How XBox angered the military community

 
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How XBox angered the military community

About 2 weeks after I purchased my X-Box, they announced that the new XBox One was coming out.  And it sounds pretty slick:

No big surprises here, really. The Microsoft Xbox One comes packing an x64 8-core AMD Jaguar CPU, USB 3.0 ports, 500GB hard drive and 8GB DDR3 RAM. Connectivity-wise you've got 802.11n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct functionality for exchanging data between devices - specifically the new Xbox controller.

There's also the addition of a Blu-ray drive, which marks Microsoft's first move to embrace the disc format created by Sony et al, which vanquished HD DVD back when TechRadar was but a glint in someone's eye.

So as expected, then, the new Xbox One is more like a mini-PC than any Microsoft console that's come before. These specs put the console on a par with the PS4 and bode well for developers who want to make cross-platform games.

So, sounds awesome.....but, there's a problem for those of our brothers and sisters on deployments:

Microsoft’s much-anticipated new console has just been unveiled, but most in the military will not be able to use it away from home.

The new console must check in online with Microsoft once a day, and new product registration limitations mean that its games will not be playable in most locations outside of the U.S.

“With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection,” an Xbox spokesperson tells the Military Times.

And the response from Microsoft (who produces the XBox) really left a bad impression:

Not to fear, says Xbox exec Don Mattrick, president of the Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment division. The company has a solution for those in the military: Just use the old Xbox 360 instead.

“Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity, it’s called Xbox 360. If you have zero access to the Internet, that is an offline device,” Mattrick told Game Trailer at E3 in an interview posted online.

Of course the problem is that new games will be designed for the XBox One, and won't run on the XBox 360.  Much as XBox 360's won't run on the Atari I have from 1988.

Microsoft looks like they might want to come up with a more nuanced position regarding this, or perhaps some sort of offline fix.

 

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Microsoft today confirmed that it is changing the controversial Xbox One policies as a result of consumer feedback.An Internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games. After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc-based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24-hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today. There will be no limitations to using and sharing games; it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console--there will be no regional restrictions.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.