The Xbox One was shown just a week ago. Whilst a lot of hype is evident, both throughout the media and personal conversations, there are some noticeable drawbacks when it is compared to both its predecessor and Sony’s new console. Microsoft has really kicked itself in the face this time, and for a variety of reasons. Some of the drawbacks are:
- The inability to play used/second-hand games
- Cloud Based Computing – Hindrance or a Blessing?
- Lower Processing Power
- Optimised for Entertainment – NOT Gaming
- Region Locked – Games must be purchased from the same country
- Microsoft’s inability to make new GUI Interfaces
To start with, most people that live on a low budget make full use of the ability to purchase second-hand games, even many of us that can afford to pay full price (normally $80 – $90) still prefer to pay for second hand games. Yet Xbox One games will be locked to consoles, if you were to buy that second hand you would have to pay the owner of the game a price (as usual), along with a fee to Microsoft that could be up to 90% of the original price of the game. It’s ludicrous, to say the least. This has already been out for a while now, especially with the money-making EA, where an code is provided with the game for the ability to play online. If the user then decides to sell this game the user (ultimately you), must pay a fee to purchase another online pass, which many would assume Xbox Live is for, we do pay for it after all.
With Microsoft lacking in the field of processing power, it has opted to make the Xbox an always live console, possibly to both combat piracy but also to allow the new Xbox console to connect to Microsofts servers and give it additional power. There are a few questions that remain:
- What would happen in the ‘rare’ case where Xbox can’t connect to Microsoft servers?
- What would happen if the user wanted to play without an internet connection? Would they have to do without playing games, or would they suffer with performance issues?
- What would happen if a user had no internet connection whatsoever (in the rare case), would they buy a $500 console only to realise that it is unusable?
Microsoft is definitely playing the cards, but the question that remains; are they playing the right ones? And should they play those cards a little looser to their chest?
I’m not certain if this is me, or whether Kinect was a total fail since it was implemented a few years ago. Games that incorporate it seem childish, what serious gamer would like to jump around trying to navigate through menus. Just as eye-toy flopped all those years ago, so will Kinect. Already games using the technology seem to became an oddity, and those that rely on it seem to clutter the shelves. When will Microsoft realise that the Xbox is not needed, and that the Xbox only interests serious gamers? Another fact is that Kinect is simply ‘dodgy’, it has poor sensors, and seems to lack in true motion sensing technology, although it is somewhat better than has been seen elsewhere.
It should also be noted that the Xbox has lower processing power than the supposed PS4, meaning that (as stated above) it will rely more heavily on cloud computing than PS4 if it indeed chooses to incorporate the technology as well. At the current time, if the decision was up to me I would prefer to purchase the PS4, not only because of the fact that it contains superior processers and GPU’s, but because of the fact that it has a wide range of exclusives and seems to have a wider base of people in my current region.
Although Microsoft claims to be the only device needed for a home entertainment system, it has really taken this up a notch with the Xbox One. Instead of opening to the Xbox dashboard, it will open into normal digital TV if the cables are connected. It can do most things a set-top box can do, and do it efficiently at that. But with so much packed into one device will it be too much for the One to handle? I for one believe that they focused too much on the entertainment side, and not nearly enough with the gaming side of things. Whatever happens, the Xbox will ultimately be judged on performance and reliability when it is released, not before.
Region locking is a dreaded problem when it comes to any device. It is speculated that Microsoft has incorporated this into their new console, meaning that instead of buying games, and even perhaps the console, cheaply overseas, the consumer must now spend more than double the price than is found overseas. Of course people will find ways to unlock the region, but it will ultimately ruin the experience of buying cheap games overseas.
I’ve become frustrated with Microsoft lately. More specifically with their inability to create new interfaces, believing that the Metro look is the revolutionary interface. I’ve got a little word to say to them.
It. is. a. terrible. interface.
Not only because of the fact that it looks horrible, but because they’ve made it too universal. Its on phones, computers, tablets and now its on Xbox, as it was before. They’ve made it too universal and people are simply getting sick of it. Along with the fact that the Xbox dashboard is cluttered with multiple advertisements, even when the user pays $80 a year for online access, as if they weren’t making enough money with their multi-million users that pay for Live each year.
Simply Microsoft, it’s time to get your act together.
Personally, I’m not all against the Xbox One, I just find little aspects frustrating. I will soon write an article stating the massive benefits that it has, with some of these factors included into the benefits side also. Stay tuned, and if you have any questions or oppose this article please feel free to leave a comment 🙂