The XBox One: Microsoft’s response to the Playstation 4

15 Jun

The New XBox One

The New XBox One

Last year, Nintendo released it’s Wii U, which I didn’t bother making an article about because I don’t consider the Wii a major console unless you’re playing Mario. But ever since PS4, I’ve been excited for the future of gaming consoles. XBox is coming out in November 2013, just before the Xmas season.

I recently just learned of the XBox One. Yea, yea, I know I’m late. I wanted to research the functions of the XBox before I posted an article. After thorough research, I’ve learned more about the XBox One. As a technology person, it’s great. As a gamer, it’s disappointing.

Before you Microsoft shippers jump the gun, just hear me out on this. I’m a fan of all gaming consoles. I have no reason to be biased toward any of them. XBox One is great as a home theater entertainment system. It looks sleek. It’s glossy. The controller has this rad vibration function that boasts being able to “feel” the direction a hit is coming from in a game. Kinect remains active at all times. You can watch live tv at all times. Skype is a new function. XBox live is still subscription based, but there. Cloud storage will let you save music, movies, and games. Recording and Streaming will allow you to record gameplay footage from the game you’re playing, which is automatically saved. There’s also a SmartGlass on the way that is said to be compatible with mobile devices. It has an epic voice command, that even in sleep mode, can wake back up with that command. Sensors remain on even in sleep mode.  More interesting games draw people to the XBox One than the PS4, Killer Instinct being one of them.

You know what I find funny? During the whole explanation, they kept mentioning about how when one person shoots, it vibrates. The lack of variety in gaming is evident even when hearing game producers talk about how great their console is. Almost every game is a shooting game. But that’s getting aside.

There are pros, but many cons. The console is getting more negative reviews than positive. Here’s why:

1. Compatibility with old games

Not going to happen. No XBox 360 games are compatible. So if you want to play any old games, better make sure you’re taking care of your XBox 360. They’ve made this clear. They won’t even carry over with your profile. Well, at least I know I’m not trading in my xbox anytime soon. This limits the user. Only people who are interested in new games will be interested in this console. So, as Microsoft infamously proclaims, “If you’re backwards compatible, you really are backwards”. I’m backwards compatible, come say that to my face Microsoft! This was the downfall of the original Ps3, and will be their’s as well.

2. Internet is a Requirement

What happened to the days when kids whose parents didn’t want to pay an internet bill every month got the chance to at least play a computer game? The popularity of this gaming console is lessened because of this feature. If I was a parent who didn’t want to pay an internet bill, and I had the option to choose one item I could buy just one time, and didn’t have to worry about a bill every month, I would go with a console that I could pay one price and the kid could play his game. Sounds like team PS4 to me.

Then there’s always the chance where the internet connectivity turns off, or moments when the whole server crashes. Aside from worrying about the console breaking, you now have to make sure your modem or any other internet device is up and pumping because games won’t work without it. My internet is so up and down, I could be halfway through a game before it crashes. I’m not too comfortable with yet another item being dependent on the internet. At least with a hard copy, there’s some back-up, and you can play it anywhere and on anyone’s console. I hear that even if you get your profile on another console, it doesn’t guarantee your games will show up if it’s not your own copy. That eliminates sharing games. Which sucks.

When people asked Don Mattrick about the people who don’t have internet, he simply said, “Buy a 360 instead”. Wow. Much faith he has in his own “next gen” console. And games will still be made for the 360…which is practically an old console in 2013.

Is this supposed to compete with PC games or something?

3. You must use Kinect

You can turn off Kinect functions, but the sensor must be connected. This is a bit creepy to me. What if you don’t like a game sensing your every move? It just limits the player’s options. A gaming console’s success depends on the options a user has.

“It can also detect a player’s heart rate, facial expression, 25 individual joints (even thumbs) and the precise rotation of such joints, the weight put on each limb, and the speed of your movements, and track gestures performed with a standard controller. The Kinect microphone will remain active at all times so it is always ready to receive voice commands from the user when needed, even when the console is in sleep mode—where the Xbox One will be able to wake back up in response to a command.” Like some creepy action movie. Does the thing have an off button? Another way to make kids think video games are real. Does the law even allow this?

4. Restrictions on Reselling games and Sharing of used games

Must I say anymore? It’s not going to allow you to share games even if you log in to your profile on someone else’s console. Every game must be downloaded.  There’s also this dumb requirement of verification every 24 hours of offline games. Video Game Retailers will not be able to sell Used Games anymore with this new “internet” function. So if you think a game stinks and would’ve liked to trade it in for something better, allowing someone else to play it, you can’t do that with the XBox One. This insures money stays in Microsoft’s pockets, and the independent seller loses. Microsoft even threw it off on the game developers, stating that if they want people to play used games, then it is up to them, and the activation fees THAT COME WITH IT. This limits the Used Game market. Isn’t this breaking a law somewhere? They might be trying to stop people from burning games…

Though they have this “10 person per library” policy, that still is a limitation on your freedom as a gamer. So I’m limited to 10 accounts? How about I share it with whoever I want? I buy it, I own it. Right?

From Wikipedia:

“After its unveiling in May, gaming and PC websites expressed concern over the restriction on the resale of used games,[68] and the requirement of online verification every 24 hours for offline games.[69] Further official details released in June regarding the policy towards used games and Internet connection requirements caused negative backlash among gaming websites as well as concern amongst independent video game retailers.[70][71][72] Microsoft clarified the situation stating that it would be the game developers that decide if used games could be played and any activation fees.[73] Matt Peckham of Time believes that the Xbox One used games policy goes against the first-sale doctrine.[74] Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has suggested that the game developers would limit the used game market for a period after the game was released but might then allow used games to be played.[75]

Xbox Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi defended the changes, stating that the Xbox One was primarily designed with digital distribution in mind, and that the changes to the licensing model on the console would be “easier to understand” when applied to just digital copies of games. He contended that the new system, which would also allow games to be accessed directly from cloud servers by various means (regardless of how they were purchased), would allow publishers to use “a diversity of business models” to meet their individual needs. Mehdi also noted that Microsoft was not attempting to “give in” to the criticism of used games by publishers, but trying to balance the needs of consumers and the industry itself.[76] The position on online requirements was reinforced by Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, who stated that those who do not have internet connectivity should purchase an Xbox 360 instead.[23][77]

Where does Ps4 deliver?

Playstation 4

Playstation 4

1. Hardware-The graphics are ten times better than Ps3 and better than the 360. And arguably, better than XBox One. This might not actually show up in games, but neither will One’s. From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2013/jun/18/xbox-one-vs-playstation-4-at-a-glance

“The PS4 version has 18 CUs generating 1.84 teraflops of processing power, while the Xbox one has only 12 CUs; which, in theory , gives Sony’s machine a 50% advantage in terms of raw shader performance (for example, lighting and other graphics effects). It’s never quite this simple because other design and technical elements of the SoC can affect performance, but it’s certainly an indication that there is more graphics grunt there for PS4.

Sony’s machine also uses 8GB of GDDR5 memory with a bandwidth of 176GB/sec as opposed to the Xbox One with its 8GB of DDR3 RAM. GDDR5 memory is optimised for high bandwidth, which is perfect for use in graphics calculations, but also has higher latency than DDR3 RAM, which would be a problem for a general purpose CPU. However, because the PS4 architecture places the GPU and CPU on the same die, the latency between the two may be minimalised. In short, the adoption of a graphics-friendly form of memory may work to PS4’s advantage as agames-targeted machine – even though GDDR5 is more expensive to implement. There’s a thorough summing up of the system design here.”

2. The console Camera, which has been downplayed, and made user-friendly in a less mandatory and creepy way than Kinect.

3. It’s cheaper…though superior in every way? Wow.

PS4 is simpler but better. It doesn’t look as pretty as One, but it’s better for games. Looks can be deceiving. Yes, Ps4 doesn’t have backwards compatibility, but the price is lower, so we know that it won’t have everything. For Xbox’s price, I expect it to be an epic console catering to all gaming needs.

All in all, which is better?

While XBox’s console doesn’t agree with gamers, it’s power lies in it’s game exclusives.

New installments of the Halo and Forza series, as well as new title Ryse: Son of Rome and the long-awaited return of Killer Instinct.

The quality of game exclusives OWNS Ps4’s, which most are new series. Call of Duty will be on both platforms and so will FIFA. Many of the biggest franchises will end up on both. So console isn’t a major factor in that either. But as far as exclusives go, Xbox one pawns Ps4.

Any other power lies in Sony’s hands. All they need are more powerful games and backwards compatibility, and XBox One will be withering away. It’s time to step up Microsoft, you let Sony have it this time. XBox’s system alienates the gamer, and seems more like a family tool for a better home theater, which mostly competes with televisions. PS4 caters to the gamers and sticks to what it’s strongest at.

But remember, the console isn’t out yet. So this is still just an idea.

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4 Responses to “The XBox One: Microsoft’s response to the Playstation 4”

  1. Christian 2013/06/19 at 13:15 #

    Do a little more research next time! You sound biased and here is why: Playstation 4 isn’t backwards compatible either so don’t attribute that to only Xbox One. The graphics are arguably better on both sides considering they use practically the same hardware consisting of an eight-core AMD processor and they each have 8gb of ram(did you see the new Metal Gear Solid on the Xbox One?). Lastly, Microsoft is leaving the choice of used games to the publishers of the game. Xbox One supports trading and selling used games to retailers, and even if the publisher doesn’t support it, Xbox One has a family share policy that comes with Xbox Live enabling up to 10 people to play the games in your library(bloodline or not) from any Xbox One at any time. I do believe both consoles are great but I just hate seeing people being mislead.

    Like

    • generationnext 2013/06/19 at 20:33 #

      First, I never said that Ps4 did have backwards compatibility. The three points that Ps4 has can help overlook that function (which I’ll make clear for readers). 1) cheaper. If you’re not going to accommodate to gamers, at least lower the prices. 2) And most other features aren’t MANDATORY like in XBox. i.e kinect and internet

      Particularly, internet. If the server crashes, imagine the security of FUTURE games. Forget the old games, when new games become old, can the system support it? what if servers crash in the nation or they get rid of the website that you got the game from? Website servers get old. Websites that existed in 2000. That’s bye-bye to the system. This system is only good for this century.

      Further, although you can have 10 people to an account, it’s still more limiting than having your own copy and being able to share it with as many people as you like. It’s called FREEDOM.

      I also mentioned how Xbox’s game exclusives are waaay better than what Ps4 offers. But from the front-person experience, and research from more than two news sites, Ps4’s graphics are better. so do your research.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2013/jun/18/xbox-one-vs-playstation-4-at-a-glance

      “The PS4 version has 18 CUs generating 1.84 teraflops of processing power, while the Xbox one has only 12 CUs; which, in theory , gives Sony’s machine a 50% advantage in terms of raw shader performance (for example, lighting and other graphics effects). It’s never quite this simple because other design and technical elements of the SoC can affect performance, but it’s certainly an indication that there is more graphics grunt there for PS4.

      Sony’s machine also uses 8GB of GDDR5 memory with a bandwidth of 176GB/sec as opposed to the Xbox One with its 8GB of DDR3 RAM. GDDR5 memory is optimised for high bandwidth, which is perfect for use in graphics calculations, but also has higher latency than DDR3 RAM, which would be a problem for a general purpose CPU. However, because the PS4 architecture places the GPU and CPU on the same die, the latency between the two may be minimalised. In short, the adoption of a graphics-friendly form of memory may work to PS4’s advantage as a games-targeted machine – even though GDDR5 is more expensive to implement. There’s a thorough summing up of the system design here.”

      Like

    • generationnext 2013/06/19 at 20:44 #

      to add, they got the function they did so that it would be HARDER for people to just download a game, and easily LEND it to someone else. That limits the USED GAME MARKET tremendously. Yes, they are leaving it up to the publishers because they know publishers aren’t going to support it. Why would a game publisher support independent retailers? It’s no money in their pockets. xBox is for the business.
      After its unveiling in May, gaming and PC websites expressed concern over the restriction on the resale of used games,[68] and the requirement of online verification every 24 hours for offline games.[69] Further official details released in June regarding the policy towards used games and Internet connection requirements caused negative backlash among gaming websites as well as concern amongst independent video game retailers.

      [70][71][72] Microsoft clarified the situation stating that it would be the game developers that decide if used games could be played and any activation fees.[73] Matt Peckham of Time believes that the Xbox One used games policy goes against the first-sale doctrine.[74] Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter has suggested that the game developers would limit the used game market for a period after the game was released but might then allow used games to be played.[75]
      Xbox Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi defended the changes, stating that the Xbox One was primarily designed with digital distribution in mind, and that the changes to the licensing model on the console would be “easier to understand” when applied to just digital copies of games. He contended that the new system, which would also allow games to be accessed directly from cloud servers by various means (regardless of how they were purchased), would allow publishers to use “a diversity of business models” to meet their individual needs. Mehdi also noted that Microsoft was not attempting to “give in” to the criticism of used games by publishers, but trying to balance the needs of consumers and the industry itself.[76] The position on online requirements was reinforced by Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, who stated that those who do not have internet connectivity should purchase an Xbox 360 instead.[23][77]

      Like

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