Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.
It seems a great tragedy has befallen us all since Microsoft’s Xbox One announcement a couple of days ago. We’ve all lost the ability to think clearly or wipe the fury-born spittle from our mouths after we’re done screaming our hatred to the universe.
I’m familiar with nerd rage. I’m a nerd. Ninety percent of the time I’m proud of being a nerd, because when someone levels that particular ‘insult’ at me, what I can usually infer from it is this ‘You’re smarter than me and in my tiny mind that makes me angry!’
I remember when the reveal came that the Xbox 360’s cheaper models wouldn’t have backwards compatibility and I took to the internet to tell everybody I could find that Microsoft was shitting on the little guy, as opposed to whatever perfectly reasonable explanation they really had. But now, working this job, I have to exercise objectivity and not let my own opinions cloud the err, actual information. Everyday, the first thing I do when I’m about to start work is check out various comment threads around the web, in places like Gamespot and IGN, not to mention twitter and my own Facebook feed. And I see much hatred, my young friends. And hatred, as you know, leads to suffering.
Grammar and spelling in the following comments have been changed to protect the innocent.
‘Fuck Microsoft! They don’t care about us! This is just a glorified Sky box!’ – Anonymous goober on Gamespot.
‘Where’s the fucking games?! It’s just gimmicks! Where are the fucking games?! Fuck you Microsoft!’ – Anonymous goober on IGN.
‘We deserve better than this! That is an insult! It’s not even any better than the 360! We should burn Xbox.’ – Anonymous goober on Facebook.
‘Warghhharghhhhhhoooooh!’ – Angry wookie.
If you come into contact with one of these people, your only option is to back away slowly. Do not attempt to engage them in rational discourse, or they may drag you in and you’ll waste your entire Sunday night trying to get them to listen to reason. At all costs, avoid the foam spewing from the corners of their mouths – it’s to be considered highly infectious and may leave you brain dead and threatening to ‘go and burn Xbox’ despite the fact that Xbox is a part of a company and as such can’t actually be burned. What are you going to do, burn every Xbox in the world? You come near my Xbox with a flaming torch and you’re going the way of Boba Fettt, I swear to God I will Sarlacc pit your ass.
If you are one of these people, do me the honour of putting your rage-boner back in your pants for a second and listening to some reason whilst I address a few of your er, points, with my own opinion.
1. The Xbox One is just a glorified TV box! Where are our games?!
The Xbox One reveal spent a fair bit of of time focusing on the newly implemented TV gimmicks that the Xbox One is going to allow you to access. So we can now watch live TV through our consoles, plus we can cycle through TV, games, a web browser and a host of other things using voice commands. This was the cause for much rage against my brethren on the internet, whose main issue appears to be with the idea that Microsoft is abandoning the hardcore gamer in favour of appealing to some kind of bastardised all-in-one family market. Here’s why you’re dumb to complain about this.
- When the Xbox 360 launched, it did so with between eight and seventeen launch titles, based on region. The Xbox One is due to have between eleven and fifteen, so that’s pretty much exactly the same amount of video games announced as for the previous incarnation – were Xbox abandoning gamers then too? Not to mention the fact that eight of these games are going to be Xbox exclusives – sure sounds like they care about gamers to me.
- Where exactly is the distinction between a TV box that also plays games and a games console that also lets you watch TV? These are semantics and they’re being twisted and deformed like Anakin Skywalker’s melted genitals to piss you off. We’re being given improved capability to play games, with the added edition of a bunch of badass extras, which yes, include TV. Complaining that we’ve got too many features is like ordering a cheese sandwich and then becoming enraged when the server brings us a free cake. You got your sandwich and you got a cake. Eat your sandwich and either enjoy your fucking cake or just don’t eat it – nobody’s going to force you to and nobody will force you to use the Xbox One as anything other than a games console if you don’t want to.
- The One reveal wasn’t for you anyway. Microsoft have made it clear that the majority of the games reveals will be at E3, in a few weeks. If I promised you (another food metaphor) a cheese burger and then gave you a cheese burger, would you get pissed off because it wasn’t a steak? Your steak comes at E3. Let the shareholders and the gimmick lovers enjoy their cheese burger, safe in the knowledge that your steak is on its way.
- People can now game in a billion different and exciting ways. I can get just as immersed in my Galaxy tab as I can in my Xbox – Microsoft need to freshen things up or they’re going to lose gamers and this is how they’re choosing to do it. Whether or not that’ll work out remains to be seen, but surely you can at least understand their logic?
2. The games they did reveal were all sports games!
It’s true, Microsoft spent a great deal of time focusing on EA’s various sports titles which will continue to be updated every year until the universe ends and even then I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept going. I don’t play a lots of sports games, except for the occasional bout of Fifa and a brief and dirty dalliance with Madden a few years ago, but I didn’t get angry that they gave so much reveal time to the genre because…
- Fifa 13 blasts to top of UK charts. A lot of people buy these games. The Fifa Franchise is the eleventh best selling of all time, with over one hundred million copies sold. Madden is thirteenth, only a million or so copies behind. These games are guaranteed winners for Microsoft and they want to excite as many people as possible. In this case, they didn’t excite me because it’s not my sort of title, but I understand why they did it. Think about it rationally and you’ll understand why they did it too. As far as I’m concerned Dragon Age takes an almighty shit on Madden 13, but I’m in the minority and so, unfortunately, are you.
- Incidentally, we already know that Rockstar, the developer behind Grand Theft Auto (not a sports game which also happens to be the sixth highest selling franchise of all time) will be unveiling GTA V for the One and that Halo (also not a sports game), the fifth best selling franchise of all time (and an exclusive for Microsoft to boot) will also most likely be getting a shiny new update, not to mention a TV series with Steven fucking Spielberg on board. Where’s your sense of excitement when you can’t get into that? You still upset that Santa doesn’t exist?
3. They revealed COD and it looked exactly the same as all the other COD games!
I’m not sure I’m going to get more than one bullet point out of this.
- Of course it looks the same as all the other COD games. We all bought all of the other COD games. This COD will have new maps, new guns and most importantly new ways for you to butcher your friends online. You haven’t lived until your avatar has teabagged a cursing fourteen year old from Rhode Island or screamed ‘GET SOME, YOU FUCKING NOOB’ whilst ballistic knifing some little bitch who’s been talking smack about your mother for the last ten minutes. They won’t change COD until we stop buying it and I’m not going to stop buying it because it’s already fun. If you want something different from your FPS experience, buy your FPS from a different franchise.
4. Spielberg’s on board and we all know that he’s a sell out!
Just, I mean, what? Really? Fuck off.
5. The One won’t be backwards compatible!
This is irritating, I agree. But again, maybe if we take a step back and think about it, it won’t seem like such a big deal.
- I already own a 360. I don’t actually need the One to play 360 games, as much as I would’ve liked the ability to.
- The 360 will still get plenty of support, as well as new releases, for years to come, promise Microsoft. As long as that’s true (and it might not be, don’t get me wrong) then is a lack of backwards compatibility really such a big deal?
- Microsoft justified the lack of backwards compatibility by claiming that, essentially, the new Xbox will be too awesome to run 360 games. You’ve got to admire their balls at least a little bit.
- Only five percent of us actually used the backwards compatibility of our 360’s anyway. I used mine to play the original Fable a couple times and that’s literally it.
6. They’re trying to kill the used games market!
Right now, I can’t give you an argument for this. I can tell you that Phil Spencer, VP of Microsoft Game Studios, had this to say in an interview with UK Gamespot.
‘So we’ll talk about some of the ‘how’ at a later date, but I will say that we understand the importance of the secondary market. The secondary market was important in the current generation. We designed Xbox One understanding secondary market would be important in the new generation as well. We’ll share more details, but people should know that it is a design criteria for us on the new box.’
Until I know some actual facts I’m not going to weigh in. A lot of the rage on this issue is being drawn from opinion, rumour and conjecture and I’m not going to get involved until we have something confirmed. Phil Harrison told Eurogamer that we absolutely will be able to trade-in our used games and that installed titles won’t actually work much differently to games on disc. We’ll have to wait and see.
7. The specs are hardly any better than on the 360!
The Xbox One
Processor: CPU: TBA eight-core, x86 processor, GPU: D3D 11.1 chip with 32 MB embedded memory
Memory: 8GB RAM
Hard Drive: Built in 500GB HDD
The Xbox 360
Processor: CPU: 3.2-GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon, GPU: 500 MHz ATI Xenos
Memory: 512MB RAM
Hard Drive: Built-in, 250GB
That looks a little better to me. Sorry. Not to mention the massive overhaul that the Kinect sensor is getting or the 300,000 dedicated servers which will be employed for your Xbox Livey goodness.
To sum up…
I’m absolutely not saying that the Xbox One is perfect or that I have no qualms about it going forward, I’m just suggesting that maybe we should all take a step back, breathe and wait until at least E3 comes out before we go trash Microsoft’s head office. And fairness to Microsoft aside, when we Sith-out over this crap it only serves to perpetuate the erroneous stereotype that we’re all a bunch of no-hope keyboard warrior geeks who are afraid to go outside, as opposed to members of a rich sub-culture with a lot to be proud of. Before you leave that comment, just think for a second if it’s something you’d be proud say out loud. Or just say to hell with it and rage away.
Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete.