When Microsoft lost my confidence. - Razorgod Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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When Microsoft lost my confidence.

     Finally, a gaming topic that has made me want to blow the dust off my GI blog...I'm talking of course about Microsoft's recent confirmation that the "X-box One" will require a once every 24-hour internet check in to augment their decision to force gamers to install games directly onto their consoles (for disc free play, presumably). The problem with disc-free play is that once a game is installed the content disc becomes a means to share the game in question with anyone of your choosing- including your local game trading service.

     First, as a consumer of Microsoft products, I feel insulted. Despite the one RROD I had early in the console's life cycle, despite the fact that I've had to replace two burned out power bricks in my 360-S, and despite the one ethernet port that blew out...I have stood by and defended Microsoft for offering a great playing experience. All of these problems has probably costs me around six-months of playtime, non of which I have been reimbursed for, but I was forgiving, because it was just hardware failure. Poor design? Probably, but at least the company moved to make changes and address those issues. I was still getting a solid gaming experience, and it has become the console of choice for my family in the current generation. 

     All that being said, I can forgive hardware failures in early development cycles, but what I can't tolerate is anti-consumer policies that adversely affect the ability of the products I choose to buy. It's true that many of the devices in my home require an internet connection to get full functionality. I understand that, but what sets my laptop and my tablet apart from this policy is that neither of these devices is useless for their main purpose if I can't get to an internet connection in 24 hours. So it's really a question of choice, and Microsoft isn't giving us a choice in this matter. Which is unfortunate, because as a consumer I love having choices.

     So why would someone with a fairly stable internet connection have a problem with this? My internet connection is stable about 98% of the time. The other 2% are those rare times when my provider does work on the hubs near my house, or sometimes after really bad storms the inside of my NID (network interface device) gets saturated.  The longest I have ever gone without internet during one of those times is around 4 days. So with an XBOne under these circumstances I lose about 3 days of play time. Not the end of the world, right? I'm not hopelessly addicted to my gaming console, unable to handle the disconnect from my favorite fantasy worlds, but why should that matter? It matters because that would still be three days where the device I pay for can't do what I bought it to do.

     However, those 3 days aren't even my main concern with the policy. My kids are. As I mentioned previously, we are an X-box 360 household. I have a box in my room and there is a box in each one of my kids rooms for a grand total of four Xbox's. The thing is, while we let our children have Xbox's one of the things we forbid is a live internet connection on any device in their rooms. They are all under the age of ten years old, and we don't want them having any unsupervised internet access. Under Microsoft's new policy, we would no longer have the power to make that decision. We would have to go in once every 24 hours and do a quick connection, and then turn the connection off after verification. It's not impossible for an involved parent, but with everything that goes on with being a full time college student, full time parent, and working...who needs that headache? I certainly don't.

     In a recent article on Gameinformer.com, Phil Spencer was quoted as saying "our policy is our policy". Well Phil, my wife and I have policies in regards to the way we run our house and what we expect from the devices that we spend our hard earned money on. The XBOne's policy conflicts with those policies and in that same interview you felt nonchalant about the console not being right for us.

You also said "We listen to the community and we will respond to where the business, the creators, and the gamers are going."  I hope what you are saying is true, because if you're listening to what this member has to say then just know that there is still time for you to fix this massive faux pas in your corporate strategy...otherwise you can watch as this member of the community goes across the street to the company that will cater to my needs and expectations.

As for now, my pre-order went to Sony who showed off a beautiful product at E3, and who has made it clear that they care about what I want from my gaming console and they're giving it to me for a hundred dollars cheaper.

 

 

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