“We have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity,” explained Xbox chief Don Mattrick. “It’s called Xbox 360.”
With those snarky words, Microsoft lost E3. That much was clear as soon as Sony’s press conference started. And it’s not because the Xbox One is a bad system. If we ignore Microsoft’s terrible marketing and judge the Xbox One objectively, it’s a fine system – a home entertainment system built for the future that should provide an unparalleled user experience.
But damn it, Microsoft: stop being a jerk.
Don Mattrick, the head of Xbox at Microsoft, explained to GameTrailers that Microsoft built a system that’s future-proof and if you don’t like it, there’s another option: the eight-year-old Xbox 360.
This is Microsoft’s stance and the company doesn’t care if you complain. That message came through loud and clear during the company’s E3 press conference. Take it or leave it. Microsoft doesn’t care. They know they’ll sell millions of boxes and a group of vociferous web trolls won’t change that – or will they?
Microsoft has a reason to be cocky. The Xbox 360 rules the living room, and has set the standard for media streaming devices in the home. There have been hiccups and mistakes along the way, but overall the Xbox 360 is a fantastic system. Microsoft baked in the best of the Xbox 360 into the Xbox One, that much is apparent. However, after years of piracy and the embarrassment of briefly backing the wrong physical media platform, the company is now working on the assumption that you don’t deserve an Xbox One if you’re not connected to the Internet. It’s a fair assumption – the target market already has broadband – but there are still plenty of reasons someone doesn’t want the One to phone home every 24 hours.
The Xbox One has the potential to outsell the PS4. It has the potential of being a better investment for the casual and hardcore gamer alike. It has the potential to seamlessly bring the best of the Internet and TV to the living room.
Look at it this way: The Xbox One is an always-connected device that interfaces with subscription TV. It’s also a portal to a person’s Windows’ ecosystem, bringing the most popular computing platform on Earth to the main screen in the house. It’s a gaming system, a cable guide, a Skype machine, and a media streaming box that you can talk to. And as David Pierce explains on The Verge, the Kinect could usher in a new dimension of gaming. It’s the most pure all-in-one home entertainment system ever built.
But Microsoft went too far.
The Xbox One treats every owner as a potential thief. By nearly requiring a broadband Internet connection to check a game’s DRM, the Xbox One is locked to a living room. Forget about rigging up a system for a long road trip. Forget about taking the system to the family cabin or grandma’s house. Without broadband Internet, the Xbox One is useless.
This always-connected scheme is even scarier when updates are considered. Microsoft will essentially be able to remotely control all these systems and push updates unbeknownst to the owner. But it gets worse: The Xbox One doesn’t work without Kinect, which is always on as well. Xbox One owners cannot trade or easily sell back games. The console is worthy of a mention in a George Orwell novel.
These downsides put Microsoft in a powerful position with game publishers. It’s all about making money and selling systems. It guarantees that games will not be pirated, theoretically putting them at ease and more likely to publish exclusives on the Xbox One. But once you put making money above the user, you start down a slippery slope.
Then there’s the PS4.
As Sony stated loudly and clearly at the PlayStation 4 press conference, the system doesn’t require games check-in online. Games can be traded like baseball cards. The system doesn’t require an Internet connection.
Best yet, indies can self-publish on the PS4.
Sony won E3 by being the anti-Microsoft. The Xbox One has ridiculous DRM and all Sony had to do is state that the PS4 takes a familiar, old-school approach to gaming. It’s just a new PlayStation. Nothing more.
The Xbox One launch is a marketing disaster even though the product itself is solid. Forgive the hyperbole, but every time Microsoft makes a statement, the hole gets deeper. But at the very least Microsoft isn’t hiding anything. There shouldn’t be anymore surprises. Hopefully.
[pics from /r/gaming]
[Correction: a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Xbox 360 was the bestselling console of the last generation.]
A Brooklynite named Matt Richardson has built a working prototype of a bicycle headlight that uses a Raspberry Pi to project his current traveling speed as he rides around the city. Richardson calls it the Raspberry Pi Dynamic Headlight, and it’s one of those jaw-dropping DIY projects that makes you wonder why this isn’t something you can buy in a store yet.
The prototype has a small projector mounted to the handlebars of the bicycle, which is connected to the Raspberry Pi via HDMI cable. The projector and the Raspberry Pi are both powered by a USB battery pack. The Raspberry Pi and the battery pack seem to be crudely glued to a triangular piece of wood that is strapped onto the center of the bike, but Richardson says in his video that he’s hoping that future prototypes will combine all the components into one single piece that will be mounted onto the handlebars.
The Dynamic Headlight for now only projects the speed of the bike, but Richardson is looking to add all sorts of interesting functions to future iterations like GPS and other “animations and visualizations”.
Someone needs to get him some of that Veronica Mars Kickstarter money, stat.
Metal Gear Not So Solid.
This is Pimpri-Chinchwad native and number one stunna Datta Phuge modeling the $ 230,000 22-karat gold shirt he had made to help attract women. It weighs in at around seven pounds but feels much, much heavier on my heart. Datta also sports several additional pounds of gold necklaces and bracelets, hoping to secure his title as ‘The Gold Man of Pimpri‘ and not ‘That Indian Mr. T’ like we’re all actually going to call him. Tough break.
The money-lender, from Pimpri-Chinchwad, says the shirt took a team of 15 goldsmiths two weeks to make working 16 hours a day creating and weaving the gold threads.
It comes complete with its own matching cuffs and a set of rings crafted from left-over gold. “I know I am not the best looking man in the world but surely no woman could fail to be dazzled by this shirt?” he explained.
You know, generally I have a hard time feeling bad for rich people, but good lord — this poor bastard. I wouldn’t trade places with him for anything, and that says a lot because my cable and internet are supposed to be cut off by the end of the day for not paying the bill. Then what will I do for entertainment? SPOILER: hunt and kill bugs around the house. And I still wouldn’t want to be that guy. Just marinate on that for a second.
Hit the jump for an Indian news report.Related Posts:
This is a self portrait taken by the Mars Rover Curiosity with Mount Sharp in the background. Presumably it’s a mirror shot because I don’t see the arm it used to take the pic. Fine, it’s actually a composite of 55 different images. You just had to ruin all the fun, didn’t you? Here I was having a great time imaging Curiosity taking shots of itself in the bathroom mirror, and you had to go and take it away from me. I hate you for that. God, you make me want to drink. Antifreeze.
Thanks to bri79, who likes to take pictures of himself in those windows that are reflective like mirrors on the outside, but have people working in an office on the inside. Oh man, I always pick my teeth in those.
Nintendo is notorious for releasing awesome limited edition hardware abroad, but here in the US of A, we tend to get the short end of the joystick. Case in point, the house that Mario Miyamoto built is releasing a Charizard-themed 3DS XL on December 15th in Japan for ¥18,900 ($ 237). Available exclusively at Pokémon Center stores, aspiring buyers will need to complete an order form and win (yes, win) a drawing for a chance to purchase one of these beautiful monsters. Winners will have from December 15th through January 14th to claim and purchase their prize. As for you unlucky entrants, you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in one of America’s favorite pastimes — buying Nintendo collectibles online at an extremely high markup.
There’s no shortage of fitness apps to track how much (or how little) you’ve been shaking your tail feather lately — such as MyFitnessPal, Endomondo and GAIN Fitness to name three we’ve written about lately. And if you don’t want to strap your phone to your arm and baste it in sweat, there are even a few dedicated fitness-friendly gizmos, such as Apple’s Nike + iPod in-shoe system, Nike’s Fuelband wristband or Motorola’s MotoACTIV. But none of these devices are especially intelligent — they tend to track total steps, distance, calories, and that’s about it (unless you start adding additional accessories such as heart-monitor chest straps).
Enter Amiigo: a fitness app and lightweight plastic bracelet (with detachable shoe-clip) that can identify the type of exercise you’re doing and tell you how well you’re doing it as you’re doing it, thanks to a variety of sensors analysing how your body is responding as you run, bike, swim (yes it’s waterproof), or whatever your preferred exercise poison.
Amiigo’s gesture-based software algorithms identify the different types of exercises you’re engaged in — and should improve over time as the software learns more about your movements, according to the startup. Having both a bracelet and a shoe clip helps its system distinguish between a pull-up and a bicep curl, say, although you don’t always have to wear both. To generate real-time fitness data, the hardware includes a variety of sensors that track variables such as your heart rate. The device includes motion sensors/accelerometers to track how you’re moving, plus an infrared sensor to monitor blood oxygen levels. The bracelet also incorporates a stainless steel plate to measure skin temperature.
Then the corresponding Amiigo iOS and Android apps allow you to view the data, set fitness goals and custom challenges, share workouts in real-time (which won’t be at all annoying…) and accrue fitness points for bragging rights and/or the chance to redeem them against discounts on fitness gear.
The startup reckons no one else in this space is doing gesture recognition to track activity type and response in such granular detail — at least not using just one main wearable device — which in turn allows it to provide detailed feedback via the app in order to act as a virtual personal trainer.
The startup is kicking off an Indiegogo on October 29 with the aim of raising $ 90,000, and hopes to be ready to ship in April 2013. First taker backers will be able to snag the device for an extremely tasty price of $ 89, after which it will be sold for $ 119 — which is still pretty neat considering it undercuts some of Amiigo’s less-capable competitor devices.
Also neat: Amiigo will be releasing an SDK for the device so app makers can explore additional uses. The startup tells me it could envisage various alternative use-cases for the hardware, such as enhanced patient care monitoring or chronic care monitoring, or — tapping up the Wii-style motion sensors inside Amiigo — even gaming scenarios.
The startup has been working on the device for around 10 months so far — with a core team of four, including “tech talent” from MIT.Related Posts:
This is the $ 30 Power-Up Arcade Light Switch Plate from ThinkGeek. It looks like an arcade joystick, but it’s not — it’s a light switch. I know — it was hard for me to grasp at first too. The two buttons make different ‘PEW PEW!’ sound effects and the actual joystick controls the lights like a regular switch. Alternatively, turn out the lights the same way I do: not paying the electric bill. Come on, all the cool kids junkies are doing it. I’ll touch your privates for a fix.
Hit the jump for another picture and video demonstration.
Mexican gymnastics Olympian Elsa Garcia Rodriguez Blancas performed her qualifying routine for the floor exercise to a medley of of Zelda songs arranged by Lindsay Sterling (of super-animated violin playing fame). Sadly, she took 35th place overall because there are no points rewarded for having the sweetest soundtrack. *throwing chairs* Jesus, what kind of Olympics are you people even running here?!
You can hit the jump for a ridiculously shitty version filmed off an even crappier TV as well and another video of the same routine performed earlier this year, or watch a decent version of the Olympic routine at Kotaku HERE (I recommend doing that).
So you remember the “reporter” (I suspect he’s just a foodie with a video camera) who tried the Burger King 1,050-bacon slice challenge? Well he’s back, this time with a 1,000 cheese-slice challenge totaling a death-defying 45,661 calories. Does he win? Are you out of f***ing mind?! No he doesn’t win. I doubt he even ate a quarter of it. And can you blame him? How you supposed to eat a burger that big with so little ketchup and onions? That’s ridiculous. Regardless, brobro better believe in reincarnation, because there is nothing coming out of that ass in this lifetime.
Hit the jump for a bunch more of the processed cheese extravaganza, plus a video they should show in health class or something.