Xbox One: Microsoft's Mixed Messages

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Confusion reigns in the wake of the Xbox One reveal yesterday. Cast an eye over the games news today, and there are conflicting reports about everything from shared accounts to pre-owned to the nature of the console’s online requirement. The event itself was boldly top-line – here’s what it looks like, here’s what it does, here’s how it changes things – but in attempting to present a simple message, so much crucial information was glossed over that total confusion and speculation have sprung up like weeds in the cracks in our knowledge. The Xbox One is supposed to be an easy-to-understand, all-in-one solution – but currently Microsoft’s messaging is anything but unified.

It's genuinely not clear to me at this point whom the Xbox One is aimed at. Is it an entertainment box that plays games, or a games console that caters for entertainment? Sony was very up-front about that when it presented the PlayStation 4 to the world back in February: it was pitched very much as a machine designed around both gamers and developers, a games console with other features. For the first 30 minutes of the Xbox One reveal it was essentially pitched as a live TV and sports viewer with a really impressive interface and super-quick, integrated Internet connectivity.

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