Microsoft was surprised by Xbox One backlash 
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Geoffrey Tim
September 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm

surprise

When the Xbox One was first announced, it drew ridiculous amount of online vitriol, thanks to what people perceived was always-on DRM.  Microsoft says it knew the always-online aspect of the Xbox one would be controversial – but was surprised at the negativity.

“If I had to go back and wish that I could rewind time and redo one thing, that would be the one thing,” Microsoft’s Albert Penello told Rev3Games, speaking of the console’s original, very flawed  messaging

“I think with time, people have understood what we were trying to do, and in fact I’m sure you’ve seen it with the fans. They were saying, ‘God, I wish some of this stuff would come back,’” referencing the family sharing features.

“People got in their minds that what we were trying to do was evil or anti-customer when, in fact, we were looking at what Steam does, we were looking at what iOS is going, we were looking where the customers were going and saying ‘I think we can actually give you a better all-digital experience.”

“So was I surprised that people had a reaction to it? No. I mean, we knew it was going to be a controversial decision. Was I surprised how negative the reaction was going to be? Yes,” said Penello.

“We were surprised at how vocal it was, we were surprised at the reaction and the assumptions that people had about what we were trying to do. So we did the famous ’180′.”

Penello quite probably rightly asserts that an all-digital future is going to happen – but Microsoft, it seems, thought it would happen a lot sooner.

“Nobody debates there’s going to be a world, whether it’s this gen, or next-gen, that discs are going to go away, it’s gone away in just about every medium,” he said.

“I think if anything we thought it was going to happen sooner than the customer. We took a hard stance on it.

Microsoft’s already said it plans on re-introducing that sort of thing “when the time is right.” For the most part, Microsoft’s turned the whole thing around, and has managed to get people back on its side; a good thing, because there’s no fun in a one horse race.

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • RinceThisandFINALLYlvUP!

    Lol. I cast “FOXHOUND! (Quick nana, change accounts…) hehehe

    • ALKi1234

      I think his been attending some intense therapy these last few months.

    • Aussious

      after hours of DIY hacking and scouring the internet I have managed to track down FOXHOUND account to the following individual… How counter revolutionary

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Instead of trying to copy other companies or emulate the nefarious practices of others, they should have opened up a dialogue with gamers and tried to get a feel for (a) what gamers want and (b) whether what the industry wants to implement is in line with their consumer and fan base.

    Had they only opened their ears and listened…? Instead, they were arrogant, and believed themselves untouchable.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      The banana is the most sensible of all fruit.

      • Anon A Mouse

        Must be all that potassium.

    • Hammersteyn

      Listening to gamers = Less profits.

  • Zubayr Bhyat

    We’re not ready for all digital yet. They should’ve applied the DRM policies just to digital content and kept old policies with the disc-based stuff.

    • ALKi1234

      Amen….it’s as simple as that. I’m sorry i’m not buying it, they wanted to milk their beloved Fans.

      • Zubayr Bhyat

        I don’t think so. The ideas they had were ahead of their time but the implementation was flawed, as well as the way it was dealt with publically. It’s a controversial viewpoint yes, but you must remember that had it been implemented the way they promised and if everyone was ready it’d blow the PS4 out of the water.

  • Mossel

    “The customer can have any colour he wants, as long as it’s black” – Henry Ford

    • HvR

      must add that the lack of colour choice came with a 75% saving.

      So if MS wants to go full DRM always online but offer games at R250 max I’ll be wearing M$ underpants quicker than you can say PS4.

  • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful
  • Lardus-Respect the beard

    “we were looking at what Steam does” – Yeah right. Even Steam has an offline mode! LG even posted that an “off” switch would solve the issue but noooooo. Always Online for anything other than MMO games = DRM

  • Hammersteyn

    Discs may have gone away in every medium but that’s only in countries where they have cheap high speed internet. This is what the fucktards at MS doesn’t seem to grasp.

    • SaintsRowLee

      Hear hear!

  • JohannS

    Very few people ‘makes sense’ of the industry like Adam Sessler from Rev3. Love those guys.
    The only two reviewers I watch lately are Rev3 and of course, Lazygamer. +Rep for the reference, LazyG’ :)

  • Anon A Mouse

    “I think with time, people have understood what we were trying to do,
    and in fact I’m sure you’ve seen it with the fans. They were saying,
    ‘God, I wish some of this stuff would come back,’” referencing the
    family sharing features. ~ What he says here is “Dear consumer, buy our console, we’ll put the evil back after the fact.”

  • Ryanza

    I will say it again. A gaming console will most likely move from room to room, house to house, city city, country to country.

    Steam is PC based. PC’s most likely stays in the same place for years.

    Mobile phones. Most likely has wireless internet depending on where you are standing on this planet, the internet is provided by the same people where you pay your cell phone bill.

    Xbox One wanted me to buy a console version of Steam that i could not take away from the internet plug? Xbox One wanted me to buy internet to play games that cost R1000?

    Online features is fine but when online features are forced on me, I have to say no. And NO is what I am saying to Xbox One. I don’t trust you Microsoft. If I look at how Xbox 360 started and what it turned into, I can just imagine what the Xbox One is going to turn into.

    Update your Xbox One system now and enjoy online DRM.

  • Pieter Kruger

    Tired of this. MS was right. Gamestop employees got paid to hijack all forums and the conformists joined in. Thats all!

    • Double-O-Six and a half

      What complete and utter rubbish. I am far from a conformist and I hated MS policy of trying to force me to accept their vision of the future… a future I might add that is only possible in limited fully developed countries that have decent broadband infrastructure which is available to ALL those who may or may not buy a gaming console…
      Actually the conformists were those, like you, who seem to simply accept the MS vision of the future even though they couldn’t function in that future but just went along anyway… I say “Bravo” to all those “confirmists” who made MS sit up and take note of our valid concerns as consumers…
      Now run along and crawl back under your bridge…, isn’t that where trolls live? :-)

  • Brian Murphy

    “Penello quite probably rightly asserts that an all-digital future is going to happen”

    Microsoft banked on this after HD-DVD lost, as their reason for not needing Blu Ray in the 360 and moving forward into the future, also. This future you guys are referring to, is a WAYS away. How far is SA from 100% access to broadband? The US? UK? Japan?

    They just don’t get it, not every country, state, city, town etc… has the broadband infrastructure of Redmond, California.

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  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Albert Penelo was busy this weekend, the guy is channelling his inner Don Mattrick, – which makes me think that the corporate head-in-the-sand stance is an intrinsic feature at Microsoft.