News Roundup | I just straight up hate the Xbox One by now

PS4’s superiority is already unquestionable in comparison; there is no more debate.  But you might not realize just how dirty Microsoft’s policies have become…

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< Click on the headers for links to the stories >

Both Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts run at a lower resolution on the Xbox One than PS4

Ouch.  It’s official.  The two biggest shooter franchises coming out at launch are both lower resolution on the inferior Xbox One system.  (Battlefield 4 comparison can be found here.)  Neither of them can match a PC, of course, but this goes to show that not even giant studios who have endless experience can find a way to squeeze the same graphics out of the Xbox One.  The PS4 is being hailed as easier to develop for, and the launch lineup is proving it.  But unlike the epic 360 vs. PS3 war, the difficulty of developing on the Xbox One isn’t even compensated by some superior hardware, or a better price!

 

Xbox One is designed to sell advertisements

Earlier this month, online magazine Ad Age talked about the exciting prospects of using the Kinect and Xbox One to sell ads on Xbox One’s dashboard, using the Kinect to help marketers spy on consumers’ reactions during commercials, previews, etc.

Seems like rude speculation, doesn’t it?  Not when Yusu Medhi, corporate Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Microsoft, discusses the plans and hopes for the system.  He openly says Microsoft plans to improve the advertising schemes on the Xbox One (yay?) and evolve the “gamification” of ads.  In other words, it’s no fanboy conspiracy theory, it’s all out in the open for corporate marketers to get excited about.  Marketers reading between the lines know that the Kinect will become an amazing spy tool for market research too:

Xbox One can essentially work like TV that watches you, potentially bringing marketers a huge new trove of data about what’s going on in living rooms, including, as one marketer put it after the speech, unprecedented information about how people engage with TV advertising.

“It could have a big impact on pricing,” he said, given Xbox One’s capacity for seeing whether people are paying attention or how their bodies respond to the ads, said the marketer, who wasn’t authorized by his company to speak for attribution.

This goes hand-in-hand with the earlier reports like this one: “Xbox One Dashboard Created “With Advertising in Mind”.  Remember:

“With the new Xbox One, the technology and Kinect has improved a lot,” commented the Technical Account Manager for Xbox LIVE Advertising, “so that actually the voice recognition, the way you speak to your Xbox and the transition between gaming and watching TV is a lot smoother, and hopefully we can transpire that into advertising that we do.”

Why are people even tolerating even the possibility of this?  Why are people defending Microsoft by saying stuff like, “you can turn the Kinect off” and “they said you’ll have control over what it sees”?  How moronic does a consumer base have to be, to stick up for a corporation greedily finding new ways to spy on you so they can shovel annoying ads in your face, when you’re simply trying to play games and have fun?  Just think about how stupid it is.  Advertising is what supports “free” products.  Radio is “free” because they play ads over it.  YouTube is “free” because they sell ads to you.  Xbox One costs $500 and openly brags about how Microsoft will profit off of your usage, while passing nothing along to you in return.  In fact, you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription on top of the system cost just to use basic features like Internet Explorer (yay?) and Skype (which is free on PC and everywhere else!)

Before they were bought by Microsoft, Skype openly advertised from the beginning that it would always be a free program, but now its hidden behind a paywall.  Well, I might as well make that into the next news post…

 

Microsoft hides 81 crappy features behind subscription paywall

Got your wallet ready?  After you pay for your hideous, overpriced Xbox One, you’ll probably want to use all of its amazing features right away, won’t you?  Not so fast, kid!  Nothing in this world is free — at least if Microsoft has its way!

NeoGAF user dmr87 posted this, a list of the services hidden behind a paywall for the Xbone.  The source for this information is here and here.  Please read every single one of these features, and ask yourself whether this is a “premium service” worthy of your hard-earned cash, or a heinously greedy cost of entry for a so-called “entertainment system”:

  • Online Multiplayer
  • Party Chat
  • Video Chat
  • Matchmaking
  • SkyDrive/ Unlimited Cloud Storage
  • Skype
  • SmartMatch (improved version of matchmaking)
  • Game DVR – You have to pay Microsoft, so you can record footage of YOUR games & store it on the hard drive?
  • One Guide
  • Games With Gold – This is valid until Xbox One releases.
  • Amazon.com Instant Video
  • AOL On
  • AT&T Uverse
  • Avatar Kinect
  • BLIP.TV
  • C|Net
  • CinemaNOW
  • Comedy Central: Stand-Up
  • Crackle
  • Crunchyroll
  • Dailymotion
  • Disney
  • EPIX
  • ESPN
  • Facebook
  • Flixter
  • Fox Broadcast
  • Gametrailers
  • Gamespot TV
  • HBO GO
  • Hulu Plus
  • IGN
  • iHeartRadio
  • Internet Explorer
  • Karaoke
  • Last.fm
  • Machinima
  • Manga Entertainment
  • MAXIM – GIGGIDY GIGGIDY GOO!
  • MLB.tv
  • MSN with MSNBC
  • MTV
  • Mustang Customizer
  • Muzu.TV
  • NBA Game Time
  • NBC News
  • Neon Alley
  • NETFLIX
  • NFL
  • NHL Game Center
  • Nick
  • OneBeat
  • Paramount Movies
  • Pizza Hut – Yup, you need a Gold Subscription to order pizza. PREMIUM SERVICE.
  • PopcornFlix
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon
  • Revision3
  • Rhapsody
  • SkyGO
  • Slacker Radio
  • SnagFilms
  • Sony Pictures
  • Sports Picks
  • SyFy
  • Telemundo
  • TMZ
  • Toys “R” Us
  • Twitch.TV
  • Twitter
  • UFC On Xbox Live – You need a Gold subscription…to use ***Pay per View*** for UFC? You have to pay…to pay.
  • Uvideos
  • Verizon FIOS TV
  • Vevo
  • Vimeo
  • Vudu
  • WSJ Live
  • WWE
  • Xbox Music – Requires Xbox Music Pass, which is $100 A YEAR, but also requires GOLD to use on Xbox360? What?
  • Xbox Tournaments
  • Xfinity
  • Youtube

My favorite restricted features?  Netflix (a pay subscription service), YouTube (which is always free everywhere, because it sells ads), GameTrailers (also free everywhere else, it’s basically a site that hosts promotional videos that game developers created in order to sell their games to you), Facebook (the most basic app on any device these days), and the privilege to access Pay Per View UFC fights — meaning you have to pay Microsoft to be allowed to give money to the UFC broadcasters.  What’s next?  Paying to enter a shopping mall?

Almost all of these apps are stuff those companies would almost be willing to pay you to use, because they each have their own business model built into them.  They make money off of ads, or subscription fees, or selling your private information to marketers!  Most of them are garbage services, stuff I’d never use, plus most will be restricted to the USA.  Why should you pay for a middleman?

 

Microsoft thinks Nintendo should police the Windows Store if they care about piracy so much

You think I’m biased, but trust me, I hate every company this evil and arrogant.  Microsoft has said that Nintendo needs to monitor and report every game on the “Windows Store” if it has a problem with the flagrant Intellectual Property violations that are for sale there.

The Windows Store is a toxic attempt to get all developers to sell their programs and applications in a central location hosted by Microsoft, so that they can get a piece of the action, while eventually destroying the current open environment we’ve all taken for granted.  (This is why the Valve wants to foster Linux as the new default operating system.)  The rampant IP theft is left unchecked, as Microsoft expects corporations to police their shitty Windows storefront for violations.

Anyone can tell you that corporations can’t keep up with the rate that pirates can submit things, because instead of gaining approval after being verified somehow, they’ll have to individually find and report everything that’s wrong, and obviously sue the no-name scam artists if they want to make any money off their brands.

 

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Why do so many people still hold out hope that Microsoft has our best interests in mind?  As if the DRM schemes were really just a big misunderstanding, a “communication failure” that somehow still can’t be explained.  Connect the dots, look at their overall arrogance and sloppiness, and realize that they’re desperately trying to imitate their competition while providing a worse service.  I can’t wait for SteamOS to dig their grave deeper, and watch a few more executives jump ship before we’re done.

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