Thursday, 20 June 2013

Xbox One U-Turn - And My Last Word On It

Well hello there!

I've seen some ridiculous shit online and in real life, but one thing that strikes me as hilarious is Microsoft Interactive's Don Mattrick going back to the gaming world with his tail between his legs admitting he was wrong.

Amazon's PS4 vs Xbox One Poll. Closed a week early at the above score.
I knew it. The vast majority of the online community knew it. Subject matter experts knew it. It's why the Xbox One performed so badly against the PS4 in every online poll that I saw. It's why Amazon had to remove their Facebook poll a good week early because the PS4 was winning with just shy of 95% of the vote from over 40,000 people (see above). And because of all this, Mr Mattrick said the following:

"An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games - after a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24-hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

"Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today - there will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360."

So they listened. About fucking time if you ask me. From the moment they saw the winds blowing the way they were, the heads of sheds at Microsoft Interactive should have had a meeting that lasted about 5 minutes that should have gone like this:

"So, Sony have delivered a blow to us that could put us behind Wii U in the console race this generation...we can't be behind the Wii U. Only 24 people in the world own a Wii U and they all surely regret their decision."

"Right, so do we remove the crappy DRM that everyone is raging about?"

"Maybe. Let's wait a week and a half."

"What do we do in the meantime if we're asked any questions on the issue?"

"Leave that to me...Captain Mattrick."

That's right for the past week, the Xbox One party line was - If you don't like it, stick with our 8 year old device. In the infamous words of Carlos Irwin Estévez: Winning.

Anyway, before I of all people get accused of being a Sony fanboy (not overly sure how this is possible by the way - will explain shortly) I must say that this massive U-Turn is a potential game changer. Not incredibly so though, since the specifications and added extras that the PS4 offer are what normal people look for. 

Some have argued that the extra cost of the Xbox One is due to the inclusion of Kinect. But surely, the Kinect should be an OPTIONAL extra to the console, not something that must be tacked on whether you like it or not. Some have argued that Sony are imitating the Microsoft's pay-for subscription for playing online, but Sony with their subscription are including Netflix (which itself is usually what, 5-6 quid a month on it's own?) as well as access to the instant games library, which to the uneducated, gives you approximately $150 worth of free games a year. I'm sorry but if anyone can really look at the 2 subscriptions and think you get anything like that with Xbox Gold, then you're obviously deluded and so blinded by your own fanboyishness that you cannot see the truth.

Now I'm a rational person who thinks decisions through. I have to be. I'm a father of 4 children, I have a house to run, I work a full time job working alongside the RAF. The personal decision from me to buy either an Xbox One or PS4 isn't just a cut and dried "Oh I have an Xbox 360, I'm going to get an Xbox One" because it's an investment of almost £500. I can't afford to just make a decision based on faux facts, speculative workings, and my previous preferences because quite frankly - I have no previous preferences.

This has nothing to do with this blog. I just love the Xzibit Yo Dawg Meme.
I'll take you on a short trip down my own gaming life, (not like the blog the other day). My first console that was all my own was a SNES. The next gen, I had an N64 and a PS1. The next gen I had an Xbox and a PS2. And now this gen, I own a PS3 and an Xbox 360. And with every console I've owned, I've appreciated the pro's of all of them and accepted the cons of all of them as well. The PS3's hacking debacle was a massive hammer blow to the confidence of Sony - they fucked up bad and it's still fresh in the memory for a lot of people. The Xbox for me and a lot of people had it's own hacking and security problems. My own account was hacked twice, and close to £100 siphoned from my bank account. 

The official word from Microsoft on contacting them is that sometimes their system, when people pay for MS Points through the console, takes money from random peoples accounts - I swear on my daughters life, this was their official line to me. It was a case of, "yeah sorry about that...oh well." So this left me feeling betrayed by a company I had put a lot of faith and my own cash in to. But even with this, never ever have I ever put more stock into one console over another, both consoles have great games, and great abilities within their chassis'. Both have their flaws, and neither are perfect, but both are amazing machines. I can say this with a completely unbiased view, because unlike others who claim to be unbiased - I have owned every Sony console, and every Microsoft console.

Whereas some who claim to be unbiased, claim so because they use Microsoft Windows and have a Sony device like a TV or camera. I'm sorry, but that doesn't make someone unbiased. That makes someone grasping at straws to look unbiased. The only unbiased opinions, come from those who have owned and cherished consoles from both sides.

My real, actual unbiased opinion at the moment though? Neither of them. They're both overpriced, they'll both have their problems (RRoD = Xbox 360, YLOD = PS3 anyone?), and the games that will be available on them that I'll want will most likely also be available on Steam or Origin on PC. Eventually, I don't know, I'll wait and see some real reviews once they're out later this year. So my own answer to "PS4 or Xbox One?" neither. Not least for a year or two or even three - that's why my opinion is truly unbiased, and that's why this is my last word on the matter.

Full Stop. 


Edit: Formatting updated.