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Video Game Experts "The New Yorker" Come to the Aid of XBOX One

According to The New Yorker the reason the Playstation 4 is getting so much better press than the XBOX One is because whiny kids who play video games just don't understand that their whole world is about to be rocked by new way to watch TV. You can Skype while watching TV or playing a game! It's a whole new interface! You can turn it on by talking to it! It's going to be awesome in four years!

Even if this is true and even if one concedes that the future of game consoles isn't just gaming (which seems to me to be a trope that we've heard for a long, long time now), I contend that the future of gaming consoles at least has to START with video games and video gamers. And at $500 there is no way it will.

We've always been told that the way Microsoft was going to revolutionize the living room with the XBOX was to get it in living rooms as a video game system first, and THEN take over the TV. But instead they added all the new TV functionality and increased the price by $100. Getting a video gamer to spend $500 on a console is not impossible. But getting them to spend $500 when a more video game-centric console exists for $100 less might be the end of the XBOX.

All of the non-gaming stuff the XBOX One has been showing off is something I'd love to have in my Apple TV (except maybe the "always on" camera which I still think is just creepy). But the Apple TV is just $99. No one is going to spend $500 for a jacked-up Apple TV. And most gamers aren't going to spend an extra $100 to have a harder time playing video games.

The XBOX One won't "be the box you’ll want connected to your TV four years from now" if they don't sell enough of them this year.

(I'd also like to add that author Matt Buchanan calling the DRM scheme of XBOX One "groundbreaking" is just silly. Doesn't anyone remember DIVX?)

The Future of Game Consoles Isn't Just About Games [The New Yorker, posted by Matt Buchanan]


The Official Xbox One E3 Response Is Surprising. Then You Remember It's Microsoft.

Don Mattrick at E3.

For two days here I've been complaining about the XBOX One pricing as well as other constraints that don't put the user (especially the video game user) first. And for two days or so Microsoft has had time to craft a response. One might think that response would mitigate the anti-Xbox uproar since E3. One might think the response would address some of the concerns and issues people are having in a constructive way. At the very least, one might think they would say something like "Hey, we hear you. We'll go back to Redmond, talk it out, and get back to you."

No. This is Microsoft. What did they guy in charge of the Xbox, Don Mattrick, say?

"...and fortunately we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity. It's called the XBOX 360."

And then to illustrate his point he talked about how the crew of a nuclear submarine could still use their XBOX 360. He also said this about the negativity.

"[The gaming community] ...look at all those things and they say 'Hey. Is this going to impact me in a negative way?' And until you use it, it's really hard to understand what all the advantages are." (Emphasis is mine.)

$500 for something that is hard to understand how awesome it is until you spend $500, which also happens to be $100 more than your biggest competitor?

Read all about it and especially watch the video (if you want to get frustrated) at Engadget.

If that's not enough frustration, I'll refer you over to an ArsTechnica article where Xbox marketing chief Ysuf Mehdi tries to explain used games and all the DRM.

"We're trying to do something pretty big in terms of moving the industry forward for console gaming into the digital world. We believe the digital world is the future, and we believe digital is better."

Except of course the XBOX One uses plastic discs which, last I checked, are made with atoms and not bits.

Microsoft talks about the "education [they] have to do" which in as of itself makes things all the more confusing. Check out the ArsTechnica article. If you can make it through it and you're still not confused as to how it will all work, well, good for you.

Also, feel free to put me on your "family list" as one of your ten "family members" even though we aren't "blood relatives" because we can be "family" even if we live "3,000 miles away" just make sure we aren't playing the "shared game" at the same time.


XBOX One Too Costly? Don't Take My Word For It.

Yesterday I very much voiced my displeasure at the extra $100 the XBOX One will cost, especially when you take into account all of the extra "features" Microsoft has piled on.

But I'm not the only one. Check out these headlines:


XBOX One $500? Indefensible.

For the record, I'm an XBOX guy and have been since 2004. And although the XBOX 360 is far from perfect (red ring of death anyone?), I've always considered it better than the Playstation 3.

But the new XBOX One always has to be connected to the Internet. The Kinect camera is always on, knows when you're in the room and is connecting itself back to a company that the NSA is fond of data mining. It's full of television/living room functionality that gamers never asked for and "regular" people don't understand.

And it's $100 more than the Playstation 4. How can I tell anyone with a straight face that they should go with XBOX over Playstation?

Oh yeah. And there's this.


The Place to Start for Info on the XBOX One

Microsoft announced the new XBOX One last week, and while most of the information centered around the non-gaming aspects of the console there was still a lot of information for video gamers. Below are the two best links I've found to get all of the information that has been released so far, as well as a link outlining some of the many worries video gamers have about the new console.

I'm not going to get too worked up yet, as I suspect most of the answers with how the XBOX One relates to video games will be answered at their presentation at E3 next month. But then again, this is Microsoft we're talking about.

XBOX One Revealed |

Microsoft Xbox One: everything you need to know |

5 Features of the New Xbox That Are About to Ruin Everything |