Independent military magazine Navy Times has published a new report blasting the Xbox One and its various policies that the publication describes as problematic for those on active duty.
The Xbox One will require users to connect to the Internet once every 24 hours, something Navy Lt. Scott Metcalf believes will be a “showstopper” for those serving downrange, in the field, or at sea.
A past report claimed Microsoft was working on a solution for those in Internet-free scenarios, though the company now says no such plan is in place.
In addition, the Xbox One will be supported in only 21 countries. Those stationed in major military regions like Germany, Italy, or Great Britain will not have a problem. However, service members in Japan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, or other areas are in a bind.
On top of this, since Xbox One games are region-locked, service members who import games won’t be able to play them on their local machines. And as Navy Times points out, those who buy games locally will be out of luck, as Xbox Live accounts are tied to regions.
The publication also calls out potential “serious” security concerns for the Xbox One, involving the system’s Kinect camera and/or microphone recording conversations not meant to be heard outside of the military. Microsoft has said that the Xbox One does not record idle living room chatter.
“Microsoft has single-handedly alienated the entire military,” naval aviator Jay Johnson wrote in a Gamasutra piece. “And not just the U.S. military–the militaries of the entire world.”
Johnson added that the Xbox One’s Internet requirement is “the single greatest sin Microsoft has committed against all service members.”
Xbox executive Don Mattrick last week offered an alternative for those without an Internet connection, such as military members and students.
“Fortunately, we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity; it’s called Xbox 360,” Mattrick said. “If you have zero access to the Internet, that is an offline device.”
Never even considered this point of view. I’m posting this to my military buddies so they can be warned. Shame one of them is a Microsoft junkie…
I’m more shocked that not only did Microsoft not consider these problems as a result of their new mandatory connection but responded to the military with something so kick in the face as ‘get a 360’.
Why should they have to miss out on new games? I mean, hell if talking about a new game coming out or getting to play through a new adventure helps take off the stress and let these guys unwind – wouldn’t Microsoft want to be a part of that?
You would think so, right? Guess Microsoft just wants Sony to take all their video game profits for the next five years?
In seriousness, I don’t think the military was even considered when Mattrick made the comment. Ignorance can be forgiven in the excitement of new, cutting-edge tech if corrected by launch, but apathy makes him uncaring and unworthy of military dollars anyway. I hope it was ignorance.
Microsoft have reversed their DRM which is great news for service men and women who love their Halo! But no word on removing the Kinect from the equation, so for those personnel, I guess it doesn’t really change much.
Yea, I heard about this! Good move on Microsoft’s behalf to step up and say ‘Look, you all obviously have a big issue with these changes, so we’ll fix it’ but I dislike that they did so in a way that was almost ‘obviously you ingrates are gonna have a bitch, so we’ll make everything old and 360 for you’.
I think at this point, they should just do everything they can to win their reputation back – they’ve already lost their footing as a ‘favorite’ with many fans.