After Microsoft whacked the Xbox One with a US$500 price tag compared to the PS4 at $400, many were quick to dismiss the next-gen console.
But I thought hang-on a minute let’s wait and see the full package first…
After all, benefits include the new Kinect, not to mention a whole load of fancy features thrown in (a la on screen channel guide and in-game DVR).
But when you go to KFC you don’t pay for chicken and then have to pay extra for the crispy coating or buy a watch without a battery (although I’m sure some people out there might).
So, why are Xbox now placing features that were described as part of the fundamentals of the Xbox One behind the wall of Xbox Live subscription?
This news which has been quietly added to the Xbox Live Gold product page was first brought to light by Ars, but somehow I feel similar to how my parents used to react when I had done something wrong as a teenager – “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed."
It is almost justifiable to make smart-match an Xbox Live feature – but DVR, provided for your entertainment/education needs a subscription. Why I ask?
People such as me who were prepared to wait for the full veil to come off the next-gen console now have a right to feel almost cheated that features, which have been plugged time and time again as Xbox One fundamentals, are now subject to a marketing switcheroo and become payable extras through Xbox Live Gold.
It’s fine to charge for online gaming and match-making features that would be otherwise unavailable, but why should I believe my $500 will buy me features that it will not?
Also if I pay for online subscriptions that I can use on my own home PC (for example Love FILM, NETFLIX and a Skype subscription), then to be told, 'Hey you could access them on Xbox One - BUT you must pay for the privilege again as I can only do it through Xbox Live.'
I was shocked to see Skype on the list, a company that Microsoft now owns. Showing as a Xbox Live Gold feature yet you can access this on nearly any other compatible device for free.
Before people think I am a PlayStation ‘fanboy’, I must point out at this point that I am a massive fan of the Xbox 360 and most features on Xbox Live Gold at present, but this has left me bewildered.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his team may think that $500 is pocket change, but for individuals and families going through lean times this is a hefty outlay.
The Xbox One may be amazing come launch time or it might be the devil incarnate to some. One thing that is clear is your $500 is not buying you a complete package without a subscription – for me that’s plain wrong.
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