Posted by ch3burashka (5081 posts) 1 year, 3 months ago

Poll: Will Microsoft Change Its Policy On Always-Online / Used Games (208 votes)

Yes 25%
No 75%

This is a question for the future. I do not expect a knee-jerk reaction over Sony's relatively open stance on things Microsoft is clamping down on. I also think that Microsoft's offering of a "multimedia box" could be just enough to wrangle TV watchers and balance out their user-base.

HOWEVER. Let's imagine that the general populace is just as put-off as the loud minority about these draconian restrictions (cool word, huh?). Let's imagine that 2 years into this cycle, PS4 is outselling XBONE 5-to-1, if not more so. Would Microsoft be willing to lose face (and control) over their ecosystem to get back into the game, or will they maintain course despite poor sales and consumer hostility?

Personally, it's a hard call. In the short term, they may back off a bit, but I do believe we are moving towards a digital future. Although Microsoft is getting on the band-wagon early, maybe in 5 years this will be the standard for most consumer devices / services. Someone somewhere mentioned that they included an ethernet port in the 360 years before broadband was mainstream, which shows forward thinking on their behalf (for the benefit of the consumer in this case, but that's irrelevant).

#1 Posted by JouselDelka (967 posts) -

HOWEVER. Let's imagine that the general populace is just as put-off as the loud minority

Stopped reading there.

#2 Posted by jsnyder82 (734 posts) -
#3 Posted by ch3burashka (5081 posts) -

HOWEVER. Let's imagine that the general populace is just as put-off as the loud minority

Stopped reading there.

Dude, whatever. The internet is basically the definition of a loud minority, in that there is no forum in the world that hosts a majority of any consumer base, ESPECIALLY hobby forums, say, a video game forum. I only have to remind everyone of the MW2 event, when the "Boycott This Game" Steam gamer list showed that at least half of the members were playing MW2 on launch day. People will say absolutely anything, but when push comes to shove, the result wasn't surprising. In the case of an entire console as opposed to a game, and especially one so focused on the TV / football-viewing public, their appeal is much broader than fanboys give them credit for.

#4 Posted by Stevemax (149 posts) -

Because reading is tiring.

#5 Edited by FunkasaurasRex (847 posts) -

Microsoft is probably going to stay the course concerning DRM; the finer details of their service might change, but that's about it. I don't see DRM being a sufficiently significant issue for the mainstream audience that sales are significantly affected.

Well shit.

#6 Posted by iAmJohn (6120 posts) -

Anything is possible if it fails that badly, I suppose. They're backing away from forcing you to start in Metro with Windows 8.1 after all. But I don't think it will happen for the same reason I don't think they'll do it now - the second you give the consumer the indication that Microsoft is willing to negotiate on policies they don't like, every policy potentially goes on the table.

#7 Posted by isomeri (1276 posts) -

No. Always-online is such an integral part of the console that they can and will not change that. And as physical media slowly fades into the shadow the used games angle becomes less and less important.

#8 Posted by danmcn12 (86 posts) -

It isn't always online and I bet you also think MS is blocking all used games, also untrue. Do I think publishers will be blocking used games? Hell no, at least for the first few years.

#9 Posted by EXTomar (4736 posts) -

There isn't anything wrong with the question but the problem is the way the question is framed will invoke a biased response.

#10 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

They will probably keep policies in place until such time as the numbers indicate it is having a meaningful negative effect on their sales numbers in comparison to the competition. I don't expect them to backpedal on it before launch. Right now, the major thing they are likely worried about is price point. PS4 coming in at a full $100 less and launching in more or less the same time frame is a big problem for them.

#11 Posted by mellotronrules (1192 posts) -

if they change now they undermine the entire identity of this new box/direction. so i don't see them changing tack unless they can't sell these things.

#12 Edited by CosmoKramer (54 posts) -

There's no way the always-online policy will ever change, not when they invested so much in servers dedicated to it. As for the DRM, there's too many unknown variables, including the public reaction and the publishers' stance. So far, it looks like Ubi and EA won't prohibit trade-ins for their games, but that might just be PR bullshit - although setting such expectations wouldn't be clever. See:

Ubisoft CEO: Used games have "been good for the industry" - Gamesindustry.biz

Electronic Arts talks DRM, used games and canceling online pass - Polygon.com

Assuming they're telling the truth, there most likely won't be too many non-tradable games on XBox One, which would reduce even more the chance of Microsoft backing off on any of this. Now, the price is another story, and I expect a cheaper XBox One somewhere in 2014.

#13 Posted by TheUnsavedHero (1255 posts) -

Probably not. I don't see them radically changing at least for the first few years. Hell, they might not even change their policy until the next generation. It all depends on how wide of a gap there is in number of Xbox Ones sold compared to the PS4s.

#14 Posted by ProfessorEss (7376 posts) -

Nope. I think Sony will change it's policies for the worse before Microsoft changes theirs for the better.

@herbie @cosmokramer I agree. I think Microsoft is much more concerned about the 100 dollar price difference. You say you expect a cheaper XBOne in 2014 Cosmo, I expect an announcement of a cheaper, subsidized XBOne before release day.

#15 Edited by xyzygy (9993 posts) -

Some. Their policies are there because of the options they have for home sharing games, and because you are now able to install a game directly to your harddrive and not use the disc. Allowing games to be completely downloaded to the HDD and then lent out would lead to developers not getting any money from their games, thus less games. And I don't know about you but I don't want less games. But I do think they will add a way to be able to lend games to friends. I really don't see it as being that difficult - just assign the game a specific code and when your friend pops the game in, deactivate the game on your console temporarily.

#16 Posted by believer258 (11913 posts) -

They'll change the price before they change the DRM and connect every day things.

@danmcn12 said:

It isn't always online and I bet you also think MS is blocking all used games, also untrue. Do I think publishers will be blocking used games? Hell no, at least for the first few years.

No, it isn't "always online", but you do have to connect at least once a day. So say you want to play an Xbox One game. You turn on your console for the first time in two days and then find out that the servers are down, or that MS has decided that it's time for you to move on to their new console and they've permanently shut down the authentication system, so now you will never play your Xbox One again because of the decisions of the company that makes it.

#17 Posted by EarthBowl (164 posts) -

No, simply due to the fact that they have oriented the Xbox One's entire infrastructure around their DRM and legislative policies surrounding the used game market. My thought is more fixed more on how Microsoft will win over consumers with exclusives and first party titles, in order to get that consumer base to deal with their policies and DRM. This is the direction (I feel) Microsoft will push heavily before launch.

#18 Posted by jsnyder82 (734 posts) -

@jouseldelka said:

HOWEVER. Let's imagine that the general populace is just as put-off as the loud minority

Stopped reading there.

Dude, whatever. The internet is basically the definition of a loud minority, in that there is no forum in the world that hosts a majority of any consumer base, ESPECIALLY hobby forums, say, a video game forum. I only have to remind everyone of the MW2 event, when the "Boycott This Game" Steam gamer list showed that at least half of the members were playing MW2 on launch day. People will say absolutely anything, but when push comes to shove, the result wasn't surprising. In the case of an entire console as opposed to a game, and especially one so focused on the TV / football-viewing public, their appeal is much broader than fanboys give them credit for.

Yeah, if people around here think Average Joe is part of the group of people that frequents video game websites, and follows up on everything E3 related, they've gotta be dense. They are the ones that will make up the vast majority of people who are undoubtedly going to buy the Xbox One, because they have little to no knowledge of the always-on requirements, or the used games policies. And that doesn't even take into account all of the people here who DO frequent gaming websites, and will no doubt buy an Xbox One anyway, either because these restrictions don't bother them, or they just don't affect them at all.

#19 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

Assuming these consoles last as long as the last ones, I can't imagine that in 7 years their policies are exactly the same when there's such a negative reaction to them. I bet they will loosen them at least, even if it's not right away.

#20 Edited by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

I dunno. They may rework the used games thing I guess. I doubt they'll ditch the always online thing. I never understood why that's such a big deal anyway.

#21 Edited by ashton (311 posts) -
#22 Edited by danmcn12 (86 posts) -

They'll change the price before they change the DRM and connect every day things.

@danmcn12 said:

It isn't always online and I bet you also think MS is blocking all used games, also untrue. Do I think publishers will be blocking used games? Hell no, at least for the first few years.

No, it isn't "always online", but you do have to connect at least once a day. So say you want to play an Xbox One game. You turn on your console for the first time in two days and then find out that the servers are down, or that MS has decided that it's time for you to move on to their new console and they've permanently shut down the authentication system, so now you will never play your Xbox One again because of the decisions of the company that makes it.

They could easily issue firm ware updates and allow people to game without that authentication, or flip a switch that would by pass the need for the check ins. Almost every D2D service that requires online checks has that system in place, including steam. The online checks, imo, sound way worse then they actual will end up being.

#23 Edited by VilhelmNielsen (1735 posts) -

Third parties will probably enforce their own kind of restrictions on the PS4 versions, so no, I don't think Microsoft will ever have to change their policy.

#24 Edited by Barrock (3533 posts) -

Third parties will probably enforce their own kind of restrictions on the PS4 versions, so no, I don't think Microsoft will ever have to change their policy.

Sony's already stated they aren't going to allow online passes. I don't think they are going to let them get away with much.

#25 Posted by VilhelmNielsen (1735 posts) -

@barrock said:

@vilhelmnielsen said:

Third parties will probably enforce their own kind of restrictions on the PS4 versions, so no, I don't think Microsoft will ever have to change their policy.

Sony's already stated they aren't going to allow online passes. I don't think they are going to let them get away with much.

That's just plain wrong, duder.

They're just saying they haven't developed similar infrastructure to Microsoft, but publishers seem to find solutions on their own.

#26 Edited by Barrock (3533 posts) -

@barrock said:

@vilhelmnielsen said:

Third parties will probably enforce their own kind of restrictions on the PS4 versions, so no, I don't think Microsoft will ever have to change their policy.

Sony's already stated they aren't going to allow online passes. I don't think they are going to let them get away with much.

That's just plain wrong, duder.

They're just saying they haven't developed similar infrastructure to Microsoft, but publishers seem to find solutions on their own.

Ahhh weird. In Patrick's interview it made it seem like because you have to pay Sony for online that they won't allow online passes.

#27 Posted by HellknightLeon (467 posts) -

I just like polls... fuck the rest....

#28 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

@barrock said:

@vilhelmnielsen said:

@barrock said:

@vilhelmnielsen said:

Third parties will probably enforce their own kind of restrictions on the PS4 versions, so no, I don't think Microsoft will ever have to change their policy.

Sony's already stated they aren't going to allow online passes. I don't think they are going to let them get away with much.

That's just plain wrong, duder.

They're just saying they haven't developed similar infrastructure to Microsoft, but publishers seem to find solutions on their own.

Ahhh weird. In Patrick's interview it made it seem like because you have to pay Sony for online that they won't allow online passes.

SCE Europe's Jim Ryan announced that Online Passes were the most that they'll allow on PS4 and they're encouraging publishers not to even use them.

#29 Posted by Jay_Ray (1101 posts) -

I simply don't think they can, the discs are nothing more than a "fast download" to them, they have made their system to be all digital even with non digital products. Their entire system and strategy would have to change for them to ditch their DRM and 24 hour check-in.

#30 Edited by Jimbo (9813 posts) -

I don't think they can afford to wait and see how it goes for 2 years. Launching directly against each other like this, they can't really wait and see at all. Something's going to change between now and launch because it has to. Might be the 24 hour thing, might be the price. If I had to guess, I'd say both.

RE: the 24 hour thing. I don't see why this can't be optional: 24 hour check-in or disc in drive. If you bought the game digitally to begin with (which they will know), there should be no need for a mandatory check-in at all, because you can't have installed it and then passed your disc on to somebody else if you never had a disc.

#31 Edited by MattyFTM (14385 posts) -

I can see some tweaks happening down then road, but they're never going to fully backpedal.

But what you're suggesting is never going to happen. The mainstream don't know or care about DRM. What they care about is Halo. The big name games are what they care about and that's what will influence their purchasing decision. The PS4 is never going to outsell the XB1 5 to 1. Not in a million years.

Moderator
#32 Edited by Rejizzle (308 posts) -

I doubt that Microsoft would be willing to swallow their pride and reverse their policy. Microsoft made a firm decision and many people would probably view them as flaky if they reversed it so suddenly.

#33 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

@mattyftm said:

I can see some tweaks happening down then road, but they're never going to fully backpedal.

But what you're suggesting is never going to happen. The mainstream don't know or care about DRM. What they care about is Halo. The big name games are what they care about and that's what will influence their purchasing decision. The PS4 is never going to outsell the XB1 5 to 1. Not in a million years.

I don't think Halo is going to be a big enough selling point. Talking about value means we really have to take into account the fact that half of the stuff at the MS event is still going to be coming to PS4, especially the biggest seller, CoD. Unless MS does something serious about their price point, I think a lot of people are going to buy a PS4 just because it's a better value.

Really it 90% comes down to how the new PSN matches up against Live, though. I know many people who use their Xbox 360 exclusively for online simply because the network is more robust and doesn't have some of the lag and connection issues that a lot of people have with the current PSN, and they're willing to pay a premium for it. Xbone definitely has familiarity and trust on that front, and that's going to be their main advantage, if anything, for large portions of the core userbase.

#34 Edited by ch3burashka (5081 posts) -

WHO FUCKING CALLED IT

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. I had not considered that they'd do a 360 180 so soon after announcing their policies - they seemed very cocky, very Sony-2006-era. Which begs the question, was this the plan from the beginning? Did they think they'd regain fans (and win more fans) for seeming generous after the fact? I honestly don't know, but it seems like a quasi-legitimate strategy.

#35 Edited by ch3burashka (5081 posts) -

WHO FUCKING CALLED IT

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. I had not considered that they'd do a 360 180 so soon after announcing their policies - they seemed very cocky, very Sony-2006-era. Which begs the question, was this the plan from the beginning? Did they think they'd regain fans (and win more fans) for seeming generous after the fact? I honestly don't know, but it seems like a quasi-legitimate strategy.

#36 Edited by MooseyMcMan (11025 posts) -

Yes.

Moderator
#37 Edited by ch3burashka (5081 posts) -

WHO FUCKING CALLED IT

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. I had not considered that they'd do a 360 180 so soon after announcing their policies - they seemed very cocky, very Sony-2006-era. Which begs the question, was this the plan from the beginning? Did they think they'd regain fans (and win more fans) for seeming generous after the fact? I honestly don't know, but it seems like a quasi-legitimate strategy.

#38 Posted by TruthTellah (9100 posts) -

I'm guessing they will. Kappa

#39 Posted by ajamafalous (11994 posts) -

welp

#40 Posted by psylah (2177 posts) -

I'M LIKE MICHAEL PACHTER UP IN THIS BITCH

In that I was wrong, again.