Xbox One: Hit Yes to Terms and Conditions?

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So as Marcos pointed out earlier today, the Xbox One doesn’t seem so hot after Microsoft “unveiled” how their system will require an “internet check” once every 24 hours to make sure your experience is up to snuff, and to make sure piracy is kept at a minimum. At least, that’s their story and they’re sticking to it. Here’s a little more info on the what’s and why’s. Boys and girls, ladies and gents, take a seat, take a lap, shut your traps. Let’s get the rant machine going.

I’ll list one by one these… features, and let you know how they can be of (dis)service to you. You might want to hold my hand. Or whoever you’re sitting next to. No, you don’t have to know them. Just do it. You’ll be fine, it’s only a restraining order.

Ready? Here’s what next-gen gaming will bring you!

Internet Connection Required

But hey, it’s only required at least once every 24 hours! Amazing, eh? So what if your internet went down because of x or y reason beyond your control! It’s only a storm outage, with downed lines and everything. And what of that vacation with friends to your rich friend’s log cabin summer home out in the woods with no internet? Or that boring ass business trip to that hotel with the half bar of wi-fi? Or of course, taking that system with you to your military base outside of the country.

Never mind the fact that years down the line, when we’re on Xbox 4 and Microsoft shuts down the Xbox One servers or – doubtfully so – Microsoft shuts down, your box will never be able to perform a check and thus every game you have purchased thus far is now dead weight.

So why the check? Well it’s to make sure your Xbox One is running fine and dandy, and for Microsoft to make sure it’s curbing piracy by checking to see if you are playing a game with an activation code that’s tied to your GamerTag in some way, shape, or form. If it catches anything wrong in the algorithm, a surefire guess is that it’ll boot you off of the game, or give you a prompt to purchase the game in full on the screen.

If you’re not online and it can’t perform that check? You can’t play that game. Never mind the fact that years down the line, when we’re on Xbox 4 and Microsoft shuts down the Xbox One servers or – doubtfully so – Microsoft shuts down, your box will never be able to perform a check and thus every game you have purchased thus far is now dead weight. Meanwhile, our Atari’s, NES, SNES, Genesis’, hell, up to the PS3 and Xbox 360 still work without internet. Hm. Speaking of finding good old games at a second hand store or off of Craigslist or eBay…

Have Fun With your License, Not The Product

Had fun with that game? Done with it? Woah, hold on there, Billy. You can’t just sell your physical goods to anyone just because you paid money for it! Wait. You can? Oh, well, Xbox One says no. Well, actually, Microsoft caved to publishers crying about not seeing a single dime off of second hand sales, so they have it so publishers can choose whether or not that game you bought you can resell. Not only that, but only to a “participating retailer”. Okay, so you can sell it to GameStop for credit. Maybe send it in to Amazon. However, Billy, your buddy Johnny isn’t a retailer. Johnny’s just Johnny. And Joe Stranger on Craigslist sure as hell isn’t a retailer. So there goes the idea of you selling it privately to whomever you choose. Awesome, eh?

Even then, I will reiterate that you can only sell your game if the publisher allows it!

While GameStop and Amazon both do have their own good and respective trade-in deals, it’s not always what you can pull for maximum profit out of your product – and yes, shut up those of you that have no idea how supply and demand works, do your research for you complain about being low-balled. Again though, these companies go by the market’s supply and demand, and their own company wide stock levels. While you may not be cool with $10 for Infamous 2 at GameStop, you may be able to get $15 out of someone else who has trust in you that your game will work. Now that option has been cut away from you. Even though you have paid for the goods you hold in your hand.

Even then, I will reiterate that you can only sell your game if the publisher allows it! Oh, and who was it again who’s been crying about not seeing a penny out of second hand sales, never mind the fact that they have outlandish sales expectations for the short term and no long term plans. Oh yeah! The publishers! Good luck trying to sell your copy of Call of Duty: Ghost or Madden 06: Part 2.

At least you can still let people borrow your game. And by people I mean one person.

The “Lend or Give Your Games to a Friend” Feature **

**”Feature” not available at launch

Yeap. Lending your games. Microsoft is trying to turn that into a “feature”. On top of that, you have to wait for this feature to become available at a later date. I can only take an educated guess and say 30 days after launch. I’d be willing to bet money on that. You know why? Read the last bullet point at the bottom. See that? You’re only allowed to “lend” – or hey, even give away – your game to friends on your GamerTag only after he’s been on your list for over 30 days. So obviously, nobody’s going to be able to do that right away. Seems legit.

No word on whether or not longtime Xbox Live friendship time will carry over to the new system.

BUT WAIT, there’s more!

Share Your Games Among Your Family

That’s right. With Xbox One, you can create a “family” with 10 dedicated GamerTags in that family – regardless of your relationship or what Xbox One they’re on – and then share your purchases among that family! Wait. This one sounds good. Wait, what? Isn’t this technically what Sony did with their PS3 at first? Being able to share the game across five different PSN IDs? Didn’t it backfire royally with people buying one item and sharing it like crazy, thus them tightening down on that rule down to two?

What?! Then what’s with… why all the restri–?! ARGH! Xbox, go home! You’re not just drunk! You’re shit-faced!

Your Kinect Isn’t Always On, Except It Is

This one I’ll touch on because it seems people are getting their tin-foil hats on over this. So remember how you thought Microsoft would spy on you since the Kinect needs to be connected and the Kinect is always listening? Well, you can turn that bitch off. Though it still needs to be connected, and it will still be listening for certain commands. Even while it’s off, it’ll be looking for “Xbox, On”.

Now, while there has been recent news of Microsoft being involved with the whole Prism programs sending out information to the NSA and FBI craziness, (and immediately denied by Microsoft by stating that hey, information is only shared on a legally binding order, or subpoena, like everything else ever!), I still don’t see them recording an ass ton of video and voice information to fucking sell you a god damned McRib when they come back because it heard you reminiscing about it as the end of the year rolled around!

If you really believe that, then I have some amazing tin-hats to sell you that keeps away all the spy-rays from hitting you! Complete privacy, no Big Brothers allowed, for the low, low price of all of your money.

If we should be really mad at anyone first, it should be the likes of Activision, EA, Ubisoft, 2K Games, et al.

There you have it. What the Xbox One has to “offer” just in terms of requirements. Obviously, the internet is heated, and so is the core of gamers out there looking for next-gen. Loyal Xbox fans are hanging by a rope, with many of them losing their grip, and rightfully so. Microsoft apologists will buy it, regardless, and everything they were so adamant about being fantastic will one day come back and bite them in the ass in that exact opportune scenario they would say would “never happen” to them.

Personally? While Sony hasn’t fully been answering their questions, the answer is slowly becoming clear: the PS4 is confirmed to not have an online connection required at all, which is already a much better sounding platform. As for used games, Geoff Keighley has said he’s heard there will be some sort of restrictions. As stated above, Game Informer heard back from a Sony spokesperson who said, “… PlayStation has a long history of keeping its gamers happy and we won’t make decisions that damage our relationship with them.” While not a solid OK on used games, it is reassuring.

There was even a Twitter campaign by gamers on NeoGAF who were outraged at Geoff Keighley’s findings, and started #PS4NoDRM on Twitter, which trended like a bad habit, and even got high Sony execs to reply and play along with the great PR it gave them! Also very reassuring. Obviously, this could also change at the drop of a hat, but I digress, so far so good.

At the end of the day, as pissed off as we are at Microsoft for having the audacity to cave in to publishers and change the way the ecosystem of consoles has been working since the days of Odyssey and the Atari, (that’s the 70’s, folks), let’s not forget that it’s the publishers forcing the hand on Microsoft and probably Sony, as well. They’re the ones who aren’t willing to learn from the movie or music industry that second hand sales are a great way to get that free word of mouth advertising with recommendations from other consumers that’ll lead to new purchases. If we should be really mad at anyone first, it should be the likes of Activision, EA, Ubisoft, 2K Games, et al.

What about you, dear reader. Will E3 wow you with its Halos 5 and 6, Gears of War 5, Fable: Hope to Not Suck Again Edition, and Forza 5 and let you forget about all this nonsense? Are you pissed off? Will you welcome the Xbox One into your home one day, or not at all? Are you a die-hard Xbox fan turned away to Sony or, hell, PC gaming? Join in on the conversation! Subscribe and let us know in the comments down below, or holler at us on Twitter with #ediotspeak!

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