Microsoft Xbox OneWith its upcoming next-generation gaming console, the Xbox One, there’s no question Microsoft has endured another rough PR patch. At the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) gaming conference, the new Xbox was thrashed by hardcore gamers for a number of reasons, including the new console’s online connectivity requirements, the default inclusion of the Kinect motion sensor, restrictions on used and shared games, and what those hardcore gamers perceived to be Orwellian features in both the console’s digital rights management (DRM) restrictions and the surveillance attributes of the aforementioned Kinect sensor.

Boy, the E3 crowd is an easily perturbed, paranoid bunch.

It would be gratifying to dismiss most of these high-maintenance gamers—similar to the way I might dismiss annoying, juvenile gamers during a death match on Xbox LIVE—but the unfortunate fact is that these pure gamers were the first audience introduced to the Xbox One, and their voices were the first to blast out into the wider world. And Sony, with its competing PlayStation 4, was only too happy to step into the fray and mollify the hysterical complaints with its more traditionally upgraded system.

“Traditionally upgraded system,” you ask? Yes, I think it’s pretty clear that Sony has gone the more expected route of next-generation console updating by simply pumping it up with more chip power, increased video and audio resolution, and an improved developer experience. The PlayStation 4 appears to be an excellent gaming device, and it’s no wonder it appeals to the E3 audience: It’s bigger and better, and more blazing than its predecessor. But it’s exactly what was expected: a beefier retread.

(Read the rest at Residential AV Presents: Connected Home.)