My light hearted indignation has just transformed into full-on, troll ranting hate!
Microsoft has been on my good side as of late. Many of their recent decisions had seemingly put them back on the path to once again becoming the staple of the video game industry we all remember. From their new “games first” approach (that would see them finally refocus efforts back to the proper places), to Xbox Head Phil Spencer publically acknowledging the mistakes of the last year, Team Xbox really seemed like a jersey I could wear again. Things were looking up for the struggling system.
Now, a bit of shocking news I should be overjoyed about… has instead left me slightly pissed off.
Before I get to my gripes, I’ll recap the bombshell that has the old internets a buzzin’. Yesterday, the shoe that everyone was waiting to drop finally did. The Xbox One will officially launch in June with the Kinect 2.0 motion sensing hardware completely removed. If you’re a fan of the technology, fear not. The functionality will still remain and a stand-alone edition will be made available this fall. Up ‘till now, Microsoft has stuck to their guns that a future where the Xbox One and the Kinect were uncoupled simply wasn’t a possibility. However, after not being able to close the ever-expanding sales gap of their PS4 competitor (which is outselling them by a 2:1 margin), it’s clear that those in charge decided it was time to adopt a sink or swim attitude. Thus, removing the add-on will now allow them to do something gamers have wanted since the day the system hit the market: lower their price point. The new Xbox One redesign will ship with a $399 price tag, allowing it to directly compete with its Sony counterpart on a more level playing field (at least monetarily that is).
But now back to the real issue at hand: how the boys in green have seriously pissed me off with this news!
Of course I can hear the dissent already; “Jason, you’re just an Xbox troll. How can you possibly get mad at a price cut! IT’S SAVING YOU MONE YOU DUMB DOUCHE-COCK!” While I agree with such an elegantly stated point (as more money in hand at the end of the day is always a good thing) I think some are getting swept up in the excitement and forgetting one crucial detail. There are thousands of gamers out there who were the “early adopters” of this piece of next-gen tech. Their loyalty to the company they loved was the sole reason behind picking the Xbox One over the PS4 in many cases. Finances dictate that a good deal of them will be forced to make a choice between one or the other (not both). And what was their reward for said loyalty? Microsoft pickin’ an extra C-Note from their wallets at the register, telling them in a very mob-like fashion “…this is for your own good kid.” When gamers protested for months, did we get the redesign upfront? No. What we got was a never ending explanation of how the Kinect was a non-negotiable function that must remain integrated into the system. Removing it, according to them, would literally break the functionality at its core.
Clearly this was a bald-faced lie.
Isn’t it amazing how an utter ass whooping can magically open up options that were apparently closed off before? What you’re seeing here is an attempt by Microsoft to salvage some type of profit for the rest of the 2014 fiscal year (and obviously head into this year’s E3 with a bit of good will). My biggest problem is the complete line of bull shit we’ve all been fed for the last six months and beyond. Think about it, when we begged Microsoft to allow us to choose which of their peripherals we want and which we didn’t, they were completely un-phased. Instead, they assumed that providing no door #2 would result in their sales figures going up, up and up. After that back-fired (in-fact having the opposite effect), they pull out this desperation move: presenting it like they’re doing us a favor. It’s apparent they could have done this at virtually any time, they just didn’t WANT to. But now they NEED to (just like they need us).
Xbox Head Phil Spencer even touts that this change came about because they “…heard that you want more choices from Xbox One…and you also want options in your hardware selection.” This comment, in a nut shell, completely encapsulates my grievance. Our voices seemingly only get heard when Xbox One consoles sit unmoved on store shelves. It’s not as if we haven’t been vocal about the Kinect in the past!
Now let me be clear; I’m not warding off the Xbox One or Microsoft’s products. I know that’s not realistic, as there is much fun to be had over the next several years from both the Xbox manufacturer and the talented artists who work there. I’m just feeling like a jilted ex-lover at the moment. We were just about to get back together, then I find out you’ve been lying to me all along. Damn you Microsoft! We were so close to making this relationship work again! Now I’m not sure if I can trust anything you say anymore.
I need to heal. Too bad Tyler Perry doesn’t make movies about this kind of thing.