In the Year 2013, Microsoft announced a successor to the largely successful gaming system, Xbox 360. Their announcement consisted of a funnily named console, a focus on non-gaming related material, and some policy’s that rocked the sweaty, meaty heads of gamers across the world. That conference has since become the infamy of the now nearly 2 year old console, the Xbox One. A console that faces the ridicule of being egregiously overshadowed by its competitor, the Playstation 4, and mocked by anyone else that has never had a hands on experience with it. Today, I wanted to take a look at this reputation Xbox has garnered for itself. A simple look into the overall drama that Xbox seemed to generate for itself years ago, and apply it to the reasoning people seem to hold against it today. Today, I want to talk about the mindset that we, as gamers, seem to keep and hold against companies for their mistakes, and our ability to let things overshadow our way of thinking, and our overall mindset towards Microsoft’s gaming platform. So first, let's get started with where it all began. In 2013, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One, the, “All in One home media entertainment system.” The Xbox One was designed to make everything easily accessible in all forms of media, from Gaming, to music, to movies, and television. However, we also received a lot of information that made our hair stand up on the back of our necks, caused our bowels to boil, and made our sweaty hands clench together as if to strangle Don Mattrick by the neck. We were told we would have to check in to the internet once every 24 hours to ensure DRM policies. Ouch. We were told the Kinect, (or spybox as so many endearing internet users would have you believe,) would be bundled with every system, and we would never have a console without one. We were told used games would no longer function on our consoles. We had media and other forms of entertainment shoved in our faces as if we were supposed to be more excited over these aspects, than the gaming itself! And of course, we all can agree. The thing looks like a VCR. Haha, how funny, that’s great, because all our other consoles looked like fine and dandy futuristic pieces of technological future boxes, but I digress. These announcements didn’t sit well with gamers across the nation, and for good, justified reason too. Microsoft had their head in the wrong place, and attempted to change the industry in so many ways, people were shocked. They were appalled, they were frightened and refused to acknowledge the ways of gaming would ever be forced to transition to methods like these. And you would think Microsoft would maybe learn from this initial unveiling, and attempt to do some damage control right? Well… At E3 2013, the hole only dug itself into a meteor sized crater. Policies weren’t changing, media was focused on even more than gaming, and the price point was scary. $500 was the entry level for the Xbox One, versus the $400 price point of the Playstation 4. Not to mention, Sony managed to get in some good punches with the snarky, (yet ultimately hilarious,) videos of lending games to your friends, taking shots at the used games policies. What we were left with after E3, was worldwide ridicule over the Xbox One’s horrific marketing, shoddy policies, and overall negative treatment to the dedicated gamers that had interest in it. Gifs sprouted everywhere of Mattrick screaming TV in people’s faces, or of Sony and Nintendo beating the console into the dirt. The Xbox One had officially become, the joke of the internet. You really can’t blame people for it either. The policies sucked, there was little, to no defense for them, and people realized that. The thing people didn’t seem to realize however, is Xbox inevitably realized it too. After plenty of hazing, plenty of ridicule, Xbox announced that it was reversing most of its’ initial policies. The internet check in was abolished, the used game lockout system was dropped, and the company attempted severe damage control… a little while after the fact. Was it enough to sway people? Well, the system did manage to sell 1 million units in the first 24 hours of release, much like its competition, the Playstation 4. The going was slow, the uptake was shaky, but people still bought the system. Now we reach 2014. The system was doing okay… while simultaneously being obliterated by its competition. People still continued to mock the Xbox for all its mistakes, its price point, and the continued forced nature of the Kinect and focus on media. And it didn’t seem like Microsoft was going to budge on these propositions either. People continued to bash the system, and the joke legacy seemed like it would never fade. At E3 2014, things started to change a little more. While the Call of Duty’s and Halo’s were still present, there was a 900% increase in focus on games. TV went unmentioned, there were no scary, ominous remarks on future policies, and they finally announced a kinectless system for the world. The reaction? Lackluster at best. While people didn’t have as much to joke about, they instead used the show as fodder to talk about how this is as it should have been in the first place. And once again… they have a point. And yet, there’s something people tend to neglect to pay attention to. It’s the fact that Microsoft responded to feedback. They changed their heavy handed policies, in response to the passionate, dedicated ravings of the internet. No company has to do that. No company is forced to listen to the ravings of an angry keyboard pounder at any point in time. And you can argue that they did it to save their skin, and continue to make money, and obviously that point is going to be true. But it doesn’t change the fact that they responded, and have now opened themselves up to all forms of feedback in a much more accepting manner. Let’s take a look at what happened after the initial reveal again, but on the company’s side some more. Microsoft created the Xbox Preview program to allow users to try out certain updates and give expansive feedback in order to garner user experience, and further tweak the system and service to better serve the users. Xbox continued to listen and adjust to feedback in policy, user experience, and in their overall business outlook. Soon the Xbox One would see a price cut, multiple user centered updates, and a larger focus on games over the initial media claims. While most of it when generally unnoticed by the average internet user, the Xbox continued to attempt to improve and re-establish ground as a competent gaming platform. Fast forward to present day, and that remains true. Microsoft has promised more user enhanced experience through a new dashboard, connectivity between the Xbox live and Windows 10 platform, backwards compatibility, new IP, new games, user generated mods on consoles, introduction of Hololens, and a better Xbox experience. In less than a year and half, Microsoft has continued to listen and improve what was initially, a relatively poor concept for a gaming platform. The internet doesn’t forget, but the internet should also learn to open up to change and dedication. Microsoft did not have to conform to fan feedback, and could have stuck to their guns, angering and alienating gamers everywhere. Instead, they chose to step back, improve, and listen to what people want. The platform may not have what you want to play, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. You have the choice to play on something that has the games you want to play. And you have the right to judge any book by its cover. But you can at least pay attention to the edits the author makes, and acknowledge where they attempt to improve. You may not like it based on fan favoritism, and that’s nothing to sneeze at either. Obviously, people may dislike the console for a variety of other reasons. An excess of shooters, a bro-gaming stereotyped community, and a focus on sports games. It seems to almost alienate the fans of JRPG's, and other genre's in general. It isn't the platform for everyone, yet also takes flak for appealing to a target demographic. Xbox’s reputation has been rocky ever since that infamous reveal of 2013. Is it right for people to continue to judge it based on mistakes it has remedied, and continues to try to remedy, today? And is it right to judge the entire platform based on the fact that it creates content for people that enjoy, said content? Once again fellow gamers. That choice, is up to you.