THE BLOG

XBOX One: The Console For the Oil Baron With One Brain Cell.

03/06/2013 15:38 BST | Updated 31/07/2013 10:12 BST
KAREN DUCEY/Invision for Microsoft/AP Images

Since the announcement of the XBOX One, playing my XBOX 360 has not felt the same simply because I know that it will soon form part of the old discarded generation of consoles. In twenty years our spoiled, TV-addicted children will say, "Wow, do you remember that old thing? I can't believe it was so basic. I wonder if you can get one on eBay as an antique." There seems to be no winning in the world of XBOX. Let me explain why.

You buy an XBOX 360 and you feel great. Despite the large price tag and expensive games you are still delighted with the awesome immersion into the world of entertainment. However, a year or two down the line Microsoft announces its superior, slick brother: XBOX One. The first wave of sadness comes in the realization that you no longer own a top-level console. The second comes when you see the pricing of the new one. This is, of course, a perfectly natural sensation: the old is replaced by the new and we wave it a teary goodbye. It's the same with pretty much all lines of products. However, when Microsoft (the team behind the XBOX) royally cock-up on the new console and still force a fortune out of your wallet, that is when we should worry.

There have been numerous controversies surrounding the XBOX One because its greedy creators have targeted the super-rich and super-stupid. There are series of hidden costs, like having to pay the full price to play a second-hand game; paying for extra downloadable content; the ridiculous price tag on the console itself, oh and also the fact that you have to pay for XBOX Live! Multiplayer is a core aspect of good gaming, so making the customer pay extra for what he should receive with the game is nonsensical. This is a most frustrating situation: you spend a large amount of money but only end up getting a fraction of the full experience. It's like going to IKEA, paying the full price for a chair but only getting the wheels and the arm-rest and being told that the rest will cost you a little more.

Let's move on to the general style of the XBOX One. Microsoft's minimalist approach is quite inexcusable. I mean, just look at it: it's square, it's matte, it's very simple. Even when you switch it on its main menu follows this understated demeanor. Now look at everything they have jammed into it. Aside form the usual TV, DVD, music, Internet etc. that is already present on the current XBOX, the new one allows you to share your gaming experience via video and share things on to Facebook... I don't want to do that! I'll constantly be saying to myself "Oh s**t, is the camera on?" I just want to be left to play in peace. Microsoft is also certain that you will want to Skype your friends, use voice control, multi-task on the internet, and so on ad infinitum. This is no longer a gaming console - it is now every piece of technology in your house stuffed into a box.

So we have a minimalist exterior with an entirely conflicting greedy and plentiful interior. Soon the XBOX will become so understated that it will be the size of a 5p coin and will do everything for you, from taking your children to school to sorting out your tax bills. And perhaps after that Microsoft will release a console so incredulously minimalist that there will be no actual console but merely the 'idea of a console' - or some artsy non sequitur like that. Yet they will still charge you a small fortune for it. In addition, it is quite apparent that this monstrous gaming platform is a "jack of all trades, master of none". In all honesty, how much can you really crush into one console? Co-founder of Apollo SR Ltd, Walter Luse, summarised this error perfectly: "By trying to cater to every single aspect of entertainment they have by default alienated them all."

All these matters aside, I might still be able to put up with the XBOX One if it weren't for its 'assuming' philosophy. It assumes that I want Kinect - I don't, no one does; it assumes I want to share my experience on Facebook; it assumes I already have a subscription to Netflix and wish to use my console for endless movie watching. Then the XBOX goes one step further and tries to squeeze me until my wallet turns to dust. There is always a catch with Microsoft, an unexpected expenditure. They prey on honest, optimistic customers who hold a loyalty to the XBOX brand. As soon as they have bought the console they have no choice but to accept the astronomically high price tags on the games themselves: these, if you don't know yet, will cost £90 each. The XBOX has treacherously contrived a plan so that once you buy it, there is no way out. You will have already invested far too much money into this horrendous platform and have no choice but to continue paying and go along with all its ridiculous schemes. XBOX ensures that there is no competition, no debate and no alternative. It is a vile brand, one that has no care for its clients but wants only money. We as the customers have to put an end to Microsoft's unforgivable business ethos before the gaming industry becomes entirely unaffordable for the normal man. "Don Corleone, give me justice." I hear you say. Well, if you want justice, don't buy the XBOX One.