I write this as a VERY disgruntled Xbox One owner. I have been a huge fan of the Xbox platform since I was given the original Xbox by my wife as a gift in 2003 and fell in love with the big black/green machine. I bought my first Xbox 360 on launch day, 2005 and saved hard to be able to afford an Xbox One just after launch at the tail end of last year. After owning 5 Xbox 360's (I suffered in the red ring of death debacle on two separate occasions with my launch day model) I decided I simply had to have the Xbox One as Forza Motorsport is my favourite racing franchise and the hype surrounding Forza 5 had blown me away and with the news that Xbox One was to be the only next-gen console to get Titanfall, it seemed like an easy decision. After months of saving I was finally able to afford my new machine and eagerly purchased it on 20th December 13.
My eagerness and joy were short lived and shattered when after over 2 hours of firmware updates and game install time my first experience of Forza was a jagged mess of graphics glitches and texture tears which signalled a faulty GPU. Very disappointed, but undeterred I returned the machine to the store for a replacement but unfortunately there were no more in stock, so I had to wait another 3 days for a replacement to arrive.
To say that so far I have been underwhelmed is an understatement.
Kinect? This overly expensive and seldom used gimmick is good for nothing except being reprimanded or even sacked in FIFA 14 career mode for using inappropriate language. The system rarely recognises any of my attempts at commands, it cannot learn my accent or instructions and to me it seems to be almost devoid of any sort of committed support from Microsoft. An over-expensive paperweight foisted upon consumers at extra cost for very little useful purpose. Swapping Forza Motorsport 4 for Forza 5 I discovered, is a backward step. Yes, it looks nice but with such a limited selection of tracks available in the game it’s a far less varied and ultimately less enjoyable experience than its forebear.
My main two gripes however come in the form of the recent price drop and Xbox Live itself. Last week I went to work and soon got a call from my wife who was at home tending after our sick daughter. “Why is Netflix not working?” was the question. It was only after a short conversation that I then realised my Xbox Live Gold membership had expired. And it was also then that I realised I have to have an Xbox Live Gold membership to watch Netflix, (a service I already pay for) on Xbox. Why is this so? I would not have to pay extra if I were to watch on a Sony Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii. So why then are we forced to pay £39.99 by Microsoft for the privilege of watching a service that has its own subscription fee?!!
Now, the price drop. Microsoft has outdone itself here. Yet again, it has shown absolutely zero loyalty to the millions of fans and customers who have shown loyalty to them. I, as well as millions more no doubt, paid £449 for my Xbox One and a digital copy of Fifa 14. A mere 3 months have past and Xbox One now comes with Titanfall for under £400. To me, this shows nothing but utter contempt and disregard for existing loyal customers. Titanfall, as I alluded to earlier, is a game I had been very eager to play and having participated in the open beta last month was looking forward to its release. However, this new cheaper bundle hit me like a brick in the face. That couple with the fact that I’d now also have to shell out another £39.99 to renew my Live Gold membership on top of the game price in order to play it left me utterly bemused and wondering if I really had made the correct choice in choosing Xbox One. The realisation that if only I’d held off buying my Xbox One for two months, I’d then have heard the wonderful news of the price drop and game bundle and I could have had this game effectively for free, made my blood boil! As a married man with three young children and limited disposable income, my gaming time is limited and precious. And as its getting more and more expensive I wonder if perhaps it may be becoming too expensive, especially if I have to pay extra to reach content I already pay for (Netflix again!)
To me, Microsoft have completely disregarded my enduring loyalty and shown that they really have no concern for their existing customers, only for our money. I now find myself asking, given the problems I’ve experience with the hardware, Kinect, Netflix, Forza, Titanfall etc is it still really is worth being an Xbox One owner at all?
Now, before a million loving Xbox One owners jump on me and tell me why I’m wrong, Xbox is ace etc etc. These are my opinions from my own experience. I tried to find a channel to send my gripes to MS privately via e-mail or post but this doesn’t even seem possible. So an open public forum seems to be the only way to complain. Not ideal in my view but nothing much else for it. Had to get this off my chest.
Thanks for taking the time to read my point of view.