Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid

E3 has come and gone for another year, and I’m sorry to burst your bubbles fellow gamers, but I’m going to decry the majority of it for what it was: Bull. Shit.

There are any number of things I could opine on for this particular piece (and don’t worry, everyone will have a chance to be soundly thrashed by my leather belt of consumer justice), but for the moment I’m going to focus my ire on Microsoft for being a bunch of asshats.

Okay, so MS did some things right with their E3 press conference. But you don’t come to me to hear about the good things companies are doing. No, you can read their Twitter feeds, or check out Polygon etc. No, you come to me to see what you should be avoiding, or why and how a company has messed up so badly I can’t help but be pissed with them. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

For starters, the HoloLens… Oh boy. I hope Paramount and Gene Roddenberry’s estate are getting ready to sue.

Okay, so here’s Microsoft attempting to sell the new version of the Kinect. Essentially, this is the Occulus Rift, but it functions more like an augmented reality system than it does a VR system. This sounds great in theory. And in theory, it’s perfect. I can play on any surface, it functions with voice commands and the good old MS version of motion control.

And that’s where the problems start. You remember motion control? The one that doesn’t work? It didn’t work with the bloody Kinect, and I have no reason to believe it’s going to work now. I had a Kinect for all of three weeks for my Xbone, and never found it to be anything more than the perfect piece of equipment to control my Twitch stream remotely. Then I discovered how to use hot buttons on the controller, and poof! No need for the invasive little black eye sitting on my shelf. Staring at me. Watching. Listening. It was like your ex on Facebook.

I have nothing but respect for the R&D department at Microsoft, but I need more than this. I need it to be a game system. Not some addon to the Xbox One and (given recent developments at Xbox Live, the PC). I need it to work with every game.

If they can do that? I’m sold. I’d love the ability to put these goggles on over my glasses and play a game in silence, not disturbing my wife or son. And also, it needs to fit over the glasses. None of this 3D glasses at the cinema bollocks.

Let’s move on to the next announcement from Microsoft’s presentation: inter-connectivity between the Xbox One and the PC. Got the game on Xbox One? Go ahead and stream it to the PC! Which, again, sounds great in theory… Wait, no it doesn’t. Why you’d want to do this is beyond me. This seems like an inferior version of the Playstation TV.

You know what I like about PC? I can mod it. I can adjust the graphics. I can tweak. I can’t do any of that on a console. (Unless it’s Fallout 4 apparently.) So tell me, why I should I buy this? Especially when one considers I have a PC capable of running most titles at very high or ultra settings? I suppose the draw is console exclusives – Halo, Destiny etc.? But beyond that I don’t see any advantage.

And, lastly, I’d like to point out a major flaw in Microsoft’s presentation the other day. They celebrated backwards compatibility heading to the Xbox One. “You’ll be able to use a full 100 Xbox 360 games on your Xbone by year’s end!” they crowed.

Big. Effing. Deal.

I had an argument about this with someone the other day at work. They insisted this was revolutionary, and I shouldn’t be so hard on MS about it.

I stipulated Microsoft is a company that has enough money to found their own country and (quite literally) pay off the US national debt several times over. Well okay, maybe not literally. But they recently bought out a Canadian developer with the express purpose of making a GoW game every year, so clearly they aren’t exactly hurting for cash.

You’re telling me, during development of the Xbone, no one at Xbox had the bright idea to make the damn thing backwards compatible? No way. They were waiting to announce it. They were waiting to use it as part of a marketing and PR strategy.

But it didn’t bloody work. At least not here at GI.

And Sony? You’re no better, so while Microsoft has been taking the brunt of my wrath so far, don’t think you’re getting out of this post unscathed. There is no godly reason why these systems couldn’t be backwards compatible. I understand there is a kernel and OS difference. But the fact remains, this is being fixed with what amounts to a hot patch! Piss off! You could have had a whole team working on this prior to now!

And I’m telling you right now, Sony, you’d best change your tune. I like my PS3 games, and I’ll be damned if I pay for them again for the sake of having a digital copy, since you can’t seem to be bothered to add this functionality to the PS4.

The PS3 was backwards compatible, so was the PS2 and the Wii. Hell, even the WII U is backwards compatible with the Wii if not the Gamecube!

This is atrocious. It’s underhanded, and it’s certainly not something to be celebrated like the bunch of clapping circus seals who seemed to be in attendance at E3.

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Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid

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