Microsoft Confirms Gamers' Fears Over Xbox One...gouge...gouge...gouge
There have been concerns about Xbox One since before we knew it was Xbox One. Gamers were worried about used game restrictions, online requirements, and privacy issues, and the community at large was furiously underwhelmed with Microsoft MSFT +2.06%‘s ability to answer those questions at the console reveal. Now the company has provided some answers and the gaming community is finding many of its fears confirmed.
The tech giant posted a slew of information about the Xbox One on Thursday evening. It confirmed that the console will need to be connected to the internet once every 24 hours in order to function, making life very difficult for gamers with an unstable internet connection, and near-impossible for most soldiers. There will be restrictions on how you can loan games, and while you can still give games to your friends, each game can only be given once. Used games can be sold at retail stores only with the publisher’s permission.
We also learned that you can share games with your Xbox “family” of up to ten people, which is actually kind of cool. We also learned that the Kinect camera can be turned off, so it’s not as creepy as it could have been.
For right now, I’m not sure if Microsoft’s position with the hardcore gamer market can be salvaged. Sony is already highly favored with that crowd, and now all it has to do is be slightly less tone-deaf to cement its lead. I imagine that we’ll probably hear about similar used games restrictions — that feels like a publisher-led initiative to me, but it would be very difficult for Sony to damage the lead it has with hardcore gamers at this point.
We’ve still got a lot of time yet before launch day. Microsoft may be trying to get all of this bad news out of the way at once, in order to get gamers excited about software at E3. Judging from the consistent reaction to every piece of news about the Xbox, it’s a tall, tall order. In the fall, we’ll find out if Microsoft can sell a games console while alienating a core consumer base. I don’t know that it’s impossible, but it won’t be easy.