I’ve heard this nonsense over the past few months repeatedly. Saddled with a higher price than it charged users for the Xbox 360, somehow some people have gotten it into their head that Microsoft has dug a hole it can’t get itself out of with the Xbox One. You’ve probably seen them too. Long stories asking how Titanfall, the newly released first-person shooter, can “save the Xbox from its fall.” Bulleted lists of reasons how Microsoft can win back the gaming elite and ride into the sunset.

I won’t make fun of those pieces, though I’d like to. Don’t misunderstand my intentions though, they’re crap but only in so far as they start with the basic premise that the Xbox One is a product in crisis. I don’t think it is.

Consider this: First, you don’t honestly think that Microsoft went into this console generation thinking that a $100 price difference wouldn’t cost them a bit of sales momentum right out of the gate do you? No, I don’t either. So maybe we could stop talking as if the Xbox One isn’t selling remarkably well despite it having a $500 price tag?

Oh and for the record, that price comparison isn’t a one-to-one ratio anymore. Sony told Polygon that I’d had a hard time keeping the PlayStation Camera in stock and that it was seeing a higher than expected number of people pick up the $60 peripheral. If that’s true, a large assortment of users actually do have a use for the Kinect 2 sensor that Microsoft takes no end of criticism for including in their bundle. Let’s not forget that users buying a console will actually want a free game. Titanfall and Forza 5 now have their own bundles, and they cost the same $499 that buying a console on launch day costs.

So let’s do the math shall we. $499 for the Xbox One, One wireless controller, HDMI cable, Kinect 2 sensor and either Titanfall or Forza 5. Turns out, buying a PlayStation 4, PlayStation Camera and a single new game will cost you $20 more than an Xbox One. Yep.

Turns out, buying a PlayStation 4, PlayStation Camera and a single new game will cost you $20 more than an Xbox One. Yep.

One of the reasons Xbox One could be in trouble is because the PlayStation Network has caught up to Xbox Live. Except, it hasn’t. Sony took the PlayStation Network down for 5 hours of maintenance this past Monday, meanwhile my Xbox One worked as advertised. Comparing PlayStation Plus to Xbox Live Gold is very fair, though I struggle to understand who you’re comparing the games that Xbox Live Gold gives you free forever with what amounts to rentals that disappear the moment you stop playing PlayStation Plus.

The problem I have is with the immature people who can’t just sit down, shut up and let this battle play out without saying something idiotic like “the next-generation console race is over because the Xbox One is less powerful than the PlayStation 4.” I’d argue that so was the PlayStation 3 and we know how that race went. There’s also something to beside about most other MP3 players having more features than the iPod too, but why bother?

By now you’ve realized that I’ve triggered your Microsoft Fan Meter on purpose. I happen to think that the PlayStation 4 is a very competent gaming machine, one that deserves its place among the other great consoles to have come before it. That feeling you had about this article before you reached this paragraph is my problem. That blind hatred of another’s hard work. That careful use of deductive reasoning to justify my purchase to others and myself. That’s what I find disgusting. It’s that same blind stupidity that drives people to tell everyone that they should get expensive surround sound speakers in their home too, or reconsider that smartphone purchase from last week.

Now is the time to enjoy these games. Now is the time to revel in the richness of their textures, the ease of their controls and the thrill that made us all pick up a console in the first place.

In short, shut up. Forget about frame rates and this week’s bullet points, and play the damn games.

4 Comments on “Editorials: The Xbox One Hasn’t Lost, We All Have”

  1. Here’s my problem with the XBox One: No HBOGO, no Xfinity onDemand app. Both of these apps exist for the xbox 360, and I love them. So, by my view, we have a next gen console that costs more than the competition, but does less than its predecessor in terms of the multimedia experience. Being marketed as “one device for your living room” while simultaneously going less than your own previous product is a serious head scratcher for me. I realize these are 3rd party apps, but I’m the consumer, not the platform provider. These are not my problems to address, but they do impact my buying decision. I believe MS could have done more to ensure these apps were available day one. They’ve been on xb360 for nearly 2 years.

    • I here that, and I’d agree except there’s one simply problem. It’s my understanding from the way Microsoft talks about them on Xbox Wire that Xbox One apps aren’t something they do on their own. Instead, the company works together with the content provider to create the apps. As HBO Go was already announced for the Xbox One, I’m willing to bet that the reason we don’t have it yet has something to do with HBO Go itself, not the platform. Microsoft can only provide the tools and the platform, it’s up to the content owners to make their stuff available.

      As I said in the article, I still feel that the new bundles Microsoft introduced put both consoles on equal level cost wise. On the other hand, that depends on if you buy the camera or not.

  2. You’re not wrong. MS doesn’t make the apps, it’s up to third parties like hbo and xfinity. I have a hard time believing that they couldn’t have done more to ensure those apps were present. One of the big benefits of this next gen hardware is it’s similarity to the PC. This should make software development cycles much shorter. Further, MS has the financial wherewithal to grease the necessary wheels to work with software partners to expedite these sort of things.

    Perhaps the better way to phrase it is that the app ecosystem is nowhere near as mature for these consoles when compared to their predecessors. By my view, not having HBOGo is nearly as important as not having netflix at launch. The heavy hitter software should be available at launch, IMO. While I realize these are content provider roles, I believe the issue impacts the perception of the platform: charging more for a console that does less (while ironically claiming to do more).

    You do make great points about the cost of each platform when considering the camera. As a potential buyer for each console (I’ll likely buy both down the road), I personally don’t believe I stand to benefit much from inclusion of kinect…YET. That could easily change as the xbox continues to evolve through software updates. Speaking of the updates, it’s an advantage I believe ms possesses over Sony. If you look at how the last gen played out, my ps3 isn’t all that much different than how it came out of the box. The 360 has done quite a bit of changing. We may not all agree on which changes were great and which weren’t, but it remains an evolving platform. MS is a software company, and it’s arguably a great strength here. If we see the same story this gen, I’m very excited to see where MS takes this.

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