The lights are on
Yesterday was the first big news day of the next generation. Sure, the PlayStation 4 reveal was exciting. Yes, the internet exploded (many times) as the Xbox One came into focus. Of course, E3 2013 was a monumental event. Yesterday was still bigger.
When a report on Giant Bomb first disclosed that we'd be seeing sweeping changes to the Xbox One DRM and online connection policies, social media channels erupted (largely) in applause. The optimists believe Microsoft executives were listening to consumers. The pessimists are certain that it was financial motivations that forced the change. The realists know that it doesn't matter.
With the good news comes one major, unfortunate development. The down side of Microsoft's reversal is that all game sharing has been eliminated. This includes digital purchases that shouldn't necessarily be affected by the change to retail games. Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten explained to us that prior to the switch, all media was viewed the same way. This shift to an environment in which retail and digital are different has left Microsoft with no choice but to abandon game sharing.
Yesterday's big story isn't the change in tactics. It's that Microsoft finally realized that it couldn't force the digital future it so desperately wants. Despite the delay, the company hasn't abandoned its plan. Far from it.
No, Microsoft has gotten smart. The vision of a digital future spearheaded by Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment division, is still alive. I have no doubt that plans are already underway to lure gamers away from physical media. All is not lost for Microsoft. The Xbox One's original endgame is still something the company very much believes in, and here's how I think they are going to get there:
The difference is in the communication. Change is scary, and the knee jerk reaction is often one of revulsion. Microsoft attempted to force sweeping alterations to how consumers view ownership in the console space without fully considering perception.
The company can still achieve its goals of a digital future. Now, it can get there with gamers saying, "thank you" instead of "screw you."
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I think they will nudge people into the Digital Age. I see them doing a couple of things:
1.Opt in and you get family share, maybe some free live time 3-6 months.
2.They can create an offline mode - In this mode you have access to all your content on your box but you can not share but all share features are disabled (no family, no mobility)
I am sure they will do other things but I truly think in the long run both the X1 and PS4 will have a strong digital presence and physical media will purely be a delivery method.
Eventually all those polices will be good ideas. Just not today. Except the used game policy, that was terrible. I mean, I get it, Piracy is bad. It sucks. alot of people agree, however attacking the way millions of people buy their games is NOT a good idea. Games cost $60 nowadays, we buy used games because we don't want to spend that much money on a game. Gamers will always want to buy used games. In the words of former Microsoft Studios Creative Director Adam Orth, "#dealwithit"
That happens to nearly everything MS envisions.
Yeah. I think they'll come back a try it again next gen.
Totally agree with those main points. The digital copies of these game SHOULD be priced lower than the used copies of the game. And I would totally purchase digital versions of games if it came with extra in game items.
never going to happen if gamers like me stand up!
I was looking forward to the game sharing. But I wouldn't have used it much. The loss of that has been balanced with the guarantee of no fee for used games and no required Internet connection