Rumour shutdown - Eight more Xbox One myths addressed

Closing the conversation about manufacturing problems, 1080p gaming and Kinect ads...

In June I wrote a little feature about some of the more persistent and malignant Xbox One myths, following a troublesome E3 for the platform. Alas, Microsoft hasn't nailed down the message just yet - hence this follow-up, which revisits a few of the usual suspects and hopefully addresses more recent controversies. Is there anything else you're unclear on, at this point? Let me know, and I'll do my best to answer by way of a comment or article update.

  • 1: Kinect will secretly gather data about you.

    This remains a legitimate concern, in light of revelations about the National Security Association's activities in the US, but sturdy safeguards appear to be in place. If you're concerned about eavesdropping, you can deactivate Kinect's camera and microphone via the console's privacy settings, or simply unplug it. There's also the worry that Microsoft will allow advertisers to track player expressions, headcounts and the like, but the company's planning and marketing director Albert Penello insists that (a) "nobody" is working on this, and (b) that if such a scheme is introduced, it would require the user's explicit permission. Moreover, facial recognition data will never be stored on Xbox Live, even though this would allow Microsoft to set up auto-recognition when you use a friend's console.

  • 2: Xbox One can't do "true 1080p gaming"

    I'm a little baffled that this one still carries any currency, given that Forza Motorsport 5 is literally right there, running in 1080p at a greasy 60 frames a second, despite an unholy level of shader and texture mojo. It perhaps has something to do with an unfortunate bit of a mixed messaging over Ryse: Son of Rome - Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg claimed that the game would run in native 1080p on Twitter, only to later retract the comment, explaining that Ryse's native resolution is, in fact, 900p, upscaled to 1080p. According to Crytek boss Cevat Yerli, this will improve "efficiency" when it comes to rendering character models and environments, and the game would run at the same resolution were it available for PS4.

  • 3: Microsoft will sell the Xbox One without Kinect

    The revelation that Xbox One can, in fact, run without a Kinect sensor plugged in has led many to ask whether Microsoft will ultimately release a Kinect-less Xbox One at a lower RRP. This is deeply unlikely for a number of reasons. For starters, the Xbox One is built around voice and gesture commands - from what we've seen, you'll be able to perform any dashboard action without using a controller - and Microsoft hopes this "frictionless" control will help it edge out Samsung, Apple and Google in the race to become the "smart TV" provider of choice. To cut a long story short, Kinect is designed to render the trad TV remote obsolete.


    Secondly and, I suspect, more interestingly, Microsoft genuinely wants Kinect
    gaming to take off, though the strategy has shifted somewhat since the halcyon days of Milo & Kate. The publisher will still develop or solicit Kinect-only releases, such as Kinect Sports: Rivals and Ubisoft's Fighter Within, but I suspect it wants Kinect in general to be more of an all-pervading thing, adding value to games in a way you only really notice when you take that value away. Perhaps the most obvious instance of this is "Xbox, record that" - a universal voice command that bites off, saves and uploads the last five minutes of gameplay to your profile. Want to brag about a Batman combo? Now you can do it without so much as tapping out a Tweet.

    As I've written in the past, the safest way to persuade developers to invest in Kinect is to make it a standard feature, rather than a bolt-on. This will allow publishers to set aside funds for gesture- or voice-driven features or projects, secure in the knowledge that they aren't limiting their potential audience in the process. I'm especially keen to see what applicants to Microsoft's [email protected] program get up to with Kinect - they'll have access to the exact same functionality as their better-funded corporate brethren.

  • 4: Microsoft doesn't have any real exclusives or studios

    One billion dollars says you're wrong. Microsoft has dumped unprecedented sums on its first-party next generation offering, which is why 10 of Xbox One's launch games are exclusive. Not all of them are first-party published, of course - there's a possibility that third-party efforts like Titanfall will migrate to other consoles at some stage, but that's also, obviously, true of various PS4 exclusives, and nothing is guaranteed.

    Microsoft's internal studio slate is now rather fearsome. On the one hand, you've got the existing powerhouses - Fable studio Lionhead, now working on the co-op-centric Legends for a possible 2014 release, the inimitable Rare, which has hinted at a return to classic IPs like Banjo and Perfect Dark, Forza creator Turn 10 and Halo 4 developer 343 Studios, which has at least two projects on the boil, including Halo for Xbox One. On the other, you've got the new kids - LocoCycle developer Twisted Pixel, Max and the Curse of Brotherhood developer Press Play, Project Spark developer Team Dakota, and the vast and mysterious entity that is Black Tusk Studios, whose untitled stealth game debuted at E3.
    There are many more we're less aware of - unannounced projects are confirmed to be underway at Microsoft Osaka, Microsoft Victoria and Lift London, and there's also JoyRide developer BigPark and Soho Productions to consider.

  • 5: Microsoft will sneakily bring back Xbox One's DRM

    Microsoft has suggested that it might at some point re-enable certain digital features (like Family Sharing) that were supposedly possible thanks to the console's original, enormously unpopular 24 hour internet check-in policy. This has led some to suggest that it will stealthily reactivate the online requirement at a later date, once people have bought the machine. Albert Penello is fairly adamant that this won't happen.

    "I don't see that ever happening with content you're buying today either on disc and digitally," he commented in August. "All of that DRM stuff was in place because there was no physical security on the disc itself, so all the licensing was done digitally. When you build that type of model, then you need to make sure people can't install games on a bunch of machines, then unplug them. That would have made us an awesome Pirating machine, and that can't happen for obvious reasons. When we went back to disc security, those DRM policies weren't necessary. So no reason to turn it on later."

    "If there's ambiguity," he continued. "It's because it's possible that, in the future, IF WE ADDED BACK some of those family sharing ideas we had in the beginning, we'd have [to] reintroduce similar types of policies. So IF you wanted to have a game and have that family sharing, always-in-the-cloud, and digital loaning - then we might add those requirements back. You can imagine a world where we have both types of models at the same time."

  • 6: There are manufacturing problems

    Look, here's a picture of an Xbox One fresh off the production line. You can add that to the below video of live human beings interacting with the console in our own offices, and to Microsoft's repeated assurances that it won't struggle to meet target shipments for Xbox One at launch. Rumours of the contrary arose following news of a release delay in certain regions, but Albert Penello says this is a problem of localisation that relates to the complexities of Kinect voice control, not production. "Everybody wants to assume there's a [units volume] issue," he told us in August. "And yet I'm showing real hardware here at Gamescom - a real, final, retail kit."

  • 7: IllumiRoom is down for release on Xbox One

    There was much hubbub on this front following the oddly timed release of a proof-of-tech video in April, but alas - the prospect of a gameworld that projects beyond the TV screen appears off the menu for the moment, as the supporting technology is simply too expensive. Having said that, Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer has been caught off guard by enthusiasm for IllumiRoom, and appears to be reconsidering his options. "I get asked about this so much, I wonder if it would be worth setting up a demo at a show like this and seeing what people think," he remarked in September. If you're keen, why not give him a shout?

  • 8: Microsoft doesn't care about independent developers

    I think it's fair to say that Microsoft hasn't promoted its developer support as much as its closest rival, but there's plenty of evidence to the effect that it has always intended to make publishing on Xbox easier for smaller devs. For one thing, the ability to transform every retail Xbox One into a development kit, free of charge, isn't a feature you paste in once the console's design has been finalised. For another, Microsoft is the creator of the flawed but nonetheless admirable Xbox Live Indie Games service, which is the basis for the new, less fussy and less expensive [email protected] publishing program. "This has been on the cards since we first started architecting Xbox One," the program's director Chris Charla told us in August. "If you look to our heritage, and what we did with Xbox Live Indie Games, which was a way to self-publish on Xbox 360 - [we wanted to] take the feedback we were getting back then."

OXM Blog: Rumour shutdown - eight more Xbox One myths addressed - Xbox 360 - The Official Magazine
 

Stinja

Distinguished Member
Closing the conversation about ...

While you make a number of excellent points, i hardly think you can close down conversation.
Unless you bring out the handcuffs and duct-tape :smashin:

Points 1, 3, and 5 are a little strong, as over time who's to say Microsoft may not edge back towards the rumoured (not alarmist) version of things.

ie:
- some advertising data mined thru kinect with user consent
- a non-kinect xbone in four years time (2017)
- DRM will come in some form, where it's the shift to digital, or say in three years a NetFlix type subscription, but with DRM, comes along - but more palatable due to said "rental" vs "purchase"

I just feel some of your points are too strict and immovable. Hugs and kisses :smashin:
 

Captain Speedy

Well-known Member
I just feel some of your points are too strict and immovable. Hugs and kisses :smashin:

You do realise these arnt his points but a C&P from an OXM article?
 
While you make a number of excellent points, i hardly think you can close down conversation.
Unless you bring out the handcuffs and duct-tape :smashin:

Points 1, 3, and 5 are a little strong, as over time who's to say Microsoft may not edge back towards the rumoured (not alarmist) version of things.

ie:
- some advertising data mined thru kinect with user consent
- a non-kinect xbone in four years time (2017)
- DRM will come in some form, where it's the shift to digital, or say in three years a NetFlix type subscription, but with DRM, comes along - but more palatable due to said "rental" vs "purchase"

I just feel some of your points are too strict and immovable. Hugs and kisses :smashin:

Just to be clear-nothing in my opening post is my text, it's all a copy/paste from the OXM article (for which there's a link at the bottom of the post).
 

zt1903

Distinguished Member
Without addressing any of the "myths": that OXM had to do an article like this at all is a sad indictment of the state of XB1 marketing to date.

Not sure #4 was out there at all though :confused:

Edit: and does anyone even care about #7
 
Without addressing any of the "myths": that OXM had to do an article like this at all is a sad indictment of the state of XB1 marketing to date.

Not sure #4 was out there at all though :confused:

And <BOOM>... there it is.

The 100% predictable & inevitable dig.

The only thing I'm surprised at is that it took 1 hour & 38 minutes to happen.
 
Last edited:

Foster

Distinguished Member
It's his opinion like you have your opinion about certain matters, lets leave it at that.
 

Foster

Distinguished Member
There's no "opinion" there, just (more) predictable digs. :boring:

You've done the same so you can't really moan, double standards etc.
 

zt1903

Distinguished Member
And <BOOM>... there it is.

The 100% predictable & inevitable dig.

The only thing I'm surprised at is that it took 1 hour & 38 minutes to happen.

And yet it only takes seconds for the inevitable response that doesn't remotely attempt to address the point.

My post is NOT a dig mate. Unless, of course, you think MS having to do a big damage control piece is a normal part of product launch?
 

Foster

Distinguished Member

Guns_LotsOfGuns

Moderator/Games Reviewer
And <BOOM>... there it is.

The 100% predictable & inevitable dig.

The only thing I'm surprised at is that it took 1 hour & 38 minutes to happen.

Ok posts like this need to stop, zt is entitled to his opinion no matter how much you don't like it there is no need to derail every thread to point it out.

Give it a rest and let the conversation flow please.
 

turk3y

Well-known Member
Without addressing any of the "myths": that OXM had to do an article like this at all is a sad indictment of the state of XB1 marketing to date.

Not sure #4 was out there at all though :confused:

Edit: and does anyone even care about #7

cough, complete PR piece to server as advertising... cough. ;)
 

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member
In regards to #3 the only time a games console is on is when im playing a game and if they want kinect to take off forcing it into the xbox sale isnt going to help.
 

jjgreenwood

Well-known Member
cough, complete PR piece to server as advertising... cough. ;)

X360 mag has always had decent editorial. No doubts the system has had PR issues but most have been addressed even you must realise this.

An X1 is is a proper competitor to a PS4
 

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member

jjgreenwood

Well-known Member
PS seems to be a "should I play killzone" and the answer in my mind is always no
 
In regards to #3 the only time a games console is on is when im playing a game and if they want kinect to take off forcing it into the xbox sale isnt going to help.

So what will (in your opinion) help Kinect take off, if making it an integral part of the XB1, for every dev to use won't?
 

Foster

Distinguished Member

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member
So what will (in your opinion) help Kinect take off, if making it an integral part of the XB1, for every dev to use won't?

Nothing can help it "Take Off" people are not going to suddenly like playing kinect games just because the console comes with a kinect.

With electric bills keep going up people are not always going to watch TV through their kinect just because they can use the features it offers, I will be turning it off and changing source and switching off at the wall like I do now with the 360 when I am not playing a game.

Personally myself I put Kinect on the same level as 3D, its just a fun factor fad but where I am atm I have no problems with using 3D if I had a TV or any equipment that played it but as for the kinect I just dont have the room.

Maybe one day I might change my mind but as it stands now this is my opinion and I am sure everyone would disagree with me.
 

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