Microsoft has a rather sordid past here among some of the Realist Lounge Crew. For some of us it is the company who allows us to play amazing games across a sturdy network. It’s the company that’s given us a way to connect to all of our friends and play games together. To others… it’s the company who knowingly sold us a shite product and tried to call us the “ones with the problem”. Sounds eerily like the “Deal With It” meme that was all over the interwebs months back.
Microsoft has decided to come out and ease its fan base’s minds a little before E3 next week. Sort of. By the way, the phrase “sort of” may come up a lot here.
So the whole thing about “Always Online” and the “Deal With It” that sparked a war of words and hashtags against Microsoft came down to one single conclusion. If you plan to buy an Xbox One you will have to “deal with it”. Microsoft clarified that the connection doesn’t have to be constant. Microsoft has said –
“With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies.”
They also added –
“because every Xbox One owner has a broadband connection, developers can create massive, persistent worlds that evolve even when you’re not playing.”
So in the end Microsoft bowed and wound up giving rabid Xbox 360 fans the offline capability they demanded… Sort of…
The second phase of “Operation: Calm The Fans” came with the rumors surrounding used games and being able to borrow/lend games to friends and family or rent from Redbox or Gamefly. Microsoft cleared that up to… Sort of…
The Xbox One can and will play used games. Microsoft stated –
“We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games. Your friends and family, your guests and acquaintances get unlimited access to all of your games. Anyone can play your games on your console–regardless of whether you are logged in or their relationship to you. Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.”
Sounds Ok. I mean it still seems a bit eerie and all since they make it sound as if the disc you buy in a store is absolutely worthless, but seeing as how the gaming world is moving towards a more digital based retail system its kind of expected. They’ve already come out and said there will be no rental or loaning of games at launch so who knows how it will all work. As for the “Family” business I’m not so sure. How do you distinguish “family” exactly? My best friend has access to my PSN account (Only two PS3’s can share the same PSN account) and raids my download history of any and all games and/or DLC I purchase whenever he wants. Do they mean it works that way, but with up to 10 people? I have upwards of 15 people who share my Netflix account. Is it the same thing? Microsoft did coyly add that its left up to the publishers (Activision, EA, Rockstar, etc) who decide whether or now they want to”enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers.” Microsoft basically said “Not it!” which is why I say Microsoft eased their fan base’s worries about used games… “Sort of”…
Now on to this Kinect business and the whole big brother issue.
“We prioritize your privacy. We understand that your personal data and privacy are important. Xbox One and Kinect will provide tools to put you in control of your data. You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear. By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded.”
Personally I could care less about the Kinect. It’s a gimmick piece of hardware that doesn’t have any practical applications to gaming that are relevant to me. I don’t buy dancing or work out games. I buy RPGs, fighting games, action/adventure titles, platformers and shooters. Until it becomes applicable to those titles it’s not on my radar. Plus I’m lazy and the idea of standing up to play a game is against my principles. Gaming shouldn’t make me sweat… unless it’s a super ultra mega powerful raid boss in an MMORPG or a JRPG… Just saying.
The Kinect already had privacy issues from jump street so is this any surprise? No! Did Microsoft actually answer our questions about the privacy issue rumors of the Kinect? Yeah. You guessed it! Sort of…