Published on August 17th, 2013 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Opinion | Geez Guys, Give Microsoft a Break
The source of gamer’s rage all has to start somewhere: “All out of copies?!” “What do you mean I’m only getting $1.75 trade-in value for the Collector’s Edition?!” “Great, I can’t afford that hardware. Yes I can, just won’t eat for the next few weeks and I’ll be fine.”
In the case of Microsoft, it starts with the Xbox One’s “always on” feature that sparked an overwhelming flood of rants. Anger flowed through the fingertips, often times spewing disgust just because. These rants, mostly in all CAPS mind you, showcased some of the most upset and angry feelings that one could possibly be expressed. However, with the most recent recant on decisions to appease gamer gripes, all I can say is: Give them a freakin’ break.
In all honesty, I don’t think I can say that I feel too flanked by the moves of the software giant, Microsoft. Yes, I do own an Xbox 360. Yes, it is my fourth Xbox 360 console. However, my choice for a future gaming console occurred before this whole fiasco really unfolded.
Some time ago we brought you an article in regards to the much talked about Adam Orth (remember that guy?). The former creative director let loose his tongue via Twitter causing an outrage to some of his followers. For those who don’t remember, essentially he told the twitterverse: “Tough noogies, the console is always on. Don’t like it? Don’t play it.”
Now, something remarkable stemmed from the backlash felt across the fickle gamer universe occurred. Microsoft took measures to change its approach with the always-on console, adopting the position to remove DRM. Cool, this is something many gamers wanted. Those who were infuriated with the DRM policies took a stance and actually made an impact. A company, a rather large one at that, even though that is a gross understatement, listened to the voice of the people and changed something:
“These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc-based games will require that the disc be in the tray.
We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.” — Don Mattrick, former president, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft.
So, here we are presented with yet another feature that many people did not like. The Kinect for the newly announced Xbox One being essential to its functionality. Even with the controller tear-down we just recently saw from Major Nelson and Zulfi Alam, the fear of spying has sparked a fear among online enthusiasts. Cameras in your living room watching while you game? The one area where Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Raptr and Twitch can’t reach you, right?
The console recently received yet another bit of news declaring that the Kinect won’t be needed for the Xbox One to function. Yet again the console giant recants on one of its decisions, for the consumer mind you, and changes its position — a complete “180.” Err-ma–gherd.
In an ‘Ask Anything About Xbox One’ article on IGN, Microsoft’s Marc Whitten released a statement regarding the Kinect feature.
WHITTEN: “Xbox One is designed to work with Kinect plugged in. It makes gaming better in many ways – from the ability to say ‘Xbox On’ and get right to your personalized homescreen, to the ability to control your TV through voice, Smartglass and more. Kinect allows you to search for your content, instantly move between games and your personalized dash and more with just your voice. Kinect helps you pick up and play by automatically knowing which controller you have in your hands. No more need to interrupt your friends game or navigate through multiple UI screens to sign in and tell the system which controller you are holding.
“It will even bind the controller to the console if its currently unbound – no searching for special buttons! Of course – these are just a few of the system wide benefits of having Kinect. Games use Kinect in a variety of amazing ways from adding voice to control your squad mates to adding lean and other simple controls beyond the controller to full immersive gameplay. That said, like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor.”
Watch out, the Internet is about to have a meltdown.
So, once again, the company is giving consumers what they want. And yet it’s still not enough. It is just astonishing to me that gamers cry out when a policy is not to their liking, and then again when its changed to deliver the goods. It’s almost as if gamers got a splinter in their finger, didn’t like the way they felt, then bitched and complained at Microsoft for removing it. Then, continued to bitch as to why it was removed and how it made them feel and are upset because their moans were heard.
It might frost your cookies that the latest gaming console isn’t 100 percent to your liking, but look at the original Xbox or Xbox 360. By no means were either of them perfect. Heck, people spent hundreds, if not thousands, feeding their gaming addiction by purchasing new Xbox 360 consoles, some breaking time after time. This doesn’t even hold a candle to the Xbox Live Points, games, DLC and even $60 dollar controllers that were probably purchased in that same time frame.
It seems like Microsoft is doing its part to appease the masses in delivering content and a console that does prove worthy in the eyes of gamers. But, it isn’t fair to crucify the company when it changes a decision you as a consumer wanted.
Player 1: “Oh, did you hear?”
Player 2: “No, what?”
Player 1: “Microsoft is doing it…again!”
Player 2: “What is it?!”
Player 1: “It’s…the worst thing they could have done…”
Player 2: “You mean, no…they couldn’t have.”
Player 1: “Yes, yes they did. They made a bad business decision and then tried to do right by changing a policy that sucked.”
Player 2: “Those bastards. Those, unholy mercenaries of ungodly excrement!”
Player 1: “Yeah, dude, I know.”
Here are some of the comments seen around the web in response to recent Microsoft reversals (unedited for your pleasure):
“It’s also about the fact that a lot of people think the Kinect fucking sucks and don’t want to use it anyways, and since they don’t want to use it, they shouldn’t have to pay $100 more for it”
“Are you fucking kidding me? This 180 business is starting to get on my nerves it’s as iff they plan to do at least one 180 each week. Is getting ridiculous”
“They aren’t listening to anyone. They are striving to make sales. They were still going to rape you and changed their minds when their presales were terrible. They changed their minds now they aren’t rapists?? I am still not buying..”
Here we have this gem:
“If Microsoft keeps backing up, they will end up back in the 80’s.”
“Meh. The damage is done here, and I can’t say I’m any closer to considering the console.
“It just reminds me of the time when EA insisted that SimCity couldn’t run offline and that it was built from the ground up to be that way and all that, and then with a single patch it was reversed. Microsoft’s consumer base didn’t like this (barely anyone did) and they ignored them for a better part of a year until they realized sales were going to take a massive hit”
“the original xbox was the starting point into the console business, it was unproven while the ps2 had a lot of followers from the ps1 days.
anways, the ps2 sold something like 155million
but then when it comes to the ps3 and xbox, the xbox took half of that 155 (78million)
when the underdog can take half of your userbase I think it’s a win for the underdog”
And of course, the one guy who actually has something important to say gets buried in the comments:
“Is anyone else excited about Kick Ass 2. That movie looked awesome!”