I loved Microsoft. The original Xbox was my favourite console of that generation and the 360 was my favourite of this generation. These statements are as polarizing as you can get around here, but my intent is not to create a series of debates to have people wank on about how they love this and love that. I just wanted to be clear right up front about my colours.
I love my other consoles as well, particularly the PS3 which has had so many great exclusives, and I would be sad without any of my consoles. (well, maybe not the WiiU, but I’m still hoping for some massive recovery there).
I was born at the dawn of gaming and have had almost all the consoles on their march to the future. I love gaming and think that if you want to experience it all, you simply have to have all the hardware to be able to play all the games.
I am mainly a PC gamer, but I think without the consoles my gaming experience would be hollow. I can’t imagine missing out on exclusives that only the consoles give me.
I really was drawn to the 360 for many reasons. I think the overall console experience is better. The PS3 always feels so slow and cumbersome to get around in, let alone their simply awful downloading and installing performance. Microsoft seems to understand the user experience much better. (I’m not including the Wii or WiiU because for me they just don’t measure up to the other guys. Again, not trying to incite anger or violence, it is simply my gaming preferences and the type of games I want).
Another reason I love the 360? I LOVE Kinect. I feel like I am at an AA meeting every time I have to say that; “Hi, my name is Datacide and I love my Kinect”. Aside from the voice controls which my whole family uses a lot, I simply haven’t found a more unique game and been so personally impacted by a game than I have with Dance Central. The short of it is that I am getting on in years, I don’t like to exercise because it never holds my attention, I love to game and get competitive with scores. Dance Central brought everything I wanted and more importantly NEEDED to a game that has quite honestly changed my life. I am in better shape and feel better about myself and I want to exercise...this is nothing short of a miracle for me. I have to thank Kinect, Microsoft, my friends who bought us a Kinect+DC, and Harmonix for changing my life.
I could go on with more examples about why I prefer the 360, such as really liking how Live works, how I generally get better performance from games on the 360 over the PS3 versions, etc. Again, this is me, everyone if different, but something about Microsoft’s take on their consoles really speaks to me as a gamer.
So, I think it is obvious to say that I was super-excited for Xbox One. I was really looking forward to Kinect 2.0. Considering how much I loved the first one, I think everyone having a Kinect so that devs will utilize it more can only be a good thing. Say what you will, voice controls alone are a compelling reason for Kinect and having it know where and when I am in the room is a big plus to me.
I was totally on-board with the “Always On” approach. I see loads of merit in having this system and knowing that all your customer base can take advantage of being online. I love Steam and want all my games digitally and this system would have allowed more freedom for your digital purchases. I thought it was a ballsy move to cut out those customers that didn’t have the connection to support this system. I think the internet was a huge part of the PS3/360 experience and my consoles now are “Always On” anyhow. I think to move forward you have to make some sacrifices to make your vision work. Once again, this is me and my opinion. I’ve certainly had LOADS of debates about this subject, really Really REALLY long debates...even with some of you here on TAY. I’m just speaking to my personal view and saying that I really wanted what they were offering with what they revealed with Xbox One.
So I had preordered an Xbox One. I wanted to throw in my support as I thought what they were going for on the One was excellent and where they were coming from with the previous consoles was really setting up for something wonderful.
Then, they lost their FUCKING MINDS.
To clarify, I think their initial vision for the One was great. The problem is that this vision is now so eroded that I can’t see what they want and now no longer trust them to make the right decisions.
This constant reversal of decisions does not inspire any confidence at this point. From the changes in the “Always On” policy, to the independent publishing, to the inclusion of headsets to the current “Now you don’t have to have Kinect plugged in”, they’ve really screwed up here. They had a plan and a plan that some consumers were quite happy with. Now all the features I was looking forward to are basically gone and the console looks like the PS4 clone now.
I can no longer trust them about policies and they’ve so muddied the water than I can’t see where they are going at this point. Truly it seems like they have absolutely no clue what they are doing and seem intent on confusing the customer to the outcome that these customers (like me), and some very loyal customers at that, just give up on Xbox One.
I’ll likely still get one at some point if they don’t bury it before it launches. To be completely honest, other than Project Spark, Dead Rising 3 (which will likely make it to PC anyhow) and Minecraft for my kid, I wasn’t looking forward to many of the titles as many will also be on PC. I really just wanted to show my support by pre-ordering one. However, I simply can’t in good conscience pre-order this system anymore. They’ve simply lost my trust and I can’t keep watching them be unable to commit to anything. I’ll likely grab one 6-months/1 year after they are released so I can have a good hard look at what they are doing and see if this is something I truly want or if it is successful.
I would also like to add that the loss of the Gold Family Pack for 360 also factored in to my cancelling the pre-order for the Xbox One. I think it is a despicable money grab for them to screw loyal 360 users at this point. I bought a second 360 for my family and we’ve invested heavily in Dance Central tracks. My wife and I almost need the leaderboard (which requires Gold) in Dance Central to be motivated trying to beat our friends scores. Plus, having your own gold account makes life so much easier on so many fronts. We invested in to the additional hardware and games that have to have Gold to function properly because Microsoft offered a Gold Family Pack, 4 memberships for the price of 2 essentially. It will now cost an additional $80 or so a year for my family to retain their gold memberships (add another $60 if you have 4 users, we only use 3). I know that Gold is a better deal now for the Xbox One, but I still intend to use my stuff that I’ve heavily invested in on the 360. Plus, since you only essentially need one Gold account per Xbox One console for everyone to enjoy all the benefits of Gold...this really is just a slap in the face to 360 users. Sure, in the grand scheme of things $80 over a year isn’t going to break me, but it is the principle. I am sure there are some logistic reasons for wanting individual accounts on the Xbox One, but I see no reason why they couldn’t keep the Gold Family Pack for the 360 even if these accounts migrate back and forth from the 360 to the One. They’d make more money I think. I need to spend $99 to keep all the family in Gold under the Gold Family Pack on the 360, but I’d only need to spend $60 on the Xbox One for the same services and features for the family. I see no other way of seeing the loss of the Gold Family Pack as a screw for the 360 users. Plus, they’ve taken away a service that people banked on being there when they further invested in the system and brought their whole family to the party.
They sent the Family Gold Members an email with “We continually evaluate our offerings and are always working to provide services that best meet the needs of our customers.” This is totally bullshit and needs to be called out for bullshit. What current Family Gold customers wanted to have that taken away so they’d have to spend more money?
Like I said...out of their fucking minds. I can’t believe that a company as big as Microsoft who have lots of money for market research could mess up this badly. They truly seem like they have no clue what they are doing at this point and are simply overreacting to every complaint. A company with no focus or vision does not inspire any confidence and I simply can’t pre-order a machine in such a state of confusion from a company that still can’t show the final product I would be pre-ordering. Wake up Microsoft, the faithful are starting to turn their backs on you.