Ping 181: Xbox One Shifts, Bounty Program, Surfaces in School,

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This week we are joined by special guest host, Mark DeFalco. Join us as we wax poetic over these stories and more:

Xbox One-80  [02:17]

Cash in with the Microsoft Bounty Program  [07:12]

Surfaces in Schools  [10:24]

So.Cl is Sweet  [12:59]



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The Discussion

  • User profile image

    1st point, the show is just so much better when the hosts are physically in the studio and not over an external video feed like Skype.  You just get that body language interaction, spontaneity & most importantly Laura just seems to enjoy it more, as do I.

    2nd point, Microsoft did the right thing re the Xbox One-80, it just helps level the PR playing field with Sony - a bit of a no brainer.  You guys were right about what you had to say re "who does not connect to the Internet every 24 hours"?  Even the story that was rolled out about the submariner not being able to connect when on deployment, all he (or she) had to do was ask the captain to surface once a day so the Xbox One could connect to Xbox live via Google's internet-beaming balloons (which was big news in New Zealand as the 1st balloon was released in New Zealand which is where I'm beaming my post from).


    Great shows, keep them coming.

  • User profile image

    trivializing poverty is insensitive and disrespectful. There are tens of millions of Americans and probably hundreds of millions of world citizens who have the ability to buy an Xbox One (at some point) but not pay the high monthly fees for internet services just so their Xbox works. If Microsoft is willing to pay our internet fees I am sure no one would mind. You guys are completely loosing touch with reality, everyone isnt a well paid developer at Redmond with tons of disposable income, and believe it isn't your buddies who "all have internet" that made the Xbox what it is today, it is people who work hard for their money and think twice about spending it (um i mean the "vocal minorities").

  • User profile image

    Personally the DRM "issues" with the X1 didn't bother me and I was looking forward to the other features it brought in like the family library and re-selling/gifting of digital games but sadly that has been dropped. Hopefully it will come back later.


    Nice to have a new face on the show welcome Mark.

  • User profile image

    I liked the idea of the DRM and sharing, it was the 24 hours connection I didn - I once lost internet access due to line issues for about a week and in the end needed a new router too so I would have not been able to play for a week. I don't like the dependency on cloud and I hate the fact you need to have the Kinect connected - I have Kinect for the 360 and last used it a year ago. What a waste of money it was, good as it is.

  • User profile image


    poverty.. really? if you're a victom of poverty, maybe buying a 500 dollar console and a bunch of 60 dollar games shouldn't be your priority? Smiley the online checkin could have easily be done over a tethered phone if you really can't afford any internet, but its a moot Point because anyone who'd have the Money to buy an Xbox could afford some sort of internet connection.. i understand that some people cant access the internet at all, but citing money is pretty weak Smiley

    i really hope they restore the online/sharing features for digital games. i havent bouht a physical disc for years anyway so if people want to trade convenience, features and sales/pricedrops thanks to shorter supply chains for a [false, try reading the eula, you dont "own" squat] sense of ownership, that's fine. Smiley

    Microsoft is right to support both, but dont gimp digital please :/ 

  • User profile image

    Laura, Laura, Laura what is all of this waffle of which you speak. "The Cloud" isn't something that was invented because of some great demand from the game playing public, it was another thing that Microsoft thought was good for people like Metro, like the ribbon, and whenever Microsoft think like this they must ram whatever it is down peoples throat. As usual, they find that people resent this kind of force feeding and MS has to back off. Yes most people may have internet connections all day but they have it for their benefit not yours - people pay a lot of money for consoles and games and they should be able to use them however they legally can.

  • User profile image

    @aL3891 Yes poverty... really. Forgive my frankness but you're an idiot if you don't think money isn't an issue. Turning a fixed cost into a recurring cost that you have little control over is certainly a problem. In Nigeria we can afford to spend $500 one time but internet costs can be as much as $100 a month. I also happen to have *many* friends that don't have much money who picked up xbox 360 second/third hand and buy games on the cheap on eBay. Your logic is so ignorant and elitist that it shocks me. Shall we have cake when we run out of bread ?!?

  • User profile image

    Great episode, I hope they'll make a YouTube version soon.  Cool

    I personally hope Microsoft will bring the Xbox One's cool features back (or at-least make 'em optional) in the (distant) future, Sony is also planning to do those things, only they'll phase it in, which is why they made fun of Microsoft's radical changes. Cloud-gaming is the future, but personally the main reason I personally disliked the Xbox One (besides being a PlayStation- & Nintendo-Fanboy,although being a Microsoft-Fanboy on every other subject) is the fact that it doesn't have D.V.R./TiVo for T.V., Microsoft Mediaroom had a lot of cool features that still lack in the Xbox One.  Sad

    As for, as a Microsoft-Fanboy I use it, but in the past I haven't seen much reason to use it, it was just the uncanny valley of the internet, a plethora of animated cats  Perplexed but I think I'll re-use it now and log back on.

  • User profile image

    ''Great episode, I hope they'll make a YouTube version soon.  Cool''

    Although... the woman who presents it shall probably receive YouTube's ''you're so haaawt'' and ''wow, she's hot'' comments, and most of the time most comment-sections shall (also) be bombared by Microsoft-haters (the only people in the tech-world more fanatic than Apple's (cult-)lovers(, yeah))  Blushing

  • User profile image

    Seems to me there could be some middle ground here - you either have to check in every 24 hours (Im assuming that just means you cant go more than 24 hours without a connection - not that you actually have to connect at least once a day), or if you have the disc, you don't have to have a connection. I was actually happy that I would no longer have to get up to swap discs when I wanted to change games like I do on the 360 - but now it looks like that wont be the case unfortunately (although since everything will eventually be digital download - its really a moot point - or will be in a matter of a year or so). BTW - wonder if congress could pass a law so that cable companies have to provide APIs to access the content they provide so that anyone could make a tuner/dvr regardless of who the cable provider is. My cable box interface is sad, slow, and pathetic. It would benefit consumers greatly if any company, be it MS (Xbox One), Apple, Google, etc could create a box that could consume/tune the content directly without having to go through a dang cablebox (at $10-$20/month for each box). Im sure the UI would be 10x better as well - and to top it all off, consumers would then at least have a choice. Cable companies = BAD! (I see a meme here) Seems like that would be a law that benefits everyone. Laura - can you pull some strings here?

  • User profile image

    The Xbone hysteria could have easily been avoided. If MS explained all the "bad" sides of the terms, I am confident that the 10-year old kids whining online wouldn't be so mad. But I do not believe that it was the users who whined, but mainly how Microsoft saw Sony made fun of them (Also, ironic that Laura handed over a Sony laptop), but was also heavily reflected in one of the hugest circlejerks on Reddit as well. Personally I was happy with how they had the terms (but they could extend the offline time to 30 days instead of 1 day), but now I would have the same issues with discs getting unreadable, piles of discs, loosing discs and all that crap. If Microsoft only took Steam as an example in their press conference, users wouldn't whine so much. So I guess if I want to buy my games digitally, I would have to keep using the overpriced store on my Xbox, like come on, Forza Horizon costs like 3x as much as it is on Amazon, and I am sick of slow, unreliable discs which belong in post-2010.

  • User profile image

    It would be nice to have a choice. If you buy a disk, you have to keep it in to play. If you buy digitally, you have to have a net connection every X days. Pretty simple no? And if the digital copies were cheaper than the discs, then it would be a no brainer for most people.

  • User profile image

    Some of my thoughts on the Xbox One:

    • If MS was going to try something like this, then this is the time to do it. Even though it failed, it will be a non-issue during holiday season, gamers are fickle.
    • I like the way they did it. There is no bait and switch. All requirements up front.
    • Sony doesn't have the install base to try something like this, however they would try to get closer to publishers by exploring DRM opportunities if they could.
    • The biggest loss to MS in this whole ordeal was that everyone talked about the DRM related issues and not many talked about the great new features, like the 3 Operating Systems and it's capabilities.  Again, there is plenty of time for that.

    The only thing that could hurt MS and their push for Xbox one is if their xbox live servers get hacked and had to be down for 24 days. 

  • User profile image

    The "vocal minority" which voiced their outrage at the Xbox One original configuration is also the actual majority of customers who would buy the device at $499.

    The silent majority are the casual customers who would ignore the console until it finally hits somewhere in the $199-$249 range.

  • User profile image


    Yeah, because getting bread is just as necceary as having the very latest gen video game.. this is a luxury problem if there ever was one. if someone can afford to shell out that kind of cash on a pure entertainment device, you're not struck by "poverty" by any standards at least in my oppinion.

    You can choose isp /phone operator so its hardly something you have "little control over", besides you can get internet connections for "up to $100" practically anywhere, but that is not what the Xbox required for a checkin, you'd be fine with the very lowest end phone connection available.

    As for used games, fine, there are cerinly alot of people who care about that. alot of people like piracy too Smiley The used makret is taking away money from game devs and feeding middle men like gamestop, i have no problem eliminatnig those.

    Digital is coming and physical media is going, you can call me all the names you want but that wont change the future Smiley if you can't handle that for what ever reason, microsoft has laid the cards on the table and told people about the online requirements, no one is beeing tricked or forced to buy an X1

    But again, i'm glad they changed it for physical discs. but its very sad that they took away those features for digital as well.

  • User profile image

    @Laura - At age 6, play-dough was your toy of choice?  At age 3 my son was mastering the CupCake Acheivement in Portal Still Alive. LOL

    Speaking of going back in time, I was curious of what the first Ping episode was like and I found it hiding under a rock:  Expressionless

  • User profile image

    @piercove - Even better than episode 1 is episode 14 - Paul's first show. Something magical happens as 0:32

  • User profile image

    One of the issues I have with online DRM being required is the fact that someday the console and ALL games ever made for the console would have stopped working, forever. I'm old enough now to have games in my collection that, if it had been originally released with online DRM, would no longer work today. At least now, users have a choice between the convenience of digital downloads or comfort in the fact that the physical disks they buy will still work years after the DRM for digital downloads is shut down. Without that choice, it's inevitable that a huge swath of cultural history is, at some point, going to be lost forever.

  • User profile image

    Is PING dead?

  • User profile image

    RIP PING!!

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