Heartbroken Microsoft Employee Anonymously Posts About Xbox One

121

I think the post speaks for itself, well worth the read:

It’s 4am and I’m still up, some hours ago, we at Microsoft had to basically redact on our Always Online infrastructure and dream.  Being part of the team that created the entire infrastructure to include the POS (point of sale) mechanisms I must say that I am extremely sad to see it removed.  But the consumer knows what is best, I can place the blame on no one but us here at Microsoft.  We didn’t do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model.  We spent too much of our time fighting against the negative impressions that many people in the media formed.  I feel that if we spent less time on them and more time explaining the great features we had lined up and the ones in the pipes gamers and media alike would have aligned to our vision.  That stated, we felt the people we would have loss would have been made up by the people we would have gained.  We have 48 million Xbox 360 users connected online nearly 24 hours a day.  That is much more than any of our closet competitors and vastly more than Steam.  The people that we would have left behind I feel would have eventually come around as they saw what advantages the platform had to offer.  But as I previously stated we at Microsoft have no one to blame other than ourselves for failing to convince those hesitant to believe in our new system.  Microsoft might be a big company, but we at the Xbox division have always been for the gamer.  Everything we’ve done has always been for them, we have butt heads with the executives many times on what we’ve wanted to, some times we lost (removing the onboard processor from Kinect 1.0) and other times we’ve won (keeping Gears of War as an exclusive).

While publishers have never come right out to us at MS and say “We want you to do something about used gaming” we could hear it in their voices and read it in their numerous public statements.  The used gaming industry is slowly killing them and every attempt to slow down the bleeding was met with much resistance from the gaming community.  I will admit that online passes were not well received nor were they well implemented, but I felt given time to mature it could have turned into something worth having as a gamer much like DLC (we went from pointless horse armor to amazing season passes like Borderlands 2!).  Videogame development is a loss leader by definition and unlike other forms of media videogames only have one revenue stream and that is selling to you the gamer.  So when you buy a game used you’re hurting developers much more than say a movie studio.  Many gamers fail to realize this when they purchase these preowned games.  It is impossible to continue to deliver movie like experiences at the current costs without giving up something in return.  It’s what gamers want and expect, the best selling games are blockbusters, the highest rated are blockbusters, the most loved are blockbusters.  How can developers continue to create these experiences if consumers refuse to support them?  Many will argue the development system is broken, and I disagree.  The development system is near broken, it’s used gaming that is broken, but regardless I think more emphasis on this from both us at Microsoft and publishers would have gone a long way in helping educate the gamer, but again it is us who dropped the ball in this regard for that we’re sorry.

Going back to Xbox One’s feature set, one of the features I was most proud of was Family Sharing.  I’ve browsed many gaming forums and saw that many people were excited about it as well!  That made my day the first time I saw gamers start to think of amazing experiences that could come from game sharing.  It showed that my work resonated with the group for which I helped create it for.  I will admit that I was not happy with how some of my fellow colleagues handled explaining the systems and many times pulled my hair out as I felt I could have done a better job explaining and selling the ideas to the press and public at large.  I’m writing this for that reason, to explain to gamers how many of the features would have worked and how many of them will still work.

First is family sharing, this feature is near and dear to me and I truly felt it would have helped the industry grow and make both gamers and developers happy.  The premise is simple and elegant, when you buy your games for Xbox One, you can set any of them to be part of your shared library.  Anyone who you deem to be family had access to these games regardless of where they are in the world.  There was never any catch to that, they didn’t have to share the same billing address or physical address it could be anyone.  When your family member accesses any of your games, they’re placed into a special demo mode. This demo mode in most cases would be the full game with a 15-45 minute timer and in some cases an hour.  This allowed the person to play the game, get familiar with it then make a purchase if they wanted to.  When the time limit was up they would automatically be prompted to the Marketplace so that they may order it if liked the game.  We were toying around with a limit on the number of times members could access the shared game (as to discourage gamers from simply beating the game by doing multiple playthroughs). but we had not settled on an appropriate way of handling it.  One thing we knew is that we wanted the experience to be seamless for both the person sharing and the family member benefiting.  There weren’t many models of this system already in the wild other than Sony’s horrendous game sharing implementation, but it was clear their approach (if one could call it that) was not the way to go.  Developers complained about the lost sales and gamers complained about overbearing DRM that punished those who didn’t share that implemented by publishers to quell gamers from taking advantage of a poorly thought out system.  We wanted our family sharing plan to be something that was talked about and genuinely enjoyed by the masses as a way of inciting gamers to try new games.

The motto around the offices for the family plan was “It’s the console gaming equivalent to spotify and pandora” it was a social network within itself!  The difference between the family sharing and the typical store demo is that your progress is saved as if it was the full game, and the data that was installed for that shared game doesn’t need to be erased when they purchase the full game!  It gave incentive to share your games among your peers, it gave games exposure, it allowed old games to still generate revenue for publishers.  At the present time we’re no longer going forward with it, but it is not completely off the table.  It is still possible to implement this with the digital downloaded versions of games, and in fact that’s the plan still as far as I’m aware.

Another feature that we didn’t speak out about was the fact we were building a natural social network with Xbox One in itself that didn’t require gamers to open their laptops/tablets to post to their other friends nor did they need to wrestle with keyboard add-ons.  Each Xbox Live account would have a full “home space” in which they could post their highest scores, show off their best Game DVR moments, what they’ve watched via Xbox TV and leave messages for others to read and respond to.  Kinect 2.0 and Xbox One work together and has robust voice to text capabilities.  The entire notion of communicating with friends you met online would have been natural and seamless.  No reliance on Facebook, or Twitter (though those are optional for those who want them).  Everything is perfectly crafted for the Xbox One controller and Kinect 2.0 and given that shine that only Microsoft can provide.

We at Microsoft have amazing plans for Xbox One that will make it an amazing experience for both gamers and entertainment consumers alike.  I stand by the belief that Playstation 4 is Xbox 360 part 2, while Xbox One is trying to revolutionize entertainment consumption.  For people who don’t want these amazing additions, like Don said we have a console for that and it’s called Xbox 360.



About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • UncleFan

    Lost all sympathy for this guy when he started complaining about used games. $60 first sale isn’t enough for you? You need to leech off of second hand sales, too?

    The solution to the used gaming “problem” is to make games that people don’t ever want to sell. For example, I’ll never part with Oblivion or Skyrim, because those games have endless replay value.

    • TT

      The problem is that inside that $60 we pay today, we pay the publisher 2 times, because they know we gonna resell it.
      The new modell would be more like gaming on iOS where a game is cheap cause we cant resell it, lend it and so on.
      That would have meant cheaper games in the end.

      • TheOne2125

        Okay iOS and consoles and PCs should not be in the same breadth.
        This would be more along the steam model with the prices going down over time. Developers will start seeing higher returns and would be willing to bring down the prices. Gamestop is nice but lets be honest the consumer does not win with resellers. First you get rob when you sell to them and proper see them slap a price barely cheaper than the new game.

      • Jhora Zakaryan

        Retail would never allow games to be cheaper at launch date than their prices. The same situation is on Steam now, when a COD or whatever triple A title comes out, the digital copy over at Steam costs as much as the physical copy.

        • daryl welch

          Yes most games would start out the same price, but if you used steam, you would notice the quick price drop and the insane sales they do. You have to see past the hand in front of your face. You can not break the pricing model, but you can get gamers that can’t by every blookbuster day 1. Maybe 2 months down the line the game would cheaper and you have saved $30

          • 4wayhandshake

            I use steam, and it does offer good sales — 2-3 times a year. Almost all are older titles from the big studios, indy titles or are from Value’s library. The big studios don’t embrace Steam the way Valve does, and for the most part these sales don’t include blockbuster titles.

            Your assessment ignores the fact that you can achieve the same level of savings by waiting 2 months and buying it used.

          • neiva

            I bought all GTA games (since GTA 1 to GTA IV Stories of Liberty City) for about 8€ on Steam. GTA IV alone still costs around 25€ for XB360 or PS3 in my country. So, big studios kind of support Steam…

          • neiva

            And it makes no sense to buy those games with a new version every year like PES, FIFA, NFL, etc. used.
            No one sells them until the next version arrives and when it arrives, it makes no sense to get the old one. Those games always cost 60€ outside Steam where you can get them for about half the price.

        • 4wayhandshake

          This a million times. Publishers don’t pass along savings to the consumer — Steam has proven this. If this was going to happen outside of special sales, it would have already happened on Steam, since it’s been around long enough for them to establish a new normal for pricing in a world of electronic distribution. Where DRM is enforced and once you buy a title you cannot trade or sell it when you’re done. Steam is the perfect example of companies utilizing a system where the marginal cost of selling another unit is virtually nothing, yet as Jhora stated big titles in this DRM world cost the same as a physical one.

          This is the main reason why MS’s ideal solution wasn’t swallowed by the public. It wasn’t going to enhance their experience at all. It was only going to enhance someone’s pocketbook.

        • Omar

          I think as consumers, we miss what the developers mean when they say used game sale hurt the industry. When a game is developed for $50Million, that’s a lot of manpower, hours and creativity that goes into the game and some AAA game budgets have actually surpassed this. The sale of a game to one person is fine and maybe even loaning/selling it to your friend is fine. But when everybody knows that they can go to Gamestop and buy a use copy, the developer sees an exponential decrease in their revenue stream. After that 1 game is sold to Gamestop for 50% or less of its initial cost, they mark it back up really high and keep all profit. That 1 game circulates many times (and sometimes years) before its finally retired to the $4.99 bin, where even there it still makes money for Gamestop.

          As a person who isn’t rich, I think used games is a major convenience and I’ve purchased enough used games. But once u become an artist or content creator, u learn to have appreciation for the hard work and sacrifices you put in. Gamestop essentially is taking money from you that other gamers could potentially be buying brand new at retail, even if the prices were cheaper. If the games don’t sell because they aren’t cheap enough, the prices will drop but the developer still sees a cut. But they don’t if they’re used. Used games, downloading music, movies and other content is something I do all the time but I realize that it does contribute to a loss of income for those who create the products.

          I think the worst thing about their original plan was the 24hr check in. They could have gotten rid of that and just allowed for the family sharing only with games that you download instead of the disc. No check in for either circumstance. Discs could be traded. They got their whole message screwed up.

        • Regan Anderson

          While what you said is completely true, I’d also like to point out that in many cases Steam reduces its prices faster and by more. In the case of Skyrim specifically, it’s currently $30 on Steam for the base game; I saw it for retail in a store for $40, until recently when the legendary version came out.

        • slickjoint

          consoles digital sales should align with PC market prices. If they went DRM all he way, downloaded games should cost less; more like 50-40 $, like pc games on steam.

          Their business model works just fine, and this is a way of enticing people to switch to full digital. Who buys a physical copy of a PC game nowadays ? 10% of population ? 3rd world ? whatever.

      • NGM123

        Dream on, means the greedy ass publishers would pocket any gains. Passing that onto the consumers is laughable.

      • UncleFan

        I don’t agree with that argument at all. The Steam version of Tomb Raider costs $10 MORE than the Xbox 360 version, even though Steam games can’t be resold!

      • Majeed Belle

        I think “this would have meant cheaper games” is just conjecture. Again if that was the case and or goal then Microsoft should have spoken up about it. Hell they still can speak up about it. Here we are and still no one says a word though. Wishful thinking is just that. Wishful.

    • NGM123

      He nailed at the start of his cry me a river tirade when he called it POS. Those policies sure were.

    • sandisto

      Games only have endless replay value if technological advancement comes to an end and nothing better ever comes along. This post is just more evidence that a dinosaur doesn’t change its spots

  • Pat

    People in the “family” would only get to play 45-60 minutes of the game?

    And why was PlayStation’s “game sharing” model horrendous? You activate your account on 3 PS3s and those PS3s can play any digital games you buy. The whole game! On any profile! Hell, it used to be 5! But whatevs…

    • Gladiatorza

      - Your account is no longer private, the other ps3’s must have your login details
      – Are your credit card details attached to your account (hmmm)
      – Are your social networks attached to your account

      • TheOne2125

        Yea thank you you are not sharing between profiles you are sharing your profile and nope I will not share my profile with anybody.

      • Pat

        No. I have my account on my brother’s PS3 and he doesn’t need my login info, as long as the game was downloaded from my account onto his PS3, he can play it on his PS3 on his account, full game and all. Everything’s safe.

  • nohone

    One thing is for certain – the PS4 fanboys forced the Xbox One back into the stone age, bringing the Xbox down to the old, antiquated level of what Sony is offering. But don’t worry, much like achievements and entitlements (er, trophies) Sony will announce exactly what Microsoft just cut, with the only difference being the name, and the media as well as the POS4 fans will herald it as a great advancement that will redefine the gaming industry.

    • counterblow

      no they won’t. Gamers will get what they want because guess what, gamers are who buy these systems at the end of the day.
      What MSFT SHOULD have done but didn’t was come out with an Xbox One Lite that had all of these restrictions buy couldn’t play disc games.

      • Meekermoloko

        I was thinking about that too. They should have come out with one without a blu-ray disc drive, but then how many people would buy it?

        Even if it were $399, wouldn’t the majority of customers pay the extra hundred so that it could also play game discs and blu-ray movies… or go with the PS4?

        Maybe if it also included 1 TB of disk space instead of the 500 GB? I dunno.

    • Eilachan

      You cant blame anything on the Sony Fans, for me both consoles are good, but i prefer the Playstation cause it has more games i like, for example, the NIS Games like Disgaea, Mugen Souls and Games like that. Much things went very wrong on this, from Gamersside and Mircosoftside, so you cant blame it just on the People which overrate Sony or something, thats ridicioulous.

    • Majeed Belle

      I think it’s stupid to say that the PS4 community ruined our system. I mean listen to yourself. No my friend. The Xbox community ruined this by not backing it. Microsoft ruined this by not being forthcoming with the proper information to explain exactly what was going on.

  • Robert Potter

    Oh god, this reeks heavily of bullshit. Why are you posting this?

  • hairyback

    Well after reading this heartfelt post I found another reason to switch to the ps4. Up until now I thought the one thing the xbone had going for it was the family sharing. I thought this meant you could play each others games- no its just a demo!

    As for the used games thing, they are mistakenly thinking that if someone doesn’t buy a used game, that will automatically translate into a new game sale. Wrong. I will never pay $60 for a game. I don’t care how great it is. People buy used games because they’re affordable. Yes games cost a lot to make, so with that thinking why not charge $100, $1000- justifying the price by the same reasoning. Bring down the prices and you will kill the used game market and probably sell enough to make up the difference.

    Now think about the reason someone would sell a game. If I had thousands of dollars just lying about, I would never sell my games, because I may play it again sometime in the future. The only reason I would sell is so that I can afford to buy a new title. Take that away and I cant afford $60, so I would just end up replaying my titles. Either way that doesn’t translate into a sale.

    You see how this is much more complicated than the writer is trying to make out.

    Im sorry, every decision microsoft made with this console feels like a bunch of executives sat down and tried to figure out a way to squeeze more money out of the public. Spin it as much as you want, but this wasn’t about the industry, but about microsoft profits. And I for one am thrilled it blew up in their faces.

    • MaximusZA

      Have to agree with you 100%. i also feel their decision to remove the DRM wasn’t because they were listening to their customers. its purely cause they saw PS4 making a killing in the pre-orders and saw they were not going to make any money and the only way of changing that would be to remove the DRM/always on/sharing fees.

      • NegLewis

        Look at the price difference. Xbox one $500+ > PS4 $400.
        Look at the hardware: XBox1 == PS4

        Look the Design. XBox1 == PS4

        Game policies. PS4 wins.

        So: my opinion is that those $100 + Used game policies was a big blow at MS.

        The real game changer in software industry will be a real “KickStarter” Mobile App.
        People will be able to create in 6-12 months a monster corporation or destroy another… by releasing something really really good.

        MS, Sony must step up and use this.

        • Jhora Zakaryan

          The hardware isn’t exactly the same across PS4 and One. PS4 has a more modern architecture (unified memory with ultra fast bus) and the GPU on PS4 is more powerful.

          • Asgard

            Except for memory speed has not mattered any more in the last five years, because it is so fast anyway the bottlenecks are elsewhere. Just a marketing trick to use DDR5. GPU is faster in PS4, yes, but I would not expect the graphics to be noticeably better. We will see.
            And one thing missing from the list is software. Xbox1 has Windows 8 underneath, so it is clearly about 100 times more appealing software platform.

          • Jhora Zakaryan

            I agree with you that the memory speed is not a key factor, and an average PC with 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM modules cope with all demanding tasks very well.
            As for the software… I’m very skeptical about what MS did with Xbox One. As far as I could understand, they have two separate virtual machines, one of them running a stripped down Windows 8 for internet, skype and multimedia, and a custom, relatively simple OS solely for running games. And there’s a Hyper-V supervisor on top of them that is responsible for switching between them.
            Two separate operating systems running simultaneously will likely mean that CPU cores will be strictly divided and bound to them, so less CPU power will be available for gaming computations. AMD Jaguar is not a top-notch gaming CPU as it is (even previous gen i5 3570K is way more advanced), and taking some cores away from it would make things even worse.

          • textomatic

            This is all theoretical talk. And honestly it doesn’t really matter that much. Take a game like Battelfield3. The graphical difference between Ultra and High settings on the PC is very hard to distinguish. This might be the graphical difference you’ll see between the PS4 and XBOne. And software wise Microsoft has more experience than PS4. The underlying engine can make a difference in the overall user experience. And yes, don’t count out the farm of computers that Microsoft has available for developers to use as they wish. From what I’ve heard and read anything can be off put to the cloud that can handle a 100ms latency. It’s up to the developers to harness that power.

          • Jhora Zakaryan

            I’m not saying that we will see big visual difference between XboxOne games and PS4 games. My previous comment was about the way consoles manage resources and that I find it bad for gaming.
            And all that cloud stuff is not anything groundbreaking, it’s more of a PR than something we will come to see in the near future. For the tasks like keeping state of ‘persistent’ worlds and simulating some things on the server side, even when the user is not playing, and all social stuff like player matching are good examples for ‘cloud’ computations because such things are not latency sensitive. We have had such things for quite some time (Diablo 3, SimCity, a lot of MMOs). Even video game streaming is not that horrible (and OnLive proved that), though you definitely can feel the latency during inputs from keyboard/mouse. But I doubt we will see chunks of the game rendered in the cloud and fetched to the game in real time.

          • textomatic

            Agreed, I don’t think the cloud will impact the XBOne’s graphic capability but I do think game developers are smart people and will find new and exciting ways to use the cloud. Forza 5 will upload your friends driving capabilities so that you can do asynchronous racing. Who’s to say that Capcom won’t do the same for Street Fighter? Just saying.

  • vin

    Yor blog is very nice. I will surely return to your blog.

    Buy iPhone 5 from The Mobile Store http://www.themobilestore.in

  • Bertrum

    Sounds to me like loosing family sharing and just lending a disc is a good thing. A 1 hr demo of something like fallout then pushing the market place sounds more like using customers as free sales reps.
    The publishers also have to consider that retail shops live n die on used sales, the margins on full price are too low to sustain long term. Perhaps PC pricing, less margin for publishers but double the volume would be an answer.
    That said, steam is very restrictive and does seem to do well.

    • hairyback

      Yes, if its a demo, why cant you just use xbox live, why be restricted to games your friends and family own?
      Steam has incredible sales and that’s the difference.

  • sonofabit

    opt in? OPT IN?!!!!! I’ll pay for the privilege to opt in!!

    • AndyRivera1980

      So wil i!

  • Shane Nokes

    This anonymous pastebin post is full of crap. I worked on the shared library feature, and no, that guy is just seeking attention.

    • Kabwall

      It was as suspected people thought it was? Yea, hearing the same thing through associates, this pastebin post it is an attempt to bury the family sharing option once and for all from…a interested party….because it sees it as such a serious threat and don’t have any solution of their own, in fact all of their marketing and PR has been to bury it and to “realign” the consoles…

      • Shane Nokes

        I have no idea as regards that part of things. I just know that the pastebin document itself was bunk.

        I don’t know if it was astroturfing, or RM, or just someone who thought they could get a little bit of notoriety amongst their friends.

        • Kabwall

          Cool, was just curious as I was hearing that from a semi-hardcore Sony/Playstation fan……..

  • Aritos

    The xbox one is xbox 360 part 2, microsoft.

  • NegLewis

    “I can place the blame on no one but us here at Microsoft.

    We have 48 million Xbox 360 users connected online nearly 24 hours a day

    The people that we would have left behind I feel would have eventually come around”

    All big/small corporations MUST STOP this “I KNOW BETTER” insanity.
    What should have happen? people with no internet access or people who have no internet, or those days with no internet access (broken network, unpaid cable)… to do what?

    MS keep making same mistakes. They suppose that they have the right to remove some tech… just because they can.
    I love MS products … but the signs are there…

    First BIG mistake is removing from WP the Micro SD support, then Radio FM support and then forcing people to use their own data to listen Music, Radio…

    People must reject and react to these “changes” …

    • TheOne2125

      Uhh that last part pretty much all the OS systems do. SD card support is their FM Radio comes back next month. While other systems have dropped it. They say get a app which of course uses your data.

    • kalval

      “All big/small corporations MUST STOP this “I KNOW BETTER” insanity”
      This is just one person’s point of view, clearly not the view of the corporation as a whole. Why would they have backtracked so fast if not as an admission that they did not know best?
      Sure, it was largely about not losing customers, but that is the motivation of every single corporation out there. The fact they were willing to change their policy is still a good sign.

    • Keifwoki

      some WP’s do have micro sd support and radio support has been said to turn back on next month I hazard due to customer feedback… I think it’s great they are listening to the people, I hope they are listening when I say I would rather Xbox one chapter 1, and meet half way and have all these lost features as an option..

  • Juanju Cm

    That great features are killed by MS

    You can offer all that great ideas and a possibility to play offline too, think about it, explore all scenarios and sell your best.

    • TheOne2125

      No without the DRM the publishers were not having it. Forget EA the ones we like were tired of getting pirated and cheated out their money. These are not so crap no more than 3 months develop mobile games(some done in less than a week)these are massive productions with lots of workers. That may take 2 or 3 years to fully clear out.

  • Bas

    Games are cheaper on Steam…because there are is no reuse market that absorbs profit. You could even think of a Spotify model which gives you access to a library of games for a monthly fee (yes please!). If only they had introduced this system by saying “games will be half the price of those published for ps4″ (and you can share, but not resell), it would have blown PS absolutely out of the water. Thing is, they were not ready and could not make commitments like that, resulting in the worst public communication ever.

  • unfalln

    Is there a chance to implement the original propositions for downloaded games and just remove the online connectivity requirement for hardcopy/dvd games? Given that online sales will probably end up being cheaper, I would certainly prefer the option of paying the current $120AU for offline DVD play or $50AU for always online, family-shared, new XBox One awesomeness…?

    • Orc

      Agree This is what should have been done from start.

  • buffig

    Well, he didn’t do a good job of shelling that dream to me…None of that sounded useful or even interesting

    • buffig

      sorry, I typed selling with sean connerys accent

  • kalval

    “Another feature that we didn’t speak out about was the fact we were building a natural social network with Xbox One in itself that didn’t require gamers to open their laptops/tablets to post to their other friends nor did they need to wrestle with keyboard add-ons. ”
    How does the recent change in policy have ANY bearing on being able to include that feature in the xbox one?

    • big_Stefano

      He said “a feature that we didn’t speak out about”. He didn’t say that because of the changes, this feature is going to be implemented anymore.
      Just the same as how he said the plan is still to implement Family Sharing on digitally downloaded games, I am pretty certain that they will keep this feature too.

  • ZappyKins

    Wow, this really makes me more sad. People that don’t understand the future shouldn’t be permitted to ruin it for those that can.

    • Tom V.

      it only delayed the inevitable. this console was built to support these features at launch and MS will be implementing them again as time goes on as they find a way to find the proper balance between on and offline functionality as they adjust their policies and tech. trying to give physical media the same features as digital was ambitious but it may be best to just keep them separate. this may aid them in giving consumers the incentive to go digital. i don’t mind digital at all, just as long as i can access them offline.

  • Orc

    Why cant it be an advanced mode, were online purchases can use the 24h restriction and share those games to family and friends, and let the die hard disc users use to old fashion way. Im sure the modern users will prevail in the end.

  • Mikado_Wu

    So how about this, keep all your New features available for direct download games. Then change $15-20 less per game for digital downloads. Boom, Gamestop and used game market is Dead.

    • MoeHD7

      Agree 100%

    • Geordie G Glazer

      +1

    • Joel Piggott

      +1
      Unfortunately that’s not how Micro$oft thinks….

  • Willem Evenhuis

    Nice to read that microsoft can put things into perspective for themselves. This was a black eye, but microsoft will be back in the picture. I can not help the thought the issue seems to be a business model one. The way we currently use the xbox and its games is a purchase and resell nature. Apparantly this hurts developers and apparantly many don’t realize it as well(!!!) if I read correctly. Doesn’t it mean that the computergame business should try to look at other business models? After all, as far as I know its the most common thing to do. Hell I can even remember we’ve been doing this since we had a first computer in the home back in the 80’s. Surely microsoft could have forseen this these last 30 years?
    I think it is good that this employee ackknowleged that a good explanation could have been the issue. I felt a bit apprehensive when there was talk of the xbox one and the Always online concept. Maybe in certain demographics this is a valid option, but the fact remains that in the global market, even in places one would expect a good wifi/ethernet connection, the fact is still that internet connectivity is an issue, and the experience will still be more poor than buying a full copy for offline playing. I think if this issue is solved, this xbox one issue would have been a whole lot different.

  • textomatic

    I hope this anonymous post is not true. Microsoft kept touting that we could share our games with up to 10 family members. That’s not the same thing this poster is saying. This guy is saying that it would have been more aching to a timed demo. I would like it if someone in the journalist field would try and get a clear answer from Microsoft as to exactly how the family share plan was going to work. I was supporting the original XBOne’s features because of the shared games but I would have never gone for this time limit on the games. If this is true then someone at Microsoft needs to be fired for misleading their customers. I am a big supporter of Microsoft and they usually are very transparent with their software feature but this would have been the ultimate case of deceiving their customers. I feel like a fool for backing up the original plan if this post is legit. Then again this is the internet where nothing really is what it seems.

    • http://www.vaultgirl.com/ Autum Bredmose

      I know! I felt like that whole “demo” thing was the big elephant in the post. They seriously were leading us to believe that we could fully play those games in our “Family” circle. That is super shady. I just have a feeling that they would have been like……… OH, BY THE WAY…..

    • Majeed Belle

      This is the problem Microsoft is having for sure. They tried to get over on people by using those pretty little words. “Family Sharing”, “Anywhere in the world”. But wait we forgot to mention that it’s only a fucking demo for 15min. HILARIOUS!
      Microsoft tried to pull the wool over peoples heads and it backfired. Well for me it backfired because I’ll be going to the competitor. Next round let’s see if we can be a bit more open than assuming that we all are complete fucking idiots.

  • grimo

    the only thing i was pissed about it was the region lock and internet check once 24 hours but the family sharing system IS timely demo dafuq is wrong with you M$

    • grimo

      that been said i’m Definitely buying XbOne now

  • counterblow

    well I’m glad SOMEBODY came out and explained Family Share because that’s NOT the way I had envisioned it. Share means “here play this until you are done with it” Not, “here play this for an hour then let’s frustrate you with a mandatory buy option.” They should have called that “Family Indian Giving”
    This naïve dolt thinks everyone will be benevolent about DRM and used games, but it is very clear he wants to put a noose around used games. As someone else mentioned, to solve the “used game problem” one only needs to make games people don’t want to sell, thus playing into the good system of supply and demand. Furthermore, I have plenty og great games that are not “blockbusters” In fact, most “blockbuster” games are half hype because the suck. Aliens Colonial Marines comes to mind.

    • Majeed Belle

      Family Indian Giving. Priceless my friend.

  • Mike

    How do used games hurt developers ? There’s still one copy of that game, why does it matter who is playing it?

    • wp77

      Because many people will not buy new (Dev makes no money) and wait to buy used (Gamestop makes money)

    • clay113

      Seriously? If one copy gets sold 20 times instead of people who really like that game going out to buy their own copy, you don’t see how that can hurt the dev? I mean after all, they are in the business to sell games right?

      • Mike

        Surely if you’re looking to buy that game second hand at a discount price you wouldn’t have spent £40 on it brand new anyway….

        • clay113

          Let’s be honest, a lot of people are cheap so it’s easier to wait for for the game to hit the resale market months later. All of that means nothing however, the main issue is even if it’s being bought for a discount, it’s unfair if the dev is not seeing any of that revenue.

        • clay113

          Many will wait because they are cheap. The main reasons why music don’t sell millions of copies lioe they used to. People have money to buy the album, but why do that if you can get it free online is what they do. Same with games, why pay the launch price when you can’t buy it discounted. Thats cool if some of that kickback went to the dev.

  • AndyRivera1980

    Just sad…. Right on 100%

  • 4wayhandshake

    FTFY…
    “For people who don’t want these amazing additions, like Don said we have a console for that and it’s called PS4.”

  • Liam

    I’ve had enough for these complains about the Xbox one
    first they complained about the internet requirement on xbox one and microsoft has stopped their plan and fixed it
    now they are complaining about the price of Xbox one
    so if they want a very cheap and crap service, go for PS4 then
    the xbox one is designed for both entertainment and game at the same time.
    Microsoft has seen through the plan:
    – able to play and switching games without requiring any discs but also maintain the social network service perfectly
    – allow to sharing game to family and friend digitally
    -make great benefits for both developers and customers
    and thank you to some “customers” for ruining the future of gaming and entertaining

    • grimo

      u welcome if that’s the future you want i Don’t want to be part of it however since the DRM is changed i’m buying XbOne

    • MoeHD7

      While I do like my Kinect I currently have the voice option shut off because every now and then while watching netflix or whatever the Kinect will mistake movie dialogue for pause, rewind, fast forward, ect…. Or the kinect wont hear me over the movie vol. ( maybe its my set up but i doubt it) I dont want to pay $100 more for an experiance like that. Yes PS+ sucks no question but it works and I would be able to game and watch Netflix. If MS can get the price down to 399 (maybe cut back on the Hard drive…as long as external storage devices work the same way install games, movies, apps, ext ) I will be a very happy camper.

      • Geordie G Glazer

        I use my Kinect for voice all the the time without any problems. It’s been very reliable for me. When I moved my living room around it behaved poorly like you describe, but when I calibrated it, it was back to normal. I use it almost daily and it’s become one of my favorite features of the xbox. Perhaps calibrating it might give you better results.The $500 price tag is way to high in my opinion as well. If they are forcing the Kinect on us, we shouldn’t have to pay for it.

  • Tom V.

    very ambitious and it sounded awesome, but i don’t think the physical aspect of console game ownership and digital can be combined without making too many people uncomfortable. i say continue with what you originally planned, but keep digital and physical separate. digital can take advantage of EVERYTHING you originally planned and physical wouldn’t. the incentive to buy digital over physical would be the same as Steam, games are cheaper. and, make the basic functionality (notice i said basic, which would not include many of the features some form of internet/subscription would require) of the console accessible when offline (like the ability to just access your games single player content, like Steam). that alone lets people OWN both their digital and physical copies and everyone would be happy. to have the most basic of offline functionality be dependent of the internet is just silly. all you would have to pitch is “not connected to the internet your xbox one won’t be able to take advantage of such features but you can still game. connected to the internet you access a whole new way to experience gaming.” you like that marketing fluff right there? it would work as long as the tech/policies were slightly altered.

  • Keifwoki

    Sell these options as an add on like an activation key… Those who do not wish to connect do not activate… The gains outweigh the losses for these to go ahead…or… Maybe an Xbox Two could be released along side the one that has all these features then gamers can choose… ??

  • koenshaku

    You can’t believe anything online these days this is probably could be some obsessive fan writing a story. MS are acting like children over this entire system though. “Fine! you can have the same of features of xbox 360″ instead of adjusting their model to include offline play for disc purchased games and not having them install on the hard drive with 24 hour online requirements would have made everyone happy I think. Now they just throw away everything like an upset child over a bad compliment he received from something he did. This sort of behavior doesn’t from a corporation doesn’t instill confidence in me as a consumer from the decision makers at Microsoft.

  • MoeHD7

    Microsoft should not give up yet! They can still do this with the digital only purchases! That way gamers aren’t forced into only online games.
    They should also have incentives for getting the digital version on the game like a lower price.

    The game sharing idea is awesome and as long as Microsoft continues to listen to the gamers they can better implement this feature into the Xbox One In the future. Right now Microsoft should consider fixing the price to better compete with the PS4

  • StillConfused

    Is it not possible to leave both options open? If the new model is better for the consumer wouldn’t they take it rather than forcing the change on them? You know change is going to be resisted.

    • not_the_doctor

      Exactly, they could easily do both. If internet is connected at all times, it works as they “envision” it. If it’s disconnected, everything extra is disabled, it would work for the many of us that can’t get reliable, uncapped internet (like the 5-25GB max I can get here). We wouldn’t be able to use most of the extra features anyway, at least very much with the low caps. Then ~most would be happy. Well, the ones buying Xbox, not me.

  • Jeremiah
  • Emily the Strange

    meeh this posts is and sounds stupid… im sorry but when someone tries to blame “us” the company, in this case Microsoft, i call it BS.
    most of the information did good information, some sites like Kotaku, loved giving bad information but the good in formation wasnt there.

    news game sites loved giving rumors and bad info! look at “ALL games ran on win7 with nvidia… oh btw Microsoft doesnt have confidence in win8″ then when they realised it was a lie, becuase it was just one game and not a Microsoft decision.
    title “All games ran on win7 with nvidia” and in the end of the article a Little update probably most users read it after only checking title and pictures “update: it was just lococycle game the one running in this kind of system since it wasnt ported to Xbox one yet”

    Microsoft explained good things about Xbox One. they didnt get in detail but it doesnt mean information wasnt there, and they didnt say “you can share your games up to 10 family members” “you can use 1 gold account and give silver accounts gold features”
    people who are grown up enough should understand by adding a 24 check you could give all that and more, but apparently most people feel the need of drawings? Microsoft talking to people like if they were “special”?

    and then someone who is supposed to know it.. starts saying “oh it was our fault we didn’t explain” like if people wanted an explanation. look at Kinect!, they showed what you can do with Kinect, and retarded people still think “Microsoft should remove Kinect and give a cheaper version” really?? didn’t they see how deep integrated it is? or “but I don’t want Microsoft spying me with Kinect” its obvious Microsoft is not going to spy anyone, but people love to talk crap about MS. and some heartbroken xbox employee, comes and say it was other people at Microsoft fault for not giving information? like if most people wanted an explanation, how is it possible a lot of people understood Microsoft vision but others not? well because they, or didn’t want it to understand or tech news site talk so much crap, they didn’t inform better users. so no matter if Microsoft said you can SHARE your games, still people was saying yesterday “now Microsoft is allowing to share your games and play used games” so don’t tell me Microsoft has to talk to people like if they were in kindergarten with drawings and balloons and numbers to see if they understand, because its obvious they didn’t want to understand, or just they are a bunch of stupid unintelligent humans.

    and here comes my Win8 example, just look how many times it has been shown you can navigate windows 8 the same way you did with win7. no matter how many times you try to explain people against win8 how it works the same, 1 click and you are in desktop. they still complain, they say win8 is not for real work, some even say they take you and force you a “hostile UI”. and that’s a product that you can try, and test yourself. now imagine a Xbox One that hasn’t even been released… its obvious people who hasn’t tried it never would see the benefits of it, and honestly people is so dumb these days I don’t expect them to see the benefits a meter away, even if you shown to them or you say in a big conference “you can share your games with 10 people around the world with no problems!”
    so this heartbroken employee is just a retarded. he should stop pretending how much crap people made up. and how now Microsoft lifted “restrictions” (like if disc in a tray wasn’t DRM) they would still make excuses, price, Kinect spying, how Kinect sucks, how Kinect is not for me super hardcore gamer. how its underpowered even though they don’t even understand how hardware works. etc etc etc.

  • Jared

    ” We didn’t do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model.”

    Yeah, benefits like it being easier to extract more cash from the consumer. Give it a rest loser, “next gen” DRM was a step backwards.

  • Tim

    “I stand by the belief that Playstation 4 is Xbox 360 part 2, while Xbox One is trying to revolutionize entertainment consumption. For people who don’t want these amazing additions, like Don said we have a console for that and it’s called Xbox 360.”

    I read that as “I stand by the belief that Playstation 4 is Xbox 360 part 2, while Xbox One is trying to revolutionize entertainment consumption. For people who don’t want these amazing additions, like Don said we have a console for that and it’s called Playstation 4.”

    • Joel Piggott

      Exactly, this guy is an idiot. We’re not purchasing the console because we want a Microsoft product, we’re purchasing a console because it appeals to us and is the latest, greatest and most powerful.

  • Emily the Strange

    hmm i forgot to ask, where is the source for this letter? how is it possible it says:
    “This demo mode in most cases would be the full game with a 15-45 minute timer and in some cases an hour” like if Xbox news blog didn’t say something else, like how your family members could play at any xbox your shared library, that doesn’t sound to me a 15-45 min demo, if I can play at any xbox.
    and then does this mean, xbox one wouldn’t even have demo versions? because why would you share games if you can just download the demo version of a game just like 360. for free, without depending if your friend shares it with you or not.
    I really don’t believe much the words of this article, that’s why I criticized the way it was written, while a xbox engineer explained the benefits of the drm, this one stayed quiet until the features were gone? but still this person keep saying “it was our fault crappy talk”. at least the engineer said how we could see he was real, but this? some crappy words and we should believe the sharing feature was just demo versions of the game you can download for free from xbox.com? its laughable. there is no even source from where you got this. it sounds like a made up story to bring viewers and then give you moneyz with awesome adz you have in your site.

  • Sansvie

    ” When your family member accesses any of your games, they’re placed into a special demo mode. This demo mode in most cases would be the full game with a 15-45 minute timer and in some cases an hour. This allowed the person to play the game, get familiar with it then make a purchase if they wanted to.”

    I fail to see how this idea is an advantage to any actual family. It reads as if my kids would only be able to play a demo version of a game unless they log into my account. I get why a company would try to stem the tide of people buying games used versus new but I can’t support anything that implies that I would have to buy 4 copies of a particular game in order for everyone living in my house to play on their own accounts without limitations.

    • Shane Nokes

      It’s not, because it’s bogus. I already said that 2 days ago, and reports have now been updated proving that I was telling the truth.

  • atomicjuicer

    Dear Microsoft, no one guaranteed me MY games would work in 5 or 10 years time.

    Stick that and your prism cam where the sun don’t shine.

    • Shane Nokes

      Conspiracy nut makes conspiracy nut post…more at 11.

  • Emory Blessed Grove

    I say everyone who agrees with this copy and past this to any social network your apart of and let anyone and everyone to know what was really going on!

  • Aubrey Pole

    He’s right..just the used game issue is kinda stupid..and I believe (Not certain missed some E3 Stuff and other videos) we cant play Xbox 360 games on the Xboxone. Okay..um..What about all the newer games we bought and wanna play continuously? Halo 4, COD Black ops 2, Bioshock: Infinite (Etc.). I think the whole online thing was a good/ bad idea..should be no limit honestly..because some people dont have Internet..just kind of sad that they took out so many things because Ps4 fanboys were complaining bout how all the new stuff wasn’t good, because Ps4 sucks.

    • Majeed Belle

      If the PS4 community is the sole reason for our community not getting what it wants then OUR XBOX community must really suck. Next time speak up and maybe you’ll be heard. Last I check the Xbox community was bigger that the PS community. Sorry to break it to you but OUR OWN COMMUNITY has helped in this matter. Open your eyes.

  • grs_dev

    This is the most arrogant and myopic post by any employee on the behalf of any company ever.

    A) The customer is always right
    B) The customer votes with his/her dollars
    C) The customer did not oppose the Xbox One’s advancements. The customer disliked its restrictions.

    If the gaming industry as a whole is not willing to acknowledge that the publishers are raping the consumer then they must accept lower revenues for their content.

    I don’t see how anyone can justify paying over and over for the same graphic engine, the same physics engine, the same story line, just a bunch of different cosmetics that are overlayed on top of what those engines provide.

    Sports games are a perfect example. Updated rosters should not cost $60.00!!!

    • Shane Nokes

      Customer walks in and starts beating on their child because the kid wants chicken nuggets instead of a hamburger.

      That customer is not always right…

      Your customer is always right scenario only applies when the customer is acting rationally. That scenario I proposed above I saw in my teenage years when I was working fast food. I didn’t invent it just to fit this post.

      You are correct with point B.

      Point C is not correct. There are people who are definitely against some of the advancements…just look at the folks who think Kinect is going to be used to spy on them…

      • grs_dev

        @shane nokes:
        Please let’s get the conversation on the right level here. No need for ridiculous analogies or irrelevant scenarios.

        Being a parent and being a customer are 2 different things. You could be a horrible pet owner for example and still be right about the product at hand. The customer is always right is a statement about the customer’s reaction and opinion to and of the product not one that says the customer is infallible as a human. So, please let’s not debate this point much further without proper context, please?

        Moreover, it is a statement that is directly related to how the customer votes with their own purchasing power. If they disagree with your decisions as they pertain to the product, they will vote accordingly.

        To reiterate and clarify about point C, if the advancements in online game purchase, asset management, and DRM were introduced into the ecosystem without restricting the current “used games” market then I am pretty sure that the consumer would have and will have the opportunity to vote on those features.

        No where in the blog (assuming it’s even real) did it say that online game purchasing and offline game purchasing had to be mutually exclusive. It does not have to be a zero sum game.

        I as a customer, have no problem with the advancements in DRM as long as they do not install artificial restrictions on the natural way I do things today. In the case of used games and online game purchasing and DRM, the restrictions far outweighed the benefits of an online game purchasing and asset management system.

        So therefore, my points are still standing and are welcome for a healthy debate…
        IF this post truly reflects Microsoft’s intentions or theories, then I find it disturbing. I have to question, why is Microsoft, a company with 70 Million customers and 45 Million of which according to this post, is trying to appease a handful of developers. Have they lost their way? Since when did the developer become their customer on the Xbox platform? I don’t get it.
        Look, you have a commanding lead in the living room, you certainly don’t go blowing it. These features, DRM and all should be an AND not an OR. The Xbox One must not compete with the Xbox 360. That’s a horrible strategy. It says Microsoft cannot decide on its long term strategy for the living room. It also increases the overhead. Horrible business practice.

  • Ruufus

    “But the consumer knows what is best, I can place the blame on no one but us here at Microsoft. We didn’t do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model.”
    The consumer thinks they know best. MS has always seemed not to know how to market and advertise their innovations from Zune, Windows Phone 7, Windows 8, etc. MS your tech is cool but your “suits” are ruining opportunities.

  • Nick

    No I don’t feel bad for publishers who don’t get money from used games. They make BILLIONS and this guy is acting like they barely scrape by. I’m sorry Microsoft that you have to listen to the gamers that provide you with billions of dollars, it must be so tough.

    • Shane Nokes

      Spoken like someone that doesn’t work in the gaming industry or see the books for the developers/publishers/hardware makers at all. *sighs*

  • Kennedy Phillips

    Look, No one said the family sharing was a bad idea. Here’s my question: Why is this not an option without always online? You’d need to connect on, just make it a casual feature like anything else. 45 minute demo? sure, I’ll take that. there is literally no reason you cannot do this without an always on DRM feature. To say so is just lazy programming. If you chalk this up as just another form of cracked games, that’s already a completely separate problem that is very easily detected by microsoft anyway. and if an employee needs to complain about this wasted opportunity, I just remembered. Hey, Wasn’t the achievement system supposed to let you purchase stuff on the marketplace? We all saw what happened to that: Ambitious idea crippled by policy. and this is nothing more than a company being passive agressive about their attempts to hamper used games in a bad way.

    • Shane Nokes

      No, the achievement system was never about being able to purchase things. People got Gamerscore and Microsoft Points confused way back in the day.

      However achievements were designed to allow for unlocking content…which is actually done in some titles.

      WIth bad information like yours it’s hard to make a post that is relevant…and yours is not relevant due to that.

  • F-3885

    It is not about the features it has or doesn’t have. It is about choice; when you have a console that only works while online you take the choice away from the user and that is what really affects us. We want the choice to be online or not. We want to choice to use the features or not.

  • F-3885

    It is not about the features it has or doesn’t have. It is about choice; when you have a console that only works while online you take the choice away from the user and that is what really affects us. We want the choice to be online or not. We want to choice to use the features or not.

  • Abraham Soto

    Leave the Console as it has always been and Shut the F*Up.. Go to hell with always on Connections..

  • Abraham Soto

    I want to play my games even when the servers are turned off.. I don’t want to have an old brick in my home in 10 years. So I don’t care, just implement the benefits without the Always on Connection.

  • Exodus Bro

    I agree with almost everything said. Except used games. I buy a new game the developer gets there money. Period. If I chose to sell it or give to a friend oh well. The developer is not losing. The person buying used games does so for a reason. They will not buy a new one, because the is not that important to them or just can’t afford it. If not for used games, this person would never play it all, let alone buy any DLC for it. The gaming industry makes billions a year. You guys are not hurting and that is a fact. Piracy is a problem but not used games. If anything the business model is broken and the wrong people are making all the money, similar to the music industry. But used CD sales have been around for decades and has not affected music. Again Piracy is the problem. I am sad to see the many online features and family sharing go, as well as the ability to trade in digital content. These features do not really need to leave, its just ms being stubborn. Most of these features will work under the current system, with only minor tweaking. I hope ms will continue to evolve the xbox one and get it back closer to its original vision instead of a complete reversal.