Study finds low skilled gamers are more likely to be sexist

According to a new study, male gamers who are low or unskilled at playing online are more likely to demonstrate sexist behavior towards female gamers.

The study was conducted by Michael M. Kasumovic and Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff from the University of New South Wales, who observed over 163 matches of Halo 3 and coded the behavior of the players. The purpose of the study was to examine if the presence of a skilled female would be disruptive to the ego of an unskilled male, who may feel their sense of hierarchy is threatened (be it in a game or work environment).

The research team used Halo 3 because its a game that relies on skills and fast thinking, hence everyone starts on an equal footing. Plus all the subjects are anonymous and may not have a personal history with the research team or other players. Another reason is that because everyone plays as a SPARTAN soldier that has the appearance of being gender neutral.

Based on the data collected, male gamers who performed poorly were more likely to act hostile towards a female player. It was also noted that the unskilled player was less likely to act hostile towards a male player who was more skilled.The theory is that the unskilled male gamers would try to compensate for their failure by trying to act more masculine towards their female counterpart.

Meanwhile the study also found that male gamers who performed better were more likely to be respectful towards female players. This was because they didn’t fear that their hierarchy was being threatened while trying to get the attention of the female player.

All of the data was collected by observing and recording the actions of other players through Xbox Live, no consent was made and the team made no interactions with the observed subjects.

This has been the second major study done by Michael M. Kasumovic on the effects of video games on gender roles. It was reported over the weekend of July 10, that a study by him and Thomas F. Denson found that violent video games boosted the self-esteem of women gamers.

Looks like this may explain the behavior of those affiliated with the GamerGate movements, a legion of noobs that wants to protect their masculinity by lashing out at women gamers.

Written for Digital Journal 
7/19/2015
Original Article: Study finds low skilled gamers are more likely to be sexist

Op-Ed: Ellen Pao showed why only techies should manage tech companies

In only a few months, Ellen Pao went from being the face of gender discrimination in the Silicon Valley to a symbol of censorship. While some will blame sexism, her downfall is the classic story of why tech companies should be lead by techies.

After a crackdown of controversial subreddits in a move seen as an act of censorship and the dismissal of a popular administrator, the Reddit community was demanding her resignation. After much debate and damage control, Ellen Pao stepped down as CEO of Reddit on July 10.

Given her high profile discrimination lawsuit against, many have been quick to blame sexism of the Reddit community for Pao’s resignation. However this “social justice warrior” outlook is the most fallacious specter to examine her downfall (if you could even call it that). This instead is another classic example of why the leadership of tech companies should always be in the hands of the techies and not business figures.

 In theory, a business should be led by someone with the knowledge and experience in managing a business. However the rules in Silicon Valley are different while the guidance of old Wall Street are the foundations of failure. Tech is more then just an industry that aims to just make a profit, its the basis of an innovative and progressive culture. Old Wall Street is neither progressive nor innovative but a hound seeking a quick profit without a long term goal. Looking at the rise and fall of several tech companies will show a repeated pattern of why the leadership should be in the hands of the techies.

 

Under the leadership of Bill Gates, Microsoft was both a dominating force and a leader in the tech industry. That all changed when Steve Ballmer took over and the influence of the company began to decline. During his leadership, Microsoft failed to get a foothold in the emerging consumer tech market while most of their products failed to gain traction among consumers. When Ballmer left in 2014, Microsoft is only surviving because of Microsoft Office and the Xbox game consoles.

During Microsoft’s decline, Hewlett-Packard was having its own problems under the leadership of Carly Fiorina. Known as the company that established the Silicon Valley, HP fell into dismay with a series failures, bad acquisitions along with massive layoffs. Today her legacy remains controversial as many in Silicon Valley consider her one of the worst tech CEOs.

Another tech titan that fell from grace was Electronic Arts under the leadership of John Riccitiello. EA was once a leader of innovation in the gaming world, but that all changed when Riccitiello became CEO in 2004. Thanks to a series of gimmicks in an attempt to change the concept of the gaming industry, stock prices dropped while once loyal fans made EA earn the title “Worst Company In America” two years in a row.

Pao’s failure at Reddit is exactly the same reason why Ballmer, Riccitiello and Firoina failed miserably, none of these leaders were techies. When these companies were first established and during the height of their prosperity, it was the computer engineers who held most of the leadership positions. They had executives and managers with experience in business offering guidance but it was those who had a background in technology that had the real leadership roles.

However when the leadership role was passed to those who had no real experience in tech or were more business-focused, that is when it started to go down hill. Pao is a lawyer with experience in the finance industry; she had no real credibility to lead a tech company. Ballmer and Riccitiello were only involved in the business section of their respected company, they had no real understanding of how that technology aspect functioned.

On the other side of the specter are tech companies that are changing the world while being very profitable. Yet the leadership of these companies is still in the hands of those with a strong background in technology and computer engineering.

While Microsoft prospered in the 90’s, Apple was limping under several leaders who had little to no experience in managing a tech company. Everything changed when Steve Jobs returned to transform the company he established into the iconic brand that we know today. When Tim Cook took over in 2011, he had some experiences in managing a tech company but made the strategic choice to have techies like Scott Forstall advise him. This move paid-off as Apple has continued to prosper several years after the death of its founder.

At the same time, Google grew from a search engine service to become one of the largest tech service companies in the world. Besides maintaining the most popular search engine while providing a verity of digital services, its also one of the most popular companies among employees and job seekers. Google has a reputation of encouraging innovation while highly valuing and respecting its employees. Yet its leadership has been controlled by those with a background in computer science and while the current and former CEO were at one time a computer engineer. With a combination of progressive values and ignoring the advice of old Wall Street, Google has grown to become a leader in the global tech market.

Ellen Pao is a person with many talents and plenty of opportunities in the future, however having an Ivy League education does not make someone a “Jack/Jane of all trades.” History has shown that only the techies know how to manage a successful tech company while Pao is better setting up roots in another industry that will allow her to utilize her skills and knowledge.

Written for Digital Journal 
7/11/2015
Original ArticleOp-Ed: Ellen Pao showed why only techies should manage tech companies

Resident Evil 0 HD’s success or failure will determine future of RE franchise

Capcom announcing an HD remake of Resident Evil 0 may seem like another gimmick to appeal towards gamer nostalgia, but to the gaming community, its a representation of a cultural struggle that will determine the future of this iconic series.

Resident Evil was the leader in defining the concept of the horror survival genre, but now its future has been brought into question. Now a debate that has pitted traditional fans of the series against a new generation could be finally resolved by the success of Resident Evil 0 HD.

A Tale of Two Gaming Generations

Starting with the Fifth Console Generation, the Resident Evil series was the leader in defining the concept of the survival horror genre. However, the times changed and so did the series in the hopes of appealing to a new generation of gamers.

At first the new direction was welcomed by fans when Resident Evil 4 found the right balance of horror and action. Then everything changed when Resident Evil 5 abandoned most of the survival horror elements in favor of an action game. It all finally came to breaking point when Resident Evil 6 was released in 2012, being hailed as the worst game in the series. The result were a deep rift between a new generation of gamers and traditional fans while the future of the series was being put into question.

Adding insult to a disgruntled community was a special investment report that was published in 2013 that attributed the problems of the series to the fan base having become “too old.” Gamers were quick to express their outrage while the gaming media denounced the report as further proof that Capcom is failing to connect with its core audience.

Going Old School

In the Summer of 2014; Capcom announced that an HD remake of Resident Evil(based on the 2002 GameCube version) was in the works. The game took the player back to the traditional setup while visually being presented in 1080p and running at 60fps along with 5.1 surround support.

The announcement was met with enthusiasm and support from the gaming community, as there has been a strong demand to re-release the GameCube remake (dubbed REmake). Social media networks along with gaming sites were flooded with gamers voicing their support for the HD remake.

Resident Evil HD Remaster released on January 20, 2015, and it was highly praised by both fans along with critics. Despite being released at the end of the month and after the Holiday season, it was one of the best-selling titles of the year. According to Capcom; it was the fastest selling title in the series and one of the best-selling digital media titles. Sony also verified that Resident Evil was the best-selling game in January for both PlayStation consoles.

The Future Is Zero

Despite what fans are hoping for, the success of one game alone is not enough to determine the future of the series. Resident Evil 0 HD will be an attempt to recreate the success of Resident Evil HD to see if the series should return to its roots.

Should Resident Evil 0 succeed then the fans have sent a clear message to Capcom that the series needs to return to its roots as a true horror survival. It could also be the push needed for a proper remake of Resident Evil 2, something fans have wanted for a long time since its often hailed as the best game in the series.

However; if Resident Evil 0 HD fails then the ramification are going to be worse then more action games. The message sent to Capcom will be one of doubt that could jeopardize the future of the series. With no clear understanding of what the fan base wants, this could be a tipping point that could kill the Resident Evil series.

Gamers will have to wait until January 2016 to see if the success of Resident Evil 0 HD is the push needed to return the series to its roots. Or will its failure be the final nail in the coffin that ends the legacy of this pop-culture icon.

Written for GameSkinny
6/4/2015
Original Article: Resident Evil 0 HD’s success or failure will determine future of RE franchise

5 Games That Failed But Earned A Second Chance

The path to success is always met with a series of failures, and the gaming world is no exception. Not every game series started with a major hit, as several iconic titles had a rocky start.

The following are examples of five major games that failed at first but the creators worked to learn from their mistakes.

5. Driver 

The series started as an icon during the days of the PlayStation but became a joke when Driv3r failed to redefine the genre. A follow-up, Driver: Parallel Lines, was also met with modest reviews by critics and failed to reignite gamers’ interest. By the time gaming entered the Seventh Generation, the series was almost forgotten.

After Ubisoft acquired the rights to the series, they aimed to redeem it for the fans. Driver: San Francisco abandoned the GTA-style elements and returned the series to its roots while introducing new gameplay content. This paid off, as Driver: San Francisco was highly praised by critics and became a hit among gamers.

4. Just Cause

This was one of those games that had a good concept but terrible execution. Just Cause has Rico Rodriguez working to overthrow a South American dictator by waging a guerrilla war alongside rebel factions.

However, its clunky function along with poor control setup earned it mediocre reviews from critics and gamers. It also failed to standout from games like Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

All the game needed was a little polishing, and it paid off with an iconic sequel. Just Cause 2 kept the premise of the original, but had smoother controls and gave players a more reliable gaming experience.

Gamers fell in love with Just Cause 2 so much that a group of dedicated fans created a multiplayer function that received the blessing of the game’s developers. Meanwhile, Just Cause 3 is in the works and is set to be released sometime in 2015.

3. Hitman

Mr. 47’s introduction to the gaming community didn’t go as Eidos and IO Interactive planned. Despite its unique premise, Hitman: Codename 47 suffered from poor controls and clunky gameplay. Critics were not impressed, but it did develop a small cult following.

One thing gamers had to admire about Eidos was their ability to learn from their mistakes and apply that knowledge to sequels. Hitman 2: Silent Assassins fixed the clunky gameplay and presented a polished second chance for Mr. 47.

The sequel was highly praised by critics and fans. Its success was followed by Hitman: Contracts, a retelling of the first game by recreating several of the original missions.

2. Killzone

The series has become staple for PlayStation gamers, but many forget the game failed to be a classic when it was first released. The original game for the PS2, a fast-paced action shooter set in a futuristic conflict zone, was marketed as Sony’s grittier rival to the Halo series.

However, the game was met with mediocre reviews and was mocked by gamers for failing to live up to the hype. This could have been the end of the Second Extrasolar War.

The series earned a little redemption thanks to Killzone: Liberation for the PSP. But more needed to be done save the series. Lessons were learned in time for the Seventh Generation consoles, and the result was Killzone 2.

The sequel was a hit among gamers and was praised by critics as one of the best shooters for the PS3. Its follow-up, Killzone 3 improved an already successful setup and avoided being branded as a Call of Duty knockoff.

1. Grand Theft Auto

A game series doesn’t become a cultural landmark without going through some trial and error. The series started as an innocent racing game titled Race’n’Chase, before a glitch convinced DMA to create what is known as Grand Theft Auto.

The game was a success on the PC, but failed to gain the attention of console gamers and received mediocre ratings. Grand Theft Auto 2 did no better. This would have been the end of the series unless real changes were made.

Grand Theft Auto III took the concept of its predecessors and incorporated it into a 3D environment. The result transformed the video game world, moving it from being a niche culture toward becoming part of popular culture.

Its success was followed with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City  along with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which broke its predecessors’ records and raised the bar for the gaming industry. At the same time, the concept of open world-gaming became of the most popular genres.

The legacy of the series has not ended, as the 2013 release of Grand Theft Auto V sold over $1 billion in three days, making it the fastest-selling title of all time. The PS4 and Xbox One ports were released in late 2014, but gamers are still anticipating the PC version.

The moral of the story is that everyone will fail, but a successful person or company can and will learn from their mistakes.

Written for GameSkinny
1/4/2015
Original Article: 5 Games That Failed But Earned A Second Chance

Op-Ed: Grand Theft Auto V removed from retailer due to guilt and slander

Sexual violence is an ugly aspect of our society that has a lasting impact on the victims. It’s an issue that needs to be addressed in society and taken seriously by the criminal justice system.

Alleging one of the greatest cultural works encourages sexual violence and then strong-arming retailers with guilt isn’t one way to bring better awareness. Unfortunately a victim of domestic violence (going by the pseudonym of Nicole) chose to take this path by circulating a petition that slandered Grand Theft Auto V than bullied Kmart and Target Australia to remove it from their shelves.

It’s important to know that at no point in Grand Theft Auto V are players asked or required to participate in acts of sexual violence. There are also no moments in the game that features the player perpetrating such a criminal act on a female non-playable character (NPC).

The petition that circulated on Change.org claimed that Grand Theft Auto Vencourages and rewards players for sexually assaulting women. Her only evidence is a YouTube video that demonstrates a players encounter with a prostitute, a trivial feature that has been available since Grand Theft Auto III.

This is has not been the first time the game has been denounced for allowing players to have interactions with prostitutes. However most critics who have denounced the content have been taken seriously in resent years. This is due to a story influenced by Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson that presents an in-depth analysis of the American Dream in a post-2008 crash society. Bickering over an insignificant content to the game gives the impression that they are too stupid to understand its literary content.

Unlike the few irrelevant critics, this petition has fooled 40,000 users and convinced many that the game “encourages kids” to participate in some acts of sexual violence. The result has been two major retailers having pulled the game and reignite a controversy that should have been dead. Worse is that Nicole has had the audacity to brag about her action while demonizing gamers.

So it should not be surprising that the gaming community has come to Rockstar’s defense by circulating another petition while denouncing Nicole’s unfounded and damaging accusation.

Many have felt that Nicole’s petition was based on her not being informed of the game’s content and story, but that is just sugar coating it.The content of the petition was not based on misinformation or a response to Gamergate but the intent to damage. This was all about Nicole wanting to advance her own political ambitions by leaching on a social issue that matters to many.

Following in the footsteps of Jack Thompson, anti-video game activist and disbarred lawyer, this has been a moral crusade based on lies to deceive the public. Adding more insult, she is constantly referring to the game as a product targeted to kids while assuming gamers are kids. This despite the fact that the average gamer is in their late 20s and the game was made for adults.

Nicole is no hero looking out for those who been the victims of sexual violence. The real heroes are those who refuse to accept what happen to them while working not only to seek justice for themselves but for others. They are also the ones who are fighting to have the law take the crime seriously while pushing for stronger punishments against rapists.

It should also be noted that Change.org needs to to be held accountable for allowing such a petition to be passed around without checking its accuracy of its claim. Was the petition actually fact checked by an admin or does any social justice warrior gets a free pass?

Sexual violence is a problem that could only be addressed by fighting for the rights of the victims to seek justice, not slandering a work of art. In the end Nicole is no hero, she is just another opportunist pushing her own political agenda on the backs of those who have been the victims of sexual violence.

Written for Digital Journal 
12/11/2014
Original ArticleOp-Ed: Grand Theft Auto V removed from retailer due to guilt and slander

Metal Gear Solid Does Not Need a Remake

In this age of cultural bankruptcy that is dependent on remakes and reboots, it needs to be stated that not all classic works need a makeover just to be more appealing for a new generation.

These classics have survived the test of time to have a massive impact on pop culture but do not need a makeover that will devoid it of what originally made them a landmark or have its message watered-down to appeal to a broad audience (the RoboCop remake being an excellent example).

The same could also apply to classic video games that are significant to the cultural arts. As with movies, the concept of what made it significant is lost in the need to re-imagine it for a new audience. It may have worked well for Resident Evil in 2002 but the GoldenEye remake in 2010 failed to live up to the legacy of the original.

Yet from time to time, Hideo Kojima has voiced his support for remaking Metal Gear Solid, his greatest masterpiece and one of the most iconic games of all time. Most recently he expressed at Gamescom 2014 how he hopes the original game could be remade using the Fox Engine.

It’s understandable that Kojima wishes to see his masterpiece recreated for a new generation of gamers but the reality is that Metal Gear Solid needs to be remade as badly as The Godfather. Its one of those classics that are so timeless that no remake will do it justice or at worst be a work of blasphemy.

This has already been proven when the game has remade for the GameCube back in 2004 as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. This updated version included improved graphics, extended cutscenes and infusing the gameplay mechanisms from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. While the game was praised for rebuilding an iconic, a lot of the aesthetics that made the original a masterpiece was lost.

The most obvious was the remade cutscenes relied too much on over the top action that were so campy that it devoid the game of its dramatic aspects. At the same time the performance of the voice actors lacked the theatrical depth that allowed the player to have an emotional connection with the character. Metal Gear Solid was one of the earliest games to feature a real dramatic presence driven by the strong performance of the voice actors, but most of that would be lost in the remake.

Most players had some remorse after defeating Psycho Mantis while feeling a sense of sorrow when having to fight Sniper Wolf. Yet all that emotional connection was lost in the remake.

Not helping The Twin Snakes was how the new gameplay mechanism took the challenge out of memorable boss fights and made the overall experience lack any significance. Classic moments that required carefully timed tactics lost there challenging aspect with the new mechanisms.

The best noted example was the boss battle against Revolver Ocelot while the Arms Tech President tied up in the center while strapped with C4. In the original game, players had to outflank Ocelot then properly time when to take a shot while avoid hurting the hostage. In the remake all the player had to do was stand in a corner and aim in first-person view then shot.

The duel against Revolver Ocelot is one of the most memorable boss battles because it required the player to think before acting. Meanwhile The Twin Snakes made it into a simple battle that lacked a challenge. The same could be said about other boss battles in the game that lost their significance because of the new gameplay mechanism.

Finally the new musical score composed for the game along with re-tuning some of the classic did not help make The Twin Snakes a better game. The musical score help drive the emotions of the moment while adding to dramatic tone. The new soundtrack did its best but lacked the same passion as the original.

If the GameCube remake failed to live up to the legacy of the original than Kojima shouldn’t expect a Metal Gear Solid built on the Fox Engine to create the same momentum. Another remake will water down its themes even more and rob it of the elements that made it significant.

Metal Gear Solid is one of the most important games ever developed while its legacy has made it an icon of pop culture. It doesn’t need to be remade just to appeal to a new generation because a real gamer should respect its legacy for what it has accomplished for the gaming medium.

Written for GameSkinny
08/27/2014
Original Article: Metal Gear Solid Does Not Need a Remake

‘Grand Theft Auto: Online’ mod allows players to rape others

‘Grand Theft Auto: Online’ may have been developed to allow gamers to build their own criminal empire online, but some may have take it too far by developing a mod that allows players to rape others.

This mod was developed and used by a few players trying to “troll” the games online community and is not connected or endorsed by Rockstar Games.

The mod allows the player to manipulate their character and the environment to allow them to force themselves onto other innocent players in a very sexual manner. To develop such a mod would require a player to tamper with the game engine, which could get a player banned from the servers if caught.

News of the mod was first reported by players on Reddit with the username, mrerikmattila, who reported having such an encounter with a player named DEEPER_IN_DA_ASS. The user further elaborated the encounter with Patrica Hernandez of Kotaku.

Hernandez elaborates that while such encounter are rare, there have been videos found on YouTube showing hackers sexually assaulting other players in the game. She also hints that Rockstar may need to do another round of house cleaning to crackdown on hackers who tamper with the game engine.

News of the mod has repulsed many gamers who find it to be distasteful and disturbed by the fact some one took the time to make such a program. One user stated on Kotaku, “What the hell kind of person starts playing GTA and thinks, “I wonder how I can make these characters rape each other?” Worse, what kind of person then dedicates actual time and effort to making this a reality?”

Grand Theft Auto V was released on September 17 and it has been highly praised by critics as one of the greatest games developed for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Grand Theft Auto: Online is the multiplayer feature and it went live two weeks after the games launch.

Written for Digital Journal 
08/12/2014
Original Article: ‘Grand Theft Auto: Online’ mod allows players to rape others

Kevin Spacey’s performance in ‘Call of Duty’ has generated buzz

After the official trailer for ‘Call of Duty: Advance Warfare’ was unveiled, one of the most talked about moment has been the performance of actor Kevin Spacey as the main villain.

The game will be set in a future were Private Military Companies have grown to have great influence around while one of them decides to turn against America. Spacey portrays the villainous head of a PMC and is featured delivering a monologue to the viewer about the futility of democracy.

Spacey’s performance has been well-praised by pundits in the game media while gamers have welcomed his talent to the series. In no time his name started trending on Facebook and Twitter while gamers discussed his role on websites like N4G.

Scott Watson stated on Twitter, Well damn me it’s @KevinSpacey turning up in the latest @CallofDuty game. Is there nothing this man can’t turn his hand to? Looks EPIC \o/.

Lachlan Davidson stated on Facebook, Not really a CoD fan but I’d be interested to see Spacey’s contribution to the game.

Several gamers have refereed to Spacey’s involvement as making the game feel like “House of COD” or “Call of Duty: House of Cards” (a reference to House of Cards). Luke Plunkett of Kotaku added, “If there’s one thing that could revive my interest in this most flagging of franchises, it’s by injecting a little House of Cards in it (not literally of course, that’s not Frank Underwood, but the tone and the timing of the casting says it all).

Spacey has joined the ranks of many Hollywood stars who have had a performing role in the Call of Duty series. In 2008; Gary Oldman and Kiefer Sutherland both had a major performing role in Call of Duty: World at War. Oldman returned along side Sam Worthington and Ed Harris for Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Worthington would return for Black Ops II while Harris was replaced by Michael Keaton. Meanwhile the role of Elise T. Walker in Ghosts was performed by Stephen Lang.

Call of Duty: Advance Warfare will be the eleventh game in the popular series that has sold over 100 million copies and on average has 40 million active players a month. The game is set to be released on November 4.

Written for Digital Journal

Foxconn interns alleged to have sabotaged the PlayStation 4

A forum post published by users claiming to be Foxconn interns alleged that the PlayStation 4 was deliberately mishandled and sabotaged during the manufacturing process.
Several posts about interns sabotaging the PS4 during the manufacturing process had appeared on message boards in China. These post failed to attract attention until reports emerged regarding problems with the system followed by a forum posted on IGN.com by a new user claiming to be a Foxconn intern.

The post claims that the user, “qbroid,” along with interns in the same position, made efforts to sabotage the PlayStation 4 during the manufacturing process. “qbroid” reinforces his story by also posting claims made by other interns on how they deliberately mishandled or tampered with the console.

“qbroid” states that the sabotage was done in retaliation for how Foxconn mistreated them. The post said: Since Foxconn are not treating us well, we will not treat PS4 console well.

In early October, it was reported that Foxconn was forcing student interns from the Xi’an Technical University to work overtime to assemble the PS4 or risk having their diplomas withheld. The allegations came a few days after Foxconn CEO Terry Gou stated that young people are interested in “easy and relaxing jobs” at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Foxconn is one of the largest manufactures of electronic products with clients like Apple, Sony, and Microsoft. It has also become infamous for its labor practices and working conditions that have driven several workers to commit suicide.

Written for Digital Journal
10/7/2013
Original Article: Foxconn interns alleged to have sabotaged the PlayStation 4

Waiting to buy a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One could be the smartest thing you do

The gaming industry is going to enter the eighth generation of consoles this month, but it may be better to wait before wasting your hard-earned money on a product that will probably be defective.

Like all new technology, the first models will suffer from software glitches because the development team was under pressure to release them on the market around the same time as the competition. Looking back at past trends and current problems in the industry provides a strong case for waiting to purchase these systems.

Xbox gamers will recall the early days, when some of the first models of the Xbox 360 had a defective disc reader. This flaw resulted in a circumferential scratch on the disc that rendered it unusable. It was discovered that some disc drives lack a mechanism to secure the disc solidly in place.

If an Xbox 360 owner was lucky enough to have a proper disc reader, then he risked facing a hardware problem that resulted in the system crashing and the console becoming inoperable: the Red Ring of Death. Affected gamers had to mail their defective console to Microsoft to have it repaired. Microsoft never officially revealed what caused the Ring of Death, but speculation was that it was either a central processing unit (CPU) failure or the use of a poor-quality solder.

Meanwhile, the first models of the PlayStation 3 had hardware that was difficult for developers to work with, which resulted in fewer games being released at launch. Also, the new software was incompatible with so many PlayStation 2 games that the feature had to be abandoned in the slim models.

Back when PlayStation 2 dominated the market after the failure of the Dreamcast, the first models had a disc reader that would wear out and result in the system being unable to read any disc inserted into the console. Sony offered to fix the disc reader and provide a free game while some retailers offered a trade-in for the new PS2 slim.

So has the game industry learned how to minimize potential hardware failures? Of course not! The market has grown so that highly anticipated games will compete and outperform movies at the box office. However, the industry is under such great pressure to move products that testers may overlook serious hardware flaws.

Rumors have emerged that there may be major problems with the Xbox One’s operating system and that Microsoft will be unable to resolve it in time. Adding to the speculation are several games journalists claiming that Microsoft is allegedly pressuring them to not publish reviews until after the official launch.

Supporting the rumors is the fact that Microsoft had to redesign the Xbox One after its Orwellian features and draconian style of digital rights management (DRM) caused an uproar in the gaming community. The system had been in development since 2011, but after its controversial unveiling, the development staff had eight months to remove the unpopular features and ensure the console could function properly. Hence, it’s very likely that gamers might experience major system problems with the first models of the Xbox One.

On a smaller scale, there have been countless examples of how ill prepared the industry has been for highly anticipated launches. Most of these nightmares have been in the last few years.

The most recent example would be last month’s launch of Grand Theft Auto Online, which suffered from technical glitches on day one of its release. Due to system problems, gamers were unable to play the game, and the few that could ended up losing their characters after developer Rockstar fixed the glitch.

In March 2013, Electronic Arts had major problems with the release of Sim City. The game suffered from gameplay glitches while server crashes made it unplayable for a weekend. Worse is that the DRM required players to be connected to a dedicated server even if they were playing the single-player game. This contributed to EA being voted “Worst Company in America” by The Consumerist readers for the second year in a row (beating Bank of America).

That pales, however, to how ill prepared Blizzard Entertainment was with the highly anticipated PC release of Diablo III in 2012. After a decade in development, the game suffered from major glitches when players tried to create a profile and was followed by multiple server crashes. Blizzard underestimated how well the game would sell. Even though Diablo III was a major hit, its success was overshadowed by its disastrous launch.

The first models of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are going to have some major problems while later models will have those resolved. It’s better to wait until they do rather than have a system crash just as you’re about to play a brand-new game.

Written for GameBeats 
11/5/2013
Original Article: Waiting to buy a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One could be the smartest thing you do