Just to clarify before the xbox fans explode – I’m not saying that you are an idiot if you buy the Xbox One, I’m saying that Microsoft treats its customers like idiots and so if that’s your thing then you should support them by being first in line for an Xbox One with a nice side serving of backtracking, broken promises, and PR bullshit.
Believe it or not i actually quite like Microsoft as a company. I am a huge fan of all their Office products, i program in Visual Studio, and I develop processes at work in SharePoint. These are all world class products and when MS talk about them then they keep it simple because the products speak for themselves. “this is SharePoint 2013, we have added these features...” simple.
So why does a company that is based on sensible tech with clear intentions turn into a vague, buzzword spewing, smoke & mirrors, crock of crap when it comes to the Xbox? Why are they patronising me with “rocket science technology”? Do they think that I am going to be impressed by “5 million transistors”? Is that honestly the best thing they could think of to say about the Xbox One or do they just think so little of us that they just don’t give a crap? Seriously 5 million transistors ???
This behaviour is nothing new, it began right around the announcement of “Project Natal” which developed into everyone’s favourite overpriced dust gathering webcam – Kinect. Natal promised us the ability to scan real world objects into games and to engage with sophisticated AI software which would recognise our expressions and emotions. What did we get? A load of awful arm flailing, a couple of abysmal attempts at hardcore games, and then finally Microsoft accepted it was crap and just made it into a microphone for voice controlled features which nobody uses anyway, and would have worked just as well through the regular xbox mic.
Fast forward a few years and here we have the Xbox one being announced under a similar fine mist of bullshit. We are told that the Xbox one hardware is superior to its competitor, when it clearly isn’t. We are told that hardware doesn’t matter anyway, except clearly when it’s 5 million transistors. We are told that Xbox One’s account based policies are the future, but then they aren’t. We are told that Kinect is the future because it can see our heatbeat, I say that that is just plain stupid. We are told the power of the cloud will add around 300% more processing power, I found this insulting enough to write a separate blog on the issues surrounding such a bold claim.
The original Xbox was the hardcore console and I loved it for it. The Xbox brand now makes me cringe, and I mean that literally. From the slimy suits who get up on stage to the patronising corporate drivel that falls out of mouths insulting us as idiots who know nothing about technology. We knew these DRM features were not necessary, we knew they could easily be turned off, we know that a camera that can read your heart rate is going to add NOTHING to 99.9% of video games, and we know that the cloud isn’t going to make a console more powerful than a competitor box with better specs.
I will not support a product that treats me like an idiot, but hey each to their own.