Xbox One Sales Lag PS4 As Microsoft Slowly Figures Out You Can't Tell Gamers What They're Supposed To Want

from the It's-innovative-because-I-say-so dept

Microsoft's Xbox One console (now affectionately referred to as the "Xbone") obviously had a rocky start, with the company having to back away from some of their more obnoxious DRM ambitions (and admittedly a smattering of actually interesting ideas) in response to user backlash. That effectively gave them public perception issues right out of the gate as the next-generation console wars got underway. That allowed Sony to enjoy a stretch of great press simply for giving consumers what they actually wanted and they had assumed was baseline functionality (like oh, the ability to still rent games).

Unsurprisingly, the latest data from the NPD Group suggests Microsoft's stumbles have contributed to Sony selling twice as many PlayStation 4 consoles during the month of January. That's despite some PS4 supply constraints in North America, and the fact that Sony's console has yet to even launch in their home country of Japan. As any good fanboy worth their salt will tell you, it's far too early to read too much into these results. Still, there's numerous obvious lessons here that still somehow haven't penetrated the somewhat thick, public perception shell known to ensconce the Redmond giant.

Microsoft could probably obliterate much of Sony's lead by simply cutting the price by $100 to match the $400 PS4. That, however, would require lopping off the gimmicky head known as their Kinect motion-sensing attachment, something Microsoft seems insistent on believing everybody still finds immensely innovative. Except the lion's share of gamers (there's always exceptions) grew bored with the concept of full-body game controls somewhere in late 2010 (or about two days after it was released). There's also the fact that the new-but-still-gimmicky Kinect 2.0 still just doesn't work very well for many people:
"The Kinect for the Xbox One is a sophisticated, expensive piece of equipment that adds very little to the act of playing games. I'm able to get voice commands to work around 80 percent of the time, but my wife and children have much worse luck...The system is still new, but every Xbox One owner now has a peripheral that has little reason to exist, aids their gaming in very few real ways and costs them a significant amount of money."
You can assume Microsoft will figure this out and offer an Xbox One without a bundled Kinect -- about seventy meetings, four-thousand internal e-mails, and one year from now.

Another stumble came because while Microsoft wanted the console to be the innovative heart of the television experience, the company lacked the courage or aptitude to make that actually happen. Fundamental technologies required by the audiophile set were oddly excluded, like HDMI 5.1 pass through. Microsoft also sacrificed functionality for control; omitting features available in the last generation of consoles like DLNA streaming and MP3 playback capabilities (one can only assume with the purpose of driving users away from piracy or competing services and toward Microsoft and Microsoft partner content). The Roku 3 does significantly more things on the video and music front arguably better, and it's around $90 and the size of a bloated hockey puck.

While many of these issues can be fixed or improved upon with software updates, Microsoft may not have the aptitude to course-correct their biggest stumble: the decision to hitch their shiny, sleek, new, black spacecraft to the innovatively-skittish donkey known as the traditional cable industry.

As with the Xbox 360, Microsoft seems intent on embracing the cable industry's "TV Everywhere" mentality, where the lion's share of your viewing options only work if you subscribe to a particular company's cable or broadband services (sometimes both are required). Cable executives and Microsoft think hamstringing a powerful game console into being a less functional cable box with a fractured viewing experience is the height of innovation. While Microsoft has been tinkering with original content, if the company was truly interested in embracing next-generation options they would have followed Roku's successful lead and embraced a much broader array of "channels" and services appealing to cord cutters -- like Plex.

The PlayStation 4 isn't exempt from criticism, given it too can't play MP3s and lacks DLNA streaming support also courtesy of anti-piracy myopia, but at least it's a console that appears to understand what it is, and Sony's intentions aren't buried under quite as many layers of assumptions and demands as to what consumers are supposed to desire. These consoles have an immensely-long life cycle and an ocean of updates will change them immeasurably over the next decade for better or worse; I have no doubt Microsoft can manage to keep the Xbox One in the contention if not beyond (competition is useful like that). But Microsoft would certainly take things a long way if they would stop telling consumers want they're supposed to want -- and actually deliver what consumers want.



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  1.  
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    Violynne (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 3:41am

    I was lucky as my console price wasn't near retail (nearly $200 off), so with the offer, I couldn't let it pass.

    The UI is horrid, even after the update. One is greeted with either a bookmark history of everything they looked at, ads, or ridiculous apps which, if you don't use, just clog the visual interface.

    Want to know what game is in the disk tray? Scoot those eyeballs to the lower right, near center, of the UI mess, about where existing ads are on the 360.

    Microsoft is "promising" a better update in March, but I'll believe it when I see it.

    As for Kinect, I "disabled" the camera (duct tape - it's ugly, but it works) and rarely use the voice activated commands.

    Ironically, I just bought a new Ford Escape, which also has voice activated commands. The girl... she's in both places! :O

    Anyway, I agree Microsoft blew it with its launch, especially since PR and engineers come from different worlds, but the most truly heinous lie they gave to potential customers: the HDMI-In is not a pass through! You have to use their ridiculously stupid, slow-moving, useless app.

    So if you have no more HDMI ports on your TV folks, buy an HDMI switcher, because you're going to need one (or do what I do and swap them out).

    Microsoft blew it.

    Even still, the console is nice. Can't disagree there.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:28am

    So let's see...the Xbone is the weaker of the two consoles (I've heard plenty of stories of Xbone games running at less than 1080p, which is the bare minimum modern games should be played at in the year 2014), still doesn't allow Twitch streaming, you can't use the One Kinect to voice chat with 360 Kinect users (if you can now, please correct me), you're forced to buy an add-on device that most people don't want and will never use and the console costs a lot more than the competition.
    So tell me again why anyone would say "Ya know, the Xbone is the greater value for money!"?

    FYI, I have neither the One or the PS4.

     

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    S. T. Stone, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:32am

    Well, on the bright side, neither Sony nor Microsoft find themselves in Nintendo's third-place position — and that must give the higher ups in Redmond some comfort.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    If I ever buy any of the new gen consoles it will be a PS4. That's a huge if. I've got enough entertainment from old games and consoles (including the last gen) and honestly, there's not enough appeal to upgrade.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:41am

    Re:

    WiiU seems to me a half-assed job and a M$-style failure by conflating tablets and consoles. At least from my readings and testings (I barely played tbh) this "tablet controller" is a deal-breaker. And the console horse power again lags behind the competition.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:48am

    I suppose both Sony and Microsoft would sell shitloads more if they were less worried about piracy and more worried about giving the customers a good experiences. Take Sony for an example. They have a goddamn titanic array of games available for the Playstation family. And no I'm not talking about porting games, I'm talking about running games from the previous consoles. Add PSX, PS2 and PS3 (ans possibly psp, psvita etc) support and BOOOM you have more entertainment than one can possible consume in a lifetime. Better yet, make the PSX and PS2 games free to play (as in, let the console run copies from the internet) as the games have made their money already. Suddenly I'd pay $2k for such console. Because it's damn worth it. Same with Nintendo (nes, super nes, n64, cube and Wii possibly along with the portables) and Microsoft (though tbh Microsoft would see less benefit as they still don't have that many games).

    There are plenty of possibilities here. Charge a small monthly fee (say Netflix like) for full access for all online catalog of games and add a small fee to make the copy permanent on the account and possibly offer a physical media if needed. There is so much money being left on the table that it baffles me.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:51am

    Re:

    "Better yet, make the PSX and PS2 games free to play (as in, let the console run copies from the internet)"

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but game streaming over the Internet hasn't exactly been a stellar success so far, what with the slow speeds of the average Internet connection and having to take latency into account.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:00am

    Re:

    or you could just buy a computer, do all of that. You can even spend 2k on it if you want, hook it up to a tv, use an xbox or ps4 controller. BAM instant console that does everything you want without a subscription fee that runs games better and isn't locked down.

    Sorry, I'm being "that guy" and I realize that. These consoles just seem like a huge, user-unfriendly waste of money.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re:

    ...Which is Ninja's point - the consoles are demanding that you use them as AIO boxes (with the exception of the WiiU, which is a poor console, sadly).

     

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    any moose cow word, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:15am

    So, if you're looking to play your legally purchased MP3s, you must be a pirate? How do they expect people to play music on the new consoles, by swapping overpriced easily-scratched CDs? Or perhaps they're planning a turntable attachment. You know, for those who are trapped in a past decade, like the rest of the media industry.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Re:

    I think they'd prefer that you to re-buy the music just for the console.

     

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    Michael Becker (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:35am

    console use

    As someone who has all 3 next gen consoles, I find that currently the Xbox One actually gets the most use, but by far mostly for media. The HDMI pass through does work with 5.1 for most people, you just have to enable it as its still technically a "beta" feature since they can't yet ensure 100% compatibility with all cable boxes. If you have a larger Cable provider (Comcast, Cox, Time Warner et al) you should be fine.

    Right now the biggest issue is the lack of solid games all around, but each console does have great things coming. The Xbox's 100 dollar premium is high, but positioning themselves inbetween your TV and Cable box was genius really. No matter what I'm doing on my TV, the Xbox is always the first thing turned on, as it then turns on my receiver and TV, so they're ensuring they make their platform the simplest to access.

    Also, the reason Kinect is required is specifically because of the media offerings. The IR blasting is done using the Kinect sensor so you don't have to use those old school little dongles running the IR sensor of each device you want to control. It emits the IR signal out the Kinect which then bounces the signal around the room and the devices then pick up the signals and activate. They really should do a better job explaining this to people.

    Overall, I'd say currently if you're a cable TV subscriber Xbox One is the winner if you're into media, tv and some gaming. If you are strictly into gaming then go PS4, as it is slightly more powerful with games running a bit higher res on it.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:37am

    Re:

    Oh there is a way to listen to your mp3s while playing the modern consoles. It's fucking stupid, but it works.
    You get a USB powered headset that also includes a 3.5mm jack (such as my Turtle Beach PX21) and a USB powered DAC with optical input (such as the Turtle Beach DSS2). You plug the headset's USB into your computer, set the PC's default audio device as the USB headset. You plug the headset's 3.5mm jack into the DAC, and connect the DAC via both USB and optical into your console.
    It's incredibly redundant, since you're using two separate machines to do what should be done using one, it's a mess to set up and you're now paying for electricity for two machines, but it works.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:43am

    Re: console use

    I do have to disagree with your assertion that the Xbox One is great for media and TV, in that you should never market your device as doing something that you already have a device for and say you will need the original device anyway. I don't have cable, probably never will, but if I did, I wouldn't really care much for the One's HDMI passthrough. If I wanted to watch TV, I could just turn off the Xbox (and save on electricity), and change the channel. Not a big deal for me. The cable box already does what you want it to, why plug it into something else?

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:00am

    This isn't really new with Microsoft. It took MS a long time to add native support for MP3s into Windows.

    And remember back when you could finally rip CDs with Windows Media Player? It "protected" the files by default. And "protected" didn't mean they were protected from deletion. They were protected from being copied. So even if you backed them up on a second computer, they could not be played on the second computer. They could not be played with all digital music players. And if your PC crashed and you had to reinstall Windows, all of your music could be unplayable.

    Heck, to this day when I'm playing MP3s in Media Center (ripped from my own CDs or bought from Amazon), it gives me the option to purchase those very same songs. Why the frick would I want to purchase songs I already own?!

    I could go on and on, but Microsoft has always placed its customers second when it comes to corporate interests.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:02am

    I sold my 360 in protest during the PR fiasco of "get a better internet connection."
    I'm not totally boycotting Microsoft, but I won't be buying another MS game console.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:08am

    Kinect is a very useful accessory

    I heard that the Kinect is a very useful accessory, one that every home should have, according to the NSA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:21am

    I bet the staff at Microsoft was thinking "Hey, you know how gamers sit in front of TVs while playing video games? Well why don't we combined the two? There's no way this idea can backfire on us :D"

     

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  19.  
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    richardjarrell (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Re:

    The systems 1080 issue isn't a hardware problem it is a development problem. It's apparently a pain to do 1080p even though the machine can handle it. The PS4 isn't free from frame rate issues on its games that hit 1080p either.

    http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/news/a550445/rebellion-xbox-one-1080p-issues-can-be-fixed.ht ml

    The XO and 360 cannot cross communicate with voice but I'm pretty sure the PS4 and PS3 cannot. I believe it was announced they could but there was a problem and the feature isn't there (yet).

    I myself get a ton of use out of Kinect. I personally am glad it was included because I think it will lead to more developers putting the time into Kinect features in games (as long as they are not a hindrance and forced on you). Even though I personally am glad it was in there I do not agree with them including it because it does seem a lot of people either truly don't want it or it was more ammo to complain about something they had no intent on buying anyway. With the Kinect not being required like it once was I believe they will release a Kinectless system for cheaper and the Kinect separately, though I am sure buying both boxes would be more expensive than buying the "bundle" as it would become.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:26am

    You forget that even if they match PS4's price without the Kinect, the PS4 is still 50 percent faster for the same money. So unless Microsoft can find a way to make their console cost $250 (a fair price for its performance), then it will remain the overpriced set top box that can't even play games in 1080p.

     

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  21.  
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    richardjarrell (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:27am

    Re: Re:

    I just finished Wind Waker on the Wii U and after using the controller a bit it is surprisingly comfortable and the game made sure the tablet was useful and not pointlessly forced on you like a lot of other Nintendo gimmicks.

    The tech is behind though. Instead of having a year jump on the 8th generation like Nintendo claimed they are really just eight years behind on the 7th.

     

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    Elie, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:41am

    Not a game machine

    As far as I could tell, the xBox One was designed to be a Media machine that happens to play games. The problem was, I wanted a game machine, and if I wanted these other "features" to work, I had to pay an additional $60 a year to use them. As someone who prefers single-player games and is a cord-cutter with a Mac Mini to provide him with TV, it just did not make any sense to me. I'll probably get a PS4, due to their emphasis on gaming, but, as someone who has had all consoles for over the last 20 years, I think, as I am doing with Nintendo these days, I will be giving the xBox a pass.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:47am

    Re: console use

    Skype over the Kinect is pretty good too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:00am

    The Kinect has been proven to be very useful in almost all phases of scientific research, used by explorers, used in sports, hell, even the North Koreans are using it for their border security, (I won't comment on the NSA). But for chrissake! For the sake of the CHILDREN! Leave the gamers alone!!! WE KNOW WHAT WE WANT! WE'LL PAY TO GET IT. WE'LL HACK TO ACHIEVE IT. WE'LL EXPLOIT OUR WAY TO USE IT.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re:

    it is not just programming, the GPU is anemic (about a third less power then the PS4) and the memory bandwith just isn't there. Also the embedded Dram is not only hard to program for, it is too small as well.

    They will be able to squeeze some more out of the console in time, but it will be surpassed by the PS4 even then.

    And while this is going on for the next years the PC is still being hampered by consoles because this time they don't even remotely catch up to low end gaming PCs, unlike before.

     

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    CommonSense (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:27am

    Re: Kinect is a very useful accessory

    haha, I came here to say something just like this.. It wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft has some US government spy kick-back for trying to get kinect into as many homes as possible. I've never really trusted Microsoft as a company to do anything in my best interest, and they have given me no reasons to start, and many reasons stay away.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re:

    Nah, streaming games is not feasible. At least not in a "playable" way. I mean download the copy to the local storage and run it (including "pirated" ones as the "profits" have already been made).

     

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The question is, as smooth as it is, you have to take your eyes off the screen into a smaller, useless one that needs to be recharged every once in a while (granted wireless controllers need a charge but less often and buying a spare controller that isn't a tablet for those times isn't nearly as expensive). Maybe they will find a better use to the tablet controller but I'm highly skeptical for very practical reasons. Dreamcast tried this gimmick and the only benefit was being annoying and using those tiny batteries a lot (read: no benefit at all).

     

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:03am

    Re: Re:

    I would agree with you if the consoles were not practical for being smaller than a good computer and just as fast due to the dedicated environment. I am hoping Valve OS succeeds exactly because of it. It'll be a quite disruption to the console market especially if motion sensors and special controllers are added (or simply PS4/Xbone controllers compatibility including, say, Knect). For me the consoles have a huge edge over the PC when I need mobility. I'm constantly moving my consoles around.

    If that scenario comes to reality there will still be the fact that major titles will still be under tight grip of the big console makers. But then it'll be a question of time till the hardware is split from the software and consoles will be actually built from scratch just like current computers. I like the idea, honestly.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re:

    The support should be there so even if it works he still has a point. Maybe this will be the shot in the foot when stuff like Valve OS dedicated environment hit at full blown might at the petty console walled gardens. Still such new setup will have its own issues too.. But will add competition.

     

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  31.  
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    Goldy, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:12am

    Re: That will change

    People are starting to realize how useless and intrusive the xbox one is. Soon Microsoft will find its xbone in third place. It is bleeding them 2 billion yearly and hopefully this will be the begging of their demise.

     

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    CK20XX (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:15am

    This will mark the 3rd consecutive generation that Microsoft has failed to topple Sony. The Xbox never came close to challenging the PS2 while the Xbox 360 initially seemed like it would beat out the PS3, but then Microsoft got complacent. In the end, they just opened up a sea of demand that was devoured by the ravenously hungry Sony.

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re:

    This is exactly what I did. I had thousand of dollars of PS3 games. It was a total f*ck up to not make either console backwards compatible. What ties me to the PS4 if all my games are worthless? So I got a top of the line computer, and now I can use it to watch Youtube and movies (without clunky interfaces and DRM restrictions like Cinavia). Steam is a dream to use, games are insanely cheap, and I can download mods for all my games and make them new again.

    I will never go back to consoles. Many are like me.

     

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    Megahurtz, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:36am

    Re:

    Actually, I'm not even sure audio CDs work on both consoles. I know I read they don't play on one of them, but it could be both ditched CDs.

    As to how they want you to listen to music... By subscribing to Xbox Music/Sony Music Unlimited of course! Don't worry, their subscription based music services work right out of the box!

     

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    PaulT (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:38am

    Re:

    I understand what's you're saying, but it's a different issue in a few ways.

    The lack of native MP3 support in earlier versions of Windows was largely down to 2 things - licensing and fear of piracy liability. For the former, look no further than Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#patent. Microsoft didn't want to pay the license for every copy of Windows, just as they didn't want to pay the licence for the DVD capability to be built in either.

    Then, there's of course the issue of being targeted for pirated music. The versions you're talking about were a highly sensitive time, especially once MS decided to get into licensing and selling digital music through its own stores (read: they wanted to make the money off DRM, up until they failed miserably of course). Letting people play back MP3s could enable people to play back pirated music and therefore cut into someone's profits. The idiocy they introduced into Media Player's ripping capabilities was only one further bow down to the record labels' backward thinking at the time before they were forced to admit that DRM was unworkable on purchased music (for now at least, I have no doubt they're try again if someone foolish enough got in charge).

    Now, it's a different argument. Not only is the patent battle mostly won and fully legal mainstream MP3 store commonplace, but I believe the patent battle won as well. On top of that, it was a capability that was in the previous XBox by default, which has now apparently been removed. This isn't MS not wishing to place themselves in trouble to allow people to play their music, this is them deliberately removing that capability. A different argument altogether.

    "Why the frick would I want to purchase songs I already own?!"

    Short answer? Because you didn't buy it from *them*, so according to one interpretation of the rules they agreed with the record labels you must surely be a pirate. The fact that you still have the issues you describe is a very good indication as to why MS - and all DRM on music - failed miserably in their attempts to force that crap onto legal customers.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just in case you don't know, there is a very legitimate reason why the PS4/Xbone aren't backwards compatible.
    Cost.
    To get PS3 games working on the 4, you would need either the exact same components from the 3 (meaning the CELL processor) or crank up the 4's own APU so that it can properly emulate the 3 at a fast enough frame rate. Even if we had C/APUs capable of doing that sort of emulation (we actually don't, not yet), putting hardware that powerful into the new generation of consoles would have increased the price of the consoles by quite a bit.
    Does it suck that there is no backwards compatibility? Yes. Do you and I want it? Yes. Does it make sense to complain that Microsoft/Sony made a dumb decision? No, since they didn't. Adding in the BC would only have raised the cost of the consoles.

     

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    richardjarrell (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wind Waker uses the tablet to essentially manage and view what you have to pause the game to see otherwise. This became useful for navigating a map or swapping inventory/equipment quickly.
    That being said until Wind Waker I did not feel like any game has done a good job of using the tablet. It is especially annoying when a game pauses itself and displays "Look at the GamePad". If you are freezing the game then you are pulling me out of it to look at my controller.
    The battery life in the tablet is not good. If I was playing for an extended session I would have to put the tablet on the cradle and switch to the regular controller. When doing this I actually missed what the tablet offered.
    I think the GamePad has potentiality. Unfortunately cross platform games won't make good use of it and console exclusives will force it into the game awkwardly.
    My issue with Nintendo has always been "stop making me use your console gimmicks when basic controls makes more sense".

     

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    Dirk Belligerent (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 10:47am

    Where Microsoft has screwed the pooch with the XBone and Windows 8 is that they took a look at Apple's arrogant "You vill take zeese changes up your poopers and you will likes them!!!" attitude and decided they wanted in on that bully action, forgetting that Apple gets away with it because they're Apple and their customers are morons buying status toys.

    Windows 8 has been stumbling around for 1-1/2 years because no one wants to allow a checkbox labeled "Use Classic interface." There is little wrong under the hood with Win8, but their intransigence insisting on Metro is killing them. Apple's craptacular Launch Pad - because I wanted the broken iOS UI jammed onto my MBP - sucks and there's no simple way to ditch it and Apple are dicks about it, but why does M$ need to emulate Apple's anti-user behavior. They'd probably look at Chris Brown and think, "We want to beat up Rihanna, too," not, "We need to free that poor girl from that brute and show her sweet love."

    I have marveled at Microsoft's utter botching of every. Single. Step. of the XBone's rollout for the past year. From not understanding the backlash over Adam Orth's rude comments to staggering from one position to another regarding used games/sharing/DRM to having game dev after game dev put out titles which run slower, at lower resolution and quality, than the PS4 versions. Considering they're basically the same hardware - an x86 PC with 8GB RAM and a burly CPU/GPU core - the little differences in what Sony spec'ed are killing M$ as the PS4 is $100 cheaper and does games better. M$ basically adopted the stance that killed Sony for most of the past gen and are now wondering why they're trailing so badly.

    As a proud member of the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race with an Xbox 360 and PS3 and a backlog of games so massive that I've joked that I wouldn't even be in the market for a new console until it's had two price cuts and a redesign, the next-gen holds almost zero interest for me. Most of the games being touted as showcases for next-gen like Watch Dogs will be on PC and thus really inexpensive within a few months of release. It's bizarre how the console makers want to sell us the One Box to bind our home theaters together and then gimp the snot out of them, whether it's demanding XBL Gold to stream Netflix or refusing to take feeds from DLNA devices. WTFF?!? (I thought the PS3 was bad in not being able to see video files on a disc unless they were literally in a folder called "Video.")

    Now that Chromecast is open to outside devs, I'm able to use my phone to toss DLNA content from my NAS to the TV instead of having to fire up a console. If Amazon wasn't anti-Android with their Prime Video, I wouldn't even need to boot the PS3 to watch that.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 10:47am

    PS4 is more powerful. It can play games at 1080p resolution, while Xbone plays the same games at 720p. I suppose that's what happens when money for the graphics is diverted into Kinect 2.0.

     

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  40.  
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    OPXYZ, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 11:16am

    I bought an Xbone just on loyalty because I always go MS. I was fine with that decision until the Xbone. The thing truly is garbage. There are amazingly basic features that were standard last gen just completely missing. They just a week ago made it possible to view how much space is free on your hard drive. Everything is a complete step backwards. Even the UI looks like it was thrown together by a bunch of 6th graders with down syndrome. Don't even get me started on the completely worthless kinect. It adds absolutely nothing to the gaming experience or the experience of the X1, all it adds is $100 in MS greedy fucking pockets while it sits unplugged gathering dust and cobwebs in the corner of my room. This is all from a true lifelong MS fan as well, I even enjoyed the Zune and currently own a WP, if you don't hold a pro MS bias like me don't even contemplate buying the X1. It is hand down no contest the sub par system by a mile.

     

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  41.  
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    Nick (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 11:20am

    What irks me the most about current Xbone defenders, is that they are angry that people got the always-online retail-discs-are-coasters part of the Xbox. That it had to phone home every 24 hours in order to "allow" us to play the games we bought and (had to) put on our hard drive.

    Once Microsoft rolled that back, they all complained that it set back digital distribution another decade. As if Microsoft now can't implement Xbox-Live-connected-only single player digital downloads to your hard drive on its own. As if the ability to play a game with no internet enabled by simply putting in a disk would prevent download games from being possible.

    It is still possible to allow the 1984-ish big brother distopia that they want if they only buy games digitally. And those that don't want online play can still use their disks bought in a real store if they want to as well.

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    even worse. for all I know there isn't even any hardware available that is capable of emulating either xbox 360 or PS3 (that one is even worse)at anything resembling useful speeds. just not enough performance. I would try again in about 5-10 years.

     

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  43.  
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    The one, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 12:16pm

    Re: console use

    Oh right and it does such a good job of that, and the voice commands are so great that they don't need a remote.... But oh wait they are putting out a remote

     

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  44.  
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    s7, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    Never owned a PS3, or a BluRay player but I did have a XBOX 360.

    I side-graded this generation. Bought a PS3 for the exclusive games I missed during the last generation, and got a BluRay player to boot. $200 with 2 games.

    Benefit, the used game market for PS3, and 360 games is HUGE right now as everyone dumps their last gen games to buy this gen games.

     

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    crade (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    "I even enjoyed the Zune"
    How do expect anyone to believe a word you say after this!

     

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  46.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 1:15pm

    Re:

    Digital distribution on PC may be a castle made of sand but on consoles it's made of ice and 40 degrees out.

     

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  47.  
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    Jake, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 1:22pm

    I normally find this "PC Master Race" bullshit and all its associated intellectual snobbery really irritating, and I say that as someone who hasn't owned a console for almost ten years. But for once I think we've actually got a right to feel a little bit smug.

     

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  48.  
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    mikey4001 (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    Oh, man. I thought I was the only one in the world that uses a Zune. I actually once thought about getting Windows Phone because of how much I liked my Zune. Fortunately, Microsoft came at me so hard and fast with their unique brand of putting uninviting things into unwelcoming places of unsuspecting customers that I was ultimately able to withstand the temptation.

    I'll never buy another piece of hardware from Microsoft. Not even Sony can F you in the A as bad as Microsoft, and Sony's been perfecting the science for decades. Microsoft has simply transcended the science of user abuse, and turned it into a form of performance art that is both captivating and terrible to witness. The graceful savagery of the XBone rollout has been so entertaining that only a Marlin Perkins voiceover could make it better.

     

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  49.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    If the hardware makes it hard to develop for 1080p, thats a hardware issue not a development issue.

     

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  50.  
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    crade (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Are you kidding me? I got a zune as a prize and I couldn't for the life of me get past microsoft's DRM even just to get files onto the damn thing.. How complicated does it have to be to load an mp3 file on a mp3 player? The fact that I don't run windows made it basically a paperweight and I ended up giving it away unused.

     

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  51.  
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    Even More CommonSense, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: Kinect is a very useful accessory

    You've heard of PRISM, right? Microsoft was the first business to jump on board (some would say enthusiastically) when the NSA came along, asking those in the tech sector for their support. This is why some of the things Microsoft announced regarding their upcoming Xbox One at the time weren't all that big of a surprise to me.

    The Kinect 2.0 hardware, which included a number of abilities those in the spy business have no doubt drooled over, were NOT optional; the Xbox One would not function at all if the Kinect device wasn't connected, even if it wasn't needed for anything. This was one of the biggest reasons I was very disappointed, seeing as I've owned an Xbox 360 since 2006, love it, and had been looking forward to next gen for quite some time by that point. I planned on buying whatever they released no matter the price tag, right up until their announcement. And sure, they've done a 180 turn on a lot of that bad stuff, but for me this still hasn't been enough now that we've been given a glimpse into their thoughts on where they wish to take us gamers.

    Some folks like to revise history and claim it was the Playstation fans whom were being all negative and vocal about the Xbox One, but I guarantee it was the Xbox fans making the most fuss. I was one of them. What really saddened me after Microsofts 180 though is how quickly gamers forgave them. I wonder just how good sales for the Xbox One would be right now if they had chosen to stay the course they'd originally set.

    And as if the forced Kinect usage wasn't bad (or suspicious) enough, there were all the other things too. A big one was the outright attack on the used games market and the means through which they planned on doing it. All games requiring activation, along with an always on, always connected, all seeing eye pretty much (in the form of an internet connection) focused squarely on console owners? No thank you! I expect they'll continue to push this one and just go about it differently until it sticks. I tend to buy the vast majority of my games brand new (vast being an apt word to use in my case), so the whole activation fee for used games they'd be able to enforce wouldn't really affect me. It's not just the big corporations, for whom selling used titles is a large part of their business model, who would be negatively impacted. No, it's all the little mom and pop stores as well. There are a ton of them out there and it's bad enough the ability to rent out the usual forms of audio visual entertainment has been throughly compromised in recent years, but the loss in terms of selling used stuff? That would bankrupt the vast majority of them I think, bringing us all closer to a monopoly dominated by the big three; Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. This is very bad for not only we gamers, but all consumers really. The mom and pop stores are run by good people in most cases and they don't deserve to have their livelihood ripped out from under them like that by heartless, soulless, multi-billion dollar corporations.

     

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  52.  
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    the truth, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 6:25pm

    bye bye consoles!

    They were never any good anyways!

     

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    KenLuskin (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:12pm

    $100 off Xbox 1 in exchange for PS3 or Xbox360

    >>>"Microsoft could probably obliterate much of Sony's lead by simply cutting the price by $100 to match the $400 PS4."

     

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  54.  
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    WulfTheSaxon (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:20pm

    Re:

    Pet peeve of mine: The original PlayStation is supposed to be abbreviated PS1 (although “Play Station X” was the internal codename back when Sony was working it as an SNES add-on). The PSX was a PS2/DVR hybrid sold in Japan (a bit like the Panasonic Q GameCube/DVD player hybrid).

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:27pm

    I have a PS4 in the house, I simply didn't even consider the XBone because of it's price and the Kinect like the story supposed. At the same the the PS4 is pissing me off... no DLNA, no MP3 and this is the real kicker... the old standard bluetooth devices that worked on PS3 no longer work on PS4... including Sony branded devices! WTF!? We are regressing here! Also, we have no killer must have exclusive game... at least the bone has Titalfall.

    I think all early adopters of either console are just plain getting the shaft.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 8:28pm

    Re:

    Oh yeah... no YouTube app on PS4. dafuq?

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 9:16pm

    Re:

    Umm, yeah, why exactly would you drop half a grand on a console, without any real games to play on it?

    If 'early adopters are getting the shaft'(and I certainly wouldn't argue otherwise), it seems to be well deserved, since they're buying the console(s) on nothing more than potential, where it might get some games you really want in the future, and in the meantime it just duplicates the function of other tech you've likely already got around the house.

    For consoles, I say wait a few years, both for a decent game library to shape up, and for them to deal with any technological problems that may pop up that requires a serious fix('Red ring of death' anyone?). You've also got the benefit that after a few years the price will likely have dropped a few times, so it won't be such an insanely large purchase.

     

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  58.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 2:05am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "For me the consoles have a huge edge over the PC when I need mobility. I'm constantly moving my consoles around."

    My $470(after tax) laptop has 8GB of RAM with a 1 GB graphics card(you can use the on-board graphics at same time for a total of 2GB of VRAM). That leaves you with about $1 500 to upgrade the graphics card or to just buy a better laptop to start with. I also have a carrying case that seems like it was made for it.

     

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  59.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 2:16am

    All the money people are throwing at Sony gives me great confidence in the hope and change we all wish for./s

     

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  60.  
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    Chris Miller, Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 4:39am

    Response to: Ninja on Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:48am

    PlayStation Now launches this summer. PS2 and PS1 emulators are on the way to PS4. PlayStation Plus gives PS3 users free AAA titles every month and will do the same for PS4 users once some of the PS4 AAA titles have been out for 10 months to a year. No need to spend more than $399 on a console. Last month, one of the free games for PS3 was Bioshock Infinite, a 2013 game of the year for many people.

     

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  61.  
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    LogicalTech, Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 4:48am

    Re: console use

    I liked most of what you said, but the PS4 is significantly more powerful, not slightly, and the gaming performance gap is a big one. Not my opinion, fact.

     

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    cimerians (profile), Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 5:59am

    You forgot a few more mistakes

    You forgot these:

    - The absurd Gold requirement to use things that are otherwise free. If not for Sony there would no Games for Gold.

    - The GPU architecture. Is it really a problem? Either way it makes Sony's console way more attractive to customers AND developers.

    Finally this: If you have a solid PC your not missing anything especially if you also have a PS4. Exclusivity is mostly a thing of the past for them.

    In other words. It's not worth it.

     

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  63.  
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    Sheogorath (profile), Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 6:42am

    I foresaw this

    Did you know that I predicted low sales volume for the Xbone last year? It wasn't long afterwards that Micro$##t announced their console wouldn't ship with Digital Restrictions Malware.

     

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  64.  
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    Josh (profile), Feb 22nd, 2014 @ 8:28pm

    You know, I was all set and ready to buy an Xbox One, but now I'm not so sure...

     

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  65.  
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    Robert Murdoch, Feb 23rd, 2014 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: zune

    I agree with him.... The Zune HD, when it came out, cost me under $300 for better video, better audio, and better pictures, all with a 64k storage that I still use. The PC software was gorgeous compared to ITunes. The downside was the DRM loaded music videos that would occasionally lock up during playback forcing you to delete and reload them. Now, thanks to them slamming through a 48 hour expiration in August 2012, you can't reload them. That was the only negative, and I still use the Zune as my primary listening device for music as my IPhone is constantly running out if space.

     

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  66.  
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    Miles Thompson, Feb 23rd, 2014 @ 10:54am

    If you want to play music on your XboxOne while playing a game just snap Internet Explorer run Panfora or Youtube and you're good to go. Yes it takes up space on your screen but hey its something.

     

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  67.  
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    qyiet, Feb 23rd, 2014 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: console use

    Because choice is a bad thing?

     

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  68.  
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    Eldakka (profile), Feb 23rd, 2014 @ 4:08pm

    Re:

    the old standard bluetooth devices that worked on PS3 no longer work on PS4... including Sony branded devices!


    Of course they don't, how else would they get you to buy new devices?

     

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  69.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 24th, 2014 @ 1:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Now that makes sense. Have an inventory and status screen without having to pause the game could be very useful indeed. I'm thinking RPG here. Suppose you have detailed info on status changes during fights (poison, sleep etc) and quick access to items for removal along with equipment change, upgrade and so on. Yeah, there are uses for it but you said again, the battery life sucks, the regular controller is simpler and most games will simply do it wrong without an opt-out. They could have enriched the gaming experience by actually connecting onto regular tablets as an optional perk that does not substitute ingame stuff. I"d surely accept the RPG solution I described early (specially for boss fights that require more brains).

    All that is irrelevant (from my point of view) though since I'm not buying this console hahaha. If I ever buy a next gen console it will be the PS4. In like 3 or 4 years from now.

     

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  70.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 24th, 2014 @ 1:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Agreed. I bought one power notebook too. Still doesn't deliver the experience when I'm in a group (which is the main reason I move my console around). PCs are not quite there yet but I believe they will be very soon!

     

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  71.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 24th, 2014 @ 1:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Adding in the BC would only have raised the cost of the consoles.

    And the availability of games thus making it worth the extra cash. And while you may be right for PS3 games any lousy computer can emulate PS2 already so there's no excuse for SOME backwards compatibility. In fact there's no excuse at all.

     

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  72.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 24th, 2014 @ 1:57am

    Re: Response to: Ninja on Feb 21st, 2014 @ 5:48am

    Now that's more like it. When it runs PS and PS2 games it'll be of value (though I highly doubt they'll play backup copies and a lot of old titles can't be bought anymore which hinders how much value can be added to it).

     

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  73.  
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    Jason, Feb 24th, 2014 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    First of all, you already hit on one point of why this won't work -- it's a good thing you would be willing to pay $2k for such a console, because it's going to cost somewhere in between the $400 the PS4 retails for and your $2000 figure. To include PS3, PS2, and PS1 you are talking probably around $1000. That's the major problem with backwards compatibility -- you are pricing yourself out of your market, a lesson they learned with giving PS3 backwards compatibility with the PS2 out of the gate.

    The second, probably more important part, is that Sony/MS/etc don't make money off the console, they make money off the games. So first you want them to restrict access to their console by pricing it outside the price range of most gamers, and then you want them to open up the gaming availability to every game you ALREADY own. Why would they want to sell you old games that they can't sell for more than $10-20 when they can sell you new games at a premium $60 price? It's all a careful balance, which is why they do offer older classic games ported over, but at what one would consider "high" prices for such a game, and digital distribution only, because that's the only way they will make enough money to actually put out competition to their new games.

     

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  74.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 24th, 2014 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Kinect is a very useful accessory

    Try googling for: Microsoft NSAKEY

     

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  75.  
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    Joe, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 6:14am

    As the owner of both consoles...

    I own both the next gen consoles and personally I find the Xbox One less dysfunctional than the PS4 interface.

    Sony put the battery indicator at the top right when you first login to the PS4 and when I tap the PS button you don't see the battery indicator... Nope, you have to hold the PS button and go to the log off screen to see it in the bottom right hand corner of the screen (why not just put it where it is on login and with a quick tap of the button?)

    The line in the middle of the PS4, that's a straight mess!!! If I put a huge drive in that console and install 40 games, you're going to see one huge list off apps and games to rifle through! With the Xbox one, I can do the same and pin the most used to the start screen.

    As for the interface of the Xbox one, sorry but, it is less convoluted than the 360 was and honestly, Zune / 360 is where the interface began.

    The only thing I really hate about the Xbox One interface is the fact that I have to have the store there... Why? If I'm looking for something I will check myself, I don't need that always at the ready!

    As for the 1080P bunk that PS fans are spreading, a good and fun game will play good at 900P and there are quite a few of them on XO.

    And a bad game will be just as bad at 1080P and the PS4 has it's share of those.

    Also, anyone who has played RYSE and Killzone can tell you, that RYSE more than holds its own at 900P and might actually be the better looking of the two next gen graphical benchmarks.

     

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  76.  
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    Joe, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 6:18am

    Oh yeah and

    You left of the HDCP protection that is still in effect on the PS4 and not on the Xbox one for recording your gaming sessions.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonometriarch, Feb 27th, 2014 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, I have neither a ps4 or an Xbone, i have a gaming PC. I also have a Wii-U though. For the controller issue you're having, you do know that the charger takes a plug, not the console right? A solution to your problem might be to get an extension cord if you don't have a socket near you, and then connect the charger through that. I'll admit it was annoying the first time the controller ran out of batteries, but not as annoying as it was when a ps3 controller ran out of batteries, simply because I couldn't keep playing. The socket charger fixes that issue for me though.

     

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  78.  
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    DRH, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 1:54am

    Re:

    I think both consoles are brilliant, I am not going to criticise either, but a lot of what you are saying is based on the fanboy internet rumour mill, so I'm just going to post facts in response for the sake of fairness.

    Xbox One does have 1080p games. 8 and counting (not that many games out yet) -a few 3rd party devs had difficulty working with the prelaunch SDK dev kit so chose to release early games at 720 to max performance, but have said with the new SDK this isn't an issue any more.

    Twitch streaming is about to be launched on Xbox One and was only delayed a few months as it's more integrated than on any other platform.

    re 'value' and 'add on device that most people don't want' - PS4 is just a games machine, Xbox One is a multimedia hub. They were designed that way.

    If all you want is a games machine, then yeah, XB1 is probably more money than you need to spend. The PS4 is brilliant and will be perfect for you.

    If you want a multimedia hub, then the XB1 is way better value for money.

    and Re the Kinect I know hundreds of ppl on Xbox One, and they all love the new Kinect. If they wanted a games machine without it they'd get the PS4. but as the XB1 is still the second fasted selling console of all time, I think its a bit unfair to suggest no-one wants it.

    The Voice commands are amazing and my wife and I use them more than the controller for navigating the console, browsing and controlling Netflix etc.

    In game the Kinect features are also cool. Being able to issue voice commands in games like FIFA, BF4, etc leaning and interacting in BF4, Thief, etc use of sound and gestures etc in stuff like Dead Rising 3.

    So honestly, Pick a fave, who cares. They're games consoles and they're both amazing pieces of kit. Just don't automatically believe what the vocal minority of internet fanatics want you to believe...

    All awesome. h

     

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  79.  
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    commatoast, Apr 13th, 2014 @ 7:14pm

    Response to: Dirk Belligerent on Feb 21st, 2014 @ 10:47am

    No, the reason Apple gets away with it is because they do it right. LaunchPad is unobtrusive and you don't need to ever use it. You can disable the gesture that accesses it. Really OS X's UI has changed very little in the nearly 15 years it's been out.

    Meanwhile Windows went from bad to OK to a horrific experiment gone wrong. Win7 is decent but I hated how they went away from a standard menu bar at the top of every window, replacing it with weird symbols that are different from app to app. Office is unrecognizable now.

    I agree Windows remains better for gaming and that probably will never change, because of Apple ignoring the gaming market. If Apple opened its OS to run on other hardware and threw its considerable financial assets behind supporting gaming, it would revolutionize the industry because I believe once people like you (who are obviously somewhat ignorant of how OS X actually works, which is understandable since you've never really used it much) actually got to experience how much nicer of an OS it is, with its superior unix core based on industry standards for servers, you'd never want to go back to Winblows with its craptastic metro UI and non-standard DOS command line.

    But that'll never happen anytime soon.

     

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  80.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 14th, 2014 @ 12:23am

    Re: Response to: Dirk Belligerent on Feb 21st, 2014 @ 10:47am

    I agree with gaming, but opening OSX to other hardware would be a massive mistake. A lot of Apple's credibility is built on ease of use and stability. Many of Microsoft's problems have come from third party drivers for random bits of hardware, with Windows being blamed when those drivers cause crashes. If you want to see OSX turn quickly into an unstable piece of crap, just allow people to run it on whatever cheap hardware they find. They should concentrate on building better relationships with games developers and the likes of Aspyr who port popular titles to the platform.

    "non-standard DOS command line"

    Erm, it is a standard DOS command line, as in MS-DOS. Unless you're criticising it for not running a *NIX flavour. There's plenty to attack Windows for without making stuff up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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