from the about-face dept
Microsoft may have ditched its numbers as naming convention scheme for its consoles, but the company has been doing more one-eighties than a mildly talented snowboarder as of late. You may recall that when the Xbox One was debuted, Microsoft firmly stated that the console would require an always-on internet connection, would carry heavy restrictions on used and traded games, and would require the included Kinect to be functioning. Since that firm stance, Microsoft rolled back the internet requirement, eased up on their used games policy, and have now completed the backing-down-trifecta by removing the Kinect requirement as well.
Microsoft already stated that the Kinect doesn't have to be powered on, but at that time, it was still required to be plugged into the Xbox One. This, of course, remains a little nerve-racking. The paranoid among us suggest that the Kinect never actually shuts off, and Microsoft could spy on us in our undies. Speaking with IGN, Xbox vice president Marc Whitten confirmed that the Xbox One will no longer require the Kinect to be plugged into the console. Yes, another Xbox One reversal.On the one hand, yay, Microsoft is listening to their customers. On the other hand, whoever in the company thought these ideas were worth floating to the public in the first place deserves some significant time in the employment penalty box. Nothing about these endeavors was in the least bit customer-oriented and, when we're talking about any policy that restricts that lack of customer benefit is going to be a deal-breaker.
The end result is and should be a boon for Sony, who has gone out of their way to run something of a "Sure, we're Sony, but at least we're not Microsoft" campaign. Rolling these policies back may be the right thing to do, but it also serves to keep what Microsoft had originally wanted in the headlines, and that's going to turn customers towards competitors.