Launches on a huge scale never go very well. Gamers don’t have to look far back with memories of SimCity still fresh in mind. With the notorious problems that plague MMOs and hardware when they finally hit shelves, perhaps rumors that the Xbox One is having some problems gearing up for its launch shouldn’t be of any surprise.
NOTE: All of the information in this article is based on rumor and the extent to which this will affect gamers, if at all, on launch day is totally unclear. Also, since most of us probably haven’t been on the development team for a console coming into a launch, it isn’t clear how out of the ordinary any of the pre-launch hiccups even are. Just keep that in mind before using any of the following speculation as hard evidence that the “Xbone is a failure.”
For a little while now, there have been rumors that the Xbox One was running games at a little less fidelity than the PlayStation 4. On top of that, problems with Xbox Live and the operating system have been prevalent – and now Kotaku has reported their sources suggest Xbox One’s developer kits have been “buggy.” It appears that some multi-platform developers have had problems fitting their games into the Xbox One format:
“Another source said some developers who have already submitted their games to Microsoft for certification have had to resubmit those games with a more recent version of the SDK (software development kit).”
As stated before, whether this will have any bearing on how games play or how gamers experience them at launch is still undetermined. For example, one of Kotaku‘s sources reassures them “that this sort of thing is par for the course.”
In another rumor, this time coming from the blog of the seemingly connected Pete Dodd, sources are telling him that there may also be problems with particular app combinations:
“So if you are playing by yourself and just playing the game online it should be fine. But if you’re in a party, people get dropped. Voice chat cuts in and out. Certain app combinations make the machine crash completely.”
Again, one must assume that Microsoft is working in overdrive over the next few weeks to iron out these kinds of issues before sending the consoles off on their merry way towards consumer living rooms. However, the real concern is not necessarily that these rumors existed, it’s that high profile Microsoft personnel have dodged commenting on the matter directly.
That was until Xbox director of product planning Albert Penello took to Reddit to explain that while the company was still working hard to get the console ready for launch, there shouldn’t be any real concerns.
“There is nothing going on behind the scenes nearly as interesting as everyone would like to believe. We are a month away from launch, and people are working hard to finalize the last of the bugs. There are still a lot things left to be done. We’re crunching and I’m sure Sony’s crunching too.”
He went on to say that there was nothing “dire or dramatic or exciting” going on, despite what people want to believe.
As for rumors that the Xbox One isn’t running as smoothly as the PS4, gamers can now decide for themselves – as Digital Foundry and IGN have both posted side by side footage of Battfield 4 running on both consoles.
It is easy for many gamers, on both sides of the upcoming “console war” to get worked up about these kinds of rumors – as it adds fuel to the fire that their hardware of choice is either worse or better than the competition. The main takeaway from this rumor-roundup should be that while there is speculation that the Xbox One has a few issues to iron out, they could be non-existent once the console actually hits. There is also no guarantee this is anything out of the ordinary – or that Sony isn’t experiencing similar problems. It won’t be long before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One see the light of day, perhaps everyone should reserve judgement until, at the very least, the consoles hit store shelves.
The Xbox One is set to release on November 22, 2013. The PlayStation 4 is set to release on November 15, 2013.