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The 404: Ep. 1274: Where Microsoft makes the same mistakes

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The 404: Ep. 1274: Where Microsoft makes the same mistakes

50:45 /

On today's show, Jeff and Polygon's Russ Frushtick will speak the unsaid about the Xbox One and predict this year's hellish Black Friday, then Justin will read an excerpt from the worst fan fiction ever written.

-It's Thursday, May 23rd, 2013. This is the 404 Show on CNET. I'm Jeff Bakalar. -I'm Justin Yu. -Ariel Nuñez. -Welcome to the program kitties. We've got a lot of stuff to talk about today and we're gonna do with Russ Frushtick from Polygon. How are you Sir? -Very good-- very good. Thank you. -Welcome back man. -Thank you. It's been a little while. -It's been a little bit-- little bit of a hiatus with the "Frush-man" but he's back. -Back. -And he seems a little wiser. -Yeah, well I have a lot of knowledge know. -Right. -A lot of "Xboxy" knowledge. -Sure you do. -We've been edified. -We have been-- and, you know, we talked a little bit about Xbox One yesterday with Sharon Vaknin. I wanna bring Russ on the program today because I wanna talk about stuff that people aren't talking about. And there's a lot of fallout-- Justin was pretty keen on observing that. The internet has seemed to hate every last word that's come out of Microsoft's mouth in the last 48 hours. -Yup. -So, Russ is here. We're gonna talk a little bit about that. First thing I wanna ask you, Russ is: What do you think is the biggest deal that nobody's talking about? What do you think is the one thing that people are just simply not giving enough attention? -Sure. Well, people are talking about Xbox, certainly talked about it enough, with regards to all the TV connection stuff. And I think a lot of people are very angry, partially, rightfully so, like some of the stuff they've said in the last 48 hours is crap. -Yeah. -And really not very consumer-friendly at all. -Right. -But a lot of people sort of disregarded the TV stuff, it's like, why they're wasting our time is-- press conference is only an hour-- -Yeah. -Why you bothering to show us prices right. And I feel like the audience that is commenting online about videogame press conferences is exactly the opposite sort of audience they are drawing-- -Of course. -And because they focused so much on mass media, Spielberg, the TV shows, stuff like that. I think they reached an audience that no one else was reaching with their press conferences. Reaching audience that Sony can only dream of with their 2.5-hour long monstrosity of a press conference. -Okay. -Because they essentially made an hour long elevator pitch on why people that don't own an Xbox 360 now should get an Xbox One. And I think they-- I mean it was vague but they made a decent argument. They showed NFL network. They showed all these things about-- you already have a cable box, you just plug it in and you get all these features. -Right. -And I think from a gaming perspective, obviously, that was sort of like there wasn't a lot of gaming stuff. They've said E3 is more about the gaming-- -And we kind of even knew that going in. -We knew that. They've said that early on. -Yeah. -And I think they were trying to like lessen the blow of like, "Oh, this is gonna be such a mainstream press conference." -Sure. -But in terms of making an-- like I was not bored-- -I wasn't bored. -Which is a lot more than I can say about the PS4 press conference, where like as a person that covers video games, the fact that it dragged says a lot. -Uh-hmm. -Because people that don't cover video games or-- -Could only imagine the board-- -Oh, my God. -Yeah. -So, I think Microsoft is very smart presentationally. The second the presentation ended, it was an absolute disaster for them. -Right. They seemed to have a lot of-- -It was a lot of confusion. -Lot of confusion with the whole-- and then, this whole, you know, thing got crazy and spiraled that in control with all the misinformation about the used games stuff and the fees and all that stuff. So, I mean, are you content by now, you know, 48 hours later. -Yeah. -Are you content with the information out there with the used game fiasco? -No. They still have no, like great answer. -Right. -Here's what-- -And I've honestly heard even from them and from their PR companies I represent them. I've heard conflicting reports. -Yeah. Here's the deal. I am pretty sure this is not based in anything they have said but if we look at companies like Valve success with Steam. -Yeah. -That's essentially the model that Microsoft is gonna match, which is to say, every game is gonna come with a code. You're gonna install it. You're gonna use the code and that code will only works with your account. -Right. -You know, used games does not help them really that much. And frankly, like most people are just gonna accept that and like, most people don't bother trading games back and stuff like that. So-- -And it upsets me and maybe I'm just playing into what Justin was talking about yesterday with that sort of, you know, insanity reaction that the internet has over these types of things. And people are like losing their minds if they can't trade in games anymore, that they won't be able to have that experience-- -Sure, whereas Steams, no one said anything. -And Steam is so freaking popular-- -Yeah. -And so successful-- -Now the difference is-- -Yeah. -Steam, obviously, every month seems to be selling awesome games for $3. -Right. -They're not selling $60 huge games. -Sure. -I mean they are, but they're not-- that's not like why people love Steam so much. -People love Steam because, oh my God, I can get every Grand Theft Auto game for 4.99. -Exactly. -Yeah. -As Microsoft's waking up to that and still doing more of the sales like Alan Wake's I think it's still on sale for 5 bucks. -Right. -So they're waking up to it. But, I mean-- so it's just like not quite the same analog. It's close but not exactly the same. -Do you think that if eventually you did wanna resell the game and you had to relinquish that code, do you think that would be a good idea for Microsoft to sort of give you a credit on a featured for game purchase? I mean, 'cause you should get something out of giving up that code, right? -They-- not according to Microsoft. -Yeah. -Microsoft doesn't wanna give you anything. -So the money that you sell the game for after you relinquish the code is the only thing-- -No one is gonna be selling games because why-- like there's no value in it. Essentially, what Microsoft is saying now is, if you gave the game to someone else, the physical disc, they just have to pay $60 to activate. -Right. There would be nothing-- -So, there's no reason. -Yeah. But the most confusing and perplexing quote that they've given out is that they said, you will still be able to do it. -Right. -That's been quote. But the quote came from, you know, people-- -Well, you could. I don't think the GameStop is gonna let people trading games when there's no reason to do so. -Right, exactly. -You can theoretically stole and give a disc to someone, sure. -Right. -I think that's them just playing with Symantec. -I guess. But the fact that they use the word "resell" is pretty indicative of that, you know, it means a certain thing. And then I feel-- it's just when the dusk really settles months from now, it's just not gonna be the case. -Yeah. No not a chance. -And maybe this is a deliberate, you know, sleight of hand, you know, designed to create some confusion maybe-- -Yeah. -But the way the information's being playing out has been kinda frustrating. -I don't understand the specifics like. Immediately, after the press conference there were interviews, where specifics were given. -Yeah. -And then, Xbox support on Twitter was commenting-- -What was that? -Like they know-- -Yeah. -They're really looped in. -They're second in command. -So it's been, I think very poorly handled. If you're not gonna talk about used games, just don't talk about it. Don't give inflicting answers. -Right. -And it's just shocking to me that, like they weren't prepared at all considering that's what everyone's been talking about for 6 months. -Right. -Chat room is chiming in and they say-- and I do wanna get back to the TV stuff because that's-- I feel like an under-discussed situation as well. BMaster and Charm says, "The biggest drawback to me is not being able to use previous peripherals and double-dipping part excellence." -That's a bummer for me too. What? What's the second part? -I don't know what that means. Double-dipping part-- -Oh, I think probably Microsoft is double-dipping 'cause they're making people buy another controller. -Okay. Sure. Yeah, I mean, that is the thing-- -I'm bummed about it 'cause I-- -Look, I mean, just looking at the controller-- -Yeah, the same-- -Why can't I just use my old 360 controller? -Right. -I feel like most people have 11 of them. -Right. -So why am I not being able to, you know, get to use that? -There are-- I'm sure is something to do with light. Well, it's got a light on it, it works with kinect better and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. But there's no reason why-- like unless they're using a different wireless connection system. -Right. -There's no reason why you couldn't and that's-- I agree, that is obnoxious. -I wanna get back to the TV stuff. And this is the stuff I want to hear from everybody out because it's not a gaming thing. -Right. -The technology that it will be used to overlay this Xbox guide on top of your live TV is really vague and no one knows exactly how it's gonna happen. -Right. -And I've-- you know, and we've heard a lot of people on Twitter what you and were even talking on Twitter before the show today, trying to figure out how it's gonna work. How-- you know, is it going to be the sling box solution, where it's like just an IR blaster? -I think they've said is an IR blaster-- -And if that's the case-- -Yeah. -It's not as quick as they're making it out to be. -Right. That's definitely true. -And that demo that they showed that they led the event off with is not a real world scenario, and that's misleading. -Well, here's the thing. As a person that doesn't care anything about top arches like it's never-- I've never really wanted to get one. I had no desire. What you essentially have is, I have a cable box. I'll have an Xbox One. The Xbox One has an HDMI in-- -Yeah. -I'm just gonna plug in the cable box just to see how it is. -Right. -And that's all they wanted-- was like a-- -They wanna-- -The Trojan horse scenario. -They wanna bypass. -Right. -They wanna get in front in that connection. It had one way connection from content to your TV-- -Yeah. -They wanted to bypass the cable box. -And I only have one-- -They're just like jumping in there like, "Hey, you know, we're here first." -I only have one free HDMI port in my receiver, and that's the primary reason I'm gonna do it. -Right. -Honestly, to consolidate. -And so mission accomplished for Microsoft's perspective 'cause that's what they wanted. It was like, people that didn't care are suddenly gonna use this at least a little bit. -It is literally a geographical strategy getting in front of that cable box. -Yup. -And making sure that the last source-- the last box that your TV is talking to is an Xbox One. -Uh-hmm. -So I think they could have even done a better job that sort of, you know, I don't wanna, you know, convincing people that that's what they need to do. But I mean, let's be honest. Your cable box experience is pretty limited. -Yeah. -The way it stands now even if you have some of the new boxes that Comcast has putting out and files has putting up. I wanna bring up an e-mail we got a guy named Derrick, who works for Comcast. We were talking about the whole technology yesterday and he has-- his two cents on what he thinks will happen with the, you know, cable box-to-Xbox-to-TV situation. Now, here's what he says, and I don't know if I necessarily agree with everything he says, but I wanna bring it up and we can discuss. He says, "At the Xbox One reveal, I'm 99 percent sure they were streaming TV over the Xbox's internet connection." Right away, I don't think that was the case. -No, I don't think so. -I think they were-- because the whole-- -That's not what they said. -Right. And the whole HDMI thing is what makes sense. And he goes on to say that there's already a files app on Xbox 360, which is not elegant at all. -Right. -It's a very clunked up and only offers a fraction of the channels that you get from a setup box. -Yes, yeah. I would say, it sounds-- he's on the right track though, which is to say, this feels like a mid-step. -Right. -Because at a certain point-- -That's the pivot. -Cable boxes will just be worthless. -Right. -Because everything is gonna be online. ABC is gonna have it online app or whatever. I mean, they already do. -Yeah. -So you won't need a cable box to watch any channel you wanna watch. -Right. -So maybe that's what he's getting at. It's essentially, it's like a half step in the right direction. -So maybe by the end of this, you know, Xbox One. -Yeah. -You won't be using HDMI. -Right. -Maybe it'll just be in a-- because he goes on and says, he's a tech at Comcast. He's currently beta-testing one of their new cable boxes-- -He's gonna get fired. -I know. But, dude. I mean, we're just giving his first name, but that's about it. But he says the new cable box that he's testing only streams channels over the internet. That's basically what happens already. -Right. -It's just a-- it's a very, you know, thick pipe that this information is coming through. But he is saying that it's using IP TV and that's the, you know, vessel for the, you know, receiving of all these channels. So he thinks that-- because that technology allows cable companies to more minutely control the user experience, meaning, they won't let you fast forward commercials. -Yup. -They won't let you basically have the control that you have now. Where it's like, everything is being DVRed, right? And you can say, "Oh, I don't wanna watch commercials." This proposes that you'll just get this sort of DVR-able content but then like commercials will come in automatically. That makes me bite my fingernails a little bit. -Yes. -I don't like that kind of feature. -Although cable companies like DVRs, that networks hate them but-- -Yeah. -Cable companies are not-- I mean, they're the ones that-- -Well, it's just another thing they can sell. -Right, exactly. -So, yeah-- that's an interesting, you know, way to look at it. But again, out of the box, this thing is gonna be using that HDMI in and HDMI out. And, you know, for generally cool reasons, I mean, you know, you will be able to have an experience, where you're using Skype while you're watching your TV that won't really look, you know, compressed at all. -Sure. -It's that same feat popping in. It's basically receivers-- what it is. -Or I just like the ability to pause a game and switch over to TV and then switch back and not lose any-- not have to change inputs, not lose any progress in the game because it's auto-- you know, like freezing state. -Right. -So that stuff's really cool. -So that something we didn't talk about yesterday. And this is pretty cool. It saved the console of game saves are gonna be a little weird, right? -I don't think it's that weird. I think it's essentially what the Vita is doing now. -Right. We're just like a-- you know, a free to suspend. So you'll be playing a game and instead of-- I mean, I kinda do this anyway. I just hit it and leave it on pause and just go and do what I want. But they're gonna introduce something where you just suspend the action. It's not really gonna save or it just to suspend. They're not saying that they're gonna load it back up. They're just gonna be able to suspend it. -Right. I think if, like you try to boot up another game, it would probably say or like, "Are you cool if-- -Right. -And this is like Vita-- on 3DS like it's a pretty common thing these days. -Right. -But-- no it's definitely helpful for-- on 360 'cause, yeah that's all you do right now. -Right. -You pause and turn to another channel. -And you just let that thing cook. -Right. -Just let it-- -Or-- -Yeah, and we're right in your little home theater unit there. All right, so there was-- there's a lot of stuff that you wanted to bring up that you were pretty passionate about. -Yeah, I know. I would say, the backwards compatibility stuff is a mega-bummer, like-- -But is it-- -I'm bummed about it. Not from a disc perspective like, whatever, I don't care. I never ran original Xbox games. -But I know what you're gonna say. -You know what I mean? -Yeah. -But the fact that this was essentially the generation that we're all digital content to the forefront digital game purchases. The fact that all those essentially are no longer accessible on this new console sucks. -Yeah. -Like there's no way around it. I spend a ton of money on Xbox games, whatever, and for those just go away is and it sort of, you know, it makes you think of these purchases more as a rental than as they, you know, in actual life bull purchases. -Right. But at the end of the day it's the same thing as like, you know, that you have all these DVDs that aren't gonna play in your new, you know, well I guess they do play in your blu-ray player. But it's that sort of thing, where it's like, all your-- you know. -Yeah, I get it. I guess because it's digital-- like I have MP3s from 10 years ago-- -That are still cool. -You know-- -Yeah. -So, I-- -You think picture this like the VCR to DVD. -Right. -That's what it is. -Sure. -Unless you bought one of those wackadoo VCR, DVD Combo. I'm with you. I think it's ridiculous. But there's something that's completely digital. That's just ones and zeros can't make the transition to the next generation. -Yeah. -Right? Do you understand? -Yeah. -So a game that you bought like, I don't know, I have a Mark of the Ninja, whatever that-- right? -Yeah. -You can't play this downloadable game that's only available through digital distribution. You can't bring it on to Xbox One. -Yeah. -So that's a bummer. -Yeah. -Yeah. -A bet a lot of people were hoping to cut down on their energy bills too by now having to plug in their Xbox anymore-- the 360. -Yeah. -And I don't know. I haven't really heard much about power consumption on the One but it's-- -I'm sure it's very lot. -It's probably a lot smaller. -I think it's not. -Well, hopefully. -Well, they do-- they had-- they did say for a second that it'll have variable power states, right? So, you know, it'll be a vampirey sort of situation but I still think you'll be able to keep it in a state where it's basically comatose. -Yeah. -And as soon as you just yell at it. Get on, you know whatever the-- it'll turn on-- -Get on and actually-- that's actually what you have to deal with. -You go, "Get on, Xbox." -Yeah. -That's one of the things I wanted to ask you guys as hardcore gamers. Do you care about the voice-activation stuff? 'Cause you could do everything now. -I like it for Netflix. -Do you use it? -That's the only time I use it for Netflix. And it works of all for NetFlix, but-- -I use it when my hands are full. When I'm bringing in two beers for my buddies and I'm like, do pause it and I'm like, Oh, Xbox, pause. -And it'll be like-- -It's the best double-fisting solution on the market. -I would love it if you could just deactivate like specific features. I would essentially deactivate everything but pause and like play. -Yeah. -Because right now, I've had people complained that they'll watch like Game of Thrones on HBO Go and in the middle of the episodes, someone will say something that sounds like Xbox and it'll start like fast-forward-- -Yeah. Well, you heard what happened with people who watched the stream on their Xbox. -Right. It kept popping up. -Did you hear about this? -No. What happened? -So people who stream the press conference on their Xbox. -Uh-hmm. -I mean, every other freaking word out of this people's mouth is Xbox and that's the default opening command to start-- -And there's a joke about that on 30 Rock a few months ago. -Right-- -Now it's actually happen. Yeah-- -Right, exactly. -With someone, a character in the TV show they're watching-- -Don't mute that. Yeah-- -And then-- -And that's exactly what happened. -There's no like Google Glass type thing, where you have to say a command first. -The command is Xbox. -It's just Xbox. There's not anything-- -Yeah, it's like Xbox go-- you know, stop or Xbox pause. -Wow. -Yeah. So that was pretty silly but it's more funny than problematic. -I'm sure you could deactivate it too if you don't wanna use it entirely. -Hey, you just unplug the kinect-- but this time around, you won't be able to unplug the kinect. It has to be on at all times. -Yeah. And the last thing I want to bring up was the, Always Online, which-- -So-- okay there's a lot of misinformation about that as well. -Okay. So last I heard was that-- well, so essentially Kotaku got the quote that-- so Steven asked, essentially you're online. You unplugged your system. How long can you go without plugging it back in and have the Xbox still work? And the quote he got was 24 hours. Since then, they've been like, "Well, we're still working it out, figuring it out." The specificity of the 24 hours seems to be that they locked it in and essentially said, "Oh, it's gonna be 24 hours." And then heard the reaction and maybe they're pulling back a little bit. But, I mean, I get that there needs to be some amount of time at which it needs to reconnect just to see that you're still on the same account and you're not like-- -It's gotta call Home, it's gotta check-in. -But, like a day-- like I would say like 5 days seems okay to me. -I thought so. -My cable box is-- like my internet could go out for 3 days at a time and then I'm-- and that's sucks like-- -Yeah, that can't-- I mean, in a real world especially where and we've brought this up before-- -Yeah. -In a country where not everyone has amazingly reliable internet access, like maybe we do in big cities. You have to make room for this kind of situation. -So they made room for like going down for 10 seconds or even like 6 hours. -Right. -You're fine. But the fact that like, yeah, I mean, even in the big city minor net can do down for days and I have to get it fixed. -Sure. Right. -And then my console essentially break-- -Right. -And that's terrible, like-- that's all. -Yeah. We brought this up yesterday but I'm curious what you have to say about it. The name-- you like the name. -Yeah, I think it's good. -Yeah? -Yeah. -People-- -I'm surprised like no one like of all the rumors that was never mentioned. -Amazing. -And like they actually got to the point. -They kept it under. -Yeah. -No one knew about it. -Yeah. -Good for them. I mean, I was pretty much all in on Infinity. And it wasn't like that Reddit mock up. -Right. -That was floating around for a while. -'Cause the 8 was on its side. -Right. It was floating around for a while. -Yeah. -I was kind of surprised by that. -I heard-- the most common one that I heard was that it was just gonna be called Xbox. -Right. -But I like Xbox One. I think it's fine. -I think it's okay. And did you saw that whole-- the language disclaimer that they sort of had on their website like: Please refer to it as this and not this? -That's funny. -Did you see that? -No, I didn't. -So I think Evan from Kotaku put that up and it was basically just some language that says: Don't use, you know, don't capitalize the "B" in Xbox. Don't use the number 1. Use it One. And, you know, it's basically just what not to do and what to do-- -Don't call it X Bone. -Well, did you hear about that just everyone is calling it X Bone? Which is really not that much of a deviation from that way its pronounced and spelled. -Right. But it's embarrassing. -It's embarrassing 'cause we don't want to associate the word "Bone" with their console. -I like Xbox O. -Xbox O? What is this like some weird-- -'Cause it's Xbox O for One. -I guess. I think we should just call it the Bone like, hey, check out the Bone, it's running in HD, this bone. -Yeah. -Here's a question from the chat room. "Whenever my household does get the Xbox, it won't be in our main room, where we watch TV, so all the TV stuff will mostly be useless to us. How common do you think that'll be?" I think that's gonna be fairly common, right? -Really? You think a lot of people have like a dedicated living room? -Well, I think yeah. I do. I think people not our age. But I think a couple of generations behind us, yeah. I think these consoles wind up in like the playroom. -Okay. -You know. As our generation gets older and has kids, I think that'll change but there's a little grey area there now, don't you think? -I would say that kids growing up now don't watch television, so it's not gonna be a big deal for them. -Right. -They watch NetFlix and they watch everything that's online. -Right. -So the fact that they don't have a cable box plugged in. -What about people who see all the features of Xbox One and either-- and we can now broaden the conversation now to PlayStation 4. People see all these, you know, content applications. They see NetFlix. They see Hulu. They see all the support. If someone-- if this is the console for non-gamers, why am I buying an Xbox One and not a $50 Roku box? And to me, that's their biggest hurdle in pitching this thing. -Sure. -Is what-- like I can literally get all that stuff in HD for 50-freaking dollars and it's portable- -Yup. -It's easy to use. It's foolproof-- like why am I buying what I think will be a $400-$500 console? -It's completely valid. -Yeah. -If you're not looking to do any gaming, there's very little if no reason to get this thing. -You know what I would buy, I think-- 'cause I have a Roku box right now and I don't play games. But the only way I would buy an Xbox One is if you could just use it as a regular computer attached to your TV. -Yeah. -It's not gonna have the same-- -Yeah, that never happen, where you could actually have a Windows desktop on-- -I mean-- -And download things to it. -So now-- but you understand-- -Oh, why not? Because all the infrastructures there. Why would they-- -You're right. That would be like the killer sort of thing, like, "Oh, you can go into Windows 8 mode." -Because then you could just use NetFlix.com as your streaming and not have to use-- -They don't want people-- -But they don't want-- -They don't want a variable system where you don't know what they're installing. -Right. -Stuff like that. They want like a very locked down system. -Right. And I'm like-- and so going beyond like, "Oh, you would just get to the Windows 8 desktop." -Right. -They could have done some sort of environment that would have been very locked down. -Sure. -But given you the opportunity to use, you know, Internet Explorer-- -Oh, but the Xbox 360 has a browser and-- -But I'm saying like, but I'm saying, yeah. But I feel like the experience that they're going for might be a little more intuitive than-- -Right now, yeah. -Been scrolling over the app, opening it up. -I think that's the argument. I think for the Roku box is like-- this is probably maybe a little more user-friendly than Roku is offering and at the price of like 10-- you know, 6-times more expensive or whatever the price is gonna be. It's probably $499 would be my guess. -I think it's-- yeah. I think we're hitting that $500. I mean, do you think that's too much though? It's a lot of money. -Not at launch. -No? -These days that's with console. -Well-- modding the console's launch. No offense to Wii, but-- -Yeah, no offense little guy. Man, what about that? It's just not even in the conversation anymore? -Not for EA. -Not for EA. Did you hear about that Justin? -No. What happened? -EA basically said they're not currently in development on anything for Wii U. They're just not making games for them right now. -So none of the sports games that EA is popular right now? -To console that's what 6 months old. I lost one-- already lost one of the biggest publishers in the industry-- -Yeah, there-- -Probably the biggest. -They're having a tough time. -They're having a tough go. And unfortunately, I just don't think this is a three-way battle anymore. It's simply a face to face, sort of-- -Yeah. -Which-- unfortunately, that's the way it goes. What are you gonna do? All right, I wanna talk about the games and stuff like that. You realized we had a 60-minute press conference not once slice of actual game play right? -Yeah. -No one ever [unk] -I think some of the Quantum stuff was in Engine and obviously, some of the called duty stuff was in Engine but, yeah, there is no actual-- -There's no guy up there with an Xbox before playing. -Yeah, that's bother me like, frankly, after seeing like the knock down or during the PS4 event. No part of me was like-- I need to-- -Oh, that didn't do for you? That didn't do it for you? -Surprisingly not. I don't-- in this press conference, in the intro of press conference, all I wanna hear is about the system. -Right. -I don't need to see-- that's what the E3 is for, saying like game play demos-- like that. -Right, right. All right. So, for people who are really upset about that, and we talking about these people who are up in arms on the internet about it. They didn't see any real game play. -Yeah. -There was only the-- and I think, which is sort of under to discuss but that promise of 15 exclusive titles-- -Yeah. -I think that's a solid-- -Big deal. -That's a big deal more than half of them being brand new IPs, brand new franchises. -Yeah. -I mean, that's pretty promising. I maybe would have like to see more of that-- we hear that Roman game rises now and exclusive for them. -Kinect-- -You know, right? Yeah. -That's the other issue. It was like, there's gonna be 15 exclusives but like-- -How many of them are gonna be kinect-adventures-- -Right. -You know, one-- -There's gonna be at least a couple of those-- -Yeah. -I will say this-- it will be with the benefit of how it's launching is essentially-- usually when a console launches you have like-- whatever, 8 launch games and then it's dead-- -Right. -For the next 2 years. With this, because a lot of these games are gonna be demoed for both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, you're not gonna not be using the Xbox One. You're essentially just gonna be playing the next gen version of Call of Duty-- -Right. -Or what have you. So that's kind of a benefit, same with PS4. -Right. -Like all these current gen games are just gonna be up rest and like look super gorgeous presumably; Assassin's Creed 4 and stuff like that on this new console. I don't-- you know, there will be exclusives but I don't think the exclusives are gonna be like over the moon until a couple of years then. -Right-- which kinda happened last gen too-- -Yeah. -If you recall. So, yeah, I mean, what do you think like who has the upper hand right now? -Right now, I-- from the perspective of gamers, where I kind of an angry bunch, you know, myself included. I would say everyone's very much in love with PS4. I think from a business and like, what's gonna be more successful? Xbox glued that PS4 Press Conference out of the water. -Right. -Made such a better argument. Whereas, the PS4 argument was essentially-- well, it's social. -Like the PS3. Well, not only that. It's like the PS3 but like better-- you know, it is. Take our word for it. -Right. -And didn't-- like there's nothing about what they said during the PS4 press conference. That was like, wow, this is like a totally new direction they're taking this. And I felt like Xbox made a better argument. It is a bummer to see Xbox don't making the same mistakes with like Indie games, the fact that it can't self-publish a game on Xbox is crazy to me. -It's insane. -And that's one place where Sony's been doing great. -Right. -It's like-- on Vita, on PS3 and on PS4, you're gonna see a ton of awesome new games and Xbox is just gonna be like, "well, you don't have someone to publish your game, so sorry, go elsewhere." -Which is really a slap in the face, I think. -Yeah. It's a mistake. It's just like backwards thinking. -Yeah, for sure. And I mean it's not something I could-- it's not something that set in stone though. -Sure. -They could change that but it seems to be like a company policy that they're just not gonna budge on. Yeah, it's weird because I feel like Xbox and PlayStation are now kinda-- not maybe necessarily separating but they are, you know, spiritually going in different directions. -Yeah, they're seemed to be recording a different audience. -Right. And I think, and I don't know if that's something that we're just noticing as an organic evolution or if it's, you know, Sony saying, okay, we've got these guys in our crosshair, just here's we're gonna go after or if it's just, you know, the way it's turning out to be. I mean, you know, Sony had really not made clear any of its ambition to go after live TV-- -Right. -Or incorporate that in their design at all. The first thing Xbox led with was this integration of live television and that seems to be a divide in the road. -Yeah. I don't think anyone's saw the Sony press conference PS4 press conference and was like-- I don't have a PS3 but because of what they just showed me today, I'm gonna get a PS4. -Yeah. -Where there's a ton of people probably saw that Xbox press conference and they were sold because of that. -Yeah. -So I just think it's better business thinking from Xbox's standpoint. I'm not saying I want one more than the other necessarily but I think they just have a bit of more forward-thinking look as like, who the market patient we are reaching. -Yeah. You think they're gonna be different prices? -No. I could see them both coming out it at 499. -And like on the same day? -Oh, God. -I mean, like I said, this black Friday is gonna be the worst day of everyone's life. -It's gonna be bad. -It's gonna be bad. -Then we'll be on the-- I kind of-- a part of me kinda wants it to be on the same day-- -Of course. -That would be just amazing, but-- -Because Robert-- I mean you wanna see an awful a-- I thought you wanna see people ripping their-- you know, arms off in front of each other. Because-- I mean, they're not gonna be separated by that much time. -I just wonder like how long does it take before someone has to pull the trigger and be like, "Okay, this is our date."? Because whoever, as far as, has an advantage-- -Of course. -And even if it's by 4 days, it's still an advantage. -Yeah. -So-- -Right? Isn't that-- -It'll be interesting. -Isn't that insane? -Yeah. Is it no one sent it for people to buy both? You think there are-- is there any gamer out there that would ever wanna buy both consoles? -There are people that will do it. -Oh-- -Talking about a grand you're dropping on gaming consoles. -Yeah. -So, like a lot of people probably will need to pick. -It's expensive that-- I mean, I remember dealing it last time around and just being like, "Oh, this is spending too much." -Yeah. And they have this bundles-- -Do you feel financially obligated to play the game? -Very-- because, you know, exclusivity is starting to maybe come back a little bit, I wanna say or it's, you know, maybe-- -Yeah. -And the end of this generation wasn't that big of a deal but now the start of this one, it's like, back-- you know. And there's gonna be games that you just simply can't play on one platform and can on the other unless you just have a-- -They does-- but what intend don't. -Right. That was a while ago. Was that Dreamcast? -No that was a Genesis. -Really? I thought Genesis was "Welcome to the next level." or like, "You are not ready." Oh, no that was PlayStation. -Yeah. -But the red-e. -Nintendo was Genesis. -Right, right. Oh that-- they need-- they were like. -I have no idea what you guys just said. -It was like the marketing slang for these things. -Oh, it was [unk] Nintendo thing? -Essentially in Nintendo like, had like-- that Sega commercial was showing Nintendo's titles and they were like 30. And then, the Genesis titles like-- matrix with the guns flying in. -It was like light speed. It's pretty good. -Oh, man. I just-- you know, I just-- I'm not emotionally ready for another launch like this especially now that they're gonna be close together. -Yeah, it'll be hard. -It's a bummer. Yeah, I don't know. All right, I think we could move on with the talk. If there's anything else you wanna add-- chat room or ask. Let us know, maybe we'll get to it before the end of the show. But, Justin, do you wanna lead us down in a different road for the last portion of the program? -Yeah. Let's talk about this. I wanna talk a little about music. So Ariel and I could get a little involve in a conversation here. But, no-- obviously, this is something that we can all comment on. This is cool. I found this website called downwrite.com and this was started by 3 musicians, two of which, I think you'll be familiar with, the guys from the Anniversary-- -Oh, wow. -And the Get Up Kids, which are two like Indie rock bands from the 90's and they basically needed a new way to sort of make money because musicians aren't making much these days. And they didn't wanna do a lot of touring so they open up this website called downwrite.com. And basically, it allows audiences to choose which artist they want to customize a song for them and you pay in a 3-tiered program. You can either pay $100 and that will get you a single track song with vocals. You could pay $200 and that'll get you a double track song with vocals or you can pay $300 and get a fully-realized band-produced song. -I don't understand-- so what do you give them if you pay this money? Do you give them like lyrics and music or-- -Yeah. -You inspire the artists. -Right. So-- -You just spoke so weird. -Yeah, I really like this though, 'cause this is sort of like the next evolution of dedicating a song to somebody on the radio but a much more personalized version of that. So, here it is if you want to request a song from the lead singer of Piebald, Travis Shettel. You love Piebald, right? -Yeah, of course. Here's what you gotta do. You gotta send them your e-mail address and then they just give you a really free-form page where you can describe, "Oh, I wanna have this girl's name in it. I wanna dedicate it to my [unk]" -This is weird. -You know, I like it and you could specify faster or slow, if there's a story that you wanna tell specifically that you like. -So you don't need to give the lyrics. -No. But you can if you want. -Yeah. -But it's as open as you wanted to be. -Crazy. -I think that's cool. -It's cool because it's like-- -And I really like-- -You know, it's an audience-inspired song-- -Right. -That, I mean, the cool thing about it is like one of the song is gonna be really good, right? -Yeah. -Like someone's gonna write a really good song and then what do you do? Do you like fight-- those my inspiration but you've-- did the music so we both shared the-- like half-- -Do you think they're gonna have like-- I love Jessica. -That song like-- -That would be really good. And someone tell me this isn't them singing. I don't what it is. This is weird. -No, I like this 'cause, you know, normally, when you really love a song, you feel like you don't really connect with the lyrics because a lot of times these artists put out songs like you have no idea what the history is about. They're so, you know, they're riddled with weird stories and inside jokes. -I was just talking about lyrics on Twitter today-- -Yeah. -And make it-- trying to make sense of Red Hot Chili Pepper lyrics. -Oh, it's the music on an airplane thing, right? -Yes, which is just trying to make sense of like, you know, recess-- -Which was that-- -In the middle school-- it's just ridiculous. -You said, what is it like in pleasure spiked with pain and anything to do with music being on your aeroplane-- -Which I mean, a Red Hot Chili Peppers are known for their simply absurd lyrics. -Yeah. -That have no connection-- whatsoever. -Yeah. -They're just-- hey, this rhymes and sounds cool. Let's go with this. And, you know, Anthony Kiedis did a lot of drugs. -Yeah. -They needed a lot of drugs. -Yeah. -Let's just put that up there. -Can you donate money so that artists can do drugs? -Look, who is really stoned when you write my-- -I want you to be locked-out of your mind when you write this one. Can you arrange that? -Yeah, that would be awesome. -That's cool' -Yeah. -Yeah, hundred bucks isn't that much. We're little-- -[unk] like anniversary present or something like that? -Yeah, sure. And if you're favorite band is the Get Up Kids, then this is a steal. -Yeah? -Yeah, it's awesome. -Isn't it kind of sad though? -It's a little bit sad. -It's a little sad. Yeah. -It's like a money grab, yeah a total cash grab. -I mean, it's like things like artist have to do now-- has to make money. -Yeah like doing birthday party or something. -Right. -Yeah. -Do you know what I mean? -Yeah. -It's not. -It's like the Ghost Busters doing a birthday party. -They are decline like-- is it like, okay we accept your premise and are gonna do a song or can they like turn you down? -Oh, I'm sure they could say no. -Yeah. I'm not so sure they are financially in a position to make that choice fairly if the-- -Yeah. -I don't wanna call them whores but-- -But how is this different from Kickstarter though because everyone gets their albums funded on that website or Indie Go-Go now. -It's a little different. -It's different. This is-- -I mean if they're asking for money in a different way but on a smaller level. -This is customizing your computer and buying it in a cart at the-- -It's giving yourself-- creative control and kinda-- -Yeah, I mean staying at home-- -More like seeing a homeless person on the street with like a sign that says, "I'll sing a song for you." -Right. -Exactly. And you pay them and they do it. -Correct. -The crazy thing about this is that, you're giving them money, right? And you're basically saying, "Okay, you get creative." And Kickstarter your-- you have an idea that you wanna get funded. -They come up with the idea. -You-- but you, this is an ass backwards Kickstarter. -Right. But these are all independent artists, you know. If Rihanna starts to doing this out-- let's say that we should all be alarm for the music industry. -Yeah. -But these are all Indie artist that do this to support themselves. So, if they're willing to volunteer for it, then might as well. -Yeah. More power to them. -Yeah. There's a decent collection of them too, I mean-- -I wanna hear some of these. -Yeah. You wanna hear a song? -Yeah. Are they-- -They haven't posted any of the songs. -Because no one has done it yet or-- -There all the worst songs ever written in music history. -I mean, they got some legit guys. They got guys who did like a stint with Alkaline Trio. They have got guys who, you know, have done some legit work with some legit bands. -Right. -Still, cosmically depressing though, isn't it? -Yeah. That's upsetting. All right, what else we got? We have about the 10 minutes. I wanna get through as much as we can. -Oh, here's a-- okay wait, we can listen to the song. -All right, let's hear it. -I'm sorry, I just looked up the lead singer of Get Up Kids' Facebook page and he posted a song on band company wrote with this guy. So here's-- -So this was $100? -I don't know how much-- -As they've always produced, but we'll hear it. -Yeah. So, this is it. Let me turn this up. -All right, I'm curious. I wanna-- I don't think you're plugged in over there guy-- -So this guy-- requested to be started with some obscure quote. -Oh, this is weird. This is the Get Up Kids guy? -Wait a minute. This maybe-- he said, I just did a Downwrite song with this guy, you should check it out. -Oh. -So I don't know if that means this is his Downwrite song or this is the guy's music that he did at Downwrite song-- -Yeah, I think it's probably the guys'-- -This isn't sound like that prior at all. -No, I don't know. Maybe it's a licensing issue. Maybe, if you have a song that's so personal to you, you don't want it to have it broadcast on-- -Can you ask the artists to do impressions of other artists like pretty small-- -Or cover a song. That would be cool. -That would be cool if you'd be like, "Okay, sing this song as Christopher Walken." -Yeah. Do that for-- -But like a drunk Christopher Walken. -[unk] look, I like it. -I don't know. You know what? Let's do-- do you wanna do this? -Yeah. -Would it be cool, let's get-- let's do this. Let's get $100 together, which we can do. -We could have-- make a song about the 404. -Thanks. That's what I thought. -That's awesome. -We'll do it. -We should do that. All right. -Who do you want it to have it though? -Oh, Get Up Kids. -Okay. -Right or, we'll look through the thing here and we'll see who's available. I feel like I'm picking from some weird menu of people. I don't like it. -Like you are at brothel? -Right. -Here is-- this is an actual-- I'm sorry. This is an actual song sample of Matt Pryor. -[unk] -So it sounds like something's that Get Up Kids' new Amsterdam's sort of, aid-- organically. -Every time that you ask puts me in spin, and these-- -I'm all for it. -We're gonna do it. -I think-- yeah. Go for it. -We're gonna do this. We're gonna do this. -It's cool, I like that. -No offense Ariel. -No, no, not at all. -We're gonna do this. I mean, it sounds a man. I haven't heard him sing this softly. -Yes. It's awesome. -It's strange. -We'll look through the list and go to downwrite.com and let us know which artist you think that would be best fits to 404 and we'll maybe get a request going. -And it's write W-R-I-T-E. -Yeah. Then we'll get a Kickstarter going to get the money to fund the Downwrite and they will all to pay anything. -This is a reality. This is what we're dealing with. -It's about time they give something back to us. -What else you got here for us dude? -All right. Let's talk about Fan Fiction. You guys read Fan Fiction? It's a huge thing, mostly amongst [unk] and adolescents, I think. -I am aware of the concept of the Fan Fiction. -Yeah. I don't think if ever like actually sat down and said, okay, I'm gonna read this all throughout and-- -I read a bunch of it just as we were doing this fun thing with Ken Levine recently that maker of BioShock. We had him read My Little Pony Fan Fiction. -Right. And it was like My Little Pony Rapture Fan Fiction. -Yeah, right. -Also I'm familiar with it. -Yeah, so Fan Fiction for people that don't know, is when people take existing characters from random universes and write their own stories based on it. And so a lot of time it has to do with Twilight and Harry Potter. -Right. -Because these are kids that have enough time. -Yeah. -Yeah, and dedication in these franchises to write stories about them. -Right. -And a lot of them are also erotic too. -Yeah. -They're like-- some of those like two different segments. There's the twin ones and then there's like the weird erotic fan fiction. -The adult fan fiction. -Yeah, yeah. -But that's stuff like the Star Trek stuff has been around for like-- -Oh, forever-- decade. -Decades, right. Yeah. -So, anyway, Amazon just released a new Kindle Publishing platform called Kindle Worlds that will basically allow money to go to these people that write fan fiction. -So, this is where I have the question-- oh, here's my buddy Paul up on there on the photo there. Did I ever tell you that? -What? -I used to be pretty good friends with the star of The Vampire Diaries. -Really? -Wait, which guy? We're looking at a photo right here. -Pull it up from the CNET website. Yeah, all the way on the right there. -This guy? -Yeah. Paul. -What did you and this guy have to talk about? -No. Well, he didn't know he's looking that awesome and vampirey. -Yeah. -I went to-- man, I knew him for 10 years. We went to elementary School, we went to middle School and high school together. -Wow. -We used to play a little hockey together. -Get him on the show. -No, I don't know if he-- I mean, I saw him like once in the mall like 6 years ago. -Did he remember you? -And I was like, "Hey, Paul."-- no, he remembers me. He said like, "What's up dude?" and I'm like, "How you doing?" This was before Vampire thing. -Yeah. -But he's like super famous now like he's everywhere. -Yup. -His name was Paul Wasilewski but he changed it to Paul Wesley. -Okay that probably sounds nicer, yeah. -Easy-- he's pretty good-looking, I'll give him that. -Yeah. -Anyway-- -What's your question? -Nice sigway. -But I was probably-- so I thought you couldn't-- like how are they able to make money off-- -Are people actually buying? -Right. I wanna know about that. -Yeah. -And if you buy it. If someone makes money off of the, you know, the property-- the intellectual property of some other thing. How are they able to monetize that without stepping on people's toes, you know-- -Like if I write a Harry Potter book 8, but-- -Yeah, right. And like just, but you make it-- but that's technically fan fiction. -Right. -So, how is this not illegal? -Yes, so here's the red flag. I'm gonna read this quote that's in the sub text. -You have to change all the names a little bit. -This is in the terms of service RE-- -Have the new Kindle World's thing. It says, Marry Fatter. Amazon publishing will require the rights to all your new stories including global publication rights for the term of copyright. So, basically, any stories that you write based on characters that are already copyrighted will belong to publisher and the stories they write themselves will belong to the Amazon Kindle Universe. So you're basically relinquishing all rights to future money that you make off of it that's not sold on Amazon. -But there are royalties, right? -But that's fun because fan fiction was never money-making grab. Anyway, so-- no one will ever sold that. -Here's a better question. Who the hell is gonna pay any money for fan fiction? -Yeah, 'cause it's always really bad. And it's like, if you were good enough-- -And it's always free. It's always good-- -If you were not a good enough writer to write something, do you said, you would make your own book. -Right. You would just make your own and write your own stories. -Something else is going on here that we're not understanding it. There's a sub text here, right? -Yeah, there's a-- -But we're talking about it so maybe mission accomplish. -Yeah. So now, you said all that fine print rather quickly if I come up with amazing fan fiction for, you know, newsroom. -Uh-hmm. -Right? -You hate newsroom. -It's so bad. -It's not that bad. -Oh, it's bad. -If there's worst stuff on TV. -Wait. Why do you hate newsroom so much? -Because it just looks like-- -Definitely not your fans. -It's-- I mean, I'm not like triangles out the wild zoo. -Right. But that's what all-- TV dramas are. -And we're talking not the greatest romantic writer in the world. -And so, could they find if they just focus on the news stuff like the episodes there just like news happening, let's talk about it. -Yeah. -But so much of that is like, well, he gave me a key to his apartment. -Yeah. They try in equal the drama that's created in reality news into their stupid little bizarre girlfriend. -But I'm getting a sense though, that you guys like newsroom. You like Vampire Diaries. -No we don't. I don't clearly-- -Yes, that's how I love good television. -You and my girlfriend are pretty much liking the same things. -I mean newsroom is the-- it's-- -Newsroom is like Downtown Abbey and like all TV dramas. It's a story-- -But they're soap operas Downtown Abbey is a soap opera-- -Right. It's basically a soap opera, and so as newsroom but it has this veneer of news on top of it. -Will break your best on soap opera, come on. -No, I can't speak to it. I still haven't gotten on that train yet. I don't know. I don't watch it. But [unk]. -Okay. What is going on here? -Oh, this is my telephone. -Why? -Yeah, doesn't had this old school next out-- -We're talking about richer text and rugged phone-- -And now he keeps it like his little binky. -Yeah. -He's gonna have it with him at all times. -Very hipster. -Going back to the Kindle World's thing. -Yeah. -So, correct-- now you said all the fine print quick. I wanna hear what the deals with this. -Yes. -I write a fan fiction about-- I'll use a different example and I'll say Harry Potter. -Right. -Okay, I write a great Harry Potter fan fiction. They wanna do-- someone sees it and it's like, you know what, that's not bad. -What's the option in it? -Like what's the option, it had-- is there any in my-- in line for any sort of compensation there? -No. No money. No-- the original publisher has all rights to any new stories created and submit to publish. -So when you say original publishing, you mean like J.K. Rowling. -Right. -Okay-- but she has no control over what people, right? -Right. -No. So you could literally do anything. -Right. -Which I would imagine would evolve into adult stuff. -Oh, yes, seems likely. -Which they have. -And is there approval process or can you just throw up whatever you want? -I don't know about that. I'm not sure. Yeah, I'm sure if it's like NSFW, you have to go through some kind of an adult channel. -Right. -But, you mentioned Harry Potter. I wanna read you an excerpt for my favorite Harry Potter fan fiction. -Oh, my God. I like it. -I think you really gonna like it. -I think you're gonna like-- -We should go like dim the lights in here and then get a little sexy here. Are we gonna turn off the lights here? All right, here we go. -Okay. So this is an excerpt from the story, Oh, my darling goddess who hold the stars. -What? -It's Harry Potter fan fiction discoursed by the user Blackened/Angel [unk]. -If you say the word turgid, I'm really walking-- -That were-- does have a history on 404. -Yeah. -Anyway-- go, go ahead. -This is a short one. So Harry sat alone to dine. His meals were to be interrupted by no one. His blackened soul could not stand a very sight of these creatines surrounded himself with. This angel then noticed him too. She walked toward him. Their eyes met. There was electricity sparking. Harry could feel it, such power she had over him and she had merely walked into the room. He noticed her lips set in a bitius pout. He wished to touch those lips and caress them with his own. She spoke. "Hello, my name is Avril Lavigne." -No. -I love it. -Let me finish. "Hello. My name is Avril Lavigne. You must be Harry Potter. I've heard a lot about you." Harry looked at her and knew Christian love for the first time. -Oh, my-- -Four months had passed; Harry and Avril's engagement party was under way. Harry had forgone his gothic outfit and had become a true punk. Good Charlotte played on the radio and Harry and Avril danced with each other. They were booked for the evening as were Sum41. It would be a mutual punk band. -I don't know what's wrong with this. -It would be a beautiful day in hues and black and blue to reflect the deep dark hearts of the two black souls that were there to be wed-- bonded forever in the eyes of God. -Wow. -End of excerpt. -Sounds a lot like your wedding, actually. -Yes, uncanny. -That was amazing. -I do wanna real quick just talk about punk for a second-- -That was amazing. -A pre-sigway. Very recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art-- -Yes. -Had a punk-- -Chaos the Culture. -[unk] thing. -Oh, that's cool. -And they had red carpet interviews. -Right. -And when they're on the carpet interviews, they were asking the person. "So, who is your favorite punk band?" and they're like, "Does Goo-goo Dolls count?" -And then the world imploded. -Yes it does. -Who the hell was that talking? Do we know? -I don't know but it was hilarious. -Who do we need to eliminate? -You could Google it, I'm sure. -Oh, that's pretty insane. -Well, I think that's the right way to end the show today. -That was terrific. I'm gonna post that link if you guys wanna read the rest of the stories. -Please do. -Yes, 30 pages long. So, there's a lot more where that came from. -Many page? -Well, I think Amazon is really on to something here. They got gold in their hands. 866-404-CNET is the phone number to call. You can reach us through e-mail the 404@cnet.com. Tomorrow you know him as Buster on Arrested Development, Tony Hale comes on 404 Show, so we're really excited about that. We won't have a live show. We're gonna be recording that relatively early in the day and posting that online for guys as soon as we possibly can. We also have a little program called Veep right now, which is doing very well on HBO and everyone seems to enjoy that. It's a second season. So if you got a question for Tony, e-mail us and we'll try and get it to him. Thanks to Russ Frushtick, joining us once again. Thanks for all your Xbox One in next gen gaming information. Always a pleasure. You can check Russ out on Twitter @RussFrushtick. Go to Polygon, watch his videos, read all the stuff he's doing there and have a good time doing that. We're back here tomorrow, until then. I'm Jeff Bakalar. -I'm Justin Yu. -I'm Ariel Nuñez. -[unk] for a second. -Thanks again to Russ, Tony Hale tomorrow. We'll see you guys soon. Thanks for tuning in.

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