Xbox One has lost cool stuff, claims 'heartbroken' insider

A "heartbroken" apparent Microsoft employee claims Microsoft's Xbox One rethink means we'll miss out on loads of cool stuff.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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A "heartbroken" apparent Microsoft employee has lambasted their employer's decision to reverse its plans for the Xbox One console, claiming we're going to miss out on loads of cool stuff as a result.

Posting an insightful essay under the name "Heartbroken MS employee", the anonymous author says they are "sad" to witness the end of the Always Online plans, which they describe as a "dream".

"We have 48 million Xbox 360 users connected online nearly 24 hours a day," points out the alleged insider. "The people that we would have left behind I feel would have eventually come around as they saw what advantages the platform had to offer."

Originally the plan was for the console to check in with Microsoft every day, like a freshly released convict calling his parole officer. But in the face of overwhelming criticism, Microsoft backed away from the Internet requirement, as well as rethinking its plans for shared and second-hand games.

"When you buy a game used you're hurting developers much more than say a movie studio. Many gamers fail to realize this when they purchase these preowned games," claims the document's author.

"It is impossible to continue to deliver movie-like experiences at the current costs without giving up something in return. It's what gamers want and expect, the best-selling games are blockbusters, the highest-rated are blockbusters, the most loved are blockbusters. How can developers continue to create these experiences if consumers refuse to support them?"

The mysterious writer of the tell-all document claims to be on the Always Online development team, and laments that the U-turn has seen some of the cool stuff they worked on dropped.

Ditched features include family sharing, which would allow you to share a game with up to 10 friends. The plan was for members of your online family to be able to play a sort of souped-up sampler of the game, for up to an hour. Unlike an old-school demo, they would have been able to play the full game, and if they then bought the game themselves their data would be saved.

Oh, and the whistleblower also refers to the PlayStation as "Xbox 360 Part 2". Cheeky. Still, whichever side you take on the subject of consoles or sharing games, the document is a fascinating insight into the video games industry.

Watch this: Evolution of the PlayStation

Is Microsoft's reversal an embarrassing climbdown or a victory for common sense? Which next-gen console gets your vote: the Xbox One, PS4 or Wii U? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.