News: The X Has Been Axed

Xbox One X and Xbox One S Digital Cease Production

The Xbox One never got off to a good start. It was significantly less powerful than the PS4 and $100 more expensive. On top of that Don Mattrick failed to endear the console to gamers by adopting a ‘TV TV TV’ focus instead of gaming, which meant that the platform was pretty slow to launch, and never fully regained the momentum of the Xbox 360. The Xbox One has sold 48.2 million consoles across all its SKUs which sounds like a lot, but that is significantly less than half of the PS4s that have been sold during both consoles’ seven years on sale, and even humiliatingly fewer than the Nintendo Switch’s three years on sale. Now the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S Digital Edition have both ceased production ahead of the launch of the Series X (and the possible launch of the Lockheart console) later this year. The basic Xbox One S console remains in production for the time being.

Xbox One sales have never been great.
Several Xbox One SKUs are ceasing production ahead of the Series X launch.

As we ramp into the future with Xbox Series X, we’re taking the natural step of stopping production on Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Xbox One S will continue to be manufactured and sold globally. Gamers can check with their local retailers for more details on Xbox One hardware availability.

You can really judge the success of a console by the point at which it is discontinued. If it is successful like the PS2 then it will continue to be manufactured for years after its successor console goes on sale, whereas if it is unsuccessful or if its momentum has slowed then it is not unusual to see it be discontinued. Granted, that is not what has strictly speaking happened here. But it still does not look good. Microsoft’s premium SKU and their super cheap digital SKU are both being withdrawn from circulation, presumably due to a lack of demand. One suspects that the standard Xbox One S might not be long behind them.

Game Pass May Be Responsible for Series X Moratorium on Exclusives

48.2 million is a dismal failure as far as console sales are concerned, but it seems that it is still a reasonable base from which to offer Game Pass, Microsoft’s subscription model for access to new first party and old third party games. Think Netflix for Xbox games. People have long speculated that Game Pass has been a profitable venture for Microsoft, and it would appear that Microsoft concur with this, as they are now making it somewhat apparent that Game Pass was behind their decision to hold off on having any Series X exclusives. This week when talking about Xbox Game Pass Phil Spencer transitioned to talk about how Microsoft is not forcing players to upgrade to the next Xbox console.

Game Pass is allegedly very lucreative.
Microsoft are compromising Series X sales in order to preserve Game Pass subscriptions.

You won’t be forced into the next generation. We want every Xbox player to play all the new games from Xbox Game Studios. That’s why Xbox Game Studios titles we release in the next couple of years—like Halo Infinite—will be available and play great on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. We won’t force you to upgrade to Xbox Series X at launch to play Xbox exclusives.

When Microsoft first announced that the Series X would not be getting exclusive first party games many people thought they were crazy, as it would retard the uptake of Series X consoles, and the Xbox One is a failure that most companies would be well advised to move on from. Most people did not take into account Microsoft’s Game Pass revenues though. Phil Spencer has not specifically stated that Game Pass is to blame for the moratorium on Series X exclusives, but speaking about the two in the same breath is the closest thing to an explanation as we are likely to get. That said, it is kind of odd to see Microsoft still so committed to the Xbox One platform in the same week as they discontinue two of its SKUs.

Deadly Premonition’s Wokeness Is Being Censored for Not Being Woke Enough

This story is great. Deadly Premonition 2’s woke virtue signals is being censored for not being woke enough. There is a saying that the woke social justice left always eat their own, but here it is show to be true to an absurd degree. Swery65 seems to have been running with the fart-sniffing Kojima crowd of people who want to turn the medium of gaming into that of film, replete with prescriptive shoehorned messaging. Deadly Premonition 2 was to be his grand expression of this, as he was to use the character Francis York Morgan to inform players that it is not OK to ‘dead name’ a mentally ill Man who is pretending to be a woman.

Now Swery65 has pledged to make all new 'non-offensive' cutscenes!
The thing that Deadly Premonition did to be woke caused woke people to cancel the game.

According to a story summary on Niche Gamer the game’s villain is a Man pretending to be a Woman, who is ‘dead named’ by several of the game’s characters, only to have Francis York Morgan criticise them for this. It would seem that this virtue signal has backfired though, as the woke Twitter puritans are furious that ‘dead naming’ is even in the game, irrespective of whether or not it was actually intended as virtuesignalling propaganda. Further, they are probably also furious that the game features as a villain somebody who is as mentally ill as they are, and also that they have a servant who is mentally retarded – because apparently differently abled representation is something that we do not want now.

It would seem that Swery’s conviction to remain convictionless is as unbending as the mountains and hard as diamonds, because no sooner did the woke puritans of Twitter begin howling than he flopped onto his belly to begin grovelling to them:

Dear DP fans.
I would like to tell important message.
I realized by pointed out from friends,
I might have hurt transgender people in my scenario.
It wasn’t intentional. I am really sorry for that.
Some scenes will be sanity checked by a team that included diversity.
And I will rewrite that scene ASAP.
So please continue to support Deadly Premonition.
I am the one writing the scenario.
So the characters are not responsible. My fault.
Please Don’t hate them
SWERY

That is right, he has been sanity checked by the mentally ill. Swery65 now intends to remake the game’s cutscenes according to how Twitter wants them, even if he breaks the game in the process! Will the game still even make sense if the ‘dead naming’ aspect is removed? Does he also intends to make the game’s villain no longer trans? What will any of this mean for the game?

One final thing that is quite interesting to consider in contrast to this is Swery65’s treatment of normal fans with normal fan concerns. Deadly Premonition 2 has very bad performance. The Digital Foundry analysis of the game saw the frame rate dip as low as 2 frames per second, which is just about the worst performance profile that you will find on any game that has been published. When the game’s demo released at the end of June a Twitter user by the name of Alex very respectfully asked Swery65 to do something about the game’s shockingly poor frame rate:

I’m excited but, please, fix the frame rate from the gameplay demo. The game is going to get hammered in the reviews otherwise.

When confronted with this perfectly reasonable request Swery65 decided that the best course of action was to put Alex on blast by quote-tweeting him and labelling him as a troll:

You are the “Fastest framerate troll”. You got achievement. Congratulations. You are the WINNER.

Swery65 showed utter disdain for this reasonable request of a customer, which in itself is a trope that plays very well to mentally unwell people on Twitter who become very upset any time a creator respects their fans, and then as soon as those same mentally unwell people throw a fit about a troon in his game he falls over backwards to promise that he will remake the game’s cutscenes to their liking. He apparently lacked the development resources to make a game that ran higher than 15 frames per second, yet for some reason there is plenty of budget available to remake cutscenes and re-record dialogue. This says a lot about where Swery65’s priorities lay.

4 comments

  1. I want to see what the deal is with MS dropping the 12 months xbox live subs. Mine ends in October, I hope they don’t change it too much. I’m cool with the 60 dollars a year. The only multiplayer games I play are Elite Dangerous and ESO. Elite has a solo mode so it’s not really needed

  2. My sneaking suspicion is that they want to move away from 12mo subscriptions so that it can be more like other comparable services. Expect the price to go up in the not *very* far future as well.

  3. I suspect that they will roll xbox live and gamepass together, and add a new level. Gamepass has never interested me at all but if they put them together I won’t be able to afford it. Xbox live only was good for me at 60.

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