Why We Should Pay More Attention To The Xbox One

First impressions are universally considered to be of utmost importance the world over. Whether it be at a job interview, in the club trying to impress someone particularly attractive or during an E3 press conference unveiling a new gaming console, the significance of first impressions in translating to a long-lasting, positive relationship cannot be understated.

Sadly, the Xbox One did not set off on the right foot; it’s first impressions were marred by controversy surrounding its rather consumer-unfriendly approach to digital rights management – making it difficult to share or trade games – and its requirement to be constantly connected to an internet connection.

At the time – as a diehard PlayStation fan – it was glorious. We laughed as Shuhei Yoshida and Adam Boyes jabbed Microsoft hard in the guts with this satirical instructional video on how to share games on the PS4. Having emerged from the mighty shadow cast by the incredibly successful Xbox 360 console, Sony were finally making the right calls as Microsoft continued to make mistakes.

To Microsoft’s credit however, they turned it all around.

Lead by new boss Phil Spencer, the Xbox One has chugged along beautifully behind the PlayStation 4’s rampant success. Whilst we don’t know exact figures, it’s fair to speculate the PS4 has the dominant share of the market, but the Xbox One is hardly bombing. It’s been the highest selling console on some occasional months and, to a degree, is outpacing the Xbox 360.

They’ve consistently listened to community feedback and made changes at far greater pace than PlayStation has mustered as of late. Let us change our PSN names Shuhei! Meanwhile, Xbox reversed all their controversial features, introduced backwards compatibility and published a solid-value-for-money Rare package.
Sunset Overdrive
Arguably, their exclusive line-up has been more impressive. Securing Rise of the Tomb Raider was a big get. Though the game went over the heads of most players, it’s quality cannot be understated; it was absolutely a worthy receipt of our Overall Game of the Year Award for 2015. Similarly, Sunset Overdrive, Halo 5: Guardians, Cuphead and Quantum Break – to name a few – are games that are likely to be dearly missed by PlayStation fans.

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I’m not seeking to throw fuel onto the fire of any fanboy war. I’m not trying to say I’ve been converted away from PlayStation where my allegiances have lied for so long. I’m not trying to say one it better than the other.
I’m simply trying to give the Xbox One credit where it is due and ensure gamers do not overlook the Xbox One and the experiences available this system.
Let us not forget the importance of competition in the video game competition. Competition promotes innovation that mostly benefits the consumer, us the gamers.

What should Microsoft do to at least keep up with the PlayStation 4? Exactly what their doing. Listen to the gamers, they’re a tight-knit community most days and repay respect with loyalty.

Achieving this ought to usher in another golden era of gaming during which competition promotes innovation and diversity in our industry.

  1. Good article. People need to stop buying into fanboys wars and corporate hype and learn to be more objective.

  2. Yeah, no.

    Microsoft listened to the community? Probably because they failed to do so before the launch of the console.

    Those changes they made? They were so far behind when the XB1 released that they had no choice. Can imagine how badly they’d be getting beaten if they HADN’T changed all that?

    The games you list? Either PlayStation fans aren’t that interested- like in the case of Halo- or even Xbox fans aren’t that interested- like in the case of Sunset Overdrive- or the games aren’t even out yet for you to say so- like in the case of Cuphead and Quantum Break.

    And mentioning them stealing Tomb Raider as some sort of good thing? Yeah, that’s silly, to say the least. Talk about doing things for the fans and such, and yet you’re praising THAT move?

    You also seem to be forgetting: people aren’t treating Microsoft and the Xbox how they do solely because of the pre-launch policies they staunchly defended(until they saw the numbers and realize they were getting their butts kicked). It’s also because of how they quickly dropped support for the OG Xbox. And how they denied the RROD was even a problem until they were faced with legal action. Or how they blamed XBL hacking problems on their fans when even their own officials- like Major Nelson- were affected. THEN you get to their attitude leading up to the XB1 launch.

    Combine all those things first before you start telling people how they should feel about the Xbox right now.

    Oh, and competition is only good when it’s good competition. It’s not as if gaming NEEDS Microsoft. Or Sony or Nintendo, for that matter. There’s no reason why we should want Microsoft to stick around. And, honestly, given that they were instrumental in ushering in ridiculous DLC(horse armor, anyone?) and paying to play online, I could frankly have done without them, entirely.

    Now, if you say we should give credit for turning things around, that’s fair. But then, that should also be expected, rather than praised.

    1. What exactly is there to listen to before the launch of a console? You can’t answer feedback for something that doesn’t exist yet.
      What Microsoft were initially planning for the console for game distribution was far too ahead of the curve. They saw a marketplace where everything was digital being imminent, when in reality it’s not quite there yet. The fact there was mixed messages coming through about how things would work did not help at all.

      What does it matter when they employed positive changes to their console? “Oh it doesn’t matter that they did this because they’re in distant second” – what kind of dumb argument is that? What matters is that those changes took effect for their userbase to enjoy. Their position doesn’t make it any less a great move for the console. Lest we forget how the Playstation 3 trailed the 360 for the majority of the last console generation.

      Let’s also debunk this idea that people who enjoy Playstation games and people who enjoy Xbox games are mutually exclusive. I like Halo and Sunset Overdrive. I also like Bloodborne.

      “Stealing” Tomb Raider? Consider a) Microsoft Studios helped produce the game, and b) Sony “stole” Street Fighter V (of which there’s no planned port), seems pretty fair.
      Also, Sony “stole” Tomb Raider II way back in the late 90s when the game originated as a multiplatform, so turnabout really is fair play IMO.

      As for the little run down of MS’s greatest hits, you couldn’t be more wrong really. Look at Sony: they told people to get a second job to buy a PS3, they’ve had a second-best online service which was compromised with people having their bank account details accessed, they’re recently tried to put a trademark on the “let’s play” – by your argument, this all should be informing how people generally treat Sony right now. But it doesn’t, does it?

      Also LOL at blaming Microsoft for the concept DLC. Because that would have never have come about without them.
      Show me on the bear where they touched you.

      1. The console existed long before launch. It was announced and displayed some six months before it released; we knew the look and features then. We knew the price less than a month after it was unveiled.

        There was plenty of feedback to respond to prior to launch, and they did so: they staunchly defended the need to have the console online at all times, for example.

        If by “far too ahead,” you mean decades too far ahead, then I agree. Which makes you wonder how and why they ever thought now was the right time. What market research did they do that made them think it was a good idea? That the majority of gamers- or the world, for that matter- would either like or be capable of doing this?

        ” Lest we forget how…” That entire paragraph is based on something no one ever said- or is intentionally misleading- so let’s address that, shall we? First, it isn’t so much about WHEN as about WHY. They didn’t do it for their fanbase; had that been the main motivation, the changes you think we should praise could have come MONTHS earlier. Gamers were not quiet about their dislike of those policies even BEFORE either console was unveiled. Rumors started in about December of 2012 that both new consoles would eliminate used games as we know it, and around the same time there were worries about the consoles being online only. It took more than a week after Microsoft confirmed these restrictions at E3 of 2013 before they reversed them, and they were defending their implementation up to the day before renouncing the restrictions. Given how long and hard they resisted, “fans” isn’t the likely reason for the eventual change.

        As for the PS3 trailing the 360, that tends to happen when you release a year later and your sales are only a little better. One major difference you- and others who bring this up- like to forget is that the PS3 was selling better than the 360 from the start, making the two situations incomparable.

        I don’t think anyone believes the PS and Xbox crowds are completely mutually exclusive, that there’s no crossover. But the numbers do speak for themselves: smaller games and less mainstream genres see better success on PlayStation than Xbox. And yes, we all know the biggest sellers are the mainstream multplat shooters like Call of Duty regardless of the console. But if you bother to look beyond them, you’ll notice I’m telling the truth. That means there’s at least SOME difference between the two groups.

        “told people to get a second job” False. Rather than following the lies, why not look it up and see what was actually said?

        “bank account details accessed” False. You know damn well this is a lie, as Sony wouldn’t have bank account details to begin with. Encrypted data was stolen and never used; just in case, Sony gave free credit monitoring to everyone affected that wanted it.

        “recently tried to put a trademark” That would be RIGHT in line with all their other “Play”-titles services, would it not? Oh, even though that’s the most logical conclusion to draw, let’s NOT draw that one, right?

        And, apparently, it DOES inform some people like yourself. I mean, hell, you’re so gung-ho that you’re actually LOOKING for reasons. That’s honestly pretty sad, though, since you’re actually having to intentionally misinterpret and misrepresent situations to make your case.

        Perhaps someone else WOULD have come up with DLC. But someone else didn’t. Microsoft did.

        Would you mind putting in some effort next time you reply? I’d hoped for a meaningful conversation when I saw how much you’d typed, but there’s so much hyperbole and falsehood that I’m left beyond underwhelmed.

        Come with actual facts and gimme a challenge this time, would you?

        1. Wait wait wait a second. In your first post you said “Probably because they failed to do so before the launch of the console”
          and in this post you noted
          “There was plenty of feedback to respond to prior to launch, and they did so: they staunchly defended the need to have the console online at all times, for example.”
          We both know how that story ended up though, with Microsoft about-facing on about everything they had initially planned just before launch such as the always online because of the negative feedback from the community, and then continuing not too soon after launch, namely letting the console work without a Kinect. So your initial point still is a bit full of it.

          Decades ahead? Not at all, actually. If you think such a concept is that far in the future, well the future is now mister. The initial plans for the Xbox One was a blurring of lines between console and PC – consoles are getting closer to PC architecture every generation after all. Look at the PC gaming platform – what percentage of games do you think are bought physically versus bought online and downloaded via a service like Steam? Microsoft’s strategy wasn’t too dissimilar, but people decided to lose their shit once things like DRM was mentioned and couldn’t wrap their heads about “not owning their games” to share. MS was to blame for being needlessly convoluted about explaining it all, the gaming public to blame for being obnoxiously fin-foil-hatted and clutching onto a rapidly deceasing era despite the fact they’ve already acclimated to it on PC.

          Your argument about business strategy changes and how they should have turned on a dime to the over-the-top reactions to a lot of what was going on basically hinges on the notion that the consumer knew what was going on, which no, they didn’t. Again, some of the blame does lie on MS, but the other part on the kneejerking sensationalism going on, such as how the Kinect was “always on” and watching you when you slept, FFS. For example, the family sharing feature which in reality would have been pretty cool wasn’t comprehended in full until it was done away with because of backlash over misconceptions. When it was actually talked about, nobody was listening because they were too busy burning effigies.

          “As for the PS3 trailing the 360, that tends to happen when you release a year later and your sales are only a little better. One major difference you- and others who bring this up- like to forget is that the PS3 was selling better than the 360 from the start, making the two situations incomparable.”

          And the other difference that people also funnily forget to mention is the RROD debacle Microsoft had to deal with, which pretty much negated the year headstart aspect in the long run, I imagine. All besides the point though.

          As per the “lies” re Playstation 3: “for consumers to think to themselves ‘I will work more hours to buy one’. We want people to feel that they want it, irrespective of anything else.” That sure told me? And continues to be an insanely tonedeaf justification for consumers to drop $700 on a console.

          Also I’m sorry: personally identifiable information from 77 million accounts exposed which had the service down for over 3 weeks.

          “Let’s Play” is a VERY specific term used by game streamers and is not affiliated with any one platform. The idea of capitalizing on that is some kind of BS and it’s a good thing it was rejected.

          DLC featured on PC and Dreamcast before Xbox by-the-by, just not to as much prominence. What was that about falsehoods? in fact you could probably draw originations to expansions while we’re at it. Have fun writing a very strongly written letter to Blizzard.

          Overall, it’s super ironic that you talk about looking for reasons to try and trash one company in particular – like I didn’t see you drop the Tomb Raider argument btw. What I merely did was show that Sony has done no better (hell, Nintendo probably has a few foibles) and introducing the question of why don’t we judge all companies by your rationality? It’s so easy to kick a dog when they’re down though, and you’re essentially no different than anyone else who’s bought in on the hype-fueled console war in this case. I guess we both leave here disappointed, le sigh.

          1. They failed to reply in a consumer-friendly fashion. Come on, man. Don’t make yourself look bad… er, worse. Surely you don’t think “deal with it” and “We have a product for those without internet: the 360” are appropriate ways to respond, do you?

            “still is a bit full of it.” Sure, sure. My initial point was that it wasn’t listening to the community by that point so much as it was listening to their bottom line. Had they ACTUALLY been listening, they wouldn’t have made such asinine excuses and told gamers they didn’t understand, that you couldn’t just “flip a switch.”

            “Decades ahead?” Yes. Do we have to look at all the ways PC gaming is NOT like console gaming? Does it need mentioning that PC gaming is big in some areas, while console gaming dwarfs it in others? PC gaming is not console gaming, so whatever BS you spout about what’s done on that open platform doesn’t apply when you start talking about the closed ecosystems that are consoles. Besides, just because PC gamers have come to accept not actually owning their games doesn’t mean console gamers should follow suit. Those on PC were idiots to do so, and console gamers would be just as stupid to follow them.

            “how they should have turned on a dime” That’s not what months of time to address the issue amounts to. Remember, these concerns- the DRM, in particular- were half a year old by the time they even official announced the console. The gaming community had been VERY vocal about their dislike of that idea before it was ever real. And after Sony came out and said they’d have no such thing in their console, it was pretty much certain that the same would be true of the next Xbox.

            Somehow, they missed that.

            You bet your ass Microsoft is to blame, and they should be. But how the hell can you blame consumers who watched that company not only ignore their preemptive pleas, but then double down on the unliked practices? Couple that with obscure explanations of things like the family sharing, and is it any surprise people were “overreacting?” Also, funny that it was only AFTER they needlessly got rid of it that the details came to light. But I guess it’s not like they could have made those details anything they wanted after the fact, right?


            “for consumers to think to themselves ‘I will work more hours to buy one’. We want people to feel that they want it, irrespective of anything else.” Okay, now you’re just being willfully stupid. PLEASE explain how that’s telling people to get a second job? Please explain how WE WANT PEOPLE TO FEEL THAT THEY WANT IT somehow turns into IF YOU WANT IT, GET A SECOND JOB. Cuz I’m just not getting it. I tell you what most people see when they read those words: they see somebody saying they hope their product is that irresistible to consumers. “I gotta have it,” is how they wanted people to feel. Not that clickbait bullshit engadget and others came up with. Not the bullshit misinterpretation you subscribe to. It’s bizarre, too, cuz you’d think most companies would want consumers to think the same about their products.

            Go figure.

            PSN passwords are NOT “bank account details accessed.” Stick with one thing, if you’re supposedly making a point. Unless somebody used their PSN email and password for their banking needs- which would be beyond stupid- there was NO danger to their money.

            There’s already a copyright for the term “Let’z Play,” which is the actual reason why Sony didn’t get theirs. And, depending on how it’s used, they could have ZERO recourse to do anything to those streamers. Since we know nothing about what they were intending, but know they already have streaming of gameplay through SharePlay and other methods, it seems unlikely it would have been for the same thing. Meaning? Meaning it likely would not have affected streamers at all. But please, go on like no commonly used phrases have ever been copyrighted by companies.

            Horse armor. One item. Maybe I missed it, but I can’t recall something as small as that being the WHOLE of the DLC?

            I forgot about TR, but let’s go back to it. Tell me: where are that brand’s fans mostly located? Not on Xbox, that’s for damn sure. So why did Xbox buy up exclusivity and try their hardest to make it seem permanent, knowing full well it’s never been that popular on the Xbox? And even going as far as to screw over PC while they were at it? Microsoft published the game for their platform, nothing more; they didn’t help develop it, and despite a marketing deal, they gave it almost no screentime at all. Street Fighter is considerably different: Sony is funding development, helping with development, most fans are on PlayStation, and PC isn’t being snubbed even by a few months. It was also a deal inked AFTER Tomb Raider, so I don’t see how TR could be considered “fair.”

            What you merely did was show that some people will interpret things how they want in order to make a point.

            But sure: when Sony threatens my right to own and do with games as I please, when they blame ME for their shortcomings a la disc scratching and network hacks, when they treat widespread hardware faults as nonexistent, when their game console is geared more towards everything BUT playing games, THEN I’ll look at them the way I look at Microsoft.

            Until then, Microsoft’s the only company I’ve ever known of in gaming to get it so wrong and yet be so heavily defended.

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