Saltyk:
And the system has a 500 Gigabit hard-drive, which can't be removed. How many full games will that hold?

It would hold about two or three AAA games or maybe only one if it's really big, since a 500 Gigabit hard drive would only equate about 59 Gigabytes[1] of storage. Now a 500 Gigabyte hard drive would hold about ten games if we assume that next gen games will be about that size (as I've heard in rumors), and that would only be if you could use the entire 500gigs as storage space; which you can't.

[1] There are 8 bits in a byte, 1024 bytes in a Kilobyte, 1024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte, 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte, and 1024 Gigabytes in a Terabyte. A bit and a byte are not the same thing.

Xbox One Exec Acknowledges Failure to Communicate

They weren't even in the same goddamn room.

KeyMaster45:

Saltyk:
And the system has a 500 Gigabit hard-drive, which can't be removed. How many full games will that hold?

It would hold about two or three AAA games or maybe only one if it's really big, since a 500 Gigabit hard drive would only equate about 59 Gigabytes[1] of storage. Now a 500 Gigabyte hard drive would hold about ten games if we assume that next gen games will be about that size (as I've heard in rumors), and that would only be if you could use the entire 500gigs as storage space; which you can't.

Oops. Used the wrong term. Spell check doesn't catch that kind of thing (and it totally should).

Anyway, that's another point. Add in the OS, Kinect's programming, game saves, browser, Skype, TV related things, and whatever Apps you have on it, and how much of that 500 Gigabyte will be left? Even assuming it could hold ten games, how many people have more than ten games?

Sure, you could delete them off the hard-drive after the fact, but then, if you ever wanna play them again, you have to download them all over. You know what's great about all my old systems? I can plug them in, pop in a game, and play. Something that is lost in Xbox One.

[1] There are 8 bits in a byte, 1024 bytes in a Kilobyte, 1024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte, 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte, and 1024 Gigabytes in a Terabyte. A bit and a byte are not the same thing.

Yes, you were very bad at communicating, but the best you could have done is polish the turd better.

There was nothing good forconsumers about 24 hour forced checkin (and eventual total system death when servers are shut down) or adding no-use DRM to disk based games.

Microsoft, I think you need to talk less.

"engineering reality time frame type-thing" What the hell does that even mean?!

Everything you people say and do either pisses us of or confuses us. What you need to do is to observe Sony's statements from and since E3, they have been a whole lot more clear on matters that we actually care about.

I think it's worth pointing out that two of the most popular "signatures" on this "surprisingly popular" petition include such lines as:

I don't want to let my friends borrow games, because fuck them. All I care about is my god damn new age console that'll blow everything else out of the water! Fuck the PS4 and fuck those Sony guys for catering to fans who care about their gaming experience.

and

It's so important so that the Xbox one is shittier again

...

Are there people who were genuinely interested in some of Microsoft's digital features? Yes, absolutely.

Are they anything like a majority, or even a significant minority...? No, and probably not. And even of the ones who liked some of those features, there seems to be an awful lot of picking and choosing from the earlier policies. "Oh, it's great it's no longer region locked, but I want to be able to share games digitally!... I'm glad I'll be able to trade in physical games again, but I want always-on networking for cloud computing options!" And so on. If you're looking for people who whole-heartedly supported everything Microsoft was bringing to bear, you're going to be looking at a sub-group of a sub-group of a fringe.

Admittedly, I'm biased. I'm still not 100% sold on the "inevitability" of this all-digital marketplace- and I'm sure as hell not interested in the version Microsoft wants to own.

tippy2k2:
You think?

At the pre-E3 press conference, you could ask five different Microsoft reps the same question and get five different answers. Even after they clarified some of the stuff at E3, there were a LOT of questions that they just, for whatever reason, felt were not worth answering.

The Xbox One had some neat potential but you needed to convince us that the negatives (DRM, Kinect, etc.) were outweighed by the positives (Cloud gaming....and...uh.....I'm sure there's more). You failed. You not only failed, you failed in the most spectacular way you could.

You were the heavy favorites in this next-gen boxing match and not only did you not even get into the ring, you fell over and knocked yourself out on the ring post when you were show-boating coming in...also, your pants fell down before a bird flew into the arena and pooped on your head.

So they pulled a Ultimo Dragon?

Okay, that's unfair to Ultimo. All he did was trip on his cape.

This one cracked me up:

LETS C WHAT MS PROMISED 4 XBOX1:

1) DRM (???)

2) TV

3) SPORTS

4) CALL OF DUTY DOG

NOW W/ NO DRM = BAD TV, WEAK SPORTS. I THINK WE STILL GUD W/ COD DOG (MAYBE) BUT IF U LIKE TV N SPORTS SIGN THISSS

Obvious troll, but the COD dog bit had me in stitches.

Microsoft... want to communicate to me why you think it's acceptable to have your system be $100 more expensive because of a negative-value device that I'm not sure I can actual set up anywhere where I have my console?

Want to communicate why no two people in your PR structure have the same answer to some basic questions?
Want to communicate why you tried to kill my method for choosing what games I buy (rentals as demos)?

... except the petition wasn't a real one and was trolled to hell?

ObsidianJones:
I get humor, but people need to wise up about signing it for the lulz. If anything, recent events shows us that people don't get 'internet jokes'. Justin Carter, anyone? Be as funny and hilarious and irrevlant as you want. The Rest of the World doesn't get. your. humor.

You are on the fast track of erasing a victory, however marginal it is. You will get Microsoft employees (whoever is replacing Don) seeing these numbers as just proof they were right. I mean, they looked at the number of people who connected to Xbox live per day and figured that means everyone has a great internet connection and would never mind checking in once per day to play the games they supposedly bought.

Do not joke with morons. They lack the capacity to understand.

It's undoubtedly a frustrating situation, but Whitten took a measured approach in an interview with IGN, saying that Microsoft has to "talk more [and] get people understanding what our system is."

"I see people feeling like we've moved away from digital, when certainly I don't believe that's the case. I believe we've added on choice for people. It was an addition of a feature onto Xbox One, not a removal of a feature," he said. "And I understand people see things like Family Sharing and they're like, 'Wow, I was really looking forward to that,' which is more of an engineering reality time frame type-thing."

Whitten said the petition calling for the return of the Xbox One as it was originally envisioned reflects a problem with the perception of what Microsoft is doing more than anything else. "When I read some of the things like that petition, from my perspective we took a lot of the feedback and, while Xbox One is built to be digital native, to have this amazing online experience, we realized people wanted some choice. They wanted what I like to call a bridge, sort of how they think about the world today using more digital stuff," he explained. "What we did, we added to what the console can do by providing physical and offline modes in the console. It isn't about moving away from what that digital vision is for the platform. It's about adding that choice."

I said it. I freaking called it the second I read how so many people thought it would be for the lulz to troll and sign this thing. And you guys did it anyway, and now they are rethinking things.

Great. Keep doing what you're all doing. It was so funny in the moment and you gave stupid people more fuel for the fire. Lovely.

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