We’ve had about a week or more to sit down and digest what Microsoft put in front of us during the Xbox One launch event. If you took a single look at my twitter feed during the event, you probably saw me systematically shit all over it. You know something is wrong with YOUR NEW CONSOLE when I admit that the best part was seeing Barbara Dunkelman (@BlawnDee) and Drew Carey (@DrewFromTV) and not anything to actually do with your console.
These are my reasons as to why I’m not going to buy an Xbox One. At all. (Sure, this cooooooould change in the future, but right now it’s looking as likely as Hitler rising from the grave just to do a spot of cat breading.) And yeah, this is an opinion piece (If you’ve only just gotten that, you might wanna slap yourself. Twice for good measure.)
Lets start. “Bitchfest, ON!”
TV TV TV TV TV TV… TV TV… SPORTS… TV TV TV.
I genuinely thought we were getting a new games console here. What we actually got blindsided with was TV Connectivity. People who know me know that I don’t watch live TV. I don’t own a cable box, I don’t watch freeview, I’m a strict on demand kinda guy, and even then it’s only for Doctor Who. If I do begin to watch a TV show, it’s because I have bought it on DVD, not because I’m following it as it happens. I started watching House a year before the final season. I own all BUT the final season on DVD. I have no need for all this live TV bullshit. Especially in my games console.
When it even comes to my games consoles, I don’t even use them as a source for watching movies or TV on a regular basis. The only movie I have even rented through it was The Rage: Carrie 2. No shit. It was an okay experience, but not one that I ever felt the urge to go through again. Never mind on a daily basis. It’s there. It’s nice. But not for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Microsoft are living up to their Micro$oft moniker. They want you to pony up your cash for Xbox Live Gold so you can have this “wonderful user experience” while watching The Price is Right. Yeah, because no doubt they’ll add an app so you can play along at home, just like they showed with bringing up your Fantasy Team while watching whatever sport you choose to watch. The only sport I actively watch is “sports entertainment”, and they’re already hard at work shoving their iPhone app down your throat (Although, they do have a PPV app on the 360 now, so that’s not so far fetched).
TV, Sports and show related apps are not why I buy games consoles. I buy games consoles for (SHOCK. HORROR.) the games!
Kinect 2.0: Always Kinected
As you’ll no doubt have heard, Kinect 2.0 is mandatory. My tweet saying that the first thing I’d do is sell the Kinect accessory is out the window. If your system doesn’t have Kinect plugged in, you’re boned. Hard. I don’t own a Kinect. I never will own a Kinect. I don’t buy in to the whole motion control gimmick (Yes, it’s STILL a gimmick, just like 3D). The closest I ever got into being a part of the motion control craze was having Danny Trejo yelling at me to punch faster and harder on the Stressbuster demo that was on PSN a while back. I now no longer own a PS Move. The novelty wore off. It’s not for me.
But at least with the Move system, you looked like you were actually gaming. You had devices in your hands. With Kinect (1 or 2) you look like you’re having a fit in front of your TV! I’d rather sit on my ass controller in hand, than stand up and flail about like I’m five years old and throwing a tantrum in a crowded shop because I didn’t get that toy I wanted. That is not what I want from my gaming system. I want to chill out and PLAY. Not stand up and exhaust myself more.
Then there’s the whole fact that Kinect 2.0 is ALWAYS ON. Yeah, read that again. ALWAYS. ON.
That’s opening up a whole new can of worms, because now it’s becoming Big Brother in your living room. Or bedroom, wherever you choose to game. Microsoft are saying that it’s only “always on” to detect you saying “Xbox On!”. Who’s to know if Microsoft are secretly wiretapping your conversations in real time? Plus, there is a camera there. That could be always on too. Not only could Microsoft spy on you as you’re watching TV, but what if you’re doing something not as wholesome as watching TV (Not through your Xbox One, too!).
Yeah, Microsoft could be watching you as you do the five knuckle shuffle on your couch. Think about that shit. That’s why my laptop has a piece of tape covering the in built webcam. Invasion of privacy on a worldwide scale.
Almost Always Connected
Turns out Adam Orth was right. To combat piracy, your Xbox One will have to be connected to the internet at least once a day. Bullshit. Complete and utter turd. Okay, let’s put this into perspective. The internet is still a growing thing. Broadband has been around for a good long time now, but yet still there are places on this Earth that only get a dial up connection (Note: A connection that the Xbox does NOT support). So what’s going to happen to people who live in that area? Do they not get an option? Of course they don’t. You’re shit out of luck if you’re in those areas and are a gamer.
But what if you travel a lot? What if your games console is your sole source of entertainment when you’re chilling out in your hotel room? With my 360/PS3/Older consoles I can easily hook it up to the TV and game to my hearts content. But with the Xbox One (Known from here on as Xbone) if I don’t have an internet connection once a day, I can’t play games that I may have paid up to £50 for? Fuck. THAT.
Not every hotel has a complimentary internet connection. I don’t want to find myself in a hotel where I’d have to pay an extortionate amount of money to get an internet connection so I can play video games that I have bought or risk having brought a £500 brick with me. No way. Not a chance.
And let’s be fair, this is because of piracy. This is DRM. Microsoft are conveniently ignoring the fact that a great deal of DRM these days can be bypassed within a short amount of time by the people who they’re trying to fight. It’s a war you’re never going to win! The only thing you’re doing here is hurting the people who are actually buying your products fairly, but stripping away their rights to the content because they haven’t checked in within your pithy 24 hour time limit.
UPDATE: In a stunning u-turn following E3 and prize prick Don Mattrick saying “We have an offline option, it’s called the 360” and their thorough thrashing at the hands of Sony, Microsoft have reversed their policy. Disc based games will not require a once a day login period. In fact, once bought you need only connect the Xbone to the internet once and that’s to download a patch that rids you of the original DRM policy. or something like that, anyway. Downloaded games have their usual DRM policy attached.
I haven’t paid for Xbox Gold in ages. I dropped them around February, because I came to the realization that I don’t use it enough to even warrant dropping £39.99 a year on it. I don’t play matchmaking, I just play with people I know. When I do, it’s not that often admittedly. The last time I actually played with someone online, was probably my buddy Andre when I whooped his ass at UFC. That’s it.
What else comes with Xbox Gold? Youtube? Oh hi, PC! BBC iPlayer? PC. IGN? lolno. I never use IGN. Not even on my PC. Facebook? Twitter? Phone or PC. Everything that Xbox Live Gold offers on my console, I can use on my PC at will. So why waste my money, when I can throw my £39.99 at Sony and get actual playable games for my money? I’ve only been a member of PS+ for less than 3 months and I’ve already gotten more out of it than I ever did Gold!
I used to be a staunch defender of Gold, but those were foolish days. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing with my friends, but I’m not able to do it enough to warrant my cash going to M$. Sorry.
UPDATE: They’re now playing catch up to PS+. 2 free games a month for Gold subscribers. Yay. Note the period, I’m being sarky.
For now, those are my main reasons as to why I’m not buying a Xbone. This may change if their strategy changes, but it doesn’t look at all likely. This of course, doesn’t include their pre-owned strategy, but apparently we aren’t supposed to find out any more about that for the next few months. What we do know is that lending games is now dead in the water. What a jip.
Thanks for reading, if you want to drop your reasons as to why you will or won’t be buying a Xbone, drop me a tweet at @ViciousPrism.