Should I Stay or Should I Go? - comradekoch Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Well, it seems I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, from a gaming standpoint at least.

I will be the first to admit - I'm a huge Xbox fan. After almost 8 years of playing on Xbox Live and approaching 80,000 gamerscore, I'm what you might call invested in the Xbox as a brand. Even if Xbox One literally transforms into robo-hitler (which might not surprise many gamers at this point), I will always have fond memories of my Xbox and Xbox 360.

Which is what makes this choice I'm now trying to make so difficult; I know Microsoft is wrong.

I am about as old-fashioned as a video game nerd can be. I don't have a smart phone, I only learned how to use twitter a few months ago, and I have a tendency to shun whatever is "hip" or "new," technology or otherwise. After knowing this about me it should come as no surprise that I enjoy physical media. Comics, books, albums? I go to the store, whether it be a local comic shop or Wal-Mart, pull out a $10 bill, purchase my entertainment, and walk back out the door with a smile on my face. Games to me are no different. I like boxes. I like instruction manuals. I like discs.

The Most Popular Slide in Gaming History

And I like sharing those discs. I like sharing, reselling, or flat out destroying (that's a story for another day) my property. I bought it, and now it's mine to do what I want with. While I almost never buy used games, me and my brother trade games back and forth all the time, and my friends and I trade some as well but to a lesser extent. It just makes sense. It doesn't feel evil, or wrong. I'm just giving my property, something I paid for, to somebody else. It's called free will, and I've always believed that doing so was my right as a consumer. As a result, I've always been opposed to DRM, Online Passes, Always-Online policies, because I know it goes against the rights of a consumer. I know systems like DRM are wrong.

And then Microsoft unveiled their Xbox One policies. I had heard the rumors like everybody else. I was worried, but in the back of my mind I felt the rumors couldn't be true, or were blown out of proportion. But lo' and behold, the rumors, while not quite as bad as rumored, were still pretty draconian. Even if they don't effect me personally, they effect many in the gaming community who are less fortunate than I, and I find it hard to support anything using the that kind of logic (using a harsh real world example, I don't support racial prejudice, even though racial discrimination in no way effects me.)

No longer can I trade games with my friends. No longer can I resell games, unless Microsoft "approves" it. My Xbox One game disc essentially becomes worthless after installation. I can't play games without checking in online with papa Microsoft every 24-hours. So what exactly CAN I do on Xbox One?

I can play some incredible, exciting, hardcore gamer pleasing games. I'm a huge Halo fan. Seeing Master Chief going on an epic quest to find a way to save/resurrect Cortana (if my guess is correct) almost brings fanboy tears to my eyes.

Cloaked Master Chief= Squealing Fanboy

If you read my previous blog post, I was really hoping for a rebooted Killer Instinct, and Microsoft delivered in spades. ULTRA COOMBOOOO.

Titanfall looks to be the next great console FPS, and watching people assault mechs, jetpack along walls, and blast into the atmosphere using an ejector seat, all in beautiful 60 frames-per-second, got me more than a little excited.

Seriously, a spiritual successor to Panzer Dragoon? Does it get any more "hardcore" gamer than that?

Not. A. Word.

Microsoft delivered an A-rated press conference for me in the game department. But then came the combo breaker; Microsoft refused to address or speak about their controversial policies.

Was I expecting them to come out and do a full 180 with their policies? Not really, despite my hopes. What I wanted Microsoft to do was come out and at least acknowledge the concerns of gamers. To at least say "We hear you."

But instead they ignore it. They sweep it under the rug. And what is Sony's response?

Of course, they address the issue head on. No smoke and mirrors, no misdirection, just hard and simple truths. No DRM. No Always-Online. No restrictions. And to put icing on the cake, a $399 price point. The crowd erupts in roaring approval, and while I'm watching my live stream, I can't help but smile at what to me looks like a huge victory for consumers.

Which brings me back to my problem. Do I stay with the console that has defined my gaming experience over the last 8 years and of which I hold some great memories, or do I abandon many of the games and franchises I love out of principle, and join the legions of fans who believe Sony's Jack Tretton is the god of gaming's second prophet (the first being Miyamoto of course.)

The second coming?

I don't have an answer right now. While I hope Microsoft does change their policies in the face of widespread public backlash, I wouldn't count on it, and if they don't, come November, I have a hard choice to make.

NOTE: Our very own Saint recently had an excellent blog (found here) about a similar topic, where he states he is buying an Xbox One because of the games on the console and because the Xbox One policies don't directly effect him, as he doesn't buy used games and is OK with Always-Online. This blog is, in a way, a response.

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