The lights are on
Following today's big announcement that Microsoft has changed its mind on used game restrictions and online check-ins to refresh licenses, we spoke with Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten. We discussed pricing, changes to digital titles, and how Microsoft is positioned following E3 last week.
We started off by clarifying a comment made in an earlier interview with Kotaku. According to that story, the Xbox One needs an always online patch to enable offline play. This isn't entirely accurate, Whitten explained.
"There's always been a plan to have a day one update for Xbox One," Whitten told us "It's just the difference between the hardware schedules and the software schedules. We're just being clear that it still exists." In other words, you'll need to connect the Xbox One once in order to get it up and running.
One of the biggest negative changes in the DRM and online connection shift is that users will no longer be able to share their digitally-purchased games with nine family members. Whitten explained that the original plan was to apply policies to games regardless of purchase mechanism, hence the sweeping change.
We spoke with Microsoft about the mood after the Sony press conference at E3. Whitten told us that despite Sony's clear jabs at Microsoft and the $100 price difference the team "had a really great day." Whitten continued, "I knew we were going to get a ton of feedback. What we heard is that people love our games, but there were a couple of areas where they want more choice."
When we asked about the two remaining differentials, price and the mandatory use of Kinect, Whitten was clear: "[$499] is our price for Xbox One."
"We believe in the value that we're delivering, not just for day one, but for the system to grow and evolve," Whitten explained. "To us, things like Kinect are part of that. It's a toolset for game creators that has never existed before. Users are just going to have a better experience."
As for pre-orders following a week of feedback that was often inhospitable, Whitten told us simply, "We're excited." We asked if the same sentiment was shared by publishing partners.
Whitten chuckled. "I've been on the phone all day and haven't had a chance to see how it's landing online yet," he said.
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too late for me. i'm switching to ps4 because microsoft has gotten too cocky, now they're acting like this was the plan all along. message isnt sent yet. but you have saved yourselves. i wasnt getting one at all, now i'll probably get one in a few years once the price drop hits.
I appreciate the concept of Kinect but there aren't enough compelling applications at this point to make it a mandatory part of the function and purchase of the machine to me. I also have a practical challenge of literally having no appealing place to put it in my living room.
It's my impression that there is a gross misinterpretation of Kinect adoption relative to its undeniably impressive sales (sales spiked to a large degree by non-traditional purchases like grandparents coming into the store to buy something fun for the family to do at Thanksgiving). As many Kinects have been sold there aren't any more in use among early adopters/core purchasers than there are Wii's.
I appreciate that they are listening and will be fine being wrong about Kinect if devs get behind its potential. Right now it's another point that gives me pause relative to other choices.
I would like to amend the name of the new Microsoft console: Xbox One80.
All in favor?
I believe Microsoft execs weren't thrilled with the pre-order sales pace. They now want to maximize their profits by doing away with unfavorable policies and making an appealing product that the greater public will buy.
I thought their business model sounded complicated. The simplicity of just loaning out a Disc to a friend just makes sense. Heck, how many times have I bought a game, movie, album, etc because a friend recommended it. Sales and good business is driven by word of mouth. Its the best form of advertisement any business or product could receive. People trust their friends or relatives more than they do a company executive.
"Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci
I MIGHT get a Xbox One later in the life cycle after they get a lot of good exclusives and a price drop.
The "damage" is done. My money is on PS4. Since M$ has now proven that they can back peddle a bicycle what makes you think that they won't do this again? *snickers*
Solid response for. Solid system, I am satisfied ;-)
I feel like people thought MS was doing those restrictions for no reason.
Like they all sat around and said,
"you know what would be fun? Pissing off everyone."
There were reasons for the rules set in place, a hope for a digital future in console gaming
For Xbox Live and the Cloud to work and operate more like Steam.
Cheaper games, Dev teams having direct access to my digitally stored games to update Achievements and the game itself.
But nope. Not anymore!
At least not until MS starts slowly implementing more lenient rules. Which i hope to god they do.
Why does everyone complain about having to connect to the internet? You're commenting on the internet right now. Idiots, my phone is a mobile hotspot for internet too. sooooo... i just don't get it.
I sincerely hope they do not back away from their goal to push console gaming online.
this will all be forgotten in no time so xbox fans need not worry. I mean *** 360's were *** the bed every 2sec when they first came out and it doesn't get worse than that. even with that xbox was still able to take the mind share this gen. what it will come down to is how well each systems games are, and what system the multi-platform games run best on. Personally i don't care I've already paid both of my preorders off so i feel no need to root for either team but with the insane amount of flaming going on figured i'd put my 2 cents in.
Lastly people were calling the death of the ps3 when everything was running like *** on it early on and look at it now everything runs great the online is fixed and running well. all this just shows the launch means nothing each will sellout of every single console they can produce at launch. everyone who is saying either is dead before they come out and they know which system games will run better on is a moron!
I have mixed feelings about the "reversal." On one hand it shows they do listen(especially when it's going to hit MS in the pocket). On the other hand I was really looking forward to not having t buy multiple copies of games,not having to keep switching discs,and not having to drag half my library with me on long trips. I've always hated the idea of DRM, but we always have known that's more a developer issue than a platform issue.I have already heard stories of the "rebranding" of the infamous Online Pass for both consoles.They seriously don't get enough money out of the map packs they put out every 3 months?
i don't think i'm getting either one until after at least one price drop. it's not that they're too expensive (they're both bargains), it's that the early-adopter mentality is expensive overall. no back-compatability means you're at the forefront of the $60 price point for a good long while before a robust used market is available. no thanks. though no fan of kinect, i like that it's mandatory; it means you'll have it regardless of whether games are kinect-musts, and you're not going to have to spend another $100 just to dance off against the emperor. sure m$'s overall vision has suffered a setback, but i don't think there will be a massive buy in for that vision until solid examples are in place. after all, we've heard this promise before, and no one has yet delivered, even in the slightest...
The previous policies should be optional so that people who wouldnt be affected by the always online and used game policies could benefit from the pros
Aka- Microsoft's CPO covers for MS.
"Well, you see, after Sony a$$ raped us at E3..."
I still feel that the damage was done and a lot of people who said no to the XBone still feel that way because they feel betrayed.