It looks like Microsoft will have cause to start its holiday celebrations early this year. Microsoft announced last Thursday that its next-gen console the Xbox One has matched the PS4’s launch day sales record and has reported sales in excess of one million units. With each Xbox One priced at $499 in the United States, compared to the PS4’s $399, the odds seem to be in Microsoft’s favor.
Despite Microsoft’s early Christmas present, Microsoft spent much of this year on the naughty list. Gamers were particularly critical of the console this summer on social media sites where they bashed Microsoft for policies that they labelled as ‘anti-consumer.’ Some of the most unpopular policies included those which required the console to be always connected to the internet, limitations on sharing and reselling games, and the omnipresence of the console’s motion tracking hardware known as ‘Kinect.’ Microsoft has since reversed on most of these policies.
The Kinect system on the Xbox One carries potential personal privacy and data security concerns. In effect, the device is a sophisticated motion sensor coupled with a microphone that allows users to interact with the console and games through voice activation or body movements. It can literally track a user’s skeletal movements and map them to in-game avatar. The Kinect microphone remains active while the console is in sleep mode to receive voice commands to turn the console on. Even though Microsoft has reported its commitment to privacy concerns, many gamers remain skeptical that their personal and biological information is safe.
Thankfully, a solution to privacy concerns on the Xbox One seems to have already revealed itself.
UPDATE: It would seem that Microsoft is regulating speech in its Upload Studio application on the Xbox One. Users that have utilized what is being referred to as ‘excessive profanity’ can potentially have their Xbox Live privileges revoked under Microsoft’s Code of Conduct. More information on this developing issue may be found here.