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Microsoft's Marc Whitten Talks Xbox One's Big Policy Changes

Xbox's chief product officer explains why the company is reversing course just days after E3.

In a surprise move, Microsoft today ditched many of the new policies for how Xbox One treats used games, always-on connectivity, and the role of physical discs.

You can read about that here. It's big news, and places Xbox One much closer to PlayStation 4 on a policy level.

After announcing the changes, Microsoft put me in touch with Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten, and we had a whopping five minutes to talk with one another. We ended up talking for almost eight!

Here's our full conversation.

Giant Bomb: You guys spent last week talking a lot about the policies that were already in place. Clearly, these were things you had thought about for months, if not years, and were building for it. And just several days after E3, to reverse a lot of these big, bold choices about the machine...why does this come just days after E3 closed?

Marc Whitten: This was our first opportunity, frankly, if you look over the last month, from the Xbox One unveil to E3, to actually lay out what our program is, and to talk about it. We’ve been working on it for a very long time, and this is our first time to start getting feedback. By the end of E3, we’ve given a view across our entire program of how the system works, [from] the amazing line-up of games and how those games take unique advantage of Xbox One and the cloud and what they can do. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. It was the time where we heard from everybody and what they loved about our games, what they loved about our vision--but they also wanted more choice. They wanted the flexibility to use your console offline, and they wanted the flexibility to be able to use physical discs the way they've always used them. Frankly, we just listened. We wanted to take that feedback and make changes.

Giant Bomb: You characterize this as responding to feedback from customers, and this being your first chance to respond. But couldn't you have anticipated some of this backlash in the first place? Why do you think consumers were so upset and so vocal about the original policies put in place for the machine?

Whitten: We believe a lot in this digital future, and we think most people will be using Xbox One connected, and they're going to be taking advantage of the cloud with games like Titanfall or with Forza and how it uses drivatars. And, frankly, just to stream content online with video or to play multiplayer. So much of what we believe in that vision, frankly, I do think that people have responded in a really, really deep and rich way--that they love that vision, they love the experience. They love what they saw about how the NFL experience could be changed, for instance. But we clearly heard that there were times that they needed the box to work in an offline state, whether they just wanted to use it offline or were going on vacation or they were in a low connectivity area, and, frankly, that they loved the familiarity of physical discs and really wanted it. So, we just responded to that.

Giant Bomb: Right after this news broke, GameStop's stock went up 6%. Do you think that's related?

Whitten: [pause] [laughs] Uh, I don't know. I'm not a good person to ask about stock market prices.

Giant Bomb: Along with this, a lot of these were related to policy changes in regard to DRM and an always-on connection. Has there been any discussion about addressing any of the privacy concerns in terms of the Kinect, and that being on all the time and also being a requirement for turning on the box?

Whitten: We're really focused on how Kinect can change the experience, and the importance of having Kinect be a deep part of the architecture, so that game creators [and] experience creators can always take advantage of it. As a user, you can rely on it always being able to work. That said, we're also focused on making sure that you're in control, that you understand what Kinect's doing, and that you have great privacy controls around them. We've put some information there on how that's going to work on Xbox One. Of course, I'll also just say that you have the choice to have your console work offline. We're here to give you control over that experience.

Giant Bomb: The machine does require a connection at least once when a user purchases it. Why is that?

Whitten: It was always part of the plan for Xbox One. It's as simple as the difference between our manufacturing schedules and our software schedules. There was always going to be a day-one update when we launched it.

Giant Bomb: Regardless of these policy changes, you guys had built in that there was going to be a day-one update to the machine, even if when these policies were announced, everyone was honky dory?

Whitten: Oh, yeah. It's always been the plan.

Giant Bomb: You guys have mentioned that this essentially kills, at least for launch, some of the more progressive, interesting policies, such as the family sharing and lending policies. Are those killed permanently or are they things that can come back in future software updates for the operating system?

Whitten: Part of it's a mix because of the reality of how you're changing the experience. Let me give you an example. Before, one of the things that's exciting about a digital ecosystem, is if I go to any Xbox and I see all my games, they show up in my games library? Well, obviously, if you're gonna use physical discs, those games wouldn't show up because it's only showing the content that's in the cloud--that's in your online library. That wouldn't change. The difference is the choice you have of using physical discs or having purchased things online. That said, so much of how we built the program is really built on that digital infrastructure. You get a ton of the advantage of that at launch, and we're going to continue to invest in that. Examples are, obviously, things like day-and-date [digital purchases], and I can choose to buy either of them online or physical--it's my choice. Similarly, if I went to your house with my physical-based game, and we played and I left and took my disc with me, you could instantly purchase that game with no download because it's all built on that same functionality. You're going to see us continue to really invest in that. We believe a lot in that cloud powered future.

Giant Bomb: Does that mean, specifically, the family sharing and stuff like that is not off the table, or just something we're not talking about for launch?

Whitten: We're talking about where we are at launch, and we'll continue to invest and deliver interesting, cool, new scenarios. We'll see where we go.

Giant Bomb: Some of the games you mentioned--Titanfall is one, Foza is another--are games that are investing in the cloud infrastructure to enhance the gameplay experience. Obviously, third-parties have a little more leverage in terms of how they handle those policies, but Forza is a first-party game. What happens for the consumer that chooses to just be offline, and purchases a copy of Forza? Does that impact their singleplayer experience, or only start to cut them off from things that require the cloud, such as drivatar?

Whitten: It's really up to the game creators. Either in first-party or third-party, we don't have any specific policies around that. We want to give them access to a ton of capabilities in the cloud, we think most people will probably be playing connected to the live service and to our cloud servers. We think it can really change the experience in a whole bunch of ways, and, frankly, we hope we see game creators come up with amazing things that could only happen when you're connected to the cloud because they're using that power. If that's single player, multiplayer, whatever--that's their choice.

Giant Bomb: Last question, and I'll let you go. How do you think Sony feels today?

Whitten: [laughs] You know, I don't know. I focus on listening to our customers and our fans. I love the fact that they tell us what they love, and they tell us what they don't love. Frankly, that's what we've always been doing around here--to deliver what they love, and make changes when they don't like things. That's our focus.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
319 Comments
Edited by rockman10

@shibboleth: Vita also did day one update.. its pretty standard. Basically the hardware has to be manufactured with firmware way before the hardware is sold, between that time you still want to do bug fixes and feature updates, therefore a day 1 update.

Edited by kagato

Patrick asked all right questions but Whitten was evasive and vague as Microsoft have been since the start of this whole thing, nothing has really changed, they still wont commit to anything 100%. They have done the right thing in removing all of the stupid DRM and always online nonsense, but they could literally turn it all back on again the second they reach critical mass on the user side. I know its maybe a little paranoid but i just dont trust them now, ill be keeping an eye on the whole thing for a good year or so (whilst gaming on the PS4) and if....IF they dont screw it all up ill buy one at that point but yeah....something still seems off.

Posted by Pezen

His type of answers makes this whole political race analogy just fit even better.

Edited by Dross

Frankly, my dear, I'm still buying a PS4.

Posted by sickVisionz

People are seriously getting upset about patches? Have you guys been living in the dark for the past console gen or never used a PC in the last 20 years?

Edited by VibratingDonkey

Flipflopping like this after that whole escapade comes across as disingenuous, but regardless, glad this happened. No longer 100% opposed to the idea of eventually getting an Xbox One.

I have a lot more faith in Sony though. They didn't need customers to shout directions and point where they needed to go as they were fumbling around for an eternity, pretending to hear us or trying to (badly) convince us they were going the right way. Sony knew in which direction they should be heading.

PS4 is a potential preorder, Xbox One is a potential purchase at some point.

Hope digital sharing gets worked out. I think everyone understands that there needs to be restrictions, but some ability to transfer licenses would really ease the transition. Microsoft was on the right track with that at least.

Posted by civid

"...frankly, we hope we see game creators come up with amazon things..."

Oh you Klepek. Great interview!

Posted by kensei423

I know it's been said already, but. SCOOOOOOOPS!

Posted by pplus0440

I am confused.

What features did we lose to internet whining??

Also congrats Patrick. I always knew you had the most talent on the site.

Edited by charlie_victor_bravo

Patrick throws some good questions and Whitten tries to say as much as possible without giving as little solid info as possible. Smells like full panic mode is on at Microsoft.

Edited by LarryDavis

Next doofus to point out the "amazon" typo gets punched in the taint.

Is it okay to point out the tons of other typos, then?

Edited by EarthBowl

@InternetDetective: Yeah, but I assume that's just not to admit defeat on a corporate level.

What I found most interesting about this interview was the fact that when Patrick attempted to ask about policies regarding the family share and the reactions to such features that Whitten just continues to talk about "the positive feedback from the community". Even with these changes, I still cant believe Microsoft is remaining cryptic in their conversations regarding the Xbox One.

Edited by SilenceUK

Well thanks to all the people who moaned about the what i saw as non issues, i cant have my family sharing and no disk in drive play that i was looking forward to ..... progress has to happen just not any time soon it seems, sooner steams way of buying games comes to consoles the better

Edited by Calitar

How can someone say so much while saying so little?

Posted by Chuncho_Munos

What does Michelle Rodriguez think abou all of this? That's what I want to know

Posted by morose

I think I would have titled this, "Microsoft's Marc Whitten talks a lot and says very little."

Posted by TheRealVanGogh

Nice interview! I appreciate the asking of tough questions, which the other video game outlets didn't bother to do. I think it is very safe to say that it wasn't a "we heard the feedback and reacted" like Whitten is trying to spend the story to. It was more the consumers were not going to buy this product so we had to make changes. I don't appreciate the this is our first time hearing consumers speak about the product line they are pushing hard (every leak about the Xbox 1 received negative feedback by potential consumers so don't give me that) and I don't like how all of sudden Mr. "Go Buy a 360 if you don't like my policies" is trying to be humble now (that dude needs to be fired like yesterday). I appreciate that you asked the obvious question Patrick of how come MS didn't see the negative response coming, but I truly love how Whitten never truly answered the question.

I just was put onto Giant Bomb the other day, and without a doubt you can count me as a fan from here on out. Great work and congrats on the awesome scoop Patrick. Cheers

Posted by SnowyPliskin

@kazona said:

So now everything that made the Xbox One interesting is gone, all thanks to the angry, idiotic, mob that lashed out without thinking. So thank you, angry people, for ensuring that we went two steps forward and two steps back.

A shame though that everything that made them "interesting" meant shafting large groups of people and treating consumers like dairy cows.

Posted by Saga

Giant Bomb: Last question, and I'll let you go. How do you think Sony feels today?

Whitten: FATALITY!!!

Posted by Cramsy

Flipflopping like this after that whole escapade comes across as disingenuous, but regardless, glad this happened. No longer 100% opposed to the idea of eventually getting an Xbox One.

I have a lot more faith in Sony though. They didn't need customers to shout directions and point where they needed to go as they were fumbling around for an eternity, pretending to hear us or trying to (badly) convince us they were going the right way. Sony knew in which direction they should be heading.

PS4 is a potential preorder, Xbox One is a potential purchase at some point.

Hope digital sharing gets worked out. I think everyone understands that there needs to be restrictions, but some ability to transfer licenses would really ease the transition. Microsoft was on the right track with that at least.

LOL Are you kidding me? Let's all just ignore the joke of a PS3 launch. Clearly Sony didn't listen to anything consumers said about their console.... At least Microsoft addressed these issues before the console launched and didn't wait an entire generation to 'make it up' to consumers.

Posted by JayCee

Tricky Scoops, droppin the mic in SF and he out!

Edited by TopFloor

People love Steam and Xbox One seemed to be the console version of that so I don't get why people are up in arms about it.

Nope not even close. One big difference between Steam and XBO is that Steam doesn't require you to check in online every 24 hours so you can leave your account offline for as long as you need to.

The other big difference is that Steam actually has good sales all the time. Mainly because (believe it or not) Steam has to compete with other digital retailers on the PC. XBLA being the only digital store on XBO pretty much means we will continue to see the same non-changing prices we've always seen on XBLA.

Posted by confideration

They could have used the Steam model with offline mode, or extended the check in time, but thanks to consumer confusion and whining we are losing features, and FRANKLY, choice.

Posted by Budwyzer

Great interview Patrick. Doing your best to squeeze some actual information out of him.

EDIT: Also typo: "amazon things". Thought you were referencing Amazon cloud stuff for a second.

If you're going to come on here and point out typos, then point them all out or none.

"and I can chose to buy either of them online or physical"

"You get a ton the advantage of that at launch"

Neither of which can be right, now go home.

Edited by SolongWrex

@vibratingdonkey: Problem for Sony is, this is probably the last few years they can expect to be able to rake in the conservative, always-offline physical media dollar in any significant amount, even though this announcement does offer them quite a bit more breathing room since there's no more uncertainty about the success of Microsoft's alternative model.

Sony may look like they're in a good position, but things can change fast. We're seeing Google Fiber being rolled out, and other providers are already responding with a better product, resulting in faster, cheaper Internet in the USA. As connection speeds and data caps become non-issues, downloading affordable games will suddenly be hugely attractive to a lot of people, and not all of them are going to want to play on Steam. Sony's choice is to ignore this and play it as safe as they possibly can, which leaves them wide open for a competitor to swoop in and dominate that space before we're even halfway through next gen. This could have been Microsoft, but they lost nerve. Nintendo could be in a position to capitalize if they cut their cycle short and come out with a revamped strategy, which I highly doubt. Apple's been rumored to be interested in gaming for a while now, and this could be the opening they're looking for.

In any case, we have two giant companies that are happy to stay their course for the foreseeable. Small, incremental changes to their digital services and pricing are likely to be enough to keep them on top if nothing major happens, but a total paradigm shift a few years from now could be devastating for both of them. Sony, to me, seems more vulnerable, simply because they're now in full customer-pleasing mode after their experience with PS3, and that could leave them unable to commit to big plays.

Online
Posted by VargasPrime

@cramsy said:

@vibratingdonkey said:

Flipflopping like this after that whole escapade comes across as disingenuous, but regardless, glad this happened. No longer 100% opposed to the idea of eventually getting an Xbox One.

I have a lot more faith in Sony though. They didn't need customers to shout directions and point where they needed to go as they were fumbling around for an eternity, pretending to hear us or trying to (badly) convince us they were going the right way. Sony knew in which direction they should be heading.

PS4 is a potential preorder, Xbox One is a potential purchase at some point.

Hope digital sharing gets worked out. I think everyone understands that there needs to be restrictions, but some ability to transfer licenses would really ease the transition. Microsoft was on the right track with that at least.

LOL Are you kidding me? Let's all just ignore the joke of a PS3 launch. Clearly Sony didn't listen to anything consumers said about their console.... At least Microsoft addressed these issues before the console launched and didn't wait an entire generation to 'make it up' to consumers.

Yeah, I gotta agree there. Anyone suddenly thinking that Sony is all pro-consumer and pro-developer because of their "business-as-usual" approach to the PS4 needs to check their rear-view mirrors. It took Sony almost an entire console generation to course-correct from their arrogant, shaky PS3 launch. Building PS+ into a service that provides actual value to their subscribers, cultivating an image as an "indie-friendly" platform, promoting a digital marketplace that is offering an experience closer to what PC users have been familiar with... These are all recent, calculated moves on their part to make up for a lot of the ill-will that they fostered with the PS3 in its early years.

I'm not defending Microsoft, their policies, or their flip-flopping, but at least they saw the writing on the wall and walked back some of their stances before the console actually launched.

Posted by VargasPrime

@budwyzer said:

@blackmoore said:

Great interview Patrick. Doing your best to squeeze some actual information out of him.

EDIT: Also typo: "amazon things". Thought you were referencing Amazon cloud stuff for a second.

If you're going to come on here and point out typos, then point them all out or none.

"and I can chose to buy either of them online or physical"

"You get a ton the advantage of that at launch"

Neither of which can be right, now go home.

Calm down, duder. Some people point out typos out of a genuine desire to help the writer, not just to be a dick. It's entirely possible that the "amazon" mistake was the only one he actually noticed.

Good lord.

Posted by ProfessorK

Can't please everybody. I'd rather have no dumb ass 24hr check in than some overblown family plan. Seriously, there's no confirmation that it won't work for digital games yet. All you guys that want to move into the "future" DO NOT BUY ANY DISC BASED GAMES ON XBOX ONE!. The same way the policies have changed due to customer outrage now is the same way that MS will see how much better it will be to forgo discs in the future due to sales.

But when they continue to serve us games at ridiculous prices for months old games down the road for digital releases when you can find said games in a store for 20-30 dollars less, make sure to give them shit then too.

Posted by Matt_F606

@shibboleth: Usually because they have to start building the hardware now and shipping it with some sort of OS but the actual OS probably wont be ready until much closer to launch.

Posted by alwaysbebombing

@theveej said:

@outerabiz said:

@pillclinton said:

What a fucking PR robot this guy is...

Politicians and business execs. They all speak the exact same way.

it's straight up disgusting, someone should update this dudes drivers and add some realtalk to that programming.

Maybe its just me being a business graduate, but people are way too harsh on PR people.

I don't know what you guys expect PR people and execs to do in these kind of situations. Do you want execs and PR people to respond the way MS people did few weeks a go and give different convoluting answers causing a PR disaster?

MS probably doesn't even know the answer to most of these questions and a lot of things are probably up in the air. Dude is trying to just do his job and not fuck up like ALL THE OTHER MS EXECS HAVE DONE the last few weeks. He is sticking to the script and buzz words, there are a very few people that can do PR and not sound like robots and still keep their jobs. One fuck up in this situation can be devastating for the company.

Don't get me wrong, dude does sound like a robot and he could do a better job at not sounding like one; but realistically he most likely is not able to give any clear answers even if he wanted to.

But yes you are right, politicians and business execs sound the same and they could use a driver update.

This

Posted by ptc

I was always going to buy an xbox one, but now I feel a little better about it. I see Kinect as a value add, and I enjoyed the original Kinect (Happy Action Theater, Sports, and Dance Central are all winners). The only thing I don't like, that Microsoft could easily change, is their stance towards Indie/small developers. Let them self publish. I want to be able to play Fez II or whatever Johnathan Blow comes up with Day 1.

Edited by GalacticGravy

Frankly.

Edited by mrGREEK360

Great interview Patrick, I hope you have a good time the next few days before you move back to Chicago.

Posted by Grimmie92

@professork: except there are cases where internet is fast, stable and dependable.. however, unlike the states, they cap you with a quota, in NZ specifically.. Broadband is fucking terrible, our largest internet plans are around 150GB/month if you actually want to be able to pay for it..

The previous policy would have allowed me to buy my collectors edition of Watch_Dogs with all the swag, get it delivered to my house by the time i wake up at around 10am (after working a night-shift) install the game and play it.. anywhere.

I love steam and its digital distribution but some games I still buy physical for PC just because the download sizes for games like crysis is getting out of hand.. and I dont want to spend a good 10th of my months quota on a single game when i still have to stream Game of thrones in HD 4 times

Posted by ProfessorK

@grimmie92: I see what you mean. I was just referring to the multitude of comments since this issue started stating that discs are holding us back. I'm not opposed to them letting you install discs at all. But where media is going, that won't be an option anyway.

Edited by Andheez

@kazona

So now everything that made the Xbox One interesting is gone, all thanks to the angry, idiotic, mob that lashed out without thinking. So thank you, angry people, for ensuring that we went two steps forward and two steps back.

@silenceuk said:

Well thanks to all the people who moaned about the what i saw as non issues, i cant have my family sharing and no disk in drive play that i was looking forward to ..... progress has to happen just not any time soon it seems, sooner steams way of buying games comes to consoles the better

Glad to see that someone feels the same way. I thought the 24hr check in was a bit much in some cases but a cloud based games collection sounded fantastic to me. It kinda sounds like they will still be implementing some of these features and if you buy digitally hopefully it will still exist as planned. I think one good side effect of this is it could force companies to price online sales more aggressively.

Edited by Murdoc_

Can they guarantee that any of my Kinect data will be not be mined by the NSA? Not to sound like a paranoid crazy person, but that stuff bothers me more than not using a disk.

Posted by Live_Free_or_Die
Edited by subliminal_kid

@murdoc_: I think they can guarantee it will be mined by the NSA because it is going over the internet.

Posted by DedBeet

Pure Klepek magic; takes a great interview and attempts to ruin it with a final dick, unanswerable question. Really curious why Klepek hates Sony so much. Must've stole his prom date or something.

Posted by Elwoodan

Frankly, the cloud.

Posted by ei8htbit

@ei8htbit: You would makeup with someone even after you found out their true intentions of something this incredibly heinous? You must have some pretty low morals and standards for what people can do to you.

umm, are you serious or perhaps just being a little melodramatic? Anyone who would classify an always online requirement as "incredibly heinous" is either incredibly out of touch with reality or a huge fan of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures (in which case, I salute you). I don't know about you, but I reserve that term for things that are actually meaningful like genocide, terrorism, and Amanda Bynes.

Also, last time I checked, Microsoft didn't actually DO anything to us. They laid out their intentions for an all-digital platform that still allowed for physical discs but with obvious restrictions and many people went apeshit. So, they caved in to this lowest common denominator feedback and removed every single one of those restrictions over 4 months before this thing will even exist. How is that incredibly heinous? How were you wronged in any way? You can talk intentions all you want, the truth of the matter is that their actual actions are speaking louder.

Consider this: was it incredibly heinous for a company like Sony to restrict all storage on the Vita (a system that requires storage in order to even function) to an overpriced proprietary SD card when the market is full of other competitively priced options with higher capacity at a better value to the average consumer? Does such anti-consumer intentions not make Sony incredibly heinous as a company such that they are never to be reconciled with again evar? Of course not.

All I would suggest is to put things in perspective for what they really are. Everyone is in this game to make money off you, none of them actually "care" about you, not even Reggie (OK, maybe deep down Shiggy does). The fact that you can easily be labelled ("gamer") makes it easier for them to sell you something. But we're all getting something out of the equation as well, we get to play games and escape or be entertained. That's all there is to this relationship; We pay to play. If you choose to read anything more into the industry deeper than that, or think that one company has "got your back" any more than the other, well that's either incredibly heinous or just plain foolish.

*mic drop*

Posted by TylerxShip

Policy changes, such a big deal.

Posted by Zaccheus

This is a good thing, but somehow it makes me respect Microsoft even less... I think that's irrational.

Edited by patrickklepek

@budwyzer said:

@blackmoore said:

Great interview Patrick. Doing your best to squeeze some actual information out of him.

EDIT: Also typo: "amazon things". Thought you were referencing Amazon cloud stuff for a second.

If you're going to come on here and point out typos, then point them all out or none.

"and I can chose to buy either of them online or physical"

"You get a ton the advantage of that at launch"

Neither of which can be right, now go home.

Calm down, duder. Some people point out typos out of a genuine desire to help the writer, not just to be a dick. It's entirely possible that the "amazon" mistake was the only one he actually noticed.

Good lord.

hey guyz calm down

Staff
Posted by Zevvion

@andheez said:

@kazona

So now everything that made the Xbox One interesting is gone, all thanks to the angry, idiotic, mob that lashed out without thinking. So thank you, angry people, for ensuring that we went two steps forward and two steps back.

@silenceuk said:

Well thanks to all the people who moaned about the what i saw as non issues, i cant have my family sharing and no disk in drive play that i was looking forward to ..... progress has to happen just not any time soon it seems, sooner steams way of buying games comes to consoles the better

Glad to see that someone feels the same way. I thought the 24hr check in was a bit much in some cases but a cloud based games collection sounded fantastic to me. It kinda sounds like they will still be implementing some of these features and if you buy digitally hopefully it will still exist as planned. I think one good side effect of this is it could force companies to price online sales more aggressively.

I agree, but it sucks for me. I was looking forward to, as a collector, getting the physical disc AND have the convenience of playing it without a disc.

Even if the cloud library still exists in digital form, owning the physical disc is no longer part of that.

I hope they sometime will give you the option to chose between offline mode and online mode. Where in online mode, you can use the disc to install and check in for a connection and whatnot.

Posted by VACkillers

So basically what I got out of that interview was that Microsoft confirmed what I was saying yesterday, and after about 2 or so years into the life cycle of the X-1, they reserve the right to re-implement all the DRM stuff at any time they feel they want to.

Listening to feedback is cobblers!!! Sony forced their hand and was the reaction Sony has got over MS which forced them to change.....Glad they changed but I still wouldn't run the risk of buying an X-1 just so MS can suddenly say at a later date "we no longer are selling new games on disc" and DRM is suddenly re-enabled.

Posted by darkest4

@golguin said:

They can still do "family sharing" with digital copies of games since those will be tied to your account. I wonder why they don't want to do that anymore. It couldn't have been a form of damage control for their anti consumer policies that they decided to pull since there is no longer a need to control that damage.

I'm pretty sure publishers got upset about the stuff Microsoft was saying about "family" sharing and the potential for abuse there. People were planning to have friends across the country on their family list and just take turns buying games, instead of buying all the ones they normally would, and sharing them with far more convenience and advantages over used discs. Most the people looking forward to this feature were doing so because they knew how much money it would save them by sharing digitally with their buddies, that's not what Microsoft was aiming for.

This could cut their sales almost in half as people would just play their friends game with minimal effort instead of buy it themselves. This had the potential to hurt their sales as much or more than used discs and I think Microsoft realized this and it played a part in them changing their minds because they were just trading one way to hurt publishers for another, and pissing a bunch of people off at the same time. I think it was a pipe dream to expect the "family sharing" to ever go live in the form people wanted it to (adding friends anywhere in the country to your "family" list and sharing with them).

Edited by amiga1200

"This is the first chance we've had to listen to our consumers' feedback... um, frankly, since that MASSIVE GLOBALLY-WATCHED EVENT AT WHICH WE WERE SUPPOSED TO PRESENT OUR FINAL CONCEPT... frankly... which nobody liked. Then, y'know, frankly, Sony happened. Frickin' Sony. So we're doing to them what they did to us. And pretending we're fine with it and it's not a huge disaster. Also, so many of us have been nailed for this. So many of us. Can we please, please just get past this horrible awkward negative press? We, like, frankly, totally respect our consumers now. Totally. We wouldn't lie about stuff like this."

Posted by HurricaneIvan29

@darji said:

@hurricaneivan29 said:

@darji said:

...WOW MS how about being honest once....

Whoa there, let's not get ahead of ourselves...

How so? Did you read their statement? That it was not some outrage over the past month? Or that they wanted to change that a long time ago already? Sony actually admitted they were wrong with the leadership of the PS3 and the Cell Architecture for example.

The only thing I want them to do is an apology like Sony did with the PSN outrage for example. Do that and everything will be forgiven. It will be remembered but also forgiven.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves expecting MS to be honest.