Microsoft – F U, you win.

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As many already know, the Xbox One (Xbone) has been the hot topic as of late. If you haven’t already heard the news, Microsoft has given in to the pressure the internet (and funny enough, Sony at E3 last week).

  • 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.
  • No region restrictions – There will be no region restrictions that were previously announced.

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To me, if I was Microsoft and put all the work into it like they did I would kind of be just like this: . While there were somethings I don’t agree with, I think Microsoft has taken the right direction. As for me, I don’t know much about consoles anymore. Since the PS2 and Xbox days, I have been a PC whore. I love Steam. But, I am afraid Microsoft still got it wrong.

  1. Like steam, the have the offline mode and the online mode. If publishers are so bent on making sure that no one pirates their games, make it so that games must be registered with the console itself with an online connection before offline can be played for physical copies. Digitial copies should have no limitation once installed since well… it was downloaded? You can’t tell me that they cant hardware ID tag these things so that I can’t go to a friend and copy my hard drive either, because it isn’t that hard to program an UID for each console and bind the game install and make it useless if the UID doesn’t match. If there is a problem with a person’s Xbone, no problem. just rebind by putting your disk into your replacement or re-downloading your shit again.
  2. Trade in used games should be a given for any physical game. The disk should be like that. However, I think it should still work like steam does. You can have the -option- to fully install the game to the Xbone without having to rely on the disk anymore, however make it require you to authenticate the game every 24 hours or have the disk present.  Should you decide to sell your game and/or lend it to a friend, have a ‘De-authorize’ option available from anywhere the internet is available. Also offer a ‘check authorization’. Each physical copy of a game should come with a UID, or Serial Key, that identifies the copy and binds it to your Xbox account when you install the game. De-authorizing in this case removes this key from your account and thus no longer lets you play the game without the disk, freeing you the ability to sell or lend the game. For trade-ins at Gamestop it is just a simple matter of requiring you to prove that the disk is not bound to your account. You can give them a key or they can simply insert the disk into a computer or another xbone and find out if it is bound or not. If its not, they take it. If it is, they walk you through unbinding it.
    For those worried about buying a used game and finding out that it is bound, there needs to be a fail-safe for this case that can get you your games. That would be up to Microsoft to figure out, but it can’t be that hard if they figured out that it was a good idea to try and force always online down your throat.
  3. Region locking was a terrible idea and Microsoft should feel bad for even thinking that.
  4. Xbone will still be unique with the Kinect. That article above -if true- is very funny. I have to agree, why would Microsoft care what people are doing? And even if they did care, they certainly wouldn’t tell you about it. Microsoft knows plenty well that they cannot use it as a spying device without facing some harsh penalties. The Kinect should, however, ONLY be on when in use. It should not be a required part of the console unless the user wishes it to be. If the user WANTS to have their console, by all means let them. But it should be Optional to make hand gestures with my middle finger and the latest porn movie starts.

Yeah, it probably would take up a lot of the computing power of the Xbone to do this… But wait- You were already planning to use these options… So having the option to turn them off should -in turn- make the console run faster since when things are off they don’t have to be checked. right? And you cant tell me that a 32 byte string being checked to authenticate a disk is painful.

I am not sure which is worse. The publishers that try to force us to be online or the people who immediately start crying when their favorite game/system is being loaded with DRM. Instead of offering compromise, the DRM babies cry and whine that their favorite game is being ruined and the companies just kind of sit there and tell you to suck it up without offering anything back. I give credit to Microsoft for trying, but I think they are trying too hard and still keep missing the ball.

Whatever they do, I wonder why I wrote this article. I wont buy an Xbone either way. I wont buy a PS4 or a WiiU. I play all my games on the PC, where we have the -option- to play offline and online games at ANY TIME regardless of if I had internet 1 minute ago or last week. And where when I want to upgrade my system i can… *gasp* order a part online, open up my system and… plug … it… in. at anytime  without having to wait xx years for a new console.

What we really need is a miniaturized version of a PC. Make a super small sized common motherboard and start from there. Small box, small GPUs and the such. Come up with an OS or simply make it compatible with the likes of windows 7, or (laughs) make W8 into something useful or even come up with a Windows Mini, and have the install for a game manager or some kind of entertainment package. Make prefabricated ‘mini’ PCs that act just like consoles that you can flawless use as an entertainment box at a TV screen, able to use the Kinect, controller, and any other device you may want to hook up to it. Why is this so hard?