News Roundup | So many things, Xbox One and otherwise

…But mostly Xbox One!  You may have some catching up to do.


 

Edge Online trashes the Xbox One’s inept User Interface

(Source)  I didn’t forget the Xbox One, I was just waiting for the smoke to clear.  This article by Edge Online is a blunt, no-holds barred examination of why the Xbox One is a UI disaster.  You really should read it.

The load times of the systems’ various features (all treated as “apps”) are slow because the system’s power is split strangely, the voice commands are unreliable, the hard drive usage is impossible to view or manage, the party system is broken, and achievements are hidden behind three layers of bullshit.  And that’s just a sample.

Ever since I first saw Microsoft employees “demonstrating” the Xbone interface “with Kinect” I suspected it would be a wreck.  (Nothing was running real-time, it was all faked to make it look far better than it really was, despite their propaganda about it being a “good representation”.)  My suspicion was reinforced when numerous tech journalists were only able to preview and interact with the system in 100% Microsoft-controlled environments.  Nobody was allowed to just use the interface the way they naturally would, and now we know why.

 

Installing the same game takes 28 times longer on Xbox One than on the PS4

(Source) Kotaku deserves a big round of applause for exposing this atrocity.  And I believe it is an atrocity, not because longer install times are such a sin, but because Microsoft representatives outrageously claim that connecting the Xbox to the Internet somehow quadruples the console’s power, which thus it becomes much more powerful than the PlayStation 4.  However, let’s look at the hard numbers:

NBA Live 14: 
XBO: 16:26 (including update)
PS4: 00:35

That is 28 times longer if you’re connected to the Internet!  When does marketing bullshit become business fraud?  The long wait is made worse by the fact that the system doesn’t actually tell you how long it will take until you can play, so the game seems to be stuck at 1% for no reason while it downloads the update.  PS4 downloads and installs at the same time, and installs much faster even if the Xbox One isn’t connected to the Internet.

Read the full story to see their comparisons properly, with hilarious video proof and everything.

 

Microsoft secretly suspends Xbox One features without warning if you’ve got a dirty mouth

(Source)  “Thanks for the money guys, but you can’t use our features anymore!  Why?  We’re not going to tell you.”  Users who swear too much (for Microsoft’s tastes) will be suspended from using features like Upload Studio and Skype, without warning or clarification.

Rather than being upset at having to limit profanity, most players appeared to be more peeved at how Microsoft handled the situation — by pulling privileges without explaining why.  ….”I get the message ‘Choose something else to play’ simply because I assume MS was not happy about a video I uploaded,” a user who goes by rbevanx wrote. “I think I should have just had a warning and not to do it again (don’t even know what I did wrong in the first place).”

Cnet has become a surprisingly valuable source of news when it comes to the new consoles.  You should also check out their report on the shitty Xbox Live Gold subscription being paywall and a hidden cost of the system, and their thorough examination of just how inconvenient and confusing the whole TV-Kinect-ecosystem bullshit really is in an average family setting.

 

Forza 5 takes racing games to the next-generation of greed

(Source)  How do you feels about paying extra cash for content already on the disc?  It’s awesome, right?  You can’t call it “DLC” because you don’t download anything, but if you pay a few bucks, you’ll unlock the best stuff; who needs ‘good game design’ or ‘earning’ advantages over your competitors?  Not me!  But what if the ‘few bucks’ was actually $120, including the game’s full price?  You’re celebrating in your seat, I’m sure.

You can’t use in-game cash to pay for most of the car, and finish off the rest with your own money, either.  You either buy the car at the absolutely ridiculous grinding pace, or you pay for it completely with “tokens” that are more expensive in bulk quantities, not less. Math is hard, indeed.  Forza’s developers have already been pressured into fixing their greedy, broken economy, but the precedent has been set, the customers have been scammed, and the money has been accepted — and the update is taking its sweet time.

Unlike Gran Turismo 6, which also has a few extremely expensive cars you can buy with cash if you don’t want to earn them, Forza 5 has only a small number tracks and cars compared to its previous installments and the pricing is much more greedy.  The game was clearly designed to punish those who choose to go the hard way.  Sad all around.

 

Neofeminist mouthpiece Rock Paper Shotgun ambushes Dustin Browder with accusations of sexism

(Source)  I know Rock Paper Shotgun is full of shit when it comes to sexism, and they’ve proven it once again.  While interviewing Blizzard’s Dustin Browder about the upcoming Heroes of the Storm game, Nathan Grayson sidetracks the discussion at the last minute with questions about sexist character designs.  Despite being told that he was running out of time by Blizzard’s PR representative, he quickly tries to score some points:

RPS: You have some interesting alternate outfits for heroes. Roller Derby Nova, especially, caught my eye. On its own, that’s totally fine – just a silly, goofy thing. A one-off. But it got me thinking about how often MOBAs tend to hyper-sexualize female characters to a generally preposterous degree – that is to say, make it the norm, not a one-off at all – and StarCraft’s own, um, interesting focus choices as of late. How are you planning to approach all of that in Heroes? 

Browder: Well, I mean, some of these characters, I would argue, are already hyper-sexualized in a sense. I mean, Kerrigan is wearing heels, right? We’re not sending a message to anybody. We’re just making characters who look cool. Our sensibilities are more comic book than anything else. That’s sort of where we’re at. But I’ll take the feedback. I think it’s very fair feedback.

RPS: I have to add, though, that comics might not be the best point of reference for this sort of thing. I mean, it’s a medium that’s notorious – often in a not-good way – for sexing up female characters and putting them in some fairly gross situations. 

Browder: We’re not running for President. We’re not sending a message. No one should look to our game for that.

RPS: But it’s not even about a message. The goal is to let people have fun in an environment where they can feel awesome without being weirded out or even objectified. This is a genre about empowerment. Why shouldn’t everyone feel empowered? That’s what it’s about at the end of the day: letting everyone have a fair chance to feel awesome.

Browder: Uh-huh. Cool. Totally.

What’s even more pathetic is that Dustin Browder was successfully pressured after the interview by online neofeminist bullies (and probably Blizzard’s own hypersensitive human resources goons) into publicly apologizing for the his answers.  “This is a serious topic” he says, referring to the tiny polygonal buttocks of fictional space murderers living in an epic space drama video game.


That’s just some of the news.  I think it speaks for itself.  The PS4 has also sold over 2 million units already, which is astronomically higher than the numbers for previous consoles.

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