More thoughts on the Xbox One

It’s been a week since Microsoft made a big presentation of their upcoming console, the Xbox One. While I’ve already given my impressions on the press conference the day it happened, more information regarding this next generation console have been leaking out to the public. I’d like to give my thoughts and impressions on them.

The thing also looks like a box... well, it is an Xbox.

An enigma

1. Installing games on the hard drive

The Xbox One will apparently just have the games running off its internal hard drive. This will require gamers to install the entire game on the device. For me this is a good thing as the games will run faster and will probably make the system quiet since you won’t hear the disc spinning inside. However, this does lead to another issue…

2. The used and borrowed games issue

The main theory (take note: it’s just a theory as Microsoft hasn’t announced anything yet) is that, once a game is installed on one Xbox One, the system will send out the disc’s unique code to Xbox Live’s servers. If you try to install the same disc on another Xbox One, it won’t let you since someone has already used the installation code.

This led the media to develop two possible scenarios on how used games will be handled. One, users will have to purchase a new code (possibly at the same price of a new game!) to be able to install it. Two, the game on the first system will be wiped out (even DLC!) and will be locked out from playing it.

Gamestop will probably need to clear out this space for new games, though.

Gamestop will probably need to clear out this space for new games, though.

Simply put, both scenarios suck. One thing that gamers love to do is to share games between each other. By doing this, Microsoft is essentially crippling this practice. Not only that, it feels like Microsoft is treating their own customers like criminals since they can’t trust them.

I understand that they’re doing this to have the publishers (and Microsoft themselves) to get money for games that have already been bought, but this isn’t the correct solution.

But it won’t be able to send the code if I’m offline, right? Well…

3. You’ll need to go online to play even single player games

Once again, it’s not really clear how this’ll work. Right now, Microsoft is saying that developers will have the choice to implement this as some games will use cloud computing (having a lot of computers connected to the Internet to help with data processing). Also, the Xbox One will have to log in at least once a day just to authenticate the system.

This is supposed to represent thousands of servers, according to Microsoft.

This is supposed to represent thousands of servers, according to Microsoft.

This is actually my biggest problem if this is true. I’ve never been arrested or anything, but isn’t this like reporting to a parole officer every day? I’m not sure how big of a bother this is going to be for people who’ll have Xbox Live servers close to their area, but clearly the Philippines doesn’t have an Xbox Live server in this area. Needing me to be online at any point of the day would be a hassle.

What happens if the servers go down? Remember the Playstation Network outage a couple of years ago? Sure I wasn’t able to go online but at least I could play my games. Now, remember Diablo 3 and the Error 37 debacle?

This screen probably traumatized a lot of people.

This screen probably traumatized a lot of people.

You can improve your network all you want Microsoft. But I’ll never be okay with this kind of policing. Now, for something fairly recent…

4. Region coding for games

This essentially means that, if you buy a US Xbox One, you need to make sure you buy US Xbox One games since other regions (Europe and Japan for example), won’t work. I don’t have that much of a problem with this. My only concern is that, when they do sell the the console here, it better be one unified region, preferably the US region (just to make sure that the games will be in English).

Finally, something that hasn’t really been mentioned before but something that caught my eye…

5. The placement of the USB ports

Here’s a picture of the rear of the Xbox One. Now, count how many USB ports there are.

Yes, there are two of them right smack in the middle of the back.

Yes, there are two of them right smack in the middle of the back.

Can anyone tell me why would they make it so hard to access a majority of the USB ports? In this day, I would expect that the USB ports would be placed so that you can get to it quickly. So why the heck would you sandwich two of them in between the Kinect sensor port (the big chunky one) and one of the HDMI ports?

Yes, I know that there is one of them at the side of the unit. But just one? Why not put two of them in that area? Or, for a better design, why not put them in the front?

Only one?

Only one?

Maybe this is just a prototype but this really seems like an odd design choice.

Hopefully, Microsoft will clear most of these issues up by the time E3 rolls in.

Questions? Comments? Please leave them in the section below.

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