Monday, July 1, 2013

Ready or not here it comes part 2: X-Box One

We all know by now that the Wii-U left me feeling underwhelmed. Oddly, if you had asked me five years ago I might have been excited for the next Xbox, however, times have changed. Today Xbox 360 gets almost as much dust as my Wii-U. As time has gone on I have gradually shifted away from the 360 toward the PS3. This has been in part because the PS3 graphics are usually better on an HDTV despite the fact that most games only display in 720P and the 360 can upscale to 1080P. Colors are brighter on the PS3, and images sharper in general. The PS3 is also much more 3D friendly than the Xbox 360 but the biggest issue has been the red ring of death. I have had to replace my 360 three times. I have never had to buy a new PS3.

   I have a lot of 360 games which is why I haven’t given up on it previously, plus I do love Halo, but with the 360 breaking as often as it did and the fact that so too did it’s predecessor, add to it the fact that most of what was exclusive to the 360 five years ago has now become available and is often better on the PS3 my incentives for getting onboard the Xbox One are already low.

   Then Microsoft announced the game system would not allow for used games without having to buy a $50 pass code to transfer the game. The games could only be played on one system, so you couldn’t take the latest Halo to a friend’s house, and to make matters worse, the system would also need to be online 24/7. Add to that the most awful looking controller since, well the real Xbox One, the first Xbox prior to the release of the S-type controller. And that’s another thing, the confusing name. When I think Xbox One I think the original Xbox. Whenever people are talking about the new machine I have to remind myself we’re talking a next gen box not an old one. Incidentally, this system is not backward compatible, meaning Microsoft is doing nothing for retro gamers like myself.

   Now Microsoft has since reversed their policies on used games and 24/7 connectivity, however the damage may be done. Pre-orders for the device have been underwhelming. I am going to make a prediction here that may end up proving wrong but based on consumer response to the Xbox One, the 360’s infamous red ring of death and the consumers still struggling financially, I would not be surprised if the consumer adaption rate of the new Xbox is very low. It is quite possible this system will do worse sales wise that the Wii-U, which has already seen a sales boost in the wake of the Xbox One reveal-1, though not as significant a boost as I would like to see for it.

    With money tight my wife and I have already decided that we will only support two systems this generation. We already have our Wii-U because Nintendo’s customer service is so stellar and they have treated Becky and I very well over the years, rewarding us with free game downloads for the virtual console service, t-shirts and other goodies at very regular intervals. Sony, likewise, has treated us very well. Sony’s systems have never broken down, and we’ve only had one system break on us that was Nintendo’s and only because we were dumb enough to buy it used. Guess what? Nintendo didn’t care that it was bought second hand and was out of warranty, they fixed it free just because Becky and I are “loyal customers.” With service like that I will continue to support Nintendo and wish it well. Our experience with Microsoft has not been so pleasant.

   Quite literally the only incentive I have to buy an Xbox One right now is Halo 5, but with the lackluster preorder sales compared to the PS4 perhaps I can count on that migrating Sony’s way too just as Mass Effect has.

   That’s not to say there is nothing I am interested in with Xbox One, for it’s lack of 3D Content they have made up for it with discussion of illumiroom technology, where they will project the game onto your walls, floor, ceiling, etc. My brother’s 3D projector does this and it is pretty neat, but with the price of the system, Microsoft’s lackluster history for creating stable systems and the lack of exciting exclusives and the issue over used games and 24/7 connectivity… I think I’m going to pass on the Xbox One.



1-Consumers go crazy for Wii-U Following Xbox One Reveal, Darren Calvert 5-23-13,, Accessed 7-1-13



  1. Hey Dan. Jensen and I were discussing this with one of our cousins the other day. He (our cousin Ameer) has the amusing theory that Microsoft orchestrated the whole "no used games/no lending" followed by the quick reversal as some kind of not-so-elaborate publicity scheme. He made some good points, but I couldn't agree with him...

    I ended up saying about what you did and concluded that if this was indeed their intention, it was a real face-palm-stupid idea and has backfired, as anyone could have told them it would. Gamers have turned against them and they aren't winning enough of them back by reversing the policy.


    1. I totally agree. I think Microsoft wanted to solve the problem of lost revenue at the hands of used games, but used games are all I can afford, lol. Becky and I probably can't afford all three consoles, and since we already have a Wii-U we had to pick between PS4 and Xbox One, Microsoft's stance on used games made that choice easier...