The Xbox One reveal is nearing its two-week anniversary and it seemed like not all was peachy in Microsoft’s slice of the world. Gamers were outraged by Microsoft’s 360 degree (see what I did there) from a hardcore gaming device to an all-in-one set top box with a focus on TV. In a poll from IGN, more than 76 percent of gamers were disappointed with the Xbox One reveal.
Game journalists, most notable Leigh Alexander, voiced their frustration with the Xbox One and its preference toward more privileged folk, requiring an always-on/24 hour check-in/no one’s really sure Internet connection, a large gaming space to use Kinect and an Entertainment Altar for the Xbox One to preside over.
The backlash got so bad, with Microsoft PR’s saying one thing and then “clearing” it up a day later only to confuse its audience further. Microsoft eventually had to lockdown its official PR, disable comments on official Xbox One videos and take Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb off Twitter.
I commented on the Xbox One backlash, stating that our increasingly narcissistic society will buy the Xbox One regardless of the used game debacle and the lack of emphasis on games:
“The reality is we live in a world where 20 somethings (that’s me!) use multiple devices with screens, of which one may or may not be a TV, where social networking is key, flaunting daily/hourly/instant achievements is compelling, where drawing value from how others perceive us and we perceive others is causing incredible stress.
Just swiping through Facebook pics of our friends is enough to induce a knee-clattering panic. It’s an increasingly connected society where narcissism is the word of the day, whether or not that narcissism was created or has always festered within humanity, now with a platform to holler from.
In this world, people always want the Next New Thing. The reality is we want the fiction if it will make us appear, only slightly, equal to, or better than, the next person.”
Even in the face of what seemed like disaster among gamers, the big MS remains confident. Microsoft Studios corporate vice-president Phil Spencer told the Official Xbox Magazine that “if all you want is gaming you’ll still pick us.”
“The super core guys, they will buy everything,” said Spencer. “They will buy all devices but most people really only do buy one device, and if you’re going to think about what that one device is, we believe an all-in-one system that does the best games and TV and entertainment will be something that’s really unique.”
Pre-orders at Blockbuster (yes, apparently Blockbuster is still a thing) have confirmed that, yes, the super core guys really will buy everything. According to MCUVK, Blockbuster pre-orders for Xbox One broke the retailer’s records from all its 24 years in operation. James Morton, the Blockbuster’s UK head of games, said this:
“We are delighted by the huge number of pre orders that we have received so far for the new Microsoft console. At Blockbuster, we have a fantastic array of adrenaline-fueled console games for sale or rental. Our expert staff know gaming and they know consoles and these pre-orders are testament to our customers’ trust in us as a leading gaming retailer.
With Sony releasing the PS4 in the near future, the next few months are going to be an exciting time for our staff and customers at Blockbuster and we can’t wait to
hear more details from both Sony and Microsoft at the E3 Expo next month.”
What’s more, an unnamed retailer claimed to MCUVK that Xbox One pre-orders in the first 24 hours after the reveal already outpaced PlayStation 4 pre-orders, despite the PS4 being revealed in February. PlayStation 4 pre-orders, however, did increase in spite of the Xbox One announcement.
Chalk this up to gamers waiting to make a (semi) informed decision about the two consoles before choosing who to give their money to.