Xbox One: Marc Whitten Apologizes – “A Need for Better Communication”

Marc Whitten and the Xbox One

Marc Whitten telling us what’s what I suppose.

As if it was not already obvious enough, Xbox Corporate VP Marc Whitten proclaims the need for better communication for the Xbox One and its features:

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“‘We need to do more work to talk about what we’re doing because I think that we did something different than maybe how people are perceiving it.’ For one thing, he said, Family Sharing isn’t necessarily gone for good. ‘If [Family Sharing] is something that people are really excited about and want, we’re going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back.’ It would require additional engineering to enable Family Sharing after always-online was dropped, so the feature was removed from the Xbox One launch window.”

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While I can certainly understand their “anxiety” over sharing (or enforcing, whichever method Microsoft employs these days) the “Family Sharing” feature, it’s completely missing the point.

Before getting to that ultimate point, it would be best to point out that the “Family Sharing” feature isn’t even detailed or explained very well. The ultimate problem with it is that they are trying to enforce an initial, arbitrary limit to an amorphous concept, that of sharing. Still, it’s a step in the right direction if nothing else.

Though Steam may be way ahead of them:

Back on track, none of these minute side-issues matter much with the Xbox One right now. The real question is this:

Why are they still trying to peddle the Kinect? Why is this still mandatory?

Actually, the answer is already obvious. With the Kinect Microsoft can (or at least thinks they can) charge more overall for their system. Yet, peripherals are named such for a reason. Imagine trying to read with your peripheral vision? Or trying to play baseball or have a staring contest with your peripheral vision? That is what this whole strategy can be compared to; someone trying to “enhance” (or overcome) their primary vision with only their peripheral vision. It just doesn’t work.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the Kinect also costs almost as much as the entire system (Xbox One) to manufacture, explaining the much steeper price in comparison to the PS4 and Wii U:

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“But Kinect being successful is important to Microsoft because of cost. According to this developer, manufacturing the Kinect costs almost as much as the Xbox One console itself. If no one uses it, then that’s going to be a huge waste of money for every console shipped.

This also clears up the reason why the Xbox One is $499 and the PS4 is $399. As the Kinect costs so much to make, matching Sony at $399 wouldn’t just cost Microsoft profit, it would be a huge loss incurred for every console sold. Clearly Microsoft isn’t willing to take that hit. It will also makes it more difficult for Microsoft to reduce the cost of the Xbox One in the years after its launch. With two expensive devices in the box, you just can’t save as much money on manufacturing costs as you can with just a console.”

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How strange is it that after the introduction of motion controls via the Wii, Sony and Microsoft decide to go out of their way to attempt to blatantly, and clumsily, copy their business strategy, only to completely miss the point of Nintendo’s strategy in the first place?

The Wii was so enticing because it presented something new, captured a “fresh audience” (casual gamers), and was the cheapest of the three consoles at the time.

The Xbox One is more or less rehashing the Wii’s basic concept, is attempting to go after the exact same audience (more or less), and is now the most expensive of the three consoles currently at a price of $499.99 USD.

They could not have done more wrong if they tried.

As such, no one wants to play the Kinect, which means that no one will go out of their way to put money into it, such as buying games or other related hardware/software. This lack of support and profit from consumers will mean that developers will be less inclined (if at all) to develop for it. Finally, the lack of support and development will make it little more than a fancy Hal 9000 paper weight and dust collector, one that also has more than enough potential to spy on you in your own home.

I’m sorry, Marc Whitten, but you need more than “better explanations” and a possible “Family Sharing” feature to remedy this.

This entire debacle has been a fantastic example of just how shortsighted and blindly greedy corporate interests are and can be.

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One thought on “Xbox One: Marc Whitten Apologizes – “A Need for Better Communication”

  1. Pingback: Xbox One and PS4 mean your expensive consoles are already obsolete… | Game News Next-Gen

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