E3 2013: "Microsoft, you have some splainin to do!"

When Microsoft posted up word that the Xbox One console would require an active Internet connection at least once every 24 hours to play games. gamers expressed their displeasure. When Microsoft revealed its convoluted restrictions on how used game discs can be sold or traded to retailers or given to friends, there were even more protests.

This console makes you connect to the Internet, restricts used disc games, and has a higher price. Why?

On Monday, I attended Microsoft's Xbox One press event at E3 2013, where the company revealed the price of the Xbox One would be $499. The thousands of people inside the Galen Center in Los Angeles let out a collective groan on that news. Overall, the Xbox One event was a huge disappointment for many in the crowd.

At the end of the day Monday, Sony held its Playstation 4 E3 2013 press event at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. At the end of the press conference, Sony revealed that the PS4 would have no restrictions on used game discs, no need to have an Internet connection to play games, and a price of $399.

This was enough to make Sony's E3 2013 press conference better than Microsoft

The crowd inside the arena went absolutely nuts at the reveal of this news from Sony. It was a reaction that Microsoft's news conference should have had but didn't.

It's now clear that the shoe is on the other foot when it comes to Sony vs Microsoft in the console wars. Eight years ago, Microsoft was the company offering a great game console in the Xbox 360 at a affordable price, while Sony launched the PS3 with a price that started at $499. Back then, Sony was on top of the game console business and it thought it could push out anything. They were wrong.

Now it appears that Microsoft, specifically its management team at the Xbox division, thought that the success of the Xbox 360 meant they could do anything they wanted with the Xbox One. That's included putting in restrictions in both the console and in their physical disc games that consumers didn't ask for and, as we have seen in the past few days, clearly don't want.

We had a meeting with Microsoft members at E3 2013 on Tuesday, along with other members of the press, which was supposed to be "Xbox 101". However, what it actually turned out to be was three tech demos for the console (more on those demos in a future post) followed by a very quick Q&A. When asked about the Xbox One's online authentication by another journalist, the Microsoft rep quickly dodged it, saying that those anwers could be found on the Xbox Wire website. It sounds very much like Microsoft is not yet ready to talk about these issues, at least not yet.

Like Lucy, Microsoft has some "splainin" to do

Microsoft Xbox execs now have two choices; either give a really, really good explanation on why the Xbox One has these limits or simply do away with them completely. It would be best for the company, and gamers in general, if it picked the latter choice. If they did, Microsoft and Sony could then compete just in terms of the exclusive games they were offering for their next-gen consoles.

Unfortunately we suspect that Microsoft won't do the right thing. That means the Xbox One could be a sales disaster for the company as the hardcore gamers will flock to the PS4 this holiday season.

Images via Sony, Microsoft and Paramount

Neowin's E3 2013 coverage is sponsored by Alienware

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