To better combine its position as a steadfast defender of Microsoft with its obsession to link social issues with gaming, Polygon has announced it will embed a senior editor with Microsoft’s gaming division for a whole year as part of its #750000reasonstobe campaign.
“A lot of gamers look at Playstation 4 and only see that they get significantly better hardware and a bunch of monthly free games and discounts with a multiplayer subscription,” Polygon’s Arthur Gies told Subtle Blend.
“As usual, gamers are looking at things through the perspective of their own privilege. They only consider that Sony’s value proposition is objectively better than Microsoft’s. They don’t think about all the people who dedicated years of their lives to work on this device. There probably were at least a few women and minorities on the Xbox One team, but gamers don’t think about that either. They just want the system that has better games and more power at a lower cost. Gaming culture is disgusting. It has a giant empathy problem.”
To change this state of affairs, Polygon will send features editor Russ Pitts to Redmond for a whole year to tell the “human story” of Microsoft’s failing console. (Full disclosure: Pitts doesn’t like us very much.) “Very few writers use more words per article than Russ Pitts,” Gies told us. “He’s great like that. You could ask the man to write a grocery list, and he’d find a way to make it 2000 words long, plus make eggs and cheese into a metaphor about the sexual awakening of young girls.”
“Using the power of the Kinect, Macklemore will bring his signature blend of weaksauce rhymes and whitebread style to the world of multiplayer,” Microsoft spokesman Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb said in a statement.
Rather than add Macklemore’s voice to matches, Hryb explained that Microsoft views the free add-on as a way to greatly reduce offensive behavior on its Xbox Live service. “If the Kinect detects a user engaging in hate speech during play, the Xbox will automatically begin to play ‘Ball Till Ya Titanfall (Until All Are Equal),’ the exclusive track Macklemore recorded for us, in which he explores the social inequality issues that may arise during a round of team deathmatch.”
“The song is awful,” Hryb clarified. “How this guy won a Grammy is beyond me, but that’s the world we live in. The punishment will be tiered, so first offenders will only be subjected to the first 30 seconds, whereas a habitual troll will eventually be forced to listen to the entire 27:00 track. Again, it’s really bad. We expect our digital streets to be cleaned up pretty fast once word gets around.”
As Game Developers Conference 2014 ends, the Moscone Center in San Francisco has already been booked for its next event: Former Microsoft creative director Adam Orth will give a follow-up talk in which he hopes to “clarify a few things” in light of some of the initial reporting on his GDC talk.
“Basically, I failed to emphasize a few really important points in my GDC speech about the online harassment I experienced when I was still working for Xbox,” Orth said by phone.
“The games press is great, they take the side of us developers on most things because a lot of them really, really, really want to be devs themselves. But as a result of that, some articles kind of spun things to where I was the victim in all of this, even though I basically told millions of our potential Xbox customers that they weren’t actually people because they didn’t live in an expensive city with FiOS Internet in every appliance.”
Orth continued, “I wasn’t professional. I was a huge, toxic cunt. Like, gaping huge and Chernobyl toxic. Even by the code of the playground, I started it. In that spirit, I’m going to hold an hour-long event after my talk. During this time, anyone I’ve hurt can come by and give me a wedgie. I hope that the games media will cover my event to help begin heal any wounds I inflicted.”
But Microsoft isn’t relying on price drops alone. When the Titanfall bundle was released, the company sent out cardboard sleeves and easily insertable vouchers to “convert” old stock. Starting next week, retailers will have something new to place inside: Golden Tickets!
“This new sweepstakes is a magical adventure,” Microsoft spokesperson Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb told Subtle Blend. “Five lucky Xbox One owners will find themselves whisked away to a whimsical tour of the Foxconn factory where next-generation, always-connected, all-in-one entertainment comes to life!”
But wait, there’s more: “(Foxconn chairman) Terry Gou is looking to retire, but he needs people to carry on the legacy. For that reason, one lucky winner is going to get his or her very own Foxconn plant to run. But if you’re not the one, don’t fret: All contest winners will get their very own official Foxconn suicide prevention net to commemorate this very special occasion.”
Hryb also cautioned: “Winners should be careful not to touch anything on the tour, or Oompa Loom– I mean, Foxconn technicians, will sweep them away to work the assembly lines. Legal was kind of iffy about that one at first, but turns out this kind of thing is totally legal in China. So, yeah, it’s in the contest bylaws.”
After a pair of two-week delays, Microsoft has made the decision to delay the Xbox 360 port of Titanfall until December 26th, the first day of Kwanzaa. In a press release, Xbox spokesperson Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb explained the reasoning behind the delay:
“At Microsoft, we’re always looking for ways to form new relationships with key partners whose brands are synergistic with our own. That’s why we’re proud to welcome Dr. Maulana Karenga to the Xbox family of brand ambassadors.
We’re overjoyed to announce that Titanfall will arrive on the Xbox 360 on December 26th, 2014, right in time for the start of Kwanzaa. We here at Microsoft can think of no better way to launch a third-rate port nobody cares about, of a game conceived for a third-rate console nobody cares about, than by launching on a third-rate holiday nobody cares about.”
In the meantime, Hryb encouraged gamers to check the official Kwanzaa website for updates. “The official Kwanzaa website is the perfect companion to gaming on Xbox One. It has very little in the way of graphics or video content. It’s mostly text, on a layout ripped from a 90s Geocites page. In other words, it’s been perfectly optimized for the Xbox One system architecture.”
With Walmart’s price drop on the Xbox One/Titanfall bundle to $450, Microsoft’s next-gen platform and its biggest title can now effectively be had for $10 less than a PS4 with a game. Some early adopters who bought the 4-month old console in anticipation of Titanfall aren’t happy that their brand loyalty cost them $110. We reached out to Microsoft for clarification.
“Who the fuck bought an Xbone at launch?” one anonymous, high-ranking executive responded. “Seriously, who even does that? The thing has half the power of a PS4, costs more, and there’s an always-on camera hardwired to the NSA. I work at Microsoft and I wouldn’t put one of the fucking things in my home. You know *******? In the Windows division? He had an Xbox One. Goddamned Kinect accidentally broadcast him doing lines off an escort’s sweater puffs. His sister-in-law’s kid saw it happen on a Twitch stream, now the bitch is taking his house. That place cost three million dollars, so don’t whine to me about $110.”
In two/three weeks, respectively, Sony and Microsoft will throw new hardware onto shelves for people to hunt down, fight over, and ultimately buy. Yes, Virginia, we have back-to-back Friday console launches on the horizon, followed by the busiest goddamn shopping day of the year. It gets worse: If you haven’t yet preordered, you’re too late at this point, and unfortunately for you, that means trying your luck at retail.
Be warned: November is going to be an absolute bloodbath. If you’re going into the breach, you’re probably going to want to know what you’re risking life and limb to actually play. Here, then, is our analysis of the top contenders for each system, as well as a few multiplatform games.