Major Nelson responds to Xbox One criticism, points to future improvements

The Xbox One has only been on the shelves for less than two months, but top brass in the Xbox Division are already promising a brighter future.

In a recent interview with canada.com, Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb discussed some of the criticism that has been leveled against the Xbox One and suggested users can expect to see substantial system updates in the near future. 

Although many users, especially hardcore gamers, derided Microsoft for its multimedia approach (video games were not the focus of the console's official reveal in May), Hryb believes users should have the best of both worlds. "There's no reason why you can’t have an extremely powerful game console that also does entertainment. Why does there have to be an 'and or?' We need to be able to have something that’s both."

Responding to more recent criticism regarding the functionality of the Xbox One operating system, such as the glitchy Xbox Live Party Chat system and inability to view hard drive space, Nelson stated that users can expect to see a level of improvement comparable to the Xbox 360.

If you look back at the Xbox 360′s launch, what it was in 2005 when it launched is completely different from what it is now. It’s fascinating to see the different things that have come along. Things iterated. We didn’t even have things like the party system or the ability to support external storage when we launched the Xbox 360. So we are absolutely committed to adding new features to the Xbox One over the course of its life span.

On the topic of the new Kinect sensor, Nelson highlighted the benefits of including a Kinect with every system, "It enables certain scenarios like everyone having access to voice, gesture control," and said the Xbox team will "continue moving forward and refining the technology."

While it's certainly reassuring to hear that the Xbox team is invested in making the Xbox One the system that gamers expect and want, there is still clearly much work to be done. Hopefully, the above mentioned improvements to the Kinect technology will eventually include the incorporation of the "Cortana" digital assistant destined for the next major Windows Phone 8 update. If Microsoft is going to rely heavily on voice commands for controlling the system, natural speech recognition will be a necessity moving forward. The alternative, a long and awkwardly precise list of voice of commands, is untenable.

Source: canada.com | Image via canada.com

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I know he has an uncommon surname, but at least the author should try spelling it the same throughout the article.

They need to fix -
Games crashing out to dashboard
Media sharing the same way it worked on the 360
Remembering WIFI connections (my 360 did this as I move between 2 locations)
Achievements not being able to be seen in "quick view" and have to load the whole achievement app.
Not auto signing in without Kinect attached
Controller Battery life indicator (was playing FIFA battery went dead and game didn't even pause!!!)
Thats all I can think of for now.

Games crashing isn't a problem with a system. You'll have to talk to the game developers. The same with how it handles a controller disconnect. The battery life itself depends on which batteries you use. I use Duracell 2000mah NiMH and they last for a week of playing every day. When they do die, I just swap in the second set and put the first in the charger, so it's kind of irrelevant.

It seems everything else is the "the way it worked on the 360." Times change. Get used to it.

Having a controller shutoff mid-game, even for a second to change batteries, without a warning should be unacceptable. Especially when that second could cause you to die or lose the match.

But I guess like your comment says, we should get used to paying more for less.

Wasn't the games crashing due to how the OS handled the RAM? Wouldn't that be more MS side than every game developer (I have Ryse, BF4, FIFA 14 and DR3 and they've all crashed at least once to dashboard)
The controller disconnects I would imagine should be system wide as on previous consoles, PS & Xbox the controller would flash when low, and also had an indicator (on the guide) showing remaining battery life. Thus far that is non existent, I do have a plug and play kit however I was using Duracell batteries at the time and had no warning they were low so had to run downstairs. It is relevant because as LightEco agreed, I was playing FIFA online and it turned off whilst I was in possession, by time I got the batteries sorted I had conceded and lost a game. Its a gripe that happened but it is still unacceptable seeing as it was a "feature" that was in previous generations. It's as if they made a list of features to develop and just forgot that previous things would need readding.

About responding to critisism, If you are able to read Dutch go to the Xbox NL Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/XboxNL

After the first delay it became a less happy place, after rumors started circulating about a q3 2014 release it became quite a dark place.

Most responces to MS posts like "happy 2014" boil down to: "It will not be a good year without the Xbox One" or "c'mon release the One now"

Sadly no responding to that crisisism from Microsofts side... At least they don't delete those comments.

There's a difference when the Xbox 360 didn't launch with a working party system compared to the Xbox One. The Xbox One should have everything the 360 does as a base, not less functionality.

Well, it does. Going back to my 360 now feels like jumping back to the stone age. What? I have to exit one program to use another? This is what PS4 owners must feel like.

Having to reboot my Xbox One by unplugging it to get party chat to work or for it to identify that I don't have a restricted NAT is the stone age. I'd happily take a slower dash right now over one that doesn't work half the time.

How about system notifications that either don't work or stay up on my screen for 10 min? How about apps constantly crashing and saying "That app took too long to load, try again later"? Hmm, perhaps the terrible install times and the lack of information about what its actually installing? Oh, you are sitting at 0% because of a patch? Nice of you to tell me, I'll come back in an hour when you are done. Oh, party chat is unavailable right now, just like the last 4 weekends. Oh well, that's the future!

/rant

The dashboard has a ton of potential over what we had on the 360, I'll totally agree there. The problem is that is so buggy and unfinished right now, it really does feel like a step back.

You can be the biggest Xbox lover there is, but don't let Microsoft get away with this. We deserve the best experience, not a faster yet broken one.

Edited by LightEco, Jan 5 2014, 6:13pm :

I think microsoft sometimes learns the wrong lesson. The reason why the 360 was a successful launch console was because it launched 1 year earlier then ps3 which was priced to high. xbox one doesn't have that luxury and it is priced higher then ps4.

Sold my Xbox One last week. Glad I did. Steam is on my long term road map for gaming. There are better devices for TV experiences than Xbox One.

Such as? What other product out there syncs all my movies, television shows, music between my laptop, phone, and tv? What other product is out there that can control my DirecTV box with my voice? And allows me to occasionally game?

Seriously, what other product is out there that does all of that?

It would be nice if they would fix the most obvious issues sooner instead of one big update. I'm tired of having buyers remorse every time I'm faced with yet another instance of something missing or not working.

unfortunately it seems like everything EA is a bit rubbish when its released tbh these days. I was thinking about buying Sim City when it came out, glad i didnt and still havnt bought it. To have that many obvious bugs in the game they musnt of bothered testing it at all. Went from the coding screen to the start manufacturing and selling screen.

I'm looking forward to the improvements... But they need to focus on fixing the launch features before adding new features. The cable box integration does not work with my cable box and causes it to reboot endlessly. The IR blaster causes the cable box remote to be rendered useless. Apparently many others with my model have the same issue. So one of the major features that sold me on the Xbox One doesn't even work. I hope they work on making sure they delivering on their launch functionality before adding more bug ridden features.

Game publishers need to get their act together too. Battlefield 4 is a joke. To this day I still lose my campaign saves. I always have to start a brand new campaign. This was supposed to be fixed in their Dec 19 patch. But it's still showing as a known issue on their known issues page for ALL PLATFORMS! And yesterday after 40+ hours of multiplayer gameplay I discovered all of my earned weapons are missing. I'm stuck with the initial weapons with no upgrades. Pathetic.

jafoman said,
I'm looking forward to the improvements... But they need to focus on fixing the launch features before adding new features.

Microsoft are a massive company with many employees working on this stuff, not just one. They are more than capable of working on bug fixing as well as new features, it's not an "or" situation, it's an "and".

Edited by Ryster, Jan 5 2014, 2:48am :

You mean the same company with the lots of employees that released it as buggy as it is in the first place? How bout the fact they delayed it in lots of other countries cause they didn't have time to finish the translations and such. Where were all the extra people then?

LightEco said,
You mean the same company with the lots of employees that released it as buggy as it is in the first place? How bout the fact they delayed it in lots of other countries cause they didn't have time to finish the translations and such. Where were all the extra people then?

And you think that what they DID manage to get finished on the console for launch was coded by a single person too? No it wasn't, what's there now is a complete operating system that's missing a few features and has a few bugs, sure, that's no small feat. The Xbox One in it's current state was accomplished by dozens, if not hundreds of people.

Let's not forget that a few months before its launch, they had to almost completely re-write the way the console worked to remove the "always online" DRM aspect that the internet was whining about. That had to set them back in development by months. It's no surprise things are a little crinkly around the edges.

So I stand by what I said. Building on top of a finished OS by fixing bugs and adding features is nowhere near as resource intensive as writing an OS from scratch.

Including a mic like wiispeak would have allowed voice control without the expensive camera part which is barely even used and not worth it.

I use the camera on mine. It's nice to sign in that way too and the Skype thing is pretty cool.

I think the camera can also detect other things. I've heard it can see your blood flowing or something, so maybe it can even detect erections. Maybe that's why XB1 users watch less porn. Erection detector.

Even if you don't play the sports or dance games, the camera is important to identify the speaker if there's multiple people in the room and the auto-cropping in Skype. I also noticed that it turns off the display when no one is in the room. I'm not sure if that really saves power for me since it goes through a receiver.

That's cool for people who want it, but you don't get to make the choice. Many people who bought a PS4 might have got this.

Geezy said,
That's cool for people who want it, but you don't get to make the choice. Many people who bought a PS4 might have got this.

If the hardware isn't guaranteed to be there, no one is going to use it. It's not an end user choice either way.

Geezy said,
That's cool for people who want it, but you don't get to make the choice. Many people who bought a PS4 might have got this.

Don't like it? Then don't buy it, nobody's forcing you or them to buy an X1.

Fact of the matter is that bundling Kinect was a smart move to ensure developers had a guaranteed hardware platform to incentivise the development of innovative games with additional immersive features. Given the console is only 2 months old, we're not seeing the fruits of this yet as developers are only barely getting to grips with the console (the fact most games are not yet 1080p demonstrates this), but the innovative Kinect enhanced games WILL come.

But they aren't using it though... I would agree with it being there if developers did. They had time to work on ideas with the first kinect, even if the games never came out they could pitch ideas. Now would have been the time to go ahead with them but we're not seeing anything. They've had almost 3 years to come up with ideas.

Anyway, we'll see how things work out. For now, I didn't buy it. If there's a killer app that seems cool, I will probably buy it. I have the og Xbox and the 360 (never bought the first kinect though), not opposed to MS consoles and will probably buy the One in the future just to collect it like I have with all previous consoles, but nothing is making me jump the gun. Anyway that also depends if the software is available on PS4's camera too, which I didn't buy but it's cheaper than getting a whole new system if I just want to experience that title.

Edited by Geezy, Jan 5 2014, 2:26am :

Sorry, but that's nonsense. Only a handful of ANY type of game has been release thus far given that it's only 2 months old. Developers are still getting to grips with the console to just get 1080p, let alone utilising many of the new hardware features. The vast majority of innovative games are to come in the future. Just because we haven't seen any major Kinect usage in the first wave of 20-30 games doesn't mean it isn't coming, let's not forget that Sports was delayed.

Fact is, there ARE games being developed that will utilise Kinect, most notably the new Sports title, and many of the existing games have kinect support in some fashion, even if it is just voice commands, or audio feedback such as in Dead Rising three. Being able to call out to Zombies and have them hear you and come towards you is undoubtedly cool. These kind of cool enhancements are what Kinect is enabling, and will enable for future games, as will Smartglass (again Dead Rising 3 turning your cellphone into a phone in the game to receive missions on, check the map, etc is pretty awesome).

Geezy said,
Like I said, they could've just shipped the console with a mic. Anyway, guess we'll see.

I agree that the Kinect isn't used in many games yet, but I have to say that Dead Rising 3 uses it pretty well. When you're grabbed by a zombie, you literally thrust your controller out to get them off of you. If you don't have Kinect working, that becomes a QTE button press instead, which is pretty lame. There's something satisfying about shoving the creature off of you.

It also does voice control, and while I'm not a fan of yelling out to my enemies (you can call the zombies, and during some battles, you can taunt your opponent to distract them), it's a step in the right direction of complete immersion.

He was talking about voice commands, so I figured he didn't read the part I wrote about just having a mic, the rest was saying that there aren't many games in general yet and he mentioned the sports game which is not a killer app to me. What else should I say? So far a mic would have sufficed as opposed to a 3D camera which is just being used as a mic except for logging in, which could be done by matching the voiceprint of whoever says "Xbox on".

Motion controls using the controller don't require a camera, who knows why ms used that implementation, a simple gyroscope is cheap.

Fezmid said,
If you don't have Kinect working, that becomes a QTE button press instead, which is pretty lame.
I take it you don't like Ryse?

Edited by Andrew, Jan 6 2014, 8:41pm :

I look forward to some of the improvements. It already so utterly blows away the PS4 and that gap will only get bigger since Sony lacks the software resources. That was fine back in the old days when a game console was mostly hardware and game developers did the software but it's the smartphone and Internet era now.

Well, the PS4 does have a hardware advantage. But you're right, the XB1 software (even the Xbox 360) is way better than the PS4. The 360 showed me the advantage of going with Microsoft for my living room. I like my XB1 but there are a lot of things the 360 did better. MS will continue to refine the XB1 and I look forward to seeing those improvements.

PS4 just feels like it's many years behind in the user experience.

Agreed.

I think people tend to forget how far they have really come... I am now turning on my console/TV/cable box with my voice... watching TV on my console while playing BF4, chatting on Skype with friends/family while browsing the internet... I mean, yes there are bugs and things I would still like to see... but I have to admit I am loving the Xbox One. It will only get better with time folks.

I would actually say the PS3 was better than the 360 due to the bluray drive. That was a big deal at the time when we really didn't have big hard drives on game consoles. The XB1 really went to the next level with the OS this time though.

If fact a good example is I just did a video for a friend of an Assassin's Creed section by saying "Record That", popped over to the editing app to trim it, uploaded it to skydrive, and then right back to the paused game. In a few minutes it popped up on my laptop where I shared it to him. That's where the hypervisor really shines verse having to exit the game and load another application. That and being able to pop back and forth instantly between my game and Netflix. I'm hoping someone will do a screenshot app.

Snake89 said,
I'm waiting a few years and see if MS is going to release a version without the kinect and no tv support.

You're going to be waiting a long time then.

How does it even matter if it has TV features or not?? If you have no use for them then just don't use them. It's not like TV support adds to the consoles cost.

Edited by Andrew, Jan 6 2014, 8:02pm :

Hell if Nintendo can drop the price of the nintendo Wii down by remove online part of it, i don't see why MS can't do the samething down the road.

An also alot of people don't understand that this is only the 1st gen of xbox one. So maybe future gens might not even have stuff.

Just look at kinect, MS only put it in with xbox one because alot of programmers and schools bought it, not xbox users.

Edited by Andrew, Jan 6 2014, 8:05pm :

Enron said,
I think they released something like that several years ago called the Xbox 360.
Does it work in submarines?

Snake89 said,

Hell if Nintendo can drop the price of the nintendo Wii down by remove online part of it, i don't see why MS can't do the samething down the road.

An also alot of people don't understand that this is only the 1st gen of xbox one. So maybe future gens might not even have stuff.

Just look at kinect, MS only put it in with xbox one because alot of programmers and schools bought it, not xbox users.


No, Microsoft included the Kinect because guaranteeing that everyone has it will allow developers to invest in new, exciting, and costly features using the sensor...

I REALLY don't understand why people don't understand this. Nor do I expect to EVER see an XBox One without it.

Edited by Andrew, Jan 6 2014, 8:13pm :

Snake89 said,

Hell if Nintendo can drop the price of the nintendo Wii down by remove online part of it, i don't see why MS can't do the samething down the road.

An also alot of people don't understand that this is only the 1st gen of xbox one. So maybe future gens might not even have stuff.

Just look at kinect, MS only put it in with xbox one because alot of programmers and schools bought it, not xbox users.

Yes, but HDMI pass through costs MS how much? Maybe $2-3? So ya, they should gimp a the product so you can save $3. Really?

Edited by Andrew, Jan 6 2014, 8:20pm :

Mobius Enigma said,

Yes, but HDMI pass through costs MS how much? Maybe $2-3? So ya, they should gimp a the product so you can save $3. Really?

Really.

There's no need to create an artificially low number to make someone appear stupid. If Microsoft decided to release an SKU of the One without the TV integration, it would save the buyer way more than $3.

When the Xbox 360 came out Wi-Fi was a standard. The Nintendo DS had it built in when it came out in 2004, and it was included in the Wii and PS3 when they launched the year after the 360. Microsoft decided to exclude that feature, and it ,"saved," the buyer $100. It's not like Wi-Fi components were expensive back then either.

benthebear said,
There's no need to create an artificially low number to make someone appear stupid. If Microsoft decided to release an SKU of the One without the TV integration, it would save the buyer way more than $3.

Nonsense. An HDMI port welded onto a circuit board,would not cost much money at all. There's no way in hell that Microsoft would not spread the cost of developing the TV features to ALL their consumers if there was a TV-feature-less version. You're being ridiculous. Having a unified hardware platform that is common to all purchasers is much easier to support going forward.

Well in the world of console gaming, you are compared against the last gen. At least, some people seem to think that

Sony and MS are happy to support that idea.

Enron said,
My GTX Titans eat both consoles for lunch, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying console exclusives.

For the outlandish price of a titan it better. People forget that prices of good video cards, something you expect to play your games at high settings for more than two years at least, doesn't come cheap and it's only one part of a PC..

Mr. Hand said,
Powerful these days is more about software features than number crunching. You get diminishing returns on more processing power.

Considering the xbox one will have difficulties doing 1080p60 without having to make compromises(yes, before anyone says it, forza had to make visual cutbacks to do that), I don't think they're anywhere close to hitting the wall of diminishing returns.

Lord Method Man said,
Actually cards cheaper than the GTX Titan eat the GTX Titan for lunch for gaming.

That's because they don't make Titans anymore.

Blackhearted said,

Considering the xbox one will have difficulties doing 1080p60 without having to make compromises(yes, before anyone says it, forza had to make visual cutbacks to do that), I don't think they're anywhere close to hitting the wall of diminishing returns.

Assuming that's true (which I don't believe it is) no one will even notice. That's why it's diminishing returns. People will notice all the parallel features that share those resources.

Blackhearted said,

Considering the xbox one will have difficulties doing 1080p60 without having to make compromises(yes, before anyone says it, forza had to make visual cutbacks to do that), I don't think they're anywhere close to hitting the wall of diminishing returns.

No offense but the PS4 is hardly a powerhouse either, visuals on BF4 would have to of bin cutback on that to get it at 60 fps. CoD Ghosts is a joke to, all theyve done is slap dx11 textures on a 5+ year old game engine maybe modded it a bit. Youd of thought they'd of built a new engine from the ground up for these new consoles and to take advantage of newer PC hardware, but maybe thatll come next year. Or maybe theres no point building a brand new engine to compete with frostbite 3 cus neither console could handle it.

In my opinion the X1 is a better all round buy over the PS4 sure its lacking in some features same as PS4 but its got 8 year life cycle so itll get there, but the UI does look amazing ive looked at it in win 8.1 xbox movies section or something (same design) it would make for a brilliant HTPC to, not seem sonys UI but i cant imagine it would be to impressive and sure PS4 is centered as a gaming machine, sure and prolly works in a kids bedroom but the added funtionality the x1 would give in a living room setting where everything connected up and can control everything by voice is much better. I wouldnt buy either console myself tbh, hoping 4k monitors/TV's come down in price alot over the next 2 years so i can bask in Star Citizens 4K glory... will make your consoles gfx look like an 8bit game. 720p to 1080p a bit meh... 1080p to 4K mind blown!!

Edited by psionicinversion, Jan 5 2014, 12:32am :

You mean they sound the same now?

I can see that. I mean after the dust clears, both consoles share a lot, particularly when it comes to gaming.

Good to hear they are committed to pushing updates.

Both next gen system need their share of updates and fixes, not to mention features that may be missing from last gen.

trooper11 said,
Good to hear they are committed to pushing updates.

Both next gen system need their share of updates and fixes, not to mention features that may be missing from last gen.


This times 100... I really can't wait for the first few updates.

Lord Method Man said,
Its high time Microsfot promoted this guy to Colonel.

He was the guy who was going to make the xbox one drm hell and lots of other awful things, it was only due to internet outrage that they changed their policies. He should have known that would have been the reaction and not done it in the first place, definitely not qualified to be CEO.

xendrome said,
^Apparently one of the ones that ruined it for the rest of us
agree,
One of the reasons the Xbox One was held back from what it could be
Still hoping the DRM comes back in an optioned update for sharing digital games...

xendrome said,
^Apparently one of the ones that ruined it for the rest of us

You still stuck in a dream that microsoft's original plans would have ended up being good for anyone but micosoft themselves?

xendrome said,
^Apparently one of the ones that ruined it for the rest of us

Yeah, fie on them! I wanted to be abused by a megacorporation, I like being a sucker!

I only wish I could sell myself into slavery as property of Microsoft.

Blackhearted said,

You still stuck in a dream that microsoft's original plans would have ended up being good for anyone but micosoft themselves?


If you didn't see the advantages for everyone, including us, consumers, you don't have a frickin' clue what the original plans were going to be. So yea I still support the original plans and millions of others agree with us.

Blackhearted said,

You still stuck in a dream that microsoft's original plans would have ended up being good for anyone but micosoft themselves?

Care to explain how you think the sharing system and online authentication benefited Microsoft? Adding in feature XYZ provided no revenue or benefit to Microsoft, and the logistics that people complain about was designed around the requirements of publishers to protect content.

torrentthief said,

He was the guy who was going to make the xbox one drm hell and lots of other awful things, it was only due to internet outrage that they changed their policies. He should have known that would have been the reaction and not done it in the first place, definitely not qualified to be CEO.


HE likely had no say on the topic at all, he's simply PR, that is all. Also, who mentioned CEO?

torrentthief said,

He was the guy who was going to make the xbox one drm hell and lots of other awful things, it was only due to internet outrage that they changed their policies. He should have known that would have been the reaction and not done it in the first place, definitely not qualified to be CEO.

You still buy that? The only thing we "got" from all that is the loss of the ability to share games instantly. The only people that benefited was Gamestop because they can keep their Blockbuster-era business going a few more years long and Sony because it shorted by one the much longer features list XB1 has over PS4.

Athernar said,

Yeah, fie on them! I wanted to be abused by a megacorporation, I like being a sucker!

I only wish I could sell myself into slavery as property of Microsoft.

If by abused you mean get some pretty awesome features in return for something that's not any sort of inconvenience, then sure.

Mobius Enigma said,

Care to explain how you think the sharing system and online authentication benefited Microsoft? Adding in feature XYZ provided no revenue or benefit to Microsoft, and the logistics that people complain about was designed around the requirements of publishers to protect content.

Tying your games to your account, like they wanted to do, would have benefited microsoft by eliminating used games, forcing everyone to buy new(while keeping the price of new higher for longer), and making microsoft huge amounts of extra money in licensing fees due to used being gone.

Sharing, in a way, also wouldn't be beneficial to anyone in the long run. Cause look at it this way. If they kept it so that any 10(i think it was) people you wanted to play your games(even if they weren't remotely near you), you'd have millions of people just leaching off their friends purchases instead of buying games. Game companies would see dramatically lower sales on the xbox platform because of that, and then proceed to not want to make games for that platform.

Athernar said,

Yeah, fie on them! I wanted to be abused by a megacorporation, I like being a sucker!

I only wish I could sell myself into slavery as property of Microsoft.


So where's the outrage against Valve and Steam? Every single time I ask you this you claim "oh well steam has had it for 10 years, Xbox's new".

So basically because Valve did it 10 years ago its perfectly ok, but nobody can do it again right?

Blackhearted said,

Tying your games to your account, like they wanted to do, would have benefited microsoft by eliminating used games, forcing everyone to buy new, and making microsoft huge amounts of extra money in licensing fees due to used being gone.

No, because you just get a bunch of friends that trade games. Someone buys it and loans it around. It's the same as we used to do with physical media except no burning gas and you don't have to live in the same location.

torrentthief said,

He was the guy who was going to make the xbox one drm hell and lots of other awful things, it was only due to internet outrage that they changed their policies. He should have known that would have been the reaction and not done it in the first place, definitely not qualified to be CEO.

He's PR but has his name credited towards the achievement implementation I believe.

spenser.d said,

If by abused you mean get some pretty awesome features in return for something that's not any sort of inconvenience, then sure.

You mean the pretty awesome features that Microsoft are intending to implement for digitally acquired titles?

You know, doing it sensibly rather than making a blurred mess of conflicting business models.

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:51am :

Difference between you and I? I actually liked steam all those years ago, yes it was buggy as all hell and yes the friends service and offline service took 10 years to fix. But I liked what they were doing and I saw the potential.

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:21am :

-Razorfold said,

Difference between you and I? I actually liked steam all those years ago, yes it was buggy as all hell and yes the friends service and offline service took 10 years to fix. But I liked what they were doing and I saw the potential.

but really now - the differences between the two situations are so painfully obvious.

For instance, would it shock you to know Valve didn't (and still don't) have 100% control of game distribution on the PC platform? Would it also shock you to know that PC games were often not stocked or given miniscule shelf space compared to console titles? I could go on listing different variables.

Athernar said,
but really now - the differences between the two situations are so painfully obvious.

For instance, would it shock you to know Valve didn't (and still don't) have 100% control of game distribution on the PC platform? Would it also shock you to know that PC games were often not stocked or given miniscule shelf space compared to console titles? I could go on listing different variables.


Except valve has a massive database of games that are ONLY available on Steam. Even some EA and Uplay games are available on steam even though both ubisoft and ea have their own distribution softwares. There are plenty of games that are released every year just on steam and / or require steam to play.

I said I support both valve and Microsoft decision because guess what there aren't any real differences no matter what you keep telling yourself. If Sony did the same thing I would have supported it too.

-Razorfold said,

Except valve has a massive database of games that are ONLY available on Steam. Even some EA and Uplay games are available on steam even though both ubisoft and ea have their own distribution softwares. There are plenty of games that are released every year just on steam and / or require steam to play.

I said I support both valve and Microsoft decision because guess what there aren't any real differences no matter what you keep telling yourself. If Sony did the same thing I would have supported it too.

If third-parties want to release their titles exclusively on Steam, how is that Valve's fault? That's choice, choice you would not get with a console environment.

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:46am :

Athernar said,

If third-parties want to release their titles exclusively on Steam, how is that Valve's fault? That's choice, choice you would not get with a console environment.

Did I say it was valves fault? Oh wait no I didn't. People could still buy games from gamestop, amazon etc and just get a code they can use to activate it on their Xbox one...just like wait for it...wait for it...Steam.

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:11am :

-Razorfold said,

Did I say it was valves fault? Oh wait no I didn't. People could still buy games from gamestop, amazon etc and just get a code they can use to activate it on their Xbox one...just like wait for it...wait for it...Steam.

Of course you did, raising it as a point has no relevance otherwise.

Your point at the start (which you are trying your hardest to run away from again) was that Steam was identical to the Xbox One prior to Microsoft's policy reversal. I have shown on multiple levels that notion is false.

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:36am :

Of course you did, raising it as a point has no relevance otherwise.

Your point at the start (which you are trying your hardest to run away from again) was that Steam was identical to the Xbox One prior to Microsoft's policy reversal. I have shown on multiple levels that notion is false.


Um you haven't proved anything, sorry. In your mind you may think you have but in reality, it's not even close.

Please tell me the difference for the END USER (ie the consumer) between Steam and Microsoft's Xbox One policies. Oh and no bull**** strawman argument about how PC gamers have had a decade to live with it and console gamers just started.

Face it. You have no problem with Valve having the exact same policies as Microsoft/ Is it valves fault that publishers choose them? No it isn't, never said it was but that doesn't mean they have different policies.

And apparently I'm such a big lover of Microsoft, that's why I own a 360, an Xbox one and the original xbox! Oh wait, no, no I don't. I hate GFWL, I have never owned a console from Microsoft and never considered buying one. The only consoles that I do own are N64, wii and a PS3 with no plan of upgrading either.

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:40am :

-Razorfold said,

Um you haven't proved anything, sorry. In your mind you may think you have but in reality, it's not even close.

Please tell me the difference for the END USER (ie the consumer) between Steam and Microsoft's Xbox One policies. Oh and no bull**** strawman argument about how PC gamers have had a decade to live with it and console gamers just started.

Firstly, you need to educate yourself as to what a strawman is. (FYI, factually stating that the digital transition took many years on the PC is not a misrepresentation of your argument)

Secondly, I've already given you a prime difference between the two for the end user - the fact that games exist that aren't tied into Steam. Not that there is any intelligent reason to limit this to end-users mind you.

-Razorfold said,

Face it. You have no problem with Valve having the exact same policies as Microsoft/ Is it valves fault that publishers choose them? No it isn't, never said it was but that doesn't mean they have different policies.

Mandatory and optional are apparently the "exact same" in your book? Hahaha, wow.

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:27am :

torrentthief said,

He was the guy who was going to make the xbox one drm hell and lots of other awful things, it was only due to internet outrage that they changed their policies. He should have known that would have been the reaction and not done it in the first place, definitely not qualified to be CEO.


He wasn't behind any of that...

Jarrichvdv said,

If you didn't see the advantages for everyone, including us, consumers, you don't have a frickin' clue what the original plans were going to be. So yea I still support the original plans and millions of others agree with us.

While I agree with you, Microsoft communicated this horrendously and executed this poorly.

For instance, lacking the ability to check in periodically, the console should have simply defaulted to disc based authentication...

I am all for the benefits that would have come with what they were trying to do, but it wasn't planned at all.

Blackhearted said,

Tying your games to your account, like they wanted to do, would have benefited microsoft by eliminating used games, forcing everyone to buy new(while keeping the price of new higher for longer), and making microsoft huge amounts of extra money in licensing fees due to used being gone.

Sharing, in a way, also wouldn't be beneficial to anyone in the long run. Cause look at it this way. If they kept it so that any 10(i think it was) people you wanted to play your games(even if they weren't remotely near you), you'd have millions of people just leaching off their friends purchases instead of buying games. Game companies would see dramatically lower sales on the xbox platform because of that, and then proceed to not want to make games for that platform.


Um... The purpose of the periodic check that people hated so much was to allow for Used Games... If they wanted to get rid of used games, it would have saved them a TON of work...

Firstly, you need to educate yourself as to what a strawman is. (FYI, factually stating that the digital transition took many years on the PC is not a misrepresentation of your argument)

Secondly, I've already given you a prime difference between the two for the end user - the fact that games exist that aren't tied into Steam. Not that there is any intelligent reason to limit this to end-users mind you.


Um pretty sure I'm willing to bet that within a couple of years Steam was by far the dominant distribution system on PCs (even including retail stores). And as for games that exist that aren't tied to Steam? They are in the minority.

And on consoles its been coming quite a while too. Both sony and microsoft have had digital stores for years now that have had the same policy restrictions (without the mandatory 24 hour sign in, which like I said before and still think was a pretty stupid. There should have been other ways to authenticate and keep you playing your games).

Mandatory and optional are apparently the "exact same" in your book? Hahaha, wow.

Optional? For the end user? Um no it's not optional for the end user. If the game I bought uses steam I don't get the choice to go "oh wait I don't want Steam"

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:58am :

Athernar said,

Firstly, you need to educate yourself as to what a strawman is. (FYI, factually stating that the digital transition took many years on the PC is not a misrepresentation of your argument)

Secondly, I've already given you a prime difference between the two for the end user - the fact that games exist that aren't tied into Steam. Not that there is any intelligent reason to limit this to end-users mind you.

Mandatory and optional are apparently the "exact same" in your book? Hahaha, wow.

Wow. I don't know that I've ever seen someone use so many words and yet say nothing... But at least you think you're winning this little argument, so good for you I guess?

But in all reality, you've really made no arguments of any consequence. The models were essentially the same (With the largest exception being that Microsoft bent over backwards to allow the resale of games in their implementation. Damn them!)...

I had issues with some of the things that Microsoft attempted to do myself (largely because they were poorly thought out). But you're really out in left field here. Lol

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:35am :

-Razorfold said,

Um pretty sure I'm willing to bet that within a couple of years Steam was by far the dominant distribution system on PCs (even including retail stores). And as for games that exist that aren't tied to Steam? They are in the minority.

A "couple of years" to become the "dominant" distribution system vs being the sole method of acquisition for an entire platform overnight. Gee, that sure is similar!

As for non-Steam gaming being in minority? Aww, poor Notch.

-Razorfold said,

And on consoles its been coming quite a while too. Both sony and microsoft have had digital stores for years now that have had the same policy restrictions (without the mandatory 24 hour sign in, which like I said before and still think was a pretty stupid. There should have been other ways to authenticate and keep you playing your games).

And it's still coming, except now they're not trying to abuse the market by forcing incompatible traits of one business model onto another.

-Razorfold said,

Optional? For the end user? Um no it's not optional for the end user. If the game I bought uses steam I don't get the choice to go "oh wait I don't want Steam"

So send the 3rd-party an email or start a campaign for a non-Steam version.

Then again, you clearly don't care about the plight of 3rd-parties, so I don't see why they should care about you.

Edited by zhangm, Jan 5 2014, 7:59am :

Blackhearted said,

You still stuck in a dream that microsoft's original plans would have ended up being good for anyone but micosoft themselves?

Of course. It's funny, Neowin is the only place you can find support for those original plans. No one else seems to think they were a good idea.

A "couple of years" to become the "dominant" distribution system vs being the sole method of acquisition for an entire platform overnight. Gee, that sure is similar!

Um since when was it going to be the only method of acquisition? Did Microsoft ever say you could no longer buy your games from Amazon, Gamestop? No they didn't. Even if they go pure digital with no optical media they could just do what Valve does with Steam. You can still buy almost every single steam game on Amazon or from Gamestop, you just get a code to activate it on Steam. MS have never said that the only way to get it would be through their store and only their store.

As for non-Steam gaming being in minority? Aww, poor Notch.

More people use steam on a daily basis than the total number of people who play Minecraft and MC is still just one game. Most PC games that are released nowadays are released exclusively on steam.

Minority doesn't have to mean 2%. If 80% use Steam and 20% use non-steam, non-steam is still the minority.

So send the 3rd-party an email or start a campaign for a non-Steam version.

Why? I and tons of other people like Steam. Steam's policies have never bugged me except for no-refunds bit, but I understand why they do that because otherwise it would be abused to hell and back.

-Razorfold said,

Um since when was it going to be the only method of acquisition? Did Microsoft ever say you could no longer buy your games from Amazon, Gamestop? No they didn't. Even if they go pure digital with no optical media they could just do what Valve does with Steam. You can still buy almost every single steam game on Amazon or from Gamestop, you just get a code to activate it on Steam. MS have never said that the only way to get it would be through their store and only their store.

Think about it a little. How many games are there on the PC that run without ever interacting with Steam? Whatever the percentage may be, it's certainly >=1% - <100%.

Meanwhile on the Xbox One, 100% of titles would have been subject to this policy.

-Razorfold said,

More people use steam on a daily basis than the total number of people who play Minecraft and MC is still just one game. Most PC games that are released nowadays are released exclusively on steam.

Minority doesn't have to mean 2%. If 80% use Steam and 20% use non-steam, non-steam is still the minority.

Minecraft PC sales: 13,563,890
Peak concurrent Steam users: 7,640,627

-Razorfold said,

Why? I and tons of other people like Steam. Steam's policies have never bugged me except for no-refunds bit, but I understand why they do that because otherwise it would be abused to hell and back.

Why? For whatever reason you want, choice is important - even if the dev doesn't oblige it's better to have that option. Rather than being locked into the whims of the platform holder.

Think about it a little. How many games are there on the PC that run without ever interacting with Steam? Whatever the percentage may be, it's certainly >=1% - <100%.

Meanwhile on the Xbox One, 100% of titles would have been subject to this policy.


Well like you I agree that the 24 hour check in for all games was a pretty stupid idea. I know they did it for game sharing on digital downloads, but that have been overridden if you had the disc on hand.

Steam wasn't perfect in that regard either, it took them several years to get offline mode working correctly. But yes they at least made that an option which MS should have done too.

Minecraft PC sales: 13,563,890
Peak concurrent Steam users: 7,640,627

Well I did say play 13 million people don't play Minecraft. But if we're going to go purely by account numbers then Steam has something like 60 million I think? Might be a bit more or less not sure.

Outside of Steam I think the biggest gaming service would have to be Battle.net mostly due to WoW.

-Razorfold said,

Well like you I agree that the 24 hour check in for all games was a pretty stupid idea. I know they did it for game sharing on digital downloads, but that have been overridden if you had the disc on hand.

Steam wasn't perfect in that regard either, it took them several years to get offline mode working correctly. But yes they at least made that an option which MS should have done too.

Steam certainly wasn't (isn't) perfect, but it wasn't ever (or ever will be) mandatory either.

Slowly rising to popularity in a deprived market is a very different beast to instantly controlling an entire platform.

-Razorfold said,

Well I did say play 13 million people don't play Minecraft. But if we're going to go purely by account numbers then Steam has something like 60 million I think? Might be a bit more or less not sure.

Outside of Steam I think the biggest gaming service would have to be Battle.net due to WoW and SC2.

I'm glad you caught that. Do you not see why considering variables is important? The above is an example of gross simplification.

In terms of biggest gaming service outside Steam, probably the various DotA clients in china which dwarf LoL significantly. (Which in turn dwarfs Battlenet iirc)

Athernar said,

Think about it a little. How many games are there on the PC that run without ever interacting with Steam? Whatever the percentage may be, it's certainly >=1% - <100%.

Meanwhile on the Xbox One, 100% of titles would have been subject to this policy.

Minecraft PC sales: 13,563,890
Peak concurrent Steam users: 7,640,627

Why? For whatever reason you want, choice is important - even if the dev doesn't oblige it's better to have that option. Rather than being locked into the whims of the platform holder.


Wow, you sure can twist figures (or mistakenly connect two unlike things... I can't tell)! All with a derisive tone...

I would be tempted to suspect you're in politics... LOL

For the record, Total Sales of one thing != Concurrent Users of another thing...

Whereas, the option to purchase one thing at a store (in addition to from the respective marketplace) and the option to purchase another thing at a store (in addition to from the respective marketplace) IS similar. In fact, it's exactly the same...

xendrome said,
^Apparently one of the ones that ruined it for the rest of us

Gamers didn't ruin it, but way to egg on the bickering.

Blackhearted said,

Tying your games to your account, like they wanted to do, would have benefited microsoft by eliminating used games, forcing everyone to buy new(while keeping the price of new higher for longer), and making microsoft huge amounts of extra money in licensing fees due to used being gone.

Sharing, in a way, also wouldn't be beneficial to anyone in the long run. Cause look at it this way. If they kept it so that any 10(i think it was) people you wanted to play your games(even if they weren't remotely near you), you'd have millions of people just leaching off their friends purchases instead of buying games. Game companies would see dramatically lower sales on the xbox platform because of that, and then proceed to not want to make games for that platform.

You act like Microsoft makes the money off of all game sales, when it is the distributors/publishers, as I stated in my question.

There is NO financial link or benefit to Microsoft to enforce DRM via the MS Account - which happens even without the sharing features. In fact, the management through Microsoft's servers costs them more money, instead of shoving the costs back to each individual distributor/publisher.

More importantly...
You are also on some rant about sharing and used games, which is EXACTLY what the original 'checkin' was designed to offer more easily. Which would have allowed gamers MORE options to share games, NOT LESS.

Edited by Andrew, Jan 6 2014, 8:28pm :

Yeah, it would help Microsoft but it would have helped everyone else too. We don't live in a world where "winner takes all". There can be multiple winners, hence the phrase, "win-win situation".

-Razorfold said,

The only consoles that I do own are N64, wii and a PS3 with no plan of upgrading either.

*snigger* Nintendo geek