Xbox One Satisfies the current gen gamer, or does it?

20Jun

By Paul Barbara

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Sad, that’s how I am feeling today.  No I didn’t have a fight with the wife, today’s sadness comes from the Video Gaming Industry.  Allow me to explain.  I’ve been an avid gamer for over 30 years and my passion now is podcasting and presenting the gaming news via Daily Joystick Podcasts and our other affiliated sites.  However there have been a series of gaming events of late that have really put a damper on the industry I love.

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Several weeks ago the Xbox One was revealed to a worldwide audience.  Some loved it, some hated it, and some were on the fence.  Nothing unusual from this gamer’s perspective.  Sure there were some supposed leaks that made waves around the gaming community concerning “always online, DRM, internet connection required and no used games”.  Microsoft had the opportunity to discuss these rumours but chose not to at their first reveal.  Fast forward to last week’s E3 and despite an awesome presentation, Microsoft again chose not to discuss the issues, and opted for a press release outlining what the rumours had essentially foretold.  As an Xbox One gamer, you were required to sign in every 24 hours, you couldn’t trade a game (more than once), sharing was more difficult and well you know the rest.

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The internet exploded with many arguing the Playstation 4 was the better option for those who wanted to share games, not have restrictions imposed on them and more. Very quickly the various fan bases were at war, and have been since the announcements of the PS4 and Xbox One.  As a gamer, and predominantly and Xbox 360 gamer, I personally didn’t see Microsoft’s changes as restrictive, well, not for me anyways.  I didn’t see a problem as I am generally always online, I don’t trade or share my games, so the issues many complained about were non impacting for my perspective.  There were positives that I also really liked the idea of with Microsoft’s new direction for the future.  Firstly, the ability to play a game without needing the disc, anywhere I went was great.  The ability to have my entire family accesses all my games and gold membership on my console was also great.  I loved how I could go to a friend’s house, sign in and access my entire library and more.  These were positive steps forward, and with the power of the cloud, some fantastic gaming experiences with game Artificial Intelligence were all great moves forward.  So what’s the issue?

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This generation has seen a wide response from the gaming community, fans, haters, you name it.  The birth of social media services such as Twitter, Facebook and more have driven the speed and impact of news today.  I’ve been extremely disappointed with many websites that continue to share negative press in the pursuit of website hits.  Sure, I understand it’s great for business, but it’s also hurting those companies that are trying to advance gaming.  Microsoft has been criticised extensively for its policies it tried to introduce.  You’ve all seen it, read it and are aware of the hate that’s been circling the web over the past week.  Well today, I thought that would change.

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This morning Microsoft announced via a public press release that its listened to what the gaming community has said across various forms of feedback and is now making the following changes to Xbox One:

-          An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

-          Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

-          Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.

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While many would see this as a positive statement and a relief for many gamers, this is not actually the case.  Websites, fans, communities, memes and more are already flying rampid.  Xbox One is more like the Xbox Fail, Xbox Renegs, Xbox 180 and more are some of the stories and headlines storming the World Wide Web and I for one am disgusted.  I am disgusted by the fact that some sites firstly hung Microsoft by the throat for their policies initially and after the changes were made, proceed to hang them once again.  Give credit where credit is due!  The gaming community asked for these changes and they’ve been accepted and acknowledged so why continue to hate?  It astounds me how ignorant and hateful gamers can be.

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Next there are the other handful of gamers who like me, are somewhat upset with such a statement today from Microsoft.  We on the other hand believed in your mission, your goals and your business model.  We liked how Microsoft was looking to the future and was not merely a console that appealed to today’s gamer.  There were many features with the Xbox One that had me truly excited and proud to be a Xbox gamer.  Now, with those features removed, it seems as if it’s resting more on par with Sony’s PS4.  What separates the consoles now?  A badge, a game, the number of exclusives?  Today Microsoft your core fans, the true fans, the ones that stood by you are now the unhappy fans.

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As a gamer, fan and Xbox supporter I must admit I am taken back by the changes today, although again it’s something the masses asked for and I hope they are happy now.  So I put this question to you the fan, the complainer, the haters out there: Will you now go and pre-order an Xbox One console now that Microsoft has listened to you, or will you just continue to be a hater?

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All I ask for is for those who were unhappy with the policies that MS tried to implement and now has removed to satisfy you, how about you show some courtesy back and support the gaming company that truly revolutionised this generation in gaming.