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What Exactly Is Going On With Xbox One?

A day that should have been an impressive look into the future of gaming turned into nothing but confusion for many people as Microsoft unveiled their new console yesterday. Being primarily an Xbox 360 gamer, I was eagerly awaiting this unveiling, and while my overall reaction was lukewarm, what's transpired the rest of the day has been complete and utter disgust.

It's not really fair of anyone to bash this new Xbox system just yet, because there's so much uncertainty around the machine, but man, is Microsoft making it hard to understand just what is going on with the machine. The biggest confusion comes from a Kotaku interview with Phil Harrison (the head of Xbox) whom made a pretty bold statement about this "pre-owned fee" fiasco. But wait, let me back up in case you haven't been following that just yet.

Wired reported that when they got a hands-on look at the Xbox One, they saw that if another account tried to use the same game disc on the console, they would have to pay a "pre-owned fee." No price was given, but this did confirm what many people were afraid of: the used game market might die with these new systems. And while it hasn't officially been confirmed, during Kotaku's interview with Harrison, he did suggest that the fee would basically be "full retail price", which is utterly shocking to me and pretty much everyone. Major Nelson decided to put in his two cents, making everything just that more confusing by releasing the following statement:

"Another piece of clarification around playing games at a friend’s house – should you choose to play your game at your friend’s house, there is no fee to play that game while you are signed in to your profile."

So in other words, games are now tied to your accounts, people. That's what 2013 gaming is bringing us. 

Microsoft has also suggested you can sell or trade your games in online, but declined to elaborate any futher on that at this time.

With that being said, some good things did come out of the conference. That controller looks fantastic, what we saw of games looked impressive, and the fact that Xbox live is being expanded ten times over is great. I've enjoyed my Xbox 360 for the last eight years, and I'd love to jump on board for this new system, but if Microsoft is essentially screwing over gamers everywhere with this "pre-owned fee" fiasco, it's really hard for me to get behind that. I'm curious to see how Sony handles that, and if they come out and say "yeah, we aren't doing that", then I might have to jump ship this new generation.

It's all confusing, but hopefully E3 can bring everyone back on the same page.

The bottom line: no one knows what's going on for sure until Microsoft officially comes out with the information.


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