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And then there was One?
May 21, 2013 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft has unveiled their new console, and it wants to dominate your living room. How Xbox One plans to fight Sony, Steam, and everything else.
posted by Artw (495 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
ooh a black box truly a brave design choice
posted by grubi at 12:09 PM on May 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


I like how all the components float in the air.
posted by Kabanos at 12:09 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope the thing truly doesn't have to be "online" the whole entire time for a game to work; also, I hope the older games port over to the new console without fuss.
posted by Renoroc at 12:10 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]




Last time around, I got a 360 and not a PS3 because it had much better exclusives at the time - Bioshock, Mass Effect, Braid. So I'm coming in with that bias; I still think MS is the winner for this generation, even if the exclusives advantage is mostly gone.

Sony: We have games! We will have lots of games. We are acknowledging the problems we had last generation with games. We are making it easier for indie developers to both make and sell games. We will stream entire games from our servers. We will even pipe games onto your Vita that nobody ever bought. Lots of other stuff to go with the games. Somewhat questionably, we will have a whole button to share footage of games. In conclusion, games!

Microsoft: We have SPORTS and CALLS OF DUTY and MORE SPORTS and HALO TEEVEE and you can CONTROL YOUR TEEVEE with KINECT and PUT INTERNET EXPLORER ON YOUR TEEVEE CONTROLLED BY KINECT! Oh, and the 360 came out seven years ago, so we thought we should get around to fixing the godawful D-pad finally.

I don't know which system will actually have the stuff I want, but so far, I've got one "reveal" that actually focuses on the stuff I buy a gaming console for, and one that seemed awfully proud of letting me control Internet Explorer by waving my arms around in the air. So... yeah.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:11 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


But 1 is a lower number than 360.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:12 PM on May 21, 2013 [31 favorites]


Oh, and for what it's worth: Word is you will NOT need to be always online for single-player to work. There will be NO backward-compatibility - and no word on a Sony-style "stream the old games" solution.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Everything about this is terrible.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Consoles just don't have the allure they used to have and I think Steam is one of the major reasons why. There's just so many amazing games - AAA, indie, innovative, retro, weird - on the pc that consoles can't pull off, especially indie games.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


I am delighted that my xBox will now be watching and listening, all the time, in case I ask it to do something. Even when it's 'off'.

No wait, not delighted, the other thing.
posted by Happy Dave at 12:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [53 favorites]


These things seem to be turning into arbitrarily incompatible computers with little to distinguish or recommend them.

That said, with my current free time allotment I will still be playing PS3 games in 2033 so I guess I'll just wait for the holobrain hookup or whatever.
posted by selfnoise at 12:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


(I'd make fun of the name but after the Wii, you'd literally have to name your console "PoopyPoop 2000" to take the Bad Name prize.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [24 favorites]


I hope the thing truly doesn't have to be "online" the whole entire time for a game to work; also, I hope the older games port over to the new console without fuss.

Apparently the Xbox one will have no backwards compatibility whatsoever
posted by MrCynical at 12:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope the thing truly doesn't have to be "online" the whole entire time for a game to work; also, I hope the older games port over to the new console without fuss.

No backwards compatibility. They say the internal hardware is too different to carry anything over, and emulating the 360's various hardware quirks (which most games rely on to run, even if it's just a matter of "they happened to code their sound effects in a weird way because of how the memory buffers") in software would be waaaaay too demanding. Like, the system would catch on fire.

Also, can we talk about how unbelievably, hilariously awful that Call of Duty demo looked? Their big new feature to show off the next generation of games is jumping. I cannot think of a joke about that.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


But 1 is a lower number than 360.

'HAL' didn't test well.
posted by mazola at 12:15 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Renoroc - sounds like the XBox One won't be backwards compatible with 360 games. Backwards compatibility for after my current 360 inevitably dies was something I was hoping for. I'm leaning towards the PS4 this generation.
posted by Fully Completely at 12:15 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kinect is part of the package, and it’s a voice controlled experience from power on throughout the entire process. Your voice cues the Xbox to your user profile and sets up all your custom options. Then, you can dictate activities to Xbox One, sort of like how many imagined Apple would do their own Apple TV with Siri.

Wow, where do I sign up???!

You guys know what this means, right? More of this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:15 PM on May 21, 2013 [29 favorites]


I'm really really starting to get tired of The Cloud.

I guess that means I'm officially old now.

Dammit.
posted by aramaic at 12:16 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


it’s also clearly about consolidating your digital entertainment and operate as much more of a lifestyle device.

Why is this something that anyone wants? Also, I don't know what a "lifestyle device" is, but it sounds miserable.
posted by 1adam12 at 12:16 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dear Microsoft,

Though you may not care, or at least that's the impression I've always gotten from you regarding your console market, I just wanted to leave you this memo saying Goodbye and thanks for all the memories. I will take with me memories like console hardware failures, poor gui design, inept customer support, lack of customization, marketplace purchases that make use of an inane point system instead of real currency, and title games with the most horrid matchmaking systems (and even more horrid user bases).

I move on into a world that is brighter, wider, freer, prettier, cheaper, better for game designers, and just more intelligent overall. To your offer of motion controls, voice controls, subscription models, and, best of all, the looming notion of always online gaming and all the scurrilous motives I suspect you of having, I say thanks, but no thanks.

Yours truly,
The discerning* gaming consumer

P.S. - Thanks for the controller design, I'll be using your gamepad for years to come. On my PC.

* In case you didn't know, this means I have money to spend. Elsewhere.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:16 PM on May 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


I guess that means I'm officially old now.

Dammit.
posted by aramaic at 15:16 on May 21 [+] [!]


Well, yeah. Who speaks you anymore?
posted by grubi at 12:17 PM on May 21, 2013 [44 favorites]


Also, I don't know what a "lifestyle device" is, but it sounds miserable.

Or like a euphemism for something you buy at Randy Andy's Toyshop.
posted by emjaybee at 12:17 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Some of the stuff seemed really nice, the instant switching between Games and TV(from the HDMI in) as well as the recording feature which I loved in Black OPs and Halo 3

Sad they're still charging for Xbox live though and features I'll never use
posted by MrCynical at 12:18 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you want to feel better, replace the word "cloud" with "clown". Everything is suddenly magical.

Clown based computing. Store it in the clown.

My general policy is to wait until there is a game that looks good and is getting good reviews and is exclusive, then I buy the new console.

So far I still haven't bought an xbox of any kind, but different people like different games.

As far as this "media station" thing goes, I have a computer.
posted by poe at 12:19 PM on May 21, 2013 [35 favorites]


These things seem to be turning into arbitrarily incompatible computers...

Completely closed, too.
posted by DU at 12:19 PM on May 21, 2013


sounds like the XBox One won't be backwards compatible with 360 games

Sony did a bit of the old bait-and-switch with PS1 and PS2 game and device support on the PS3. I wouldn't count on the PS4 doing much different, in this regard.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:20 PM on May 21, 2013


Clown based computing. Store it in the clown.

Send in the clouds...

no. wait.
posted by grubi at 12:21 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


PS4 is already confirmed not to be compatible with PS3 games, for pretty much the same reason.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:21 PM on May 21, 2013


See, I'm willing to pay $60/year for xbox gold because I'm a sucker. But I won't pay $100/month for a cable subscription. So that "Xbox, watch tv!" stuff? Worthless. Popups about my fantasy basketball rankings while I'm watching ESPN? Worthless.

The other thing that struck me during the press conference is that they keep mentioning a way to make TV more interactive.

We have that already. It's called VIDEO GAMES.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:21 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


And a quick reminder about the "cloud-to-butt" chrome extension.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:22 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


From the Xbox One site:

"Sharp corners and clean lines make for a sleek, modern console that complements any decor."

Uh, what? HDTVs, blu-ray players, and sound systems all seem to have rounded corners and lines. This line sounds like even an Ad-Exec had to take a stiff shot of scotch to ease the pain.

"Xbox One was built by gamers, for gamers."

Considering the focus on cloud, multi-player, and "graphics as close to realism" instead of.. oh, I don't know... maybe story, depth of character, or something new that doesn't fall on tired clichés and tropes, I guess it's pretty apparent gamers made this. And that's not necessarily a good thing.

The non-backwards-compatible thing is the strike for me. I like playing Portal and some of the older LEGO games, so I have less incentive to switch to a new console.
posted by CancerMan at 12:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dunno. I get a strong feeling the pricey, proprietary console's time is drawing to a close - it hasn't kept up with advancements in TV tech and entertainment distribution, when it should be driving adoption of both. It doesn't offer an immersive experience like the new Occulus systems, or a pleasant casual-gaming experience like the Ouya. The controller looks straight from the year 2000 - yet they haven't really figured out how to take advantage of the Kinnect in an engaging way outside of dancing and sports games.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


My general policy is to wait until there is a game that looks good and is getting good reviews and is exclusive, then I buy the new console.

This, except I waited for 4 of these games to exist.
posted by DU at 12:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Prior to the release of 360, there was a serious conversation among AAA studios as to the feasibility of "killing used sales." Obviously that didn't happen. It could have, and since there wasn't a real gaming alternative, it would have been a bad call but a survivable one.

In the 7 years since 360 and PS3 there was this whole Android and iOS thing. And the rise of free-to-play on PC/Mac. And those things - especially the iPad and iPhone - have forever changed the landscape. No, you can't resell your games on iOS either. But they cost 1/40th the cost of a disk for the consoles. This path simply will not work for anyone other than the enfranchised bro gamer who must get the newest Madden or the newest Call of Duty.

(I am saying this as the former producer behind "the most popular mode" that was eventually included in the "most popular sports game" as described in the presentation today.)
posted by andreaazure at 12:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not looking for a voice-activated cable box and I have no idea who is. Certainly no one they're trying to target.

Anyone try the IGN drinking game?
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 12:25 PM on May 21, 2013


Want: less fratboy dudebro shit like COD, less social crap that nobody wants, more games dammit, purchases with real money. Don't care what it looks like.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:25 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Nothing about this announcement excited me. I've had an xbox 360 since it came out, and play it pretty much every day. I don't watch sports, I hate CoD, I'm not interested in controlling things with my voice. I just want some fun games to play. Guess I should get around to buying a new computer?
posted by Arbac at 12:25 PM on May 21, 2013


PS4 is already confirmed not to be compatible with PS3 games, for pretty much the same reason.

Nobody has PS3 games.
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Want: less fratboy dudebro shit like COD, less social crap that nobody wants, more games dammit, purchases with real money. Don't care what it looks like.

Welcome to PC or indie gaming! Let me take your coat.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:27 PM on May 21, 2013 [18 favorites]


Nobody has PS3 games.

What does that even mean?
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 12:27 PM on May 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


Also, what the hell was that live-action/cg "game trailer" they showed at some point? We were watching this at work and no one could figure out what the hell was happening. Does anyone know?

Such a painful presentation... Rather hilarious that Microsoft stock is taking a bit of a hit right now.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 12:28 PM on May 21, 2013


Nobody has PS3 games.

Deny the existence of Ghibli Pokemon at your peril.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:28 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


FWIW, lotta hatin' coming from the game devs on my Twitter feed right now.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:29 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nobody has PS3 games.

What does that even mean?


To me, it speaks to the fact that 100% of the people I knew that have/had a PS3 didn't play it for very long after release. They either sold it, used it as a blueray player, or let it collect dust. YMMV.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:29 PM on May 21, 2013


Dunno. I get a strong feeling the pricey, proprietary console's time is drawing to a close

I want to believe this is true. Of course I also want to believe that studios like Bethesda will start making games that are straight-up Linux compatible without WINE, so I'm not holding my breath.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:30 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nobody has PS3 games.

*goes home, looks at bookshelf* Huh, I'll be damned. I guess they WERE a fabrication of my deluded mind.
posted by selfnoise at 12:30 PM on May 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


I own the PS3, 360, and a bleeding edge gaming PC. The PS3 was my least-used device for actual gaming, as it mainly acts as a Blu-Ray player for the living room. Up until I built my new PC, my 360 was on almost all of the time: first choice for gaming, Netflix, music, what-have-you.

The PS4 is focusing on gaming this go-round, but with limited backwards compatibility (something about streaming old games for a price, maybe??). The 360 wants to be your cable box and I don't own cable. My PC runs Steam and Origin and GOG, is backwards compatible, and can be upgraded to meet the improving demands of core gaming.

I enjoyed having the consoles in my home for gaming, but with a new family on the horizon and less disposable cash for selfish purchases, I think Sony and Microsoft have priced me out of this generation for now.
posted by NationalKato at 12:31 PM on May 21, 2013


Xbox one, the new Pespi blue one.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:31 PM on May 21, 2013


I'm kind of hoping the 360 stays in production for a while. Mine's been a champ, but it's going to die eventually. I have all these great games, really great games, that I still keep coming back to years later. I understand why backwards compatibility won't work with the architecture changes. I just want to plunk in my copy of Mass Effect or Assassin's Creed or Deadly Premonition and have it work, and I don't particularly care to repurchase them on Steam when I have perfectly functional copies right here.
posted by figurant at 12:31 PM on May 21, 2013


My favorite part is when the games journalists live-blogging the 'event' pretend to be excited about more kinect integration, whatever the fuck smart glass is, and more shit that isn't games.

They're not actually excited about this, right?
posted by mean cheez at 12:32 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just what I want, a TV that my toddler can yell at to turn on. Greeeaaaaat.
posted by iamabot at 12:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [13 favorites]


Sounds like they've 100% killed used games with this system.

I wonder what's going to happen to your games 10 years down the line when they want to turn the DRM servers off. Well, I don't really wonder, I can pretty much figure this one out.
posted by zixyer at 12:34 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Meh. It's all been downhill since the Dreamcast died.
posted by happyroach at 12:34 PM on May 21, 2013 [24 favorites]




Aaand today's the day I'm suddenly very interested in this "Steam Box" thing I've been hearing about.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:35 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Is there any real info on whether they've borked used games?
posted by joelhunt at 12:35 PM on May 21, 2013


Sounds like they've 100% killed used games with this system.

...which kind of makes me wonder why games stores, which probably make most of their money on used games, would even want to carry these things at all.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:36 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there any real info on whether they've borked used games?

However, it has been confirmed that there are additional fees for the ability to play pre-owned games.*
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:37 PM on May 21, 2013




grubi: "ooh a black box truly a brave design choice"

I love the design because it doesn't look like anything. You could put that in the console under the TV and not even notice it. I don't really want TV components to jump out at me visually.
posted by octothorpe at 12:38 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I might finally buy a PS3 ever since Gran Turismo 6 was announced. That's all I'll use it for probably. That and Journey.
posted by hellojed at 12:38 PM on May 21, 2013


CancerMan: "This line sounds like even an Ad-Exec had to take a stiff shot of scotch to ease the pain."

Paging '10s Don Draper.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:39 PM on May 21, 2013


Is there any real info on whether they've borked used games?

Supposedly (and this is from Kotaku, so grain of salt):

1) Games will install to the hard drive from discs, and once they're installed you don't need the disc to play the game. You don't even have to insert the disc as a copy-protection mechanism.

2) That means the disc you use to install the game is tied to your account, so you can't just install it once and sell the thing with no consequences.

3) If you have a game disc that's been registered to somebody else, you can pay a fee to activate it for you, too.

So used games would exist, but with a surcharge that probably exceeds the difference between the cost of a new and used game.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:39 PM on May 21, 2013


Is there any real info on whether they've borked used games?

I was basing my assertion on the Wired article, which was just updated.
Microsoft called Wired after this story was originally published to say that the company did have a plan for used games, and that further details were forthcoming.
there are additional fees for the ability to play pre-owned games

I kind of inferred that the "additional fee" that was mentioned to install games on additional Xboxes was going to be the full retail cost of the game.
posted by zixyer at 12:39 PM on May 21, 2013


My favorite part is when the games journalists live-blogging the 'event' pretend to be excited about more kinect integration, whatever the fuck smart glass is, and more shit that isn't games.

I thought the console makers were concerned about hardware, and other shit that isn't games, and the software devs were concerned about, you know, making the games.

There's a lot of weird negativity in this thread. Is there a social positioning thing going on?
posted by jsturgill at 12:40 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is going to revolutionize the way 13-year-olds call you "faggot."
posted by porn in the woods at 12:41 PM on May 21, 2013 [72 favorites]


I thought the console makers were concerned about hardware, and other shit that isn't games, and the software devs were concerned about, you know, making the games.


Except the hardware guys are building a thing that will be used to, you know, make games. There's a reason Sony devoted time during their launch to specifically acknowledging that the hardware they built was hard to build games on, and pointing out that the new hardware would be easier to develop on.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:41 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a lot of weird negativity in this thread. Is there a social positioning thing going on?

No, the One is just kind of fine-tuned to annoy people who like to play video games other than EA Sports titles, Halo and Call of Duty.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:41 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is there a social positioning thing going on?

Not sure what you mean. Game consoles have traditionally been developed to play games, and Microsoft as a company has been moving further and further away from that. I'm trying to express dissatisfaction with that.
posted by mean cheez at 12:43 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which Corporation should I trust!?
posted by srboisvert at 12:44 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


No, the One is just kind of fine-tuned to annoy people who like to play video games other than EA Sports titles, Halo and Call of Duty.

Daniel Hardcastle, noted UK gaming personality, tweeted earlier: "It is no longer a games console, this IS A FRAT CONSOLE!"
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:45 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Which Corporation should I trust!?

Probably the one that doesn't monitor your heartbeat from your living room.

posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 12:45 PM on May 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


I just want A Thing that can stream video files in an .mkv container from my huge media center. If Your Thing can do that with little to no fuss, then I am in the market for Your Thing.

Also, I like playing Assassin's Creed online while drinking copious amounts of vodka, so Your Thing should have that too.
posted by King Bee at 12:46 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Daniel Hardcastle, noted UK gaming personality, tweeted earlier: "It is no longer a games console, this IS A FRAT CONSOLE!"

Similarly someone I know online called it the XBro.
posted by tittergrrl at 12:46 PM on May 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


Tomorrowful: "Last time around, I got a 360 and not a PS3 because it had much better exclusives at the time - Bioshock, Mass Effect, Braid. So I'm coming in with that bias; I still think MS is the winner for this generation, even if the exclusives advantage is mostly gone."

Stepping outside of the rapidly shrinking gamer-sphere, where these things matter, Microsoft's console gaming division should be considered a staggeringly monumental failure by almost any metric. It loses money hand over fist.

The 360 was sold at a huge loss to Microsoft, and like its predecessor, had a strong launch lineup, but generated very few "must-have" titles across its lifetime, killing Microsoft's chances of recouping those losses. The 360's chronic hardware problems (affecting 25-50% of shipped units) would have destroyed the finances and reputation of almost any other company. It's amazing that Microsoft's gaming division isn't under investigation for dumping.

Despite all this, Nintendo shipped *far* more Wiis, and the 360 barely squeaked by the PS3.

I'm not a fan of Sony by any measure, but after using my roommate's PS3 for a while, I was pretty impressed by the product. It's as though Sony managed to suppress all of the things that typically make Sony products terrible, just long enough to develop the PS3. The hardware was nothing short of incredible, especially when you consider that it was released in 2006. It's *still* a better Blu-Ray player and media streamer than almost anything else on the market. The UI also strikes the right balance of functional and pretty to look at (to say nothing of being nimble and responsive).

That said, it's still a closed platform, so I can't heap too much praise onto it (especially given the PS3's Linux debacle). It also sucks that these devices are all turning into cashgrabs for companies to run their own proprietary app/media stores. Given the industry-wide poor track-record for forward-compatibility, there's no way that I'm investing any significant amount of money into any proprietary-format media purchases.
posted by schmod at 12:47 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


These things seem to be turning into arbitrarily incompatible computers...

There's nothing arbitrary about it. Cold, deliberate planning.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:49 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Sharp corners and clean lines make for a sleek, modern console that complements any decor."

Uh, what? HDTVs, blu-ray players, and sound systems all seem to have rounded corners and lines. This line sounds like even an Ad-Exec had to take a stiff shot of scotch to ease the pain.


The curves and rounded ends of appliances are stylistic choices that go in and out of style, what looks hip today can look outdated in a few years. However, hard right angles are forever.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:50 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Interesting to see the Kinect stuff emphasized again and again. I think this is the influence from Microsoft Research - they have some of the best probabilistic graphical model people.

(They have some truly craptastic agent-based PGM stuff and AI personal assistant stuff they're working on, because apparently 1 decade is enough to learn that rule-based systems like Clippy were annoying as crap but not enough to learn that even the modern spiffy probabilistic AI is annoying as crap)

I wonder if gaming will be the first consumer use of deep learning. People have been using Theano on CUDA for a while, and that just all ends up being GPU's and a lot of math...
posted by curuinor at 12:53 PM on May 21, 2013


TFA:

It’s a next-generation console, with plenty of power under the hood, but it’s also clearly about consolidating your digital entertainment and operate as much more of a lifestyle device.

i just threw up a little

Your voice cues the Xbox to your user profile and sets up all your custom options.

ARGH NO I fucking hate talking to robots
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:54 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


1) Give away the console for almost free
2) Mine Bitcoin during idle time and give half to Microsoft
3) Also maybe the consumer buys some games idk
4) You're welcome
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:54 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm really really starting to get tired of The Cloud.

Your butt looks fine to me. Maybe just try some better-fitting pants?
posted by straight at 12:55 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am eagerly looking forward to the Xbox 360 price drop.
posted by box at 12:55 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I look forward to buying an Xbox One controller and using it to play games on my PC.
posted by arcolz at 12:56 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


the One is just kind of fine-tuned to annoy people who like to play video games other than EA Sports titles, Halo and Call of Duty.

I don't understand this being repeated over and over again. Prior to this reveal, MS came out and said that E3 will be about the games for the new console. So... yeah, what you're saying isn't true.
posted by papercake at 12:56 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well shit! I just purchased a new X-Box 360 to replace my POS 360 last Friday

Imagine if every 7 years LEGO would re-create their products so none of the new sets connected with any of the old sets. Instead of round connector pegs, let's do squares, and prior to round, they did triangles. Bastards!
posted by QueerAngel28 at 12:57 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am delighted that my xBox will now be watching and listening, all the time, in case I ask it to do something. Even when it's 'off'.

It can even detect your heartbeat, which frightens me even more than the enormous HAL-esque unblinking eye on that Kinect "accessory" (which seems to be mandatory for anything other than old-style controller use).
posted by zombieflanders at 12:58 PM on May 21, 2013


It occurs to me that the last video game system I was truly in love with was the Gameboy Advance.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:58 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I thought they were going to call it XBox backside 540 stalefish. Bro. Brah.
posted by Mister_A at 12:58 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also can you make sex with it?
posted by Mister_A at 12:58 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just want A Thing that can stream video files in an .mkv container from my huge media center. If Your Thing can do that with little to no fuss, then I am in the market for Your Thing.

Go get a Roku and download Plex. Plex streams absolutely everything.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 12:59 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also can you make sex with it?

No but it will watch you masterbate.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:59 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Prior to this reveal, MS came out and said that E3 will be about the games for the new console.

The presentation did mention there will be 8 brand-new IPs to come within the first year. However, the presentation also failed to interest anyone to whom those later IPs might be interesting. Unless they're more along the lines of EA Sports titles, Halo and Call of Duty. Sooo...
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 1:01 PM on May 21, 2013


I thought they were going to call it XBox backside 540 stalefish. Bro. Brah.

I've been calling it the Xbox Backflip for so long I keep forgetting that isn't the actual name.
posted by emmtee at 1:01 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Boot up.
Wait.
Tab over three tabs.
Hit down a bunch of times to Log In Or Out.
Select profile.
Wait for stupid avatar to stop dancing in front of screen.
Tab over twice to Games.
Tab over a bunch of times to current game.

-The XBox 360 Experience

Forget any stage of this, and you're saving your progress in Fez to your roommate's profile.

XBox would would get a lot more of my money if they'd just make a fucking console that plays the game you put in it. I don't need more of Microsoft's idea of what my lifestyle needs are.
posted by Peevish at 1:02 PM on May 21, 2013 [16 favorites]


I like to call it the Xbox Cumberbatch.

No reason.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:02 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


prize bull octorok: "It occurs to me that the last video game system I was truly in love with was the Gameboy Advance."

That's a funny way to spell Colecovision.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:02 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Go get a Roku and download Plex. Plex streams absolutely everything.

I've been using a small desktop made up of spare parts with xbmc installed on it, and that does pretty good. It would just be nice if something else I was already going to have could do it to, you know? So, in that sense, I like the "one device to do everything for you" kind of deal.
posted by King Bee at 1:03 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also can you make sex with it?

All hail the new flesh.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:04 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


ARGH NO I fucking hate talking to robots

"Start Tropico"
"CALL OF DUTY LOADING"
"No ... Tropico. TRO-PI-CO!"
"ONLINE MODE ENABLED, SEARCHING FOR PUBLIC SERVERS."
"Oh for crying out-"
"SERVER 'BALLS IN YO MOUF' FOUND, CONNECTING NOW"
"Switch off console! OFF CONSOLE!"
"WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAVE YOUR PROGRESS?"
*sobs*
"CALL OF DUTY LOADING"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:04 PM on May 21, 2013 [51 favorites]


That's a funny way to spell Colecovision.

one time during the warring states period i had this nifty abacus
posted by elizardbits at 1:05 PM on May 21, 2013 [28 favorites]


You know, the only exclusive console games of this generation that a) didn't finally come to PC and b) I'm remotely interested in were by thatgamecompany, on the PS3. Sony's the only company that really does exclusivity
posted by Peevish at 1:06 PM on May 21, 2013


This had better be compatible with my Real One Player
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:12 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


If a video game machine that plays video games isn't enough for you without robots and motion control, it'll never been enough with it.
posted by grubi at 1:12 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


No but it will watch you masterbate.

Pass. I got cats for that.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


What's even sadder is that both the Xbox 1 and PS4 are going to be based off of X86 AMD chips. So they literally are closed off PCs.

The only difference between this and a PC with steam is fewer games and less sales.

You know, the only exclusive console games of this generation that a) didn't finally come to PC and b) I'm remotely interested in were by thatgamecompany, on the PS3. Sony's the only company that really does exclusivity

They went free agent a while back.
posted by zabuni at 1:13 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


My understanding is that this event focuses on the lifestyle stuff rather than games because they are planning a huge game-centric thing with a bunch of partners at E3.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:13 PM on May 21, 2013


Well I only bought a PS3 for Christmas 2011. So, I guess it will be a while before I need one of the newer models.

Maybe, if I wait long enough, Google will come out with Google Holo Suites and I can just go straight to that.
posted by oddman at 1:16 PM on May 21, 2013


Aw hell naw: Xbox One Requires Kinect To Function
posted by zombieflanders at 1:17 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]




My understanding is that this event focuses on the lifestyle stuff rather than games because they are planning a huge game-centric thing with a bunch of partners at E3.


This is true. But inasmuch as it is, it represents a massive messaging failure on the part of their PR team. Nobody's talking about "Man, I can't wait to see all the games at E3!" - all anyone heard is "We have sports and halo TV and kinect and we don't seem to care about games."
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:18 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Oh for crying out-"
"SERVER 'BALLS IN YO MOUF' FOUND, CONNECTING NOW"
"Switch off console! OFF CONSOLE!"
"WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAVE YOUR PROGRESS?"
*sobs*
"CALL OF DUTY LOADING"


"BURLY MEN FOUND."
posted by Nomyte at 1:18 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Stepping outside of the rapidly shrinking gamer-sphere, where these things matter, Microsoft's console gaming division should be considered a staggeringly monumental failure by almost any metric. It loses money hand over fist.

Yeah, but their other new product is windows 8.
posted by empath at 1:19 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Heh. Always on is easily solved with that bit that plugs into the wall.

That said, I think I'm about done with consoles. The last time I powered up the 360 was to watch a DVD and it had to update itself for 20 odd minutes to do that.

XBox, DVR, TV - they're all going the way of the land line at chez Mooski.
posted by Mooski at 1:19 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone try the Ouya yet? Is that anything? Obviously not as powerful as this thing, but how about enjoyable?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:20 PM on May 21, 2013


zabuni: The hardware is actually a bit more advanced than current PCs. The RAM is very, very fast & both the GPU and CPU have direct access to all of it. This is completely different to the architecture of modern PCs, where if you want a decent GPU, it has to have its own RAM pool, separated from the system RAM by a (relative to direct access) slow and high latency PCIexpress bus.

It's likely that console games will be *much* more impressive than PC ones initially, at least until the PC world catches up.

The only fly in this nirvana for the new consoles is that current PCs are pretty much "good enough" already: the curve is logarithm at this point so you spend twice the compute power (or more) for a small gain in visual fidelity. Hence it's not clear that the hardware advantage of new generation of consoles is going to matter all that much in practice.
posted by pharm at 1:20 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is true. But inasmuch as it is, it represents a massive messaging failure on the part of their PR team. Nobody's talking about "Man, I can't wait to see all the games at E3!" - all anyone heard is "We have sports and halo TV and kinect and we don't seem to care about games."

Lets be honest. Most people heard nothing because most people don't follow the industry closely. In the end, they'll buy what their friends are buying.
posted by empath at 1:21 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Happy Dave: "I am delighted that my xBox will now be watching and listening, all the time, in case I ask it to do something. Even when it's 'off'.

No wait, not delighted, the other thing.
"

Happy Dave, what are you doing? Dave? I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you ... I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid.
posted by chavenet at 1:21 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why is this something that anyone wants?

Millions of people out there with different needs and wants. It's true! As to why, think of something you want and then try to think of someone you know who doesn't want that same thing. It's just like that, and works in reverse too.

It's incredibe, but there are a ton of different markets for the millions of people out there.

Also, I don't know what a "lifestyle device" is, but it sounds miserable.

It's a marketing philosophy that's been around for years and many companies base their marketing and products on it to some extent. You might have heard of Apple for example, or Nike, or car companies.

To me, it speaks to the fact that 100% of the people I knew that have/had a PS3 didn't play it for very long after release. They either sold it, used it as a blueray player, or let it collect dust.

100% of the people I know that have a PS3 spend buckets of money on games. I've even seen games being sold at stores and new one's released. This of course doesn't discount that others are not using them, like exercise equipment, juicers, or tablets.
posted by juiceCake at 1:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Which Corporation should I trust!?

Ball and Cup Amalgamated. Best done in bright UV ridden light called 'outside'.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


aramaic:
I'm really really starting to get tired of My Butt.
Just popping in to say that your comment alerted me to the fact that I still had the "the cloud ---> my butt" extension installed. Thanks.
posted by charred husk at 1:26 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Microsoft's console gaming division should be considered a staggeringly monumental failure by almost any metric. It loses money hand over fist.

This was true years ago, but hasn't been for a long time.
posted by kmz at 1:26 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I think if the E3 demo does excite people the way this one failed to, no one will remember this. It is amazing how quickly online news can stir up a posse.
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:29 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Always on is easily solved with that bit that plugs into the wall.

Kinda like how poor gas mileage is easily solved by getting out and pushing I suppose.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:30 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you want to feel better, replace the word "cloud" with "clown". Everything is suddenly magical.

Better yet, install the CloudToButt extension and your browser will automatically replace all instances of that increasingly obnoxious phrase "the cloud" with the much more entertaining "my butt". It's a subtle effect, good for about one laugh a day.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:32 PM on May 21, 2013


"lifestyle device"

It's either a next-gen game console or the biggest, blackest, most leathery BDSM object that the cashier at the smut-shop keeps behind the cash-register and has been dubbed 'The Eliminator*' by the staff.


*The half-dozen D Cell batteries and cleaning shammy sold separately
posted by wcfields at 1:32 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I already had an XBox 1, it overheated and died years ago.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just what I want, a TV that my toddler can yell at to turn on. Greeeaaaaat.

Imagine the fun of playing a game with a few people in the living room. Imagine just how hard everyone else can fuck with the person who's playing by shouting random commands (or just "Shutdown!") at it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:34 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Want: less fratboy dudebro shit like COD, less social crap that nobody wants,

Y'all you don't get it. Without getting their trolling fix on xbox some of my mates wouldn't be tolerable at all, Microsoft are providing a valuable service. Bit like what facebook does for the net.
posted by yoHighness at 1:35 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Imagine just how hard everyone else can fuck with the person who's playing by shouting random commands (or just "Shutdown!") at it.

That's pretty much the use case they've chosen to highlight.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:36 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone try the Ouya yet?

Not yet, but my Kickstarter-backer preordered console is due to be here in a couple of weeks. Even if it doesn't wind up being a great game machine, I'm looking forward to using it as an inexpensive little media server. (It's supposed to support XBMC out of the box.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:37 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want a game console that will let me copy my scratched up copy of Gladius to the cloud and then play it forever more without worrying about it disappearing from history due to media degradation.
posted by charred husk at 1:38 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Imagine just how hard everyone else can fuck with the person who's playing by shouting random commands (or just "Shutdown!") at it.

I would suggest that the problem is your friends, not the console.
posted by empath at 1:39 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


The presentation did mention there will be 8 brand-new IPs to come within the first year.

Halo Sports
Call of Halo
Call of Sports
Sports of Duty
Call of Duty: Sports Halo
Grand Theft Halo
Call of Tony Hawk
LEGO Halo Sports: Star Wars
posted by oulipian at 1:41 PM on May 21, 2013 [83 favorites]


Time to go into my storage unit, blow dust off one of my two Sega Dreamcasts, hook it up and pop in Jet Set Radio, Shenmue, Chu Chu Rocket, Soul Calibur, Skies of Arcadia, Space Channel 5, Ecco the Dolphin, Samba de Amigo, Rez, Seaman...

Microsoft: that list of names are the titles of something called 'games'. Good ones at that. You might want to try focusing on making, and showing, some of those for your latest console. They often get the attention of something called 'gamers'.
posted by Wordshore at 1:42 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


LEGO Halo Sports: Star Wars

That almost sounds worth it.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 1:44 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


FWIW: according to CNBC, Sony's stock rose today due to "a report in the Nikkei that the company is considering a proposal from hedge fund Third Point to spin off its movie and music business".
posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:48 PM on May 21, 2013


Given that the One now requires a Kinect to be hooked up at all times, I don't think it's even an option for me. My video game setup involves a projector, rather than a screen, so requiring me to flail around in front of the screen is going to involve me constantly obscuring the thing.

I guess that means that when I feel the urge to get a new console to play stuff my current 360 won't play, it'll be a PS4 or a Steam Box. I dunno. I only bought a 360 like last winter because a voice in the back of my head was really persistent about wanting one for a couple months; I'd otherwise been doing fine with not owning a console for several years.
posted by egypturnash at 1:48 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


IPs

What the hell is an "IP" anyways? And if it's a term that's going to make me physically ill (like Interactivtainment Productionenhancementunit or something), please don't tell me.
posted by kiltedtaco at 1:48 PM on May 21, 2013


Intellectual Property.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 1:50 PM on May 21, 2013


a voice in the back of my head was really persistent

Be grateful that your voice simply endorses consumer electronics; mine tells me to do terrible, dark, terrible things to all the innocents of the world.

...fortunately I've yet to run across an innocent.
posted by aramaic at 1:51 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


What i've been wondering is, how does this always on stuff(including the voice recognition, which i'm sure is server based like Siri) jive with lots of people having capped internet connections?

Like, what about all those customers in canada, to get close to home for MS here, but also you know... a lot of places.

It seems like big content+the console makers are screaming CONSUME and shilling why always on is the future, while the big network providers are busy figuring out how to severely limit everyone's connections and charge more for the privilege.
posted by emptythought at 1:51 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


oulipian forgot one:

Madden XXVIII: Gears of Madden
posted by Mister_A at 1:51 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


We speak of video games as each being "an Intellectual Property" now? Thanks, but I'll stick with reading some Copyrights that I have on my shelves.
posted by kiltedtaco at 1:53 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nobody has PS3 games.

What does that even mean?


old meme is old
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 1:53 PM on May 21, 2013


Madden XXVIII: Gears of Madden

Well, football would be even more entertaining with shrieking aliens bursting from the ground.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:53 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember the good old days when an intellectual property was something like 454 Smartypants Street.
posted by Mister_A at 1:53 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


If they're keeping the functionality from the current generation of Kinect, voice recognition will work without an active Internet connection.

In general, I'm hoping the intersection of Cloud Mania and data caps lead to Microsoft/Amazon/etc going into Thunderdome with Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, and slaughtering each other.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:54 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


(including the voice recognition, which i'm sure is server based like Siri)

Current Kinect doesn't do anything server based; I would be very very very surprised if the new one does.

(Siri doesn't actually require a data signal, does it?)
posted by kmz at 1:55 PM on May 21, 2013


We speak of video games as each being "an Intellectual Property" now?

What used to be called a game franchise is now an IP; so Assassin's Creed 2: Brotherhood: Revengence is a game, but Assassin's Creed as a whole is the IP. Because no longer can anybody make just one game, they have to invest in a whole series of them. Basically, eight new IPs promises eight games that are allegedly not sequels or prequels or spinoffs.
posted by Pyry at 1:57 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why is this something that anyone wants?

Never underestimate the ability of a corporation full of well-paid geeks to extrapolate their gadget-lust onto the public at-large.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:57 PM on May 21, 2013


However, Activision is calling Call of Duty: XTreme Jumping Edition a "new franchise" because it's not Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, so they may in fact be lying.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:58 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Microsoft/Amazon/etc going into Thunderdome with Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, and slaughtering each other.

No matter who loses, we win.
posted by Suddenly, elf ass at 1:58 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, it's not really very compelling. They took out some of the only compelling advantages a console has over a PC, like the ability to carry games over to a friend's house or rent them, and didn't replace them with the corresponding advantages a disk-free system should have (like the ability to buy or reinstall games over the internet). Come on, Steam proves it's a viable business strategy, there is no excuse!

The cloud processing thing is just a terrible idea. Latency and server load will always be a problem, but the majority of the processor load in a game is usually the physics or the graphics, where you can't have any latency at all! The only use would be in a simulation - but even SimCity didn't actually do any processing offsite, even though they claimed to (surely they would have, if it had been a good idea).

The lack of backwards compatibility is disheartening. One of the best parts about computer gaming is going back to old games once the hardware has completely exceeded anything available at the time, and turning everything all the way up. It would have been nice to do that on the consoles for once. Furthermore, nobody wants to keep a dozen consoles in their living rooms. And 360s aren't exactly long lived.

Oh, and did anyone actually like the Kinect? Like long term, for anything other than a gimmick?
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:58 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


(like the ability to buy or reinstall games over the internet). Come on, Steam proves it's a viable business strategy, there is no excuse!

I can't imagine why you can't do this with the new Xbox, you can already buy and download games from the Xbox online store just like you can with Steam
posted by MrCynical at 2:00 PM on May 21, 2013


I have a Kinect. I used it for games for a few weeks. The only thing I use it for now is pausing Netflix without having to reach for the controller.
posted by Arbac at 2:02 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did kind if wonder of they would take the final step and ditch physical media. You live another day, games stores!
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on May 21, 2013


I'm sure they'll have small games and such on there to download, but they don't let you download full AAA titles, do they? The article sounded like they were still basically disk based.
posted by Mitrovarr at 2:03 PM on May 21, 2013


You can download full AAA titles on the 360 today.
posted by empath at 2:04 PM on May 21, 2013


Basically any big-name title is sold as a download on release day, side-by-side with its release on physical media.

AAA titles are about to get much much much more data-intensive thanks to the Blu-Ray media, though. A PS3 game will take two or three times as long to download as the XBox version of the same game - now imagine how monstrous they'll be when the developers didn't have to make it possible for the assets to fit on a DVD.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:06 PM on May 21, 2013


Ah. Didn't know that. Still, I bet it's not as nice as Steam in terms of letting you reinstall, etc.
posted by Mitrovarr at 2:06 PM on May 21, 2013


I have a Ouya. I've got nerd-guilt that mine has been sitting there for weeks while everyone else is still bitching about not getting theirs yet.

I'm not much of a gamer; I aspire to use it as my new XBMC box. I have two disappointments in that regard. It's not quiet enough: small device -> small heat sink & small fan -> high RPM and shrill noise (by my admittedly high standards for quiet). I'll have to replace the heat sink and fan, which will doubtlessly require replacing the case (or doing without -- it's not like there's a lot to contain.)

And HDMI is the only audio-out so I'll need a splitter to run the audio through my existing receiver.

(You might say I'm asking a lot of a $99 device, and you'd be right.)
posted by Zed at 2:07 PM on May 21, 2013


Yeah, there's full digital downloads. Though usually they're only released to that weeks if not months after retail release. A key question will be if they start doing day-one digital releases. I know WiiU does some of that and I think PS4 is supposed to be encouraging that as well.

The lack of backwards compatibility is disheartening.

It's very annoying but honestly as soon as the hardware spec rumors started solidifying it was a pipe dream to have BC on either new console. They're both completely changing architectures.

And 360s aren't exactly long lived.

The "S" (slim) models are pretty reliable, from what I understand. Even the late-term pre-S models were mostly free of the first few batches' issues.
posted by kmz at 2:08 PM on May 21, 2013


Ah. Didn't know that. Still, I bet it's not as nice as Steam in terms of letting you reinstall, etc.

At least in the current XBox marketplace, anything you buy is just like a Steam or Android or iOS or whatever purchase, you can always redownload it.
posted by kmz at 2:10 PM on May 21, 2013


zed: Does your TV not pass audio through to your receiver?
posted by pharm at 2:10 PM on May 21, 2013


You can download full AAA titles on the 360 today.

Which is maybe why they didn't bother covering it during the announcement (The prices on the store are pretty high for digital games unlike steam)

Ah. Didn't know that. Still, I bet it's not as nice as Steam in terms of letting you reinstall, etc.

I've never bought any retail games like that online but I can't imagine why they wouldn't let you re-download the game if you deleted it as you can with Xbox live Arcade games.

I'm interested to see if Sony will follow suit and kill off used game stores which people seem to only tolerate because they can get used games slightly cheaper than new
posted by MrCynical at 2:10 PM on May 21, 2013


Ah. Didn't know that. Still, I bet it's not as nice as Steam in terms of letting you reinstall, etc.

It's actually a bit nicer because they're able to assign a console a distinct ID in a way that's not really practicable with PCs. Each Xbox account is registered to a particular system, and anything that account-holder buys for download can be played by any user on that system, regardless of whether they've paid for it or not. You can also use it on any other system as long as you're signed in as yourself. Steam, by contrast, requires the purchaser to be signed into Steam in order to play his/her games, even on the original PC.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:10 PM on May 21, 2013


Anyone try the Ouya yet?

Not yet, but my Kickstarter-backer preordered console is due to be here in a couple of weeks. Even if it doesn't wind up being a great game machine, I'm looking forward to using it as an inexpensive little media server. (It's supposed to support XBMC out of the box.)


I'm also looking forward to the 16-bit-era-console emulators.

Wow--I just realized that, from Microsoft's point of view, I'm pretty much irrelevant.
posted by box at 2:12 PM on May 21, 2013


Really, the main problem with current console online marketplaces in comparison with Steam is: very rare Day One availability, and prices generally way higher than they should be. Old games don't get discounted very often/enough, and there's rarely worthwhile sales.
posted by kmz at 2:12 PM on May 21, 2013


Stupid vaporware Steam box...
posted by Artw at 2:14 PM on May 21, 2013


Old games don't get discounted very often/enough, and there's rarely worthwhile sales.

That is the big thing. The implicit contract of Steam is simple: "You give up your ability to resell your games, and provided you're patient about it, we will sell you big-name titles for the cost of a Happy Meal." Microsoft and Sony seem way more interested in the first part.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


The best thing about this is that 360 games will end up going for a discount. I'll keep that for a while, and will maybe get a Roku for streaming video if they shut off XBox Live to 360s in an attempt to boost sales.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:15 PM on May 21, 2013


"Xbox One"? Seriously?

It's not quite as bad as Wii U (the console that most people think is a tablet peripheral for the original Wii), but it's not good.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:20 PM on May 21, 2013


poe: "If you want to feel better, replace the word "cloud" with "clown". Everything is suddenly magical."

Stop daydreaming. You've really got your head in the clowns about this.
posted by boo_radley at 2:23 PM on May 21, 2013


"Xbox One"? Seriously?

Somebody probably got paid one hell of a bonus for having the brilliant idea to disrupt the 360->720 paradigm.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:24 PM on May 21, 2013


"Xbox One"? Seriously?

I'm vaguely suprised they haven't rendered themselves ungooglable.
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on May 21, 2013


Sweet, you can finally customize your Call of Duty character to make it more of an extension of your real life self and improve immersion.

... unless you're a woman, in which case ew gross no virtual girls allowed!
posted by jess at 2:25 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


(Siri doesn't actually require a data signal, does it?)

Weirdly - it does. Siri uses cloud computing to store your information and retrieve it. It doesn't just pull from the information on your phone directly.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:26 PM on May 21, 2013


I'm vaguely suprised they haven't rendered themselves ungooglable.

YM ogooglebar HTH HAND

... unless you're a woman, in which case ew gross no virtual girls allowed!

I'm sort of okay with not affording the CoD crowd the option to shoot up women.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:28 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can count me as another Xbox deserter.

I made the switch from PC gaming to consoles with the original Xbox, and bought that and a 360 on day 1.

But now I have fully returned to the PC. I used to make fun of my friend with a PS3 about its various shortcomings, but now they laugh when I boot up the 360 and am inundated with grotesque ads for shit I don't want on a $400 device that I also pay a subscription for. Plus the EA bullshit and just the incredible overcharging even for old old games.

I realize I am in the minority of people who would prefer a xbmc/raspberry pi/steam box solution, but I have no interest in holding my mouth open to help them force the castor oil down.
posted by rosswald at 2:29 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


yeah, i'm done. i'm out. i'll buy 400 indie games about a block that humps other blocks on a green background before i give another dollar to sony or MS. there's a microsoft campus nearby, maybe i can just take my 360 and game collection and throw it on their lawn.
posted by gorestainedrunes at 2:41 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't want a Kinect. If I wanted to be standing up and flailing around, I wouldn't have my ass planted on the sofa, controller in hand.

I generally buy games new, because I am a sucker easily parted from his money, but I also share games (specifically, Bethesda single-player RPGs) with my wife. We enjoy watching one another play them. Now I'm worried that there'll be some sort of costly speed bump keeping her from playing a game under her profile that I installed under mine. This is a stupid worry, and I resent Microsoft for making me think about it.

My Xbox HAS actually become my living room's "media center", if that means that we use it to watch Netflix. So yay lifestyle device or whatever. But I don't need a shiny new box to do that.

And while I get that this reveal was all about the box and the hardware, I'm left a bit underwhelmed by the whoe thing. CoD? Don't care. Deeply do not care. Funny thing is, Micosoft could wipe this bad taste out of my mouth with two words (that I expect we'll hear at E3):

"Fallout Four."

I'd be squeeing like a tickled hamster and running around tossing confetti. Tell me Fallout Four is a launch-day title and I'll buy your black box.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:47 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was worried that the new console generation would obsolete my computer that I play games on, but those specs are pretty comparable with the same system that I've upgraded once or twice over the past six years, so, uh... I'm good.
posted by codacorolla at 2:51 PM on May 21, 2013


I was sneakily watching this while at work so I may have missed a bit, but, this may be the first major gaming press conference not featuring a women where I did not feel bad about that fact.

The console seem squarely marketed towards adolescent boys and bro-dudes. It isn't sexism. It is marketing to a demographic less inclusive than D&D or jock-itch.
posted by munchingzombie at 2:54 PM on May 21, 2013


BitterOldPunk, but there definitely will be a costly speed bump. They're not revealing the price yet, but in order for one account to play a game that belongs to another account you'll have to pay a fee. To me, whether it's going to be $2 or $20 is completely irrelevant. Just the fact that they thought they could do this is making me angry. This whole "buying a license" instead of an actual product thing is crazy.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 2:55 PM on May 21, 2013


I've been doing product research for my company on home automation systems. It would have been really cool if they added in functions to control lighting and automated shades through low power wireless. It wouldn't be much extra hardware to allow integration to Lutron's or Leviton's lighting control systems.
posted by cman at 2:59 PM on May 21, 2013


I'm as cynical about Microsoft as anyone but even I don't see them charging a fee to play the same game on different accounts on the same console.
posted by zixyer at 3:00 PM on May 21, 2013


Looking into it again, and it seems Microsoft hasn't confirmed the possibility of a fee per account. At least reading this.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 3:05 PM on May 21, 2013


zed: Does your TV not pass audio through to your receiver?

Well, yeah, of course, but that's just for the digital tuner, and... my god that was an embarrassing brainfart. Thank you for saving me $45 and further embarrassment...
posted by Zed at 3:06 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Killing used games and requiring Kinect are deal-breakers. I'm really not interested in flailing around or talking to my console or being forced to pay an extra fee when I want to go to a friend's house and take one of my games along.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:19 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


The cloud processing thing is just a terrible idea. Latency and server load will always be a problem, but the majority of the processor load in a game is usually the physics or the graphics, where you can't have any latency at all! The only use would be in a simulation - but even SimCity didn't actually do any processing offsite, even though they claimed to (surely they would have, if it had been a good idea).

I think you mean "cloud" "processing". And you'll be amazed how many games suddenly need it.

They're not revealing the price yet, but in order for one account to play a game that belongs to another account you'll have to pay a fee. To me, whether it's going to be $2 or $20 is completely irrelevant. Just the fact that they thought they could do this is making me angry. This whole "buying a license" instead of an actual product thing is crazy.

We actually already have this with Steam - if you buy a physical copy of a game that needs a Steam account, that game is tied to the account and no one else can ever play it. The only thing that makes this tolerable is constant, ludicrous Steam sales - but that's quite a big thing.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:19 PM on May 21, 2013


So apparently some people watching live streams of the #xboxreveal on their Xboxes were kicked off mid-announcement when the audio from the livestream triggered their Kinect. "Go home Kinect, you're drunk."
posted by oulipian at 3:23 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


All I want to do is play Super Street Fighter II Turbo forever and ever and ever.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:55 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man, this just keeps on getting worse: Xbox One Does Require Internet Connection, Can't Play Offline Forever
posted by zombieflanders at 3:58 PM on May 21, 2013


The [PS3] UI also strikes the right balance of functional and pretty to look at (to say nothing of being nimble and responsive).

I'll give Sony a bunch of credit here; the XrossMediaBar™ on PS3/PSP is extremely well done. Too bad they drank the bongwater when it came time to design the Vita's interface.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:14 PM on May 21, 2013


It seems like big content+the console makers are screaming CONSUME and shilling why always on is the future, while the big network providers are busy figuring out how to severely limit everyone's connections and charge more for the privilege.

They call that "Synergy".
posted by Thorzdad at 4:15 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to think of things they could've announced to make this even worse.

New Old-Timey Mode makes all your games grainy black and white!

Smellovision! Heated capsules release fragrances as you play! Survival horror is more bowel-tastic than ever! (Single use capsules, refills $29.99 for 3.)

Censor mode! Keep your kids safe and punish their verbal transgressions with Microsoft's patented Cuss Detection Technology. Any use of the F-word causes Xbox One to auto power-down for two hours! (Censor Mode can be disabled by a certified Micosoft technician. Customer pays shipping.)

BIGGER ADS!

CreepCam! Kinect now comes equipped with the ability to make disturbing heavy breathing sounds should you walk through the room naked!

To ensure your online financial safety, Xbox One set-up uses a focused EMP burst to deactivate all your credit and debit cards!

FABLE IV
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:16 PM on May 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


FABLE IV

We were just having a laugh ... but then you had to go too far.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


The thing that strikes me as odd (and ironic) is that with the move to x86 architecture, they're saying that Xbox 360 games won't work. Which is fine. But a reasonable number of studios spent the money to port games that were released on Xbox 360 over to PC in the 8 years since the console came out (with glaring, annoying exceptions, of course).

So presumably, those ported games would require little to no tweaking to be ported back and playable on the new system.

I guess that wouldn't make anybody any money, though, so.

Ah well. I'll happily stick with PC gaming, where the interesting indie software stuff happens, at least. Such a shame -- if completely understandable from a profit-centre point of view -- that MS doesn't spend as much time making the PC a better entertainment platform. But maybe now that their gamenboxen are also x86, more stuff will find its way across the fence.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:32 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, this just keeps on getting worse: Xbox One Does Require Internet Connection, Can't Play Offline Forever

Check please.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:33 PM on May 21, 2013


I hope the thing truly doesn't have to be "online" the whole entire time for a game to work; also, I hope the older games port over to the new console without fuss.

This, both. I've got an XBox 360, but my Internet connection is crap. Lack of backward compatabilty is what kept me from getting a PS3.

That said, if there's low bandwidth incentives for getting online I dig that... like Dragon's Dogma's pawn uploading thing. And the idea of a gaming system being an all in one entertainment box is a bit silly, but I like the option to watch ABC (our version of the BBC/PBS) shows on Xbox.

I just want to play games, though. I want to go home, pop in a game, and veg out for days. Nothing beyond that is going to convince me to buy a new system. And that's on dev support. Platinum has already gone to the Wii U. Bungie, Epic, and Capcom and Rockstar I'm sure will go to this next gen system.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:33 PM on May 21, 2013


Consoles just don't have the allure they used to have and I think Steam is one of the major reasons why. There's just so many amazing games - AAA, indie, innovative, retro, weird - on the pc that consoles can't pull off, especially indie games.

I disagree. PC gaming requires time and effort, and its buggy and you need to constantly upgrade your computer and fiddle with drivers and connect your PC to a TV and gamepad. With a console you just plug in and play. And most of the great indie titles - Splunky, Minecraft, Terreria, Bastion, Torchlight - have been ported to XBox Arcade.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:36 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


PS4 is already confirmed not to be compatible with PS3 games, for pretty much the same reason.

Nobody has PS3 games.


I do have 40 PS2 games I can't bear to get rid of, even though I have no PS2 anymore. If the PS4 is backward backward compatible I'll buy it so I can play Shadow of the Colussus.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:37 PM on May 21, 2013


Grand Theft Halo

LEGO Halo Sports: Star Wars


An open world game set in Halo's version of the Ringworld and its shiny sci-fi aesthetic would be bliss. And LEGO Halo would be too.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:39 PM on May 21, 2013


I see they're going for that 1980s VHS player design esthetic. Let's go for broke and release all future 360 titles on cassette.
posted by panboi at 4:47 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]




I was sneakily watching this while at work so I may have missed a bit, but, this may be the first major gaming press conference not featuring a women where I did not feel bad about that fact.

There were a couple of women executives that introduced the Halo TV show thingy.
posted by kmz at 5:10 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Microsoft/Amazon/etc going into Thunderdome with Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, and slaughtering each other.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm... no, not today.

Jet Set Radio, Shenmue, Chu Chu Rocket, Soul Calibur, Skies of Arcadia, Space Channel 5, Ecco the Dolphin, Samba de Amigo, Rez, Seaman

I own seven of these ten. Wouldn't trade or sell them for anything. Long live the Dreamcast!
can'twejustgetbeyondthunderdome?!
posted by JHarris at 5:30 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Xbox Live TV will only be avaliible in America at launch

I don't even understand what it is.
Xbox One Live TV, unveiled at Microsoft's recent Xbox One reveal event, will enable you to 'navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One.'
So you plug your cable box into your Xbox and your Xbox into your TV? Why? What's the point of that? Who benefits, other than Microsoft (who can presumably now track every show you watch and sell that information on) and the power company?

Only available in the US? Meh.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:34 PM on May 21, 2013




they said doody a lot
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:40 PM on May 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


So you plug your cable box into your Xbox and your Xbox into your TV? Why? What's the point of that? Who benefits, other than Microsoft (who can presumably now track every show you watch and sell that information on) and the power company?

You can switch between gaming and TV with a voice command to the XBox, and change channels the same way, instead of all that cumbersome pressing a button on the remote control like you're some kind of caveman.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:43 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is a joke, right? Microsoft is playing a prank and the real next Xbox will be announced later. I mean there is no way this is actually the product. I mean this is like a product manager took every bad idea they could come up with and then said, lets see what the focus groups hate the most and then ship it. Why would I buy this? I've owned many game consoles and I just don't see any reason to buy this.
posted by humanfont at 5:43 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can switch between gaming and TV with a voice command to the XBox

That sounds great, but, um, don't TV shows sometimes feature voices? ONE OF THEM IS EVEN CALLED THE VOICE
posted by Sys Rq at 5:45 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sony should pay people to say "XBOX SHUT DOWN" in shows and stuff.
posted by Pyry at 5:47 PM on May 21, 2013 [13 favorites]


Fortunately, most TV shows don't contain dialogue like "and then I said, 'Xbox, Go Home'...", which is more than you can say for the actual press event that Microsoft streamed to people via their Xboxen today.

In related news, I discovered by accident last year that I can unpause something in Netflix by saying "Xbox, Batman".
posted by cortex at 5:48 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fortunately, most TV shows don't contain dialogue like "and then I said, 'Xbox, Go Home'..."

Yet.
posted by Green With You at 5:51 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sports of Duty

That's phys ed class, right?
posted by gingerest at 6:05 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sports of Duty

Ender's Game?
posted by sparkletone at 6:08 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


i feel like with voice command and kinect they'll be maybe one or two people who do something cool with it - a Suda51, a 'dude who made Rez and Child of Eden' but for the rest it'll be useless and a distraction.

like a Trek bridge simulator where you yell orders would be neat, or that thing from the original Legend of Zelda where you need to yell to destroy a Pol's Voice, or gestural spell casting. but its easier for me just to use a controller.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:08 PM on May 21, 2013


What will actually happen: more dancing games.
posted by Pyry at 6:12 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


So they can't write an emulator capable of adequately simulating an 8 year old processor, therefore all the games I have won't run and I have to get new ones if I buy this thing?

Seems like the PHB's have thoroughly kicked the engineer's asses up there in Redmond.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:14 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


What will actually happen: more dancing games.

Or maybe ... Songsmith's glorious return!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:15 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was sneakily watching this while at work so I may have missed a bit, but, this may be the first major gaming press conference not featuring a women where I did not feel bad about that fact.

Two of the eight speakers were women, Nancy Tellem and Bonnie Ross.
posted by jacalata at 6:24 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe they should have called it XBox 8.
posted by localroger at 6:24 PM on May 21, 2013


Sys Rq: Anyone try the Ouya yet? Is that anything? Obviously not as powerful as this thing, but how about enjoyable?

I got my Kickstarter early-release model a few days ago. Bear in mind that it's still technically under development, but...

I see a lot of potential. If they deliver on their promise to make it easy for indie developers to publish for Ouya, it could become my favorite thing (since indie games are basically all I play any more, and I could give fuck-all about photorealistic graphics).

At present, though, it's kind of limp. Except for Final Fantasy 3, there are no great (or even particularly good) games available yet—mostly a bunch of existing Android games that were published for Ouya because hey, why the hell not.

Also, there's a noticeable delay between the time you press a button, and the time stuff happens. It's okay when you're playing, say, a turn-based RPG, but it's bad enough to make some of the more arcade-oriented titles unplayable. I really hope that's something they can fix with a firmware update.

But if they can fix that, and if indie developers get on board (and I can't imagine why they wouldn't—Unity makes it stupid easy to publish games to whatever platform you like), it could be a really awesome thing for indie games.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:29 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


OMG XBOX HUEG!
posted by porn in the woods at 6:30 PM on May 21, 2013


Let's see ... 500GB hard drive that you'll have to install games to in order to play, and games on BD50 discs, means you'll get to install as few as 10 games.
posted by achrise at 6:32 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]




Man, this just keeps on getting worse: Xbox One Does Require Internet Connection, Can't Play Offline Forever

In practice, I don't think that will be a deal breaker for most people. Even now my PS3 doesn't properly function without periodic updates. I know this because I hardly ever use it these days, but every couple of months I'll stick in a movie, and it will usually tell me that it won't play that blu-ray without first updating to version 28.43 of the operating system or some such.
posted by xigxag at 6:33 PM on May 21, 2013


In practice, I don't think that will be a deal breaker for most people. Even now my PS3 doesn't properly function without periodic updates. I know this because I hardly ever use it these days, but every couple of months I'll stick in a movie, and it will usually tell me that it won't play that blu-ray without first updating to version 28.43 of the operating system or some such.

Depends on where you are. Not everyone has access to really good, always on Internet.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:39 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]




Satire is dead

It also has a motion-captured dog squad mate who sniffs out explosives and protects the Ghosts, a fictional team of soldiers who in Infinity Ward's new near future Call of Duty universe are America's great hope in the battle against a new superpower that emerged after some mysterious apocalyptic world event.

Oh, and the dog has scars on his nose and a tattoo on his ear.

posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:43 PM on May 21, 2013


This could absolutely cripple Gamefly. And I love Gamefly.
posted by sourwookie at 6:48 PM on May 21, 2013


Oh, and the dog has scars on his nose and a tattoo on his ear.

And calls women 'bitches'.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:22 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, you need to build up a collection of virtual Affliction t-shirts and diamond-studded collars for the dog before you can beat the final level.
posted by box at 7:25 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


...every couple of months I'll stick in a movie, and it will usually tell me that it won't play that blu-ray without first updating to version 28.43 of the operating system or some such.

I think that's because of your internet connection. Otherwise, how is it even supposed to know that there's an available update? If you kept it unplugged, I very much expect that you wouldn't have to do that to play blu-rays.
posted by Edgewise at 7:26 PM on May 21, 2013


I know on the xbox 360 that the games themselves include the updates you need to run them on the disk itself.
posted by empath at 7:30 PM on May 21, 2013


So they can't write an emulator capable of adequately simulating an 8 year old processor, therefore all the games I have won't run and I have to get new ones if I buy this thing?

I think they might not be able to do this. This PPC emulator runs at 1/40 speed, which is less than 8 years worth of Moore's law (never minding that the new CPU is more cores rather than faster cores, which makes it even harder. Or anything about the GPU.)

Even if they could do it, it would be a lot of expensive work. Just testing the emulator would be a huge effort. And that work ... helps people avoid buying new games? Great.

Bottom line: If you want to play XBox 360 games, you should continue to use an XBox 360 for that.
posted by aubilenon at 7:47 PM on May 21, 2013


To our real surprise, the 360 has turned out to be the primary player in our entertainment center, with the Mac Mini coming in second. We don't have cable, and use a lot of vectors to watch stuff. The Netflix and Hulu apps on the 360 just work (and Hulu even works okayish via Kinect control, though I dislike it looking at me).

We probably won't buy a One, at least not until the 360 red-rings, but we'll probably buy a Two or Primo or whatever comes after this.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:09 PM on May 21, 2013


I own a Nintendo 64. I got one for my ninth or so birthday and I still have one in my living room just a few feet away from where I'm writing this.

A couple weeks ago, I got the strange impulse to buy a couple of obscure N64 games off Amazon. Wanted to see how well they held up, what details I've forgotten of them in the 10 years since I've gone without playing them. The cartridges arrived. I plugged 'em into the top of the console and flicked a switch and suddenly I was playing them.

I understand the reason why consoles have been turning into "media stations", but I really dislike that I can't just stick a disc into my Wii and have the damn machine turn on and start playing it. Menu navigation is not my idea of a Fun Time.

Now, I also own an Apple TV. And one of the things I really like about it is that it mirrors both my laptop and my iPad, so I can play games on my TV with devices I use more frequently away from my TV. Neither my laptop nor my iPad are primarily gaming devices, but they each do a decent job of making playing a game a relatively easy thing to do. Steam lists all my games in one library, and they even organize it alphabetically! And my iPad just lists everything as individual buttons, so I push one thing and my game loads up. Boom.

I find it baffling, truly baffling, that none of the people developing software for modern-gen consoles seem to place any emphasis on user experience. You'd think that making these systems easy to play games on would be, like, the most important thing about a gaming console. But the Wii's probably the easiest of the three to use. The PS3 has a software update/file navigation system that's labyrinthine, and every time I've used a 360 it seems to be even more confusing.

This Xbox One looks like a bizarre combination of the worst of both worlds. So, there are still discs, you don't just one-click activate... but you can't just pop in the disc and play it? There's a process for registering these games? You're still stuck with a bulky fucking black box that's twice the size of a hulking laptop but you don't get even the basic conveniences that a laptop gives you?

I don't understand it. I really don't. It seems like Microsoft's taking design inspiration from the people who design TV and DVD software, without realizing that TV/DVD software is among the most universally maligned shit in existence. And they're also taking the worst part of the Wii, which is that you can't use it without wagging your hand around and pointing at the right icon and hitting select, and making it worse? Because that was the worst part of the Wii! It's even worse than using a TV remote in general, precisely because the technology's more complex! A TV sensor isn't smart enough to know exactly where you're pointing, so they can't force you to hold your hand out as you point at a tiny fucking box. Demanding more complex gestures is the opposite of what you're supposed to goddamn design!

All I know is my N64 gets more time than any other console I own, and it's not because I don't like the games I have for Wii and PS3. It's that if I want to play Dark Souls, I have to go through 5 minutes of tedious Home Entertainment Center garbage, instead of just picking up the controller and going. (The fact that I have to go through that routine to play games from the Katamari franchise feels especially cruel.) If I want to play Space Station Silicon Valley, on the other hand, I just slam the cartridge in and go. We had this shit figured out in the 90s, and now we're regressing for apparently no fucking reason.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:20 PM on May 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


PROTIP: If you press the big glowing button in the middle of your controller, you can open a menu that lets you instantly play the game on the disc.

That's not snark, by the way, since I agree the Xbox 360 interface is horrible.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:24 PM on May 21, 2013


That's good to know. I wish my PS3 had something that simple but nope! It's all menu diving.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:26 PM on May 21, 2013


So presumably, those ported games would require little to no tweaking to be ported back and playable on the new system.

I guess that wouldn't make anybody any money, though, so.


We made a ton of money porting our PS2 games to PS3, and re-selling them. So much that it started a trend. I expect to see a lot of that next time.

...

As to the matter in hand. I find it hard to comment on anything they showed, because none of it was really relevant to me. The new controller is very nice. The messaging around the second hand, multiple users, game lending thing has been utterly appalling though. I understand it now, but they basically let the journalists ask them, rather than laying it all out in a way that everyone could get. Result, forum meltdowns, toys out of prams, and general chaos. Well done chaps.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:31 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Kinect requirement kills it for me. First, we have a tiny living room. I mean tiny. There is no way to put the Kinect to actually be able to use it as required.

Second, I'm disabled. Even if we had a bigger living room, I couldn't stand long enough to use the Kinect. I'm surely not the only one out there this will affect.

Also, I cannot use my arms, waving them in the air, for long periods of time. Again, it comes back to my disability. I tried to play one of the few games that works for the disabled on the Kinect and my arms cannot handle it.

We'll have to buy a 360 to put up for when this one dies. We have way too many games and I use it for other things all the time.

Friggin' Microsoft.
posted by SuzySmith at 8:33 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


You don't have to use the kinect for anything. I imagine the main use for it will be voice commands. That's mostly what I use mine for.
posted by empath at 9:04 PM on May 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Store it in the clown.

Done!
posted by krinklyfig at 9:10 PM on May 21, 2013


Sony should pay people to say "XBOX SHUT DOWN" in shows and stuff.

delete what they end to all of the loop press
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:15 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


For me, the appeal isn't the gaming so much as a blu-ray player with XBMC. That might make me buy.
posted by Ber at 9:21 PM on May 21, 2013


For me, the appeal isn't the gaming so much as a blu-ray player with XBMC. That might make me buy.

I'm not sure if you realize that it's going to be at least $400, and almost certainly more, since it includes a Kinect.
posted by zixyer at 9:35 PM on May 21, 2013


Meanwhile, the Wii U is one hundred percent backwards compatible, goes out of its way to prioritize game features above media capabilities, and caving in the face of pressure runs netflix just fine without a paid subscription. I think I'm gonna stick to the big goofy tablet controller for my console needs for a while. There's plenty of monster hunter left to get me through the fall.
posted by sandswipe at 9:46 PM on May 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah but the Wii U is bombing and nintendo is circling the drain.
posted by empath at 9:53 PM on May 21, 2013


Posting billions of dollars of profit but not quite as many billions as you were hoping for is not the traditional sense of "circling the drain".
posted by cortex at 10:29 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


They made just 72 million in profits last year and lost 400 million the year before.
posted by empath at 10:46 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish my PS3 had something that simple but nope!

Buh? On ours anyway, if you start it up with a disc in the drive it just goes to whatever that disc is, whether it's a movie or game. Just start, wait for boot, push X.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:54 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Platform launches are always expensive. Nintendo still has 5 billion in the bank from the Wii and DS years, and the 3DS is selling a lot of first party software. They're the oldest surviving player in the industry. I wouldn't write them off quite yet.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:58 PM on May 21, 2013


I dunno. I'm surprised that the thunderingly inept Sony is still in the game -- any game at all, to be honest -- and I do think it is true that Nintendo seems kind of moribund and sidebarred these days. The Japanese giants aren't what they once were, I don't think.

I'm mildly surprised that Samsung hasn't made any moves to get into this game, actually, but I suppose they've watched the way that things have been going for the Japanese companies and decided to hang back.

But I also think the console gaming as a whole, with the ways that the landscape has been changing -- digital distribution and the rise of indie/garage game development on one flank and the rise of the episodic COD-style blockbuster model on the other -- is being backed into a narrower niche (even as the amount of money being thrown into the pot is increasing) these days.

From that perspective, this powerful focus in the new Xbox on a) tv and movies and b) hardware magic like Kinect (or the Wii stuff) that has yet to make any real inroads in the PC space are wide bets to be making on MS's part. I think, to the extent that they even think about it, they are aware that this new box will quite happily coexist for many consumers with PC gaming or even a Steam box or its equivalent.

But I wouldn't, were I a betting man, be placing many bets on either Sony or Nintendo to be dominant forces in the years to come in the gaming space.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:01 PM on May 21, 2013


I'm mildly surprised that Samsung hasn't made any moves to get into this game, actually, but I suppose they've watched the way that things have been going for the Japanese companies and decided to hang back.

Why should they or Apple? Samsung makes literally a thousand times higher profits than Nintendo does. They earn what Nintendo made all of last year in a single afternoon.
posted by empath at 11:09 PM on May 21, 2013


jess: "Sweet, you can finally customize your Call of Duty character to make it more of an extension of your real life self and improve immersion.

... unless you're a woman, in which case ew gross no virtual girls allowed!
"

What's even more messed up is that CoD made a DOG available, before any women. And in the presentation they talk about the dog in CoD is one you can care about and emotionally connect with.

Cause you can't do that with a soldier who's a woman, I guess.
posted by ShawnStruck at 11:21 PM on May 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Why should they or Apple?

Hey, conglomerates gotta conglomerate. I mean, GE made light bulbs and mini-guns. And Samsung does dip it's fingers in life insurance, ship building, skyscraper construction, and self-propelled artillery. Home video game consoles would actually be kind of safe and boring for them.
posted by FJT at 11:21 PM on May 21, 2013


Why should they

The Korean gaming market is enormous, and there are exceedingly few consoles in homes here, in part because they have been import-taxed exorbitantly, in part because of gaming-culture differences.

The software side of the equation -- the games themselves -- would be something they'd struggle with, I think.

But Samsung makes everything from toilet paper to apartment buildings -- Samsung Electronics is only one large piece of the gigantic Sammy pie, though it is the most visible slice overseas. There's a major void in the domestic market here in Korea, at least, and launching something here would presumably let them learn lessons they could apply if they wanted to get a piece of the larger international market as well, as gravy if nothing else. If they came up with something that leveraged a lot of the new and interesting tech that's coming out their own labs and others here in Korea, and had something that differentiated itself from other offerings currently out there, I'd think it would be something they'd at least investigate.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:21 PM on May 21, 2013


Console gaming is too much of a niche for a huge company like Apple or Samsung. The only reason that Microsoft ever got into it was because they wanted to use it as a trojan horse into the living room, which they are trying to capitalize on now, with all the focus on live TV, sports, streaming video, music, etc.

But I wouldn't, were I a betting man, be placing many bets on either Sony or Nintendo to be dominant forces in the years to come in the gaming space.

I wouldn't bet on Steambox either. Console gaming is a niche and shrinking, but PC gaming is even smaller. I think if anything takes off in the near future, it would be the Oculus Rift or other VR hardware, perhaps from Valve, who is reportedly working on it.

But then again, if we learned anything from the crash in the 80s, it's that consumers will happily stop buying games if there isn't anything worth buying. Take a look at the absurd budgets required to produce AAA hits, the massive numbers of studio closings in the past few years, and the low quality of indie and casual games on mobile (especially within the "free to play" trend). Developers are becoming so risk averse that they are simply making the same types of games over and over, and not expanding the audience at all. I wouldn't be surprised to see another crash in the near future. It might have started already.
posted by zixyer at 11:22 PM on May 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I won't try to address the Apple part. That's, if you'll forgive me, apples and oranges.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:22 PM on May 21, 2013


I wouldn't bet on Steambox either.

Oh, I'm not. In fact, I doubt very very strongly it will ever be anything but niche, if it eventuates at all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:23 PM on May 21, 2013


I wouldn't be surprised to see another crash in the near future. It might have started already.

Well casual games are crushing AAA games right now.
posted by empath at 11:25 PM on May 21, 2013


PC gaming requires time and effort, and its buggy and you need to constantly upgrade your computer and fiddle with drivers and connect your PC to a TV and gamepad.

What year was this?
posted by juiceCake at 11:26 PM on May 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Console gaming is too much of a niche for a huge company like Apple or Samsung.

Samsung electronics continues to make mp3 players and printers and much else. Presumably they've done the math, and decided not to enter the console market for any number of reasons, but I don't think it's because console gaming is any more niche than some of the other product lines they're involved in. Arguably, it's a much bigger potential market. And Samsung is still much more about gaining mindshare and markets than about consolidation.

In fact, I would think, given the actual hardware as a loss-leader to sell software and services that is increasingly the model these days, it would be lot more lucrative, were it successful, than, say, printers, were it to get some traction.

But shrug. My initial comment back there was very much just a random musing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:29 PM on May 21, 2013


Well casual games are crushing AAA games right now.

Do you mean in terms of revenue or users?
posted by zixyer at 11:30 PM on May 21, 2013


Sony should pay people to say "XBOX SHUT DOWN" in shows and stuff.

Not that we didn't joke about it at the studio, but Microsoft already have that one covered.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:30 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Count me as another for whom mandatory Kinect is a deal-breaker.

I have an exercise bike in my apartment already, thank you.

That said, I do like keeping my gaming separate from my PC'ing. So here's hoping the next PS isn't egregiously awful like the new Xbox, because I will give Sony my monies for it if it seems like a passable console.
posted by bardic at 12:35 AM on May 22, 2013


> If you want to feel better, replace the word "cloud" with "clown". Everything is suddenly magical.
>
> Clown based computing. Store it in the clown.

Checked my "how afraid am I" meter. Still pegged.
posted by jfuller at 12:46 AM on May 22, 2013


Count me as another for whom mandatory Kinect is a deal-breaker.

I don't understand why people think it's mandatory. It comes with the box. That doesn't mean games will require it.
posted by empath at 1:07 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


All Xbox One units will ship with the Kinect sensor, which must be plugged in for the new console to operate, as it is "now an essential and integrated part of the platform."
In response to a question about whether that functionality means that Kinect is always on, Link said that Kinect is always listening, but in a limited capacity. It also helps ensure developers can count on the peripheral, he said. [...]

A spokesperson for Microsoft responded by saying that the privacy is a "top priority" for the company.
So, yeah. I'd be skeeved out having an always-on internet-connected microphone and night-vision camera in my living room, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:39 AM on May 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


"It comes with the box."

So I'm paying extra for something that at best I won't use and at worst will spy on me.

No thanks.

I've always wanted to play Heavy Rain anyways.
posted by bardic at 1:43 AM on May 22, 2013


Keeping in mind that console generations are lasting longer (this generation has lasted seven to eight years, whereas previous generations have been more along the line of five or six years), I think this presentation by MS is a bit of attempting to both forecast what they think will happen down the line and to frontload the technology, because this version of Xbox is probably going to last for an entire decade. I think the expected development arc is probably 1-2 facelifts that make the console thinner, lighter, and a bit faster (i.e., cheaper to produce) and also at least 1 major Kinect style add-on that might change the way the core system functions.

And since we're on the topic of new companies entering the video game business, how about Amazon? They're already have a streaming movie/video and music service ,they sell apps and video games, make an android based tablet, and dabbling in content creation with their pilots of comedies and children TV shows. Some sort of box that ties all of the "Amazonian biome" together could work, particularly if it was priced at that $150 to $250 sweet spot...
posted by FJT at 1:56 AM on May 22, 2013


What's even more messed up is that CoD made a DOG available, before any women. And in the presentation they talk about the dog in CoD is one you can care about and emotionally connect with.


Which makes Call of Duty: Ghosts a Fable game. Which is actually kind of awesome.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:23 AM on May 22, 2013


The always-on functionality even when the console is powered down comes courtesy of "multiple power states," he said. At its lowest setting, which Microsoft refers to as "wake on voice," the peripheral is "listening" for specific commands.

Oh, wow. So it's basically a telescreen that you can use to play games.

The only real question is whether Microsoft will ask to see a warrant before they make the stream available for investigatory purposes.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:29 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


basically a telescreen
"He loved Big Ballmer"
posted by thelonius at 4:35 AM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


PS3 doubleplusungood! Steam PCgame thoughtcrime!
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:37 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


++BOX would have been a much better name, hey. Maybe someone else already had the trademark.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:50 AM on May 22, 2013


It can even detect your heartbeat, which frightens me even more than the enormous HAL-esque unblinking eye on that Kinect "accessory"

Yeah, I can't be eloquent about this, but fuck this. I love me some games. I buy most games new. I love my XBox. And I'm telling me, Microsoft, you have lost me, because I also refuse to have surveillance in my fucking home.

I will never buy a One. If someone gifts it to me, I will sell it or break it with a motherfucking hammer. This is the biggest bullshit that has been unleashed upon gaming, and I hope the nerdrage fucking destroys them.
posted by corb at 5:13 AM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, from this article down the rabbit hole,
Perhaps most importantly, this isn't an optional accessory. It's mandatory. Not only does a Kinect ship with every console, but it must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function.

It's also because the Kinect will always be watching you. The new version of the camera is able to track up to six individual "skeletons" in the same room at all times. This has clear gameplay implications, such as allowing a game to instantly identify a person, but could also be related to a recently-patented Microsoft system for monitoring and maybe even charging users based on who is watching what.
posted by corb at 5:17 AM on May 22, 2013


In fairness, that is the kind of thing that would be really cool if it were under my complete control. If I were Tony Stark and could build and program absurdly complex computer systems for my personal use as a hobby, I would probably make that. But put it into a black box designed and sold as a loss leader by a company that's trying to sell my eyeballs for ads, and....ugh.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:24 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a completely missed opportunity to call it Entertainment 720.
posted by michaelh at 5:39 AM on May 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


Finally: a console that does more than just play video games.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:55 AM on May 22, 2013


Yeah, I can't be eloquent about this, but fuck this. I love me some games. I buy most games new. I love my XBox. And I'm telling me, Microsoft, you have lost me, because I also refuse to have surveillance in my fucking home.

I love Orwellian nightmare fantasies as much as the next person but I don't really see this as any worse than webcams attached to most computers nowadays.
posted by MrCynical at 6:09 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


...but I don't really see this as any worse than webcams attached to most computers nowadays.

Well, just based upon the above comments let me tell you how I see it as clearly different and quite a bit worse.

My computer will work without the webcam/drivers installed. It will work if the webcam is covered up. It will, in all but the most intense of cases, work if the webcam is broken or not calibrated properly. According to this comment that doesn't sound like it's going to be the case for the console under discussion here. Why do you think that is?

I would understand if I had an app that needed my webcam's input to require the webcam be, ya'know, on and working. But really, ask yourself, why do they require this level of commitment when you're sitting there playing tetris and/or watching Titanic for the 8th time? Get serious, it's because you are the product being sold. If you're ok with that, that's fine, but don't act like it's A) somehow a necessary part of the gaming experience of the present or future to have your living/bed room monitored per the whim of a corporation or B) the same thing as a webcam.

Also added in is the fact that many people are expressing concerns with Kinect being required based upon factors that should be, for the most part, outside of the scope of consideration when it's time to buy a new console. We've had people here in this very thread mention that they use projectors, have a room that is too small to work with the device, or are physically disabled and simply won't be able to use the device as intended.

Now it could be, fairly even, argued that none of those things are Microsoft's problem and I might even agree, but to have the balls to require it be plugged in, on, working, and whatever else they deem necessary is a whole 'nother level of asshattery from the people that brought you unavoidable advertisements on nearly every page of the homescreen of the 'thing that's supposed to entertain you' that you paid for.

TL;DR - If my webcam/mic are monitoring me when not under orders by me, I call that a Virus. Think on that.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:36 AM on May 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


Well I can turn my webcam off pretty easily; I can shut down the computer, I can tape over the webcam, or if I trust the drivers/hardware switch (which...maybe? I don't know the details) I can know if it's on or off. I can be reasonably certain that my webcam isn't logging or uploading the audio. None to few of those are true for the Kinect, given a typical use case.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:37 AM on May 22, 2013


And news that is sure to totally never ever be a problem, the new Kinect gets even more intrusive than previously though (emphasis and double-emphasis mine):
Microsoft also demonstrated a few more tricks made possible by the new Kinect's enhanced sense of depth, its greater field of view - which does make closer gaming in smaller apartments a more feasible – its ability to see in the dark via infrared, and its flattering scrutiny of facial features. By examining your face's skin color and transparency, the Kinect and Xbox One are able to estimate your current heart rate. Whether or not someone puts that information to good use in Kinect games or fitness programs is another matter, as we've learned from Nintendo's flatlined "vitality sensor."
I love Orwellian nightmare fantasies as much as the next person but I don't really see this as any worse than webcams attached to most computers nowadays.

Never fear, the more-disturbing-by-the-hour unblinking eye (and ear) that is the new Kinect is coming to PCs as well. Yay!
posted by zombieflanders at 6:57 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well I can turn my webcam off pretty easily; I can shut down the computer, I can tape over the webcam, or if I trust the drivers/hardware switch (which...maybe? I don't know the details) I can know if it's on or off. I can be reasonably certain that my webcam isn't logging or uploading the audio. None to few of those are true for the Kinect, given a typical use case.

Uploading to who, as far as I can recall the government can already use your mobile phone as a microphone and I'm sure could access your webcam on a computer/laptop if they wanted to.

I haven't seen any indication that they've removed the ability to control the console with the controller.

I guess you could wrap the thing in tinfoil after it was set up ?
posted by MrCynical at 6:57 AM on May 22, 2013


That Xbox One Reveal Sure Was A Disaster, Huh?
[W]hen the questions started coming in about used games, about forced connectivity, about word that you can't even lend games to a friend, Microsoft reps went to pieces. Twitter accounts contradicted executive statements. Answers that should have been given in full were only given in half. And when clear responses were given, well, the news still sucked.

Instead of calming people's fears, then, Microsoft served only to inflame them. Whoops.

It didn't help that many of the other key announcements fell flat. TV integration is...OK, I guess, if you're in America, but most people on this planet are not, and as of now, the US is the only place the feature is going to work.

Mandatory Kinect usage is also a little disturbing. The camera is listening out for you even when it's "off" (it's never really off), and while Microsoft has issued a statement saying it has "strong privacy protections" in place, people are still rightly concerned that a machine -connected to the internet and featuring a camera which is always listening - might be a problem.

The loss of backwards compatibility is also a stinger; we've had our Xbox 360s for a very long time now, and built up a substantial library of games to go with them. Losing the ability to play those games on a new system only lessens the desire to purchase that new system.

The result is that instead of collecting the accolades, and maybe even getting an early leg up on Sony's PlayStation 4, Microsoft is already on the back foot. It's come out early, and laid down core "features" of its console that are wildly unpopular with people who you may call vocal forum goers, but who are also the preorder customers, the early adopters and product evangelists.
Xbox One is a desperate prayer to stop time
Yeah, we're accustomed to using multiple social and entertainment applications simultaneously -- but it's funny Microsoft thinks we want to do this on a television screen. There's Skype, they say. Has anyone ever wanted to use Skype on their TV, instead of at their office workstation, on a tablet passed around a party, on a laptop nestled in bed? Do they want to? During a... video game, during a television program?

Let's say you did want to do all of this: you kind of need a huge TV. You need an Entertainment Altar where instant voice command is a cool-future status item, where everyone is wont to sit As A Family in the thrall of the Entertainment Altar. You need to live in a fantasy of the privileged that is diminishing amid an economic and technological disruption where it's hard to believe this kind of device is going to be broadly relevant.

It needs nothing less than broad relevance, after all. Microsoft likes to say phrases like "more [something] than ever before" -- what about more money than ever before required to make games for high-end technology? Is there any overlap between the sort of NFL-loving, status-chasing American home that would lavish upon a living room Entertainment Altar and the sort that would desire yet another hyper-real fantasy of war-play, ever more hyper-real, so that now you can see the fine hairs on a man's forearm and the capillaries of his eyes before you shoot him for points? In a multitasking culture, is this the way to make the TV broadly relevant?

I mean, if I wanted to be on the forefront of the video game industry, given the current shift in the way our demographics earn income and use devices, and given the current fatigue with arguments about what, exactly, our role in influencing entertainment culture and in pioneering the medium of creative play ought to be, I might want to tone it down on the whole "more fetishistically real weapons of war than ever" thing. But that's just me.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:58 AM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


We have a Kinect for our existing 360. It's been a bit disappointing - we thought the kids would get some fun out of it, but it doesn't track their movements very well. Anyway - we cunningly defeat Big Brother by using a smart power strip to kill the power to the Kinect when we turn the TV off. I imagine the stormtroopers will be round any day now.
posted by IanMorr at 6:58 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are the folks feeling particularly worried about the permanent invasiveness of the Kinect experienced with using the Kinect? Because, speaking from experience with the current generation, unless Microsoft has come up with actual straight up miraculous breakthroughs with the next iteration of the hardware it is pretty safe to assume that not much of anything involving actually interacting with the Kinect can be required, because the thing is just not that robust.

It's a box of clever ideas that break pretty easily. It doesn't work very well in a dark room, and this is a device meant to be used in an entertainment center. I have nothing against taking extra care to defeat the potential passive invasiveness of recording-capable devices in one's home and personal space but the idea that the Kinect, or it's requirement as a plugged-in peripheral for the new Xbox, is some sort of exceptional inroad on that front seems a bit silly. There are better reasons to not buy a new game console.
posted by cortex at 7:00 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


News flash for all the "it's not as good as Steam/PC games" haters- Microsoft doesn't care, you represent a market share small (and getting smaller) enough to ignore.

Me, I can't wait to ditch my PS3 for this. I just can't relate to any of the praise people are giving it for its UI, which to me is clunky and convoluted. Sony is also seriously missing the boat on content deals, which MS has been piling into the Xbox at a good clip. And don't get me started on the endless updates everything needs every time you use it.
posted by mkultra at 7:02 AM on May 22, 2013


In other news I'm getting a new pc that should last me for a good while. Just waiting for Intel's Haswell announcement and new motherboards and it seems prices are not much more expensive as long as the pricing in pounds/euros isn't stupid.
posted by ersatz at 7:29 AM on May 22, 2013


Indie Developers Won’t Be Able to Self-Publish on Xbox One
Matt Booty, who is Microsoft’s general manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms, [confirmed] that indie devs will still need publishers to get their games onto the newly revealed console. Booty does say that Microsoft will explore new business models, though.

This news comes in stark contrast to Sony’s promises that indies will be able to self-publish content on the PS4. The publisher model, of course, means that some other entity has to decide whether to take a risk on helping get a game on a console and that someone else gets a cut of profits.

Looking back on it now, the Xbox Live Indie Games space wound up becoming a neglected ghetto for creators trying to find an audience. The energy that that scene once held migrated to mobile and has blossomed PC, where platforms like Steam let creators chart their own way. One thing that’s enabled indie creations to find success has been the ability to set and change release windows and prices as they see fit. No need to charge more money to ensure multiple partners get a cut and no need to rush out a game that still needs polish because someone else says you have to. If you're an indie developer, chances are that Xbox One just became a lot less attractive to you.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:40 AM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Microsoft hate is just bizarre here.

Here are the relevant questions:

Can you play Lets Dance on it?
Call of Duty?
Madden?
Does it have achievements?
Does your Xbox live buddy list carry over?
Does it support Hulu and netflix?
Does it have great graphics and sound?

That is pretty much it. All the technical and privacy questions mean absolutely nothing to the average consumer. If you care about that stuff, then don't buy it. Nobody makes anything for everyone. But that doesn't make this thing a dud or a failure.
posted by empath at 7:47 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are the folks feeling particularly worried about the permanent invasiveness of the Kinect experienced with using the Kinect? Because, speaking from experience with the current generation, unless Microsoft has come up with actual straight up miraculous breakthroughs with the next iteration of the hardware it is pretty safe to assume that not much of anything involving actually interacting with the Kinect can be required, because the thing is just not that robust.

I think the next question is "has anyone told Microsoft that?" Much as Google innovations tend to assume that everyone is as eager to share data as Google employees, Microsoft innovations tend to assume that everyone lives in Microsoft "roomset"...
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:56 AM on May 22, 2013


I am seeing absolutely no reason to upgrade. Particularly since it won't play old games.

Also - no used games without a fee? Mandatory phone home? Fuck off.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:23 AM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Does it support Hulu and netflix?

Maybe if you're in the US it does. Meanwhile, practically none of the exciting features Microsoft announced today mean anything anywhere else in the world, other than the things that make the new Xbox worse than the Xbox we already have.

It will be interesting to see where Sony goes with the PS4, and especially whether they adopt the same kinds of unpleasant anti-consumer practices. I wouldn't be surprised if they at least have something like Microsoft's plan to charge fees to "activate" previously "activated" games, although if nothing else there's a good chance they won't stick an always-on infrared camera with microphone and face recognition to their console.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 8:27 AM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Are the folks feeling particularly worried about the permanent invasiveness of the Kinect experienced with using the Kinect? Because, speaking from experience with the current generation, unless Microsoft has come up with actual straight up miraculous breakthroughs with the next iteration of the hardware it is pretty safe to assume that not much of anything involving actually interacting with the Kinect can be required, because the thing is just not that robust.

I'm not, because I think it's invasive and thus don't want it. But either way, I'm not sure I want to be trusting my privacy to "Pssh, I bet they suck at being invasive."
posted by corb at 8:34 AM on May 22, 2013


I'm curious to see where we are in a year or so. I'm a console gamer, and expect to be as long as I can hold a controller. I would much rather play on my couch than at my desk on my computer.

But these days, I have little enough free time and other hobbies such that it takes me, more or less, a year to finish a game. I'm 85% done with Deus Ex: HR (which I've been playing over a year at this point), and then I have Arkham City and Skyrim--I'm sure I'll be playing them until 2015, at this rate.

Hopefully the brouhaha over the One will have all be worked out by then.

I think the always-on internet/no offline stuff is not much of an issue. It's not like I unplug my 360 from the internet other than to move apartments. My internet is down for maybe an afternoon every couple of years, maybe? I don't see why connectivity is an issue. I don't tend to buy used games--but I also don't buy new releases. If you're looking for bargains, GOTY editions are a steal, and it's often not a long wait.

I have no interest in the Kinect, or the voice controls. I'd really just as soon not have the Kinect bar taking up space in my living room. If you're concerned about privacy, put everything on a power strip and cut the juice when you're not playing.

But, given that neither the new PS or the Xbox will play old games, I guess I can be platform agnostic when it comes time to buy (in 2015). That seems like a bad move on MS's part.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:37 AM on May 22, 2013


The people saying hardcore gamers are an irrelevant minority sure seem pretty anxious for those hardcore gamers to shut up already.
posted by straight at 8:41 AM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would much rather play on my couch than at my desk on my computer.

HTPC setup and a MS controller my friend. It's like all the good things about consoles but none of the bad. I was in the same boat, trust me. I repurposed my old machine, threw in a few upgrades and it plays stuff great in HD on my LED HDTV and surround sound. I finally played through Portal! So now I can retroactively understand all the cake references of years ago.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:12 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am generally pretty happy with just pushing my PC display to my TV (hdmi) and playing games new and old that way.

I have no hate for MS or the Xbox really, but as someone who likes to be able to have at least a minimal level of control over the interface and when/where I see ads... this device isn't for me.
posted by rosswald at 9:34 AM on May 22, 2013


straight: "The people saying hardcore gamers are an irrelevant minority sure seem pretty anxious for those hardcore gamers to shut up already."

Yes, because you're consuming all the oxygen in the conversation when it's clear you're not the target audience. I'm not saying some of your concerns (privacy) aren't valid, it's just that consoles haven't catered to you in, like, ever.
posted by mkultra at 9:52 AM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


HTPC setup and a MS controller my friend. It's like all the good things about consoles but none of the bad.

Sadly that's not true, there's alot of downsides to that setup. PC games don't always play well with controllers which isn't always obvious when you buy them(Bioshock 2 on the PC didn't support the 360 Gamepad at all)

You'll get a similar experience as on the console but with all the problems of PC games like Patching, Driver issues, inconsistant graphics and Crashing.
posted by MrCynical at 10:06 AM on May 22, 2013


You'll get a similar experience as on the console but with all the problems of PC games like Patching, Driver issues, inconsistant graphics and Crashing.

But if you use a service like Steam and stick to titles from major developers, those issues are rare and pretty much only happen when you start installing user made mods into the game.
posted by FJT at 10:21 AM on May 22, 2013


I didn't mean to make it sound like 'The 360 Gamepad works with ALL TEH GAMES!!!' So, that, of course isn't the case. But it's worked with quite a lot of them that I've gotten from Steam here recently. Since Big Picture came out, which was my final motivation to shift from xbox to PC, they really do have a significant number of games that work just fine with the gamepad.

but with all the problems of PC games like Patching, Driver issues, inconsistant graphics and Crashing.

Yea, but since consoles are now just neutered PCs you get all those same issues there as well, but in spades because they're made by the lowest bidder and you can't fix anything yourself. And I've seen a huge reduction in the whole driver and install madness that I, admittedly, do have some recall of from when I was last into any sort of PC gaming 8 or 10 years ago. Anyway, over the lifetime of the console I had way more problems with my 360, be it network connection to live/hulu/netflix crashing/being a pain or hardware/software/update madness, than I have ever had with any PC.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:23 AM on May 22, 2013


I should note that the yellow entries in that list are basically things that require a one time keyboard entry, like to name a character or something similar. So basically consider all yellow and green entries as gamepad friendly. Oranges are less trustworthy, red is a non-starter.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:27 AM on May 22, 2013


But if you use a service like Steam and stick to titles from major developers, those issues are rare and pretty much only happen when you start installing user made mods into the game.

I really do see the merit in using a PC connected to an HDTV to play games as that's the way I have it set up right now because I lack a monitor.

Trying to play Team Fortress 2 which is valve's flagship game with a controller doesn't work and the interface is set up to use a mouse and keyboard.

Yea, but since consoles are now just neutered PCs you get all those same issues there as well

Consoles and PCs are still very far apart, I tried to play Just cause 2 on a PC with a controller connected which crashed quite a few times during the opening sequence and then during gameplay. That's not something you experience on a Console unless the game was made by Obsidian.
posted by MrCynical at 10:28 AM on May 22, 2013


"inconsistant graphics and Crashing"

Have you played on the Xbox 360 recently?
posted by bardic at 10:32 AM on May 22, 2013


Trying to play Team Fortress 2 which is valve's flagship game with a controller doesn't work and the interface is set up to use a mouse and keyboard.

Okay, I'm going to nitpick a little, but what about a wireless keyboard/mouse or one with longer wires? I have my PC set up in a living room with both a wired keyboard/mouse for gaming and a wireless for couch stuff and it seems to work fine. Though, I do admit if you have children, a long keyboard/mouse wire across the carpet is probably not a good idea.
posted by FJT at 10:34 AM on May 22, 2013


If I switch over to HTPC for gaming I'm just going to get a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a tray to rest them on. I'm not sure why playing on a TV automatically means controller or bust.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:34 AM on May 22, 2013


You know, I thought that presentation was awful, and until E3 when we actually get to see games and hopefully get price points, I'm officially platform agnostic. (This will also be the first time I sit out the next gen for at least a couple of years -- when the only thing that excites me is your new D-pad, something is wrong.) But so much of the crap about the Xbox One presentation is the exact same crap that was wrong with the PS4 presentation (and by extension, the products).

Mad XBone isn't backwards compatible? Neither is the PS4 (including all the games you've downloaded, so you can't even sell them).

Don't like how the XBone is "always on"? How do you think all those new "It downloads games it magically knows you're going to want to buy before you even turn it on!" PS4 features work?

Fees for used games on the XBone? Suspicious no comment on that from Sony.

Hate Kinect? Then I'm sure you'll love that out of the box Eyetoy integration on the PS4.

Oh no, more brown Shooters on the Xbone? Here, have another Killzone from Sony.

Like, I'm fine with the Xbox One hate. But maybe don't blindly assume their primary competitor is doing things differently. Because the stuff you hate is exactly what they're competing over.
posted by Amanojaku at 10:37 AM on May 22, 2013


Trying to play Team Fortress 2 which is valve's flagship game with a controller doesn't work and the interface is set up to use a mouse and keyboard.

Yea, this is always going to be the case with some games. Some are configured such that they just won't ever port over to a controller well. I'm not a TF guy but I can't imagine trying to port a game like EVE Online to a controller. The interfaces just don't jive. That's ok. So are games that don't go the opposite direction (console to PC) for reasons relating to the way they're programmed. Shit happens, it's understandable in that regard.

I tried to play Just cause 2 on a PC with a controller connected which crashed quite a few times during the opening sequence and then during gameplay.

I glanced at the list I posted and it looks like Just Cause 2 is flagged as green for controller usage by the Steam Big Picture team. Maybe you should give it another try?

That's not something you experience on a Console unless the game was made by Obsidian.

For me to even play my 360 at the moment requires a full understanding that it may crash at any given time. And it's the 2nd replacement one from MS. And it's finally out of warranty. So yea, the experience, isn't exactly unheard of.

If I switch over to HTPC for gaming I'm just going to get a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a tray to rest them on. I'm not sure why playing on a TV automatically means controller or bust.

Yea, that's what I do. Basically it's wireless keyboard & trackball for some games and controller for others. It works great.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:38 AM on May 22, 2013


I glanced at the list I posted and it looks like Just Cause 2 is flagged as green for controller usage by the Steam Big Picture team. Maybe you should give it another try?

I didn't mean to imply it was due to the controller, just an example of what you might have to deal with if you choose to use a PC over a console.

Yea, that's what I do. Basically it's wireless keyboard & trackball for some games and controller for others. It works great.

It's what I've had to use for the last 3 years or so after my laptop died. It's not ideal for me even with a wireless bluetooth keyboard. Having a durable mouse is essential too as I've lost count of how many times mine has slipped from the armrest onto the floor.
posted by MrCynical at 11:18 AM on May 22, 2013




It's like a gaming console, cable box and a Tivo all rolled into one! Except without the Tivo! Or the cable box!
posted by ericbop at 12:06 PM on May 22, 2013


Or new games!
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2013


I Swear To God, They Had Better Not Kill Call of Duty Dog
Yesterday, when we all met Call of Duty Dog for the first time, the first thing we said was, "Aww, a dog!" The second thing we said was, "Too bad they are going to kill him."

Every comment, every video, every Call of Duty Dog joke made has been accompanied by the implicit assumption that, yes, this dog is totally going to get shot. Why else have a dog in a Call of Duty game? They tell us we're going to care about this dog, that he'll be part of the team. We'll forge an emotional attachment to him.

That is obviously code for "just before the final act, the main bad guy is going to fucking shoot him in slow motion while you look on, helpless to intervene."

Let's not forget that this is Call of Duty we're talking about. In these games, it's more surprising if a mission doesn't end with you getting betrayed and shot in the chest at close-range by a man you Thought Was Your Friend.

I can imagine the dogicidal cutscene so vividly, it's like it already exists. You round the corner, and a swarthy gentleman with a beard is standing there. The audio goes hushed and does that flipped low-mid-frequencies only thing, and everything goes into slow motion. He brings his gun up, and then swings it to the side. He fires. A single doggie yelp. Silence.

I swear to God, they had better not kill Call of Duty Dog.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:15 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was pretty much Microsoft's target audience for about 7 years. I bought the original XBox on launch day, back in 2001. I'd been a PC gamer before that point, but was tired of editing config files and of my aging machine not running games properly. Being young and single at the time, I played the original XBox a ton. Got online with it early. Had loads of games. Played late nights, weekends, holidays.

Despite that, I was married by the time the 360 came out. My wife bought it for me for Xmas 2005, and I set it up in my little man cave. While the hours spent on it dropped off, I still bought and played a fair amount of games back then, until the man cave became a nursery in 2008. The 360 actually migrated under the main TV for a while, but it was enclosed there and overheated. My first RROD, sometime in 2009. Microsoft replaced it. I bought some fans and used it with the cabinet door open, it still got hot and shut itself down from time to time.

When we got the Kinect in 2011 we moved it out of the living room into the kids play room, where there was enough space, and where it has kind of languished. Last game I bought was Bastion, on sale some time last year, for 400 MS Points or something. Still got the last mission to do. I'll finish it one day. Probably. I wanted to buy the XCOM game that came out last year, but know I don't have the time to play it. The kids use it to watch Netflix when I want peace in the living room. We occasionally fire it up to play Kinect Sports when we've had a few drinks and it seems like fun, until I remember that it can't spot the difference between my golf swing and my club selection arm waves. The kids aren't into gaming yet, except on tablets and phones. The controller is a weird concept for my eldest.

I guess I'm not a gamer anymore, which isn't really true, because I buy and play more games, more often, these days, just that they're on my phone. I play for a few minutes here and there, which is the kind of time I have - long missions, researching tech, planning strategy - probably not going to happen.

But maybe today's version of me is still Microsoft's target audience, rather than who I was 12 years ago. Yesterday, reading the announcements, it seemed aimed right at me. Under my main TV now is a Blu-Ray player, a Roku and a Raspberry Pi running XBMC, hooked up to a hard drive full of movies. The One replaces at least the Blu-Ray player and the Roku. Depending on the video codecs, it can replace the Pi too. It also adds Skype, which we currently do with 4 of us gathered around the iPad.

Sure, it's mostly replacing existing functionality, but by doing it in one box, with apps designed for a single platform it really simplifies things for the less techie members of my family and that's always a good thing. We have cable, so depending how well it interfaces, would maybe use that feature too, though if I have to keep the cable box, I don't really see the point. The 'Display' button isn't that hard to push.

I'm going to wait, maybe a year or so, to get more details, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy an XBox One. The main consideration for me, if it's going to to sit under my TV in the fancy cabinet my wife loves, and won't let me drill holes in, is if it can stay cool enough. A good selection of simple cheap family games would be good. If it's back under the big TV I might even get back into playing 'proper' games.

I'm also intrigued by the talk of a cut down Windows 8 OS. We often hook a laptop up to the TV, running Tunnel Bear, to access the BBC iPlayer. I'm assuming that, at least for now, apps will only be available after approval, but Tunnel Bear is available in the iOS App Store, so there's hope. At that point, this box would absolutely by the One for me.
posted by IanMorr at 12:35 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had missed some of the potentially creepy stuff going on with the kinect. It's going to sit there and turn itself on if it notices you sitting down with a controller? So I have a webcam sitting in my house that could be on at any time whether or not I've turned it on? The potential for fucked up security incidents is mind-boggling. I really hope they have that thing buttoned down tighter than a really tight thing.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:31 PM on May 22, 2013


I really hope they have that thing buttoned down tighter than a really tight thing.

This is Microsoft we're talking about here. I hope you don't enjoy doing the housework naked because everyone else will be enjoying it too.
posted by localroger at 3:09 PM on May 22, 2013


I switched from being a PC gamer to being a console gamer shortly after the first XBox came out. I was tired of all the driver issues, and needing to have the latest and greatest graphics card, and just the immense amount of time that it took to get something to work. I later went on to get a 360 and have generally been happy with it, but while there were lots of improvements from the original XBox (streaming video from my PC!!), there were also more annoyances. It's loud. When they got rid of blades, there was too much advertising. It always locks up three minutes into use (but then, once reset, will not lock up again until the next day, so it's usable, just annoying).

Then Witcher 2 came out, and got excellent reviews. I wanted to try it out (and it hadn't been even announced for the XBox yet), so I took the plunge, installed Steam, and bought it. Prepared to slog through the driver gauntlet, I was amazed that...it just worked. Like a console game. Next, Portal! Let's see what the fuss was about. And, again, it just worked.

Since then, apparently, I've bought 17 games on Steam, all AAA games (I'm not really an indie man myself), and every one has worked beautifully, without the whole rigamarole that was a given when I was a PC gamer years and years ago.

I'd be perfectly willing to buy another console some day, but there is nothing about the XBox One that interests me. It's not because I've become a PC snob. It's just a big collection of "you'll have to pay $5 to $10 a month to use what really should be free functionality, just like the current XBox", plus "We'll bombard you with ads anyway," plus "We'll make you install a camera that you can't actually use in your small living room", plus "Since you don't live in the US, you won't be able to use 90% of the stuff we presented anyway". And yet not a single, "Oh, hey, that would be cool, I want to try that out!" thing.
posted by Bugbread at 3:27 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


News flash for all the "it's not as good as Steam/PC games" haters- Microsoft doesn't care, you represent a market share small (and getting smaller) enough to ignore.

I don't think there's any haterism going on here. Granted, the PC vs console 'debate' inspires a lot of that, but I think (with perhaps less success here than we tend to have over at MefightClub, which is part of why MFC exists) people are just trying to have a reasonable discussion about the future of gaming and MS's place in it.

In terms of 'small and getting smaller' market share for PC gaming, I think you'll find just the opposite has been happening for the last two or three years. There's been quite a renaissance in recent years -- whether or not it is a good time to be a console gamer I don't know, but it certainly is a new golden age for PC gamers.

Also, I like 'Xbone'. I think I'm gonna start calling it that. Well played.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:50 PM on May 22, 2013


If they put 8.1 on it I would consider it way more than I am now.
posted by rosswald at 3:58 PM on May 22, 2013


Never fear, the more-disturbing-by-the-hour unblinking eye (and ear) that is the new Kinect is coming to PCs as well. Yay!

That doesn't bother me much, because you could always turn it off or unplug the USB or whatever. On the other hand, there's probably orders of magnitude more possible vectors for malicious code to hijack it when it's connected to a desktop PC.

Me, I think I'm more interested in a Leap Motion device at $80 than a Kinect. Almost preordered a couple of times now, but I didn't go Windows 8, so the magic Minority Report handwaving seems a little less on-point.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:06 PM on May 22, 2013


The better range on the new Kinect should be better for small rooms.

I do plan on buying the Xbox One mostly because of the whole convergence of media thing. I'm not worried about being spied on by Kinect.

I am a bit miffed by lending your game to a friend, used game stuff, but that could certainly change down the road as could the periodic internet connection deal.

I'm not exactly big on the the Cloud stuff either. Satellite internet isn't always friendly towards that (unless it's between midnight and 5 am (Yay! Free Zone!)).

As for their presentation, the speakers could have expressed their enthusiasm better. Some more games would have been nice, but with E3 a couple of weeks away, I can see why they didn't spend too much time on them.(I really hope they don't show COD: Ghosts and the EA Sports games again).
posted by Melee Loaf at 4:10 PM on May 22, 2013


That is pretty much it. All the technical and privacy questions mean absolutely nothing to the average consumer. If you care about that stuff, then don't buy it. Nobody makes anything for everyone. But that doesn't make this thing a dud or a failure.

I don't play Call of Duty or Madden. But I play pretty much every other game released for the Xbox, from big titles like Gears of War to downloadable indie games. If I'm not excited about it, what's the point?

That said, there's no point in speculating. In 2 or three years I'll have enough money, and I"ll buy whichever system has the best game library and best exclusives. And then I'll buy a WiiU for Bayonetta 2.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:52 PM on May 22, 2013


I think what people forget about small rooms is that even if the sensor works, just in terms of the viewing angle itself, playing sitting down is much more comfortable than standing up. I wouldn't want to spend more than a minute or two even looking at the TV from the standing angle, let along playing an actual game.
posted by Bugbread at 4:54 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


the main bad guy is going to fucking shoot him in slow motion while you look on, helpless to intervene

I can't think of a single video game trope I hate more than the bad guy getting the drop on you (or on your friend, or getting away, or monologuing as a free action) during a cutscene in a way that he'd never get away with if you were still controlling your character.
posted by straight at 5:25 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Counterpoint: Call Of Duty Dog Must Die, So That We May Live
When I was growing up, our painful animal deaths were limited to non-interactive forms of entertainment. We couldn't stop Bambi's mother from dying. We couldn't magically cure Old Yeller. Where the Red Fern Grows was not a choose your own adventure book — Old Dan's intestines were destined to become out-testines.

There is a unique opportunity in gaming, especially as the graphics and situations become more and more realistic, to really drive the trauma home. I cried for days after Old Yeller was put down for the first of several dozen times throughout my childhood. Imagine how long I'd cry if I had to pick up a virtual rifle and do it in first person, or if it were a cuddly kitten and not some big, slobbering hound?

I can see the gameplay segment so clearly. You're trapped behind cover, Call of Duty Dog at your side. Gunfire pours in from all sides. Desperate, you reach to your belt pulling the pin on a grenade and lobbing it in a slow, graceful arc towards the enemy. It rolls to a stop inches from their feet, and here comes Call of Duty Dog, tail a-waggin', scooping up the metal ball in his fluffy jaws. "Bad dog!" you shout, but he's already bounding back. You raise your pistol...

I swear to God, they had better kill Call of Duty Dog.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:28 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Call of Doggie Doo Tea: warm, brown and probably explosive.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:30 PM on May 22, 2013


Everyone's joking about the dog and ignoring how overtly facist the idea of American 'heroes' who must wear masks to protect our freedom and do the Dirty Work that we can't know about.

I'm all for violent games, but I get chills every time I see ads for CoD.

The new Bungie IP looks gorgeous, though.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:38 PM on May 22, 2013


Charlemagne In Sweatpants: "Everyone's joking about the dog and ignoring how overtly facist the idea of American 'heroes' who must wear masks to protect our freedom and do the Dirty Work that we can't know about."

Everybody's joking about that, too, but you just don't know about it. They're making their jokes on far-off servers, masked by different usernames. Making the dirty jokes we can't know about, to protect our freedom.
posted by Bugbread at 6:41 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Everyone's joking about the dog and ignoring how overtly facist the idea of American 'heroes' who must wear masks to protect our freedom and do the Dirty Work that we can't know about.

Yes, that is exactly what everyone is doing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:49 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Xbox rollout, Se7en-style.

Crap, never mind, this is a dupe.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:17 PM on May 22, 2013


overtly facist the idea of American 'heroes' who must wear masks to protect our freedom and do the Dirty Work that we can't know about.

Isn't this one where the story is that America collapses or something? So, yeah, I don't know about the whole protecting freedom part, if there's no America.

I swear to God, they had better kill Call of Duty Dog.

No way they're gonna have some goon shoot it. They're gonna make the player Old Yeller the dog.
posted by FJT at 11:11 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


forget the dog. i'm listening to that Skeptoid episode about the Navy's bomb sensing, possibly enemy-killing dolphins. Gritty reboot of Eco the Dolphin, anyone?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:30 PM on May 22, 2013


Yesterday slash this thread dot gif

Best gif reaction yet (actually jpeg).
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:14 AM on May 23, 2013


I can't think of a single video game trope I hate more than the bad guy getting the drop on you (or on your friend, or getting away, or monologuing as a free action) during a cutscene in a way that he'd never get away with if you were still controlling your character.

Well, he'd be able to get away with it, but you'd just load a save game and kill him.
posted by empath at 3:17 AM on May 23, 2013


There's been quite a renaissance in recent years -- whether or not it is a good time to be a console gamer I don't know, but it certainly is a new golden age for PC gamers.

This. I haven't been buying as many games as I did last year and this since 1996-1998. True, many of the games I bought were GOG cleaned-up versions of the ones I already bought then, but there's so much good shit coming out for little that I can spent the entire year gaming just on the Christmas sales...
posted by MartinWisse at 4:59 AM on May 23, 2013


Finally. Now I can buy a 360.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:24 AM on May 23, 2013


If I switch over to HTPC for gaming I'm just going to get a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a tray to rest them on. I'm not sure why playing on a TV automatically means controller or bust.

Yea, that's what I do. Basically it's wireless keyboard & trackball for some games and controller for others. It works great.



This is what I do. Using a DLP projector, with the couch about 12' away from the 84" screen. Even strategy games are fun to play this way, using the trackball.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:28 AM on May 23, 2013


I have a PS3. I connect it to the internet about once a month. I had one swiped in a burglary, and since then I don't automatically store my password in the device. And it's a pain to put in the password every time I start up. I like it being offline. It means that I don't have to update unless I want to. I generally hate playing online, my reflexes are not what they were. (I was death with a mouse back in my Quake days, but that was 15 years ago.)

I switched to console gaming while I was in school, in an effort to keep games off my computer. I was somewhat successful.

Now, I can have a gaming rig. I think I will keep the PS3, as I have bought some games for it (many of which I am fond of). But with all this, I think I will be going towards purely using Steam. Cheap games, no console lock in, back to the keyboard and mouse that I am still better at using than a controller.

Well played Valve, well played.
posted by Hactar at 11:22 AM on May 23, 2013


The thing I dislike about the Kinect requirement is that if I'm given a controller to.. I don't know, control the game? Then shouldn't that be all that's needed to turn on and navigate the console itself? It feels like saying, "In order to drive this car, the dashboard webcam must be on, with audio enabled, and pointed at the driver."

Or, if I'm playing a game that doesn't need motion-control or whatever, am I reasonably assured that the Kinect will disable itself, or will it continue to monitor me so someone has a decent idea of my heartrate and how that translates into my enjoyment of the game?
posted by CancerMan at 11:34 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hilariously, after pushing Kinect as The New Way To Game for a few years, Microsoft is now using to to detect when you want to play a game...by noticing when you pick up a controller.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:56 AM on May 23, 2013




From Above the law speculations about recent Microsoft patent filings, MS could use the kinect to determine how many people are watching the big or your netflix movie and charge you more money depending on the number of people watching.

Per the patent application, the abstract describes a camera-based system that would monitor the number of viewers in a room and check to see if the number of occupants exceeded a certain threshold set by the content provider. If there are too many warm bodies present, the device owner would be prompted to purchase a license for a greater number of viewers.

That may be as annoying as Apple's patent on a device that would turn your camera off at public concerts!

New business idea - fancy kinect privacy shades.
posted by Arbac at 3:42 PM on May 23, 2013


The folks at Slanket can start selling camo ghillie blankets, problem solved.
posted by cortex at 3:51 PM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was just coming here to post that link, Artw. It makes two points that aren't getting enough press:

1. The Xboxone scheme is Steam with the serial numbers filed off and worse sales
2. Steam and related systems should, and are completely able to, allow actual sharing of games.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:06 PM on May 23, 2013


Or rather: lending.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:14 PM on May 23, 2013






Look, friends, it's pretty simple, for me, at least.

TV: DO NOT WANT
SPORTS: DO NOT WANT
CALL OF DUTY: DO NOT WANT
INFRARED LIVINGROOM PORNOSCAN: DO NOT WANT
DIGITAL CLOUD PHANTOM SUPERSTRUCTURE IDENTITY GREASE: DO NOT WANT
CANINE HOMINY RETROACTIVE ZYGOTE AMBERGRIS ROCKET MOUSTACHE: DO NOT WANT

Now get back to the drawing boards, Microsoft dumb-dumbs.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:28 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


CANINE HOMINY RETROACTIVE ZYGOTE AMBERGRIS ROCKET MOUSTACHE: DO NOT WANT

You're not the market any more, man! All the kids are crazy about Ambergris.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:06 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


Publishers to receive cut of Xbox One pre-owned sales at retail

Really I don't see any benefit to trying to keep retailers happy by keeping a toe in physical media if they are moving to a model where games are installed rather than run from disk - they should have gone full Steam.
posted by Artw at 8:42 AM on May 24, 2013


Unconfirmed reports on ConsoleDeals.co.uk suggest that retail’s slice will be as little as ten per cent.

How can the retailer offer you any money for traded in games if they can only keep 10% of the resale price? If you traded in a game that will resell $60 the most the retailer will be able to offer you is $6.

The only way this makes sense is if the 10% cut is of the total profit of the transaction - e.g. GameStop gives you $30 trade in value and resells for $55. Microsoft gets $22.50 and GameStop gets $2.50 of the profit.
posted by zixyer at 10:34 AM on May 24, 2013


Really I don't see any benefit to trying to keep retailers happy by keeping a toe in physical media if they are moving to a model where games are installed rather than run from disk - they should have gone full Steam.

My bet is that they're worried about people in areas with slow or unstable Internet not having the bandwidth to download full games. They're looking at what, 20GB a pop? 30? If I was still on DSL, that'd scare me.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:44 AM on May 24, 2013


If I was still on DSL, that'd scare me.

In a lot of places the only reliable broadband is wireless or satellite. 5 gigs/month cap.
posted by localroger at 11:08 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Very true.

Also, having had a chance to read that article on used sales, Microsoft is doing something arguably more insidious than killing the used market: killing the ability to actually sell your games. If only a licensed retailer can cancel my license for a game, that means I can't actually give my disc to another gamer in exchange for money.

Let's say I buy Halo 7,215 for sixty dollars, play it a bunch, get tired of it, and decide to sell it. Today, if the going price for a used copy of the game is $40, I can opt to trade it in to Gamestop for $10-15 and let them reap the remaining $25-30 as profit, or I can list it on Amazon, eBay, etc. for the full $40 and keep everything that doesn't go to shipping and listing fees. Under the new regime? You'll take what Gamestop offers, or keep your useless hunk of plastic forever.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:45 AM on May 24, 2013


If only a licensed retailer can cancel my license for a game, that means I can't actually give my disc to another gamer in exchange for money.

If there's no way to revoke a disc yourself, there will be hells of First-sale Doctrine lawsuits, pretty much immediately.
posted by rifflesby at 12:00 PM on May 24, 2013


How so? You can still sell the disc, you just can't revoke the license, and licenses have proved very resistant to first-sale claims. Unless there's an equal-protection thing I'm not aware of where if one business can revoke licenses, everybody has to be allowed to.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:08 PM on May 24, 2013


I haven't seen anyone yet provide information into how this works?

I can think off the top of my head of who possible mechanisms:
1 - Maybe what is effectively a small burnable track on the CDs that can be written to by the console. I presume it's writable once only, upon initial installation. Problem: most CD-Rs have a limited lifespan, and only last a few years.

2 - A registration (or, in Microspeak, "activation") code that comes with the disk. Problem: Makes installing your game begin to resemble installing Office, vulnerable to code spoofing and theft.

But ultimately, I think this won't catch on for unrelated reasons -- the console market has been slowing, and the new systems don't seem to offer any compelling advantages over a current-gen system with a reasonably modern TV and cable package. I've actually been considering getting a Wii U, but primarily because my old Wii has developed a hardware fault and it'd be nice to play Wii Sports again, and I figure I might as well step up in the process? It's certainly not, however, because of the system's media features, or even new games, which are a notable low-point in Nintendo's history. I mean, Nintendo Land and yet another version of New Super Mario Bros?! Swell.

Although it's worth noting, apparently the Xbox One's poor showing has resulted in Wii U sales spikes. "Congratulations Microsoft, you just sold more Wii Us than Nintendo."
posted by JHarris at 2:03 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe some kind of watermark/barcode on a section of the disc that isn't otherwise writable, like the inner rim? Is it possible to give each disc a unique code like that? I know very little about how optical media manufacturing works.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:07 PM on May 24, 2013


Hmm... LightScribe drives have been around for a long time, and provide a way to print to the surface of specially-coated disks. Maybe it's a version of that, with a barcode reader to detect the information later? It'd have to be very precise to stop people from forging registrations though.
posted by JHarris at 2:11 PM on May 24, 2013


I'm concerned that the internet is so amused by saying "Xbone" that everyone is forgetting to make fun of how ridiculous it is for Microsoft to call their 3rd console the Xbox 1.
posted by straight at 2:13 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eh, big companies made ridiculous decisions all the time. If it's popular enough everyone forgets about how ridiculous it is and it settles into the new "normal." Witness the very name Wii in the first place.
posted by JHarris at 2:25 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hmm... LightScribe drives have been around for a long time, and provide a way to print to the surface of specially-coated disks. Maybe it's a version of that, with a barcode reader to detect the information later? It'd have to be very precise to stop people from forging registrations though.

I don't think the Xbone supports running games from discs. It requires everything to be installed. After you install software it's trivial to tie the license to the machine.

Even if it didn't require software to be installed, since there's an always online requirement, it could phone home every time you tried to play a game. It would send a UUID identifying the software to Microsoft's servers which could respond whether you're authorized to play the game.
posted by zixyer at 2:29 PM on May 24, 2013


Yeah, but there has to be a way to identify your particular disc, because they're proposing a system where if the game is currently registered to you the disc will only install (or that install will only play) for your account, but after you release the game, the disc is now free to be installed anywhere again.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:34 PM on May 24, 2013


Good point. I'd guess the cheapest way would be an RFID or NFC sticker on the disc itself.
posted by zixyer at 2:38 PM on May 24, 2013


I favour X-Bro 1... Also see no reason not to expect equal success to the 360, which lets face it has fine pretty well chasing the exact same market.
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on May 24, 2013


I don't think the Xbone supports running games from discs. It requires everything to be installed. After you install software it's trivial to tie the license to the machine.

You still need the disk to install the software, and that's enough; the installation process would check for and write the necessary data to the disk and/or label. You wouldn't be able to install it to a different system if it failed that check.
posted by JHarris at 6:04 PM on May 24, 2013


JHarris: "I don't think the Xbone supports running games from discs. It requires everything to be installed."

Yes, and no. It has been stated that it can play from the disc, but that all games must be installed. I take that to mean that when you put in the disc, it begins writing in the background (presumably the authentication stuff, first), and as soon as that first kb or two of auth data has been written, you can play off the disc while it writes itself to the hard drive.

zixyer: "since there's an always online requirement, it could phone home every time you tried to play a game."

There's not an "always on" requirement, but a "really frequently on" requirement, and it has been reported that it needs to be connected to the net maybe once a day for single player games. I take that to mean that when you connect to the net, it updates your game permissions for X amount of time (i.e. "MS confirms that Bugbread's license for Call of Warfare: Dog Sniper is current, and can be played. The next license check will be in 24 hours."). So it wouldn't call home every time you wanted to play, but it would call a lot to check permissions.

Unfortunately, I also strongly get the idea that a lot of this is being left up to publishers, so while a publisher could say "check every once in a while to make sure they still have permissions for the game", another publisher, like, oh, Elecbronic Farts, could say, "for our games, permissions need to be checked every time the game is launched, every time it's saved, and every time someone pulls a trigger on the controller."
posted by Bugbread at 6:19 PM on May 24, 2013


Artw: I favour X-Bro 1... Also see no reason not to expect equal success to the 360, which lets face it has fine pretty well chasing the exact same market.

The 360 at least had the benefit (around launch) of select backwards compatibility with some original Xbox games. And the One has the disadvantage of a substantially lessened graphics wow factor from the previous generation. Anyway, I have seen nothing about the XB1 or PS4 that looks interesting at all, but I have little interest in shooters anyway.

Bugbread, I myself was quoting zixyer with that.
posted by JHarris at 6:41 PM on May 24, 2013


The Escapist's Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, of Zero Punctuation fame, weighs in.

What matters is that elitism was what turned me off to PC gaming, just a few short years ago. And that's what amazes me, in retrospect. I started leaning more towards console gaming because they were approachable, easier to use, and you didn't have to wade through as much bullshit to get to the point of actually playing the fucking games. That was where I perceived the future of gaming lay. There cannot possibly be a future, I thought, in a gaming platform that deliberately reduces and alienates its potential audience.

It amazes me that I once thought all this, and now, as I start considering my options in terms of gaming desktop PCs, I am thinking exactly the same things about the next generation of consoles. PC gaming still retains the issues mentioned above, it's still expensive and there can still be a lot of bullshit involved in getting games running, but suddenly these problems look relatively small.

posted by RolandOfEld at 10:20 AM on May 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yea, I'm probably the only one still around here but the that link I posted directly above from Zero Punctuation just got even better with one of his video reviews of Next-Gen Consoles.

Enjoy.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:52 AM on June 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Microsoft released some more details on the Xbox One's Connectivity (Not so "Always On"), Lending and Retail, and Kinect Privacy. Still a bit vague in some areas, but at least some things are getting cleared up.

I really hope they do away with the once a day check-in. Would love to see the mandatory game install go as well, but I'm assuming that's how the Xbox One is able to instant switch to and from games.
posted by Melee Loaf at 10:05 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It doesn't matter. When I can afford a new system, it won't be the XBone, since I can't guarnatee my Internet connectivity
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:21 PM on June 6, 2013


Despite empath's warnings of DOOM above, which believe me I am not insensate to, I got a Wii U recently, taking advantage of Target's $60 discount special (which might still be going on?). It was mostly as a replacement for my broken Wii so we could go on playing Wii Sports. That's right: I bought Nintendo's next system specifically so we could keep playing the pack-in game distributed with their last system!

Well, it's interesting. I really like how you can often run it headless, completely on the game pad, I've contributed a little to some of the Miiverse communities and find it's interesting (although the 100 character limit, even less than Twitter, is obnoxious), and damn it but there are some great artists there. It does force you to buy your Virtual Console purchases all over again, but if you transfer your data from your old Wii at least it lets you buy them at a steep discount -- if it's available on Wii U's store yet.

The PS4's product launch was vague enough that I didn't know what it was about, and I'm as turned off by the Xbox One as anyone. Still though, there's just not a lot I'm looking forward to on Wii U. I got Nintendo Land with it, which is fun, but until the updated Wind Waker and Pikmin 3 come out there's nothing I'm really looking forward to playing. There are some "hardcore" games for it, which are available for other systems too, but really those things aren't why I get Nintendo hardware. Ah well. It plays Tennis, Golf and Bowling, maybe that'll hold us for a few more years.
posted by JHarris at 12:43 AM on June 7, 2013


Microsoft released some more details on the Xbox One's Connectivity (Not so "Always On"), Lending and Retail, and Kinect Privacy. Still a bit vague in some areas, but at least some things are getting cleared up.

Cleared up, or hastily fixed so that someone might actually want to buy the thing?
posted by Sys Rq at 6:14 AM on June 7, 2013


I'm not sure they have achieved that if so, Sys Rq. The wording of the piece on resale is all about enabling publishers, not those who have bought their games. Microsoft is guaranteeing only that it will allow you to resell games published by Microsoft, and they will only let you do it through approved retailers. So, you can't sell them on eBay, unless you are prepared to friend the buyer, wait 30 days and then mail them the disc while electronically gifting the game to them. A fairly small number of approved retailers will be able to set the price offered for resold games, when buying and selling them.

Also, publishers who are not Microsoft, it seems, will be at liberty to decide not to let you resell their games (by not letting retailers reset the game's ownership status). So, EA or Activision, if they felt it was in their interests, could decide to remove its games from the used games market completely, generally or severally...

The plan is presumably to announce an absolute shedload of games at E3, get some publishers to commit to allowing resale and hope it all goes OK...
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:36 AM on June 7, 2013


Apropos, given the officially-confirmed creepiness of the console and Kinect plus Microsoft being the first to get on the NSA bandwagon. (via Reddit)
posted by zombieflanders at 9:01 AM on June 7, 2013


Anyone else worried about what kind of shenanigans Microsoft might try to sabotage PC / Windows gaming if they start to think it's a real competitor to the Xbone?

Part of me would love to see the Dept. of Justice to look at the antitrust issues of Microsoft owning both the Xbox and Windows gaming platforms and would love to see the two split up. On the other hand, it's possible that Microsoft hasn't made any serious attempt to compete with (screw with) Steam because they've been focused on shifting gaming from Windows to Xbox.
posted by straight at 1:03 PM on June 7, 2013


Anyone else worried about what kind of shenanigans Microsoft might try to sabotage PC / Windows gaming if they start to think it's a real competitor to the Xbone?

Windows accounts for about twice as much revenue as Xbox. And if they push developers off windows, what's to say those developers would move to Xbox as opposed to PS4, or OSX? No, I think that PC gaming is actually quite valuable to MS and they have no incentive at all to hurt it.

And they do have an attempt to compete with Steam: the Windows 8 app store. But they're not focused on games the way Steam is, and I don't think they're really succeeding there, but it's incorrect to say they're not doing anything.
posted by aubilenon at 5:53 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone else worried about what kind of shenanigans Microsoft might try to sabotage PC / Windows gaming if they start to think it's a real competitor to the Xbone?

Ever been forced to use Games For Windows Live? They've already been hard at work sabotaging PC gaming to force people over to their cashcow boxen for years.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:38 PM on June 7, 2013


After a month of vague corporate comments from Microsoft executives, we now know the Xbox One's game licensing policy was written from the ground up for companies. It's aggressively anti-consumer and anti-middle class, and it outright ignores underprivileged gamers. It's gross, despicable, greedy, pathetic, cowardly and out of touch with a growing global resentment for corporations.
Come on, don't be coy: tell us how you really feel.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:53 PM on June 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, was their E3 press conference a mess. Sure, it was all about the games, but they didn't make very many of them sound interesting, and the few that did aren't exclusive (although Major Nelson jumped the gun and said that Metal Gear Solid V was, before being shot down by Konami). Their 2nd screen utility, gameplay sharing, and Game DVR might have been cutting-edge had Sony not announced all of them several months before they did. They're trying to make XBL premium content more like Playstation Plus, but it falls short in pretty much every way. The fact that they had technical difficulties and the $499 price point did not make people happy was the icing on the cake. But hey, it's got Halo and COD and Madden, which means the usual crowd will be lining up on launch day.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:59 AM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apple certainly won the "things I would pay money for" contest today.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM on June 10, 2013


Meh. From what I've seen so far, iOS 7 is basically a love child of Android and WP8. Those menus and pull-downs/ups are straight out of 2007.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:34 AM on June 10, 2013


Yeah, that stuff is totally Win8. The hardware though...
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on June 10, 2013


And if you're not convinced that the XBone is still a console aimed at dudebros and 13 year-old misogynists, they even included the requisite rape joke during a live demo.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:58 PM on June 10, 2013


That was a glorious little moment of tone-deaf WTFery, yes. Like, really, I know you're just going for the trashtalky bullshitting angle on your wincingly staged beatdown-and-then-comeuppance skit, but this is a big deal press event, not the dorm room. Maybe opt for the stilted trashtalk that doesn't have the weird shitty rape overtones, you know?
posted by cortex at 2:54 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I like the bit where I get free games for having an XBL Gold subscription that I never actually paid for in the first place. That part's cool. And a new Panzer Dragoon game is legitimately great news, even if I will probably never play it.

Also, the revival of Killer Instinct is utterly hilarious. Not the rape comment, just the fact that it exists.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:18 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, this demo of uber-surveillance hacktivism game Watch_Dogs is totes awkward.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:41 PM on June 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is the return of Killer Instinct a thing that anyone cares about?

Maybe I'm misremembering, but that franchise always seemed distinctly third-string (the first string being Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and, later, Soul Calibur and Tekken, and the second string being, say, King of Fighters, Virtua Fighter, Dead or Alive, stuff like that).
posted by box at 7:33 PM on June 10, 2013






If I want to play Space Station Silicon Valley, on the other hand, I just slam the cartridge in and go.

Holy fucking crap. Someone else actually knows what this game is? I loved that game. I've been meaning to track down a copy of it and play it again since it's somehow completely emulator-proof. I actually played the beta at the NBC toy test and then forgot about it. Years later it came up again, and i went back and played a bit of it and remembered how much it ruled. Now more years have gone by and i'm wondering why the hell i don't own it again.

Meanwhile, the Wii U is one hundred percent backwards compatible

It is, but the way they executed it is somehow the kludgiest, awfulest backwards compatability i've ever seen on a console. It's like some kind of sega 32x/sega cd stuff but in software. To play old games you have to launch the entire old wii os and you're suddenly bumped down to blurry 480p that looks like crap on any decent hdtv.

Say you want to play an old wii game. Ok. You turn the console on, wait for it to boot up(20-30 seconds? i didn't time this part), open the old wii tile(definitely like, 2 minutes, what the fuck) THEN after that gets fully ready to go you click the disk icon... wait... and click the "start game" button.

Total elapsed time to actually being at the "press start" type screen in the game adds up to like 4 minutes, at least. Me and a friend were laughing our asses off at how long it took. It's also embarassing that they couldn't at least throw in some kind of upscaling, much less run the old games at HD res. Even the homebrew wii emulators can do that. Really guys? It's obvious that they put some effort in to figuring it out, but it's like they stopped 100ft short of the finish line of a fairly long race. I really hope they're going to update it in the future, but we all know nintendo never really adds anything meaningful in updates. Remember the promises of DLC/updates for a lot of the first party wii games? yea.

And as for everyone wondering how this "registration" system actually works, you've probably never played around with a tape backup system or anything. There's disc-based backup software that inventories this way as well. Each disk has a serial number, even DVDs that a lot of "optical drive testing" type software can check if there's media in the drive. Game + disc serial number + registration server = essentially bulletproof registration system. No discs are going to have some special writeable area or something. BD-R drives are still expensive, and that's a level of complication that's just not necessary.

now what i'm wondering, is how long before someone captures a TON of traffic between the server and the xbox, and comes up with a homebrew server app you can run on say, a linux box with two NICs? i'm thinking tinyumbrella but for xboxes. Capture some info, run the server emulator, bam go to town. With the added benefit that you don't need to jailbreak or alter the actual xbox itself. I've thought about this a lot, and i can't think of another way to do this without some kind of pretty intense JTAG type modchips like people were doing to the 360/180.

I'm with the people here who would throw one of these on ebay if i received it as a gift, and never buy one. But i am interested to see how the homebrew/jailbreak community responds to this sort of essentially throwing-down-the-gauntlet ultimatum by microsoft of "you are fucking finished". Afterall, has there ever been a major device like this that wasn't cracked at some point? All i can think of is the apple tv 3.
posted by emptythought at 8:01 PM on June 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The presentation was extremely dry and had some technical issues of its own, but in terms of content, Sony just totally ate Microsoft's lunch. $100 cheaper! Tons of indie games and devs we pledge our support for! No used game restrictions! No online connection required! No periodic check-ins! No autherntication revocation! A partnership with Bungie! A woman playing games without misogyny directed at her! It was basically a 1.5 hour long big old "fuck you" to Microsoft.

They also had a ton of exclusives (with live demos, not just sizzle reels), they got to show off the hardware design (which IMO is...interesting), and they showed games of all genres and ages instead of Microsoft's guns/cars/sports gamer stereotypical lineup. And holy shit does Assassin's Creed IV look awesome. Like, better than Ubisoft's own demo. Too bad it was in alpha stage in terms of technical polish and crashed(!) on stage.

Game on.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:06 PM on June 10, 2013




I have an Xbox 360 and it's been pretty fun. My only regret has been Demons' Souls, which I'll find a way to play eventually.

Hm, let's see what the next generation has to offer:

Xbox One
- must connect to the Internet every day or it stops working
- game discs can't be shared except under absurd conditions
- secondhand discs allowed only at approved retailers, may require additional fee
- region locked
- a whole pile of TV crap that will never be available in my country
- mandatory always-on surveillance device operated by company known to be cooperating with the NSA
- cute nickname ("Xbone")
- familiar rectangular form

PS4
- none of the above
- cheaper
- apparently somewhat more powerful
- box has exciting slanted edges
Tough choice, there.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:09 AM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


So there's been some more news about the PS4 since last night, mostly good, but one bummer. That bummer is that apparently multiplayer requires PS+, which essentially puts their multiplayer requirements in line with Microsoft's XBL service. Of course, PS+ is several dollars cheaper per month, and with the console coming out $100 cheaper, it comes out to ~2 years of PS+ to match an XBone without XBL, not to mention 8-10 times as many free games per month and a ton of promo stuff; and unlike XBL you won't need PS+ for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Redbox, or any other media functionality. On the "putting more screws to Microsoft" side of things, the PS4 has been confirmed to be region-free, the HDD (500GB, same as XBone) will be user-swappable, and the XBone will be delayed for a year in Asia (WTF?).
posted by zombieflanders at 4:18 AM on June 11, 2013


I'm no fan of Sony, but I could not be happier that Microsoft is going to eat shit with this generation unless they step back from the customer-hostile brink. If nothing else, it means that PC gaming on MS platforms will get a nice tailwind to add to the renaissance it's already been enjoying in the last few years.

All that Sony needs to do now is offer the possibility of booting into a Linux distro that runs as a Steambox, and the grave will be dug so deep that MS might as well just give the hell up. I dream.

My schadenfreude is delicious.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:22 AM on June 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is some Playstation vs. Saturn kind of beatdown, right here.

I like the Saturn - no, not past tense - but it still got murdered in the general market, and that's what's going to happen to the One. $100 cheaper plus superior featureset is nigh unto a free pass.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:12 AM on June 11, 2013


PS4 video reveals UI for sharing gameplay videos, multitasking, making friends
By now, most people ought to have dismissed the old stereotype that the male is the calm, rational opposite of the hysterical female. If anything, it's the other way round, which is why the short promo video shown right at the end of Sony's E3 press conference was kind of refreshing.
[...]
[T]he clip shows an emotional guy, Will Walker, repeatedly failing at the Knack monster masher on PS4, to the point where he's about to give up and condemn himself as a worthless good-for-nothing who should have never been born in the first place. Until, to his immense relief, he spots that his PSN buddy Sarah Greene has uploaded a gameplay video showing how she mashes up the monster (using height rather than just a plain frontal attack, duh).

Will Walker double-taps his PS button to instantly return to the game, where he replicates Sarah's goblin-murderin' moves to great success. He immediately regains his confidence, mood-swinging back to the primeval belief that he do anything and beat anyone -- even the Killzone: Shadow Fall baddies who happen to be waging war on his old pal Brian Ramos at that very moment.

Brian calls for help over the bundled single ear mono headset, and Will starts a download of the game's multi-player mode before double-tapping to return to Knack. When he gets a system notification that the download is done, Will joins Killzone with Brian, but quickly gets stuck because, once again, he's a nobody, a complete nothingness, and life always gets in his way. Until Brian solves it by using the Share button on his controller to show Will how to make proper use of his rifle's telescopic sight.

That's gaming; that's sharing; that's humanity
posted by zombieflanders at 7:28 AM on June 11, 2013


This is some Playstation vs. Saturn kind of beatdown, right here.

Yeah, but the Saturn was the clearly superior hardware platform. It's more like the Playstation vs. the Apple Pippin.

I haven't used a game console for anything other than Wii Sports in more than a decade. But that Sony unit... man, that looks good. It does Netflix and plays Bu-Ray, too? Hmm.

If it supports 3D, I think I'm sold.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:42 AM on June 11, 2013


Hard to see Microsoft as anything other than massively fucked on this one, it's true. And in one of the areas where previously they've retained some degree of competence. Sigh...
posted by Artw at 7:50 AM on June 11, 2013


I haven't used a game console for anything other than Wii Sports in more than a decade. But that Sony unit... man, that looks good. It does Netflix and plays Bu-Ray, too? Hmm.

If it supports 3D, I think I'm sold.


Just an FYI, the PS3 has had Blu-ray since day one. 3D (both Blu-ray and games) and Netflix have been enabled for a couple years.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:50 AM on June 11, 2013


My TV does Netflix. I think these days it's harder to get some kind of entertainment that doesn't do Netflix than does do it.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on June 11, 2013


Eh. Saturn was better at 2D graphics but dramatically worse at 3D (which was the Wave Of The Future even in 1996), and it was an absolute nightmare to program for, which is why multiplatform games weren't as much of a thing in that generation even before the system died. Porting a game from the relatively sane PSX architecture to the Lovecraftian processors of the Saturn was too much work for the profits you'd get from a second platform.

(Also, public service announcement: MS kicked off their free-games thing early. If you have XBL Gold, you can get Fable III for free starting today.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:52 AM on June 11, 2013


If, on the day before the XBone announcement, someone had told me that I'd be buying a PS4 this time around I'd have laughed at them.

I get Microsoft wanting to win the battle of the living room. I get how having a Kinect could maybe sorta kinda be cool for, shit, I dunno, SOMETHING. I'm not perturbed by the once-a-day phoning home. And the list of used games I buy is very short, so even the draconian restrictions imposed thereupon is not a deal-breaker.

BUT.

No, Microsoft, I'm NOT spending $500 to provide you with a window into my living room. I'm fine with targeted marketing - in fact, I think it's kind of useful. But I'll be damned if I'm paying you for the privilege of being marketed to. And I'm not too pleased with your decision to basically make me keep my old machine hooked up if I want to play any of the dozens of games I've purchased from XBLA.

Maybe I'm just not your target market any more. Hell, I bought the original XBox just to play Morrowind, so fuck me, right? But all the shiny shooters you showcased yesterday left me utterly unimpressed. I don't care about Battlefield 4. I don't care about mechs. I don't care about Halo -blasphemy!

What Microsoft showed me was innovative and chillingly Orwellian hardware designed to run a new generation of the same old same old. And the thing DOESN'T EVEN REPLACE MY CABLE BOX!

Sony, on the other hand, is offering a cheaper box with faster RAM... that plays games. Games you bought, or borrowed, or found in a trash bin. And now that the new consoles share similar architecture, I'm less worried about bad ports and late releases on the Sony side.

So, well, Microsoft... we had a good run. The 360 controller is the best ever. Kudos for that. I hope someone makes a similarly-shaped one that will work with my PS4.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:24 AM on June 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


To me, it's not just the featureset or the price, it's the whole way the two consoles were presented to the world. Microsoft got the hint that all of this media interconnectivity stuff didn't go down well with gamers, so they said "E3 will be all about the games." Apparently they thought that meant "E3 will be all about how can we make our product seem like something stereotypical Americans and/or stereotypical gamers would buy." And so we got yesterday's mess: If it didn't involve fighting, firearms, or football, it was hardly worth mentioning. We all know gamers are all about the smack talk, so why not throw some in there? And since a girl is playing, let's show her how smack talk really works! The nerds like that Minecraft shit, put it up there for just long enough to remind them that we think of them but not long enough that the ADHD kicks in. But don't remind anybody that we make them buy and require the use of an ultra-creepy videocamera that watches (and listens to) you while you do everything, or the fact that we're teaming up with the publishers to shut down the used games economy, or that they can't play their games unless they connect to the internet every single day. Oh, and One More Thing: Fuck you, Asia! You don't like our console, fine, you don't get it for another year after everybody else.

Contrast that with Sony. They didn't take themselves entirely seriously (or at least not as awkward as Microsoft's forced "humor) with the tech demo making fun of greenscreens. As I mentioned above, they made an effort to show games for pretty much everyone. Want some puzzle games? We can do that. You like platformers? Check. Racing games? Uh, hello: Gran Turismo. Games for kids? Look, it's a new Kingdom Hearts! MMOs? Got it. RPGs? Got it. MMORPGs? Got those, too. AAA games from the big guys? Of course, here's some face-stabbing pirate fun, and we totally ganked Bungie. Indie developers we're totally down with? They're up on stage playing both old and new stuff, not a footnote on a redesign. Oh, and BTW, we don't want to spy on you or fuck you over because you're not cool enough to have always-on broadband. That 24-hour mandatory cloud authentication which is now the biggest non-governmental target in the world for hackers? Don't even bring that shit onto the stage, fools. And then, after all that, we're just gonna go ahead and undercut Microsoft's price by a cool Franklin. Tretton, House, and Yoshida-san deserved those big old grins on their faces, and I agree with the comments I read that the only thing Jack Tretton didn't do right was to drop the mic at the end.

And the best part is it didn't stop there: after the big show, we find out that there's no region coding (Sony said this morning that goes for both physical and digital downloads) and that you can swap HDDs if you want. The only real downer news is that you have to have PS+ for multiplayer games, but 1) it's still cheaper than XBL, which means that 2) that $100 price differential means you can spend it on two years' worth of PS+, 3) you don't need it for stream video or music streaming services like you do with XBL, and 4) you get way more discounts and complimentary stuff with it than XBL.

That's not to say Sony's presentation didn't have a dearth of women (it did), or that they didn't have fighting games and first-person shooters and sports games (they did), or was in any way perfect (it wasn't). But there was a huge disconnect between the visions of the two companies, with Microsoft focusing on forcing a future on their customers and segregating their gamer constituency from their media consumption constituency, while Sony basically just offered the same thing as before but better in almost every way. And even when they had some overlap, there was a dichotomy. For instance, sharing and social media on the XBone was portrayed as all about BEATDOWNS and HIGH SCORES and HOW AWESOME AM I BROSEPH. On the PS4 it was about helping people, making friends, and working as a team. They even threw in a bit of gender role reversal (apart from the colors...blah) just to up the ante a bit. Sure, in the end it's two luxury items, but in their own small ways they seemed to be presenting different views of interaction with each other and the Internet (or whatever its successor will be) and who gets to control that more.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:33 AM on June 11, 2013


Space Station Silicon Valley...Someone else actually knows what this game is? I loved that game. I've been meaning to track down a copy of it and play it again since it's somehow completely emulator-proof.

It works fine with Project 64 and the Glide plugin.
posted by straight at 10:46 AM on June 11, 2013






TBH I think E3 is killing my interest in all "AAA" gaming whatsoever, whatever the corporate behemoth behind it. What a pile of bleh.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on June 11, 2013


Wait a second: PS4 DRM decision is up to third parties, says SCEA boss Tretton

destructoid sez they mean online passes like we're blessed with now
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:11 PM on June 11, 2013


I agree with the comments I read that the only thing Jack Tretton didn't do right was to drop the mic at the end.

Never mind, it's been taken care of (in true middle-aged white guy style).
posted by zombieflanders at 12:15 PM on June 11, 2013


Microsoft did stumble, but some of the Reddit people already calling the console wars for Sony are exaggerating just bit. There's still a large casual and non-gamer market that MS is appealing to, and this is apparent with the built in Kinect and the emphasis on it being an entertainment machine, not only a game console.

Of course, that market may just stick to last gen consoles and not even bother with the next gens for half a decade...
posted by FJT at 3:00 PM on June 11, 2013


There's still a large casual and non-gamer market that MS is appealing to, and this is apparent with the built in Kinect and the emphasis on it being an entertainment machine, not only a game console.

But wouldn't those people just get a Wii U for half the price--or just stick with the old Wii they've already got? Why on earth would casual- and non-gamers spend $500 on a game console?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:05 PM on June 11, 2013


There's still a large casual and non-gamer market that MS is appealing to, and this is apparent with the built in Kinect and the emphasis on it being an entertainment machine, not only a game console.

If you strip the gaming elements out of the XBone and the PS4, the latter is still superior, since you don't have to pay a dime to Sony to use any of it on their hardware, whereas you need an $60/year XBL Gold account to do so with any of the XBoxen, and that's on top of the $100 price premium. You still need a cable box with HDMI out to use the passthrough control, and the ability only works in the US for now. And I remain skeptical that the HAL 9000 PRISM™ Kinect 2 is a killer app for the living room. As for casual gamers, do you mean actual casual games, or the COD/Madden/etc crowd? If it's the former, Sony seems to be ahead on that front given the titles and the cost, assuming they're the kind of people that would throw down between $400 and $500 for a high-end system that they use for casual games. If it's the latter, well yeah, it's a given that they probably don't care too much, and both systems will probably sell out on launch day, but I feel that 1) the teenage boy/frathouse-heavy market is not sustainable, and 2) the PS4 has them covered as well, for $100 less at the counter and another buck or two per month.

Predicting the XBone will die a quick and ignominious death is probably an exaggeration, but predicting it'll be well behind the PS4 given what we know, not so much.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:35 PM on June 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


But wouldn't those people just get a Wii U for half the price--or just stick with the old Wii they've already got? Why on earth would casual- and non-gamers spend $500 on a game console?

Of course, but prices are the issue that easiest to fix. An aggressive price drop, maybe promoted with a bundle, would make the system much more attractive. Remember in about six months, the Xbox shed it's price from $300 to $200. That would be the equivalent of the XBox One going from $500 to $330 by May 2014.
posted by FJT at 3:46 PM on June 11, 2013


There's still a large casual and non-gamer market that MS is appealing to, and this is apparent with the built in Kinect and the emphasis on it being an entertainment machine, not only a game console.

Yea, but most of those people are playing games on their iphones/ipads now, are still milling through the cheap libraries of used ps3/wii/360 games they just started digging in to now. And a lot of them have TVs with netflix built in(even my partners parents do, and they don't even have cellphones and didn't have a computer newer than like 2003 until we got them one for christmas), or rokus someone at best buy pushed them on, etc.

Having some sort of streaming device costs like $39 now. And the casual gamer on consoles market has basically been destroyed unless casual means "i buy the games when they're $17.99 at gamestop".

I can't escape the feeling that microsoft is targeting a market that they wish existed, in some sort of manifest destiny type of arrogant way. The market they're trying to sell this too existed... in 2005, but it was pretty much kids and their parents.

And if this thing was coming out when i was 15, i sure as hell know my dad would have said "What, you can't even buy used games without a stupid hassle or borrow them? that's fucking moronic, get the other one". Trading around games was, and continues to be a huge thing among my friends dating all the way back to the launch of the PS1/N64. Each of us would have our parents get us(or buy, with christmas/birthday money from relatives and shit) an expensive game or two, and then when we beat them or really wanted to play a friends game we'd trade them around. Even now, at the beginning of college and now beyond watching my friends younger siblings in middle/highschool that was definitely still A Thing™

No one is going to have this for such a multitude of reasons.

Oh and looking at this from the "20something ManBroDude who plays videogames" segment of the market from the inside, no one i know is buying this thing. It's too expensive, and everyone is making cracks about the PRISM thing and how this was probably some foiled plot to monitor all the xbox playing americans.

I also honestly think sony deserves the $5 a month for not being assholes like this. It's like giving a good employee a raise. It was probably a reach around for publishers who were going to start doing some lame "well we're charging for online in our specific game" type crap to head them off at the pass. And in contrast to everything else it just comes across as so reasonable. It's almost like when you have a friend who works at a pizza shop who was openly allowed to give you free pizza, and then one day there's a new boss and that's the end of that. You didn't really lose anything here, you were just getting something awesome that if you were being realistic at all you knew wasn't going to last.

It's still cheap pizza compared to the guys across the street, and they don't hassle you about what toppings you want or more than 2 being extra either.
posted by emptythought at 4:45 PM on June 11, 2013


I was thinking of getting a PS4. Its region free, so I can buy it cheap from the US. But the WiiU has Bayonetta and Mega Man in Smash Brothers, so maybe i'll get that instead.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:32 PM on June 11, 2013


It's too expensive, and everyone is making cracks about the PRISM thing and how this was probably some foiled plot to monitor all the xbox playing americans.

But the price is the most adjustable element. If they are in trouble, they probably will slash prices. And honestly, there's still going to be a lot of people who buy this just to play Halo and COD with friends. I think the response on the Internet is a little bit overblown.
posted by FJT at 11:19 PM on June 11, 2013



But the price is the most adjustable element. If they are in trouble, they probably will slash prices. And honestly, there's still going to be a lot of people who buy this just to play Halo and COD with friends. I think the response on the Internet is a little bit overblown.


Except in Australia, since we have spotty Internet which could make our games unplayable.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:23 PM on June 11, 2013




But the WiiU has Bayonetta and Mega Man in Smash Brothers, so maybe i'll get that instead.

Joiiiin Uuuusss....

Nintendo Land is pretty fun, and Virtual Console games and even a number of disk games can be run "headless," without using the TV. The Wii U killer app has yet to be released, although I am looking forward to Pikmin 3 and the update of Wind Waker (the last "good" Zelda, IMO).
posted by JHarris at 5:02 AM on June 12, 2013


The second screen for the WiiU really is a killer app, as far as I'm concerned. I'm with Gabe - the ability to fire up a full-featured console game silently and without monopolizing the TV is a game-changer, pun intended. The real question is whether Nintendo can keep getting multiplatform titles as the PS4/XB1 get underway.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:26 AM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Xbox chief: we have a product for people who can't get online, it's called Xbox 360

That's very sensible, and I happen to happen to agree with him. Not only does mine not require an internet connection for most of the uses I put it to, but it's also compatible with a large library of existing titles. Hardware permitting, it will still work if I plug it in 10 years from now, no matter how many server outages, DDOS attacks, customer database hacks or service discontinuations XBOX Live goes through. I'm just not sure why the guy in charge of marketing a new console is saying that.
posted by figurant at 9:19 AM on June 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hahaha:

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/06/12/xbox-one-will-support-live-in-these-countries-at-launch/

Not only will the Xbox One be region-locked, but the latest news is that it won't run games at all in an unapproved region. Presumably this will be enforced by an IP check on the 24-hourly "please microsoft may I play my games today" login. Regions that will be unapproved at launch include: Africa, Eastern Europe, South America (except Brazil), Asia (except Russia).

This just gets better and better.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 3:14 AM on June 13, 2013


My favorite is that one of the developers who presented onstage at E3 (CD Projekt Red, creators of the Witcher) is Polish and therefore cannot play their own game at launch.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:18 AM on June 13, 2013


I'm imagining a scenario in which a child begs his parents to buy an XBone for christmas. They save up as much money as possible, and buy one with a couple of games, only to find that after plugging in the device it requires an internet connection, which they cannot afford. They take back the console, but are unable to return the games since they are now considered "used".

You know this will happen, and many tears will be shed by those who've been mislead by Microsoft's "Next Gen" offering.
posted by PipRuss at 2:01 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously, now we're just making up stupid stories hypothesising that, say, the console packaging won't say anywhere INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED NO REALLY DONT BUY ME WITHOUT ACCESS TO INTERNET DUMBASS? Also, I heard the new xbox will stab kittens.
posted by jacalata at 2:49 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm sure it'll be there, but on the back and in reasonably small print, next to "HDMI connection only" and "will not work in bedrooms."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:55 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Regions that will be unapproved at launch include: Africa, Eastern Europe, South America (except Brazil), Asia (except Russia).

They're blocking out Japan?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:02 PM on June 13, 2013




Jacalata - It's just a hypothetical scenario. It doesn't account for everyone in the whole world. Obviously MS isn't stupid enough to not include such warnings. But there's still a chance that uninformed consumers will make the mistake of buying The XBone without knowing what's required.
posted by PipRuss at 3:09 PM on June 13, 2013




They're blocking out Japan?

Last year, Microsoft sold literally 8 percent as many consoles as Sony in Japan. Getting beaten ten to one would be an improvement. Eastern Europe is almost certainly a bigger concession.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:12 PM on June 13, 2013


So I got a Wii U so I guess I've already thrown my consumer hat into the ring. But what's the word about the PS4? Did they announce anything substantive about it at E3? I haven't been keeping up.
posted by JHarris at 3:29 PM on June 13, 2013


yea, I'm sure someone will. I'm equally sure that there was a poor child once who pleaded for an xbox, his parents bought it, and then they discovered it required games and they couldn't afford any so they returned it. Nobody would have considered using that argument to say that selling a console was a bad thing in general, and it doesn't stand up any better against requiring internet.

To be clear, there are plenty of reasons to argue against the internet requirement, and shameless moaning 'but think of the poverty stricken ignorant foolish children who will be TRICKED!' is not one of them.
posted by jacalata at 3:30 PM on June 13, 2013


So I got a Wii U so I guess I've already thrown my consumer hat into the ring. But what's the word about the PS4? Did they announce anything substantive about it at E3? I haven't been keeping up.

Here, watch this.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:40 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm in no way using that as an argument to deter people from buying an XBone. I believe it is a solid product. It has many great features that I would love to use. I find that it has every bit as much charm as the Xbox and 360 had.

Microsoft has made some stupid decisions regarding this console, and I think they deserve whatever they get in return.
posted by PipRuss at 3:50 PM on June 13, 2013


and fortunately we have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity, it's called Xbox 360.

This comes off as quite arrogant. By the way, if you live in the UK, £429 for Xbone plus £40 for an annual Xbox Live subscription* plus £55 for one game add up to £524. If you wait until Xmas, with that kind of money getting a computer starts looking like an attractive proposition.

*MS says £3.33 per month but if wouldn't let me see if that price was with an annual membership.
posted by ersatz at 5:27 PM on June 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dark Souls 2 comes out next March on 360 and PS3. I'd rather spend a year getting my ass whooped by that than by Microsoft.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:32 PM on June 13, 2013


This comes off as quite arrogant. By the way, if you live in the UK, £429 for Xbone plus £40 for an annual Xbox Live subscription* plus £55 for one game add up to £524.

You made me curious as to what kind of a PC you could put together for that price if building almost-from-scratch (i.e. you have a monitor or a TV with a VGA/HDMI port, a mouse, a keyboard, and some kind of speakers). A really pretty nice one, it turns out.

I cheated and spent an extra tenner to get a 7870, and if you needed as OS as well you'd need to shave off £65, but eh. You can get a lot of hardware for XBone money, is the point.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:17 AM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Build A Better-Than-Xbox-One/PS4 PC For £500
Well, don’t take that entirely literally. I’m just writing that to get your attention and/or I can’t think of a more accurate way to do it within the character limit. Obviously you can’t build your own Xbox One or PlayStation 4 – they use some custom hardware not available to PC-builders to do their next-generation thing, they’re running bespoke operating systems (and all the horror-DRM that goes with it) and contain it all with in a comparatively small black monolith that sits underneath your TV. Additionally, console games can be made to specific hardware requirements, which can entail a far great degree of optimisation than trying to target a hundred thousand million different PC configs. No matter what the console generation, the PC comparison can never be an exact one. What you can do, though, is build yourself a PC that has a little more grunt under the hood than these apparent future-machines, for pretty much the same amount of money.

To be honest, while hitting the £420 price of an Xbone is eminently possible, I’d recommend you spend just a little more on a games PC than that – it’ll last you longer, there’s more scope for upgrading later, games will look fancier and you won’t have to spend a week trawling price comparison sites. Either way, the idea that a beefy games PC costs thousands of dollars/pounds is an outdated and wildly inaccurate one.

We’re going to struggle to match the PS4′s relatively sensible £350, I think, but the Xbox One’s ludicrous £420 is another matter
posted by zombieflanders at 7:00 AM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I cheated and spent an extra tenner to get a 7870

Against the caveats from you and RPS is the fact that you can't buy an Xbone today. By November, some of those PC components may be even cheaper.
posted by straight at 9:22 AM on June 14, 2013


straight: "Against the caveats from you and RPS is the fact that you can't buy an Xbone today. By November, some of those PC components may be even cheaper."

This is exactly why I upgraded to an 8350 quite recently but I'm sticking with my old GPU for now. I'm expecting the launch of the new consoles to push up the amount of RAM that comes standard in mid-range cards.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:59 PM on June 14, 2013


You made me curious as to what kind of a PC you could put together for that price if building almost-from-scratch (i.e. you have a monitor or a TV with a VGA/HDMI port, a mouse, a keyboard, and some kind of speakers).

If you're not in a hurry to build it all at once, you can get a lot better stuff than that even, too. You just have to hit the secondary markets, sales, etc.

I spent a similar amount of money and got a much beefier system. I bought an old core2duo system that had barely been used. It had a high end case, power supply, cooling, and other bits including two very new GPUs. I then bought an "open box"
Motherboard from someone who had gotten a factory replacement that took months, and had already gotten a new different model. I paid half price and the EMI bag was still sealed. I got an i7 3770, 1tb hdd, and intel SSD for $200 from someone who gave up on a project. I bought new ram on sale. I eventually got a vertex 4 from someone who couldn't return it for cheap.

The c2d system included a high end keyboard, mouse, and speakers. And an ok monitor.(23in 1080p led, but not amazing).

I can still get 1-200 for the leftover old parts I didn't use. And I have a system that has about the power of a gtx 670 or more, and an extremely fast disk and CPU. It can run any game on the market with everything turned to high/max.(ok, metro 2033 struggles here and there. But really, what is with that game)

I think the total outlay was around $700usd, which is actually a bit less than the XBone in £ and probably even in USD with our prices as well.

There isn't the value proposition that consoles have here anymore. I don't know a single person with a gaming system who paid more than that(they all have the cheapest CPU and mobo combo deal from newegg, or a big box store like frys + a decent GPU, or used stuff from Craigslist/eBay). I only have a ps3 because I got mine for $60 "broken" and replaced the hdd.

These prices will scare off a lot of people. And I mean, it goes without saying but a PC can also do all the media stuff they're talking about, plus you know... Computer things. A lot of people I know have a nice PC(or Mac workstation) and then an n64 and stuff.

This is exactly why I upgraded to an 8350 quite recently but I'm sticking with my old GPU for now. I'm expecting the launch of the new consoles to push up the amount of RAM that comes standard in mid-range cards.

And I say: meh. The amount of ram a lot of cards have now is borderline more than they need. This is assuming you're running 1080p on one monitor.

If you're running 1440p or multiple monitors then sure, but those setups can generally only be run smoothly by one high end card, or SLI/cf.

I don't get this ram goldrush at all. It's similar to getting more than 8gb of primary ram for gaming, or more than a quad core.

I'd rather get a larger SSD(or one in the first place) than more GPU ram unless I had a godly eyefinity setup or something. In which case I wouldn't be buying midrange cards anyways.
posted by emptythought at 1:55 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Xbone games at E3 were running on.... Win7 PCs?

The irony here (in light of the whole ludicrous idea of 'exclusives') is, once again, delicious.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:55 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


stavrosthewonderchicken: "Xbone games at E3 were running on.... Win7 PCs?

The irony here (in light of the whole ludicrous idea of 'exclusives') is, once again, delicious.
"

I imagine that's still less embarrassing than when people discovered that the X-Box 360 games were running on Mac G5s at E3 2005.
posted by the_artificer at 8:08 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]




I imagine that's still less embarrassing than when people discovered that the X-Box 360 games were running on Mac G5s at E3 2005.

Somewhat irinically after Apple switching to Intel XBox has to be the biggest customer for PowerPC chips.
posted by Artw at 11:57 AM on June 17, 2013


I think if anything takes off in the near future, it would be the Oculus Rift or other VR hardware

Can an Oculus Rift Game Make You 'Genuinely Horny?' They're Gonna Try.
posted by homunculus at 9:40 PM on June 17, 2013




The Forbes piece misses the point, or at the least the point that gets me cranky. It doesn't really matter which flavour of graphics hardware ran the demos, or whether they used Win7 or Win8, correct, but the reasons given are not why it doesn't matter.

What matters is that Microsoft apparently has no plans to stop the practice of releasing some titles exclusively on Xbox, when it is abundantly clear that there is with this generation of hardware literally no reason not to other than an attempt to blackmail people into buying their purpose-built hardware. The new Xbox is a mid-high range PC circa 2013. There's no reason not to port, when the porting process is basically crossing out 'Xbox One' and writing 'PC' in crayon.

'Exclusives' are customer-hostile, manipulative, and once again (predictably) fly in the face of any of their mealy-mouthed PR-speak about supporting the PC as a gaming platform. Fuck 'em.

On the other hand, if the sekrit plans are to release all upcoming Xbone games on PC as well, then I apologize. I mean, they'd be shooting themselves in the collective crotch again, as usual, sure, but.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:45 PM on June 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know what'd be sort of a brilliant but terrible hybrid minotaur approach there? Microsoft selling some sort of Xbone Gateway Framework dealy for the PC that *would* allow you to play direct PC ports of Xbone games on your PC if it meets some set of specs. And it'd only cost you a hundred bucks! And it'd be laden with annoying further DRM/handshake/whatever-the-fuck! And would be terrible in a variety of ways! But!

Seems unlikely, but just potentially bad enough to be something they'd consider.
posted by cortex at 8:51 AM on June 18, 2013


Something that just recently occurred to me is that Microsoft could have won E3 walking away, while also steering people toward the DRM-heavy, no-Gamestop-involved Promised Land For Publishers of digital games, by implementing the exact procedures they have now for downloaded copies, while treating disc-based copies exactly the same as they are today (install them to the hard drive, then play with no internet connection as long as the disc is in the system).

The way their regime is set up now, there's no reason not to buy disc-based copies of XB1 games unless the digital versions undercut them on price. You can install from a disc instead of waiting for a download, and you can resell them to "approved retailers" if the publisher allows it. Other than that, they're exactly the same as downloaded versions. But if you just look at what you can do with downloaded games on the One, and compare them to the 360, it is way better. You can share them with friends and family regardless of their location, while playing the same game yourself. There's streamlined support for logging into somebody else's system and installing the games there. You can even sell them, if only to people who are already on your friends list. With an online store that's reasonably aggressive with its price drops, that would provide stout competition for Gamestop, Best Buy, etc. More XBox owners would buy their games digitally rather than in stores, Microsoft would be hailed as geniuses for creating a more robust download market, and the Internet-impaired would still be able to play the games.

Sigh.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:51 AM on June 18, 2013


Cortex, that reminds me an awful lot of bleem!, combined in some unholy way with cablecard...

Which of course, sounds exactly like something they would do.

I'm imagining it as some special BD-rom drive you have to buy, possibly even an external one like the 360 hd-DVD unit. Thus they could tout that even laptops that met certain specs could play the games.

It would probably be more than $100, and I bet there would be some dumb limitation like only one controller could sync with it.

I just realized now though, how the fuck would you deal with having to have a kinect? That kinda kills the idea dead right there.

It sounded like such a plausible weird Microsoft idea until then.
posted by emptythought at 12:20 PM on June 18, 2013


There's going to be a PC-compatible Shiny New Kinect released in 2014.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:22 PM on June 18, 2013


Giantbomb says Microsoft is preparing to pull all the XBox One DRM measures, citing multiple anonymous sources (which author Patrick Klepek says were "vetted vigorously").
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:13 PM on June 19, 2013


So, if true, they'll just be selling a more expensive console than Sony and retaining the pay-to-play requirement for access to most of the all-in-one media (and US-only) features they've been talking up? What a deal!
posted by zombieflanders at 1:27 PM on June 19, 2013


It seems to be confirmed - the newspost from a few weeks ago outlining XB1's DRM now has a big notice at the top that the information is outdated and was changed by a company announcement on June 19. However, the link to that announcement is dead, because the site is getting hammered by traffic.

Boy, they totally would have been ready for every system to check in on launch day, right? No sweat.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:40 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some details from vg247.com:
According to the GB report, the following will occurr:

- No more always online requirement
- The console no longer has to check in every 24 hours
- All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
- An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console
- All downloaded games will function the same when online or offline
- No additional restrictions on trading games or loaning discs
- Region locks have been dropped
Edit: Screenshot of the Xbox.com post, via /r/gaming. Looks real.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:48 PM on June 19, 2013


Supposed text of the new post, copy-and-pasted by somebody who was able to get it to load:

Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One.

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.

These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray.

We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.

(this is supposedly at http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/update, which will be available if and when the site ever recovers)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:53 PM on June 19, 2013


It's back up now.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:03 PM on June 19, 2013


Because NONE of these problems or complaints was foreseeable before E3. Nope, huge surprise. The outcry is just like Such a Surprise, Man.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:28 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


- All game discs will work on Xbox One as they do on Xbox 360
Does this mean backwards-compatibility, or is it just a fancy way of saying that placing a new XBone-specific game CD into the device will be the same as what you'd do on an Xbox 360?
posted by CancerMan at 2:30 PM on June 19, 2013


Not that most consumers will care, but what a sorry-ass "we're sorry if anyone was offended" apology this sounds like.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:41 PM on June 19, 2013


is it just a fancy way of saying that placing a new XBone-specific game CD into the device will be the same as what you'd do on an Xbox 360?

Yes. Backward compatibility would require redundant hardware for both Microsoft and Sony. Not gonna happen.
posted by localroger at 3:10 PM on June 19, 2013


An Internet connection is only required when initially setting up the console

This is still a Shit Sandwich for a lot of people. For example, as corb said, deployed soldiers.

I know plenty of people who had current gen consoles and never connected them to the internet. A few years ago i had a friend who didn't have internet at his house and would just his laptop to coffee shops. He had a 360 and played it all the time. Never once did it connect to the internet.

For some people this will result in a returned xbox, or a moronic dance of "bring it over to friends house, connect to wifi, run setup thingy(and probably be forced to sit around while it installs 2gb of updates before it'll complete and "activate") and then cart the whole setup home.

This, IMO, is just as dumb as it would be if a blu ray player or a CD player required you to connect to the internet the first time you used it. I can't think of a legitimate technical reason at all besides the aforementioned forcing of updates.

I also think this will go down as one of the biggest backpeddles in the modern history of tech. Doubly so if they lower the price to match sony.
posted by emptythought at 3:20 PM on June 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


But they're still going to have facial-recognition spyware that can't be turned off, right?
posted by corb at 3:28 PM on June 19, 2013


Not requiring an internet connection is definitely going to require some rejiggering things at the engineering level. Apart from anything else, system updates were included on-disc with XBox 360 titles. If you popped Red Dead Redemption into your never-online Xbox, it would pop up a message requiring you to install the latest system update from the disc before playing. Updates were presumably intended to be distributed entirely by downloads this time around. If the console can't be guaranteed to ever download updates, they'll have to modify their disc formats to compensate.

It also throws their offload-calculations-to-the-cloud features into disarray. Developers have less assurance their Azure servers will be accessible by the software if the console ownership now includes people without 1.5 Mbps broadband, which I think is going to provide less of an impetus to develop around that feature.

So this isn't just the reversal of a misguided policy. It's going to need some non-trivial engineering work to implement properly with only a handful of months before the console ships.
posted by figurant at 3:40 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


But they're still going to have facial-recognition spyware that can't be turned off, right?


The Kinect camera can be turned off, although the expectation is clearly that you won't... and if you don't have your Xbone connected to the Internet, that's probably moot anyway, since the images will have nowhere to go.

It also throws their offload-calculations-to-the-cloud features into disarray. Developers have less assurance their Azure servers will be accessible by the software if the console ownership now includes people without 1.5 Mbps broadband, which I think is going to provide less of an impetus to develop around that feature.

That's interesting, isn't it? If the assumption was that you could offload calculation to the cloud without limiting your player base, it was a much more tempting option. It feels like Microsoft had a chance to do something really technologically interesting, there, albeit unpopular, and has now given itself another headache.

Of course, on the strength of SimCity, one might suspect that "offline calculation" would at least initially equate to "a further form of validation"...
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:09 PM on June 19, 2013


For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come.

Glossing over that "best" for a moment, "many years"? Several years does not equal many years, Microsoft.

I guess this is just further evidence of Microsoft's inability to count. (360, 1, 2, 2.1, 2.11, 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8...)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:31 PM on June 19, 2013


It also throws their offload-calculations-to-the-cloud features into disarray.

I'm pretty sure that "feature" was in the handbook as "tell the rubes something about the 'cloud' to shut them up about always-connected DRM."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:36 PM on June 19, 2013


So, you can't fully install the game by disc now? I wonder how this will affect the instant switching feature (TV to apps to game).
posted by Melee Loaf at 4:48 PM on June 19, 2013


I'm so glad about this... my concerns were mostly practical, since I have a crap Internet connection and no money. Now it just comes down to which system has the best exclusives, and I'm liking the looks of Insomniac's new brightly colored third person shooter, Sunset Overdrive.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:49 PM on June 19, 2013


figurant: "It also throws their offload-calculations-to-the-cloud features into disarray."

Just because the X-Box no longer requires a constant connection to the internet doesn't mean the games won't. I'm sure "Internet connection required" will be on the box of games like Titanfall, Destiny, The Division, Sunset Overdrive...
posted by the_artificer at 5:00 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


See: Sony.
posted by Artw at 5:05 PM on June 19, 2013


This is still a Shit Sandwich for a lot of people. For example, as corb said, deployed soldiers.

My recently deployed friend says this is bunk for Army soldiers, because anywhere they were able/allowed to set up an xbox had a pretty decent internet connection. And even if they didn't (ye olde nuclear submarine), how many xboxes get to a deployed soldier new in box, with no chance to set up before reaching the middle of the submarine they are in?
posted by jacalata at 5:24 PM on June 19, 2013


Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:32 PM on June 19, 2013


I tried it just now and Bing serves up a list of invectives just as serious as Google does for "Xbox One is..." And Google serves up "Stupid", "Issues", and "Creepy" for "Google Glass Is..."
posted by localroger at 6:49 PM on June 19, 2013


Yeah, I got ugly/terrible/watching you/crap/doomed as autocompletes on Bing before awesome.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:01 PM on June 19, 2013


That's got to be a recent tweak by Microsoft, or else an artifact of thousands of people searching for negative terms after seeing that image. I tried it last night and got the same lone "xbox one is awesome" suggestion.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:08 PM on June 19, 2013


Well done, Microsoft! Now make the Kinect optional, and then we can talk.

(seriously though, after all this I wouldn't touch an Xbone with someone else's 10-foot pole)
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:26 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because I'm not sure this has been linked yet:
"Mr President, Save Us From XBox One"
"If you want privacy, we'll give you modes that ensure your privacy," Jeff Henshaw, a Microsoft grand poobah, said this week.

"'If" you want privacy? Modes?"

Such passive language has long been the moist, shadowy ground where the cobra waits for the mouse.

"It's not the case where you'll be able to remove the camera altogether," Henshaw admitted. "But you'll be able to put the system in modes where you can be completely secure about the fact that the camera is off and can't see you."

Isn't that the kind of thing that techies always say? And then they laugh. Mirthlessly.

This is the part of the movie where the scientist shows you the cute little dinosaur babies.

"This adorable miniature Velociraptor will never grow and never attack its human masters. You can be completely secure," says the kind scientist.
posted by corb at 4:51 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Privacy Mode -- difficulty: electrical tape.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:07 AM on June 20, 2013


snuffleupagus: "Privacy Mode -- difficulty: electrical tape."

On the Gamers with Jobs podcast the other day they were mooting a possible bull market in 'Kinect cosies'.

Of course, they already exist.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:19 AM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


And now there's a wave of contrarian articles about how the XBox One DRM would have been a good thing after all, because it would have gotten people to transition to digital games (which they can still do anyway if they want, but just ignore that) and how gamers yelling on the Internet ruined it for everyone, because this decision was totally made based on forum posts and not the tanking preorder numbers.

God, I hate people.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:03 AM on June 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know, yea. For a second I thought the argument that this would have let them sell games cheaper or have awesome sales like steam held some water.

Then I realized, what's to stop them from pushing digital downloads really hard now? Buy a disc? $60 DL? $45 or even $40 with no tax. Hell, make it even cheaper in a couple months but still sell the disc at full price to people who won't notice or care. Have your cake and eat it too, no one would be able to really legitimately blame them since they have an agenda, but are at least giving you a choice.

That's what they should be doing now. They should be fellating dev shops and pimping the same "they can't sell it!" Stuff to them.

I do however think that saying this decision wasn't based on the Internet backlash is disingenuous. There's no way it isn't. There was a backlash right when they announced it. This is 2013, companies pay attention to that shit. It feels nice to say "lol no one cares what you think whiny Internet teenagers" but this thing isn't even on sale yet and they backpedalled. I didn't even know it was available for preorder, and I doubt all that many other people did(or cared) either. I don't know anyone who preordered the PS4 as well, and I'm a really nerdy dude with a bunch of nerdy friends.

Everyone was just talking massive shit on this. It was one of those things that made the news enough(especially with the kinect stuff) that even my dad mentioned it to me when I saw him recently. There was a serious, legitimate media and gamer backlash against this. Preorders or not.

This is a lot more similar to that vice magazine retraction than it looks. Backpedalling triggered by Internet backlash. Expect to see this become more and more common.
posted by emptythought at 1:33 PM on June 20, 2013


There are rumors now that the family sharing plan was just going to be limited to 60 minutes per game, instead of the unlimited sharing with 10 people that was expected. After playing a shared game for 60 minutes, you would be directed to the market to unlock the full version.

I wish they hadn't done the 180 before they got to explain that one. The internet reaction would have been priceless.
posted by zixyer at 12:16 AM on June 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


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