Let me say at the outset, kudos to Microsoft and the Xbox team for listening to the gamer community. Or at the very least all of its customers that reached out to the Seattle behemoth.
I have to say I have been hearing my editors, readers, and even my children bark about the news surrounding the future release of the Xbox One system and what they believed the disappointment it was going to be for all gamers. When I heard the Microsoft pitch for this new game system I didn’t understand since I was pretty impressed with what Microsoft was espousing.
Xbox had already proved itself to be a leader in the gaming world, but this new system was more than just gaming, it seemed to be chock full of technology advances that make today’s gamer enjoy the world of gaming and entertainment all in one. For the first time, I was actually going to recommend a gaming system, which I believed to be an entertainment system for my family.
From what I heard from Microsoft only a month earlier this new system was going to act more like a hub for the home than a simple entertainment device. Xbox One is designed to bring users access to games, TV, movies, music, sports, and Skype. What I thought was so impressive is that Microsoft touts It will allow for voice commands—for instance, I could just say “Xbox on” to launch the home screen. Microsoft also says that it learns from your behavior—the more you use it the more it gets to know you and learns what you like.
Perhaps a little ambitious for the true gamer, Microsoft envisions a world of roaming, what it called family sharing and a way to manage how gamers would purchase and experience new games. Now that’s cool stuff.
But after the initial unveiling, more information about the Xbox One was revealed and the proverbial S*** hit the fan. Gamers were texting us. Emails were flooding Microsoft’s inbox and commentary just wasn’t pretty. Xbox fans of all ages were freaking out. Industry observers were reporting that gamers literally hated the newly announced plans Microsoft had been bragging about just a month earlier.
Some of the biggest concerns now were that games weren’t on disc; games could only be shared with one person and only once; if sharing a game, you had to share with someone who you had on your list for 30 days; and gamers weren’t able to play offline.
Hearing all these massive complaints, Microsoft Xbox announced yesterday the following changes to appease gamers. Microsoft stated that Internet connections will not be required to play offline Xbox One games. After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, users can play any disc-based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24-hour connection requirement and gamers can take their Xbox One anywhere to play their games, just like with the existing Xbox 360.
There’s a whole lot more Microsoft has in store for gamers to enjoy both the physical and digital content worlds. However, the biggest point that needs to be made here is that more vendors need to be as responsive and put customers first. Microsoft did just that. It actually listened and responded. By admitting its foibles, in the end, I’m certain Microsoft will sell even more consoles than ever in this whopping and rapidly growing $65 billion dollar gaming market.