To have others tell it, you would think that Microsoft’s forthcoming Xbox One is horrific monstrosity that will imprison users in a web of digital rights management technology and shackle them permanently to the internet for all time.

Likewise, the situation out of Microsoft’s camp is just as delusional. Don Mattrick, head of the Interactive Entertainment Business seems to be up the public relations river without a paddle. In statements following the Xbox E3 Media Briefing he’s completely managed to change the story of the Xbox One from a tale of misreading the market and just plain being expensive into what sounds an awfully lot like the story of Icarus. Having discovered magical technology, Microsoft forgot its place with the Xbox One and flew way too close to the proverbial Sun otherwise known as upsetting “core gamers”.

Here’s the thing. Don’t believe all of what either is telling you. Both groups are either completely full of excrement or have dined on the finest and most potent of wines.


Keep calm, and be quiet.

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Let’s get one thing clear right now. On some level they are both right. The Xbox One’s DRM scheme will put a cramp in the style of people who plan to take their Xbox on a camping trip. The Xbox One will enable Xbox users to share their games with their friends and family fairly effortlessly. The Xbox One will simply not be usable for members of the armed forces. The Xbox One will allow you to buy video games on Day One of their release and then gift those games to a friend.

Here’s what the Xbox One won’t do. For the time being, it won’t completely change the nature of video games and every time Microsoft eludes to this sort of thing they force gamers to ask if the new DRM scheme is worth it. The Xbox One won’t mean the end to all gaming civilization as we know it (you know what will though? Piracy).


The Xbox One won’t be successful if Don Mattrick keeps taking every public opportunity to piss off users by saying things like users who don’t have the internet should “buy an Xbox 360”. Don’t get me wrong, he’s dead one, but it’s still a bad idea to say it. These users are those who immediately buy a gaming console. They read reviews, they share their tastes and every time they feel slighted, they tell people. Bad word of mouth is bad word of mouth any way you slice it.

The DRM on the Xbox One won’t suddenly go away because users decide to sell their Xbox 360 as part of some “protest”. Neither is all those social network posts about how the Xbox One “sux”, mainly because many of them are posted by people while sitting in front of their Xbox 360s that are constantly connected to internet and never leave the house.

You know what will happen? At some point industry pundits –admittedly, like me, will shut up. Preposterous, arm chair protests will fall silent. Then at some point this fall users will choose the console that works best for them. For one moment, one single slice in time, users will look at their wallets and decide if being able to share games with their friends, use the Xbox One as a television guide and effortless play games with a Kinect is worth its higher price and more stringent internet requirements.

That next day, users will be able to judge the solution for themselves. They’ll have all of the information they need to make an informed decision and Microsoft PR would have gotten off the train to Crazy Town and actually provided the details people want.

Until then, I only have but one question. Can we all do ourselves a favor and just shut the hell up and wait for actual details? Oh, and as for Microsoft, unless you are discussing a press release with the full details of what users can expect this fall, that goes for you too.

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