Top 10 Biggest Xbox Fails Of All Time
You have to spare a sympathetic thought for Microsoft at the moment. Wait! Don’t leave an enraged comment just yet and hear me out.
Microsoft screwed up in a big way with the Xbox One, running quite possible the worst console marketing campaign in history and showing a brutal disregard for gamers in their pitch. But they’ve adapted and they’ve listened, making an unprecedented number of post-launch changes to their existing ethos that suggest they’re really trying to make amends; backwards compatibility, streaming between Windows and Xbox, and bolstered support for indie games among other things. Yet unforgiving gamers that we are, we’re just having none of it.
10. External HD-DVD Player For The Xbox 360
One of the things that gave the Xbox 360 the edge at the start of the last-gen console war was the fact that it came in at a cheaper price than the PS3. This was partly because Microsoft was selling Xbox 360s without Wi-Fi cards, decent hard drives or access to online gaming, but also because they didn’t include an in-built video disc player. You had to splash out $200 on an official external HD DVD player instead.
You may vaguely remember HD DVD in the same way that you remember Betamax cassettes if you’re an old-timer, or UMDs if you’re a newer-timer. It was the optical video disc format supported by Toshiba and Microsoft – whose HDi implementation was used for the menus and interactive elements of the discs – and the main rival to Blu-ray, which emerged around the same time.
HD DVD was a slightly inferior format to Blu-ray, and its cause wasn’t helped by the fact that it wasn’t built into the Xbox 360, while the integrated Blu-ray player on the PS3 is essentially what shot the Blu-ray format to fame. HD DVD was all but redundant by 2008, just a couple of years into the X360’s eight-year lifespan, while Blu-ray went on to flourish. This was almost certainly one of the reasons that the console war swung in the PS3’s favour in the later stages.
9. Xbox One As A TV-streaming device
Never in the history of video games has a PR campaign for a console been so supremely botched as that of the Xbox One. It was tragic, it was comical, it was unbelievable. The whole mess was perhaps best exemplified by Microsoft’s fixation on making the Xbox One a device for ‘everyone’, which entailed presenting it as a TV-streaming device rather than, y’know, a games console.
Getting extremely carried away with the fact that games consoles were beginning to double as pretty nifty media centers, Microsoft talked way more about the Xbox One’s ambitions in the TV-streaming market than it did about games. They babbled on about how people would be able to ‘interact’ with their favourite TV shows using the Kinect (because every loves the Kinect, right?), watch shows while talking to people on Skype, or check their fantasy sports team standings while watching a match. In their attempt to make the Xbox One more appealing to ‘everyone’, Microsoft not only failed to do so but also alienated their core demographic – gamers – in the process.
8. Microsoft Kinect
Sneaking a look over at the runaway success of the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft can’t be blamed for thinking to themselves “We can do that”. So while Sony went off and made the light-up dildo that was the Move controller, Microsoft went for something a bit more ambitious – and infuriating – in the form of the Kinect.
The idea of a motion controller in which you didn’t actually need a controller was kind of neat, until gamers realised that this meant they had to get up off their asses and move their arms around like a low-level mime artist, or flap them manically like a skydiver whose parachute failed to open. It utilised advanced camera sensors, a microphone, and plenty of other pricey tech (to the tune of $150), but it just didn’t know what to do with them.
Before anyone actually realised they didn’t want the Kinect, 8 million of the devices were sold within its first two months of release. So far so good, until it became clear that the only games being released for it were family games and fitness trainers that felt like knock-offs of equivalent, more established games on the Nintendo Wii.