Will The Xbox One Suffer The Same Fate As The PS Vita?
Let me first start off this opinion piece by saying that I like the Xbox One. I am excited for it, and I have a pre-order to pick up on November 22nd. I will also be getting the PS4 at launch. This opinion piece is not what I am saying will happen to the Xbox One, but more of the possibilities, or my concerns.
Let’s start off with an extremely brief summary of the PS Vita. It is by far the best handheld gaming device ever, when it comes to hardware and experience. When it was announced, it had a great amount of potential, it came out, and fast forward to today sales are way below expectations,, and partnerships that Sony had are now gone. What we have today are key factors on why the Vita is in a bad place. I won’t say it has failed yet, but it is in a really bad place. I happen to prefer my PS Vita to my 3DS X10 and I think it will make a comeback, but that’s not what this article is about. Now the Xbox One doesn’t suffer any of these things, in fact I think that if the Xbox One is to fail it probably won’t be caused by any of those things except for maybe loosing key partnerships. I have no reason to suspect that it will happen but that is something that could happen down the road. To get to my main point, I think the Xbox One is at risk for suffering the same fate as the PlayStation Vita.
In my opinion Microsoft has made a mistake that may be worse than any of those one things, or possibly all of them combined. They have pissed off a great deal of, what were, potential consumers. This does not include me. The cause was their handling of the DRM and used games. These things no longer apply; however, most of the consumers didn’t like this. A good chunk of consumers still are upset that they event tired this.Microsoft tried to inch away from disk based game ownership, and into a digital license ownership attached to the user’s account. To also add to this, they had an always online requirement. I live in an area where the internet connection is always up and fast. I am lucky. John Doe does not have a consistently up internet connection. He will not buy a console he can only use sometimes, he will strongly consider getting the PS4. Why? Because he can play it whenever he wants.
Now let’s zero in on what their used game policy was. I liked their policy, but I can understand why a lot of people were against it. Disk or digital, all games would be registered to your Xbox Live account. You could lend games to friends via Xbox Live on a time-limited bases. Up to 10 family members could share combined pool of games. This proposal wasn’t perfect though. Only some retailers would be eligible to accept trade-ins because the games had to be de-registered from your account. The console would also have to be online at the time.
Both of these plans caused a massive inconvenience for a large group of consumers. Video game players with slow broadband or inconsistent internet connection, and the people of the United States of America’s armed forces (and other countries army’s) would basically be paying $500 to waste some space on their table, or what have you. People who either have to buy or sell used games in order to have gaming as a hobby, or those who just want the freedom to do so, were no longer able to do so.
“Your Feedback Matters.” Those three words meant that the displeased consumers got what they wanted. Microsoft’s Don Mattrick wrote a statement, blah blah you matter blah blah, an internet connection is no longer required and you can continue on with using used games. That was enough for some, but others weren’t willing to let this go. Comments like “Xbox One Eighty Confirmed” can be found in comments on articles about the Xbox One and forum posts. Or you can find rants all over the internet about how Microsoft even had the audacity to do this in the first place.
Now we have a group of people who are on the fence about the Xbox One will look at the difference between the PS4 and Xbox One. With PS4 you get what the Xbox One has to offer with better specs at $100 cheaper and more flexibility. So most of those in-betweeners will go with the PS4. Previous Xbox 360 owners who didn’t have a particularly strong allegiance will possibly convert to the PS4.
Despite all of this, the Xbox One is a good console. I think it will be ok. I like the idea of an all-in-one device because I often find using 3-5 device just to get a satisfying technology experience. With the Xbox One, I think I will only need one device to do so.
Now we understand how Microsoft screwed up and what bad things might come of it. The question is, will it all be ok?
The opinions expressed in this piece do not reflect how Dual Pixels feels about the Xbox One as a whole. They reflect the opinions of the author. That’s it.