Microsoft Was Surprised By Xbox One Outcry

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SupahGamuh:
Nope. Nopenopenopenopenopenope. Nope.

If you want to copy Steam, then F*ING COPY STEAM!, don't make a bastardized and blatantly anti-consumer version of it. Heck, even Origin got it (mostly) right.

Interesting you should say that:

The original Xbox One allowed you to do the following with digital games:

Buy at day one
Cloud storage
Access on friend's machine

Sharing of digital games(not on Steam)
Giving of digital games (not on Steam)

That's already two things that the original Xbox One would let you do that Steam doesn't let you do. You could even say that Steam is *gasp* more restrictive than the original Xbox One.

So much for the consumer backlash. Perhaps Microsoft just didn't plan on getting so much criticism based solely on misconceptions.

mechalynx:
I love Microsoft. Every time they open their mouths nowadays comedy gemstones fall out. I almost don't want them to come to their senses.

You're right, same here except for that 'love' part. Before I even clicked on the article the chuckles started. Every time one of these pops up I'm almost guaranteed a good laugh or 2 before I even get to the comment section.

Agayek:
So let me get this straight. They listed out all the ways they were going to fuck over the customer while any benefits were poorly explained at best, if they got mentioned at all, and it's a surprise that there's customer backlash?

Who the hell is running things at Microsoft? A lobotomized chimpanzee?

There's a great political science article Princeton University published called "On Bullshit." It argued that there's a big difference between bullshit and lying. Liars are necessarily concerned with the truth because lying entails inserting one falsehood into a system of truths that create context. Bullshit is completely unconcerned with whether or not it's true because bullshit transcends truth values. The purpose of lying is to misrepresent the truth. The purpose of bullshit is to misrepresent the speaker. Since all of corporate marketing is essentially bullshit, it makes sense that a corporation would be so unconcerned with truth that they lose touch with reality entirely.

I'm sorry, but I'm considered insanely green at project management, but even I know that every single thing they did was wrong. You didn't throw anything to reliable customers, chasing after people even you think are too fickle to care. You're putting something in that adds no value and contributes to the $100 gap between you and the direct competition... with worse specs? Oh, then you let it slip that it's all about selling ads. JFC these basics about quality have been around since the 50s.

Their messaging was horrible, they didn't know what their consumer base actually wanted, they didn't go through the consequences of their decisions (particularly, how they'd kill their ability to sell to the US military), and the entire thing has the stink of mandates from the top. What. were. you. thinking.

TomWiley:

*sigh* Seriously, are these comparisons even necessary?.

Jim had it better explained... 3 months ago :/

Covarr:
Again with the Steam comparisons... Even if it were all-digital, there is one major, fundamental difference that they have missed:

Steam has a little feature called "Offline mode" that works forever, even if you never connect your device to the internet again.

In my experience, Offline mode becomes pretty much unusable after a certain number of days, often following a restart at which the point the system simply won't let me sign in before I get an Internet connection.

Valve has even gone out and acknowledged this:

"There are many components involved in Offline Mode, and some of them have known issues and bugs which we are continually working to improve. We're aware that it doesn't always work as flawlessly as we want it to, but please keep reporting bugs with Offline Mode. It is not broken 'by design'. "

Right, now add to the equation the fact that Xbox One was actually less restrictive in terms of digital games, allowing you to share games and even give away full games to friends, and the comparison becomes more relevant..

And yes, I am saying that the original Xbox One featuring a sharing policy less "anti-consumer" than that of Steam.

SupahGamuh:

TomWiley:

Seriously, are these comparisons even necessary?.

Jim has it better explained.

No he hasn't. He just shows you a bunch of funny pictures and think's that "oh the PC isn't affected be retailers" (which is simply not true btw) is somehow an argument. Rule #1; just because the bloke got his own show doesn't mean he knows anything more than you or me.

Secondly, doesn't matter if some guy on the Internet thinks the comparison is irrelevant. What you said in your original post still doesn't make one lick of sense to me. And since I have this compulsive disorder to correct people on Xbox One misconceptions, I couldn't just ignore it.

There were flamewars about this crap when it was only fucking rumored. People were calling it a shitstorm brewing long before Microsoft's official announcement, and somehow this passed them up completely? For some reason I'm not buying it, especially after their PR stunts of "don't like it? by a 360 then, chump!", which only pissed more people off. The only way it could've passed them up is if they're willingly both blind and deaf. Even then they should've still been capable of feeling the pain of Sony, Nintendo, dozens of websites, hundreds of videos, and millions of angry gamers punching and kicking their barely animated corpse of a corporation.

In short, Microsoft has completely misunderstood PR and capitalism.

I guess I would be surprised too if I triggered the biggest shitstorm since the Horus Heresy.

OT: Ok, lame joke out of the way I would say I'm surprised at just how out of touch they are these days but my shock supplies ran out a month ago. They've had nothing but horrid press, got utterly trashed at E3 by Sony and have had to constantly pull a 180 on just about everything they have. Not to mention those "cost cutting measures" are going to come back to haunt them.

I honestly swear at this point the theories of Microsoft either wanting to leave the console wars or someone pulling some kind of stock shorting scheme are starting to look like fact at this point. (Granted this is just my own personal guess and nothing more.)

Not buying because...I already own a kinect. kinect 2.0 is hardly any different, in fact, kinect 1.0 should be compatible with xbox one. I already have 4 controllers, in fact these controllers should be compatible with xbox one. I already own all these xbox 360 games, in fact all these games should be backwards compatible with xbox one.

I thought journalists were suppose to keep their opinions to themselves.... oh well

"Yes, we were quite surprised that our target market felt insulted both directly and intellectually when we came out and started insulting them both directly and intellectually."

Seriously, the best thing MS could do right now is just drop it and tried to forget it ever happened. The more they act like they didn't see this coming and couldn't understand all the complaints just comes across as further corporate spin trying to make us believe that all the negatives they were working with were actually good for us.

TomWiley:

Meh, w/e, if it makes you happy to keep nitpicking on anyone who doesn't agree with you, then good for you.

Maybe if they didn't develop things in their magical Redmond technology bubble they wouldn't have been so surprised when people who don't live in technology centers in America (i.e, almost everyone in the whole world) might have taken issue with it.

Like Steam? Wut?!

With Steam you can still play your games if you have no internet connection.
I can play ALL my Steam games offline! (Unless of course it's an multi-player only game)

Don't try to use Steam as an excuse when you couldn't even get something as simple as Offline playability right, heck having the check in every 24hrs? What is this the XBox MOM? Will we have to phone in to Microsoft and tell them who we're playing with and then have to have Microsoft officials to meet our friend's parents?

They were downright combative when we (consumers) voiced our concerns over those policies. Several of the things they call "assumptions" were outright conclusions. They saw how steam did things and wanted that kind of action and tried to take it. Part of that is at the cost of a used market. Not only that, but Steam doesn't necessarily require you to be online and certainly doesn't try to make people check in once a day like they tried to do.

In hindsight, why we exploded against them should be obvious. That they are still surprised by it is... if not a lie, concerning. Because it would mean that they are so out of touch with their consumer that they can't even begin to fathom that we saw what they were doing. Microsoft thinks they know what the future brings, and they may be right, but to force the future on us now when we do not want it is naive of any business to do. They've got to remember that the customer may not always be "right", but you better treat them like they are if you want their money.

Look, I owned an xbox and a 360. I was hopeful for what the next gen system would look like. But as the reports came in and as I watch live feed, all I saw was a Microsoft rep looking us in the face and selling us Sony products. Sony then just had to laugh at them along with us, buddying up and becoming part of our group. Beyond that, they just had to not try and force stuff on us and they were golden. I have got to be more surprised that Microsoft tried this at all than they are about our reactions.

If they wanted to compete with steam, there's no reason why a digital and physical distribution can't coexist. They already do this on computers. You've just got to create a digital environment that makes gamers want the digital license more than the physical one. To say you can't have that and retail is a lie and is purely them trying to muscle out preowned games and pocket the cash. That's blatant and we all know they were doing it and there's no assumption to be made. You make the digital environment better than physical ones with price and convenience. There's no reason a digital game should be full retail a year later or even ever the same price as physical retail.

oldtaku:
Jesus, you dumb bastards. Stop defending your stupid anti-consumer positions after you've retreated from them.

Quite. If they truly thought it was the best course of action, they would have stuck to their guns.

But at this point, MS just sound like a spoiled brat who didn't get his way.

Surprised by the assumptions? Then why the hell didn't you immediately clarify everything? I'm going to assume nobody at Microsoft actually knew what the plan was for their product. I'm no marketing expert, but shouldn't you know what your selling before announcing it?

Just goes to show how absolutely clueless they are.

One of their biggest mistakes was letting Don Mattrick screw them over at every opportunity. Every time he was in public he said something stupid that hurt the company worse and worse. If they'd have shut him up I don't think things would've been as bad but he blatantly insulted the xbox one's consumer base time and time again.

Someone needs to muzzle these morons.

They thought they had a game changing idea that they did an awful job pitching and lost. They need to let it go and move on instead of constantly bringing up their "grand vision" that pisses off the populace.

The fact that anyone in a position of authority at Microsoft is still giving out what amounts to the "I'm sorry you were completely irrational and psychotic about my clearly well-intended and benevolent actions" apology does not bode well for the company's future.

Guys? You fucked up. It wasn't "just us". All that windmilling and reversing direction you had to do? It wasn't unavoidable, it wasn't unpredictable, and it wasn't some regrettable and wasteful maneuvering made necessary by a hysterical reaction.

You're starting to move in the right direction, however graceless, lethargic, and late those moves might be. But if you can't understand why those moves had to be made, you're just going to get lost in the jungle again the first moment you're out of sight of the guide.

Lightknight:
They were downright combative when we (consumers) voiced our concerns over those policies. Several of the things they call "assumptions" were outright conclusions. They saw how steam did things and wanted that kind of action and tried to take it. Part of that is at the cost of a used market. Not only that, but Steam doesn't necessarily require you to be online and certainly doesn't try to make people check in once a day like they tried to do.

In hindsight, why we exploded against them should be obvious. That they are still surprised by it is... if not a lie, concerning. Because it would mean that they are so out of touch with their consumer that they can't even begin to fathom that we saw what they were doing. Microsoft thinks they know what the future brings, and they may be right, but to force the future on us now when we do not want it is naive of any business to do. They've got to remember that the customer may not always be "right", but you better treat them like they are if you want their money.

Look, I owned an xbox and a 360. I was hopeful for what the next gen system would look like. But as the reports came in and as I watch live feed, all I saw was a Microsoft rep looking us in the face and selling us Sony products. Sony then just had to laugh at them along with us, buddying up and becoming part of our group. Beyond that, they just had to not try and force stuff on us and they were golden. I have got to be more surprised that Microsoft tried this at all than they are about our reactions.

If they wanted to compete with steam, there's no reason why a digital and physical distribution can't coexist. They already do this on computers. You've just got to create a digital environment that makes gamers want the digital license more than the physical one. To say you can't have that and retail is a lie and is purely them trying to muscle out preowned games and pocket the cash. That's blatant and we all know they were doing it and there's no assumption to be made. You make the digital environment better than physical ones with price and convenience. There's no reason a digital game should be full retail a year later or even ever the same price as physical retail.

Let me just add my thoughts on that. Firstly, you say that if they wanted to be like Steam, they should have just let retail and digital sales coexist peacefully on the same platform?

Only; that's nothing like how Steam is doing things. Keep in mind that Valve received massive backlash back in 2004 for deliberately locking out retailer versions of Half Life 2 (everything had to be registered via Steam).

Steam is so massively anti-retail that any game distribution service can possibly be.

And Valve was right to do that seeing as cutting out the retailers allowed for lower game prices á la the Steam sales. Obviously, if Microsoft wanted to be like Steam they should be as anti-retail as possible. So your comparison there just doesn't make any sense to me. Also, you do know that the original Xbox One would support physical copies and even used games, right?

You also say that Microsoft's inability to predict backlash proves that they are completely out of touch with the consumers. Maybe that's true, but I can personally say that I think a lot of that backlash was quite simply unfair.

It's a value proposition right? It's Microsoft saying "here's our new console, it does require internet connection but that's only so we can give you digital features you've never been offered before - the ability to give and share games etc". It's up to each and every consumer to decide whether that's a decent trade-off, and it wouldn't have surprised me if a lot of people would simply pick the PS4 instead. But the aggressive response it triggered did surprise me.

See, the original Xbox One's digital sharing was way less restrictive than that of earlier generations, than that of Steam, Origin and even the PS4. Anti-hack internet connectivity was the only way to justify that kind of liberty to publishers.

So it was a trade-off. They defined their consumer market as everyone with a decent internet connection so that they would be able to enhance the way digital sharing works. And for me with an Internet connection, the advantages clearly outweighed the disadvantages.

Is it anti-consumer to define their market for their new product as just people with Internet connection? Not in my opinion, unless they'd be lying about the fact that it does require Internet connection. But they didn't, in fact they seemed blatantly honest about it, and in the end it's their product and their choice which market segments are interesting to them.

In summary; Microsoft offered something different which in some ways was better, some ways was worse. Ultimately, it's up to each and every consumer to make that choice - but Microsoft shouldn't be demonized for going for a digital distribution model with their own hardware. And I would have greatly preferred if I had the choice between two consoles doing things radically different (Xbox with enhanced digital sharing, PS4 with unrestricted offline) over the choice between two glorified PC's that are exactly the same.

Able Seacat:
The rumours of 'always online' were around a while before the console was reviled so it's not like the initial reaction from people was hard for Microsoft to find.

I know right I mean it wasn't even a secret people were going to react that way it was really obvious for months way ahead of time. I also love how they say they are copying steam even though steam is a service not a product. If they wanted to copy steam they would need a digital store not a console.

Wow Microsoft is dumb...

I'm not ready to believe they're innocent to be honest.

Also, keep in mind we were also seriously getting worn down with bull**** prior to the reveal. Online passes? Season Passes? Sim City debacle?

Yeah. If you didn't see this coming then you really are dense.

TomWiley:

SupahGamuh:
Nope. Nopenopenopenopenopenope. Nope.

If you want to copy Steam, then F*ING COPY STEAM!, don't make a bastardized and blatantly anti-consumer version of it. Heck, even Origin got it (mostly) right.

Interesting you should say that:

The original Xbox One allowed you to do the following with digital games:

Buy at day one
Cloud storage
Access on friend's machine

Sharing of digital games(not on Steam)
Giving of digital games (not on Steam)

That's already two things that the original Xbox One would let you do that Steam doesn't let you do. You could even say that Steam is *gasp* more restrictive than the original Xbox One.

So much for the consumer backlash. Perhaps Microsoft just didn't plan on getting so much criticism based solely on misconceptions.

My internet went out last weekend because of a storm. Skyrim launched just fine. Steam lets me play games if my internet goes out. The Xbone wouldn't. When I have more freedom offline with games on my computer than on a console, why the fuck do I have the console?

TomWiley:

The original Xbox One allowed you to do the following with digital games:

Buy at day one
Cloud storage
Access on friend's machine

Sharing of digital games(not on Steam)
Giving of digital games (not on Steam)

That's already two things that the original Xbox One would let you do that Steam doesn't let you do. You could even say that Steam is *gasp* more restrictive than the original Xbox One.

So much for the consumer backlash. Perhaps Microsoft just didn't plan on getting so much criticism based solely on misconceptions.

You can give games on Steam:
https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?p_faqid=549
Xbox1's sharing feature was lifted from Steam, log into your account and you can play YOUR games on a friend's xbox1:
http://majornelson.com/2013/08/09/xbox-one-sharing-digital-games-and-gold/
The only difference is you have to pay a monthly fee to take advantage of a feature Steam had for free.
Just an FYI after logging into your steam account on another computer you can install your Steam games on as many computers as you want barring 3rd party DRM.
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2679835

Also Steam games can be played on PCs and Macs, are not limited by country (see Xbox one's original limitations), will not ban you from your game library, ect ect.

Consumer backlash was not just over digital purchase restrictions, bloody hell don't just erroneously cheery pick a few comparable features of Steam and Xbox1 and call it a day, the only misconceptions you've covered are your own and yet you have failed in even the simplest sense of defining what made consumers angry in the first place.

flamedance58:
Like Steam? Wut?!

With Steam you can still play your games if you have no internet connection.
I can play ALL my Steam games offline! (Unless of course it's an multi-player only game)

Don't try to use Steam as an excuse when you couldn't even get something as simple as Offline playability right, heck having the check in every 24hrs? What is this the XBox MOM? Will we have to phone in to Microsoft and tell them who we're playing with and then have to have Microsoft officials to meet our friend's parents?

Steam still needs to check in, it's just every week instead of every day. Trust me, that has bitten me in the ass on so many trips.

TomWiley:

SupahGamuh:
Nope. Nopenopenopenopenopenope. Nope.

If you want to copy Steam, then F*ING COPY STEAM!, don't make a bastardized and blatantly anti-consumer version of it. Heck, even Origin got it (mostly) right.

Interesting you should say that:

The original Xbox One allowed you to do the following with digital games:

Buy at day one
Cloud storage
Access on friend's machine

Sharing of digital games(not on Steam)
Giving of digital games (not on Steam)

That's already two things that the original Xbox One would let you do that Steam doesn't let you do. You could even say that Steam is *gasp* more restrictive than the original Xbox One.

This is very true but the reason steam gets away with it is because of frequent sales (and generally low prices for old games) and it requires you to connect once a month rather than a day.

and in regard to those things you mentioned steam cant do id like to bring up another point

Sharing of physical games (no restrictions)
Giving of physical games (no restrictions)
Selling of physical games (no restrictions)
Buying used copies of physical games (no restrictions)

these are things the Xbox One couldnt originally do

Racecarlock:
Are they trying to ascend to some super saiyan level of stupid?

For some reason this just made me laugh for about two minutes straight. Maybe it's the image of this MS suit suddenly developing giant yellow hair and blasting energy balls at Internet critics.

As for the article... I said my piece in an earlier comment regarding Peter Molyneux's statement, but it bears repeating.

Let's ignore the fact of whether the "always on" system is, or could ever actually be, a good thing for the majority of consumers (most of whom don't have 20Gbps cable broadband). Let's ignore the potential benefits and pitfalls and just focus on how Microsoft was able - or more accurately, unable - to convey the information about their vision to us, their consumers.

Microsoft have FAILED to convince the majority of consumers that there is any benefit whatsoever to an "always-on" experience in a single-player game, let alone one that outweighs the obvious downsides (I won't list them here, I think the other commentators here have done a stellar job there).

They have also FAILED to show any evidence at all that they have any kind of long-term plan to rectify the problems that many, many people have highlighted with their business strategy.

So... now that they've failed on two accounts, both of which would seem essential to their success in a market that's increasingly populated by tech-savvy consumers who will make purchasing decisions based on this kind of information, their only recourse is to claim, essentially, that it's actually the consumers who are "overreacting"?

Yeah... you know what happens to companies that try to preach to their customers what they SHOULD buy, instead of looking at what their customers actually want? They end up losing those customers. Lose enough, and the results aren't good for that company.

It's this exact attitude of obliviousness they seem to have that will keep me from buying this console even after all the changes. They didn't change because they came to understand why their customers were upset, they changed because they saw how much money they were going to lose. That they continue to show this inability to understand only cements my reasons for why this console is a bad investment.

Microsoft has always been out of touch. Business as usual. Nothing to see here...Move along.

undeadsuitor:

Steam still needs to check in, it's just every week instead of every day. Trust me, that has bitten me in the ass on so many trips.

Does it? Oh wow never knew it was a set amount of time! My bad, guess I'm partially wrong on my claim then >.<

TomWiley:

SupahGamuh:
Nope. Nopenopenopenopenopenope. Nope.

If you want to copy Steam, then F*ING COPY STEAM!, don't make a bastardized and blatantly anti-consumer version of it. Heck, even Origin got it (mostly) right.

Interesting you should say that:

The original Xbox One allowed you to do the following with digital games:

Buy at day one
Cloud storage
Access on friend's machine

Sharing of digital games(not on Steam)
Giving of digital games (not on Steam)

That's already two things that the original Xbox One would let you do that Steam doesn't let you do. You could even say that Steam is *gasp* more restrictive than the original Xbox One.

So much for the consumer backlash. Perhaps Microsoft just didn't plan on getting so much criticism based solely on misconceptions.

What are you talking about?
1) You can access your Steam games from any PC, and friends have been able to play my steam games by doing so.
2) I have GIVEN games as gifts on steam, they make this easy to do.
Q&A on steam gifts: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?p_faqid=549#expire
3) You can add non Steam games to your steam to launch them from there for convenience.
4) You have a support community with no subscription fee.
5) Steam's contingency plan for if they ever shut down entirely is to allow customers to download their games and they play them without steam needed. ( Microsoft's Zune just screwed their customers instead.)
6) You can play offline Steam games offline.

When even EA can copy Steam more effectively than you, you know you fucked up.

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