The lights are on
As day two of E3 2013 wound down, Game Informer had the chance to speak with Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer about the Xbox One. We started light, inquiring about the lack of Kinect titles available on the show floor."There are definitely a lot of games like Ryse that are using Kinect in interesting ways, but we really were focused on the 16x9 and not having people jump around on stage," Spencer explained. "That’s the stage. In the booth you can do whatever you want. Frankly, the way the booth flow works has been so crowded it’s not always the easiest way for us to show Kinect, which is why we put the Kinect 101 station out there. We have the one station on the floor."The Kinect in every package no doubt contributes to the $100 price difference between the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Spencer opted to take a broader look at the landscape, telling us that he views the environment as more than two devices, including mobile devices and high-end gaming PCs."We have more than one competitor," Spencer told us. "When you think about where they play games today, they play on a lot of different devices. I think it's wrong to think that the universe only consists of two things."The fight between Sony and Microsoft is going to rage this year, and Spencer is confident that the exclusive content Microsoft is bringing to the table will win consumers over. Additionally, Microsoft is hoping that customers see the value in the different communication and media aspects that the Xbox One offers.In addition to price, Microsoft's approach to game content has raised concerns, even among the brand faithful. One question has been about bringing games to friends' houses. Consumers will need to either download large files or install fully from the disc. Even with the physical media, Spencer confirmed that the absence of an internet connection will render that game unplayable. In other words, be sure to ask your friend if their internet is working before planning to bring over a game.We received additional information about online check-ins, as Spencer shared that tethering a mobile device can handle a license refresh. "It's kilobytes, not megabytes," he confirmed. "You can also set your console to always have the latest bits in a standby state." Later, Spencer was concrete, "If you have no ability to connect to the Internet, the Xbox One is not the console for you."Unfortunately, Spencer also was direct that a home (or nuclear submarine) without any internet connection is not the right place for an Xbox One. We asked about Don Mattrick's statements to Geoff Keighley about that very issue."I know Don. He's been in his industry for decades," Spencer said. "He started as a game developer with his own studio. For it somehow to get twisted that Don doesn't care about gaming, as someone who knows the man, I know that is not him. He does care about the gamers."Much has also been made of the 1.5MB connection requirements, but Spencer is confident that anyone who can play online now with an xbox 360 will have no problems with the Xbox One. As for the games, Spencer told us, "There are a lot more titles in development across first- and third-party than what is on the show floor. There are first-party games coming at launch that are not on the floor." Spencer was unable to disclose game prices.As for hardware at launch, Spencer wants to be sure to fill the channel. "We're not trying to build an artificially scarce environment at launch." Unfortunately, that doesn't include all countries, like Poland, home of CD Projekt Red. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer took the stage during Microsoft's press conference to show off the title.We asked Spencer about that, and he assured us that he would be looking into things to find out when Poland would be coming online. The importance of Kinect to the system is part of what will slow down rollout in some markets. The Kinect must be properly prepared to detect languages and accents for proper functionality."We want to make sure the box is fully functional at launch," Spencer explained. It's not just about changing the words in the dash. It is an effort to have a box in market that works the way we want the box to work." As for importing and "spoofing" account location, as was detailed between a user and Xbox official support, Microsoft told us that they would be investigating that scenario and will get back to us.With regard to the permanence of the digital rights management and connectivity requirements, Microsoft is standing firm on the stated policy, at least for now. Users should not expect a change. However, Spencer did offer a promise that the company is listening. "We've all had 360s for quite a while. If you look at what the box was capable of doing when we launched it versus what it's doing it now, we listened. We're part of the community," Spencer emphatically stated. "I'm in. I'm playing games all the time. We listen to the community and we will respond to where the business, the creators, and the gamers are going. But I don't want to people to take that wrong. Our policy is our policy, and we've stated it. We wanted to put it up [on Xbox Wire] in unambiguous terms. 'Here's what our policy is.'"
Addressing one other concern, Microsoft is already considering how it will approach content at the end of the Xbox One's life. Spencer assured us that users won't be left in the cold when it's time to upgrade in another five or six years.
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I was once i huge Xbox fan but this thing where you must have internet in order to enjoy and then a 500$ price really turns me off not so much the 500$ but that internet thing sounds like a royal pain in the ass
" In unambiguous terms"... Lol.. They have been more ambiguous than the ambiguously gay duo for the last month.
I keep wanting to like the xbox, but statements like "If you have no ability to connect to the Internet, the Xbox One is not the console for you.", really bother me. Why would you want to deter or isolate potential customers? This is one among many comments made by MS that makes me think they could care less, their "suck it up and take it gamers" attitude is getting tired.
"In other words, be sure to ask your friend if their internet is working before planning to bring over a game", Um if your friend has an xbox one...shouldn't their internet be working anyways? But I have to agree that they shouldn't have thrown away bringing physical games over to other's housses. Since the Xbox One's cloud could download the information for the game, then why can't you bring the physical copy and then have the game connect to the cloud on your friend's console. But of of course I heard that your games are put into the cloud and then you can pull your game from the cloud onto your friend's console. (If they have internet, but then why would they buy an Xbox One)
As has been said many times over at this time...go home Microsoft, you're drunk.
I was a good Xbox then but this stuff is bullcrap I required internet connection is stupid idiea I ges ill just beget a ps4
They need to get their act together...
I believe that Microsoft's tactics revolve around the concept that they want interested buyers to spend more money and to upgrade everything just to use this system.
They're trying to force a shift in the industry by requiring all these new policies. Will it work? I don't know. Frankly, most PC gamers are used to "always on" connection. Steam, GMG, and several games utilize that sort of DRM are proof of that.
I don't mind it as long as my games remain up to date and the unit doesn't chew up my bandwidth. I want to download some other *** while I'm gaming.
What's turning most people off is Microsoft execs. Some people are taking their announcements as condescending. To some it sounds like,"Hey you aren't rich or advanced enough to use this machine. If you don't have interwebs, you're stuck with last gen, because you are last gen."
That's perfectly fine, because as a consumer, your money is still in your wallet, you don't like the presentation, then by all means, keep your cash, or go spend it on the competitor's product.
you can see Phil Spencer's face is always calling for money.. always trying to get richer.. I'm an Xbox guy, but I don't believe a word he says..
Best thing Microsoft can do is scrap that piece of crap and quit now. They utterly and completely lost focus on what a "gaming" console is supposed to be about. What makes it even funnier is that MS thinks they need to tell me what I want in a console? Sorry MS you have that ass backwards. I hope this fails miserably, I hope people wont go out and buy something like this just because it has an XBOX sticker on it because that abomination is NOT an XBOX.
$499 for Xbox One! you richers can get Xbox One when it 1st comes out, i Mr. Normy will wait for a price drop.