Gamers just wanna have fun, not feel oppressed.

CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One


Xbox One Banner CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One

Microsoft have gotten a very bad rep in the gaming space since their reveal of their next generation console – the Xbox One. Between a required regular connection to the internet (a check once every 24 hours or it will lock your games), a strict sharing policy between friends, fear of a camera always watching and a much higher price point than their nearest competitor they haven’t been winning over a lot of fans.

Microsoft first appeared on the gaming scene way back in 2001 with the Xbox (that’s the first Xbox 1, not the Xbox One… stupid name Microsoft). They were well and truly trounced that generation, with the goliath of the Playstation 2 leaving little room for competitors.

 CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One

Remember this sexy doorstop?

With the exception of Halo of course, the game that would essentially validate first person shooters on home consoles, Microsoft had few other must play exclusives or reasons to buy the console. Heck they pretty much paid consumers to buy the Xbox, taking a huge hit on each system sold just to bring price down and build a larger consumer base.

Flip forward 4 years to 2005 and their next console Xbox 360 jumped the gun launching a year before Sony’s competitor Playstation 3. This was huge. They got the big foothold in the console market that had eluded them throughout the last generation. They had their pratfalls, the Three Red Rings of Death etc, but it worked. Sony shot themselves in the foot, arrogant on past success they launched at an absurdly high price point that dissauded many of their fans who had already been tempted by the shiny new toy, the Xbox 360.

Xbox 360 Red Ring CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One

Microsoft – Quality Doorstops since 2001!

With the Xbox, Microsoft showed they were looking to the future. By putting a broadband-only connection in their console, they threw down the gauntlet that their platform was were where online gaming would excel. Competing with the Dreamcast and Playstation 2′s online service, Microsoft charged a subscription for it’s primitive Live service that offered far better services than it’s competitors free services.

With 360, they repeated the process. Xbox Live still required a paid subscription but due to this they could provide a secure, fluid and easy platform for online gaming. Sony, who’s service was free, could not compete. Their online network, in comparison, seemed lacklustre and the 2011 Playstation Network Outage was merely one example of a more unreliable service. Microsoft also pioneered downloadable games and DLC in the console space, something that would change the gaming landscape forever.

PSN Outage 2011 590x331 CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One

The dreaded message PS users had for 24 days in a row

Now we have the Xbox One. Gamers hate it because of the previously mentioned points. One has to wonder, however, do they also hate change? Microsoft’s new console is undeniably looking forward. With an expected 10 year life span, it is not unreasonable to presume there will be near global internet connections by that point in time. Look how far we’ve come since Xbox’s archaic broadband in the last 10 years.

The online always console offers many exciting new possibilities. For the gamers, it can offer new kinds of gameplay or can streamline other aspects with use of cloud streaming. For publishers, the DRM means more money from the IP they work so hard to produce, as well as the increased viability of alternate business models. For Microsoft it gives them an almost future-proof console.

Minecraft 2 590x342 CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One

Games must explore new business models – clearly this one worked!

One thing is certain, the $60 disc-based business model is on it’s way out. Cliffy B, man behind the Gears of War franchise, recently said:

You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing. The numbers do NOT work people.

Newsflash. This is why you’re seeing free to play and microtransactions everywhere. The disc based day one $60 model is crumbling.

People hate on companies for expensive DLC, costumes, online passes, shoe-horned in multiplayer etc but the fact of the matter is that most games have such large budgets to make a ‘AAA’ experience that they have to sell millions and millions of copies to simply cover that cost.

There has to be some give and take. Companies struggle desperately to cover costs (just look at how many game developers have gone under in the last 2 years) and people buy used games and play the title while giving no money to those who made it.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider 590x400 CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One

Sells over 3 million copies… considered a failure.

Is Microsoft doing the right thing by getting rid of used games and ensuring that publishers and developers get some money for the work they do? It depends on how you look at it. Are games a product, that once purchased you can trade willingly and with profit to yourself, or are games an experience that you consume and should have to pay to consume?

If you went to the cinema then came home and spoke to your friend about it, you would not be able to give him the experience of seeing the film. You could relate it, but for him to truly experience it he would need to purchase a cinema ticket and see it himself. Should the same be true of games? I would probably fall into the former camp but it’s something to consider. As it the fact that there haven’t been used games on the PC for years now and Steam is a thriving business platform for many developers and much beloved by consumers. One has to wonder why this would not work on consoles.

Xbox One DRM 495x700 CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One

Gamers just wanna have fun, not feel oppressed.

I understand the hate towards Microsoft. People are angry that they are treating the gamer, their bread and butter consumer, with something nigh on contempt. At least in the eyes of said consumers. Sony, on the other hand, is pandering to their every need. It isn’t necessarily the change people are angry with, but the way Microsoft have gone about it.

Before you cry XBOT and other derogatory terms in the comments, know I haven’t played my 360 in about 3 years and my current-gen console of choice is Playstation 3 through and through. I love the Sony exclusives and I have a Playstation 4 pre-ordered.

It is silly to rule out the Xbox One however. It is a forward looking console. I’m not getting one at launch, I’ll be more than happy with my PS4. But I see no reason not to get one 4 years down the line when it’s cheaper, has a bedrock of quality exclusives and technology and internet connections have had more time to catch up to Microsoft’s vision.

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said “This isn’t a sprint.” I believe him. I think the Xbox One has enough great possibilities that given time it will be a fantastic console. When the fanboy fires have had time to cool down, I think people will see that Microsoft had the best intentions to drag this media that we all love so much forward into a new age.

Unless it turns out to be a creepy HAL 9000/Sky-Net monster and ruins us all.

Xbox One Hal 9000 CONTRARION FANBOY: Microsoft Has The Right Idea With Xbox One

 

S#!T Talking Central

  • Antix91

    > Xbox 360 jumped the gun launching a year before Sony’s competitor Playstation 3

    This is why they won back then.

    > Sony shot themselves in the foot, arrogant on past success they launched at an absurdly high price point

    Except it was the cheapest blu ray player on the market at the time. They were a good X hundred dollars less than a standalone blu ray player so… there’s that.

    > Sony, who’s service was free, could not compete.

    This seems very subjective. Yes, they went down for a month, but they were still offering a FREE service. You can’t bitch about getting a free ride in a lamborghini for years and then one month you’re not chauffeured around town it’s suddenly crap? Compare that to having to buy a lambo I’d be happy with what I got.

    > Microsoft also pioneered downloadable games and DLC in the console space

    Yep, let’s praise the rise of day one DLCs as a fantastic addition to the console space.

    > With an expected 10 year life span, it is not unreasonable to presume there will be near global internet connections by that point in time.

    But until then Microsoft is happy to alienate a massive portion of their player base. Based on the features they’ve shown and the content offering relying on beefy internet connections and bandwidth allocations (aussie here) I don’t see it as a practical in my home country. If this was a console aimed at only the US market, congrats. As for the rest of the WORLD, PS4 is “pandering to their every need” because ultimately we’re the customers and the customer is always right. If you don’t pander to my needs I won’t support your business with my hard earned money and you can kiss goodbye all those forward looking features you’re so hellbent on bringing to market before its ready to take them on.

    > For the gamers, it can offer new kinds of gameplay or can streamline other aspects with use of cloud streaming.

    Maybe, that all comes down to implementation.

    > For publishers, the DRM means more money from the IP they work so hard to produce, as well as the increased viability of alternate business models.

    What alternate business models exactly?

    > For Microsoft it gives them an almost future-proof console.

    At a time when the market clearly doesn’t want it or isn’t ready for it…

    > You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing. The numbers do NOT work people.

    Sounds to me like someone is crying about not getting that second gold plated bathtub in the guest house. Guess what, if the money coming in doesn’t justify the expenses of producing something, your business dies. That’s how things work in the real world. Indie developers are making money. Maybe time to cut some of the fat or big bonuses up top?

    > There has to be some give and take. Companies struggle desperately to cover costs (just look at how many game developers have gone under in the last 2 years)

    In the last 2 years a lot more than just gaming companies have gone under. Correlation does not equal causation. I enjoyed the games company X brought out and supported them with my money purchases. If their business model sucked that’s not my problem.

    > people buy used games and play the title while giving no money to those who made it.

    Those people didn’t want your game on day one at your price point. They waited until it became cheaper to buy it for a number of reasons, and surely they aren’t that big of a market that they crushed the gaming industry??? EA recently took out online passes. They’ve found a way, so can you, if not then goodbye.

    > once purchased you can trade willingly and with profit to yourself, or are games an experience that you consume and should have to pay to consume?

    I buy a toaster, I enjoy a toaster, I no longer need a toaster, so I sell said toaster. Why is this concept fine for physical goods and not ok for virtual goods which can be copied infinitely without detracting from someone else’s experience.

    > I see no reason not to get one 4 years down the line when it’s cheaper, has a bedrock of quality exclusives and technology and internet connections have had more time to catch up to Microsoft’s vision.

    What’s stopping PS4 from putting in DRM at a later stage? I guarantee it will be met with massive backlash, but if we’re all so determined to be ‘forward thinking’ and Microsoft clearly knows exactly what their customers want before they do, if both consoles implemented this at the same time there would be no issue right? Wrong. Consumers don’t want this. They’ve openly voiced their outrage at it. As long as there is a single alternative which makes it possible to bypass this without taking away from the core experience, I will be supporting it. I don’t see a popular alternative to steam, but if there was one without DRM I’d be buying games through that instead. Human nature means we will eventually ‘get used’ to DRM, but it doesn’t mean it should be the norm. Besides, I don’t see how a dead console with a small player base will have a ‘bedrock of quality exclusives’ in 4 years time. Publishers / developers will flock to where the biggest market is. I’m sure they’ll justify not profiting from user game sales and no DRM to stop piracy if the money they lose on that is smaller than the extra profit coming in from the larger market base buying their games. Simple maths…

  • Kamille

    the part about “this isn’t a sprint” sounds exactly like what Sony keep saying to justify their early failures with the PS3 but now it’s M$ the one’s saying it. I hope they fail miserably to be honest.

    • MagpieMirth

      IMHO it’s pretty sad how so many folks on each side wish the demise of the other.
      MS/Sony failing wouldn’t be good for anyone especially gamers. Healthy competition helps make each side better and there is plenty of market to go around.

  • Franko

    Ok. Now, tell us how much? Come on, you know that we know. How much? Dude, WE KNOW! You can’t hide. Simply, we know that microdouches payed you. We know.

  • Axe99

    I don’t see enforced always-online as forward looking at all – it’s unnecessary control. Sure, you need to be always-online when you play games that need online – you can’t play DCUO or Halo’s online multiplayer offline on current-gen consoles – but why am I forced to connect to the internet for the next great single-player RPG or action experience on the XB1? There’s no other device I’m aware of out there that does this. I can (and do) play great single-player games on Steam offline, and will be able to do similar on PS4 – I can even play single-player games offline on my smartphone – the XB1, however, is needlessly restricting things. If my ISP goes down for a couple of days, then MS’ design means the XB1 is useless for gaming until it comes back up again – not so my PC or PS4.

    So I’m left with a choice – pay $100 more for a technically inferior and needlessly restricted machine, or pay $100 less for a technically superior and more open machine (more open to indies as well, which is quite a reversal from the early days of the X360/PS3). The only hope for MS is that they won’t have built the online-check-in into the OS, and if they have any brains they’ll remove the restriction.

    As for the used games issue, games are moving to digital in any event – 60% of Vita games sold to date have been digital copies over the PSN. Sure, the Xbox 360′s digital infrastructure is well behind the PSNs (both on pricing, range and timing), but this will change quickly if they want to stay in the game next gen, and when it does used games will become a smaller and smaller part of the market.

  • Itay

    Comparing a console game and going to the cinema is wrong. Going to the cinema is like going to an arcade – you also can’t share that experience with a friend, he would have to go to the arcade himself. The consoles are more like buying a DVD, which you could resell.

    The comparison to Steam is wrong as well. Steam has competition. I can buy stuff at Steam, or I can buy it at GOG, or GMG, or Origin, or retail, and that’s just a partial list. With consoles, I can either buy the game from Sony/MS, or not play the game. No competition at all. Do you think XBone will have summer sales similar to those on Steam? Will prices go down as soon and as far as they do on Steam? That’s not going to happen as long as there is no competition at all.

  • ZECAMAN

    Try harder…that is not enough… de Xbox one it´s still a big fail, will be one more disaster from MS…like Windows ME.

  • Zecaman

    Can´t comment here? Why delete my post? I didnt agree with your text… i still think Xbox One it´s a big fail like Windows ME

  • EssentiaX

    >>Sony shot themselves in the foot, arrogant on past success they >>launched at an absurdly high price point that dissauded many of their
    >>fans who had already been tempted by the shiny new toy, the Xbox 360.
    Sound familiar? Does to me. It sounds like we can switch Sony for Microsoft in there right now. High price and arrogance seems to be flooding out of them right now. Not a company I’d love to jump on the bandwagon for.

    >>People hate on companies for expensive DLC, costumes, online passes,
    >>shoe-horned in multiplayer etc but the fact of the matter is that most
    >>games have such large budgets to make a ‘AAA’ experience that they
    >>have to sell millions and millions of copies to simply cover that cost.
    While this is true, this does not mean this model does not work. This is mostly the publishers/game developers fault. This sucks, but it’s the truth. Look at Minecraft. Look at Terraria. Both games are very popular, and didn’t take millions to create. Publishers have control over their budget. Movies costs several million dollars to make, too, and yet still they cost less than games. Coincidence? I think not. Publishers need to stop blaming second-hand sales, rentals and the like. They are not going away, and they have no right to tell consumers what may or may not do.
    Clearly, movies have found a way to generate enough income while keeping the costs for them low, while still allowing for rentals and second-hand sales. Why can games not do the same? Instead of trying to shoehorn something on gamers, it’s better to create a better service that generates more income that gamers LIKE. This is the opposite of what Microsoft and greedy publishers want to do.

    >>Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said “This isn’t a sprint.” I believe him. I think the

    >>Xbox One has enough great possibilities that given time it will be a

    >>fantastic console. When the fanboy fires have had time to cool down, I

    >>think people will see that Microsoft had the best intentions to drag this

    >>media that we all love so much forward into a new age.
    Finally, I am going to disagree. Yes! Online services are nice, and yes, they can enrich gameplay. But who says you cannot have both sides of the cake? Both offline for those who don’t have a proper internet connection and online for those that have? This is what Microsoft do not seem to understand. They blabber on about how great online services are, and sure, they’re right. But they also seem to be thinking that because of internet services being great, it means that everyone who does not have internet must not be able to use the console. At all.

    • MagpieMirth

      do you really want all your games to look like minecraft? I certainly don’t.
      Just like games, movies can have varying degrees of cost. They also only create about 2 – 3 hours of linear content. Games create hours and hours of content both linear and non. No way is that comparable to a movie.

      • EssentiaX

        No, I don’t want everything to look like Minecraft, but the point was that you don’t have to throw millions of dollars into a game to make it successful.
        Games and movies don’t compare in length, but movies are much more expensive, and still they exist. So clearly, it is possible to make expensive products, sell them as, say, $10-20 and still make profit. I don’t claim know how.
        Publishers and game makers need to find new ways of gaining profit, not by restricting gamers, but by opening up more options that gamers want which can generate income.

  • Anna

    Why is everyone acting like Sony doesn’t support online game purchases or a steam like ecosystem? They have the PlayStation game store, and licensed DRM available. You could purchase games on your console, or on a pc, mobile device, and it will populate on your ps4 (if connected) They’ve actually Improved on this function, following a torrent model: you will be able to start playing your game within minutes of online purchase. You cannot lend, or resell games purchased this way as it is tied to your psn account. However, they are making sure that disc based games are not DRM limited. Sony believes if you have purchased the physical disc, you could do what you want with it, and it will always work. Want convenience of day 1 digital download? They have you covered. They have since late 2012. Cloud gaming? Covered by the Gaikai acquisition and launch of cloud gaming infrastructure for ps4 in 2014.

    Also the physical hardware is superior to the xb1 and doesn’t rely on cloud infrastructure, giving you consistent gaming experience regardless of your bandwidth limitations.

  • Michael Moore

    It’s gonna be shit, I don’t think there’s any point getting one in a few years either

  • Kiddflygon

    All if this shit is stupid why cant i go back to a simpler time when i could go to gamestop and buy a game i like that isnt broken or stupid. I honestly could say all i need is a more powerfull wii u. The sad part is besides RPGs all the other games are gonna be to complicated in a story or just broken. CoD ok but always has balancing issues gears of war complicated story line and broken shotguns. Why cant they make simple stories like mario princess gets captured you save her, pikmin trapped on planet get help from creatures to get off planet. I play and as any good gamer knows the competitive scene ruins games al together. Cant find a single match of playstation allstars without some guy doing the same combos of any other guy who uses that character

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