Xbox 180: What Microsoft Did To Fix the Xbox One [Video]
If you haven’t been following the news Microsoft has made several changes to their console plans for the Xbox One since its announcement in May. The original reveal of their console plans were so universally hated over the internet that Sony then found themselves beating Microsoft on pre-orders at about 3 PS4s for every 1 Xbox One. So Microsoft basically started to take back everything that they said in what has been referred to as the “Xbox 180” (Get it? because they reversed decisions) yeah clever.
Here’s what they originally planned to do that got the internet in an uproar. If you want to get an idea of how bad it got just type “Xbox One Memes” into Google and enjoy
The Xbox One announced in May would require an internet connection in order to work, so even if you never planned to play a single online game, if your Xbox One couldn’t connect to the internet at least once every 24 hours you’d be left with a brick of a system. Microsoft claimed that this was in order to maintain certain features vital to their cloud computing services. In addition used games would not function on the console at least not in the way they do today. Microsoft planned to have some virtual version of a used game market but your disk at a friend’s house would be pretty much useless. Independent game developers were left hanging when Microsoft stated that they would no longer make any distinction between indie games and full retail games, possibly making it even harder than it is now to find smaller downloadable games in their marketplace. This would subject much smaller studios to the system that big budget games go through where they would have to be backed by big named publishers in order to get onto the platform and in most cases the cost to indie devs could include the intellectual property rights to the actual game they are making along with profits being paid back to the publisher. The new Kinect was and still is a big part of Microsoft’s goals, so much so that initially they stated that without the Kinect set up your Xbox One would not function. This came right around the time all the NSA spying stuff hit the news so the idea of a camera peripheral that is required in order for your game system to work at all was not a welcome concept. The Microsoft bashing across the internet was so strong that during a taping of Jimmy Falon’s late night show where Sony was actually demoing the PS4, Falon made sure to ask if this was the one that wouldn’t block used games. That kind of messaging going out to such a large mainstream crowd solidified the disdain that was rampant on the web.
skip to about 1:10 to here his question
Microsoft looked to be on the ropes long before the fight had even started, but luckily after all the hate and bashing and fledgling pre-order numbers Microsoft finally got the message.
Microsoft announces that the Xbox One will no longer require a constant online connection in order to function, it will still need to connect to the internet when it first boots up in order to download patches that will allow it to go offline forever if you choose as opposed to 24 hour check ins. They also stated that used games will now function on their system exactly as they do today.
Microsoft announces that indie developers will now be able to self-publish on the Xbox One, instead of needing to create deals with big publishers, in addition the console will now be region-free, which means regardless of what country a game or console was sold in they will work with one another.
Microsoft announces that the Kinect is no longer required to be set up along with the Xbox One in order for it to function. The Kinect will still ship in the box with every console but if you never want to use it your Xbox One will still work minus any Kinect specific features of course.
Momentum started to swing back in Microsoft’s favor as soon as the first policy reversal was announced, and currently pre-orders have picked up and show more parity with the PS4. Though the earlier plans still left a bad taste in the mouths of fans a lot of the damage seems to have been repaired. More than any other generation before it this next one seems to be an especially bitter battle between Microsoft and Sony for the living rooms of the world. Analysts are suggesting that this may well be the last console cycle as we know it with shifts to digital services in the future so Microsoft could have saved itself an early defeat in what could possibly be known as the last console war.