Nothing About Xbox One Justifies the Endless Flak it Receives

The Xbox brand is suffering under a heavy weight of hate these days but objectively speaking, it's hard to determine the cause.

It's all about balance.

I'm a PlayStation fan and always have been, but I've also owned both the Xbox and Xbox 360. I don't own an Xbox One but that's simply because it doesn't yet have any games that tempt me. I buy video game consoles for the games; I don't care about extra and - in my eyes, irrelevant - features. I got the PlayStation 4 because being a big inFamous fan, I knew I'd love Second SonTitanfall isn't my bag but Sunset Overdrive could be.

See? Simple. I have nothing against the Xbox brand, even though Microsoft has given me cause to despise their business practices. I'm all about comparing systems objectively and that being the case, I'm not sure I'm seeing such a huge gap between the PS4 and Xbox One. So, why all the hate for the latter?

Game-wise, there isn't much difference right now

Neither system has a AAA "killer app" at this point in time, although I know the Xbox fans will point toward Titanfall. Sorry, I just see it as another shooter. The aforementioned inFamous was great but it doesn't fit my view of "next-gen," and neither did Killzone: Shadow Fall or Ryse: Son of Rome. We just haven't seen the stuff that makes us all go, "wow, now that's next-gen!" It's not like the PlayStation 4 is blowing the Xbox One out of the water on the exclusive software front (at least, not yet; next year's Uncharted 4: A Thief's EndBloodborne and The Order: 1886 might change that).

On the multiplatform front, it's pretty similar. Granted, we've seen a lot of headlines pointing out the resolution and frames-per-second differences between several high-profile multiplatform titles. It's true that PS4 versions seem to outperform their Xbox One counterparts on a frequent basis. However, is that really swaying purchase decisions one way or the other? 1080p vs. 980p is a deal-breaker? I'm not sure that's true.

So, what is it? Reliability issues? PSN vs. Live?

If this were last generation, I'd understand the popularity gap between PlayStation and Xbox right now. The Xbox 360 was catastrophically bad; with defective rights soaring over 30 percent and the Red Ring of Death fiasco lasting over four years (during which time, I believe Microsoft pretended they couldn't fix it to artificially inflate hardware sales). Ironically, that's when the 360 was crushing the PS3 in the US. Isn't that bizarre? And in looking at the PS4 and Xbox One, consumers have been lucky enough to see two very reliable systems thus far.

The PlayStation Network vs. Xbox Live argument still rages, and while I - and many others - will maintain that PlayStation Plus is about ten million times better than anything on Live, there are plenty of gamers who claim otherwise. Hence, this can't be the cause of the popularity gap between the two consoles. The PSN isn't free anymore, either, and a $10 difference isn't that big of a deal.

Aside from bad word-of-mouth due to the PR disaster in 2013, Xbox One seems...fine

This is what I mean: Objectively speaking, I'm not sure Xbox One deserves a fraction of the flak it has received from the gaming community. I think this just proves that a gamer's memory isn't quite as short as Microsoft hoped it'd be. They haven't forgotten the Xbox One announcement and the explosion of negativity that created due to several controversial policies. Microsoft was forced to rescind such policies (and acted all gamer-friendly when they did, as if they hadn't already tipped their hand with the initial announcement), but it wasn't enough.

The bottom line is that the PR nightmare of 2013 has chased Xbox One into 2014, and I wonder how long it will last. Eventually, consumers will start to forget and they'll be more objective in their comparisons. Until then, though, I think PlayStation will continue to benefit from Microsoft's mistakes.

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.

Published Aug. 28th 2014
  • mcseprofession
    Gamer's remember and hold a grudge, that and the fact that MS cant seem to grasp the concept that people buy a gaming console to game on and don't want a cable box that you can talk to.. If they want to FIX their mistakes they need to start by assuring gamer's they will never try to force their always online BS again, or try to tell people what to do with their games, next they need to redesign the console and give it a little more power for playing games and not worry so much about watching TV on it... All those TV/Apps should be optional and take second place to playing games!.. even the whole trading online would have worked out for them sooner or later if it was placed as an option and not forced upon people.. And gamer's tend to buy a 2nd system, and that is turning out to be Nintendo because of MS seems to be clueless about gamer's want's, They seem to think that by releasing updates its going to sell systems..
  • DevilDogA99
    I'd say they will always have this bad outlook now. Kinda like EA & just like EA they will still sell & sell well but will always have hatred because of their poor business practices
  • RoadShow
    (1) Made Halo 2 on PC Vista only. A scam to force upgrade to new at the time OS.
    (2) Dropped orig. xbox like a bad habit as soon as 360 was here. In my eyes forcing upgrades again. I read an article recently that they did that because orig. xbox was bleeding money. Regardless they should have sold a system that users could enjoy for years and that would be supported. PS2 only stopped production early 2013.
    (3) RROD happened and it happened because microsoft rushed their console to beat their competition and gain marketshare and it worked. First console gen where online play was a major part of the console experience so friends had to buy what friends had. It was the consumer that suffered.
    (4) Almost no exclusives the last 5 years in a row on xbox 360. Despite being the only platform pay to play and the only platform with basic features like internet browser and streaming services behind a paywall.
    (5) 13 years xbox live was nothing but a rip off. Offering nothing for the subscription. Finally microsoft has dropped the paywalls to those basic features and is actually giving something for the subscription but games with gold still pales in comparison to PS+ which is also less expensive.
    (6) The message microsoft sent at announcement and the weeks after E3 just showed their true colors. They felt the success of xbox 360 and xbox live meant that they could do whatever they wanted and force whatever they want on people. Sure they have done a ton of 180's but only because they had to.

    In many ways xbox 360 has been abandoned as well (and has been for years with almost no exclusives) while xbox live rakes in billions per year.

    The other things Sony has going for it is more power, better exclusives and exclusives that are not on PC, free exclusive content instead of pay to play timed DLC and of course the better subscription service. As a PC/PS3/PS4 gamer I can play almost every game ever made including many of the xbox "exclusives".

    I no longer hate xbox since they have made the necessary changes to xbox live regarding their paywalls and value to the subscription. But I do not trust them to keep it up. August was the only decent month of games with gold there has been. I was hoping to see more of that but nope.
  • drunkenspy
    Actually, developers who have to "dumb-down" their games for the PS4 so the Xbone can show the game off too is a problem. Unless Sony keeps paying for exclusive content, a lot of games just won't be created to their ultimate potential.
  • CuttlefishJones
    The Xbone probably doesn't deserve all the flak it gets but MS absolutely does. They are the ones that screwed the message up and crapped on their own console multiple times. MS are still staggering forwards with their foot in their mouth, dragging their buthole ideas across the gaming industry and leaving huge skidmarks like the Tomb Raider fiasco...

    There is probably nothing wrong with the bone other than it is a little underpowered, overpriced, and frikkin huge. But it's being outsold by the WiiU and is so far behind the PS4 it can't even see the dust trail.
  • Da GeeZ_6080
    Agreed, the Xbox One is getting massive consistent support from Microsoft in the form of monthly updates introducing a slew of extra features and enhancements. I just don't see sony updating and improving their console.
    I think there' still flak hitting the Xbox One because the sonyfanboy experienced 7 years of severe butthurt with the disaster of the ps3 that trailed in 3rd place for almost the entire duration of the last generation. That must of hurt the sonyfanboy so so much... they just have to let out all that hurt on the XBox One.

    Atm, there are no games whatsoever on the ps4 that are worth buying, it's a gameless console... yeah sure it has piles of indies titles, and it'll have hundreds more Steam/PC ports over the next year or two... but atm it really has nothing on it worth mentioning. The ps4 is a completely overhyped console... in fact I'd say it's the most over-hyped utterly disappointing machine that has ever been.
  • RoadShow
    You are such a fanboy.

    (1) PS4 has more power and better performance in all games. So all multi plat and exclusive games look and play better on PS4.

    (2) Exclusives like Infamous, Killzone, Little Big Planet, MLB The Show, The Order, Uncharted, The Last of Us Remastered.

    (3) Free exclusive content in AAA multi plats. Just like PS3 did in a huge list there. PS4 already has Watchdogs, Assassins Creed & Destiny free exclusive content under it's belt in less than a year. While xbox has mostly pay to play timed DLC. DLC paying xbox live members still have to pay for and DLC everyone will get.

    (4) Games with gold pales in comparison to PS+. 2nd month of games with gold and Microsoft already lied about 2 games a month. I'm pretty sure they did it again for September (crimson dragon on for 2 months). Sony adds games every month and sometimes they will keep old ones on there for a while which is all microsoft is doing.

    (5) Just look at the last 5 years of exclusives on 360. Almost nothing, despite being the only one to pay to play last gen, despite paywalling basic features like browser and streaming (that is once the browser finally got to 360 while even Wii had browser since launch). Micro$oft raked in 2.75 billion per year on xbox live and then didn't deliver. In fact they held onto new ip ideas and money for xbox one. Letting their 360 install base have nothing, E3 after E3 showing multi plats. Pathetic.

    PS4 is my first launch console and I'm very impressed with it. Very fast and smooth. Huge features coming like friend spectate/take over mode and the virtual couch to invite friends to play games they don't even own.

    But of course you overlook anything good about PS4, just a blind ignorant xbot troll you are.
    HAahAhahAHAHahHAhahAHhahHHAHAH!!! The xbox one is terrible It deserves every last bit of flak it gets.
  • Rudero
    The history is a lot longer than the xbox one reveal or the ignoring of the 360 and it's install base or just over three years of nothing new or the not too long ago release of the over promised add on called kinect that did not live up to its advertising or the 3 years of faulty hardware of the 360 which leads us back to the walk away of the original Xbox leaving that install blowing the wind.
    Unfortunately when someone brings this history up it is "you're a fanboy" or "stop picking on the xbox" and all that is being said is their history.
    Microsoft is not trusted.
    The xbox one reveal was idiotic.
    The kinect 2 has not even been used as the first kinect was advertised and then the cream of the crop that I think is the topper, Microsoft has created this beast from last gens millions spent on advertising, web partnerships and, news outlets to keep using everything that it is now getting slammed with.
    "Record sales" and"best versions" was Microsofts bread and butter in advertising. They can not use it any more.
    Repetitive overkill on E3's made gamers sigh. The list is huge yet people still ask why?
    Start here.
  • topher339
    I prefer Xbox, simply because it has more games that interest me. If it was PlayStation that had them instead, I'd switch. I get consoles for games not the consoles themselves. I think the One definitely gets more flak than it deserves and the only decent reason someone could give is the bad PR a year ago(that and some people simply think their opinion is all that matters, on both sides of course). Personally, I see not reason to buy one console over the other than simply games. Neither have had any major problems yet and they both appear quite promising.
  • Dirk_7586
    I don't think people are hating so much on the XB1 brand as they are hating on Microsoft. Microsoft's boneheaded launch of XB1 caused a lot of problems, but showed a vision of the future that while great also had a great deal of control for Microsoft and ultimately limited choice for consumers. Had Microsoft been honest about their policies and where they wanted to go I think the hate would be far less. Instead of saying they were not ready to talk about it they came up with company representatives who had half the information and no emotional investment beyond a paycheck. This culminated in the ultimate no-no of telling a consumer to "Deal with it." -- Well, people are dealing with it by buying the competition. If the X-Box brand was sold off I think it could get back on track far more quickly than if Microsoft held onto it. Despite all the criticism though Microsoft knows they have gold mine in the X-Box brand.
  • Bob_3822
    How long did the $600 price tag haunt the PS3?
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Until the price dropped, of course. But the price has already dropped on the Xbox One and it still can't seem to top the PS4 in the US.

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