Does Microsoft Deserves Kudos For Addressing Many of The Concerns About the Xbox One

Some people accused me of being overly harsh with my criticism and concerns about the pending release of the Xbox One gaming system from Microsoft. Like many other consumers, I had severe issues about the DRM, required Internet connection, always on requirement, as well as questions I had about the systems perceived ability to record and share your data as well as issues about system stability.

While I still have questions and concerns about some of these I do think it is fair to point out that Microsoft appears to be more inclined to listen to the consumers this time around rather than do their usual take it or leave it stance. Now I am sure a lot of this has to do with the real threat that their chief competition Sony is presenting them with the pending release of PlayStation 4 which unlike the Xbox One, has largely been greeted with praise and optimism from gamers.

There there have been reports that Microsoft has upped the graphics processing speed of the system since their E3 conference which indicates that the final design of the system is still in a state of flux. Now while I’m not expecting wholesale changes to happen between now and when the system eventually launches in the fall, I do think it is significant that Microsoft has changed some of the features and abilities of the system based on feedback agreeably negative from their consumer base.

For me the biggest sign that Microsoft is willing to change was a recent announcement that the Kinect camera would no longer be a requirement to use the system. While all systems will ship with the camera and microphone device, players will have the option to disconnect it and still be able to use the core functions of their system. This is done a lot to alleviate many concerns that people had in regard to their privacy in regard to a camera and microphone that was essentially always on and listening/watching. While players will not be able to use the voice commands of the console should they disabled the device it is a huge step in the right direction as it shows the company’s willingness to change and media elite address consumer concerns.

For a long time Microsoft under their Windows division as well as other products appear to pay lip service to consumers complaints, concerns, and suggestions, but for the most part one ahead and did what ever they wanted. Their mentality was that they had the dominant position in product in the OS marketplace and as such while consumers may be unhappy they certainly didn’t have too many other choices.

With the rise in popularity of the Macintosh computers as well as competition from the consoles, there have been better features coming from later versions of Windows and even the much-maligned Windows 8 was given a much-needed upgrade makeover based on consumer facts.

Now that much of the feature concerns have been addressed as long as Microsoft does not decide to restore them at a later date once millions of households around the world adopted the new console, gamers can put the focus back on where it should be the products.

While it still remains to be seen what type of exclusives the system will offer long-term that will really help it stand out the fact that the company has alleviated much of the consumer concerns in regard to their privacy and ability to share games, now we can all focus on what truly matters and that is seeing the games that are being offered as well as the system’s functionality and how it will affect the next generation of gaming.

For a company that for too long either ignored problems or simply throw money at them to mask the bigger issues I for one will say kudos to Microsoft for taking a much-needed and very positive step in the right direction with their recent moves.

You can check out our June magazine and our coverage of the E3 Expo and a report on the Xbox one below.
SKNR Cover Jun2013

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