Why The Xbox ONE's Success Could Result In The Death Of Gaming

Microsoft's newly revealed media centre, the XBOX One hasn't seen a positive response from the media thanks to an abundance of anti-consumer practices adopted by the new technology. Upon first glance these minor inconveniences are acceptable, however, upon deeper analysis the implications of such destructive methods may have a serious impact upon console gaming if the console proves to be successful.

Say no to the mutation of gaming

The first and most damaging technique put into practice by the Xbox ONE is the plethora of restrictions in place which prohibit the gamer doing what they want without some type of restraint in place. Whether it be the fee required to play used games, the fact that it always has to be connected to the internet or simply the way in which it demands the user pay a fee to access the online functionality, the XBOX One has walked astray with regard to customer satisfaction. So, "how does this kill gaming?" you ask? Well, let me explain...

Because Microsoft are such a large company they have the power to change the industry by inspiring other companies to follow in their steps; therefore, if the XBOX ONE succeeds in becoming popular then gaming may be on the brink of collapse as we know it. Not only will other manufacturers implement similar restrictions into their technology, but we'll see this not just in gaming, but in home entertainment devices such as CDs, DVDs and you never know, maybe ITunes or Amazon MP3 will require similar restrictions in order for the content to be accessed. Despite being positive (in increasing the overall profit drawn from games), the negative backlash is unfathomable, especially from the core gamer. Just imagine if a core gamer were to buy the XBOX One for its "all-in-one" package with little consideration for the games. However, when they pick the console up they pick up a selection of DVDs, a headset for SKYPE and a used game to experience true gaming. Following this they return home, set up the console, watch a DVD then turn to the game; however, with it being used they put it in the system to find it doesn't work for they have to pay a fee they really can't afford right now (a possible situation for students). This would act as the biggest possible deterrent for new gamers. Not only would it put them off gaming, but it would also scar them as they'd have to spend a fee in order to access the $50/£30 game they've just bought. With this issue, they'd probably either push the game aside or sell it.

The XBOX ONE's Kinect also raises areas of concern. Spliced in with the always-on requirements, the Kinect camera gives Microsoft a portal for them to spy on their users. Having previously been rumoured to have been spying via Skype, Microsoft certainly aren't the most trustworthy company to place your security with - especially a console that requires Kinect to work and a constant online connection.

The effect of these two damaging practices may be huge. Firstly, it may deter people from buying games due to higher prices which results in less profit made. This may be troublesome for the consumer because if the manufactures isn't tapping a sustainable profit source then who's to say they won't raise the prices of both the console and its games? Secondly, the controversial measures to restrict piracy and used games will also lead to lost sales. With the XBOX One's closest competitor (the PS4) offering the ability to access used games, it's clear to predict that some people will support Sony thanks to this very function. However, the degree to which this will aid gaming is debatable. Unless the majority of gamers turn to the PS4 then gaming may undergo huge changes within the next few years, changing man's favourite hobby forever.

Why might we see other manufacturers follow in the ONE's steps? It's quite simple really. One would assume that taking money from any second party (with the activation fee for used games) is the most profitable way to generate income for the company. Therefore, if other companies see this to be a successful, generally accepted business structure then there's no denying that more companies will strive to do the same.

Now you're probably asking "how may I stop this from happening?" It's quite simple really, don't support Microsoft by buying the Xbox One. Not only have they attempted to change gaming from a successful business strategy, but they've also crossed the line between what's acceptable with consumers, put profit before consumers and lost their focus on gaming. No more is the Xbox a gaming machine. 

If Microsoft's new console proves to be a success then we'll see strict consumer restrictions implemented onto every gaming device from the XBOX One's release. This may put people off gaming which leads to lower sales, higher prices and ultimately, less people gaming as they used to do. In addition, the already impacted gamer-base of gamers on Microsoft's console will be severed by the controversial practices put into use which effectively put people off Microsoft's products for good. Unfortunately, Microsoft have lost their focus and aimed for a completely anti-consumer future with the Xbox One. If gaming is to stay the same then we as consumers must unite and boycott Microsoft's Xbox One to show them that their console isn't acceptable. Both Sony and Nintendo have made the transition into the next generation without these intrusive restraints upon the consumer, they're the path to take if you wish for gaming to survive as it is today.

Despite this shocking fact, the user feedback Microsoft has received regarding the Xbox One has been mostly negative.


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