Did Microsoft Suddenly Fix the Broken Xbox One?

Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) won the E3 gaming conference this year, hands down. Gamers watched Sony make all the right moves with the Playstation 4 while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) dug itself a dangerously deep hole of content-use restrictions, capped by an oppressively high product price.

Redmond heard the complaints, loud and clear. The Xbox One will now come without a lot of the restrictions that made it look like an early loser. Suddenly, the system has jumped ahead of Sony's rival product in online pre-order sales lists.

Microsoft is a contender again. The only sure thing about this holiday season's video game race is that Nintendo (NASDAQOTH: NTDOY  ) will eat Microsoft's and Sony's dust. If Mario makes a real comeback, it will happen long after this year's Black Friday.

In the video below, Fool contributor Anders Bylund walks you through how he arrived at that conclusion.

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Read/Post Comments (29) | Recommend This Article (3)

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  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:03 PM, ShooterMcGavin7 wrote:

    Except that it is still $100 more with weaker hardware and a Kinect that no one wants.

    Buying the Xbox One now would be like buying dinner for a pickpocket who returned your wallet.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:16 PM, spinod wrote:

    Nope. The console itself isn't "always online" but the games will be. They just said exclusives will be always online. Instead of saying that, they say "they utilize the cloud for better things."

    Combine that with a required Kinect no one wants, a reveal that was still an emphasis on everything but games, their statement "we spent millions on games" turns out to be nothing more than timed exclusive deals, and Xbox one is still broken.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:17 PM, normgarry wrote:

    I wish these pathetic financial talking heads and websites would stop throwing all this conjecture at a system that hasn't even been released yet.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:20 PM, rkinne01 wrote:

    I would like to point out that there is nothing to prevent Microsoft from turning these "features" back on at anytime.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:29 PM, VegasSmitty wrote:

    When will someone fix The Motley Fool?

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:30 PM, galudirith wrote:

    Wow you guys are really pushing the Microsoft agenda today.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:34 PM, JoeLemon wrote:

    People have already found in there TOS that after 1 year they will go back to all the DRM they said at the start.

    The articles on this web site are really bad. The same ones over and over again with little to no research.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:39 PM, poornamelessme wrote:

    They might as well stick a big 'PAID ADVERTISEMENT' logo on all of these pro-Microsoft articles lately from Motley Fool.

    I mean, what is it, two within several hours today? And multiple over the past couple of weeks. And they aren't even real articles ... they even read like they are marketing.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:40 PM, tkeracer619 wrote:

    No, but they sure are trying really hard with the blogger advertisements to make you think they have.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:43 PM, rholechek wrote:

    I don't understand why people think M$'s announcement changes anything really. This isn't a function of them listening to their customers or they wouldn't have done it in the first place. This is a case of them knowing they would sell 1:20 against the PS4 and making a change to more positively effect their bottom line. The box is still not great. It still has the ability to be used for evil. And, it's not clear what the true spirit of the box is meant to be...it's some sort of TV/gaming system with apps or something. Gamers want top of the line graphics and games...not a compromise on two different levels.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:44 PM, lhookerr wrote:

    The XB1 is $100 more which includes Kinect but by making users buy the Kinect device they ensure that developers will have a reason to create games that use the Kinect the device. The PS4 is slightly better on paper but has no real cloud solution. They have Gaikai but have provided zero detail when it will be available or how it will be used. The PS3 had better hardware specs then the Xbox360 and both had similar graphical output, differences were nominal at best. It really comes down to the games, if you prefer Microsoft's/PS4's first party games, you should buy that system. I'm buying both but will get the XB1 first because I think it has better first party games at launch, PS4 didn't show much at E3, I will grab the PS4 next year.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:44 PM, Jumpshed6372 wrote:

    What's wrong with Kinect? I think it's cool. Plus you can use it for Skype.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:46 PM, Zeppocaster wrote:

    The reason for the DRM security features (such as 24 hour time limit being offline) was because Xbox games were going to be all digital like Steam. Disc's would be used to install games only, and from then on would not be needed. You could access your account (and game library) from any console. You no longer needed to worry about bringing your discs with you, worrying about damaging them. Sharing games was made easier, you could share your ENTIRE game library with up to 9 friends, the only limitation is that only one person could play a game at a time. In order for this sharing to work, the console needed to check in daily to make sure licenses were valid and hadn't been transferred or sold (which you could do digitally with a digital game). Having a "locked down" system prevents piracy and abuse of the system, and allows cheaper products. Again, see the Steam model. As for claims in the TOS, what TOS? The console hasn't been released yet!

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:48 PM, bhakala wrote:

    I had similar concerns to the other commentators above. The fact that Microsoft initially ignored the gamers wishes with a big middle finger to begin with, and are now back peddling with intentionally generalized statements, is EXACTLY like "buying dinner for a pickpocket after they returned your wallet". There are still a number of concerns that that hard core gamers, which make up the majority of their customer base, have not been addressed yet including:

    1. KINECT system privacy issues: The kinect system still needs to be connected and turned on to utilize the majority of their menu system / dashboard. The amount of data they collect about your gaming / watching habits, to how you react to ads they show you, etc. still presents some serious privacy issues.

    2. PRICING: The fact that they are including tons of extra functionality in an attempt to make this an "all in one" entertainment device, does not make up for the $100 higher price point compared to PS4. And that $499 price is JUST for the default system, not the higher end one. Ultimately gamers buy a console to play games.

    3. REPLACING YOUR CABLE BOX?:

    Its nice that this system promises to be able to replace your cable box, but what they don't tell you is that while its easy enough to get the library of frequencies for all major cable providers for BASIC cable, it doesn't accommodate for the premium stations which are turned on / off via signals sent to AND saved via your cable box itself. So there is another useless feature. In order to pull off the ability to tap into your subscribed premium channels would require allot of additional negotiations with the cable companies that they have no financial gain to do so.

    4. DRM / USED GAMES RESPONSES:

    Okay so they indicate that they are no longer doing the DRM / USED games features. However the way their original press release worded it they are unclear if:

    a. They are saying this feature will never be part of XBOX ONE.

    b. Or if it may be released at a later time as part of a mandatory system update / or just "turned on" at any time they deem it is "time".

    Unless they do specific clarification to the main core gamers on this topic, the intelligent ones won't even consider buying this system based upon that possibility. Anyone who plays XBOX 360 enough knows there are some system updates which are optional, and some which are forced upon us, none of which have ever given full details PRIOR to the update what that update includes.

    As far as I am concerned, XBOX ONE is still the looser in the upcoming holiday season, and if MS has any chance to keep in the next gen console competitively, the investors need to put a short leash on the team in charge of these horrible decisions.

    For me its still PS4 all the way, with my only complaint about SONY NETWORK being its extremely slow for downloads. I can download a 2GB game for XBOX 360 on MS Network in less than an hour. Downloading game of same size on PS Network has sometimes taken me up to 12+ hours and if the connection to their network has any issues, your entire game download is corrupted and you have to start over. If SONY fixes that network, then they have a real winner with the PS4.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 4:53 PM, Zeppocaster wrote:

    The internet cried and complained because the new xbox wasn't just a graphic improvement. The PS4 is more like the PS3 2.0. Better graphics. That's it. No new innovation. No new features. Nothing to really distinguish from the previous generation but better graphics. The xbox one was going to be more than better graphics. By doing away with the discs, you could have a digital locker, that required a check in every 24 hours. Knowing that the consoles would have constant internet connection, developers can utilize the power of the cloud for computing and persistent, connected, ENDLESS worlds with interaction from multiple players. They want to kill the single player offline game, that is true. They want to turn everything into a hybrid of an MMORPG. This is where the future of gaming is heading. Multiplayer gaming. The xbox one, even bastardized as it now is, still does this better than Sony

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:01 PM, MGS2014 wrote:

    @Bhakala - I agree with everything you said except the end part. PSN download speeds are pretty good for me. I download a 2gb game in like 20 mins so that must be your internet that is slow.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:09 PM, Gary1968 wrote:

    The Kinect is a real problem for me. If i order a movie this thing is going to scan my room and make sure I dont have more than two people watching the movie, or I have to pay more.... REALLY? X-box one is $100 more than the PS4, and is going to actually bring Microsoft watch dogs in to my home forcing me to pay more, and forcing their paid advertisements on me and my Family.... NO THANKS. why couldn't you guys just stick to a good gaming system that was fun to use. Im still going with SONY..

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:22 PM, bhakala wrote:

    MGS2014: I definately do have a slower connection at home, but the ISP connection is the same for XBOX as it is for my PS3. Both using same Wifi. When I do a speed test on both platforms, it comes back around 5 times faster for XBOX than PS Network.

    Looked into it and there is allot of people who have both systems to compare and complaints across the internet about the PSN speeds being much slower. They even have youtube.com videos dedicated to methods you can use to help improve your PSN connectivity speeds, which I tried and only helps a little bit :).

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:22 PM, MGS2014 wrote:

    Also; Micro$oft is obviously paying all these bloggers and video makers. IGN out of nowhere went full Xbox fan out of nowhere. Before the Xbox reveal they were saying that they didn't want Xbox coming out and promoting stuff that has nothing to do with games. All they promoted was useless things that many gamers wont use.

    IGN also said M$ showed a better game line up than Sony. Excuse me??? They only showed like 4 maybe 5 games that were interesting & only 3 of those were system exclusives. Quantum Break, Dead Rising 3 & Titanfall. And like the other Dead Rising's, that game will probably come to Ps4 at a later date. Titanfall is the only thing that looked good imo. ** Titanfall is confirmed on PC as well.

    All M$ is doing is begging for Sony's best selling exclusives. Kingdom Hearts 3? Be happy you're getting that as well - MGSV? Do I need to go on?

    Here's a list of the Xbox One Exclusives:

    Below

    Crimson Dragon

    D4

    Dead Rising 3

    Forza Motorsport 5

    Halo

    Killer Instinct

    Kinect Sports Rivals

    LocoCycle

    MineCraft

    Quantum Break

    Project Spark

    Rabbids Invasion

    Ryse

    Sunset Overdrive

    Titanfall

    Zumba Party Fitness

    Zoo Tycoon

    Plants Vs. Zombies

    Fantasia

    & that game being developed by Black Tusk

    Out of those games? Which ones are making you saying "OMG I must have that game!" Don't worry I'll wait. Here's Ps4's Exclusives:

    Blacklight: Retribution

    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

    Daylight

    DC Universe Online

    Deep Down

    Don't Starve

    DriveClub

    Gran Turismo

    Infamous: Second Son

    Killzone: Shadow Fall

    Knack

    Mercenary Kings

    Oddworld: New n' Tasty

    The Order: 1866

    Outlast

    Planetside 2

    Primal Carnage: Genesis

    Ray's The Dead

    Transistor

    War Thunder

    Warframe

    I'd take PS4's lineup any day. What I don't understand is how those M$ fanboys are really taking up for M$. They tried to restrict you from having fun. Only reason why they reversed it is because Ps4 destroyed what they were offering. You guys don't want a new cable box; You want a gaming system!

    End of the day; We're all gamers though. We all want to have fun. We are all entitled to our opinions but I'm going with Ps4. I believe that M$ will bring that DRM back. You guys can say well Sony got hacked & yada yada yada. Xbox has a bad piracy problem. Everything on xbox gets hacked; that was their excuse to make all those restrictions.

    If I were you; I'd be smart. Yes Sony showed that they wanna make money .. but they also showed that they care about the gamers. M$ came out basically saying .. here buy our system, You're in jail & under surveillance.. oh & pay us monies. You wanna lend you bro a game? here pay us 1st.

    I trust Sony.

    --THE END

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:23 PM, MGS2014 wrote:

    @Bhakala

    I guess I have good internet speed then :P

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:30 PM, bhakala wrote:

    Gary1968: I knew about the privacy concerns of the KINECT, but this is first time I am hearing about XBOX ONE scanning to see how many people are in a room watching a movie anf if more than 2, they charge you more. Doesn't surprise me though. Another way for them to squeeze every last cent out of you.

    ZEPPOCASTER: You make some valid points, and I do agree MS is trying to turn everything into a HYBRID MMO or MMORPG, which has picked up popularity because of games like MW: COD, etc. However there is allot of gamers out there still like me that the MMOs aren't our first choice. Give it as an option on a per game basis, but don't force it down people's throats.

    Secondary while Cloud based gaming has tons of advantages, the biggest disadvantages is that if for any reason you cannot connect to the internet, your entire library of DL games would likely be useless. Like NETFLIX, the biggest issue I hate is if your internet connection goes down in the middle of a movie...or NETFLIX network is having issues (which has happened over a dozen times since they moved to pure online, some very well documented), your movie stops playing entirely. I am a huge movie / tv show buff, and nothing I hate worse than some interruption in watching something. Difficult to get back into it.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 5:35 PM, bhakala wrote:

    @MGS2014

    Yeah my home net speed sucks..lol. Tried switching to AT&T from COMCAST to save some money monthly, and got what I paid for..lol.

    None the less though, there are allot of people like me who need to save where they can and when a 2GB game on 360 only takes few hours compared to PSN takes 12 hours+, its a problem with their network. People who either A) dont have both systems to compare DL speeds, or B) have such high speeds, that they wouldn't even notice a difference.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 7:56 PM, JoeLemon wrote:

    TOS stands for Terms of service. How do you not know that? What does not being out have to do with that.

    How does the playstation not have a "cloud"? There is already a lot of games you can get digital. Plus they are getting the ability to start playing the game almost instantly. Right now you have to download half the game Gaikai is for streaming. The XBOX doesn't even have anything like it.

    No the XBOX won't be like Steam. The best thing about steam is getting games a year old on sale for $5.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 8:00 PM, BobbyLite wrote:

    Privacy concerns with the kinect? What about hacking the PS network once a year?

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2013, at 8:30 PM, Efernal wrote:

    Microsoft might have fixed their machine but they did nothing to fix customer confidence. Nor did they fix the price point.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 1:22 AM, STORIES559 wrote:

    whichever system people like is the system they are going to get,, you people complaining about price guess what,, the eye connect for ps4 is $100, so oh wow if you get a ps4 and eye connect same price as xbox one, and ps3 is for cheap people who didnt want to pay for online, now ps4 you have to pay for multiplayer, $5 a month which comes out to $60 a year same as xbox gold now, same price different system, whats there to complain about, people going to get what they like anyways

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 7:23 AM, marvin83 wrote:

    @BobbyLite: once a year? Lol, do some research, fool. Xbox live has been hacked multiple times, as well as being down for weeks at a time for server issues. Keep defending that crapbox though.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 7:30 AM, marvin83 wrote:

    @Zeppocaster: you do realize that family sharing thing was limited to a 60-minute demo and that's it, right? I guess you missed that part when you were so excited you could share full games with people. Nice try, though. Look it up.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2013, at 4:24 PM, swerve121 wrote:

    I swear there are so many M$ haters. Im glad there the underdogs. No one talked all this crap when sony sold there system for a amazing 599.99

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