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  1. E-Male's Avatar
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    "Microsoft rolled back a much-criticized requirement that its upcoming Xbox One gaming console be regularly connected to the Internet and made clear that there will be no limitations on sharing games." TS
  2. bolagnaise's Avatar
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  3. Wicks's Avatar
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    Oh I'm getting to the worst features of the X-Clapper, having touched on them briefly. I haven't said there won't be triple A titles for the MS console, nor even remotely hinted at that. Nor am I against new features and innovation. Neither is my summation of the failure of MS to present their new console based purely on my own feelings about any of this.

    If a house catches fire, it's on fire, the who, the what and the how are largely secondary considerations. It doesn't matter that in some people's estimations a lot of this negative press is somewhat ill judged or hysterical, though to be frank to write off what I perceive to be a fairly worrying reaction to what should be a positive announcement as the 'usual internet whining' is risky, the reaction is there, it is real and it is a major own goal for MS. I am looking at both what MS is bringing to the table, what they are actually taking away in functionality and customer service, how they are potentially shifting focus and most importantly how that is being received by the current market they serve.

    The outcome of a pre-release announcement is a perception, as there is no tangible product at this point, and my argument is that the perception has been surprisingly negative due to the utter ineptitude with which it has been handled. Case in point the MS spokespeople fumbling and contradicting each other at the after show interviews at the initial announcement. Not having been there in person admittedly that sounds a lot like people either not knowing the answers, which is somewhat unforgivable or a case of panicked backpedaling in the face of an immediately incredulous reaction from game journalists and those other's posing the question.

    To try and sum up why I think MS have made a huge mistake (to quote Arrested Development):

    Single use licences have been with us since the introduction of EULA's. The key difference is that unlike the widespread digital distribution in the PC market, consoles have never really had a way of enforcing the restrictions. They have massively misjudged how many would react to this. Perhaps after being buoyed for years by their success at gauging the customer to play MP games online via Xbox Live subs. As we chatted about earlier both you and I agree the publishers have had a massive say in this, hence EA's disingenuous "We're abandoning Online passes" announcement ("because...cough...chuckle...we don't need them anymore because we're going to make MS take care of that little racket for us lol").

    Online Check in once a day. Anti consumer again, removing functionality and treating your customer like a criminal. If a customer wants to play a SP game offline why do they need to check in every 24 hours, are they on parole? Then of course you have all the 'no internet' scenarios.

    One time only resale of used games, to someone who has been on your friends list for at least 30 days. Blatantly anti consumer, pro money grubbing publishers.

    Timing and order of business in announcements. Simple solution would have been to present things in a different order. By headlining with new features that are somewhat meh for anyone outside of the US and of arguably marginal value to a significant proportion of their established audience they have apparently given the widespread impression that they have taken the eye off the ball and are marginalising their 'fans'. This was stupid. Presenting that which caters to your most loyal fanbase first and then saying "hey we've also got some groundbreaking new stuff to tell about, in addition to the cutting edge games we know you love" get's you off to a winner. It's the hardcore that follow every snippet of news, check every website, sit up half the night to watch a livestream. They are also generally the most vocal. In any crowd situation those are the one's you need to manage and deal with. The odd grumble, the usual 'internet raging' is expected, but when you get this level of negative PR across quite a few strata's of the gaming/development world, I'd say you have a problem, I'd say you've got this wrong.

    The Kinnect 2. Many of the concerns over this are in my opinion quite genuine. If people are getting carried away about a camera that appears to be 'always on, always listening' then the major blame for that lays at MS's door. In view of the current controversy regarding personal data being shared you would think they would want to clear up any misconceptions about his in a hurry. I am still seeing extremely muddled messages coming out. "You can turn it off but if you say 'Xbox on' it turns the console on again". Well if it can hear me say "Xbox on" and power up the console then the blasted thing wasn't actually fully off was it. That is going to concern a lot of people. Nevermind the content license/identification patent, "Sorry 'Yoloswag Wicks 1' you do not have sufficient licenses for you and your friend to watch this movie, would you like to purchase an additional friends viewing permit?"

    I don't doubt that a year or two down the line MS's vision of 'owning the living room' may very well be on it's way to be a reality, in the US at least. I also firmly believe that they are losing potential sales within the gaming community at large hand over fist to Sony and I sincerely hope so. Not because I am irrational, not because I dislike MS, far from it. No, I want them and the publishers who may be driving some of these decisions to hear a message, "You are taking the p#ss, it needs to stop, we voted with our wallets and bought the other guy's console, and if they do it, we'll do the same to them too".
  4. Apophis's Avatar
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    So are you saying that Microsoft is somehow now going to support AAA games on the Xbox One? Is the gaming experience going to suck and be horrible because you're forced to watch TV while you game? Or are you saying that Microsoft is somehow lost because they are starting to support the convergence of entertainment media into one platform and giving customers the option to use this new functionality to integrate their home media experience?

    I just don't buy that companies like Sony and Microsoft should be prohibited from innovation to satisfy "legacy" gamers by NOT introducing new tech, features, and capabilities into their platform. I really don't see having the choice to use, or not use, some of these new features as any type of major deal breaker.

    As for what self confessed Xbox fans are saying; let them say what they want to say. It's popular to be an Internet blowhard "hater" and go off on how horrible everything is, but at the end of the day; I'm pretty confident that most of these self-confessed fans will still buy the Xbox One and enjoy it for years to come. Asking around the office; I can't find a SINGLE person in my ~20 person reach who did, or did not buy, a gaming console because of optional features.

    If you want to pick on Microsoft for questionable decisions; at least pick ones that are forced upon all their consumers like the 24 hour licensing check-in requirement, Xbox live required for services such as Netflix, or their as-of-yet-clarified used game policy. Picking on optional features that you can simply ignore just doesn't do much for the argument that they've "lost their way".

    When I bought my first HDTV and HD IRD I had plenty of people telling me how "stupid" it was and that no one really needed or wanted HD.
    When the PS3 was launched some people griped about how it didn't need Blu-Ray and that DVD was just fine for gaming, yet it became the most popular Blu-Ray player made.

    These are just two simple examples; but tech companies need to support future growth with current products. If the industry as a whole is moving towards convergence, it makes pretty poor business sense to ignore that when you're building a hardware platform that will be in people's living rooms connected to their TVs for years to come. You might as well make sure it's going to support the varying ways that we consume media and how that shift is going to play out in the future.
  5. Wicks's Avatar
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    I'm not taking about money, I agree they will make a ton of money from sections of their apparently shifting target demographic, ie people who play Fantasy Football whilst skype'ing and watching TV at the same time. No doubt they have long wanted a giant, ugly, VHS looking, all in one entertainment center that doubles as a voice activated 'Clapper' remote and 24/7 surveillance cam so they can be spoon fed 'targeted' adverts for Doritos whilst they also play early access COD Doggie DLC.

    No I am referring to the fact that they have completely shot themselves in the foot with a large section of their existing core customer base. However the balance sheet pans out long term that is an own goal. A retrograde step.

    The X-Clapper is a blatantly anti consumer step away from its perceived functionality as perceived by a vast number of people. How real or legitimate some people's concerns maybe turn out to be is irrelevant, the backlash is real, the backlash is the issue and in my time as a gamer this is one of the biggest I have seen, from rabid pundits (to be expected) to established game journalists.

    Many, many self confessed XBox fans are saying enough.

    That the internet is lashing back at something I feel is genuinely anti consumer and a line in the sand is heart warming.

    I genuinely believe this may be a tipping point in the console world where large companies see there is real money to be made in catering to your customer instead of treating them like criminals. I just hope developers and publishers hear the message loud and clear.

    MS must be hurting over this, the bad PR is astounding.

    An added bonus is this may be the lifeline that Sony needs to ensure it stays very relevant going forward, increasing competition.
  6. Apophis's Avatar
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    I guess if "losing the console war" means making hundreds of millions of dollars in profit, I wouldn't mind losing either!
  7. Wicks's Avatar
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    Omg. Sony just absolutely rolled MS at E3 day one. "The official PlayStation 4 used game instructional video" was genius. Sony looked like they were having fun up on that stage.
  8. Ytman's Avatar
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    Which explains the xdone remark lol ;D
  9. Wicks's Avatar
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    As a context this isn't a doom and gloom whine blog lol. As a gamer, albeit predominantly PC now, I couldn't be more excited about both consoles moving to an X86 architecture, this is good for all gamers!
  10. Wicks's Avatar
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    Yes that was a long reply.

    PC section of market is not dying out, you're buying into too much of what vested interests tell you, namely those involved in consoles and mobile gaming.

    Digital distribution effectively came very late in this current consoles generation and it is tightly controlled. Digital distribution has been with PC for a very, very long time. It's largely an open market, the pricing structure is utterly different therefore the comparison is apples to oranges. You cannot seriously believe that Microsofts version of digital distrubution will in any way mirror the Steam model, has history taught us nothing.

    If the PC games market was declining, rather than increasing as it appears to be, why would EA, UBISOFT and numerous other companies be falling over themselves to create their own portals despite being faced with Steam's dominating market share and position of darling of the consumer. Nevermind the hostility that these 'additional' portals face initially.

    Digital sales figures for PC are only now just becoming available. I have watched and laughed as Industry spokesman have derided the PC games market and digital distribution only to have to do a complete 180 a few months later when their employer launches a digital distribution platform and begins courting the PC market in earnest. Valve have never released Steam sales figures and I am led to believe it is a contractual obligation of being on the Steam platform that all publishers/developers have to keep a strict silence about their figures. There were a couple who broke ranks this year in fact but the story soon faded away. Multiple sources that I read have estimated Steam sales figures for many titles to be in the region of 7-12 times physical/quantifiable digital sales. Now, bear in mind that some physical/quantifiable sales of PC games only slightly lag behind PS3 as is and you start to see a very different picture.

    Yes, digital works, on PC. It works after a fashion on some consoles, however when you add in all the other factors it paints far less rosy picture for the console consumer (high price, cultural predisposition to 'ownership' of physical media, ability to resell, trade, swap, give away freely).

    You can't move into a wholly new hardware generation maintain preconceptions incurred of the old. That is like suggesting
    that 720p or 1080p resolutions were wastes of time because the HD television was far from mainstream in 2005.
    Sorry disagree, to move into the future with no reference to the past is to simply stumble blindly forward, being led by the nose. MS's apparent determination to erode your consumer rights and tap into yet another 'potential revenue stream' should clue you into how this is going to go.

    Your concern about their not being savings is real though and I am not ignoring it. If there
    is little to no benefit then I agree it is faulty to block out the used market (even if I never resell myself). However I'd
    argue that the 2nd hand game market is indicative of some greater failure in the retail game market.
    Agreed, fully. The failure of the current console game retail model is something I think most definitely contributes to the 2nd hand market. If you have paid $60 plus for a game only to find out it's utter dross, you're going to want to recoup some of that.

    Re Track IR and the benefits of inbuilt Kinnect. Do you think you aren't paying for the Kinnect when you buy the console??? Yes it can be a bad thing if Developers spend time and money adding in a Kinnect feature that is at best a bolt on because MS dictate it, if they are taking that development time away from other areas of the game. It's not like an unfinished, unpolished, buggy game has been released recently is it?

    Yes I realise Steam tracks everything, as does Google etc. Neither has suggested they would like to put CCTV in my lounge lol.

    You and I understand that MS are broadening their aims, or rather refocusing on their original plan to become a 'home hub' and dominate the living room. That does not in any way shape or form mean that the reveal wasn't an abject failure. It garnered such a negative reaction from an enormous section of their existing customers that it has pushed up Sony's stock. It doesn't matter if it's a knee jerk reaction, it doesn't matter why the bomb went off, it matters that it did. This was an event to announce the replacement for a console that has largely dominated the US market for the past what 10 years. They utterly botched it by completely misreading and misunderstanding a huge section of their consumer base. I can't believe for one moment they thought, "Look we want to announce these Multi Media features first. I know our fans want to hear about the games but lets talk about how this console lets you do something you can already do, watch TV (wth), and then we'll take the hit and win em back at E3 with a big games push".

    They couldn't have considered, "Look this is a games console first and foremost, that's what got us here and we need to maintain a degree of focus on that. We have a huge and loyal market share so lets give them something. Once we've wowed them with the great new games we can say 'and not only that, we want the Xbox One to be the centre of your living room entertainment experience. To facilitate that please take a moment to marvel at these cool new features".

    That is the logical, smart way to do the 'reveal'. That is the way that doesn't hand the ball to your competitor and boost their stock further (after their reveal has already been and gone lol).
  11. Ytman's Avatar
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    Just thought I'd share this:

    http://www.ign.com/videos/2013/05/30...a-huge-mistake

    Bellow is a REALLY LONG REPLY @ Wicks, read at your own risk

    Seriously all good points assuming ceteris paribus and there is a valid concern about the nature of the changes
    being such. However, I'd argue that the case model of STEAM shows that there is a reason to not assume straight
    out of the (x)box(one) things wont be fundamentally different.

    You cite this past generation as having largely irrelevant digital distribution services and I think you are in error by
    doing so. First you must consider the very nature of consoles being segmented into specific iterative generations
    which in turn impose specific limitations upon them for several years. Second the console market is inherently
    redefining itself due to consumer feedback where as the PC market is rather static despite hardware evolution
    which incrementally improves capability and performance on a smaller time frame (in fact the nature of incremental
    improvement is being seen by some as the reason why the PC market can not break out beyond niche and is dying out).
    You can't move into a wholly new hardware generation maintain preconceptions incurred of the old. That is like suggesting
    that 720p or 1080p resolutions were wastes of time because the HD television was far from mainstream in 2005.

    In the same capacity you can't claim that digital distribution will be inconsequential this future generation. You should
    not do such for the very fact that the method of digital content distribution being a very acceptable model of the
    entertainment industry (Itunes, hulu, netflix, spotify, cell phone games, apps, etc. to cite a few non-game examples). In
    fact the virtual console of the Wii actually was heavily used and we are seeing the digital distribution method being
    embraced by both Nintendo's and Sony's portables to keep in pace with a marketplace that is ever more bleeding into
    our every day life (again I'm not a fan of an always on marketplace but such is the nature of progress, it moves on
    regardless of me or you). Your concern about their not being savings is real though and I am not ignoring it. If there
    is little to no benefit then I agree it is faulty to block out the used market (even if I never resell myself). However I'd
    argue that the 2nd hand game market is indicative of some greater failure in the retail game market.

    The fact that the 360 and Wii, this generation, were being bought by families for the 'netflix' ability and that the PS3's
    main draw was a cheap and top quality Blu-Ray shows that the nature of the console is inherently going to be something
    more than just a 'gaming system'. That fact is what is making me not jump the boat yet. This reveal was to underscore
    the new features and directions of the new console.

    That leads me to the Kinect 2.

    As regards the comparisons of Track IR and Kinnect. Again, fundamentally different. Track IR is an optional accessory that I can choose to pay for that can improve my experience in certain games if I choose to use it.Kinnect is a mandatory feature (f)or the Xdone that already has some alarming patents attached to it.
    The very fact that it is optional and more specifically highly cost prohibitive is the reason I feel that the many evolutions
    that our PC games largely ignore it. The reason I am thrilled about the Occulus is that it has brought heavy mainstream
    attention to the realm of 'head tracking'. That mainstream attention has given developers and more specifically publishers
    reason to adopt it as a feature.

    Effectively by being mandatory they are also subsidizing (while yes yes also mandating) its use.

    Developers don't have to add Kinnect features and to (sic) be frank if I were going to purchase that console I would be equally concerned about said Developers shoehorning in Kinnect features to games much in the same way that 3D movies have those ridiculous scenes where characters point their finger at the screen, just to 'highlight' the 3D effect.
    This is a little bit of a weird complaint. If a developer shoehorns a gimmicky feature to claim that it utilizes the Kinnect then so
    what? Its not like Bioshock Infinite or the Destiny trilogy is going to be a terrible game because the developer wanted to add
    a feature for the Kinnect. What if that feature, like Track IR for ArmAII, is both optional and an improvement over the 'standard'
    play style?

    Ultimately the nature of consoles mandates that a feature be included in the box or that it wont see wide distribution. The only
    exception to this rule is the Wii in which that blanance board peripheral was insanely popular and successful. Beyond such examples
    Kinect1, Move, EyeToy, N64's Expansion Pack, and even Wii Motion Plus weren't distributed well enough (or in the case of Kinect1
    implemented well enough) to warrant use by consumers and developers. The fact that Motion Plus came so late in the
    Wii's lifecycle is such a terrible shame because after playing Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword it is very difficult to go back to anything
    prior.

    Just because you and I can see where head tracking could be implemented easily in a game doesn't mean the Developers will do it, look at the mess they've made of some things thus far. Coding in head tracking is not as straight forward as you think, it's additional development time and it seems somewhat apparent that Developers are already struggling to be ready with software for the console release date, particularly if some other stories I have read are to be taken on face value.
    Oh certainly. However the nature of the future is that you can't just deride it before it comes. My point isn't to say that this is a
    stellar move that will see the XboxOne shoot to Wii like popularity but rather to say that its a bold move that has many possibilities.
    I will not write it off but in the same token I'm not going to be an early adopter, MS will have some proving to do and obviously
    generation 1 games will not be as perfect as generation 2 games, such is the nature of progress you must dare to seize.

    Furthermore you do realize that STEAM tracks what you buy and look at and wishlist and uses that as a way to sell you things?

    Furthermore I am fairly certain that Track IR doesn't monitor me when I am sitting at my desk, report that data back and then interrupt my use of my PC with tailor made adverts for stuff I don't want.

    @Ytman, re Occulus, check out some of the less 'invested' reviews of Occulus Rift. It's a long way from being the 'next anything' if those concerns are to be believed.

    Last point for now. This money will undoubtedly end up in the coffers of Publishers, not Developers. Very important distinction there.
    Certainly TrackIR doesn't have facial recognition and there are serious concerns about privacy/anonymity in the (new)digital age.
    Personally your concerns are valid and I sympathize to much an extent, this being said you can't just assume something about new
    technology and you can't just avoid it. If MS behaves unethically with the use of the Kinnect2 then there is a valid reason to avoid it
    or boycott it however the nature of ethics also evolves over time as society reacts to changes, in this case technology.

    To claim that facial recognition and creating a service where people knowingly lose a part of their anonymity on the internet is unethical
    is your prerogative. I personally don't think that losing anonymity through the internet is wrong or unethical (losing privacy through it is
    though). However I do find it questionable what Google does to advertise to me using my email account and browsing history with them.

    However I also don't mind when Pandora shares with me a new artist that I'd never heard of before.

    About the Occulus, the concerns about it are many and wide ranging, but the fact that it is pioneering some new mainstream inputs
    within the PC market is fantastic. Besides if we were to just say that any new item isn't perfect right off the bat and not work to find
    ways to improve it... well that is ridiculous. The fact that the Occulus or even Google Glass are new platforms that don't quite work
    with what we have now doesn't mean that in the future we wont have things that work perfectly with them.

    Its like saying that concerns about adding a second touch screen to a portable reduced the Nintendo DS to anything but the biggest
    handheld ever.
  12. Wicks's Avatar
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    @ Ytman

    (also complaining about paywalls for used games while being a computer gamer is really ironic)
    Err no, it's not ironic, at all.

    The two markets are fundamentally different in key areas that directly relate to this issue. Games in the PC market cost less to start with so some of my 'risk' as a consumer is partially mitigated if the game is disappointing etc. Those same games drop in price faster on PC and appear in sales through multiple digital outlets, sometimes at enormous discounts. That is another key difference, broader digital distribution and huge competition. Consoles do not have that.

    On consoles the games are more expensive to begin with, digital distribution is limited to the point of being largely irrelevant in the current gen. A console customer experiences a far greater financial risk, a far greater initial outlay, therefore potential resale markets assume a far greater importance to them than say someone who simply throws $5 at a game on a Steam sale to 'give it a try'. Fundamentally different markets with different pressures and risks that result in a different level of importance for 'used games'. (I accept it is very difficult to lend PC games though, which is an element of what some of the furore, nevertheless, low cost on PC mitigates this to some extent).

    As regards the comparisons of Track IR and Kinnect. Again, fundamentally different. Track IR is an optional accessory that I can choose to pay for that can improve my experience in certain games if I choose to use it. Kinnect is a mandatory feature or the Xdone that already has some alarming patents attached to it. Developers don't have to add Kinnect features and too be frank if I were going to purchase that console I would be equally concerned about said Developers shoehorning in Kinnect features to games much in the same way that 3D movies have those ridiculous scenes where characters point their finger at the screen, just to 'highlight' the 3D effect. Just because you and I can see where head tracking could be implemented easily in a game doesn't mean the Developers will do it, look at the mess they've made of some things thus far. Coding in head tracking is not as straight forward as you think, it's additional development time and it seems somewhat apparent that Developers are already struggling to be ready with software for the console release date, particularly if some other stories I have read are to be taken on face value.

    Furthermore I am fairly certain that Track IR doesn't monitor me when I am sitting at my desk, report that data back and then interrupt my use of my PC with tailor made adverts for stuff I don't want.

    @Socom, EA ceased their Online pass a couple of weeks before the Xdone reveal, the reason, they don't need to have online passes anymore, MS will take care of that cash grab for them.

    @Ytman, re Occulus, check out some of the less 'invested' reviews of Occulus Rift. It's a long way from being the 'next anything' if those concerns are to be believed.

    Last point for now. This money will undoubtedly end up in the coffers of Publishers, not Developers. Very important distinction there.
  13. Ytman's Avatar
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    What paywalls are we talking about?

    The very nature of Consoles is that they are the epitome of a 'walled garden'. Its the nature of a business.
  14. E-Male's Avatar
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    Every Wii owner I know has a Wii pile of junk that sits unused.

    MS's latest strategy, like the recent snafu over at Nintendo over copyright controls on gaming videos, goes so far against the tide of user-generated content that it baffles.

    The rush to pay walls, walled gardens, and the endless attempt to own the entire consumer experience is little more than an indication that major media/entertainment corps are desperately trying to expand control over the product and the customer's experience while ignoring every significant change that the Internet has brought to culture and the audience's expectations.

    The history of 20th century media shows a similar trend -- oligopolistic sectors trying to prevent consumer choice but being overwhelmed by new firms and technologies that, in the end, give the consumer what they want.

    Never underestimate the ability of major corporations to get it wrong.
  15. socomseal93's Avatar
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    Part of this is the publishers fault. Quite a few of the main publishers came up with this used game paywall scheme not too long ago, intended for use on current and next gen consoles. The used game paywall is already taking place on PS3 and Xbox360, so its not new. Now, Microsoft is essentially saying that they will support the publishers in their quest to gain more money from used games sales. PS4 may well do the same thing, they are just being quiet about it, so as not to anger any fans.

    Amazingly though, EA has ceased its used game online code program; its probably just a PR stunt though.
  16. Ytman's Avatar
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    I don't know. I think its a bold direction that has the potential of completely changing the dynamic of the living room device.

    For example take the Wii with its bold decision to go after the average family with easy to access games. While not the console
    that was the most 'hard core' it was clearly the console that was the most profitable.

    Likewise I don't see Xbox's reveal as totally bad as the gamers do. Its a new direction, a scary one that doesn't just involve games,
    but a crossroads of many forms of media. In many ways this might be the beginning of something new and unexpected, I really don't
    think this will be the absolute failure that the knee jerking internet culture is deeming.

    It certainly wasn't a stellar reveal but I think the Xbox name has more clout amongst the average family house hold than a Playstation
    does now.

    This all being said with the lack of Backwards compatibility of this newest generation... getting a PS3 on the cheap is a smart idea!

    (also complaining about paywalls for used games while being a computer gamer is really ironic)

    (also also how can you love HeadTrackIR and what it does in ArmA2/3 but not even give face to the fact that the new Xbox will
    give developers no reason to not incorporate some awesome HeadTracking tech into every game they make? With the Occulus
    rift you are seeing gaming moving into a new direction of interaction. Kinect1 was a tech demo.)
  17. Jeepo's Avatar
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  18. WhiskeySix's Avatar
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    hahah, just saw this xD


    relevant:
  19. d1sp0sabl3H3r0's Avatar
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    Wow! Wicks, welcome to 1985!!
  20. CallousDisregard's Avatar
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    Pipes in the states are always at funerals.
    If I never hear another it will be too soon.
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