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Aaron Waite Aaron Waite
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Introducing your lord and master, Microsoft

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A quick chat about the Xbox One

Aaron Waite: Hello there, Microsoft!

Microsoft: And hello to you, too, Rumpojec!

AW: Um, my name's Aaron. Rumpojec is my Xbox Live Gamertag.

Microsoft: Oh, my bad. It's not like I view you as an actual person, anyway. Here, have 100 points for accessing Xbox Live and doing stuff. How generous am I, right?

AW: Supremely. You're too kind. So what can I get for 100 points?

Microsoft: Oh, nothing, really. I just want to give it out so you'll buy more of my stuff online, which also means you'll always have points left over, which means you'll have to buy more stuff to use those points that are left over.

AW: That's ... wonderful. Hey, you wanna talk about E3?

Microsoft: Why, certainly, little Adolf!

AW: Aaron.

Microsoft: Well, Adolf is a good name, too.

AW: Getting back to the task at hand, would you like to explain a few things about your Xbox One policies?

Microsoft: Certainly, Adept. It's the wave of the FUUUUUTUUUUUUUURE!!!

AW: Was the dramatic hand wave necessary?

Microsoft: Maybe not, but when you've got the latest and greatest in draconian digital rights management, you can afford a bit of pomp.

AW: Ah, yes, I heard about that - you need to have your console checked in at least once every 24 hours, is that correct?

Microsoft: That is very correct, young Apple.

AW: So what happens when you don't check in?

Microsoft: You can't use your system! You might be one of those dirty pirates, and as we all know, dirty pirates don't use the internet! That's why we invented this system, so only good, hard-working consumers are allowed to use their systems.

AW: Ah, so that would also explain the fact that you have to install all games to the hard drive, so that excuse kind of checks out. But really, what's wrong with just having the game disk itself be the confirmation of purchase? I mean, I install games on my 360's hard drive, and I just pop in the disk, it spins up, makes sure it's an authentic copy and poof! I'm playing my game off my hard drive. Why not go with the same kind of setup?

Microsoft: You see, Artichoke...

AW: That ... that doesn't even sound remotely like my name.

Microsoft: Very sorry, Ankle. You see, the way of the future is digital. We're paving the way away from these Neanderthal-esque disks and into the tightly-controlled web of digital media. Switching disks is so 2001.

AW: But I could play my downloaded games on my 360 offline. What's the big difference?

Microsoft: Because on the off-chance that one out of 20 people might be pirates, we're going to shackle you all with this DRM. The future's always online, anyway, right?

AW: So basically, you want to be Steam without any of the benefits of Steam.

Microsoft: That's very correct, Opie. That's also why every copy of an Xbox One game has to be registered online before you play it.

AW: So what happens when the servers go down in a decade or so?

Microsoft: Hmm, sorry, what was that, Alf? I was parched, and the salty tears of overreacting Redditors always hits the spot.

AW: Server-based certification of games.

Microsoft: Well, that's no different from your precious little Steam, is it not? What will happen to your 196-game collection when they eventually go under?

AW: I buy my Steam games with the realization that they're providing me with a service for that game. I can download it, play it online or offline, and shove it away into a dark corner of my computer. I have paid Valve to keep track of that digital copy of my game, and when I accept that when their service ends, my access to those games ends.

Microsoft: Honestly, who gives a crap? We're appealing to the new generation of gamers that doesn't really game so much as uses their 360 for Netflix streaming and browsing YouTube from the couch. You're in the vocal minority, Arnold.

AW: That 'vocal minority' helped you gain a foothold when you floundered onto the scene in 2001. That 'vocal minority' bought your games and played them over and over again, turning Xbox Live into a premier online system. That 'vocal minority' trusted you to make the next gaming console, not some grab at being some sort of entertainment giant. You gave us games, we played them. That was our relationship. We trusted you to give us games, and youre giving us soylent green.

Microsoft: Don't be that way. We both know that after all this hullabaloo dies down, you'll be sitting in our line on launch day, ready to buy like the drones we know you are.

AW: I wouldn't count on it, Microsoft. We are the hardcore gamers. We do not forgive, and we do not forget.

Microsoft: Whatever, Apollo. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to talk to my government contact about Kinect's audio ranging. Gonna help catch them pesky terrorists!

Aaron Waite kindly requests that the NSA stop monitoring his bathroom breaks.


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