The Xbox One - The Machine That Assumes You're A Thief? (Part 1)

8/20/2013 11:20:43 AM

Microsoft’s Xbox One console is the latest machine that seems to assume the worst of the customer before they’ve even taken it out of the box. Simon Brew takes a closer look…

It all seems so quaint now. In the 1990s, games consoles and computers to an extent had a slightly different approach to software. You put the cartridge or disc in the machine and it worked. You didn’t have to sign up to anything, you didn’t have to be online, you didn’t usually have to type in a huge number that looked like it was generated by someone with an aversion to vowels. Heck, you didn’t have to go through a central menu first or anything either. Games machines worked on an inherent assumption that you wanted to play games and if one was inserted in the machine, it just played it. It was a simpler time. Scarily, it wasn’t even that long ago.

The Xbox One

The Xbox One

Fast forward to now and the simple job of playing a video game feels like it's getting more and more complex. On a PC, more often than not you need to install a game through a service like Steam. On the upside, that means previous tortures such as installing patches and keeping things up to date have been simplified, but the trade-off has been that we've surrendered a degree of control. In some cases, we can even be blocked from playing if we don't download some form of mandatory update.

Remember that UbiSoft, at one stage, tried to introduce a system whereby its digital rights management for PC games was ‘always on’, requiring constant access to the internet or else you wouldn't be able to play. It withdrew that system after a massive Furore last September and yet it seems things may be about to get just slightly worse.

Before we get there, though, we should be clear on one thing: this isn't a feature about games. It's a feature about the eroding of manners, goodwill and trust towards consumers, who are increasingly looking and feeling like the collateral damage, as big companies look to add another billion or two to their bottom line. We're going to be talking about the latest big product announcement that assumes, inherently, that you're a thief and demands you prove otherwise on a daily basis. We're going, bluntly, to be talking about the Xbox One and what the ramifications of it might be should it be a success.

The New Xbox

You might be familiar with some of this story already. Microsoft caused something of a stir with the announcement of its new, next-generation games console a month or two ago. Entitled the Xbox One, the unit goes on sale later this year, priced at $637 in the UK and the warning klaxons were starting to sound when, at the official unveiling event for the machine, games didn't appear for the best part of an hour. Wasn't games what the Xbox was supposed to be about, after all?

Still, that in itself was only cause for initial concern. If every games console that had been written off in the aftermath of one press conference went on to prove as troublesome as the press made it sound, then the chances are that there wouldn't be one of them left. Most notoriously, when Nintendo revealed the design for the original Wii controller, experts were queuing up to predict doom and gloom. It went on to outsell both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. It's still early days for the Xbox One and its new rivals.

However, the Xbox One does seem to dig itself a deeper hole every time more information is revealed about it. Usually things get better once details are released. In the case of the Xbox One, the more details that Microsoft announces, the more concerning the project gets.

The Xbox

Let's get a basic sorted first, though. We like the Xbox. We like the Xbox 360 especially. Notwithstanding the technical issues that haunted the console for its first few years, the Xbox 360 was a tactical masterstroke from Microsoft. It launched early, it was aggressively priced, and it was attempting to turn around the massive defeat that the original Xbox had suffered at the hands of the PlayStation 2.

the Xbox 360

The Xbox 360

Furthermore, it saw Microsoft breaking Sony's stranglehold on console gaming, to the point where exclusive titles are now far more the exception than any kind of norm. After all, Microsoft went out of its way to woo gamers to the machine and it succeeded. By the time the final scores will be totted up, the Xbox 360 will have outsold the PlayStation 3. Microsoft will have turned its previous heavy defeat into a comfortable victory. That's no small achievement, and it won out thanks to quick thinking, realizing what the market was after, and then delivering.

“The Xbox One seems to dig itself a deeper hole every time more information is revealed about it”

Who's Top Priority?

There's a sense now that Microsoft is more interested in the whims and wishes of big companies than it is the people at the end of the line who fork out for its products.

Microsoft, over time, has introduced technologies that have hardly won it many friends. The most infamous was arguably its decision to opt for product activation, which opened up the floodgates to how the software market works. Of course, that's how such things work: it feels as if rights and concessions are taken one slice at a time, generally introduced with a leaning more towards the proverbial stick than the carrot.

the PlayStation 3

The playstation 3

In the case of product activation, this is the system whereby you have to go online and activate your copy of Windows or Office within a 30-day window. If you don't, your software is restricted. If you can't get online to do it, then you have to call to ask for permission to use the software that you legally paid for. In some instances, if you change too much hardware in your PC, Microsoft may ask for more money off you.

It's the kind of thing that had it been mentioned at the start of the 1990s, people would have laughed off and said nobody would ever dare do it. Two decades later, it was seen as an accepted norm, and Microsoft is one of a number of big companies practicing such methods.

  •  iMovie Trailers And Audio Premastered
  •  Alternative iOS Browsers for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch (Part 2)
  •  Beats Executive Headphones - A Smart Overhaul For The Modern Gentleman
  •  Razer Electra Gaming Headset
  •  Tiamat 7.1 Gaming Headset - The Power Of Ten
  •  Joystick Junkies - The Sim Hardware Roundup (Part 3) : Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, Thrustemaster TH8 RS Gear Shifter, ButtKicker Gamer 2
  •  Joystick Junkies - The Sim Hardware Roundup (Part 2) : Fanatic ClubSport Pedals v2, Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X, Thrustmaster RGT Clutch Racing wheel
  •  Joystick Junkies - The Sim Hardware Roundup (Part 1) : Logitech G940, NaturalPoint TrackIR 5 Pro, Fanatic ClubSport Wheel Base and Wheel Rims
  •  Screen Play For Gaming (Part 2) : Asus VG278HE, BenQ XL242T, Dell S2440L, Dell 2913WM
  •  Screen Play For Gaming (Part 1) : Acer T232HL, Asus VG248QE
    Video tutorials
    - How To Install Windows 8

    - How To Install Windows Server 2012

    - How To Install Windows Server 2012 On VirtualBox

    - How To Disable Windows 8 Metro UI

    - How To Change Account Picture In Windows 8

    - How To Unlock Administrator Account in Windows 8

    - How To Restart, Log Off And Shutdown Windows 8

    - How To Login To Skype Using A Microsoft Account

    - How To Enable Aero Glass Effect In Windows 8

    - How To Install Windows Store Apps From Windows 8 Classic Desktop

    - How To Disable Windows Update in Windows 8

    - How To Disable Windows 8 Metro UI

    - How To Add Widgets To Windows 8 Lock Screen

    - How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010
    programming4us programming4us
    Top 10
    Free Mobile And Desktop Apps For Accessing Restricted Websites
    MASERATI QUATTROPORTE; DIESEL : Lure of Italian limos
    TOYOTA CAMRY 2; 2.5 : Camry now more comely
    KIA SORENTO 2.2CRDi : Fuel-sipping slugger
    How To Setup, Password Protect & Encrypt Wireless Internet Connection
    Emulate And Run iPad Apps On Windows, Mac OS X & Linux With iPadian
    Backup & Restore Game Progress From Any Game With SaveGameProgress
    Generate A Facebook Timeline Cover Using A Free App
    New App for Women ‘Remix’ Offers Fashion Advice & Style Tips
    SG50 Ferrari F12berlinetta : Prancing Horse for Lion City's 50th
    Popular Tags
    Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone