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Microsoft Is Losing Xbox One Momentum Due To Halo: MCC

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Microsoft Is Losing Xbox One Momentum Due To Halo: MCC

Postby nickyrock1962 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:07 am

Paul Tassi Contributor Forbes Magizine.
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Microsoft Is Losing Xbox One Momentum Due To 343's 'Halo: Master Chief Collection' Misdeeds

Earlier this month, I wrote a piece saying that there was a never better time to buy an Xbox One than now. That was in the wake of Microsoft MSFT -1.51% announcing a price cut of many of their most popular bundles from $400 down to $350, which, factoring the cost of a game you’d buy anyway, made the effective price of the console $300.

I made the case that though the PS4 is a big-seller, the tables have somewhat turned as I’m not sure the argument can be made that Sony's system is worth $400 to Xbox One’s $300, as the two are nearly identical. And after all this time, Sony’s best exclusive is still probably Infamous Second Son, while the Xbox just recently came out with the one-two punch of Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the latter of which was the definition of a “system seller.”

Fast forward to today, where I am no longer playing on my pre-release review copy of Halo, home to gorgeous campaign missions and supervised multiplayer sessions with 343. Now, Halo: The Master Chief Collection is heralded as probably the single biggest video game disaster of the year, with a launch that continues to be a never-ending nightmare in a way that makes even Ubisoft’s Assasin’s Creed Unity release look smooth.

It’s hard to overstate just how bad this launch has been, with Halo: MCC literally not having a working multiplayer since its debut, which is the primary draw of the game for players who were excited to relive Halo’s glory days on remastered maps and blended playlists. Instead, they were treated to an exercise in frustration and the best example of a company completely and utterly dropping the ball when it comes to what should have been a slam-dunk.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection, when it works, is the definition of a perfect remastering. It is an absolutely insane amount of content for $60, and features one of the most classic series in all of gaming being repolished with tender care as each area has been visually updated for the present day. The nostalgia factor is so great, I actually got a little choked up re-experiencing some parts of the campaign or seeing old favorite multiplayer levels. That’s how strong emotional connection can be with Halo.

And yet, all that’s done is make this an even greater tragedy. Assassin’s Creed Unity, outside of its technical glitches, is kind of a ho-hum game that needed to work on more than just bug squashing to capture player attention. But Halo was a perfectly cooked steak that fell off the plate onto the floor, and now players are waiting for someone to pick it up and clean it off. Even then, they may have lost their appetite for it.

343′s attempted fix of the problem has been a comedy of errors, as we’re approaching two weeks after launch with still no permanent solution in sight for the multiplayer issues. This week, 343 tried to implement a huge patch to fix the problem, yet after a few properly played games, players started experiencing a whole new host of errors, and patch has apparently broken the game even further, snapping the last bit of patience fans may have had with the game and the developer trying to make it playable.

This isn’t just bad for 343, who has been trusted with the Halo legacy now that Bungie has moved on to Destiny, but this severely hamstrings the Xbox One’s newfound momentum. With two great exclusive titles and a low price heading into the holiday season, it seemed like this could be Microsoft’s year to make up some serious ground on Sony. But those $350 bundles? Many of them were for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and the Xbox One’s “system seller” is still completely broken with no end in sight (and in a turn of bad luck, the other big bundle is with Assassin’s Creed Unity). I mentioned yesterday how games with broken releases can see their star fade quickly when released in a uber-competitive holiday season, and that’s exactly what’s happening with Halo now, as players have simply given up on the game after two weeks of idiocy, and have moved on to Far Cry, Dragon Age, Smash Bros. or one of the billion other games that came out this fall, and also happen to work.

In an age when broken game releases are unfortunately becoming the norm, the Halo: Master Chief situation is the worst of them all. Here you have a game that by all accounts is close to perfect in concept and execution, but a complete technical meltdown destroyed its launch, is continuing to destroy its entire release window, and may very well destroy its legacy if players don’t come back when the game finally is fixed. And for Microsoft, they’ve just lost perhaps the single biggest reason to pick up an Xbox this holiday season, and they have to be fuming.

Fix it quickly, and there still may be hope, but if this continues much longer, all 343′s work might be for nothing.
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Re: Microsoft Is Losing Xbox One Momentum Due To Halo: MCC

Postby Boo » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:38 am

Wow. You'd think the game developers would have taken note from the BF4 debacle. This makes the BF4 mess seem palatable..... not!
Well played analogy the guy used. "Perfectly cooked steak that fell off the plate and hit the floor." That's harsh. However, it his opinion. A good one I'll admit. I agree that just about every new game release is plagued with problems, some more than others. After Drive Club launch failures, I'm done buying new releases on day 1. "Fool me once, shame on you (BF4). Fool me twice, shame on me (Drive Club)". I've already lost faith in the gaming industry.
Any console manufacturers and game developers should take note of this systemic failure and start taking it seriously. These continued failures I believe will bring the video gaming industry to its proverbial knees. Who's gonna be foolish enough to keep buying "broken" games?

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Re: Microsoft Is Losing Xbox One Momentum Due To Halo: MCC

Postby Pikan Rikan » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:40 am

It's preorders that's seriously hurting gamers and lining the pockets of the publishers. Why prioritize launching a fully operational game when they already have your money? Reminds me of a time I was shopping for a car at a lot and when I kept pointing out things that were wrong with the car, the sales person just kept saying: we'll fix it after you purchase.

Before I keep going on my rant, this is just going to hurt 343 and MS when Halo 5 launches next year as people will be much more cautious (and rightfully so).

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