Xbox One Rant: Why I am Not Buying One
The next gen console war is on the horizon and this week at E3, the big three consoles are showing off the future of what gaming has to offer. However, this time things are different. This time it isn’t about which system has the better games or which system has better graphics. It’s about which system gives you more freedom.
Microsoft’s Xbox One (which is rather stupid and confusing name) has been the subject of controversy since its reveal earlier last month. The initial reveal was clearly to show off some of the functions of the system like the TV channels for it and unique programming but I personally could not care less about that stuff and most gamers don’t. They wanted to see games and the poor selection shown was a massive disappointment. Now, Microsoft did get some redemption today at E3. They showcased a nice selection of games today.
I was excited to see a Killer Instinct reboot but one exclusive game is not enough to make me want this system especially with all the restrictions it places on the gamer.
The restrictive features of this system are really what render the Xbox One null and void for me. Now I’m not the first to rant and rave about how this system is Microsoft shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly but I’d like to talk about the two big reasons I am not going to buy an Xbox One. Maybe you can relate to me. If you can, I hope you’ll agree and not buy this thing.
BIG REASON #1: 24 HOUR INTERNET CHECK-IN AND THE KINECT
This is basically DRM, needing to always be online. In order to play games offline, you must have your system check into Xbox Live once every 24 hrs for your game to work. To me, this is like having to check in with a parole officer. Xbox Live will become your parole officer. Now, if you have really good, constant internet connection for your 360 already, this clearly isn’t a big deal to you. However, I live in an older house that is not really conducive to setting up a home network. My internet router is upstairs and my gaming consoles are located down stairs. They barely get a signal so I can’t play games online because they can’t even connect and on the rare blue moon that they do connect, it’s so slow that I’d be better off using a 56K modem.
As you can see, console gaming involving the internet matters not to me. Now I am well aware that online gaming with consoles has exploded over the past 8 or 9 years resulting in so many games trying to become the next big Call of Duty or Halo multiplayer phenomenon. DLC is another huge reason console internet usage has become a major factor in the gaming market. I understand why the internet on consoles is as big a deal as it is, however, it’s always been optional. I don’t need the internet to play the single player campaign of Halo 4 or Bioshock Infinite. Otherwise I wouldn’t own a 360, it would be pointless.
Now Microsoft is making a system that will basically not function without the internet. No thank you, I’m not interested in your $499 big black brick. I would have no use for that. It would be like buying a car that only ran on rocket fuel. I don’t know about you, but I don’t live near any gas stations that pump rocket fuel.
I do plan on moving somewhere else within the year that will hopefully be easier to set up a home networking but even then, I really don’t want an Xbox One set up always needing the internet.
- I do not want to pay for Xbox Live. Paying for XBL while PSN is free has always been at the core of the Xbox vs Playstation argument. For me, I’d rather go with PSN since the service is free. I had Xbox Live for a time when living in Louisiana and it was draining $50 a month from the bank account that I had at the time till it was empty without me knowing. That was my fault for not reading the fine print but still, $50 a month verses free. Free usually wins in my book. Now Microsoft has said that XBL gold members will get two free DL games a month for paying for the service. That’s nice but still not enough to make me consider.
- When I think of console gaming, I think of sitting on the couch relaxing and maybe playing a game with a buddy who might be sitting there playing the game with me or just watching. None of which involves the internet. If I want to play games online, I’d rather be using a PC. When I want to play a game on a console, I want to get away from the internet and my computer. The Xbox One is trying to be like a PC or a ‘super powered PC’ as said by IGN. Yeah, shut up, IGN. With the Xbox One requiring full game installation of all games on only a 500GB hard drive, it’s going to run out of space fast unless plan to have a very small library of games for it. If you’re a PC gamer, keep on truckin’. You’re way better off and have been for awhile so I doubt any of the new consoles are really turning your head.
The Kinect. Ugh, this devilish device comes with the Xbox One and is a required piece of the system. While you can turn it off and not use it, it is required for the system to work at maximum use. As long as it is plugged in, it is always on, even when it’s off. First of all, the first version of the Kinect sucked. I am not a fan of motion sensor gaming at all and the Kinect is what embodies my hate for it. It barely works. The only games it works to its full ability are the ‘Just Dance’ games. I was not interested in it when it came out and after using a friend’s, I was even less interested. Supposedly, the new Kinect works better but they have yet to give any demonstrations of any improvements. Requiring this thing is like if when the Nintendo 64 was released, Nintendo made it mandatory that the system also required the use of the Virtual Boy in order to use the system to its fullest extent. But everyone’s biggest worry is if this thing will be used to spy on you for Microsoft. I’m not going to get into any conspiracy theories or anything of that nature but it is a legitimate concern.
BIG REASON #2: NO USED GAMES
Or not as it currently works. When you trade in a used game right now, what do you do? You go to Gamestop, give them any current gen game, they give you store credit or money, and that’s that. Sure they rip you off but you just traded that game in with no issue. With the Xbox One, only certain stories will be able to sell used Xbox One games. Most likely they will be Gamestops and maybe Walmart or Best Buy. Small game shops? Uh oh. I highly doubt Microsoft will give them the green light. So they won’t be making any money from the Xbox One.
Buying online from ebay or personal dealers Amazon? Not happening. You will be left with almost no choice but to buy all your Xbox games brand new.
I don’t know about you, but unless it’s a game I REALLY REALLY know I want to play, I am not going to be too interested in paying full price for a game I might not even like, so I’m going to look for the cheapest used copy I can find. Also, you’ll only be able to get used Xbox One game if the publisher of said game has okayed it. No wonder EA and Activision have been such big backers of the Xbox One. They’ve been trying to shut down used games for years. They want you to pay full price for all their games. All the games you buy and install to the Xbox One get linked to your XBL account.
Once again, if you don’t have internet, you won’t be able to use any of this. Now you can link 10 family members to your games and share the games with them. How it knows who your family members are has still not yet been explained. Will it use the Kinect to scan people’s faces in the house you live in? Will it be based on credit card numbers used for your XBL account? Will it use IP addresses? We don’t know yet. You might be able to freely choose who your ‘family’ is which can make a loophole that would let your friends be able play your games for free. Maybe they did this on purpose knowing using games will be a hassle now? We’ll see.
I’ve never really be so adamantly against a game system before. I’m usually totally open to play all the systems that are available at any given time. I’m usually willing to give a system a chance and find the pros and cons to each system but this is the first time I seriously found myself truly against getting a gaming system and wanting to see it fail. Now don’t go thinking I’m a Playstation fanboy and that is why I’m writing this. NO! If Sony did the same things or similar things with the PS4, I would be including them in this rant too. As gamers we cannot allow these types of practices to continue. If this is the future of gaming, I’m not sure I want to be a part of it and maybe this is all a sign that I’m getting too old for video games. I got a Super Nintendo the other day and I was happier to play it than I am hearing about and finding out the latest info on the next gen consoles coming out.
So bottom line, if you can’t relate to anything I just wrote or are okay with everything I just talked about, the by all means go buy an Xbox One this fall. However, if you agree or relate with what I said and do not like the ‘features’ and practices that Microsoft is using with the Xbox One, then do not give them a penny.
Gamers need to take a stand to these companies and tell them we will not stand for these practices and the only way to get their attention by hitting them in the wallets. Maybe if sales flounder, they’re release an Xbox One in a year or two with all these restrictive features removed. Then I’d have no problem warming back up to Microsoft but till then if ever, the Xbox One is just not for me.
Thanks for reading. and keep a look out for my upcoming game reviews.