Thursday, May 30, 2013

X-box one, it's the end of the world as we know it, and I don't think I am fine with this...

So I know this article is late, family and work, and other hobbies have kept me from the blog, but I feel I need to chime in on microsoft's newest attempt to dominate our entertainment lives, the X-box one. It would be easy to assume from the upcoming rant that I am a sony fanboy who probably never gave the first X-box a chance but that simply is not the case. I went X-box back in college for Halo, and another game that was chariot racing based that did not hold up, but Halo, was what kept me going.

 I loved Crimson Skies, both Halos, Toe Jam and Earl, Danzer Dragoon Orta, Fable, Mechwarrior the Dark Ages, and spent a fair amount of time playing Destroy all Humans, and the Godfather on my huge black box with the neon green X on it. I even preferred the original controller to the later controller "S".  I went from the original 8 gig hard drive beauty to the 360 without question skipping the PS2 entirely (actually i just bought a ps2 like 6 months ago but that will come later in the story) Halo-3, Fable2,  The  Orange box, both Left 4 Dead games and Mirror's Edge kept me on the seat of my pants gaming wise until I got the Red Ring of Death, and some interesting news. Sony was doing a DCU MMO, I am clearly a DC over Marvel person, and While I am not an MMO junkie the idea of playing it on the consoles sucked me in. I got a 160 gb model and began to play. this first thing that made me seriously think about "switching sides" in the console war was sony's wacky concept of free online gaming. What? I don't have to pay sony like $60.00 a year for a feature I (to be fair) rarely use!. other than DCU, I have maybe played 5 games on my ps3 in online, and about the same for my 360. even worse Microsoft requires the $60.00 gold service to get to use netflix, facebook, or hulu, things that my PS3 does for FREE! I have since leanred to love Killzone (buying a used PS2 to play the first one even), uncharted, resistance, and even dig Sony's move which seems to have more hardcore gamer titles for a motion control device than Kinnect or Wii. Also, since the move just uses the existing Eye camera and a new controller it is cheaper and can be built into the system in installments. I personally like using the move equivalent of the nunchuck for my ps3 as a media controller when watching netflix of hulu on it.

But sadly this generation is coming to an end. Soon the 360 and the PS3 will be regarded as dinosaurs by the local Gamestops and Best Buys, Heralded by the release of Nintendo's new HD Wii with a tablet, known as the Wii U, the console market s pushing forward to the next generation. And Microsoft's big plan to dominate comes in the X-box one, a monolithic black box with a Kinnect baked in, like it or not. Microsoft also killing the reselling of games by forcing you to use the disk to download the game, and play from the hard drive, this means that your used games have no value as they are drmed onto the new device. and considering the stellar record 360 had with red ring of death, Imagine having to rebuy your whole damn collection should your xbox one go tits up, I am sure they will have some cloud backup for your account but like having to completely rework the basic idea of I buy a disk, I can use it in favor of I buy a disk to have license to play a game assuming microsoft allows me to. Should MS crash or decide to ban your ass from X box live, you may have a brick on your hands. Not a can't play on line but the game system is still perfectly.  viable but an honest to god, I just flushed $400+ down the drain brick. Am I the only one who is annoyed by the gilded playground mentality that most software companies are eschewing anymore. iOS, new Mac OS, and Windows 8 not to mention proprietary operating systems like you find on more modern game consoles. Corporations are turning products into services that they can keep us paying for, and this is not the way to go. It sure the hell isn't customer friendly.

Now of course they are going to show off some impressive specs and games to get players past the negatives that are plain as day (yeah I know I can still "buy" a used game from microsoft but that's not the point!) and yeah the new Kinnect is far more sensitive, and you can use it to control your TV, and cable system, (But my guess is MS will charge for the privilege) and their new innovation, besides glass which should allow Wii u like play from a tablet, is the illumiroom. a projector placed behind the players to "transform your living room into a bigger game experience"

Keep in mind that Kinnect and Xbox 360 did poorly in Japan, specifically because of the huge amount of space you needed to play with it. not everyone has a full sized living room capable of supporting Kinnect, and now we need to install a damn projector to make the gaming experience "complete" really MS? Why not just play on a real projector? At this point I fully understand that PS4 may be like this even more so. It could be infinitely more locked down, and user unfriendly, and if so I won't bother with it either. In all honesty the game console market is starting to become less about gaming and more about multimedia and as PCs become less like PCs and Consoles become more like PCs we are moving inexorably toward a controlled data environment where the power isn't in the hands of the users but the users are merely consumers. Sure we'll give MS, apple, Sony and Facebook etc. all sorts of marketing data (the thing they really want us to produce) but for now I'll pass on the "one" and I won't be surprised if this is Microsoft's least popular system to date.

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