Microsoft's Albert Penello says the company wasn't expecting the reaction and "assumptions" that came out of the Xbox One reveal.
Just in case you've been living under a rock on another planet in a galaxy far, far away for the past few months, you may recall that Microsoft ran into some trouble following the reveal of the Xbox One. While many were looking forward to the beginning of the next console generation, the new gaming machine nonetheless triggered an outcry thanks to some of its attached restrictions. These would include always-online features that would require the console to check in with Microsoft once a day before players could access their games. The company would eventually reverse its most controversial policies. That said, even now the company's surprised by how gamers reacted.
"We were surprised at how vocal it was, and we were surprised at the reaction and assumptions that people had about what we were trying to do," said Albert Penello, Microsoft's director of product planning. According to Penello, the console's policies were, in part, an attempt to adapt to what other successful entities in the game industry have done in recent years. "We were looking at what Steam does, we were looking at what iOS is doing, we were looking where the customers were going and saying 'I think we can actually give you a better all-digital experience.'"
Of course, the Xbox One isn't all digital, which was arguably part of the problem. There were more than a few who took issue with the idea of buying a physical game and then not being able to play it until the console received permission online. In the end, Penello believes it may have boiled down to a simple misunderstanding. "I think the problem was that people got in their minds that what we were trying to do was somehow evil or anti-customer." Considering the somewhat dismissive way Microsoft responded to consumer concerns, that might not be a poor assumption to make.