So back to Gaming: Microsoft have suddenly got kind of pervy

So the fascination with spies and politics lasted all of twelve hours.  Um.  Call me flighty.  Now back to the really important things in life, like console brand wars.

I was thinking.  About the PS3 thing, not about spies.  Thinking enough that despite the risk of this week turning into gaming week, I think there’s another post in all this.

As well as the uninspiring ads, there’s a couple of other reasons not to have an xbox.

One is paying for xbox live gold.  Just, um, what the fuck?  That’s about all that needs saying there.

There’s also that one time I called xbox support I got the weird feeling they weren’t taking me seriously.  Like people my age shouldn’t phone up about broken toys.

Where here my age means anyone over the age of 8.

I still resent that.

Maybe that’s changed now.  That was back in the day, you know, when all the xboxes in the whole world were pretty much falling apart all at once.

And come to think of it, that could be a reason too.

Unfortunately, it seems like there’s a couple of problems with the new xbox as well.  The One being announced now, I mean, which is still being made.  Ha ha.  Like how isn’t going to be backward compatible, and you can’t resell games, and you can’t even lend your games to a friend who isn’t also an official xbox live friend and has been for a month, and how it will require a constant internet connection, and oh yeah, it has a camera that’s switched on all the time and is sending pictures of you to Microsoft.

You heard me.

A night-vision see-in-the-fucking-dark camera.  That monitors your heart-rate if you’re in the room.  And is connected to the internet.


This is so you can say “xbox on” and it will start.  Because pushing a button is too much trouble.  And you aren’t allowed to stop it sending shit to Microsoft.

So that’s fun.

I’m a little surprised Microsoft can’t see how this is going to go horribly, horribly wrong.

Me, I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting one of those.  Call me suspicious and paranoid and no fun, but I suspect you probably won’t either.  Not if you ever walk through your lounge naked, or have sex in front the TV, or pick your nose, or do whatever else you might do in your own house with the curtains closed and not want anyone to see you.

Not if you look at the internet before you buy anything.

You’re pretty much getting a PS4, and so’s everyone else at this point, no matter what games are available and what its specs are and how much it costs.  Everything else going on in the console marketing world right now is just noise.   You’re getting a PS4.  You just are, and let’s all stop pretending otherwise.

Basically, Microsoft are doing their batshit thing again.  Just deciding shit and telling us we’ll love it and in a year or so they’ll be all apologetic and change their minds.  Like with the Zune and the closing down XP and the whole Win8 apps start-screen thing and the taking away the start button and you know, Vista.  Because if they didn’t do this every couple of years and make everyone angry, they’d own the all the money in the world.  And that would limit their future expansion and therefore reduce their share price, so probably better this way.

But it’s still a bit tiresome to watch, after all this time.  Yawn, Microsoft’s at it again.  Oh my.

So that’s a thought.  All Sony needs to do is stand there and not fuck it up and they’ll own the next generation of consoles.  Without doing a thing.  Like how Apple exist now because they basically won the ipod and mp3 thing in the early 2000s, because Microsoft utterly fucked that up too.

And the thing is, at the moment Sony seem to be managing to do this.  Sony apparently don’t completely hate their customers and don’t spend all their time working out ways to piss them off.

Which is starting to seem almost like a revolutionary business idea.

And yes, I am making a bit of a thing of the lounge-room camera.  Other people will care about the second-hand games or constant internet connection, but for me, it’s the camera.  Call me distrustful if you will.  Call me distrustful, even though only yesterday I was ranting about how I do trust big companies and I do trust the NSA.

I just think a always-on web-enabled camera in the lounge-room is a fucking bad idea.

Like when hackers and burglars team up.  That camera might be useful.  Because it’s not like your user account isn’t tied to your console is tied to your credit card and billing address.  Because of the whole paying for xbox gold live, I mean.  And how credit card transactions always store a billing address.

So one dodgy employee in a call center in India working with your local organized crime, and someone can sit there seeing if you’re home before they rob you.

But nah, that could never happen.  Criminals aren’t that smart.

Here’s another thing about Sony.

A little while ago, Blizzard decided to release Diablo 3 for the PS3 and PS4.  This is quite interesting if you like Diablo, or played games back in the day, or whatever.  Diablo 3 has this irritating habit of needing a constant internet connection, even for single player, because Diablo 2 was horribly, horribly overrun with cheating back in the day, and this was meant to stop that.  So that’s fine.  It’s just a fucker of a thing when your game stops because your router had a momentary fit.  So Blizzard assumed they’d do this in the PS3 version of Diablo 3, and Sony slapped Blizzard down.

So that’s nice of Sony.  As well as the not trying to take naked night-vision pictures of me.  That’s nice too.

So like I say, you’re going to buy a PS4 or you’re going to buy a very different xbox One.  It’s just that Microsoft haven’t worked that out yet.

Update just before I post: As an aside Sony just said the PS4 will not require an internet connection to work, ever.  So that’s nice too.