Microsoft has put its plans to add DVR capabilities to the Xbox One on hold, consistent with the company’s efforts to focus the console on the gaming market.
“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to put development of DVR for Over-the-Air TV on hold to focus our attention on launching new, higher fan-requested gaming experiences across Xbox One and Windows 10,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge.
Microsoft said that it's always listening to fan feedback, and that it “looks forward to bringing more requested experiences” to customers of the Xbox One and Xbox 360 as well as the Xbox app for Windows 10.
Why this matters: When Microsoft launched the Xbox One in 2013, it envisioned the device as a modern set-top box capable of running games as well as video apps like Netflix and Crackle. In May 2015, Microsoft announced a TV tuner, which TechHive described in a review as being “so close to cord-cutting perfection”—if the Xbox One added DVR support. In August 2015, Microsoft announced plans to do just that, though with some caveats: You couldn’t watch and record video at the same time, for example. Ultimately, that might have had something to do with Microsoft’s decision to pull the plug: With DVRs from AT&T and Comcast able to record multiple channels at once, Microsoft might have felt unable to compete.
Fan feedback drives Microsoft’s decisions
Microsoft posted news of its decision on its Xbox Feedback site (formerly UserVoices), where DVR functionality had received 2,196 votes from the fans.
Users chimed in, many of them upset that they had already invested in the hardware.
“Really dissapointed to hear that this feature will not be implemented, a user named FeatheryAxis742 commented. “My wife and I have been waiting for this feature for months now. Over the past few months we’ve begun using the new AppleTV for our media consumption since we were waiting for the DVR feature. Now I definitely don’t see why we would switch back. Sucks that I paid $50 for a tuner in anticipation of Microsoft adding the DVR feature.”
“I am so *** at microsoft for this, I specifically went out and spent £30 on this piece of rubbish of a tuner that is no use without the DVR option...and what do you go and do... cancel it, I WANT A REFUND” dbradley645 added.
If Microsoft is seeking to put more user-requested ideas onto the Xbox One platform, however, here are a few it may be working on, based on the number of votes:
- Make PC games playable on the Xbox One, either via some form of virtual OS or just native support (3,781 votes)
- Bluetooth support for generic Bluetooth headsets (5,999 votes)
- Full offline support for the Xbox One, including achievements, similar to the Xbox 360 (4,671 votes)
The most resounding request, however, has come from customers petitioning Microsoft to add backward-compatiblity support for Xbox 360 games, including Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Each title has hundreds of thousands of votes.
Microsoft is scheduled to provide an update on the state of Xbox gaming this coming Monday, when it kicks off the Electronic Entertainment Expo with a presentation scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Pacific. We’ll find out more then.