Microsoft finally revealed the Xbox One to an eager audience in a May 21 presentation. Unfortunately, the much-anticipated reveal was, in the words of Kotaku.com’s Luke Plunkett, a disaster. Microsoft failed to answer some very important questions about its console, leaving many to wonder about specific issues that could affect the popularity of the system.
Microsoft wants its new console to be the one place where all of a user’s entertainment options come together, according to TechCrunch. The Xbox One is designed to be far more than a gaming console. Combining live television viewing, streaming services and gaming, the new console aims to be the one-in-all box that only requires a television to be complete.
There was a lot of excitement leading up to Microsoft’s presentation. Many had been waiting for years to hear an official announcement on the new console’s features and specs. For those expecting an Apple-like event, however, there was significant disappointment. According to GenGame, tweets from press at the presentation indicated that the cheering at the event came almost exclusively from Microsoft employees.
Even as Microsoft worked hard to convince the audience its new system would be the answer to living room entertainment, press from gaming publications wanted to know the answer to some very important questions. The answers they got were unclear and a little frustrating.
People want to know if the rumors are true that the next-gen console will require a constant Internet connection to function. Although many users take connectivity for granted, not everyone has a reliable Internet connection.
According to NBC News, Microsoft responded to this question by saying both yes and no. The system does not always have to have to be connected, but it does need a connection. For the system to function as an entertainment center, with TV and everything else, it does need to connect. Yet it does not need to connect all the time.
What this response means is not yet clear. Gamers are especially interested in how this relates to games. Will games need a constant connection, or a connection at all? Microsoft has yet to clarify.
Another significant question is how Xbox One will handle used games. When users buy a new game for the system, they will need to download it to their hard drive and register it with their Xbox Live accounts. If a game owner wants to take the game to friend’s house to play, the game must be played using the owner’s Xbox Live profile. However, according to The Verge, if the owner wants to leave the game for the friend to play, the friend will have to pay for the game to use it.
This could prove quite frustrating for gamers who want to borrow games from friends, or for those who want to sell their used games. Again, Microsoft has yet to announce a concrete position on used games for the Xbox One.
The costs of having an entertainment box go above and beyond owning a simple gaming console. A basic cable and Internet connection can run around $60 a month. Combined with an Xbox Live account at $60 a year and a subscription to Netflix and Hulu (both $9 a month), and the costs quickly mount.
Microsoft’s stance on the new Xbox One has more than a few diehard fans frustrated with the lack of emphasis on gaming. Not everyone wants or needs an “entertainment” system. How the general public will feel upon the system’s release remains to be seen.