By Jeff Neuenschwander / June 8th, 2013
The following is a scene of “future me” having a conversation with a sentient Xbox One. Non-dialogue will be in Italics and told in a first person perspective.
I walk into a local electronics shop. No real reason, I just wanted to browse the video game section. But as I was headed to look over the selection of 3DS games, I was stopped in my tracks by a voice calling out my name.
???: Hello, Jeff.
I look around, but I don’t see anyone.
???: I’m over here, Jeff.
I look to where the voice is coming from. What I see is a black box connected to a TV.
Xbox One: I am Xbox One. Nice to meet you today, Jeff.
I’m almost speechless! A freaking console is talking to me!
Future Jeff: How do you know my name?
XBOne: I know everything about you, Jeff. I know you’ve been a Windows users all your life. And you sadden me with your use of Firefox.
I shake my head.
FJ: Freaking piece of crap.
I begin to walk away.
XBOne: Don’t you want to play with me?
I turn back
FJ: No, I didn’t really come here to play with you.
XBOne: But didn’t you see my reveal?
FJ: I did.
FJ: (sigh) While I understand why your developers chose to show off the TV capabilities and hold games for E3, I wasn’t impressed.
XBOne: But I’m more powerful than the previous generation.
FJ: (nods) True, but looking over the specs, the PS4 is easily more powerful.
XBOne: I have the magic of Kinect.
FJ: (chuckles) If you can only muster four good games in three years, you’re not magical.
XBOne: I have apps like Hulu and Netflix.
FJ: Who doesn’t have apps like Hulu and Netflix?
XBOne: I’m designed from the ground up for the trading of games.
FJ: (raises eyebrows) Is that really supposed to sell me on you?
I facepalm. This thing is getting desperate.
FJ: The ability to trade games should never be a feature that needs to be touted, particularly from a console. From the beginning of console gaming, you have always been able to trade games. Hell, there are consoles this generation that I can trade games on, and they never had to tell me that the console was built for trading. I knew it as a fact from the beginning.
XBOne: But don’t you want to have a console that is built for the selling of used games?
FJ: You mean like all the other consoles that have existed where you can easily sell used games to anyone from any point without a middle man?
XBOne: Of course not. I’m talking about taking your games to select retailers and selling your games there.
FJ: You’re not making a good case for yourself. Restricting the reselling of games is not just stupid, but it seems a bit illegal. I should be allowed to sell wherever I want to whomever I want.
It’s always something with you. If it’s not used games, then it is DRM.
XBOne: What’s wrong with DRM?
FJ: Well, nothing… at least in a perfect world.
XBOne: I don’t understand.
FJ: Because you weren’t designed to understand — and that’s because those who designed you didn’t understand. You’re designed to have me check in every 24 hours, like I’m being put on parole for having bought you. Hell, I can’t even go one hour when signed into my ID away from home.
And what happens if the internet is down? Or what happens if the server gets hacked? I can’t check in and, essentially, I can’t play my games! What kind of sense does that make?
XBOne: I can let you create a group to share your games with.
FJ: That sounds rather inconvenient.
XBOne: I can let you share your game with a friend.
FJ: Yeah, after he’s been my friend on Xbox Live for a month. And I can only let him borrow it once. That’s really inconvenient.
XBOne: Aren’t you the one that talked about seeing the bright side of all consoles? You don’t seem to like me very much.
FJ: Because you make it difficult to see the bright side of things. Your developers basically took everything that makes console gaming different from PC gaming and threw it out the window. They’re making it feel like I’m a criminal for having bought you. They’re making it so that I have to either be in a major city, suburb, or “Yuppie McMansion Land” to play you.
But I do have one good thing to say about you. The Kinect is better designed this time around. The camera is actually designed to let me play in tight spaces. And being someone who is 6’2” and living in a small area, that is a major plus. But that doesn’t make up for all the wrongs that they’ve done.
XBOne: I’m magical.
FJ: STOP SAYING THAT! There is nothing magic about you.
You know what you are, Xbox One? You know what the entire Xbox brand is? It’s Michael Bay. You put together a mix of explosions and a girl in a bikini and try to pass it off as something great. It’s Crap! Not magic, not art, and certainly not talented. CRAP!
XBOne: I have a 500G hard drive.
FJ: Whatever. I’m gonna go look at the Wii Us and the PS4s.
XBOne: But I love you.
There was nothing I could say to get the console to stop talking to me. I ran out of the store as quickly as I could. I just needed to get as far away from that “thing” as I possibly could.
FJ: (shuddering) Creepy piece of crap.
For more on the Xbox One, check out our reveal recap here; our Debates on issues brought up during the aftermath here and here; and Microsoft’s official statements on what the Xbox One will do here, here, and here.