Xbox One always-online backlash “surprised” Microsoft, says Penello

Thursday, 5 September 2013 20:35 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft’s director of product planning, Albert Penello, has said if he were to go back and “redo one thing” pertaining to the Xbox One reveal, it would have been not to introduce the “always online” functionality to consumers so early in the current market.

Speaking with Rev3Games (thanks, Gamasutra), Penello said eventually such a function will become more accepted with consumers but further into the future.

“I think with time, people have understood what we were trying to do, and I’m sure you’ve seen it with the fans,” he said. “They’ve been saying ‘God, I wish some of this stuff would come back.’ I think the problem was that people got in their minds that what we were trying to do was somehow evil or anti-customer.

“We were looking at what Steam does, we were looking at what iOS is doing, we were looking where the customers were going and saying ‘I think we can actually give you a better all-digital experience.'”

Penello said eventually discs will leave the market, and if anything, Microsoft thought “it was gonna happen sooner than the customer thought it was going to happen.”

“We took a hard stance on it, and I think some customers were like, ‘Yeah I’m in!’, and other customers were like ‘Whoa whoa whoa, what about my situation.’ We were surprised at how vocal it was, and we were surprised at the reaction and assumptions that people had about what we were trying to do.”

Penello said he’s like to see incentives such as family sharing, and other items dropped along with the always-online come back in the future, a sentiment he shared with Gamespot recently as well.