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Five Reasons Why I’m Probably Not Going to Buy an Xbox One

words by Nick James
Follow me @LLCoolJamesFMYL
06.13.2013

Xbox One

After a horrible unveiling event and an even more lackluster E3 showing, Microsoft has just about killed any momentum that they earned in the next generation console war garnered by the success of the Xbox 360. Here are the top five reasons why I believe Microsoft has essentially strapped a bomb to their foot as opposed to just shooting it like most other pretentious companies.

"Gameplay"5. Shift in Philosophy

Microsoft, being the money-hungry, savage corporation that it is, can smell the way the wind is blowing when it comes to the different ways that people are beginning to consume television programming. DVR usage is up, live show watching viewership numbers are down, and an ever growing number of people are cutting their cable cords altogether in favor of the Netflixes and Hulus of the world.

With the Xbox One, Microsoft seeks to position itself as the all-inclusive set top box that will bring together all of your digital media with the nifty ability to switch between each simply by the sound of your voice. Cool trick. Here’s the thing, though: you could essentially purchase an Apple TV, Roku, TiVo, and a Blu-ray player combined for less than the cost of one Xbox One system. Microsoft seemingly setting its sights first on the TV-watching community over the gaming community is a probably a bad idea when trying to sell a video game console designed for gamers…right?

4. Many of Microsoft’s Exclusive Titles Kinda Suck Now

In the Xbox 360 vs. PS3 current console generation, Microsoft initially had a huge upper hand in regards to having exclusive big-name titles that you could not play on another platform. Franchises such as Halo or Gears of War are just two examples of marquee experiences that you could only find on Xbox six years ago. Back then, when I looked across the battlefield to my PS3-owning brethren who were stuck playing Killzone or some other generic shooter knockoff, I felt as though I bet on the right horse in acquiring my Xbox 360.

While that may have been true six years ago, Halo and Gears of War have become cash-grabbing iterations of their former selves that are being redesigned, repackaged, and resold by developers who have no prior ties to either series. To make matters worse for Microsoft, Sony has created a plethora of exclusive titles late in the PS3’s lifecycle that has made even the most loyal Xbox fanboys start to question whether their loyalty has been rewarded. Does anyone over 13 years of age really want Halo 5 at this point?

"One Does Not Simply..."3. DRM/Used Gaming Fees

I’m probably in the minority here, but I do believe that piracy and the bootlegging of games is detrimental to the gaming community overall. I mean, developers gotta eat too, right? Microsoft must believe the same because they have already imposed Draconian law on your shiny, brand new Xbox One.

Want to play a video game that you purchased? No problem, just make sure that you have your internet connection available so that Microsoft can tell your system that it is alright to let you play your game. But what happens if your internet connection is unavailable, you ask? Well, your Xbox One also becomes unavailable after 24 hours without a connection. Gamers who plan to relocate might want to put in that call to their new location’s internet service provider early.

After being assaulted with online hate mail, Microsoft has responded that gamers who want a system that doesn’t require an internet connection should “buy an Xbox 360.” Oh, and one more thing for you savvy used game shoppers: Microsoft fully supports your right to buy used games, but you will be charged a currently undisclosed “used game fee” to play it. God, I cannot wait to buy one of these.

2. “No New Friends, No New Friends, No, No New…”

Say you purchase a game, beat it, and want to lend it to a friend.  Fair enough right?  Wrong again my friends.  Lending games is not yet possible for the Xbox One because each title is assigned specifically to your system the first time you play it.  Well what if you want to just give away a game to fellow gamer?  For starters, you have to be friends with the person that you’re gifting the game to on Xbox Live for 30 days to let papa Microsoft know that this person is really really really your actual friend.  After Microsoft verifies that everything is legit, they will then allow your friend to access the title.  And after they’re done with it, that same game cannot be transferred to another human being again, EVER.  This is brilliant stuff folks.

ABANDON SHIP1. Price

And then there was the price announcement. Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One will retail this November in the US for $499, while Sony’s Playstation 4 will launch at $399.

So let me get this straight. With an Xbox One, I can’t freely borrow or lend games, I can’t play a used game without paying Microsoft a used game fee, and I can’t play games that I have purchased without the Xbox One checking in with Microsoft’s servers once every 24 hours to ensure that I’m behaving myself? Hmm, alright…I mean, I have no doubt that the additional $100 of cold hard cash that I’m paying for the system is going to give us loyal Xbox gamers a hardware advantage over the Playstation 4, right? Right?

Wrong. The PS4 has faster memory and a better graphics card for $100 less than an Xbox One.

As a stark supporter of the original Xbox and the Xbox 360, Microsoft has made it seemingly impossible for me to be interested in the Xbox One. In my opinion, the Xbox line has been the one area in the marketplace that Microsoft has consistently gotten it right thus far. Surface tablets are boring, Windows Phone is a niche, Windows is, well…Windows. Everything about the Xbox One just seems to be a gigantic misstep on the company’s part, and I hope it can correct its course at some point between now and launch.

Sony is essentially welcoming me into its loving bosom with the Playstation 4’s perfect price point, superior hardware focused on gaming, lack of DRM, impressive exclusive title lineup, and no used game fees. Don’t call it a comeback — Sony has been here for years.

FMYL.

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  • GoonerYoda

    Sony stated that you have to be a Playstation Plus member in order to play your games online. Nothing yet about used games.

    • kokglock

      Yes, you need PSN+, but it will be a better service and more bang for your buck. Sony has plenty of information regarding used games, just watch their commerical about it.

      • Nick James

        Do you think PSN+ will be more secure due to the extra revenue Sony is getting by charging players for it?

        • Kyle James

          I would imagine that the freebies you get would offset the price of PS+. At least you won’t have to have a plus subscription to play media apps. Unlike Xbox.
          Personally I play multiplayer games on PC.

          • Nick James

            I don’t have an issue with the paying for PSN+ seeing as I’ve been accustomed to paying for Xbox Live for seemingly the last decade. I was just more curious about whether or not Sony’s network is going to be more stable now. The last multiplayer game I played on PC was Starcraft 2.

      • Ray186

        Don’t forget about the free PS4 game that you get every month with PS+

    • Random

      Uh, Sony has already officially made a statement about used games.

      Here’s there official guide:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWSIFh8ICaA

  • ⚔Christophuh⚔

    i dont buy used games. My xbox is always online anyway. No one is watching you through your kinect camera. This is not a competition where there can be only one winner. Both systems can actually coexist. Grow up and stop being little nerds. Are you this passionate about refrigerators? No one cares what YOU are going to buy or not buy. Its not all about you. :)

    • tigerianwinter

      I kind of agree. I’m still gonna get the XBone because I want Halo 5 and Destiny. I also want Halo 6, and 7 and 8….

      I’m more worried (odd that I feel this way about M$) that XBone was not better received. M$ is running out of winners are the author correctly cited. This company doesn’t produce anything inspiring. THey are ALWAYS either late to the game, or show up empty handed. The XBox is the only thing this company has going for it other than it’s entrenchment.

      • Nick James

        I’m hopeful that Microsoft will bend a bit due to buyer discourse and loosen up their policies between now and launch. As far as exclusive titles go, Microsoft has deep pockets. If any company can buy their way to some good exclusive content it’s them. I noticed that they secured DLC for Battlefield 4 before the PS3 which is pretty awesome.

      • Devon

        hey tiger how much did you like halo 4 because it didnt come from 343 industries like it says on the case. 343 industries said that halo 4 wasnt going to come out on the date microsoft wanted so microsoft bought them out and slapped stuff together to make halo 4

    • Nick James

      Thanks for the feedback Christopher. I can’t tell if you are responding directly to my post or to the internet overall, but I will try to constructively respond. I never stated that the Kinect camera is always watching you. I never stated that both systems could not coexist. I’m also not delusional enough to think that my personal opinion on either console is going to have a drastic impact on what will happen in the future. I hope you understand that making the argument that my opinion is irrelevant and following that up with your perspective on what I’ve written invalidates your own opinion in the process. Oh, and I am infinitely more passionate about refrigerators. LG is doing some awesome stuff in that area.

      • Mo Reno

        I’m a Frigidaire fanboy, myself.

        • ⚔Christophuh⚔

          side by side or top and bottom configuration? that the question.

      • ⚔Christophuh⚔

        No, i was just yelling at the innernet.

    • kokglock

      You will be watched through your Kinect. Good thing I can masturbate having a PS4 and not worry about being watched. Can’t do that with Xbox now.

      • ⚔Christophuh⚔

        Who cares if someone is watching? Maybe they will give you a few months of XBL free if you are interesting?

        • XBox One will violate privacy

          You are an imbecile. Even if the Kinect will not be always on imagine you have roommates or other family members, individuals with rights to privacy, are you going to inform them that you are violating those rights every time you turn “on” the Kinect sensor? You don’t have the legal authority to do that and I think they would be within their rights to smash that piece of spying shit in order to maintain their privacy. XBox One in the bedroom..perhaps, in the living room? Fuck No

          • ⚔Christophuh⚔

            then dont buy it, jackass.

          • Devon

            i for one will take a few months of free XBL but knowing microsoft they may charge you more than what you normally pay

          • Hyperawesome

            Only a hardcore fanboy would purchase this console after reading about it’s shortcomings…

      • angelus mortis

        I see you dropped a hundred dollar bill … its under the table to the right . And i like the colour of your room … good kinect camera very clear ..

  • Dylan Bischoff

    I think the exclusives MS showed looked better that what Sony had. Sony really bolstered there indie line up, which is nice, but I don’t know anyone that’s gonna buy a system to play games they can download off steam for a couple bucks. While Killzone and Infamous looked good, I know I’m getting tired of endless sequels, The Order could be the one stand out for Sony. While Microsoft showed a lot of promising new IP’s like Quantum Break, Ryse, Project Spark, Sunset Overdrive and Titanfall.

    • Nick James

      I thought Quantum Break looked like it had the potential to be really good. It seems like most people were wowed by Titanfall but I really wasn’t impressed after watching gameplay videos. The game that has me most excited for the next generation is Battefield 4 which isn’t even an exclusive.

      • Dylan Bischoff

        Yeah BF4 is the reason I’m getting a next gen but, Respawn could have released anything and I would have been on board. I feel Titanfall is a very good change of pace from everything out there, but obviously everyone is entitled to there opinion, like me personally I never enjoyed any Halo or Gears game.

        • Kyle James

          I enjoyed Halo before the plot holes, even heroes die… he should. John Marston was a badass character, I loved every aspect yet, he died. Just added more to his legend I think.

          • Nick James

            Damn it Kyle James…. Spoiler Alert!?! I never finished Red Dead Redemption!! I know, I’m late.

          • Kyle James

            sorry

  • https://twitter.com/PMGProjects Amber Short

    Let’s see. Microsoft is basically telling us when we can play our games and for how long. Sony doesn’t care. Microsoft wants people to pay if you let friends borrow it. Sony doesn’t care. Both have a online subscription service. One is required and the other is not. Looks like PS4 is the winner. See the thing I see with this is that Microsoft is forcing you to do and get things you don’t want. Sony on the other had has most of the features that Microsoft has but they don’t force you or are required.

    When a company forces you to do something you don’t like, that’s where you draw the line. It’s like if you buy a pizza and the company says no meat for you because you don’t seem healthy enough to eat it. Microsoft is gonna be hurting just like with their Windows 8. Oh I’m sure there will be people who will buy them but statistically, their sales will be as low as they had hopped for. If that is the case, I can see a shortage of PS4 actually happening.

    • Nick James

      I agree. Although I haven’t actually borrowed a game from a friend in probably over five years, I’m not really comfortable with Microsoft restricting me from being able to do so. It really comes down to the principle of consumers being able to do whatever we want with the products that we have paid for. I just read that Sony has raised its sales forecast for the PS4 due to a higher than anticipated number of preorders. Looks as though gamers are voting with their wallets.

  • Capt. Apollo

    I think your piece might be one of the most sensible out there Nick James, although I do think you are a little mistaken in some regards. All business’ are out to make a profit sony despite all their hoopla are definitely in it to make a profit. That said they have stated that only their first party games will have no used game restrictions and that third party publishers are free to do restrictions how they may choose. This is the same system implementation currently on the ps3. Again that said, sony is definitely being more consumer friendly this go around. You hit it right on the nail when you said you haven’t lent a game to a friend in a while. I also don’t lend games out to often but in case I do I don’t want to be restricted. I’m curios how Microsoft’s family circle thing will work. There are some good bits in there they’ve just done a horrible job of explaining things. My main point of disagreement with you is on the exclusives. PS4 may have some extra dlc exclusives but that doesn’t mean much in the end unless the game is GTA or Call of Duty. There again Microsoft has got the release DLC for call of duty first again. I also think Microsoft has shown some really strong exclusives initially for the XboxOne. Dead rising 3, and Titanfall to name a couple. Lots of the stuff sony was touting was just extra dlc. I don’t like the restrictions Microsoft is putting out but in the end if they can make this cloud computing pay off through Windows Azure (which is actually already a strong cloud computing platform with business) keep up some great exclusives and for love of G.O.B. (George Oscar Bluth) lower the price in the spring they’ll be a competitive platform. I liked sony’s press conference, I’ve just never really liked their exclusives. Only two I really wanted to play uncharted series, god of war. Also now the last of us and perhaps beyond two souls. But it was never enough to get me to buy a ps3 and now def not so late in the console cycle. I loved the Dark sorcerers tech demo for ps4. I preordered a Xbox one. I’m also heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem with a windows phone and windows 8 and xbox 360. All these things connected work great, especially skydrive. I just think you underestimate some of the exclusives Microsoft announced and some of the features. We as gamers sometimes overlook things other people are really interested in. Lots of my friends who don’t really play games are really interested in the xbox one because of the tv stuff and because they loved coming over to play the kinect. The new console has them really excited, though I don’t think a 499 price point will sell that many consoles to them at that price. A 399 might actually reach that target that microsoft is seeking. The same one nintendo road last generation to 100 million units sold. Microsoft can do both, make great games and have all the tv features. Lets just hope they don’t screw it up. P.S. I actually am looking really forward to the next halo and I’m 28. I got the first xbox and halo for christmas my senior year in high school. So i’m an “old” halo player. I actually thought Halo 4 was the best halo yet. I actually thought the story was better than any other halo before it and to me story is a big reason I enjoy games. The interactive narrative. But like you commented this is all personal opinions and we’re all welcome to our own. Cheers.

    • Nick James

      Thanks for reading. I think Sony made the right choice in letting the publishers decide whether or not they are going to enforce fees. This pretty much removes Sony of all blame and lets the publishers be the bad guys. The benefit to this is that if I don’t like the fact that one publisher wants to impose these fees while another publisher does not, well I just simply won’t support the first publishers games. To me this is a better alternative than making it mandatory and aggravating your total user base. And I was more hopeful for Microsoft’s cloud computing spiel until I read this: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-in-theory-can-xbox-one-cloud-transform-gaming

      • Capt. Apollo

        Thanks for the link to that article. I had heard references to it but I’m glad I was finally able to read that. I’m actually in school for a computer science degree so most of what they said I actually already knew. Cloud computing a car in forza as they say is at least 10 years off. The examples they used their were great the lighting could be offloaded as could some other stuff. Yes directX 11 and engines have made computing lighting pretty easy but the potential for cloud computing is the future is what I’m excited about not necessarily the current implementations. For instance view distance in certain games and a bunch of more other practical applications instead of a real time model of a car. I 100% agree with you on making the publishers the bad guys, I think the only reason Microsoft did this was to kiss a## to the publishers and developers and land them more exclusives. Which might have worked. I also agree that overall the ps3 had better exclusives and def better first party exclusives. Even if those weren’t the kind of games I wanted to play I can see the appeal of those ps3 games to many. Cheers. Looking forward to your next article.

  • chief wizard

    console has to check in online every 24 hours or you can’t play games…..Microsoft has assumed the position of self-appointed parole officer……they see us consumers as the parolee…the law breakers that need to be micro-managed. That’s just offensive.

    • Nick James

      Yeah it’s unfortunate that Microsoft feels like everyone should be policed because of the small minority of console gamers that break the rules. I think they could have found less intrusive preventative measures than blocking borrowing and lending or requiring daily system check ins from everyone.

      • Devon

        but i dont understand why they have a need to restrict us from lending or borrowing a game or even paying a fee for a used game that you bought, not microsoft, not the president, not your boss, but you yourself spent your hard earned cash for a game that cost to much when it first comes out.

  • Scouser

    You only have to make one payment for a PS4 and you can play it as many times as you want and whenever you want without ever spending another penny. (apart from games).

    With the Xbox One, you have to pay £100 more and pay an internet bill before you can even think about playing games.

  • jack

    Well Said, Nick James.
    As someone who never had a console besides Xbox, I’m truly saddened by how Microsoft treats their xbox fans,. I have to now abandon Xbox and Xbox Live into a new environment the PS+ and PS4.

    • Nick James

      Thanks for reading. I’d say approximately 80% of my Xbox Live friends list has confirmed that they are definitely jumping ship to the PS4. 20% are still on the fence. I would be surprised if Microsoft didn’t buckle on either their new policies or the price of the system between now and launch. This has become quite the PR nightmare for them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHNNhL1v9sY

  • Ernesto Avilez

    Screw all of this. PC gaming all the way!!!

    • Blackjack69

      loner nerd.. you suck!!

    • Hyperawesome

      In every single video, thread, or article I ever see there is always ONE of you. You don’t think it’s obvious that PC wins with hardware, sharing, and social capabilities? We’re talking about consoles, you’re not funny and your not original. Go to Hell.

  • Dane

    5 – Innovation
    4 – No one cares about names.
    3 – To make sure you didn’t get it for free.
    2 – Excuse to have no chance of a friend messing up your games.
    1 – Xbox One has better software.

  • Devon

    FOR ONLY THOSE WHO WILL READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE

    i am 17 i have been playing all the game counsels forever and the longest one that lasted is the Microsoft Xbox 360 after my Sony ps3 crashed. im finishing high school, got a job, and on free time i am a hardcore gamer. i even have the alienware gamers laptop that cost about as much as a car (look one up on line if you dont believe me). But back to this disscussion I AM NOT GETTING AN XBOX ONE. To hell with microsoft now and possably foever because …. i know the 360 has defalts: can only play certain xbox original games, pay for gold membership, cannot play blue-ray movies, etc. but it has perks too: have more than one live account open on the same counsel, fast downloads for some people, etc. BUT Sony has free live account, easily accessable internet connections, built in wi-fi, built in blue-ray player, you can switch controller number, etc. and the downsides: one account open at a time, top is to fragile, etc. ….. there are many more reasons one gamer cannot list only, but if microsoft will quite buying off good companies and remodeling their games (HALO 4 was remodeled by Microsofts own people because they didnt like how 343 industries made halo reach and wars, so they bought them off) and the gears of wars series was good in the beginning but the longer something is stretched the less attractive it gets (Harry Potter). But Sony lets all games work on certain counsels but i heard that the PS4 is backward compatible for all playstation games from the first generation to the last. AND game sharing is FREE YEA Microsoft; SONY has FREE items and other things.

  • AL_Nemesis

    Looks like I know what console will be next on my Christmas shopping list… and it won’t be anything made by Microsoft.

  • nexus

    but I hope sony change their mind to make online games free off charge when playing online , 10 dollars for every 3 months just to play online game in battle field 4 on ps4 , why not make it free like the other online games from ps3