Microsoft’s upcoming console Xbox One seems to be more and more the center of controversy on the internet, despite the now rather numerous policy reversals enacted by the manufacturer to try and placate potential customers.
Many YouTube users in particular seem to be quite keen on voting Xbox One hardware-related videos down in percentages that look disproportionate to what the kind of video would warrant in normal conditions.
Looking at recent videos (at the moment of this writing), we can see that the unveiling of the Xbox One Wireless Controller got 500 downvotes in 4,548 total votes, with a rather high 11% downvote ratio. Things get worse with the Play & Charge kit, that got 483 downvotes in 3,430 total, with a ratio of thumbs down just north of 14%. The Chat Headset has 619 downvotes in 4,415 votes and holds the same 14% negative proportion.
But that’s nothing in comparison to what happened just the day after, with the release of a video starring Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb unboxing the Xbox One itself, that got a total of 51,467 votes at the moment of this writing. Of those a staggering 21,469 thumbs point down. That’s just south of a 42% negative ratio.
In comparison PS4 videos fare much better. The DualShock 4 focused video has 285 downvotes among 12,633 (just north of 2% negative), the PS4 Out of the Box video has 170 thumbs down in 4,983 total opinions (3.4% negative). Things are a bit worse, but not nearly Xbox One-worse with the PS4 Q&A video, that gathered 584 downvotes in 7210 total votes, with an 8% negative ratio.
I guess Microsoft can take heart in the fact that things aren’t going nearly as bad as they used to. The Xbox One Unveil video back in May got 28,212 thumbs down in 55,451. That’s nearly a 51% negative opinion. The bottom was touched with the Xbox One Reveal Highlights video that was literally shredded by the YouTube community, with 17,716 negatives in 21,033 votes, a disastrous 84% dissatisfaction ratio.
That said, while it didn’t sink as badly as the older videos, the recent unboxing video is telling. We don’t know how many of those downvotes are actual dissatisfied customers, and how many are simply trolls trying to make the upcoming console look bad, but there definitely is a movement keen in expressing a negative opinion on the console whatever its motives may be. We’ll have to see how that negative opinion will compare with fact towards the end of the year and beyond.
I’m personally inclined to believe that the ratio of actual dissatisfaction is nearer to the 11-14% shown by the less visible videos than to extremes that show almost half of the votes as thumbs down. The more a video is visible, the more the trolls will flock to it, but of course this is just my personal speculation, and your opinion is as good as mine.