I know this is going to hurt some butts out there but what I am about to tell you is absolutely true. You can scream and complain about it all you want, but it won’t make these ten facts any less true. Microsoft hates you, gamers. It’s no secret. But just like the Apple disciples out there, you all have been drinking the kool-aid for so long you don’t even realize that you’re getting screwed in every possible way. Again, you can post all your hate all over this article, but it won’t be any less true. Let’s get this over with.
Pay Your Internet Bill
Even though you no longer have to have your XBO attached at the Ethernet cable to the internet all the time, you still have to download an never-ending bevy of app updates and operating system updates and access your cloud saves in order to be able to play games. So heaven forbid you forget to pay your internet bill, don’t have internet, or your service drops due to a natural disaster…I hope you like to read. I hear Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is pretty good. Or maybe you could read those Twilight books while you’re waiting to play games again, once the internet comes back on. The feeling of reading them would be about equal to the pain I feel when my connection lapses due to storms or whatever else might kill my connection. I might be able to play for a short while, but don’t miss that update.
Idiocy in Motion
I realize that the idea of being able to manipulate the items on your screen by moving your appendages seems like a very cool concept. I mean hell, it worked for Tom Cruise in Minority Report right? Well for those of you who saw that movie, first of all I am sorry. Secondly, it just doesn’t work that way, at least not yet. So the idea that I have to flail about in my living room to try and feel just a little bit cool and like the tech in my game system is cutting edge doesn’t really appeal to me yet. If I am flapping around my living room, screaming about controlling my TV, please let me be 84 years old and in serious need of medication. Or maybe I have just played Flappy Bird too many times. But whatever the reason, it shouldn’t be trying to turn on Netflix or ESPN.
TV is Cool
The funniest thing about when the XBO was revealed was that they spent so much time talking about how you and your TV were going to have a new and closer relationship and how the XBO was going to be able to do all this cool, TV-based stuff that they forgot something very important. We seriously don’t give a sh**. What about the games? Then they showed us a bunch of cutscenes and Forza . Again with the who cares thing. Sure, Forza was a beautiful looking title and there have been some seriously cool games on the XBO since, but until recently, the only reason to even own and XBO was Titanfall , and even that gets boring since it’s so short. And even ripping players out of their mechs before killing them gets old over time. Oh well, I guess I could watch TV.
A Little Piece of Sony Under The Hood
For those of you who are unaware, and this may hurt you to hear it, Sony was instrumental in developing the Blu-Ray drive that now rests inside the Xbox One. Even though the Blu-Ray Disc Association owns the tech, Sony was the first to market it and were the ones who monopolized the market with it until Toshiba dropped HD DVD in 2008. But rather than being creative, Microsoft chose to take the path of least resistance to try and beat Sony to the marketing punch by buying into Blu-Ray. But Sony was just one step ahead. They already had Blu-Ray tech in the PS3 and could transition more smoothly with game developers and hardware manufacturers. Xbox had to retool the whole system from the days of HD DVD to keep up. I really hope this doesn’t cause anyone to hurt themselves, but your XBO has a little piece of Sony in its core.
What’s That You Say?
One of the many issues with the Kinect is that you practically have to yell at it for it to do anything at all. And half the time, when you want it to not do something, it mistakenly thinks you are talking to it and fires up some app that you didn’t need at all. Or if you need to mute your audio for some reason while you are playing, you have to scream at it to overcome the ambient volume of sound from the game. So the idea that you can mute the game mid-play is only prefaced by the veins popping out of your head and the obscenities that come from actually trying to get it to mute itself. That was most definitely a horrible concept.
Call this one what you want, but I hate the fact that I have to re-buy games that I already own to be able to play them on the XBO, if I can play them at all. I realize that the PS4 is the same when it comes to this, but one of the things that I loved about the PS3 was the fact that you could download the free PS2 emulator on the PlayStation Network and play a large percentage of PS2 games on your PS3. Did it work all the time? No. But it did a much better job than having to buy the damned game again to be able to play it on your new system. One of the biggest issues for this for me, and other gamers who aren’t rich, is that we traded our 360s to get enough credit to pay the hefty price tag for our XBOs, so that stack of games we wanted to keep and play later on had to go as well.
I have a question when it comes to this topic. And it’s a simple one. If the PS3 and PS4 are able to play games that are not region-locked (with the exception of Persona 4 Arena ), then why is Microsoft so insistent that region-locking is a mandatory thing that is imposed by some all-powerful international entity bent on stopping you from buying games in certain countries? Region-locking is not necessary and in fact is just one of the many ways that Microsoft continues to screw you–the gamer–into believing that they know what’s best for you and you should just keep buying their brand. Microsoft even went so far as to site international laws concerning film and musical region-locking. However, no such mandate exists for gaming unless the country itself imposes such a ban or limitation.
So I mentioned the Kinect in previous bits as well as having to maintain an internet connection, even if it’s just to update apps. But there is something a bit more sinister to all of that if you think about it. That means that there is now a device that can see and hear you in your home, transmit that information to Microsoft, which in turn could allow them the access to your day-to-day goings on and use that data for demographic studies. These studies could be used as vehicles to devise ways to try and snare you with push notifications on your XBO. Or if you are a conspiracy theorist, it gives the internet security agencies within the government ways to keep tabs on what you do in your living room. If I hated the Kinect before, and I did, I really hate it now. The last thing I want is my damned game system spying on me. Whether you realize it or not, and whether you believe it or not, Big Brother is in your house if you have an Xbox One.
There’s Still No Halo
While there are a ton of Halo -haters out there, it is the ‘mascot,’ title to Microsoft – much like Mario games are to Nintendo. The Master Chief has become synonymous with the Xbox. Now there’s this awesome new system with incredible processing power and insane graphics, but there’s no new Halo title in sight. Oh sure, they are re-releasing all the other Halo games, just like they have in the past, but there’s no new Halo title in the foreseeable future (Just the enigmatic “Q4 of 2015” release window). And that is a serious travesty to true Xbox disciples. Not having a Halo game on a brand-new Microsoft system is like saying that Nintendo is going to build a new system and not use Link, Mario, Luigi, Bowser, or Donkey Kong in any games at all for the first year. But Spielberg is producing a TV show. See? There’s that TV thing again.
Exclusive Deal with EA
For those of you that missed the memo, another company in gaming that hates you is EA. Seriously, these guys were voted “worst company in America,” by Consumerist…twice. The company seems to only be interested in draining every last drop out of your bank account. But actually that’s probably why Microsoft and EA make such good bedfellows. They are all about the Benjamins. EA has bought and closed more of their competition than anyone. They tear at our wallets every time they release a game. They restrict international gameplay online by not allowing inter-region play. They cut support for games early and have pushed the DRM envelope harder than anyone. So the fact that Microsoft signed their ‘deal with the devil,’ just goes to show that they still hate you and the XBO still sucks.