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Polygonal Slant | September 22, 2014

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Microsoft and the Xbox One Could Still Have Kept Its Vision

Microsoft and the Xbox One Could Still Have Kept Its Vision
Imad Khan

Microsoft Doesn’t Have to Abandon Their Vision with the Xbox One.

Literally days after posting my article on how Sony and the Playstation 4 are choosing to preserve gaming culture, Microsoft decided to do a one-eighty reversing all of their DRM policies. Although this reversal is overall a good thing for gamers worldwide, it does limit their vision. They had grand ideas of an all digital world, where your game library was stored to the cloud and accessible from any Xbox One. They also had a game share idea where you could give your friends and family members access to games in your cloud. Although these ideas were cool, it did force that incessant daily check in with their servers, causing problems for people who have very unstable connections. I personally think Microsoft could have pulled it off, if only they had taken a different approach.

3G Cards Are Cheap! Why Doesn’t The Xbox One Have Them?

Amazon, with their Kindle, offers free 3G for its users to download books. Although, the upfront costs for Amazon are high, the potential book sales that come from having a device always connected offsets those costs. The question must be asked, why didn’t Microsoft just add a 3G card into all Xbox One‘s? 3G chips inside cell phones are incredibly cheap, we have been mass producing them for years, to add them to each console would add very little to production cost. This would appease the masses, because although rural areas lack fast internet, most Xbox one 3g chiparea’s, even third world countries, have cell phone towers. The data required to ping Microsoft’s servers would only be kilobits. The cost Microsoft would have to pay would be so incredibly minimal that they could easily offset it with Xbox Live subscription profits. Some may be concerned that the 3G chips could create privacy concerns, but remember, all of our phones have the same technology, and we aren’t up in arms about that.

Microsoft should still allow people to opt-in.

We can’t dwell on what could have been, let’s look to the future with the Xbox One. The fact of the matter remains that many of the ambitious ideas Microsoft had with their console don’t need to be abandoned. There are still many among us that have great internet connections and don’t mind the 24 hour server ping. Maybe with your Xbox Live Gold subscription, Microsoft could allow its users to opt into many of these cloud features. They could still move forward in their vision, and have people opt in once the internet infrastructure in their areas improve. They shouldn’t have to fully concede their vision just because the Playstation 4 made some direct attacks.

xbone being shown

Messy Marketing | Microsoft needs to present things clearly

During E3, the most frustrating part of Microsoft’s press conference was the lack of an explanation on some of the key features they wanted to implement with the Xbox One. Sure, it was awesome that they dedicated so much time to games, but it wouldn’t have hurt in the slightest to take out five minutes to explain everything in easy-to-understand english. In choosing not to discuss any of the concerns made them seem disingenuous and as if they had something to hide. What came after was a hodgepodge of different executives saying different things to different journalists. The messaging became even more confusing, and only made them look pretentious. You counter their messaging with Sony’s, where everything was very clear, upfront, and earnest, it was easy for the PS4 to capture the imaginations of the viewing audience. Whenever Microsoft has another Xbox One conference, they must go out of their way to make things as clear as absolutely possible.

Are you guys hoping that Microsoft will still implement many of the cloud features with the Xbox One? Sound off below.


  1. Kevin

    I totally agree they should allow those of us who had no issue with any part of the so called Vision.

  2. Sheldon

    I SINCERELY hope that they bring back those cloud features somehow. Maybe an opt-in option during the initial setup or something, because I had no problems with them in the first place.

  3. phil

    They should have come up with things like this so that all gamers could be involved with the console. Those without internet would be happy as would those who believed in their vision of the future of gaming. Instead they took the easy route seemingly for the sake of publicity. Consumer centric my ass

  4. Yogasaki Jones

    It’s too late. MS has already lost this gen. Maybe in 8 years they can to a better job with the next gen. And hopefully Windows 8 will be fixed by then as well.

  5. Rick

    Yes, a single 3g chip may be cheap, but there’s so much more behind including such an addition to a console. There are the agreements that microsoft would have to arrange with cell phone providers in order for the systems to connect through their networks. Beyond that, which networks are they gonna support and are we talking about just the US or internationally? AT&T and Verizon use different types of networks, and if the system is to support both, it would require at least 2 chips, just in the US. Going further with this, I know areas where AT&T has area covered, but Verizon does not, and vice-versa. The contractual agreements with these companies is gonna increase costs, they don’t do it for free. Then take a look internationally, yes there are global cell phones, but they have spotty connection issues depending on where you are. If you look into the myriad types of networks around the world from the North American, European, and Asian markets, you may end up having to add multiple chips to the systems if they want to reasonably mass produce the system and be region free, as well as make contracts with multiple different Cellular providers around the world.
    How hard might this be? Well, I haven’t heard of a phone available on the U.S. market that you can transfer between ALL the cell phone carriers. If top of the line $700 (non-contract) cell-phones are being sold without such a feature, I can’t see how Microsoft would have any hope with a $500 console.

    • Imad Khan

      remember, a cheap Amazon kindle has a 3G chip. MS is a much larger company than Amazon. I see where you’re coming from though.

  6. Axe99

    Well said – if MS actually had a vision, rather than a sneaky scheme to control and extract more money from its customers, they’d have taken this approach. They presumably had all the plans and the like in place for an opt-in scheme, no need to spit the dummy and scrap it altogether unless it was hot air to try and make their DRM sound better….. Reading between the lines, the way they went about this just makes their XB1 reveal that more dodge.

    • Imad Khan

      I find it upsetting that the Xbox One won’t be coming with a headset. I feel the Headset is an integral part of the Xbox Live experience.

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