Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Dear Microsoft, We Are Not All Single Males
I have been chewing on the Xbox One Reveal from yesterday and while I understand they plan on releasing more information about the gaming aspect of the new "device" at E3, I am left with some serious questions. Questions that are not really being answered satisfactorily by the various press releases.
First, let's talk about the reveal. They did offer up a ton of information but if you sit back and really look at it, they didn't reveal much of anything. We know that sports (NFL) will play a significant role in the entertainment side of the Xbox One. We know a new style of Kinect will be packaged with each console and will be required to use the console. We know it will have multitasking and Skype. At this point, we are assured it is a giant, voice activated TV remote. I think it's cool to be able to transition to live TV without fumbling for my remote but I am also not assured it will be compatible with my cable box/company.
No really, that is what it is. I get that consoles are no longer just about games anymore but there is a huge portion of population that does not want to yell at their TVs. They are tired of have apps and features they never use but essentially are paying for. People do not want a Kinect that is always watching, lurking, waiting...stalking them like some creeper ex. Sure it's cool it can monitor my heart rate when I am exercising but I don't want it to keep track of when I happen to be in the room. Hal = Do NOT want. I unplug my Kinect now when I am not using it because the red light and way it follows me is unnerving. I am ready for the next generation of consoles to offer a wide variety of entertainment options. I have watched the evolution of gaming since the 1970's.
I don't care about backwards compatibility. I own 4 Xbox 360s so I will have one around for years to come and will use it to play my old games. I still have an NES, SNES, Genesis, etc, etc. You get the idea. I like retro gaming and will not dump and old console just because the newest thing has hit the market.
Then there is the new rules for game ownership. You will be required to install a disc onto the hard drive to be able to play. That game will now be registered to you (your gamertag). Anyone in your household can play that game on that console so long as you are logged in. Guess what that implies? If you have a family and had planned on owning more than one Xbox One console (like me) then you will most likely have to buy two of every.single.game. Why you ask? Well, if you have to be logged into the main console so your family can play the game you bought (new) then you cannot go and play a game on that second console. Conversely, unless your family buys a game and registers is with their gamertag, you will not be able to play that game unless they are logged in. This kills the idea of multi-console households. My husband and I tend to buy 2 consoles because we both game, like to game together and we have kids. Now, this doesn't seem likely to happen since having to buy 2 of everything is a financial nightmare. Granted this problem could be easily solved by requiring the disc to boot up the game but Microsoft has stated that once it's installed, the disc is no longer required.
Well Microsoft, I think you have forgotten a tiny detail; the average gaming household no longer consists of a single male (15-30yrs old) with only one device. (Don't get your undies in a twist about my saying male. The industry is still geared towards marketing to men. It's a fact.) Gamers' ages have gone up. They have gotten married, had kids and now own more than one console. This idea you have to prevent borrowed or trading games without getting your nickel and dime has screwed us. Yes, screwed us. We want to share gaming with our families but are being told we will most likely have to pay twice as much as those single guys to do so. Sure, we have more disposable income but we are not independently wealthy either.
Microsoft, you have 18 days to wow me with the gaming information and 6 months to figure out how to fix this problem for the multi-console household. Otherwise, you will cut your sales to these homes in half, or more. Isn't the bottom line all about the almighty dollar? Than why punish people for wanting to spend more on your hardware, online subscriptions and apps?
Your move, Microsoft.