Microsoft has posted some details about how the Xbox One is going to function as a console, and on first glance, it's kinda crap news. Here's a link, if you haven't seen it yet. Go ahead and take a quick gander, I'll wait. :)

So, my first grumble grumble is about the inability to actually *loan* a game to a friend. But, I do have to say that Microsoft is trading a lot of other features that kind of offset that: the idea that I can play any of my games on a friend's console, whether I brought the games with me or not, is kinda cool. Most of the time I want to loan a game to a friend, it's because I want to share the experience in the first place; it's probably a net gain for me that I can always do that with all my games, even if I can't do it asynchronously anymore. I think I'm OK with the constraints here.

Second, the "always on" idea. On the one hand, my console has long been my last bastion of entertainment when the Internet goes out but the power stays on. On the other, I can't remember the last time I was without Internet for 24 hours. Hell, if push came to shove, I'm not too fancy to take the Xbox to a friend's house to borrow a cup of wifi. I like the updating-in-the-background concept. On the balance, I think this one's OK too - I'm not going to get heartburn if, during the console's 6-year lifespan, I'm blocked once or twice by a bad combination of long Internet outage and unwillingness to jump through hoops to solve.

Now, the used games thing - this is more troublesome. Publishers "may" authorize reselling of games via "participating retailers"? This is where we formally turn games from things you buy into things you license or lease. The publishers will say this has always been the case; while it may or may not be technically true it certainly wasn't the case in practice. I like going to yard sales and getting games; I like knowing that if my plate is too full today for Final Fantasy XIII, then at least I can look forward to snagging it used in a year or two. Now, I get to *hope* that publishers will allow me to do that, and that's a disappointing situation and a significant problem for me. But again, Steam doesn't support the Used Game paradigm, and my PC Gaming library has absolutely flourished.

All in all, it looks like the Xbox One has all the bad bullet points we were afraid it might. But, maybe those bullet points don't mean the end of Gaming As We Know It. What do you all think?

Travis   Admin wrote on 06/07/2013 at 07:56pm

I'm not as worried about my internet connection as I am Microsoft's. Remember what happens on every major launch? XBox Live crashes pretty hard. If you miss your window to get updates and you want to play games but Live is screwed up at the moment, no games for you.

PC gaming has always been a little different. I understand the Steam model because games are so easy to pirate on PCs, but generally requires a hurdle of software, or often even hardware, hacking on a console to achieve.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 06/07/2013 at 10:43pm

Steam may not support used games, but I just picked up Batman Arkham Asylum on Steam for $5. If Microsoft can support a similar economy to Steam's when it comes to older games, then the pill becomes a little easier to swallow. Otherwise, they will simply lose customers, and quite a few of them at that.

CapnCurry   Supporter   Post Author wrote on 06/07/2013 at 11:06pm

@Travis: That's a good point about the Microsoft servers. I didn't really think of that at first; I usually miss the major launch events by at least a few weeks. Hopefully they've figured out the logistics a bit better - they've *got* to know how much worse it'll be if they screw up this time.

@Scrypt: I'm hopeful that the old-game market will be rather exactly like that. Once a title gets to be a couple years old, it boils down to a question of whether they can sell the game at enough of a discount to warrant production & shipping costs; if the delivery is purely digital ala Steam, the question slowly morphs into "would the studio rather have $5 or not have $5." I think the basic economic principles of the two platforms are the same, and I'd be really surprised if we saw markedly different strategies arise for them.

hardeyez wrote on 06/07/2013 at 11:35pm

I'm wondering how they are implementing the "family" grouping. That is, anyone in your up to 10 member "family" can play your games on any machine. That will be interesting how that plays out. I used to always share games with friends in the "I'll buy this one, you buy the next" and we pass the discs back and forth. If they could just be added as "family" that would change things.

So I'd have to imagine they'd limit it somehow so groups of friends didn't get together to pool games. If not, woo hoo!! actual benefit of being disc-less with M$

jdodson   Admin wrote on 06/08/2013 at 04:13pm

Good point scrypt, yeah Steam doesn't have used games but at the cheap sale prices its not like that effectively isn't the same thing as buying used. Sometimes its an even better deal that used. That said, I don't anticipate Microsoft adopting the Steam pricing model here. I don't know, I guess I just don't hope for the best with Microsoft.

Any kind of launch is precarious because I am not certain how Microsoft could be 100% ready for the demand on day one. It's possible, I just don't see how.

That said, Blizzzard handled Starcraft 2 and Heart of the Swarm flawlessly on day one for me.

I didn't own a previous XBox, not that it matters here because nothing will work on the XBox One from previous systems save your physical movies(kind of an interesting aside, the only thing that ports forward is physical media and mp3s. Aren't those supposed to be dead formats? :D ) The more we hear about the system the less interested in it I am. That said, if it was $50 I might consider it. Well, even then I might not. It does everything I can do now already so I guess I just don't see the point. For me, I imagine others will love it.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 06/08/2013 at 05:46pm

XBox One is now an officially support Platform on Cheerful Ghost.

If you want to join this conversation you need to sign in.
Sign Up / Log In