It’s been quite a few months since Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One to us, and since that time, quite a lot has changed. This has left gamers more confused then informed. Let’s take a quick look back at the past couple months and see exactly what happened to the Xbox One and what Microsoft has done to fix it.
May 21st will arguably be known as the darkest day in Microsoft’s history. On that day, Microsoft unveiled its brand new Xbox One, touting it as the ultimate home entertainment device. Microsoft showed off key features such as the ability to watch live TV through an HDMI-in connection, use the Kinect to control everything in your media center through use of an IR blaster, and being able to jump right in to any game and app seamlessly without losing any information… but there was a catch. The Xbox One had to be constantly connected to both the internet and the Kinect sensor to work. What wasn’t there to love? A lot, according to most gamers; immediately, the hate began to flow into Microsoft. Almost immediately after the announcement, competitor Sony’s stock skyrocketed as Microsoft’s dropped, and places like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, LevelSave, and anywhere and everywhere people came to discuss gaming had unanimously decided that the Xbox One was not the One for them. “Why can’t we unplug the Kinect?” many spouted, “What if my internet goes out? I can’t play my games?”, was another common complaint. Many had deemed the Xbox One a commercial failure hours after it was announced, and future did indeed look bleak for it, as most had decided the Xbox One was to be the Xbox None, until recently.
Microsoft has been proactively listening to everything that’s been said and trying to be active in the conversation with the loud majority of gamers that hated the Xbox One’s policies. The biggest change was the removal of the always online requirement that brought many of the Xbox One’s features together. By removing the online requirements, they were also forced to remove many of the game changing download features that came with them. This also changed the way used games would work on the Xbox One. While previously the buying and selling of games would no longer be possible without the retailer having special approval from Microsoft – something gamers were very against – the games were now brought back to their original state.
Gamers rejoiced. This change took away one of the biggest complaints gamers had with the Xbox One, but that wasn’t enough for some. The hate kept coming. The Kinect being constantly connected was seen as a gaping privacy hole, especially in light of the NSA scandal. So Microsoft took to making a fix, announcing that while they had no plans to sell the Xbox One without the Kinect, they would allow you to unplug it from the Xbox One console. Yet, now that the Kinect could be unplugged, how would gamers always use it as a mic? To fix this problem, Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb surprised us all by showing the inclusion of a chat microphone in his unboxing of the Xbox One. While this helped heal the gaming community’s broken heart, it still wasn’t enough. Microsoft had done most they could to fix what the world thought was wrong with the Xbox One, but it wasn’t until they fixed what was wrong with their current Xbox, the Xbox 360, that gamers truly accepted them back into their heart.
Many developers had begun to loathe the Xbox 360’s developer network, which charged upwards of $40,000 to publish simple updates the PlayStation 3 allowed for free. This also was proving a problem that would carry over to the Xbox One, which had already been losing developer support left and right. Microsoft announced, to much applaud, that they had dropped any and all fees that were associated with publishing on the Xbox Live Marketplace as well as introducing the ID@Xbox program which allowed accredited independent developers to be given a free Xbox One developer kit to publish games on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
For most gamers, this was more enough to win them back, yet only time will tell. Whether or not they’ve truly done enough will ultimately be revealed when both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hit the market on November 22nd.
What do you think? Were these changes enough to woo you back to the Xbox One? Are there still any problems that need resolving? What would you like to see from the Xbox One? Let us know in the comments.