Xbox One: Worst Console Reveal Since the Sega Saturn?
Microsoft's Xbox One reveal didn't exactly go well with the majority of gamers. Disappointments abounded as details of the new console were released. Given this very vocal backlash, is the Xbox One repeating history? A history that the Sega Saturn molded in the mid-1990's with its own subpar E3 reveal? Here are some things that may provide a comparison.
Its pretty obvious that everybody and their mother has already heard of the Xbox One after Microsoft unveiled it at their latest press conference. Even if you aren’t particularly the type of person that is constantly checking gaming news websites or blogs, you undoubtedly heard something about the next big Xbox console release. And that’s where a large majority of gamers were a week ago: pondering what new functions it would have, what new franchises it would unveil, how current franchises would evolve, and (most importantly) how this would affect gamers’ decisions on which console to pick for the next generation of gaming. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the other obvious thing that happened with Microsoft’s big reveal was that they seemingly shot themselves in the foot and ruined any kind of hype they had going into the next generation of gaming, all within the span of 2 hours. Amazing! This type of a travesty involving a big console reveal may sound familiar to those who have been around gaming since the mid-90s. A little console that could-have-been called the “Sega Saturn” had the unfortunate distinction of being involved with a similar situation which didn’t turn out too well for Sega’s 32 bit machine.
For those of you who weren’t into gaming when the Sega Saturn was around (or are too young to remember) here’s a quick rundown on why this machine failed. Besides the absolute bombshell that was the announcement at the first ever E3 in 1995 that took people by surprise and left many game developers unhappy and unwilling to develop for the Saturn (where Sega announced that the Saturn was actually ALREADY in stores, instead of the previous release date), the Saturn was continuously marred by bad business decisions. In a gaming world that was jumping all over the 3D bandwagon, the execs at Sega made the genius decision to RESTRICT the amount of 2D games released for the Saturn, instead demanding that developers make games showcasing the system’s “amazing” 3D capabilities. There was a problem with this approach however. First, the Saturn was an absolute 2D powerhouse which produced the best home conversions of 2D games in its generation. On the other hand its 3D capabilities left much to be desired, with many developers left too confused by the machine’s inner workings to produce adequate games using its 3D capabilities (something that even hampers efforts for a proper Sega Saturn emulator on PC today). So what we were left with was a machine that didn’t get some of the best 2D games of its generation (because they were never imported from Japan) but instead very few worthwhile 3D games, which you could just get the better version of on PS1 anyways. Needless to say these decisions ended up sending the Saturn to an early grave, with Sega scouring to fix their mistakes later on with their Sega Dreamcast. But will Microsoft feel the same effects this time with their Xbox One? The way it’s going so far, it appears that way.
So what happened? It seemed like everybody was making the next generation Xbox out to be the absolute favorite. What with Nintendo’s lack of an impressive technological leap with their Wii U, and Sony’s somewhat still shaky reputation with their Playstation 3 launch. The Xbox was supposed to be this huge show stealer, the one that both Nintendo and Sony (and anybody else thinking of getting into the console market) would look towards to see how they could possibly steal the show once again, the same way they had done so with their 360. Instead the Xbox One has become a textbook example of how to utterly alienate a large portion of the gaming demographic, and one that both Nintendo and Sony have hopefully learned from.
So you may be wondering: “Well, what part of the reveal was it that caused all this uproar?” I wish it were that simple. The truth is that there were a multitude of problems with the Xbox One’s reveal, one worse than the other. For starters was the name “Xbox One.” Now you may think that this is just something that could be set aside as just a nitpick on the part of unimpressed gaming fans. But the reality is that this creates an unneeded inconvenience that could have easily been avoided if the brains at Microsoft used just a little more imagination in naming their new machine. You see, Microsoft’s reasoning for this name is that the new Xbox will be the only thing you’ll need in your living room because it will be able to do everything we need it to. Fair enough. An all in ONE machine would give them a reason to tack on the “One” to the name. But here’s the problem: this is the THIRD version of the Xbox. First there was simply the “Xbox,” then that was followed up by the “Xbox 360” or simply the “360.” The problem actually originated here because with the release of the Xbox 360 some people started referring to it as simply the “Xbox,” making it hard to differentiate between which version they were referring to: the original “Xbox” or the “Xbox 360.” This was quickly fixed when the original started being referred to as either the “Original Xbox” or the “Xbox 1.” You can already tell where this is going. Now that we actually have an “Xbox One” it creates a rather confusing mess in trying to see what people are referring to when they say “Xbox One,” because they could be referring to either the original Xbox released in 2001 or the newest version released in 2013. As mentioned before, yes this is a rather small nuisance but its one that shows how little Microsoft was actually thinking about when their marketing team was working on this new machine. Sadly enough while this is something that can be overlooked by most gamers some things weren’t as easy to ignore.
One of the biggest complaints that has generated the most amount of controversy was the announcement by Microsoft on how it would handle its DRM. For those not in the know DRM stands for “digital rights management.” A simple Google can give you the major details of this rather controversial topic, but essentially this deals with how companies control who is able to use their digital content after the initial sale. And if you ever wanted to know how controversial this particular topic was then look no further then to the absolute madness that occurred in the gaming world when Microsoft announced some of their details for the Xbox One.
To start things off it was announced that Microsoft would set in place a way to charge a fee for any secondhand games that are played on the Xbox One. What this means is that if you wanted to play a game that you bought used from your local Game Stop, you would first have to pay a fee in order to play said game. Now, understandably I know why they would put such a practice in place. This is a simple way to ensure that the makers of those games still get some kind of profit even though you bought the game secondhand. The problem is that this fee has been rumored (If not already confirmed at the time of this writing) to be $50 dollars. Let that sink in… A game that you purchased used (lets say for about $30) would carry a fee of $50 bringing the grand total of your purchase to a whopping $80! For a USED game. Does that make sense to anybody? Of course not! At this point you would be better off purchasing the game brand new. And perhaps that’s what Microsoft wants. They want the gamer to be so disheartened to buying games secondhand that they would rather buy these games new. And you know what? I can actually stand behind their intention for that because it gives the money to the people that deserve it, which is the people who spent hours upon hours developing the game that you’re having fun playing. But the execution of such a practice was so horribly done that we’re now seeing the results of it. Worse still is what this could do to gamers. Not every gamer is made of money, and the reality is that most gamers rely on secondhand stores like Game Stop to get their games cheap. Not just because they don’t want to pay the full price, but because that’s the only choice they have. So when you force them to pay for something they absolutely can’t afford you’re basically telling them “too bad, you’re not playing the game.”
The other problem with Microsoft’s handling of their DRM is the way they’re approaching sharing media with multiple people. No longer will you simply be able to let your friend borrow your game for a few days until they beat the game and give it back. Oh no, Microsoft just had to make it even more unnecessarily complex! You see, now that you are required to download every game you own (did I forget to explain that part? Yeah it’s a dumb idea. Moving on…) it will now be harder for friends or family to play that same game on their own Xbox One. Rumors have been flying that the person borrowing the game will now need to either log onto their Xbox One using YOUR account information in order to play the game, OR they will have to pay the fee mentioned before (remember those $50?) because it will recognize the game as being secondhand. So again, this will just make gamers not even want to bother with all these unnecessary steps just to play a simple game.
Unfortunately its not even just games that are getting the proverbial shafting with the Xbox One. Now thanks to the new and improved Kinect (which is mandatory) your new Xbox One will recognize how many people are currently in the vicinity of your console. Apart from the obvious privacy issues that this thing has seemingly whipped up, this also creates a huge problem for watching movies. How you may ask? Because now if your Xbox One recognizes that there is a set number of people watching the movie being played it will charge you with yet ANOTHER fee. It’s similar in the way that university clubs and organizations are charged for showing a movie on campus. They pay for the right to show the movie to a large group of people. But why oh why is this necessary for a home console like the Xbox One??? What happens to large families who simply want to spend time together to watch a family movie? Will they be charged for doing something that every family does from time to time? Its just another way for Microsoft to get money and its simply sad if all these rumors end up being realized.
And here is where we are now. Just a bunch of information that has been tacked onto the Xbox One before it’s even been released. Unfortunately for Microsoft most of it has been negative and many gamers have already made their decision on which console they are going with for this upcoming generation of gaming (either the Wii U, the PS4, or stick with a PC or handheld). Regardless of whether some or all these rumors are true or not all this negative attention can’t be good for the new Xbox One. Maybe these decisions were made with good intentions by Microsoft, but Sega had good intentions with their Sega Saturn as well. And we saw what happened there. The sad truth is that when E3 rolls around Microsoft will be in absolute damage control mode. They NEED to be if Microsoft wants the Xbox One to be just as successful as the 360. They have to realize how their reveal has affected the minds of gamers the world over. If they don’t do something to bring back gamers to their new machine we could be seeing a repeat of the tragic death of the Sega Saturn in modern form. Could the Xbox One be dead on arrival?
What were you first impressions of the Xbox One Reveal? Will you be getting one?
This is cruel to say, but I'm gonna say it. :P Do not feel sorry for the developers and publishers who put in so much money into a game that it is ridiculous and blaming yourself for not appreciating it. Do not feel guilty for purchasing a game second hand because you could not afford it. "Feel guilty for the developers" is a nasty tactic to be used on good hearted consumers. If you do not feel guilty when a movie bombs because of how short, messy or bland it is like Water World or Cat Woman. Do not feel guilty when the game developers have over bloated development costs.
Sony and Microsoft BOTH suck in video gaming...and the Xbox One gets none!
I'm sorry but Sony and Microsoft both suck when it comes to bringing out consistent quality games and gaming consoles at competitive prices, and Microsoft sucks more...and I only say Sony sucks because I didn't like their first console (which is a souped up version of the SNES/Super Famicon CD attachment, which was a Nintendo project that was scrapped, and was to be in direct competition with the SEGA CD...you can look this up in your old GamePro issues if you still got 'em...and the project was scraped for good reason being that SEGA no longer became a threat..this its also learned that Sony's 1st gaming console success was brought about indirectly by Nintendo.), and because of that, I never bought any of Sony's sequel consoles. I do own a 360 and Wii and I'm highly dissapointed with the 360 when comparing it to the Wii. First off, THE GAMES SUCK. I know Nintendo loves to reintroduce their core charcters ( eg. Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, etc...Sonic ...oops...), but they are masters at making great games with their line up and if you doubt that, and get with E3, the majority of reputable gaming mags, and history and time because Nintendo has already made history with their core characters and they are still here in today's time doing the same thing as in yesterday's time. Anywho..."pound-for-pound" a "gamer-purist" gets more gaming value for the dollar when not choosing to go with 360. The 360 stand-alone console is more expensive then the Wii without the wireless feature that already comes with the Wii (ie. Wii Remote vs Kinect)--a gamer will have to buy an expensive attachment for the 360 console in order to fully compete with the Wii features. Now the feature comparison: Aftering shelling out all that doe for the 360, you would think that their would be some convienece provided, or some complementary services render for paying a lot...i mean after all, people usually pay high buck for convenience. But Noooo...with Microsoft and gaming, you pay for more limitations. First off, the games that came with my Kinect (ie. Kinect Adventures) FAIL in comparison in gaming quality and replay value than that ones that came with my Wii (ie. Wii Sports). The controls for the Kinect games were laggy not intuitive as the Wii remote. Wii Sports gaming felt polished whereas Kinect Adventures felt like eating brand-X after being served Kellogg's. I FELT like I was almost emulating real-life bowling, boxing, golf, and tennis with Wii Sports (which game before Kinect Adventures); but with the Kinect, I felt like a scarecrow that was just extending its limbs, waving its hands in the air, and swaying from side-to-side (depending on the direction the wind's is blowing me I guess...). Also, the Will does not set a space requirement to use its wireless technology...but Kinect games will not function if the space is too small or multiplayer will not function if space is not large enough. Second, you have to pay a membership to play online with XBox, whereas its free on the Wii (and I hear its the same with playstation), but you can STILL obtain a free membership at Club Nintendo and earn points to purchase QUALITY games if you like (not like those on the iPhone...and those including like them classics (some deemed by E3) you loved on your old school Nintendo system...as well as new too). Third, Netflix is free on the Wii (provided that you already have a Netflix membership) but you have to pay for an xBox live membership regardless of already being a Netflix member...why must I continue to pay to obtain functionality for my Microsoft gaming console after already paying so much already? Fourth, the Wii already comes with a built-in Internet browser (ie. Opera), but Xbox doesn't...WHAT??!!?? After already giving up my kidney and lung for this stupid Microsoft paper-weight, you mean to tell me that I can't brows the web on it ( and don't be fooled by the Bing search bar people because that is not a web browser...ya know...The thing that you use to type in @gam3s.c0m and view this message for this forum?)? Microsoft is a freaking computer company who created and owns the world most popular browser, Internet Explorer, which comes free on ALL PCs with a Windows operating system. I hear Sony, who founded Blu-ray, provides its optic disk technology services to its gaming community...so you mean to tell me that Microsoft cant provide its founded technology to its gamers when its already free on most PCs? Blu-ray is not free but its giving to the playstation owners (I hear...) Oh wait... I forget... YOU CAN browse the Internet with the 360, but you will have to turn on your PC and link your 360 to it so the 360 can "borrow" the browser installed on the PC. But...what if I own Mac or a Chromebook...or what if I don't own a PC with Windows...what if I have Linux as the OS? In the end, the only thing Xbox 360 can show to justify its high price tag is that its the most powerful system in terms of graphics, sound, and processing...however, what good is that if games suck? Nintendo showed that less is sometimes more, and that power isn't everything when it beat out ALL the competition during the Wii debut along with Sony's console after a year of the 360 being on the market. Power is everything when you have your game-quality in check--and Nintendo proved that with the SNES over the Genesis. SEGA like Nintendo, has a huge rep in making quality games, and I wish for them to be back instead of these two clowns in the game, but with both companies tieing in terms of Game quality(and I'm referring to SEGA and Nintendo, being that one can confuse my last statement to be for Sony and Microsoft since one could think that those both tie in game quality too...however at to lower spectrum of poor game quality)..., the SNES won due to its power ( And if you don't think so, get copy of any Street Fighter II edition and Mortal Kombat 1 and 2 for each the SNES AND Genesis and then come back to me.). All and all, not choosing Microsoft for your gaming needs will most likely get you more gaming for your dollar and you will occasionally be able to play without paying all the time...with Microsoft...it seems the company who likes to charge high prices for every single service directly and indirectly related to gaming, thus likes to play with your money and NOT concerned with you PLAYING at a high level (I stated PLAYING...I dont mean PAYING...which is PLAYING minus the L. If you happen to substract that L and start PAYING more than PLAYING, you take the L, which stands for LOSER!!!). Oh and be sure to gut-check those rumors of the Xbox One regarding those new gaming restrictions (eg. the used-game, friend-borrowing, andd movie watching fees) that you oh so love to pay for...and I understand that the used game fee is "supposed" to help developers make money... But the chance to make money came at the intial sale when the game was bought new..from there...the developers already made money, and the used game was sold from a gamer to reclaim some money (usually less and never more than the price of the intial sale unless its one of those collector edition games...like the red cartridge version of that Spider-Man game for the SNES called Maximum Carnage...I think...)paid on the game...money which is not taken from the developers but from the used-gaming dealer who bought the game from the person who once had it new...with the purpose to resell it...thus the again...the developer already made money off the intial sale and no money earned from that sale was taken... Never Nintendo nor SEGA or would impose such restrictions on gaming... Gaming is fun and Microsoft is not... Sorry I had nothing too much good to say with Sony...again (and stated above) my 1st impression of them wasn't good since I know that they used a scraped Nintendo project to jump in the game (...and act like they the best without earning any stripes), which was a modified project that I didn't like...I did not like Redsident Evil for it, I did not like Crash Bandikoot, and I did not like the feel of the playstation controller...maybe it was because I played my friends playstation (which may had wear 'n tear, but I don't remember since its been a while), but the controller felt loose, ragged, cheap...thus I didn't go to buy from Sony(but maybe a chance in the future), and I'm never going to buy another Microsoft gaming system. I know people don't like Nintendo maybe because of the fuzzy characters or the company's lack of interest in making a system that looks good on paper in terms of its specs...but maybe if the competition would step they're game up in terms of their game quality (and not the quality of their game they play to you in trying to get your money)...maybe Nintendo will respond back like they did against the Genesis...again...power isn't everything...the Wii beat out the two top powerful systems of its generation...and more notably...the Game Boy had shown this as well...Remember back in the day when it had no color except spinach and Game Gear (and that powerful yet failed Neo Geo system was out then too) was all powerful and might with the color screen? The SEGA Game Gear was so powerful that 6 ( or was it 8) AA batteries couldn't give 2-4 hours of play (and rechargeable batteries was just a dream then) when the Game Boy gave you 8+ hours. In the end, who was the survivor...? The Game Gear died and the Game Boy eventually became powerful and evolved to the 3DS...with the PSP being today's Game Gear (doesn't it almost look like one too?), it seems Sony took SEGA's place and Microsoft took Neo-Geo's place. Nintendo doesn't need to put out a powerful system to beat the competition as well as provide you with quality games...and the Wii U is going to prove that again...and you know you already see it because you already know what Microsoft has in store for you...and you see how Sony is with their new project...freaking playing 'hide-and-seek' with it and don't want to show it until Microsoft shows theirs..thus putting stress on us in the gaming community because WE WANT TO SEE IT....While Nintendo just comes out how they come out--confident and unaffected by this dead competition ...again ...sometimes less is more and Nintendo spanks Microsoft and Sony with less....and only SEGA had what it took to push the big N to outdo the ex-Sonic franchise with a 'spec-on-paper' system..I WANT BACK SEGA...I WANT BACK THE EPIC GAMING CONSOLE BATTLES, not this trash between Xbox and Playstaton...because they BOTH lose.
hi, this is from the future,that's bullshit.
I hate to say it but I'm willing to bet that is what the apple television (not to be confused with the little box apple TV) will be. Sad thing is over air TV(cable,SAT) is a doomed and dying business,(the internet has already made sure of that)but some people (M$) still think it's viable profit maker, and have the balls (I.E. stupidity) to make it as a main feature even though it doesn't even have a built in tunner.
You DID read the part right after where I criticize the execution of that pratice, right? Right? lol
"And you know what? I can actually stand behind their intention for that because it gives the money to the people that deserve it, which is the people who spent hours upon hours developing the game that you’re having fun playing. "
You do know it will be the publishers and not the developers getting the money, right? right?
Theyre not saying it is the worse console. They're are saying it is the worst console "reveal" since the Sega Saturn. Which is very true. It may even be worse than the Sega Saturn reveal.
They use the term "All-in-one" as if this device can do everything in one box. However, this is not true. A better description is that everything else plugs into the box, and can be accessed from this box. But you still need external devices to plug into in.
By that, I mean you still need a TV set-top box in order to watch TV. You are just accessing it via your Xbox. Remember the days when all you needed was a TV to... well, watch TV?? Then you needed set-top boxes, and now in addition to that, you could end up having a third device. Set-top plugs into the Xbox, which plugs into the TV.
A true "All-in-one" device would have it all built into the TV itself. All you need is the TV and you get TV, DVD, Blu-Ray, Music, Games, PC, toaster, kettle, and toilet. OK, maybe not those last three..... but you get my point.
I don't think we can decide on whether this is the worst console since the Saturn. It's far too early, and let's have some patience, shall we?
PS4 is unfortunately going to have used games DRM also, but it's up to the publishers to utilize it. It's not like a multi-plat that's on the Xbox One and has DRM, won't have DRM on the PS4.
If you think rationally, the used games fee most likely won't be $50
I found this article that displayed a twitter post from Xbox Support saying there is no fee. Microsoft really needs to clarify all this.
Good question and answer Ben but do u think this is something related to Xbox 720 that they are hiding or waiting to show something?
I certainly do hope that some of these rumors do not turn out to be true. Aside from that, considering all the negative backlash you are right, Microsoft is going to have to do some serious damage control here next week around the time when E3 starts. Going around the problem will only make things much more worse for them. They keep promising that E3 will be "all about the games", but I personally feel that they are going to have to do more than just that.
Sony just needs to reveal their console and show a few more strong exlcusive titles in development to keep my attention.
Looking forward to Nintendo Direct. Still not convinced to purchase a Wii U, but I might change my mind if some solid games are announced.
Out of all honesty though, I am starting to feel that the next generation of gaming is going to be very rough with these new consoles at hand, and I really do not want to feel this way.
The XBOX 1...only time will tell. Since most of these are just rumors, I'll hold off on judging the system. Once ALL the specs are released and we know all the facts, then I'll say my piece. I've never liked Microsofts conoles but I'm curious to see what happens with this one.
well as a multi console gamer like myself, yes i will get the xbox one, but never as a main console, just for exclusive games... and since i don't buy second hand games that much it will not be a huge problem for me. but still paying that much for a USED game is a crime against humanity... also the always-on kinect is very evil!
A die-hard Nintendo fan from the time I first started gaming on my SNES with Super Mario World, and later a Sony fan as well with the PS1 and PS2, I had to admit that Microsoft had grabbed my attention with first the XBox and the 360, Sony losing my interest with the PS3. Then the XBox One was revealed and all the smiles I had for Microsoft turned upside down and became glares of pure hatred and betrayal. Unless they make some MAJOR changes to the system and how it handles DRM, I'll be sticking purely with PC (for MMOs, of course....bring me the NA release of PSO2 at E3, Sony!) and Nintendo...giving Sony a look to see if they learn from Microsoft's mistakes or shoot themselves in the foot, too.
Good article. Aside from the Xbox One name (which I don't think will be a problem) everything seems to be in kind of a mess. But I seriously doubt that "watching a movie with too many people" rumor is true. That'd be the dumbest move possible, because if the Xbox One is meant to replace your media hardware, why would it restrict a service a cheap DVD player has no problem with? Also, I kinda like the look, but... despite it supposedly meant to replace your entertainment hardware, they keep saying they specifically designed it to look good next to your other hardware. I don't get it.
Based on what we know now, I think this is what will happen upon release: it will sell out quickly... but mostly to 360 owners who don't frequent sites that cover things like this. Xbox has a lot of stock in markets like that. The next few days we'll start seeing lots of returns and angry customers surprised by how backwards and confusingly restrictive the console is. And if the PS4 is already out, they'll be switching consoles right then and there.
I really do hope Microsoft can pull this thing together. They can't dance around this issue at E3 like they ALWAYS do. This is no time for PR niceties, they got to get down to business and kick everyone's ass.
Uuh, that bit about tacking on cost for more people watching a movie in a room... Is that a joke? I am serious. Did you like just mention that as a little joke or something? I mean, there is stupid, then there is really stupid, then there is unbelievably stupid, and then there is the Xbox one charging more money for a movie because it senses other people in the room...
I had to do a double take when I read that, really. I actually read the entire thing again because I thought I misread it.
I HIGHLY doubt that will be implemented as a feature, but if it is then I can tell you one thing... EA better watch out or it will lose its "Worst company in America" title in the blink of an eye.
You know. I tend to be a fanboy of sorts. When I find a game console, or mascot, or company, or anything for that matter that I like, I will stick with it usually for better or worse. I'm still a Sega/Sonic fan to this day.
I love my Xbox. I love my Xbox 360. I love Halo. Yet this is the first time that I've ever considered jumping ship to the completely opposite camp. The concept of a game requiring a constant internet connection is so mind-bogglingly stupid to me that I don't understand why ANYONE would even propose, let alone implement such a thing. I refuse to put up with it, and I don't think anyone else should either. When I buy something it's MINE, period.
I want to like the Xbox One. I really do. But if it really ends up being always-online, if it really does implement this ridiculous fee for watching movies and playing used games (even if I do buy 95% of my games new anyway), if it really is that effing complex just to use the damned thing, then I swear I will buy a Playstation 4.
I don't buy Playstation products. I don't particularly care for Sony as a company either. But if Microsoft doesn't pull it together quickly, I will take my business somewhere else. Unacceptable. :(
YEAH! See? That's how bad I'm missing out on! I wanna play Uncharted and know who Drake is!
" that Drake franchise I can't remember the name" You mean Uncharted?