It seems like a rather bold statement to say that what people are thinking, feeling, and talking about are wrong, but if anything is blinded by emotion and fan boy/girl allegiance, it’s the announcement of a new system. Here are just a couple of the hot button issues Pittsburgh gamers and those around the web are saying about the news of Microsoft’s Xbox One.
It isn’t backwards compatible: Hold on a moment, I’ll get you a tissue. Having a serious issue over the lack of backwards compatibility is like complaining that you can’t take the old exhaust off your old car and put it on your new car; it just doesn’t matter! Sure, lacking backwards compatibility is an inconvenience, but in the long run it really shouldn’t matter. If you are in the middle of Borderlands 2 and the Xbox One releases, yes, that will be a problem for you. One, two, especially three years from now, do you think anybody is going to care they can’t play a 360 game on their One? Focus on the important issues, please.
Too much focus on elements other than gaming: I’m going to keep running with the car analogy for a moment: if Chevy unveils a new car and they speak about the interior, the updated dash, and standard navigation, are you going to complain that they didn’t discuss the car’s handling or show it on the road? Of course not, it’s a car, you know that fact, so you are being showed what sets it apart from other cars. The same can be said for the Xbox One; it is a gaming console, we don’t need to be told every intimate detail about how it plays games, we know it will. Frankly, I was more interested in how it seamlessly plays television, uses Skype, and uses multitasking to do two things at once because that is new. It’s a next generation console, of course it will play games, of course they will look better than last generations, that isn’t newsworthy. That’s why Microsoft didn’t focus on that.
Digital rights and used games fees: First and foremost, these details have not been covered at length, so no one should freak out too much, nor should I attack or defend this too much because without specifics, it is a waste of time. However, we know there are digital rights that may result in gamers being forced to pay a fee when playing a used game. On its face, please don’t cry over spilt milk. A game you want, you’re going to get new. A game that is used and is still new is only a few dollars cheaper, so why not spring for the new version anyway? And finally, an older game used will be cheap enough that even with this mystery fee, it is still cheaper than going for a new version. Do I agree with it? In no way, shape, or form. But you know what, it makes the developers and publishers happy and more likely to offer exclusives for Microsoft. That’s a small risk and fee I’m willing to take.
Now, lets talk about what is firing up Pittsburgh gamers and why they should rightfully be angry with the new Xbox One.
Digital rights and used games fees: Confused? Don’t be; think of this same fact in a different way. So I head out to buy a year old game used and pay $20. I come home and pay the unknown fee (We’ll say $5) for unlocking the used game on my Xbox One. No big deal, $25 is still cheaper than $60 for a new copy. Now imagine my friend brings this exact game over to my house so I can play it. Or maybe he lets me borrow it. What if she just wants to co-op for a little while? Do I have to pay the “used game unlock fee” for this? I sure hope not! You can share a movie with friends, a book with family, or an album with your neighborhood if your speakers are loud enough; they cannot stop you from doing this with games because its tied to another Xbox and considered “used.” This is a major fault and it needs to be sorted out before the launch.
Always on Kinect: The Xbox One will feature a vastly improved Kinect that will be standard with every Xbox. Sounds fancy. You know what doesn’t sound fancy? Your Kinect being on and potentially accessible to anyone out there on the Internet while you eat your morning cereal. Not scared yet? Imagine all the not safe for work scenarios that happen in your living room and now imagine someone could gain access to your Kinect via the internet and see you doing said things. Maybe that’s a voyeur or maybe it’s a potential boss. Either way, that isn’t a gamer issue, it is a privacy violation issue. Microsoft either has to prove that the system is full proof and simply turn the thing off.
Granted, I didn’t have my ear as low to the ground for the Playstation 4 announcement, but shouldn’t people be more concerned over a system announcement that doesn’t show the system than one that doesn’t focus on the fact that it will play games? Rest assured, Pittsburgh gamers, there are still several more months to gripe before eventually buying the system anyway, so get out there and complain!