Just wanted to drop you a line concerning your Xbox One, and why as both a mom and a geek, I won’t be buying it. Don’t get me wrong, I know you haven’t worked out all the wrinkles yet, so we’re all working on partial information here, but…
…do you really think any parent will buy this?
Because you haven’t created the ultimate in gaming, you realize that. You’ve created a home entertainment system that no one asked for. While the PS4 deserves a smack down for (like you) not allowing previous gen games to be played on it, at least they haven’t added insult to injury regarding both after-purchase cost and privacy.
After purchase cost: ”What is that?”, asks parents. I’ll explain it to them, Microsoft – you’ve already done a bang-up job on damage control.
Parents! Let’s say you buy a game for your kid, at £40. Now, let’s say after a week, your kid wants to swap his game with his friend’s. Normally, that would cost you nothing – the kids trade games for a week, all is well. This time, however, the rules are a bit different. If your kid’s friend wants to come over and log in (and then play the game through his account), sure, but if your kid’s friend doesn’t feel like being logged in on a foreign machine all the time, your kid can just PAY A FEE and continue playing…
…back up and re-read that. Your kid gets lent a game by a friend, who purchased a disk for £40. The disk is in your possession. To play it on your machine, and your account, YOU HAVE TO PAY MORE. And here’s the kicker, the cost? THE SAME AS THE DISK WAS NEW. This means that not only can’t you swap games with friends to see if you like it, you also can’t buy/sell 2nd hand games like at GameStop, etc, or borrow them through Netflix.
So, not only will every game be essentially a new game, there is the privacy issue. You see, Xbox One will be connected always to the internet (for super duper fun interactive insert bullshit comment here play!). You can opt to turn the internet off, but it will be on at least once a day to sync. ”But my computer is on all the time, what’s the problem?”, I hear you ask. Look at one of the ‘features’ of the Xbox One – voice activated turn on. Do you know *how* that works? For the console to hear you, the camera and mic must always be on. Always. Considering how ridiculously easy it is to hack into systems nowadays, how long do you think it will be till the first major privacy breach? Because I don’t know about you, but unless I am Skyping, my camera is not only off, but is actually covered. The average 13 year old isn’t going to think of covering the camera between sessions.
Microsoft, there is also the myriad of geek issues – a non-replaceable hard drive that ensures you can’t self-enlarge , you can only buy an external drive, or pay into your ‘cloud’ service (hello, monthly fee!). There is also the fact that I didn’t spend two decades lonely and collecting games only NOT to play them on my new console, or that it will be hella slow compared to the PS4 (as the PS4 is dedicated to just playing games versus watching you watch tv and a host of other processing-slowing functions), the fact that most of the integrated-home-system features (like the tv watching) are US only, or the fact that you, Microsoft, can’t give any clear answers to somewhat obvious questions.
And that’s the biggest red flag for me as a parent, and a geek – if you didn’t think these questions were going to be raised on press launch day, you are not smart enough to deserve my money. You obviously think so little of me as the purchaser of your product that you’d thought you slip this bullshit in, and that hurts me. You see, the generation that grew up with you is the generation who, as parents, will be purchasing your product. And we are slightly more tech aware than our parents were about all this stuff. We are looking at this not only through the lens of gamers, but parental guidance figures, and we want both reliability, power, and safety. Right now, you are 0/3. Figure out what you are saying, stop letting your various twitter accounts contradict each other, and for the love of God, remember that this is the Internet – gossip moves at the speed of light, it doesn’t need to be egged on by you all not seeming to know what message you are supposed to be on. We’re not even going to touch on the fact that I have never, ever heard anyone say “Golly, I’d love to have my gaming system on all the damn time, watching me watch tv and popping in with fun suggestions!”. Did you do *any* market research as to who would even want this? Or did you just assume we’d buy into it with enough big-screen presentations?
Sorry, Microsoft. I don’t mean to rain on your big day. But the fact is, this gamer won’t be getting an Xbox One till you clean up your act. My gamer baby deserves better.