Friday, May 24, 2013

Xbox One: What If It's True?

A few days ago, Microsoft revealed their next generations offering: Xbox One. This "next generation" gaming console will come with a 500GB, non-replaceable, hard drive, a blu-ray player, and integrated Kinect.

Kinect will, of course, be required. It will always be listening for the "Xbox On" command, and god knows what else. Microsoft has already filed patents on using the Kinect to monitor the number of people viewing a movie, and if that number of people exceeds the "license", Microsoft will take action against you. This is no joke.

Now the first thing people will say is, "Just because they filed the patent doesn't mean they're going to implement it!" They're right, that is true, but that patent shows just where Microsoft's head is these days, how they're squarely in the "punish the consumer" camp. So it should come as no surprise that some other ugly rumors have been floating around the Xbox One since its reveal.

First and foremost, the Xbox must connect to the Internet at least once every 24 hours to function. This isn't as bad as the "once every three minutes" rumor that was floating out there for a while, but it's still not good. It still hurts people on deployment, it still hurts people in rural areas, and it hurts anyone else who might not have a constant internet connection.

Then there's the used games thing, which has anti-consumer written all over it. I know, some of you blind nut-hugging fanboys are already screaming "You shouldn't buy used games!" What if I didn't? What if I rented games? What if my roommates and I shared games amongst each other? What if I loaned a game to a co-worker to try out before he bought it? None of that is going to happened under Microsoft's rumored game restrictions either.

In fact, the latest rumor is that you can buy and sell used games as long as the retailer has access to Microsoft's Azure Cloud. The retailer scans the game, the cloud removes the game from any hard drive that it's already installed to, and boom, a resellable game. Only now the publisher and Microsoft will get a cut of the profits. Sounds good on paper, you still get to buy used games, but only if you go through a Microsoft approved corporation.

That's right folks, if that rumor is true, you will not be privately selling your games on eBay or Amazon. You can forget it. You won't be renting your titles from RedBox or Gamefly. You can forget it. You still won't be sharing games amongst your roommates or lending them to co-workers. You can forget it. Now only the corporate fat cats will be able to benefit. Of course Microsoft would work out a way to keep GameStop happy, they need them to sell their consoles. You? Fuck you. You're just there to bleed your hard earned cash into their fat and bloated veins.

What about any of this is supposed to benefit you? Are you happy to see your money go to the publisher? Great. You can buy your game new. How does it benefit you to take away options from other gamers? Does it just make you feel superior?

Electronic Arts and Activision both reported billions of dollars in revenue for 2012. What the fuck happened to all the money they were losing to the used games market? They don't need the money, they just see GameStop used game revenue estimated at two billion dollars, and they want that two billion for themselves. That's that. Why should GameStop get any money from the game they made? They should get all the money, all the time. It's fucking GREED with a capital G.

So what if it's all true? Who wins in the end? It's not the gamer. It's not the mom and pop shops out there trying to make a living on buying and selling video games. It's not the eBay or Amazon seller. It's not the college kids who might pool their games together. It's the 1%, it's the big corporations, it's the Wallstreet fat cats. Microsoft wins. GameStop wins. EA wins. You lose.

If it all comes true, that is.