I wasn’t going to do this first. I was going to talk about Starship Damrey and Dragon’s Crown and Freedom Wars and Valhalla Knights 3 and Chaos Code and pretty much just those things because not much else has happened in the world of gaming that I’m interested in at the moment, but, let’s talk Xbox One.
By now you all know just how…awful that reveal was. The PS4 reveal may have left many scratching their heads, but at least it was a system you could go “Eh, we’ll see” or “Eh, I’d probably buy one” or “Eh, not really for me, but cool stuff.”
Xbox One…Xbox One with it’s many, many, MANY barriers to anyone wanting to buy it. Shall we go down the list?
1) The system has to check in to the internet once every 24 hours, because apparently if you are a soldier serving overseas, live in a small town, or live in Alaska and have hideously expensive internet with ridiculously tiny download limits then Microsoft just doesn’t care about you.
2) The Kinect 2.0 is always on. Like, always. You can’t turn it off, even when it’s “off”, so imagine you have a high quality webcam with a high quality microphone always watching, listening, and broadcasting to someplace. So, the next time you fancy some naked 2 in the morning Halo or Dance Central, just remember that hackers are jerks and your grandma is on your Facebook page.
3) If you buy a used game, you have to pay some kind of premium to be able to actually play the game.
4) If you loan a friend a game, they have to pay a premium, possibly full price, to be able to play the game.
5) The games are on blu-ray discs, which can hold up to 50GB of data with companies looking to expand up to 128GB, and it is mandatory for you to install the entire disc (from then on all games are played without a disc) and then log it’s unique key into a Microsoft server to be able to play the games. Heh, and you thought the wait to play MGS4 was long…
6) The HDD, which is non removable, is 500GB. Assuming that most games, we’ll say they’ll be 25 GB just to be nice, maybe 30GB, that means you can have 16 games before you need to start deleting them or pony up for an external HDD. Let’s be real gamers, how many of us actually beat 16 games before we buy new ones?
7) Did I mention the 24 hour check in thing? Because that’s really stupid. The system won’t let you play anymore if you don’t check in.
So, what’s good about the system?
1) Hey bro, we heard you liked TV and Xbox, so we put a TV in your xbox, so you can TV while you xbox! Ok seriously, I A) don’t even watch TV that much, and B) don’t typically buy an Xbox so I can watch SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTTTTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2) The…triggers vibrate now? That’s…that’s cool I guess?
3) Call of Duty has a dog now? Yay? I mean…that worked out so well to endear me to Fable 2…..
4) The launch failed so hard that EA is now (after making fun of the Wii U for months) explicitly stating it’s going to make sports games (and presumably other games) for the Wii U again
5) It pissed off Japan.
Seriously though, the dog thing is kinda cool; I imagine in a war zone I might care more. But, I also already have a dog, so, there’s that. Plus, Call of Duty is on PS4, so, Playstation gets a dog and a system that wants to invade your privacy considerably less.
If I were a far more crass website, I’d make a joke about what Xbox One withholding gaming from you if you don’t make it happy all the time with internet and stuff reminds me of, but, if you’re imaginative you can sort it out for yourself. Honestly, I can vaguely see the school of thought that went into it; game developers constantly either rant that piracy or used game sales are murdering the industry (or maybe just stop charging $60 for a game that is either mediocre, terrible or only a few hours long with no real replay value), so I can see where for some…bizarrely ridiculous reason Microsoft thought this was a good idea.
I can see how they looked at Steam and thought they’d get a (considerably more gated and capitalist) piece of the pie, but…I mean…really? Seriously?
And I mean, an entire room full of people at Microsoft HQ were like “Yes, this is a great idea.”
Honestly the only positive I see out of this was pissing off Japan. No, really, I’m not even joking here. Nor am I being xenophobic. I get so sick and tired of every single Japanese game developer going “We never think about America; we develop for Japan first and foremost/only, and we feel that if we developed with America in mind it would hurt the product/severely hurt the product/dilute the experience. We develop for Japan with no plans for anyone else, because that is how we make a good/strong game.”
Don’t give me that look, they have all said it except for Daisuke Ishiwatari, Morii, Suda 51, Shinji Mikami and Keiji Inafune. There may be an exceedingly small handful that I missed, but no, they either say the above, or they blame poor sales on American gamers not understanding Japanese games, or on American developers ruining Japanese games, or on designing for the west for ruining Japanese games.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; a game stands on its own merits regardless of its nationality. If you hide behind “You’re from America and you just don’t get it” then you’re kinda punking out, I’m just saying. If a game is designed well, it will sell regardless of if you are from Japan, England, or freaking Samoa. No, not all well designed Japanese games sell in America, but, the vast majority of them are hideously under marketed and released in a quantity that no one can buy in the first bloody place. And, the ones that are marketed and made available? Yeah, they always sell well.
Okay, I’m done ranting. It was just really, really funny to hop onto Japanese forums and see how many gamers over there were all “They didn’t even think of Japan/didn’t design this for Japan/don’t seem to care about Japanese gamers” and I’m like “Okay, first and foremost even in America we think the system as is, is stupid beyond belief. Secondly? Hi Pot, I’m Kettle. You’re black.”
I’m just saying, I guarantee that when you’re working on Freedom Wars, Lords of Apocalypse, Playstation 4, Toriko, Rezel Cross and more, you aren’t going “Man, I really oughta think about bringing this to America/I wonder how I can enhance this experience so Americans will get into it!”
Unless you’re Keiji Inafune, who is creeping me out lately, or Suda 51 who pretty much just does what he wants to anyways. And we love him for it.
So, there’s a rumor being fielded by a “trusted reporting source” apparently that Microsoft is looking into waving fees for used/borrowed games, with the catch that you have to always be online so the system can check the encryption key at random intervals. So, which do you prefer, having to pay for the game twice or having to always be online lest you suddenly be kicked off your system?
Me? I’m just gonna stick to systems that let me play what I bloody pay for.