By vinone 21 Comments
So with that announcement almost every complaint, with the exception of Kinect (which I won't be talking about in this Blog post), that was thrown towards Microsoft was swatted away and changed to what the very vocal majority wanted. But was it really for the best?
"An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360."
*Cheers* *Applause* First things first, I have had my Playstation 3 connected to the internet without a hitch in service for the 6 months since I moved. I'm definitely one of the lucky people without a doubt and I acknowledge that, I have a fast and unlimited internet connection. Not everyone has that, so to make a console that needs to be connected to the internet is just asinine as a business move. Now that's where I kind of agree with Microsoft's changes simply to help the video game industry reach as many people as it can, but not from my point of view. Here's where I get upset though.
"Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions.
These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray."
Digital media is the future, it may be a future that many dislike, but it's the undeniable future. With the rise of Netflix, Hulu, Steam, iTunes, Nook, Kindle, etc., it's simply undeniable. With this future comes many questions about what we really own, and that will continue for many years, but did Microsoft make a move to answer some of those questions? Did anyone think a gaming company would embrace what the Nook is doing and let you share a digital game? Well you can't now, now you have to physically share that game, like you've been doing for about 30 years. And was I the only one excited about games fully installing off of the disk? People like those plastic cases and disks for whatever reason, and you could have had the best of both worlds, put it on a shelf and never touch it again. I personally plan on going strictly digital this next generation, so I guess that's another reason I am completely ok with what they were doing. Now the problem with this policy is that it is obviously based on an always online system, which as I stated above, I was the minority that was ok with it.
So I know my purchasing habits and my ease of internet use influenced my decisions, but I am excited for a fully digital, fully connected future, and I feel like this was a huge step towards it and it just instantly disappeared.
With all of that out of the way, this is a victory for consumers strictly because it shows that just like saying "we won't pay $599 for a console" last generation, consumers have shown their opinions genuinely matters and they can get things done. Now another way this is a win for consumers, is now Sony can't sit around. Sony made their move at E3 saying they would go against everything Microsoft had said, that simply is not enough anymore, competition is a great thing and this only makes things more competitive.
But I have to ask, is change what we fear? Or is it simply a corporation that we as consumers saw as a threat?
With all of that said, I guess I should disclose that I currently have just a PS4 preordered, but as of right now I plan on getting an Xbox One at some point in 2014. I would also like to say that this was strictly based on policies, not on Microsoft's tone and delivery of all of these previous announcements. And no matter what I'm excited for the future of video games.