This is a simple blog post where I want to express my opinion on why Microsoft have annoyed me with their PR when it comes to the Xbox One.
The first hit for the Xbox One came when they announced the console always had to be online and would not allow games to be traded. The main reason this was annoying was how Microsoft reacted to it. They tried defending the features and tried to convince people how the features would benefit the users while never truly explaining what the true constraints and details of the features were. Like everyone else I had not seen much of the console so I really couldn’t bash it on those reasons alone so I gave Microsoft the benefit of the doubt once they announced they had removed these constrains on the system.
Time passed and Microsoft eventually launched the Xbox one and as a gamer I have found Microsoft’s actions with regard to the marketing of the Xbox One to be extremely frustrating. Sales figures for the system was the first point where things started to get shady. Getting your hands on a Playstation 4 is a difficult task as they are being sold faster than Sony can produce them. Reports from around the world have confirmed that almost all major retailers were sold out of PlayStation 4 consoles. Within a few days of the launch of the Xbox One Microsoft tweeted stating that the Xbox One was sold out across the globe . This statement was technically true they had but these consoles were not in the hands of the consumers they were still sitting on store shelves, Microsoft had just sold every console from the warehouses they were stored in. This was also confirmed by reports across the internet of people finding day 1 consoles still in stock in stores that they checked. Microsoft might be under stiff competition this generation but bending the truth isn’t going to benefit anyone.
The next issue I found was in relation to this promotional poster made by Microsoft to promote the hardware architecture of the new console.
Its not uncommon for company’s to embellish the truth when describing their products but this is a complete. The ps4 has good hardware inside but it is nowhere near supercomputer power, in fact it is just scraping close to a good gaming PC spec. Developers working on games for both consoles have previously stated that the ps4 is a more powerful system than the Xbox One. This is true when comparing the hardware on paper and when comparing the games that are released for both consoles. The Xbox One is unable to run most games in 1080p where as the ps4 is doing it just fine. A post made by Konamicomparing MGS5 between all consoles shows there isnt much between the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. The reason behind this according to most developers is related to the “Supercomputer” esram from the poster above. It is the reason why developers are finding it difficult to get Xbox One games to run in resolutions higher than 720p. Seems a bit odd that a super computer cant run a modern video game in 1080p.
The next big annoyance for me is “The power of the cloud”. This is like the “Power of the Cell” with the ps3. From the moment I heard this I had my suspicions on how powerful this would actually be and I still don’t believe it will provide the Xbox with all the power it needs to become a supercomputer. If the cloud is so powerful then why bother releasing a console that has hardware at all? why not do all the processing on the cloud? The idea behind using the cloud is to take some processing work that would normally have to be done by the console and offload it to a server which will do it. This is just riddled with problems. Take this scenario. You are fighting against a boss in a game. The Xbox One decides to offload some of the processing to the cloud when suddenly the internet goes down. This means there is going to be some sort of a pause where the Xbox realizes that the connection has dropped and needs to go and process the information that was lost when sent to the cloud. The Xbox could do this in the background as a fail-safe but then it would render the cloud pointless in the first place since it isn’t freeing any internal resources of the system. Saying that the cloud will make up for the Xbox One being short on power is a false statement and while it might help in some areas it wont make up for the system being underpowered.
Microsoft are clearly taking advantage of the fact that a lot of people on the internet will read anything in an image and believe it. This might be working in well for Microsoft in hiding the shortcomings of the system but is bad form for company to be doing this. There is embellishing the truth like most company’s do with their products and there is blatantly lying about their product.
The biggest argument to all this is that “it isn’t about the graphics its about the games”, this is very true and I believe this. My issue isn’t with the Xbox’ visuals not being as good as the PS4 it is the fact that Microsoft are constantly lying about their product. It is annoying to see a company lying publicly like this and getting away with it. The system has been in development for some time. They should have been somewhat aware of what Sony were doing with the PS4 and countered them accordingly.
The latest move from Microsoft comes in the removal of Kinect from the retail bundles. This is a good move but they cant just remove it and admit they made a mistake. There are countless posts online claiming that this has given developers an extra 10% GPU power. Kinect has been optional since launch, why has it been using 10% of the GPU while powered off? This isn’t the point, the point is that they cant keep lying about the power of the system. We know the hardware in the system, Microsoft need to stop pretending they have a super computer and stop adding more fuel to the fire!