My thoughts as a gamer on Microsoft’s XBOX One

My thoughts as a gamer on Microsoft’s XBOX One
by marshkoala
Confirmed: Xbox One Will Launch Nov. 22, One Week Before Black Friday
In my home, we are a multi-console family.  We have Gameboy, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 64, Playstation 2 & 3 and XBOX 360 (two different versions). Although always excited about new consoles coming out, with our limited income we generally either have to wait or buy a used console. With that in mind I would like to offer my perspective on Microsoft’s XBOX One.

“XBOX One is built for the Future” says Microsoft

The XBOX One certain looks like the future. What with the 8 core x86 processor, 8 GBs of ram, 500 GB of Hard Drive, a Blu-Ray
player, OneGuide, Game DVR, Skype, SmartMatch ( for the multi-player), SmartGlass (phone app), Kinect and NFL on XBOX this console seems to have it all!
Lets go over some of the elements in the XBOX One.
iOS Devices Can Now Test Microsoft's Xbox SmartGlass App | iPhone
The SmartGlass app works with Windows 8,
Windows 8 phone, iOS and Android devices.  The app is free to download thru Microsoft but there is no mention of charges thru your service provider.  SmartGlass also includes Game Help, a help button that automatically tracks your progress thru a game and when you are stuck it knows where you are and provides help for you to finish your task.  It can become a remote control for your tv viewing.  As of 9/6/2013 only 2 games are mentioned using the SmartGlass, Dead Rising 3 and Project Spark.
Kinect for Xbox One in action video - CNET TV
The Kinect system has been improved immensely from the 360 version.  The Kinect can now see in the dark and uses a 3D geometry which tracks the body motion and mimic motions. The real motion senors can see the slightest movement in your hands as well.  The Real Voice system responds to your voice even thru a crowded room.  It is also programed to read the users heart rate and facial expressions.  The system can also track your vision, watching where your eyes move and can read up to 6 people as well.
Battlefield 4 gets 64 player multiplayer on Xbox One/PS4
Microsoft’s cloud infrastructures claims to be the most reliable (really?) and with their SmartMatch system they can match players evenly and also help eliminate “cheats” and “jerks” with their reputation system.
How To Get 12 Months of Free Xbox Live Gold | DualShockersThe XBOX Live Gold membership applies to both the 360 and the XBOX One.  So if you already have Gold membership it will work on the XBOX One as well.  Along with all the apps and benefits the membership has, Microsoft is adding “NFL on XBOX”.Now for what I call the “buzz kill”

Free xbox games - Xbox Games Review

XBOX 360 games are not playable on the XBOX One!

Most gamers that I know reacted the same way to the unveiling of Microsoft’s XBOX One at E3, outrage!  We all had heard vague statements and tweets about what Microsoft was saying about their new system.  But at E3 it was all TV, Football, TV, Phones and more TV.  Sure there were game trailers on new installments of existing franchises and a few new games, the emphasis seemed to be on how the XBOX One could be the new do-it-all living room fixture. Microsoft did not address the “always on” requirement for the XBOX One or their earlier statement on used games. Sony took advantage of Microsoft’s inability to put together a coherent statement on used games.  I LOVE this video! Sony also got standing ovations from the crowd by addressing gamers concerns with the restrictions Microsoft seemed to be implementing on online connections and used games.

My biggest complaint with Microsoft and the XBOX One is the lack of player control.  The player cannot control or own their own game (remember XBOX One developers tweeted about how they wanted the system to be purely digital), Microsoft reassured gamers that discs and used games will still be playable.  Though Microsoft executive Don Mattrick when asked about gamers who could not be “always online” stated  “Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity, it’s called Xbox 360. If you have zero access to internet, that is an offline device.”
Control over privacy also became a huge concern when The Guardian, through their informant Edward Snowdon, released documents showing how the NSA had access to internet providers.  Microsoft has been silent on how or what kind of access they grant except in their XBOX Privacy Statement below which is in itself is pretty all encompassing.

XBOX Privacy Statement

                    “We also may share or disclose personal information, including the content of your communications:
  • To comply with the law or respond to legal process or lawful requests, including from law enforcement and government agencies.
  • To protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers, including enforcing the terms governing your use of the services.
  • To act on a good faith belief that access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers or the public.”
Microsoft also admits to using the Kinect to collect samples of gameplay “to analyze and improve the gaming experience”, as stated below in the Kinect XBOX Privacy Statement.

“Kinect XBOX Privacy Statement

Skeletal information – When the sensor scans your body – we call it “skeletal tracking” – it creates a representation of body joints that is used in game play. This representation – picture a stick figure – cannot be used to identify you. Movements derived from skeletal information during gameplay can be used to estimate Exercise Stats. Refer to the Exercise Stats section for additional details. The numeric values for the stick figures may be used in three ways: they are temporarily stored in memory on your console during the gameplay session, then are destroyed when you end the game; if you are playing online, Microsoft may collect those numeric values to enable and improve gameplay; and Microsoft may collect and store some samples of the numeric values to analyze and improve the gaming experience. The numeric values sent to Microsoft are destroyed after analysis is complete.”

Microsoft is also quite upfront about privacy in another section of their XBOX Privacy Statement.

“You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions) offered through the Xbox LIVE/Games for Windows-LIVE Service. We may monitor these communications to the extent permitted by law.”

In conclusion I feel that the lack of control I would have to give up to own a XBOX One, whose policies could change at any time, is not worth it. The new Kinect feature alone with it’s constant streaming that I would have no control over is alarming.  The XBOX 360 has it all for me and I’m in control of how I use the console.  

“All images are owned by Microsoft”


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