Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

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Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by ShantaeVocaloid on Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:33 pm

So, Microsoft creative director Adam Orth decided to pull off a boneheaded move not too long ago.

Apparently, rumor has it that the new Xbox 720 (or whatever it's called) is, in comparison with Nintendo's Wii U and Sony's PS4, going to stay online throughout its lifespan. Not only this, but the games that the console plays require a connection.

Now, imagine that you're around that age where you're out of highschool and going into college, and you're saying, "When's the new Xbox coming out? I'm so excited to buy it!" And then, imagine getting the news that this new Xbox is going to require a constant Internet connection. Now, imagine that your Internet is complete and utter crap. These mixed feelings are popping up in your head, and you're thinking to yourself, "Omigod, I...I'm potentially shilling money for a glorified brick."

And to me, that's basically what Microsoft is building up this new Xbox to be - a glorified brick.

Now, I'm not done. Imagine if, for some ungodly reason, this new Xbox succeeds, and this "always-on" sensation becomes the new norm for the gaming industry. Imagine the new Xbox 1080 is coming out soon. Now, you've just got your new Xbox 720 working at last, but you're piss-your-pants scared at this point, hoping that Microsoft doesn't stop supporting this console.

Imagine this happening.

As opposed to the usual start screen, an error message pops up instead saying, "We're sorry, but this console has stopped working. We apologize for the inconvenience." Now, all that hard work you just put in trying to get your Xbox 720 to work is all for nothing. Now, imagine if the console works just fine, but suddenly your games refuse to work. "We're sorry, but this console no longer supports this game. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Now, all that's left to do with your Xbox 720 is to use it as a brick for the new wall you're going to put in your house or something. At this point, you're just feeling stupid for buying this system.

It's like I said - if the always-on rumors are true, then Microsoft is basically building up the new Xbox to be a glorified brick that will potentially stop working after about half a decade or so.

As you know, this has been working up quite the storm on the Internet. And that's where Adam Orth comes in - all he did was add fuel to the fire.

Adam Orth wrote:Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an "always on" console. Every device now is "always on". That's the world we live in. #DealWithIt

Thankfully, someone over at BioWare by the name of Manveer Heir had the balls to reply to his idiocy.

Manveer Heir wrote:Did you learn nothing from Diablo III or SimCity? You know some people's Internet goes out, right? "Deal with it" is a **** reason.

Orth's reply to Heir is just as dumb:

Adam Orth wrote:Electricity goes out too. The mobile reception in the area I live in is spotty and unreliable. I will never buy a mobile phone.

So...your area's Internet is bad, but you're choosing to develop this console anyway? What if there are beta testers for your console in your area, and they report this as a flaw? Are you actively willing to fix it, or will you just ignore it? Well, considering your attitude, Orth, it's most likely going to be the latter.

You're basically selling a glorified brick to your fanbase (at the very least, the less sensible ones). Those who have a crappy Internet will barely get it to work at all, and if you even make a new console after this - if you stop supporting this Xbox - then the console is just that.

A brick.

A paperweight.

A piece of junk.

I've never been a fan of Microsoft in my lifetime; I've always been a Nintendo/Sony supporter. My first portable console was a Game Boy Color, and my first home console was a Nintendo GameCube. And then I got a Game Boy Advance, a Wii, DS Lite, a DSi, and finally a 3DS.

I remember branching out as well, getting a PS2, a PSP, a PS3, and a PS Vita.

And I love all of those systems.

This is something Microsoft will fail to do for me - convince me in some way that I want to buy this new "always-on" Xbox. I will not shill money out for this new console; I will not sully my hands with this new console; I will take my money and spend it on a Wii U or a PS4 - maybe even a Steam Ouya, if the console's available.

As long as Microsoft keeps taking this route, this is my mindset. I do not see the new Xbox selling well, or catching on, or being popular, or setting a trend - all I see is, in the words of Tulio, "painful, agonizing failure".

I see disappointed fanboys crying, "Why would Microsoft do this?!" I see refunds out the wazoo. I see many unused consoles sitting on store shelves for the next half-decade. Who knows - I may even see Microsoft dropping out of the console business entirely.

But that's just my mindset. Anyone else's thoughts are always welcome.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by .Luke on Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:03 am

Yeah, not much else to be said about Orth other than "lolwut?". You normally wouldn't expect such an elitest hatin' on "console peasants" from Microsoft's own herd. It's a PR disaster they won't clean up easily, and I'm sure he is going to suffer for it, even though his Twitter is now private. Doesn't change what he said, however, and he hasn't done anything to take it back. At least the co-creator behind Fez fessed up to his harsh, childish criticism of Nintendo's hardware, and that guy has the mouth of a swearing twelve-year old.

Back on topic, I see it this way now. At one point, the PC platform was hardly considered a profitable one, with a very small install base compared to game consoles. Granted, Steam and other services like it have long since changed that, but just imagine how small Microsoft's install base would be if their console was tied to a consistent Internet connection?

It's pretty simple, the fans will still buy it anyway, but the ones who can't afford, or recieve a decent Internet connection in their area, simply won't buy one and get a PS4 or WiiU instead, because they don't have the means to get Microsoft's console to boot. Most of the US, the console maker's own home country, has yet to enjoy a solid DSL connection everywhere, so imagine what kind of market Microsoft would be locking themselves out of, if they were to go through with this unnecessary form of restriction?

Pretty everyone outside the big cities, and that's a lot of people with connection drops, or forced to stick with Satelite Internet or Dial-Up. (Just imagine the constant drop outs with those last two options!) Some people can only connect online with their phones too, so that'd be pretty awful as well in the home.

Consoles have long since had ways of protecting themselves from running unauthorized software, even the NES with its dreaded lockout IC. (Which is actually easily circumvented by soldering two pins on the IC together with a wire, lolimageekwannabe.) The only way to work around to running unauthorized backups has always been to open your console and install some extra hardware to break the copy-protection, and this extra layer of protection honestly won't change a thing for dedicated pirates or homebrew sceners. It's just more copy-protection for them to crack, and I can see a lot of people encouraging them to jailbreak the console. This isn't necessary; it's like some Steam games with three different forms of DRM, it's overkill.


So given all of that, I don't think Microsoft, and all their people in marketing, or R&D, are actually stupid enough to do this on their console. They do the research and the numbers, and the competition clearly isn't doing it, so going through with such a feature puts them at an obvious disadvantage.

Also, this video makes a lot of good points, so I figured I'd link it here :



I mean, who knows, they might, but until they come out of the closet with the facts, I want to believe better of them. I know a lot of people hate on Microsoft these days, but even if they're a major monopoly that's rubbed even the UK the wrong way multiple times, I don't think they'll do something so underhanded that will virtually strip them of the lead they have with the XBOX 360 now.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by Agent Gold on Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:13 pm

ShantaeVocaloid wrote:Imagine this happening.

As opposed to the usual start screen, an error message pops up instead saying, "We're sorry, but this console has stopped working. We apologize for the inconvenience." Now, all that hard work you just put in trying to get your Xbox 720 to work is all for nothing. Now, imagine if the console works just fine, but suddenly your games refuse to work. "We're sorry, but this console no longer supports this game. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Oh gosh, I hadn't even thought of that... If the console really is always online, they could change the rules anytime they felt like it...

Ever since hearing about Sim City, I've been one of the ones who thought "always online" is a straight up bad idea. I know that it's just a rumor for the 720 at this point, but I kind of enjoy all the fun that gets poked at it just because of how bad an idea it would be if they really go through with it. I don't see other companies adopting it as their standard just because Microsoft does it--especially not Nintendo--so I sort of think they'd just be hurting themselves.

That said, I kind of think those sarcastic Twitter comments sort of unofficially confirm that it will be always online... Otherwise, why wouldn't he have replied saying "you don't have to worry about it--it really was just a rumor"?

As far as blocking used games, I can't remember where, but I think I heard that Sony was making the option available to the developers to use activation codes for discs. Not required, an option. If that's true, we'll really see the true colors of which companies understand it's a bad idea and which ones see it as a way to earn more money.

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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:22 pm

Ever since hearing about Sim City, I've been one of the ones who thought "always online" is a straight up bad idea.
Unfortunately, some companies became obsessed with it, ever since "Starcraft II" (which started all this).
Since they gained the illusion that it prevents piracy.
That's one reason, among others.


But still, it is a bad idea.
Internet is still pretty much unstable at this point and unreliable.
It just doesn't work for anyone yet.
Which is why the comparison with electricity is ludicrous.
Electricity does go out too, yes. BUT NOT NEARLY AS MUCH AS THE INTERNET!!!


Internet still needs a load of development, before it gains the reliability of electricity.
At this point, too many people have problems with it and it is too unstable for an "always online" concept to work.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by .Luke on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:10 am

I don't think they're so much blinded by the idea of DRM protecting the interests of whiny, corporate money counters. Copy-protection has been around for decades; it's a concept that's stuck to every creative industry out there. Somehow, someway, a company has to protect its software from being used for undesirable means. In the past, having the game's retail disc idling in your computer's CD-ROM drive was more than enough for verification, and some games were just satisfied enough with the serial key you give it during installation.

Fast forward to current times, most PC games aren't even released in physical form anymore, rather digital online stores such as Steam or GOG. How do you protect your software from being casually shared, or "leased", by a paying customer to all their friends and family? Enter DRM, where an activation server is either necessary to validate the first installation, or consistently ping off a server to verify the software's legitimacy while the game is running.

Adobe has had DRM attached to all their products long before anyone thought to use it for video games; it's not a new concept and is acceptable in the way that Adobe or Mojang handles it. It only needs to verify once, and then you're good. (Although sadly, Adobe has placed a limitation on the number of times you can deactivate your Photoshop product before activating again on a new machine, and it's not something they really advertise in the fine print.) It's a sad compromise digital-only games have to make, but if done properly, it won't rustle anyone's jimmies and make them feel cheated out of their money.

But always needing to be online? That has the better part of the Internet in an uproar! If the next XBOX does it, Microsoft can't expect to maintain the dominance it has in the western market, when most of its customer base doesn't have an Internet connection that is 100% reliable 24/7. On a game console that's already going to have basic copy protection on retail discs from the get-go, DRM is hardly necessary and overkill. I would be repeating myself by elaborating further; it's stupid and I want to believe these rumors are as dumb as they sound.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:21 am

Tbh, I am no fan of "digital only" at all.
I prefer retail and always need to have it in physical form.

Digital only is much more of a hassle to me than it is worth.
And I am generally paranoid when it comes to sharing money data online.
It's something I just never do.
Retail is a lot safer and easier for me.


I would resort to "digital" stuff, if it were much less of a hassle and safer, pretty much like retail.
But sadly, it isn't.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by .Luke on Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:35 am

Depends on what you mean by "safe". There's always a 50/50 chance you could be injured or worse in a car wreck just driving to the store, but does it happen every other time you set foot in a vehicle?

Of course not, you have common sense and understand basic traffic laws. Same thing with online purchases; practice common sense, never use a credit card for online stores, and do your homework, and generally, you'll be okay. There are risks with everything in life; nothing is certain or truly safe. Paypal's pretty easy to setup anyway, the only real hassle is setting up a checking account to link it to, and for me, that involved more waiting than anything else.

Although I'm seeing Steam cards becoming more prominent in retail, so that will eventually render the point moot for anyone who'd rather avoid paying online for digital goods anyway. I'm sure you'd love such an easy way to pay for games that will likely never see a retail release, like Freedom Planet, or the PC version of Risky's Revenge, whenever that finally gets the Greenlight.

Sadly, not every game we want will reach a store shelf; digital-exclusive outlets are the only reason they're ever seeing the light of day. Risky's Revenge and the Pirate's Curse probably wouldn't even exist if not for the Eshop. The digital scene is doing wonders for more than just indie games now, and I'm liking what it's bringing to the industry; the sheer variety is becoming a lot more colorful.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by Paragon-Yoshi on Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:56 pm

.Luke wrote:Depends on what you mean by "safe". There's always a 50/50 chance you could be injured or worse in a car wreck just driving to the store, but does it happen every other time you set foot in a vehicle?
...

Honestly speaking here, this comparison is stupid. Don't you think?

There is a huge difference between a traffic accident and getting robbed by someone unknown.
I can get my health back. But something that has been stolen from me by someone anonymous with no means to track them down, means that it is gone forever.

The fear of putting ones money data on the net is completely understandable. And I find it downright shocking that you downplay, even ridicule, this.
Even experts say that sharing bank data online should be generally avoided. Since the anonymity of the net and the extent of abuse of it, means that hackers can easily hack and get your bank data and potentially completely empty your bank account.
And there is no way to track them down.
So you won't get any kind of compensation.

So if you got robbed this way, you're pretty much screwed for life.
Heck, people try this 24/7. And there seems to be no way to fight against it...
Except for not putting up your bank data in the first place.


If there would be a way to track down hackers and lock those creatures away, I would be more open for this.
But the way things are now, it is way too risky for me to do this.


So don't downplay this. This is a serious issue!
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by ShantaeVocaloid on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:22 pm

UPDATE: Apparently, because of his #DealWithIt stunt, Adam Orth just got his sorry **** fired from Microsoft.

Take into consideration that he was the creative director - one of the higher-ups.

And he got himself booted from his position and kicked out of the company.

Good.

It goes to show that Microsoft as a company is smarter than this moron right here.

Info from this beautiful YouTuber right here:
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by Maetch on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:58 pm

Paragon-Yoshi wrote:Tbh, I am no fan of "digital only" at all.
I prefer retail and always need to have it in physical form.

Digital only is much more of a hassle to me than it is worth.
And I am generally paranoid when it comes to sharing money data online.
It's something I just never do.
Retail is a lot safer and easier for me.


I would resort to "digital" stuff, if it were much less of a hassle and safer, pretty much like retail.
But sadly, it isn't.
If credit-card security is that much of an issue (an understandable one, too), then might I suggest buying point cards in a GameStop or similar store and using those online instead?

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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by Agent Gold on Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:45 pm

.Luke wrote:So given all of that, I don't think Microsoft, and all their people in marketing, or R&D, are actually stupid enough to do this on their console. They do the research and the numbers, and the competition clearly isn't doing it, so going through with such a feature puts them at an obvious disadvantage.

.Luke wrote:On a game console that's already going to have basic copy protection on retail discs from the get-go, DRM is hardly necessary and overkill. I would be repeating myself by elaborating further; it's stupid and I want to believe these rumors are as dumb as they sound.

I think you're putting a bit too much confidence in them to leave it out. It's true that it would be dumb of them to go through with this feature, and they may even realize that right now. It was also a bad idea to design Windows 8 to be excellent for mobile devices while screwing everybody else. (I think they fired the guy who designed Windows 8, but they did still release it as it is.)

I think they might be including "always online" as a feature if only for one reason: it's too late to pull it out if they've already put it in.

See, the rumors being what they are, there's pretty much no doubt that Microsoft considered the idea at some point and either gave it their approval or disapproval. Adam Orth being such a higher up guy may not have made the final decision, but likely gave it his approval or disapproval. Judging by the way he backlashed at people for bashing the idea and saying they wouldn't buy the console if it had it, he almost certainly approved it. Being he was a higher up, there's a very good chance that the current design has it implemented.

Now, the console has to be in its late development stages right now. If they're about ready to show off a demo with their new features, they need to be at the stage where they're just polishing features and quashing bugs rather than adding anymore new features or taking them away (adding or taking away a feature always risks introducing new issues and can take more development time than you'd think). If the feature is currently implemented, taking it out might be a hassle and would be a difficult decision.

This basically leaves them three choices, and none of them are good (and I feel bad for Adam Orth's replacement because of this). They can keep the feature as it is and release a product they know works and release it on time. They can rip the feature at the last minute and release the console on time while risking some bugs that are unaccounted for (possibly bugs that stop other features from working). Or they can remove the feature and push back their release date to thoroughly account for all the changes, giving their competition an advantage by being late.

Now I definitely think "always online" is a bad idea, and Microsoft likely realizes what sort of an impact it might have on them. It would've been better if they'd known about it from the get-go and never green lighted the feature, but again, thanks to Orth's comments, we can fairly safely say they already have. They're going to very carefully have to choose what matters the most to them as they move forward. If they want their product out fast and they want it to be reliably working, including "always online" might appear to be their best option.

I know I'm making assumptions here, and I could be wrong, but this is what it looks like to me.

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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by .Luke on Mon May 06, 2013 2:13 pm

That's a good point Agent Gold, it could have been something they planned early on, realized it was a bad move, and then it was too late to remove it completely. Although assuming this article is anything to go by, these fears may have been overblown either way, just like I thought.

It still seems that the next XBOX will limit how much a game's experience can be shared, (Crossing my fingers that they're not dumb enough to cut into the used games market.) but the "always online" buzzword was nothing more than a cruel joke to slam the breaks on their next system's hype train, and now I can see why Microsoft refused to even comment on it.

ShantaeVocaloid wrote:UPDATE: Apparently, because of his #DealWithIt stunt, Adam Orth just got his sorry **** fired from Microsoft.

Take into consideration that he was the creative director - one of the higher-ups.

And he got himself booted from his position and kicked out of the company.

Good.

While I would normally feel terrible someone lost their job, I'm not sorry he lost his. What he did was a PR disaster, Orth would have never lived that down even if he stayed with the company. Good luck to him finding another position after being an insensitive prick to "console peasants" at Microsoft's expense; nobody's going to want an obstinate, anserine elitest spreading bad company rep on the Internet.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by .Luke on Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:59 pm

Bumping dis topic because it's apparent that Microsoft has reversed all of their DRM policies on the XBOX One. (Shareholders were clearly putting on the pressure, possibly in part out of the livid comments this console was getting on the Internet.) Your thoughts, guys?

That might not stop the stream of jokes about the console's extremely simplistic design, (I've seen more personality out of an Atari console.) but from the looks of it now, it's going to be an actual competitor in the 8th gen, instead of the butt of everyone's jokes.

It still requires a broadband connection to set the console up for the first time, though, and that's going to be a deal breaker for anyone still stuck with a dial-up or mobile connection.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by ShantaeVocaloid on Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:12 pm

While it is nice to know that they're pulling their heads out of their ****, I'm still not convinced. The XboxOne is still the most expensive out of the three main consoles. This (along with the required Broadband connection) can be a deal breaker for some - myself included.

There was nothing that sufficiently convinced me to buy an Xbox, and there's nothing that convinces me to buy an Xbox 360. And guess what - nothing is convincing me to buy an XboxOne. As one of my friends on dA said, it's the same stuff with a different look. You have to innovate somehow, or your console's going to flop.


Last edited by .Luke on Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : OMG, you guys are on a roll with these swear words lately. Another one added to the filter.)
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by .Luke on Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:16 pm

I kinda have to agree. The only thing they'll have going for the system are exclusives, and some of the perks XBOX Live has that PSN doesn't. (Party Chat, for instance.) As long as they deliver on their promise for more exclusives, the ultimate selling point of any console, the One should do fine. Although the better part of the Internet is already biased to the PS4, so there's no telling how things will play out in the end.
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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:18 pm

Yet I know several (and by several I mean many) gamers in this section of the nation who're plunking down preorders for the XBox One without even blinking an eye. Why's that?

Scant little of the Xbox One's policies, whether reversed or otherwise, have filtered out beyond the 'Net and its core gaming culture - and scant little of the gaming crowd that's *not* involved w/ game culture couldn't care less either way: they want their Halos and their Gears of War-sies and anything else Microsoft has constantly delivered.

I'm company-agnostic...or, perhaps, loyalty-agnostic? I purchase and utilize platforms whose software libraries appeal to me. I've played on Atari, Sega, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Apple, and Neo-Geo systems. I'm not ever going to express hatred toward /any/ corporation based solely on their gaming lineup. Yet what stunts Microsoft has pulled soured me completely on the One, and their recent reversals are inadequate to my view. I'm steering well clear of the One & encouraging folks to (if nothing else) research and learn about the consoles themselves before committing to the One, PS4, or Wii U. Such advice, however, falls often on sealed ears. =\

I will not be surprised if the One 'wins' 2014. I'm angling for the PS4, myself, once it carries enough titles to justify my purchase. I'd be content with just Steam and my 3DS though. In either case, however, I will not be surprised if the One far outsells the lower estimates of the majority of gamers entrenched within deeper gaming culture.

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Re: Microsoft and the 8th-Gen Xbox

Post by .Luke on Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:41 pm

Yeah, the differences in policy ultimately don't matter to the regular players outside of web forums. They still want their XBOX exclusives and party chats, and the One will provide that whether they reversed the obstructive DRM policies or not; the console itself would have simply have been more disposable to them after this gen. (Since their games would stop working after so long.)

Of course, lots of us in online circles love playing our favorite games well after their console generation was said and done, so the One's original response to the second hand market was detrimental to archiving, collecting, and future enjoyment. The thought of games becoming worthless coasters because a random server box on the other side of the world permanently shut down; that left us with our jimmies in a knot.

Thankfully, shareholders apparently pressured Microsoft into removing and changing the system for the better. With PS4 preorders outnumbering the Xbox One 2 to 1 initially, they had every right to feel outraged at the console maker. Lots of people deeply enjoy their games, and feel entitled to its ownership. You lose their vote by wallet at the front door when that is encroached upon.
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