The Xbone 180; The Abortion of Next-Gen

Microsoft gave in to the whining, the fear-mongering, the myopic and the change-averse rain-man tantrums of a gaming minority. They gave in to a group who has time and time again demonstrated that they don't know what they want or what's best for them.... they just know how to yell without and complain without presenting solutions. As a result, we lost something that could truly have represented a next-gen. Instead, now we get more of the same with slightly better graphics and integrated video sharing functionality. Yay?

It is important to recognize that I am going to discuss a lot about POTENTIAL in this post. There is going to be discussion of ideas, concepts, etc that were never explicitly shared or indicated, but were implicit in some cases and long-goal hopes in others. Just because they were not explicitly indicated does not mean they were not considered or even believed to be the hopeful future. It simply means they were far enough off or their exact final form impossible to truly predict accurately enough to prevent additional backlash from this same, obnoxious community. Why would you share such details with a group that has only ever shown itself capable of dealing in concrete when those details are still limestone waiting for quarry?

Don't get me wrong, I had quibbles with MS' strategy as well. But to abandon an ideal over alterable details with months left to iron them out is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Easily the biggest concern was the 24hr check-in cycle. Yet, you would think there were amenable solutions to that. My first thought revolves around using the disc itself as its own offline check for those rare instances you are without an internet connection. It proves you still have the license/product which was really the point of the 24hr check when physical objects persist in a digital ecosystem. This problem is easily solved with digital versions. In order to lend, trade-in, share, etc a digital copy you must inherently be online to initiate that transaction. If that transaction then leaves a note on your machine/account dictating your ability to have or not have access to that product as you deemed fit (traded, lended, kept in your possession, etc) it can remember this while you're offline as well (and is, in fact, likely how the 24hr check for physical discs was operating as well). Want to use your digital game on another machine while it is still attached to your account? Shocker, but you might have to log in... if nothing else so you can download it huh? I do believe that this system would be more effective with a designated "home system" to where all your licenses automatically revert after predetermined time periods much like how Kindle and Nook book lending services have time restrictions. This prevents your friend from borrowing your game and leaving his console offline so that it never receives your rescinded loan. It is digital theft prevention from that friend who always forgets to return your stuff. And that's just a quick idea that could, and likely would, be possible to build and expound upon. If nothing else, these complaints were coming from supposed hardcore gamers. You know, the same guys who live by their millisecond lag times both in their hardware and their broadband access. The same guys who sit on the internet and read about gaming almost as much as they take part in it. You know, the same guys who tend to have pretty stable, good internet connections. But right.... DRM is bad. Sorry, I forgot buzzwords have more power than actual meaning.

So here's where my problems with the whole change begin. We have consistently, ad nauseum, heard the gaming press complain that the industry is unsustainable in it's current incarnation. Microsoft makes an attempt that it believes may help this and it's shot down before it has even had a chance to see whether that would. Sometimes, change is good. Correct, change is not inherently good and change solely for the sake of change can be a problem. But here's the thing. In this case it is change for potential benefit vs stagnation which has long been accused of becoming a boggy mire that drowns all who step within it. Microsoft made an attempt to bring publishers/developers back into the second-hand market so that they WOULDN'T continue to be so afraid of it. This allows them to see some of the benefit and continues to help fund more of the things you like. The used discussion has been hashed out so often I'm not going to repeat it here. All I will say is that Microsoft was trying to actually let you still have it and place it within an ecosystem where the people who create the products you enjoy may benefit from the resale of their non-perishable goods. This, in turn, would likely have a downwards price effect, especially on initial game pricing. Most games make ALL of their money in the first 2-3 months post-release and they have to because it may become cannibalized by used sales or lost in the next latest thing. By allowing publishers to have a piece of this tail end by offering a piece of used sales, Microsoft was giving them the potential to have lower initial prices and still make more as there would be a longer tail on the earnings of games. Now, without a piece of this tail, they must grab everything they can up front and this means season passes, day 1 DLC, etc while they have every ounce of mindshare and only new owners.

And this brings us the potential of pricing. Steam has time and time again shown us this model can work and work effectively. For those not involved in PC gaming, Steam does have great sales, yes, but it is it's role as a central ecosystem from which players can buy directly or input purchases from elsewhere that truly drives this to its greatest efficiency. Allowing the retail marketplace access to your ecosystem with its merchandising, pricing, etc is a good thing. Steam sees this with sales of keys, etc from retailers like Green Man Gaming. Microsoft's approach actually expanded this to ALL retailers selling games. We would still have the potential for digital without the reliance on a single ecosystem's pricing scheme. Phenomenal. We would be able to have all the benefits and convenience of digital versions without the usual worry that people have of nascent systems like Games on Demand. This would force Games on Demand (or its Xbone equivalent) to either be price competitive or simply act as a digital repository for retail purchases. There is no way this doesn't lead to broader acceptance and lower prices or more rapid decline in pricing. No, this absolutely would not have been immediate and was actually probably a gradual change years off, but it would have been there. It was a long-play, a rare instance where a company demonstrated long vision in a world where quarterly share-holder meetings necessitate only thinking in the short-term (and is likely what resulted in this reversal).

So what have we lost?

1) A digital/physical convergence that merged the convenience of digital with the remaining presence of physical media. It was actually a smart and efficient compromise if only they had handled the 24hr check for physical media better. The rest of entertainment is heading or has already headed towards a digital world. Console gaming was being left behind and now is standing at the train station waving to the others as they chug away.

2) True portability is lost. Now you have to physically hand over your disc to someone. You must be near them in some physical way. Want to share that game with your cousin across the country? Now you can grab a plane ticket, take a road trip or drop the telegram for the Pony Express to pick it up. This is all instead of saying "Titanfall is awesome man, you should give it a shot. Here, I just grabbed Forza so won't be playing it this week, why don't you give it a shot and if you like it grab a digital license of your own so we can play together later" and clicking the lend button so your best friend across the country can download and try it out..... instantly.

Or TRUE portability.... with the increasing convergence in consumer hardware, portable systems are becoming more and more similar. Want a true killer app (granted, this is a dream that would be far down the line)? Imagine in the future that Microsoft has (well, actually already have really) merged your Xbox, Win Phone, Win8 and Surface accounts. Your XBLA purchase also now entitles you to playing it on all these devices with a single purchase. Or at the very least a significant discount. And you could have save sharing, etc. Yes, there are development concerns here, hardware variations and incurred costs. Some of these may be mitigated as more and more desktop chips turn towards mobile compatible chips (see Intel's current Haswell move). Some of these are value-added service which actually spurs purchasing.

3) True permanence was a possibility. The retail/digital convergence Microsoft was proposing allowed for a stronger sense of permanence. Scratch or lose your disk now? Tough. Your friend you so had to have physical lending for broke it, lost it or worse? Tough. With the original Xbone system you'd still have had that game linked to your account and could simply have redownloaded it. No worse for the wear. See, there's no degradation of digital bits and that seems far more permanent to me than a physical object. Yes, I am incurring some risk at the hands of a corporation in the sense that some day they may implode their servers and I may lose access to it, but that's likely a lower risk than your 5 year old cousin's temper tantrum rampage. That's such a doomsday, worst-case scenario it feels disingenuous to assume it will happen.

And then there's the pipe dream of TRUE permanence. Every game you've ever bought and kept is linked to your account. Should Microsoft (or even Sony in this distant future) enact a streaming service or whatever you have record that you own that game. There is the potential for not having to purchase it again or having nominal fees to reinstate this back catalog. With the current system, you are tied to an old system which will eventually break for your backwards compatibility. If that machine breaks and is no longer manufactured your backwards compatibility is gone with it.

4) Pricing: Discussed. Steam-like with a retail environment of competition would have likely eventually led to lower prices. They did not bring this up because this was an economy mediated change; one whose time-frame and degree of impact were fluid and unable to be predicted. It would have been like asking what mortgage rates will be in 5 years.

5) Differentiation: We've lost what separated these consoles in any true, meaningful way. We've taken away a tool from developers now that they are not assured of always on. This hurts gamers as these tools are what allow change and evolution to occur. Want exclusivity to make things interesting? You NEED differentiation. Now MS loses something which could have set it apart and as such loses exclusives (features or games). No we can just see a repeat of the current generation, a true multiplatform homogenization. Yay...

6) I always see people complain about having to change their discs. The Xbone got you so close to NEVER having to do that again. AND, in addition, allowed for the rapid switching between games they were talking about, even with retail purchased disc games. You know where they said the machine can be teeing up your multiplayer match while you play your single-player game? God, that seems a lot more inconvenient now that you'll have to actually physically swap out a disc every time...

So what do we gain for the loss of potential? What do we gain by shuddering in fear of change?

1) You can continue getting dismal trade value for your games and can continue buying used games which are $5 cheaper than their new editions and don't support the people who worked hard to make what you enjoy.

2) You can PHYSICALLY hand a disc to your friend. Now you have to actually hand it to them.... or mail it to them. Perhaps you will have to take your horse-drawn carriage over to their house or send it via pony express. Or you could have simply hit the share button and have instantly allowed for it, but apparently that tactile feedback is really important to some of you.

3) You can play your Xbone offline. You know, those rare instances when you take it camping, to the deserts of Iraq, beneath the waves on a submarine or to Grandma's house. Or you could have, you know, waited for a better solution or clarification on this process which played an alterable, smaller role in the grand scheme.

Congrats gamers. You let the 14yr olds jumping on the bandwagon win with your fear mongering and sensationalism. I would argue we all perhaps won a battle, but really lost a war. And in doing so, may have potentially lost our industry we love as well.... Congratulations status quo and stagnation, you have won again and you really didn't even know what you wanted or were asking for.

**For those who will complain that I am being xenophobic and not considering those less fortunate than me who don't have consistent, adequate access to the internet. First of all, you've completely ignored my solution to the supposed 24hr window, but let me ignore that for a minute as well then. Let's also ignore that they said this authorization is on the order of kilobytes every 24hrs; something your 28.8k modem or your cellphone are more than capable of. Instead, let's discuss the idea of luxury goods. This is a $500 GAMING machine. About the luxury of luxuries; a machine designed purely for entertainment. It is MORE of a luxury than internet access (some even discuss this as a basic human right in a modern world) and is even more of a luxury item than consistent broadband internet access. And you can't call it xenophobic because the United States is 27th in the world in broadband penetration. That's pretty low amongst countries where individuals can afford such luxuries. And lastly.... that is what it is. It is a luxury good. You do not have a right to it (same argument for you pirates out there too). If you don't have what it takes to have one (disposable income, internet access) why do you think you have the right to it? If nothing else, as broadband penetration and internet access around the world continue to proliferate at increasing speeds this box was built to serve for the next decade or so. That world is going to be a little different then than it is now and if it means some people are going to miss out for a while then that is the unfortunate reality.

47 Comments
49 Comments
Posted by joshwent

Oooooh. The backlash backlash. Delicious.

Posted by Jeust

I would change the title of the blog, as some people will take offense on it. Abortion is not a subject to be triffled with.

Posted by MildMolasses

Nothing makes me want to read a giant-ass blog post like sensationalist titles!

Posted by Mrsignerman44

There is no way I can take you seriously with that shitty title.

Posted by DonPixel

I found your blog hillarious... Next gen its already been happening on PC with stem for a few years by now.

A lot of people choose not to support the draconian structure of a well know greedy company, way to name call them with peyorative adjectives, for having a diferent opinion.

I want to see MS do what valve does with dota 2 item store, that is actually progresive, let the comunity build the game. MS wont ever do somenthing like it.

Posted by TheLegendOfMart

Bollocks, if you think a bunch of whining gamers made Microsoft rethink DRM you are naive.

More likely they saw that pre-orders were tanking and thought only about the money.

Posted by Skooky

I'm very confused as to how a Microsoft-DRM-digital-future guy could write so much about what we're missing out on when Microsoft didn't say anywhere near this much about the proposed future.

Edited by ihateyouron

I'm going to be honest and say that I skimmed most of your post, and am only really responding to the specific phrasing you used near the end.

"If you don't have what it takes to have one (disposable income, internet access) why do you think you have the right to it?"

What do you mean "have the right", it's not really about rights at all. It's about what the majority of consumers want, and what Microsoft is willing to concede in order to save face with those consumers. This is the exact sort of messaging that got Sony into the situation they were in this generation with the PS3.

If nothing else, as broadband penetration and internet access around the world continue to proliferate at increasing speeds this box was built to serve for the next decade or so. That world is going to be a little different then than it is now and if it means some people are going to miss out for a while then that is the unfortunate reality.

You're right, although obviously not even Microsoft was willing to take such a risk, hoping to eventually attract a larger audience as the medium trends towards a digital future.

Finally I'll just say that I actually liked a lot of the ideas outlined in the original Xbox One unveiling, I just think (as you yourself noted) that they did a piss poor job with presenting their case. Rather than taking the time to explain some of the potential benefits of this vision to consumers, Microsoft chose to play their arrogance and seemingly hoped to change the narrative with games like TitanFall, and other exclusives. Although it is unfortunate that Microsoft is apparently canning all of their digital lending/trading features in response to their new policies, I'm just really glad that consumer voices were heard. Having flashy games is cool and all, but I'm sorry, that sugar just wasn't sweet enough to soften the blow of their restrictive DRM policies.

Posted by believer258

I read the first paragraph and just stopped. You think I don't know what I want (and don't want) from a console? That's fucking stupid. I don't want to be forced to connect to the internet when I'm playing games on a console. What would have happened if these policies had stayed in place and next generation had come along and MS had shut down the authentication servers? No more Xbox One for anybody. If you don't see what's wrong with the notion that a company can control when your products become useless, then you really need to rethink the value you place in things.

I do want the ability to play my games whenever I want and with as few restrictions as possible, as every console generation has been. I especially don't want to play games on a console with incredibly arbitrary restrictions (which is why I wasn't planning on getting an Xbox One until yesterday).

Posted by Averhoeven

Bollocks, if you think a bunch of whining gamers made Microsoft rethink DRM you are naive.

More likely they saw that pre-orders were tanking and thought only about the money.

@aiurflux said:

Urgh.

Stop fucking blaming gamers, maybe blame Microsoft themselves. I heard recently that pre-orders on Amazon at a point were 20-1 for the PS4. I kind of think that maybe, just maybe, investors had more to do with this than the whining, fear mongering, and tantrums. If it was gamers then they would have changed it in the month between their reveal and E3. Fact is that it wasn't gamers. It was the sales data and investors. They deliberately waited until a weeks worth of sales data was recorded and they were getting their ass handed to them to pull an XBox 180.

Jesus. Shut up stupid.

You're right about it being short-term minded shareholders which forced the change. In fact, I openly said so in the original post itself. That doesn't change the fact that it was fear-mongering, myopic and change averse bandwagoning that led to those uninformed purchasing decisions in the first place.

@donpixel said:

I found your blog hillarious... Next gen its already been happening on PC with stem for a few years by now.

A lot of people choose not to support the draconian structure of a well know greedy company, way to name call them with peyorative adjectives, for having a diferent opinion.

I want to see MS do what valve does with dota 2 item store, that is actually progresive, let the comunity build the game. MS wont ever do somenthing like it.

Microsoft appeared to be aiming for a more PC-like structure on consoles. PC does enter the generational discussion of consoles because it is a fluid machine. It represents true evolution whereas the console market operates more on a system of punctuated equilibrium. It's difficult to equate them as a result of that.

Nothing makes me want to read a giant-ass blog post like sensationalist titles!

Fighting over-wrought sensationalism and hyperbole with the like; one title at a time. It appears to be all gamers respond to.

Edited by joshwent

@jeust said:

I would change the title of the blog, as some people will take offense on it. Abortion is not a subject to be triffled with.

Abortion has multiple definitions, the general one being, "to cease/interrupt development". So saying that something has caused, "The abortion of next gen" is correct and has nothing to do with baby killin'. No need to take offense on it!

Edited by Draxyle

None of the positive features like game sharing or family plans had anything clear or set in stone. There was no way to know for sure how much of that would even work at launch, if ever. All we got were extremely vague promises about all these things.

All titles were going to be day one digital anyways. If you don't like disc swapping, then you could have just bought everything from their digital store. The disc wasn't much better than buying a box with a Steam code in it under their old plan. We didn't lose anything in that respect from this turnaround except for the fact that the discs actually have a purpose and value to them again. We already have most of the benefits of a "fully digital future" whether discs are involved or not; XBox One's DRM wasn't about to add anything worth the price of an arbitrarily locked down system.

And the last paragraph sums up exactly why MS absolutely needed to make this turnaround. Being exclusionary and spiteful towards those with lesser incomes is a patently bad move for any media-based corporation. They're not building Lamborghinis, they're building game consoles.

Edited by rebgav

1) You can continue getting dismal trade value for your games and can continue buying used games which are $5 cheaper than their new editions and don't support the people who worked hard to make what you enjoy.

Quick Q; How would developers benefit from a group of ten people being able to buy and play one copy of their game? I doubt that publishers were champing at the bit to sign up to that scheme and sell 90% fewer games. Used games are bad but sharing one game between ten people is super great for revenue, you guys.

Posted by Averhoeven

I'm going to be honest and say that I skimmed most of your post, and am only really responding to the specific phrasing you used near the end.

"If you don't have what it takes to have one (disposable income, internet access) why do you think you have the right to it?"

What do you mean "have the right", it's not really about rights at all. It's about what the majority of consumers want, and what Microsoft is willing to concede in order to save face with those consumers. This is the exact sort of messaging that got Sony into the situation they were in this generation with the PS3.

If nothing else, as broadband penetration and internet access around the world continue to proliferate at increasing speeds this box was built to serve for the next decade or so. That world is going to be a little different then than it is now and if it means some people are going to miss out for a while then that is the unfortunate reality.

You're right, although obviously not even Microsoft was willing to take such a risk, hoping to eventually attract a larger audience as the medium trends towards a digital future.

Finally I'll just say that I actually liked a lot of the ideas outlined in the original Xbox One unveiling, I just think (as you yourself noted) that they did a piss poor job with presenting their case. Rather than taking the time to explain some of the potential benefits of this vision to consumers, Microsoft chose to play their arrogance and seemingly hoped to change the narrative with games like TitanFall, and other exclusives. Although it is unfortunate that Microsoft is apparently canning all of their digital lending/trading features in response to their new policies, I'm just really glad that consumer voices were heard. Having flashy games is cool and all, but I'm sorry, that sugar just wasn't sweet enough to soften the blow of their restrictive DRM policies.

That final section was addressing complaints I see lobbied against debate frequently and are actually fairly unrelated to the actual post. It was an effort to eliminate that unproductive train of argument.

I 100% agree that MS failed to deliver its vision in a well understood way. That is truly a failure on their part. I see it less as an arrogant approach as one that was aloof. It's a matter of a group that had been considering something for long enough that the opposing viewpoint seemed so illogical that they couldn't argue or present it. It was that "Because that's the best way" kind of confused rambling without clarification that permeated their conversations.

Posted by Nephrahim

Seriously, you're upset that people didn't want to buy the Xbox one so Microsoft changed it? This is not how business works. You can't just make a product that everyone hates, then expect it to sell. You can call it myopic fear-mongering if you want, I call it designing a system that everyone hates, and having not explaining well enough the reasons the trade-offs were worth it. Everyone came out of E3 thinking all their cloud talk was marketing hype, so why would that sell a console to me?

Posted by Averhoeven

@rebgav said:

@averhoeven said:

1) You can continue getting dismal trade value for your games and can continue buying used games which are $5 cheaper than their new editions and don't support the people who worked hard to make what you enjoy.

Quick Q; How would developers benefit from a group of ten people being able to buy and play one copy of their game? I doubt that publishers were champing at the bit to sign up to that scheme and sell 90% fewer games. Used games are bad but sharing one game between ten people is super great for revenue, you guys.

I don't believe that was ever going to be a full license sharing scheme and was DEFINITELY not going to entail concurrent use. I agree that was ineffectively fleshed out/confusing and agree that the system as it was understood was unfeasible. I do believe a lending system much like the Kindle or Nook was feasible, but yes... a no-holds barred videogame orgy was unlikely to have been the result of that program.

Posted by EXTomar

E3 does bring out the crazier posts.

Look, I'm pretty sure that my tastes aren't random or come from a misinformed place. This post is like a giant "Microsoft is casting pearls before swine!" complaint suggesting the unwashed masses aren't smart enough to see the benefits. I have news for you: If they can't explain it simply and straightforward then there might be an issue.

Posted by wewantsthering

Gave in to people fear-mongering? People had/have legitimate concerns. Honestly your first couple paragraphs are much more whiny than anything else I've read on the subject.

Posted by Ghost_Cat

Jesus, you could have not picked a more cheesy sensational title than that. And wall of text. And your assumption that us consumers don't know jack shit, or know what we want. Three strikes dude; dump the bat because you've been discharged.

Posted by ihateyouron

@averhoeven: I would say that the "confused rambling" is indicative of a lack of a unified vision on the design side of the hardware. If the Xbox One is still launching in November, doesn't it make you the least bit suspicious that they would suddenly abandon the few interesting ideas that they did have in mind? If they had a clear unified vision for these features, why not elaborate?

My guess is that most of those features weren't going to launch with the system anyway.

Posted by sdharrison

Didn't read. Microsoft wants money. They are making the move that they believe will make them the most money. End of story.

Brevity is the soul of wit, friend. Tame that dragon down by about 6 paragraphs.

Posted by FlipperDesert

Read the first sentence, thought "Oh, fuck off." and stopped.

You can still download full games with the new consoles, the proper discussions about digital distribution will be had in a few years when we can actually support it. User feedback had nothing to do with the Xbox One not sticking to its guns, it was pre-order numbers and stock prices showing that it was not just a 'gaming minority.'

Posted by ThePickle

At the end of the day, you can only blame Microsoft for taking out the DRM. At E3 they had a chance to set the record straight and to get people to accept the DRM. They didn't and they suffered for it. After that, did they clarify what the policies were and why they might be beneficial? No.

And STOP saying that this is somehow the minority. It was certainly not the minority that forced this change. Microsoft did not become a multi-billion dollar titan by appealing strictly to the minority. Guys in suits looked at pre-order numbers, saw the PS4 was ahead, and decided to even the score in the easiest way possible.

Edited by DonPixel

@averhoeven:

1.- As you point out Console and PC are inherently different: Console actually favours being de-evloutive ( so it can penetrate massive markets, markets such as ones that don't have internet), that is the whole point of the console, when you take that .. you just have a lame PC, Why would you sign for a restrictive draconian and abusive system such as the one of the Xbox!? hey.. just buy a PC.

2.- The power of the "cloud" which lets be real.. is the internet, they have SERVERS! they call them the CLOUD! it sounds trendy. The cloud is not mutually exclusive with always online, physical media and DRM. They could've implement cloud services, lending services, online library and dedicated servers with physical media. Again always online was a shitty excuse for DRM, there is absolutely no need for a system to check in every 24 hours so it can have cloud services... THEY ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

3.-Rationally the model MS was proposing could be good, but you have to take in fact the human factor: EMOTION and MORALS, People perceive Microsoft as a lack of Ethics Greedy company: Pay gold for Netflix!? FUCK OFF, Selling 3 year old games at $60 on live!? FUCK OFF, Windows 8 UI impossition FUCK OFF. Every single product they have is thanks to the Windows Monopoly: Internet Explorer... hey still shitty after all these years. Yes people is SCARE and ANGRY at Microsoft, with good reasons: They have bring this bad will on themselves with years of being shitty with their costumers, and their competition.

Edited by Tesla

Lame title, pretentious opening sentence. I didn't read any further than that.

Posted by Kaiserreich

What an abortion of a topic.

Posted by jsnyder82

I know right? What a bunch of assholes. How dare these people actually want to own the games they buy!?

Edited by StarvingGamer

@thelegendofmart said:

Bollocks, if you think a bunch of whining gamers made Microsoft rethink DRM you are naive.

More likely they saw that pre-orders were tanking and thought only about the money.

@aiurflux said:

Urgh.

Stop fucking blaming gamers, maybe blame Microsoft themselves. I heard recently that pre-orders on Amazon at a point were 20-1 for the PS4. I kind of think that maybe, just maybe, investors had more to do with this than the whining, fear mongering, and tantrums. If it was gamers then they would have changed it in the month between their reveal and E3. Fact is that it wasn't gamers. It was the sales data and investors. They deliberately waited until a weeks worth of sales data was recorded and they were getting their ass handed to them to pull an XBox 180.

Jesus. Shut up stupid.

You're right about it being short-term minded shareholders which forced the change. In fact, I openly said so in the original post itself. That doesn't change the fact that it was fear-mongering, myopic and change averse bandwagoning that led to those uninformed purchasing decisions in the first place.

I foresee a future where everyone will have access to awesome cybernetic limbs, so I would like to chop off your arms and legs today.

If you refuse then you are guilty of being myopic and change averse.

Edited by rebgav

@averhoeven said:

@rebgav said:

@averhoeven said:

1) You can continue getting dismal trade value for your games and can continue buying used games which are $5 cheaper than their new editions and don't support the people who worked hard to make what you enjoy.

Quick Q; How would developers benefit from a group of ten people being able to buy and play one copy of their game? I doubt that publishers were champing at the bit to sign up to that scheme and sell 90% fewer games. Used games are bad but sharing one game between ten people is super great for revenue, you guys.

I don't believe that was ever going to be a full license sharing scheme and was DEFINITELY not going to entail concurrent use. I agree that was ineffectively fleshed out/confusing and agree that the system as it was understood was unfeasible. I do believe a lending system much like the Kindle or Nook was feasible, but yes... a no-holds barred videogame orgy was unlikely to have been the result of that program.

Like many of the touted features of the new Xbox, the sharing program was at best ill-conceived and at worst a cynical, nonsensical bit of fluff meant to distract from the awful DRM backlash. Given that one player could play one game from the shared pool at any time, the "plan" was a bad joke considering the sea of co-op and multiplayer games on display at E3 - the only real use case was for single-player games, or unknown quantities like indie games or new properties without a ton of marketing behind them, not exactly robust cases capable of withstanding huge shortfalls in sales.

If we put aside all of the extrapolations based on MS' poor messaging, all you've definitely lost is the ability to play games without the disc in the drive which seems like something which could easily be re-instated based on an optional authentication process or an optional requirement to remain signed-in and online. If people are fully committed to their digital future (need some sort of formatting option to surround buzzwords with magical sparkles) then I can't imagine why they are concerned about the rules governing the physical media that they aren't going to buy. Buy digital copies, play with no disc in the system, all is well.

Edited by jimmyfenix

Please Don you are scaring the kids!

Posted by Superkenon

So, you're fighting hyperbole with hyperbole, yet trying to pretend you're above it all? More power to you, I guess.

For the sake of argument, I'm going to go ahead and pretend everything the Xbone was doing was amazing, ushering in a bold, golden future with absolutely no downsides.

But here's the gaping hole in your rant: nothing has been lost. It's all still there. Everyone interested in the DIGITAL FUTURE can buy digital, and take advantage of all the *WONDERFUL* things it entails. Everyone who's still more comfortable with discs can buy discs, without having to fuss with all the nonsense they don't care about. Now everyone is satisfied, instead of strangely forcing the former group into the latter group.

Nothing's stopping the digital age. But it's bad business, and bad karma, to force people into it.

Edited by BombcastGoldthwait

@tesla said:

Lame title, pretentious opening sentence. I didn't read any further than that.

100% with you, I think the op was trying too hard, maybe going for that Pulitzer. But If you hated that sentence, get a load of this:

Congrats gamers. You let the 14yr olds jumping on the bandwagon win with your fear mongering and sensationalism. I would argue we all perhaps won a battle, but really lost a war. And in doing so, may have potentially lost our industry we love as well.... Congratulations status quo and stagnation, you have won again and you really didn't even know what you wanted or were asking for.

Posted by JNeam
@aiurflux said:

Urgh.

Stop fucking blaming gamers, maybe blame Microsoft themselves. I heard recently that pre-orders on Amazon at a point were 20-1 for the PS4. I kind of think that maybe, just maybe, investors had more to do with this than the whining, fear mongering, and tantrums. If it was gamers then they would have changed it in the month between their reveal and E3. Fact is that it wasn't gamers. It was the sales data and investors. They deliberately waited until a weeks worth of sales data was recorded and they were getting their ass handed to them to pull an XBox 180.

Jesus. Shut up stupid.

Um, it was gamers choosing what system to buy......who do you think buys consoles? The gamers had a direct effect on this.

Posted by phantomzxro

@aiurflux said:

Urgh.

Stop fucking blaming gamers, maybe blame Microsoft themselves. I heard recently that pre-orders on Amazon at a point were 20-1 for the PS4. I kind of think that maybe, just maybe, investors had more to do with this than the whining, fear mongering, and tantrums. If it was gamers then they would have changed it in the month between their reveal and E3. Fact is that it wasn't gamers. It was the sales data and investors. They deliberately waited until a weeks worth of sales data was recorded and they were getting their ass handed to them to pull an XBox 180.

Jesus. Shut up stupid.

This!

Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

Nothing makes me want to read a giant-ass blog post like sensationalist titles!

"Quick! Everybody! The next generation will be an abortion! Please click on my blog post!"

Posted by phantomzxro

@jneam said:
@aiurflux said:

Urgh.

Stop fucking blaming gamers, maybe blame Microsoft themselves. I heard recently that pre-orders on Amazon at a point were 20-1 for the PS4. I kind of think that maybe, just maybe, investors had more to do with this than the whining, fear mongering, and tantrums. If it was gamers then they would have changed it in the month between their reveal and E3. Fact is that it wasn't gamers. It was the sales data and investors. They deliberately waited until a weeks worth of sales data was recorded and they were getting their ass handed to them to pull an XBox 180.

Jesus. Shut up stupid.

Um, it was gamers choosing what system to buy......who do you think buys consoles? The gamers had a direct effect on this.

And why is that a problem? Everyone wants to blame gamers for not speaking with their wallet and than blame gamers when they finally do speak with their wallet. Microsoft made this bed and they choose to pull out. They could have stand the course and weather the storm if they meant any word of what they said. Fact is they don't and only think about numbers and turns out the numbers were not in their favor.

Edited by SoldierG654342

@averhoeven said:

Microsoft gave in to the whining, the fear-mongering, the myopic and the change-averse rain-man tantrums of a gaming minority.

No they didn't. They gave into market realities. The internet didn't make them do this, pre-order numbers and investors did.

Edited by JazGalaxy

@averhoeven said:

Microsoft gave in to the whining, the fear-mongering, the myopic and the change-averse rain-man tantrums of a gaming minority.

No they didn't. They gave into market realities. The internet didn't make them do this, pre-order numbers and investors did.

I doubt it.

This is the modern version of the same thing that happened during the launch of the XBOX 360.

MS unveiled the 360 and said "hey, no backward compatibility" and then the internet freaked out. They said "our data says nobody uses it" and then the internet freaked out harder. In the end they capitulated... for all of a couple of months, and then they stopped doing it and the internet forgot the exchange ever happened.

In the end, this debate only matters to people who buy discs, of which we will see fewer and fewer over the next two years. I say in about a year, we see MS do what they always planned on doing and everyone will welcome it with open arms.

Posted by AyKay_47

Gamers had fuckin nothing to do with this. The fault lies entirely with autistic PR not knowing how to sell something new and scary to the ignorant and stubborn. Flip flopping on their policies is no better than sticking with the original ones. Instead of saying "This is the future" and "everything is amazing", fuckin acknowledge the shit that people have a problem with and succinctly explain the benefits. If for some reason there are no benefits then you fucked up and deserve to fail.

But sure, blame the gamers and the internets. And pirates too. Yeah. These things are the problem.

Posted by FunkasaurasRex

Man I thought all the anti-Xbox sentiment prior to their 180 was getting to be irritating, but this shit is way worse.

Posted by Dot

Yeah... I didn't bother reading after the first paragraph.

Edited by ViciousReiven

I wouldn't expect Microsoft of all companies to pave the way for a digital future in a way that didn't completely fuck us over in the end.

If they wanted to garner gamer's trust to show that maybe they could of possibly done it right then they should have started earlier, there is nothing stopping them from releasing digital downloads day one with retail right now, there's nothing stopping them from making the digital seem more attractive with discounts and sales, and they could of implemented some early form of digital trading years ago, and eased people into the transition.

Coming out and making all these convoluted rules for their new console was not the way to do it.

Posted by tourgen

Customers are soooooo unfair! Mommy!

Edited by crcruz3

I wouldn't expect Microsoft of all companies to pave the way for a digital future in a way that didn't completely fuck us over in the end.

If they wanted to garner gamer's trust to show that maybe they could of possibly done it right then they should have started earlier, there is nothing stopping them from releasing digital downloads day one with retail right now, there's nothing stopping them from making the digital seem more attractive with discounts and sales, and they could of implemented some early form of digital trading years ago, and eased people into the transition.

Coming out and making all these convoluted rules for their new console was not the way to do it.

This.

Edited by BRich

@averhoeven: I've been writing basically the same post in bite sized chunks on these forums for weeks, so nothing was more frustrating than the complete reversal.

At this point, I have talked myself into the scenario where Microsoft just sells download codes at retail instead of the install discs of the original plan. The family sharing was CLEARLY too good to be true, but I expect them to implement some form of digital rights lending and gifting over the course of this cycle.

With codes day and date for all retail releases both sides win. You can choose to continue to fumble with disc switching or just download everything and have a consolidated digital library on the go. The codes being at retail allows for competition, just as Steam has competition from other services that then plug back into it.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

Many of the features Microsoft is cancelling has nothing to do with changes in policy, it's because they're wrenching their system apart, and some of it is now a casualty. Bad planning. You can't make an engine and then just rip out the whateverometer and expect it to work perfectly. That's all that happened. What that means is most of these cherry on tops will be available at a later date, because they pimp the service, and they're already half working.

Posted by Azteck

4) Pricing: Discussed. Steam-like with a retail environment of competition would have likely eventually led to lower prices. They did not bring this up because this was an economy mediated change; one whose time-frame and degree of impact were fluid and unable to be predicted. It would have been like asking what mortgage rates will be in 5 years.

You are putting far too much faith in Microsoft. What would possibly compel them to lower prices? They have a literal monopoly on their store, they haven't made any sort of move toward lowering prices or having sales on their current store (and I promise you the new one isn't gonna be any different aside from the UI) so what would possibly make them start lowering prices?

Acting like the "true next gen" is somehow thrown out the window is in my opinion idiotic. Microsoft could still use those features without the DRM on top of it, they simply chose to not do it like that. And I get it, it could potentially open the door to a lot of exploits, but either they live with that or they stick to their guns. Gamers did not remove those features that you consider to be core to the next generation of hardware, Microsoft did that. The fact is they were not popular in the press, in the hardcore audience, and all that was leaking out to people who don't follow gaming news as closely as people on this site. That would've been incredibly destructive for their brand and the loyalty they live on. The smart thing was to adapt, as businesses do to ensure they make money.