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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

PlayStation 4 outmaneuvers the XBone

PlayStation 4 outmaneuvers the XBone

Xbox One was recently announced and the message from Microsoft to gamers was loud and clear: “Fuck You!”

 Back in the day…

When Microsoft released the Xbox 360 in 2005 to compete against the Sony PlayStation 3, they were clearly the underdog. The Sony PlayStation2 was the most successful console ever and to make their mark would not be easy.

To compete, the Xbox 360 was priced lower than the PS3 and MS went out of their way to produce good games and entertainment for the system. In the end, the 360 competed very well against the PS3 and both of them sold more or less the same.

Unfortunately now…

Now, with their foot firmly in the market, all goodwill MS had towards gamers has dried up as demonstrated by the press conference announcing the new Xbox titled the ‘Xbox One’. Or “XBone” as gamers scathingly refer to it.

Microsoft’s contempt for gamers clearly showed when they said that you can’t lend or borrow games anymore. Should you lend a game from someone, you will have to pay to play the game.

Another blow to gamers – your Xbox will need a connection to the Internet or else you cannot play games. For people who don’t have Internet or people who has a bad connection at home this is a problem.

Then there is the prying eye. The Kinect must be on or the Xbox won’t function. The fact that the camera must always be switched on has some frightening implication… 

For one, MS recently applied for a patent – when you watch a movie you will only be licensed for a certain number of people to watch it. Should the Kinect detect more people in the room, the movie will be paused until you pony up some more cash. 

It is also suspected that the Kinect will collect data on you so that MS can target advertising at you. Although MS says that their Terms of Agreement states that they won’t collect data on you there is another clause that you have to remember – “Terms and Agreements are subject to change without prior notice.”  

After you have bought your Xbox One, MS can invade your home and there is nothing you can do about it. 

However, there was a silver lining, the E3 conference was still coming up and it was expected that Microsoft would clarify or reverse some of the restrictions they are going to place on the Xbox One.  

E3 has now come and gone and MS is still going ahead with the draconian limitations. 

Sony has made a meal of the ‘bone’ that Microsoft has thrown them. It seems clear that they want to capitalize on the negativity the XBone has generated by announcing that not only will their console be cheaper, it will have none of the restrictions. To delight of pretty much everyone, they have been releasing videos on YouTube mocking the new Xbox.
Is Microsoft worried? No. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer simply said:
we believe an all-in-one system that does the best games and TV and entertainment will be something that's really unique.” Or in other words, the target market is no longer gamers. 
There you have it, since the Xbox 360 introduced gaming to main stream, the focus of the Xbox has shifted from gaming to entertainment. The Xbox is now an entertainment system and no longer a gaming system.

The future…

The race for the next generation has started and it looks like Sony is leading the pack at the moment. Will Microsoft be able to pull it together and be competitive?
I really hope that Microsoft softens their anti-consumer stance, but until they do, all I have to say to them is, “Microsoft, you and your Xbox can go fuck yourselves!”

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