Gamers react to Microsoft’s ever-changing Xbox One policies

Posted August 20, 2013 by Cassie Gotto in Video Games

It’s hard to keep up with all of the changes Microsoft has made regarding its policies for the Xbox One. Not so long ago, you needed an internet connection just to play a game, you had to have the Kinect plugged in at all times to play your Xbox One, and there was a brand new way to share games that the gaming community didn’t seem ready for yet. Now, all of that has changed. Gamers have reacted in many different ways to these policy back turns, and it seems that Microsoft is going to have a hard time convincing people that they have changed.

I interviewed five gamers: Andrew Semicek, founder of, Ryan Gross, an Xbox 360 loyalist, Evan Podlaseck, co-founder ofPXLpushers on YouTube, Josh Collin, VP of Pissed Iguana Productions, and Ryan Nesbit, student at UConn, to get their opinions on the Xbox One’s policy reversals.

When you first saw the Xbox One announcement at Microsoft’s press conference earlier this year, knowing about the required internet connection and the new policy on sharing games with friends and family, did you think you would be buying an Xbox One?

Andrew Semicek: No I did not. All but the family sharing plan turned me off immediately.

Ryan Gross: No, I wouldn’t have batted an eye over the Xbox One. The idea of sharing games with several people is awesome, but it upset me with how they treated their customers. I’m not a military man by any means, but to tell the armed forces that you’re stuck with the 360 and act snug about it? That’s poor representation as a company.

Evan Podlaseck: I knew it from the start that I wasn’t buying an Xbox One, and that’s coming from an Xbox 360 fan. The Xbox One is no longer a gaming system; it’s a TV box that sometimes plays games. Some of the features were cool, but it seemed like they didn’t trust their customers anymore.

Josh Collin: Yes, from the policies that had given off at first I was not turned away at all. $500 was a good price considering the inclusion of the Kinect 2.0. I also always have my Xbox connected to the Internet and I have high speed Internet. I could see the potential in this and was not put off by it either. With the always online we were able to digitally share any of our games with up to 10 friends no matter if you had a disc based game or digital download

Ryan Nesbit: For me, I knew instantly that I would buy the Xbox One. I’m always connected to online, and I think the internet requirements/restrictions were vastly blown out of proportion. I also welcomed the family share, and as an avid user of Steam, I’m used to digital downloads and I felt that Microsoft was leaning towards that direction.

Did Microsoft’s press conference at E3 a few months later change your opinions on the Xbox One and your decision whether to purchase one or not?

Semicek: No, it solidified my decision. After the off-handed comments Don Mattrick made about the One, I decided that if I were to purchase any new console moving forward it would be PS4.

Gross: No, because if it weren’t for Microsoft being obnoxious, I might’ve considered it. Let’s face it: broke college students can’t drop $60 on a single game, and they offered a way to cope. However, they ruined that. Now since they’re reverting back to the physical disc policy, I don’t see a reason to ever go with Xbox again. I won’t be buying a PS4 either; there isn’t enough support for it to be considered as a worthwhile investment, in my opinion.

Podlaseck: It improved the image a bit, but it still didn’t convince me to buy an Xbox One. Some of the games looked good, but they didn’t sell me on them.

Collin: I can’t say it changed my opinion because I was always going to get the Xbox One after their conference but once they came in swinging with their games I knew I was going to be hooked. Their line-up was very solid they did nothing but focus on games at E3, which is what every gamer wants. Their decision to focus on the media content in their conference was a very wise decision.

Nesbit: If anything, it reinforced my decision to go with the Xbox One. I prefer the games that they showed at E3 compared to the PS3, like TitanFall, Project Spark, Ryse, and Forza.

It seems that, even though Microsoft has changed a lot of its policies, gamers aren’t being very forgiving. Do you think Microsoft lost some of their fan base that they cannot get back?

Semicek: I think they lost a large amount of their fan base, namely armed forces who have no internet access to use and many of which played 360 to relax.

Gross: As a redditor (a well-known online community), when they dropped the news about the Xbox One and its always-on policy, PS4 memes went rampant. Even now, people are leery, and I know some people who’ll get the system, but it’s because they’re stuck with their Xbox-exclusive first-person shooters like Halo.

Podlaseck: Oh yeah, definitely. They lost ME, which is saying a lot. I don’t disagree with the used game policy, I just don’t think it was the right time to implement something like that. They lost a lot of their fanbase because they were rude to their customers.

Collin: I can’t really say if they lost a lot of their fanbase because the vocal people are really the minority. People are going to go where their friends are or where they feel it has the best opportunity for gaming for them. I feel that Xbox Live is a better service and I know 80% of my friends are getting an Xbox One. Most of my friends are military and for the most part they all support the Xbox One.

Nesbit: I think that it’s true that they lost some of their fan base, but I don’t think that Microsoft cannot win them back. People forget that the PS3 was priced at $600 and that Sony made a huge mistake in that regard. Look at how the PS3 is doing now at the end of its life cycle. I believe Microsoft can do the same, but that’s not to say that they’re in the same position that Sony was when the PS3 was launching.

The Kinect is now optional, but it will still come bundled with the system. Do you think this is going to steer some people away from the console if they aren’t interested in the Kinect?

Semicek: Yeah, I think so. By adding the additional $100 price onto the console, it will hurt early adopters when PCs are already higher powered and actually cheaper now.

Gross: Not really. The R.O.B came with the NES to make it seem more like a toy than a video game after the arcade market crashed. I think it makes Microsoft’s purpose unclear though. I don’t want a DVR; I want a mostly dedicated console.

Podlaseck: If they announce there will be an Xbox One with no Kinect, I might strongly consider buying one, especially if it goes down to $400. Even though you might not use it for games, people will use it for a lot of the other TV-related stuff. A lot of gamers say they don’t like Kinect, but I think Kinect is underutilized a lot. I want to see Kinect utilized for games, such as in Mass Effect 3 where you can shout out voice commands. I want to see more of that.

Collin: No, the Kinect should not steer people away. If anything the Kinect should bring in some more people. We have already heard from the developers of Battlefield 4 and Dead Rising 3 that the Kinect will bring the player even more into the game then before. If developers can be guaranteed that players will have this technology then it could bring out an amazing experience. In my own opinion they should not ever release an SKU without Kinect 2.0.

Nesbit: No. It still comes with the console, so I believe it will still be fine.

At the end of the day, after all of these policy changes, do you, today, plan on buying an Xbox One at launch? Why or why not?

Semicek: I do not. For $400, it’s too expensive for me in my current state. Also, none of the launch titles look like they will blow me away.

Gross: No; Microsoft is assuming that people will buy their console regardless of how they act. That is not the case. They only changed policies because of a public outcry, resulting in PS4 preorders beating them tremendously. I, however, will not be buying a PS4; there isn’t enough support for it to be considered in my opinion as a worthwhile investment.

Podlaseck: As of right now, no. I will keep my 360. I’m going to do my best to pay for my PS4 without selling my 360. It’s not just about policy stuff, it’s about PlayStation trusting their customers and Microsoft doing the opposite. I think PS4 could lead in the next console race for a while. A lot of their games looked better and more innovative. I plan on getting an Xbox One eventually, but not at launch.

Collin: Yes, I already have mine paid off. I feel that Xbox Live has a better experience than PSN, having played on both. Most of my time gaming is online and I want to be a part of the most stable system I can. With Microsoft going from 15,000 servers to 300,000 they are allowing every game to have dedicated servers at a very low cost to developers. The Xbox community will no longer have to deal with player-hosted servers and the support of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud offloading some of the processes in games we could be looking at some of the most beautiful looking games we have ever seen.

Nesbit: Yes, I still do plan on buying the Xbox One at launch, mainly for the games that I prefer to play. I respect Sony’s lineup, and will probably buy the PS4 later, but for now the Xbox One’s launch titles interest me more. And also because of the 300,000 dedicated servers that Microsoft is touting.

While Semicek, Gross, and Podlaseck weren’t won over my Microsoft, Collin and Nesbit are excited to get their hands on the Xbox One. Podlaseck plans on buying one eventually, just not at launch.

Do you plan on purchasing an Xbox One at launch? Have the policies regarding the system changed your mind about purchasing one? Comment below and let’s have a conversation.

About the Author

Cassie Gotto

My name is Cassie and I like to take photos. When I'm not doing that, I like to write about things that tickle my geeky fancy. My favorite game of all time is The Last of Us. I like coffee, My Chemical Romance, animals, and hanging out with my husband, Jimmy.